THE TRANSATLANTIC MAGAZINE
The wrestling star tells Josh Modaberi that when it comes to business, his aim is simple: the TNA Heavyweight Championship
Gunner joined TNA in 2010 but his story goes back to 2001 when he began wrestling but a year later he joined the U.S. Marine Corps as a Machine Gunner and reached the rank of Lance Corporal serving in the Iraq War.
"I've been a wrestling fan since the age of five and I started wrestling in 2001," he exclusively told The American. "A year later I joined the Marine Corps from 2002 to 2006 and I served a bit of time in Iraq.
"I was wrestling before I went to bootcamp and during my time in the Marine Corps I would travel 20 hour round trips or so every weekend I could to wrestle on certain shows, so I was juggling both at the same time."
In a recent feud with James Storm, Gunners' former tag team partner, some of his real life experience's became story lines and it even saw the involvement of Gunner's father.
"James and I have our differences and we just don't like each other," Gunner continued. "Having said that, he is still an amazing performer, he can fight and he knows what he is doing in the ring.
"Those matches I had with James enabled me to step up even more, and it has given the fans the opportunity to invest in my character. Bringing my father into the storyline was a great experience that I enjoyed, it was nice working with him on national television.
"Wrestling is totally different now to when I was a kid, when everything was larger than life and seemed as though it had just come out of a comic book, the guys could still work but now the fans want to know what the wrestlers are like in real life."
TNA have announced the first set of wrestlers that are going to be part of the annual UK Maximum Impact tour in January 2015 and Gunner is one of those heading over.
"I think for all of us in the locker room the UK tour is our favourite part of the year," the 32–year–old added. "Fans can expect just a fun filled night, first of all, they spend their hard earned money to support our company and support us as wrestlers.
"Fans will get their money's worth and it is just a great opportunity to be part of a live television taping or PPV, they're going to have a blast, no doubt about it."
When Gunner returns to the UK with TNA as part of the January tour, his intentions are crystal clear, he wants to be the top dog.
"I've got my eyes on the big prize, the TNA Heavyweight Title," he said. "I feel like I was robbed on the last TNA tour in the UK when I wrestled Magnus for the title and James Storm interfered.
"I think I'm ready for another title shot. Eric Young is the champion and we have a friendship but when it comes to business we both want to be world champion. Obviously he doesn't want to lose it, but I want to win it, that is my main goal – to be champion!"
In January TNA will be visiting Glasgow, Manchester and London, MAXIMUM IMPACT 7 Tour tickets are available via www.facebook.com/tnawrestlinguk, www.gigsandtours.com, and www.ticketmaster.co.uk