Christopher Daniels: The Crucial Difference Between AEW And TNA Is Creative Collaboration
Photo Credit: Lee South / AEW
Christopher Daniels is one of the most recognizable members of AEW’s roster, but it wasn’t too long ago that he helped build TNA from the ground up.
Daniels recently appeared on AEW Unrestricted, and he offered his thoughts on the comparison between AEW and TNA. The four-time TNA X-Division Champion stated that the major difference between the two companies is AEW’s collaborative spirit.
“I do feel that AEW is similar to TNA in the sense of the young locker room,” said Daniels. “And again, this is in the same way that TNA, back in the day, had these guys that hadn’t had that opportunity on the national spotlight. Now you’ve got AEW, where you’re looking at guys like Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus and Marko Stunt and Private Party, and again, a list of guys who I’ll forget names.
“So yes, we are very similar in that respect. The one thing that I do think is different and one of the things where I don’t think we’ll make some of the same mistakes that TNA made, is that I feel in the creative process, is that there’s a feel of collaboration rather than a feeling of exclusion. There were very many times where I tried to comment on things that were happening with me, and there was immediate fight back, pushback. Not always, not always, but often enough where I ended up getting a reputation as being a guy that asked too many questions, and it ended up hurting me at TNA.
“And there was even a point where they put a clause in our contract that said, ‘If you keep pushing back, we’ll fire you.’ So yeah, I feel like here at AEW, there’s a feeling of collaboration because I feel like Tony [Khan] and the guys that are doing the creative, they wanna hear opinions and they wanna hear the devil’s advocate. If they have an idea and someone goes, ‘Well wait, this won’t work because…,’ they wanna hear that.”
Daniels explained that this teamwork has helped him feel heard during the creative process, a feeling that he didn’t get to experience in TNA.
“That’s all I ever really wanted, like all I wanted, really, was to be heard,” said Daniels. “And I had an opinion and if you had an opinion that negated my opinion or at least like, it convinced me out of my opinion, if you what you said worked and it worked against what I said, at least I was heard. At least I made my point. And I didn’t feel like I had that a lot in TNA, and I feel like I definitely have that here.”
As a member of SCU, Daniels is still regularly featured alongside fellow TNA alum Frankie Kazarian on AEW programming.
The full episode is available here: