TNA’s Rockstar Spud has a big decision on his hands when Impact Wrestling moves to Wednesdays on Destination America beginning tonight.
The current X Division champion can keep the gold or cash in “Option C” for a shot at the world heavyweight title. It’s a position the 5-foot-4 Englishman never thought he would be in, but it’s one the entertainer isn’t taking for granted. Today he calls Nashville home — a city which is nothing like Birmingham.
“The first couple of months were kind of rough because you have to get used to the way things are done,” he said. “Other than that, us English have really butchered the American language. I apologize because we speak American here, not English. So that was a tough one as well. When you ask, ‘Do you have a bin? (English accent) They go, ‘What’s a bin?’ You are waving rubbish at them and they are saying, ‘Oh, the trash.’ Certain types of cars are called vans. Americans, you’re a strange breed, you Yanks!
“I do love living here,” he continues. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful country. I’m very blessed the United States government has allowed an idiot like me in on a performance visa to come here. It’s awesome. I’m a citizen of the world. I’m living a wonderful life in the U.S.A.”
The 32-year-old earned a TNA contract in the first season of the “British Boot Camp” reality show in 2013. From there, he has served as the onscreen Chief of Staff for company president Dixie Carter and partner to her television nephew Ethan Carter III. Despite being on the villainous side, Spud began to resonate with the audience. His personality wasn’t the only thing that helped him standout. It was also his colorful suits and bow ties.
“To me, the suits I wear on television are okay,” he said. “I’m an educated man of fashion. This is the sort of stuff I wear on the street. It’s just another day in the life of Rockstar Spud … It’s probably the reason I’m still single. We’ll go into that another time.”
A rivalry with EC3 showed what the performer was capable of doing in the six-sided ring. It became hard not to cheer him. The fans in the Wembley Arena erupted when Spud won the X Division championship for the first time. The high-flyer is currently in his second reign with the title, proving each night he is more than just comedy relief.
“It’s awesome, man,” he said. “Right now, what you are seeing on television is the closest thing you to James Michael Curtin you will see, ever. It’s me. The situations I’ve been in on TV, I’ve been in them in real life … When someone says if you use Option C, you’re going to wrestle Kurt Angle in a particular tone, my head drops. That’s like when people told me I wasn’t going to make it in pro wrestling.
“I’ve been in those situations when a friend has been rotten to me or makes me feel like that I’m worthless. It’s playing my wrestling journey on worldwide television from ‘British Boot Camp’ to Impact Wrestling where I decide. Me, the 150-pounder who was told he would never make it in pro wrestling, someone who looks like me. Someone who looks like the boys and girls who tune into Impact Wrestling you or sits in the audience, someone like me, gets to decide if he wants to wrestle for the world heavyweight title or keep the X Division title. It’s story-telling, but also real life. I don’t know what is going to happen next.”
If Spud does go for the world heavyweight championship, he would be in the same spot a few of his favorites stood.
“I was a huge Bully Ray fan growing up,” he said.
Spud is excited to be a part of TNA, as it moves back to Wednesday nights. The company joins Ring of Honor, which will air on Destination America before Impact Wrestling.
“I think it’s a great night for pro wrestling,” he said.
“Wednesday night is pro wrestling night in the United States…All the products are different. This is what sets us apart. We give you good guys and bad guys, characters you care about if they win or lose. We have the best wrestling roster in the world. I don’t have to say anything more than that. We are telling the best stories in pro wrestling right now…If you haven’t watched in a while, give us a chance and ‘show your Impact and spread the word.”
When he isn’t watching pro wrestling Spud has a diverse palate of programming.
“I’m a big fan of Gotham“’ he said.
“But I’m more of a movie guy than a TV show guy. However, I love Saturday Night Live. I love comedy. I just love the performers and the timing. I’m a big fan of Kenan Thompson from Kenan & Kel. I also like it when The Rock appears on Saturday Night Live. He cracks me up. He is such a diverse performer who can adapt to anything. He has been so great for our business. I’m also a big horror movie fan, but I love my comedies as well. I love those epic movies. I loved Titanic when it was out and those big movies. I’m waiting on Jurassic World. If that sucks, I’m going to find Steven Spielberg and grab him saying, ‘Why didn’t you direct this movie?’ I’m very apprehensive of the new Terminator movie, too. So we’ll see what happens.”
Impact Wrestling airs Wednesday nights at 9/8/CT on Destination America. Follow me on Twitter @smFISHMAN.