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 Takerís 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 didnít 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. Heís 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 itís a win-win for Frankie: if he doesnít 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 McMahonís 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 didnít 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. Thatís 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" Ė 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 Iíve had and the adventures Iíve enjoyed have been amazing. Iíve never been happier.
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. Thatís the answer to both questions. Heís 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 Jeffís passion, his commitment, his love for this business. And I decided to lend a hand only as a favor to Jeff. I didnít 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. Itís been seven months and Iím 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.
"* 164 libraries own a copy of Scott Keith's "Buzz on Professional Wrestling" (21 of those libraries being in Illinois, for some reason)?" There's your answer for that one, but I don't see any listings for the newer book.