Promoting tonight's TNA Destination X pay-per-view, Christopher Daniels spoke to Scott Fishman of The Miami Herald to discuss his current role in TNA Wrestling, wrestling AJ Styles, the Claire Lynch storyline, Austin Aries and more. Highlights from the article are as follows:
Appearing on live episodes of Impact Wrestling: "For me personally, the fact that we are live, and that they have put me in the final segment the last couple of times, it's a lot of pressure. It's good pressure. It's something I look forward to and something I am trying to excel at. I feel like when they put that microphone in my hand at the last possible second, I believe I have delivered. I plan on continuing to deliver. I want to keep being that guy for TNA. If we continue to be live after the summer, I feel like the company has proven we can do it. It's just another step forward for the company."
TNA's presentation of its backstage segments, from traditional to more of a candid look: "Guys like Eric [Bischoff] and Jason Hervey have come to us with a more fresh and on-the-fly way of doing it, rather than just giving us a script. I feel like it has helped us sharpen our skills. I'll be walking backstage, and all of a sudden, Jason will come up to me with a camera asking questions. You are answering right off the top of your head, and it's a more realistic feeling. It's a more honest answer that you are giving. It's definitely different… There is a must-see sort of mentality to our television shows. The fact that we are going live and doing so much reality based or hidden camera based, there is an idea that the fans have to tune in. It's not a matter of when we were taped where they could read spoilers on the Internet. They have to watch and see how it rolls. They are getting surprised and caught off guard with what we are doing. I think it's awesome."
AJ Styles' grappling ability: "AJ is one of the best in the world. We have great chemistry together that the challenge for us after so many years of wrestling each other is somehow keeping it fresh. This particular match is a Last Man Standing match, so it will make that a little bit easier because it's a completely different mindset. As far as getting in the ring with someone the caliber of AJ, I'm never bored with it. There is always the challenge to make it great and make it different for the fans. That is what I appreciate it."
Facing AJ Styles this year compared to last year: "The truth of the matter is last year I was sort of treading water when the match came around. It didn't seem like the company had a lot of plans for me or at least the plans that they had for me beginning with that match. There wasn't a whole lot going on for me before Destination X. Now that we have had this sort of thing going on for pretty much the whole year, I feel like I am in a better position with the company. I feel like I contributed more this year than in the last. With the previous match, it was just a marquee matchup. It was a technical exhibition style match. This one is going to have a little bit more blood behind it."
Austin Aries' rise in TNA: "Austin Aries right now is on the top of his game. Everything he seems to be doing has been coming up aces, and he has parlayed that into a world title shot. If you watch even last week, we saw the appearance of Sonjay Dutt on our shows. I feel like he is going to be somebody in the next couple of months we will be talking about how good he is and start to show back up on our television. Rubix, Mason Andrews and Rashad Cameron, those guys last week also had opportunity and hit home runs in my opinion. I think they did great. Even in defeat, I think Rubix and Mason Andrews were great and hope they get an opportunity with the company to continue. Another good thing about Destination X is we always give X Division guys an opportunity. Last year where we had guys like Kid Kash returning to the company based on his performance at Destination X. I hope these guys get the same opportunity and if they do, I think they are going to do great things with it."
Claire Lynch storyline: "As far as the story goes, we are right on track where we want to go. I think people who are upset with the storyline are assuming that they know the end or where this is going, and they don't. So I just tell people who are upset to just wait and see what happens. I know there was a lot of speculation about the introduction of Claire, but that wasn't a last minute decision. It's something we thought about for a while. You just need to see where it goes. This is something that has been thought out. If the people give it the same amount of chance that we put into it, the amount of effort we put into it, I think they are going to be happy with the end result."
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