Impact Wrestling and Lucha Underground star Johnny Impact was recently interviewed by Ring Rust Radio. You can check out submitted highlights below, and the full interview at this link.
Ring Rust Radio: In August, you made your GFW debut. What ultimately went into your decision to sign with the company and what was the signing process like?
Johnny Impact: So I’ve been in talks with people from TNA and GFW for a long time. Big John Gaburick, Taz, Lagana, Jarrett, and really what it came down to was it was a great opportunity and it didn’t feel like I was going to miss out or lose anything by signing with GFW. It’s a deal that’s been worked out with AAA where I’m still going to be on AAA and Lucha Underground and now I’m going to be on Impact and Pop TV every Thursday night too. So it seemed like a no-brainer. The circumstances under which I was approached prior to this time were not the same way. So right now it feels like I’m getting my cake and getting to eat it too. Maybe like a protein cake maybe with paleo ice cream on the side cause you know how I feel about carbs. I do have a sweet tooth. My saving grace is that I’m OCD about working out so if at night if I’m eating ice cream the next morning I’m doing cardio. That’s only thing I’ve ever been addicted to which I guess in the grand scheme of things isn’t so bad to be addicted to training.
Ring Rust Radio: There are seemingly a lot of question marks about the future of Lucha Underground and whether there's going to be another season. How, if at all, did that influence your decision to sign with Impact? And what would be your interest level in being part of another Lucha Underground season?
Johnny Impact: I’m very confident that there’s going to be another season of Lucha Underground. The factor that went into my decision in going to Impact was really that it felt like it was a great opportunity for me to get to do everything. Impact, Lucha, AAA, and it doesn’t feel like I’m really given up anything. Lucha Underground was on hiatus for so long I haven’t been doing any new wrestling for a TV show in over a year and I was starting to feel a little antsy in the pantsy to get out in the ring and do something in front of national audience. This opportunity with Impact came up and I felt like I needed to jump on it. Antsy in the pantsy? Ever see the movie Super Troopers? It comes from Super Troopers with the maple syrup and they get all syrupy and antsy in the pantsy, it’s just a funny thing to say.
Ring Rust Radio: Throughout GFW's history, the company has made it a priority to feature top-tier talent as the face of the brand, such as AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Sting and over the past few years with Bobby Lashley. When you signed with GFW, was any of that on your mind, that you would be leaned on as the guy to build GFW's brand for mainstream success?
Johnny Impact: Yeah man, that’s the reason I went. I feel like what I bring to the table for a company like GFW and Impact is my reputation. I never phone it in and I always leave it all out there. I have been trying to, no matter what or where I’m wrestling, to have a high quality match. I’ve been on TV with the WWE for almost 10 years, since then Lucha Underground and AAA, and I’ve been wrestling all over the world. I feel like someone like me is what the company really needed at the time that I signed which is really exciting to me because when I go somewhere I go to be the guy, the main event. It feels like I’m helping the company and that’s really what I feel like I want to be spending my time on right now in this business.
Ring Rust Radio: After beating Low Ki to become No. 1 contender, you square off against Eli Drake for the GFW Championship next week. What should fans expect from the match and do you believe you’ll walk out with the world title?
Johnny Impact: Absolutely I feel like fans of GFW and Impact have seen a certain side of Eli Drake. In my opinion, the level of wrestling that he has done since I’ve gotten into Impact has escalated exponentially. He knows if he doesn’t bring it, I’m just going to leave him in my dust. I would expect to see a hard-working, hard-hitting, desperate, Eli Drake at Victory Road. Then even further to see that hard-working Eli Drake outclassed by Johnny Impact, because he can work as hard as he wants, but the fact of the matter is I’ve worked for 15 years and there’s no way he can catch up to what I’ve achieved and done in this business. What I’ve put in with my swag, my move set, and my psychology in this business. I would expect to see kick ass match and I wouldn’t miss it.