– The February 4th edition of Impact in the US did a 0.7 cable rating, with a 1.4 share, the replay of the show on Monday night also did a 0.7 cable rating, but with a 2.1 share.
– Spike TV and TNA held a conference call for the wrestling media this afternoon featuring TNA X-Division champion Samoa Joe and TNA President Dixie Carter.
After Dixie Carter had departed the conference call, Samoa Joe began fielding questions. He said that he was given a clean bill of health and is 100% over his staph infection. Joe joked about a game that he and David Young often play a game where they jab each other in the jaw when they aren’t paying attention and said that Young is, “losing badly.”
In regard to the PPV Three-Way this weekend, Joe said that everyone knows what is capable of happening with Joe, AJ Styles, and Christopher Daniels in the ring at the same time. He broke down each of their backgrounds and said that the fans are in store for something spectacular this Sunday.
When asked about his TNA contract situation, Joe said he and TNA are working out their details but he is confident they will put the deal together.
When asked about whether he was upset about Kevin Nash getting a large amount of money, Joe shot that down, saying Nash was in the company before Joe arrived. Joe did note that he and TNA are currently renegotiating his deal as he wanted more money then he was currently earning with the company in the position he’s in.
In regard to a potential storyline with Jeff Jarrett down the line, Joe said that everything happens in time.
Joe said that the TNA video game is nowhere near a release date but everyone is committed to making a really fast paced game that gamers and wrestling fans alike will both enjoy.
Joe shot down the idea of adding another championship to TNA, saying they have a limited TV schedule with three titles already and you don’t want to dilute the belts that they have.
Joe said it’s going to be extremely difficult to live up to the original Three-Way but between the three of them, he has no doubts that they will come up with something special and different.
Joe noted that TNA is confident in his abilities and while there is concern about getting hurt working for ROH and other companies, he is an emissary for TNA. Joe said that he gets go out and perform for the crowds so they can see that TNA is the best in the world.
Joe was asked about being recognized as the face of TNA and if there was any pressure that comes with that. Joe said that it’s not on him, but everyone in TNA. He noted it’s a shared pressure to deliver the best wrestling product on TV today.
When questioned about his career path over the next few years, Joe said that he hopes that he’s part of tremendous matches and part of great buyrates for TNA. He noted that’s a perfect scenario but in reality, he is just trying to do the best he can inside the ring to entertain the audiences and hoping everything falls into place.
Joe’s babyface reaction in TNA was brought up, with the reporting noting that Joe is cheered no matter what he does. Joe said that he knew why he got that reaction because it would make his life a lot easier. He said that he’s been tremendously fortunate that the audience has taken to him and hopes the trend will continue in the future.
In regard to future potential opponents he’d like to face, Joe noted Ron Killings, Abyss, Monty Brown, and Jeff Jarrett. He said that at some point, he and Jeff Jarrett will cross paths and the “result will be intriguing.”
I asked Joe about wanting to work with Sting in the future. He said that Sting would be someone that Joe would want to face, but “he’s retired” so Joe was playing up the TNA storyline.
When his money situation was brought up, Joe said, “…that’s what contract renegotiations are for.” He said that he knows what he expects from TNA and they are hammering it out right now. He’s confident that he and TNA are going to come to a “satisfactory conclusion.”
In regard to TNA moving to a primetime slot, Joe said it’s a positive reaction across the board. He said that TNA wanted the shot and now they have it. He said the locker room is committed to it happening and they all want to make Impact the best wrestling show they can every week.
When asked about the potential of going to WWE before he made a deal with TNA, Joe said that there were preliminary discussions. He said that when he weighed his schedule and options, TNA worked out best for how he wanted to present himself.
Joe noted that the timeslot change will expose TNA to a broader audience, but his career isn’t about being a celebrity. He said that he loves what he does and he got into the business to entertain. He said that TNA gives him a chance to apply his craft. If celebrity and fame come with it, fine, but he’s here to wrestle. He joked that he was flattered to be recognized in a 7-11 recently.
TNA being used as lead-in for UFC programming was brought up, with the reporter noting Joe’s own UFC similarities. Joe said that he wouldn’t call TNA a lead-in to UFC as much as the products compliment each other. Joe said that he enjoys UFC and hopes fans tune into the whole package.
When asked about the finish of the Christopher Daniels PPV bout last month and the beating that Joe gave Daniels to get the finish (AJ Styles throwing in the towel) over. Joe said that people understand primal violence and if a competitor is unconscious in the ring, someone needs to step in before it goes “too far.” Joe said that wrestling needs to evolve and you have to put new spins on things. He said that was a new spin for that finish and he’s not above experimenting and trying new things. When asked if it was a tough position to be put in to attempt, Joe said that he knew it was something people aren’t used but something he was willing to try.
When asked about TNA in international markets, Joe said that it’s something that he thinks the company needs to look into. He said that the UK and Australia have given him the best responses and has suggested to TNA tour internationally before they tour domestically because of the money that can be made.
A rematch against Kenta Kobashi in a TNA ring was brought up. Joe said that he would be interested, but noted that TNA has time restraints that Ring of Honor does not. Still, “it’s Kenta Kobashi” and he would always love to get back in the ring with him..
When his look was mentioned as a negative for some fans who might be new to TNA, Joe said that if his physique turns someone off, they aren’t there to watch wrestling anyway.
In regard to his character on TNA TV, Joe said that they have done a good job. He said that it’s still a feeling out process because TNA wasn’t entirely familiar with his work and they are just delving into his character.
When asked about the most memorable bouts of his career, Joe pointed out the ROH Kenta Kobashi match, the three way with Daniels and Styles, his series of matches with CM Punk in ROH, and his TNA bouts with Chris Sabin. Joe noted that he still has scars from the chops that Kobashi gave him in their bouts.
When asked if Sting should be turned heel, Joe said that’s a premature question because it would force the public into something. He said that they need to let the fans discover what they want, but said that Sting needs to work with the newer guys and the stars that they have.
Joe said that everyone has been talking about a Monday Night War in the future and that’s the least of what TNA needs to concentrate on. He said the company needs to focus on growing and improving their product and they are. He said that there’s no need for a war as there are more then enough viewers for everyone. Joe noted that all businesses need competition but they can do it from “different stores.” He said that WWE is keeping an eye on what TNA is doing but TNA is worried about doing the best that TNA can do.
In regard to being a heavyweight in the X-Division, Joe said that the division is about the style, not the weights so he’d like to see more heavyweights in the division.
I asked Joe about concerns over his body breaking down from his physical style, bringing up his broken jaw from the last AJ Styles singles PPV bout and possibly toning down for his own good. Joe said he’s testing how far he can take himself right now. His style is extremely physical in the ring but that also comes back to him when his opponents return in kind. As his career goes on, Joe said that he knows there’s only so far he can take the punishment. Still, he is trying to deliver what is expected of a “Samoa Joe match” and will continue to do it as long as he can.
I asked Joe about TNA talents (using Chris Sabin as an example) that he’d like to see get a chance to be displayed more. Joe noted Sabin, Austin Aries, Alex Shelley, Roderick Strong, and said there’s a lot of the X-Division guys that fit that bill. He said that Aries, etc. are starting to be featured and he’s happy about that.
On the heavyweight side, Joe said that Bobby Roode has a lot of breakout potential to be the type of heavyweight heel that hasn’t been seen in some time. Ron Killings amazed him at the last taping and the list goes on and on. Hopefully with the new timeslot they will have a chance to showcase all those people.
At that point, the conference was brought to a close.