Cassidy Riley Interview
Slammiversary' is in the books, and we turn our attention to TNA's next PPV - 'No Surrender'. Despite the problems with TNA's TV situation right now, morale appears to be good down at Universal Studios. How are you enjoying your time with TNA right now?
I am loving it. I am so greatful to be part of a company that is about to revolutionize the wrestling business. Slammiversary was great. Three years down and we are just getting started!
The WGN TV deal recently fell through, and there's plenty of talk about an imminent deal being inked with Spike TV. Do you feel a deal with WGN would have been a bad move for TNA to take?
In my opinion - which doesn't really matter - I would say it would have been ok, but maybe not the best. From what I have heard we would have been pre-empted by all the Cubs and Bulls games that fell in our time slot. When you are competing in such a valuable time slot, that could hurt you business wise.
Going back to how you broke into the business. As a kid, were you a Hulkamaniac who always wanted to be a wrestler?
I don't know about a hulkamaniac, but I loved wrestling. I grew up watching Bill Watts' promotion (Mid-South Wrestling), then it became UWF before being sold to the Crocketts.
What are your memories of training, and working your first match?
The first time I was ever in the ring was with Terry Taylor and Tommy Rogers. They were two guys that I grew up and idolised, so that was great. One of my memories of training? we were holding a try out and after we had already done 500 squats, 250 push ups and 250 sit ups, they had us hit the ropes. I have to admit I threw up and it was not pretty. As soon as I did, I was right back in the ring doing drills. It was hard. Today so many places make it easy to train and are easy on the guys. I can't stand that. If you can't hack it, you don't need to be in the ring.
My first match was against a guy named Cedric Crain. We had trained together so we knew each other well. It was in Brighton, TN. and it was pretty good I thought. I was nervous as hell, I do remember that.
You've worked for numerous independent promotions as well as TNA, but you also worked a few WWE shows. Was there ever any talk of a development deal with WWE?
No not really. When I was there they still had so many guys from WCW that they were trying to find a spot for and I think the timing was just not right.
What led to you being offered a deal with TNA?
I have worked on and off with TNA since the conception. Chase Stevens and I use to tag as 'The Hotshots' in the early days. They had been on me to make the move to Nashville for some time, and so I finally did. When I moved to Nashville they moved to Orlando. I would fly myself down to the tapings and I think that they saw that I really wanted to be part of the team. I had a meeting with Dusty Rhodes and he liked what I had to say, and started using me on a regular basis.
You've worked a lot with Dustin Rhodes during your spell in TNA. Personally speaking I've always thought that TNA should have pushed him as a serious contender for the NWA Championship. Do you feel that certain people in TNA are being overlooked?
Well not only in TNA I think that it happens anywhere you work. There are people who have certain ties to people in charge and that may help them out. There is a lot of politics in wrestling, as well as anything else.
How long are you under contract with TNA?
I am not under contact actually. I have been told that when the new TV deal is inked that they will be offering me a contract then.
Has there been any interest from other parties (ie WWE), and if so, would you consider a jump?
If there is any interest, I have not been made aware of it. I would consider anything. There is one thing I have learned in this business: "never say never".
Finally, what does the future hold for Cassidy Riley?
Great things I believe. I am confident that I will leave a big mark on this business for many years to came, God willing!
Cassidy is available for Independent bookings and may be contacted through his official website at www.cassidyriley.com