Auditioning for Tough Enough: “It was basically an audition for a television show. People kind of want to [make more if it] more than it is, but I was dealing with a talent agency. I wasn’t dealing directly with the company itself and the decisions that were made were made through them. I’ve done other stuff outside of wrestling where I’ve gone to auditions for different roles and parts and didn’t get them. It has nothing to do with acumen as an actor or, in this case, as a wrestler, but more or less what they are looking for to fill those roles.
“It was one of those situations where I was asked if I wanted to throw my hat in the ring. I had really nothing to lose, but it certainly wasn’t something I was pinning my hopes on or that devastated me. Anyone who is an actor in the entertainment business, you go out for a lot of different roles. Sometimes you get the part, and sometimes you don’t.”
Working with Kevin Nash during his first TNA run: “I have nothing but fond memories of Kevin the whole time we did the whole Paparazzi Production thing, and I was associated with him… I think Kevin is a great guy. I think he is very smart business-wise to what we do. I felt nothing but positive vibes from him. Honestly, I look back and a lot of the guys who were doing it with me at the same time would agree that those Paparazzi Production skits were some of the most fun I had doing wrestling.
“It was really just a bunch of guys going out and creating moments and having a good time playing off each other. I think Kevin was a big part of that. I think there was always the perception that he didn’t like smaller guys or used certain situations to better himself only, but I never got the sense of that. There were a couple of situations where he had our back and wanted to make sure that we were all doing the best we could, and the company was doing the best they could for us.”
Comparing his current stint in TNA with his first: “Comparing my two runs with TNA, maybe the first time around the timing wasn’t right or the opportunities weren’t quite what I was hoping for. On the second time around they gave me some rope either to climb the ladder or hang myself. So far I’ve been climbing…
“Honestly when I walked in, I didn’t have any expectations. I just knew I had opportunity and took it one step at a time. What I did try to have this time around was patience and let my work speak for itself. Let the opportunities present themselves and then take advantage of them. I don’t think I would have foreseen myself being in this situation after a year in the company, but I’ve always been confident in my abilities and appreciate the opportunity to prove my talent and that I belong at the top of the card.”
Being a champion: ” I think not everybody is equipped to be a titleholder or a champion. I like to think whatever belt I held throughout my career, I’ve carried professionally and with a certain amount of respect that people can look at it and say, ‘Well, all right, this title belt has worth. It means something.’ I had some issues with belts that I’ve held from the people who have held them before me, but what you go out there and do is put your best foot forward. You try to make sure every time you walk out that people feel like they are seeing the main event.
“Hopefully, we are going to do that again on July 8th at Destination X with Bobby Roode. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to be in the main event against the world heavyweight champion. I think that belt has a lot of worth right now. It should be a great match. Hopefully, the best man wins.”