We caught up with TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley. Check out the interview below.
How’s the UK treating you so far – How’s London?
I’ve been here for about an hour. I love London, I love the UK. I’ve been here a few times and it’s great to be back – it’s going to be a good trip.
This is your first time in the UK with TNA Wrestling. You were previously here with the WWE. How was that experience?
It was fast paced. With the WWE it was going from one city to the next, so we didn’t have time to go around and meet people and see things. But I’ve been here a couple of times since then – I’ve done a few autograph signings out here. With TNA they’ve given us more time to meet people, have some fun and interact with the fans a little more.
How did you get into wrestling?
I started amateur wrestling when i was 12 years old. From there it was an instant success kind of thing. I won 13-1 in my first year and from there I went to high school and won the state championships and then went to college and won 3 national college championships. I then went to the Olympic Training Center and wrestled there – Was an All-American, won the Australian national championships and took second at the World championships in 2002. In 2003 my amateur wrestling career ended.
I then went to pro-wrestling and wrestled with the WWE. I got introduced to pro-wrestling as a business through Kurt Angle. Kurt saw me at the Olympic Training Center. He brought me up and introduced me to Brisco and Tom Pritchard from WWE – they offered me a contract from there. I poured my heart into pro-wrestling as my amateur career was cut short. It’s been a good road to this point. I wrestled with with WWE for 4 and a half years, wrestled for TNA and fought for a bit. My current run with TNA has been the best period I’ve been wrestling. My matches have been completely different to what I’ve done before. I like the roster here. I like wrestling with the guys they’ve got here. I’ve had some phenomenal matches with Bobby Roode and Eric Young. The TNA shows are so lively. We show you what we can do. I think that when people come to TNA shows, they come to see a great wrestling match.
What’s it like working with MVP?
As of yet It’s been really short. There’s a lot of tension, but it’s going to be a good run. One thing I can say about him; MVP is one of the best on the mic. He’s going to build the match up really well. His mic ability and my wrestling ability will go really well hand in hand.
This is your second run with TNA. Can you give us 2 or 3 highlights from your TNA career so far?
The series with Bobby Roode – I think the first 2 matches with Bobby Roode. You never know when you go out there and wrestle somebody of how it’s going to be. Sometimes it can be a complete train wreck.
The matches I had with Bobby Roode were an instant success. I liked everything we did – I think they were hard fought matches. The crowd love to see those matches nowadays as they are based more on reality. It’s more of a hard fight in terms of going out there. That’s been a highlight of TNA so far.
Also the run I had with MVP and Kenny King. It was cut short, but it was a little different. It was copied but we did it the right way and now that we’ve gone our separate ways, it’s really going to hype the feud that’s going on moving forward.
I can’t take anything away from the feud I had with Eric Young. Eric and I had some great matches. Jeff Hardy – I had a great match with him. The Impact Wrestling roster is phenomenal!
Who do you think the next big TNA star is going to be?
I’m going to go with Gunner. He’s got the intensity, the look and he’s believable. He’s real. Once they give him the right opportunity, he’s going to have a great run.
Jessie from The BroMans is doing really well. He has a good look. I keep going back to the look. At the end of the day it’s entertainment. Hardcore wrestling fans are going to watch wrestling regardless. We’re looking at crossover. Gunner and Jesse have both got it.
The UK tour starts tomorrow, which city (Glasgow, Manchester, London) are you most looking forward to performing in?
I can’t pick one or the other. I’ve never been to Scotland. I’m looking forward to seeing how it is there. I love the crowd in London. I’ve had great shows there, Manchester is almost the same as far as the crowd. I think all 3 shows are going to be outstanding. Friday and Saturday are always going to be bigger nights. I don’t think one show is going to be more hype than the other.
Why should someone who’s never been to a TNA show before, go to the Maximum Impact 7 Tour?
It’s the wrestling. I think that someone who’s never watched wrestling before can come to a show and be blown away. The matches are brilliant. We tell great stories. There’s tension – There’s a lot of good storylines right now especially with me and MVP. There’s so much happening with TNA right now – Anyone can come and have a good time.
Lashley and the stars of TNA Impact Wrestling are in Glasgow (Jan 29), Manchester (Jan 30) and London (Jan 31). Tickets are still available from http://gigst.rs/TNA15