For the past decade, many champions have made their mark, building a legacy that transcends the wrestling world. The classic matches, the most personal rivalries and the unforgettable moments. For one night only the past and present collide. TNA WRESTLING is about to unleash the ONE NIGHT ONLY: TNA 10 REUNION! Prepare to witness the epic reunion you never expected. Featuring LAX, 3 D, Austin Aries, Jeff Hardy, Bobby Roode, James Storm, Samoa Joe, Kurt Angle, Gail Kim, Velvet Sky, Sonjay Dutt, Kazarian, Petey Williams, Kenny King, Matt Morgan, Joseph Park, Shark Boy, Johnny Devine, Cassidy Reily, Chase Stevens, ODB, Johnny Swinger, Jessie Godderz, and Mr. Anderson. Headlining this epic event is a match for the ages! TNA Superstar Bobby Roode his former tag team partner, “The Cowboy” James Storm, in the TNA 10 Reunion Pay-Per-View premiering Friday, August 2, on Pay-Per-View.Icon Vs. Icon recently caught up with Bobby Roode to discuss his time in the professional wrestling industry, his career high points, his advice to aspiring performers and more!
What are your earliest memories of professional wrestling and it coming into your life?
I remember being about seven or eight years old and sitting on the couch with my dad watching Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Bret Hart and The Hart Foundation and all of those guys back in the late 80s. Watching those guys perform and entertain back then was something which left me in awe. Back then, it was about storytelling in the ring and it was something that captivated me. Being from Canada, I was a hockey player growing up and early on I wanted to grow up to be a professional hockey player like all the other kids. Wrestling was something that was always on my mind and here I am today! Being big in hockey doesn’t always help, so I knew I wasn’t going to do it professional.
I had a friend, who worked out at the same gym as me and lived in my town, who was a professional wrestler. We became good friends and he began training me, that was Sean Morley. I was very fortunate because it was one-on-one training and I didn’t have to go to a school and train with twenty or thirty other guys. It was serious one-on-one time and I think that really helped me become who I am today. I am lucky to have been able to make a career of it.
You have been with TNA Wrestling for many years and have been able to witness it’s growth first hand. What has that experience been like for you?
It has been quite a ride. I have been there since the early years and been there through the ups and downs along the way. I was there in Nashville in the early days with the Wednesday Night Pay-Pay-Views, then going to Fox Sports Net and then transitioning to SPIKE TV, where we were on at 11 PM and now we are on primetime! We have also seen many talented people come in and out of our locker room. It has been quite a ride and I think we are going to continue to grow! Along the way, I have had many milestones. I have been a multiple time World Tag Team Champion. Of course, becoming the World Heavyweight Champion a few years was probably the greatest moment of my life. I knew when I won the title, my job was about to get a lot harder. I knew the work was just about to begin. Being a World Champion comes with a lot of extra pressure because there are a lot of duties involved. For the company to be able to keep that on me, want to have that on me and put me in the position to keep it for as along as I did , really meant a lot to me. I had a great time doing it! There have been a lot of great memories and hopefully a lot more to come!
What are some of the goals you still want to achieve inside the ring before you fade of into the sunset?
I have a lot left to accomplish. Looking at some of the greatest wrestlers in the world, multiple time Heavyweight Champions, that is the guy I want to be. I had my first run and it was amazing — eight months long. It was a run that made me the longest running Heavyweight Champion in the history of the company but that wasn’t enough for me. I want to be able to be the top guy again and main event PPV’s and everything else. I want the World title. It is the reason I am in this business and I think I have a lot left to give. I am still young and I feel great physically. There are also a lot of guys in our locker room I would love to work with along the way. I feel like the company is going to grow and continue to get bigger. That is something I really want to be a part of so I am very much looking forward to the future.
You mentioned the evolution of the company. How has the evolution affected you as a performer and behind-the-scenes as a human being?
Behind-the-scenes, I don’t think I have changed very much. I think the evolution of the company is an opportunity for you to adapt and grow along with it. I think if the company grows, you as a performer have to grow as well. If you don’t, you aren’t going to be employed! You have to go out there and perform each and every night and I think I have been able to do that. With the help of the great talent in our locker room, I think our company has grown immensely and will continue to grow. Behind-the-scenes, I think I have become more of locker room leader. I am more of a veteran now. It is cool when the younger guys come up and ask me to watch their matches. I take great pride in that because I remember being in that spot and asking guys to watch my matches. I like to think I am helpful to those younger guys. I don’t think I have changed too much. I still go out there, work hard and still want to be a top guy. I don’t think I am ready to take a backseat and just go out and help the younger guys. I want to be a guy who can do that but also is capable of main eventing Pay-Per-Views, TV shows and be a World Champion. I am always working on becoming a bigger star in the business than I already am. As far as that goes, I think if everybody in our locker room keeps the attitude that we have to keep stepping up every night and produce the best wrestling television show that week, if that attitude stays, I think our company is going to continue to grow. I am excited to be a part of that!
What advice can you offer to young talent who may just be starting out in this highly competitive industry?
Looking back on my time in TNA, when I first started, there were a lot of veterans there and I showed them respect because they were the guys who paved the road for me. If I have to give any advice to any young wrestler, it would be to pay respect to those guys who paved the way for you because they can probably help you in your journey.
Thanks for your time today, Bobby! It has been a pleasure. We wish you continued success and look forward to all you have in store for us in the years to come.
You’ve got it! Thank you, Jason!