Jesse Neal Talks Time With TNA, Hogan & Bischoff Coming In, Food Stamps Rumor & More
WrestlingINC.com: How did you start working with Shannon Moore?
Neal: That was actually… Of course, mohawks and tattoos, we go together. There was also a thing of… Shannon Moore had been in the business for so long and I had been in the business a day. It was up to Shannon and Shannon totally dug it. He's like, 'Yeah, definitely, let's do this.' He actually came up to me. I was sitting there like, 'OK, there's another guy with tattoos and a mohawk. I've seen what Shannon Moore has done in other companies. He's done a lot of stuff so I'm out, basically.'
He actually came to me. 'What do you think about tagging?' and stuff like that. I'm like, 'Dude, I'd be honored. I've watched all your stuff and I know what you do.' We had fun. He had come up to me and of course I'm going to say yes. I'd be stupid not to. I've learned so much and Shannon Moore has brought me to the next level. It was definitely an honor and we became great friends from it and we still are friends. Just because I'm gone doesn't mean my friends are gone too. I always keep friends no matter what.
WrestlingINC.com: You were out for 4 months when you got that injury fighting with Mexican America?
Neal: Yeah, I almost broke my neck. I was paralyzed for like 10 or 15 seconds. 10-15 seconds is nothing but it scares the s--t out of you when you can't move your body.
WrestlingINC.com: It's a scary thing.
Neal: Yeah and I just got in the business and we were getting a good run. It has its up and downs, running for the belt and then getting it taken away from us every time. That's the name of the game and hopefully everybody's entertained by it. When a serious injury like that happens - and I've only been doing it for five years now - it's like, 'Man, what am I going to do?' I was almost in tears talking to the office the day after. They wanted me to go home and relax, chill out. I'm like, 'No, what's going to happen?' I couldn't even move my neck.
My fiancé was with me because I would pass out every so often. My doctor told me I had to have somebody with me. I'd just black out for awhile. I was just scared. Bubba told me, 'Suck it up, kid. This is the wrestling business. You need to go home and rest and come back bigger and badder.' I was like, 'OK, yes sir,' and I did what he said.
WrestlingINC.com: Did people from the company contact you much during that time off?
Neal: No, not really. I don't want to talk bad about the company or nothing like that. It's like the wrestling business says, 'out of sight, out of mind' type of thing and 'the show must go on', whether you're injured or gone, the show will go on no matter what. That's what I kept in my mind. Everyone was nice to me and stuff like that. Dixie [Carter] was very concerned and everything. I really didn't get phone calls and stuff like that.
WrestlingINC.com: I heard they didn't really take care of you as far as your medical bills and things like that.
Neal: Yeah, the initial MRI was taken care of the very next day after my injury. One of their assistants came with me down to the hospital and we got it taken care of. I've got like 3 or 4 medical bills since then that are in my name and they're going on my credit, that type of thing - - out of sight, out of mind thing again. It's just one of those things where you just got to suck it up and move on and learn from it.