Ted DiBiase talked openly and on-record with Live Audio wrestling about TNA’s product and what he views as a short-term pop in interest using wrestlers for nostalgia purposes when they can’t actually build to a wrestling match that will make money for TNA.
“If they want to use those guys for a draw, that’s great. But, those guys can’t get in the ring and perform,” DiBiase said. “God bless them, I have nothing but respect for those guys and they paved the way for us, but Hulk Hogan can’t even drop a leg anymore. He can get on the mic and yell and scream and do all he wants, but a lot of the fans we have – we’re a PG company and aimed toward families, so these young kids coming to our shows – don’t know who Hulk Hogan is, or didn’t grow up in the Hulkamania era.”
DiBiase said WWE wrestlers were paying attention to TNA’s product on the January 4 live Impact opposite the first Raw of 2010. He said many wrestlers welcome the competition from TNA, but he doesn’t see TNA having the legs to put up much of a fight depending on nostalgia.
“You definitely get the nostalgic value, I agree, but how long can that last? How long can you get excited about seeing this old guy come out? I welcome ‘Monday Night Wars’ if you want to call it a war – it’s not much of a fight – but competition is always exciting for us. Most all wrestlers grew up playing competitive sports, so that’s in our blood, man. Bring it on.”
DiBiase was also asked about seeing Jeff Hardy on TNA’s show. He said the general consensus was surprise, but he was disappointed Hardy went to TNA after his recent run in WWE.
“Jeff has his own demons he’s battling right now, I guess, but what can you do? Maybe it’s something he had to do,” DiBiase said. “I wish him the best because he was a great performer, but it was a little disappointing, I guess.”
DiBiase also shared a great story about wrestling Mitsuharu Misawa in NOAH early in his career. He said Misawa blasted him with a forearm the first time they locked up in a tag match, then DiBiase blasted him back and Misawa invited him to dinner after the show.