Former Gut Check Winner and the current Maryland Championship Wrestling Champion Christian York was gracious enough to join Chad Dukes for his first interview since his release from TNA Impact Wrestling in July.
Always open and always positive, York discusses his time in TNA and how the release went down, rumors of TNA’s recent problems, his future, Dixie Carter, Daniel Bryan, Bobby Roode, his impressions of Bray Wyatt and more.
Listen to the full interview above and hit the jump to read some of the selected highlights. Be sure to follow @ChristianYork on Twitter and let him know if you enjoyed the interview!
Right away Chad got to the topic probably on the top of most people’s minds when it comes to York’s recent history his release from TNA Wrestling.
Dukes: What was the deal, before we get to anything else, with Impact. Was it a release, was it a non contract renewal like with [Luke] Gallows, how did the whole thing go down between you and that whole company?
York: It was the same time everyone else was getting released, they just called, I guess it was like July 2nd or 3rd or something, said “they gotta give you your release.” I hadn’t heard back from them at all in a while, in May whenever I worked for them last, it was just, they had to let me go. They had to make budget cuts. When they have nothing that they can do for ya, they can’t fit you into the stories, you’re just sitting at home collecting a paycheck they’re gonna have to make a budget cut. That was just the way it was.
Being one of the early successes of the TNA Gut Check program and possessing a classic pro wrestling look, it’s surprising that that TNA couldn’t find more for York to do. After an initial push in the X-Division great crowd reactions and matches with big TNA names like Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode, and Rob Van Dam, he was largely left out of storylines. Chad asked York if he felt he got a fair shake from the company.
I don’t know if I’d say I didn’t get a fair shake, I don’t think I got to live up to the potential that I think I have. I think maybe in the beginning they were just testing the waters with me to see if I could get over. I really have no idea because I never got any feedback. I thought I was having some good matches with people, especially with Jeff and Bobby Roode, had some good stuff. Then all of the sudden you don’t show up for TV anymore, you’re just sitting at home collecting a paycheck. I was doing house shows and stuff but that was it. I was just grateful that they gave me a shot.
A lot has been made by many wrestling news sites about the rumors surrounding TNA’s financial and creative problems as of late. We’ve reported them here as well. While none of us outsiders truly know what’s going on with the company. York talked a little about the state of the TNA and how hard it is to run a wrestling company.
To be honest I think the company’s just trying to get through, so you have to make changes. WWE has to make changes with what they want to do the day of the show. You can’t just say this is how it’s going to be and six months from now this is how we’re going to get there, because things change. Guys get injuries, it’s ever changing. The guys sitting at home, everybody has the answers, right? The ones that don’t do it, everybody has the answers, and everybody thinks it’s easy, but it’s not. To try and run a company, that’s trying to do something that big, that’s not an easy thing to do. You have a lot of outside things going on, it’s not just about wrestling.
It’s refreshing after the numerous talents who get released from wrestling companies trashing their former employers to hear a superstar like York remaining positive. While disappointed by his release, it sounds like he understands it’s a business.
One of York’s earliest breaks was as part of a tag team with current WWE trainer Joey Mercury. Dukes broached the subject of York following in his former partner’s footsteps and training stars of tomorrow.
Dukes: It seems like that with the experiences you’ve had and how sound you are you could definitely excel at that, is that something, that is probably in your future once your days in the ring competing are actually done?
York: Maybe. We haven’t really talked about it but I mean that would be interesting to do. But there’s a lot of guys out there that have been, worked for WWE, and have been in their format, in their programming, and know the way that they want things done. When you’re a guy coming from the indies or even TNA you’ve got bad habits and you have to go to, they take you and put you in that developmental system and have to break those habits. I think they like fresh guys, straight off the boat, that they don’t have to break bad habits. They just have to teach them their way, right off the jump, right off the giddyup.
York knows of what he speaks of when it comes to developmental. After the shuttering of ECW, York and Mercury were signed to WWE developmental deals and sent to Memphis Championship Wrestling in the very early 00’s. Another wrestler there at the time was one of the biggest stars in the industry now, Daniel Bryan. York glowed about Bryan’s abilities.
I think he’s an inspiration for anybody trying to get there. I mean he’s what, 5’8″ and he doesn’t fit the mold like you said but I think pound for pound he’s the best wrestler in the world. He’s the best worker in the world. You can have him do anything and he’s gonna make it work.
Next Dukes and York talked about the current state of how wrestling has morphed into sports entertainment and the perception that things have changed. York doesn’t see it that way.
Everybody says the business has changed but I think it’s still the same, you know? They think it’s too PG or whatever. I think that the, say the fans of the Attitude Era, right, they’ve moved on. My opinion is they either don’t watch wrestling, you know they either grew out of it, just like anything like Survivor or whatever, three or four years it was the hot thing right, and then people just move on. They stop watching it. I just think it’s still the same stuff, it’s just back to PG and I think they just have to get new fans and the new fans are gonna be kids.
As he mentioned earlier York enjoyed his work with Bobby Roode during his time in Impact. When asked who in the TNA locker room jumped out as a having the most potential, his mind came back to the It Factor.
The guy I like, I like Bobby Roode. I think Bobby Roode is an awesome talent. I really do. I think he can have a good match with anybody and he gets the job done.
To wrap up the interview, Dukes asked York about the a hot topic around these parts, Bray Wyatt.
When the buzz started going around about it, I guess when he first started doing the gimmick, I checked it out on You Tube that was before he hit the big stage, it was just the FCW, NXT or whatever. I saw his promos and said, “This is cool. I like this. This is definitely fresh.” But I’ve been a fan of that guy’s work. I was a fan of him as when he was Husky Harris. I enjoy seeing a big guy like him, his build, his weight, that can just move like a freight train. But i think the character’s awesome. I hope there’s a lot of longevity in that.
Thank you to Christian York for joining us on the show and be sure to keep up with him on Twitter @ChristianYork.
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