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.
** Siliana Gaspard, widow of the late Shad Gaspard filed court papers on 12/21 against the state of California and the city of Los Angeles for alleged negligence and dangerous condition of public property in the death of Shad, per the Los Angeles Daily News. In May, Shad risked his life to save his son as they were caught in a rip current. Siliana is alleging that there were a lack of warning signs of the dangers of swimming in the area that Shad and his son were in and that lifeguards who were on the scene were understaffed and not properly trained.
Siliana added that they saved her son but left Shad in the water to drown. She is seeking unspecified damages and burial costs.
** Mike Johnson of PWInsider caught up with Candice LeRae ahead of the 12/23 episode of NXT on USA Network. It was stated on NXT TV that LeRae suffered a broken arm at TakeOver: WarGames but Candice clarified what her exact injury is and says her arm wasn’t broken.
“I feel great. All things considered, I think whatever little tiny bits of me that are still a bit sore, I’ll take it, because my arm – no break – it was a Christmas miracle.
I know. It was hard to believe, I was like, ‘This is definitely broken,’ we went to the ER, got x-rays…even our medical team looked at it and I want to say within 24 hours I was able to pretty much use my arm and my fingers all again – obviously tender, but… (laughs)
It was a deep tissue…all the cartilage and stuff just got mushed, and I mean, for days after I went up to people like, ‘It’s not broken’ and medical staff were like that’s so crazy because everybody was convinced that it was broken.”
Candice detailed the moment in the WarGames match when she knew something was wrong. It came about right after Shotzi Blackheart hit a senton onto LeRae who had a chair in her hands.
“Yeah, well so, right after the impact, my ribs immediately hurt, and I’m a pretty stubborn person so I usually try to wait a second and go, ‘Oh, I’m probably fine,’ and I told the referee that was in there with me, ‘I think the doctors need to check on me just in case,’ because I’ve never had a rib injury so that freaked me out, and I went to check my ribs myself to see how everything was, and I just completely couldn’t use my arm, and I was like, ‘Oh no.’ They were trying to get me to leave the cage, and I was like, ‘I can’t leave the cage because we lose if I leave the cage, so just give me a second,’ and so by the time the match had ended, my ribs had started to feel better, and I could breathe normally and everything was fine, but there are so many things I can’t do with my arm right now. And like you said, you take things for granted, because my poor dad…like I always tell Johnny’s mom, ‘If anything’s wrong, you’ll hear from us, if something isn’t wrong is when you won’t, if everything’s good, you’re just not going to hear from us, so don’t worry,’ and I’m like trying to text her with one hand, I’m going, ‘This is so frustrating, I need to tell people that I’m OK but it’s taking forever just to type one little letter,’ it’s crazy.”
** Digital Spy pushed out another portion of their interview with Ronda Rousey. Rousey dove into some of the toughest aspects of being a part of WWE as an in-ring talent. It was the travel that was most tasking for Rousey.
“I love wrestling but I think it was maybe Sarah Rowe (Sarah Logan in WWE) who told me this, she wrestles for free but they pay her to travel. The hardest part I think was just not being able to lay down horizontally, you know. Taking a bunch of hard bumps, your back hurts and you just want to lay down. All I wanted to do between shows is lay down with my legs up and traveling you’re just sitting upright all the time and my back would kill me. So the actual act of traveling I do not miss it all, it was the absolute worse.
My bottom vertebrae in my back is actually broken in half. So that has something to do with it. But traveling on a broken back is the absolute worst. I love being home on my extra firm Tempur-Pedic mattress every night.”
** Thibaud Choplin conducted an interview with Rob Van Dam. During their chat, RVD was asked if he’d like to end his career with a retirement match or if he wants to fade out into the background. RVD said he wouldn’t mind either but if it was a match, he wants a solid build up and a good payday.
“I could see it going either way. I don’t think I have a preference. The one thing about having a retirement match that would be appealing would be if it was built up and it was a good payday. Otherwise, I don’t give a f*ck.”
While WWE Champion, RVD was pulled over in a vehicle with Sabu after an officer smelled marijuana in the car. Following that, RVD was suspended from WWE for a month and went on to drop the WWE Championship. RVD said if he could change anything in his career, it would be that.
“I would’ve been a lot more careful driving. I would have paid attention to the speed limit more and I wouldn’t have had my weed all spread out over the dashboard and I wouldn’t have been smoking in the car without having some good air freshener. I would’ve been more careful and I would’ve been more open-minded. Part of being in that competitive spirit back in the day was arrogance. That was part of it. I couldn’t open up my heart to a lot of the other guys in the room because I was feeling like, ‘Man, f*ck that guy, f*ck that guy. They wanna take my spot or they’re talking sh*t about me. I’d rather knock that guy out dude’ so, now I look at as I was so immature. It was necessary at the moment I guess.”
** Keith Lee filed to trademark the “Keith Lee” name on 12/18. The filing from Lee included screenshots showing that he has been using the name as a professional wrestler since 2008. Keith Lee’s filing also included a signed consent form. WWE has an active filing for “Keith Lee” but the United States Patent and Trademark Office is scheduled to cancel it due to WWE not having a consent form on file. In December of 2019, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office sent WWE a letter, asking them for said consent form and the company has not been able to provide one. Their hold on the “Keith Lee” name will be cancelled on 12/30.
** Former NWA World Television Champion Zicky Dice’s contract with the National Wrestling Alliance expires on January 1st, 2021.
** Forbes pushed out their interview with TNT Champion Darby Allin. The times that Allin was shown in the rafters on Dynamite prior to Sting’s debut, he was not aware that it was going to be connected to Sting’s arrival in AEW. Darby also dove into the advice he received from Sting.
“The whole time I was sitting in the rafters, I didn’t know I was alluding to anything. There’s nothing as big as having ‘The Ball’ [handed] to me than having someone of Sting’s caliber come in and you’re in charge of helping to write that story of his debut. It doesn’t get any bigger than that. I take that very, very seriously so I was like, ‘It’s business time.’ I’ve gotten some advice from [Sting]. He’s seen some of the videos I’ve done, and he’s a big admirer of those. He can be in the game for however long he’s been in the game and constantly keep people intrigued. So if you could pick his brain on that, that would be the No. 1 thing. Because he’s in a league of his own with that mystery and everything he controls. He controls the audience. When he walked out there and I’m just laying in that ring, and the music starts, I haven’t had a feeling like that in wrestling as long as I’ve been doing it…there’s nothing that topped that. That was like an out of body experience”
While a part of EVOLVE, Darby had a lengthy storyline with Ethan Page. There was one match that Ethan broke Darby’s elbow with a shovel and Darby returned the favor by pranking Page after picking him up from an airport.
“There’s only one person, and that would be Mr. Ethan Page,” said Allin when asked to name who he would be interested in working with from IMPACT Wrestling.
“Back in 2017—and this isn’t a storyline, this is real life—he broke my elbow with a shovel. I have a scar and a metal plate, it was documented on that Vice documentary called The Wrestlers.
He’s the only one who has actually taken time off my career. So I would love to get in there and finish some business with him…but I got back at him. I picked him up from the airport, my friend who looks like a homeless crackhead was hiding at the gas station. Ethan doesn’t know this friend of mine. So, I picked up Ethan from the airport, was taking him to a wrestling show, my friend posed as a hitchhiker; I was like, ‘Ethan, this guy’s hitchhiking, can I give him a ride?’ And Ethan’s like the nice guy so he said absolutely.
So Ethan is sitting shotgun, and my friend who’s a hitchhiker is sitting behind him. Halfway through the ride, my friend pulls a switchblade out on him and Ethan about had a heart attack. It was a good hour drive [before we told Ethan it was a rib.]”
** Ringsiders Wrestling conducted an interview with Alexander James. James reflected on his business relationship with CZW throughout the years and the promotion’s owner DJ Hyde. The working relationship between the two sides have been up and down but James holds no ill will towards Hyde or the promotion.
“At some point, no matter what good I did — even there was a time where DJ [Hyde] hated my wrestling but he’s like, ‘Okay, he can do an in-ring promo, he can really talk so we’ll just keep sending him out there to do that’ and then that ran its course and then eventually I was blatantly told, ‘You’re never gonna be our guy. You’re never gonna be the guy. You don’t have that ‘it’ factor. I’m sure you’ll do well, I’m sure you’ll do well other places. It won’t be here.’ I was like, ‘Well okay, thanks for that’ and that’s — not to defend or anything like that but, after that, then immediately or a couple months later, he tried helping me hook him up with an overseas tour and working with wXw and stuff like that so even though to his credit in a sense, even though he didn’t want me and didn’t believe in me, he found an opportunity for me to at least do the best I possibly could so it’s kind of like — if anybody listening to this didn’t understand DJ Hyde before, you’re not going to afterwards because there’s nothing to understand. He’s an eclectic human being, as everything has come out and seen. But I’m very appreciative of that and it did a lot for me and I definitely capitalized on my opportunity and then months later I come back and I challenged John Silver for the — years later I come back and I challenged John Silver for the world title, in a spot I was told I was never, ever, ever 100 percent [going to] be in. The only time I would ever be in that spot is if Drew [Gulak] came back from WWE and I was in his corner, and that wasn’t gonna happen because I don’t think Drew’s leaving there any time soon. So I found myself in that position, and it was a weird relationship from the very beginning. It just got weirder but at the same time, it motivated, it forced me to be better, it forced me to find all my flaws, capitalize on them and correct them and improve and really make myself undeniable and if I’ve accomplished that at this point, I don’t know. I think I have but I’m still constantly improving and I’m still finding things so, I guess the journey is to continue to be undeniable and continue to find those flaws and in doing so, I kind of stuck it to them in a sense, which I always guess is a big motivator, right? The old expression, ‘Haters are your motivators.’”
James has worked with the likes of WALTER and Ilja Dragunov on several occasions. He was asked who delivers the hardest chops and he said Ilja does.
“So, not to ruin the big man’s aura, especially after the match that just happened [Ilja Dragunov vs. WALTER on NXT UK], they suck but Ilja’s are worse. Yeah, so WALTER’s will still make you piss yourself and poop yourself and make you wonder about life all at the same time, but, he’s got this big ‘ole pan of a hand that just covers your whole chest so it’s like blunt force trauma over a greater area, whereas Ilja has these little hands that just cut you open and go quick and those, damn. Especially because he throws more of ‘em too and they’re just quicker and I found individuals with smaller hands and quicker chops are worse than individuals with bigger hands.”
Back on the topic of CZW, Alexander James spoke highly of current WWE talent and former CZW World Heavyweight Champion Drew Gulak. James credited Gulak for being a mentor of sorts as his career in wrestling progressed.
“In fact, one time in particular which is the first time I met Chris Brookes, he came over to the United States and wrestled for CZW and Drew [Gulak] is running late to the show, they said I might have to replace him so I might wrestle Chris. I was very excited, Chris was really cool and still is, and Drew showed up and he got there in time and he saw I was dressed and ready to go and Drew didn’t need the match. Drew, at the time didn’t need more notoriety. He was doing well, he always has been, he’s set in the course and it didn’t necessarily increase or improve his storyline to have this match at CZW and he recognized that fact and he looked at me, he’s like, ‘Do you wanna have this match?’ I was like, ‘No, no, it’s yours.’ He looked at me stern and he said, ‘No, AJ –’ I’m sorry. He said, ‘No, Alexander James, do you wanna have this match?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, of course I do.’ He’s like, ‘Okay.’ He walked over, grabbed DJ [Hyde], he’s like, ‘Hey, I’m still not going out. We’re gonna do’ this, this and this and, ‘AJ’s gonna have the match’ and just gave me the match on this main card CZW show against a British import, which is really cool.”
** While guest appearing on Britt Baker’s ‘Waiting Room’ show, Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels dove into their run as a team in AEW thus far. The conversation resulted in Kazarian telling Daniels that the next time they lose, they’ll be done as a team.
** Steve ‘Mongo’ McMichael chatted with Sports Illustrated about the passing of his friend, NFL Hall Of Famer and former WCW talent Kevin Greene.
“It’s such a shame that he has passed. In terms of football, he was incredible. Kevin had 160 sacks. Isn’t that just phenomenal? 160 sacks. The Hall of Fame is where he belongs, and he was a great person, too. There aren’t enough great people like him in the world.
Everybody lives, but Kevin Greene really lived, baby. That will always define him. Kevin wouldn’t want anyone to be sad. Knowing him, he’d want us to celebrate his life. That’s what I am going to do.”
** Daniel Bryan spoke to BT Sport and further talked about his plan to transition from full-time wrestler to part-time as he wants to dedicate more of his time to fatherhood.
"I'm switching priorities in my life. My contract is coming up soon, and we'll be looking at me transitioning to less than a full-time wrestler."
"I'll be a full-time dad, part-time wrestler."@WWEDanielBryan will always love wrestling, but priorities change ❤️
— WWE on BT Sport (@btsportwwe) December 23, 2020
** IMPACT Wrestling is bringing back the Super X Cup tournament at their Genesis show on 1/9. They revealed the brackets and the first round matchups are:
– Ace Austin vs. Suicide
– Shawn Daivari vs. Cousin Jake
– Crazzy Steve vs. Tre Lamar
– Blake Christian vs. KC Navarro
** Here is what has been announced for the 12/23 episodes of NXT, AEW Dynamite and MLW FUSION:
– NXT Tag Team Championship – Street Fight: Danny Burch & Oney Lorcan (c) vs. Killian Dain & Drake Maverick
– Finn Balor and Kyle O’Reilly relive their TakeOver 31 match
– ‘A Very Gargano Christmas’ with Johnny Gargano, Candice LeRae, Indi Hartwell and Austin Theory
– Isaiah “Swerve” Scott vs. Jake Atlas
– Bronson Reed returns
– Rhea Ripley vs. Dakota Kai
– AEW World Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (c) vs. The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens)
– Tony Schiavone interviews Sting
– Chris Jericho & MJF vs. Top Flight (Darius Martin & Dante Martin)
– AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida in action
– Dustin Rhodes vs. Evil Uno
– Jurassic Express (Jungle Boy, Luchasaurus & Marko Stunt) vs. Colt Cabana & Dark Order’s 5 and 10.
– PAC vs. The Butcher
– Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford announce their wedding date
– Opera Cup Finals: Low Ki vs. Tom Lawlor
– Additional matches to be added to Kings of Colosseum
** While speaking to Comicbook.com, Kevin Owens explained why he believes NXT should be included in all WWE Drafts, seeing as how talent can be brought to RAW and/or SmackDown from the brand.
“They were able to draft people from NXT, but you never saw a Raw or SmackDown superstar moved in a draft to NXT (in the past). I think that should be the case. I think we should be able to take from NXT, and NXT should be able to take from Raw and SmackDown, because I think the level of competition is just as… It’s extraordinary over there. I don’t see why we wouldn’t be able to do that.”
** MLW’s King Mo guest appeared on VOC Nation’s ‘The Brisco & Big Ace’ show and told the story of how he discovered wrestling was pre-determined.
“I remember when Sting was going to wrestle Ric Flair at Clash of Champions, I prayed on that – that Sting would win. I prayed hard. Sting didn’t win; it was a Broadway, a draw. So I was like maybe God didn’t want Sting to win, but he didn’t want him to lose either… Then there was another feud, I think it was the Powers of Pain and the Legion of Doom. Warlord and Barbarian, that was my team; it got no better than that. Well when that match happened, it was a squash match. I was praying, I was crying, and my mom (told me), ‘Wrestling’s not real’. And I (was thinking that) I prayed to God about it; if wrestling isn’t real, I guess God doesn’t exist either. That was my rationale when I was young, and I still run with it.”
** All Elite Wrestling talents were a part of ‘A Christmas Story’ reenactment. Scenes from their reenactment will air on TNT and TBS.
** Glenn “Kane” Jacobs read ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ for 10 News.
** William Regal will be a guest on the next episode of the Swerve City Podcast.
** Lio Rush’s music video for his single ‘Do You Remember’.
** WWE hosted their SLAMMY Awards on their digital channels and the winners of the awards are listed below:
– Superstar of the Year: Drew McIntyre
– Match of the Year: AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker at WrestleMania 36 – Boneyard Match
– Rivalry of the Year: Edge vs. Randy Orton
– Tag Team of the Year: The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins)
– Return of the Year: Edge
– Ring Gear of the Year: The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods)
– Breakout Star of the Year: The Street Profits
– Female Superstar of the Year: Sasha Banks
– Male Superstar of the Year: Drew McIntyre
– Moment of the Year: The Undertaker’s ‘Final Farewell’ at Survivor Series
– Most Creative 24/7 Pin: Drew Gulak in a janitor outfit
– Musical Performance of the Year: Elias
– Social Media Superstar of the Year: Bayley
– Trash Talker of the Year: Lacey Evans & The Hurt Business (MVP, Bobby Lashley, Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander)
– WWE Network Documentary of the Year: The Undertaker’s ‘Last Ride’
– Celebrity Appearance of the Year: Rob Gronkowski
– Betrayal of the Year: Bayley turns on Sasha Banks
– Referee of the Year: Charles Robinson
** NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome Results (12/23/20) Korakuen Hall
– Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi & Master Wato (w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan) def. Yota Tsuji, Yuya Uemura & Gabriel Kidd
– Shingo Takagi, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi def. EVIL, Dick Togo & Taiji Ishimori
– KOPW 2020 Final: Toru Yano def. Bad Luck Fale (w/ Chase Owens) in a Bodyslam or Last Corner Pad match
– Jay White & KENTA (w/ Gedo) def. Satoshi Kojima & Toa Henare
– Kota Ibushi & SHO def. Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI
** Beginning on January 12th, IMPACT Wrestling is kicking off their slate of programming on AXS TV and here’s the schedule:
– Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 4 pm ET – Bound for Glory Broadcast Premiere
– Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 8 pm ET – IMPACT!
– Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 10 pm ET – IMPACT In 60
– Thursday, Jan. 14 at 9 pm ET – IMPACT Wrestling: This Is Hard To Kill
– Friday, Jan. 15 at 8 pm & 10:30 pm ET – Bad A$$ Movie Night With The Good Brothers: Kickboxer
– Saturday, Jan. 16 at 7 pm ET – IMPACT Wrestling: Live Countdown To Hard To Kill PP
** Part one of the IMPACT Wrestling year-end awards were announced and here were the honors that were presented:
– X Division Star of the Year: Ace Austin
– Tag Team of the Year: The North (Ethan Page & Josh Alexander)
– Knockout of the Year: Deonna Purrazzo
– Wrestler of the Year: Deonna Purrazzo
– One to Watch in 2021: Chris Bey
** NXT announced the return of their Year-End awards. The winners will be announced on the 12/30 edition of NXT.
** The 34th installment of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s Ace’s HIGH series is up on NJPW1972.com.
** Keiji Muto (The Great Muta) turned 58-years old on 12/23.
** SEAdLINNNG 2020 Final Battle! Results (12/23/20)
– Three On Two Handicap Match: Chikayo Nagashima, Leon & Tsukasa Fujimoto def. Kaho Kobayashi & Tsukushi Haruka
– Five Way Match: Rina Yamashita def. Arisa Nakajima and Hiroyo Matsumoto and Itsuki Aoki and Miyuki Takase
– ASUKA & Makoto def. Honori Hana & Riko Kaiju
– Beyond The Sea Tag Team Championship: Sareee & Yoshiko (c) def. Nanae Takahashi & Ryo Mizunami
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.