Rockstar Spud made waves on last week's Impact Wrestling, when the star chose to go with option C and forfeit his X Division Title to gain a shot at Kurt Angle's World Championship. I spoke to Spud about getting acclaim from fellow wrestlers, working with Billy Corgan, and his thoughts about ROH on Destination America. You can also read part 1 of our interview at this link.
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How has Billy Corgan been like to work with him so far?
"He's pretty cool, man. I was a big Smashing Pumpkins fan as a kid, as well. '1979' and 'Rat In A Cage' were a couple of my faves. I also like the one he did for 'Batman & Robin.'
I love that song.
"I love the song and hate the movie. The movie can kiss my ass. If it weren't for Arnold in it, it would have been dire. Any move with Arnold in it is great. An Oscar worthy performance. I've seen the Doll House lately and it's been awesome because of the little touches (Corgan) has put on it. I'm glad we've got someone outside the box in the promotion. A lot of the times us in the industry are inside the bubble and we don't know how to see outside of the bubble. There are so many examples in TNA and WWE and ROH that we've seen everywhere. All forms of entertainment are the same, he's just come from another form of entertainment. It's welcoming and he's a good dude to talk to and really approachable. You can't ask for anything more."
Your relatable character was really on display in a match with EC3 earlier this year in England. He competed with a huge brace on his arm, and he told me there was no way he was missing that match. You had that match and then won the X title there. What did that mean to you personally and professionally?
"I always appreciate anyone who's ever done anything for me. Dixie Carter, Jeromy Borash, Ken Anderson, Tyrus, Mandrews, Eric Young, everyone who was involved in that story. You don't get over until these people get you over, and there were a lot of really good people who went out of their way to get behind me and help me. That's something you shouldn't forget. You should always respect those who came before you in the company-- James Storm Eric Young, Bobby Roode, Magnus, Abyss. Of course guys who have been here since day 1 and are still here pushing the young guys forward and working with them.
We didn't want to go in there and have a great match, we wanted to tell you the most epic story of all time. I'm a firm believer that you can have as many great matches as you want but this is art, this is theater, this is an artist painting a story. When I was growing up, that's where I connected as a fan—these white meat babyfaces. Whether it was Rocky IV or the Terminator, Ricky Steamboat, Ricky Morton, Hulk Hogan, they'd never say die. That was what got me more than anything. That was showing me every emotion in their eyes. Then when you think there's no chance, there's a chance. That's what made me believe. I'm so glad it connected with the people the way it did. I never expected it to, I don't think anyone did. It got people talking about TNA again in a positive light again, and that's what made me happy.
I don't care what happens as long as people watch our product, because our show is the best wrestling show in the world. We have good guys, we have bad guys. Anyone that says there's just characters and there's shades of grey, okay, then why are we putting them in these situation to pick between who's bad and good? There aren't shades of greys in movies. If there's no obstacle to overcome, you have a really boring movie, mate. We have a great television show. If you haven't tuned in before tune in this Wednesday. It's awesome.
All of these detractors who are saying bad things about our product probably aren't even watching now. They're just joining in on the 'fun.' That's cool, I wanted to be one of the cool kids too, but it's a lot more fun when you formulate your own opinion. Watch all pro wrestling for God's sake. Don't just watch ours, support the industry, please for the love of God."
You mention that, and Ring of Honor is now airing right before Impact. What are your feelings on that?
"I view it as a positive for the industry. Fans of Impact wrestling can tune in an hour earlier and see more wrestling and see that there's another product out there. Fans of Ring of Honor can carry on watching our show and see it. It works both ways. Think about this, one channel has got two promotions, three hours of pro wrestling. People are going to go find Destination America. It's good for the industry, it's good for the talent, and it's good for the fans. That's what matters. Guys, you pay our bills, believe it or not. Tune in, you may see someone you like on the other show. There's nothing wrong with watching both, there's nothing wrong with watching one, but I encourage you to watch both."
When I spoke to Mr. Anderson, Matt Hardy and EC3..
"What are you doin' talking to EC3? Don't talk to him!"
He was actually complimentary. All three of them brought up your name when I asked about stars to watch for. What is it like to have guys like that as a fan of your work?
"It's very flattering. I don't care about coming up to a guy and saying I used to watch them as a kid, and ask to be taught. I love sitting with Ken or Matt or Tommy Dreamer or Al Snow, or any of these guys and saying 'tell me some stories, I just want to hear stories.' I'm the biggest pro wrestling fan in the world. Tommy Dreamer was the best white meat babyface because I was a huge ECW fan, but I was still a huge Dudley Boys fan. I wanted to put people through tables (laughs). I'll go up to Tommy Dreamer and ask him about Terry Funk, and what he did different to be a babyface. Some of the things Tommy will tell me to tweak have been so good. We've got Hurricane Helms there, too. With Ken, I'l l go up and ask if he can watch it. Matt will just come up and tell me. I'm not going to just disrespect what he tells me and ignore it and not do it the next time he watches. The same with Shane Helms. I love all of them, man. It's a wealth of knowledge in front of us. I just like to listen."
How can fans follow you on social media?
"I'm all over the place. You can see me on Twitter @RockstarSpud, Instagram Rockstar_Spud, and Facebook at Rockstar5pud, because someone decided to take RockstarSpud off me, so the 's' is the '5,' does that make sense? (laughs)"