Petey Williams On the Status of Impact Wrestling, Ultimate X Match Debacle, Why He Retired in 2014

Petey Williams On the Status of Impact Wrestling, Ultimate X Match Debacle, Why He Retired in 2014

Impact Wrestling star Petey Williams was a recent guest on “Interactive Wrestling Radio”, which you can listen to in full at this link.

A former Team Canada member who wrestled on the Wednesday shows from the Nashville Fiargrounds all the way to the modern GFW/Impact era, Petey has seen the evolution of Impact Wrestling and is not shy about talking about it in the following interview:

On what made him decide to return to Impact Wrestling:

“Scott D’Amore just asked me to do that. Kind of! That’s the short story of it. The long story is Scott D’Amore called me because he said my name had been coming up a lot in creative meetings. I said, “I’m just not interested in wrestling again. I’m totally content with my life. I love my family, my wife, my kids, all that kind of stuff.” Scott D’Amore and i are very close. He’s the guy that trained me to be a wrestler and got me into TNA, Impact Wrestling now, and all that kind of stuff. As we were talking, he was like, “How are your kids doing? I thought maybe your kids might want to see what Daddy used to do.” Kind of tugging at my heart strings. (laughs) I actually brought up the question to my wife. I said, “Hey, listen to this ridiculous conversation I just had with Scott D’Amore.” I told her about it rolling my eyes as I go along. She just looked at me dead in the eyes and said, “Do it!” She was a big supporter of me coming back. If she hadn’t had supported it, I would have probably just been content with not wrestling again. But, here we are!”

On staying in shape in his time away from wrestling:

“I was what I call “Petey Fat”. I was probably about 10 pounds heavier than when I was at my wrestling weight. I was still in shape but I wasn’t as cut. I was still eating semi-clean but I wasn’t worried about staying strict to my diet. If I wanted pizza and cupcakes, I had pizza and cupcakes! I was a retired wrestler! But then, when he (D’Amore) called me, back on the diet, back in the gym, tanning bed… I jumped right back into it.”

On other appearances he’s booked for:

“Originally, I just wanted to come back and do the Impact Wrestling stuff. But, once the rumor got out that I was back, every promoter was like, “Hey, can you work for me this weekend, this weekend, this weekend!” Now I don’t have a weekend off until December!”

On the status of Impact Wrestling:

“I think it is on the up-swing. Here’s why it is on the up-swing. If you look at right before we got on Spike TV, in 2004, we were FOX Sports Net. Then, in 2005, our contract expired with Fox Sports Net and we were finding a new network, shopping the show, seeing where we were going to go. During that time, our show (Impact) was kind of like, on the Internet until we got our Spike TV deal. The guy writing the show, at that time, was Scott D’Amore and I felt like it was some of the best wrestling writing we ever had on the show. Once we got onto Spike TV, new writers came in and then you had the Vince Russo’s, whoever’s and wantnot’s. It kind of got saturated and everyone’s different ideas… Whatever! Now it’s back and one of the head writers, one of the guys on the crative team, is Scott D’Amore! He writes what the fans want to see. He doesn’t try to make it super-intricate in detail and hard to follow. Very basic. But, it is the very basic emotions all the wrestling fans feed off of. Scott D’Amore gives that to them. I think that’s good wrestling television. That’s why I think it is on the up-swing. That was part of me coming back too! He told me all the guys on the creative team and these were guys I thought wrote good TV in 2004 and 2005 when we were on our first up-swing.”

On being “Maple Leaf Muscle” with Scott Steiner:

“I loved working with Scotty! From being in the ring with him and just being behind the scenes with him… I loved how… He’s not crazy, he’s just intense! I loved talking to him and hearing his perspective on what’s going on. And, in my character, I got to do something else. I got to die my hair blond and transition into the “Maple Leaf Muscle” character and get away from “Hey, I was in Team Canada…” Just to develop a new character was great. And, one of the things, before I came back and was talking to Scott D’Amore, I said “Here’s some of the things I would like to do upon my return.” One of them was get back together with Scott Steiner because it was some of the best times of my entire wrestling career.”

On what set Team Canada apart:

“We were in Nashville which is very Souther, old school wrestling. Then, we were Team Canada from the North, talking with appropriate pronunciation. We were over! People hated us! But, peole got to see that Canadians are good wrestlers. And, I think Scott picked 4 of the best Canadian wrestlers in the world at the time. Myself, Eric Young, Bobby Roode, and Johnny Devine. You see where Eric and Bobby are now… Sometimes I think I retired a little too early. It would be interesting to see where I’d be at now if I hadn’t took that hiatus and that 3 year retirement.”

On why he retired suddenly in 2014:

“I did everything I wanted to do in wrestling. I kind of escaped the wrestling business without any long term super life threatening injuries. I said, “I’m still young, I can still do whatever I want to do.” I only had one kid at the time. I retired pretty much 1 month before my 2nd daughter was born. I said, “I’m good. I made my mark on wrestling.”

On the Canadian Destroyer move and how it has become so common:

“I created the Canadian Destroyer move. I’m 36 now. When I’m 70 and I turn on whatever wrestling show is around when I’m 70, I know some kid who probably isn’t even born yet is going to be doing the Canadian Destroyer move. I can say “Hey, I created that. And, that’s something that will live forever” Long after I’m dead, that move will still be around. I don’t think that many wrestlers can say they left their mark on wrestling forever.” He continues, “When I see Rey Mysterio or Buff Bagwell, guys I grew up watching, do the move, I think it is so cool. Everybody does it on the independent circuit now. At least it was not done as much as it is done now until after I retired. And now that I’m coming back, I’m seeing it less and less. It’s almost like, “Oh, Petey’s back. It’s his move!” They know it is my move.”

On talking to Sami Callihan:

“In talking to Sami Callihan, and I didn’t realize this. Sami Callihan wrestled as Solomon Crowe in WWE (and Jeremiah Crane in Lucha Underground), very well known. He said, “I don’t think you understand. You started a revolution in professional wrestling. I’ve got 4 Canadian Destroyers in my first 2 matches. You’re the first one that took a video game move and made it reality!” He even told me he and his buddies used to get the Wednesday night pay-per-views for Impact to see me do the Canadian Destroyer. I didn’t realize that. He probably never would have told me if we didn’t sit next to each other signing autographs. But, it is cool to realize I had an impact on so many wrestlers’ lives, pretty much.”

On the Ultimate X Debacle when the X Would Not Stay Up:

“I remember that match. Ultimate X matches, I enjoyed doing them at first because they were unique. Now it seems they’ve done them a lot. They’re still a spectacle to see. It is more and more difficult for wrestlers to put together these matches and not duplicate what you’ve seen in the past. I remember that match because they had hung the X with tie straps. When we’d fall from the X, it would break the tie straps! Everytime it would fall, it would throw off the momentum of the match… And this was live on pay-per-view. The stage hands had to come out, climb up the ladder, re-hang the X. That happened a couple of times. I figured, “You know what? People see it falling. Why not improvise.” I think it was Chris Sabin fell from the X and I see it wiggling. SO, I just get under it like a center fielder like I was goin to catch it and then it fell and it landed right in my hands. I was like, “Oh… no! What do I do? I’m shocked!” Scott D’Amore runs in the ring and goes, “Celebrate! You won!” He was right there by my side saying, “Don’t act like an idiot. Celebrate. We’ll take care of this later.””

On wrestling in Canada at the upcoming Bound for Glory PPV:

“I’ve only wrestled for Impact twice above the border. It is going to be great to be home! I remember doing a house show in London and the crowd was great. Then, the next night there was a pay-per-view just outside of Toronto and the fans were great. There was like 4 or 5 thousand. As soon as my music hit, the place went nuts! I’m looking at signs that say “If Petey Loses, We Riot” and “Petey for Prime Minister.” I was like, wow! Because… I’ve always played a bad guy because I was Canadian. Then, to be out there in front of my people, I was like, “This is everything I ever wanted when I became a professional wrestler!” It is going to be great to go back up there. It is going to be a great change of pace, I would say!”

On if he will stick around Impact long-term:

“That’s a good question. You’re going to have to stay tuned. Obviously, I am going to be at Bound for Glory. I can confirm I am going to be at the Impact tapings. And then, I haven’t discussed what is going to go on with my character and myself. Once that TV taping is done, I’ll have a better understanding of what is going to come next.”

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