** Chuck Carroll of CBS Local Sports conducted an in-depth interview with ROH World Champion PCO. PCO talked about the road to him becoming ROH World Champion and facing Marty Scurll in the tournament to move on to Final Battle and challenge RUSH for the ROH World Championship. While giving his answer, PCO revealed that he and Brody King were supposed to be in NJPW’s 2019 World Tag League tournament.
“I think that’s a company that are really aware of what the fans are saying. They don’t shove something down the throat of the fans or say, ‘We are in charge of what we’re going to give you, and you’re paying for the tickets and you’re going to get whatever we want to feed you.’ … Its been building up during the whole year. I was getting more over and more over and more over, and then the tournament for the number-one contender came about. The final is supposed to be me against Bandido, but Bandido got injured. So he was out for a couple of months, and on the other side you had Marty, you had Jay Lethal, who are all good talents. So it ended up being me and Marty against each other on the world title number-one contender. It was just something that I didn’t expect. Two guys from the same faction, but it was kind of cool for the crowd. They wondered what was going to happen, because two guys from the same team were fighting each other for a chance at the world title. Then, when I went over Marty, I was supposed to go to Japan for a tag league with Brody King for three weeks in December, just before Final Battle. I knew that I was the number-one contender for the world title, but by Brody King getting injured and not going to Japan, I could have been so depressed, because New Japan is good money and everything. Great company.”
Ring of Honor was the focus of many headlines as the media posts from Joey Mercury made the rounds. Mercury showed texts from ROH GM Greg Gilleland that included Gilleland explaining that he didn’t want Marty Scurll to become ROH World Champion because he thought Marty was leaving, the Kelly Klein concussion situation was discussed among other internal issues and affairs within the company. PCO gave his thoughts on the entire situation and shared his experience with ROH thus far:
“I just think it is a sad story. I thought that person had so much to give to the business. So valuable, great mind. But I think it was a tough time of his life or something. Most, I would say, if not the whole company was kind of shocked. We were shocked to hear things like that. I don’t want any beef with anybody. I can only talk for myself. I did a dive one night where usually we have two rows of mats on the outside of the ring. Instead of diving on the guy, I [dove] on this space and I hit the cement floor and I hit my head hard and got 17 stitches in my eye. The ref wants me to stop the match. I said, ‘No, I’m finishing the match. I’m not getting out of there.’ But everybody was pulling on me to get out of there. But being PCO, there was no way. I never got out of the match, and so I was going to finish that match no matter what, and it’s part of my life, and it’s part of my character, as it’s part of who I am. So I finished the match, and as soon as I got on the other side (there were EMTs)… There is always two, three guys that they have a minimum of knowledge about health and care and things like that. They called me to the hospital right away and put stuff on my eyes to stop the bleeding. Everything was so professional. Then I had two people from the dojo that brought me to the hospital and stayed with me the whole time. I was totally conscious. They did the stitches, they always wanted to make sure I was all fine. They put me through a CAT scan, which costs tons of money. They never charged me for one thing. They sent an agent after the show was done. They took care of everything, signed the papers, brought me back to the hotel, made sure I was okay. [Whenever I get] a little banged up or something, I always get a phone call. ‘Are you good? Are you okay?’ And the next day, ‘Thanks for what you’ve done.’ They are nothing but a first-class organization. So I don’t know why he said those things. I don’t know if it might’ve been some frustration because things weren’t going the way that-that person was hoping. Was it a personal vendetta? I don’t know what it was. I can’t talk for that guy, and I love him to death, but from my side, it has been nothing but first-class from Ring of Honor. From my signing to every event and to everything that they do.”
The ROH World Champion also reflected on his re-emergence back onto the pro wrestling scene during WrestleMania 34 weekend in his match with WALTER. PCO said after that match, he knew he would be able to quit his day job despite not having any bookings lined up.
“As soon as I finished my match during WrestleMania 34 weekend at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 2, I got back in the dressing room, and the internet was on fire, and it was a huge buzz about PCO right then. Now I knew that I could quit my other job, even though I didn’t have any bookings in front of me. I knew that it was on now, that it was real and that I could make a good living off that.”
** Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald interviewed Nick and Matt Jackson of The Young Bucks. In two weeks, All Elite Wrestling will be a part of the Chris Jericho Cruise that kicks off in Miami. Matt Jackson revealed that Nick put most of the match card together by himself:
“It’s really four action packed days and when you put together some stellar wrestling cards too… so if you’re just going for the wrestling, you’re gonna have a lot to watch. Nick put together most of the card by himself and I was just looking at the final card last night. Chris [Jericho] was going over it with us. It’s loaded so some of these matches, the only way you can see them is if you’re on the boat because they’re not gonna be taped, you’ll never see some of these things so it’s really exclusive to the ship. So you’re gonna be out in the middle of the ocean watching matches that nobody will ever see so I think that’s kind of intimate. That’s fun.”
Matt Jackson also talked about his executive role and feels that now in his career, putting together storylines and watching everything come to fruition is more gratifying than wrestling.
“It’s definitely rewarding being in a room — in a writing room on Tuesday and then by Wednesday night the same time, we had already done everything we just had on paper and now we gotta re-watch it. It’s gratifying, and it’s so quickly gratifying. The turnaround is so fast. The same business — like we’re in entertainment. People make movies but you don’t really get to see that movie you’re creating for a year or two but for us, we create it Tuesday and then by Wednesday, we’re already watching it back so it’s really fun to be able to do that, to have a vision, to get the vision, to be able to physically see it. I think it’s, for me, its become almost just as rewarding than it is to wrestle now — is to help produce a segment or a storyline that you had in mind or even the rematch that you came up with and being able to see that happen. It’s just as gratifying as it is to wrestle now for me.”
** Former WCW Nitro Girl, Carmel Macklin made headlines recently when the New York Post ran a story about Macklin attempting to plagiarize a teacher’s master’s degree project. Per the Manhattan federal lawsuit, Macklin targeted Brendamarie Alexander, 54, because of her age. Alexander says that she began her project in 2001 and wrote a student and teacher handbook for her school, the Eagle Academy for Young Men in Queens and she showed Macklin the handbook. Macklin took the handbook and presented it as her own with no credit to Alexander. Alexander claims that she was targeted by school administrations in order to create space for younger educators. For more on this story, click this link.
** WKYT in Kentucky is reporting that WWE is pushing to rename Corbin, Kentucky after King Baron Corbin. WWE is holding a live event in Corbin, Kentucky on Sunday. It’s noted in the article that WWE representatives and camera crew will be in front of the Colonel Sanders statue in downtown Corbin collecting signatures for the petition. Tickets for the live event will be handed out as well.
** Here are a few notes from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
– Hiroshi Tanahashi wanted to appear for All Elite Wrestling to continue his program with AEW World Champion Chris Jericho. Jericho defeated Tanahashi on night two of Wrestle Kingdom 14.
– Andrea Hart, the wife of Bruce Hart unfortunately passed away on December 27th. Her funeral was held on January 9th. POST Wrestling would like to send our condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Andrea Hart.
** Mirror Sport uploaded highlights from their portion of the recent media call with Paul “Triple H” Levesque. Levesque confirmed that there will be more NXT U.K. TakeOvers this year and it was just a matter of mapping it out with the rest of the WWE schedule.
“We absolutely will. As you can imagine, trying to put together a WWE calendar, with closing in on 600 live events all over the globe, is a difficult process and it’s a puzzle, and if one thing changes it moves bits and pieces around and you don’t want to be running shows that step on each other. So it’s a bit of a puzzle. There absolutely are plans for more NXT UK TakeOvers this year. As you see even just now, this weekend we’re heading to Blackpool for another massive event there and then a few weeks from that, the NXT UK talent will be over here in Houston, Texas for Worlds Collide, where Imperium will face off with The Undisputed ERA. There will be so many other matches you will see on that card as it gets laid out here in the next few days and into the next week, you will learn exactly what that entire card is, but as you will see, that card will be spectacular as well. So Worlds Collide will be another epic event. It’s all about the exposure for these talents and these brands and getting them the opportunity as you said to have these mega events that you can build towards and you can give them these spectacle match of the year type things and make everybody into bigger and bigger stars and household names around the world.”
** Here is the full NXT U.K. TakeOver: Blackpool II ‘Prime Target’ special:
** Tessa Blanchard chatted with talkSPORT and during their chat, she praised the camaraderie within IMPACT Wrestling and said that if there’s ever a problem within IMPACT that is made public, it will never be about the locker room.
“Oh yeah. I think that the women in IMPACT are killing it each week, no matter what challenges [are] thrown at them. For instance, they just had that Monster’s Ball match a few months ago, and I thought it was just phenomenal. Women are just killing it. Rich Swann is one of the most talented people. Jake Crist, I think is one of the most underrated talents. So our locker room is very special, because it’s unlike any locker room I’ve ever been in, and I say this in all seriousness, there’s just no problems. Everyone, and it sounds cliche, but it’s a little bit like a family. If you ever hear any problems [about] IMPACT Wrestling, it would never be about the locker room, or anyone disliking anybody or nothing like that. Everyone just gets along and everyone really does want everyone to do better, and we all help each other out. It’s really a neat dynamic that we’ve got going.”
** Here’s a video of Glenn “Kane” Jacobs doing his WWE superstar impressions during Broken Skull Sessions with Stone Cold Steve Austin:
** AEW’s Sonny Kiss has been announced for EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch show during WrestleMania 36 weekend.
** Erick Rowan will be the guest M.C. for Metal Allegiance’s performance on January 16th in Anaheim, California.
** Friday Night SmackDown announcer Corey Graves appeared on the ‘Smarks & Stripes’ podcast to talk about his transition from wrestler to commentator. Graves recounted when he felt that he was starting to hit his stride behind the desk and he credited it to the two-man booth with himself and Tom Phillips.
“I would say, looking at the big picture now, just learning commentary and getting comfortable on commentary, just in the grand scheme of my life and my career, it was probably the most important to me, and I think when I first started hitting my groove was when Tom Phillips and I started doing the two-man commentary for NXT. That whole run. I remember TakeOver: Dallas and I think the one in Toronto with D.I.Y. versus The Revival. Those matches in particular stand out. Not so much because the commentary was perfect, but because I remember feeling like, ‘I’m gonna be OK. I’m getting the hang of this, I’m figuring this out, I’m getting comfortable. Maybe I’m not up the creek without a path.’”
** Longtime NJPW official Tiger Hattori is doing a meet-and-greet at the New Beginning USA show in Tampa, Florida on January 24th.
** Keegan-Michael Key and John Cena did an interview with the New Straits Times to promote the ‘Playing With Fire’ film.
** On a recent edition of Booker T’s Hall Of Fame podcast, he further spoke about wanting to be in the Royal Rumble match in his hometown of Houston, Texas. Booker said that he doesn’t have to be in the Royal Rumble and he can run into Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson who have called he and Stevie Ray out for a match. Last week, Booker T told WWE that they have one week to contact him about working the Rumble or he isn’t doing the show.
“I got a call about the Royal Rumble. They said I’ll be working. I’ll be doing the kickoff show. They may have a couple of other things for me to do, but right now, I have got no word on should I bring my gear or anything like that. Should I be prepared to lace the boots up? Should I be prepared to get in the ring and go 60 minutes all night long and a little bit longer? Nobody told me anything like that. My thing is this, I’m on a mission. An impossible mission, and the mission is, to be a part of the Royal Rumble, going down January 26th, Minute Maid Park, and I just heard Brock Lesnar [is the] first entry in the Royal Rumble and you know what? Just put me in at number two, because I’m ready to rump and stomp. I’m ready to bring it like old school, because I’ve been training. I’ve been training hard, and right now, I’m ready to step on some toes, and I’m big enough to step on some toes and keep on walking. So my thing is this, we’re in Houston, and this is my city. I said this is my city. So my thing is this: WWE! You better call. You gotta call collect. You better call, you feel me? And that’s my stance on that right there, and like I said, one more thing, before we even finish this impossible mission, it ain’t even gotta be the Royal Rumble — The Revival. Just let me catch them suckers walking down the street here in H-Town, trust me, I’m gonna run up on ‘em and I’m gonna do something and I’m gonna drop ‘em. In the ring, or out the ring.”
** Former FEST Wrestling Champion Jason Cade is scheduled to compete at GCW ‘For The Culture’.
** The Hill chatted with Boston Celtics Center Enes Kanter about politics, WWE and the NBA.
** During his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, former 16-time WWE World Champion John Cena opened up about his relationship with Vince McMahon and stated that no matter where he goes in life or how successful he is, he’ll always view Vince McMahon as his boss.
“He’s so much more than that to me. He’s a friend, a father figure, a mentor, a trusting resource, he’s filled with wisdom but above all else, yes, I still think of him as my boss.”
** NJPW Fantastica Mania Results (1/10/20) Osaka, Japan
– Ryusuke Taguchi & Fuego def. DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
– Namajague, Luciferno & Euforia def. Guerrero Maya Jr., Audaz & Yuya Uemura
– Soberano Jr. & Flyer def. Negro Casas & Tiger
– Angel de oro, Titan & Niebra Roja def. Sanson, Forastero & Cuatrero
– Hiromu Takahashi, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI def. Dulce Gardenia, Yota Tsuji & Hiroshi Tanahashi
– OKAMURA, Ultimo Guerrero & Barbaro Cavernario def. Stuka Jr., Satoshi Kojima & Caristico
** RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch made the media rounds at CES 2020 and during her stretch of interviews, she spoke with Digital Trends:
** Dave Brown was honored this past Wednesday along with several other Memphis Wrestling legends before Dynamite went on the air. Dave was a part of the Dynamite and AEW Dark commentary team. Tony Khan noted on Twitter that he and Dave both agreed that he would be back on Dynamite in the future.
** Confirmed for season two of Dark Side of the Ring on VICE are the topics of the Chris Benoit tragedy featuring Nancy and David Benoit, per PWInsider. Also, Brawl For All and Dino Bravo will be profiled as well.
** Mandy Rose chatted with FOX Wilmington for an exclusive interview.
** Former 6-time WWE Tag Team Champion Xavier Woods is hosting the 2020 Crunchyroll Anime Awards on February 15th.
** The Morning Call profiled 16-year old amateur wrestler David Kreidler and Kreidler talked about how his love of WWE led him to amateur wrestling.
** Ahead of NXT U.K. TakeOver: Blackpool II, Eddie Dennis spoke with ‘Metro’ for an interview and he shared his thoughts about the current OTT World Champion David Starr and some of Starr’s comments about WWE:
“I like David on a personal level. I think that he’s an exceptional in-ring performer. I don’t agree with the way he’s gone about everything that he’s done, and I don’t agree with everything that he said. The man exudes passion in what he believes in, and I can’t not have admiration [for] that. What I will say is, I’ve never worked for a company that has treated me as well as the WWE has treated me. The way they supported me through this injury process, I can ultimately never repay them for the support they gave me.”
Dennis also gave his take on the idea that NXT U.K. has damaged the British independent wrestling scene. He said there are more avenues for people to make a living off wrestling and there are more opportunities for other wrestlers to hone their crafts on smaller shows.
“Now, the industry has evolved and changed and there’s a large number able to make a living working for the largest professional wrestling company on planet earth. What that means is there [are more] rooms underneath for a whole other group of guys plying their trade on even smaller shows, desperate to fill these slots that are now opening up.”
** Ring of Honor’s Shaheem Ali told Fightful that he and L.S.G. like to do per-year contracts with ROH. He said the reason for that is just a precaution because neither of them know what could happen at any given moment if they were to lock themselves in long-term.
“To be honest, it’s always a fresh topic between me and LSG. I can say that because we, not to put our business out there, we like to do per year contracts because you never know what’s going to happen. God forbid there’s an injury. God forbid someone has to step away for a business or a family or whatever. ‘Cause I see it happen a lot. Not in Ring of Honor, but in wrestling in general. You never know what’s going to happen so you don’t want to lock yourself in just yet unless you know for sure everything’s gonna be alright. Not saying anything is bad. There’s no blood in the water. But, we speak a lot about Ring of Honor and where we want to go. We definitely want to be Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champions. That’s for damn sure. At the same time we don’t mind and would love to do singles matches and have singles goals, singles championships and opportunities and things like that.”
** Bill Pritchard of WrestleZone conducted an interview with former IMPACT Knockouts Champion Tessa Blanchard.
** MLW is advertising that King Mo has signed an open contract to compete at the January 11th television taping in Texas.
** While chatting with Bleacher Report, Stone Cold Steve Austin was asked if he misses being in the ring and he said no, but there are times when Austin sits back and thinks about taking himself out the business at the age of 38.
“They always ask me, ‘Do you miss it?’ No man, because its been so long now that … I mean, I have to be over it now. But there is a small part of me, even though I don’t live in the past, that says, ‘Man, when you’re 38 years old, man, in wrestling, you’re really in your prime.’ All of the learning that I’d done, working angles, talking promos, psychology with the crowd. You’re really honed up at that age, and so to walk away from the table at seemingly a prime-time age was very, very tough for me to do, at many levels.”
** Tessa Blanchard and Mance Warner were guests on the most recent edition of WrestlingINC’s WINCLY podcast.
** While speaking with Jeremy Lambert of Fightful for an exclusive interview, AEW’s Brandon Cutler shared his thoughts about traveling with and documenting the careers of The Elite through Being The Elite:
“It’s something I’m extremely happy to be doing. When we look back at the 90s and WCW era, we’re like, ‘There are some crazy stories. Imagine if they were documenting that.’ Here we are today and we are trying to document our lives. There’s some footage that I’ll film that will never see the light of day. Maybe in 10 years, if there’s ever a AEW documentary, then some of it will get released. But there’s some stuff where I’m like, ‘I don’t think this can surface on the internet.’ Maybe we’ll look back and go, ‘That’s okay to post now.’ There’s some stuff that I film that I’m like, ‘This will be great to show the world in a few years.'”
** As first reported by TheWrap, ‘Straight Up Steve Austin’ on the USA Network has been renewed for a second season. According to the report, season two will begin airing in the Summer of 2020 and guest will be announced at a later date.
** Shotzi Blackheart’s Full Sail University debut for NXT was documented and the video is up on the WWEPC YouTube channel:
** Maria Manic is set to call out Bully Ray at ROH’s Center Stage show on January 11th. Also, the ROH World Championship will be defended on that show as PCO puts the title on the line against RUSH. The winner of that match will defend the title on February 28th at Bound By Honor and on February 29th at ‘Gateway to Honor’. Josh Woods and Silas Young are challenging Jay Lethal and Jonathan Gresham for the ROH World Tag Team Championships at Bound By Honor. Dragon Lee will defend his ROH World Television Title on February 29th against Dak Draper.
** The Miz participated in the pre-WWE Backstage on FS1 Q&A session:
** There’s a new video on the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel featuring Bayley, Big E, Cesaro and Kofi Kingston playing ‘Ring Fit Adventure’:
** Ahead of John Morrison and The Miz reuniting on MizTV on SmackDown, WWE uploaded a montage of Miz and Morrison’s best moments on The Dirt Sheet:
** Newsweek spoke with PCO for an exclusive interview.
** WWE has a new series titled, ‘If it’s on the Internet’ and it features WWE roster members addressing rumors about them. Carmella was the first guest on the show and she addressed rumors of her ruining Corey Graves’ marriage, if she dated John Cena, plastic surgery and more topics.
** The ‘Fire Fight’ band is doing a video shoot on January 11th in Minnesota and 205 Live’s Ariya Daivari will be a part of the shoot.
** Here’s the newest episode of ‘Free The Delete’ from Matt Hardy’s YouTube channel: