Former TNA star Jay Bradley was recently interviewed by Lee Sanders of The RCWR Show. Below are some highlights, you can check out the full interview above.
If didn't TNA give him their full support and his release:
I can kind of look at it in a negative way and let it sour me or I can be like Tupac who said to just shrug and say F it and move on. You know what I mean? I'm not going to let the black cloud or anything follow me to the next job or anything like that. There is no bitterness to be skewed or anything like that. It's business. After being in professional wrestling for the last 10 years, I understand how the business works in ways that I am sure people might not understand it. There's no money owed to me by TNA, they've met the end of their contract and I have not only met but exceeded mine.
But as far as what happened, it's easy to tell that the company itself if going through a lot of changes and there are a lot of changes going forward and I think I just got caught up in that in a negative way and got pushed aside because of it. Just look at the last 6 months, they've had major executive changes, major leadership changes, live TV, no live TV, in Orlando and back for TV. A lot of major names have left the company as far as talent goes and a lot of new guys have come in. As far as the new names coming in, yeah, I felt go to wrestling i n c I wasn't taken advantage of as a businessman and an athlete, you have to have that confidence coming in and as I am hearing about it on TV or through the wrestler grapevine, I fit right in with this so why give me the ball and run? Unfortunately I don't have an answer to that, I'm not in those meetings where those decisions are made. All I've been told is that the company cannot afford to keep me on payroll and keep me sitting at home as small as my monthly check was, the resources weren't available to do that any further and they had kind of templated out the television for the next few months with this investor storyline and Dixie Carter sort of thing and didn't see me fitting into it. I was like "Ok", you move on.
So it looks like I will be working in Japan on a somewhat regular basis so I really can't be negative about it because TNA basically paid me for a year to become a better wrestler and a better athlete overall and then pretty much just gave me to a Japanese company who pays me equally as good or better so I can't complain whatever. As for what happened or why, I really don't know. I was really adamantly trying to get the writer's attention, weekly calling the office trying to get a hold of the powers that be or emailing them directly to utilize go to wrestling i n c myself or ideas for myself or other people on TV or storylines or business in general. But as business goes, you're not going to get an answer to every email but just to be acknowledged would have been a more positive for me and for whatever reason, they felt they should go another way. But the wrestling world has opened up a little more to me now because of my time there and a lot more people were exposed to what I can do in the ring so no complaints on that. Obviously I would have loved for it to go a little bit better but things change and I can only say that change was a major thing for TNA in 2013 and it's going to be that way for the foreseeable future.
If he was supposed to be in Aces & Eights:
From the beginning I was one of the original people that jumped Sting when it started, I was one of the original people they were considering for the storyline for the long haul when it first started but I was also told that the company saw more in me than just being part of a gang to show more potential in the future which is kind of odd now because they said before and now they've released me but I guess that's just how things have played out but the instance you mentioned about the Bound For Glory gauntlet match series, again, things just changed man. That's all I can say. They've changed. There was a small spotlight on me on the microphone for one episode and a backstage pre-tape and it just kind of dropped. I think that was the last time you would have saw me on Impact, it was kind of just like "Well, what happened to that?" "Where did that story go?" It never got tied up and I thought it would've been kind of fun.
It was even something I was throwing at creative at one point it was just, they put the spotlight on me and they've got this big looking guy who people have told me could just grab a tree trunk out of the ground and now we're alluding that maybe he's a hired gun and maybe there's something we can do there. I pitched them the idea that maybe it was EGO, I'm the muscle behind EGO, you know? These 3 guys who were just all about the same size and similar wrestling style and they were almost veterans and I pitched them they idea that why don't I just come in and be the muscle of the group and do a Diesel-esq kind of thing that Shaw Michaels was going in the 90s for the group. And I also threw the idea out there that I was Dixie's hired guy and that Dixie hired me to take out AJ and the plan was received as far back that I would be Dixie's personal body guard cause she was a well-to-do woman in a man's world so she would probably need a bodyguard. So why not put a big guy like me in front of her while she does her business?
Again, those were just two ideas that I threw at them but you know, again, I kind of just got pushed aside but that's business, that's pro-wrestling. They're not going to take everything you throw at them and they're going to move in the direction of the story that they want to tell and the business that they want to do on their television show. It happens all the time, it happened at WWE when I was there, I'm sure it happens at the Japanese companies when guys throw ideas for matches and feuds and I'm sure it happens in companies like in Ring of Honor which is almost a semi-national television company now. It's just the nature of the beast.
If TNA could move their business overseas and if they are in danger of losing their Spike TV deal:
No, I don't think they could just pack up and take their business elsewhere. I don't see them losing the Spike deal either. The Spike TV deal comes up later on this year but I've always seen Spike TV go to wrestling i n c to have a lot of clout in what goes on in impact wrestling so I don't see that relationship changing. They are still a top rated program for Spike and this is a good situation for TNA, a national product for television.
As far as the international market goes, yeah they do very strongly. Even for Japan when I was there, they had only been around for a year and it wasn't the greatest time slot but it was still doing very well, they renewed it for 5 years so they will be doing it for the station in Japan for the next 5 years and I know they just renewed for Challenge TV or whatever the UK carrier is. I know they do extremely well in Europe and so does WWE. I think the reason is that it is too full where they're on and I think better networks overseas where they are paid channels on the station that WWE is on. Maybe that will change with the new network that WWE has on where you can watch any wrestling ever invented so as far as the product, TNA is probably a little more exposed around those areas. Also they do pretty well over there because it's still kind of new. It's still kind of the new thing to do so if you get WWE & TNA only over there to Glasgow or London once a year or your country once a year, it's going to get a better turnout than having it happen in the United States which is a bigger country happening once a week over here.
Now take WWE or TNA away, they're going to hold a show once a year in Dallas, TX for all of 2014 or if we're just going to have Mania, it's going to draw a lot more views and tickets. But that's just my take on it. As far as them and the hating of it as for as TNA, I kind of understand it but I don't think it's necessarily deserved. As far as the hating, there are hardcore fans that forget that this is what they love rather than playing armchair booker or armchair wrestler so I kind of think of it as if TNA goes away, all these people that you love to watch wrestle will no longer have a place to wrestle and you'll no longer have a place to watch wrestling. I also kind of look at it as you have a company out there that tries new things." I'm not saying that WWE doesn't try new things but you have a much more slower change. It's much more mythological. TNA has tried so many things over the last ten years, let's see what's going to work for them because I don't think they've found their niche yet. So let's try to go from a 6 side ring to a 4 sided ring. Vince McMahon has their business model down pact, no one is going to beat him at it, no one is going to take it from them. I don't think TNA has their business model down pact yet so they like to try new things like exhibition guys for a while and then let's try out knockout guys for a while and see what's getting people's attention. So I just think that sometimes they've gotten the reputation and people are going to give you a mile of hate for what they don't like and an inch of praise. People are going to remember the negative more so than the positive and I think that's what sticks out in a lot of people's minds.
His thoughts on CM Punk quitting WWE:
My take. Let me just say that me and Punk broke in together when we were teenagers. There has been times where me and Punk have been very close but now we've just drifted apart, there have been some times where we were like "hi" or "bye" here and there but I 100% think that there is no storyline to think. I 100% think that this is completely legit and just knowing Punk, what you see of him on TV is what you get, he has always been that way. He is a really passionate individual who go to wrestling i n c can be very passionate but also really hardheaded so I think it got to the point where you can only push a passionate person for so long and dangle certain goals over their head like a carrot to where they are kind of like "F this man".
From what I understand he was pushed very hard, he came back early from some injuries and was back to the grind of 250+ days on the road. He's not a big over-muscled athlete, I'm sure his joints are feeling it and he got himself into a position in wrestling where financially he can just throw his hands up in the air and walk and be like "Financially, I'm set. I don't need any of this." And I think there are a lot of guys out there who are set in a certain way of life where they have bills to pay and a family to support so they have to wrestle professionally but they have to grind it out for the sake of the paycheck to pay the mortgage and cars. I don't think Punk had any of that go to wrestling i n c so he got to the point where the thing he loved was making him unhappy and miserable and he was financially set so God bless him that he can do that. Not many guys can do that. Like there's Chris Jerico who can come and go as he pleases, you know The Rock was hit with Hollywood or even guys like Edge who suddenly had to retire and is like "Ok, I'm fine, I don't have to work anymore" and maybe Punk is like that but I don't know because I'm not in his inner circle, I don't know what went down with him and management, I don't know but I do think that it is 100% real.
If we have seen the last of CM Punk in the wrestling business:
No, no, I don't. If you look at the trend, and in my opinion, it's an unfortunate one. I think guys that leave wrestling and do something else, they come back to wrestling and they make more money if that makes sense. I don't know why that is. For someone that you can't have, you want them more all of a sudden so let's give them more money to make it more financially enticing. Maybe he'll take a year or two off to do whatever he wants, the man deserves it, he's earned it. And maybe he'll come back in a year or two and he'll feel better, be more mentally go to wrestling i n c better. I think it's become a trend over the past 5 years or so and I think with all the companies involved, they haven't been successful in creating a next generation of stars to carry companies anymore. The Cena and the Ortons were the last guys, Punk kind forced their hand to do it. Even in TNA, how many guys have you really seen that has been that star that they have built and established or that character they have played can carry them for the next couple of years. So you see them going back to The Rock or Jerico, Brock Lesnar coming back because these young guys aren't ready to carry the company or isn't given the opportunity or whatever. So maybe Punk will follow that trend but I don't think we've seen the last of him.