The following is a press release that was sent to us from the Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast’s recent interview with Rohit Raju:
Current Impact Wrestling X-Division Champion Rohit Raju recently joined the latest episode of The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast. Below are some of the many topics discussed. The Episode can be heard at the link below.
On being X Division champion: In all seriousness, man, it means the world to me, because I have always bet on myself and I’ve always known my worth whether other people have seen it or not. I know there have been a few people, and I’m not the most over guy. I’m pretty despised or ignored. I love the fact that I’m despised, and I have old school heat. I really enjoy that. I know my worth, so to speak, and for the longest time at IMPACT, I was eating crap, and eating crap, and I was like, I don’t think anything is going to happen. When I was doing stuff in AAW, I totally took it in a different direction and that was getting over, and I was like I hope these guys see this because if you give me the ball, I’ll run with it, and out of the blue, they were like “hey, we’re going to give you a shot,” and I had all these ideas in my head if I ever had won the X-Division title, so I changed up my wardrobe to kind of mirror that ‘98 Rock. They were going in the direction where they wanted me to have a chip on my shoulder and then they switched it and were like, we’re going to have you be the chicken sh*theel, which is fine. If you throw it my way, I’ll do that too. But It means a lot because there are so many outstanding wrestlers that have held the X-Division title, and it’s one of the great titles and most well-known titles in professional wrestling so the fact that I get a chance to have it and run with it for so long- not only run with it, but do something different- It means a lot to me and I’m also glad they let me take it home so I can boost up my social media with all the ridiculous pictures with it and have fun. I’m just trying to have as much fun as I can and ride this wave as long as it lasts.
How turnover in IMPACT management affected his position: I don’t know. That I honestly don’t know. When I first got there, (Jeff) Jarrett was still there. That was before I got signed. I thought for sure I was going to get signed because I remember when I had my match, he pulled me aside and he liked me a lot, but nothing happened after that and then he was gone. I remember when I first got there and I didn’t think their product was that great and then when Scott (D’Amore) & Don (Callis) took over it started to get more old school Professional Wrestling 101, and I felt like it was much better and one of my biggest pet peeves is when people disrespect our product so much. We put out a great product and have a great roster, and it really irks me that certain dirt sheets or whatever, they really downplay our product and it’s almost become, and it’s like this in society, especially with fanbases, where it’s elitists. If you’re not this, or you don’t have these people as a part of your roster, then you’re no good. Like, where do you think some of these people come from that are big stars? A lot of them start from the bottom unless they have family members, or they have some like sports background or acting background or something where they already have popularity. A lot of these guys have been on the indies grinding away doing lower end promotions and they go through the process of trying to make a name for themselves and learn their craft. For people to disrespect what IMPACT is all about, that really bugs me. But going back to your original question as I ramble off, I don’t know what made them finally pull the trigger on me. In my eyes, everything they gave me, I made it work. Whether it was me going to get beat up by Heath at Slammiversary… I felt my promo was just fine. I thought it told a story and I made Heath look good. When I had to face Scarlett, I think it was at Rebellion in Toronto, it was last second that they wanted me to cut something on Twitter. I put out this tweet and everyone thought it was a shoot and got me actual real heat with people that didn’t know what was going on, and then the match got pretty good reviews from what I heard, and management liked it. I’ve felt like everything they’ve handed me, whether it was not elevating me in any way whatsoever, but helping elevate others, I thought I did that. For the longest time, I thought that I was going to be a workhorse guy or mechanic. Just the guy that you could put in the ring with anybody and would have a good match, but never get what I thought I deserved or at least earned. Now I am. I don’t know what made them change that. I don’t know what made them say “hey, let’s finally give him a chance,” but I’m glad they did and I’m absolutely loving it.
On IMPACT not getting the respect it deserves: I know there are some trolls out there that don’t even watch our product and once somebody will say something about IMPACT, they’ll be like “oh, that product sucks,” or they’ll see a match get announced and be like “who wants to be these jobbers?” or something like that. They don’t even know who the guys are, and it was funny because Brian Cage was killing it in IMPACT and the next thing you know he goes to AEW and everybody’s like “whoa, who’s this guy?” He’s been killing it his entire career. Or like, LAX. They were fire in IMPACT and then they went to AEW. I think it’s both. I don’t know what other people think, but I do see blatant backhanded disrespect a lot of times. There was something, and I don’t pay attention to people’s ratings or stuff like that, but I remember watching Deonna (Purrazzo) & Jordynne Grace kill it at Slammiversary. Absolutely kill it. And I think it was (Dave) Meltzer who gave them like a two-star thing, and I was like even if it wasn’t IMPACT, that deserved way more, at least three stars. It deserved way more than he gave it and to me it was like, if it was on a different show, he would have gave it a higher rating. And I don’t know the guy, and I’ve never met him, so I’m not bad mouthing him or anything of that nature, but to me, I don’t know, man. I just think there is sometimes, whether it’s on purpose, or whether it’s not us being included in the conversation, but I feel, especially during the pandemic, a lot of the stuff we’ve been putting out has been pretty good and I don’t think a lot of people have been giving us credit for it.
On Bound for Glory’s X-Division Scramble Match: The first thing I know a lot of people were disappointed it wasn’t an Ultimate X. I think it wasn’t Ultimate X because we can’t fit Ultimate X in that building. I saw a lot of fans online saying it should have been Ultimate X. Well, yeah, I’m sure that was the plan, but there’s no way it was going to fit in that building because that ceiling is not that high. It may not look like it on TV, but Ultimate X is really, really tall. Very, very tall. That’s probably why it’s not Ultimate X. But the scramble, with the talent, and everybody brings something different. For me, it’s finding a way to make them beat each other up, wear themselves down, and I sneak in and I get the pin. They already know my game plan. They already know my tricks, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to be in for a very rough night. However, I’m not going to let that bother me. I’ve worked too hard to get this. I’ve worked too hard to retain this, so they can do and say whatever they want, and their little fans chirp chirp chirp all they want, but it doesn’t matter. At the end of the night, on October 24th at Bound for Glory, The X-Division title is still coming home with me to my hotel room.