** Former 3-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay was the most recent guest on the NJPW Official English podcast. During the conversation between Ospreay and Chris Charlton, Ospreay spoke out about the state of the British independent scene and the conversation began by talking about RevPro promoter Andy Quildan possibly wanting his British Heavyweight Champion to be a fixture in England and Ospreay being a resident of Japan.
“Well, absolutely, but he [Andy Quildan] needs to understand first and foremost [that] I’m now a resident in Japan now so I’m living out here, but there’s no reason why I can’t hop on a plane in between tours, do big York Hall shows and defend my title against the upcoming British wrestlers because that’s the thing. I Instagram post, slash Twitter post just before the new year came in and the main reason I did it is because another company in England I used to work for closed down, and it kind of breaks my heart. It’s just company after company are closing down and there was an interview done saying, ‘Well, the companies are closing down. The ones that have medical bills and [didn’t] have First-Aiders backstage’ and the fact is they did. It just is what it is. The industry changing and evolving and unfortunately things have to close, but with that, people aren’t getting the opportunities that were once there three years ago even. Like before anything was even about England, and you have to think, when I first was in England seven years ago, I was facing the top independent stars learning. Guys like Ricochet, Rich Swann, The Young Bucks. The list goes on and then facing guys from New Japan Pro-Wrestling. So I was able to go underneath the learning tree but now all these people are signed up and [have] gone away and no one in the up-and-coming era is getting the chance to learn and get in the ring with someone better than them and getting their ass handed to them and learning and coming back. So that’s where I want to step in. I want to face new guys. I want to face guys like Kyle Fletcher. I wanna face guys like Mark Davis, Dan Moloney, The O.J.M.O. [Michael Oku], Cara Noir, Rob Lynch, all those guys. I want the best that British wrestling has to offer because I feel like a win right now over me after the 2019 I had, I’m one of those guys that if I’m in a big singles match, you know it’s gonna be good. You get that win and your career skyrockets. I know that. Unfortunately I have to say it, but…”
Ospreay spoke about his longtime rival Marty Scurll who has taken on new duties with Ring of Honor. Scurll appeared during New Japan’s New Beginning USA tour and made it clear that he will be back in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Ospreay said he’s excited about Scurll’s return and the match-ups that await “The Villain” when he returns.
“Just letting everybody know that The Villain is coming back to New Japan and to be fair, that’s very exciting for me that Marty is still committed to coming to Japan. Maybe we’ll see him back in the Best of Super Juniors so, that’ll be good and think of the matches that you could see with Marty coming back now. Marty and Hiromu would be great. Marty and Ishimori again. Marty and Shingo from last year’s Super Juniors was so good.”
** According to PWInsider, former BCW Women’s Champion Kellyanne will be working with Ring of Honor soon. ROH recently announced a tournament to crown a new Women’s World Champion.
** WWN EVOLVE announced Mansoor for EVOLVE 145 and EVOLVE 146 on February 29th and March 1st.
** Jonathan Gresham vs. Doug Williams is official for Ring of Honor’s Past vs. Present show.
** Parrow and Odinson are official for EFFY’s Big Gay Brunch show during WrestleMania 36 weekend.
** Darby Allin recently chatted with Alicia Atout of ‘A Music Blog, Yea?’ And he shared that he’s been talking to Jon Moxley about making an appearance in the film that he’s producing. Darby revealed during his appearance on the Talk Is Jericho podcast that he is creating a full-length film and it’s going to be put together visually in May.
“I talked to Moxley about making an appearance in my movie and I think he’s just gonna… I just told him he can run somebody over with a car.”
** Game Changer Wrestling announced that they are debuting in Portland, Oregon on July 18th.
** Prior to the 2/12/20 episode of NXT going live on the USA Network, Mansoor defeated Arturo Ruas, and Mercedes Martinez bested Xia Li in dark matches. PWInsider noted that the air conditioning was not working during the dark matches.
** Manabu Nakanishi is doing a meet and greet on February 15th on the road to his retirement show on February 22nd at Korakuen Hall.
** Matches for next week’s AEW Dark were taped following Dynamite in Cedar Park, Texas and next week’s show on the All Elite Wrestling YouTube channel will feature Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent) with Orange Cassidy vs. Angelico and Jack Evans. Kris Statlander will meet Diamante, and Big Swole will clash with Christi Jaynes. Also, The Young Bucks are taking on QT Marshall and Peter Avalon who were accompanied to the ring by Leva Bates.
** Following NXT going off the air on the USA Network, Tommaso Ciampa explained why the NXT Championship means so much to him ahead of challenging Adam Cole for the title at TakeOver: Portland.
** NJPW’s Chase Owens was backstage at AEW Dynamite in Cedar Park, Texas.
** Luchasaurus is confirmed for Prairie Wrestling Alliance’s 19th Anniversary show on March 28th. Shawn Spears is also confirmed for the show.
** On the Valentine’s week edition of WWE’s After The Bell podcast with Corey Graves, Carmella and Otis Dozovic joined the show. Just on a personal note, the Otis interview portion of this podcast is worth the listen. It was Otis’ first-ever interview and he came off as a relaxed individual who’s just looking to have a good time in wrestling.
While speaking with Carmella, Graves asked her for her thoughts about his comments about Mandy Rose and Alexa Bliss on WWE TV and Carmella says she does not mind it and doesn’t understand why she gets tagged on Twitter about said comments.
“I mean, it’s just funny to me because the fact that people think that — I’m awesome friends with Mandy. I love Alexa. We’re great friends. It’s hilarious. I think it’s funny and all we’re doing on TV is playing these characters. Obviously you have to do your part, they have to do their part, I do mine. It is what it is and the fact that anyone thinks it’s like… like people are like, ‘Of course Corey’s saying this or Corey’s saying that.’ It’s just funny to me. Why the hell would I care what you say on-air about another character? They’ll be like, ‘Oh I can’t believe he said that about Drew McIntyre.’ Like who cares?”
** Here’s the newest episode of Battle Of The Brands with Xavier Woods, Tyler Breeze and Adam Cole on the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel:
** WWE Hall Of Famer D-Von Dudley will be present at Wizard World Cleveland in March.
** KERRANG! posted their interview with Alexa Bliss.
** Investor Place published an article about why now is the time to buy stock in WWE.
** WYRK.com has information up on how to win tickets to Friday Night SmackDown in Buffalo, New York on March 6th.
** Metro chatted with Alexa Bliss about the song that ‘Bowling For Soup’ created about her and Bliss stated that she would love if they were able to play the song live for her entrance at WrestleMania 36 if she’s on the card.
“I mean, I would love that. Any opportunity to be able to have my favorite band playing a song about me at WrestleMania would be incredible. I don’t know what I’m doing at WrestleMania, but it’s definitely something I’m going to throw out into the universe.”
** The tournament to crown a new ROH Pure Champion will continue at Ring of Honor’s ‘Battlestar’ event on April 23rd in New York City. Also, ROH announced that at their ‘Bound By Honor’ show on 2/28, Jonathan Gresham and Jay Lethal are defending the ROH World Tag Team Championships against Josh Woods and Silas Young. Elsewhere on that card, Alex Shelley is taking on Rey Horus. The following day at Gateway By Honor, Vincent and Bateman are facing Silas Young and Josh Woods.
** Cedric Alexander tweeted out the following: “Frustration is an understatement.”
** Here’s the latest episode of Magic City Live with EC3, Braun Strowman, Drake Maverick and Percy Watson:
** WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Asuka uploaded a new video to her YouTube channel:
** Jim Ross and Conrad Thompson hosted a Q&A session for the latest edition of the Grilling JR podcast. Jim Ross mentioned that he ran into Mickie James at an airport recently. Mickie is married to NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis. Ross said that he would love to have Aldis in AEW.
“Nick Aldis is a good hand, man. Nick Aldis is a hell of a hand. I wish we had him in AEW. I’m sure any promotion [wishes] they had Nick Aldis because he’s that good.”
One of the questions that was presented to Jim Ross was who will he pass the torch to after he decides to step away from the AEW commentary booth and he said Excalibur. Ross said that both he and Tony Schiavone agreed to pass on any knowledge that they have to Excalibur so he can thrive in his role.
“Excalibur… does a good job. Tony [Schiavone] and I both have made a commitment to share any knowledge we have, anything he wants to hear with him because, somewhere down the road, he should be the voice of AEW. But I’m not quite ready to step aside right now and neither is Tony. But we’re actually having a great time. Traveling with Tony from time to time. We did a show in Huntsville [Alabama] a couple weeks ago, a week ago. He’s [Tony Schiavone] an old woman,” Ross joked. “I love him though. I finally convinced Tony Khan how valuable Tony Schiavone would be if he was on our team and all the things he could do for us, and that was one of the best hires Tony Khan has made is getting Schiavone back in the game, and I’m so glad he’s on our team but Excalibur’s evolving, learning. He’s never done a national broadcast. He was doing very inexpensive, little streaming shoots on PWG. So he’s like a lot of our guys we have in the locker room. He’s new, he’s green and he’s learning but he’s gonna be really good.”
Going back to Ross’ talent relations experience in WWE, he gave his opinion about why Kassius Ohno never received a major run in WWE. Ross accredited it to WWE asking Ohno to get in better shape. Ross also questioned why he would need to lose weight but stated that if the powers at be in any line of work want something done and you as an individual don’t adjust, they’ll replace you.
“The misconception on Kassius Ohno is that he’s not committed, which I find to be laughable. Very underutilized — didn’t look like he was in shape,” J.R. said was a reason why Ohno was looked at and viewed as such by WWE. “I’m not saying he’s not in shape. The perception is, he’s not fully committed as far as, he’s been asked to lose weight, re-shape his body a little bit, diet, better nutrition, better workouts, more cardio, blah, blah, blah.
I like the guy. If I had a promotion and he was available, I’d hire him. That’s about as good as I can tell you about his work. He’s very down to earth, he’s very reliable, he loves the wrestling business but he’s never gonna look like a bodybuilder-type guy but you know, to his own detriment, he stood on his ground and decided, ‘I’m not gonna change my body,’ and that was the issue. Here’s the thing about that: Maybe he’s right. Maybe you shouldn’t have to change your body, but if the role that the casting director i.e. the booker wants to utilize you in, and your body type isn’t that, then they’re going to pass over you and get somebody else to do it, and that’s happened to him a lot. So all of a sudden, now you’re 35, 38, 39, whatever, and the time is running out. So, is he still in NXT? And Chris may be tickled a bit just to be in that role. I don’t know.”
Ross added that he has spoken to wrestlers in NXT that don’t want to leave the brand because of the pay and proper travel schedule.
“I talk to guys in NXT now, that don’t want to leave NXT. They’re making good money.”
** Inside The Ropes released their interview with Kurt Angle.
** Charlotte Flair participated in the pre-WWE Backstage Q&A session. She was asked if she were to start a group with any talents in WWE, who would be in the group and what would the name of the group be and here’s how Flair responded:
“Me, Asuka, Kairi, Sarah Logan. The Queen’s Court.”
Charlotte also shared her thoughts about Simone Johnson being officially announced as a member of the WWE Performance Center. Charlotte passed along the following message to Simone:
“Hold your head high, and block out the outside noise because they’re just jealous.”
** Here’s part two of Tegan Nox’s ‘Comeback’ docu-series via the WWEPC YouTube channel:
** Rikishi has been added to ‘The Fight for Pace’ wrestling show on March 7th in Clarksville, Tennessee.
** Republic TV pushed out their interview with Adam Cole.
** Metro chatted with Adam Cole and Cole shared his thoughts about the possibility of Triple H and/or Shawn Michaels wrestling in NXT and he thinks the majority of the roster would agree with him in that they’d love to see that happen.
“Oh my God, yes. Anybody on our roster would agree. I don’t think – especially for a one-time situation with a guy like Triple H or Shawn Michaels. Looking at it for what it is, we idolized them as kids, and now we’ve grown up and now we’re working for them, and together with them. We’re really getting to see their minds and not only how smart they are, but how much they absolutely love this job. The chance for me, or Roddy, Bobby, Kyle, Tommaso, Johnny, Riddle, whoever – the chance to get in the ring with them? I wouldn’t pass that up for the world. That absolutely is something I’d love to do. I know many NXT talent feel the same way. I definitely know a bunch of fans feel the same way. So yeah, all on board with that, for the right reasons.”
Adam Cole is defending the NXT Championship against Tommaso Ciampa at TakeOver: Portland. Cole spoke about Ciampa’s road to recovery and how scary it was for everyone at NXT when it was announced that Ciampa had to relinquish the NXT Title due to neck surgery. Cole added that he’s excited to mix it up with Ciampa and his return to a high-profile situation is one of the reasons that the match will be special.
“When he was on that run as NXT Champion and then he had to let that championship go for neck surgery, that was really scary for everybody. Especially for him. As anybody knows, neck surgery is really freakin’ serious. So, of course, there’s the thoughts of he’s starting a family now, is his neck going to be the same? NXT matches and NXT Championship matches are high octane. Is he going to be able to do the same stuff? Of course it was worrisome for everybody. But for him to be able to come back and perform the way he has, it’s a testament to how good he is and how much he wants to be back. It’s really cool to see him fight through it and make this happen. This Sunday in Portland is really special, for a number of reasons.”
** Laredo Kid is set to compete at MLW’s Intimidation Games event on April 18th.
** Both John Cena and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson have been nominated for Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards.
** Chris Van Vliet conducted an interview with NWA President Billy Corgan. During their conversation, Corgan revealed that NWA is in discussions about doing some live touring shows.
“It was always heavy TV production and let’s see how it goes but our thing was, we will pivot from being a TV production first to a live touring [show] and people always ask, ‘When are you gonna start touring?’ And we’re in discussions right now to start doing live touring events.”
While chatting about some of the top companies, promotions and organizations in wrestling, Corgan expressed that he believes NWA is in that conversation because they are not funded by a billionaire or millionaire and have found a great deal of success with the resources that they have available.
“I’m gonna cut you off. We are in the conversation, and by the way, I’m not a billionaire. We’re nowhere near as funded as the other companies that are being talked about and Ring of Honor who we enjoy a great partnership with, by the way is owned by a $3 billion dollar company called Sinclair. So Ring of Honor, AEW and WWE are all owned by billionaires. So to even be in the conversation without those same level resources, that’s more of a credit to our hard work and our creativity, and that’s exactly the way I raised the Smashing Pumpkins through the ranks of the rock business — was we had to be a better band, we had to tell better stories, musically speaking and that’s exactly the blueprint for the NWA. It’s not that big a mystery. So if you’re gonna try and bring a revolutionary on some level wrestling product to the table, if you make the curious decision that you’re gonna start with a bit of a throwback feel as far as your television product, people go, ‘Well how is that going to revolutionize anything?’ You have to get people’s attention first. If you don’t have their attention, they’re not going to listen to what you’re gonna say down the road, and I’m not the biggest fan and I’ve been very vocal about that on wrestling, that by and large, is driven with what strictly happens in the ring. I’m a big fan and because I grew up in the era of promos and great personalities, great guys on the mic including managers like Bobby Heenan and of course Jim Cornette. That’s the world I grew up in and I still believe in that world 100 percent so I’m trying to bring that world forward into the 21st century and I think we can do it so if I don’t believe in my heart that… let’s call it the four star, five star Meltzer match is at the foundational core of what will revolutionize the wrestling business as far as a mainstream product.
Now right now, AEW is making a very good case that I’m wrong in my assertion, but that’s okay, because ultimately they will get to prove me wrong or right and ultimately I get to prove my version wrong or right and that’s what makes it so compelling.”
Billy Corgan also opened up about his time in TNA but a portion of his response had to be cut out from the interview for legal reasons. He did state that Dixie Carter saw him as “the money guy” and he felt like he may have been used as a chip to possibly get TNA a network deal.
“Well, and you know what? Obviously, that’s what Dixie Carter saw me as. I thought I was being brought in to help the company which I did, but at the end of the day, I think it’s pretty easy to see I was brought in as some sort of strange insurance policy that could either provide cash or a chip that they could play to try and get a network deal, and that was the interest in me being a part of the creative team. That’s obviously water under the bridge. Not that I’m bitter,” Corgan smirked.
** Clacton Gazette published a story about the LDN Wrestling promotion.
** WWE posted a video to their YouTube channel featuring their talents revealing their childhood crushes:
** Former RAW Tag Team Champion Erik took to his Instagram to reflect on the five-year anniversary of his motorcycle accident that nearly took his life.
** Nick Aldis is set to defend the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship at the Mark Hitchcock Memorial Super Show at WrestleCon.
** Per PWInsider, there are a number of AEW Dynamite TV tapings tentatively scheduled to take place in California in June.
** Ronda Rousey is going to be streaming video games on Facebook.
** Homicide is taking on Brody King at Ring of Honor’s Past vs. Present show on March 14th.
** In her latest article for the Calgary Sun, Natalya wrote about her husband TJ Wilson. Here’s an excerpt from the post:
“TJ and I started with nothing, which turned out for the best at the time because that way we got to build everything we have together. We bought our first car together and owning our first house together made us feel like we really had made it. We also started out in WWE together, and it wasn’t easy though trying to reach our dreams, especially when one person was enjoying success while another was struggling. Those moments really helped us learn a lot about compromise, patience and becoming a support system for each other. Being able to share the good, bad and everything in between is what has kept our relationship going so strong for so long. I really do believe that communication is key, as even when we are thousands of kilometers apart we always will find a way to connect (thank goodness for airplane Wi-Fi). TJ is also the best listener and reminds me all the time to listen more, even though he usually lets me do all the talking! I love that about him.”
** Thunder Rosa shared on Twitter that she was involved in a hit-and-run car accident and she’s raising money to fix her car by selling some of her ring gear.
** The viewership for this week’s episode of Miz & Mrs. was down from last week’s 475,000 viewers on the USA Network, per Showbuzz Daily. This week’s show brought in 457,000 viewers.
** Coming out of the 2/13/20 episode of NXT U.K. on the WWE Network, Ilja Dragunov is set to go one-on-one with Joe Coffey next week. The I Quit match between Toni Storm and Kay Lee Ray for the NXT U.K. Women’s Championship was made official and Valkyrie made her NXT U.K. TV debut.
** Mirror Sport released their interview with Danny Burch.
** There will not be a new episode of NWA Powerrr next Tuesday. In its place will be the Circle Squared show. Circle Squared is a reality-based NWA show which will give individuals the platform to show why they want to be in the National Wrestling Alliance.
** FLO WWF conducted an interview with NXT Champion Adam Cole: