is currently the most hated man in Stanford-based WWE Headquarters. Who is David Sahadi you ask? If
you watched WWE TV programming or saw one of their commercials teasing a PPV in the last 10 years, then chances are you saw
his work as the Creative Director of On-air Promotions. Mr. Sahadi currently works with TNA Wrestling is the same capacity.
If you saw the teasers for the PPV’s that sent goosebumps up your arms, then you have seen his current work. This interview
that will give you behind the scenes access to how WWF/WWE operated, the truth and fiction behind the infamous TNA milk and
cookie delivery to the WWE during a commercial shoot and what you can possibly expect from TNA Wrestling in the coming months.
Alan Wojcik: Was wrestling part of your childhood and who were some of your favorites?
David Sahadi: For a
time it was. I grew up watching wrestling in the late seventies on Saturday nights. My favorites were "Polish Power" Ivan
Putzki, Superstar Billy Graham, Captain Lou Albano and George "The Animal" Steel. One manager who I despised at the time was
Classy Freddie Blassie, which was funny because he became one of my closest and beloved friends when I joined WWE. I lost
interest in the genre in the mid-eighties, right before the first WrestleMania, because I thought the characters were becoming
too cartoony and the product a bit goofy.
AW: You went to college and graduated with a degree in mathematics, how
did that lead to television?
David Sahadi: It didn’t. Mathematics and television are on opposite ends of the
career spectrum. Math is associated with the logical side of the brain while television appeals to the creative side. And
I really despised math by the time I graduated. If anything, getting a degree in mathematics propelled me towards TV simply
because it pushed me away from mathematics. In the end, it wasn’t something I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
AW: Was it aid from your dad that got you the job with NBC Sports and talk about your initial duties with the network?
David Sahadi: Yes, my dad was instrumental in getting me into television. When I graduated college I had no clue what
I wanted to do with my life. I spent that summer painting houses. It was quite sobering to be twenty-one years old, out of
college, and not having a direction in life. That fall, my dad got me a job working Sundays at NBC Sports as a logger for
NFL football games. Basically I would watch a designated game, chronicle all the plays, compile statistics, and help the producers
build highlights packages for the half-time and post-game shows. It was both exhilarating and nerve-racking. When the football
season was over, I got an internship as a production assistant in the sports promotions department and the rest, as they say,
AW: You became Manager of On-Air Promotions for NBC Sports; tell me about some of your favorite commercials
people might remember.
David Sahadi: Probably none! Seriously. I really have no favorite spots from my tenure at NBC.
Yes, I did launch campaigns for the NFL, the NBA on NBC, and the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, which was an exciting endeavor
in itself, but the spots were very conservative, straight forward and boring. At the time, the network didn’t want to
takes risks or break away from the status quo no matter how hard I tried to push the envelope. As an example, the first spot
I cut for the NBA (which never aired) featured hip hop music, flashy graphics and a quick-cutting editing style. I even used
edgy sound effects on the physicality as well as the slam dunks. Management rejected it. Instead, they had me re-cut the spot
using slo-mos to the theme from the Broadway play, "Annie". No sound effects. No edge. No impact. Enough said. Right then,
I knew my future wasn’t to be in network television.
AW: You worked with some of sports biggest names, please
talk about working with Bob Costas and Dick Ebersol.
David Sahadi: Bob Costas is one of the most knowledgeable and
astute men I have ever worked with. He’s brilliant and passionate about the sports he covers. He’s tough to work
for because he expects perfection - but he also demands it from himself as well. I remember one time I had a big goof on the
air, airing a highlights package that had the incorrect paperwork to what Bob was narrating. It was live TV, and of course
Bob looked silly. Obviously, he blew up once we went off the air. But he also pulled me aside, talked to me about how to prevent
future errors, and patted me on the back. He reassured me as opposed to emasculating me. I will never forget that. He has
a great, compassionate side to his humanity. Dick Ebersol was intimidating to work with at the time in my life. He came into
the sports department from the Entertainment division with a huge legacy and strong reputation. No one ever stood up to him
or challenged his decisions. He was surrounded by sycophants and "yes men". Being a neophyte, the youngest manager of on-air
promotions among the three sports networks at the time, I lacked the courage to challenge him. I disagreed with Dick on many
things creatively, but I didn’t have the confidence then to stand up to my convictions. But Dick was always a wonderful
man to me. He treated me with great respect. And he was genuinely saddened when he learned of my decision to leave NBC. He
tried to convince me to stay, but I had already made a verbal commitment to WWF and felt it wasn’t right to go back
on my word. It was fun working with Dick again during the XFL experiment, which I think had great potential but was foolishly
rushed and then prematurely cancelled. There was great potential there that was never fully realized.
AW: Before the
1992 Summer Olympics WWF made you an offer to join the company. What made WWF a better place then your position with NBC Sports?
David Sahadi: The opportunity to grow, expand and develop my creativity. I felt the network environment was too conservative,
their thinking too black and white. I wanted to do things differently, create from an alternate perspective, shoot film, work
on the different looks and graphic packages of shows, and WWF gave me that opportunity.
AW: What were your initial
impressions of Vince McMahon?
David Sahadi: Like most, I was intimidated by Vince before I even met him. I had heard
all the negative rumors that were circulating at the time. When I walked into Vince’s office for my interview, he was
wearing sweats, blasting a heavy metal entrance music theme for one of his new superstars and happily eating a hot meal. He
came across more as a frat boy than an executive for a global empire. It was a very casual atmosphere at that was comforting.
He embraced me warmly, spoke of his mantra to, above everything else, just have fun, and made me feel wanted. I walked out
of his office with a whole different image of Vince McMahon and knew right then it was the place I needed to be.
I believe one of your first tasks was producing the Monday Night Raw intro piece filmed on the roof of WWF Headquarters, known
as the Titan Towers. Talk about the spot and some other ideas Vince had for the spot.
David Sahadi: Actually, one
of my first tasks was to produce the promos and openings for the premiers of both RAW and Mania (a Saturday morning magazine
show). The graphics were awful – a lot of pinks and yellows which are not colors you would associate with such a physical
product. I also introduced film and an editing style that was fast-paced and cutting edge. Two years later, we filmed the
opening for Raw on the Roof that you mentioned. And the shoot was beset with a myriad of problems. For one, Vince and I had
a different vision. I wanted the feel to be rebellious and attitudinal (this was before the era of attitude) while Vince pitched
a few ideas that were more campy and slapstick. We also had plans to ignite pyro and burn a huge "RAW" logo in flames upon
the entire length of the roof. But there was a drought in CT at the time and our pyro permits were pulled the day before the
shoot. Our helicopter also lost it’s spotlight midway through the shoot, as well as communication with us on the ground,
so we were simply winging everything. The neighbors also complained to the Stamford police about the noise disturbance. Of
course, with a copter flying above and a live band performing on the roof, it was had to hear their complaints or the police
trying to contact us so the shoot continued on until midnight!
AW: What was your work relationship like with Vince
and Jim Ross?
David Sahadi: I had a wonderful work and personal relationship with all the McMahons during my eleven years there, as well
as with Jim Ross and many of the talent. They treated me with reverence and respect and embraced me like a family member.
No complaints there. The only thing that saddened me is that Vince treated me differently the moment he found out I was leaving
the company. I first told my boss, Kevin Dunn, and said that I would give the company however much time they needed me to
stay until a replacement could be found, whether it be two weeks, two months or half a year. Kevin decided on one month. During
that last month I never had a discussion with Vince about anything. He actually avoided me in public. I had scheduled three
meetings with Vince to say goodbye, but all three were postponed. I couldn’t understand why he turned a cold shoulder.
After all, I wasn’t leaving the company to work for the competition or to take another job elsewhere. I was quitting
and leaving everything behind. All I wanted to do was give him a hug and express my gratitude for all he had done for me.
The fact that I felt dissed hurt on the deepest of levels, considering all I had done for the company and the countless sacrifices
I made. But a couple of months later, once I was in the mountains, I let all the hurt go. I understood why Vince felt awkward:
he couldn’t understand why I was leaving. And looking back I don’t blame him. How could he understand why I was
leaving when I didn’t understand myself? All I knew is that I had to leave that company. My heart was no longer enamored
with the product. My soul needed to embark on a journey of discovery. My spirit longed for a new adventure. So I walked away
from everything, without a plan, with trust that the Universe would lead me.
AW: Did you have day to day dealings
with Linda McMahon?
David Sahadi: She is a great businessperson one of the classiest people I know. I have so much respect for her. When I
met Linda to say goodbye, I broke down in her office and couldn’t utter a single word. She hugged me, spoke the words
I couldn’t speak, and made me feel wonderful. She is one of the most compassionate, benevolent beings I know and I send
her my love.
AW: Fans that I am friend with aren't big fans of Stephanie, what is your view of Ms. McMahon-Levesque?
David Sahadi: I like Stephanie, but I think she was put in a difficult position and asked to do too much too soon. I don’t
feel she was ready for the role of head writer when it was given to her. And I think Stephanie, like Vince, tries too hard
to control everything. She would do well to trust people around her more, and be a unifying force as opposed to one which
alienates. She also works her butt off. I remember seeing her in the gym – after one of her typical fourteen hour days
– doing work on…the treadmill! Poor girl. I admire her work ethic and her unyielding commitment, but I sincerely
hope that one day she realizes there is a vast, beautiful world outside of the WWE. And I truly hope she finds happiness,
if she hasn’t already.
AW: At one point Shane McMahon was on-air as talent, now he is behind the scenes. What
are your thoughts on Shane-O-Mac?
David Sahadi: Over time Shane has really risen in my eyes. I respect the fact that at one point not too long ago he decided
to scale back his responsibilities and spend more time with his wife in NYC. He wanted to appreciate life. I really think
he gets it now. Man, being Vince’s son must have been a heavy burden growing up. Talk about a huge shadow to emerge
from. But I also think a few years down the road Shane will surprise everybody and become the savior the WWE needs and restore
it to great heights. He listens to people. Shane is also very approachable and personable. I do consider him a friend, even
though we have not spoken since I left. One day, I hope we bump into each other somewhere, share a beer, look back and laugh
at the insanity – and fun - of it all.
AW: One of the most memorable promos was the "Legends" spot with retired
WWE personalities Gorilla Monsoon, "Classie" Freddie Blassie, Killer Kowalski among others. How did this spot come about and
what was the office reaction to your work?
David Sahadi: The "Legends" spot is probably my favorite commercial because
it resonates with me on so many levels. First, it was a follow-up to the first "Athletes" spot which initiated the era of
Attitude. That first Attitude spot was conceived by Chris Chambers during his two-month sabbatical in the summer of 1997.
Chris is a brilliant thinker, a phenomenal producer and a man of great vision and integrity, the last of which is rare to
find, not just in the wrestling business but the television industry as a whole. He is also one of the few men who were instrumental
in turning the company’s fortunes around in the late nineties. Anyway, the "Legends" spot was the sequel to that first
spot. The vision came to me late one night after a conversation with my dear friend, the late Freddie Blassie. The first spot
featured current talent putting themselves over, a more powerful spot I believed would be one featuring the legends of the
past putting over the new guys of today. I put the shoot together and gathered the talent without ever letting Vince know
what I was doing. The day of the shoot, I got a call from my boss saying Vince was livid that I was shooting a spot with old-timers
in this era of attitude and new, younger superstars. He didn’t believe the concept fit the new image of attitude the
WWF was promoting. A week later, when Vince saw the finished spot for the first time, he broke down and cried. It touched
him that deeply. And his reaction also touched me. It didn’t matter what anyone else might think of that spot. The simple
fact that I touched Vince emotionally meant the world to me. I felt I did him proud.
AW: The WWF made a splash of
sorts during the Super Bowl a few years back, please give some insight to its infancy to airing.
David Sahadi: I have
to give Vince Russo some props here. My original concept for "Another Day at the Office" featured Vince McMahon throughout
the entire spot giving us a tour of the WWF headquarters as all hell breaks out behind him. Russo suggested that the WWF Superstars
should be featured delivering those lines instead. It made a huge difference in both the creativity and the humor of the commercial.
The spot airing in the Super Bowl really made all of us in the company feel proud because we felt as though we had finally
made it. We had proved our critics that we could excel in the main stream media. We were all now able to hold our heads high.
We felt that all the years of hard work and sacrifice had finally paid off.
AW: One of the funniest spots was for
a NO Mercy PPV involving Kane and baseball great Pete Rose. It was featured on WWE Confidential, talk about working with those
two men and why couldn’t you talk about the famous house in the shoot, which looks an awful like the Psycho house?
Sahadi: Kane has always been one of my favorite talents to work with. He is such a nice guy and just a pro on the set. Pete
Rose, on the other hand, often proves to be quite difficult. His motivation, I feel, is usually his fee, not the integrity
of the creative. The night of the shoot, we only four hours contracted to work with him. Once we reached that limit, he began
to get a bit testy. Fortunately, Jess Ward from Tough Enough 2 was on hand, and she used her charms to tame the beast. To
Pete’s credit, he was totally cool with the creative and didn’t mind being the butt of several jokes in the spot.
For that I respect him. The reason we couldn’t mention the famous house is because it is owned by Universal and they
didn’t want us to capitalize on its notoriety without due compensation.
AW: One of the most controversial shoots
was during the HHH/Kane feud and the fictional Katie Vick where HHH fornicated with her supposed corpse. At any point did
you think this is going too far?
David Sahadi: It went way too far. I was embarrassed by it. I was embarrassed to
be an employee of the company. And I was embarrassed at myself for not having the guts to make a stand after it aired. In
a TV production meeting two days after the airing, the super top level producer made it clear in no uncertain terms that this
was the direction the company was taking, and if anyone was uncomfortable with that vignette they should stand up and speak
or leave the company right now. No one stood, though many wanted to. Including myself. I’m embarrassed I didn’t.
If then I was where I am now, emotionally, I would have made a statement and walked right out the door.
AW: Were there
any wrestlers that you considered favorites to work with and possibly talk about some of the difficult people to work with?
David Sahadi: Taker, Chris Jericho, Kane, Trish Stratus, The Rock and even Brock Lesnar were just a few of the talent
I loved working with because "they got it". They knew spending an entire day (Or in Taker’s case an entire night) on
a set filming a spot not only was good for the product but good for their characters as well. As producers/directors, we are
not in this to win awards: we do what we do to put talent over. Putting talent over puts the overall product over. Those guys
mentioned never complained, were always enthusiastic, accepted creative input as well as gave it. Triple H was also great
to work with in the beginning. Over time, he became more and more difficult. It came to a point where I was hoping I didn’t
have to use him in a shoot, and often devised creative of which he was not needed. Speaking of favorite WWE wrestlers to work
with, I must now include Frankie Kazarian in that category! Frankie filmed a spot with me in the California desert one summer
night four years ago. It was the No Mercy baseball spot where Kane hit the dribbler to the pitcher and then all the WWE wrestlers
did run-ons. Frankie played three roles: the catcher, the fielder that Edge first nailed and the third baseman. He took six
stiff garbage can shots from Farooq and never once complained. When I walked into the TNA locker room for the very first time,
it was heartening to see him there. He’s such a nice, benevolent person besides being a tremendous athlete. I wish him
all the best in the WWE. I know it was a difficult decision for him to leave a place he loved so much. But it’s a win-win
for Frankie: if he doesn’t like it up there, he will be welcomed back with open arms.
AW: What were the factors
that led to you resigning from WWE and did the McMahon’s try to get you to reconsider?
David Sahadi: As I said
earlier, I no longer believed in the product. It got stale, trite, boring and predictable. It felt like a bad soap opera.
I also didn’t like the attitude of the leadership in the company, people who belittled and manipulated and callously
controlled the emotions of others as if they were indentured servants, pushing buttons and pulling their strings on a whim.
There is a feeling of darkness and malaise that seemingly permeates the entire company today. So many people are miserable
in their jobs but are convinced they would be worse off if they leave. That’s a reflection of the cult-like mentality
there. It is sad. But to be honest, the most important factor that led to my resignation was simply me. I needed to leave
a career behind so that I could grow as a person. I was living the "good life" – high-paying job, nice cars, big house
in the country - but at the same time I was suffering from the soul sickness of modern society. We live in a world of pretense
and superficiality, where there is a premium placed on the material. I had reached a point in my life where this illusory
world had lost all its appeal. I wanted something deeper, more profound in life. So I quit my job, sold my house and all of
my possessions, and simply jumped back into life. The experiences I’ve had and the adventures I’ve enjoyed have
been amazing. I’ve never been happier.
AW: Looking back on your time with WWF/WWE, were there any regrets?
Sahadi: I don’t regret anything in life. We all make mistakes and encounter hardships from time to time. But these challenges
are really blessings because hopefully they leave us with invaluable lessons learned. In life, pain is inevitable; misery
is an option. And God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.
AW: How did you come to work for TNA Wrestling
and what did you know about the product before accepting the contract offer?
David Sahadi: Jeff Jarrett. That’s
the answer to both questions. He’s the reason I came to TNA and at the time he was all I knew about TNA. After I left
WWE, I spent a year traveling cross-country, camping and hiking in the great National Parks of this country. I was content
to spend the rest of my life in the mountains, hiking and writing books. Last summer, while living in the mountains of North
Carolina and having just finished my first novel, a small Connecticut-based ad agency (CDHM) contacted me and asked if I could
arrange a meeting with Jeff. I was just supposed to be the middle man, the connection. When the meeting was arranged, they
then asked if I would attend. Being only four hours away from Nashville, I agreed. In that meeting, Jeff made an immediate
impression on me with his enthusiasm, his spirit and his heart. To know Jeff Jarrett, the person, is to know a truly wonderful
and caring human being. Sitting in that meeting, listening to him speak, believing in his dream and knowing that he needed
my help, I was torn. I was living a new life I loved, but I also felt the pull to help a friend in need. I saw Jeff’s
passion, his commitment, his love for this business. And I decided to lend a hand only as a favor to Jeff. I didn’t
care about the money, or the lack thereof. I just wanted to help him. I agreed to "come out of the mountains", as Jeff and
I joke, for three months only to help TNA make the transition to monthly pay-per-views. It’s been seven months and I’m
still here. The amount of respect I have for Jeff, and now all of the talent at TNA, is immense. Jeff is an amazing human
being and a good friend. If for some reason he was to leave TNA tomorrow, I would leave, too.
AW: The night of the
Victory Road PPV your opening video sent chills down my spine and I am sure I am not alone, what was the inspiration behind
David Sahadi: Thank you for the kind words, Alan, especially coming from someone like you. Victory Road was an
important night, not just for the company as a whole but for every single one of the athletes in the TNA locker room. The
cold open I did wasn’t designed to wow audiences or garner critical acclaim. My sole intention was to produce a piece
that served as a tribute to these great young stars, to show them my respect, admiration and gratitude for the people they
are and the things that they do in the ring. No disrespect to the WWE talent, but I have never seen a greater core of athletes
than those in TNA. These kids are simply amazing. They are dreamers, believers, men who make incredible sacrifices because
they care so much about the business. They desire so much to please the fans. Alan, you’ve seen the monthly pay-per-views,
and these guys just go all out and leave nothing behind. That piece was solely for them. I meant every word I wrote. They
represent what’s still good in this business. They inspire me and have made me a believer in this business again. To
them I say "thank you".
AW: I was hanging out with you the night you found out WWE was filming their now aired Royal
Rumble 2005 commercial in Universal Studios. What led to the now infamous Milk and Cookies delivery by Tracy Brooks, Abyss
(carrying balloons), Bill Banks, Tim Welch, Jeremy Borash, 3 Live Kru and Shane Douglas?
David Sahadi: Oh boy. You
touched on a nerve there. It’s an incident that has brought me tremendous personal pain. Here goes: When we learned
that WWE was shooting a commercial at Universal studios we were stunned. We couldn’t figure out why, of all places,
they were coming down here. As you know, Universal Studios is the home of TNA. It is where we tape all of our weekly shows
and broadcast each of our PPVs. And the timing was just three days after Victory Road. So we saw opportunity here, a chance
to proudly pound our chests, so to speak. We wanted to create a package that highlighted all the amazing things that happened
in that historic week, of which the WWE was only going to be a part. Within that one week we had our first-ever monthly PPV,
Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and the Macho Man made their dramatic returns to professional wrestling, we had our first-ever prime-time
specials airing on the Best Damn Sports Show Period, and now even the WWE stars were coming to our home. We wanted the spin
to be that all this was happening because TNA had now become the "epicenter of the wrestling world." The "Cookies and Balloons"
incident wasn’t meant to embarrass or humiliate the WWE or anyone particular person there. It was intended to be light-hearted
and fun. I mean, come on, the monster Abyss attempting to greet WWE superstars by handing out balloons is hysterical! Who
wouldn’t chuckle at that? (obviously, they didn’t). So during a break in their filming, we simply walked from
our studios, where we were filming some post Victory Road pieces, to the common area just outside theirs to "welcome" them
to our home. By the way, we were allowed to be there. We didn’t cross any lines. After about five minutes we left. At
that moment, it really was a non-story because none of the top WWE stars where outside at the time. They were all huddled
inside their studio. The "welcome" only became an issue because WWE made it an issue. Their overreaction was absurd. They
reportedly filed a letter of complaint with Universal. They threatened to sue if we aired the footage. And I received a barrage
of hateful e-mails and expletive-laden phone calls from so-called friends at WWE that were hurtful, venomous and shocking
to say the least. They took the incident personally even though there was nothing personal about it. They claimed we tried
to humiliate and embarrass them, which we did not. They claimed I put several people’s jobs in jeopardy, which is ridiculous
if that was the case. They claimed I made them victims. Victims of what? Their own arrogance, foolish pride and ignorance?
Four months later, the only casualty of this incident is my dad. For nearly fifty years he worked on and off for the company,
first for Vince Sr. and later Vince Jr. Most recently, he was on the WWE payroll since 1998, procuring main-stream publicity
and contributing with PR work outside of the wrestling world on such events as the Mike Tyson press conference, the XFL and
arranging for professional athletes to attend RAW shows across the nation so that they could be seen live on TV. Well, as
a way to get back at me, they cut my dad from the payroll. My dad is 74 years old. He has no savings. He has no retirement.
The only income he had left was that monthly WWE check, and they took that away. What they did to him is sick and deplorable.
It speaks volumes to the quality of certain people in charge there. Shame on them, Alan. Shame on them.
AW: Were you
surprised by the legal action taken by WWE since they had done the WCW Invasion spots in the late 90’s?
Sahadi: Yes. Especially because we didn’t disrupt their shoot, we didn’t lampoon any of their characters, we weren’t
mean, aggressive or violent, and we didn’t take any "money out of their pockets". Nor did we try to make them look bad:
they did a good job of that themselves. What we did was light-hearted and fun, not disruptive like the Invasion stunts WWF
pulled in the nineties. And it definitely was not mean-spirited, unlike the personal attacks WWF launched on Ted Turner with
the Billionaire Ted vignettes. Speaking of Billionaire Ted, it’s ironic because in many ways Vince has become the very
embodiment of the callous, bullying, buy-anything-I-want character he once detested and parodied back in the day.
Were you in favor of the footage being aired with the WWE talent blocked out?
David Sahadi: I was in favor of the
footage airing, but I would have preferred the talent not be blocked out.
AW: Is it true that WWE Executive Kevin
Dunn told all WWE staffers to break any ties they had with you and how did you feel upon getting that news?
Sahadi: That is my understanding. And the news felt horrible on a very profound level. This happened right after I joined
TNA, even before "cookies and balloons". Of course, I wasn’t there when he made that edict, so I’m not sure the
exact words that were spoken. What I heard was that during a production meeting he claimed I was now working for "the enemy"
and that if anyone communicated anything about the business, either via e-mail or phone conversation with me, it would be
grounds for immediate termination. That struck fear in a lot of people there. Naturally, even friends were afraid to talk
to me or respond to e-mails. I thought that was completely pathetic. It a reflection of the paranoia that thrives there. I
still care for a lot of people in WWE, both in the locker room and in production, and I still wish them success. And contrary
to what some might think, I am not "the enemy". The enemy, if there is one, lies deep within.
AW: Truth or rumor John
"Big" McGuirk (sorry if I mispelled this) threatened you and threats were made to your father.
David Dahadi: I think
I know who you are talking about, but I think you mispronounced his name. All I know is that he was at Universal that day
and really took the whole thing personally. My understanding is that he was hurt because I didn’t call or warn him so
that he could protect himself. Warn him of what? Protect himself from what? Cookies and balloons? Please. I know he felt slighted
or betrayed, but I didn’t feel I needed to warn anyone at WWE of something I thought was quite innocuous and would only
be funny under the element of surprise. Yes, I have been told that there are a couple of people there who have threatened
to inflict serious physical harm on me. My attempts at reconciliation a couple of months ago were met with scorn and vindictiveness.
But I’d rather not mention the names of those supposed antagonists. They need to be pitied, not berated. They are simply
not clear-headed, drunk on the Kool Aid. They need to see a perspective outside of the WWE’s heliocentric point of view.
It is sad. I feel sorry for them.
AW: You have filmed several spots for TNA, what has been your favorite to create?
David Sahadi: The cold opens for the PPVs, though not commercials, have been my favorite creations so far because
they have emotionally touched so many people backstage. That is my ultimate reward. I have yet to film my favorite spot. That
will happen soon. However, I did film IDs of all the TNA talent with lightning strikes back in September that we use in promos,
packages, opens, etc. That is my favorite shoot for two reasons: we have gotten a lot of bang for the dollar as this simple
shoot has elevated the production value of so much of what we do, and the talent. Yes, the talent. Let me explain: when I
did similar ID shoots at WWE, it was like pulling teeth to get many of the talent to be a part. Some felt like it was a burden.
When I did this shoot at TNA, there was a line of talent out the door waiting to participate. I was amazed. Some stood in
line for hours for their two-minute role! Toward the end, I was running out of film and really had to conserve so that I could
accommodate everyone. That is testament to the incredible attitude the TNA athletes have and the lengths they will go to improve
the product. Again, they really are an amazing collection of talent in more ways than one. I am fortunate to work with them.
AW: What do you hope the future holds for you and TNA Wrestling?
David Sahadi: For me I just want to help
in any way I can because Jeff and his dad Jerry are friends and I believe in the product and I believe in the talent. For
TNA, I truly feel they can take it to the next level. But it takes time. The product is a lot better now than it was a year
ago; it will be a lot better a year from now than it is today. The growth process is slow, and not without pain, but it is
happening. I just hope the fans continue to support TNA because it does have the chance to explode in the future. What I do
– dramatic promos, fancy graphics, etc - is merely "garnish" as Jim Ross would say. The meat and potatoes is what happens
inside the ring. It all begins with the talent. And I am not alone when I say that the in-ring product of TNA, as evidenced
by the incredible, jaw-dropping spots, the superb quality of the matches on the top of the card as well as the inspired wrestling
throughout the entire PPV card, already exceeds that of the WWE. They can’t touch what TNA does in the ring.