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.
** Spectrum Sport 360 reporter Jon Alba posted a highlight from the Orange County Board of County Commissioners meeting. A supposed/anonymous WWE employee named “John” sent in a public comment that they’re being forced to work the television tapings despite the stay-at-home order and is requesting that the government step in and shut down the tapings.
“My employer, World Wrestling Entertainment, aka WWE is forcing me to work the TV tapings for its weekly shows despite stay-at-home orders for Coronavirus. I am unable to speak out as I need this job and I know I will be fired if I approach my higher-ups. Despite sanitary precautions, we can not maintain social distancing and have to touch other people. I request the government to shut down these tapings and enforce the stay-at-home order so my colleagues and I may follow social distancing rules without fear or repercussion of losing our jobs.”
WWE issued the following statement to PWInsider about the claims:
“These accusations aren’t true. Employees know they can confidentially go to Human Resources, not the public. Notwithstanding the appropriate protocol, no one would be fired if they were uncomfortable with their surroundings. We’ve made accommodations for individuals upon request.”
** WWE 24/7 Champion Rob Gronkowski is returning to the NFL. It has been confirmed that the New England Patriots are trading Gronkowski to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where Gronk will be reunited with Tom Brady. WWE reacted to the news on social media.
** Louis Dangoor of WrestleTalk chatted with Maria Kanellis/Bennett for an hour-long interview. During their chat, Maria clarified that it was her who took care of Mike Bennett during his rehab while he was with WWE. Maria stated that there is a misconception that WWE took care of him during that period.
“I wanna say one thing first because it always bothers me in this sense. Mike never went to rehab. I was his rehab, and anytime somebody says, ‘Oh, well WWE paid for rehab.’ I’m like, ‘Well where’s my paycheck because I was the rehab,’ and you know, whatever. People can say what they wanna say but please, do not take away the fact that I’m the one that was making sure he was getting sober, and eating properly and working out again and stretching, going on long walks to get his mind off of those drugs, and if… you could say a lot of things but, they didn’t pay for rehab. They were not his rehab. I was, and WWE is great. There was people that were also in recovery that were coming up to him being like, ‘Oh, if you need someone to talk to, like a sponsor, just let me know and we can talk about it’ and WWE took care of us and they never released him for having a drug issue and that’s great. They took care of us during that time so that’s lovely. But they never took care of his rehab. That was me, all me, washing his clothes, cleaning up his throw-up. That was me. So, if you want to tell whatever — ‘Oh they paid for it.’ Pay me. If you wanna say something, pay me.”
Mike and Maria were both recently let go from the WWE. They are friends with some of the talents who were released along with them and Maria stated that they’ve been in contact with a few of those talents and added that there are some who have positive outlooks on their current situation[s].
“Some of them do. I don’t know about the ones that don’t but I’m sure that some people don’t have that. But I’ve been through this before. I was released from WWE before, and I’ve met my husband and I’ve had two kids and I bought another house and so I realized that some sometimes from the ashes comes the Phoenix and that’s it. You can survive these situations. It’s possible.”
Maria spoke about talents in WWE who she thinks the company could use in a more prominent role. From the men’s division, Maria specifically named Cedric Alexander and Mustafa Ali and from the women’s division, she named Peyton Royce and Billie Kay of The IIconics.
“Let me think about this for a second… so I feel like Ali’s legs were a little bit cut off from underneath him — him and Cedric [Alexander]. So yes, they had a moment in time, but that moment should’ve lasted, and I think that, I’m hoping that moving forward they’ll get another opportunity because those two guys, they have it all and they’re good dudes so, I’d like to see that.”
“The IIconics. 100 percent, The IIconics. Their act is fantastic, they can back it up with wrestling and I think that them on the mic is money, and then you know, there have been some of the greatest wrestlers in the world that if you really just only knew them as wrestlers, you might not think they’re as great, because you have to be able to back it up with one or the other. That’s why there was managers at the beginning. It was to kind of add to that. You still have to talk them in the door, and The IIconics can do that. I don’t know why they’re not given more. I think that Sonya [Deville] and Mandy [Rose] are incredible and I watched last night and I thought that was one of the best parts of the show. So, The IIconics. I’ll leave it there.”
** Rack Attack Promotions announced Primo and Epico Colon for the ‘Legends of the Ring’ convention on October 30th in Iselin, New Jersey.
** Arn Anderson and Conrad Thompson reviewed the 2015 WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view on the latest edition of Arn Anderson’s podcast. Towards the end of the podcast, Arn spoke about Dolph Ziggler’s run in WWE. Arn said there was a period in time when Ziggler was very vocal about his role in the company which was not well received by the higher-ups including Vince McMahon. Arn added that WWE did not want Ziggler using the Superkick because the move is deemed a signature of Shawn Michaels.
“Dolph’s got a set, and he doesn’t mind saying what he thinks, and even though he’s right most of the time, that’s the wrong thing to do once you walk up in Gorilla. Well, the reality is that the company wants blind devotion. Dolph had an opinion for the longest time ten years ago. It was the fact that Dolph who throws a hell of a Superkick — the office did not want him using the Superkick because that was Shawn’s finish but Shawn was retired, Shawn was gone. You can’t retire moves. How many Superkicks do you see today for God’s sake? Probably one in every single match, in every company. So, that was a heated issue years ago, but Dolph, he had an opinion and he would voice it. The guy was never a question amongst all the producers. He worked his ass off and once we got to Gorilla, no matter if he agreed to what’s going on or not, he would go out and give you 100 percent. So I’m a big fan of Dolph Ziggler’s and I think he’s one of those guys you may b*tch about him when he’s on the card and I’m sure a lot of guys, the higher-ups in the office and certainly the boss got tired of dealing with Dolph but the fact of the matter is Dolph was right a lot of the time, and he’s been one of those performers that has just over the years made everybody better than what they were, and the question is to why wasn’t he one of the top, top guys? I certainly don’t have it. It wouldn’t have bothered me at all. The reality is one day, and you mark my words; Dolph is a wealthy man. I know that he’s made a lot of money for a long time, even not being in a top spot but I got a feeling Dolph’s frugal, I got a feeling he’s made some investments and he’s smart and one day he’ll go, ‘Oh, you wanna give me some more sh*t about something else? You know what? See ya,’ and he’ll thump down the steps and take off his boots and walk out the door and you’ll never hear from him again, and he will have accomplished what he wanted to in the business. Left on his own terms.”
** Bellator MMA announced that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, as well as the recommendations by the federal, state and local government mandates, they are postponing their Bellator 244 event that was scheduled to take place on June 6th at the Wintrust Arena in Chicago, Illinois.
** The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) did an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to promote the 200th episode of Being The Elite. Matt Jackson opened up about the character development of Hangman Page and how his “alcoholic” gimmick came to be. Matt added that AEW took in a bit of criticism when they decided to put the AEW World Title on Chris Jericho instead of Hangman Page at All Out but hindsight being 20/20, they believe the right decision was made.
“One day Hangman walked up to me, Matt and Brandon Cutler, who helps film Being the Elite, and he said, ‘I think I want to become an alcoholic,’ and I said, ‘What?’ We heard his idea, which was incredible, and we said, ‘Let’s do it.’ Look at him now compared to where he was a year ago. He’s a superstar. A lot of people criticized us when Hangman didn’t beat Jericho. I don’t think he was ready yet. Look at his work now on BTE. His acting is unbelievable, his confidence is through the roof. He’s ready now. If we saw this Adam Page against Jericho, who knows what would have happened.”
Nick Jackson went on to speak highly of Chris Jericho and Matt followed suit by sharing some of what Jericho does backstage for the performers.
Nick Jackson: “I always call him our Hulk Hogan. He’s done it all, and there is something about that. Even though he has been in the business for 30 years or so, he still wants to give back and get characters over. You never see that.”
Matt Jackson: “Most wrestlers want to be over, and they don’t care about anybody else. The prevailing attitude in this business is often, ‘I want you to do good, just not as good as me.’ Jericho wants everyone to be elevated. We made the right call. Look at how he made Darby Allin. Those matches with Jungle Boy and Scorpio Sky were really important too… and Jericho watches all our matches too. People don’t realize he’s the guy that pulls us aside and says, ‘This was great, but you could do this better.’ We don’t have enough of those guys in the business.”
** Rocky, formerly of the WWE Performance Center took to Instagram and reflected on his three years as a part of the WWE before being let go from the company last week.
“To all my friends:
The past 3 years in WWE performance center was the most precious 3 years in my life and of great significance to me.
At this time, WWE is encountering unprecedented difficulties. I understand and accept all the decisions made by the company for me.
To the Superstars who are still working in the front line, including the staff both in front and behind the stage, I would like to pay high tribute for doing your best to help the company through the difficulties, and still present the best competition for the WWE Universe.
This end means a new beginning.
Pay homage to the past and look forward to the future.
All of my love and respect.
** Chris Hero, formerly known as Kassius Ohno in WWE, took to Twitter to announce that he is back. Hero recently posted a photo on Twitter of wrestling boots in a ring that had the word “Kassius” on them. Hero also launched a Pro Wrestling Tees store.
** Jim Ross appeared on The Roman Show to promote his new book, ‘Under The Black Hat’ and Ross shared his thoughts about the talents who were recently released from the WWE and left a few words of advice for those talents as well:
“If I was AEW, I would hire nobody tomorrow. There’s no reason to hire anybody tomorrow, and these talents that good laid off, I hope none of them get into a massive pity party. Come on man. You think you’re the only person in the wrestling business that’s ever been sat down or cast away or taken out of your job. Give me a break. The bottom line is, it’s unfortunate. Some people, you wonder why they were let go. There’s gotta be a reason behind the scene. ‘Well what about Rusev? He had this great push.’ It’s all about the push man. Talk about that on Grilling JR every Thursday. ‘It’s all about the push.’ Well something came up there that made the company not want to do business with Rusev. I don’t know what it is, had no idea. He’s always been a nice kid to me. I think he’s got a great upside, he’s never reached his potential. So I just believe all these guys just gotta reset. Look, they’re independent contractors, they’re entrepreneurs. How do you make your brand better? If your brand on a shelf or store stops selling, how do you resurrect it? You just do the same thing over and over and over expecting change? Well let me tell you, that doesn’t work. So if I were these guys, being let go by WWE would not be the end of the world. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it will not end your life. If you’re that weak and that shallow that, ‘This is the only thing in the world I ever wanted to do was to be in the WWE, this is my dream. I love this.’ Then you need to reassess, hit the reset button, improve your brand, come back better than ever because if you’re good enough and you got a plan, then you’ll get hired. That’s as simple as that.”
** Alicia Atout of ‘A Music Blog’, Yea?’ interviewed Ring of Honor lead commentator Ian Riccaboni.
** Metro pushed out their interview with Mandy Rose.
** Crooked Media has a story up about Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ approach to the COVID-19 outbreak.
** Former WWE Performance Center coach/trainer Kendo Kashin did an interview with Tokyo Sports and spoke about his experience living in Florida during the COVID-19 outbreak.
** Seth Carr and Tichina Arnold spoke with Rolling Out about their respective roles in piecing together the WWE Studios/Netflix film, ‘The Main Event’.
** There is a video up on WWE’s YouTube page of Candice LeRae teaching Tegan Nox how to bake.
** Men’s Health UK released another video portion of their workout session with Drew McIntyre.
** “The Princess Bride” film, starring Andre The Giant that was released in 1987 will be heading to the Disney+ streaming service on May 1st.
** Aleister Black and Zelina Vega did a Q&A on their YouTube channel.
** R-Truth released the official video for his single, ‘Hit Em Up’:
** ‘El Tecolote’ has a feature story up on their site about 17-year old wrestler Charlie Hilder who goes by “Starboy Charlie”. Charlie was supposed to wrestle at Joey Janela’s Spring Break show during WrestleMania 36 weekend in Tampa. At the age of 17, Charlie already has several years of experience and by the time he turns 21, he’ll be a ten year veteran in wrestling.
** Here’s the newest Road To AEW Dynamite episode to promote the 4/22/20 edition of the show:
** The WWEPC YouTube channel posted footage of Austin Theory reacting to competing at WrestleMania 36:
** Drake Maverick posted a video to his Twitter page to hype up his final match[es] for the WWE.
** Mike and Maria Bennett are launching their podcast entitled ‘Non-Essential Wrestlers’.
** In a new video that EC3 put out on his Twitter, he stated that the “Top One Percent” is a character that he can do better than anybody else and quickly said “MJF” after uttering that sentence.
** WWE Champion Drew McIntyre was the most recent guest on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory podcast. Drew shared a conversation that Paul Heyman had with him, in-which Heyman told McIntyre about when exactly he caught the eye of Vince McMahon and how that ultimately led to where McIntyre is now. Drew said that the moment occurred during a dark match segment where he had to entertain the crowd.
“But Paul Heyman actually let me know the time where they kinda noticed, like, ‘Wait, he’s got something more to give here.’ I mean, Paul kinda knew but the boss maybe saw this, where I did a dark match one time. This was kinda brought to my attention and they asked me, ‘Can you buy some time?’ They’re setting up the cage. So I just strolled out and I’m like, ‘Yep, give me a microphone.’ Thank goodness I don’t have a script. I’m not talking eating carcasses or whatever I’ve been talking about for the past year and half that no human being — no one talks like that. So I just got the mic and I was myself and I was just ad-libbing, which I’m way more comfortable doing and I jumped on the wall and I sat there and I just had a laugh with the crowd and they were all engaged and we’re kinda having a good banter back and forth just with me as the conductor with a microphone, and I guess he saw that and went, ‘Oh wow. I didn’t know Drew could do that’ basically and I think that’s, from the sound of things from what Paul told me, that’s what it stemmed from, was the promo when I just sat on the wall and just interacted with the crowd, and they saw the real Drew. They’ve seen the real Drew in real life but he hasn’t seen it on-screen, and he went, ‘That’s the guy. I need to put that guy on television.’ Well no, that’s great. If I was just me, that’d be way easier.”
After winning the WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 36, McIntyre said he was greeted by his longtime friends, Kofi Kingston and John Morrison.
“Kofi was really cool about it when I won. Himself and Morrison were talking and they saw me with the title and obviously we’ve known each other, all three of us for a very long time so they were both very happy for me so that was a cool moment. The guys I go way back with.”
Also during the podcast, McIntyre spoke about being under the tutelage of The Undertaker early in his career. He said that Undertaker would pass wisdom onto him and at that stage in his career, he [Drew] wasn’t able to comprehend but now he fully understands what The Undertaker was passing along to him.
“The Undertaker used to tell me when I was 24 and I never understood his lessons. He used to talk in riddles all the time. It’s amazing. These days, we talk in the same wavelength, such a legend. He had that awesome match with AJ [Styles], but when I was younger, bloody hell. I talked to Sheamus. [He] kind of had Triple H in charge of him on RAW and I had Taker in charge of me on SmackDown. He’d talk about how Hunter sat him down and explained it step by step, and Taker would sit there and kind of just give riddles I can never figure out. It’s like, ‘Stop playing the wrestler and be the wrestler.’ I’d walk away like, ‘What the hell is he talking about!? He’s giving me these riddles.’ Finally when the light bulb went off, I was like, ‘Ah! He’s giving all these lessons. I just didn’t understand what he was saying. He was talking a different language at the time.’”
** Freddie Prinze Jr. joined Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods and Big E on New Day’s ‘Feel The Power’ podcast.
** Robbie Eagles launched his ‘Those Were The Days’ podcast.
** NJPW1972.com released part one of their interview with Toa Henare.
** The National Wrestling Alliance is airing Kamille’s first [NWA] match and interview on their YouTube channel:
** Darren Paltrowitz of the Paltrocast/Sportskeeda spoke with former AEW World Champion Chris Jericho. When asked who’s the most underrated talent in AEW and MJF’s name was thrown into the question, Jericho gave his thoughts about some of the up and coming talents in All Elite Wrestling.
“No, I don’t think so at all. I think MJF is a lot like Sammy Guevara, he’s moving up the ladder and he’s doing a great job at 23, 24 years old. I think Darby Allin’s the same. I think Jungle Boy has a huge upside. I think Scorpio Sky has a huge upside. You haven’t seen hardly anything of Dr. Luther yet and all the stuff that he can do. I think Trent is someone that’s going to be very big for us at a certain point. Orange Cassidy is very much a cult figure but when people start filling up the arenas again, you’re gonna see him being a lot more popular than he has been. There’s quite a few. I think even with The Inner Circle, Santana, Ortiz, [Jake] Hager, all these guys have grown a lot since we joined forces. The sky is the limit for them.”
** Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald conducted an interview with Mandy Rose.
** Inside The Ropes released the following clip which features Shawn Michaels talking about why he decided to get more involved with the NXT UK brand:
** Maxim posted their interview with Mojo Rawley and Mojo shared that when he initially came to WWE, he was worried about pro wrestling not being able to satisfy his competitive streak.
“The life lessons derived from a career in football are perfectly in line with what it takes to be successful in WWE. Dedication, perseverance, the comprehension of how a team works, and humility are extremely important here. To be completely honest, initially I was concerned that the WWE brand of entertainment would inevitably not satisfy my competitive streak, but this never became an issue. You compete to win the crowd, the trust of your coaches, and the respect of the locker room.”
** Below is the latest upload to the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel:
** Jay Karas, who was the director for the WWE Studios film, ‘The Main Event’ did an interview with Screen Rant. During the conversation, Karas spoke about working with the likes of Keith Lee and The Miz on-set and how quickly Lee was able to take what he knows from wrestling and apply that to acting.
“Keith Lee, for example, who plays Smooth Operator, this was his first experience doing something like this, and he’s such a natural on camera. He comes across so wonderfully, and I feel like there’s a lot of heart between the characters of Smooth Operator and Leo, and in terms of him delivering the comedy, we would rehearse a scene, and we would talk, and if there was a different version of a read that I wanted, I would just explain to Keith what I wanted to do. He would turn around and deliver. It was an open dialogue, just like with any actor. I always started by treating them like [they’re] experienced actors, they start there, and I just talk to them like I would any other actor, and then I can very quickly assess any areas where they might need any additional help, additional direction, and then I would see if I could sort of fill in the gaps from there. But they all delivered great performances, and I think they’re super funny. There’s one Keith Lee ad-lib when they first get to the tryouts and he all of a sudden smells the stinky mask, like, ‘Oh, what smells like old bus seats?’ That was Keith Lee’s line that he brought in. We had a different line originally scripted, but that was his line, and I always try to create an environment like that if actors have an idea, an alternate version of the line that might be funnier, if we have time, let’s try it.”
As far as if there’s another forthcoming project in the works between Netflix and WWE, Karas said he can not speak about the certainty of that but he does know that both sides hope to work together again in the future.
“As far as the WWE and Netflix, I can’t speak to anything with a hundred percent certainty, but I do know their hope is to do more together, so I’m hoping that there is more as well. I would love nothing more than to do another installment of The Main Event, which I know from the beginning it has been talked about as a possibility. We have to see how it does and how it performs, and it’s always about does this justify spending more money on another one of these, and is there the appetite for it. So let’s say I hope so.”
** Voting is open on Ring of Honor’s website so fans can vote on the best female wrestler in Ring of Honor history. Daniel Bryan won the fan vote in the men’s bracket.
** Diamond Dallas Page did an interview with TMZ Sports and stated that he will not be opening his gym back up, despite the state of Georgia allowing businesses to reopen this coming Friday.
** Sport 360 posted their interview with Aleister Black.
** Lilian Garcia, Lita, Trish Stratus, Mickie James, Torrie Wilson, Candice Michelle, Lisa Marie Varon, Molly Holly, Christy Hemme and Gail Kim put together a special message for the front-line workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
** Cash Wheeler (Dash Wilder) and Dax Harwood (Scott Dawson) revealed that their new tag team name is “The Revolt”.
** Maria Menounos and Natalya are guest appearing on tonight’s WWE Backstage on FS1.
** Big Show chatted with Digital Spy and said he’s interested in working Drew McIntyre for an entire WWE European tour.
** The Godfather joined The Wrestling INC Daily podcast and one of the many topics that were discussed during the interview was the ‘Brawl For All’ episode of Dark Side of the Ring. In regard to how Vince Russo told the story of how the match concept came to life, Godfather said he recently spoke to John Layfield and Layfield doesn’t recall the Brawl For All coming together because of an issue between him and Russo.
“When I heard that, I actually talked to Bradshaw a couple days ago about it and he acts like he doesn’t know anything about it — some of the stuff [Vince] Russo said. But, I never knew any of that. I actually thought Bradshaw came up with the idea of the thing because I’ve always blamed him for it. He’s like, ‘I didn’t come up with that!’ Everybody’s like, ‘Johnny, that was the stupidest idea you ever got us into.’ But when we were doing it, I never heard anything about whoever wins gets a push and a shot at [Steve] Austin. Whoever wins gets this. I never heard any of that. I thought it was just something they were doing and to me, it was just a way to make some extra money, and you know, what the hell? I never really put thought to it. Bruce Prichard called me and he goes, ‘Hey, we’re doing this thing and it’s one minute and you get gloves on and you’re just gonna be punching and we pay this much and the winner’ — I’m like, ‘Yeah I’m in.’ That’s the thought I put into it. I’m like, ‘Yeah,’ and then I called some of the guys and they were like, ‘No’ and I asked Bruce Prichard. I said, ‘Bruce, who’s all in it?’ And he goes, ‘Well, the people who we thought were gonna be in it are in it’ and that’s all he said to me. I’m like, ‘Cool.’”
The Godfather also shared that the Papa Shango character was supposed to return during the Attitude Era of WWE/F. He said on the day that the character was supposed to return, he was called into Vince McMahon’s office and Vince let him know about the Nation of Domination faction. It was on that same day that the “Kane” character was brought to the fans’ attention.
“Papa Shango was to come back one night. The night that I joined The Nation [of Domination] and me and Ron Simmons beat The Undertaker. I beat The Undertaker in a Handicap match. Whatever day that was, I was there to be Papa Shango. Vince calls me and says… I swear to God, I get there, they say, ‘Vince wants to talk to you.’ I’m like, ‘Cool.’ So I go in, ‘What’s up Vince.’ He goes, ‘Change of plans. We’re gonna put you in the Nation of Domination, we got you an outfit. We’re gonna call you Kama Mustafa and you and Ron Simmons are gonna go over on The Undertaker in a Handicap match,’ and I’m kinda like, ‘What?’ And that’s what happened to Papa Shango. That’s the same night that they brought Kane out and they didn’t want two mysterious characters like that, and back then, they didn’t turn the lights off for nobody, hardly. I was the first person they actually used to turn the lights off [for] and the lights would come back on and people’s feet would be on fire or something. Well, they didn’t want two characters like that so they went with Kane and threw my ass to the Nation.”
** Allison Munn of ‘The Big Show Show’ spoke with ‘Metro’.
** Ring of Honor’s Mark Haskins joined Jason Powell on the Pro Wrestling Boom podcast.
** One-half of the current WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Nikki Cross turned 31-years old on April 21st.
** Former IWGP Tag Team Champion David Finlay appeared on the NJPW Official English Podcast. Finlay spoke about coming up in the business and eventually making his way into wrestling with the last name “Finlay”. David feels that for a period of time, he did coast off of his last name and added that thus far, he does not feel like he’s lived up to the expectations that were set for him.
“I think there was more of a stigma of me possibly jumping ship. It’s like, ‘No, no, no. I chose to come to New Japan because I felt like that was where I was gonna become the best wrestler I could be.’ I felt like if I would’ve went the other route, it would’ve been the easy way and I never wanted that because I got — I can’t help who my dad is. I can’t help that he was — that’s just the cards I got dealt, which is great. It’s easier for me to have a foot in the door but I knew more would be expected of me and to be completely honest with you, I don’t think I lived up to my expectations for a long time. I kind of, unintentionally was coasting off my last name I think, in hindsight. So maybe I didn’t take it seriously enough and go like, ‘Oh, there’s more expected of me.’”
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.