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Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Glenn Gilberti On The Main Event Interview Recap

Courtesy of The Main Event:

Host #1: Ryan Rider
Host #2: Steve Rockamaniac

Why he originally left TNA: I hurt my leg. Then I kind of fizzled things out creatively and I had some overseas things that I wanted to do and so just we kind of parted ways for awhile.

His current responsibilities as a road agent for the company: Organizing the matches, going in the production truck when the matches are going on and calling out shots to the director. Just basically working with the talent and putting on a good televised product.

On what should be done to bring TNA to the next level: Where do I start? We need to increase viewership for one, we need to increase revenue. We need to grow to the point where we take the show live on the road. That's what needs to be done.

Comparing WCW and TNA: One company had a billionaire owning it and the other company is working on a tighter budget on a smaller network. You don't have multi-million dollars talents but you do have [other things]. I look at WCW back at 96'-97' when we had the cruiserweights and a lot of the new guys were hitting the scene and they were doing a lot of innovative stuff, that's a lot of where TNA is right now. You have guys doing things that haven't been done in the ring in awhile; we just need to be able to build their characters to get them over with the mainstream audience.

Stipulation Matches vs. Straight-Up Bouts: Well here's the thing; when you're in a growth stage, the one thing you can't do is do stuff that's been done before. Honestly, what it is you sort of put your crap against the wall and see what sticks. You are constantly trying gimmick matches, constantly trying new things. If some of them are good, then they become recurring themes on the show. A perfect
example, I don't want to pat myself on the back, but I came up with the concept for "Ultimate X". An innovative, X division type match, and now we have a Pay-Per-View based on that each year. In professional wrestling, it's been going on for so many years and it's very hard to come up with new stuff. You always have to be different; you can't be stale, you can't be the same. If you don't like it; sometimes people say the stuff is too confusing, well I think we get by on talent alone enough for our PPV audience. If the guys can deliver the product in the ring that we're trying to portray
creatively, then I think it works. We've got a lot of creative guys. Frankie Kazarian and Chris Daniels and the like, they help so much. They lay out the basic structure of a lot of the X division matches that you see and they're very good at it. I think that based on some of the concepts and on some of the talents that we have and some of the matches we have, you're just looking for a good show.

The Knockouts Division: The bottom line is if you have a lot of hot girls that don't embarrass themselves in the ring you get ratings. It's not a difficult concept. Wrestling is written for 18-34 year old males. Our girls are just so much better than the WWE girls that they draw. The second they walk out there they don't lose their sex appeal, they make a good showing of themselves in the ring, the matches are
stiff, and they're athletic. It's hard to change the channel when they're on.

When asked which talents he sees as a future star, male or female: Gosh, we have so many; you can go down half the roster. I like all the girls, every single one of them could be a breakout star; you can see them making a name for themselves in the business which they are doing right now. We have so many X division guys that can break out if they can nail a few interviews on the mic and start showing some more personality. Of course you've got Robert Roode and James Storm who are playing their characters perfectly. They're getting more and more popular. There are just tons of them; we've got a whole roster of breakout stars.

His thoughts on the negativity of internet wrestling fans: All Internet wrestling fans are basically critics. You don't see a lot of praise online. Not even only wrestling forums, but you look at political forums, sports forums, any type of message boards and it just breathes a very negative atmosphere. I'm convinced that what people do is that they cut promos against each other. A message board or forum is a free way to go online and basically argue and cut promos on each other. The problem that I have is that some of the ideas that people talk about online have a snowball effect and so many people start writing about them that they become fact. To me, they become erroneous facts. A perfect example: everybody's talking about how this Shark Boy thing was like the worse thing ever; it's kind of like gained a life of its own. Well then now Shark Boy is getting the biggest pops at the house shows and he has the #1 selling t-shirt right now. So everybody who says that "nobody wants to see Shark Boy" is just untrue, because Shark Boy is one of the most popular people on the show. You may think he is awesome, but if you go online you'll be thinking that this is the worst idea of all time. My point is that that type of thing should be corrected. Erroneous opinions start to be treated as factual when they're not. Jeff Jarrett: "He's in great shape, I know that."

On whether he would ever return to the ring for TNA: Not really, I'm 40 years old. I can still go but I don't want to get the feeling that here's another guy who's had his run and everything and is trying to take the time away from other guys we are trying to cultivate and create.

His thoughts on the "other product out there": I try to watch but it's hard. For me, I like shows where a lot of stuff is going on. And on their show, nothing really happens. A bunch of guys have matches and a bunch of guys cut promos talking about the matches. And that's really about it.

How the creative team meetings work: They happen during the week in Tennessee. It's Jeff [Jarrett], and Vince [Russo], and Dutch [Mantell] and a couple of others as well. I've been in a couple of meetings before; you just shoot ideas around, you argue, you agree, you laugh, you tell jokes, you crack up, sometimes you hear the funniest things that you've ever seen. It's weird on how you get so many different viewpoints on things too.

The prospects of Impact! going on the road in the future: Eventually yeah, absolutely. There's a certain energy to the live crowd that is just really strong. Like Monday night football crowds are always rowdy, playoff crowds are always rowdy in sports, when Monday Nitro was on people were rowdy because they know they are on live television and it just brings a different type of energy to the crowd. I think if you run shows in that type of atmosphere, it's just better and it creates more energy.

On whether or not he was surprised then that the live edition of Impact didn't score a higher rating than usual: No, not at all. I don't think people care that much as television viewers about if the show is live or not. Honestly, there's suspension of disbelief. I do think it translates better to TV, maybe if it was live every week but anyhow I didn't think that show would draw also because we were going head to head with the college basketball tournament.

Is the emphasizing of ratings overrated?: I don't think the talent cares as much about the rating as the creative does and the people who run the show. Your main critic right there is the ratings. You can listen to everybody's reviews of the show but the bottom line is your ratings, if less people are watching each week then you're not doing something right.

Unfortunately, he did not have any updates on the status of Kurt Angle's health nor did he have any information pertaining to PPV buy rates. All in all, some interesting thoughts from the man formerly known as Disco Inferno. It was a pleasure to have him on the program.