As TNA rolls into town, the Pope gives James Conlan the lowdown on wrestling and his quest to win the world heavyweight championship

To say the Pope is pumped up for the TNA maximum impact tour event in Ireland would be an understatement. As TNA is quickly becoming a global phenomenon, the demand for the company’s wrestling events in the UK and Ireland is increasing all the time. The Pope feels that TNA offers an alternative form of entertainment compared with the WWE. He is clearly of the view that it is wrong to compare the two, as they are apparently not in competition with each other, contrary to what most wrestling fans would believe.

o-two was surprised to hear that the home country represents quite well in the wrestling would, but according to the Pope, Irish wrestlers such as Finlay and Seamus are a trend that the Pope feels will continue and is one that has spread throughout the wrestling world. The benefits of this phenomenon can clearly be seen as a marketing strategy to draw in a wider fan base. As the man himself puts it: “There is nothing like having a hometown boy when you’re coming over to make an impact in that market.”

In addition, he is of the clear view that PG television is not the way forward for TNA: “I do think TNA has done the right thing by staying away from PG and creating its own identity. TNA is total non-stop action and that’s what we’re going to continue to deliver.”

The Pope gives an account of an average week in a wrestler’s life – the schedule can be hectic depending on the popularity of the wrestler. This week for the Pope starts with a pay per view on Sunday, while tapings for live shows occur from Monday to Wednesday. The Pope has Thursday off before house shows from Friday to Sunday. He travels home Monday, having Tuesday off to get ready for a flight over to Dublin on Wednesday for the event.

The Pope also provides us with the scoop on TNA policy of drug testing and health checkups, highlighting the fact that it wasn’t as advertised as much as in the WWE media world and kept in-house. He also revealed that he had just undergone a drug test as part of TNA boss Dixie Carter’s own wellness policy.

Furthermore, he is of the opinion that the success of TNA will rest on his back, along with AJ Styles, Beer Money and Samoan Joe, and feels that they will be in TNA for years to come. Ultimately, he will keep plugging away despite the toils of the wrestling world. The wrestler and his congregation won’t rest, however, until the ultimate gold is around his waist.

TNA Wrestling is at the National Stadium on 24th January.