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Friday, February 27, 2015

Exclusive Ring Rust Radio interview with former WWE and current TNA star Mr. Anderson

The team at Ring Rust Radio – Donald Wood, Mike Chiari and Brandon Galvin – recently had the chance to interview TNA star, Mr. Anderson, about the company’s recent move to Destination America and many other topics like TNA’s popularity in the United Kingdom and Samoa Joe leaving the company. You can listen to the interview on YouTube below or continue past the link and read the entire interview here.

Donald Wood: You make your triumphant return to the ring on Friday night’s episode of Impact Wrestling. What has the transition from Spike TV to Destination America been like for you personally and what is the backstage feeling after early success on the new channel?

Mr. Anderson: Nothing but positivity.  At first it went from a network that was pretty large, to a network that was smaller and didn’t have the reach of Spike TV.  You’re always sort of tentative and don’t know what the future holds.  You look at cases across the board of startup networks and when they get programming that people enjoy, those people call up their cable providers and ask for the packages that include that channel.  I’m looking forward to it and it’s a great fit for us.  I got a chance to go up to LA a few weeks ago and spend some time with the folks from Destination America.  They are phenomenal people and are excited to have us on their network.

Mike Chiari: TNA has always been really well received in the UK, and that’s been evident during the recent episodes of Impact. And since your return to television you’ve formed an alliance with a pair of Brits in Rockstar Spud and Mandrews. In your opinion, what do you think it is about TNA that makes it so hugely popular in Europe and also attracts so many international stars to the roster as well?

Mr. Anderson: I think the obvious thing is we have a broader reach over there.  WWE is on paid TV over there and we are on free TV so we reach more homes.  When we go over there, it is my favorite place to wrestle.  The crowds are so much fun and so into every match.  The last few years we have put on shows that are three and a half hours long, and sometimes that can get tiresome for the crowd.  That’s not the case with the UK, they stick with us and it’s a lot of fun.  Also I think as far as drawing in more UK fans, the fact we have been doing the British Boot Camp for the past two years helps.  Rockstar Spud he is just on fire and the sky is the limit for him.  He gets it, he loves wrestling, he is passionate about the business, entertaining, and always coming up with new ideas.

Brandon Galvin: You've always been one of the most entertaining, outspoken and unapologetic wrestlers on the mic. How do you know when to draw the line and have you ever thought about doing commentary or starting your own podcast?

Mr. Anderson: Yes I have and I actually have my own podcast.  I started it about eight months ago on, ITunes, Stitcher, and it’s called “Push the Button”.  The interesting thing about is it’s not about wrestling, it is it has nothing to do with wrestling.  It’s the things that interest me outside of the wrestling world.  Things like politics and religion, things that are supposed to be the most important things in peoples’ lives but for some reason were not supposed to talk about these things.  I always wanted to sort of have an open discussion, be able to talk about them, not get mad or upset, and walk away as friends.  My co-host happens to be a Christian and I am not.  We talk about and delve into all sorts of different topics. 

Donald Wood: As a two-time world heavyweight champion in TNA, you are one of the most decorated wrestlers on the roster. Unfortunately, you haven’t held the world title since 2011. As one of the top stars in the company, do you feel this is your year to return to the heavyweight championship scene and where does winning another world title fall on your list of priorities?

Mr. Anderson: That is always something in the back of every wrestler’s head I think.  I don’t think you should get into this business if it’s not your ultimate goal.  Well, maybe I shouldn’t say that, everybody has different goals but that’s always been my goal.  I think I went through some transitions in the last few years, and this last year I really focused my energy back into the business.  I have done this for 15, almost 16 years now, and you go through those weaning periods.  I’ve fallen in love with the business again and that’s definitely on my list of goals to achieve this year.

Mike Chiari: One the biggest angles you’ve taken part in during your time in TNA was your involvement in Aces & Eights. It dominated TNA programming for the better part of a year and definitely caught people’s attention, but how do you view it looking back? Do you believe it played out exactly as it should have in terms of length and impact? Is there anything you wish you could go back and change?

Mr. Anderson: Creatively, you’re dealing with a group of ten guys that all have different ideas, people who are writing stuff behind the scenes, and at the end of the day you all have to agree on certain things.  I think in every situation and match I have been in in the wrestling business, I never looked backed and said, “that was awesome, boy I just loved that match I was involved in”.  Usually it’s actually the opposite.  I ignore all the positive things that happened in the match and focus on the little things that irritate me that somebody else might not even notice.  There is certain things I wish I could change.  I wish we could of played some things out a little longer, but I also feel at some point the Aces and Eights segments were eating up so much time on TV.  That would be my only regret or criticism.  We would come out four times a night and it would lose its luster after you already heard the song three times, by the fourth time it means even less.

Brandon Galvin: You've been involved in some highly entertaining and elaborate storylines throughout your career. Has there ever been an idea that you wanted to go through with, but weren't able to execute?

Mr. Anderson: There was a program I pitched in the WWE for a character idea.  It was a heel and had to do with laying guys out back stage with the camera never seeing who it was.  I was a baby face on TV but all these people would be laid out backstage.  Back in Vietnam, they would lay ace of spades cards on the dead bodies of the killed.  It was an idea that was given to me by Steve Austin at one point.  So that would be my calling card and then at some point I would come out to make the big save and turn on who I was saving to reveal myself.  Throw an ace of spades card on them after.  After pitching in WWE it got turned down, so I pitched it in TNA and they liked it but nothing came of it.   I try to as much as I can stay out of that aspect of the business.  I don’t involve myself in story lines and angles.  I take what is given to me and make the most of it.

Donald Wood: Over your long career in wrestling, you have fought legends like Shawn Michaels, Sting and Kurt Angle. Looking back, who did you enjoy working against the most and who in the industry now would you most like to step in the ring against?

Mr. Anderson: Who did I enjoy the most?  I enjoyed working with Taker.  He was amazing to work with and so helpful.  He took MYP and myself under his wings.  I always felt like in the WWE that there were two mountain tops.  There was the SmackDown mountain with Taker, Batista, Kane, Booker T, and Rey Mysterio on top of the mountain, and they were throwing rope ladders down.  Lending helping hands, saying, “Come on up here, the weather is fine, we can all breathe up here, and we can all make money together”.  On the other mountain, you had people who shall remain nameless, who were pushing boulders and hot pots of oil down the mountain to get you off.  I remember Taker being enormously helpful in my career and really gave me some fantastic advice.  Some of it I took, some of it I didn’t.  Who would I like to work most with today?  In TNA, I have yet to get my hands on Gunner and he is the total package.  He has a tremendous look, his work is amazing, what he does in the ring looks believable, great on the mic, and passionate about the business.  So I would really like to get my hands on him.  I’m getting ready to do something with EC3 that I’m really looking forward to.  He has been one of my favorite people to watch the last few years.  MVP and I have never had a chance to wrestle each other.  We tagged when we were in the WWE and have been friends for several years, but have never had the chance to do anything in the ring against each other.

Mike Chiari: One of the biggest pieces of news in wrestling right now is Samoa Joe’s announcement that he’s leaving TNA after so many great years with the company. As a veteran guy who has some tenure in TNA, what type of impact does Joe’s departure have on you personally and also on the locker room as a whole?

Mr. Anderson: Joe was a locker room leader, no question about it.  Not a locker room leader that raised his hand and says, “I want to be the leader, I want to be your leader, I want you to look up to me”.  People just naturally gravitated to him and his respect is all earned.  When a guy like that leaves it impacts the locker room.  In the business, we have come accustomed to people coming and going all the time, that’s just how this industry operate.  Were still friends and still all connected.  You can go five, ten years without talking to somebody, and then bump into them and pick up like it was yesterday.  Joe, whatever he does, even if it’s just indies, he will be just fine.   

Brandon Galvin: Before TNA made its debut on Destination America, we spoke with Dixie Carter who mentioned fans would notice several changes to the product and its presentation. Is there any change to the product over the past two months that stands out to you or something that you would like to see done moving forward?

Mr. Anderson: I’ve always seen things in wrestling that made me scratch my head ever since I was a little kid.  Why everything has to take place inside the arena?  I understand it’s a financial deal and it’s expensive to send camera crews out on the road.  With modern technology, we all have pretty good cameras on our phones with editing equipment.  Some of the best stuff that happens in the business is when we’re traveling between cities.  When were stopped and out and about that’s when the really interesting stuff happens.  I’ve always wanted to peel back the curtain a little bit and show that side of the business.  In-ring promos have always sort of irritated me a little bit.  I don’t understand why if I want to talk to Samoa Joe whey I need a microphone when I can just text him and talk to him in the locker room.  In wrestling, you have to sort of suspend your disbelief.  There are things we just accept about the business that we love and sort of like it.

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Thursday, February 26, 2015

NXT, Lucha Underground and Indy Wrestling Minute - Your Weekly Source for Independent Wrestling News

NXT, 2/18
William Regal opened NXT last week. He says Kevin Owens thinks he can do whatever he wants but he can’t and puts him in a match against Adrian Neville. Says it’s a new era for NXT and it starts right now.
Kevin Owens opens the show, holding the NXT Title over his head. Some are cheering him but a lot are booing him too. They start an Ole chant and Owens looks taken aback. Then a dueling “Sami Zayn-Kevin Owens” chant begins.
Owens grabs a mic and says it seems people have an issue with how he won at Rival. But they don’t have any right to be mad. He hasn’t lied or pretended to be anything he’s not - from the moment he arrived, he made his intentions clear, that he’d fight anyone and everyone to make life for his family better – who he beats or how he beats them is irrelevant. What matters now is that Sami Zayn is the past. And he’s looking to the future - Finn Balor. Tells him to go to Regal and pick a date and he’ll be there but know that what happened at Takeover will happen to him too because no one is taking the NXT title from him or his family.
Whaaaaat?! RHYNO?? The Man Beast Rhyno is at NXT!?
Takes on some jobber who doesn’t even get introduced. (They say Elias Sampson later) It looks like he’s got new merch too. Albert says he’s doing what a lot of Superstars want to do - come to NXT and revitalize their careers.
Devin Taylor talking to Finn Balor about Owens comments. Balor says he’ll fight Owens anytime, anywhere but as he’s talking, Rhyno shoves past him and stares him down. Smirks at Balor and walks off. With new merch and hinting at starting something with Balor, it looks like the Man Beast is in may be sticking around a while.
Vaudevillains out now. Graves talks about how they want to get back to the top of the mountain in the tag division. It was actually them who Blake and Murphy beat to earn a shot at the Lucha Dragons. They take on Enzo and Big Cass.
Vaudevillains take control early but once Enzo tags in Cass, the momentum begins to change. After a big boot from Cass, Enzo gets the pin for their first tag victory in forever.
Blake and Murphy with a heel turn apparently. They mockingly applaud Enzo and Cass from the big screen after their match and say they’re good but not good enough. Everyone thought their win was a fluke but proved they deserve to be champions when they retained at Rival. Then they start hitting on Carmella, tell her to drop the sewer rats and get with some real champions.
They are really running with the Blue Pants name. But somehow she’s gotten incredibly over with the NXT crowd. She takes on Sasha Banks later.
CJ Parker heads out to the ring but not in wrestling gear. He grabs a mic. He’s sick and tired of this – says that he can’t believe they would have an NXT special without CJ Parker, that he’s sick of it and he hates all the people in the crowd and he hates NXT. He says it’s over now, he’s ending the show and taking it hostage and starts stringing up caution tape around the ring.
Lots of interference on the screen and TV screen, and Solomon Crowe attacks Parker from behind. Grabs the mic but only says “And now we return to your regularly schedule broadcast.” Not exactly the big debut everyone was hoping for for Crowe but at least he finally he getting to do something on TV.
Sasha Banks out now with the Women’s title. She takes on Blue Pants who is super over somehow.
Sasha sits on the second rope and tells Blue Pants to get out of her ring, but Blue Pants kicks her to the floor instead. Big dueling “Let’s go Sasha” “Let’s go Blue Pants” chants.
Blue Pants get a few covers but Sasha takes control easily. Stacks Blue Pants in the corner and drops the knees. Covers her but lifts her head up at 2. Picks up her and drops her with the Bank Statement and makes her tap out.
That random interviewer wants to talk to Sasha after the match but she takes the mic from him. Winning the belt means that everyone (Becky, Bayley and especially Charlotte) has to admit she’s the baddest Diva in NXT. I really hope she holds the belt for a while. She could have quality feuds with anyone in NXT and hopefully now that Charlotte lost, this means she’s going to the main roster which makes room for Alexa Bliss.
They show exclusive footage from after Rival went off the air. Medical staff helping Zayn out and William Regal comes out to check on him.
Dr. Z Pack Chris Amann says it got to the point where it was medically necessary to terminate the match. Says Zayn’s neurological exam and CAT scans looked fine so they let him go to Abu Dhabi and says he will be healthy and ready to go when he comes back.
Adrian Neville vs Kevin Owens main event time. Neville looks to get revenge for his friend Sami Zayn and for Owens attacking him several weeks ago and sending him to the hospital.
Owens starts the match ducking outside the ring, which seems to be his M.O. But Neville follows close behind attacks him with forearms. Goes back in and Neville hits a rana but Owens quickly takes advantage, drops him with a gut buster followed by a senton and begins hammering on Neville, on the mat and in the corners.
Owens controlling the pace, keeping Neville grounded with headlocks and chinlocks, stomping on him and stiff punches when he breaks free.
Neville reverses a gut buster into a tornado DDT to get some momentum going. Hits Owens with three stiff kicks to the gut and a low dropkick and Owens rolls outside. Neville hits a moonsault from the top rope on Owens on the outside.
Neville keeps up the attack and sends Owens to the ouside with a low dropkick on the apron. Neville hits a 450 from the apron to the floor!! Rolls him back in but Owens kicks out somehow. Neville German suplex on Owens then kicks him in the head. Owens on all four and Neville deadlifts him up and over for a bridging German but gets a 2.
Owens creates some space with a back elbow to Neville when he hits the ropes. Sets up for the cannonball but Neville lands a super kick and reverse rana but Owens manages to kick out. Neville sets up for the Red Arrow but Owens moves and when Neville lands and turns, Owens pop up powerbomb for the win.
They’re really building Owens to look like an unstoppable beast while at the same time, allowing him to put on good matches and show that he can work a match of any style with anyone. I gotta believe that Zayn will win the title back eventually but with Balor in the mix, there’s a good chance he could win the title too.

Lucha Underground, 2/18
Mil Muertes vs Chavo opens the show. Catrina isn’t with Mil.
Mil looking strong and keeps coming despite Chavo holding his own. Chavo trying to work one of Mil’s legs to keep the bigger man off his feet, slamming his leg around the ring post.
They fight outside near the steps and Catrina appears and comes to the ring. She’s holding that rock that Mil had before. Chavo on top and Mil picks him up with an electric chair and drops him and both guys are down.
Mil sees Catrina at ringside and almost seems hypnotized by her, in a trance. Chavo gets a chair and hits Mil in the back but it has no effect. Mil hits a Flatliner on the chair and orders Catrina in the ring, maybe for the lick of death but she starts to leave. Mil grabs her by the hair and pulls her into the ring, forcing her over to Chavo. But she refuses. Mil grabs her by the neck and sets her up for a Flatliner and Fenix runs in and hits a top rope dropkick and gets Catrina out of the ring and she kisses him but keeps her eyes on Mil the whole time.
Backstage, the Black Lotus lock picks her way into some shady door. Walks up some steps and to commercial.
Dario Cueto talking to the Crenshaw Crew. He wants them to prove they truly are the rabid dogs who will destroy anyone who gets in his way. He wants them to destroy Sexy Star, Pimpinela Escarlata and Mascarita Sagrada - three underdogs who should’ve never survived his temple. Cueto says it makes him sick that the crowd loves them. Puts the Crew in a No DQ match against them and tells them to hurt them so bad they never come back.
Ivelisse and Son of Havoc in the ring. Ivelisse says Havoc was supposed to have a rematch against Angelico but Ivelisse says that since Havoc can’t get the job done, she needs to fight his battles for him.
Angelico backed up into the corner by strikes from Ivelisse but he’s doing all he can to try and avoid fighting her. At several points, Angelico tries to kiss Ivelisse but she doesn’t let him and lands a big kick to his chest.
Angelico pops Ivelisse up into the air and the ref checks on her. Havoc distracts Angelico on the apron and kicks him in the head. He staggers back, trips over Ivelisse and she pins him.
Angelico gets on the mic and says if she ever wants to go 1-on-1 without her boyfriend around, it’d be his pleasure and pushes Havoc off the apron.
Super Fly in the ring. Probably to get his arm broken by Pentagon.
Nope I was wrong, he’s taking on Texano who looks like the cowboy from the Village People. In an interview with Vampiro, Texano says Alberto stole the AAA Title from him, he didn’t lose it. Texano gets the win firemans carry backbreaker followed by a neckbreaker.
After the match, Alberto runs down the ring and runs into the ring but Texano runs away. Alberto follows and Texano gets in a cheap shot but Alberto throws him into the guardrail. Throws him back in the ring and uses his own bull rope to beat down Texano.
Cage confronts Cueto in his office. He says it’s time to do what’s right and declare Cage the LU Champion. Cueto says it’s not that simple but Cage says he beat down Puma twice and Johnny Mundo - he should be the champion. Cueto says if he can beat Puma in a nontitle match next week, he will be first in line for a title shot (at Puma). Cage throws the ruined belt at him and tells him he better get him a real title belt, not this Aztec piece of crap.
Chavo then barges into Cueto’s office and says Mexico got what they wanted. He quits and he’s going home to his family. And Cueto wishes him the best in his future endeavors (lol) then says the doors of the temple will always be open to him.
Black Lotus kicks in a door and it’s that cell that Cueto often talks to whoever is in it. She says when she was a little girl, all she ever wanted to be when she grew up was be the woman who killed him with her bare hands. They are really building up this basement monster/create/psycho guy a lot – I hope whoever or whatever it turns out to be isn’t a total let down.
The Crew is already in the with personalized basketball jerseys. Pimpy, Sagrada and Star come out to Star’s music.
Cortez hammering Pimpy with the kendo stick and chokes him out as Bael and Cisco beat down Star and Sagrada outside the ring. Sagrada tries to get some offense going but is overwhelmed by the numbers game and powerbombed onto the apron as trainers check on Pimpy who is still out.
Star tries to get offense going but she too is overwhelmed, taking a bunch of facewash basement dropkicks in the corner. Sagrada comes in to help but gets beat down. Cisco curbstomps Sagrada onto a chair. Star by herself as all 3 Crew in the ring. A trainer takes Sagrada away. Star on her own now.
Star doing her best to hold her own taking on all three guys on her own. Mule kick Cisco in the ding ding and tornado DDT Bael on the outside but Cortez pulls her into the ring. She fights back but eats a drop kick. Sets her up for a crucifix bomb but she wriggles out. She hits a swinging fishermans buster but then Cisco is on her and slams her with a body slam before she can pin Cortez.
She tries to top rope rana but Cisco blocks it. Teases a powerbomb but she hits him a few times and rana him but only gets a 2. All three Crew in the ring and put the boots to Star. Big Ryck appears at the top of the steps and distracts the Crew. Star surprises Bael with a wheelbarrow victory roll for the win and Big Ryck gets in the ring to stare down The Crew. Ryck has an eye patch now and shaved his beard so he looks a lot different.

Ring of Honor
Ring of Honor’s 13th Anniversary Show is this Sunday at the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas and will be live on Pay-Per-View and iPPV.
- World Champion Jay Briscoe defends the title in a fatal fourway against Michael Elgin, Tommaso Ciampa and Hanson.
- Jay Lethal defends the TV Title against Alberto El Patron.
- reDRagon defends the Tag Team Titles against IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks.
- IWGP Heavyweight Champion AJ Styles takes on ACH.
- The Addiction faces the Kingdom (Michael Bennett and Matt Taven) and the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Bullet Club (Karl “Machine Gun” Anderson and Doc Gallows) in a triple threat match.
- Roderick Strong takes on BJ Whitmer.
- And Maria Kanellis faces ODB.

Also, big ROH news that just broke today. There will be three joint shows this year between Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling – with one of them taking place in Philly!
War of the Worlds will be on Wednesday, May 13 from the 2300 Arena (formerly ECW Arena) in South Philadelphia and Global Wars will be on May 15 and 16 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in the Ted Reeve Arena.
No card announced yet but tickets go on sale Feb. 27 for the Philadelphia show.

There’s been lots of rumors lately that Ring of Honor is in talks with Spike TV about airing monthly specials.
The first rumor came sometime last week from, saying that ROH and SpikeTV were in preliminary talks about airing monthly specials. But a few days later, PWInsider refuted the claim, saying no talks were going on.
But today, on r/SquaredCircle, I saw a post crediting Dave Meltzer, saying that there are, in fact, talks happening between ROH and Spike right now. The rumor is that they would air a monthly special on Friday with the position rotating between ROH, Bellator, Glory and boxing. That would be a pretty cool lineup if you ask me, but the validity of any of these reports remains to be see.

Scottish wrestler Grado was recently in a fight with “The Material Girl” Madonna over using her song “Like a Prayer” for his entrance when he appeared on TNA Impact during their UK tour.
Grado uses the upbeat, pop song because of its stark contrast to the majority of wrestling theme songs. Rather than being dark and edgy, Grado wanted to use something fun and upbeat, which people have really responded to, making him an incredibly popular wrestler in the UK. 

Unforunately, Madonna and her people refused to allow Grado the rights to use the song on television. In response, Grado began the #SayYesMadonna hashtag, which became the number one trend on Twitter in the UK in a short time.
The BBC even wrote about the social media movement ( and Scottish Parliament backed a motion to support him in his effort to get Madonna to let him use the song. ( I haven’t watch the Impact episodes featuring Grado, but I’m pretty sure Madonna didn’t relent.
Because, yeah it’s pro wrestling a lot of people (unfairly) see it as low class but you can’t deny that getting your stuff out there in front of new audiences is a bad thing, even for a superstar like Madonna. I mean, she’s not exactly doing much relevant stuff these days.

Tim Donst may be done wrestling
In probably the worst news I’ve ever had to write about on this blog, it seems like Tim Donst may be forced to retire from pro wrestling.
Apparently he has a tumor on a kidney and it’s been causing him serious back pain. He needs to have it removed but they aren’t sure whether or not it’s spread anywhere else. If it has, he’ll need to go on chemotherapy. With only one kidney, he isn’t sure he’ll be able to continue wrestling because if his last remaining kidney fails or is damaged, he’s living the rest of his life on dialysis.
Really, really awful news. Donst was such a promising young wrestler with a really bright future. He was the current AIW Champion (I think they’ve since crowned a new champ) and was making his debut in CZW at the 16th Anniversary Show. He had wrestled in Chikara for a long time, winning the Young Lion’s Cup and I even got to see him live at the first (and apparently last) West End Wrestling show where he took on Matt Tremont in a no DQ match (I even handed him a fistful of dollars to staple to Tremont’s head).
Hopefully he’s not done forever but his health should be first and foremost. But if it ends up that he needs to have one of his kidneys removed, I don’t think there is much chance of him continuing to wrestle with the risk it poses.

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