Darragh O’Connor of The Sun in the UK and host of the “Wrestleview International Desk” podcast spoke with former WWE and now TNA commentator Josh Mathews about how familiar he was with the TNA product before signing, the early differences between working for TNA and WWE and the feedback to the commentary presentation with Taz.
How familiar he was with the TNA product before making the jump:
“I wasn’t familair with it at all. I knew the talents that were here. I wasn’t familiar with the storylines. It was something that in WWE, because of the massive amount of programming that we had, it was tough to keep up with our shows. Since I’ve been here in June, I haven’t had to watch WWE so you know, I’ve been able to catch up on everything that is going on here and try to do the best that I can about the history of TNA.”
The early differences he sees now working for TNA compared to WWE:
“Freedom is the biggest answer and the most important. I have an opportunity here to sort of police myself and the things that I say and the different things I mention that I didn’t have up there. I’m not handcuffed in my commentary and I hope that shows when you are watching the shows and sort of have a different feel to it. When I was in WWE, I didn’t call names of moves. It bothered me if I did accidentally slip up and say the name of a move because that’s not what I did up there. I worked for a boss, that was not the kind of style of commentary that they wanted and I tried to give them the style they wanted because I was employed by them. Here, I get to call more wrestling moves and I get to call the action as opposed to telling stories around things that are happening.”
On the presentation of commentary on Impact Wrestling and not being ringside:
“I don’t know why this became such a huge point of contention for so many people. Here’s the answer. I thought it would be a good idea to see the announcers on television for the show. I think it’s important to see them and get reactions from them. We don’t go to the shows because they are taped in bunches. I actually do go to the shows because I’m doing other stuff for our digital side of things. We’re not there calling the shows live. This is a post-produced television show with added angles and added elements in things you can’t do in a live setting. TNA’s always been called in post-production. For people that don’t realize this, things like UFC and even some WWE shows are called in post. You sit down in a studio and you call the show. So we thought hey, why not tell everyone. Why not pull that curtain back and say look these guys are in our worldwide headquarters in Nashville and they are calling the show from there. And we are showing you we are in our audio booth. I know that some people think it’s a broom closet – it’s not. We do it from here. We are showing you that we are here. I don’t get why people have made a big deal out of this. If we didn’t tell you that we were here and you never see us on TV and you just heard our voices, you would have no idea that we were – we could be in the arena for all you knew – but we’re telling you we’re not, we are here.”
You can check out audio of the full interview with Mathews at the link below.