Eric Young Says He Doesn’t Regret His Time In WWE, Talks Impact Wrestling Return


During a recent appearance on the “Wrestling Epicenter” podcast, Eric Young commented on his run with WWE and whether he regrets it, his return to Impact Wrestling, and more.

You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:


On his TNA World Title win in 2014: “It wasn’t so much being the champion. It was more the pressure and the responsibility of a company, obviously a huge wrestling company that airs all over the world that has millions of people watching it weekly all over the world on television, digitally, through YouTube and social media – You’re the flagship of this show! That is something that I’ve never taken lightly. Anyone that has ever got into professional wrestling that tells you they don’t want to be World Champion is either lying to you or they’re in it for the wrong reasons. Did I ever think I was going to be World Champion being a short fat kid from Southwestern Ontario? (laughs) You know, no! Did I dream about it? Of course! Did I want it? Of course! Did I believe I could do it? Of course! It was definitely a cherry on top. When you look at the lineage, the history of that title and what it means to professional wrestling, to have been the champion, no one can ever take that away from me! And the support of my peers! That feeling coming through the curtain, having everybody clapping for me and cheering for me… It is a drug, man! Put that in my veins!”

On if it was difficult leaving TNA in 2016: “Yeah. But, I felt that where the company was at and where management was at at that time, I had accomplished everything that I could. There was no ceiling left. I had bumped my head up against it and remained next to it. But, there was no breaking through. It was brick, not glass! And, it was not going to get higher. If anything, it was going to get lower and lower. And now, looking back, I feel I was right. It (TNA) fell on some very lean times as the fans and people who worked there are well aware of.”

On joining WWE: “As a child, I always wanted to work for WWE, WWF. TNA didn’t exist back then. Obviously, when it began in 2002, I was very interested in going there (TNA) and when I got there in 2004, 2005, the roster was loaded with all these mega talented people, everyone was motivated, and wanting to be part of that underdog kind of thing and being a part of something that was growing was very appealing. But, I felt like it was time to take a swing (in 2016) and try something different.”

On not regretting his time in WWE: “I don’t regret it. I enjoyed almost my entire time there. My NXT time was very special to me. I loved working with Triple H. He and I became very close. A lot of what you saw with SANITY was my ideas and his ideas. It was a very close collaboration. We grew SANITY into one of the top acts in the company. Tag Team of the Year, Match of the Year. We were a huge part of every show we were on! We were on every Takeover. I’m very proud of that.”

On his thoughts on his main roster run: “Everyone knows what happened main roster side. I’m not the first person they missed on – I’m not the last. There is no hard feelings over it. I’m not bitter! I told Vince McMahon this to his face – “If you can’t find 5 minutes for me to do something, then you’ve failed!” And, I would say it to his face again. It is nothing personal. He’s always treated me kindly. He always made time to listen to me when I pitched ideas and he was complimentary to me early on. Somewhere, he was busy producing a billion dollar television show and he decided I wasn’t someone he was interested in so we went our separate ways. But, I have no hard feelings. He’s a genius! Wrestling exists today because of his ruthless approach saying pro wrestling can be mainstream and it is. I wouldn’t be sitting in this nice home in Nashville and be enjoying this great life unless it was for his persistence, his vision, and his promoting and belief that pro wrestling can be a mainstream product.”

On the belief WWE didn’t like talent who was established in TNA: “Well, going into NXT, I think it was the reason I was hired. I might not have had 2 million Instagram followers but if you were a fan and consumed professional wrestling, you knew who Eric Young was. They were going through a period where NXT was growing and they needed people who could carry the load. The PC was full of young, inexperienced talent… You can’t teach experience! You don’t know what you don’t know until you do it. For me, I couldn’t name another wrestler who has seen the card from every angle I’ve seen it from… I’ve done everything and done it at a high level. I’m not the best wrestler, the best talker, have the best body, or the best athlete. But, I’m very, very good at all of those things. I’ve been the opening show match, I’ve been the popcorn match, I’ve been the main event, I’ve been a bad guy, a good guy… I was wrestling women before it was even a thing! My experience is second to none. I’m sure if we sat down and really thought about it, we could come up with a few names. But, off the top of my head, I can’t think of anyone who has done things as different as what I’ve done. Triple H saw that. I had talked to him for years before about coming over to work. It didn’t work out. But, it finally did. And, I’m still friends with him (Triple H) to this day. I talk to him quite regularly.” He continues, “But, on what Chris (Harris) said, I think it just depended on the talent. AJ Styles is a generational talent. No one is going to watch AJ Styles and see what he does and not realize that he’s great. As I’ve pointed out, I’m not the first person he (Vince McMahon) missed on and I won’t be the last – I point out Kenny Omega who is the best physical performer this business has seen in the past ten or twelve years – He didn’t last six months. It is a huge machine and you’re just a cog in the wheel. Everyone is replaceable. They replaced The Rock, they replaced Hulk Hogan. They’re a billion dollar industry and they’re not concerned about you or your opinions or any of that sh*t.”

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