POST NEWS UPDATE: Tama Tonga verbally agreed to join WWE in 2016

Tama Tonga verbally agreed to join WWE in 2016, Undertaker wishes things turned out differently for CM Punk in WWE, Karrion Kross interview, Flip Gordon on if Marty Scurll had any influence on him staying with ROH and Chris Jericho wants Martha Hart to honor Owen Hart in AEW.

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.

** On the latest installment of Tama Tonga’s ‘Tama’s Island’ podcast, he welcomed Luke Gallows onto the show. Tama and Luke discussed AJ Styles, Karl Anderson and Shinsuke Nakamura’s exit from New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 2016. Tama has shared in the past that he could’ve departed from the company as well. During the podcast, Tama said that New Japan had most of their foreign talents on a per-tour deal and had WWE known that, they likely would’ve attempted to sign those who were not under contract. In 2016, Tama met with Paul “Triple H” Levesque at the WWE Performance Center and he verbally agreed to join WWE. Once Tama informed New Japan that he was leaving, they brought Tanga Loa into the company and offered Tama a new deal which he accepted.

“So we did Wrestle Kingdom and then we came back from January to the end of February. It was the last tour. I got called for a meeting with Triple H out at the Performance Center out there in Orlando. So in February, first week of February, I went to a meeting with Triple H and they wanted me and I was like, ‘Alright, cool’ and I think the way I got there was because of Giant Bernard. Giant Bernard, A-Train [Matt Bloom] is the coach out there so he got me in and I agreed. I said, ‘Okay, I’m going.’ I gave them the verbal agreement that I was leaving, that I would come join WWE. So, I didn’t wanna break it to New Japan until I got to New Japan for our last tour like, ‘Hey, I’m leaving’ and so when I came back for that last tour, I was doing it with Chad [Karl Anderson], Gallows and Shinsuke. We came for that last tour and I went to the office and I was like — I called Tiger Hattori and I said, ‘Hey, this is going to be my last tour. After this tour, I’m done. This is my last one,’ and I just hear, ‘What? What!?’ And he was just so lost for words and we hung up the phone and ten minutes later, the President of New Japan called me. ‘Hey, can you come to the office tomorrow? We’d like to…’ And I was like, ‘Alright,’ and I went into the office but they didn’t know I had already confirmed with WWE, and so I went into the office, and they threw out some deals. They gave me a whole bunch of deals and I was like, ‘I’m sorry’ and they were great f*cking deals. I said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m leaving. I’m gone,’ and I was like, ‘I’m sorry. I already gave them my word. I’m leaving,’ and so I left the office, we continued the tour… and then the following day, we went and did this match… and I don’t know if this is appropriate, but Fale was staying. Fale told them, ‘I think if you bring his brother, he’ll stay.’ So, when we went to the arena for our match, Hattori called me. He goes, ‘Hey man, we’ll bring your brother’ and I was like, ‘What!?’ And I had been trying to bring my brother in so we could tag team for the past two years and it was always, ‘No, no, no’ and rightfully so because there’s no room for him, and then they called me into their office the following day. I came in, ‘We’ll bring your brother’ and they laid out a deal for me. I said alright. So then I had to call back WWE, and the first one I had to tell and let them know was A-Train and I was like, ‘Hey man, I’m sorry, but they just made me a deal I can’t refuse. I’m sorry,’ and I could tell it hurt him because I love A-Train. I wanted to go work with him. I’ve worked with him before and he took care of me, and then after I hung up with him, I wrote an email to whoever their recruiter guy is and I said, ‘Hey, I’m sorry… thank you very much for the opportunity,’ and then, that was it. End of story and my brother came in and he and I started our run.”

Luke Gallows spoke about his exit from NJPW. He shared that he felt that he, Anderson and AJ Styles sold out when they left to join WWE.

“It left a hole in our hearts too and then, not to cut you off but we’re sitting there in some hotel at 2 in the morning, with two bottles of f*cking $7 wine and we’re just going, ‘God damn it. What the f*ck. Why?’ ‘It was for the money.’ I know, but f*ck. There were a lot of nights of that and you know what? You gotta eat that. You gotta live that because you made the decision. You made the f*cking decision but we had so many of those nights and I, who it’s publicly noted, I’ve made a lot of bad decisions and I washed a lot of it down with bad sh*t and bad women, and I didn’t do good for a couple years with all that and it is what it is man. It sucked. I hated it and I thought we were — I can’t say the word I wanna say. I thought we were sellouts, I’ll say that.”

** Simone Johnson, Indi Hartwell and Jessi Kamea sat down with Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Teasy for a new edition of the Swerve City Podcast. Simone spoke about signing with the WWE and shared that she actually signed her contract back in December of 2019. It was officially announced in February of 2020 that she signed. Prior to signing, Simone was a regular at the WWE Performance Center and prior to departing for school in New York, she suffered a knee injury that led to her staying in Orlando and pursuing a career in wrestling.

“So I was supposed to go to N.Y.U. in August in New York and then at the very end of July, I blew my knee out completely, and it sucked but in a way it made me rethink everything.”

** Former NXT and NXT UK commentator Nigel McGuinness was interviewed by Kaori Takee of ‘Coffee on The Ropes’. Two weeks ago, it was reported via the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Nigel had been furloughed from the WWE as a part of the mass WWE releases/furloughs in April. Nigel did not address that during the interview but he did talk about what wrestlers currently in WWE remind him of the style he used to wrestle.

“Timothy Thatcher just started out down there in NXT, Drew Gulak, a lot of the more sort of technical based but I kind of patterned my style more on the sort of stuff you saw in Japan in the late 90s because that was kind of an interesting journey into being educated about wrestling or sports-entertainment because certainly in the 90s, there was no real exposé. You couldn’t see inside the business. Now, you just gotta look on YouTube and you can find everything you need to know about the industry behind the scenes pretty much.”

** Game Changer Wrestling announced that on July 4th, they’re going to be hosting their ‘Backyard Wrestling 2’ event that will stream on FITE and the event will be invite-only.

** ICW New York noted that Chris Dickinson will not be able to compete at their scheduled show on July 4th. In the tweet, ICW New York shared that Dickinson told them that he can’t “do that to the home team”. With that, ICW New York has decided to part ways with Dickinson professionally for now.

Chris Dickinson took to his Twitter page and responded to the comments he was receiving that stemmed from ICW New York’s announcement:

“If anybody has a problem with me canceling a booking or taking one booking over another that’s my business and there’s reasons involved that isn’t anyone’s business. I wanted to do the ICW show on the 20th but not July 4th and it was ICW’s decision to take me off the 20th.

Sorry for the inconvenience and I apologize to everyone who was looking forward to the 20th especially Tony. Again if you’re bothered with me over it I apologize but it’s my decision. Best of luck to everyone on the shows and the company in the future.”

Prior to the Coronavirus pandemic, Dickinson was pulled from ICW New York’s WrestleMania weekend show because he was competing at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport event earlier in the day. Danny Demanto, the promoter for ICW New York released a statement and it read that Barnett pulled Dickinson from the event. Josh told Demanto that the main reason he was pulling Dickinson from the event is because of Chris’ match with Minoru Suzuki being earlier that day. Demanto described it as a “sh*tty power play”. He added that he tried to change Josh Barnett’s mind and that this was solely a Josh Barnett decision. Dickinson did state in his video about the situation that GCW promoter Brett Lauderdale had no issue with him doing the No Holds Barred match for ICW New York.

** Set for the June 10th edition of AEW Dynamite is a tag match that will see Nyla Rose team with Penelope Ford to take on Kris Statlander and AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida.

** Coming off the helms of his victory over Tommaso Ciampa at NXT TakeOver: In Your House, Karrion Kross chatted with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated. Kross shared that NXT did involve him in the creative process of his theme song and entrance. He talked about his chemistry with Scarlett and how connected they are on and off-screen:

“She is completely unique. She’s bilingual. She can sing. She can beat people up. Her presence is definitely something you can feel through the television.

Definitely. We have a synergy where we’re essentially one. I would describe her as the angel of death. She’s going to be the very first thing you’re going to see before everything comes to an end.”

Elsewhere during the interview, Kross was asked if there was/is a possibility of him taking back and donning the “Killer Kross” name. He thinks it could happen and also detailed the origins of the name “Karrion”.

“I think it’s fair to say anything is possible, so I wouldn’t discount it. On the other hand, I have not been stifled whatsoever creatively since I have arrived here. I feel like what we have done, from Killer to Karrion, is expand the character. This is something I personally always wanted to do. I’ve been sitting on concepts and ideas for an extended period of time, exercising the patience over the past few years not to do them. I’ve been waiting for the right platform. Now we’re here.

I didn’t want to take something directly, I wanted to take different pieces. I exercised some mythology to the presentation in terms of Charon. He was a ferryman and would carry the souls from the land of the living to the land of the dead. There is another character named Cheiron, who was the son of Cronus, the God of time. My inspirations come from many different places, and I’ve rolled everything into one presentation.”

** IWTV announced that Big Japan Pro Wrestling content will be on their streaming service starting June 18th.

** MLW World Middleweight Champion Myron Reed called into ‘Wrestling Nerds Radio Network’ to speak about his experiences as a black man in America and using his platform to speak out about the racial injustices in the country.

** Brian Campbell of CBS Sports welcomed The Undertaker onto his ‘State of Combat’ podcast. Towards the end of the interview, Campbell brought up Undertaker’s match against CM Punk at WrestleMania 29 and Undertaker stated that he enjoyed working with Punk and wishes things turned out differently for him in WWE.

“I enjoyed that match. I enjoyed working with Punk. I wish things had worked out differently for him. I really do.”

On the topic of wrestlers who can legitimately fight, Undertaker backed the claims that Haku is not an individual that people should attempt to mess with. Undertaker said that if a situation were to go down, he’d definitely want to be in Haku’s corner.

“If it went down, yeah, I’d definitely wanna be in Haku’s corner. Haku is all man brother. I’m telling you. He could definitely be alone if he wanted to be. He’s legit one of the baddest people I’ve ever — gentlemen, just a tremendous man, kind, humble, but if you screw with him, it’s not gonna turn out good. By far, he’s a bad, bad man.”

Undertaker also spoke about his relationship with Vince McMahon and the times that McMahon has tried to prank him. At the 700th episode of RAW special, Undertaker struggled to get his signature coat off and while he did not know it, Vince McMahon informed the camera crew to film The Undertaker struggling to get the coat off. Vince invited Undertaker to be a part of Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night and then had WWE’s digital team create a video package promoting a match between The Undertaker and his coat.

“I live in Austin, Texas and they were in San Antonio and it was gonna be Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night, and Vince calls me and says, ‘Hey, do you wanna come be a part of Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night?’ And I said of course I do, obviously and he said, ‘Okay, well I want it to be a surprise for him, so when you get to the arena, we’re going to have a bus there that you can stay on all day until — we don’t want him to know you’re here’ and all this. I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool, that’s great. I’ll just hang out on the bus’ so now I get there. I’m hanging out on the bus for about two, three hours, right? And then finally somebody comes and gets me. I think it was Michael Hayes and he goes, ‘Vince wants to rehearse this.’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean he wants to rehearse this? This is supposed to be a surprise. We’re gonna give it all away right now?’ I said, ‘No, I’m gonna stay on the bus.’ So he leaves, he comes back, ‘No, Vince really wants to rehearse this’ and now I’m pissed because now I’ve been on this bus for three hours and now he wants to rehearse it. So anyway, so now I’m pissed off and I’m going into the arena, right? So I walk through the Gorilla Position where we come out on the show, onto the stage and as soon as I walk out on the stage, I knew I’d had it. The whole — all the talent, everybody is sitting up in the bleachers of one big section. Vince is at ringside and I stop and I didn’t know what was about to happen but I knew I’d been had.

So, the arena goes dark. They start playing this package up on the tron, and I don’t remember what my record was at WrestleMania at that point but we’ll say, ‘He’s 19-0 at WrestleMania. He’s beaten this man, he’s beaten this man, he’s beaten this guy.’ Anyway, it was basically a trailer built up with all this footage and everything. ‘But this year, The Undertaker meets his greatest match,’ and then all of a sudden they flash up on there [a picture] of the coat and then they have all the footage of me trying to get out of the coat at that RAW, at that 700th episode of RAW, and it’s, ‘Undertaker versus The Coat at WrestleMania!’ And I was like, ‘Ahh, you son of a gun’ and he was — and there had to be hours and hours of man hours to put this thing together. I mean it looked like one of our normal packages for one of the build ups, and he is just laughing like a little kid down there at ringside and I was like, ‘You no good son of a b*tch.’ So I went charging after him, so here’s this multi-billionaire running through the arena with this 6’9, 300 pound guy chasing him, the whole crew laughing their ass off and he did all of that just so he could rib me.”

** ‘Rock Sound’ ran a story about Code Orange’s live performances at NXT TakeOver events.

** Karl Anderson, Luke Gallows and Rocky Romero announced a ‘Talk’n Shop-a-Mania’ show for August 1st. The producer of their weekly podcast, Emilio Sparks was tagged in the tweet as well.

 

** talkSPORT did an interview with Matt Riddle. Riddle was candid about his thoughts regarding the tag team with Pete Dunne. Riddle said he put everything into the tag team with Dunne and it probably is his favorite thing that he’s done since joining WWE.

“Bro, all my eggs were in that Broserweight basket. I’ll be honest, they put us together and we formed a team and I don’t think we were supposed to last more than a couple of weeks. But the fans loved us, we were working really well together and me and Pete get along pretty well, we have pretty good minds for wrestling. Be it on the indies or NXT/WWE, we had it going on and we had a history. Honestly, it was probably one of my favorite things to do in wrestling since I’ve been apart of WWE. Unfortunately, these events happened and I know we were on track to defend the [NXT Tag Team] Titles at WrestleMania [weekend]. I don’t know what was going to happen after that. Originally I might have been going up to SmackDown sooner, but with everything that happened and now Stallion Pete is stuck in the UK, and what I thought was Stallion Timothy… you know [laughs], and Tim is still kind of a stallion. He did beat me in a cage fight! Not just anybody can just do that, you gotta be a kind of stallion to beat a stallion. The guy is grizzled!”

** Robert Stone posted a video on Twitter of Matt Morgan jokingly talking about his progression as a “D-bag”.

** Below is a preview of the June 9th episode of IMPACT Wrestling on AXS TV:

 

** Part two of El Phantasmo’s interview with NJPW1972.com is live on the site.

** Rocky Romero shared that it was Dynamite Kid and Tiger Mask’s NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship match from 1983 that got him interested in New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

** Below is the newest episode of NWA’s ‘Carnyland’ series:

 

** As a part of an interview with Win Column Sports Network, PCO spoke about Bret Hart and his interactions with Hart while they were on the road together.

** Matt Cardona chatted with Sam Roberts on the Notsam Wrestling podcast. Cardona reflected on the period of his run in WWE when he referred to himself as the “Internet Champion”. There was a time when Cardona was lectured at a house show and was told at ringside that his antics were the reason attendance was down.

“I said, ‘No, I don’t think I’m the Internet Champion. It’s kind of like the Million Dollar Title.’ I’m told — this is what you’re gonna love Sam — ‘If this was ten years ago, the whole locker room would’ve kicked your ass,’ and then I respond with, ‘Well the whole locker room loves me.’ Then their response to that is, ‘That’s why the houses are half-empty.’”

** Darby Allin posted a video of him jumping off a hotel balcony into a pool.

** The ‘Southern Pro Wrestling’ promotion in New Zealand is running shows on August 7th and August 8th and fans are allowed to attend at full capacity.

** In this clip below from Booker T’s Hall Of Fame podcast, he spoke about playing golf with The Undertaker recently and staying over The Undertaker’s house for a day.

 

** Stephanie Chase wrote up a story for Sportskeeda from her interview with Chris Jericho. Jericho spoke about Owen Hart and feels that with the approval of Martha Hart, he’d love to see Owen honored in All Elite Wrestling by way of Martha doing something with the company.

“I never thought Owen should go in the Hall of Fame. It’s just not right. I think anybody who had any problems with that should watch it and will understand where the family’s coming from. I think the best part of it all is, I think the family realizes there’s other places to go other than WWE, there’s a lot of other Halls of Fame and a lot of other places where Owen could get some of the accolades that he deserves, 21 years later. His influence doesn’t go away and it shouldn’t be minimized but if (Martha) doesn’t want to do that through the WWE system, I totally get that. I’d love to see (Martha) do something with AEW. I think the spirit of Owen Hart lives on in AEW for sure. I’m a huge disciple of him. I’m very much influenced by Owen Hart. So I think that, whether it’s New Japan or AEW, I think it’s important for Owen to be remembered by his fans and by the people that he influenced, myself included.”

** On the newest edition of Eric Bischoff and Conrad Thompson’s ’83 Weeks’ podcast, they recapped and discussed the 2010 TNA Slammiversary pay-per-view. Competing on that card was Jay Lethal, and Bischoff expressed his thoughts about Lethal and how confused he is about how TNA let Lethal get away.

“Without question. Failure on my part, Hogan’s part, Dixie’s part, Vince Russo’s part, everybody’s part. How the hell TNA let him go? I will never know. He of all the people, and there was some great talented people. I’m not taking anything away from anybody else, but Jay Lethal probably had more raw potential as a character and a performer than anybody else on the roster, in terms of raw potential. He could be believable, he could bring a tear to your eye, he could make you laugh, he could deliver in the ring, he was articulate, he’s a great looking guy. I mean f*ck. How many boxes do you have to check? And it’s just amazing to me. I don’t know why he was let go. I wasn’t part of the process, the discussions or the decision. But man, what a waste. Somebody including myself should’ve stopped that f*cking train and gone, ‘Wait a minute. Yeah he’s funny, but he’s more than just funny,’ and the last thing you wanna do is take a guy with — he had so much potential to be so much more, the fact that he was funny actually hurt him. Think about that. That’s how sad that story is.”

Also on that Slammiversary card was Bobby Roode. Bischoff shared that he’s a big fan of Roode and doesn’t understand how Roode hasn’t found a greater deal of success in WWE.

“I’ve always been a huge fan of Bobby Roode. I still am. I for the life of me can not figure out why he isn’t further ahead in WWE than he is. He can talk, he can cut a promo. I mean he’s good at it! And he can work and he’s got a great look, he’s believable, he’s easy to work with, he’s got range. I just don’t get it.”

** Anthem Sports & Entertainment is launching video-on-demand content for AXS TV, IMPACT Wrestling & Fight Network on GLEWED TV beginning this Fall.

** WWE has a job opening for Vice President of WWE Network documentaries.

** Dominic DeAngelo conducted an interview with MLW National Openweight Champion Hammerstone on behalf of MLW.com.

** Ring of Honor’s Adam Brooks joined the Ringsiders Wrestling podcast and during their chat, he talked about his friendship with Buddy Murphy. For three months, Brooks stayed in Murphy’s home a few months prior to WWE moving SmackDown to FOX. Brooks recalled Murphy getting more and more opportunities and knowing that Murphy would succeed whenever he was given a chance.

“Again, not being biased and I’ve said that. He’s so talented in the ring and once he gets more comfortable with promos and stuff, and he can do all his character stuff, if they give him the ball man, I think he’ll knock it out of the park. Every time that they’ve given him the ball and they’ve given him the slightest opportunity, he’s killed it. I was at his house for three months last year, watched him at Mania, all that. He gets drafted to SmackDown. Every Tuesday night at that time, I’m waiting up, ‘What’s Matt [Buddy Murphy] gonna do? What’s Matt gonna do?’ He comes home. ‘What happened?’ ‘Oh, they had nothing for me.’ Okay. I sat there for three months. Every Tuesday night they did nothing with him. I leave, then he starts doing that thing with Roman and Daniel Bryan and all that. Those slight opportunities he got there, he killed it.

And then he went to RAW, wasn’t doing much at the start and then he got those opportunities to wrestle Aleister Black and then… so, I’m just happy to see him doing something. So yeah, he’s cool. He’s doing his thing man.”

** Flip Gordon was the most recent guest to appear on the ROHStrong podcast. It was announced that Flip Gordon has re-signed with Ring of Honor. Flip was asked if Marty Scurll’s decision to stay with Ring of Honor had any impact on his own decision regarding his future. Flip feels that the two situations are related in a way but added that he would’ve stayed with ROH regardless of if Marty stayed or not.

“I think it had a little bit to do with it. I’d imagine he had something to do with the kind of deal I got. But part of me, it’s so tough because if he would’ve left, I still would’ve chose Ring of Honor because a side of me always wanted to prove, ‘Hey, I can do this without The Elite guys.’ You know what I mean? When I was on the indies before I came to Ring of Honor, I didn’t have a group, I didn’t belong to a click or anything and then I got to Ring of Honor, The Elite kinda took me under their wing and it almost skyrocketed me and so obviously, I would see people say stuff like, ‘Oh, he’s only here because of this’ so part of me wanted to be like, ‘You know what? No. I can make it by myself. I don’t need to be part of a group. I don’t need Marty, I don’t need The Bucks.’ I just have this thing — I can do it on my own. I don’t need anybody else. But obviously, we all need somebody else because we need a rub, we need somebody to be like, ‘Hey, check this guy out’ because if nobody says, ‘Check this guy out,’ why would this person’s audience check this random guy out?”

** Live Hindi commentary is returning as an option for RAW, SmackDown and NXT events that are shown on Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN), the exclusive broadcast partner for WWE in India.

** Titus O’Neil has been announced for the Suwannee High School’s 2020 Hall of Fame induction class. O’Neil graduated in 1996 and was a Defensive Lineman in high school.

** Sun Sport has an interview up with Matt Riddle and in this interview, Riddle once again addressed Booker T’s comments about him that he should start wearing boots while wrestling.

“I don’t know what’s up with this guy. He’s always got something to say. I’m not gonna wear shoes. I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time now, been doing it barefoot, pretty successful. I’m not saying there isn’t a toe injury out there. That could happen. But at the same time, you can say the same thing about my hands, like I don’t wear gloves or I don’t wear a mouthpiece so I’m gonna lose a tooth. It’s pro wrestling, it’s sports-entertainment. It’s a crazy live show. Anything can happen, you know. So eventually, I might stub a toe. I might twist an ankle or I might break a finger. You know, I might lose a tooth, I’ve already lost a couple, things happen. You know, so, I mean (Booker), I respect you. But I’m probably still not gonna wear shoes bro. I’m sorry.”

** The newest episode of ‘Dalton’s Castle’ is available to watch on Ring of Honor’s YouTube channel.

** NXT referee Aja Smith has a birthday today.

** Jonathan Snowden of ‘Wrestle Joy’ conducted an interview with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre.

** Matt Cardona, formerly known as Zack Ryder appeared on the Keepin It 100 with Konnan podcast. The full-length interview is up on the podcast’s Patreon site.

** Former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz noted on Twitter that Donald Trump called WWE headquarters because he thought Vince McMahon died in the car explosion angle in 2007.

** Sportskeeda has several highlights up from ESPN 1530’s interview with Drew McIntyre. When asked who he would bring to RAW as a part of the new rule that allows talents to go back and forth between brands at a limited rate, McIntyre said he would bring back AJ Styles.

“I would move AJ right back. (laughs) I think I said it quite plainly that AJ and I have been like ships in the night for years. Came back to RAW, you know where I think I was a bad guy. He was probably, I think, a good guy and then he turned. He’s a bad guy and I’m like, ‘Ah, we’re never going to have this match!’ Then I turn good. Then I’m like, ‘Oh my God, we’re both on RAW. I’m a good guy, I’m the champion. AJ Styles is here. It’s finally going to happen!’ Then they trade him to SmackDown.”

** Comicbook.com received an exclusive teaser of the ‘Money Plane’ film starring Adam “Edge” Copeland.

** According to PWInsider, episodes of NXT are being taped today.

** There is a ‘Best of Backlash’ catalog on the WWE Network.

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.

About Andrew Thompson 815 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.