You've primarily been a tag wrestler during your run in TNA, and this has been your first real big singles push. Is there anybody you're looking forward to working with, or want to work with, in a singles feud?
Yeah, I'd love to work with Bobby Roode. Bobby has been in lots of long-term feuds, like his feud with James Storm, and he's one of the guys I'd like to carry a feud with for a while too. He's one of the guys that I looked up to when I entered the company in 2010. I love to wrestle with him and work with him in house shows, one match here and there, but I'd love to do something bigger with him. He's a guy I respect a lot, and he's at the top of my list.
Do you have any goals in mind that you'd like to accomplish in the near-future, say, the end of the year?
One thing I'd like to see is that I'm not sure if we're doing the Bound for Glory series this year, but if we are, I'd love to do well in that and win that. And of course I'd love to be the World Champion. I'm not sure if that's going to happen by the end of 2014, but that's a goal of mine since I came to TNA. It's been a goal of mine since I was a kid. I want to see how I could compare to some of these guys like Kurt Angle, some of the greats that held the title.
TNA is making a trip up to New York later this month to have TV tapings at the Manhattan Center. What are your thoughts on that?
Oh yeah, I'm really excited about that. I think it's going to be really good for the company and the product on TV. Getting outside of Orlando is really nice. In Orlando, we have the same crowd. And those guys have seen the same thing for years. It's really nice to be on the road, and Manhattan is going to have a really good vibe. That venue is really really cool and will show up well for the TV product. Whenever we go to New York, that crowd is always live and energetic, so it's great to get the TV product there.
Have you ever worked a show at the Manhattan Center before?
No, I have not. It's one place that I've always wanted to go, so as far as the bucket list goes, that's one I get to check off. I know Ring of Honor goes there a lot, but I only worked for them once, so I've never had a chance to work there.
You mentioned Orlando and the Impact Zone. If it was up to you, would you have a more widespread touring schedule, one that isn't in Orlando as much?
Yeah, I absolutely would. We were out on the road for a little while there, and it was great, but you know, things happen. We're going to do the New York stuff, and we're doing tapings in Pennsylvania. So we are going out a lot this summer. I don't know what the plans are after that, but we are getting out more.
You guys are coming here to Maryland this weekend. You're doing the three-city tour of Bowie, Salisbury and Aberdeen. And two of those, Bowie and Aberdeen, are going to be in baseball stadiums. How does an outdoor show like that change things?
Doing baseball stadiums does change things. You never know what's going to happen with weather. But it's fun to do. We did a few last year in Jersey and that area. It's a little different. You don't get the same acoustics from the crowd that you do in an arena. So it's a different vibe.
Besides the acoustics, is there any real noticeable difference from a wrestler's perspective, having the ring set up in the middle of a baseball field?
Yeah, it's a different feel. One year we would come out way back where the dressing room was, and we took golf carts from there to the ring. It felt like an old Wrestlemania entrance. The crowd is a little bit more spread out on baseball fields. There was one time we didn't even have chairs on the field because the stadium wouldn't allow it, so we had to put the ring right on home plate. So there's definitely a difference in the crowd interaction.
For fans who have never attended a TNA house show before, what can they expect from it?
They can expect all the talent: myself, EC3, James Storm, The Wolves, Gail Kim and some of the other knockouts, and there are other names I missed. We always go out there and give 110%. The crowd is going to get their money's worth. They pay to see the product they see on TV, they bring their kids, they want to have a good time. They're going to get a chance to interact and have meet-and-greets with the wrestlers. So they definitely get their money's worth. As far as the matches go? They'll get all the action they want to see. We all go out there and we love our job and the company is doing great. They'll get to see all sorts of action, including the X-division stuff, all the flips and flops that I don't really do but the crowd loves. So yeah, they'll get their money's worth.
TNA will be at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie on Friday. You can find more details at www.baysox.com. They'll be at the Wicomico Civic Center in Salisbury on Saturday, and you can find details about that show at www.wicomicociviccenter.org. They'll be wrapping up their Maryland tour on Sunday, when they visit to Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. You can find out more about that show at www.ironbirdsbaseball.com.
Any questions or comments? You can leave them in the comment section below or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster