Here’s another blog from the Royal Ramblings team. We blog at Huff Post UK and are on twitter at @royal_ramblings. Enjoy.
As we have reported, a number of TNA wrestlers were in London for the Film and Comic Con. The Royal Ramblings team were fortunate enough to sit down with TNA stars ‘Cowboy’ James Storm, Robbie E and Brook for a brief but candid chat, following a tour of the UK parliament.
TNA has just announced that British Boot Camp 2 will be coming to Challenge TV. What does that mean for the company, how strong is British wrestling in your opinion and what impact has former British Boot Camp winner Rockstar Spud had in TNA?
JS: Well, we’re still trying to get rid of Rockstar spud!! But seriously, I think it’s really cool to have a show like that. It gives British wrestlers an opportunity to be seen by an audience before they get to the roster. You talk about the Brits in wrestling right now, well it’s almost kind of like the Beatles now, they’re getting huge. You have Magnus and Bram in TNA and also Rob Terry. In other promotions too, the Brits are being pushed. So I think it’s a pretty good time for British wrestlers.
RE: TNA wrestling is so big in the UK, so it’s pretty smart to have a programme like this to keep building new British characters for our shows because it will keep the British fans interested.
Br: Well I want to see a girl win this year, that’s what I want to see
Well, Gail Kim is judging this time around…
Br: Which is really awesome. I think she’s a great pick, she’s been doing this for 15 years and so that is a great move for Impact Wrestling. But I also want to see a few more talents involved. We had a number last time – the Blossom Twins, Rockstar Spud and ‘Party’ Marty. I’d also like to see more training – the more grueling part of pro-wrestling.
We’re told that referees and announcers can apply for British Boot Camp 2?
RE: Well, referees and announcers are just as important as wrestlers. They’re all part of the show so they should have a chance too
JS: If you have a bad referee, the match can be horrible and it’s the same way with ring announcers. The announcer is the one that introduces us and gets the crowd going.
Br: … and keeps them going… I don’t think people realise how hard that is…
JS: Yeah, it’s a hard job and I’ve been a special referee before and it sucks! It’s hard! Doing their part is very different to being a wrestler.
Growing up, who were your favourite British wrestlers?
JS: Of course, mine was the British Bulldog. I watched the Hart Foundation all the time and even watched him in his earlier Calgary days.
RE: Well, I don’t often agree with James Storm! But I’ve got to go with Davey Boy Smith. In fact, both British Bulldogs. Because when I started watching wrestling those were really the only British wrestlers around – or at least the only ones I knew of. So that’s what I remember from when I was younger – and I want Matilda to be my dog!!
You mean you didn’t see any of the British wrestling from the 70s and 80s?
RE: I didn’t, at least not until later on
JS: Everywhere I go round here though, everyone always mentioned Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks!
RE: I once body-slammed Haystacks Calhoun, just throwing that out there…
What is your opinion on the 6-sided ring?
JS: I don’t like it. I’ve been here since day one and I’m more of a 4-sided traditionalist. The 6-sided ring hurts. The structure’s made different than a 4-sided ring, there’s more steel under there. It’s a little bigger, which is no problem, but the ropes are shorter and so they’re tighter and the corners are not 90 degrees. I think it should be brought back for special events like Destination-X or Slammiversary. Just for that one night, for a Pay-Per-View to do something different. Give it 3 months and it won’t be special anymore.
RE: You think of pro-wrestling and you think of 4-sides!
Br: … and growing up that’s what you see, 4 sides! You might think more of MMA and the octagon when it’s that style of ring. I’ve never wrestled in it so I personally and have no idea what it’s like but it’s not something that I’m personally very excited about. It’s going to be confusing.
JS: Our 4-sided ring was 16×16 and this is 18×18 and its 20×20 corner to corner so it will throw you off if you’re not used to working in it.
There was a great deal of internet buzz about TNA’s New York Shows. They are coming to UK TV soon. What was your take on them?
JS: To me it was just another show. I show up, put my stuff on and go and do my job. I don’t treat New York any different to Columbia, Tennessee. I’ve got a job to do, I go do my job and to me the crowd was just as good as when we were in Dallas.
Br: Absolutely, everyone deserves it, every fan in every arena deserves us putting in the effort.
JS: You know a lot of people think it was special because there were ECW guys there but to me the crowds not really there to see ECW, they’re there to see TNA – that’s how I look at it.
RE: Yeah I agree, I think the New York fans think that they’re privileged and that they’re stars themselves, but we’re the stars. I think they think that they deserve respect and that we’re doing something extra special for them but that’s just not the case. Like Storm said, no matter where we show up we’re doing our job. We want to win our wrestling matches and be the best wrestler we can be. It doesn’t affect where we’re at, we’re always giving 110%.
In a previous blog, we argued that TNA book external talent well – the Von Erichs in Texas and Rhino/Dreamer in New York. But what’s the impact in the locker room when talents arrive and win the title shortly after?
JS: You know me, being there from day one, I go out and do my job – and I’m not in control of booking and management and I don’t make the decisions – but I’m old school and I think you need to put your time in and you need to earn it. Just because you come from somewhere else doesn’t mean you should be our world champion. You need to come into our locker-room and earn respect from the guys because when you come in and they put the belt on you right away, I can tell you, a lot of guys are thinking that’s BS. You need to come in and you need to earn it.