Interview : Manik (TJ Perkins) (TNA X Division Champion)

manik           tjperkins

Manik (Originally Suicide) is a character that first appeared in the 2008 Midway Game TNA iMPACT! and was voiced by Senshi in the game. He made his debut as a real-life character at Final Resolution 2008 by attacking the MCMG. On TV, he was originally portrayed by Frankie Kazarian and then he was portrayed by Christoper Daniels and then Kiyoshi. TJ Perkins then took up the mantle and won the X Division Championship at the July 25th tapings of Impact and is as of the time of the interview being uploaded is the X Division Champion.

1.How would you describe yourself?

An odd mix of charismatic but reserved. I am a very jovial and witty guy but I don’t like having a big social life. I’m very driven by my career and it really consumes everything about me.

2.       How was it growing up for you?

I was alone often. I have one younger sister and my parents travelled for a living and would often leave me with my grandmother for days or weeks at a time. I learned to be self reliant at a young age. I could do laundry and prepare basic foods by the time I was 10 or so. I always had a good sense of right and wrong. I never had to be told to not play with fire or keep my fingers out of light sockets.

3.       When did you first think you want to be a wrestler?

I sort of always knew I would. I was into wrestling before I could form memories. My earliest memories are of me watching Saturday nights main event with my dad when I was 3 or so. I grew up always thinking I would be a wrestler.

4.       How was it to wrestle in New Japan Pro Wrestling as Puma?

Pretty incredible. New Japanwas always my ultimate bucket list thing. I never thought I’d make it there. For it to have been my first big break was a dream come true. I was 17 and had been wrestling professionally since I was 13. I had been wrestling all over the country and in Mexico at that point but New Japan was my first Major league opportunity. At 17, for me it was like being drafted to the NBA right out of high school. Which, I technically was.

5.       How was it to wrestle in Mexico in 2003 with Rocky Romero?

Another pipe dream come true. CMLL was a huge goal of mine after New Japan. Then only a year into my time with New Japan they arranged for us to go to CMLL. I was still only 18 and I was now in another major league place and making great money. I lived in Mexico City full time for a year which, for an 18 year old kid can be overwhelming. But it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

6.       Did you ever think when you joined PWG think to yourself that one day It would be big as it is now?

I don’t really think it’s that big or any bigger than when it started but the shows have definitely gotten progressively more fun and the atmosphere equally as crazy.

7.       How was it to wrestle for ROH from 2003-2012

It was cool to come in near the very beginning and see it grow and evolve over the years. I got to see each generation of ROH come and go from the beginning until now. Every time I would return the company would have a new feel and accent to it which I found interesting.

8.       Would you ever go back to ROH when you have done everything you want to do?

Yes absolutely. I have a lot of friends there and the fan base is one of the most passionate in the world. It’s a very fun place to be.

9.       When you were wrestling in TNA Explosion in 2004 did you ever think one day you would be X Division Champion?

Not in a million years, no. I mean I knew I would do anything it takes to succeed in all of this. Even at that age I had developed the relentless work ethic and attitude for success that I have now. I just never thought specifically that I’d be the one to carry that torch some day.

10.   When did you get the call to wrestle as Suicide and how did you feel when you got the call?

11.   How did it feel to win the X Division Championship?

It was an incredible validation for so many things that I’d gone through just to stay in this game. Not long before I was at rock bottom and had lost everything both personally and professionally and was starting my career over basically. It was a very powerful feeling to have persevered through that.

12.   Would you ever come over to the UK and wrestle?

Absolutely, hopefully soon in fact.

13.   Do you think that you will stay with TNA for a long time?

I sure hope so. They have expressed the same as well. So we will see!

14.   Any funny road stories?

Several. It’s hard to narrow it down or recollect them all right now but I remember after my first tour in New Japan myself and the other guys went out after the Tokyo dome show to celebrate our first tour in New Japan. It was myself, the Havana Pitbulls, Bryan Danielson and some other American heavyweights. We ended up at a strip club in roppongi where Bryan and I spent most of the night talking with strippers about current events, politics and religion. The Pitbulls both got bombed. Reyes hooked up with one stripper who quit her job and walked out with him, we didn’t see him again until the next morning but found out she basically led him on an all night hunt for coke. Romero disappeared with another one. And somehow Bryan and I found our way to the last train back to our hotel at the Tokyo dome, which is like the rock stariest of hotels.

15.   What has been your favourite match?

Either the match I had at the 70th anniversary show for CMLL or my match at Destination X 2006. The CMLL match was big to me because it was such a big match on a huge show in a historic venue for wrestling. Standing there after the match in front of 20,000 fans giving this 18 year old kid a standing ovation,was incredible.

The match at destination x 2006 was big for me because there was a lot of pressure on us to perform. It was the showcase match for the world x cup and I was injured with a torn knee ligament prior to the match. I also had frost bite on my knee from over icing during therapy earlier in the week. The match was amazing and my performance turned out well. For me, it was like my Michael Jordan Flu game.

16.   Who has been your favourite guy to wrestle?

Maybe Davey Richards, he’s an old friend. But there’s several people its hard to choose just one.

17.   Who has been your favourite promotion to work for?

TNA or New Japan.

18.   Who is the nicest promoter you have worked for?

Cary Silkin(technically owner)

19.   Who were your heroes growing up?

Charlie Chaplin, Howard Hughes, Johnny Cash, Michael Jackson, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Johnny Depp, Robert Downey Jr.

20.   Were you mad that you were cut from facing the Miz on Raw?

Not at all.

TJ does not have facebook but you can follow him on his twitters @MegaTJP and @ManikIMPACT

You can also ask him any questions you want to ask on his Ask.fm : http://www.ask.fm/MegaTJP

If you want to follow me on Twitter you can : @samgthe1st and you can like me on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/TheBritishWrestlingRevival

Go and visit our friends at LockUP Wrestling, a blog which i will be joining their Junior Division doing interviews with HOP Trainee : http://www.lockupwrestling.wordpress.com

Thanks for viewing and i would like to thank TJ for taking part in the interview.

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