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.
** Nikki and Brie Bella joined Ashley Graham on her ‘Pretty Big Deal’ podcast. Nikki talked about the current crop of talent in WWE’s women’s division and stated that she’d be interested in working with them as a part of creative. She mentioned Daniel Bryan being on the creative team as well and what she could add.
“I mean, I would love — there’s times that — because Brie’s husband [Daniel Bryan] is a part of the creative team and works a lot with Vince McMahon on creative stuff and I’ve always thought in the back of my head like, ‘I would really like to do that for the women’ because I’ve lived it as a WWE superstar but also, I’m a fan. So it’s like, I feel like I know what the people want and then I know how to get the best out of each woman because I know them. So, it would be a lot of fun to be on creative.”
Nikki and Brie praised talents currently on the roster such as Sasha Banks, Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, Alexa Bliss and Liv Morgan and here’s how that conversation unfolded:
Nikki: I’ve always called it about Sasha Banks since the day she debuted and even right before she debuted. She’s just, to me, has it all of what you look at as a WWE superstar. She’s an incredible wrestler, she’s an entertaining superstar. It’s like the minute she hits that ramp and comes through the curtain it’s like, you’re just locked in on her. You’re just like, ‘Woah.’ Bianca Blair [Belair], she’s beautiful, she is fun to watch and she is the most athletic human being I’ve ever seen in my life. What she can do — she’s another one. She’s a showstopper. You just stop and you’re like, ‘Oh wow.’
Brie: Same with Rhea Ripley. I’m actually bummed she’s not on the main roster yet, because she constantly puts out great matches, her look is incredible, her presence going to the ring and she’s still at NXT which is great for NXT but I’m like, ‘She should’ve been on the main roster years ago.’ Especially her storyline with Charlotte [Flair]. I was like that’s someone who should be headlining Monday Night RAW.
Nikki: And I feel like Alexa Bliss has so much range.
Brie: And Liv Morgan too. Liv Morgan still needs a big –
Earlier in the chat, Brie talked about how the culture within the women’s locker room in WWE has changed since they got their start in the company. Brie said there was a culture established of wanting to hold one another down and trying to make each other look bad.
“I feel like now it’s so different. It always blew me away when we started. It almost made me look at the problem here in WWE is women don’t want to support women. Women wanna pull each other down, they don’t want to help each other, where I was looking at the men and even the men would deal with some hazing, men were still helping each other. Like they wanted to put on a great match whereas you would go out there with some women and they literally would purposely make you wanna look bad, and make the match sh*t, just because they didn’t like you and I was like so here’s the issue: When women can actually connect and help each other, then you make history. It was really hard at first because Nicole and I had so much hate for no reason, and I think what Nicole and I did is when we became veterans, instead of being mean to the girls coming in, we wanted to help them. We wanted them to feel at home, we wanted them to feel safe… the night we debuted, we didn’t even get — we were allowed to get dressed in the women’s locker room. We just weren’t accepted. So we changed in a bathroom and then they said we couldn’t wear the wrestling clothes that we had made which we barely had any money at the time. They’re like, ‘You can’t wear that on TV’ and you know, girls we’re saying that.”
** Kurt Angle was a guest on the Wrestling Perspective podcast and reflected on dropping the WWE Championship to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 19 after suffering a broken neck. Angle stated that due to the injury, Vince McMahon proposed that he lose the title to Lesnar one week before WrestleMania.
“The reason why I lost to Brock [Lesnar] at WrestleMania, the reason I lost to him, I was supposed to have a good title run for a while and I broke my neck again and I had to have surgery and Vince McMahon, he wanted me to drop the title to Brock the week before on SmackDown and just get crushed. Just an F5, one, two, three, pin. Brock just pin[s] me real quick and I called Vince and I said, ‘Listen, let me wrestle-wrestle’ and he said, ‘Well, we gotta have a doctor clear you’ and I was like, ‘That might be a problem. I do wanna wrestle at WrestleMania.’”
Along with operating his supplement company, Angle shared that a documentary about his life is in the works.
“We have a documentary that’s being made right now and someone is interested in turning it into a movie so it’s probably gonna happen.”
Angle discussed the current landscape of wrestling and while specifically speaking on WWE, Angle feels that Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre are talents that can elevate other talents on the roster like The Rock and Steve Austin were able to do.
“The guy right now that I think is hot is Drew McIntyre. Drew has shown a lot of promise. He’s had a great title run and last time he was in WWE, he didn’t fare very well and he didn’t get a real fair shake but he was kind of an a-hole back then so, he’ll admit that but he grew up when he came back and he’s had a phenomenal two years now. A guy that’s gonna carry a lot of people is Roman Reigns. He has the ‘it’ factor, he’s a great worker. A lot of people don’t think he’s that great of a wrestler. They just think that he looks great and he’s Vince [McMahon’s] boy, his guy, but he’s really good. He’s one of the best on the roster and his heel run right now has been phenomenal.”
** Pro Wrestling Junkies hosted their virtual meet-and-greet session with Kris Statlander as the guest. Statlander was asked about the criticisms of AEW’s women’s division over the past year. She says there’s parts of the criticism that she agrees with and parts that she doesn’t but feels that people should understand that most of the talents in the division are still new to television.
“I mean, there’s parts to agree to and not to agree to. I think it’s valid to accept criticism but people also have to remember that almost every single girl that got signed or is a part of the AEW women’s roster has never worked on TV before. A lot of men on the roster have worked on TV or if they haven’t, they’re working with people who have been on TV before so, we’re just kind of learning as we go right now. We’re trying our hardest. We do trainings before TV every single time there’s tapings so, people that think we’re just sitting on our butts and just hoping things are gonna be handed to us, we’re trying as hard as we can. There’s only so much we can [do] and there’s only so much time that we can get in a two hour stream or a two hour TV and yes there’s [AEW] Dark, obviously but it’s not live TV, and people need to give it time. The company’s been around for just over a year now and a lot of these girls, including myself are working on TV for the first time and are still learning it and we’re not doing matches every single week, all of us so, I think it’s fair to accept that we are being criticized because I believe that we can all do better, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. A lot of these girls that were signed have not been working for 15 years, you know? It’s just gonna take time and people are gonna have to accept that and we’re trying, everyone’s trying and it sucks that I can’t be a part of it right now and trying my best to help out, but, that’s what I have to say about it.”
Statlander shared that one of her goals in AEW is to have a Hardcore match and bleed on television to show how hardcore she is.
“I do have one other small thing that I want to do, very soon. It’s not gonna happen soon but I really wanna have a Hardcore match and I really wanna get color on AEW just to prove how hardcore I am on TV, but we’ll see. I’ll take the little feats instead.”
** According to Showbuzz Daily, the 1/11 episode of RAW averaged 1.819 million viewers. The show did an 0.55 in the 18-49 demographic.
** Steel Chair Magazine conducted an interview with NWA World Women’s Champion Serena Deeb. Deeb is signed to All Elite Wrestling and she said there is interest within herself and from AEW for her to take on a coaching role in the company.
“Absolutely, that has been discussed, and it’s something that I feel great about. I love coaching, and I love helping. I’ve always thought, even in my time coaching at WWE, before this, it would be really cool and really powerful to take on a player-coach role where I’m able to wrestle and get in the ring, do that part of it while also helping out a little bit more behind the scenes and kind of helping scout for women that are out there that might not have been seen yet. I think taking on that role especially when independent shows start running again, pending the whole COVID situation. I’m hoping that I can step into a little bit more of that player-coach role, and I can continue contributing in that way. To touch on your point, that is something that I’m really interested in doing, and I think the feeling is mutual from AEW. The women’s division is in a really amazing growth period right now, where the women are stepping up, and there are more women coming in, and there are hungry women who are working really hard to improve. I would love for my matches and my ring work to just help accelerate that process.”
Deeb was asked about her status with the NWA. She elaborated in her answer and here is what she said in full:
“It’s a great question, and I know a lot of people are trying to understand it. I am the NWA champion, so obviously, I expect in the new year when NWA starts running again, that I will be competing on their roster, on their show, hopefully getting some more successful title defenses under my belt. I’m looking forward to that because it’s a whole other roster of women over there, and I love the product that NWA puts out. I’m very old-school in how I came up in wrestling, so I love that they kind of honor that feel, so looking to the future, I’m definitely very proud to be a representative of that company, and I’m looking forward to doing work with them in the new year, but I am also under contract to AEW. One of the most amazing things about Tony Khan is that he’s open to talent trading, and he was very open to bringing people in from other companies and having these working relationships that really haven’t been around in wrestling for a very long time. I really admire that in him, and I think he’s doing a lot for professional wrestling just in having that openness. My loyalty is obviously at AEW, where I’m a contracted wrestler, but I also expect to do a lot more with NWA in 2021.”
** WWE producer TJ Wilson (Tyson Kidd) joined The Angle Podcast and during the conversation, he dove into his role as a producer in the sports-entertainment company. Wilson said that at times, he has noticed that he gets more fulfillment out of his duties as a producer than he did while wrestling.
“Yeah it was interesting. Obviously I knew I couldn’t wrestle anymore and I just took a while for me to heal. Not just physically but mentally as well for a while, and I honestly didn’t — I remember Johnny Laurinaitis talked to me about being a producer back when I was a talent and I really didn’t like the idea at all. I just really didn’t like it. There’s a lot of cool aspects to it but there’s just some stuff, it’s just sometimes — but I don’t know. I just didn’t think I would like it overall. Then when I was approached with the idea, after my injury and after I had kind of had some time to heal and figure things out, I thought, ‘Okay, I’ll give it a shot and I will give it the best I got but this may not be — this may not be a good fit’ and… I don’t know man. It’s crazy. There are a lot of times it’s — I almost have a lot more fun and it’s almost to me a lot more fulfilling than even my own in-ring career, some ways. In some ways, I definitely miss being in there myself but then if I’m sitting with six of the girls and we put together a match and they got out there and then, you know, they nail it and they kill it, then I get to see six really happy faces rather than if I just wrestle somebody and we have a good match, I’m happy, the other guy might be happy, it’s two of us. I don’t know. It’s a different fulfillment, and the best part is that I really didn’t [think] I’d like it at first but it turned out I was right. I don’t like it but I really do love it. I really do. So it’s turned out to be a blessing in disguise.”
Wilson’s career-ending injury has been well documented but he shared what was going through his head and what his body felt like after he took the ‘Muscle Buster’ from Samoa Joe.
“So when we first landed, I’m okay [for] a second then I see a giant white light, but like way thicker than any one I’ve seen before. I thought, maybe I’ve been concussed or something but I later found out, I think the medical term is ‘spinal cord concussion’. I saw the thickest, whitest light I’ve ever seen and then I was paralyzed. I was paralyzed for, I don’t know, maybe four or five seconds, which is not a very long time but when you can’t move anything, it’s a very long time and my body felt like it weighed two million pounds. I couldn’t move anything. Then I started getting my feeling back and then my body felt — my limbs and stuff felt weak, but I had feeling and I had strength. It just felt like weaker and then my neck obviously felt like a — felt like my neck — I don’t know, it’s so much pain radiating in the back of my neck. I always say it felt like a baseball — it felt like the scene from Alien where the alien comes out of the stomach but trying to come out of the back of my neck.”
** Daniel Trainor has a Q&A up on his personal website with Cody Rhodes. While on the topic of Sting’s arrival in AEW, Cody was asked would he like to wrestle Sting and here’s how he responded:
“Whew. It’s no secret that Sting was my favorite wrestler. I had Sting in WCW and Shawn [Michaels] in WWF. But really I wasn’t supposed to watch WWF. So, Sting was everything. I got to see him live so often and I got to see the connection he had. I honestly am scared to answer that. Obviously, as a wrestler, to stand across the ring from your hero is everyone’s dream, to share that field. So, yes, I would love and envision that. However, when you put yourself in that position, you’re no longer a fan. You’re now out to outperform them, out to beat them, however you look at wrestling. You are opposite of them. You are their dance partner, their competition. You’re all these things. That is a big responsibility and that is also just scary, especially if you’re somebody like me who loves the memory and the legacy of wrestlers. I never want them to feel like they have to carry on. Their memories carry on enough as they get older. However, just to put a bow on this, he doesn’t seem to be moving around slowly. He doesn’t seem to be moving around slowly. So, I have my eyes on him hopefully as much as he has his eyes on me. I’m curious to see where things with Darby [Allin] and him go and how that unfolds. It’s such a terrifying question to answer.”
Elsewhere during their chat, Rhodes spoke about the life of Jon Huber (Brodie Lee). He recalled advice that Huber gave him after Dusty Rhodes passed away.
“You know, after my Dad passed we were in Quicken Loans Arena and it had been a few months. I remember I talked to Brodie, or Luke Harper at the time. I was in the annex room of the locker room at Quicken Loans and I’ll never forget it. I was so shocked at how time just rolls on. It felt like I was still in the room with my Dad at that point in my life. To some degree, it still feels like that today. But he actually gave me the only advice that I really listened to throughout that whole grieving period. He told me, ‘It will never change.’ He told me that the feeling of still being in the room wasn’t going to go away. He had lost his Dad young, too. That advice…man. It made it so that I was able to channel the negative memories, even as gloomy or melancholy as they were, into a positive thing. I got him for this long. These memories are wonderful, even those last few memories when he was barely alive, he was still alive so I can look at them in a positive sense. I only would have gotten that advice from Brodie, who had had a similar experience. So, that was what I was thinking about more than anything else – being in that space with Brodie, and now here I am with his son and we’re retiring his boots. My whole focus was on making sure Amanda and Brodie Lee Jr. had a good moment, to be able to do it right. I think they were as happy as you can be with something like that. But it’s surreal to think about. It is.”
** Sarah Rowe (Sarah Logan) joined Vickie Guerrero’s podcast and during the Q&A portion of their discussion, Logan stated that she will come back to wrestling in some capacity after she gives birth to she and Erik’s child. As far that being a part-time or full-time return, it depends on if they could sustainably have their child on the road with them.
“If I’m able to finagle a way to comfortably have my kid on the road, I don’t see why I wouldn’t come back full-time. Like if me and Ray [Erik] frickin’ rent an RV and we just drive to each town and Cash [their child] just lives with us but I have a farm. I’m [only] gonna be able to take care of it so much so like, part of me is like I can come back part-time and do — but, I’m sure you know this Vickie, with WWE, you don’t really get to pick how you come back so…
I will come back to wrestling in some capacity. I’m sure of it. I love wrestling. It’s pretty much the only thing I’m really qualified to do. I got my Welding certificate in like high school but I’m sure that’s expired.”
** After testing positive for COVID-19, Mick Foley posted the following about how he’s feeling:
Many of you have been asking how I’m feeling after my positive COVID test.
All in all, not too bad – but I get fatigued very easily, and my head still feels a little cloudy.
PLEASE take this pandemic seriously – the daily death count is staggeringly high..and climbing. #MaskUp
** Sean “X-Pac” Waltman welcomed D’Lo Brown onto his X-Pac 12360 podcast to discuss their on-screen feud over the WWF European Title. During one of their matches, Waltman suffered an asthma attack and said that from that point forward, the referee for his matches kept his inhaler in their pocket.
“Remember the time, and not too long after this, probably later as soon as I got home, I went to the doctor. I was diagnosed with sports-induced asthma. Do you remember I had a big asthma attack in the ring with you and just like called an audible? ‘Hey, let’s go home,’ and I had to have you beat me just out of nowhere right in the middle of the — do you remember that?… I started turning purple in the ring.
Like out of nowhere. I honest to God was scared f*cking sh*t man. After that, the referee always had an inhaler in his pocket, for me. I don’t know about everyone else but I took it upon myself to make sure that was — it behooved me to make sure that the referee had an asthma inhaler in his pocket.”
** Mike Johnson of PWInsider spoke with Les Thatcher recently to check on Les after his COVID-19 diagnosis. Thatcher is remaining quarantined until 1/15. Initially, he was supposed to go to the E.R. when he was diagnosed with COVID pneumonia but chose to stay home. Les told Johnson that the first eight days were the hardest he’s ever dealt with from an illness standpoint. He added that he’s been feeling better but is not 100 percent. Thatcher said he has been touched by all who reached out and showed their support.
** Animation Xpress has a story up about WWE and JetSynthesys’ eSports tournament that was held over the weekend as gamers played the ‘WWE Racing Showdown’ game.
** EC3 told WrestleTalk’s Louis Dangoor that he and Moose had a cinematic match already recorded but IMPACT Wrestling wanted their match at Bound For Glory to be cinematic. EC3 was planning to release the original.
“I really liked the one [cinematic match] we did in IMPACT with Moose, but I did one with him prior that I was going to release but then they made the decision to make our Bound For Glory match cinematic so we did one under their terms. It was cool, but the fact I had already — I was like, ‘Oh, let’s see what the difference is.’ But I was very happy with being able to tell that story and making Moose come out of his shell and become the man he’s supposed to be. Whether he adheres to that or not, we’ll see but I’ve always seen great potential in him, so…”
** While speaking with TV Insider, Steve Austin detailed the COVID-19 protocols that were in place while ‘Straight Up Steve Austin’ was being filmed.
“Everything was by the book. Temperatures taken, masks worn, everyone is tested. When I got together with my guests, we were basically the only ones not wearing masks on set. The process was difficult at first, but like anything we’re going to be as careful as we can. With COVID, we got in our groove. We turned out some really good shows that I’m proud of.”
** The Jon Huber (Luke Harper) tribute episode of New Day’s Feel The Power podcast:
** NXT sent out invitations for people to be a part of the virtual crowd for this week’s episode of NXT on USA Network. The virtual crowds in the past were recordings of the RAW and SmackDown ThunderDome crowds.
** Episode 70 of AEW Dark:
** AEW World Champion Kenny Omega spoke to IGN Japan about AEW’s mobile and console video games. As far as the console game goes, Omega said that it will have a campaign and multiplayer mode. He added that while the plan is to put the console game out in 2021, that is not set in stone as he and those working on the game want it to be the best quality possible before releasing it.
“I can say right now that we’re not sure of how many wrestlers will be available upon release, but one thing I can say is that the number of wrestlers in AEW is growing all the time, and the roster of wrestlers in the game will reflect that. There will be a campaign, and various other unusual modes, and you will be able to edit your own wrestler, too.
I don’t want to rush it, so I don’t want to make a promise [about the release date]. I want the release version to be good.”
** Tatanka chatted with Boston Wrestling MWF and shared what Vince McMahon said to him about selecting his on-screen name. Tatanka stated that Vince mentioned he didn’t want to offend Tatanka’s Native American heritage and left it up to him to decide his ring name that related to the character.
“Just like when he asked me to get the name Tatanka. It wasn’t Vince McMahon who did that. He sat down with me, he said, ‘Listen, I respect totally that you’re truly Native American’ from the Lumbee Tribe. ‘We don’t want to do anything to offend your great heritage.’ He said, ‘Why don’t you look for a name? Wrestling name.’”
** Per PWInsider, the Tom Lawlor ‘Filthy Island’ episode of MLW FUSION is scheduled for February 17th. It’s going to be similar to UFC Fight Island.
** Comicbook.com spoke to Tasha Steelz and Kiera Hogan to promote IMPACT Wrestling’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view. Sports Illustrated chatted with Kiera as well.
** At the NJPW New Beginning press conference, it was announced that going forward, a special start time of 6 PM will be in place for the company’s shows at Korakuen Hall and those shows will consist of five or six matches to be in compliance with COVID-related precautions.
** Dragon Gate ‘Open The New Gate’ Results (1/12/21) Korakuen Hall
– Bokutimo Dragon & Ryo Saito def. Don Fujii & Kenichiro Arai
– R.E.D. (Eita, H.Y.O, HipHop Kikuta & Kaito Ishida) def. Gamma, Masaaki Mochizuki, Ultimo Dragon & Yasushi Kanda
– Keisuke Okuda def. Punch Tominaga
– La Estrella, Shun Skywalker & Dragon Kid def. Kagetora, Shuji Kondo & YAMATO
– Genki Horiguchi, Kzy & Susumu Yokosuka def. R.E.D. (KAZMA SAKAMOTO, SB KENTo & Takashi Yoshida)
– Open the Twin Gate Championship: R.E.D. (BxB Hulk & KAI) (c) def. Jason Lee & Kota Minoura
** Ted DiBiase spoke to WrestleZone’s Bill Pritchard.
** Ring of Honor uploaded a video of their greatest moments from 2020.
** Pro Wrestling NOAH ‘Higher Ground’ Results (1/10/21) Korakuen Hall
– FULL THROTTLE (Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY) def. Kai Fujimura & Yasutaka Yano
– Mohammed Yone & Shuhei Taniguchi def. Kinya Okada & Yoshiki Inamura
– Ikuto Hidaka, Kotaro Suzuki & NOSAWA Rongai def. Atsushi Kotoge, Daiki Inaba & Junta Miyawaki
– Hao, Nio & Tadasuke def. HAYATA, Yoshinari Ogawa & Yuya Susumu
– GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship: Daisuke Harada (c) def. Hajime Ohara
– Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kenou, Manabu Soya & Masa Kitamiya def. Go Shiozaki, Kaito Kiyomiya, Naomichi Marufuji & Takashi Sugiura
** Sportskeeda ran an article about their interview with Chris Masters.
** Click here for the latest episode of GAW TV with Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon and SoCal Val.
** AEW Road to New Year’s Smash night two:
** Darren Paltrowitz interviewed Rohit Raju.
** Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald caught up with Moose.
** Luna Vachon (Gertrude Vachon) would’ve turned 59-years old on 1/12.
** Xavier Woods and Mia Yim played Overcooked 2.
** Drake Maverick was the latest guest on Superstar Savepoint on the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel.
** KHOU 11 caught up with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
** Dexter Lumis was the focus of Rob Schamberger’s latest Canvas 2 Canvas episode.
** ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey spoke with Ringsiders Wrestling.
** NXT’s Raquel Gonzalez turned 30-years old on 1/12.
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.