This Thursday on Pop TV, IMPACT becomes Total Nonstop Deletion.
That’s right, Matt Hardy, in all of his broken brilliance, has taken over the show. He’s scheduled three matches so far:
Tag Team Apocalypto, which is a falls count anywhere elimination match open to any tag team in space and time, hopefully in the same vein as the revolutionary Final Deletion. Plus, Hardy’s son, King Maxel will make his in-ring debut. In the main event, TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards will defend against the man he dethroned back in October, Bobby Lashley.
Edwards stopped by Wrestledelphia Radio to discuss the highly anticipated edition of IMPACT this Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. For the full interview, listen to Wrestledelphia Radio.
Below are excerpts from our conversation.
Take me back to the night you upset Bobby Lashley for the championship. It was a few days after Bound For Glory, and you didn’t even know you’d be facing him until seconds before the match. What was going through your mind?
Edwards: “Oh man, so many emotions, so many thoughts. It was a surreal moment. When I pinned him and Brian Hebner handed me that title, there was never a more real moment than when I looked at him like, ‘This is mine?’ It was a legit surreal moment. Even for the following weeks and months, it’s still something…you know, I dreamed about this my whole life. To actually achieve that goal, and become TNA World Heavyweight Champion, it’s an unbelievable opportunity and an amazing moment for myself. Hopefully the fans enjoyed it as well.”
This year has been an emotional roller coaster for you. Although you’ve had great success, you dealt with heartbreak with Davey Richards’ injury and the passing of your friend David “Daddycat” Cahill. How did you meet Daddycat?
Edwards: “We trained at Killer Kowlaski’s at the same time. I started training in 2001, that’s when I first met him. We hit it off right from the start. He was a few years older, so that’s where the mentorship came in and he kind of guided me along the way. He taught me more things than I could ever explain. We were a tag team in the New England area for a long time. We were just best friends, you know?”
Absolutely. Tag team wrestling will be at the forefront of Total Nonstop Deletion because of Tag Team Apocalypto. Who would you like to see participate?
Edwards: “It’s so hard to say one team because I’d like to see everybody show up. Imagine the Bucks of Youth showing up or Demolition appear. The Broken One put the invite out to anybody from any company. I’m just thrilled with the idea and the possibilities of who may show up.”
Well, you are Mr. Anything Is Possible and that precisely describes the in-ring debut of King Maxel Hardy, who has to hold the record for youngest pro wrestler ever, right?
Edwards: “I would hope so, because if there’s somebody even younger, I need video proof. People are going to overuse the word ‘unique’ describing this show because that’s all there is to say. Unique and wild and crazy and special. I hope the fans are as excited as I am for Thursday because of all the shenanigans that could happen – it’s amazing to even think about.”
And of course, Bobby Lashley gets his rematch for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. What’s it like to be in the ring with him?
Edwards: “Frightening. (laughs) Scary? You know, standing across the ring from Bobby Lashley, who is just a legit badass, legit freak of nature, anytime I’m facing him I know what I’m in for. I’m going to get thrown around, I’m going to get my ass beat a bit. I’m going to be hurting and sore the next day, the next week. But I enjoy it. I take pride in believing anything is possible. You look at the size difference, the power difference, his amateur wrestling background, his MMA background and it’s a legit David vs. Goliath thing. I want to prove not only to myself but to everyone out there that just because he’s bigger and stronger doesn’t mean he’s going to beat me. I never give up. Die hard. Anything is possible.”
You’ve only held the title since October, but you’ve already earned a reputation as a fighting champion by defending against Cody Rhodes, Eli Drake and EC3. Who has been your toughest challenger?
Edwards: “I take pride in being a fighting champion like you said. I want to defend it against anybody at anytime, anywhere. I want to be a true world champion and travel and defend it against everybody. I’d love to face Drew Galloway – we had one match in the Grand Championship Series but I’d love to do it again for the world title. Guys like Moose, DJZ, and no doubt there’s definitely a rematch in the future for EC3. But I have to survive Bobby Lashley and Total Nonstop Deletion to keep defending the title.”
I’ve really enjoyed IMPACT this year because rather than building to a pay-per-view down the line, it feels like each show builds to the next. With your title defenses and Hardy’s antics, it feels like a can’t miss mini-event each week.
Edwards: “Yeah, and anything can happen at anytime. Me beating Bobby Lashley…who saw that coming? Nobody did, the match wasn’t even announced. You have to tune in if you want to see something memorable. Each and every week there’s something to look forward to because you don’t want to be that one guy who missed out, you know?”
Exactly. TNA has really been a tale of two cities this year as the in-ring product has been flourishing while the behind-the-scenes drama has been front and center in the news. What’s it like to be the world champion in that environment?
Edwards: “It’s fine with me. All I got to do, all I want to do, all I need to do is go to the ring and do what I do. I don’t concern myself with rumors. You can’t concern yourself with rumors because there’s too many of them. You never know what is true and what is false. All we can worry about is the in-ring product, the promos, that’s all us. As for the backstage stuff, I don’t work in the office so I don’t have to concern myself with that. Everybody in the locker room has that same mentality. We want to put the best product forth that we can because we believe in what we’re doing, we believe in our chemistry and the family atmosphere that we have. Much like myself, we’re the underdogs and we prove that anything can happen at anytime. We’re out to prove to the world that we are the best wrestling company there is.”