TNA wrestler Sam Shaw on his status with the company, recent talent cuts, the Gut Check concept, how much of the real him is in his on-air character

Posted in: TNA News, Interview Highlights
Aug 12, 2013 - 11:00 AM

Art of Wrestling interview
Host: Robert Kurpar
Interview available at

Recently, a lot of conflicting reports concerning your OVW/TNA status have surfaced online. So, my question is: are you still employed by TNA or not? "Yes, still an independent contracted talent with TNA."

Most wrestlers say their character is them with the volume turned up high. How much of you is in Sam Saw – the wrestler? "It’s really me. Absolutely me. No one said “ hey try this gimmick…wear boardshorts and skater shoes and be this X-games type-guy.“ That whole concept was me being me. I’m sure there were fans that looked at me and said „look at this guy…no wrestling gear, stupid tattoos and spiky hair? He’s gonna suck!“ My whole thing is this: why be like everyone else? You’re always going to be compared to other wrestlers but I wanted to be my own person/character. Hillbilly Jim was a redneck farmer guy, so you knew it right away when he walked down the aisle with the whole presentation. No one asks why Bully Ray doesn’t wear spandex. Aces & Eights are bikers…none of them should wear trunks and wrestling boots. I wear boardshorts and skater shoes everyday. That’s the way I grew up, skating, surfing and wearing those types of clothes so it feels natural for me to wear that in the ring. Am I opposed to wearing the traditional gear? No. I have before."

Can you tell us something more about the recent releases in OVW? A lot of young and talented wrestlers left: "It’s always sad to hear that guys/girls get released, especially if you are really close with them. I was close with a few of them, but I know that they love this line of work so much that they will bounce back and seize other opportunities."

What´s your opinion on the entire Gutcheck concept as a Gutcheck winner? "For me personally, it was a great way to introduce me to a much wider audience . Instead of just debuting me they used the GutCheck concept to introduce me and in a lot of ways. I’m not sure if certain people within the company knew if I would sink or swim when the bright lights and TV cameras were focused on me. My goal was to make the most of the opportunity and show that I belong and I could do some cool things when all the attention and pressure is layed on me. It’s hard to throw a guy out there if he isn’t particularly known, even on the Indy scene where there are so many talented guys that are looking for the same opportunity that I got. I’ve been doing things with TNA since 2009, as I was training under Bully Ray and Devon at Team 3D Academy (and busting my ass) which afforded me opportunities over the years that others might not ever get. Bully always told me „it’s right place, right time“ and „maximize your opportunities“ and he was totally right!"

Other interview topics include Shaw's favorite matches and hobbies.

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