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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Simon Diamond BTR Interview

Courtesy of Adam Wilcox:

Between The Ropes
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
ESPN Florida AM 1080 and AM 1060
Simulcast online at BetweenTheRopes.com

TNA’s Pat “Simon Diamond” Kenney appeared on Between The Ropes this past Tuesday to discuss his current role as a backstage agent, WWE’s interest in himself and Johnny Swinger following their NWA Tag Team Title victory in 2003, and more.

Diamond spoke of his expanded duties as a road agent with TNA now that the company has increased its house show schedule. “We’ve begun to do a lot more live events. I’ve been going to the majority of them on the road - which I enjoy, it’s a (much) different atmosphere than television. The company continues to grow and I’m really happy to be a part of these growing stages, and hopefully in about another fifteen, twenty years I can look back and say, ‘Wow, that was a heck of a run’ and then I can retire and become an usher at Notre Dame Stadium.”

Simon presently considers himself retired as an active performer and feels that working for a wrestling company helps hinder any serious yearning to step back into the ring. “The last match that I had was for Spike Dudley (in 2007). He has a little independent federation up there in the Boston area … I kind of miss wrestling a little bit, but not that much that I’m jonesing to get back into the ring … The main thing is that I’m still able to be in the business even though I’m not wrestling. I think I learned at a very young part of my career that I was never going to be a main-event guy, but I was articulate enough that I could translate over to the office stage of wrestling and help behind the scenes … I tried to realize that you put the company first and you show the people that you’re working for that you can take on a greater responsibility.”

Diamond shared a story of how he and Johnny Swinger almost became part of the WWE roster in 2003. “We had just won the TNA Tag Team Championships and this is back when we were still doing everything out of Nashville. We had been presented with (TNA) contracts and we hadn’t signed them. Swinger had gotten a call from one of the (WWE) writers (inquiring on Diamond and Swinger’s status with TNA). We’re like, ‘Well, we haven’t signed a contract yet.’ … We had to have the (TNA) contracts signed by that Wednesday. (Swinger) called me that night at 8:30 and he’s like, ‘We may have a chance to have an offer from WWE on the table, as well as TNA.’ I said, ‘Well, let’s just keep our minds open and see what takes place tomorrow.’ … (The phone call from WWE) never came that day and we had to sign the contracts, so we signed with TNA. And we didn’t have any regrets. We felt like we got a good deal and that we were in a good position at the time.” Simon added that the WWE writer contacted Swinger two days after the duo signed their TNA deals.

Simon commented on Mick Foley’s arrival in TNA and feels the Hardcore Legend would be a great addition to the company (This interview took place before Foley officially confirmed that he had reached an agreement with TNA). “I’d love to see Mick Foley in TNA. He would be a tremendous, tremendous, tremendous acquisition for us. I think he brings a lot of things to the table.” Diamond also believes that Foley’s choice to depart WWE for TNA raises his value in the eyes of both fans and management. “Vince (McMahon) has a way of - when he doesn’t renegotiate with people - he tries to destroy them on the way out the door. That’s his prerogative - it’s his business. Mick choosing to sign with is - if that is the case - would still give him that air of, ‘He’s special’ - which he is. He still has value as either an announcer or a performer that doesn’t have to wrestle an extensive schedule.”

To hear this interview in its entirety - including Diamond’s annual Notre Dame football chat with Brian Fritz, an amusing story about he and Johnny Swinger working a WWE dark match, and more - visit the show online at http://www.BetweenTheRopes.com, where you can also become a site member and access hundreds of previous BTR broadcasts and interviews. Join Brian Fritz, Vito DeNucci, and Dickerman for Between The Ropes every Tuesday night from 6:00-8:00 PM ET on ESPN Florida AM 1080 and AM 1060 or worldwide on BetweenTheRopes.com.