New IMPACT world champion Eric Young recently spoke witH TalkSport to discuss all things pro-wrestling. Highlights are below.
On the differences between his first world title run in IMPACT and his current one:
It’s definitely different. It was a ground swell back then. I feel at the time, I was a much different performer in IMPACT and I’d done a ton of different things. I’d been close to the world title picture and had won many different titles in the company, so it was the final box to check off. I don’t think I would have been upset if I’d never checked that box, but I’m really glad that I did. It was showing that I had arrived a main event talent and somebody who could hold his own no matter what. This is a very different feeling. A year ago, if you had told me I would be in this position I would have said probably not. But everything happens for a reason. I have the word fate tattooed on my right under arm and that’s because it is something I believe in. And I believe this was fate and something that was going to happen for me, even though I couldn’t see it happening! It feels damn good.
Says he thought he would finish his career in WWE:
I had thought I was going to finish my career out in WWE. It’s wrestling, I’m not closing any book because that just doesn’t exist in pro wrestling, but in a weird twist of ways, I do believe this was meant to be. I’ve always been and continue to be very close to Scott D’Amore. I’ve said this before, but guys like Sami Callihan, Eddie Edwards and even guys who aren’t here anymore like Tessa Blanchard, Brian Cage, they’re the ones that have kept IMPACT afloat, they deserve the bulk of the credit for what’s happening in the company right now. Having me, The Good Brothers, Heath Slater and EC3 come in, it’s a boost for them, but this is a company that was on its death bed and Anthem Sports and Axxess TV, Scott D’Amore and the whole creative crew has done an unbelievable job. It sounds biased because I work there, but the truth is I’m a wrestling fan and for me, it’s the best pro wrestling product right now on the market.
How is return to IMPACT came about:
I’m friends with all those guys. Some people you’re more friends with than others. I’m very close friend with The Good Brothers, me and EC3 have a great relationship for years and years. Rusev is a guy that I’m still close with. He lived here in Nashville and we hung out a bunch. He’s not really wrestling right now, though. You know this; wrestlers talk and we talk to each other because it’s a way of getting information in any situation and get an understanding of what it is, because I hadn’t been out in the wrestling world. I’d been working for WWE and was kind of out of the loop. One of the first five people to call me was Scott D’Amore. To apologise and say he couldn’t believe I was in this position but if I wanted to, IMPACT would love to have me. So the thought was there the day of my release. It started that day, but it didn’t really solidify until maybe a week, two weeks before Slammiversary, but I was kind of always leaning this way. I don’t need to be working right now, I choose to work for IMPACT. Could I retire right now? No. But I didn’t need to jump right into something to pay my bills either and that’s powerful. Whether there was interest from AEW or anywhere else, I choose to work at IMPACT. Scott made it almost impossible to say no for a bunch of reasons, but the main reason was just seeing what they were doing.
Who he wants to work with as champion:
I’m looking forward to working with Eddie [Edwards]. he’s a guy I had crossed paths with a couple of times in tag matches when I was here previously, but we never worked one-on-one and I can say he’s a guy that I can work with him 300 days a year. We would both be beaten up because we like beating the crap out of each other [laughs]. I think we did something very special in that match [where he won the title] and we have some really special stuff coming up. Super proud of it and super happy to work with Eddie. One of the best on the roster, he’s got every tool, super experience and he’s just a pro. But the list is long. Moose, Austin Idle, Sami Callihan, all The Rascals, The Deaners, working with Tommy Dreamer again, doing something with Heath [Slater], The Good Brothers – we never really crossed paths in WWE. So it’s wide open and so exciting to be in the position that I’m in.
Calls IMPACT the best wrestling product out there:
In the UK, the IMPACT Plus app is a big thing. It’s something I’ve been paying to have for years because I like to go back and watch and catchup. That’s how I got up to date before returning to the company. We’re working as hard as we can and I think it shows in our product. If you were turned off of the product four or five years ago – I can tell you now its a different company. The ownership, the vision, the want and desire is all different. It starts at the top and filters all the way down to the bottom. I can say it’s always in the back of our mind to think as a wrestling fan, is this something I want to see? Something that I would enjoy. Truth is, there’s lots of different flavours when it comes to wrestling fans and we’re trying to hit every single one. I guarantee that if you’re a wrestling fan and you give IMPACT a try, there will be something that you really enjoy and will bring you back again. It’s the best pro wrestling show on TV right now and I’d put it up against anyone.