Former TNA X Division Champion Shawn Daivari was a guest on the Inside The Ropes Podcast where he talked about his time in WWE and TNA and gave his thoughts on Vince Russo, perception in the indy wrestling scene, and more:
On appearing at Wrestlemania with Hulk Hogan: "We were in the dark about that. Hulk was a surprise. We only found out at 3pm that day that it was happening. We just showed up and we were told we'd be doing something but we didn't know what. Pat Patterson pulled us aside and said "you're working with Hulk" we were like 'What the ****?'"
Why he left WWE in 2007: "My contract was coming up and they offered me a new three year deal and I kind of thought if 2007 was any indication of how the years 2008,9 and 10 are gonna be, I don't know if that's something I'd be interested in. Once they knew I was leaving they started jobbing me out. Kurt Angle put in a word to Terry Taylor that I wasn't resigning and that's how I ended up in TNA."
Why he quit TNA: "It was Russo. It was a couple of things. TNA are structured very different to WWE. The TV and live events stuff are like two different beasts. When I re-signed, Terry Taylor, Jeff Jarrett and Dixie Carter put together a great deal with similar money that I made in WWE. A lot of that hung on my being on TV and PPVs, which were written by creative, at the time by Jeff Jarrett. Once Jeff got pushed out the door and Russo came in and didn't like my character and thought it was dated, I wasn't on many TV or PPV events and now this contract was no longer a deal worth **** all to me. Had I known that, I'd have maybe made an effort to go back to WWE instead of re-signing with them. I harassed Russo night and day, he hates my guts. Russo is one of these writers that doesn't like other input on ideas. Every idea he has whether it's good, bad or indifferent is his baby. Anytime you present Russo with an idea that isn't his, he doesn't like it."
Would he got back to WWE and TNA and the importance of perception on the indy scene: "Oh, yeah, I think so. I'd be surprised if this last TV run was my last one. But when I go back I can't be misused. I have to be booked correctly because I can't jeopardize my career on the independents. If you looked at my calendar April through mid June, I haven't had more than three days off in a row and when you think about it my last prominent TV run was in 2008 with WWE, if you don't count TNA, whereas I know guys that have been on TV more recently, won more belts than I have that can't buy a booking now. That's something I'm really aware of.
"Tyler Reks is an example. Next year he'll have been there one more year than I had. I was there four years. He'll have been there five and when they let him go, nobody's gonna give him a substantial booking of a plane ticket, a hotel room, food expenses and promote him. They'd rather get a Hacksaw Jim Duggan or Chris Masters. If you hang on for too long when your wheels are spinning, you might make a bit more money in WWE, but when you leave you won't get another booking in this business. When you become shit on TV, that's what you're perceived as.
"Drew McIntyre is getting dangerously close to that point. If he hangs on another year and doesn't do anything worth a ****, I'm gonna see a hard time for a promoter to call him and offer him a $1000 dollar booking, $400 plane ticket, $100 hotel room, [and] advertising. You're talking almost a $2000 investment hoping that say 200 people at $10 are gonna come out to see Drew and that's not including the cost of the building, paying the other talent. When you render yourself invaluable, its hard. Whereas if he'd seen the writing on the wall after the stuff with Vince McMahon on TV, and quit then, he could go places and people would remember him as the Scottish guy on SmackDown that did all the good shit, Vince's chosen one or whatever."