Jeff Katz Talks Time In WCW, Wrestling Retribution Project, Problems With Wrestling, TNA & More
WrestlingINC.com: In 2009 there was talk of you and your company American Original working with TNA in some fashion, what happened there?
Katz: I have a great relationship with those guys, ultimately I did some stuff for them at Comic-Con. I frankly… with great love to all of them, I just wasn't .. I don't' think it was something they were overly interested i. I got in a little bit of trouble for telling the truth and basically saying that trying to replicate 1998 wasn't the answer. Which I think most of us would say. I still, I have good relationships there. I'm very friendly with Dixie [Carter] and Jeff [Jarrett], I'm very friendly with Hunter [Triple H] and Stephanie [McMahon], it's not personal. It's really for me just more about the fact that I just don't love the business anymore the same way. I just kind of got bored and instead of sitting there and fermenting in it, just try to do something. But I think at the end of the day… I don't think the answer is ever going to be in either trying to be WWE, or chasing their model because that's like chasing the NFL model, they have a head start in their genre that is so significant that unless you do something that is uniformly different from them, your destined to basically be at best number two. The model of entertainment has changed so dramatically that kind of changing the old WWE model to me is not the way to do it anymore, that's just me… I bet a bunch of people don't agree.
WrestlingINC.com: I couldn't agree more, it seems strange.. There is such a big audience for wrestling, since so many millions of people left when WWE bought WCW that haven't come back. I feel like there is an audience for something different and that is where I think TNA fails is instead of presenting something different, they are presenting the same kind of format that WWE was.
Katz: I think that … when I became a fan of their product and when I got friends who had been latched and hooked on it, it was the X-Divison stuff that hooked them all and the reality is that was 10 years ago and that style has been exposed, and exposed relatively heavily. So I don't know what the answer is unless it's a fundamental look at sort of from the bottom up how you do it, and I just think if you're going to be an alternative, you have to be an alternative. I have a lot of friends that work there and I wish them all well and I would suggest the audience that left, I don't think they are coming back. I am at a point that I don't think I am coming back.
WrestlingINC.com: You have since started the Wrestling Retribution Project. It's interesting because you guys did the funding through the fans, right? Is that were most of the funding came from?
Katz: Yes, to be frank with you, I didn't think any of this would work. I was just a guy trying to make a point that at a certain point and time it's like going back to an abusive boyfriend and you keep going back while you're complaining about being abused… why do you keep going back? I was sort of trying to make a point that you know you vote with your dollar and let's use this as a model. It really started to get some decent traffic and we did really nice those first couple of days and once I clicked on the model of how I wanted to approach this, I was like, I have to get this done. I'm lucky enough that I work in a business where I go to meetings and I tell people what I am doing and so we had people coming in, donating from in town here... I have to say, I really was just trying to make a point so… the fact that it worked the way it worked and it's had kind of this bizarre run has been great and it's been great and had very positive ramifications on my Hollywood career. It's just that it's been a crazy several months.