Despite TNA's well documented and tough 2016, the company has come out fighting. Their Total Access App is now available and will ensure British fans can watch Impact weekly at the same time as US audiences. We sat down with Rockstar Spud - a TNA mainstay, to discuss the wrestling business, his development and the British scene at the moment. Read on.....
TNA have a new app out. We ran a little poll asking fans whether they would pay for content and many questioned the price given TNA was previously free to air. What do you say to them who can't afford to get the app but want to carry on following TNA?
What I would say is that if you want to follow us, pay for the app. If you are worried about the price, please remember this is a brand new concept that has been released. Voice your opinion, voice it to TNA on Facebook. Voice your opinion to Impact wrestling on Facebook; voice your opinion on social media. If the price is too high, maybe that will be re-evaluated going forward. But if you don't want to miss impact wrestling, £5 a month, really? It's cheaper than a Starbucks cup of coffee.
Do you think you've missed out being away from the UK scene so much over the last 2 years?
Monetarily? NOPE. In regards to involvement, you know, the enormous crowds, a place where you belong, in your home country and family? Absolutely! But monetarily and professionally, no. I believe I've done a lot since being brought in here and what separates me from everybody else is my experience and my mind because I'm not like, "I'm the guy that's going to be doing British style and being dropped on my head or neck from a great height 52 times in a match". I'm the one that's going to draw you in emotionally and have you invest in my matches because you care and that's what I try and teach people when I'm over here, trying to evoke emotion and to draw people in. Also, ways to keep longevity in your career because trust me, one of my best friends is in a wheelchair and I've been repeatedly injured myself.
Are you saying that the performance entertainment style is better than the British strong style?
No I wouldn't say that. I think you've got to have an element of both but I also think people need to be more careful with their safety because you're not going to be able to do it long. Let's use Daniel Bryan as an example, career cut short and he could have gone so much longer. It's a shame that it happened to such a wonderful performer. But it's high risk and with that comes high penalties. I'm the same, I'm only saying this because I used to do everything that's going on now and the aches and pains start in your thirties - you want a bit of a warning.
Why don't people want to get boo'ed anymore and play the heel?
Oh because everybody, I believe, feels they have to get the acceptance and to let everyone know that they're a really good wrestler. Let me tell you something, I wrestled for Progress in Birmingham the other day. Paul Robinson is an exceptional high flyer and pro wrestler. Paul went out and was the bad guy and he was hated. I was loved and they loved it when I kicked his ass, and they hated it when he kicked me square in the nuts. Classic bad guy. Paul is a fabulous pro wrestler but he knows the job. His role in this entertainment world is the bad guy, so it's your role to get this baby face over. Your job as a baby face is to get over, that's it.
Did you feel like you missed out when you saw the WWE UK championship tournament?...and the winner from Dudley just near your home no less!
S: Nope! Listen to this, the man from Dudley that won is Tyler Bate that I met when he was 15 years old. Dave Mastiff was the World of Sport champion, I've been travelling with him and he's a great friend of mine. Pete Dunne - a Birmingham lad also! you could say we're all from the same area, you could say we've all trained together at some point, you could say we've all sat in a car and discussed wrestling or worked together before! Hmm, Birmingham, there's a connection!? but it's fair to say that some of the best wrestlers in the UK actually come from the midlands, come from Birmingham, and that includes people like Ryan Smile, one of the best referees in the country, Joel Allen one of the best tag-teams in the country called the Hunter Brothers. You could say Birmingham is the place where you can get an actual education and come and learn from a lot of people that have a wealth of experience with great minds.
Are there any plans for TNA to tour the UK at some point soon?
Yes, we are looking into touring in the UK again. But you can a see us on the TNA all access app, you can see us live if you stay up late or you can watch us on the way to work in the morning on the bus or the train, or in the car - IF YOU'RE A PASSENGER! It's £5 a month, £4.99 and it's also got along with all the impacts that are airing, every TNA paper view that we do and every TNA one night only.
Good news that TNA will likely head to these shores again - keep a look out on Royal Ramblings for more exclusive news and views...