Current TNA X-Division Champion Manik (T.J. Perkins/Suicide) recently spoke to The Shining Wizards about a number of TNA-related topics. Below are highlights from the interview:

On the of the X-Division to a Triple-Threat format: "The only thing that bothers me sometimes, every single time you have a match like that, one guy is going to be painted as the dark horse, when in actuality they're as much a number one contender as any other person in the match. It’s kind of a double-edged sword, because guys are fighting for their individuality which provides for them to put out better performances, but it can complicate it because I think guys feel like they need to compensate more in order to stay relevant. It’s a constructive format in the sense of creating more competition, in every sense, I mean, mentally, professionally, everything, it makes you feel a lot more competitive when you know you have to share the spotlight like that. I mean, in relation to the way that the division has always been, it’s not all that different altogether from any other time in history. Just now, there’s an actual rulebook that says it’s official. We’ve been seeing it for years, it was just never written on a piece of paper."

On whether or not the Triple-Threat format has the same feel as singles competition: "I kinda feel that it’s not on the shoulders of the format as much as on the shoulders of the individuals competing. There are personal things people are drawn into, they’re there, but if you are not staying relevant as an individual, then people are going to refuse to see it. Recent history is a good example. Myself, Kenny King, and Chris Sabin shared a spotlight for several weeks. Initially, Sabin was on a tear, so a lot of people were drawn to him. So it was my job to make sure that I’m making a statement, vying for the same exact spot he is. And it ended up being a pretty equal share as far as… we all have individual stories, but people were drawn into each direction. There were a lot a people that look to Kenny as a guy that they’re hoping to hang onto his spot, and they can relate to that. There are a lot of guys… obviously the entire world can relate to Chris Sabin and him having such a comeback story. And me, having made a splash out of nowhere, I had to fight to stay relevant. In other cases you don’t see guys holding on to their… they don’t handle themselves well enough to keep that up. It goes back to the competitive nature of it. Although I do think that they are probably going to keep an open book as to how the format will continue. If we are to see headline-style matches… I mean I’m gonna wrestle the World champ in a singles match. If they can see the draw and interest in special occasions, I think the format isn’t exactly set in stone."

On working with the legendary Hulk Hogan: "I could’ve done without having appeared after beaten within an inch of my life. But outside of limping across the stage, it’s a pretty big moment, and it’s one of those things that you have to take a double-take to appreciate it. This is a guy that my mom had him sign one of my head-shots when I was a kid, and I had his autograph on my wall since before I became a wrestler. Who doesn’t know Hulk Hogan? Ten years from now a new wrestling fan will be created that maybe isn’t even born yet, and they will know who Hulk Hogan is. It’s insane to think know much impact he’s had on the world, that’s how far he reaches. Being able to stand shoulder to shoulder with the guy is a pretty powerful thing."

On smaller guys getting a chance in the main event spot: "Personally, it’s a case of… look at another company, like WWE, and there’s guys like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, and people firmly believe that they’re doing such revolutionary things. But if you look back through history, there’s been somebody doing that every few years. We’re talking Guerrero and Jericho, Michaels and Hart, we go back as far as the days of Sammartino, and some of those heavyweight main eventers are like 5’10”, 5’11”, and they might be heavier guys but they don’t fit the mold… I think people assume they have a roster of seventy people that look like Batista, and that’s never been the case. But in this case I really feel like the people you mentioned, with myself, and Chris Sabin and Austin Aries, I think that it’s a situation...