Jesse Neal Talks Time With TNA, Hogan & Bischoff Coming In, Food Stamps Rumor & More
WrestlingINC.com: What was training with Team 3D like?
Neal: It was worse than boot camp, man, s--t. I hated going to practice sometimes. I dreaded it sometimes. I'd be in my truck driving to practice and hate myself. 'What am I doing this for? Why am I doing this?' but I went everyday and busted my ass and did what I had to do. Just having Bubba and Devon there to train me and the rest of the students - it was a 'you couldn't believe it until you see it'. They were there every day and they're still there every day. Just having one of the best tag teams in the business help you out and train you; it was definitely a dream come true and I definitely set myself on the right path with the trainers there.
WrestlingINC.com: You were thrust into the limelight having made your TNA debut less than two years later. What was that like?
Neal: Yeah, it was very fast. I definitely got a lot of bad stuff to come with it, but also a lot of good stuff. A lot of people had seen where I come from and it wasn't easy and it's still not easy for me. I still train with them. I tell everybody, 'You say I got an easy road. Go back and look at my matches where I wasn't doing anything but getting my ass whooped.' Every match I was getting knocked out. I've had 8 concussions so far. That's a small amount but I had a rough smart. Granted I got picked up very fast and I'm very grateful for it and being able to show what I know.
When I got first signed I just knew the basics. There was nothing really about me. There was a story and a look and I listened very well and I was very respectful. I had that old school mentality and that's what they saw so that's what they signed. Throughout TNA I've learned a lot. I've learned a lot of bad and I've learned a lot of good. Hopefully I can take that to the next step in my life.
WrestlingINC.com: You had 8 concussions?
Neal: Yeah, I've had 8 so far. Some of those matches I'd just get knocked out and I wouldn't even know what I'm doing. There was a couple matches that I just didn't know until I went back to the curtain what was going on. I don't remember it. I had to watch them back again. It was weird.
WrestlingINC.com: You were in the limelight and involved with TNA when Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff took over and then you kind of disappeared for a little bit. What do you remember about when they came in?
Neal: Backstage it was here and there. You didn't know exactly what to expect. I was told they were going to come in and one day I drove to work expecting them to come in. I was like, 'We can do some cool stuff,' but then when I got in there they were like, 'Oh, they're scratching your storyline, scratching everything. You have to start over.' Bubba and Devon told me, 'This is a good lesson for you,' and it was. It's like I'm getting a run, getting a run and I'm looking at it - not just necessarily a run but a learning lesson in front of the camera. Anything I can learn I'll take it. I can make money off of it later.
I was just running, running, running; making a little bit of money here and there and then, boom, it's done. It was definitely a shock and it was like, 'Oh, I thought we had a really good story going on.' They came in, they wanted to make the company better and they had to make changes to make the company better. In trial and error and all that good stuff, I was on the wrong end I guess you could say.