Thecheappop’s interview with TNA’s Jackie Gayda
By Jon Chattman
When she got married last year (to fellow grappler Charlie Haas), Jackie Gayda likely had something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. She, as fate would have it, also got something pink, as in a slip. "Everybody was extremely shocked," Gayda told thecheappop recently of her and her husband's untimely release. Some seven-and-a-half months removed from it, Gayda offers no sour grapes. The 2002 "Tough Enough" Winner told us she and Charlie understand the nature of the business, and left the WWE on very good terms. As a matter of fact, the knockout, who joined TNA in November, informed us Haas has been involved in serious discussions with both TNA and WWE as of late, and is expected to re-sign with the latter soon. And, as for Gayda, life couldn't be better. The All-Ohio athlete is enjoying every minute on TNA, and is hopeful with a better timeslot, it can elevate the company, not to mention the women's division, to the next level.
JC: Hey Jackie, how's married life treating you?
JG: It's going great. I can't complain yet. [Laughs] It hasn't been a year so you might want to ask me after the year mark. Just kidding. Charlie and I, we're really blessed. We had a chance to get to know each other under the most stressful circumstances and situations. And, that's what they say married life's all about. Right now, it's going really, really well.
JC: And, it must be nice to have to be on the road all the time. The benefits of TNA, at least for now, is that there's not a lot of traveling - unlike the WWE experience...
JG: You're absolutely right. I love Orlando. And, it's really great that it's just so in and out. It's a very, very nice change to actually feel like you're at home when you're at home. The bigger time slot and more dates and everything may not be too far off in the future, but right now it's a nice change.
JC: How's Charlie doing?
JG: He's doing a lot of indie dates...doing a lot of work with New Japan, (and) just did an England show. He's trying to make the right decisions. He's looking at things in terms of longevity with career goals, for his future, and our future financially. He has a lot of offers on the plate, including WWE, and he's talking to Jeff Jarrett with TNA. I can assure you that he'll be showing up at one of the places very, very soon. I'm not giving anything away, but decisions with him and WWE are looking like they're going to merge again.
JC: That sounds great... That must be nice considering it didn't end great for you guys at WWE...
JG: You never really know why people leave or get let go, because the whole thing is based on gossip and 'he said' or 'she said.' But, we've talked to the McMahon family face to face, unfortunately at Eddie's (Guerrero) funeral. We left on great terms. It was not a bitter leave by any means. [Pauses] Everyone was extremely shocked including Vince's (McMahon) righthand men about both of us... extremely shocked about Charlie. If he goes back, it's going to be on his terms this time, and get the run he rightfully deserves. He's been kicking his ass for awhile. He's really developed himself as a singles wrestler. To go back [to] WWE, that's something that might be right around the bend.
JC: And, what about you? You joined TNA in November. Did you know off the bat that that was the right fit for you?
JG: When everything happened with WWE, I can honestly say I wasn't too sure if wrestling was going to stay much in my future. I knew that it was Charlie's livelihood. I think he'll be in the business one way or another until he's 100 years old. But, I had to weigh my options for a month or so. I wasn't sure if it was going to be TNA or just doing some indies with Charlie or a few overseas tours. I really had to weigh it out. Wrestling goes in ups and downs: one week, it's great, the next you're not too sure about things. I know I made the right decision. It's a fantastic company from top to bottom.
JC: Your signing with TNA gave the company a boost in terms of its on-air women talent. What do you think of the women's division in TNA?
JG: There isn't anything right now. Every single week, we're hoping that that changes. The good thing about it is Gail (Kim), Traci and I have all worked with each other at one time. At the same token, TNA is all about going back to storyline, and not shoving entire two [or] three months worth of a soap opera into a segment and a half, which tends to be seen on wrestling nowadays. They really want to stretch it out, but as far as the women's divison, with an hour time slot , they have to pick and choose what it is they're going to focus on. There's so many great athletes on the roster, and you can't shove 15 stories into one minute. We're just taking it one step at a time. Hopefully, we'll have a larger time slot and we can make that happen.
JC: TNA is kind of the underdog. Is it exciting to be a part of its growth?
JG: I don't even know if I'd say its the underdog anymore, but I see what you're saying. You need a starting point. Look how far TNA has come. The company's only been around for three years or so. People are interested. Every week, our ratings are going up and up.
JC: On another note, do you think you'd still would have gone into the wrestling business if you didn't win/participate on "Tough Enough."
JG: I really don't think I would've. Things happen at the right time, right place, for the right people. It was one of those things. I was in college up in Ohio getting right to my major at the end of my sophomore year. I had a million things going on. I was a track and cross country athlete, and just had a lot of stuff on my plate. Wrestling just kind of happen. I was watching RAW one night, [and] my boyfriend at the time said 'why don't you try out for this.' I kind of watched it here or there. I watched it growing up with my dad a little bit. I said 'why not.' He kind of printed out application. I threw it in the mail, and didn't think much of it. I got a call back, and one thing led to another. Wrestling is a blessing in my life. It brought me to the rest of my life - not to sound mushy. But, it's bizare and strange, it brought me to my future family.
JC: It's got to be surreal for you... this whole three-year ride...
JG: It really, really has been. But, you have to take it one step at a time with things. And, take time to look back and realize what has happened and put things into perspective. It really has been surreal: the fans, people that write in, or [I'll] hear something like 'I watched you on TV, you motivated me with your knee.' Funny thing is, I'm still just me.
JC: Yeah, you sound pretty grounded...
JG: Oh, please. Charlie keeps me grounded. Everything happens for a reason whether good or bad. You have to take life and learn from it, and hope that you don't get too big for your pants or too small for them.
JC: Lastly, what's your biggest achievement in the ring?
JG: Probably the best and most outstanding moment that sticks out is being in Wrestlemania XX. Madison Square Garden... I remember thinking 'Who am I? I won this contest, now I'm in a storyline with three other talented and beautiful women.' It really was breathtaking. You have to step back and take it in. That's the highlight of my career so far. We'll see if something can beat it. I'm sure it will. Want more of Jackie? Check JustJackie.Net
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Jackie Gayda... Interview
Thecheappop’s interview with TNA’s Jackie Gayda