POST NEWS UPDATE: Keith Lee says him becoming double champion wasn’t “necessarily the plan”

Keith Lee discusses his double title win, Marc Copani on dealing with stereotypes while playing the "Muhammad Hassan" character, AJ Styles turned down the TNA Hall Of Fame, Brian Pillman Jr. on his plans after MLW, FTR praises Wesley Blake, and more.

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.

** NXT Champion Keith Lee did an interview with ‘The South African’ recently. This interview was done prior to the 7/22 episode of NXT on-which he relinquished the North American Title. Lee made mention that becoming double champion was not “necessarily the plan” and it just happened but it has been/was an honor.

“So, there’s a lot of scenarios and circumstances and variables to consider in that [defending both belts] and I’ve actually done a lot of thinking over the past weekend or so. So, it’s something that I’m looking to address but I’m gonna take in the next couple days to make that decision fully, and then I’ll probably present something to the public as a whole on how I plan to handle the circumstances of both belts because that was not necessarily the plan,” Lee laughed. “It just happened and what an honor it has been, you know what I mean?”

** AJ Styles hosted another live stream on Twitch on 7/23. Styles dove into his run in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling at several points during the stream. He revealed that while he was working with Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro-Wrestling at the same time, he was offered the opportunity to be inducted into the TNA Hall Of Fame but he turned it down.

“It was offered to me. I wanna say it was offered to me but I was working for New Japan and Ring of Honor and I said, ‘I’m not doing that. I’m not going into a TNA event when I’m working for someone else and I’m just not doing that.’ I don’t think that was right and I was still wrestling so I always thought it was weird when somebody was still wrestling and you wanna put them in your Hall Of Fame. Like wait until they retire. I think that’s best for everybody.

And as long as I’m working for the WWE, I definitely wouldn’t do it either, so… not saying I wouldn’t ever. If I’m working for another company, I’m not doing that.”

Styles was asked if he’d ever make the move to All Elite Wrestling. He said, ‘Never say never’ but soon explained that he hopes to finish his career out in WWE and after the in-ring portion of his career is done, he wants to transition into being a talent scout for the company.

“As far as AEW is concerned, I never say never, right? But I think once my career is done, hopefully just work with WWE in some capacity. We talked about it today when I was doing some interviews. What would I do? I’d like to be a recruiter, go scout some guys. I think that’d be fun. I’d have no problem going to the indies. I know we have scouts that go to weightlifting contests and whatnot, wanna get these big guys. I wanna get guys that — and girls who’ve wanted to do this their whole life, give them some advice, check up on ‘em from time to time and help them get to the next level or at least get to the Performance Center so they can work on and polish up themselves. That’s what I wanna do. I think that’d be cool. To help somebody and see if they’re coachable.”

Diving back into TNA, Styles was open about his feelings towards former TNA President Dixie Carter. Styles feels that she ruined the company and had she not been in charge or a part of it, the brand of TNA would still be alive today.

“Well it was TNA back then and 100 percent. IMPACT, man it was a time when it was really gaining ground and the problem was is Dixie wanted to be WWE-lite and that’s not what people wanted. They wanted something else and all you had to do was let us do what we do. It really was that simple. Just let us be us and let’s us go. Let’s just try and write good stories and had she left it to the writers, I think TNA, it’d still be around and they definitely would be bigger than what they are. But, not knowing what’s best for business, I think she hurt TNA back then.”

AJ discussed his Wrestle Kingdom match against Shinsuke Nakamura that is highly regarded by those who have viewed it. Styles said that prior to the match, he felt a pop in his calf and had to get through that match not at full strength.

“I was warming up and something in my calf popped. I don’t know what it was. It could’ve been like a tendon just moving over or something. It just popped. I was like, ‘What the heck!?’ And so, that whole match, me jumping wasn’t as good as I like it to be because something — I don’t know what it was. I don’t know if it just scared me more than anything but I was like, ‘What the heck?’ I’ll never forget that though because, finally an opportunity and now I’m not gonna get to do it because I tore my something — calf muscle.”

** Booker T took to his ‘Hall Of Fame’ podcast to follow up on his words from earlier this week about the #NaomiDeservesBetter hashtag. Booker explained that he’s not keen on talents getting a push because fans may feel that those talents deserve better. Naomi responded to Booker T on Twitter and told him, “Will do” in response to his comments. Below is what Booker T had to say about the situation at hand:

“I just wanted to reiterate as far as what I had to say regarding to the ‘Naomi Deserves’ hashtag — ‘Naomi Deserves Better’ movement, and I said to hell with all of these hashtags. That’s what I said. I don’t know, maybe because I am old school and I can’t see myself back in day — we did have the dirt sheets and you could’ve easily got in the dirt sheets by saying something. I just couldn’t see myself using social media or that platform to try and move up in the business and especially if you’re talented. That’s one thing my father always said. He said, ‘Cream always rises to the top.’ You ain’t gotta worry about that. When you’re something special, when you’re different than everybody else, it’s obvious. It’s like the wind. You can feel it but you can’t touch it but you know it’s there. You say, ‘Oh my God, this is something different.’ That’s what I’m talking about here. I said Naomi is probably the most athletic female in the locker room and perhaps anywhere in the world as far as the wrestling business goes. But as far as making it to the next level, it is channels you have to go through, it is a learning curve and a really in-depth studying you have to go through to actually get to that point. Trust me, it doesn’t happen by accident just because you can go out and do a backflip or a big move. It’s not about the moves guys, it’s really not. I always think about what was told to me by guys like Ricky The Dragon Steamboat and that stuff, it resonated and if you think right now, anybody out in the world that are trying to get in this business, if you think someone like Ricky The Dragon Steamboat cannot help you learn this business better, even still today? Okay, that’s your opinion but me, I always say the great coaches; the guys like Pat Riley, that’s got several championships under his belt, coach Pop[ovich] that’s got several championships under his belt. Those guys, you may have never heard about their careers and how great they were on the field or on the court. Reason being, they may not have been the guy on the court but they were around the guys that was on the court. They knew exactly what it took to get to that next level because they got the championship ring even though they didn’t play but a few plays in the season. They knew exactly what that team went through to get there and my thing is this — I’m gonna end it on this. If you think I can’t help you at all and that’s all I’m trying to do is help you get to the next level and you think the guys on the internet on social media can help you more than I do, go that route. I’m gonna leave it at that.”

Naomi responded to Booker T’s comments with the following:

 

** AEW announced that Cody will be defending the TNT Championship against Warhorse on next week’s Dynamite. Warhorse received a great deal of social media fanfare from those who wanted to see him challenge Cody for the title and now it’s coming to fruition.

** ABC 6 conducted an interview with Cesaro ahead of the 7/24 episode of Friday Night SmackDown. Cesaro stated that he still has the desire to be world champion in WWE and maybe he’s just one of those individuals who has to spend a decade-plus in the company to achieve that goal.

“There’s a lot of people who haven’t won the big one, the World Championship, until they’ve been with the company over 10 or 12 years. Certain things just take a while..and maybe me becoming World Champion is one of those things.”

** Here are several notes from the latest edition of Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

– It’s noted in the Observer that both Edge and Daniel Bryan have “significant creative” influence and they are both a part of the creative teams on their respective brands. Daniel Bryan was spotted in a WWE documentary in a creative meeting months back.

– The prize for AEW’s Women’s Tag Team Cup tournament is not Women’s Tag Team Championships. The idea is to do this tournament annually and it’s being done now to see how viewers react to it and how well it does.

– The Women of Wrestling promotion that was formerly on AXS is planning television tapings for this Fall and they’ll announce the network they’ll be a part of at the tapings.

** WWE Content Innovation Lab employee Cornell Gunter shared on Twitter that he tested positive for COVID-19 and is in the recovery stage of the virus. He disclosed that the last ten days have been the worst for him.

** The latest installment of the Something to Wrestle podcast was based around WWE’s 2005 Great American Bash pay-per-view. During the Q&A portion of the podcast, Prichard gave his opinion on why WWE has never used the “Halloween Havoc” theme to present a televised event.

“I think it was a great name. Just, I don’t know. For whatever reason, never really did it. Halloween doesn’t translate worldwide, and Great American Bash doesn’t translate worldwide.

So, those names are something you have to consider that when you’re looking at a global territory and being able to look at what you can sell. You can’t sell a Great American Bash all over the world and we can’t sell a Halloween Havoc because they don’t know what it is. So I know for Halloween that was it. Great American Bash? Hey, we’ve done and we try to do them around 4th of July and things like that but the reason it hasn’t stuck is because it’s a tough sell globally.”

** Sarah and Erik Rowe did a gender and name reveal for their child.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcazVbu5dtM[/embedyt]

 

** FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) spoke with Louis Dangoor of WrestleTalk. During their chat, both Harwood and Wheeler praised Wesley Blake, who’s currently a member of The Forgotten Sons on SmackDown. Cash specifically mentioned that Blake is too nice of an individual and hopes he becomes more stern because he has abilities in the ring that have yet to be spotlighted.

Dax Harwood: “I have never worked with someone that can do what Wesley Blake can do. He can make anybody look incredible. All of his stuff, his punches, his kicks, his selling. Everything is on point. His body language is incredible, he knows where to be in the ring and the little things like that are the reasons why people, the average fan who think they know but they have no clue, don’t get it, and I hope to God he becomes successful in the WWE and then in 20 years, people can go back and watch his stuff just like they’ve done with Bobby Eaton and say, ‘Oh man, I see it now. He’s the guy who’s creating the excitement, he’s the guy who’s creating the emotion in this match, he’s the guy who’s making this match a watchable match.”

Cash Wheeler: “To add on a little bit here, Wesley might be one of the most naturally good sellers I’ve ever seen. Almost to a point where it’s a fault for him because people don’t realize that it’s him making his opponents look as good as they do sometimes because I’m not taking anything away from his opponents. Most of the guys that he’s worked with, especially on television, they’ve obviously been very good but, Wesley, somebody he reminds me of when he’s in the ring and he’s selling and he’s making somebody look as good as they do, is very Curt Hennig-like. Mr. Perfect was one of those guys where he could just go out there and you don’t realize just how good he is at what he does. You’re like, ‘Man –’ say he was working with Shawn [Michaels]. You go, ‘Man, Shawn’s so good’ but Curt — you’re only as good as your partner and Curt’s making him look so good but he’s so good at it that people overlook him because of it, and I’ll send this to Wesley myself when it comes out but his biggest thing is that he’s too nice of a guy. He’s too nice and he goes out there and he goes out of his way to make his opponents look better and I wish he was a little bit more of an asshole and I wish he would kind of just go into business for himself sometimes because he’s so good.”

** The ‘Atomic Revolution Wrestling’ promotion announced EC3 for their September 4th event in Florida.

** Sasha Banks chatted with Crunchyroll about anime.

** Boston Wrestling MWF released their interview with Brian Pillman Jr. This interview must’ve been conducted either earlier this year or in late 2019. The interviewer stated, “As we enter a new decade” and that Pillman Jr. was in town for a live event. Per Cagematch.com, the last time Pillman Jr. wrestled in Massachusetts was in February and prior to that was late 2019. During this interview, Pillman Jr. discussed his plans after his MLW contract expires and some of the companies he had/has his eyes on.

“Now we’re getting into that realm that people are really, really starting to want to work with me and there’s contracts in the way and things like that with Major League Wrestling and I’m very happy to be there and to continue finishing out my work there but I think at the end of that tenure, it’s gonna be starting to make a big decision on my future and I know New Japan is gonna be doing some shows in the United States so that might be a good avenue there but at the same time, I’ve made some friends and I’ve really learned to appreciate the WWE perhaps opening its doors for me as well so, there’s that and I’ve always had a great connection with Cody as well. Cody comes from a similar story, similar background, you know? He was the boss’ kid for so long and being the son of [Brian] Pillman is kind of similar shoes. You got people in your ear all the time trying to give you advice. ‘Your dad would have done this, done this’ but, my father’s no longer here anymore, his [Cody] father’s no longer here so, we’re on these similar journeys of trying to find ourselves, trying to make our fathers proud and I think I’d be a great fit for AEW as well so, unfortunately I love all these companies and I love wrestling and I wouldn’t mind a run at Ring of Honor either. But it’s one of those things where we’ll see what happens. I think I gotta look at every individual opportunity and weigh the pros and cons and see what works best for the mullet. We can’t be cutting this hair off. Any of these companies trying to cut my hair, I can’t sign with them.”

** Sting was a guest on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast. Sting spoke about his legacy in the wrestling business and he listed off several characteristics that he hopes people remember him for and by.

“Man, I hope people remember things like my worth ethic, being dependable, I didn’t pull no shows, I didn’t milk injuries, I had longevity. When I was in the ring I tried to bring [it] every night. I tried to be as entertaining as I could, keep the crowd involved in the match. I’m hoping fans will remember my gear, staying in shape, being believable, trying to always be better, always be innovative, and creative, the way I was able to change and evolve. I hope they remember those things about me.”

** WWE filed trademarks for “Heritage Cup” and “NXT U.K. Heritage Cup”.

**STARDOM ‘Cinderella Summer’ Results (7/24/20) Nagoya, Japan
– Konami def. Saya Iida
Three-Way Match: Starlight Kid def. Death Yama-san and Saki Kashima
– Riho & Tam Nakano def. Oedo Tai (Natsuko Tora & Natsu Sumire) by DQ
– Giulia, Himeka, Maika & Syuri vs. AZM, Momo Watanabe, Saya Kamitani & Utami Hayashishita – Time Limit Draw (30:00)
World of STARDOM Championship: Mayu Iwatani (c) def. Jungle Kyona

** NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis wrote an open letter to his fan base. Aldis talked about his journey to get to where he is now and shared his appreciation for the support that he’s received. Here’s an excerpt from the piece:

“You’re also probably well aware that we have suffered a major hit to momentum between the pandemic and other unfortunate circumstances. But I’m here to remind you that I’m not the angry young man in his 20s any more, I’m a thick-skinned experienced man who has weathered storms before and knows how to do it. I’m also telling you that the major difference between the pre-NWA Nick and the current version is you, the fans. The fans who took a chance on a bold new strategy of focusing on one match, one champion, one challenger and one prize. The fans who sold out the GPB studios over and over for NWA Powerrr, the most authentic alternative in the business. The fans who stuck their flags in the ground on my island and said “this is where I want to be a wrestling fan the most.”

I want you to know how much I appreciate it. And I have no intention of letting you down.

And together, we can find that momentum again.”

** Angel Garza and television host Zaide Lozano got married.

** Big Japan Pro Wrestling Results (7/24/20) Korakuen Hall
Dark Match — Six Man Tag: Kankuro Hoshino, Kosuke Sato & Takuho Kato def. Kazuki Hashimoto, Masaki Morihiro & Yuya Aoki
– Kazumi Kikuta, Ryuichi Kawakami & Takuya Nomura def. Akira Hyodo, Hideyoshi Kamitani & Yuji Okabayashi
– Daisuke Sekimoto, Kota Sekifuda & Tatsuhiko Yoshino def. Ryota Hama & The Brahman Brothers (Brahman Kei & Brahman Shu)
Yakitori Sticks Deathmatch: Masashi Takeda def. Drew Parker
Weapons Deathmatch: Jaki Numazawa & Kenji Fukimoto def. Toshiyuki Sakuda & Yuki Ishikawa
Fluorescent Lighttubes Deathmatch: Abdullah Kobayashi, Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto def. Masaya Takahashi, Ryuji Ito & Shunma Katsumata
BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship: Daichi Hashimoto (c) def. Yasufumi Nakanoue

** Marc Copani sat down with Chris Van Vliet for an exclusive interview. Copani, the former Muhammad Hassan was asked that if had the masked men segment on SmackDown with The Undertaker not happened prior to the London Bombings, would his on-screen character have lasted longer and Copani believes it may have lasted longer and further elaborated on his answer.

“I think so for a little while. Again, until we started to push it a little too far.

There was the masked men that was treating Daivari as a martyr, it was carrying him out martyr-style. It was everything about the character that was really starting to draw heat with media, with Muslim-American groups, and eventually it started to change this heat from this genuine heat that the fans loved to hate the character to something that became a bit more, a little bit more political.”

Copani shared stories of his main-event run as Muhammad Hassan. Copani recalled two different occasions when he and Shawn Daivari had to deal with stereotypes and racial tension while representing their respective characters outside of the professional wrestling setting.

“It’s not really funny but at the time, it was serious. I mean we were — what was this? 2004? We were just a few years really removed from 9/11 and I remember a few incidents. One I remember in San Francisco. I can’t remember the name of the hotel. We, Shawn [Daivari] and I were walking from the parking lot to the hotel entrance and a lady was walking towards us and we had the full gimmick on and the glasses and my suit and 230 pounds at the time. So we looked intimidating, and she took her daughter off the path and walked by us like five feet away. There was plenty of room for us on that path but it was the — she was scared and one time we were on the plane, Shawn and I and we were sitting towards the front and it might’ve been Shelton [Benjamin]. Somebody came up and told us that towards the back of the plane, people were calling their families to tell them that they loved them. So there were some times when people really were — people were really frightened and honestly it made playing the character really easy because the things that you feel when you’re dressed like that and you’re out in public and you see how people treat you and that’s how people treated Shawn. I’ve said it before. It became kind of a joke and then it kinda got annoying because it would hold us up but Shawn was randomly searched at seven out of ten airports. But, feeling that and being exposed to that as a non-Arab, it was not hard to get into character and feel anger towards Americans and some outrage at how unfairly people were being treated for things that were out of their control, they had nothing to do with and these are American citizens who pay taxes, who obey the law so, that was one of the brilliant things about the character is he was right in his feeling these unjust attitudes and it was easy for me to get into it.”

** Ring of Honor has a compilation up on their YouTube channel of Daniel Bryan’s greatest moments in the company.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY2iSl0r2zs[/embedyt]

 

** The U.K. outlet JOE posted their interview with WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. McIntyre further spoke about the WWE 24 documentary that is in the works about his chase for the world title.

** Rusev played Call of Duty: Warzone with Xavier Woods, Chris Denker and Forward for the Miami Heat, Meyers Leonard.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb8Hpqh89CQ[/embedyt]

 

** Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy has a feature up about the possibility of an Evolution II pay-per-view. Comments from Bayley, Carmella, Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax are included in the article.

** Jonathan Snowden of WrestleJoy interviewed Shawn Michaels about his match against Kevin Nash at In Your House in 1996 for the WWF Championship.

** The likes of Edge, Ricochet, Candice LeRae, Rhea Ripley, Johnny Gargano and Sam Roberts were a part of the WWE Elite Squad San Diego Comic-Con 2020 virtual panel.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TuUCk_00sSs[/embedyt]

 

** Highspots Network streamed their live ‘Virtual Gimmick’ table with guests, Priscilla Kelly and Darby Allin.

** Here’s a video of Asuka, Cesaro, Kofi Kingston and Big E playing WWE 2K Battlegrounds on Nintendo Switch:

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1kdIUVL3-I[/embedyt]

 

** On the ‘Fully Loaded 2000’ edition of the Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross discussed the efforts that WWE made to express to Brock Lesnar how badly they wanted him in the company. Ross recalled Gerald Brisco consistently appearing at Lesnar’s NCAA matches as a sign to let him know that WWE cares about him.

“Well he was the NCAA Champion, Division 1, that’s why we left him there so he can win that title and everybody involved was confident that he would be the guy. That was good for the program, good for J Robinson [Minnesota wrestling coach] and J protected our interest in Brock without question thanks to Gerald Brisco’s relationship with him. So, and I always signed off on Gerald’s traveling so he could go watch Brock wrestle whenever he wanted. I encouraged that. ‘He needs to see you there. He needs to know that we care all the time, 24/7, we care about you Brock. We need you on our team. We want you on our team.’”

** Eddie Edwards chatted with Lewis Nicholls ahead of becoming IMPACT World Champion at Slammiversary.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q53wuLNsXM4[/embedyt]

 

** WWE Hall Of Famer Torrie Wilson turned 45-years old today. Zack Sabre Jr. (33), Angelo Dawkins (30) and M.J. Jenkins (29) all have birthdays today. WWE’s Greg Hamilton has a birthday today as well.

** Ring of Honor’s Director of Operations, Gary Juster will be on the next installment of the ROHStrong podcast.

** Pro Wrestling NOAH ‘Kongo Produce DIAMOND 2’ Results (7/24/20) Korakuen Hall
– Shiryu def. Nio
– Masaaki Mochizuki def. Yoshiki Inamura
– Shuhei Taniguchi def. Manabu Soya
– Masa Kitamiya def. Daiki Inaba
– Kenou def. Hao

** Former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm was a guest on MuscleManMalcolm’s YouTube channel.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlhjyzHnIkM[/embedyt]

 

** Sonya Deville spoke with ‘FoodSided’ about donuts.

** Drew McIntyre reflected on his storyline with Bobby Lashley while speaking with Booker T on the ‘Hall Of Fame’ podcast.

** Natalya and her sister Jennifer uploaded a new video to their YouTube channel.

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 3683 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.