Main Event Radio with TJ Perkins (a/k/a Manik)
Host: Ryan Rider
Interview conducted for MainEventRadio.com
On what led to his release from the company: I don’t know if there was any specific thing. My contract was coming up for renewal. And like in sports terms, I was a restricted free agent. They had an option to keep it for another year if they wanted. They’re probably restructuring everybody based on the POPTV switch and they decided to go in a different direction and e-mailed me with one sentence to let me know that was I wasn’t being used any longer.
Pitching story ideas for his character: All that stuff wasn’t even created by me. It was sort of a misconception. The fans started all the hashtags and all that, and I just gave them retweets. Its not every day that you get a grassroots promotion started by fans, and #AllWeWantisTJ wasn’t started by me but I was trying to reciprocate all the support. It shouldn’t be wasted. I have at times always been proactive writing stories and pitch ideas. Even if we’re encouraged to do that, they already know what they’re doing and they don’t want to hear it if you’re not part of that.
Disagreement with Josh Mathews leading to Twitter war: Going into Bound for Glory, I asked for 30 seconds of John Gaburick’s time. We had five days straight of tapings. I took my mask off and I wanted to see where we were going forward. Right after BFG, they wanted me to put my mask back on without explanation. I said we should just let the fans do what they’re doing and ask for me and we could turn it into something. They didn’t want to do that. The alternative was that they wanted me to portray a character with a personality disorder or personality crisis. I told them I wasn’t comfortable portraying that as I have a family member with a disorder. I was offended later because they said sure that’s fine but that night on commentary they said that that is what I had. On social media I made a point to say that I don’t have this and I’m not comfortable with this nor want this portrayed. They had Josh [Mathews] relay the message through the creative team and he felt I was undercutting him and he got frustrated. I think he kind of knew that he screwed up the way that he expressed himself because it was not going to look good, and I tried my best to respond in a way that would encourage people to continue their support without making him look bad to the company. That was one of those situations where someone was getting too prideful and taking something too personally.
Would he go back to Ring of Honor: Absolutely. When I left it was heartbreaking, it was totally amicable and I never really wanted to leave.
His desire to be in NXT/WWE: The system that is part of the flagship of what we do. And probably always will be. They’re the Dallas Cowboys of wrestling and who wouldn’t want to wear that uniform. I would love to be there, I have a lot of friends there, and the stuff that they’re doing is incredible. They kind of lead the curve and create the path that everyone else follows. What they’re doing currently is actually shaping the future of the industry. It would be incredibly exciting to be a part of that. Developmental is not a bad word to use for it, people need to open their mind on the connotation of that. It isn’t derogatory or a step down; they’re developing the future and the current. Sustaining the current path there are not many times in history where the course is corrected sharply in a very specific way that changes what is going to follow it. It is a great time to be a wrestler and even be a wrestling fan.
Clarifying the rumors of him having heat with Davey Richards over a comment he made about his wife, Angelina Love: No, because those comments aren’t real. They come from someone on Twitter who usually messes with Divas and Knockouts and Vince Russo, always photoshopping horrible fake things about them. I told him I don’t want any part in it and then this comes out. I talk to Davey all the time, he’s one of my best friends in the world. It’s not real. The problem is being a public figure, when people do stuff like that for attention, the only solution is to ignore it. There’s no winning in this situation, you just let go.