** Former two-time WWE Champion AJ Styles appeared on Busted Open Radio with David LaGreca and Mark Henry. AJ reflected on his past comments that he feels he’s nearing the end of his career and as he enters the New Year, he still feels that he is nearing that point.
“I think I am. You know, Mark [Henry], you get older. You go, ‘Where the freak did my energy go? Why don’t I have that useless burst of energy that I had way back when.’ You can see that starting to deplete and I’ve said this before, I don’t want to be that AJ Styles that everybody goes, ‘Wow, I wish he could still do that’ or, ‘Oh wow, he’s really slow.’ I don’t want that. I wanna be the AJ Styles that people will remember and go out that way. Will I be like I was when I was 25? There’s no way. It’s just not possible.”
Styles gave his take on social media and is not a fan of it. He said that he wishes it didn’t exist and feels that people know too much information because of social media.
“Oh it’s terrible. I honestly wish social media didn’t exist, and [these] are arguments that I have with my own wife about things that… it’s like, listen, if some crazy stuff happened, happened when we were kids, we just didn’t know about it but now, you know everything about anything that goes on because of social media. It’s terrible. I wish we didn’t have it guys. I really do.”
** On the January 8th edition of AEW: Dynamite in Southaven, Mississippi, AEW will pay tribute to a handful of Memphis wrestling legends and included on that list of names is the late Brian Christopher Lawler who passed away during the Summer of 2018. Since Brian Christopher’s passing, his father Jerry Lawler has taken legal action because he feels that his son’s passing is on the hands of Hardeman County where Brian Christopher was incarcerated at the time. Being honored along with Brian Christopher are Angelo Poffo, Randy Savage, Lance Russell, “Hot Stuff” Eddie & Tommy Gilbert, Austin Idol, Dave Brown, The Rock & Roll Express and “Handsome” Jimmy Valiant.
** WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle was announced as the guest of honor for the Iowa Wolves basketball team’s pro wrestling night on February 1st.
** Shane Taylor noted on Twitter that he is now taking more independent bookings and international bookings.
** Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella took their daughter on a hike in Arizona.
** The next guest on Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions on the WWE Network will be Glenn “Kane” Jacobs. The special will air after NXT U.K. TakeOver: Blackpool II on January 12th.
** Daniel Bryan did an interview with Ceritto Live and during the chat, Bryan expressed that the Yes Movement does not feel the same that it did when he was climbing his way to the top of the WWE mountain and he further elaborated on that:
“Now, the idea of if your a wrestling fan, the Yes Movement is sort of branded. It’s this thing. It’s like, ‘Ok, the Yes Movement!’ But, it’s not really a movement anymore. It’s just people throwing their arms in the air and chanting yes and although that’s really cool and fun, it’s not the movement that it was in 2013 and ‘14 where the fans were pushing me more than the company was willing to push me. They were pushing me like, ‘No, this is our guy. This is the guy we want to see in the main event,’ and that’s what Occupy RAW was all about was fans showing their support. Like hey, ‘We want this guy to have an opportunity’ and I just think that’s cool and powerful and it shows the power of people’s voices when they band together, you know?”
During the “Yes or No” answer portion of the show, Daniel was asked if he thinks CM Punk will return to the ring. Bryan did not directly answer the question but said he was always disappointed that he never got to have a match with CM Punk at WrestleMania. Bryan knows that Punk is not keen on people bringing his name up in interviews when it comes to getting back in the ring but he’s always wanted to share the ring with Punk on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
“So, I will always say, because it’s always so enticing to come back as much as you don’t want to. So I would hope yes, and also, in the back of my mind, I always… even after he left, I always had this thing where it just seemed to me like there should have always been a WrestleMania match between CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. But now at this point, he may be past that and I know that he’s not big on people putting his name out there and saying, ‘Oh! I wanna do this.’ You know what I mean? That’s not where I’m coming from with this at all. But, just in the back of my head, I was always kind of disappointed we never got a CM Punk/Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania match.”
** Bray Wyatt, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Randy Orton are being advertised for meet and greets in Texas during Royal Rumble weekend.
** The WWEPC YouTube channel uploaded footage from the NXT Christmas tapings at the Barclays Center:
** CM Punk posted the run sheet for WrestleMania XXX before the match card was finalized. The run sheet is up on Punk’s Instagram story and it includes the original Batista versus Randy Orton match for the WWE World Heavyweight Title, CM Punk versus Triple H, Undertaker versus Brock Lesnar, John Cena versus Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan versus Sheamus, Big Show versus Kane, and Roman Reigns versus Dean Ambrose for the United States Championship.
** Rusev joined Jerry “The King” Lawler’s podcast to talk about the storyline involving himself, Lana, Bobby Lashley and now Liv Morgan. Jerry Lawler shared a story about Vince McMahon leaving the XL Center prior to this past Monday’s RAW and Vince wanting to return to the arena just to see the wedding segment unfold.
“Here’s something a lot of people don’t realize. I’ll give this little bit of backstage info about this. This thing was so good. It was gonna be so highly anticipated by everybody backstage especially. Vince had some really important meetings. He doesn’t do this often but lately, I think with the upcoming XFL about to start and all that sort of stuff, Vince has been torn in so many different directions, and he’s missed several RAWs and he’s missed several SmackDowns in the past few weeks and he actually left Hartford, Connecticut at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. Everybody thought he was gone. Vince has his own office there and he told everybody he had to leave at 2 o’clock. He left. The limousines took him out. We even went from the talent relations — I dress in the talent relations office with Mark Carrano and these guys so, we moved the talent relations office into Vince’s office. So we moved all our stuff into this bigger, nicer office where we had more room and we’re all sitting back there and at about, I don’t know, about 5:30 or so, somebody comes in and says, ‘Aye, Vince is on his way back. He doesn’t want to miss the wedding,’ and all of sudden, we’re grabbing up all our stuff. We had to put his office back together so he wouldn’t know we stole his office from him, and so yeah, Vince came back just to make sure he was there for the wedding. So it was great.”
For several weeks now, Jerry Lawler has been advertised for a career versus title match against Matt Riviera for the Championship Wrestling of Arkansas promotion on January 18th. Lawler stated during his podcast that he has no idea how that booking came about and did not know about the stipulation. He added that he and his co-host are going to try to get Matt on their podcast next week to figure out how everything came about.
“I don’t know if I told you about this match I’ve got coming up in Little Rock, Arkansas for C.W.A. which is Championship Wrestling of Arkansas. It’s run by Matt Riviera. We need to call him back and get him on the show next week if we can because I need to find out exactly how this match came about because I’m looking right now at this graphic and this big poster for the match. It’s called ‘No Surrender’. The main event is Matt ‘Loverboy’ Riviera against The King Jerry Lawler. C.W.A. Heavyweight Championship is on the line which of course, Matt Riviera is the Arkansas state champion, and there’s like a little blurb here that says, ‘Title vs. Career’. Now apparently, he says that I agreed to this match and I swear to you, I do not remember but all of a sudden, this is the publicity that’s out on this. If I don’t win the title, that’s gotta be my last match. Like retire from wrestling, but I don’t remember getting into it. Don’t remember, so let’s try to get him on the show next week and explain how this match came about but it’s title versus career, that’s January 18th, Little Rock, Arkansas. It’s the Maumelle Event Center in Little Rock.”
** Tokyo Joshi Pro Results (1/4/20) Korakuen Hall
– Haruna Neko & Suzume def. Mahiro Kiryu & Sena Shiori
– Shoko Nakajima def. Hyper Misao
– DDT Iron Man Heavymetalweight Championship: Saki Akai (c) def. Yuki Kamifuku
– Aja Kong, Pom Harajuku & Raku def. Mina Shirakawa, Mirai Maiumi & Yuna Manase
– Sareee def. Natsumi Maki
– Thunder Rosa def. Mizuki
– International Princess Championship: Maki Ito (c) def. Hikari Noa
– Princess Tag Team Championships: Miu Watanabe & Rika Tatsumi (c) def. Nodoka Tenma & Yuki Aino
– Princess Of Princess Championship: Yuka Sakazaki (c) def. Miyu Yamashita
** Former WWE Tag Team Champion Fred Rosser wrote a story on Sportskeeda about how Vince McMahon helped him live his dream of being a professional wrestler.
** QNS.com ran a story about the WWE’s history inside the Ridgewood Grove Arena.
** STARDOM ‘Wrestle Cinderella’ Results (1/4/20) KFC Hall
– Hina def. Rina
– Three Way Match: Saki Kashima def. Leo Onozaki and Ruaka
– Leyla Hirsh, Jungle Kyona & Konami def. Bea Priestley, Jamie Hayter & Zoey Skye
– Oedo Tai (Kagetsu, Martina, Natsuko Tora & Natsu Sumire) def. Itsuki Hoshino, Saya Kamitani, Saya Iida & Tam Nakano
– Death Yama-san & Hana Kimura def. Andras Miyagi & Giulia
– AZM, Momo Watanabe & Utami Hayashishita def. Arisa Hoshiki, Mayu Iwatani & Starlight Kid
** Kurt Angle hosted a Q&A session on his Facebook page and was asked for his thoughts about the Rusev/Bobby Lashley/Lana/Liv Morgan storyline and Angle noted that he was not too fond of it at first but feels all involved have stepped up to make it entertaining. While answering a question about Team Angle, Kurt thinks the trio should’ve stayed together for nearly another year before they split.
** Alicia Atout of ‘A Music Blog, Yea?’ released her interview with former IWGP Intercontinental Champion Jay White.
** For the first night of Wrestle Kingdom 14, New Japan Pro-Wrestling announced a paid attendance of 40,008.
** DS Shin of Ring The Belle conducted an interview with former WWE Divas Champion Kaitlyn. During their chat, Kaitlyn praised the in-ring skills of AJ Lee and talked about how AJ loved to take her spear and sell it the best way she could.
“So the thing with my style of wrestling is like, strong and it’s simple and it’s not fancy and sh*t so like, a spear is something I can give to anybody, right? But with her, she would take it… she would like fold in half. She loved taking it too because she was so good at selling and so like, there was one spear where we did the contract signing for Money In The Bank. She literally folded in half and flipped upside down and I was like, ‘How did you do that?’ But she was so into it.”
Kaitlyn made her return to WWE as a part of the 2018 Mae Young Classic tournament. That appearance was her last for WWE and she explained that the reason she didn’t stay with the company or take on more dates is because she is busy with outside ventures.
“So like, I don’t know. I had kind of just been putting on socials [that] I was getting back into training again and because I had gone through this really sh*tty divorce and I was like, ‘I love wrestling. Let me get back into it to feel like me again’, and because I was posting a lot of that on social media, somebody reached out and they were like, ‘Hey, do you wanna be a part of this?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, hell yeah’ and then I started training really hard for it because I’m like, ‘I’m not gonna go back and suck ass’ and so, I train all Summer for it and the thing is with WWE, if you are associated with them, it’s such a huge commitment and I have a business and a ton of other stuff going on so, couldn’t necessarily commit to a 300-day-a-year type of schedule but to go back and do this one off, I think I was there for a week and doing press and all that stuff, which is cool to be back in that world again and it’d be on my terms. That actually kind of sparked some of the wrestling stuff I’m doing now.”
** Independent wrestler Rebecca Reznor revealed that she was the creative mind behind Will Ospreay’s gear for night one of Wrestle Kingdom 14.
** Next Wednesday on NXT, the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic will kick off with Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake facing Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel of Imperium. Previously announced for that show was a Fatal 4-Way match involving Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic, Cameron Grimes and Damian Priest with the winner becoming the new #1 contender to Roderick Strong’s NXT North American Championship.
** Ahead of their singles match at Wrestle Kingdom 14, Chris Jericho pushed out the following video directed at Hiroshi Tanahashi:
** According to PWInsider, per several sources that they’ve spoken to, Will Ospreay suffered an ankle injury during his match at Wrestle Kingdom 14. It was specifically mentioned that the injury came by way of Ospreay’s “Sasuke Special”.
** WWE official John Cone was a recent guest on ‘Superstar Savepoint’ with Xavier Woods on the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel. John Cone shared that before he became a referee, he was a professional wrestler, dipped his hands into the promoting side of the business and revealed more information about his career. He also talked about his first experience working TV and meeting the late Harley Race. Cone said he was intimidated by Harley’s presence and talked about the interaction that he and two other referees had with Harley:
“I lied to get in there. So, I go to Springfield. Like I said, it’s about two-and-a-half hours from my house. I’m in the talent area where we’re all changing and they’ve got guys like The Iron Sheik was there, Greg Valentine was there, Bob Backlund. I’m like, ‘Oh man, this is the real deal.’ There’s cameras, there’s lights, there’s like a make-shift entrance ramp. So I’m kind of sitting in this room waiting for somebody to tell me what to do next and then this guy walks in and he goes, ‘Harley Race wants to meet with all the refs before we get started so refs, come with me.’ So we go into this room — so three of us, three of us get up and walk into this room, and there’s a table, just like this. A little folding table. Harley’s on one side and he’s got a sheet of paper in his hand and then there’s about five-to-six chairs on the other side so we all sit down on the opposite side. Harley, stares at the sheet, ‘I told Dave Marquez to book two referees. Why are there three of you in this room?’ And he’s just staring at the sheet, never looks up, and my heart is sinking. Like, this is over before I even get started, and it seemed like forever, right? I’m just sitting in silence. I’m looking down. I’m afraid to look around. I don’t want to look at Harley for sure. So Harley says why are there three of you in this room. So then, it seems like forever and I’m thinking, ‘Okay, I know that I called Dave Marquez. He called me back, we spoke, I sent him the VHS tape. He may have emailed me, I’m not sure. I think he could have’, and I’m just going crazy. It seems like forever. Finally, after probably 30 seconds, one of the other guys speak up. He goes, ‘Okay listen, I probably wasn’t booked to be here today but if you need a runner or anything like that, I’m available.’ Harley doesn’t look up, continues to look at the sheet, probably another 30 seconds go by, complete silence, and the guy gets up and walks out of the room, and my mind is blown. Harley continues to look at the sheet, ‘Now we can get started,’ and I am scared to death at this point. Without saying a word, Harley Race made this man get up and leave the room and that was my first introduction to Harley.”
** Dio Maddin noted on Twitter that his 2020 goal is to “Beat Brock Lesnar’s b*tch ass”. Maddin was written off of WWE television by way of an F5 from Brock. Dio was doing commentary on RAW but wanted to continue his in-ring career so he is back at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando.
** Sportskeeda chatted with Aleister Black and Black opened up about the U.K. wrestling scene putting him in position to get where he is today in wrestling.
“The UK has played a huge part in where I’m at now. I couldn’t discredit any promoter anywhere in the world that I’ve worked with for not helping me out, but I think the last five or six years spent in the UK while the indie scene was growing has helped me tremendously as a performer to stand out. It gave me a platform to develop certain aspects of the character I wanted to play because so many promoters had so much faith in me and to work with me, they’d say, ‘Go nuts, show us what you can do.’ They were willing to work with me, so the UK really gave me an edge to define my style and develop my character to the point where WWE started noticing me. The country played a huge part in my development and discovery.”