Jesse Neal on food stamps rumor, departure from TNA

WorldWrestlingInsanity sent this recap in.


From the U.S Navy to The Team 3D Academy to TNA and beyond, few stars have been as unique and caused as much controversy as Jesse Neal. Now the former Ink Inc. team member joins for a 32 minute interview with James Guttman that leaves no topic off limits and tackles everything head on. Including critics who say TNA dwelled on his “story” of the USS Cole, why TNA didn’t try to change and trademark his name, working with his real life fiancée, how discipline in the military helped him in wrestling, winning his last TNA match, and more. For a full list of topics, head to:

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Jesse Neal is a name that many members of thought they would never see on the site. A short time ago, Neal had tweeted (@TheJesseNeal) that he and girlfriend Christina Von Eerie had “qualified for food stamps”. That’s when a member of World Wrestling Insanity’s message board, RowdyRodimus, tweeted back asking if it was a joke. The two said they weren’t joking and the firestorm over a TNA star getting government assistance followed. At that point, the two said they were kidding, but people felt TNA was forcing this “admission”. However, now removed from TNA, Jesse admits the truth…and his sense of humor that his friends have known about for years.

“I didn’t receive food stamps or anything like that. So I can’t say I did. I’m not going to lie. I have nothing to lose, especially now. I get it all the time. I still get it on Twitter. I think it’s funny. Well, not really funny because there are people who really need it in life and stuff like that. But I am a willing and working man. I can work. Even then, though. (Some people) even have a job and still need that assistance. But I have never received a food stamp ever in my name in my life. I can’t say I did. I’ve been on unemployment when I first got out of the military. Imagine that. Can you believe that crap? Got out of the military and couldn’t find a job so I had to get on unemployment. But I have never been on any assistance ever since. Especially in the wrestling business, I have never been on any assistance whatsoever.”

The reaction was huge and, for a young wrestler, overwhelming. James Guttman asks if it surprised Neal to see how big it blew up. As he tells members, it was definitely a learning experience.

“Yeah. To be honest with you, that was my first lesson in that situation (laughs). Like I said, I was brand new in the business. Joking around, I didn’t think that many people were listening. But I still hear it on the Internet with websites and blogs. I still get a Tweet every now and then – ‘Hey. You still on food stamps?’ Blah, blah, blah. And I’m like, “OK. Sometimes you guys are idiots.” (laughs) You know what I mean? It was just a joke and I shouldn’t have joked about it. We were at a time in our lives where I just didn’t care. I just wanted to joke because it was a bad time and situation in my life and I just wanted to laugh. Everybody does it. You know what I’m saying? But I should have known better that people were watching. I didn’t know that many people were listening. But lesson learned. “

Some fans on Twitter can’t let things go. James and Jesse speak about how some go out of their way to antagonize stars on social media. Neal gets it too and although, as he mentions throughout the interview, the fans were instrumental in getting him his spot in TNA, there are a select few who would rather hurl insults about the foodstamp rumors or his ebay auctions.

“You’re very true. I’ve gotten threatening stuff on Twitter. Some of the fans and stuff like that. I kind of smile at it – and I’ll tell you why I smile at it – because if I do a local show and they’re in the front row, they’ll be begging for my autograph or they’ll be buying my t-shirt. Then I’ll be the first one to say, ‘Why don’t you go on my Ebay account and buy it there? It’s a lot easier. (laughs) That’s why I just blow it off. There will always be fans that hate you. I can’t wait to become a heel to show them and give them something to hate.”

Despite all the topics covered, the most important thing for Jesse Neal is for fans to know that he has left TNA on his own. As Guttman points out, TNA might not have offered him a huge contract, but they offered him steady money in a business where that’s a rarity for most. Jesse, though, turned it down in an effort to keep himself positive about wrestling. He has no regrets about what he did. The only one, maybe, is that most people don’t even know about it. So, he explains to members and the world…

“Some people think I’m still with TNA. No. I left. I made the decision to leave…Just to let everyone know, I’m the one who left TNA. Yes. I’m not there anymore. I still get that from time to time. I’m not with TNA. I made the decision. I’m still working on some things and I have a whole new aspect on life and I can’t wait to show it on the big screen.”

Remember, Jesse Neal joins Jesse Ventura, Eric Bischoff, Jerry Lawler, Sean Mooney, and hundreds more wrestling names on for exclusive interviews. The thousands of hours of audio updates, shows, and shoots are there the moment you join.