If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.
** Former All Japan Pro Wrestling World Tag Team Champion Yoshiaki Yatsu is returning to the ring on June 7th for DDT Pro-Wrestling’s ‘Wrestle Peter Pan’ event in Saitama, Japan. Yatsu had his right leg amputated in June of 2019. DDT Pro-Wrestling posted footage of Yatsu training with a prosthetic leg that was designed specifically for pro wrestling.
— DDT ProWrestling (@ddtpro) March 18, 2020
** John Pollock has an interview up on the site with Erick Stevens. The two talked about the importance of WrestleMania week bookings, his health concerns with the Coronavirus outbreak and more ground was covered during the interview. There is also another interview up on the site with Highspots’ own Mike Bochicchio and Mike discussed the fallout of WrestleCon being cancelled and how this situation is affecting and will affect the wrestling industry going forward.
During the interview with Mike Bochicchio, he reflected on a time period that was similar to the situation he’s in today and that was WrestleMania 31 weekend in the Santa Clara, California area. Mike stated that the WrestleMania festivities for that weekend hit his organization huge on the financial front but they were able to bounce back the following year for WrestleMania 32 in Dallas.
“It is what it is. We’re gonna look forward to Los Angeles. Not to the same degree, but we did this — we’ve done this for a couple of years and then San Jose [WrestleMania 31], it was an unmitigated disaster for us. It was just [a] devastating financial loss. It was a complete waste of all the resources that we had put into it and then the following year in Dallas it turned out to be our single best year, so, I hope a lot of the people that weren’t able to do WrestleMania week, they realize what it is they’re losing and not just taking it for granted. It’s more than just seeing WrestleMania, it’s about being around all the other wrestling fans that they probably only get to interact with on social media. They’ll wanna make Los Angeles the destination.”
Mike revealed that the ticket sales for Joey Ryan and Ethan Page’s respective WrestleMania week shows were not doing well but the demand for Spring Break, Bloodsport and WrestleCon’s Supershow were there. Mike said he feels bad for the independent wrestlers that are missing out on this year’s bookings because the amount of money they reel in from WrestleMania weekend can equal up to six months of bookings.
“It certainly is hard but I wanna back up. ‘High risk, high reward’ is an interesting term because with all the live events that happen, I don’t think there was going to be a lot of high rewards. Certainly the premiere events — the Joey Janela Spring Breaks, the Bloodsports, our Supershow, those things because we’ve been around a while. I’ll even say Ring of Honor even though I know their tickets were a little off. There’s events that are established and they have a following. Those I think were fine but all these other niche events, including many of ours. I forget the term that we use a lot of times with the stick shows that are just… the Joey Ryan Penis Party or the Ethan Page Body Guy Extravaganza. The ones that are kind of like a tongue-in-cheek show. Those were not doing great in Tampa and I think part of it is because of the over saturation of the live events that were there so, there’s not this great reward on a promoter end like you would think and where there is a great reward and this is who I feel the most pain for is the independent wrestlers. What they make in a given weekend down there is probably six months of regular bookings, and not only is it great for for them financially but, people judge the matches that they have that weekend and I think there’s a lot of guys that really elevate their stature from that weekend alone, and it carries them further up the independent chain going forward and then probably putting eyeballs on them for these companies that are issuing these contracts that make life very comfortable.”
** CM Punk joined the Swing & Mrs. podcast with Jennifer and Cody Decker. Punk was asked what would it take for him to get back into a wrestling ring and who are some opponents that would draw him back into a ring.
“As far as people that I’ve worked with before, I think that if there was a clean slate so to speak and if the money was right, I think a guy like Daniel Bryan, I would go, ‘Okay, I’ll listen to your idea.’ If you said John Cena, I’d probably listen to your idea. Rey Mysterio, I’d probably listen to your idea. For people I haven’t ever wrestled before, I think Will Ospreay, I think I’d listen to your idea. But like I said, there’s a lot of moving parts but I’m busy doing other stuff and nobody I think has found the right combination of ways to approach me. It’s not all up to me ladies and gentlemen. It’s up to the people who actually run the companies.”
Ospreay caught wind of Punk’s comments and responded with the following:
“Just an idea & because we could all use something to focus on to get us through this hard time right now. Save January 4th & get some reps in. Help the business move forward instead of being a “spoke on the wheel”. This might be click bait. But a Great White just bit. @CMPunk”
** Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak continued their storyline through social media. Gulak challenged Bryan to “Duck Walk” around his garden and Bryan followed through and then challenged Gulak to do so.
** In place of an episode of NWA Powerrr, the National Wrestling Alliance streamed their NWA 70th pay-per-view which was headlined by a Two-out-of-three Falls match between Cody and Nick Aldis for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship.
** RevPro promoter Andy Quildan announced that the promotion is suspending all of their events until the first week of May. He hosted a Q&A on Facebook at 3 PM local time and he’s hoping that they can still run their May 8th ‘Epic Encounter’ show. It’s noted in the statement that they’ve booked York Hall for August 8th. Refunds will be issued but if ticket holders choose to hold onto their tickets, those can be used for the forthcoming rescheduled dates. RevPro’s next show was set for March 26th and it was going to be a pop-up event on-which Will Ospreay defended the promotion’s heavyweight title.
** Game Changer Wrestling and IWTV reached an agreement that entails a minimum of ten GCW shows being streamed on IWTV in 2020. The first of the exclusive streams will air on March 19th.
** New Era Wrestling posted the following video to their YouTube channel which features Scott Steiner getting involved in a six-man tag team match over the weekend following his health scare:
** EFFY revealed that the main event of his ‘Big Gay Brunch’ show during WrestleMania weekend was going to be himself vs. David Starr.
** After receiving a cease and desist letter from WWE, Freelance Wrestling changed the name of their March 21st event from “In Your Warehouse” to “Warehourse Wars”.
** Speaking to Commercial Appeal following Monday Night RAW at the Performance Center, Jerry Lawler stated that he’s not against WWE inserting crowd noises into the WrestleMania 36 matches to make the empty arena bouts more entertaining for those watching from home.
“I’ve been to (football) training camps where the players go through their practice sessions with loud music or crowd noise piped in. I don’t think it would hurt anything at all if they piped in some crowd noise behind the matches, and even explain it to the fans. It’ll make the matches more entertaining and it’ll make it easier for the performers themselves.”
** Episode 25 of AEW Dark premiered on the All Elite Wrestling YouTube channel and it featured Peter Avalon vs. Colt Cabana, Angelico and Jack Evans teaming up to face Michael Nakazawa and Brandon Cutler, Penelope Ford vs. Riho and the show closed with Christopher Daniels vs. Stu Grayson of Dark Order.
** Jonathan Snowden of Bleacher Report interviewed Conor McGregor and while speaking about the possibility of returning to Boxing, McGregor said all he wants is a good fight and is not looking for a cash grab.
“What the fans, and frankly the fighters, don’t want is a dull fight or a dull lead up to a fight. I enjoy every aspect, and the fans deserve to see and hear the real me. I am very passionate and eager to please the fans and win for them and my family. I am willing to fight anyone and have proved that time and time again. I look for a good scrap, and if it isn’t going to be that, I have no interest. The money is not why I do this. I am a very rich man, and my children and those that come after them will be just fine. I love the fight game. I learned many things boxing in Crumlin where I grew up, and my deep love is why I do this today. I will be in the Octagon again soon and fully expect to box again. You will need to stay tuned, but trust me — the fans will enjoy. Giving them what they want and entertaining them is important to me.”
** Coming out of the March 17th episode of IMPACT Wrestling on AXS TV, it was announced that Ken Shamrock is going into the IMPACT Wrestling Hall Of Fame and that Sami Callihan was behind the recent “hacking” of the show and IMPACT’s social media channels. Chris Bey made his debut and scored a victory and Jackson Stone won this year’s ‘Gut Check’. Next week, Su Yung is taking on Jessicka Havok in the Undead Realm, Eddie Edwards is teaming with IMPACT World Champion Tessa Blanchard to face Michael Elgin and Taya Valkyrie. Also, Moose is set to face Chase Stevens and oVe’s Jake Crist and Madman Fulton will be in tag team action against Rob Van Dam and Sabu.
** NXT rescheduled this weekend’s live events in Citrus Springs and Fort Pierce, Florida to the Summer of 2020.
** WrestlePro promoter Kevin Matthews and the WrestlePro crew are hosting a food drive at the Rahway Rec Center on March 19th to gather food for families in need during this Coronavirus outbreak situation.
** Fight Club: PRO announced that they have to postpone their ‘Dream Tag Team Invitational’ tournament due to the Coronavirus outbreak. The tournament is now scheduled to take place on the weekend of June 19th. Tickets purchased for the show and meet and greets for the original date will be honored at the rescheduled date but if refunds are wanted, the promotion put their email in the statement.
** Reddit recently shared a photo on their Instagram page of John Cena and an elderly man and the caption read that Cena paid for the man’s groceries. WWE published an article about the photo and revealed that once Cena saw the man’s hat and realize he served in the military, Cena offered to pay for the groceries, thanked him for his service and took a picture with him.
** Gail Kim joined the 411 Wrestling Interviews Podcast and while promoting her new KAYfABE series, she also chatted about her run in WWE. Gail revealed that prior to her storyline with Daniel Bryan and The Bella Twins kicking off, she was planning on leaving the company.
“Well actually, I’ll tell you a little behind-the-scenes story with that. I was literally — I was on the house show loop that weekend, and I remember I was ready to quit. I was gonna go to RAW and I was gonna quit. I was just done, very done, and Brian Gewirtz, the head writer of RAW who, we got along… I knew a lot of storylines that he wrote just got nixed, and so he had called me with excitement, because he’s like, ‘Oh my God, we have a story for you finally,’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God, the week that I was gonna quit he’s calling to tell me that he’s so excited that he’s got a storyline for me.’ So it was something I really wrestled with. I was just like, ‘Ugh, what do I do?’ You know, and so he told me the storyline, and I just thought, ‘Okay, I’ll give it a shot and see where it goes.’”
** Part one of Kota Ibushi’s interview with NJPW1972.com was uploaded to the site. Ibushi talked about being diagnosed with influenza earlier this year and how much of a trying time that was for him physically.
“I just felt absolutely terrible one day, and threw up two or three times. What can happen is that there’s this thin connective tissue between your stomach and your esophagus, and that can tear and get damaged. That’s Mallory-Weiss. Apparently a lot of college students get it. If they’re not used to alcohol and binge drink they throw up, and that sparks this issue. For me, it was probably the flu that sparked the vomiting. Oh, it sucked. The flu alone sucked. I had this awful cough, and I felt a bunch of mucus in my throat. I thought I could clear it and couldn’t. Then I coughed really hard, about five or six times and all of a sudden there’s all this clotted blood on my hands.”
Ibushi also talked about the ankle injury he suffered in the 2019 G1 Climax tournament and battling through the tournament with that injury. He said he’s still feeling the effects of it eight months after the initial injury.
“I think so, yeah. The Dome was never going to be as tough as the whole G1 was; nothing in my wrestling life was as tough as the G1 was. I don’t think any other athlete in any other category could have continued with the injury that I had. I’m still feeling some of the after effects.”
** The Cauliflower Alley Club shared that their April reunion date is cancelled. They are currently working on a backup date which would likely occur in the Fall.
** EC3 turned 37 years old on March 18th.
** There was not a new episode of WWE’s The Bump series today.
** Here’s the latest upload to Asuka’s YouTube channel:
** Mache Customs has a video up on their YouTube channel which features Becky Lynch, Sonya Deville and Zelina Vega receiving their own custom-made shoes.
** Japan’s government officials are set to have a meeting about the Coronavirus and following that, STARDOM will have information on if fans will be able to attend their Cindarella tournament. The tournament is set for March 24th at Korakuen Hall.
** Former WCW and longtime WWE referee Charles Robinson appeared on the Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast for a two-part interview. In part one, Robinson revealed how his “Little Naitch” nickname and his friendship with Ric Flair kick-started. After Robinson met Flair at a wrestling show, he decided to start up a fan club and went to Flair’s house where he first came into contact with a young Charlotte Flair.
“Well it started out just going to the matches. Finally, the first time I think I met Ric was probably in the late 70s at a ballpark in Rocky Mountain, North Carolina. He was having a match against Wahoo McDaniel, and during the intermission, I went down there just to say hi and he goes, ‘Kid, go buy me a Coke’. So he gave me a dollar bill, I went and got his Coke for 50 cents and went back down. That’s the first time I actually met him and got a photo and got the autograph which, unfortunately I don’t have anymore. You lose those things. But, then as time went on, I wanted to start up a Ric Flair fan club. So, I don’t recommend doing this but I found out where he lived and I went to his house, and I remember getting out of the car and Ashley [Charlotte Flair] was gosh, maybe five or six years old, and I come up and she goes, ‘I’m Ashley Fliehr. What are you doing here?’ That’s what I was basically,” Robinson agreed with Mooney jokingly calling him a stalker. “But I really wanted to start up a fan club. I thought it would be something great to do. I didn’t know about all the corporate things going on in WCW and such that you had to… you just can’t do that stuff. They own all the rights to that, but Ric was very, very nice. He did not have me arrested. He actually showed me the gym in his garage which was awesome, but for someone just to show up on your doorstep like that, hell, it was pretty amazing.”
Charles Robinson has been in the wrestling business since 1995 and he’s hoping he can get another 7-10 years out of the sport.
“I hope so. I would love to. If I could get in another seven to ten years in the ring and then, hopefully there will be some sort of job that I can do to help out the younger guys, maybe go to the Performance Center and help train or something like that. I would certainly be open to doing that.”
In part two of the interview, Robinson was asked what are some of the worst things that wrestlers can do to referees. Robinson said wrestlers can do a better job of listening to the referee and when it comes to count outs, Vince McMahon actually wants referees to count wrestlers out if they don’t listen to the count.
“They have to listen, they do, and when you start counting, they have to start listening to where you are on the count. I don’t know how many times, and we shouldn’t do it but we try to protect the guys so much. You know, we’ll be on eight or nine and they’re not even starting to get in the ring or they’re in the corner, they won’t back up. What we should do is just count ‘em out and that’s what Vince wants us to do too, but especially a lot of times with Vince, we find that we’re trying to protect the people too much. So, just listen to the referee, and just respect what we’re trying to do because we’re respecting what you’re doing.”
** WWE’s live event on March 22nd in Bossier City, Louisiana has been cancelled. Also, WWE’s live event in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 28th is cancelled.
** GCW promoter Brett Lauderdale pieced together a thread on Twitter and detailed how GCW The Collective came to be for this year’s WrestleMania weekend in Tampa.
** On the latest edition of the Prime Time with Sean Mooney podcast, one-half of the current NWA World Tag Team Champions James Storm joined the podcast and Storm revealed that he’s had additional talks with WWE after the initial talks in 2015 that led to him appearing on an episode of NXT.
“We’ve talked and stuff and he [Paul “Triple H” Levesque] told me, ‘I wanna find the right fit for you. I just don’t want to bring you in and you wind up getting lost in the shuffle or something.’ Now hey, that’s great. I said, ‘You have my number. Anything you guys need, just let me know.”
Storm spoke about his run in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. He said that the company wanted to bring him in for ‘There’s No Place Like Home’ during WrestleMania weekend but Storm turned the offer down because he’s working with the NWA.
“I left on good terms and everything so, they asked me to come back and do the TNA show because I got a lot of friends there. Like you said, I left on good terms but I can’t. I’m doing stuff with the NWA right now so…”
** AAW will be taping episodes of their ‘Fight For The Future’ show next weekend to air on their streaming service. AAW promoter Danny Daniels is looking for wrestlers to compete on the show.
** John Cena revealed the cover of his book, ‘Elbow Grease’.
** UPROXX conducted an interview with SmackDown’s Sonya Deville. The two parties dove into LGBTQ+ representation in pro wrestling and Sonya says she has been in contact with recent WWE signee Jake Atlas and they’ve had a few discussions. Sonya believes WWE is improving in that department and thinks it’s cool to see more people in the company being comfortable with themselves as individuals.
“Yeah, for sure. Jake Atlas recently signed, and me and him have had a couple conversations via Instagram and stuff and he loves the new [clothing] line, so I’m going to send him a bunch of stuff. He’s been a super big supporter. I just think it’s so cool that there’s more of us now, and when I got here I was the only one and I was the only one for two, three years that I knew of, and so it’s really cool to see the unity, and even two years ago at WrestleMania, Finn Balor had a rainbow shirt come out, and then they did my, ‘Put your hair up and square up’ merchandise shirt in rainbow, and I think Charlotte and a few other superstars have their shirt available in rainbow. So it’s just been really cool over the past few years. WWE really has made those steps in becoming inclusive with the LGBTQ community, and it’s been obviously, a passion of mine. So I’ve had multiple meetings with GLAAD and other organizations, and WWE’s social resources team and stuff, to do more things like this, and so we have a bunch of stuff coming out for pride month, and hopefully with the virus and everything, a lot of that stays in place, but we’ll just have to take it day by day. But yeah, it’s really cool seeing more people in the company be comfortable now to come out, and obviously new signees coming in, that they feel comfortable being part of this company, and hopefully proud of who they are in this company.”
Sonya stated that she and Mandy Rose did push to do an LGBTQ+ storyline together and when the storyline with Liv Morgan and Lana came about, they were momentarily upset but they both still believe that it’s a storyline that could come to fruition in the future.
“Yeah. So obviously, Mandy and I were upset momentarily. It was something that we really pushed for. But never say never, and I think that it’s definitely still a possibility that it will or could happen in the future, and I think representation in different storylines and stuff like that is awesome. I think it’s good. There’s a lot of different ways you can do it. There’s not just one way to do it and it’s not just Mandy and I that have to do it. Obviously, we took a lot of time out and had a lot of meetings with GLAAD, and they were helping us write and direct the story, and so I hope we can get back to it one day. But yeah, I would like to see it also revealed in other storylines in the future too.”
When asked about opponents who she’d like to face, Sonya Deville stated that she’d like to have a few more matches with Asuka, whether it’d be a singles match or herself and Mandy Rose challenging Asuka and Kairi Sane for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships.
“Me and Asuka have had, in my opinion, some pretty cool matches since NXT, but we’ve never really had a televised singles match, and so I’d love to go into a story with her. They have the tag team titles right now, so I think it would be a really cool angle: Mandy and myself versus the Kabuki Warriors. So I think maybe it could happen there. But yeah, definitely Asuka is someone that I’ve always wanted to be in a storyline with. Becky Lynch too, we’ve only wrestled a couple of times here and there, and she’s awesome, so I’d love to work with her too.”
** PROGRESS Wrestling uploaded Kyle Fletcher and Jordan Devlin’s match from the 2019 Super Strong Style 16 tournament to their YouTube channel.
** Baron Corbin is guest appearing on the 3/19 episode of WWE After The Bell with Corey Graves.
** A GoFundMe has been launched for pro wrestling referee James Forsythe who has been diagnosed with Chondrosarcoma, which is a rare form of cancer that impacts the bones and surrounding tissues. That type of cancer does not respond to radiation so Forsythe plans on undergoing surgery next week to remove a tumor from his shoulder.
** LA Park is debuting a cooking show this weekend.
** With the border between the U.S. and Canada being temporarily closed, The Singh Brothers who hail from British Columbia tweeted out that it’ll be hard for them to get to work.
** Below is AEW’s ‘Control Center’ video ahead of tonight’s AEW Dynamite on TNT:
** Kassius Ohno guest appeared on ‘My First Match’ with NXT UK’s Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster:
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated interviewed Erick Stevens.
If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.