Bound for Glory was such an interesting card. You had the Kevin Nash X Division Gauntlet Battle Royal, a Monster’s Ball Match with Jake Roberts as referee, Larry Zbyszko vs Eric Young where the loser gets fired, and Sting vs Jeff Jarrett as the main event, which even in 2006 was probably ill advised. Anyway, the match shown here would probably be the best match on that card.
October Classics: AJ Styles vs. Christopher Daniels – TNA Bound for Glory 2005
This is a 30-minute Iron Man match for the X Division title. These two have had many matches with each other, and this isn’t even their best one! Still, a solid **** match between two of the more talented guys that have ever graced the TNA roster.
September Classics: Christopher Daniels & AJ Styles vs. LAX – No Surrender 2006
I could only find this match in two parts for some reason, but they’re both here. TNA brought the goods in the mid-2000’s on a regular basis. A guy like myself, who didn’t pay attention the first time around, can appreciate finding a good match that you have never seen before. Enjoy this one. You have to click READ MORE to get the second part. I didn’t want to bogart the whole front page.
September Classics: Christopher Daniels vs. Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles – TNA Unbreakable ’05
Now, I’m not much of a TNA historian. I can probably count on one hand the number of memorable matches I have seen. Until recently, I had never seen this match prior. This is as close to a ***** match that I have seen from TNA. I’m sure most of us have seen it, but if you haven’t, here you go.
RF Video Shoot Interview with Christopher Daniels, Disc 2
This disc runs at fifty-six minutes long.
Frankie Kazarian joins Daniels for the interview
It is conducted by Rob Feinstein
They are asked how they first met. Daniels said when he moved to California he first met Frankie when he was training at wrestling school.
Daniels talks about how they started to be a team in 2011 when he finished a feud with AJ. At that time, the Motor City Machine Guns were out due to injury and the company was not doing much with them so they decided to team up.
They then talk about how they are each other’s best friends and glad to be able to travel and see the world together. Daniels hopes that when they are on the independent scene that bookers will be able to afford both of them for the same show.
Next, they are asked to compare tag team partners. Daniels said that he had continuity with Elix Skipper but not as much with Kazarian, who said that he teamed with Michael Shane who at times can off like a dick and would flip out if things did not go his way. They both talk about how with each other, it is always the team that comes first.
Kazarian then explains how Bad Influence was formed. There was an angle proposed that had Daniels make Kazarian wrestle his friend AJ and threaten to expose a secret if he did not follow through. Kazarian then came up with an idea of Chris having a secret on AJ and that he himself would rather fall on the sword rather than have the secret exposed, thus protecting AJ. Kazarian said he pitched his idea to Eric Bischoff, who told him that it was a good idea.
After that, he had an idea of AJ being a sponsor to an addict niece of Dixie Carter that would lead to them insinuating that AJ had a child with her a few years ago when they were all friends in storyline at the time. However, the Carter family did not want an affair storyline or someone with that name having an addiction problem. Daniels said that people would have cared and been invested if it was involving them
When asked about the girl who played Claire Lynch, they both sighed. Daniels said that they were told she was the better looking girl of the two girls they had for the role. On her departure, they understood that she claimed about being harrassed outside and that she was not told about her role when she got hired. Claire was also working for a PR firm at the time. Daniels said she walked out of the company a week before the storyline was supposed to end. They then talked about how they wrote the end that a sound tech would come forward and the lady was a fake and he made the tape himself and that way they did not have to use Claire Lynch to explain her departure but the company said no. Kazarian said he came up with the Bad Influence name as it was the name of a team he used with another partner at a couple of shows in the Independent scene.
Daniels said that the Appletini gimmick came about when they had an idea to do a toast and that he was trying to think of the most ridiculous choice and was a fan of the show “Scrubs” and the lead character J.D.’s favorite drink was the Appletini. He said it was never meant to be part of the act but the next week they were doing backstage stuff and decided to have it there and it became a part of his character.
When asked at which moment did TNA not care about the tag division. He said that when Chavo Guerrero & Hernandez took the belts from them and beat them in every other match as well. They were then told the belts were going back to them when they went overseas but found out that the first match that Bobby Roode & Austin Aries teamed they were going to get the belts. After that, they were promised the belts later down the road but instead of being on Bound For Glory, they found out they were on the preshow match, losing in a four-way gauntlet match.
They were still pitching ideas that were designed to make the belts look important but on one idea, John Gaburik told them it was too long.
On if they were told not to wear Marvel shows, Daniels said not at first but a Spike Executive said that they were not allowed to because it was not a TNA brand, prompting them both to mention how other’s wore non-TNA issued brands on the show. Kazarian said that if you want to make that a rule fine but the company was just using a double-standard. Daniels then said they got in trouble for making shirts with their own faces on them, mimicking movie posters. One day at a pre-tape, Al Snow told them that Dixie texted him to make sure they could not wear those shirts as they were not a TNA-brand as Kazarian mentions how Motorhead and Hardcore 5150 are not sponsors of TNA either but that was not a problem and that TNA should have the balls to enforce the rules for everyone.
Daniels goes back to Russo’s problem with him not being over and says that you can point fingers at who was to blame and that they both were. However, you cannot say that Bad Influence was not over or not entertaining and does not know why they were let go or understand how it was a good business decision. Daniels said that they went with the BroMans instead, who he loves and puts over Jesse for improving by leaps and bounds, but that they are the better team. Kazarian says that you question yourself on whether or not you are over or entertaining when that happens.
When asked about if they got their checks late, Daniels said that during Christmas time TNA was three weeks behind on his check and he did not receive it until two days before Christmas and that fucked up his account and at that point, had a less than ten bucks in his account. He then tells a story of the company tweeting James Storm giving the Red Cross a check for $2,500. Daniels then said that he called Gaburik after that and asked him how it looks when the company is promoting themselves as giving to charities while they are weeks behind paying their own employees. He said that Gaburik thought he was being “uncool” for commenting about the tweet and Daniels told him that he was not saying that he needs money more than a homeless person but rather pay your employees, especially around the holidays, before you promote yourself as a monogamous charitable organization. Kazarian then talks about his wife (Tracy Brooks) and how she was a friend of the girl in TNA who handled payroll and hounded her for updates and were told such excuses as the mail was lost, stolen, or never picked up at all. Kazarian then said a young guy came up to him and told him he had not gotten paid in months and was afraid to rock the boat and just kept quiet so Kazarian took it upon himself to help those guys out. Daniels also heard that Spike was late in paying TNA.
Daniels said that TNA told him that they were not renewing his contract until the day after Lockdown. After the show, Kazarian and Daniels pitched ideas of working with Tigre Uno and Sanada to help them get over but the next day, they were not booked for the TV tapings. After that, they showed up to a “One Night Only” taping, Gaburik told Daniels they would talk to him after the taping and told him they were going in a different direction and his contract was not being renewed. Kazarian remembers a few months earlier they pitched two different ideas and were told that they were “too entertaining” and would steal the segment. After that, Daniels said he told the agent of his match he was going to do what got him over, despite the office telling them not to, and the agent did not want to get in trouble himself so Daniels just did what the office wanted him to do and told the agent it was one thing to not push him but for them to not allow what got the team over to be used is something totally different.
Daniels then talks about how he emailed Dixie after being let go to thank her for having him in the company and she replied back that she had no idea his contract was not being renewed and thought they were going to offer him a role as an agent.
On the subject of Dixie, they both say she is a sweetheart as a person but puts stock in the person running her company and basically just listens to them on everything going on in the promotion.
When asked about TNA’s future, Daniels said he does not want bad things to happen but looking at the downward spiral of ratings and decisions it looks bleak. Kazarian would like them to hire someone like Jim Ross or Tommy Dreamer to run the company and boost ratings.
Both guys are excited about working with different teams and wrestlers for Ring of Honor.
They loved working for Tommy Dreamer’s “House of Hardcore” promotion and put him over for putting on entertaining shows and having a great passion for the business.
They tell a road story while at the Wendy’s in Pikeville, KY. A grandmother came up to him and asked them to sign something for her grandson as they were his favorite wrestlers. The lady behind the counter started yelling at them and demanding to know who they were and would not leave them alone. Kazarian responded by saying that he was a man who is waiting for his “fucking chicken salad and Diet Coke.” A few minutes later, the cashier gave him something to sign. Daniels signed his name while Kazarian signed “fuck you” in cursive. Daniels told him not to take it out on the kid so Kazarian then wrote the word “son” next to it.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a nice, brief addition to the shoot. This is also included in Kazarian’s shoot interview. It was breezy to listen to and both guys certainly seem to have a great friendship and its another interview that shines light on the incompetence that runs rampant in TNA. It also shows us that the company being behind on paychecks was indeed true. And the fact the company did not want to push this team, especially when you listen to the reasons why, sums up TNA in a nutshell.
RF Video Shoot Interview with Christopher Daniels (2014), Disc One
Disc One runs at three hours and seventeen minutes long
The interview was conducted by Rob Feinstein
They start from 1999. Daniels said he had a job at Walt Disney Imagineering and how they were cool with giving him time off to wrestle. However, he had an opportunity to tour Japan for six weeks with Michinoku Pro and Walt Disney told him that they would have to give his job away if he went and that is how Daniels became a full-time wrestler.
Daniels praises Dusty Rhodes for working in the main event and for giving him the opportunities to get over.
He then expresses frustration after asking why they are doing things are certain way then getting shot down, using a Russo impression by saying “bro.”
When asked about the Lockdown PPV concept of every match being in a cage. Someone from the creative team ran down the card and 3 or 4 matches were in cages and Jerry Jarrett jokingly said they should make every match in a cage but the creative guy took it literally.
He talks about Samoa Joe and how guys pushed for him to come to TNA for a while until they finally brought him in as some people were against it but once Joe came to TNA, he shut up his critics.
Daniels thought that it was a terrible idea to turn Joe heel and thought he should have stayed heel and Joe remain a face. He said he knew he was right the minute it happened as Joe gave him the muscle buster and the crowd instead chanted “one more time.” Daniels wanted Joe to be looked like Goldberg, with him running away all the time, but said it fell on deaf ears. He thought changing Joe from the unstoppable force was a terrible idea. On the Ultimate X match he had with Samoa Joe and AJ, Daniels said that Joe was not a fan of that type of match.
He loved teaming with AJ Styles against LAX and said how they got a huge pop at Slammiversary when they won. He also liked working with Homicide and Hernandez and ended up feuding with them when the office proposed that he and AJ defend the belts against America’s Most Wanted in an Ultimate X match but AMW refused and LAX was getting over. Daniels also said once they got rid of Konnan then turned face took a lot away from them.
When asked about working with Sting then having the feud end before it began, Daniels said that Russo told him to grow his hair and a beard and that he was going to get him over in this feud. Daniels said he was going into it with the mindset that he was playing someone who followed the old testament god about eye for an eye and to tell people that bad things happen because people are bad and that he actually wanted to go on TV and say how 9/11 and Katrina all happened because it was there fault. Daniels said that Sting was taken aback by all of that then said that the network would never let that happen. He then talks about the feud and how he was always an afterthought to Sting as they feuded. Daniels then said that Russo booked him to apologize to Sting and be his partner then turn on him again an hour later. Daniels said he told Russo it didnt make sense and he said to do it anyway. Daniels thinks that Russo believed him against Sting was not a marquee match, which Daniels was fine with but then questions why the fuck are you even having this feud to begin with then. He then talks about how the first match he was booked to lose in nine minutes to Sting and asked Russo why this was happening as he needed a win to further it along but Russo told him that it was not working and that they were going to go a different way. Daniels then told Russo how this was designed to get him over but he was never presented at any point in the feud as someone who was important enough to feud with Sting but that went nowhere. He then talks about Russo not listening to the ideas of others.
Daniels then expresses frustration about Dixie Carter when he asked her what he can do to get over more and she told him that they expected him to be the leader of XXX. Daniels then said why didnt they tell me that before hand as he was not going to overshadow the team and how their gimmick of being all equals made it work. He then said that Dixie told him to find a way to change what he was doing so Daniels typed up an email with two ideas: keeping the “Fallen Angel” nickname but being Christopher Daniels the wrestler or becoming the Curry Man, which is what ended up happening. Daniels says he wrote the email as he wants to be proactive and to get ahead.
When asked, Daniels said that he liked the Curry Man character a lot. He said that it was all about having fun and noted how his wife loved the character. He then talks about playing the Suicide character and how they needed someone to fill the role until Kazarian came back so he said that he did because he wanted to be a team player.
He said that the “Fish Market Street Fight” was a stupid idea and that Team 3D felt the same way but came up to him and said they should make it the best dumb gimmick match ever. Daniels puts them over for being funny and entertaining.
Daniels said that it meant a lot to him for Kurt Angle to give him respect as a worker. He said that his matches with Kazarian against AJ & Kurt a blast.
When asked about Samoa Joe putting over Kurt Angle, who just started out in the company, Daniels said he was disappointed the way it went and thought it was a missed opportunity. He thought that Joe should have gone over and Kurt coming out the next TV show saying that he underestimated Joe and played off of that.
He hoped that Eric Bischoff and Hulk Hogan coming into TNA would bring more notoriety to the company but though that it was too early to do air the show on Monday nights opposite of Monday Night RAW.When asked about TNA putting over the ex-WWE guys instead of their own talent when they came into the company, Daniels said that some people were upset that he put over Val Venis a month after challenging for the World Title but he just looked at it as work and understood why they did that but ultimately, it did not work out.
On how he got released, Terry Taylor called him up and said that they had to let him go because he was disruptive in the locker room. Daniels was take aback by that then later on called Dixie and ended up speaking with both her and Russo then told that the way his contract was structured and since they had no plans for him, they were going to give him a few months off then bring him back to team up with Samoa Joe.
After that, Daniels contacted RoH and he flew right in to cut a promo on Davey Richards. Daniels is asked about Davey and said that the company was putting a lot of pressure on him to be the “spirit” of the company. He also said that Davey came to him with a match layout and said that it was one of the few times that he barely made any changes to the match. Daniels said that he gelled best with Eddie Edwards during that time in RoH.
When asked about his RoH TV Title run, Daniels said he was happy about the run but a little disappointed about how he lost the belt as he suggested to Jim Cornette that he lose the belt on the first ever RoH TV Show but he was told that they wanted to promote the people who were going to be with the company and he lost the belt before that. Daniels does not know who was behind that decision.
Daniels said he got along with Cornette, who he said got him into the Dojo with Dory Funk and the “Shotgun Saturday Night” shows.
On how he got back into TNA, he got a call two days after the PPV in which Jeff Hardy showed up a mess and asked to be at the TV tapings. Daniels then said that he called Hunter Johnson (Delirious) the booker in RoH that he was going to TNA for a taping and did not want to have him hear it from someone else. Then, Cary Silkin called him and said that Daniels contract said he could only wrestle under a hood for TNA. Daniels told Silkin that he understood that he was always going back to TNA and told him that he needed to pay his billl as he had worked just one match that month and was barely getting by. Daniels then explained to Silkin is situation and they were not happy but understood where he was coming from.
He is asked about Bully Ray reinventing himself and Daniels said he has a great wrestling mind and would go to him at times for advice.
When asked about Bruce Prichard replacing Vince Russo as the Head of Creative, Daniels said that he had much of a connection with him and thinks he did not work out as the company wanted him to move to Nashville and he did not want his family to leave Texas.
Daniels said that RVD did not give the respect to the guys that they gave him. He then gives an example of how he went up to RVD before their first-ever match and just let him know what is finisher was and how it was performed and RVD responded with “Yeah, I’ve been taking that bump since 1998” and that he came off sounding like a dick.
He talks about being put in a feud with AJ and going to creative and pitching an idea of him finally beating AJ then dodging him when he wants a rematch. Daniels then said that Bruce Prichard came up to him and in a condescending manner asked him what was the most important part of wrestling, upset that he suggested that he beat AJ. Daniels said that not once in his career did he refuse to do a job to someone else and that everytime they wrestled, AJ beat him clean and where are they supposed to go with the story if he is the heel and loses cleanly in the first match. So, they then told Daniels he was going to beat AJ in a fluke manner, prompting Daniels to mention how they wondered he was not getting over.
When asked how the company changed when John Gaburik was brought into TNA, Daniels said that Gaburik called a meeting when he first came in and said that talent was a priority and wanted to get them over and talk to them about what they feel will help get them over as well. Daniels then met with Gaburik, who told him that he had watched the past month of TNA and that he hated his character most of all but now that he has met him, he gets the character, which confused Daniels. Gaburik then told him what could the film to get him over as who he could wrestle was secondary. Daniels said that he had a few ideas, one of which was a PSA on how to conduct yourself when you come across Bad Influence but never heard anything from him about any of his ideas. Then, they came out with Impact 365 and that he and Kazarian did their own stuff that they thought was entertaining but the company never did anything with them nor did they want to showcase them.
Daniels said that guys like Scott D’Amore, Konnan, Raven, Kevin Nash, and Tommy Dreamer all have great minds for the business and could run creative. He even said that when Jarrett was done being a full-time wrestler, he had a lot of good ideas. He feels that the guys writing have not wrestled or even had experience in wrestling so that their ideas do not mesh with a wrestling program and it turns into having both a variety show and a wrestling show
Speaking about the Indy scene today, Daniels said that he sees a lot of young guys that are hungry and a lot of fresh matchups.
He closes by thanking his fans for their support.
Final Thoughts: I thought this was a decent shoot interview. Do not expect to hear about road stories or parties in this disc though. Daniels spoke about his career and the frustrations he had while working in TNA. He shed a lot of insight as how TNA sees things and what they believe will get people over, which after hearing Daniels explain their thought process, you know why the company is in the place they are in now.
I also thought that Daniels came off like a good guy here. He seemed to want to help out anyone he could have and would be a good veteran presence in a company. After 12 years of being in TNA, it is easy to see how he is frustrated at how it went with all of the roadblocks he encoutnered while trying to get himself over. Although, to think that he would even be able to perform the character he wanted to do in his feud is a bit ridiculous.
Overall, I recommend this shoot. It is a bit long but Daniels comes across well and a guy who would do whatever the company asked of him, which sadly in return led to TNA walking all over him when he wanted to suggest ideas to get himself over. Daniels seems to have a good mind about the business too. He doesnt try to bury anyone but his candid about the frustrations of working in TNA. The second disc is a 54 minute long shoot with Frankie Kazarian as they talk about their time as Bad Influence.
Here is the scheudle of my reviews:
Friday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/21/86
Friday: RF Video Shoot Interview with Christopher Daniels, Disc Two
Saturday: RoH All Star Extravaganza 11/9/02
Sunday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 9/27/86
Tuesday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 9/28/86
Thursday: Shoot Interview TBD
Christopher Daniels on COMICS ON COMICS podcast
Austin v. Daniels
Okay, so normally I would never bother you with stuff going on at another site, but right now cageside seats is having their wrestler tourney to decide the best of all time. And in the first round it's 1 seeded Steve Austin versus 16 seeded Daniel Bryan. And Austin is winning, but people have actually voted for Bryan claiming he's been the best worker for 10 years or was a better worker…
Okay, this bothers me. Wasn't Austin a better worker, both pre and post neck injury, than Bryan? I get it, Bryan has great matches and has had some really great stuff. But has he even done something that would rank with austin's top five matches? The match with Bret at survivor series and WM, the match with foley (with the rules ever changing and undertaker being the enforcer), the 2/3 falls match with HHH, the main event with Rocky at WM 17 are all matches I would EASILY put above anything DB ever did. That's excluding the stuff he did with Angle, the tag match with hunter/benoit/jericho, other matches with Rocky, Canadian Stampede (where Austin quickly went heel unlike Shamrock, to the match's benefit), underrated matches with Shawn (both of them), etc.
I guess my point is, have we accepted Austin pop culture phenom so much that we forget he's like one of the 10 best workers ever. Or have I overrated him?