Kazarian recently spoke withChuck Carroll of CBS Local Sports. Here are the highlights.
What are your thoughts on the rumor WWE was interested in streaming Ring of Honor on the WWE Network?
I heard bits and pieces about that and found it interesting. I don’t know if it was one of those “keep your enemies close”-type deals or trying to corner a part of the market before it has the ability to grow and come up. I don’t know what their motivation is. World domination in wrestling? It seems like that’s what they always want. Ring of Honor is doing quite well standing alone and is very popular with an incredibly loyal fan base. Who knows what will happen or can’t happen. I think the mindset right now is that Ring of Honor is doing fine and growing at a rate everyone is happy with.
You wrestled for TNA for quite a while and still have a number of friends in the locker room. What is your take on the reports of all the turmoil going on there?
All I know is what I’m told from people that are in the know or things that I read — even though I try my damnedest not to read anything because you just don’t know whether it’s true or not. It seems like they continue to go through struggle after struggle. It seems like it’s one of those “when it rains it pours” situations over there, and now it turned into an ugly legal battle. I just think “God, what must the roster be thinking?” Regardless of how much they’re told by management that everything is okay and they’re assured things are going to be alright… I know how it was when I was there. We’d heard these rumblings internally, and it’s our nature to be paranoid. You would start questioning things. All I can say is that I really do hope they can come out the other side of this. If it takes a management shakeup and a creative shakeup to right the ship and get things back on track, then so be it. There are some very talented people there in front of the camera and behind the camera that deserve to be on a pro wrestling show. I haven’t watched the show or followed too closely, but when you’re in the business, you can’t help but to hear things. I’ve reached out to a couple guys that work in the office, and they seem optimistic. It’s just unfortunate. It seems that’s TNA’s lot in life. Since day one, or at least since I was there, it’s always been “when are the doors going to close?” and “the place can’t survive.” We listened to that the whole time I was there, and they’re still hearing it. It just seems like it’s a little closer to reality now. I hope internally they can finally, finally, finally get their stuff together and focus on a quality wrestling show. Wrestling has taken a backseat to the garbage going on behind the scenes, and that’s unfortunate.
What was Dixie Carter’s management style when you were there? There are reports she hasn’t been forthcoming with talent about the perilous state of the company.
That’s a tough position to be in. Going back to the paranoid nature of pro wrestling, if things are bad with the company and you’re upfront and transparent with the talent and you tell them the state of things, wrestlers have a tendency to overreact and freak out and spread news that isn’t necessarily true. So, you don’t want that or mutiny amongst your company. I can see wanting to keep certain things under wraps. But at the same time, if you’re constantly giving your talent misinformation that’s a quick way to break trust. That’s the last thing you want to do with your talent, especially in pro wrestling. Without talent there is no show. You can have the best production in the world and the best writers in the world, but without the talent, there is no show. You need to find that balance about being upfront with talent on things like pay and direction of the company while still keeping information that they don’t necessarily need to know at bay. In my time with Dixie, if you had a question and directly wanted to ask her, if she had the time to give you, she would give you an answer you would think was honest and upfront. I don’t know if that’s still the case. The company is very scaled down at this point. I don’t really know the inner workings of it. I think at this point it is time to start being upfront with your talent. This current situation has to be the final speed bump. They need to get through this and get on track. You can only deal with distraction for so long. It’s already put a lot of cracks in the foundation of TNA, you just don’t want it to crumble at this point.