Two weeks ago, Christopher Daniels, one of the wrestlers most-associated with TNA, announced that he had parted ways with the company. I had a chance to talk to him about his release, what his future looks like, as well as a side-project he's doing in the comic book world.
Ring Posts: Two weeks ago, you announced on your Twitter page that you were officially a free agent. What's it been like for you since then, to not be contracted by TNA?
Christopher Daniels: You know, it really hasn't hit me yet. I've got my schedule filling up with independent dates and other things. I guess they had figured by June that I'd be free to go. Yeah man, it is what it is.
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When did you realize that your contract wasn't going to be renewed?
I didn't know until the day they told me. I went in to speak with TNA officials the last booking that I had, which was a taping of one of the One Night Only pay-per-views, on April 12. That was when I found out. I didn't know before then. I kind of assumed, because Frankie [Kazarian] and I were still an entertaining tag team and our wrestling spoke for itself, I thought they were going to renew, but I was wrong.
Had you been in negotiations with them for the past few months, or was it pretty much that they just told you it wasn't going to be renewed?
I talked to them for the first time at Lockdown, and they told me that they wanted to speak to me face to face. I was then off television for a month, so the next time I got to talk to them was at that One Night Only pay-per-view. So I had no idea until then.
Did they give you any reasoning, whether it was financial or otherwise?
They pretty much just told me that they were going in a different directions with different people.
How disappointing was that for you?
Obviously it was disappointing. I wasn't expecting that. I knew we hadn't been on television for a while, but I figured that at some point it was going to come back around and we were going to get an opportunity to shine again. And that didn't happen.
Do you think there's a chance they might bring you back at some point, or was that door left open?
The way it was explained to me, they said they wanted to leave the door open to do stuff in the future. But at this point, they couldn't continue to keep me under contract if they weren't going to use me as regularly as that. Who knows what will happen in the future? I'm not sure what their plans are. I had hoped there was going to be an opportunity for me and Frankie to wrestle the Wolves in a longer program, but that's obviously not TNA's priority at this point.
You are the latest in a string of high-profile releases for TNA. AJ Styles was released a few months ago, as well as Sting and some others. In your point of view, what's going on in TNA right now that so many people are getting released?
That's a question you're going to need to ask TNA, man. I couldn't tell you the answer.
You and AJ were two of the pillars of TNA as it was becoming a bigger company. Did you ever think you'd see the day where both of you were not a part of it anymore?
No, man, I was really surprised when AJ left. I always figured that him and TNA were going to come to terms, but it didn't work out that way. He ended up with Ring of Honor and New Japan, and he's doing well, but that was surprising at the time, and now I'm gone too.
What has the morale in the locker room there been like for the past few months?
It's sort of a “wait-and-see” approach there, man. Every company makes decisions that may or may not be popular with the locker room, but you have to see how it turns out. And I think that's what everyone is doing, waiting to see how everything lands and continue to put out the best product that they can once they see the lay of the land.
So what's next for you? The last time your contract ran out at TNA, in 2010, you went back to Ring of Honor. Is that a possibility for you this time around?