Eli Drake Interview: Impact’s New Direction, Jarrett vs. Dixie, Top Talent Leaving

Eli Drake
Impact Wrestling star Eli Drake

Impact Wrestling star Eli Drake was the latest guest on Ring Rust Radio, hosted by Donald Wood. Here are some highlights of what the man who delivers the ‘Facts of Life’ said about:

How the locker room is handling the big shakeup behind the scenes in Impact Wrestling:

“It’s different for sure because you got a lot of guys have kind of establish themselves over the last few years under a different regime. No matter what regime, there is undeniable talent here. The fact is now you got a bunch of new faces coming in and it’s a mixed reaction because you look at that and it’s like these guys are coming to try to take my spot? Nah. That’s a problem. So, I look at it like that, but I enjoy that competition. All that does is light a fire under me and once that happens I start to get hot whether it’s verbally or physically, but it’s actually good fuel.

The biggest differences between the leadership styles of Dixie Carter and Jeff Jarrett:

“I don’t want to badmouth anybody, but let me just put it like this, since the new regime has taken over, there is definitely more structure. Things seem to be more level for relations between the office and the talent, a lot more organization if you will. Not so up in the air. There were too many questions before and a lot of it now seems we are getting a lot more answers, so that’s a big plus.”

His first 2 years with Impact Wrestling and his future:

“It’s been pretty amazing. I have to tell you, when I first got there, I had a goal in mind; make a lot of noise, be seen, make sure people that have seen me before see me again and they know that this guy is going to make an impact, no pun intended, Since I’ve been there it’s been really cool and great. They’ve given me a great platform to do things kind of my way in a sense. In the sense that I get to go out there and do my talk show and a lot of that is been at my own creation. A lot of that has been going out there and just saying what’s on my mind. If you saw the segment with EC3 back in October, it was a real and heated segment, it was one of my favorites. We just went out there and said what was on our minds. That’s kind of what I like about it. It is a tightly run ship, but at the same time there is a little bit of wiggle room.”

His reaction to big name stars like Matt & Jeff Hardy leaving Impact Wrestling:

“Personally, I love the Hardys and I wish they hadn’t gone, on a personal and professional level. I just think they are incredible. Especially for the fact you can take guys that had an established thing for over 20 years and be able to reinvent themselves that way is amazing. That’s a huge talent to lose, but at the same time it’s the wrestling business. People are going to come and go and you got to keep churning and keep pushing and that’s an opportunity I salivate at. Now there’s a big void to be filled and who is going to fill that void? If I’m looking at it, I can’t see how I don’t fill that void. You got a guy that has all the tools, the total package, not Lex Luger, the actual real total package. That’s a great opportunity for me to kind of step up and get noticed and put me right in that spot.”

Something he thinks Impact Wrestling can improve upon:

“I tell you this: I am there, I watch the show, I’m in the show and that crowd is a lot more reactive and interactive than you can ever tell on TV. I don’t know if it’s just the mic in the crowd or the acoustics in the room, but that energy you can feel it in the room, but for whatever reason it doesn’t translate to TV. I think that would be a big thing that would help the viewers at home enjoy the show. If you see the crowd in house enjoying the show, you are going to enjoy the show that much more. I think that’s a huge thing. I think, and this might be a controversial thing to say, but I think taking guys from another brand or maybe mid-card guys and bringing them over and putting them immediately in the main event, I don’t think is a great idea. I think that kind of solidifies us as second place and I don’t think that is a smart move. That’s just one man’s opinion, though. I think that would help us move forward.”