Recently, Wrestling Inc.'s Raj Giri caught up with former WWE and TNA performer Ken Anderson for an exclusive interview. Among other things, Anderson talked about his departure from WWE and opening his own professional wrestling school in Minnesota with fellow professional wrestling veteran Shawn Daivari called The Academy: School Of Professional Wrestling.
On the subject of his WWE departure, Anderson suggested that it was a confluence of a few incidents that culminated in his release from the company.
"I think at the time, I had been getting in so much trouble, back to back to back that it was my fault for being there in the first place again, where Vince [McMahon] was just tired of hearing my friggin name. He was like, 'you know what? Just get rid of him. I'm tired of hearing his name. I'm tired of him being a pain and a potential problem.' Here I am and here they are, a publicly traded company, I'm doing and saying things that can reflect negatively on the company. I completely understand it. I put myself in that position."
According to Anderson, he was released from WWE in 2009 after Superstars Randy Orton and John Cena complained to Vince McMahon about his in-ring performance. The former WWE United States Champion suggested that he was falsely accused of botching a backdrop to Orton, which is in the video above.
"Randy and I were super tight. We rode together for two years and our wives would go get their nails done together and stuff like that, when they'd come on the road and stuff. Our wives, his ex-wife and my ex-wife talk to each other to this day. So, no, I'm not into conspiracy theories, but I think that was kind of a hit job, just the way it all went down, the way that day played out."
Anderson added, "I was accused of dropping [Orton] on his head. You can watch that video in slow motion, high definition, and you can see that his neck never even comes into contact with the [canvas]. He lands as flat as flat can be and I called him the next day and said, 'hey, dude, I watched the tape and you didn't land on your neck, man.' And he was like, 'well, umm, okay.' And then, he called me a little later and said that he had gone out to the truck and watched the tape with [then-WWE Talent Relations head] Johnny [Laurinaitis], which I don't know why you'd do that, he said he went out to the truck, watched the tape, and he said, 'from that angle, you can't see, but there is a different angle and you can see that I landed rally high on my traps.' And I was like, 'well, that's not your neck,' and also, you can actually see the shadow of his neck on the canvas if you slow it down. So anyway, here's the thing, he went to Vince and said something, that I was dangerous to work with. And I think Cena had a hand in that too. Like, Cena helped out and he said, 'hey, we need to go to Vince.' I didn't get along with him too well."
As for The Academy, Anderson and Daivari have some novel ideas for training aspiring professional wrestlers at their camp. One idea is to bring in improv comedians to conduct seminars.
"We're going to bring in, I have some friends down in Chicago [Illinois] that are improv comics, comedians or whatever, improv artists. We're going to bring them in and have them do a seminar. I really think that is the way of the future, yeah."
The Academy opens November 1st, 2016, with classes running Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
"We are opening our doors November 1st and we already have 28 students signed up, I believe, for this first class. So we're running close to, we initially said, 'we don't want any more than 25 [students].' We feel like we can still squeeze a couple of more in there, but we're almost to our limit with this first class. You can go to TheAcademyProWrestling.com and it has all the information there. Right now, we are offering, our tuition is normally going to be $3,000. If you sign up before November 1st, you'll get it at $1,000."
Anderson said, "we feel that is a ridiculous price for what you're going to get. $1,000 covers you for an entire year at our facility and that'll be Monday, Wednesday, Friday, from 7 to 10 pm. We're going to open up weekends when we can. I'm still wrestling. Shawn's still wrestling. When we have weekends available, we'll be able to open up and have open gyms and stuff like that."
The full interview will be posted next week here on Wrestling Inc.