Journey of a Frontman recently interviewed TNA Superstar Eric Young. Below are some highlights.
His thoughts on the late Dusty Rhodes: “I mean he’s a huge part of this industry. He was a massive in-ring personality for years. He was wrestling before I was born. He’s wrestled in every territory, wrestled for NWA, WCW, WWE. He’s worked backstage at all major promotions at one point, worked for all of them. His imprints are all over everything. There’s a term called the Dusty Finish and it’s a very distinct finish in wrestling. It was made by him and still used to this day a lot. The impact of the legacy he built will never be forgotten. He’s a guy I shared the ring with. I don’t know if me and him always saw eye to eye, but I respect what he’s done in this business. If you’re a person that’s in wrestling and you can’t respect what he’s done, then you don’t know what you’re talking about. He was a fat middle-aged man that was arguably one of the most popular acts in WWE and WCW. He wasn’t good looking, he had a terrible physique, he had growths on his body, he wasn’t athletic, but he had something that made people relate to him. And he knew that. That’s a skill. If you can do that and make people care about you in any form of entertainment, especially wrestling, you’re doing something right for sure. He had a weird style of booking, if you’re asking me. It was an old style of doing it. I think some good things came from him being with us, but some bad things too. Part of him being the legend Dusty Rhodes is that he could skate by on his mistakes with the fact that he was Dusty Rhodes. And he made them. He did good things too. He and I maybe look at wrestling differently, that’s no slight on him or anything like that. I always respected him. Me and him shared the ring on three different occasions and I had a blast working with him. He’s the American Dream and I was from evil Team Canada. The emotion of those matches were always great. He was an old man, he couldn’t do anything. But it didn’t matter. Those matches are just as fun as any physical match or blow for blow match that I’ve ever had because people cared about him. At that point, I was a heel in Team Canada. That’s all you can ask for as a heel, going against somebody that people care about. It makes it easy.”
Young on wrestling companies not competing against each other: “In my opinion, none of the companies are really competing against each other. You are competing against yourself. The WWE is here and all the other promotions are here. So the WWE, they control. They’ve been around for so long and have the monopoly on most things. They’ve got three massive television shows and millions of people, generational, watching. That’s grandpas, fathers and sons watching. We’re not competing with those guys. A way for me to say is that they’re the Yankees and we’re the Nashville Sounds, in a baseball term. Not saying the Yankees as in skill level, I’m just as good or better than anybody there, I would say that to anybody that wants to listen. But we’re in a different game. We’re not competing with them. And for us to think that we’re competing with them is foolish, we’re competing with ourselves. ROH and TNA and Lucha Underground and all these other promotions are fighting over this one scrap. We don’t need to be fighting each other, we should be working together to make that scrap a bigger piece. There’s plenty of wrestling to go around. I feel this is a boom in wrestling. A lot of attention is on pro wrestling. There’s two pro wrestling shows on Destination America. Lucha Underground is on El Rey Network, it’s a very cool, young upstart network. These shows and these networks need to be nurtured so other people have places to work and wrestling fans have alternatives. I’m telling you right now, if you’re a wrestling fan, you need to start watching stuff other than the WWE. If they get a monopoly, it’s not good because then that’s your only choice. If you want pro wrestling, you can only watch them. If you’re a person like me that likes variety, you gotta support the other things. I’m not saying not to watch, watch it all. I watch all of it. When I was fifteen, sixteen, I watched ECW, I watched Smoky Mountain, I watched USWA, I watched WCW, NWA, I watched New Japan, Noah. I traded tapes with guys in Mexico. I watched it all. It’s all interesting in its own way, it all has something to offer. I think everyone just needs to enjoy this time and not worry so much about everything else.”
His thoughts on Jeremy Borash: “Borash is probably one of the most talented people I’ve ever met. He can be an in-ring announcer, he’s just as good as Michael Buffer or any of those guys. He can be a commentator if he wanted. His knowledge of wrestling is vast, he’s been a wrestling fan since he was twelve. He’s watched everything. You name it, he’s watched it. He knows it and he remembers all of it. Back in the early days when we were at the fairgrounds in Nashville, he would do the interviews and in-ring announcing. Then we’d all head to the bars, he’d go home and open up his laptop and taught himself how to edit. A lot of the early packages, the early stuff that you saw on pay per view and stuff, that was him. He did it all. There was him and a small group, Bill Banks was a guy, Moody was a guy, he works in Puerto Rico now. But yeah, he’s an ultra-talented guy. British Boot Camp, he wrote it, directed it, edited it, produced it, all of it. All him. Really successful television show in the UK.”