Disclaimer: What you are about to read is fiction. Although it may be default to tell…
Another sip of coffee. I thought about the offer proposed to me as the black sludge ran down my throat. I had already had two interviews go atrociously bad. How could I bring myself to go through another? A great opportunity? So they say. I told them I would do it. After all, what could really be worse than my experiences with Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair? I asked what the project was and they told me they would fly me to Orlando where I would meet my interviewees in a conference room at a hotel. It sounded like a nice little trip. My wife and I had never been to Orlando and it would be a good time to get away. I was instantly eager to do the interview when I was told I would be sitting down with four stars from TNA. Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Eric Bischoff, and Mick Foley I was told would be who I was interviewing. I shot back the rest of my coffee, slammed my mug on the desk and said I would do it!
I am not exaggerating when I say that I stayed up day and night to write my questions for this interview. I literally went into this thing with a book of questions. I wanted to ask about TNA ratings, Hardcore Justice, The atmosphere of TNA, who they thought was a rising star and so on. It was an opportunity I couldn’t resist; a sit-down conference with four TNA stars. I walked into the conference room where all four were already waiting. Raven was sitting in the corner with a mystery cup in hand while Foley, Bischoff, and Dreamer all stood up to greet me.
Nosebleeder: First off, thank you all for meeting with me today. It is such a great honor to be with you guys. Let me start by asking how you all thought Hardcore Justice went. Did you feel the show was a success?
Foley: I think I will go first if that’s alright. I think when you really take a good look at the show there is no question it was a success from a performance standpoint. The characters, the storylines, you name it. All of it was pulled off so well.
Nosebleeder: What do you expect the buys to be?
Bischoff: The thing you have to remember about buy rates for pay per views is that they are not always accurate. Let’s say the show does around two hundred to three hundred thousand buys, which I expect it will, that still does not take into account the number of people who will purchase the DVD when that comes out. You also have those who will watch the matches on YouTube eventually. Keep in mind that some people may sell their copies of the DVD on amazon.com, craigslist, or even at a used bookstore. Then you have all of these different people viewing the same DVD! That is a tremendous achievement no matter how you look at it.
Nosebleeder: I guess I never looked at it that way…
Bischoff: Of course you never looked at it that way. You’re an internet writer. You have no merit as a human being.
Nosebleeder: What? You know what, never mind. Tommy, what did you think of the show?
Dreamer: Well…it’s hard to say what I think without… (Tommy wipes is nose and covers is eyes for a brief moment before continuing) My feelings about… (Tommy begins to sob uncontrollably as he leans in towards Foley. Mick holds him in his arms and looks up at me).
Foley: Do you see the raw emotion coming out of this man? This is why TNA is so good. Nowhere else will you feel this kind of emotion. Tommy should get an Oscar for his performance at Justice.
Bischoff: Vince can’t hold us down. We are coming after him. Just look at our ratings. We have so many people going on the internet to read the results of our shows so they don’t have to sit through the whole two hours to find out what happened. Those readers count in our ratings. Let see Vince pull those numbers!
Nosebleeder: You count that as ratings? Also, don’t’ you think WWE has just as many people reading results on the internet, probably millions more?
Bischoff: They can’t use that because they are PG. To sit there and say that people reading results for WWE are doing it intelligently is preposterous. Only kids watch that show and they only count as half-ratings
Nosebleeder: That makes no sense.
Foley: Of course it does (still holding a sobbing Dreamer).You have people watching at home but also those who are reading about TNA on the internet that creates a dynamic, bringing to light a whole new story within a story.
Nosebleeder: That makes no sense, either.
Bischoff: You just don’t get it because you’re a wrestling fan and wrestling fans are stupid.
Nosebleeder: Okay…next topic. Who would you like to see win the tournament for the TNA Championship at Bound for Glory?
Bischoff: I think its obvious Hulk should win and he will. I can see us doing a strap match between Angle and Anderson but having Hogan come down and drag Ric Flair to all four corners to get the win.
Nosebleeder: Didn’t you use that for the ending of two separate WCW pay per views? Are you sure you should use that ending?
Bischoff: That’s like asking if we should do cage matches now just because they have been done in the past. You sheet writers are oblivious to your own stupidity.
At this point I thought maybe the Hogan and Flair interviews weren’t so bad.
Nosebleeder: Well then, can you tell me the odds of a Hogan-Abyss match at Bound for Glory?
Bischoff: That’s a great match that we have on deck and could potentially draw a larger crowd than Hogan and Andre.
Nosebleeder: Really? Aren’t you having Bound for Glory in Daytona Beach?
Nosebleeder: So how can you have a larger audience than Wrestlemania III?
Bischoff: Look, over two hundred thousand people will be on hand for this event.
Nosebleeder: And where will they all sit? How will they fit in the Ocean Center?
Bischoff: How are all of the people watching at home not live audience members?
Nosebleeder: Because they are not there in the building. And you expect that many buys, or is this similar to your Hardcore Justice buy rate theory?
Bischoff: You got it. Look at you, getting smarter by the minute.
Nosebleeder: I have to ask, how is it that you and Raven are working together again after what happened in WCW?
Bischoff: I’ll explain this to you in small words since you can’t understand, you know, being a wrestling fan and all. The only way you can have a successful company is to gather up as many people as you possibly can who simply do not get along, and have them work in the same company. It’s flawless. We have Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan, me, Mick, Ric Flair, Raven, and Vince Russo! You get those people in one wrestling organization and you have a formula for success.
Nosebleeder: Sounds more like a chaos theory.
Foley: Only then can you capture the pure chemistry or lack thereof that creates a dystopia.
Nosebleeder: Does he need to go somewhere and be by himself?
Foley: Only by crying in public does a grown man show the world how deep he truly is. This man, Tommy Dreamer, is brilliant.
Bischoff: But you wouldn’t understand that because you’re an uneducated schmuck with no brain power because you watch pro wrestling.
At this point Raven hits Tommy over the head with a steel chair, who starts bleeding. Raven then threatens to kill Dreamer’s family.
Nosebleeder: This is a little disturbing. What are you guys doing? Why did you hit him with a chair and threaten his family?
Raven: Chairs don’t hurt people. Why don’t you stop pointing the finger at me and change the world yourself? You think you can just line your wallet while being self-righteous about your views on us.
Nosebleeder: I’m not. I have a day job. I don’t make money off of this.
Foley: Listen to Raven. Here is a guy who has contributed absolutely nothing to the business yet is a wrestling genius in every sense of the word.
Nosebleeder: What am I supposed to do as a wrestling writer to make things better for the sport? I will be happy to help but I need some input.
Raven: You need to support wrestlers who use drugs and get us healthcare.
Bischoff: How much easier for you people can I get? You already sit there on your computers all day and do nothing for society.
Nosebleeder: What? Not true. And why is Tommy bleeding and crying?
Foley: This man is greater than Meryl Streep. Not since Sidney Poitier has a finer performer lived. Criticizing him is uncalled for.
Raven: I’m like De Niro, but better.
Nosebleeder: You threatened to kill his family.
Raven: I’ll have a great laugh about this with his kids. They’ll love it.
Bischoff: You idiot. We are trying to tell you a story but you just don’t get it. None of you morons out there understand how the business works.
Nosebleeder: Don’t you think insulting your fan base is a bad idea? Wouldn’t that turn viewers off, as evidenced by you ratings?
Bischoff: Again, you don’t see it. You idiots are too stupid to realize how badly I am insulting you and you will keep coming back for more and driving up our ratings.
Nosebleeder: And how will we do that?
Bischoff: I can’t explain it any simpler than I already have. Gentlemen (Bischoff looks at Raven and Foley) let’s get out of here.
Bischoff, Foley, and Raven get up to leave. The door closes to a quite room, leaving only Dreamer and myself in awkward silence.
Dreamer: Will you hold me?
That was enough. After holding Dreamer for a few hours I flew home, never to return to Orlando again. I don’t understand some wrestlers and maybe I never will, but I do find the more I interview, the more complex they are. If there is one thing I can take away from that interview, it is just that sentiment…and a tear-stained shirt.