TNA Wrestling celebrates its 10th anniversary this weekend with the Slammiversary pay-per-view.
Through the years, many stars have come and gone through the TNA system, but there have been a core group of TNA "originals" who have remained loyal to the product through the good times and the bad.
One of them, a "founding father" of the company, was "The Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels.
Today, Daniels is one-half of the TNA World Tag Team Champions with Frankie Kazarian and the self-proclaimed "new face of Impact Wrestling."
My "From the Rafters Radio" co-host Chris Hagstrom and I had the opportunity to chat with Daniels about his tag title defense at Sunday's Slammiversary against A.J. Styles and
Here is an excerpt of what Daniels had to say:
On Impact going live for the summer: Honestly speaking, we're live every month when we go on pay-per-view, so as far as the wrestlers, we're not feeling that pressure any different than when we do pay-per-view. Although the one big difference that I noticed last week was just the commercial breaks. It's something you have to keep in mind as you're in the ring, understanding when the cameras are on and when they're off, but that's a small adjustment. I made it; I'm sure all the rest of the roster got it in their heads quickly. I think all of us are happy this is going on right now. This is a great opportunity to show the world that we can do live, and I hope that this turns from an experiment into the way we do business from now on.
On facing Styles and Angle for the tag titles at Slammiversary: AJ and I have probably fought in every country, in every state on this planet. Going into Slammiversary, you get a team made up of two world champions, two world-class athletes like Kurt and AJ, it's a big test for Frankie and myself. But right now, I feel that Frankie and myself are the best tag team in professional wrestling today. I feel that we're going to have a title run that rivals the ones that Beer Money had when they were in charge, the type of title reigns that America's Most Wanted had when they were the top team. I think one of the things about Impact Wrestling is that once you get a tag team that has a good chemistry together, a good sets of talents like myself and Frankie, we're going to run with the ball. I think we're going to have one of those record-setting tag title reigns like those two teams I mentioned earlier.
On the TNA Wrestling tag team division: I feel like right now we're sort of in flux. That situation sort of comes and goes. There were times that we had a good number of tag teams that were up at the top. Right now, with Alex Shelley leaving TNA, with the Motor City Machineguns being gone, other than ourselves, I feel that the top established tag team right now is
On celebrating the 10th anniversary of TNA: When you talk about TNA from the past 10 years, people didn't expect us to last this long. I remember when we were in Nashville, we had the first-year anniversary and people asked, "How does it feel to be a year old?" Five years ago, when we had our fifth anniversary, it was the same thing. It's always that "How does it feel to grow?" The best thing TNA has been doing, every step we take has been a step forward. It may not be a big step or a great step, but it's always been a step forward, and I feel right now we've got a lot of momentum on our side - the fact we're going live, the fact that we changed our time slot, and the fact that we're doing better right now than we have been in recent months. I feel this is a big step forward for us. I know that the entire talent roster is going to step up and show the world why we've been around for 10 years and why we're going to be around a lot longer.
On his two iconic matches, vs. Samoa Joe and AJ Styles in TNA and vs. Low Ki and Bryan Danielson in Ring of Honor: I feel like at that point in wrestling, the triple threat hadn't been done to death. Some of the things we did at those times were sort of groundbreaking in terms of how we would get three guys involved. Usually, at the time, it was two guys wrestle and one guy rests for a period of time and then switch guys out and rinse, repeat. I feel those two matches were put together in a way that allowed for everybody to be involved at the same time, innovative ways to keep three guys involved, innovative ways to keep the action moving and innovative ways to keep all three of us moving at the same time. It's a testament to those guys - Danielson and Low-Ki, and Joe and AJ - that we put those matches together and they still stand the test of time. It says a lot that people still look back and say how good those matches were a decade later, seven years later.
On criticisms of the company not making new stars: I would say right now is the worst time to make those sorts of claims. You look at what's happening on television right now and the highest-rated storyline is between three homegrown TNA talents - myself, AJ Styles and Frankie Kazarian. Right now I feel like I've got a better rapport with the creative team, a better rapport with guys like Eric Bischoff and
On the ongoing storyline with
Daniels discussed a number of other topics, including his history with Ring of Honor, his thoughts on the new TNA Hall of Fame, opinions on taking Impact on the road and which knockouts have the best beards, among others. The full interview is available online at in the episode archives.