PHILADELPHIA, PA - Jerry Lynn just doesn't know how to quit, and if you're a Jerry Lynn fan, you are grateful for that.
Suffice to say, fans who appreciate Lynn's consistent and stellar wrestling abilities breathed a sigh of relief when the veteran grappler made his return to the NWA/TNA fold earlier this year.
"It's hard to find a gig on Wednesdays," said Lynn in an interview with SLAM! Wrestling at the recent Pro Wrestling WORLD-1 show in Philadelphia. "It's good to be back there and see a lot of the guys I made friends with."
His arrival back in the Nashville based promotion came after a five-month hiatus from the promotion. During that period, many speculated the former X Division and Tag Team Champion had once again been shown the back door.
"I really don't want to talk about it," he said. "We got everything ironed out. We really didn't even talk about what had happened. We just decided to start with a clean slate and move on."
But the harsh reality of having been mistreated by promotions in the past, despite his ability to deliver great matches, is never far from his mind.
"It dumbfounds me that I get fired from everywhere," admitted Lynn. "I've always acted like a professional; I show up on time, I do what I'm told. You've got other guys out there when you tell them what they're going to do and they can flat out say no and are not worried about getting fired at all."
In his recent comeback with NWA/TNA, Lynn has picked up exactly where he left off when it comes to delivering exciting performances in the ring. Fans of Lynn most recently saw this with his participation in the first every America's X Cup, a team competition featuring wrestlers from the home promotion squaring off against luchadors from the Mexico based AAA promotion.
Appropriately, Lynn was the designated captain of the NWA/TNA team, leading his troops into what turned out to be an exciting tournament outing.
"At times it's difficult because you're obviously working with someone with a whole different style of wrestling and you have to adapt," remarked Lynn. "It makes it interesting, it makes it very challenging. There were some good matches."
Key to Lynn's successful interaction with the Mexican grapplers is his unique ability to adapt to various wrestling styles. "That's one thing I learned when I went to wrestling camp and got trained. You have to learn to adapt to everyone's style. Not even just someone from Mexico or Japan, but anyone in the States. Everyone has a different sense of timing, balance, coordination, the way they move. You have to be able to adapt and time yourself with everyone."
While Lynn may find himself in the unenviable position of being a stand-out wrestler who has never gotten his fair share of the pie, Lynn can still proudly show that after 15-plus years in the business, his athleticism and sharp mind for professional wrestling is still well intact. Nowhere else has he made this abundantly clear than the X Division stage in NWA/TNA.
"It was fun to get the world wide exposure and still show everyone 'Hey, I still got it.' I may get fired from everywhere, but I can still do it," Lynn said.
Pillar of endurance that he is, Lynn serves as a prime example of what new wrestlers must have when it comes to surviving the rigors of professional wrestling. But what only makes the hardships of the business constant, are those who choose to become wrestlers, but do not share the unconditional passion for the squared circle as Lynn does.
"That's the problem nowadays," Lynn pointed out. "A lot of the guys who are coming into the business never grew up watching it, were never fans of wrestling. Maybe someone saw him in a gym or someone saw him bouncing somewhere or saw him in a body building contest and say 'Hey, he should be a wrestler.' Then they try it and they don't have the real genuine love for it. That's where you fall into a lot of problems."
"Then there are the certain number of people who don't have the mentality for a little bit of fame if they happen to be lucky enough to hit that," he added. "They just forget what it's really all about and that's bad for the business too."
Lynn also observed the trend of some wrestlers who choose to disregard proper wrestling etiquette, again, a symptom of the overall negative changes that appear to be taking root in the business.
"I think you run into that everywhere, you run into assholes everywhere in life, not just in wrestling," said Lynn. He also alluded to the belief that without the proper checks in place to ensure a professional protocol is maintained, that what happens behind the scenes can have a detrimental effect on the in-ring product. Only adding to this is the prevailing political atmosphere, where roster members and others are too consumed with maintaining their current employment.
"It's a scary thing that it's slowly becoming a lost art form. They think what they see on TV is the right way to do it and TV isn't even doing it right. What's sad is they got the guys from way back who know how it should be done right, but they're just going to be yes men so they don't lose their jobs. It's sad."
Lynn continues to emphasize that "having fun" is what continues to bring him back into the ring, a belief that is especially of value amid the current slump in the wrestling business.
But don't try and tell Lynn that the so called "cycle" is a natural occurring phenomenon, as he made it abundantly clear that if the WWE program is suffering, it is self-inflicted.
"After he (Vince McMahon) ran everyone else out of business, he had no incentive to have a good product anymore," said Lynn. "I think they have to realize that competition is good for business. When you had the Monday night wars, you had both shows doing great stuff. When you're the only one, it's like 'Here it is, take it or leave it.' There's no incentive to come up with a better product. So I do think it is self-inflicted."
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Check out Jerry Lynn in a classic bout from his days in ECW against Canada's own Lance Storm
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Corey David Lacroix can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.