POST NEWS UPDATE: LuFisto talks #SpeakingOut, Deonna Purrazzo on her in-ring career

LuFisto shares her thoughts about the #SpeakingOut movement, Deonna Purrazzo on wanting to start a family, Gisele Shaw says she wants to wrestle in major company, Faye Jackson interview, and Nikki and Brie Bella discuss Total Divas producers trying to create drama between them

This week’s POST news updates are women’s wrestling-based only. 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.

** Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso spoke with LuFisto about the #SpeakingOut movement on social media. LuFisto reiterated that the backstage antics and wrongdoings have not changed in wrestling and there are stories that she’s held onto for years because those who these things have happened to were not ready to speak out publicly.

“The backstage has not changed. There are stories out there that I’d heard previously in confidence, ones where the women were not ready to share them with the world. Over the past few days, I’ve gone from extremely sad to extremely mad. I’ve been reading about abuse that happened to minors. Some of this happened after I personally told the promoters that this guy was doing something, and some of them did things to me. Not all promoters are blind, there are some good ones out there, but there are some that didn’t do anything.

What I’m afraid of right now is that people are going to use ‘#SpeakingOut’ to air dirty laundry or get back at people they have heat with. So many people have been taking advantage of minors, and it’s so disgusting. This should not be happening.”

LuFisto added that this is not often seen in major companies in pro wrestling. She shared that when she was starting out in wrestling, a fellow wrestler attempted to get in the shower with her and feels that to this day, people are still not taking women seriously.

“You don’t see a lot of that with big companies, and there could be more agents and people traveling on the road, not just one person. You need women that have been on the circuit for a while, too. I wish I had older women to help guide me when I first started. When I was 17, on my first tour, one of the male wrestlers tried to get in the shower with me. And I have plenty of stories like that. There has been an evolution in the ring, but we are still seeing the law of silence and people still not taking the women seriously.”

** Deonna Purrazzo chatted with Chris Van Vliet for an exclusive interview. Deonna shared that within ten years or less, she thinks she might step away from wrestling to start a family. She added that she does not want to wrestle for a long time because she already has several nagging injuries that she thinks will be with her forever.

“I think less [than ten years]. Yeah, but like I said, I think there’s so much possibility to have a baby and come back to wrestling now, so maybe it is ten years but I think like, maybe the next five years? I’d like to have a kid. I don’t know. I need to find a husband first, so there’s that.

Yeah, I don’t know. I guess it’s just gonna be like natural progression and we see how it goes but, I don’t wanna wrestle forever and I want to — I already have some nagging stuff that are gonna be with me forever at this point so, I don’t wanna be like the cripple that just keeps coming back to wrestling because there’s nothing else.”

Deonna is currently with IMPACT Wrestling and she is challenging for the company’s Knockouts Championship at Slammiversary in July. There are a number of talents in IMPACT that Deonna wants to work with but she also has her eyes on All Elite Wrestling. In regards to why she didn’t join AEW from the jump, she didn’t want to be on a national scale and still be figuring out her character.

“Some people had reached out but it was all kind of fleeting. There was no like, ‘You’re gonna have a meeting or we’re gonna sit down and do this’ so, luckily I had been to IMPACT before. I know the people there and it was like, right away like, ‘We’d love to have you, let’s talk about it when we can,’ and it was just more of a secure thing, but I think also too for me, I don’t want to — and it’s funny now because we’ve seen my debut so this is contradictory to what I’ve done but I want to get back to the wrestler I was before NXT and I want to find myself again and find happiness in all of the things as a performer I lacked, when I was competing in NXT. I want to do that before I go somewhere that’s as mainstream as AEW, that has the critics of AEW. I don’t want to go there and be exploring myself and kind of fall into the same role that I fell in-in NXT, and luckily IMPACT is a place that understands who I am, is totally on board with what they think I can do and are willing to give me the time for the character development I need. So I think like all things considered, it just really worked out well there. But who knows? I would love to go to AEW. There’s so many girls that I haven’t gotten to work with, friends that are there and I love what they’re doing with their women’s division. It was just like a timing thing and I think what I need more as a person and a wrestler right now.”

** Faye Jackson did an interview with Cameron Hawkins of Daily DDT. During their chat, Faye spoke about her ‘Grey Sweatpants Battle Royal’ show that was supposed to take place during WrestleMania 36 weekend in Tampa. There were multitude of shows that weekend including ‘For The Culture’ and EFFY’s ‘Big Gay Brunch’ show. Faye was asked if she and other show hosts contacted each other about their respective events and she said they all were supportive of one another.

“We didn’t talk about our events to each other at all. They were a part of The Collective and I was with Prime Time Pro Wrestling. But once everything was announced we all hit each other up and basically said the same thing to each other: ‘I’m here if you need anything.’ AJ [Gray] gave me the, ‘You better not be booked at this time’ message and I hit him up with the same message. We just supported each other to see all those shows succeed.”

Faye is vocal on social media and mentioned that last year, there was interest in her from a signee standpoint or a potential opportunity of the sort. She said that some of the things she said on social media were “problematic” which led to some of those opportunities being taken off the table.

“So around this time last year I had some interests but I was told that some of the things I said were problematic. And I get that it was just people looking out for me. Here’s my thing, I can’t hide the fact that I’m a plus-size black female. I will speak about the things that are wrong in the business. At that time it was 2019. Now it’s 2020 and if the words I say for speaking up for myself and others will be deemed as “problematic” then so be it. That means you’re not ready to face and fix the problem. Also I’ve been told that the world isn’t ready to see a plus-size woman as sexy. Pretty..yes. Cute…yes. Sexy… “they’re not ready”. It is what it is and I can’t hide something that other people have told me. No matter what I wear, people notice my curves. I can’t hide that. I’ve been told to lose weight at the beginning of my career. I did and guess what I still had a fat ass. I can’t hide that, I’ve tried. Many, many times. So take me as I am or don’t take me at all.”

** Nikki and Brie Bella released the newest episode of their podcast and they talked about filming for season 6 of Total Bellas which they are currently doing. Nikki and Brie also talked about how when they were on the cast of Total Divas, producers would try to force drama between them for the show.

Nikki: “Brie and I, when we were on Total Divas, we felt like it was starting to get that way [constant drama] and it was kind of tough on us because we just didn’t know what was authentic and when we did Total Bellas, all of a sudden, we got to the point where we have to walk away from [Total] Divas, and just do Bellas but we have to make sure Bellas, they just let us be authentic. It used to be our constant — I don’t wanna say argument but where we kind of like bump heads with production because they would push certain things or cause certain things and we’d just be like, ‘Don’t do that. These are twins, it’s naturally going to happen. Just keep the camera rolling. We will get in a fight once a day…’”

Brie: “Don’t worry, you’re gonna get your drama.”

** Charlotte Flair appeared on the ‘Sport Hiatus’ show and addressed her status in WWE, amid the report that she’ll be stepping away from WWE programming to have surgery. Charlotte stated that she’ll only be absent from TV for a few weeks.

** Independent wrestler Taeler Hendrix wrote a feature for Fightful about Liv Morgan.

** Ronda Rousey hit 1 million subscribers on her YouTube channel.

** Below is the latest upload to Zelina Vega’s YouTube channel.

 

** Lana and Natalya will be on next week’s episode of WWE The Bump.

** Military veteran Big Swole was invited onto the ‘Borne The Battle’ podcast. Big Swole opened up about joining the Air Force, leaving the service, Crohn’s disease and working with AEW. Swole recalled competing at AEW’s All Out event in 2019 and that night being the night when she knew she could hang on a national scale in pro wrestling.

“I come in, do my thing, I hear the crowd chanting, and I’m like, ‘Is that for me!?’ Now I said it out loud.

Yeah, I’m in the middle of the ring with Nyla [Rose], hitting my stuff. I hear them chanting, ‘Big Swole.’ I was like, ‘Is that for me?’ I hit the ropes, do my move, Nyla says, ‘Yeah girl,’ and it’s like [the] biggest pop. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh, they know who I am!?’

Well, as myself, as Big Swole, it gave me complete confidence to be myself.”

** Rusev put up a new video onto his YouTube channel of him and Lana chatting.

 

** Shelly Martinez, formerly known as “Ariel” in WWE, joined the VOC Nation Radio Network’s show to chat about the #SpeakingOut movement. Shelly is proud and happy to see so many women come out and share their stories of abuse and harassment in wrestling and life in general.

“It makes me so happy to see so many people coming forward and speaking their truth. Because it’s hard. It’s hard to speak your truth because A, you have to relive it now; B, once it’s out there, it’s out there so you gotta be okay that it’s out there. It’s scary. No matter what you believe in life, energy is energy so if you’re talking about a situation with somebody that’s a predator and then they’re reading it, they’re gonna throw you those vibes. And then now all of [a] sudden, I’m sure there’s a lot of people that have been speaking out that have been feeling very sick through all of this because they’re getting those vibes.”

Multiple women came forward about their experiences with Joey Ryan, who was accused of sexual assault and harassment on various accounts. Shelly said that there was a point in time when she was cordial with Joey and also provided some advice for those who were either harassed and/or abused by Ryan.

“There was a time that I was cool with Joey Ryan… There was a time that he asked my sister out on a date.. I think they went out once, and then there was this rumor that he slept with her. I was like, ‘Dude, what the hell is wrong with Joey; he did not sleep with her, why is he saying that?’ Then when I confronted him, he denied it…So fast forward, I had some friends that had been involved with Joey, and they shared with me some things… There have been times that I’ve told Joey to his face why I didn’t like him… Even though the things he did to the people I knew that were involved with him, it was never [a] forcing himself on them kind of thing. It was just some other things that truly told me something about his character, or lack thereof. But the common denominator I saw was when he would try to apologize for his actions, his excuses – in particular his divorce – you can’t be using your divorce as an excuse to treat women that way. That’s just not how it works.  That’s how I knew immediately what people were saying was 1000% true.

I really hope that people who have been hurt by him – his lies and deceit – but held on because they felt like they had some kind of special connection with him, I hope they can now see that-that’s just part of his shtick, and it wasn’t that deep, so that they can let go of that and move forward and not be affected by his energy anymore.”

** The ‘Worked Shoot Wrestling’ podcast welcomed Noel LoGrasso (@magicTspiller) onto their podcast. Noel spoke about her experiences as a woman in the male dominated industry that is pro wrestling.

** AEW’s Kris Statlander joined the Women’s Wrestling Weekly podcast and she shared that her significant other plays the “Suicide” character currently in IMPACT Wrestling. While on the topic of AEW, Kris was asked about possibly becoming the women’s world champion when she returns from injury and she is content with that opportunity not coming her way and praised Hikaru Shida as champion.

“As much as an honor that it would be to be the women’s champion of AEW, I feel [Hikaru] Shida is in a much better position at the moment, just based on fan appreciation, talent-wise, she’s been there consistently and I’m not saying I’m not trying to be there consistently. I usually live in New York and it has been one of the spots that’s been hit the hardest so, it’s not been ideal to be there travel-wise for work. But, I think Shida is probably one of the best choices at AEW right now to be the women’s champ and if I get that opportunity to have that happen, I’d be so extremely grateful for it, but if it doesn’t, I’m more than happy to be a part of the roster and to be part of… if I’m able to help people get to a stage where they feel more comfortable to be in that position, I’m totally fine with that too. I mostly wanna help everyone feel good and I wanna put on good matches and I wanna entertain people so, I don’t know what I have to do. I just gotta wait until it’s my time and if it’s not my time ever, that’s totally okay with me. But, like I said, I’m mostly concerned with just wrestling.”

** WWE’s Peyton Royce has launched her own YouTube channel.

 

** IMPACT Knockouts Champion Jordynne Grace is looking to raise funds for a retired military veteran who does not have a home at the moment. COVID impacted said individual’s life in various ways and here’s what Grace wrote on Twitter:

“Hi everyone –

For the past few months we’ve seen a gentleman hanging out in the lobby of our apartment building. It’s open 24 hours so anyone can go in and out.

I didn’t know if he was homeless or not and brought him a meal a couple of weeks ago. Jon [Gresham] talking to him for quite a while. His name is James, he is an Air Force veteran, and he was a car salesman for 24 years. COVID hit hard and left him without a job, and those struggles led to him getting a divorce and losing his house.

As we all know, unemployment takes forever to get and was extremely backed up when he applied for it. He finally gets it next week, but I just was hoping to do something more for him until he is fully back on his feet.

We’ve brought him food a couple of times and let him take showers at our apartment, but out leasing office found out about it yesterday and is going to kick him out.

I’m hoping to raise funds to give to him so he is able to get shelter until he can find a permanent place to stay.”

** The current RevPro British Women’s Champion Gisele Shaw was the most recent guest on the Women’s Wrestling Weekly podcast. Gisele was asked for her thoughts about the #SpeakingOut movement on social media and she is glad that this is happening now so the business can be safer for those currently in it and coming into it.

“I mean, I think this happening right now is probably the best time to happen so that when we do come back to wrestling, we would’ve gotten rid of the people that don’t need to be there, and right now we’re not wrestling so, there’s people out there that… trying to create a better, safer environment for not only the women but for also the men in the industry so, I’m pretty happy that this has happened. It definitely brings up a lot of memories and not so great moments in wrestling but, better that it happen now than later.”

Within the next five years, Gisele wants to be wrestling for a major company. She also does not want put pressure on herself to reach that goal within a certain time span because if she does, it’ll take her focus away from what is in front of her currently.

“I definitely would like to be working for the major companies. I mean, being a wrestler, you don’t go into being a wrestler and just [being] like, ‘You know what? I think I’m just gonna wrestle as a superstar in a way, in one of these promotions.’ But, I feel like when it’s my time, it’s my time. I feel like if I keep worrying about it, it’s gonna almost stop me from being focused on my goal. So if I just work every single day, just keep bettering myself then I’ll be ready for when that opportunity comes.”

** Renee Young joined Corey Graves for the newest installment of WWE After The Bell. This podcast was recorded prior to Renee revealing that she contracted Coronavirus.

** NXT UK’s Jinny did an Instagram Live interview with the brand’s ring announcer, Andy Shepard.

This week’s POST news updates are women’s wrestling-based only. 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 394 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.