Source: Brian Fritz of Fanhouse
It was just a few years ago when Mr. Kennedy looked to be on the fast track in the WWE, destined to a champion with the company. But things can change very quickly in the wrestling business.
He dealt with some injuries – one of them that cost him a chance at winning the world championship – and rumors began to swirl about him having a reputation for being very opinionated behind the scenes, something that can be very bad in the industry. The next thing you know he was stuck in the middle of the card. Then last May, the WWE decided that it was time to move on and released him.
Most thought he would pop up quickly in TNA Wrestling. Instead, he took his time put eventually made his way over to TNA, signing with the company in January. Now, Mr. Anderson (real name Ken Anderson) is feeling good again and is ready to make a difference at his new home.
He’ll definitely get his chance as TNA Impact moves to Monday nights beginning next week on Spike TV, going straight up against WWE Raw from 9:00-11:00pm ET.
Last night on my Between The Ropes radio show on ESPN 1080 in Orlando, FL, Mr. Anderson was a guest and spoke about the decision to join TNA, his time with WWE, how close he came to leaving the wrestling business and more.
You’ve been with TNA for a little while now after transitioning from the WWE. How do you like it so far?
I love it. I feel like I’m reborn. Anybody that knows me knew that for the past couple of years I was in kind of a rut. Really, it was creative differences and that is a very common problem in the wrestling business. I just felt like I wasn’t allowed to be myself and here in TNA they hand me a piece of paper that says ‘Ken Anderson interview’. The first night they gave me that I was like ‘ah, what do you want me to say?’ And they were like whatever you want. Here are your points, just hit those points and whatever else, whatever comes to your mind. To me, that’s unheard of, especially coming from the place I was in the last five years. Right then and there, in my mind I thought this could be something special and for the past month and a half, two months that I’ve been there it has been nothing but great. I think everybody is on the same team. We’re all shooting for the same goal and that is to have the best wrestling product out there and hopefully I can be a part of that.
Watching you, it looks like you’re having fun again when you come to the ring or cutting a promo. How much does that really affect you when it comes to doing your job?
Well, I’m living the American dream right now. I had a dream – I had a dream! That one day…I would entertain masses of people. When you’re told constantly don’t do that, don’t look that way, act this way, don’t say this, say this and you don’t agree with it no matter what you say, no matter what you do, no matter how hard you fight they keep pushing you back. It gets to the point where… Outsiders looking in probably say like ‘oh, whoa is you, you have such a rough life’. Well, it is because I look at us as artists and you can’t tell an artist how to paint his paintings. Nobody told Andy Warhol hey man, that doesn’t look right what you’re doing. That doesn’t look like everybody else’s paintings. No, he did his own thing and he’s very famous because of it and made a lot of money along the way. I just think that when you hold an artist down and tell them they can’t do things, it doesn’t lead to a positive outcome. Here at TNA, I am just thrilled. I feel like I’m reborn. I’ve had so many people tell me that you look like you’re having fun, like you’re a new man. Honestly, I didn’t watch wrestling for the past year. I didn’t watch it. I had no desire to. I didn’t know if I was going to continue on with the wrestling business. I thought, you know what, I might just call it quits now. I was actually pretty reluctant in going to TNA and I’m so glad that I actually did it.
How close were you to leaving wrestling all together following your tenure with the WWE?
I went home the night of the last match I had – that five-on-five – and I said I don’t think I want to do this any more. I told my wife I think I’m done. That’s pretty tough. I got into wrestling because I never wanted to be that guy that says maybe I should have, maybe I could have, what if I had done this. I did it. I spent six-and-a-half years toiling away on the independent scene and driving up and down the highways and byways, doing 15 hour car rides one way, 30 hours total to get paid $40 and do it all over next week. People used to think I was crazy and that’s what you do when you’re passionate about something, when you want to achieve success. Then I got there. The first couple of years it was great and then all of a sudden it just came to a screeching halt. At that time I was like, this is the top of the food chain where I can’t go any higher than this in the wrestling industry so I would rather just bow out now rather than just try to cling on to something. I’m so glad that I stuck around and I think TNA has a real fighting chance. I know that we are the underdogs by a long shot. Not as far as talent goes but WWE has been around for a long time and they have a lot of money. TNA has, I think, the foundation, a very solid foundation and it’s going to take time. But I believe we’re going to stick this out. I can tell you right now, and I can’t speak for anyone else, I can say it for myself that I’m going to go out there and give 100% every single week.
What exactly made you change your mind for you to decide to continue with your wrestling career?
I talked to a lot of different people that told me the landscape is different over there. It’s different in TNA. You know, you hear mixed reviews. I talked to some people who had been there and left and didn’t like it, didn’t like their experience. I guess I took a lot of people’s, their own perception, I took those into consideration and came up with my own conclusion and that was I still wanted to make a go at this and I’ll give it a shot. I got them to reduce the length of the contract. They initially wanted two years and we wanted six months because I really wasn’t sure man, I really wasn’t sure. So we got it down to a year and now I don’t see myself leaving any time in the near future. I’m here to stay. I know a lot of guys in the past have come to TNA with the intentions of sweetening a deal to go back up north (WWE). I have no intentions of doing that – none whatsoever. I’m here to stay and I’m part of the team.
Read the rest of this interview here:
Source: Brian Fritz of Fanhouse