Gunner Talks WWE Network And Future Of PPVs, If AJ Styles Will Return To TNA, Hulk Hogan, D'Lo, More
I think that 2014 is going to be a different year for us, as far as not being on the road as much goes, but I don't think we have to worry about the company going out of business or anything. There are a lot of changes being made right now for that and to make sure that Impact Wrestling stays afloat. We have the diehard fans and we have the SPIKE TV deal and we just signed a new U.K. TV deal. So, stuff like that is looking good for us.
If AJ Styles will ever return:
I think the fans will eventually see A.J. Styles back. I mean, he was with them from day one when the doors first opened and he really is, in my opinion, the poster child or the golden child of Impact Wrestling. He's a guy that I've been in the ring with and, honestly, he's probably one of my favorite guys to work with and he's a guy that, regardless of size, who you are, or how old you are, he can get in there and work around your weaknesses to make you look good. He's just a guy that, I think, really needs to be there for younger guys like me to help build future stars.
On another note, when one door closes, another one opens for someone else and, I mean, that's that professional wrestling business. The thing is that once that door closes on somebody, there's always that opportunity for that next person to step up. That's my goal.
Since I was five-years-old, this has been what I've wanted to do. I didn't want to do this to be rich. Obviously, I can pay my bills which is wonderful. I wanted to do this because I loved professional wrestling as a kid. I loved characters. I loved what they did and I still do to this day.
I've wanted to be the best ever since I was five. I didn't want to just do it or be a mid-card guy. I wanted to be a main event guy. I wanted to be a champion.
Once that door closes on someone, like I said, another one opens for someone else and I really think that no one's going to fill A.J. Styles' boots and I never say I'm going to try and fill A.J. Styles' boots, but I'm there to stand in my own and try to make my own legacy and the pressure's on. It's a good opportunity for a guy like me to be able to step up, if given the opportunity, and I think to shine.
Obviously, they're big shoes to fill, man, and I think A.J. will be back eventually. I don't know the timeframe, but he's very valuable. He's a very valuable individual and just well-respected in the locker room.
WWE Network and the future of pay-per-views:
Unfortunately, when I was growing up, pay-per-views were the huge thing. Every month, my father was paying money for me to watch both WWF and WCW. Now because of the internet and because of everything being given free half the time, it is a dying business, I guess, when it comes to professional wrestling pay-per-views. It's just like the music business where these musicians aren't making a lot of money on music sales anymore. They're making all their money on the road doing concerts because you can get on these pirate websites and everything is downloaded.
I think it's going to be a good thing and it's something that we started a little bit last year when we kind of cut our monthly pay-per-views down to just four big ones a year. Even Genesis was one of our big ones that was on pay-per-view and Dixie decided to do the televised pay-per-view. So, I think that, yes, it's going to open up a lot of doors to be something new for professional wrestling.
I really truly believe that the pay-per-view business is a dying thing and everyone's getting smarter and going, "Okay. Well, let's just start doing this on TV or let's do what WWE is doing with the network and charge a monthly fee," or whatever they're doing. I think that's a smart idea because people are going to pay that monthly fee and, on top of that, they're getting unlimited access to professional wrestling.
We have the TNA "on demand" kind of thing where, obviously, you can go back and watch old stuff from 2006 and on and on. So, it seems like everybody's doing that now. It's all about the packages instead of trying to do a monthly thing. It's really costing a lot of money. So, I think it's a good thing, in the end, for ratings and just for business.
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