Stevie Richards On Calling TNA An Indy League With TV, Scripted Promos, Extreme Rising, More

Richards: It came from when I was asked if anybody could ever compete with WWE, on their level. They asked me and I said 'No way.' Nobody can ever compete with WWE and TNA is the most distant second you could imagine.

The reason I say that is there is a great amount of talent, so much great talent there, and there's a lot of these people that are not making living wages. I equate independent wrestling to being a part-time job where you have to go out and find other work that does not pay a living wage.

The last interview, where I said 'If you don't believe me, look at my pay checks, look at many other guys' pay checks.' Or look at how some guys just leave the company. It's always about money. So, I said that before. If I'm not making a living wage at TNA, I will leave. And I did.
Most people got very offended but I was just telling the truth and I was just saying it because I feel like a lot of the wrestlers there are not getting their just wage. They put their bodies on the line, they kill themselves. They drop themselves on their heads, all sorts of high risk maneuvers and they don't get compensated for it? I don't think that's fair. Do you?

WrestlingINC: I don't. Do you think part of the problem are the big contracts that some of the wrestlers do have that aren't making much of a dent in the ratings?

Richards: Well, that's a business decision made by Dixie Carter and the people in charge of TNA and Panda Energy if they're still a part of it. I'm not sure. That's not for me to say or not say. I just know what I was paid and what certain people were paid and they deserve to get paid a lot more than they do.

One quick thing: I don't blame Hulk Hogan and Bischoff for getting the money that they can get from the company. This is America, I'm not saying they should feel bad about the money they are getting. I'm just talking about the people that I feel personally should be getting more or at least a living wage so they don't have to go apply for a job at Walmart or Target or Kmart after the pay-per-view and two TV tapings. [Laughs.]

WrestlingINC: When you heard of the Extreme Reunion concept when they did their first show earlier this year -- it's now Extreme Rising -- what were your thoughts on that? Did you think it was just going to be another ECW reunion show or did you think it was going to be something a little more long term?

Richards: I think just like I think about any show, to be fair to any independent show or any show that I've ever worked or will work, it's just another show where I'll be hopefully in the best shape that I can be in and have the best match of the show. I don't think beyond that.

Independent promotions always says they have their WrestleMania where they're going to talk about this big angle. Just tell me when the show is, how much and I'll be ready. That's the way I treat everything including Extreme Reunion.

WrestlingINC: You're wrestling Luke Hawx at the next Extreme Rising. I know you guys wrestled this Summer. What can fans expect this time around?

Richards: You can both of us to be ready to go, be in top shape and really have a hard-hitting match. It's funny. Luke, I've seen some video of Luke training, doing some striking with probably one of the toughest guys I've ever seen named JJ who is a professional stunt man as well and an MMA fighter.

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