As we reported here yesterday, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson has followed in King Muhammed Lawal's footsteps by signing a similar rare package deal with TNA, Bellator and Spike TV as a pro wrestler, MMA fighter and TV personality, respectively.
Today, the three companies, represented by TNA Wrestling President Dixie Carter, Bellator CEO & Chairman Bjorn Rebney and Spike TV President Kevin Kay, held a joint press conference with the man himself to publicise their major acquisition.
Here's the key notes of interest from the conference call:
- Quinton Jackson will appear at the Spike Guys' Choice Awards on June 8th that will air on Spike TV a few days later.
- Jackson has also written a couple of film scripts, one a movie about MMA from a fighter's perspective, that Paramount Pictures, another subsidiary of Viacom, are looking at developing further and eventually producing. It sounded like he may get more acting roles in action movies too.
- There's clearly still sour grapes between Rampage and UFC head Dana White, as he made many veiled digs at Dana's expense, like praising Bjorn Rebney as a promoter who really gets that the fighters are what makes the brand, not the other way around. He was bullish about the prospect of more UFC fighters jumping ship and Bellator soon giving UFC a run for their money. He couldn't go into too many details about his UFC split, as he signed a nondisclosure agreement with them, but mentioned that Dana reacting like he had cheated on his company by filming the A-Team remake was the key turning point.
- Rampage is currently rehabbing his knee, but expects to be back training within two months. He wants to move to Heavyweight, as he doesn't want to have to cut weight at this stage of his career, but would be willing to still take fights at Light Heavyweight given enough notice. He also stressed that entertaining the fans is now more important to him than winning or losing. He seems open to the idea of competing in one of Bellator's tournaments for a title shot, putting them over as exciting and similar to what Pride used to do. He also cited that the reason Pride became so big was because they had pro wrestlers fighting.
- Bjorn Rebney claimed that other Wolfslair fighters will soon be signing with Bellator.
- Spike TV still haven't made up their minds about a permanent time slot for Bellator programming.
- Rampage called the deal "a dream come true", as he always wanted to be a professional wrestler and put over the biggest stars on the TNA roster like Hulk Hogan, Sting and Kurt Angle. Knowing how old those guys are, he thinks he could be a wrestling personality for life. He also talked about growing up in Memphis watching wrestling at the Mid South Wrestling Coliseum and on Saturday mornings on TV, being a fan of The Undertaker as The Master Of Pain, Jerry "The King" Lawler and Jeff Jarrett, and dressing up as The Ultimate Warrior at Halloween. He's taking the TNA commitment very seriously and will split his time between training for MMA and pro wrestling. He was looking forward to meeting all the guys in the back and the writing team for the first time to see when he can get started.
- With the way everyone talked, it seems that Quinton Jackson and King Mo Lawal will be used in TNA as a babyface tag team.
- Dixie Carter wouldn't spill any beans on what TNA had planned for Rampage Jackson's Impact debut tomorrow, although she did joke that she would like him to rid Aces & 8s from the promotion. She was very keen for Quinton to make his in ring wrestling debut sooner rather than later. She also quipped that she's already seen him power bomb and slam a few people, so he's got some of the skills down already.