Former WWE star Shawn Daivari comments on working for TNA offshoot promotions All Wheels Wrestling and the India project, and why he left Ring of Honor.
Former WWE star Shawn Daivari joined Jason Powell of Prowrestling.net for a recent two-hour interview. Listen to the first 20 minutes of the interview for free at Prowrestling.net.
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The following are some quotes from the interview.
Daivari on the TNA offshoot All Wheels Wrestling that is slated to air on Speed Network: "It's more or less the World X Cup. Instead of having different countries being represented in teams, it's different genres of racing being teams and then we compete in a predetermined set of points. At the end of the season, instead of having a World Champion, you have a cup holder like there is in racing, like they did for the World X Cup.
"My character is Dubai, who kind of takes after the desert off-road racing… My team is going to be kind of of that genre of racing. We're going to be, not necessarily Middle Eastern, but foreign characters where this is popular… I'll be the team captain…"
"Last I heard, I'm still apart of it and I'm really looking forward to it. I think this is going to be the most wrestling per minute of television time that's going to be on in the United States. If it's a one-hour or two-hour program, I want to say that about 80 percent of it will be wrestling, which has me really excited because it's going to be the only wrestling show that you can tune into and it's going to be wrestling."
Daivari on the TNA India project: "I'm doing it. It's not even a pilot. It's a done deal. They are doing a TV show. I leave December 14… We shoot for two weeks and then I come home for two weeks and we go back for two weeks and that will be the season…
"The India project and the All Wheels Wrestling project are very much on top of it being handled by Dixie (Carter) and Jeff (Jarrett). And both Dixie and Jeff, I think, always liked me, because anytime stuff like this comes up, they could say this to everybody, but they both called me and they said, 'You are the first guy we called.'"
Daivari on leaving Ring of Honor: "Ring of Honor was the main reason I that wrapped up with TNA. Adam Pearce was booking it at the time. I've known Adam for years, and then (Jim) Cornette was back in there. He loved me and used me well in OVW. He loved me and used me well in TNA…
"I was like, 'Hey, if I get out of TNA would you guys be able to use me?' Adam, who was their head booker at the time, emailed me and said, 'I'll will book you on every show. I will put you on every TV, every pay-per-view, and every house show if you become available." I was like, sure, done deal. So I washed my hands with TNA, and I started with Ring of Honor, which I 110 percent believe that was Adam and Cornette's intention. Unfortunately for me, right when I got there everything started downsizing…
"I remember one time Adam showed me a budget for a show and the budget was slashed three times from when they booked the show to when the actual show happened. Of course, I was kind of a higher paid guy and I lived in Texas, so I was a fly-in to every show they did, plus the hotel.
"I was a pretty expensive talent for my spot on the card, which was kind of a bottom of the card middle of the card guy. For them to say per event, you're a larger financial investment than potentially one of our main event talents that night, it kind of didn't make a lot of sense. And then the budget kept getting cut and cut and cut and they left me off more shows. Eventually it got to the point where it was like, 'F—, this is a part-time job.
"The writing was on the wall. I wrapped up. Two weeks later, Adam was fired. And then like two weeks later, the company was sold. It was just really bad timing. I loved working there. I thought it was a really, really good product. Had I got there maybe a year earlier, everything would have fallen into place a little bit better. Financial commitments were cut right when I came in, and unfortunately I was just a casualty of business at that point."
Additional Interview Topics
-The Morgan Spurlock documentary he's featured in.
-Daivari's run with Muhammad Hassan in WWE.
-Working as Sheik Abdul Bashir in TNA.
-Why his TNA push stopped.
-Butting heads with Vince Russo and making amends.
-The Wrestling Retribution Project tapings and his character (the photo above is of his WRP character Fairs Gotch).
-Working with Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania.
-Training to be a pro wrestler when he was just 14.
-How much of a concern the size factor was for him.
-Teaming with his brother Arya Daivari for the TNA India project.