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.
** Former WWE producer Shawn Daivari was let go from the company this past April as a part of their mass releases/furloughs. The 36-year-old Daivari is active in the ring as he recently competed for IMPACT Wrestling at their Bound For Glory pay-per-view. He was a guest on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast and spoke about his experiences working with Vince McMahon on the production side of the spectrum.
“He definitely can be intimidating but it’s one of those things that-that’s his communication style. He communicates when he’s confused or whatever, maybe by yelling and screaming. I’m sure he yells and screams when he’s mad too, kinda of the way he talks. I’m not joking you, there’s been times where he might yell and scream at someone and before their segment’s over, he’s already yelled and screamed at the next person and he’s forgotten or doesn’t even care about the first one previously, but it’s because he wasn’t actually bent out of shape about it. If you’re really bent out of shape about it, you would probably not forget and remain mad about it but it’s just the way he communicates in a live environment. He definitely doesn’t communicate that way in the production meetings and stuff. The production meetings, he just — it feels like a classroom. You feel like a student sitting in class and he’s the teacher up front, but I think maybe just on headset, watching while you’re live and in production because I even get jazzed up when I’m live. Things are going good and the match is rocking. I think it’s super exciting so I can understand if something fell apart. I think I’ve been fortunate that none of my stuff has ever fallen apart so I guess I could answer that question better if Vince yelled and screamed at me one time but, I have had him yell at me as a talent before and it’s just, it’s just the way he treated you. He yells at you and screams at you about something you did that he didn’t like, and you’re booked in the exact same position the next week. Chances are, he wasn’t really mad.”
Daivari talked about the build to Kofi Kingston versus Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 35. He stated that had Kofi and Bryan not had that moment at Elimination Chamber, Kevin Owens versus Daniel Bryan would have been the direction for that year’s WrestleMania.
“Elimination Chamber, the last one where like the last two was Kofi Kingston and Bryan Danielson before they went to their WrestleMania match. That WrestleMania thing wasn’t supposed to happen. The electricity from that, them being the last two in the Elimination Chamber [in] an arena in Houston. I literally couldn’t watch it on the monitor anymore. It was so electric. I walked out in the crowd, watched it from behind the curtain because I wanted to feel — you literally feel vibration when you’re standing in front of a speaker at a concert. You feel the vibration of the crowd reaction when something’s rumbling and I don’t get reactions like that anymore so I’m trying to steal pops from the other guys,” Daivari laughed. “I went out there. I wanted to get the goosebumps and feel that. But without that electricity, that whole Kofi Mania run would not have happened. The next SmackDown, Kevin Owens would’ve come back and Kevin Owens and Daniel Bryan would’ve wrestled at WrestleMania. It might’ve been good, it might’ve been bad, it might’ve been indifferent. Probably would’ve been great. The audience, that electricity made Kofi Mania happen and as we know, that turned out f*cking amazing.”
Shawn was hired to be a producer for WWE in early 2018. He detailed how that opportunity came about and that WWE wanted to have separate producers for their RAW and SmackDown brands.
“In the middle of 2018 at some point, they asked me to go to the PC and do [the] guest coaching thing, and I did that and everything and at one point, they asked me and two other wrestlers to go into a ring and coach in there which was very weird. I didn’t get it but I think later they realized that Triple H or someone in Stamford must’ve been watching remotely on camera what I was doing or how we were working or whatever, and I thought maybe they’d be interested in bringing me in as a coach at the PC and then I really don’t know how the conversation went and what direction behind the scenes I wasn’t a part of but a few months later, Hunter offered me the job as a producer, saying they pretty much wanna double up on producers. They wanna have a separate team for RAW and a separate team for SmackDown, like they do with the writers, and then they did that. They brought in [an] influx. They pretty much doubled their roster of producers and I was assigned to the SmackDown roster.”
** JBL did a Q&A on his YouTube channel and one of the questions asked of him had to do with a potential return to the ring. The 54-year-old John Bradshaw Layfield says he would love to wrestle again but doesn’t know if his body will allow him to.
“I don’t think I can [return]. If I could, I would. I retired, not because I wanted to. I retired because I had to. I had injuries and my body just gave out on me. I’m 54 and I’m training like crazy right now. I would love to get back in the ring and do something. But, I just don’t know if my body would let me. If it would, I’d do it in a heartbeat. You know, my wrestling career stopped, not because I wanted it to but because my body gave out so, I would go back in a heartbeat. These guys do a wonderful job these days by the way. I know somebody’s gonna ask me that question. I don’t think I can keep up with them. Maybe I could do something.”
JBL reflected on his experience working ECW’s One Night Stand events. He admitted that he initially didn’t understand the passion behind ECW because he never got the opportunity to tune into a show due to WWE’s travel schedule. He went on to compare the One Night Stand crowds to NXT TakeOver crowds.
“I didn’t get ECW. I mean ‘get it’ as in understanding the passion behind ECW, because we were traveling, we were working 52 weeks a year. We didn’t watch anything, really. You get to a hotel late, you go to bed, you get up early, you train, you go to the next town or go get into town late, get up, train and go to the arena. So I never really saw ECW. Not because I didn’t want to, but because we were working every night. That passion of that crowd, I’ve never felt anything like that. I’ve been in some crazy, crazy things. Some crazy passionate arenas. That crowd was awesome. They told me by the way, they said, ‘Don’t walk through the crowd. We can’t guarantee your safety’ so of course I walked through the crowd. I thought if I get mugged or beat up or whatever it is, it’s gonna be great television. It was awesome. I loved being a heel there, I loved those fans, I loved everything about it. I understand after being there for One Night Stand how great ECW was. It was just fantastic. I think NXT’s kinda like that now. I think the passion that people feel going to some of these NXT TakeOver shows, you feel that same type of passion and fans feel like they belong which is what you — they do. You want them to feel that way and they are part of the show and I think NXT is very similar to ECW that way. I could work in front of crowds like that every single day.”
** Reporter Anna Wolfe provided updates on the Brett DiBiase embezzlement case and DiBiase pleaded guilty to making fraudulent statements. DiBiase was a part of the WWE’s developmental system FCW for several years. He was released from the company in 2011.
Along with several others, Brett DiBiase, son of WWE Hall Of Famer Ted DiBiase, was arrested in an embezzlement scheme. According to WJTV, special agents from the office of State Auditor Shad White have arrested John Davis, Latimer Smith, Dr. Nancy New, Zach New and Anne McGrew in connection with a multi-million dollar embezzlement scheme. There was an eight-month investigation that took place and auditors found out that the listed names conspired to illegally obtain millions of dollars from the Temporary Assistance of Needy Families program. While preparing to embezzle the money, DiBiase was in a luxury rehab facility in California for his own drug use and Davis and Smith created documents for DiBiase to complete the embezzlement scheme, knowing he was not performing the tasks that were asked of him. To read the full story, head over to this link.
** A GoFundMe has been set up for Robbie Eagles and his family. They are trying to get Robbie’s father, who passed away, back home to Australia from the Philippines.
** Jake Crist announced that he’s officially a free agent and is no longer with IMPACT Wrestling. Crist chatted with Wrestling Inc. following the announcement and said it was a mutual agreement between himself and IMPACT to let him out of his contract early.
“My contract was up January 1 anyways. I didn’t think there was going to be any type of renewal or anything like that. I finally got ahold of the office, and I told them I had a couple opportunities coming up that I wouldn’t mind if I could jump on those. And they granted that to me. So here I am. Now, I’m [a] free agent, can’t be more happy. I was still under contract for six months not being used and sitting at home.”
Jake’s brother, Dave Crist’s IMPACT contract was terminated following the allegations against him during the #SpeakingOut movement. Jake’s last TV match for IMPACT was in June and he said it did become trying on the communication front between himself and IMPACT.
“Pretty much, yes. I wasn’t hearing anything back. I thought with the things that I’ve done for the company, the way they treated it, I thought it could have been handled… but I also understand too them wanting to distance and do everything. Like I said, there’s no hard feelings, and I wish them nothing but the best. And I have a lot of friends that still work for the company, and like I said, nothing but the best for them.”
** Mike Bennett is scheduled to have his first match back in Ring of Honor at their Final Battle pay-per-view. While speaking to TV Insider to promote the PPV, he stated that he’s working on a per-appearance deal with the company.
“It’s per appearance [while] everyone is trying to figure out what’s going on with the world. I’m there. That’s my home. I love it there. I love my family there. It will take a lot for me to leave again. I don’t see that happening anytime soon.”
** Hannibal TV sat down with Jazz for an interview. Jazz is currently a part of the IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Title tournament with Jordynne Grace and they are in the semi-finals. Jazz retired from the in-ring portion of wrestling over the summer but she shared how IMPACT was able to get her back into the fold.
“Yeah, Hannibal I tell ya. Oh my goodness, yes. When I got that call, it was like a week after I did the retirement or they [SWE Fury] had the retirement ceremony, and you know what? I was like, ‘Oh my God. Like why now? Why reach out to me now?’ But you know, I’m the type of person that never turned down a challenge and it was just something I felt that would be great for me to go out. If I’m gonna go out, at least go out on top and so I most definitely took the opportunity with IMPACT and just go out on a bigger platform, and very thankful and grateful for the opportunity and I’m having a blast and Jordynne Grace and I, we are not playing around. We are going for the [Knockouts Tag Team Championship] and that’s — and we’re not stopping.”
Jazz is one of the heads of the SWE Fury promotion based in Texas. She was asked about the possibility of Tessa Blanchard working for the promotion and Jazz said she’d like to have her.
“Very true [that Tessa is not too far from SWE distance-wise] but as of now, she’s not taking any bookings. I don’t know if it has to do with her in Mexico or COVID or what but right now, I was told that she’s not taking any bookings but yes, once she starts and if she’s not signed right off the bat, I’m sure SWE may reach out to her. Why not? We could most definitely use her. I would love to have Tessa Blanchard here and [work] with her.”
** NWA World Women’s Champion Serena Deeb was a guest on The Hashtag Show. Serena stated that the National Wrestling Alliance could resume tapings in early 2021. The NWA were working with the United Wrestling Network out of Thunder Studios until the recent shutdown in the California area. Dave Marquez announced that UWN would be back in early 2021.
“In the foreseeable future, I’m really excited. NWA is probably starting back up again with some tapings in January or early next year and I’m excited to go over there and just get in the ring with some different women. My intention as champion is to carry this championship all over the world, defend it all over the world. I would love to, I guess, be a platform to showcase other women that people aren’t familiar with and I think just all of this, all of this cross-promotion that’s going on — the possibilities are endless and just the feeling of possibility in your life when you have that in front of you, I’m taking the time to soak it up and be grateful for it because it’s taken a long time to get to this point and I’m having a blast.”
** Wrestling Inc. ran another portion of their interview with longtime WWE official Mike Chioda. He talked about the differences between how WWE treats their officials and how AEW does so. Chioda did not want to speak negatively about WWE but did recount them removing him from one of their video games after he asked about royalties for his likeness being in the game.
“I was amazed about that. I was like, ‘You can sell shirts, 8 x 10’s, do a podcast and do that?’ I felt like I was in this bubble for so many years. I’m not gonna knock Vince, Linda, Shane and Stephanie, they gave me a hell of a run, 35 years. Had a hell of a run with them and I appreciate all they’ve done for me. Talking about from the referee standpoint, they let the referees have their own character. They let them do other shows, do other things, have their own shirts, video games [and] all that. You’re tied down at WWE. You couldn’t get royalties off of video games because they wouldn’t let us in the video games. They let me in for a little while, and then once I was talking about, ‘Okay, where’s my royalties?’ They took me right out of the game. I was in the SmackDown video game, and I was talking to Johnny [Ace] about it. I said, ‘Johnny, I’ve been here for quite a while. It’s not like I’m just a referee that came in here for two years or three years,’ and he’s like, ‘Nah just not doing the referees.’ And I said, ‘Wow.’ It’s a little uncomfortable because when you hear all the boys are making a lot of money off the royalties, which so be — I mean, I own my own name.
You got to think about guys that don’t own their own name [and] what they go through if they leave the company. I think the referees get really locked down at the WWE. There’s enough to go around everywhere, especially with the WWE. Take care of the referees. If you have 60 talents, 17 refs, take care of the refs too.”
As far as his business dealings go with AEW, Chioda is currently under a part-time deal.
“Right now, it’s not a done deal, a full-time deal. Right now, it’s part-time deal, which is great for me right now. I love the vibe there. AEW has a fantastic vibe with Cody Rhodes, and Chris Jericho and a lot of guys, Jake Hager over there and stuff. You got some good old school talent, FTR, and you got some young talent that is amazing there. It was kind of weird.
I feel green sitting around looking at all this talent that’s upcoming because I’ve been watching the show on TNT, of course, before I started. I think they really got a good thing going on there with Tony Khan, and Cody Rhodes and them guys.”
** Kevin Owens talked to ‘Metro’ and told the publication about the conversations that were had about him heading back to NXT. Within those conversations, the idea was out there that he could appear for the NXT UK brand as well.
“They’re all extremely talented guys, and I would love to compete with any of those guys. I kinda got to do a bit with Imperium last year, so that was cool. At one point there was a plan for me to go back to NXT at some point last year, which didn’t happen, obviously. But we had even discussed, maybe if that happens, then maybe I could show up on NXT UK and work with all these different people. I’d love to get to do that!”
** Jurassic Express (Luchasaurus, Jungle Boy & Marko Stunt) joined the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Each member reflected on their AEW signing and Luchasaurus’ almost did not happen because The Young Bucks thought he was signed to Ring of Honor.
“I talked to Trent,” Luchasaurus recalled. “I was texting him saying, ‘Hey, Ring of Honor decided not to pick me up.’ They were gonna use me when I came out to the west coast and stuff but they didn’t have any ideas for me creatively and Trent’s like, ‘Hey, I’m in the car with The Bucks right now. You want me to tell them that you’re not with them because they thought you were signed with ROH?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, tell them.’ They’re like, ‘Oh, let’s bring him to Double Or Nothing. Does he want to be in the thing [Casino Battle Royale]?’ I’m like yeah, and then they came to Bar Wrestling and wanted me and Jungle Boy to do a promo for the thing and I was like, ‘Hey, can we do it together?’ And they’re like, ‘Yeah, do whatever you want’ so we just started doing our little shtick together and it started getting real over on BTE and we kept coming up with more ideas. So by the time we actually even came out together at all, people knew us from — we kinda never really had a tag [match]. They knew us from BTE. They didn’t know what we could do.”
** Hannibal TV caught up with former multi-time WWE Tag Team Champion Charlie Haas. Haas is currently a part of the SWE Fury promotion in Texas and during the interview, he explained that all he plans to do going forward is to pass on the knowledge that was given to him.
“You know what? My goal is to pay it forward. If I could give advice to anybody at work, anyone that wants to listen, anyone I’m on the same card with, if I could give you the same advice that Arn Anderson, Steve Keirn, Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat, Jerry Brisco, Jack Lanza, Pat Patterson, any of those greats that I had the chance — I had a ten year career with WWE. I had the ability to or the chance to work with all those great agents and they were able to give me a piece of the puzzle or what worked for them. If I could give anything and pay it forward to those that are trying to get to where I was or to be better than I ever was which I want everyone to be, that’s my goal. I’m not looking forward to getting in back to AEW, to WWE, to TNA. I could probably say that ship’s sailed. If they ever do come calling, yeah I would love to listen to them but right now, my goal is to get the young people that wanna get there. If I could give them advice and help them get there, then that’s what I wanna do. That’s my [goal] is to help pay it forward.”
** LSG (Leon St. Giovanni) spoke to Fightful about how he’s been working with Ring of Honor without a contract for quite some time.
“It was an opportunity for me to show a different side of me. If you have been following my career, you know that I’ve been working as a singles competitor outside of ROH for years. I’ve been doing my thing. So, this is kind of my chance to show people what I’ve been doing outside of ROH. If you [haven’t] been following my career, this is a good way for you to see what I’m capable of. Everyone thinks I’m just a high flyer and I can only do tag wrestling. I pride myself on being a really good technical wrestler. I think I opened some eyes.”
** WWE TLC 2015 was the focus of Arn Anderson’s latest podcast. Arn talked about the growth of the Bray Wyatt character and how The Wyatt Family could have been a bigger deal in WWE.
“Bray Wyatt had such control of that character and still does. I mean, that guy lives inside of him somewhere. That is what’s so scary. But with the other guys, Harper [Brodie Lee] has proven what I said all along. What a tremendous talent he is. Big Red [Erick Rowan’s] a killer, Braun Strowman has gotten better, leaps and bounds every week. I mean the writing was on the wall. Those guys were in a situation where they could’ve been so dominant and I think it was just another fumble. A lot of times, you just put the wrong guy over on a big show.”
** On the 12/17 episode of NXT UK on the WWE Network, Jack Starz got his first win. It was announced that a special Christmas Eve edition of NXT UK will air next week. Following his loss in the Heritage Cup final, Trent Seven stated that he’ll be taking some time off to reevaluate. In three weeks, Piper Niven will meet Jinny to determine who’ll be the next challenger to Kay Lee Ray’s NXT UK Women’s Championship.
** Jeff Hardy told ‘Metro’ during an interview that he thinks he and Elias will do one song together.
** Following the announcement on AEW Dynamite that Brandi and Cody Rhodes are expecting their first child, Brandi gave a comment to PEOPLE.com about the news.
“Cody and I are so excited and overwhelmed by this news. We’ve had seven exciting years of marriage, worked together to grow our careers and our core at AEW from the ground up, and now here we are embarking on another incredible chapter.
We have always talked about it as a future, and it turns out that the future is now. It’s surreal that parenthood is right around the corner! We are ready and excited to dive right in.”
** Sasha Banks went live on Instagram with ProSieben MAXX.
** Natalya wrote about WWE’s forthcoming TLC pay-per-view.
** On the latest installment of his Talk Is Jericho podcast, Chris Jericho explained why he considers The Big Show to be his favorite tag team partner of all-time.
“Show was my favorite tag team partner of all time, by far, and that was because I was tag team champions with Edge. Edge tore his Achilles tendon and he was gonna be out for eight months so, they didn’t wanna strip me of the titles so Vince [McMahon] wanted me to have another partner because we were going into a feud with DX, and a lot of people wanted to put me with a young guy and I said, ‘We can’t do this. DX will eat you alive, unless I have somebody that’s a world champion level that can deal with them,’ and I suggested Kane and Vince suggested Big Show and I said, ‘Okay great. But there’s no more comedy, he gets rid of the one-sided strap thing and goes to a singlet or –’ I wanted him in tights, he wanted to do singlet and I said, ‘We’re gonna remember how f*cking big he is. He’s gonna be a giant with me’ and Vince is like, ‘Absolutely’ and that’s where it started and then, every match I ever had, I won because of him. He’d always knock the guy out and then we got so close, we ended up being like an old married couple when you’d be like, ‘Where’s the car tonight?’ ‘It’s right there. Put your glasses on.’ ‘I can’t find my glasses.’ ‘Your glasses are on your head!’… or else, I’d come up with an idea and then he’d come up with an idea. I said, ‘Yeah, that’s good but mine is better’ and he said, ‘Fine, I’ll just sit here and be a big, stupid giant then. I won’t say a word.’ But we had a great chemistry, a great friendship and excellent partner for sure.”
** UpUpDownDown announced the return of the ‘Battle of the Brands’ series.
** IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann was a guest on Wrestling Observer Live.
** ‘Zero Blog Thirty’ welcomed Lacey Evans onto the podcast.
** Renee Paquette was a guest on Ariane Andrew and Matt Dillon’s ‘Sippin The Tea TV’ show.
** Comicbook.com ran their interview with Sasha Banks.
** Don Callis joined F4WOnline’s Figure Four Daily show.
** Aubrey Edwards talked to Bleacher Report about AEW’s partnership with Code.org.
** Wrestling Inc. ran Scott Fishman’s interview with Raquel Gonzalez.
** The Ledger has a feature up about Mike Bennett.
** NJPW1972.com has a new edition of Ace’s HIGH up on their site.
** The following video is from Ring of Honor’s YouTube channel:
** Dragon Gate ‘Fantastic Gate’ Results (12/15/20) Korakuen Hall
– Don Fujii, Shuji Kondo & Ultimo Dragon def. R.E.D. (Diamante, KAI & Takashi Yoshida)
– Team Toryumon (Kagetora & Shachihoko BOY) def. Jimmy & Keisuke Okuda
– Bokutimo Dragon, Naruki Doi & Punch Tominaga def. Team Dragon Gate (YAMATO & Yosuke Santa Maria) & Gamma
– La Estrella def. Susumu Yokosuka
– Dragon Kid, Genki Horiguchi, Masato Yoshino & Yasushi Kanda def. R.E.D. (Eita, HipHop Kikuta, Kaito Ishida & SB KENTo)
– Dragon Dia & Shun Skywalker def. Team Dragon Gate (Ben-K & Kzy)
– Jason Lee, KAZMA SAKAMOTO, Kenichiro Arai, Kono Mama Ichikawa & Masaaki Mochizuki def. R.E.D. (BxB Hulk & Dia Inferno), K-ness, Kota Minoura & Ryo Saito
** Gabriel Kidd wrote another piece for NJPW1972.com.
** PCO joined the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast.
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.