Jesse Neal Talks Time With TNA, Hogan & Bischoff Coming In, Food Stamps Rumor & More
WrestlingINC.com: You made that remark on Twitter about being able to receive food stamps.
Neal: I'm never going to be able to live that one down. I mean, hell, I'm out of TNA now. I can say whatever I want. I never did receive food stamps. That was me and my fiancé joking around about it. I should not have joked about it. It was a time where I was very stressed out in my life and we were going through hard times - not me and Christina [Kardooni a.k.a. Toxxin] - but me, as a person and paycheck, money-wise, money that was owed to me and I hadn't received it yet. I wanted to laugh about it instead of getting down because I was too stressed out; I was in too much pain going through my injury and stuff like that. I was like, 'Alright, I'm just going to joke about it.' Unfortunately it was on Twitter and we shouldn't have joked about it but I've never received a Food Stamp. It was just stressful. I was about to lose my apartment and stuff but I pulled some strings and made s--t happen. It was a very rough time during my injury and a little before that.
I'll give an example. In one of the house shows some of the boys got together and gave me a little bit of money because I didn't have any money to eat on. I had a couple checks late or whatever. That's just business. The boys are there for the boys. We were always there for the boys and that I can never take away from my TNA experience. The roster there at TNA is insane and it goes above what you see on TV as well. They're there. The boys are for the boys and that's the way it needs to be.
WrestlingINC.com: It sounds like financially it was a really rough time.
Neal: Yeah, of course. I'm a grown ass man. I can tell you I did qualify for food stamps but did I take them? No. I didn't take them because I had different opportunities to make money and stuff - indy shows and stuff like that. I wasn't wrestling but I was still doing appearances even though I was injured. I would get out of bed and go do an appearance and try to make a couple dollars here and there and stuff like that. Also, I did something for TNA while I was injured, like backstage and stuff like that. They took care of me there too.
It wasn't too bad. It was definitely stressful and I didn't have anything planned out but, again, that's the wrestling business.
WrestlingINC.com: Your fiance [Christina Kardooni a.k.a Toxxin], made her debut at TNA during that time.
Neal: Yeah, when I got back she was there shortly thereafter. That was definitely good. We'd been planning on it for the longest time. We were trying to get her in there sooner and that's how we actually met. A year and a little bit ago she was with TNA, with a tryout, going back and forth with Triple A and stuff and that's how we met. She left and we would talk and she would fly back and forth and see me and that type of thing. We tried to get her with TNA for the longest time. She's hot. She's entertaining enough and then it finally happened. She was there at the right time, right place. She actually never got a contract yet either. That's kind of weird.
WrestlingINC.com: What is her status?
Neal: Everybody's blaming me for Ink Inc and Christina and this and that. Before I even said anything about a release or anything they were going to split Ink Inc up anyways. They come in and decide this or that and their decisions are based on trying to make more rating and money, obviously, because they're not there just to dick around. They're there to make money; anybody would be. Personally I don't know why they wanted to split us up. They really didn't give us a good run with the belts and things like that. That also goes down to the business. That's what happens; you just got to roll with the punches and move on and try to become better than you were yesterday.
Christina, she's never really gotten a contract. They never really signed her. They just kept using her and she was getting paid like she was on a contract but I'm like, 'You got to talk to them.' She's still on the roster so her future is still up in the air. Hell, I'm even on the roster and I'm released. That's just one of those things you laugh about. You take something that is stupid and laugh about it.
Make sure to check back tomorrow for part two of the interview, where Neal talks about leaving TNA, if Hogan and Bischoff have helped the company, his thoughts on WWE and if he would go there. Also, bookings and appearances for Jesse Neal are now being accepted by contacting Stephanie Melvin via email at [email protected].
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