POST NEWS UPDATE: Highlights from pre-TakeOver: WarGames media call with Triple H

Paul Levesque's pre-TakeOver media call, Wardlow on his WWE tryout, Jim Ross recalls having to release Umaga, Damian Lillard/Ric Flair.

Photo Credit: WWE.com

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.

** Paul “Triple H” Levesque hosted his pre-TakeOver: WarGames media call. Below are notes from the call (audio via F4WOnline):

– HHH starts off with sharing several stories and memories of Pat Patterson

– While speaking about Pat McAfee, he says he finds it funny when people try to critique “outside performers” for coming into WWE. Adds that Pat is passionate and that’s why he’s good at this and praised Pat’s charisma.

– If there is anything he could wish for in 2021, it’s to return to packed arenas

– HHH is asked about Rhea Ripley’s comments on ‘Chasing Glory’ about her confidence issues after WrestleMania 36. He was also asked if there were still plans in place to see the final payoff to that story but he said the pandemic changed everything. HHH stated that people always want a quick payoff and there are a lot of valuable lessons in Rhea finding herself again. He believes this current version of Rhea is much better than the Rhea on the lead-up to WrestleMania

– On the topic of WWE possibly collaborating with another promotion or company on a similar level to what was displayed between AEW and IMPACT (Those companies were alluded to, not mentioned by name), HHH said that WWE is open for business. He doesn’t understand the misconception that WWE isn’t open to working with other places but it just has to be the right business for them long-term. He specifically mentioned something that could help ten years from now and not a three-month stint.

– For Survivor Series, they wanted to keep things separate because of the pandemic. There’s a lot of mixing and crossover storylines that would need to take place if NXT was involved and they didn’t want to do that.

– Comments on NXT’s women’s division and thinks they are awesome. He adds that nobody can touch the women in NXT.

** Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards welcomed Wardlow onto the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Prior to joining All Elite Wrestling, Wardlow had a tryout with WWE. He feels that he did immensely well at said tryout and even went to the lengths of selling his home and committing to moving to Orlando. He did not get the job but that led to him training with Kurt Angle.

“I think [WWE was an option]. I know people know that I did have a tryout, and I smoked that tryout. I mean, I was literally the only dude there in a suit, speaking of suits. It was mind blowing. Dudes are there in shorts and t-shirts. That’s because they’re not recruiting wrestlers, they’re recruiting ex-NFL athletes or college wrestlers, people that have never watched wrestling, don’t care about wrestling. Like the comments these people were making made me sick to my stomach that they were there getting an opportunity. Of course my roommate, he’s like, ‘Man, I’ve never even watched wrestling. I don’t even like it.’ I’m just like, ‘Get out of my room. Like why are you here?’ And it was his second tryout. These people are getting multiple chances. So I smoked that tryout. I’m like, ‘I have this in the bag’ and so much so, I literally sold my motorcycle, sold my house. Like literally got rid of everything because I’m like, ‘I’m gonna put everything into moving into Florida.’ So when the email came in that I was not, man I remember I actually had to pull over on the side of the road because I just couldn’t believe it and then I started training personally with Kurt Angle, when he was getting ready to make his comeback for his final couple matches and me and Kurt just clicked in the ring, really well, and him and I talked a lot and he expressed that he had-had a conversation with a certain somebody there about bringing me in and he told me, ‘It’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when.’”

Wardlow shared that one of his internal goals when he arrived in AEW was to raise the female viewership. He would like to think that he is currently helping in that department.

“Okay, so it’s funny you say that because before I even started, like a little personal goal of mine that I hadn’t expressed to anyone was that I wanted to get female viewership. So, the fact that we’re having this conversation is very cool and maybe it is me, maybe it’s not but I would like to think I am helping that demographic and I would like to think that those numbers will continue to rise.”

He reflected on some of his favorite matches that he’s had and he looked back at the bout against Hangman Adam Page in the AEW World Title Eliminator tournament. He went on to detail the style of wrestling he prefers and that Hangman match matched up with Wardlow’s mindset.

“Now that’s my favorite style of match. The bigger and harder you hit, the better. Wrestling for me, you know, this is what I do, this is what I know, this is very real to me. When I go out there, I am competing, I’m an athlete, I’m a wrestler. I’m not an entertainer, I’m not an artist. When I’m out there, am I entertaining? Absolutely. Do I create art? Art of war, sure. I’ll create a painting with their blood, but I like hard hitting wrestling, beat the sh*t out of each other and that’s what I had with Adam.”

** Powerhouse Hobbs was in the ring along with Ricky Starks, Taz and Brian Cage when Sting made his AEW Dynamite debut. While appearing on Busted Open Radio, Hobbs talked about the moment and what it was like to see Sting in-person.

“I’m very happy. Sh*t shocked the hell out of me… it was almost unreal. Like, I’m standing there, ‘Oh my God, oh my God.’ I almost felt like I had an out of body experience but… growing up watching Sting over the years, I saw him come out, we gotta bounce. That sh*t was just unexpected.”

** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated spoke with Laredo Kid for an exclusive interview. At Triplemania XXVIII, Laredo Kid is challenging Kenny Omega for the AAA Mega Championship and he feels that it’s the biggest match of his career thus far.

“It’s the biggest match of my career. Kenny Omega is one of the greatest wrestlers in the world. He has had great matches in New Japan and AEW. Now I have the chance to wrestle him at TripleMania.

I have prepared for TripleMania, and it is an opportunity I wanted for a long time. I always put great pressure on myself, and I know I need to do something different in the ring with Kenny. This needs to be great for our fans. It is a big, big show. People around the world pay attention to TripleMania. And this is one of our biggest shows ever, especially with no fans. We need it to be special. Now we have a collaboration with Marvel, so there are going to be lots of surprises this year.”

Laredo was asked about working with Kenny Omega at Fyter Fest in 2019 and at last year’s Triplemania event. He stated that he would like to work with AEW more if possible.

“For me and Kenny, this is our first time going one-on-one. We wrestled in AEW, and we wrestled last year at TripleMania, but never one-on-one until now. You ask me about AEW. I would like to do more matches with them. I hope they like my style and what I can do in the ring. AEW is a great company, and it would be an excellent opportunity for me.”

Being in MLW, having a main event match on the Triplemania card and other opportunities ahead of him, Laredo Kid is excited for the future and feels that there is no better luchador than him right now.

“I am 33 years old, and I have dedicated my life to this. I hope I can continue for another 20 years, becoming a true legend. In the ring, I give my best high-flying, my best strong style and my best submissions. There is no better luchador. I cannot wait for the future. I want people to watch my matches in MLW, and then see TripleMania. I have a new costume and new gear ready for TripleMania, and I get to wrestle one of the best in the world, Kenny Omega. I am going to do things in the ring that people have never seen before, and I am going to write my name in the history of wrestling.”

** Mike Bennett was the most recent guest on the Battleground Podcast. Bennett was asked if he would ever return to WWE and as of the recording, the answer was a no for him. He spoke about how his values and WWE’s values don’t align, specifically on the front of their relationship with Saudi Arabia.

“I mean, right now? No. It would take — they would be like, ‘We’ll pay you a billion dollars for the rest of your life’ and I would be like, ‘Well that might be hard to turn down.’ I had a realization not that long ago about why because I always play that in my brain. Like, ‘Do you ever wanna go back?’ And one of the things I have the hardest time coping with or dealing with-with that company is my values and their values, they just don’t line up, and that’s a very difficult thing for me to try to like push aside. I don’t agree with and I did the shows but I don’t agree with their relationship with Saudi Arabia. Their values don’t line up with my values. Just doing business with that, that just doesn’t align with my values as a human with the way they treat women and the way they treat homosexuals. It doesn’t line up. I don’t agree with that. So doing shows for them, that’s hard for me to deal with. The way Vince [McMahon] runs his business through fear and games and politics, I’m a 35-year old man with kids. If you have a problem with me, just tell me. I’ll deal with it, I don’t play games. That’s one of the reasons I butted heads there. I don’t do that.”

Bennett made his return to Ring of Honor and will be in action on the next episode of ROH TV. He feels that leaving Ring of Honor was the worst decision he’s made career-wise.

“Leaving Ring of Honor was the worst decision because when I went back this last time, I just remember being there and looking around at the locker room and seeing guys like Jay Lethal and The Briscoes and Dalton Castle and [Matt] Taven and all these people that were there when I left and I was like, ‘Why? This is family. Why did I leave home? This is okay. I can make a living here and I can have fun here and I can be happy and this is a place I can bring my kids and they can meet people that I love.’ I love The Briscoes as brothers so it’s like yeah, this is where I wanna be and I probably shouldn’t have left but, again, hindsight’s 20/20 so it’s a double-edged sword because professionally I shouldn’t have left but personally, I can’t take back the fact that I don’t wanna throw away how much I grew as a human so, it’s one of those things where it’s like a mixed bag. A mixed bag of emotions.”

** The pro wrestling career of the late Edward Fatu (Umaga) was the focus of Jim Ross’ latest podcast. Back in 2003, Fatu was released from WWE after an incident he had at a bar. Ross recalled having to deliver the news to Fatu about his firing.

“Me. I would deliver the news. Try to do it in person when you can. It’s not a letter. I’ll call, talk. You had a conversation about it. But Vince [McMahon] would earmark it and sometimes it was brought up by others in the company how, ‘Well, this guy’s putting our company in jeopardy, he’s out of control and he can’t control his habits,’ etcetera, etcetera and then you get all these little indications like I said earlier, the small things start accumulating, and cumulatively, it’s bad business and so he would say, ‘We gotta fix this problem and unless you can tell me differently JR, the only way I know how to fix it is to let him go and let him mature and because we’d sure as hell like to bring him back.’ We knew he was gonna be great, but you still can’t make exceptions with somebody you perceive to be out of control and dangerous, especially that big, that strong, and so we had to — look, Eckie [Umaga] understood that. He knew he f*cked up and he took the bat out of our hands. What are we gonna do now? So, that’s kinda what that was. He knew he had f*cked up. You gotta pay the piper sometimes and that’s the only recourse that we had.”

Elsewhere during the podcast, JR spoke about the mentality in WWE internally when it came to utilizing older talents who were out of their prime years during the early 2000s. Here’s what he had to say:

“Well, we believed in my run as the Head of Talent Relations that we can not continue to keep recycling older talents. They had a place, but they’re not the building blocks that they were when they were younger. They can contribute to the success of the brand, but they don’t need to be the focal point entirely. You gotta build youth and new and things of that — wrestling fans love new ideas, they love new characters. They love all that stuff.”

** Referee Mal Mason passed away. He was a veteran referee overseas and the likes of Chris Hero, Sam Adonis, Sam Gradwell and Dave Mastiff paid tribute to him.

** In a December 3rd SEC filing, it’s noted that WWE Executive Producer Kevin Dunn sold $1 million worth of his shares in WWE. Dunn remains with over 70,000 shares.

** Complex hosted an interview with Damian Lillard and Ric Flair to promote their joint-shoe for Adidas. During the conversation, Lillard told the story of him wanting to meet Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Stephanie McMahon at an airport but ended up not approaching them.

“Man, funny story, I have some stuff to do in New York, and I was on a plane, and I saw Stephanie McMahon and Triple H on the plane. So I’m telling my boy. I’m like, ‘Man, that’s Triple H right there and Stephanie McMahon. That’s Vince McMahon’s daughter.’ And I usually don’t trip out. I see people all the time. But when I saw him, I was like, ‘I think that’s them back there.’

So I’m going to tell you, after we get off the plane, we go to baggage claim. And I keep looking over there because I’m about to say, ‘Can I get a picture?’ And I can tell Triple H was trying to avoid eye contact with me, like a fan. You know when you ain’t really in the mood to deal with nobody that’s a fan, you try to avoid the interaction. And he was just trying to avoid me. And my boy was like, ‘Man, go tell him you play in the NBA.’ And I didn’t even say nothing. And I was like, ‘Man, I’m cool.’ But I was on a flight with him and Stephanie McMahon, so it was tight. It was tight, but I didn’t even get to meet him.”

The topic of The Ultimate Warrior came up. Ric Flair shared two stories of his dealings with Warrior. Following this response from Flair, Lillard said that he’s heard that Warrior used to legit hurt people in the ring.

“Well, I only worked with him twice,” Flair said. “And I’ll tell you a great story. We were wrestling in Toronto, and we only worked together twice and we had a match and came back. And Pat Patterson, who was an agent in the booking called me aside, and I was a world champion, I had just won at the Royal Rumble or something, and he said, ‘That was the worst match I’ve ever seen in my life.’ And I said, ‘Pat, I know, I was in it.’ Second time, we’re over in Phoenix and Charles Barkley came to see me. He was playing for the Suns then, and he [Warrior] dropped me on my head, and I had an inner ear problem for six months.”

** Longtime WWE official Charles Robinson joined Corey Graves on the After The Bell podcast. Robinson dove into his brief in-ring career and said that an injury caused by ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage put an end to the wrestling portion of his time in the business.

“But a week later, Ric Flair and I, we teamed up to take on Madusa and [Randy] Savage. They called it a mixed tag match. I think they were saying I was part of the other mix. I don’t know what they were trying to say. But of course, Savage and Madusa, they were going over, they were gonna be the winners and Savage was gonna do the elbow on somebody and Ric Flair looked at me and said, ‘It ain’t gonna be me’ so I was volunteered to take the elbow drop from Savage and unfortunately he landed on me and he put me in the hospital for a couple weeks. Yeah, he collapsed my lung, cracked some vertebrae in my back and my wrestling career was over.”

** After his AEW debut on 12/2, Sting now holds the record for the most shirts sold in 24 hours on Pro Wrestling Tees.

** The following paragraph about Pat Patterson was written by Natalya via the Calgary Sun:

I remember Pat being there for my very first match against Charlotte Flair at NXT Takeover in 2014. He was there all day backstage reminiscing with anyone who would let him share old stories. I specifically remember Pat with an iPad in his hand, sitting with Bret Hart at a table watching one of Bret’s matches.  Pat was saying he wasn’t great with technology, but someone helped him pull up a match of Bret’s on the iPad, and Pat was marvelling at Bret’s in-ring work. In any conversation I’ve ever had with Pat, he expressed to me how much he loved watching Bret perform. The image of Bret Hart and Pat Patterson sitting together, laughing, reminiscing about the industry they both love, stuck in my head. I remember thinking of how legendary it was to see two of the greatest Superstars this industry has ever seen, from two different generations, talking about the sport they loved. It also reminded me of how WWE brings people together in the best and most unexpected ways.

** Pro Wrestling Sheet has an interview with Titus O’Neil and during the interview, Titus said that viewers can expect to see more of him on WWE TV in 2021.

“It will be very soon [that I’ll be returning]. Without going into too much detail, just expect to see a lot more Titus O’Neil in 2021. But what I would also say to that is there are a lot of guys that are — and women and men that are on our roster that some, like myself, former champions, things like that-that are still there and people are like, ‘Well you know, I didn’t think you were still there,’ this and that. Some are battling through injuries, some are coming off surgeries, things like that. But just because we’re gone doesn’t mean we’re forgotten and I look forward to 2021 being a really good year for Titus O’Neil.”

** A playlist of Pat Patterson’s greatest matches was put up on WWE’s YouTube channel.

** Fred Rosser posted the following video about Pat Patterson:

 

** Inside The Ropes caught with NXT UK Heritage Cup winner A-Kid. When asked how he views the Heritage Cup Championship/trophy as compared to the established titles on the brand, he explained that he doesn’t see it as a secondary championship.

“I don’t really think it is a secondary championship. I think it’s different, it’s a whole new world. Like, we haven’t seen this style in WWE in our life. There’s no match in WWE under those rules. So anything can really happen. It’s just a whole different world I really, really want to explore. So, yeah, I mean, obviously, as a performer, you want that title, you want the NXT UK Title – but I feel like you also want the Heritage [Cup].”

** On the 12/10 episode of NXT UK, Noam Dar’s ‘Supernova Sessions’ talk show will premiere. Jordan Devlin, who’s being recognized as NXT Cruiserweight Champion is hosting an open challenge

** Next week on MLW FUSION, Marshall & Ross Von Erich are defending their MLW World Tag Team Titles against Jacob Fatu and Simon Gotch.

** Episode 50 of D-Von Dudley’s Table Talk podcast is up.

** Below is a behind-the-scenes video from a World of Warcraft commercial that Ronda Rousey was a part of.

 

** WarnerMedia announced that a handful of films including ‘Dune’ and ‘Suicide Squad’ that star John Cena and Dave Bautista respectively will release on HBO MAX in 2021.

** Dragon Gate ‘Fantastic Gate’ Results (12/2/20) Korakuen Hall
– Team Dragon Gate (Ben-K, Kzy, Strong Machine J & Yosuke Santa Maria) def. Gamma, Kagetora, Taketo Kamei & Ultimo Dragon
Three Way Tag Team Match: Don Fujii & Masaaki Mochizuki def. Team Dragon Gate (Keisuke Okuda & YAMATO) and R.E.D. (BxB Hulk & KAZMA SAKAMOTO)
– Bokutimo Dragon, Punch Tominaga & Ryo Saito def. Genki Horiguchi, Kenichiro Arai & Yasushi Kanda
– Shun Skywalker def. Susumu Yokosuka
– Team Dragon Gate (Dragon Dia, Jason Lee & Kota Minoura) def. R.E.D. (Dia Inferno, KAI & Takashi Yoshida)
– Dragon Kid, Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi & Shuji Kondo defeat R.E.D. (Eita, H.Y.O, Kaito Ishida & SB KENTo) by DQ
– R.E.D. (Eita, H.Y.O, Kaito Ishida, Madoka Kikuta & SB KENTo) def. Dragon Kid, Masato Yoshino, Naruki Doi, Shuji Kondo & Taketo Kamei

** Sporting News chatted with The Young Bucks.

** Pro Wrestling NOAH Results (12/1/20) Korakuen Hall
– FULL THROTTLE (Hajime Ohara, Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY) def. Junta Miyawaki, Kai Fujimura & Yasutaka Yano
– Yuko Miyamoto def. Mohammed Yone
– Kongo (Hao & Tadasuke) def. Atsushi Kotoge & Daisuke Harada
– Kazushi Sakuraba & NOSAWA Rongai def. Kongo (Kenou & Nio)
– Kotaro Suzuki, Naomichi Marufuji & Salvahe de Oriente def. Stinger (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa) & Kinya Okada
– Daiki Inaba, Kaito Kiyomiya & Yoshiki Inamura def. Kongo (Katsuhiko Nakajima, Manabu Soya & Masa Kitamiya)
– Go Shiozaki & Shuhei Taniguchi def. Hideki Suzuki & Takashi Sugiura

** NXT UK Heritage Cup Champion A-Kid was on the Gorilla Position podcast.

** NJPW1972.com posted their interview with SHO.

** The newest video from the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel:

 

** Adam Cole vs. Kyle O’Reilly at ROH Final Battle 2016:

 

** E! Online caught up with The Miz.

** Survivornet spoke to Lilian Garcia.

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