ArtOfWrestling.cz brings you another exclusive interview. And this time, we had a chance to spoke with the OVW & TNA star, Sam Shaw, 2-time OVW Southern Tag Team Champion and TNA Gutcheck winner. We spoke about his TNA status, wrestling character, Gutcheck concept, releases in OVW and more.
The Krupy: 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?
Sam Shaw: Yes, still an independent contracted talent with TNA.
The Krupy: Can you tell us something more about the recent releases in OVW? A lot of young and talented wrestlers left.
Sam Shaw: 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.
The Krupy: What´s your opinion on the entire Gutcheck concept as a Gutcheck winner?
Sam Shaw: 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!
The Krupy: Most wrestlers say their character is them with the volume turned up high. How much of you is in Sam Saw – the wrestler?
Sam Shaw: 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.
The Krupy: What are your three professional goals?
Sam Shaw: Have fun, make some money, save some money.
The Krupy: Please tell us what some of your favourite matches have been from your career.
Sam Shaw: Always had great matches with Jesse Neal. Matches in OVW with Crimson. Tommy Dreamer on an Indy in FL comes to mind.
The Krupy: Which is your favourite feud from your OVW career?
Sam Shaw: My feud with The Coalition.
The Krupy: Please choose a few words to best describe these people:
Alex Silva- lone wolf, mis-understood, talented
Doug Williams- a very sharp veteran
Crimson- he gets it. I don’t think we’ve seen a quarter of what he’s capable of. We will though.
Jason Wayne- ridiculous! Very good mic skills
Rob Terry- super human
Jay Bradley- interesting fellow, don’t know him very well
The Krupy: Courtesy of your facebook I know that you are a very talented artist. Tell us something about it, please.
Sam Shaw: I’ve been drawing my whole life. Have a bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Illustration.
The Krupy: What is your opinion on TNA under the leadership of Hulk Hogan & Eric Bischoff?
Sam Shaw: I can’t say anything negative about them really. I think Eric can pull something positive out of a talent that might not have been presented without that extra push.
The Krupy: Who was your wrestling idol in childhood?
Sam Shaw: Bret Hart.