TNA Interview with Jeremy Borash

941364_541659919209767_680892460_nIf you’re a fan of TNA or wrestling in general, then you’ll know that it’s not just the in-ring stars that make a company successful. Names like Paul Heyman, Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff will always be synonymous with the industry and they are the men that drive its success. It’s not always the big men with the big money however. In terms of pushing a company to new heights, there’s no man more hands-on and loyal to the fans than Jeremy Borash. From starting in WCW to WWA and then being there right from the beginnings of TNA, Borash has become one of the faces of TNA, especially here in the UK. There is no one else in the wrestling world that gets out there and talks to the fans like he does, whether it be online on Twitter, or at the TNA live events. There’s no doubt that Jeremy is an integral part of what makes TNA so special, and we recently had the chance to catch up with the man himself about all things TNA.


So, you’re over here to celebrate the upcoming launch of the new and improved, family-friendly Xplosion in the UK. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

It’s something that we’ve been talking about for a long time. Personally, when I was a fan I remember watching with my dad on Saturday mornings in America. I was 4 years old and counting down the minutes. That was my first exposure to wrestling and it became a weekly tradition. So despite whatever differences in interests we had, we always had that in common. Ever since then I’ve always had a fondness for the Saturday morning wrestling show, and it’s never been done here so we talked about it. It’s really about reaching a fan that can’t see Impact. It’s definitely not about cleaning up or sanitising the product but featuring different things, so like the X Division, Knockouts, Spin Cycle and more. It’s a focus on lots of fun and a different appeal. I wouldn’t necessarily say family friendly per se, but it’s different times now. All you need to do is invest in good story lines and not the shock factor that you had at a certain time in the industry.

What do you think makes the relationship between TNA and the UK so special?

We’re on the ground here. We are much more focused here rather than going all over the world. The US is our bread and butter with Impact but we put a lot of attention into the UK market. For example, the fan parties only happen over here. They don’t get those in the US! It’s something free where the fans can come and hang out and in general we’re way more accessible. Also I think it’s the David and Goliath factor as the UK seems to love getting behind the underdog. There’s definitely a mutual affection shared between us. I’d move everything here if I could!

Impact is back at Universal now after TNA took it on the road for a while. What’s it like to be back home, so to speak? There are clear pros and cons about that venue.JB2

Well economics are a big factor. We try things and can take risks and that’s what we did with Impact. It might not have worked as well as it could have but we always survive to live another day. So even though we’re in Florida now, we’ll be out of Orlando after Slammiversary and off to New York. That’s going to be a whole different crowd and I’m a big fan of different crowds. Whether it’s Mexico or Japan, you get a totally unique experience, so who knows what will happen in New York! Anytime you go somewhere, it’s hard to know what to expect. I’d say the Hydro in Glasgow was a highlight this year, crowd-wise.

We’re currently building towards Slammiversary XII and there’s a fresh feel to the roster. A number of legends and long time TNA stars have left recently. How has that changed the company?

It’s something you can compare but I try not to. Personally I have a huge place in my heart for AJ Styles and Daniels and all those guys, but whether it’s movies or music or anything, new blood is the lifeblood. You have to do that. If anything, I’d say that over the years we have been guilty of not bringing in enough new talent. Across the board, any entertainment needs that. Sure it’s a transition period in a way but new stars have been built hugely this year. I’d say EC3 fits in perfectly and has come a long way in such a short space of time. So yeah, it’s tough to see guys go, but things change. I was a ring announcer but that changed and Christy Hemme stepped in. I’m fine with that!

It’s not just new guys coming in and getting a chance either is it? TNA has a track record of giving long-term wrestlers like Bully Ray a shot at becoming something different and succeeding.

Can I be the first person to compare Bully Ray to Madonna? Reinvention is key. He’s a solid main event competitor now and I don’t know of anyone else that can change so much and be successful at that level. Guys like him and Jeff Hardy are going out there and bringing new things to the table even after this many years. There’s a reason they are so successful.

Who do you see as the future of the company over the next few years? As you mentioned before, EC3 has been doing great. I was always a fan back in NXT and beyond. The guy has a lot of charisma!

How did they let EC3 go? I have no idea. What were they thinking? Like you said, he has so much talent and charisma. I think he’ll be around for ages and this is only the beginning for him. I’d say his cohort Spud has had huge success also, as he’s moved over to the states and after all these years he’s just a great success story. Someone like that just needs one opportunity. Winning British Bootcamp for him was incredible and he’s now a legit star. He’s certainly not a conventional guy but he’s exciting to watch and very underrated. I’ll tell you one thing – Kurt Angle came back through the curtain one night and asked if he could wrestle Spud every night! If an Olympic gold medallist is saying that then you know he means something! I remember watching him versus Abyss years ago at 1PW in the UK and and he made a real impact. He was the one thing you remembered when you came away from that show.


How does it feel to think that TNA has now been around nearly as long as WCW was?

Well you can’t argue with longevity. I’m in this for the long haul and I want to do this for the rest of my life. I work hard and we all do. I think we want it more than the competition and that makes us work harder and try harder. We’ll never have the resources on a company with fifty years’ experience! We’re always looking to develop our product in new and different markets, like we have great TV deals in places like India. Fans don’t realise how huge something like that is. There are so many benefits to that so it’s not always a focus on success in the US. It will always come back to where we started expanding and that’s right here in the UK. It’s always our best one and we’ll always be that underdog.

After working for TNA for over a decade now, what ambitions do you have left in the industry?

For me I think this Xplosion launch is a huge deal. You’re launching to a whole new group in a huge market, and that growth should be exciting. I’d personally love to do another season of Bootcamp especially with the success of Spud. His success has given it worldwide credibility and shows that it’s a winning formula. I can’t imagine anyone working in the UK not wanting to apply after how Spud has done! He’s genuinely a guy that people root for if they know him and he’ll do anything for it. Other than that, I’d love to see some more exclusive programming and we’ll see what we can come up with!

The new and improved version of Xplosion will debut on Challenge on Saturday mornings at 9am starting on May 31.

Impact Wrestling airs every Sunday night at 9pm on Challenge.

TNA will return to the UK in January 2015 for their Maximum Impact 7 tour. Full details are HERE.

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