Would you see the king of the mountain match returning this year?
Yes, but with simplified rules. I like the idea of having to pin someone before you can go for the belt, but the penalty cage is too gimmicky, I think. Also I never understood the business of hanging the belt instead of taking the belt down -- that felt like them trying too hard to be different.
If they could de-Russo-fy the rules of the match and make it more simple, I'd love to see it return. Slammiversary hasn't felt the same without it.
In your knockouts video series you stated how it was important for the knockouts to be diverse, do you still feel that way?
Yes! The last thing we want in the Knockout division (or any division for that matter) is for everyone to look the same, act the same, wrestle the same. That would get really boring, really quickly and make it harder for the women to stand out.
You need a good mix of people with different styles, looks, personalities, etc. to offer some variety. A bunch of girls who are all really similar isn't very interesting IMO. Once upon a time, the Knockout division had a lot variety and pretty much every girl was completely different. It's not really like that anymore. These days it seems a lot more generic and that's a damn shame.
Are the knockouts you want right now diverse enough? They do not feel as diverse as the old knockout era or The knockouts you wanted to hire in your knockouts video series.
Well, first of all, I highly doubt they're ever going to assemble a group as diverse as that inaugural roster they had in 2007-2008. But they could certainly do better than they are now.
Part of it would be finding the right talents, but some of the work would be up to the company to package them with gimmicks/characters/etc. like they did with Sam Shaw. Shaw used to be very generic, but with this American Psycho gimmick, he seems a lot more unique.
Women like Shanna, Nikki Storm and Veda Scott already have unique characters that they developed on their own -- the perfect athlete, the pint-sized, foul-mouthed bully with an anger problem, the highly educated lawyer/wrestler -- TNA doesn't have any Knockouts with gimmicks like theirs, that's for sure.
Someone like Candice LeRae or Kay Lee Ray would stand out with their wrestling style. The current Knockout roster doesn't have any high flyers, so that style would set them apart, kind of like Lita in the Divas division back in the day. KLR also has a pretty striking look that makes her stand out in a crowd with the pale skin and bright red hair.
Someone like Cherry Bomb would be a Sam Shaw or EC3 type of situation where the raw material for a unique performer is there, they just need some kind of gimmick/persona to bring it out.
Thoughts on the rumor that Vince Russo is back on the creative side of tna?
I think there might be something to it. Recent shows do seem to have some Russo influences -- more gimmick matches, unnecessary title changes, etc. But as I understand it, if this is true he's only a consultant, and if that's all his involvement amounts to, I'm okay with it. Generally, I've been enjoying the shows lately. As long as they have enough people in the writers room to provide a voice of reason, a little bit of Russo doesn't have to be a bad thing. I heard he didn't want to go back to writing a weekly show full-time, so if he's just there to throw out ideas to be implemented by people with their heads screwed on straight (or straighter at least), then I don't think it's a big deal.
You tried desperately to defend Chris Sabin's fluke world title win, how does it feel now that the critics were right all along and it was a waste of time that accomplished nothing, benefited no one, and will go down in history as one of the most pointless moments in TNA history?
It feels pretty good, seeing as how his world title win and subsequent reign...
#1) Caused a brief ratings hike. A small one, yes, but every little bit helped at that time when Bully Ray's title reign (among other things) and involvement in the dead-end Aces & 8s faction had been eroding the ratings for months.
#2) Gave the audience a temporary respite from the BS stranglehold said piss poor faction had had on the product for FAR too long.
#3) Further legitimized Option C as something the world champion can't take lightly at Destination-X every year.
#4) Gave me a genuine and cherished mark-out moment in the middle of the ocean of shit that was the 18 goddamn months the Aces & 8s angle lasted for.
#5) Provided an impetus for Sabin to turn heel -- a role in which he tends to show more personality than he does as a face.
#6) Gave his character a new direction afterward; something a guy like James Storm had been lacking for ages until just recently.
six sided ring or the four sided ring?
I liked how the 6-sided ring was different from what you normally see on a wrestling show and I thought it was part of what gave TNA its identity. As it turns out, though, the 4-sided ring is a lot easier on the wrestlers' bodies, easier to take bumps on, etc. I'm in favor of whatever helps keep the wrestlers healthy and injury-free, so I say stick with 4 sides.
Do you think the AJ Styles storyline is a work?
Stranger things have happened, but my guess is it's a shoot. TNA are revamping their roster. A bunch of new people are coming in and some of the stalwarts are leaving. No one is exempt from it, not even AJ Styles. It's not like they didn't try to keep him, but I'm sticking with my theory that AJ simply asked for more money than TNA realistically thought he was worth and priced himself out of a job.
AJ asked for the exact amount of money from his previous contract. According to AJ they barely put any effort in negoatiating with him.
TNA's financial situation has changed. They have to be a lot more fiscally responsible now that their belt is tighter. When they had more money to burn, they didn't have to think so (for lack of a better term) ruthlessly. But maybe if they were being brutally honest with themselves, they didn't think AJ was 100% worth what they'd been paying him when they could sign a number of less expensive talents for the same amount.
Some people may not like it, but I think there could be something to it if you remove any personal bias you might have and think logically about how much of a draw AJ Styles actually is (or isn't). For the most part, he was off TV since Bound For Glory after headlining that show with a lot of storyline build up behind him and the ratings started going up while he was gone. Recent episodes scored some of their highest viewership in months without him. I'm not saying AJ Styles wasn't a loss for them, but he may not have been quite as valuable as some people think.
CM Punk leaves WWE. TNA return is possible? Ok, he "hates" TNA. But, you know, everything is possible! TJ, Aries and Joe are great friend of him.
Never say never, but I really doubt it. He seems to have a pretty low opinion of TNA and doesn't look back on his time there with fondness. Punk would probably see it as a step down for him, and that's if he wants to keep wrestling at all. He's been teasing retirement for a while, so that's up in the air, and it's not like he needs the money at this point. If he's going to keep wrestling, I think it's more likely he'd end up somewhere like NJPW.
Should TNA snatch Jenny Rose, Allysin Kay, Sassy Stephie, Saturyne & Sexy Star for the Knockouts Division?
I would say they should...
-keep an eye on Jenny Rose for the future.
-give Allysin Kay and Saturyne tryout matches.
-pass on Sassy Stephie.
-ask Sexy Star if she can put in a good word for them with Jen Blake and Lolita.