Following his TNA PPV & iMPACT debut, Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli took some time out of his schedule to speak with www.PWMania.com! Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli speaks on signing with TNA, drug use in wrestling, his time in WWE & WCW, as well as his recent WWE dark matches and much more! Below are highlights of the interview:
Andy Steven: Hello Jonny, firstly I would like to thank you for taking this time out of your schedule to take part in this interview for www.PWMania.com. What have you been up to recently?
Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: Working, Wrestling, and Negotiating. I’m a Mortgage Broker during the day and a Wrestler by night. The job pays for the wrestling. I was in negations with WWE, TNA and another Company on Primetime but no answer from them as of yet. TNA gave me an Offer so I went with them.
Andy Steven: What inspired you to be professional wrestler and how did you break into the business?
Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: I always watched WWF/WCW when I was a kid. Then I worked out at Stings/Lex Lugers gym in Atlanta called Main Event Fitness. I met Horseshow (Luther Reigns), DDP, Disco, Buff Bagwell. I was 18 yrs old at the time. I wasn’t really doing anything with my life at that point but getting into fight’s, going to clubs and hanging out with the wrong people. I got stabbed 5 times by a group of thugs in an alley in Atlanta. The reason why this happened was a combination of me being a hothead and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. After that night I realized that I needed some direction and goals. I also realized that I wasn’t indestructible. So I went to a tryout at the Power Plant. 20 guy’s tried out those 3 days and I was the only one that made it through that particular tryout. I broke my rib, and thru up.
Andy Steven: You made an impressive TNA debut at TNA Genesis earlier this month, how did you get in contact with TNA and how did the character and gimmick come up?
Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: I’ve stayed in contact with Terry Taylor for awhile now. Jeff and Terry are men that stand by what they say. I just took my new gimmick to the PPV in Atlanta. I spoke with Jeff Jerret, Terry Taylor and Vince Russo. I showed them the gimmick and pitched a few ideas. They emailed me about a week later and asked if I wanted a job.
Andy Steven: You started your career in WCW and then signed with WWE when Vince McMahon purchased the company, what are your memories from WCW and how different was the backstage atmosphere and management was WCW compared to when you signed with WWE?
Jonny ‘RelliK’ Stamboli: Well, If you can imagine going into a rival locker room that are all pissed that your there and having to prove yourself.
As clickish as WCW was the management wasn’t as corporate as WWE was. But I was a rookie then and I didn’t know jack about the business. After a while though I made friends in WWE and it was fine. I liked the WWE much more but the politics were on a higher level.
To read the complete interview click here.