Kevin Kelly Interview Recap
By: Bob Colling from http://chroniclesoftna.bravejournal.com/
(TNA recaps starting from 6/19/2002 – 2/19/2003 so far!)
Kevin Kelly was this week’s guest on In Your Head Wrestling Radio hosted by Jack E. Jones, Oneincbiceps and Barbie Richards. For full audio visit www.inyourheadonline.com
Jack, OIB and Barbie welcome Kevin Kelly to this weeks show. Kevin wishes everyone a happy St. Patrick’s day and is glad to be back on IYH.
Jack plugs the Big Bang live on pay per view and on the internet. www.gofightlive.tv is where the show will be shown and is for only for $14.95. Kelly says this is a rebirth of the ROH product. Kelly puts down the recent WWE television, but says that WWE product has had some good build for the Wrestle Mania pay per view.
Kelly says that he has only done announcing a few times over the past several years. Kelly needs to prove his critics wrong that he can do a great job.
Jack asks if he was friends with Jim Cornette in WWF. Kelly says they were because they both didn’t care for the sports entertainment side of the product. Kelly has remained close to Jim Cornette and when he heard of Cornette’s job at ROH he sent him a letter to help out.
Kelly mentions the training camp that happened a few weeks ago for ROH. About forty men attempted to get into ROH and he is in the process to look over the video footage. Kelly says that you have to be believable and creditable. Kelly asks wrestlers to ask themselves if people would want to pay to see them without their shirt on. Kelly mentions that he realized no one would want to see him without his shirt on, though he always wanted to be a announcer.
Kelly says that Dave Prazak will be his partner calling the show. Kelly talks about giving the fans as much of a live feel to the show as they will have a half time show to give everyone a breath. Kelly says that bringing in guys from a generation ago helps out the product and wants to hear what Dutch Mantell has to say about some ROH talent.
Barbie asks Kevin if the WWE roster is hurting because their only voice is Michael Cole. Kelly says 100% it does. Kelly says that Cole does a fine job, but says their isn’t any passion coming from Cole. Kelly believes that Cole tries, but he doesn’t believe in it. Kelly says that the real personality of Michael Cole showed up on the first show on NXT. Kelly says that Cole truly believes that The Miz is better and bigger than Daniel Bryan. Kelly says that Cole has lasted long enough because he knows how the group thinks. Kelly mentions that he understood it but he couldn’t embrace it. Kelly says that WWE is a great place for a television person to be.
Kelly discusses the Tough Enough concept and how people in WWE thought they could create a superstar by “adding water to a seed”. However, they need to have passion and desire to be a wrestler. Kelly believes that fans do not pay to see sports entertainment, but rather to see the wrestling. Kelly was always frustrated from the mindset people in WWE had.
Shane from Ireland asks if Kelly has ever been to Ireland but Kelly has not been to his native land. Kelly has not been but would love to. Kelly questions if the caller is sober! Shane says he isn’t the stereotypical Ireland man and doesn’t drink all the time. Shane says he will tune into the show on April 3rd and says he will but does he have to pay! Kelly says that he has to, of course but only in American dollars!
A caller named Joel asks Kevin his opinion on Michael Cole as a person and says that Kelly got along with him. Kelly mentions that Cole was suppose to replace him but he stayed until 2003. Kelly puts Cole over as a family man and a good guy who likes to drink and play golf. Kelly believes it will always be hard for someone to captivate the crowd if they don’t have the passion to call wrestling. Kelly uses Kurt Angle as a example as a guy who he didn’t think he was a pro wrestling fan, but is assuming he is. Kelly puts Angle over as taking to the business very well. Kelly says that a lot of guys don’t love the business and don’t like certain parts of it. Kelly doesn’t believe that Goldberg or even Batista to like it in the beginning of his career. Kelly says that WWE would get wrestlers out of college and says that Brock Lesnar succeeded but the travel just wasn’t for him.
Joel asks Kelly if he enjoys Jim Cornette’s rants. Kelly says he enjoys the rants very much and even talked to Cornette at the last television taping as being too nice with his statements. Kelly talks about a story where he was driving with Jim Cornette to Syracuse, New York and how much he learned from Cornette during some of his rants.
A caller names Andrew asks who would Kelly like to see in ROH from the WWE. Kelly jokingly asks if he can have Shawn Michaels and Undertaker. Kelly seriously says that he would like to see Charlie Haas in ROH as he is a wrestler and is what ROH is all about. Kelly says that ROH doesn’t have any politics or BS. You show up and have the best possible match.
Jack asks how did Cornette change the product. Kelly says that Cornette has shown a focus to bring out the personalities of the wrestlers. Kelly got some great information to tell the fans what makes a wrestler unique. Kelly puts over Austin Aries as one of the best workers going in the business today.
OIB asks Kelly what he thinks about being PG orientated. Kelly says it is a great business decision as you have to change the product time to time. Kelly learned this from his days in ECWA. Kelly also says they are retooling for a edgier product ten years from now. Kelly talks about getting in some fights in school when people preferred Hogan over Flair back in the NWA days.
Kelly isn’t surprised that Flair is still competing but doesn’t want to see it. But, if Flair loves it then why stop it.
A caller asks what Kelly thinks about Jim Cornette changing his opinion on various companies after he leaves a company. Kelly assumes that the caller was talking about when Vince Russo joined TNA. Kelly talks about Cornette not liking Vince Russo but says that Cornette stayed because he is loyal to the Jarrett family. Kelly talks about a commentary on DOI where the arguments that Cornette had back in 1998 are the same ones that are in 2010. Kelly talks about Hogan not knowing what he is doing and he has admitted that.
Kelly believes that Spike TV wanted to compete with USA as compared to TNA wanting to compete. Kelly doesn’t believe TNA is ready to compete but says that they need to “stay the course” at this point. Kelly talks about the fact that it has only been two weeks and nothing should be changed until six months or a year to see where they are. Kelly discusses how TNA has been hot shotting their product a lot recently. Kelly tells a funny story of believing when the Big Show as the Giant in WCW was getting fatter people in the WWE thought that he perhaps ate a Villano!
Kelly talks about his respect for the Lucha style. Kelly says that they are bringing in some lucha guys into the ROH show. Blue Demon Jr. is scheduled to be on the show. Kelly says that he has covered some lucha, but not much.
Kelly says that the internet pay per view idea is going to need to work for ROH. Kelly says that ROH is going to have to go to the more traditional way to get a revenue as not as many people are getting the DVDs anymore.
Kelly always has kept up with the ROH product and mentions several top names that have gone through the company. Kelly has been very close to Eddie Edwards since Edwards was 18 or 19. Kelly has been able to follow the ROH product now that is has gotten a television deal.
OIB asks Kelly about his favorite memory in WWE. Kelly’s favorite person to work with in WWE was the Rock as it was so much fun despite the hard time Rock gave him. Kelly discusses how they are both from Florida. Kelly also had a lot of fun working with Russo on the magazines. Jack asks if Rock would ask Kelly if he had a problem with something. Kelly says that discussed things all the time to make sure it was taken in a humorous manner. Kelly would make facial expressions to crack up the camera guys.
Jack asks if Kelly isn’t impressed with any backstage guys. Kelly says that he likes Todd Grisham, doesn’t mind Josh Matthews and likes Matt Striker as well. Kelly talks about how TNA is the same promo over and over again. Kelly likes to watch wrestling promos on you tube and the great promos that Tony Schiavone had with Ric Flair in WCW. Kelly believes that announcers do not have any creditability in the business today. Kelly believes that you need to ask a tough question and stick to it.
Taso the greek from the message board wonders what Kelly thinks of Christy Hemme. Kelly doesn’t know Hemme personality says he is a pretty girl and heard she is nice.
A caller named Lonnie doesn’t realize that Kevin Kelly is on the line and begins to discuss general wrestling news. Kelly chimes in and asks Lonnie what he liked about TNA Impact. Lonnie liked the X-Division segment but didn’t like anything else. Kelly says that TNA is a “ten pound of crap in a five pound bag”. Kelly agrees that it doesn’t make sense that the Nasty Boys and older guys are back in the company.
Taso calls in and asks if Kevin Kelly has ever been “sandbagged”. Kelly has never had a situation where their was a beef or anything of that nature. Kelly tells a story about Sid Vicious pulling Kelly aside and thanking him for the way he called his match against Faarooq on a episode of RAW. Kelly had been apart of the company for a short time. Kelly puts Sid over as a smart man. Kelly wanted Sid to be on Confidential but he declined only if their was a comeback involved. Kelly says that Sid looks like a million bucks but isn’t on television.
A caller asks Kelly what he thinks about TNA openly talking about competition. Kelly says that whenever they do that they look “second rate”. Kelly believes they should follow the rule of not mentioning the WWE. Kelly also thinks that TNA needs to develop new talent. He enjoys the work of D’Angelo Dinero (Elijah Burke from WWE). Kelly says that in ROH they focus on the wrestler and their history and goals in the company. Kelly is really bugged when Mike Tenay continues to repeat the obvious as to what happened. Kelly believes that Tenay needs to slow down and needs to tell a story. Kelly says that Tenay has been around for a long time and should know better. Jack admits that Don West was a guilty pleasure of his and Kelly says that he was dreadful. Kelly mentions that he watched TNA Epics and he was horrible.
Jack talks about the card for ROH which will see the Briscoe Brothers taking on the Kings of Wrestling for the ROH World Tag Team Championships. Kelly puts over Hero and Claudio as being great workers. Kelly has a great deal of respect for Chris Hero and says he has improved greatly. Davey Richards taking on Kenny King for a pick 6 spot. The main event will see Tyler Black defending the ROH World Championship against Roderick Strong and Austin Aries in a elimination match. Kelly mentions a Colt Cabana/El Generico taking on Steve Corino and Kevin Steen. Kelly likes Colt Cabana’s style as it is a style that will not be seen in other places.
A caller named Jai asks Kevin Kelly if he Vince McMahon would scream in his ear. Kelly said that he Vince McMahon would scream in his headset, but he would simply tone him down and not listen to what he was saying. Jack mentions that he won a Hulkamania shirt from Byte This and never got the shirt and he blames The Fink. The same caller asks Kelly if he knows why Randy Savage has never returned to the idea. Kelly says that creative would sometimes come up with ideas for Savage and sometimes McMahon would listen to the idea and sometimes he would say “absolutely not”. Kelly discuss the rumors of Savage taking the Slim Jim deal himself or leaving the company for WCW are the reasons.
Jack asks Kevin Kelly if he would ever have another debate with Bob Ryder. Kelly would discuss something regarding Chris Harris and apparently some activities taking place. Kelly says that he loves the Braden Walker tribute video on you tube.
The debate on the big blue cage or the current cage continues this week. Kelly at first hated the big blue cage but it grew on him. They talk about the Terror dome match on TNA Impact on January 4th where Homicide couldn’t get out of the cage. Kelly found it ridiculous that their was a DQ for the match, and doesn’t even like the escape rule. Kelly brings up the fact that chair shots are no longer allowed in WWE. Kelly agrees that he sees the chair shots coming back.
Kelly doesn’t believe the WWE knows how to protect the wrestlers from concussions. Kelly says that chair shots to the head will not be seen in ROH. Kelly says that anything is possible to bring back from the day as long as the modern fan would believe in it.
Kelly believes that North Carolina is a good audience for ROH because of the history of the area. Kelly puts North Carolina over as a great wrestling town.
A caller named Carroll calls in and thanks Kevin Kelly for all his work he has put in the wrestling business. Kelly truly appreciates the kind words and says that he was a fan before his announcing days and will continue to be a fan of wrestling.
A caller asks if Kevin Kelly sees ROH competing with TNA if TNA were not to improve. Kelly says that he doesn’t see that happening as ROH is looking to be the largest WRESTLING promotion going while TNA and WWE are going for the sports entertainment crowd. Kelly says that ROH is looking to get people who stopped watching wrestling and even MMA fan. Kelly believes that ROH would measure up with TNA very well over the next twelve months. Kelly believes that they compete against themselves instead of competing with a different company. The same caller asks if there are going to be more internet pay per views. Kelly says that they are planning on doing four a year and the next one scheduled to take place in June.
Kelly has been doing a lot of research to get caught up on the ROH product and feels that he needs to do this for the ROH crowd. Kelly has missed working fulltime in the wrestling business.
Barbie asks Kelly if ROH has talked about international distribution. Kelly says that they are in talks to expand internationally and says that they recently signed a deal with Italy.
Jack runs down a ISPW show that Kevin Kelly will be guest hosting. Kelly hopes to be funnier than Dennis Miller! Please go to www.ispwlive.com for ticket sales on the event.
Jack thanks Kelly for coming on. Kelly had a great time and would like to comeback on the show sooner than three years down the line.
For more information on In Your Wrestling Radio and their large archives of interviews dating back to 2005 go to www.inyourheadonline.com