Wednesday PWTorch Livecast with Pat McNeill
Special Guests: Former TNA wrestler Gunner
Aired Live: January 13, 2016
Recap by Dominic DeAngelo
– Gunner’s TNA Career
– Today’s Independent Scene
– Gunner’s Wrestling Future
TIME STAMPS OF MATCH COVERAGE
(2:00) Pat McNeill intro
(2:45) Gunner intro
(3:45) Wrestling the independents
(5:25) Winning the TNA Classic
(7:20) Why is WWE giving away Smackdown spoilers?
(9:50) Gunner’s thoughts on Randy Orton being removed from The Marine movie?
(11:39) Biggest James Storm bar tab?
(12:25) Potential of a Gunner Royal Rumble appearance this year?
(13:40) Getting “fired” by Ric Flair
(14:45) Gunner’s stint in ROH / ring name
(16:05) His favorite match in TNA?
(17:40) Best hypothetical beer from James Storm’s hypothetical brewery?
(18:15) Wrestling Luke Hawx at WrestleCade
(20:50) Has Gunner ever teamed up or wrestled Chris Melendez?
(21:50) How has the indy scene changed over Gunner’s 15 year career?
(23:25) Which wrestler today would make a good marine?
(34:30) His feud with Garet Bischoff
(36:42) Does Gunner follow other promotions?
(38:00) Toughest injury to bounce back from?
(39:35) Gunner’s upcoming schedule
(40:55) What happened to TNA’s Murphy?
(42:40) Any good Hogan stories?
(44:30) Sting discussion
(46:55) Other projects for Gunner?
(48:45) Working with Bro-Mans
(49:50) Training with Abel Adams
(51:20) Being in the Iraq War
(52:55) A.J. Styles, Jeff Jarrett & Samoa Joe
(55:40) Who else would Gunner like to work with?
(56:40) What’s with all the injuries in WWE?
– Gunner just won the PWX ITV Championship. He defeated Moose with his group, The Experience.
– Gunner’s been wrestling independently mostly in the mid-Atlantic area. The business is a little different because it has been evolving and thinks it’s cool to see the younger guys take over. It reminds him of the territory days in a unique way.
– All four of Gunner’s matches took place in one day for the TNA Classic. He’s been gone from TNA since.
– Should wrestling promotions give spoilers regarding future tapings? Gunner doesn’t think so, as social media and word of mouth does it plenty. He’s okay with teasing a main event, but giving away results seems counter-productive. It’s a touchy subject.
– Ryan from Cumberland asks Gunner his thoughts on Randy Orton being removed from The Marine movie due to him going AWOL? Gunner wasn’t sure of the time frame of when Randy went AWOL – was it in boot camp or during the military? Either way he would have liked to see Randy in it. It’s something WWE has to be careful about as a corporation since they are so military-friendly.
– Biggest James Storm bar tab? $2,500, in a small town bar odd enough. James likes his beer. He actually used to own his own brewery.
– Will Gunner be in the Royal Rumble this year? Probably not this year, but maybe next. He hopes to be working for WWE down the road.
– What was Gunner’s reaction when Ric Flair ad-libbed his on-air “firing” in TNA? Gunner loves Ric to death, but sometimes he’d do his own thing. He just kind of laughed on the inside. Ric’s the man.
– Gunner was in ROH in 2010 under the alias Phil Shatter. What name does he like better? He’s more of a fan of Gunner because of his military background. People always say he needs a “last name,” but so many stars didn’t like Edge, Sting, or The Undertaker. He’s had Gunner since 2010 and it’s stuck with him.
– What was Gunner’s favorite match in TNA? Probably the James Storm match in a cage at Lockdown. When they went through the curtain they got a standing ovation from the boys and that really stood out for him. Then they did an “I Quit” match and wrestled each other for months. He wishes him and James could have had a longer run together, but TNA wanted to push them as singles, plus The Wolves were coming in and they were a legit tag team. Tag wrestling is something he likes doing, but he considers himself more of a singles competitor.
– Chat room asks what’s the best beer that would come from a James Storm brewery? You’d have to consult James, Pat says. Gunner says James is a Bud Light, Coors Light kinda guy.
– Gunner wrestled at WrestleCade against Luke Hawx in a cage match (he hates cage matches) who he had a long running feud with since April. He can say nothing but good things about Luke and thinks that the two of them stole the show at WrestleCade.
– Why does Gunner not enjoy cage matches? He enjoys them if the guy he’s wrestling is safe and the cage itself is safe, but sometimes they really hurt. He remembers jamming his hand on the top of the cage at WrestleCade while he was trying to climb out. Not his favorite type of matches. You always know you’re in a cage match for about a week afterwards.
– Gunner teamed once with fellow military wrestler, Chris Melendez, but would love to do it more.
– How has the indy scene changed over Gunner’s 15 year career? It’s much more spot-based today. Back when he started it was more about telling a story. There’s much more athleticism today. Thankfully he’s been wrestling long enough that he’s not expected to that stuff unless he has to, but deep down fans still prefer a story-driven match.
– Which wrestler today would make a good marine? Sam Shaw. He’s a good hard-working individual. He’s always pushing himself to be better in all aspects of life, and that’s what being a marine’s all about. Pat mentions that Shaw was Gunner’s last lengthy TNA feud. Sam and him were supposed to do much more with their feud, and he thinks Sam has all the potential in the world to excel in wrestling.
– Gunner thinks there were deeper problems with TNA than losing Spike TV. He doesn’t care to bash on the company, though. Destination America looked like a positive route, but something happened that made it go sour.
– Gunner’s married to Jamie Jamison, who also is a wrestler. How do Gunner and her make that work? They actually divorced two years ago – wrestling is a hard thing for marriage. Wikipedia needs to update that information.
– How did Garett Bischoff deal with being in the TNA spotlight despite having heat? Gunner and him have never had a problem – he actually still keeps in touch with him today. He always had a good head on his shoulders. He was all about doing what was best for the match. He was very respectful of critiques and everything. Everyone in TNA at that time was like a family and no one was unprofessional.
– Gunner follows NXT. He’s friends with Dash & Dawson and likes to see guys work and learn from their mistakes. Pat adds that NXT doesn’t run three hours either like Raw. Gunner even loses interest in a movie after about two hours so time length can be tough,
– Gunner’s toughest injury? Last January during the U.K. tour in Scotland he woke up with a pinch nerve that shut his whole right side down. He just now is getting full strength in his right tricep. Initially he thought it was a severe neck injury, but luckily it was just a shoulder issue.
– He has a few shows in Georgia, Richmond, D.C., and South Carolina coming up.
– What happened to TNA’s Murphy? His real name’s Michael Cole so he gets a lot of confusion with that. He actually got a free paycheck once because of that. He doesn’t wrestle anymore but runs his own gym today and is very successful.
– Does Gunner have any good Hulk Hogan stories? Not really, but he was one of those guys who believed in him. He got to pick his brain a little about working the crowd or working the camera, but nothing crazy or nothing bad. Between him, Flair, or even Bischoff nothing ever happened. He actually still keeps in touch with Flair and Bischoff from time to time.
– What does Gunner think about Sting? He thinks it’s awesome that he’s getting inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He grew up watching him and he was one of his favorites growing up. He was always very awesome with him. He remembers Terry Taylor telling him that he was going to beat Sting and Sting was very cool about it. He also signed an autograph for his dad.
– What else does Gunner have planned? He does a lot of auditions for acting and plays video games. Acting is something he’d love to transition to. What games is he addicted to? Fallout 4, Madden, Star Wars Battelfront, and even the LEGO games.
– Training was rough for Gunner. Abel Adams taught him respect by putting up a ring, tearing down a ring, and traveling on the road with him.
– He joined the Marine Corp in 2002 and it taught him a lot of drive and determination. It made him know that you have to work hard and it takes a lot of determination which helped him transition into wrestling. He doesn’t regret any bit of it and has respect for the soldiers that stick around for 20 years.
– What’s A.J. Styles like? He’s a workhorse and really wishes he could have worked more with him. He’d love to work with him down the road in New Japan or WWE.
– Does he keep in touch with Jeff Jarrett? He does, nothing about Global Force Wrestling, but he’d love to work some shows there. He’s a very smart businessman.
– Gunner definitely thinks Samoa Joe will be on the main roster. He just stands out. He thinks that he can teach guys a lot in NXT and in WWE.
– Gunner would like to work with Finn Balor. There’s also a lot of ROH talent too – guys like Michael Elgin and Jay Lethal. He’d also love to learn from Randy Orton.
– What accounts for all the injuries in WWE? He doesn’t know, but it’s probably the physicality of wrestling today in combination with a heavy schedule. Pat recalls Seth Rollins doing three suicide dives as a transition move: less is more today and Gunner agrees. He wishes he was 10 or 15 years older so he might have been able to wrestle in the ’80s or ’90s. He reiterates that fans are all about storytelling.
– Gunner’s 33 but he still loves to learn. He’s never going to be that guy who does flips or crazy spots, but he can work with those guys.
– If you’d like to book or interview Gunner for a podcast email firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook his real name Chad Lail, or tweet him or instagram him @GUNNER_ChadLail.
SCORE & REVIEW
This was a solid episode despite only having one caller and a few emails. Gunner was engaged and candid throughout the show and Pat kept the train rolling with questions about his career and current on-goings. It would have been nice to see him get some questions from a Kylin from North New Jersey or even a Boris from Chicago since I think his TNA resume more than warrants that. What’s cool about this episode is that you can see Gunner has more of an “old soul” mentality when it comes to wrestling, being more about the story rather than the spots, even to the point of wishing he was a decade or two older so he could have wrestled in such an era where crazy athleticism was less of a focus. If anything this episode makes you want to root for Gunner and his success. Good show that deserved more caller time and email love.