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T.J. Perkins talks the death of Perro Aguayo Jr.

I just wanted to send over a news item - I interviewed TJ Perkins last
night, his first interview since the death of Perro Aguayo (I believe).
Here is the transcript and links:

This week on the podcast, Adam Davey is joined by TNA star

TJ talks about the recent tragedy in Tijuana before moving on to how he
has changed and evolved his own career as Manik over the last few years.

As always, TJ comes over as someone who genuinely understands and loves
the business and I am sure you will all enjoy this interview immensely.

A Huge thank you to TJ for taking the time to join us and make sure to
follow him on twitter at @MaskaraManik

The interview starts at the 22min mark.

The full audio is available at this link
). Below are some highlights:

On the death of Perro Aguayo
“It bothered me for the first few days and I probably replayed about a
minute of time, over and over and over all day and all night for days. I
haven’t thought about it much since then. Theres been a definite period of
feeling I am still in that ring for a couple of days and then I just got
to a point, mostly with the help of all those around me. I usually deal
with hardship through my work but in this case thats what it was. I am
usually pretty active on social media as those who follow me know but
there was a period where I was just gone for a while and Rey was too. I
was stuck in a place for a time and then got to a point when it was a good
time to move on with the community. The impact of Perito and everything
that happened was being absorbed the right way and people were starting to
heal. And rather than letting it linger and doing more damage, I felt that
everyone involved began to come together.

On his new look compared to the Suicide costume:
"All the stuff with the suit was my idea—the alterations, the color
schemes, the hood, everything. Part of the goal was obviously you need to
evolve as character. In wrestling, it’s like everybody is their own comic
book character and each book has its run over however many years.
Everybody has to go through an evolution or else your story arc is going
to end at some point. So I felt (A) that it needed an evolution and (B) if
I create distance from the original look, at some point that’s going to
become a classic and iconic type of thing. And that’s sort of what
happened. Now when I get requests outside of TNA, some people ask for the
old Suicide suit and it’s become retro in a way. That’s one of the things
I was going for, because I feel you need some distance to respect how cool
that was."

On the reaction towards his character from Suicide to Manik:
"I hope that this isn’t taken the wrong way, but sometimes it takes the
person behind the mask to be somebody that is really endearing to the
people that are watching it. I feel like as a video game character there’s
not a lot of emotional connection to the character, and when they gave it
an able-bodied person, the first people that they gave it to were actually
people that guys really love but not necessarily as that character. I feel
like maybe it had the right rhythm with me and it created a more endearing
thing for people to see. I sort of took over the character at an odd time.
Maybe at the point where the character was not popular, I got handed a
rough poker hand and I had to make it into something that I could use and
give people new perspective on it. I've worked really hard to make it what
they intended it to be from the beginning, and I’m pushing against odds
that aren't exactly in my favor creatively. I think it gives people a
fourth wall type of reason to enjoy it."

Does the mask hinder his push in TNA:
"The question that you’re asking, I’ve been asking since the day I grabbed
that mask in my hand. In some ways, yeah, I guess it does. This isn’t the
first time I’ve heard that it's affected me creatively, and people within
the company feel that way too. Why of all people is this guy wearing a
mask and a bodysuit and not talking? He’s a witty, charismatic, good
looking kid. Having a mask and certain things, it angles you so that you
don’t have the same type of freedom. But it’s not a sprint, so it also
gives me a lot to work with in terms of creating a longer character arc. I
think that’s a good thing, because there are a lot of people that become a
supernova at one point but then they look back and they’re like, ‘Crap,
I’m done.’ I’d rather look back over the course of several years and say
that I was able to do it slowly and do as much as I can. The complexity of
this character and I guess the restrictions and handcuffs that come with
it, slowly but surely I’m able to peel away the layers and do different
stuff with it in the end."

Did he know about his storyline with the Revolution:
"That was bestowed upon me, actually. That was not my idea; I didn’t know
that was happening. Real life was only slightly ahead of what was seen on
camera. It’s not like there are memos or anything around letting everybody
know ‘Hey, this is what’s going on.’ I didn’t have any idea that there was
going to be a Revolution or anything like that. I just knew that I was
going to get mixed up with these guys and do some stuff, and it just
became what it became."

On his character being more friendly as opposed to dark and evil:
"That was 100% me. For the longevity of myself personally, I didn’t like
what they had written. Obviously I’m supporting other characters and I’m
fine with that, but at some point this story runs its course and a new arc
has to be created. If I come out of this so far removed from my strengths
as a character and a performer, then I’m not in a good place—that’s how
careers end. So I didn’t want to be a position where I’m taking on these
traits and is not entertaining. I wanted to play it more like myself. I’ve
always looked at everything as how would I create TJ Perkins. What would
TJ be in this match, what would TJ be in this situation? So when we would
shoot these things, I would get some direction and I would change it to
what I felt was me. It’s like saying your job in this scene is to break
out of prison and we want you to grab this weapon, slaughter a bunch of
dudes and walk out. Is that who you are; or are you Jack Sparrow and you
have to trick your way out and barely escape with your life? I just felt
like the character I wanted to play would be more like that."

On his plans for the future:
"We have another week in Orlando and then I think we’re working at the end
of June, not sure if we have anything confirmed. We also have a bunch of
big projects coming up over the summer, which I don’t have all the details
so I wouldn’t be able to tell you anyway. But that which I know, I’m not
allowed to because it’s different stuff than we’re ever done. That should
be exciting from what I understand. It’s within the realm of Impact, live
events and things like that. The stuff that they have on the table,
there’s some exciting stuff in the works as far as destinations. But yeah,
it’s definitely wrestling-related stuff. I actually have been hoping for
some collaborations in some non-wrestling forms. My dream was to be a
reenactment actor on some of these ghost shows, but I have yet to get
somebody to pull the trigger on it and I think I would be fantastic."

Will the Bound For Glory Series return this year:
"Oh, I’m not sure about that. Selfishly I hope not, because I’m a junior
and usually I'm not a candidate for the Bound For Glory Series. But no, I
hope that it comes back. I really like the sports aspect of wrestling
whenever they’re able to incorporate tournaments, round robins and
seasons. I’m not sure if something like that is coming back. It might sort
of depend on these projects that they have coming up, because it might
affect the way they schedule certain events and things like that."