Mike Tenay discusses his favorite matches, working with Don West, the future, and more
From Ryan Rider:
11 Year Anniversary: It’s hard to imagine that 11 years have passed.
To see the strides that our company has made is truly amazing. From
the weekly Pay-Per-Views in Nashville to the Impact Zone in Orlando.
The Fox Sports contract, Spike TV contract. It really has been fun.
How he joined TNA: I was still under contract to WCW for a year, year
and a half. I received a phone call one day from Bob Ryder and he said
we’ve come up with this idea to start an idea. Bob and Jeff Jarrett
were involved in the early stages and invited me to come on board. We
haven’t looked back since.
Tough times early on: We had just a few shows under our belt when they
decided to take a break. They decided to have “Best of” shows. I
wondered if we would ever come back live. And since then we haven’t
missed a beat, has been a tremendous experience.
Going live and leaving the Impact Zone: From a company standpoint,
absolutely fantastic. The opportunity to take the product live, allow
the fans to come out and see the people they see on TV each week. A
party atmosphere with the Impact shows that we have and another big
step for the company.
I also love the idea of the 4 PPVs a year, the four big events
supplemented by the “One Night Only” PPVs. It’s a really good mix.
From a TV standpoint, to be able to build for those big 4 PPV events
rather than 12, it’s a huge advantage for us and makes our TV program
Favorite memories: I think back to the early days and the ability for
us to take these young talents, the X division talents in the early
days of the company such as AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Low Ki, Amazing
Red, Kid Kash, I could go on and on and on. The X Division put us on
the map, it gave us longevity. It led us to that bridge where we were
able to acquire a talent like a Sting, like a Kurt Angle, a Hulk
Hogan. Without those guys in the early days, I don’t think we would be
here today. When I think back as far as my favorite times, those early
X Division matches were not only great to announce, but for the
importance of the company going forward it was huge.
It’s just so great to be able to see guys like Petey Williams come
back, to see Chris Sabin come back. For about a year, year and a half
period, we didn’t have the depth that we need in the X division. Now
we have it.
Working with Don West vs Working with Taz: Totally different. Don was
originally brought in to be the voice of the fan. That infectious
enthusiasm that Don had and what he brought to the broadcast table was
just great. One of my great friends in all the years I’ve been in
professional wrestling, I still stay in touch with him today. At the
same time, when the transition was made to Taz you went from the fan
now to the former wrestler. It gave a totally different perspective
for the viewer. A more expert analysis in terms of holds, in terms of
mindsets that he has brought to the table the last few years. Don was
just such a natural at promotions, that’s why he was so good when he
worked at the merchandise department.
Todd Kenneley: Todd has just come in and has just done a great job.
He’s a real student of the game. There’s not a bigger fan of
professional wrestling than Todd and it really shows in his work. He’s
been really fun to work with the last few months.
His past and his future: It’s kind of up to TNA and Impact Wrestling
what my future holds. At Slammiversary, an anniversary event, it is
that opportunity to reflect. I think back and say wow, 11 years here
and before that 6 or 7 years on-air for WCW; and before that I worked
on the WCW hotline and did wrestling radio. After 20-plus years of it,
it’s just been a fantastic ride and I’m here for as long as they’ll