Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Archive Interview: Cassidy Riley

(originally published 9/25/05)

Cassidy Riley is currently employed by TNA. Beginning October 1, you will be able to see Cassidy Riley and the rest of the stars of TNA on SpikeTV on Saturday nights!

Q: How long have you been involved in the business?

A: I have been involved in wrestling for 10 years.

Q: Why did you enter the pro-wrestling industry?

A: I was a huge fan just like everyone else as a child and thought that it would be the coolest thing in the world to actually be able to do that for a living.

Q: Where did you receive your training to become a pro-wrestler?

A: I trained in Mississippi and Louisiana. I started with an indie guy named Freddie Grapp, but he didn't have a ring so what he taught me was limited. I then met Lolly Griffen who was running a promotion called Deep South and had TV in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. He trained us (there were 3 of us) and gave us our first spot on TV.

Q: What do you like the most about being in the business?

A: I guess just the fraternity-like connection with the boys, you really become like family. I also enjoy entertaining people and life on the road. So I guess there is no one thing, but rather 3 things. (laughs)

Q: Which persona appeals to you the most: Face, Heel, or Tweener?

A: I can go either way, right now I guess I am a tweener on TNA.

Q: What is your gimmick?

A: I am the only member of the "Flock" so I guess you can say that I am the number one flocker!

Q: Which do you feel has been your best match so far?

A: .I thought that I had a good match with Chris Candido on the pre-show of Final Resolution.

Q: Which has been your favorite match so far?

A: Probably that match with Chris Candido just because I am glad I got that chance to dance with him in the ring. He was a great guy and a true pro in there, God rest his soul.

Q: Whom would you like to wrestle, that you have not yet done so?

A: I would like to wrestle Shawn Michaels.

Q: How much of a boost do you think TNA will receive from being on SpikeTV? Do you think that we are far from seeing Monday Night Wars II: TNA iMPACT vs. WWE RAW?

A: I think that it will get a huge boost by the Spike deal. It may sound funny but we are actually still a big secret, there are people who haven't heard of us yet. I think that being on a network that is in 88 million homes can only help ..ALOT. They are already doing more for us than FOX Sports ever did, they are actually promoting us and advertising us, even on RAW. Will we see Monday Night Wars again...I hope so, it will only be good for the wrestling business. Is TNA ready for that right now? Probably not, but we are growing, and progressing on a very rapid and positive scale. In 6 months or a year I think that we will be able to head-to-head with them.

Q: When you worked for WWE and WCW, you were used as an enhancement talent. Do you think that WWE would have benefited financially if they would have pushed you as at least a midcarder, as TNA is doing?

A: Who knows. I would like to think that they would, but in reality I probably wasn't ready then. I think I could be an asset to any company that I work for now. I have grown and matured in and out of the ring since then.

Q: If WCW had given you creative control, what would you have done differently? Do you think that they would still be here today if you had been at the helm?

A: I don't think that I would have wanted that job. That would be too much pressure. If guys like Eric Bischoff couldn't do it I think it would have been hard for anyone. The main thing that I would have done different would be keep out all the guys like Jay Leno who had no business in a wrestling ring, but their thought was to get as much main stream publicity as possible, I just don't agree with it, it could have been done different and still had then involved in some other fashion, just not wrestling.

Q: Which was your favorite version of The Hot Shots tag team- the original version with Air Paris, or the TNA version with Chase Stevens?

A: I love both of those guys. I think that Chase and I could have really made an impact together if things would have worked out. I am proud of him and Andy they have done well.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: Just work out, and try to stay in shape. I hang out with my dog Mali-Mae, she is a boston terrier and she is the queen of the house. I take her on road trips sometimes. I also spend time with my wife since I am on the road alot, I cook her dinner when I am home and try to help out around the house like a good husband.

Q: You have taken your knowledge and experience within the pro-wrestling industry and put it to use as a trainer at a school with Chase Stevens. How does your school differ from others? Also, has it produced any talent that you predict big things for in the future?

A: Right now we have slowed down some we lost our building we were using but I think we will be back in full force in the next few months. We have just been crazy busy lately and haven't had time to find a new building. We still train on days we wrestle in Nashville area before the shows. No big stars yet. So many guys can't take it. We are hard on them and don't give a free ride to anyone, we expect alot from our students and in return we give them a good knowledge of the business. Alot of guys just aren't mentally and physically prepared for it. It is not tennis, if you show up be ready, and we don't ask anything of then we aren't willing to do ourselves.

Q: In what way do you think that you would be best utilized in TNA?

A: I am excited about my new alliance with Raven. I think that he will teach me alot.

Q: What is your long-term goal in the business?

A: To make my mark on the business and just be the best wrestler and entertainer that I can be.

I hope you enjoyed this interview with Cassidy Riley. In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews, including this one.

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