Frankie Kazarian Speaks On His Release, TNA, WWE Creative And More
This week on Between the Ropes, Frankie Kazarian joined Fritz, Dickerman, and Vito DeNucci to talk about his recent tenure with the WWE, the reason for his release, his work in TNA, what is in his future, and other issues in the world of wrestling.
He started off by saying that he is happy right now. His time in the WWE was what it was but he is in a good place right now.
He was asked about his release and what made him want to seek his release. He does not know why they try to get wrestlers with his ring style. He was under the impression that they were going to revamp the cruiserweight division and bring in some other cruisers to restore the division to what it was under WCW with the addition of some of the Mexican wrestlers. Maybe ideas changed, but that was not a major issue for him. There were some talented guys in the cruiser division, especially Paul London. It does not look like it was a priority for the WWE.
Frankie was asked about Spanky and James Gibson returning to the WWE, and he was asked if he knew what creative had in mind for the division. He did not know if the writers knew what the plan was for the cruiserweights. Maybe they were planning on revamping the division, but the WWE was always built around the big men. He thought the WWE was going to capitalize on the cruiser division since something like that had not happened on television in years outside of TNA when it was on FSN.
He thought it would have led to him appearing on Smackdown. Some people were shocked that he would ask for his release because people see the fact that he was on television and wonder why he would leave. You needed to be there to know what he was experiencing. He was unhappy when he went to work, and was not enjoying wrestling. He did not want to hate what he was doing, especially at his age. He chose happiness over everything else. He enjoys wrestling because it was fun, but when he was there it was not fun. You are under a microscope and being looked at. He did not feel comfortable and felt that he was walking on eggshells. He noticed that the people who were brought in to work dark matches were treated differently than the rest of the roster. It appeared that they were put into a corner at the arenas.
He started talking to the WWE in January and signed in February. He was only training and not wrestling matches until July. He wanted to be in the ring instead of sitting at home. He didn’t know if it was due to creative that he was kept off television so long. When he started on Velocity, it was not the place for him to be at this point in his career. It might be the right place in a few years.
Frankie was asked about the rumors of him having to cut his hair. It was brought up after a match, and he said that it came from Vince. Frankie e-mailed and called management and told them that he did not want to cut his hair. He said that he had a distinct style and did not want to look like everyone in the company. Management thought that it was Frankie saying that he knew more about the business than him. The length of his hair did not mean how much of a superstar he would be. That was a catalyst for his decision.
There is a formula for how they want to put their programs on, and that formula appears to work. However, the general fan is looking forward to a show with a little spice. There needs to be some variety on the program, it could be better. The product appears stale right now, and if they mix things up it could change things.
Frankie was asked about his former tag team partner, Matt Bentley, and about the rumors that Matt was going to go to the WWE to reform the tag team. It was discussed between them, but not with anyone in a decision making position in the WWE because Matt is under contract with TNA until September, so it was not going to happen.
Frankie says that it will be a while before he could appear in TNA if the opportunity presents itself. That is a door that he will keep open. He thinks that TNA is doing good things with its business plan and pay per views. Over the next few months, he will be wrestling independent shows. He will be in North Dakota, PWG, Japan, and Europe. He is staying busy and being happy. Frankie is willing to wrestle anywhere as long as he can. He has more freedom on the indys. He is not good at conforming. He can play the game, but he has problems conforming. He is open to working for any promotion.
He enjoyed TNA and had fun there, even at the end of his time there. He is not one to complain about not getting a push because he was being used. It was 7 or 8 months ago, and the opportunity came up and he took it. He was in TNA for 2 years, and he had fun there. The locker room was friendlier and easier in TNA.
While the decision to leave the WWE was easy, the decision to leave TNA was difficult. He did not think they were given the ball, but for some reason management at that time missed the chance. He was asked about having to lose to Jeff Hammond, but he does not have an ego and there have been a number of non-wrestling people involved with shows. It was done to help put TNA over with FSN. However, there was no payoff for what they did in that match. Things might have been different if they were going to be given anything as a result.
When Dusty took over, Traci was taken from them for no reason. It was so believable for Traci and Trinity to fall in love with a 60 year old man like Dusty. Then they had Traci looking for a tag team to work with. At that time, they had nothing to build on. He has not been able to watch Impact, but he is still friends with a lot of people there. The morale seems to be good and things are going in their favor.
Between the Ropes airs every Wednesday from 10:00 p.m. until Midnight on 740 The Team in Orlando, Florida with hosts Brian Fritz, Dickerman, and Vito DeNucci. Check out www.betweentheropes.com to listen to the live stream of the show every week. Archives of past interviews with Paul Heyman, Mike Tenay, Terry Funk, A.J. Styles, Rob Van Dam, Tully Blanchard, Mick Foley, Ric Flair, Bret Hart, Matt Hardy, Jerry Lawler, Bobby Heenan, Steve Corino, Shane Douglas, Elix Skipper, Harley Race, Bubba Ray Dudley, and many more people in the world of professional wrestling can also be found on www.betweentheropes.com.
Credit: Richard Trionfo and betweentheropes.com