Eddie Edwards had a pretty great 2016. A singles run in Impact Wrestling that led him to his first Heavyweight Championship with the company, a starring role at the Hardy compound in a hard hitting match with Bobby Lashley and bookings at independent shows the world over. We were lucky enough to catch up with the lone wolf as he makes his mark on 2017 to talk Impact Wrestling, his future and the company's plans for the UK. You can watch Edwards past, present and future on the TNA app, full details about which are available here.
With the TNA app fans have plenty of choice of what to watch. If you had to pick one match for fans to see what would it be and why?
I'd say the tag match with the Wolves against the Hardys and Team 3D- any one of the matches actually because it was a 'best of' series. Hey, why not watch the whole series! Just because I feel like that's when me and Davey got ourselves to the next level. If you're in the ring with that calibre of tag-team, you have to show that you can weigh-in, compete and be in the ring with those guys. So I'd go with that one but you can always watch me win the belt from Bobby Lashley!
Looking back at your title run, how do you feel it went?
I think I did the best with what I had. Would I want to be the champion forever? Sure! Obviously that's not realistic. I just wanted to prove that I could be in that main event position, be one of the lead faces of Impact and represent the company as its World Champion everywhere I go. I think it's a great opportunity - that's what I wanted. The added pressure, not from the company but from myself. You want to be the best as a professional wrestler and that was always the goal. I hope I opened a few eyes. I think we put on some good matches with Cody Rhodes, EC3 and with Lashely. I enjoyed them and had fun. I look forward to getting the opportunity to be back in that position.
Do you think TNA should go live to avoid internet spoilers?
I don't know what it takes behind the scenes to do something like that. I'm sure it takes a lot more money, production and all that stuff. I don't see it making or breaking anything but it would be cool. The idea of doing a live show every few weeks is a cool one. The live element does add to it and people appreciate it but if you read spoilers it shouldn't effect what you're watching. If you don't want to know the outcome, don't read it! If you don't mind, you can read it and watch because the product, the in-ring content is going to be worth it. You're going to enjoy it. The spoilers don't tell you how it felt, how you felt watching it. So if you're a fan, watch it!
Is there any chance you're actually here to announce a UK Tour?
I wish I was announcing that we were coming! I know that there's talks and I've heard that they're working on it and trying to get something done. I know that the company wants to come back and I know for sure that the boys want to come back because we love being here. The tour was something we looked forward to. It was the New Year, the big tour, you come over have some great shows in front of the fans who were always great. We got to hang out, travel on a bus together - it was a highlight for us as much as the fans I think. Hopefully by the end of the year or early next year - whatever it is I hope it gets back into the rotation as that's definitely something we're looking forward to.
Other companies are innovating in the UK - with Championships, tournaments, promotion twinning and more. Where do you see TNA innovating?
I think it starts with the app, if we can capitalise on it that would be great. We've had a competition running through the app, for example. If you had downloaded it, you had a chance to enter a contest to have dinner with me! I hope we'll be able to do that a little more as it will make it different to other apps and I always enjoy talking with the fans. I think we can be more intimate with the fans almost, more fan friendly. Obviously WWE is a big machine and reaches out to the fans but I think Impact can be a bit more approachable. Hopefully when we come back to the UK we'll do more tours in more intimate venues where you can be part of the show and right up with the action and with meet and greets beforehand. Another way we innovate and that's cool with Impact is that a lot of the guys wrestle all over and so we get to push the name out and try and help to promote the company. I think if we can capitalise on that, on a random person travelling wherever to do a show and using that to promote Impact, we can use that to help bring the company up.
Will the letters TNA be dropped from Impact Wrestling by the new management?
I can see why they may want to drop them, because some people have bad memories. People punish TNA for past transgressions, things that happened that no-one in the company has any control over now. If people associate TNA with whatever happened that they didn't like, maybe it's affecting them. I don't think it will affect anybody watching the product but Impact may be a little bit easier. I don't think it has any bearing on business going forward.
What's the future hold for Eddie Edwards?
I said the goal was to win the title and be associated with Impact. Going forward I'd love to be one of the top names associated with the company. To keep going forward, be bigger and better and be at the forefront of helping it grow, keep pushing it, pushing it, pushing it!
Make sure to keep up with Impact on the TNA Total Access App where you can watch Eddie to your heart's content!
Former Champ Edwards hopes to go for gold again