Interactive Wrestling Radio on Wrestling Epicenter recently spoke to Eli Drake for an interview. You can see highlights below, and the full interview at this link.
If his on screen venom towards hardcore wrestling is his true feelings:
"Yes. It also is an extension of my real feelings on the kind of Cirque du Soleil ballroom dancing looking spots that everyone seems to love doing right now where you turn a guy over and then do two back flips and then punch him in the mouth when you could have just punched him in the mouth! There is a lot of silliness! I'm always like, this is the dumbest stuff I have ever seen! Part of that is because I think a lot of guys are missing the point. The point of wrestling and if you look at the history of it, if you look at the ratings, the talking segments often times out do the wrestling segments. That is because people like to be told stories. A match can tell a story. But, it can be part of a story. So, yeah, I've been saying for a while that the biggest thing, if you want to expand your audience, is to tell better stories, have compelling characters... The wrestling should be there. It should be good! But, it is almost secondary to the story. The story is the important part! The wrestling is the icing on the cake. If you look at the biggest swell in wrestling, I just watched long form RAW from like 1997, 1998, something like that. I watched the first 45 minutes and there was only one match that actually got wrestled from start to finish in that 45 minutes. It started out with a promo with "Stone Cold" Steve Austin the crowd was hot for, the next segment ended up in a double DQ. But, it was exciting! Everyone had big characters that were very different from each other. That is what sold it and made you want to buy the pay per view and see the matches as opposed to matches for matches sake. I think that is why a lot of guys are doing this silly hardcore thing and are doing these silly moves that make no sense because they didn't bother getting a personality or figuring out who they are... (laughs) So, the way they get the crowd not to be silent... And you've got to be comfortable with that silence because giving them that little bit to settle down makes them come up bigger. I found comfort in the silence because I know that if I hit something, boom! They get up. Or, I say something and now they can respond back to me. Because I know when I'm talking, I can get them to react. I can get them to come up big to something, say something back to me, or repeat what I said. But, as soon as I start talking again, everybody quiets down. Why? Because they want to hear what I am going to say. It is all about the character. It is all about the story. What am I telling you? Who? How? Why? What? When? And where? And then, the wrestling is the icing on the cake. Even though wrestling is on the marquee, it is entertainment at the end of the day. It is a show about wrestling."
On Impact now airing on Pursuit:
"It is always a little tricky being on a new television network because a lot of people either miss the memo or maybe they don't get the channel now. But, the beautiful thing about now being on Pursuit is Anthem actually owns Pursuit. That gives us a lot of freedom. That gives us the opportunity to simulcast on Twitch which is a big deal because if you don't get the chanel, it is right there on your phone, your smart TV... You can get the show! That is huge. Of course you have the GWN app... The cool thing about being on Pursuit is it is a lot of hunting and a lot of fishing so our show almost stands out like a sore thumb. That is kind of a cool thing too because now you can get a lot of new eyes on the show!"