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.
** ESPN has an extensive article up about the closing of Vince McMahon’s rebooted XFL football league. The league ceased operations on April 10th and the majority of the league’s staff had been laid off. The ESPN article takes a look at how the COVID-19 pandemic may or may not have been the reason for the collapse of the league, how the WWE factored into the situation and several interviews were conducted with former XFL employees to get their thoughts about how everything unfolded.
Vince McMahon and Oliver declined to do an interview for the piece but it’s noted in the article that prior to WrestleMania 36, Vince McMahon began making plans for the mass layoffs/furloughs that WWE made on April 15th.
“The XFL’s shared services agreement with the WWE also had raised eyebrows within the XFL offices, which were regularly interacting with WWE counterparts. In December 2019, the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System filed a shareholders lawsuit seeking information about the exact nature of the relationship between WWE and the XFL, and whether McMahon or other senior officers might have diminished the WWE by diverting some of its resources to the XFL. The suit was dropped this spring.
The WWE managed to resume content production amid the pandemic, airing a fanless but well-received WrestleMania 36 on April 4-5. McMahon was already working on plans for a series of WWE layoffs, furloughs and other cost-cutting moves designed to stabilize the company for an extended period of lower revenues. They were announced April 15. And according to Forbes magazine, McMahon’s net worth has dropped by $1 billion, from $2.9 billion to $1.9 billion, in the past year.”
Randy Mueller, who was the Director of Player Personnel for the Houston Roughnecks spoke to ESPN and stated that everyone knew the failed AAF football league was “smoke and mirrors” but with Vince McMahon, everyone involved in the new venture was aware that McMahon has money and didn’t think he would step away from the $200 million that was already put into the league.
Per ESPN’s sources, more than 30 vetted parties have signed nondisclosure agreements with Houlihan Lokey, which is the brokerage firm hired to handle the sale of the XFL. That N.D.A. will allow those parties to view the XFL’s internal financial reports. Initial proposals are due next Monday. A bankruptcy judge declared that July 29th is the date for formal bids and on August 3rd, there will be a court auction.
For the many XFL staff members that were cut, they were offered COBRA insurance benefits, but their dental and vision plans were cut this month. Those individuals, along with many creditors are in bankruptcy court to attempt to recover what was left on their contracts on April 10th.
** In response to the news that one of the Performance Center talents who was at the March 9th WWE TV taping contracted Coronavirus, there were inquires about the non-talents that were in attendance for WWE’s most recent set of tapings and those individuals being told “not to wear masks”. WWE reacted to that information with the following statement (Statement by way of Jon Alba):
“Fans have not been in attendance at WWE events since March 13.
Yesterday, a select number of friends and family were permitted to attend WWE’s TV production.
These individuals were required to participate in medical screenings prior to entering the closed set at our training facility, and were kept apart from in-ring performers and production personnel.
Attendance was below 20% capacity and social distancing guidelines were adhered to with at least six feet between parties, thus face masks were not required.”
** As first reported by PWInsider, former ‘Injustice’ member Kotto Brazil is no longer with Major League Wrestling because the two sides could not come to an agreement on a new deal. POST Wrestling reached out to MLW and confirmed that Kotto is no longer with the organization. The ‘Injustice’ group was composed of Kotto, Jordan Oliver and MLW World Middleweight Champion Myron Reed. Now joining Injustice is Saieve Al Sabah who signed with MLW earlier this month.
** WWE’s Mojo Rawley shared a video of him taking his COVID-19 test:
Precautionary #COVID19 testing! Gotta make sure we’re healthy and safe to entertain the globe every week!
— Dean Muhtadi (@MojoRawleyWWE) June 16, 2020
** Arn Anderson and Conrad Thompson covered the 2010 WWE ‘Fatal 4-Way’ pay-per-view for the latest installment of the ARN podcast. Before diving into the main topic, Arn talked about his new deal with All Elite Wrestling and said that the deal is for two years.
** Black Label Pro announced that they’ll be running a live show with fans entitled ‘We’re Back! A Wrestler’s Story’ on August 22nd in Crown Point, Indiana. There were only 30 in-person tickets available.
** During his ‘Hall Of Fame’ podcast following the June 15th episode of Monday Night RAW, Booker T talked about Christian getting back into the ring and receiving a punt kick from Randy Orton to close the show. Booker is of the belief that Christian is returning and does not think the angle is a one-off.
“I don’t think so man. You get the bug once you get back in. Once you get a little taste. I mean come on man. You get a little taste of it. It’s something that wants to just pull you back in, something that just wanna draw you back in. Make you feel like, ‘I can do this.’ I mean come on man. Baseball players, football players, same thing. Basketball players. They all retire and they still feel like they got one last run left in them somewhere, somehow.”
Booker feels that by way of Christian being active again, he has caught the proverbial “bug” and added that he expects Christian to be in action at WWE’s Extreme Rules pay-per-view on July 19th.
“The fans will fuel you to just keep going, no matter what so, I don’t know. I don’t think it’s going to be a one-off. I think Christian’s gonna come back, I think he’s gonna get the bug. What’s the next pay-per-view? I think Christian will be at Extreme Rules in the ring and the thing is, he’s got time to get ready for it. Maybe now we can do the story as far as watching the guy in the gym train, getting himself ready, going through the dieting process, running the miles on the roads of Florida, or maybe on the beaches or whatever.”
** WWE Champion Drew McIntyre spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated following his successful title defense on the 6/15 edition of RAW. Before Paul Levesque called McIntyre about returning to the WWE in 2017, McIntyre planned on going to New Japan Pro-Wrestling to mix it up with the likes of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay.
“Before Hunter called me to come back to WWE, the place I was going next was Japan. My style would be perfect there and I could learn so much. The two opponents on the top of my list were Tanahashi and Okada. Ospreay would be great, as well. I wrestled him outside of WWE in a couple of my favorite matches. But still, I have to go with Tanahashi and Okada.”
Elsewhere in the interview, McIntyre listed off a number of opponents who he’d like to defend the WWE Title against and one of those names is New Day member, Big E.
“I’d be so excited to work with Big E. His work is so believable. He’s also incredibly strong. I’ve seen him warm up in the gym with four plates on each side on the bar before he even starts his workout. This is a real story, somebody pointed out to him once in FCW that he should try some strong man competitions. So he did, and he then won all the competitions. Big E’s not just strong, he’s the strongest. We’d have a really entertaining story together.”
** Stu Bennett, who is starring in the film ‘I Am Vengeance: Retaliation’ did an interview with Wrestling Inc. to promote the film. Bennett was asked about former WWE talent Fred Rosser, also known as Darren Young stating that there was a plan in place to have a Nexus reunion at WrestleMania prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bennett revealed when he was first contacted by WWE about the possible reunion and explained why he was not interested.
“I was called in January or February by the Talent Relations team in WWE about something they wanted to do during WrestleMania to coincide with the 10th anniversary of NEXUS. I actually turned it down as I didn’t like the offer or the plan. I saw Darren just after that and he said he was gonna go and do something with them. But I wasn’t going to be involved in whatever it was.
In all honestly, if it had been something more significant, I would have paid it more attention. But it was something, to me, that I wasn’t interested in doing. There was no benefit at all, for me, in doing it and I wasn’t excited about it, so I turned the offer down.”
** This Friday on June 19th, there will be a pre-trial hearing for the lawsuit between Jeff Jarrett/Global Force Entertainment and Anthem Wrestling, per PWInsider. The official trail date is set for 6/30 and at the pre-trial conference, Chief Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. will rule on several motions to decide whether certain material will be available to use during the trial.
** Rusev recently started up a live stream on Twitch and one of the questions asked of him was for his thoughts about IMPACT Wrestling using the Bulgarian flag to promote their forthcoming Slammiversary pay-per-view. Many fans hinted at the idea that Rusev could be the individual who IMPACT is signaling and when asked about IMPACT’s teaser, here’s what Rusev had to say:
“As I said, any Bulgarian can go and debut. They may have another kid from Bulgaria. I keep saying that. It could be anybody. Look, I don’t know why you think it’s me. I understand why you think it’s me, but I can’t confirm or deny, or I don’t wanna confirm or deny. Maybe they wanna pay me a million dollars for one match. Who knows? Maybe I’ll come in.”
** Serena Deeb, who was furloughed by the WWE in April will be hosting a one night only seminar for the Pro Wrestling 2.0 training school in Winter Park, Florida.
** One year ago today, the late Adrian “Lionheart” McCallum competed in his last match in-which he captured the European Heavyweight Title and retained the ICW World Heavyweight Title. Lionheart passed away just three days later.
** Elias shared on Instagram that he and The Undertaker were supposed to have a match at the 2019 WWE Super ShowDown event in Saudi Arabia, but plans changed and Undertaker ultimately went on to face Goldberg in the main event of the show.
** NXT’s Killian Dain spoke with Alicia Atout of ‘A Music Blog, Yea?’
** WWE Champion Drew McIntyre was the focus of a media call last week and talkSPORT published an article which included highlights from that media call. McIntyre was asked about the feedback he’s been receiving since he won the WWE Championship and he shared the information that was given to him by WWE’s social media team and the reaction he has gauged from those backstage.
“Sometimes it can be a little negative, but it’s been mostly very positive and the feedback I get from our social media departments is that everything is going really well. It means the world to me. All the feedback from people backstage is basically, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s working.’ There’s direction and opinions, but we work as a team. Be it Heyman, the writers, Mr. McMahon himself; it’s basically, ‘Keep doing what you’re doing.’ Here’s a little thought to put in your head, if you like it, take it, if you don’t, disregard it. But if there is ever an issue, you can [be] sure I’d know about it so, so far, so good.”
McIntyre spoke highly of his match with Seth Rollins at Money In The Bank in May. McIntyre didn’t delve too deeply into how he and Rollins put the match together but he stated that Rollins is one of those talents that he does not have to speak to before the match and they can just go out and do it.
“I was very happy with that match with Seth. I really felt like I needed a top-quality pay-per-view match after I won the title and you can’t ask for any better than Seth Rollins. He has chemistry with everyone, but we have very good chemistry. I won’t go into the ins and outs of how wrestling matches come together, but there’s certain people who you really don’t have to speak to and Seth and I can just go out there and go for it. Usually, we have a crowd to play off of and feel where we’re going to go and what direction we’re going to take the match, but obviously with nobody there it was all in our heads and we’re almost at a stage where we can hear in our heads how the crowd would be reacting even though there is no crowd and where we should take the match. We’re both physical and highly competitive and I was very happy with that match. The response was incredible. That’s my thing going forward; I’m the WWE champion, if you’re in a match with Drew McIntyre, especially on pay-per-view, I want people walking away from it saying, ‘Wow, that was an incredible match.’ And if everyone went in assuming, ‘Well, Drew and Seth will probably have a good match’ – well, it wasn’t just a good match, it was really good.”
** Sasha Banks guest appeared on Complex’s ‘Fridge Tour’ series.
** FTR (Cash Wheeler & Dax Hardwood) did an interview with Bleacher Report Live to discuss their arrival in All Elite Wrestling and some of the memorable moments from their runs in WWE. Cash Wheeler reflected on one of those moments and the trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods was a part of said moment[s]. Wheeler recalled that whenever he and Dax Harwood wrestled New Day, the two teams always tried to get one another to break character.
“I don’t know. I mean, there’s a lot so it’s hard to pinpoint any of them. I’m never gonna be able to pinpoint one but I know some of the most fun we had on the main roster amongst ourselves and with other guys would be like when we worked with The New Day and we’d have some really, really fun and good matches on live events with these guys but, there’s also like this underlying contest to see who could make the others break the most. So like, I would be looking at Big E from across the ring just trying to give him the widest eyes that I could, just hoping he would catch it and every time he would finally see it, it would just break him but, those guys are so fun and so good and just getting them to break a little bit or — they get me to break all the time. Dax? Not so much. He can keep a pretty straight face but I break so easy.”
** Below are the matches scheduled for the June 16th episode of IMPACT Wrestling on AXS:
– Moose vs. Hernandez
– Ace Austin vs. Eddie Edwards – Street Fight
– Rhino vs. Rohit Raju
– The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander) vs. The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier & Zachary Wentz)
** The Telegram in Worcester, Massachusetts did a feature on Dominik Dijakovic. Last year, Dijakovic suffered a torn meniscus in his right knee and he spoke about how he’s had to adjust his in-ring style due to the injury:
“So maybe it’s not necessarily doing as many back flips off the top rope anymore. Maybe now it’s a more character-driven thing. So, realistically, you’re able to be successful at a high level easily into your mid-40s … and the older you get, usually the more popular you get. And the more popular you get, the less you have to do.
So I’m starting to trend in that direction. Not quite there yet. I still break out some high-flying stuff every so often. But ideally for me, if I could picture my career going perfectly, I would wrestle into my early to mid-40s. But it just depends on how you control yourself and control your body and take care of your body and things like that.”
** Former two-time WWE Women’s Champion Lisa Marie Varon, also known as “Victoria” did an interview with WrestleZone and discussed why the WWE Women’s Title match involving herself, Trish Stratus and Jazz at WrestleMania XIX is one of her favorite matches from her career:
“When Jazz, Trish and I had the triple threat, and also Molly Holly and I — I had so many great opponents that I’d hate to single any of them out. Gail Kim and I—this is so hard! With our mindset, there are certain ones that stand out to us. Mickie and ODB, we put everything out there with how we wrestle. If something bad happens, the show must go on, like if you punched me in the face, it’s OK because I know you meant it as an accident. We’re tough, tough chicks and we put our heart and soul, 100%, in every single match. Even if it was just the bra and panties matches we had, we thought, ‘Oh, we have to wear that? Let’s still do this and make everyone go, ‘Holy crap!’
One match—Jazz, Trish and I, when we had that triple threat and I had Stevie Richards at my side, we worked so hard on that match. Fit Finlay helped us so much with that and all of the timing was perfect on that. We were three different style wrestlers, but I think we showcased a lot of our talent in that match. It’s one of my favorites to watch.”
** A new episode of Rob Schamberger’s ‘Canvas 2 Canvas’ series is up on WWE’s YouTube channel.
** DS Shin of Ring The Belle conducted an interview with former WWE talent Kristal Marshall. In 2007, Marshall was released from the WWE and there are several rumors regarding why she was released from the sports-entertainment company. During the interview, she gave her thoughts about her release:
“I don’t know. I wanted to get more information on the storyline. I couldn’t, for whatever reason. I didn’t know anything about the Edge storyline. They were keeping a lot under wraps from me and I inquired about what’s going on and I think sometimes what I learned through life is when you’re a woman, you’re outspoken and you’re an advocate for yourself, you get labeled as difficult, you get labeled as ‘hard to work with’ and people don’t like that, and unfortunately, I am not a fall in line kind of person. I’m gonna speak my mind — right, wrong or indifferent and I feel like the problem with that is that I was just starting to get to know the higher-ups on a more personal level and it was bad timing on my part. I should’ve probably gone more with the flow and just waited until I built more of a relationship to voice some of my concerns and ultimately that worked against me. Sometimes, you have to shut the f*ck up and just wait until you can get to the next position to where you can speak up for yourself.”
While she was with WWE, Kristal was known for her strut to the ring. She shared that it was Paul Heyman who somewhat instilled confidence in her to make that a part of her entrance.
“Okay, so I never really had the opportunity to interact with Paul Heyman, but, there was one thing he said to me and I caught him next to the ring one day and I asked him, I said, ‘Hey, I’m really trying to develop an entrance. Can you help me? What should I do?’ And he was just like, ‘What do you mean what should you do?’ He’s like, ‘When you walk into a room, all eyes are on you, right?’ ‘Yeah I guess so’ and he’s like, ‘Well what else needs to be done?’ So I just took that and I just ran with it, and that’s how the strut came to be.”
One of Kristal’s close friends coming out of the wrestling business was the late Ashley Massaro. Kristal and Ashley roomed together in January of 2019 which was a few months after Ashley passed away. Kristal spoke about her friendship with Ashley and how they grew to become friends stemming from their time together in WWE.
“You know, Ashley and I have always been pretty close, especially through the Diva Search experience and rolling that into our time on SmackDown but, her and I, we still kept in contact through the years. I shared a hotel room with her last January before she passed and what’s really cool about the business is that even though you might not have worked on a specific brand with somebody, you have a familiar sisterhood/brotherhood relationship with them. When you have that with somebody and you’re working a storyline with them, what’s awesome is that you trust that person. You know that if something happens out there, they’re gonna protect you and have your best interests at mind and they’re not gonna take liberties to make you look stupid, everything like that and we definitely had that for sure.”
The differences between the era of women’s wrestling that Kristal competed in versus now has been spoken about at various lengths numerous times. Marshall wishes that she could’ve came up in this current era of women’s wrestling because she knows more opportunities would’ve been available.
“I do however wish I was coming up in this era now because there’s so many more opportunities for women to have strong characters and to display their athleticism which wasn’t really necessarily the case when I was coming up. There’s always plenty of pie for everybody you know? So, I’m really happy to see some of the girls that I know come up and be successful.”
Kristal feels that she has a lot more to contribute to the wrestling business if given a chance. She stated that during her time in WWE, her athleticism was not spotlighted in the slightest and knew that the sky was the limit for her as a performer.
“Absolutely. Especially now, especially after I stopped wrestling and really got into fitness. My full athleticism was never even remotely touched on. I know for a fact if I have the opportunity to train more and to have bigger matches and to have what the women in NXT have which is a forum to grow and develop as a character and as an athlete, the sky was absolutely the limit for me if the opportunity ever comes again that I’m given those same opportunities to do that.”
** Next week, Titus O’Neil and Dave Bautista are hosting a “Love Walk” across the city of Tampa, Florida. O’Neil and Bautista are planning to lead Tampa Bay business leaders, elected officials and families on the walk. The event will take place from 10 AM to noon EST.
** On the latest installment of the Notsam Wrestling Podcast, Sam Roberts played an interview with The Undertaker that he and Jim Norton conducted on behalf of SiriusXM. Undertaker talked about working with Giant Gonzalez at the 1993 WrestleMania and he feels that the entire feud with Gonzalez took some years off his career.
“I begged him [Vince McMahon] all the time. I was just like, and it was funny because I knew. Like when somebody would come in, he would be like, ‘Oh!’ Even before I got the call into his office, I knew, ‘Yeah, he’s headed my way.’ I remember you mentioning ‘eight foot’ who’s obviously Giant Gonzalez. I’ll try to tell this story really quickly. I remember he came in about the same time Yokozuna came in, and I had known Yoko from Japan and seeing him work over there as Kokina Maximus and I was just like — I was always just enthralled and amazed at how good of a worker he was and how well he moved for the size he was and anyway, he was doing a dark match. He had signed but he was doing a dark match. I think we were in Baltimore, and so there’s a stage there in Baltimore that you can go out and you can kind of peek through the curtain and watch and no one sees you and so, I see Vince standing there and he’s watching Yoko work and I come stand next to Vince and we’re both watching him and watching some of the stuff that he’s doing, these kicks that he’s throwing and how agile he moved at 400 pounds, and I remember just stopping and turning my head and looking at Vince and I was like, ‘Please. Please, please, please, let me work with him first,’ and you know, Vince and his Vince laugh, ‘Oh, you’ll work with him in time but I got somebody else in mind for you,’ and I kid you not, coming down the hall from the other direction, here comes Giant Gonzalez. He goes, ‘That’s your guy!’ And I was just like, ‘Aw, no!’ Because I got a little taste of Giant Gonzalez when we were in WCW together, right? And I think that might’ve been another reason why I left because they were trying to get me in a program down there.
Man, I’ll tell you what, that whole thing took years off my career. I mean, dude, I would be in much better shape now if I could’ve skipped that one program. As physically demanding as it was, it was twice the mental strain because you got Bret [Hart] there and now Yoko’s there. All these guys are going out and having these great matches and obviously you wanna be mentioned in the same breath as those guys and it was just not possible. It was survival every night. Just trying to figure out what he could do and it took me to — at that time, I didn’t sell a lot and bump around, but man I was flopping… I was trying to make chicken salad out of chicken crap.”
** Anna Jay will be in action on the June 17th edition of AEW Dynamite.
** Kevin Eck welcomed Australia’s own Slex, Kellyanne and Adam Brooks onto the ROHStrong podcast. During the Adam Brooks portion of the show, he told the story of how he was brought to the attention of Ring of Honor and that was by way of Matt Taven who brought Brooks’ name up to the higher ups after they worked a show together in Mexico.
“So, I was wrestling in Mexico for The Crash and I was in some multi-man match and Matt Taven was in the match and he was the ROH champ at the time and we just clicked. We were just hanging out, chatting, he just seemed like a really cool dude. We went out there, we wrestled and then we get backstage and as soon as he sits down before he starts taking his gear off or anything, he goes, ‘Are you signed anywhere?’ I said, ‘No.’ He goes, ‘Okay, I just messaged the higher-ups at ROH. I think you’d be great there,’ and I was like, ‘Oh my God. Thank you so much. You didn’t have to do that.’ So the fact that he did that, it meant a lot to me so I don’t know if things sorta started rolling there. I’m not exactly sure, but I do remember the last U.K. tour — in last year, 2019, my friends Nick Bury and Mitch Waterman, they’re known as The Brat Pack as a tag team. They got the opportunity to do that tour and they kept saying the whole time, ‘Man, the boys are putting you over. Like Marty and Taven and Brody King. They’re saying like, ‘Man we need Brooks in ROH’ and stuff and I was like, ‘Woah! This is nice to hear,’ you know? And then I got Greg [Gilleland’s] email and said, ‘Look, I’m gonna be back over in the States during these times. If there’s anything, I’d love the opportunity’ and then, the creative and stuff changed over there and Marty’s familiar with things and I think once that got handed to him, I think that’s when maybe he was like, ‘Yeah, let’s grab this guy.’ So I think that’s how it all went.”
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated interviewed NXT’s Shotzi Blackheart ahead of she and Tegan Nox’s WWE Women’s Tag Title match on NXT. When asked why did she decide to join WWE, Shotzi said it was always her dream to come to the sports-entertainment company.
“It was always my dream to come to WWE. I didn’t really know about the indies or anything else, I just slowly fell in love with it. I love working here, I love the environment, the people I’m surrounded by, and how much I’m pushed. There is nowhere I’d rather be.”
Shotzi added that if she had to change her name when she arrived in NXT, she would’ve donned the name “Christine Fury”.
** Ahead of NJPW’s return, Kazuchika Okada did an interview with NJPW1972.com to preview the forthcoming weeks of shows.
** ‘South Wales Argus’ spoke with former NXT UK Tag Team Champion Flash Morgan Webster and Webster detailed when he suffered a broken ankle, dislocated shoulder and torn labrum in his qualifying match for the WWE Cruiserweight Classic at a PROGRESS Wrestling show:
“That match was my first taste of WWE and I realized I could do this. Unfortunately, I fractured my ankle in two places during the match, I carried on and four minutes later I dislocated my shoulder and tore my labrum and rotator cuff muscles. Stupidly enough I carried on for another five minutes and completed the match.”
** Chris Gethard, the host of Dark Side of the Ring: After Dark was interviewed by Darren Paltrowitz of The Paltrocast/Sportskeeda.
** Ring of Honor’s Eli Isom did an interview with Omar of ‘Playard Wrestling Post’ and during their chat, Eli discussed what it’s like for him to share the ring with veterans in ROH and what he takes/has taken from them advice-wise:
“It can be a little nerve-racking. You grow up watching these guys and now you have the chance to work with them. It’s a crazy and very cool situation to be in.
The two things I’ve noticed that almost every veteran says is to not be nervous, and to make everything you do count. It’s very simple advice but its helped me so much so far.”
Another topic discussed was Eli’s partnership with Ryan Nova and Cheeseburger. Eli talked about how being a fan favorite can be tasking and how he wants to get to the level that Cheeseburger is currently at in regard to how fans react to and interact with him.
“It’s cool and it’s also a little difficult. I’m still trying to get to that status, so when I’m wrestling guys like Burger, I have to make sure that everything I do is on point and that the fans are invested in what I’m doing. Otherwise, they’ll either tune out or eat me alive. I love that pressure though, it’s definitely made me a better wrestler.”
** Nikki and Brie Bella appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show to discuss the forthcoming births of their respective children.
** Former WWE talent No Way Jose did an interview with Lewis Nicholls. Jose, real name Levis Valenzuela Jr. shared his thoughts about Drake Maverick joining the WWE again after being released by the company in April. Jose said that he texted Maverick after Maverick put out a video of him expressing his sadness that he was let go from WWE. As of this interview, Jose could not figure out if that was planned or not.
“Man, I kept texting him. I was like, ‘Brother, is this a work? Are y’all working me?’ If it is just let me know and true brother, like he never exposed if it was or not, but he says it was for real [a] surprise to him too so, I can only take him at his word, you know? And even if he would’ve lied or told me it wasn’t, I would’ve lied to you right now. I ain’t exposing the business baby. But like, from what I know, it was — bro let me tell you, if he worked that damn, ‘I’m going away. This is all…’ that motherf*cker, he deserves the damn [job]. If he worked everybody since then, sh*t, respect bro because that was an emotional video, and then maybe they used it to come — the company as smart as it is, of course they saw that it went viral. So even if he was gonna get fired, the damn thing went viral and it was one of your employees crying during a pandemic and he still had this thing to do. He still was booked to do this thing and bro, the smartest thing for any company would be to use that, to use it, to roll with it and then the matches he had was dope and he kept going out and showing out and people were behind him. True underdog. So, if it was a work, f*ck. Hell of a work. But I like to think it was real and it turned into that which is also really cool.”
** Viktor of The Ascension chatted with Lewis Nicholls for an exclusive interview. While speaking about his time in WWE, Viktor recalled not being in the best of spirits when he found out that he and Konnor were being called up to RAW and said that he saw his entire wrestling career flash before his eyes in that moment.
“It was so frustrating in a way, so just like waiting and waiting and I remember Dean Malenko being like, ‘[You] waited this long. Just wait a little bit longer. Like it’ll work out.’ So by that time it’s like, ‘Hey, you guys are gonna come up. Here’s how you’re gonna look and finally talked the old man into it. He saw the last pay-per-view, thought you guys were awesome. He gets it, so we’ll bring you up. It’ll be soon,’ and we’re sitting there in a room with like Dream [Dusty Rhodes], Bill, Dave Bailey and I believe even Sarah [Stock or Sara Amato] was in the room that day too. I can’t remember, probably Norman [Smiley]. I just remember, I felt like I watched my whole wrestling career flash in front of me in that one moment, and it’s funny because everybody else was cheering and popping and I’m just like, ‘……….’ and Hunter on the stream just goes like, ‘Man everybody looks really happy except Viktor. Viktor are you okay? Like, the f*ck man?’ I was like, ‘Dude, yeah, I’m good. Sorry.’”
** ‘Metro’ released another portion of their interview with Ric Flair and in this portion of their chat, Flair stated that AJ Styles is currently the closest person to Shawn Michaels in the wrestling business and feels that AJ and The Undertaker would have a great traditional singles match.
“[Styles is] the closest guy to Shawn [Michaels] in our business right now, and it’ll be everything and more because AJ gets it. He wouldn’t be out there trying to have a wrestling match, he’d be out there to enhance this phenomenal character that’s a once in a lifetime entity in this business. I hope to have the rematch because that’s the match. That to me – I wouldn’t miss it and I don’t think anyone else would. I just feel like it’s not done yet.”
** India Today published their interview with Mick Foley. Foley discussed The Undertaker’s ‘Last Ride’ docu-series, working with Undertaker in the ring and Foley selected one version of his on-screen characters that he enjoyed portraying the most.
** wXw Germany announced that there will be free training sessions at their wrestling school on July 4th.
** AEW’s Jungle Boy turned 23 years old on June 16th.
** Major League Wrestling announced that one of their talents will be starring in a “prominent horror film”.
** On June 30th, the 2018 Survivor Series pay-per-view that was headlined by WWE Champion Daniel Bryan versus Universal Champion Brock Lesnar will air on FS1 as the lead-in for WWE Backstage.
** ‘The Indian Express’ published highlights from their interaction with Drew McIntyre on a recent media call.
** The Miz was the most recent guest on ‘Superstar Savepoint’ on the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel.
** According to ‘Bloomberg’, the Nassau Coliseum is shutting down. Billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov’s ‘Onexim Sports and Entertainment’ organization that owns the lease for the arena via Nassau County is planning to shut it down while new investors are sought out to cover the remaining debt that the building has. Most memorably in regard to recent WWE events, the venue hosted WWE’s first-ever all-women’s pay-per-view Evolution.
** WhatCulture did an interview with former AEW World Champion Chris Jericho.
** Below is a video of WWE talents reacting to NXT TakeOver: In Your House which took place on June 7th:
** Spencer Love of Win Column Sports Network chatted with Taya Valkyrie. Valkyrie talked about being the longest-reigning IMPACT Knockouts Champion and Deonna Purrazzo’s arrival in the company.
** Newsrama conducted an interview with the writer of ‘The Comic Book Encyclopedia of Pro Wrestling’, John Crowther. Crowther shared that his group has a contractual agreement with all wrestlers involved in the comic[s] and each wrestler or their estate will receive a cut of sales from their individual titles.
“We have contractual relationships with all of the wrestlers, whose individual stories have been included in the Encyclopedia; which, for volume one, includes Nikolai Volkoff, Bruno Sammartino, Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Lanny Poffo, B. Brian Blair, Jumping Jim Brunzell, Ricky Morton, Bobby Fulton, Jake Hager, and Sunny the California Girl (Patricia Summerland) from Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling (G.L.O.W.). Each wrestler, or their estate, receives a portion of sales from their individual titles.”
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.