411 Wrestling Interview: TNA's Jay Bradley
Posted by Justin Watry on 09.14.2013
In this exclusive interview, TNA Impact Wrestling star Jay Bradley discusses everything pro wrestling. Who were his inspirations? What does he think of the Gut Check concept? Which wrestlers would he like to take on in 2014? All this and much more from one of the most talked about stars in TNA today!
No man in TNA Impact Wrestling has made a name for himself more over the past nine months than Jay Bradley. Defeating Brian Cage and earning a contract through the Gut Check concept may have been his start to newer fans. However, it is far from the beginning of Bradley's career. Through all the hard work and dedication, he found himself competing on pay-per-view and one of the select few in the annual Bound for Glory Series.
How did all of this come about? What has he learned from his time in WWE? Was he ready for TNA Gut Check when the opportunity came about? With the Bound for Flory Series officially over, who is next on his radar? Jay Bradley was nice enough to take some time out of his day and answer these questions and much more with Justin Watry! Enjoy.
Justin Watry: For those living under a rock, please introduce yourself to wrestling fans all over the world.
Jay Bradley: My name is Jay Bradley and I'm from Chicago, IL. I'm currently a contracted talent to TNA Impact Wrestling. Although new to TNA, I've been involved with pro wrestling for over 15 years and competed all over the world. I've wrestled for tons of companies, major and small indies, as well as some of largest companies worldwide. I've been blessed to be trained and groomed by some of the best as well.
Justin Watry: While growing up, who were your inspirations or role models to enter into the world of wrestling?
Jay Bradley: Growing up, I was very much your typical WWF fan, but no one at the time really made me want to be a wrestler. It was just the comic book like characters come to life with the amazing athleticism I saw. Once I entered the wrestling world and got comfortable with who and what I was, I watched guys like Terry Gordy, Barry Windham, Stan Hansen, and the 4 Horseman, particularly Arn Anderson.
Justin Watry: On that same topic, was there a single "moment" when you realized this is what you wanted to do with your life?
Jay Bradley: I can't remember a single instance. But when I was around the early 1990',s when I first saw ECW and international wrestling, particularly Japanese. I saw big rugged guys that were great athletes, they reminded me of men in my family.
Justin Watry: As most know, you were in the WWE system before. What did you learn (or not learn) during that time period?
Jay Bradley: Whoa, I could write a book on this topic. I learned so much - what to do and what not to do inside and outside of the ring. I was blessed to have an education or internship in this business, and I'll be forever thankful for the opportunity. I got taught wrestling by some of the best teachers - Dr Tom, William Regal, Dave Taylor, Brad Armstrong. Promos by Dusty Rhodes. A lot of character development and how to be more than just another wrestler by Al Snow and OVW. Also being groomed and mentored by Arn Anderson and Barry Windham, while on tour for a summer, was incredible.
Justin Watry: Sitting here in September 2013, what would you tell Ryan Braddock in September 2008?
Jay Bradley: Just breathe, relax. It's all out of your control. Things will get better; your time has yet to come!
Justin Watry: Following your time in WWE, you wrestled all over, including Billy Corgan's Resistance Pro. How was that?
Jay Bradley: Great! I would a never guess I'd be able to call an alternative rock icon I've listen to the majority of my life a friend, but I do. Billy's involvement has put the company in a rare light that Indy wrestling very sparsely obtains. I've been talked about in GQ, ESPN.com, pictured in Bloomberg news and tons of other media outlets. As promoters, I think Billy and the Baron brothers are still growing. People thought it would only last a couple events, but nearly 2 years later it is still going with huge things in the works. Yes, I know it's vague, but Billy has contacted everyone in the entertainment world, and deals; contract take time to work out.
I would say the talent on R-Pro's roster needs to step it up, or step aside. The company gets a lot of exposure from the general public as well as wrestling fans. But if the guys they have can't step up and deliver on every show, be athletic, be entertaining, tell their stories, they need to go. Other talent will in and step up. I took advantage of the platform they have, got a lot of attention, and had a resurgence you could say. It helped me get to where I am today, others need to follow.
Justin Watry: Before getting to your time in TNA Impact Wrestling, I noticed on your Twitter timeline a post about the Bears. Assuming you follow the NFL, let it be known right here, right now. Who is winning the Super Bowl next February? Surely, it won't be Chicago, right?
Jay Bradley: Couldn't tell you. NFL is unpredictable, which is why it's great. Although my Bears offense looked very much improved in the opener.
Justin Watry: Moving back to wrestling, what was your initial reaction when contacted about TNA Gut Check?
Jay Bradley: I was ready. I had been waiting for the right opportunity. I was talking to multiple companies in the wrestling business, so when I was called, my gut feeling was this was the best opportunity for me as a professional. I had knocked on TNA's door, they cracked it open, I kicked it in.
Justin Watry: Looking at your match against Brian Cage, would you change anything that night?
Jay Bradley: Nope, I won, got the contract. What needs to change?
Justin Watry: Since you were in the trenches for Gut Check, how do you respond to online criticism over the entire "judging system" used for the participants earning a contract or not?
Jay Bradley: First, I don't think the Internet wrestling community will ever be satisfied with any wrestling product or company. The online opinion isn't always the same opinion as the decision makers. There's more than just wrestling involved in this business. Looks, uniqueness, marketability, professionalism are just a few things also looked at. This business isn't like MLB or NBA where talent alone gets you a job or spot.
Justin Watry: The concept seems to be on hold for now. If you were in charge, would you bring it back to television? Why or why not?
Jay Bradley: Absolutely, I would use it again. Perhaps with some changes. It takes the scouting and talent evaluation out of an office and puts it in front of the fans. Similar to an NFL combine. Maybe only make it a semi-annual event? Maybe involve OVW more somehow? Maybe it's a YouTube segment? Just ideas off the top of my head, but again, they're not my decisions.
Justin Watry: At Slammiversary in June, you defeated Sam Shaw to enter the 2013 Bound for Glory Series. It had to be a career highlight to be chosen for the annual event.
Jay Bradley: Sure, it was my pay per view debut. So it'll always be a memory.
Justin Watry: Around this same time, TNA began releasing many talents, going on the road full-time, and making other changes. As a wrestler, how do you keep your focus during all of this?
Jay Bradley: Being released is part of this business. Everyone has a limited shelf life with whatever company they are with, so it's often inevitable. All I can do is focus on me, focus on being the best I can be. If you're good for business, if you're marketable, professional that goes a long way coupled with strong work ethic.
Justin Watry: Since the BFG Series is now over, what or who do you have your sights set on next heading into TNA's biggest pay-per-view of the year in October?
Jay Bradley: I'm ready for whatever they decide to throw at me next. Here I am! I'm confident I'll continue to impress and turn heads. I'm ready to be a major player and huge asset for TNA and eager to get going.
Justin Watry: Last week, you announced your availability for independent booking on Twitter. A few wrestling websites took that as you were being released from TNA. However, you made it clear you were still with the company. With that being said, is this a new change in philosophy allowing wrestlers to accept outside projects? Explain.
Jay Bradley: Per my contract with TNA, I've always been able to take outside bookings and appearances subject to TNA approval. I simply wasn't pursuing them much due to concentrating my efforts at OVW and TNA. Now I'm branching out more and taking bookings again. I have a few lined up, including some possible international appearances. If anyone is interested, feel free to contact me.
Justin Watry: Final question - what is next for Jay Bradley? How will September 2014 be different than today for you?
Jay Bradley: Well, I think the sky is the limit for me at TNA. And I think a year from now, I'll be looking across the ring from guys like Jeff Hardy, Kurt Angle and other top level talent on Impact Wrestling and pay-per-view.
Justin Watry: Thank you for the time sir. I appreciate it.