** AAA announced the full lineup for their Rey De Reyes show on March 21st from Mérida, Mexico and here’s the match card:
– Psycho Clown, Monster Clown & Murder Clown vs. RUSH, LA Park & Bestia Del Ring
– Rey De Reyes 2020 Tournament: Blue Demon Jr. vs. Aerostar vs. Nakasawa vs. Mascarita Sagrada vs. Mr. Iguana vs. Nino Hamburguesa vs. Dave The Clown vs. Ares vs. Dinastia vs. Villano III Jr.
– AAA Mega Championship: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Laredo Kid
– AAA World Tag Team Championships: Pentagon Jr. & Fenix (c) vs. Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz
– AAA World Trios Championship: Hijo Del Vikingo, Myzteziz Jr. & Octagon Jr. (c) vs. Rey Escorpion, Texano Jr. & La Hiedra
– Three-Way Tag Team Match: Pagano, Hijo De LA Park & LA Park Jr. vs. Averno, Chessman & Super Fly vs. Mocho Cota Jr., Tito Santana & Carta Brava Jr.
– Drago & Drago Kid vs. La Parka Negra & La Parkita Negra
** Tyler Breeze sat down with Chris Van Vliet and in the beginning portion of the interview, the two parties talked about the mental state that Tyler Breeze was in-in early 2019. Breeze stated that he was not happy with where he was professionally and personally and those issues along with his desire to find his love of wrestling again, led to him making the jump back to NXT and starting the Flatbacks Wrestling school with Shawn Spears.
“So, actually back in May, I was kind of going through a rough time and I wasn’t enjoying what I was doing. I think I was up on RAW or SmackDown or whatever, and Dango was hurt. I think he’d been hurt at that point for probably over a year. So Dango, as I always call him, he was hurt, so he was out for I think over a year and I was like super disheartened because what we were doing — and this kind of goes back even more. Like we were doing the Fashion Files, and everything was kind of catching and we were hitting a groove and we were in this thing and it just never got to that point where they fully pulled the trigger on it, and I was like, ‘Oh man! We missed this boat on this thing and this was the most that we’ve ever done to get somewhere was here,’ and the stuff we did with The Usos and all this other stuff was just awesome, and it just never got to the point where we fully got that time, and so, then Dango ended up getting hurt and I just went, ‘Okay. What am I doing for the next year?’ Kind of thing because his shoulder was destroyed, and so I said, ‘Okay. I’ll kind of go forward and do whatever they want me to do.’ Six months goes by and another six months go by and I just started getting really, really down and I was like, ‘I’m not enjoying this. I’m not enjoying wrestling.’ I was talking to my friends and I was like, ‘I don’t think I wanna wrestle anymore. I don’t think I want to’, and I had a conversation where I basically said, ‘Hey, if you guys don’t need me, I’m good to go. I just don’t need to be here,’ and it kind of got turned into, ‘Okay, well we don’t really wanna see you go so let’s make this work,’ and that’s when I kind of made the transition down to NXT and it kind of started to reinvigorate me a little bit and I ended up going to a couple schools around Orlando just to kind of try and get the juices flowing again because I was really disheartened, and I started to realize that wrestling’s not the problem.
Wrestling’s awesome. It’s just when you’re in a certain spot — when you get yourself into a certain mindset, it’s hard to kick out of that, and I just was in that mindset and I was just getting negative and bitter and I finally realized that wrestling’s not the problem, and I talked to Ronnie [Shawn Spears] and I said, ‘Look man, I’ve wanted to train people forever.’ I love training people. There’s been a bunch of people even going through NXT. I used to work with Charlotte and Becky and Bayley and Sasha and like everybody along the way — like Alexa Bliss, everybody and just kind of work with them on little things and I loved seeing them get it and they’d do it in the ring and I’d be at the curtain like, ‘Yes! That’s what I’m talking about’, and I just went like, ‘Eventually I’m gonna train people’ and I just went, ‘Whenever the time is right’ because on the road obviously, it’s very, very hard to make it all work. I can’t do it myself because it’s a lot of work as I’m still working with WWE, and so I just went, ‘You know what? In between my schedule and your schedule, we can make this work and I think now is the time to do it and I feel like I need it. I feel like to get me back to where I need to be, I need to teach people’ and so he just kind of went, ‘Okay’, and like I said, he was trained very differently to where I just said, ‘Just trust me on this. We can make this work’ and like I said, this fell in place where we found the building then all of sudden we ordered everything we needed, and then all of a sudden we made a website and all of a sudden, applications came in and we were like, ‘This is happening.’”
** WWE confirmed to ESPN that former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Tito Ortiz did train at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando recently. The news was first reported by way of Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Ortiz declined to comment on how serious his venture into wrestling is and sources told ESPN that he Ortiz performed well at the PC.
** Arab News conducted an interview with NXT’s Mansoor and Mansoor confirmed that he’ll be wrestling at WWE Super ShowDown on February 27th.
“That’s very true,” Mansoor said of his home-field advantage against Cesaro at Crown Jewel. “I was very much depending on that, and Cesaro even said, ‘I don’t know who this kid is.’ There are no real videos of me to watch, to see what I can do, compared to the years that I can watch of Cesaro. I know I will be competing at Super ShowDown, but I haven’t found out who my opponent will be yet. But I get the feeling that now it’s going to be a bit more of an even playing field, where both of us are going to be able to feel each other out and see what we’re going into.”
** NJPW Tiger Hattori Retirement Event (2/19/20) Tokyo, Japan
– Toa Henare, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma def. Gabriel Kidd, Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji
– Will Ospreay & Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) def. Ryusuke Taguchi, Rocky Romero & Tiger Mask
– Juice Robinson, David Finlay & YOSHI-HASHI def. Hiromu Takahashi, EVIL & BUSHI
– Manabu Nakanishi’s Final Match In Korakuen Hall: Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Manabu Nakanishi def. Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
– Colt Cabana, Toru Yano, Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale & Jay White
– SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito def. Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto
** WWE ‘Slime Slammers’ will be available at CVS Pharmacies this Spring.
** According to a report by way of WrestlingINC, former WWE Champion JBL is scheduled to be inducted into the 2020 WWE Hall Of Fame.
** EVOLVE announced that recent NXT signee Jake Atlas will be in action on February 29th, March 1st, March 14th and March 15th for EVOLVE.
** Rhino will be competing for the Insane Wrestling Revolution promotion to raise awareness for a charity. Rhino will be in a three-way match with Shane Douglas and an opponent that has yet to be announced. The event is slated for February 20th in Monroe, Michigan.
** All Elite Wrestling’s Shanna spoke with Alicia Atout of ‘A Music Blog, Yea?’ and during their conversation, Shanna shared that she was going to retire prior to Kenny Omega reaching out to her about signing with AEW.
“Well, to be honest, when I was contacted by AEW, [it] was Kenny [Omega] that contacted me for that. I was about to hang my boots. It was over for me. I didn’t feel like I was going anywhere, I was tired. Also, there’s a lot of bullying in this business. You probably know about this. A lot of toxic people, and I don’t know. I was just very depressed and I thought to myself that, ‘I’m never gonna go as far as what I’ve done’ and I’ve done a lot of things. I’ve been all over the world so I feel very blessed, and yeah, so in that very sad moment, I had Kenny call me and so he offered me this contract with AEW and at first I didn’t believe it and I said, ‘Well listen, I’m gonna ask you again tomorrow and see if it’s true. Is this a dream?’ And then I messaged him the next day and he’s like, ‘Sure is.’ So it’s really cool.”
** Jeremy Lambert of Fightful reached out to WrestleCon about Darby Allin and Sammy Guevara being pulled from their scheduled appearances during WrestleMania 36 week/weekend. WrestleCon told Lambert that they were not contacted directly by All Elite Wrestling so they were not given a reason as to why Allin and Guevara were pulled. Both men are set to appear at The Great Philadelphia Comic Con on the same weekend as WrestleCon. It is also noted in the article that the contracts with Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho are with Barry Bloom Talent Agency and that goes over AEW and the same goes for Jon Moxley who is booked through PrimeTime Appearances.
** TMZ spoke with RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch at the WrestleMania 37 press conference and she gave her thoughts about a potential rematch between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
** Below is a video of Angel Garza, Isaiah “Swerve” Scott, Dio Maddin and Killian Dain playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
** SPORTbible released highlights from an international media call with NXT Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley.
** Bowling For Soup’s Jaret Reddick spoke with Metro and told the publication that the band would be game to perform their ‘Alexa Bliss’ song at WrestleMania 36.
** Kevin Nash is now representing ‘No Borders Naturals’ as a Global Brand Ambassador and company spokesperson.
** On the 2/19/20 episode of WWE’s The Bump, Fit Finlay, Sheamus and Hornswoggle reunited on the show. YouTuber and Twitch streamer Dr. Disrespect “hacked” into the show. Also, it was announced that following the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view in March, a documentary about FCW will premiere on the WWE Network. A young man named Israel who is battling cancer was a part of the program and Roman Reigns called into The Bump to tell Israel that he’ll be going to WrestleMania in Tampa. John Cena sent a special message to Israel as well. Towards the end of the show, Kayla Braxton shared some special words about Cathy Kelley who finished with WWE at TakeOver: Portland.
** Adam Brooks is making his Ring of Honor debut against Slex at ROH’s 18th Anniversary show on March 13th in Sunrise Manor, Nevada. Also on that show, Joe Hendry and Dalton Castle are teaming up to face The Briscoes.
** NJPW1972.com released part one of their interview with Manabu Nakanishi.
** Big Swole spoke with Philip Lindsey of Bell To Belles for an exclusive interview. During the chat, Swole opened up about the piece she wrote in 2019 about representation in wrestling. She stated the following about how representation has improved from her point of view since that article:
“Well, it’s been a change, especially since after doing my piece on #RepresentationMatters and bringing it forward. Because I feel like I spent a lot of time I guess, like building up my reputation and my name and my word and everything like that so when I say stuff it means something. So just representing the companies and also speaking out against something I see is wrong, it’s definitely brought a lot more light and a lot more opportunities for women of color like to SHINE and all over now.”
Swole also spoke about black women in wrestling and feels that they are often pushed to the side or forgotten about when it comes to accomplishments and their ranking on the proverbial totem pole. She listed off the likes of Tasha Steelz, Holidead and Trish Adora as names who are pushing those ideas and thoughts out of the frame and inserting a new way of thinking when it comes to black women in wrestling.
“Yeah, it’s one of those things where I personally believe that the black woman is always either pushed to the side or forgotten about. So, when it’s time to list off the accolades for whoever did what as far as being black, you know? We’re always on the bottom of the list or the bottom of the totem pole. I believe that people like myself or Tasha Steelz or Holidead, I think we’re pressing the issue saying, you know, we are here, you know? Trish Adora, the same as her. Like we’re here. We’ve made this history. We’re continuing to make history and we’re not going to go anywhere. I just believe that once we get enough voices that we’ll eventually be heard and eventually they’ll show, you know, people that paved the way beforehand and not just see them as, ‘Oh this is a sideshow’ but realizing that hey, these matches with Jazz helped make this person’s career, you know?”
** In a preview of a new episode of black-ish on ABC, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi were referenced and Okada quote tweeted the video.
— オカダ・カズチカ (@rainmakerXokada) February 18, 2020
** Episode 20 of AEW Dark from Cedar Park, Texas premiered on the All Elite Wrestling YouTube channel and it featured Kris Statlander vs. Diamante, Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent) with Orange Cassidy vs. Jack Evans and Angelico. Also, Big Swole defeated Christi Jaynes and The Young Bucks bested Peter Avalon and QT Marshall.
** Due to NXT UK TakeOver: Dublin being set for April 26th, PROGRESS Wrestling moved their Chapter 105 show from April 26th to April 20th.
** David Benoit was the most recent guest on Vickie Guerrero’s podcast and David revealed that he reached out to Booker T about training with Booker in Houston by way of Reality Of Wrestling:
“I talked to Booker T last Friday. So he said he would give me a call but I’m still waiting so, we’ll see.”
Vickie Guerrero and David Benoit chatted about their experiences backstage in AEW. Vickie Guerrero has done commentary on AEW Dark and she told the story of how she reached out to WWE to line up talent interviews for her podcast but once they found out she was on AEW programming, the communication between the two sides stopped.
“I have the podcast now and I had asked to interview some superstars for my podcast and they found out I went to AEW and now they don’t even talk to me, and between me and you [David Benoit], let’s just put it that way — they didn’t call me for two years. I haven’t heard from them, so what did they expect me to do? Just to sit here and wait for them to call so I can do some work? I love wrestling, I love to work in the ring and if someone’s giving me an opportunity to go and show up and have some fun, then I should be able to because I’m not obligated to anybody. But you know, I saw that I pissed in their Cheerios and so be it.”
** Bianca Belair was the most recent guest on Superstar Savepoint on the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel with Xavier Woods.
** Rob Van Dam joined Stone Cold Steve Austin on the Steve Austin Show podcast and Van Dam opened up about his drug arrest suspension while he was WWE and ECW World Champion. Van Dam took full credit for the mistakes and stated that he gave WWE plenty of warnings that he would mess a big opportunity up and once they gave it to him, that stood true as RVD stated.
“The reason that it made such big news was because I had the WWE Championship at the time and the ECW Championship so there was a lot riding on me at the moment, because ECW, we had just come back as a third brand and trying to get momentum and I’m the champion, and for everybody that says how much I was held back and how wrong that was for my career, first off, I gave them plenty of chances to not want to put me forward and plenty of warnings that I would f*ck it up, and then when I finally did get the championship, I f*cked it up. I got suspended for 30 days, I dropped both the championships and I don’t know if I was fined on top of that or not, but I was pretty much in my own… I’m always in my own world but at the end of the 30 days, I called Paul [Heyman] and asked him if he would ask Vince if I could have some more time off and he’s like, ‘I’m not gonna ask him that! He’ll be offended because it’s supposed to be a punishment’ but I was enjoying being home because I was so burned out.”
Van Dam also revealed that he’ll be releasing his own strain of marijuana this year in the near future.
“I’m actually coming out with own strain by the way, which I’ll be debuting very soon on a special holiday, special stoner holiday, but I started a CBD line, and as a branch off of that in legal states, we’re licensed so I’ll have some THC products as well.”
** Darren Paltrowitz of the Paltrocast spoke with former AEW World Tag Team Champion Frankie Kazarian on the Chris Jericho Cruise. The two chatted about how Frankie got into music and Frankie praised Chris Jericho as a musician and a wrestler.
** ‘YEN’ profiled NXT’s Babatunde Aiyegbusi.
** Preston, England-based wrestler Rhio did an interview with LancsLive to promote her forthcoming appearance in India as a part of Wrestlewood’s Thunder Storm wrestling event.
** Paul “Triple H” Levesque chatted with Yahoo! News about the crossover between WWE and mainstream sports. Topics that were covered include WWE sending out championship belts to sporting teams and teams such as the Milwaukee Bucks doing their pre-game WWE routine.
** Ronda Rousey hosted a gaming stream on Facebook for four hours and raised over $5,000 to support those affected by the Australian Bushfires.
** Sky Germany is no longer airing WWE pay-per-view events as they’ll be airing AEW events.
** Injustice (Myron Reed, Kotto Brazil & Jordan Oliver) are defending their MLW World Trios Championships against Hijo del Vikingo, Golden Magic and Myzteziz Jr. at AAA and MLW’s joint-show on March 13th in Tijuana, Mexico.
** While speaking on an international media call, Rhea Ripley told Digital Spy that she doesn’t mind if the NXT Women’s Championship is referred to as its original name or simply the “NXT Championship”. She thinks it was changed back to the NXT Women’s Title because of the backlash on social media.
** Also during the aforementioned international media call with Rhea Ripley (via Sportskeeda), Rhea said she has no problem with WWE adding Bianca Belair to the NXT Women’s Championship match with Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. Rhea stated that Bianca does deserve that opportunity so there will be no complaints from her if she does get added.
“If they add Bianca Belair to it, I honestly don’t mind. I love fighting Bianca, and if she got put into the match, I’d be all for it. I’m not going to argue about it and say that she doesn’t deserve it, because she does deserve it. She deserves her WrestleMania moment and, if she gets added to it, I’m not going to complain.”
** Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville are on the cover of the February edition of Hers Magazine.
** Keith Lee partook in the pre-WWE Backstage Q&A session:
** Sumie Sakai vs. Nicole Savoy has been added to ROH’s Past vs. Present show on March 14th.
** Per ‘Media Matters’, FOX’s Tyrus (Brodus Clay) is hosting a wrestling fundraiser for a GOP congressional candidate. Those who have received the invitation told the publication that it reads that FOX is covering the event.
** Brian Fritz of Sporting News conducted an interview with former NXT Cruiserweight Champion Lio Rush.
** Championship Wrestling From Hollywood issued a press release and noted that they’re undergoing several changes within the organization and that applies to the creative department as well. Information about roles that are open can be discussed by reaching out to email@example.com.
** WWE Hall Of Famers Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are set for this week’s WWE After The Bell podcast.
** Al Snow appeared on ESPN 1530 with Rick Ucchino and Tarren Bland and during their chat, Snow went into detail about training aspiring wrestlers and how he and his crew teaches their students the ins and outs of the wrestling business.
** At PROGRESS Wrestling’s Chapter 103 show, WALTER is teaming with Anti-Fun Police to take on More Than Hype (Nathan Martin, Darren Kearney & LJ Cleary).
** Jack Gallager turned 30 years old on February 19th.
** For RISE’s final live show on March 27th, Big Swole is defending her Phoenix Of RISE Championship against Kylie Rae.
** The latest edition of ‘My First Match’ on Mark Andrews’ YouTube channel spotlights NXT’s Joaquin Wilde: