Paul Heyman interview: Discusses what it would take to come into TNA plus more

Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer recently caught up with Paul Heyman at UFC 116 and discussed a number of interesting topics, including what it would take to bring Heyman into TNA. Check it out below, very interesting stuff. *Note TNA Talk begins around the 12 min mark for those of an impatient nature, i’ve also included a brief synopsis below the video*

Paul Heyman says his mindset on whether he wants to work for TNA is that he wants “all or nothing” control over the direction of the company’s product.

Heyman said that his scenario for joining TNA is complete control over the company, his own staff to guide the product and marketing, and an eventual IPO public offering in an attempt to take market share away from WWE.

“My attitude is take it or leave it,” Heyman said of his “demands” for coming to TNA. “I’m not interested in being a cog in the wheel. If I’m going to put my emotional investment into it, I want to get something financially and emotionally out of it.”

Heyman said he doesn’t want to get back into the wrestling business, but he would take over complete control of TNA if he could set up his children for life by eventually taking TNA public.

If he did join TNA, Heyman said he doesn’t want to “play politics” or be just another writer or booker. He said that’s not enough for him to take time away from his children when he could work for WWE as a consultant, become “just as pissed off” but only be 20 minutes away from home, and probably make more money than in TNA.

“Someone has to have one vision so the television show means something and the marketing of the brand means something,” Heyman said. “TNA doesn’t have a clue how to make a star. Even if they did know how to do good television, they don’t know how to market the fact that they’re doing good television. And if they were marketing what they’re doing know, everybody would say, ‘Oh, God, this sucks, why are you marketing this?'”

Heyman said his vision is bringing the writing and the marketing together with the right people involved. “TNA has to create a situation where they can take their company and re-define who they are,” Heyman said.

“If that’s a situation that can happen and I can put the right team together and see what the five-year plan, it merits a lot of consideration,” Heyman said. “If it means anything less than that, I’m not taking the time away from my children.”

Concerning the short-term, Heyman was asked whether he’ll be attending TNA’s next PPV, Victory Road this Sunday. “That ain’t happening,” Heyman said. He said he doesn’t want to work with TNA unless there’s a deal to give him virtually complete control of the company’s direction. “Otherwise, it’s not worth it,” he said.

My two cents: Heyman is certainly asking for a lot here. Especially considering the massive investment by TNA and SPIKE in Hogan and Bischoff. But it must be said, TNA is stuck in a rut with regards ratings at the moment having dropped from the heady days of 1.5’s in January to the consistent 1.0’s its generating at the moment in the states. If anyone knows how to make a brand and differentiate a product its Heyman, and creatively speaking he’s one of the best, but who’s to say the controversy surrounding his arrival generates a minor buzz short term but leaves TNA back were they started a few months down the line? If Hogan can’t generate the momentum TNA needs then why would Heyman be able to do so?

TNA is also pretty enthralling stuff at the moment in my opinion, if Vince Russo and Matt Conway can continue to write at the level of last weeks show, then why shouldn’t they simply be given the ball andbe allowed to run with it?

All in all though, i think Heyman surmised TNA’s problems right now, too many cooks in the kitchen. They need a top dog, someone who oversees everything,  and Heyman is the man when it comes to Marketing a brand and Creative, and his ideas financially with regards to an IPO may sound ludicrous now but its the type of mindset thats needed. I’d personally like to see him brought in with complete creative control but i just find it very hard to believe that Hogan and Bischoff would be comfortable with such a scenario.

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About Ray Mullan
Ray Mullan is a longtime wrestling fan and Owner/Editor of TNA UK . Also a contributing writer to a number of other online wrestling media including 1Wrestling.com, Wrestle Zone UK & Lords of Pain.

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