Glenn Gilberti recently joined us on the Main Event and here is a Interview Recap.
(The Main Event Wrestling Radio Show is Live every Sunday morning at 10:30 am with hosts Ryan Rider and Steve Rockamaniac, Check out MainEventRadio.com for more details)
Why he originally left TNA: I hurt my leg. Then I kind of
fizzled things out creatively and I had some overseas things that I
wanted to do and so just we kind of parted ways for awhile.
His current responsibilities as a road agent for the company:
Organizing the matches, going in the production truck when the matches
are going on and calling out shots to the director. Just basically
working with the talent and putting on a good televised product.
On what should be done to bring TNA to the next level: Where
do I start? We need to increase viewership for one, we need to
increase revenue. We need to grow to the point where we take the show
live on the road. That’s what needs to be done.
Comparing WCW and TNA: One company had a billionaire owning it
and the other company is working on a tighter budget on a smaller
network. You don’t have multi-million dollars talents but you do have
[other things]. I look at WCW back at 96′-97′ when we had the
cruiserweights and a lot of the new guys were hitting the scene and
they were doing a lot of innovative stuff, that’s a lot of where TNA
is right now. You have guys doing things that haven’t been done in the
ring in awhile; we just need to be able to build their characters to
get them over with the mainstream audience.
Stipulation Matches vs. Straight-Up Bouts: Well here’s the
thing; when you’re in a growth stage, the one thing you can’t do is do
stuff that’s been done before. Honestly, what it is you sort of put
your crap against the wall and see what sticks. You are constantly
trying gimmick matches, constantly trying new things. If some of them
are good, then they become recurring themes on the show. A perfect
example, I don’t want to pat myself on the back, but I came up with
the concept for “Ultimate X”. An innovative, X division type match,
and now we have a Pay-Per-View based on that each year. In
professional wrestling, it’s been going on for so many years and it’s
very hard to come up with new stuff. You always have to be different;
you can’t be stale, you can’t be the same. If you don’t like it;
sometimes people say the stuff is too confusing, well I think we get
by on talent alone enough for our PPV audience. If the guys can
deliver the product in the ring that we’re trying to portray
creatively, then I think it works.
We’ve got a lot of creative guys. Frankie Kazarian and Chris Daniels
and the like, they help so much. They lay out the basic structure of a
lot of the X division matches that you see and they’re very good at
it. I think that based on some of the concepts and on some of the
talents that we have and some of the matches we have, you’re just
looking for a good show.
The Knockouts Division: The bottom line is if you have a lot of
hot girls that don’t embarrass themselves in the ring you get ratings.
It’s not a difficult concept. Wrestling is written for 18-34 year old
males. Our girls are just so much better than the WWE girls that they
draw. The second they walk out there they don’t lose their sex appeal,
they make a good showing of themselves in the ring, the matches are
stiff, and they’re athletic. It’s hard to change the channel when
When asked which talents he sees as a future star, male or
female: Gosh, we have so many; you can go down half the roster. I
like all the girls, every single one of them could be a breakout star;
you can see them making a name for themselves in the business which
they are doing right now. We have so many X division guys that can
break out if they can nail a few interviews on the mic and start
showing some more personality. Of course you’ve got Robert Roode and
James Storm who are playing their characters perfectly. They’re
getting more and more popular. There are just tons of them; we’ve got
a whole roster of breakout stars.
His thoughts on the negativity of internet wrestling fans: All
Internet wrestling fans are basically critics. You don’t see a lot of
praise online. Not even only wrestling forums, but you look at
political forums, sports forums, any type of message boards and it
just breathes a very negative atmosphere. I’m convinced that what
people do is that they cut promos against each other. A message board
or forum is a free way to go online and basically argue and cut promos
on each other. The problem that I have is that some of the ideas that
people talk about online have a snowball effect and so many people
start writing about them that they become fact. To me, they become
erroneous facts. A perfect example: everybody’s talking about how this
Shark Boy thing was like the worse thing ever; it’s kind of like
gained a life of its own. Well then now Shark Boy is getting the
biggest pops at the house shows and he has the #1 selling t-shirt
right now. So everybody who says that “nobody wants to see Shark Boy”
is just untrue, because Shark Boy is one of the most popular people on
the show. You may think he is awesome, but if you go online you’ll be
thinking that this is the worst idea of all time. My point is that
that type of thing should be corrected. Erroneous opinions start to be
treated as factual when they’re not.
Jeff Jarrett: “He’s in great shape, I know that.”
On whether he would ever return to the ring for TNA: Not
really, I’m 40 years old. I can still go but I don’t want to get the
feeling that here’s another guy who’s had his run and everything and
is trying to take the time away from other guys we are trying to
cultivate and create.
His thoughts on the “other product out there”: I try to watch
but it’s hard. For me, I like shows where a lot of stuff is going on.
And on their show, nothing really happens. A bunch of guys have
matches and a bunch of guys cut promos talking about the matches. And
that’s really about it.
How the creative team meetings work: They happen during the
week in Tennessee. It’s Jeff [Jarrett], and Vince [Russo], and Dutch
[Mantell] and a couple of others as well. I’ve been in a couple of
meetings before; you just shoot ideas around, you argue, you agree,
you laugh, you tell jokes, you crack up, sometimes you hear the
funniest things that you’ve ever seen. It’s weird on how you get so
many different viewpoints on things too.
The prospects of Impact! going on the road in the future:
Eventually yeah, absolutely. There’s a certain energy to the live
crowd that is just really strong. Like Monday night football crowds
are always rowdy, playoff crowds are always rowdy in sports, when
Monday Nitro was on people were rowdy because they know they are on
live television and it just brings a different type of energy to the
crowd. I think if you run shows in that type of atmosphere, it’s just
better and it creates more energy.
On whether or not he was surprised then that the live edition of
Impact didn’t score a higher rating than usual: No, not at all. I
don’t think people care that much as television viewers about if the
show is live or not. Honestly, there’s suspension of disbelief. I do
think it translates better to TV, maybe if it was live every week but
anyhow I didn’t think that show would draw also because we were going
head to head with the college basketball tournament.
Is the emphasizing of ratings overrated?: I don’t think the
talent cares as much about the rating as the creative does and the
people who run the show. Your main critic right there is the ratings.
You can listen to everybody’s reviews of the show but the bottom line
is your ratings, if less people are watching each week then you’re not
doing something right.
Unfortunately, he did not have any updates on the status of Kurt
Angle’s health nor did he have any information pertaining to PPV buy
rates. All in all, some interesting thoughts from the man formerly
known as Disco Inferno. It was a pleasure to have him on the program.