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.
** Towards the end of 2020, Dave Marquez announced that the United Wrestling Network’s Prime Time Live shows would be suspended until the new year. Marquez appeared on the Wrestling Perspective podcast and spoke about the hiatus. He explained that it came down to performers having other obligations to fulfill, COVID test results and the constant changing of the Prime Time Live cards that led to the decision to take a break from producing shows.
“What did hit us which is why we have stopped production right now on all of our shows, outside of the [NJPW] Strong program because I don’t have control over that. We were having issues with people coming from — and it’s no secret. If AEW had an issue, there were some other independent shows in the Midwest and the south where testing was not mandatory and so, we asked the talent to get a test at home, send us their negative results 48 hours in advance but if they were on a show prior to that, it takes so long for the symptoms to come up and to show a positive, that when they were getting on airplanes and landing in California, in Los Angeles and getting off and we give them a rapid test at the studio, then they’re positive. So that’s why if you were watching the Prime Time program, why the card was changing so much was because we couldn’t — we would have to take people out for that reason and I didn’t wanna keep saying on television that it was COVID, it was COVID, it was COVID. That was already so dominating in the media and television in stuff that we just turned it into an angle most of the time of why someone couldn’t be on the show. So, that’s the most difficult part. The testing isn’t difficult, social distancing isn’t difficult, masks are not difficult necessarily. But, people coming from out of state or whatever, that was the difficult part. Still is.”
Marquez was the ring announcer for the NWA Powerrr program and shared that originally, Billy Corgan and David Lagana wanted to tape the show from Nashville, Tennessee before they were pointed in the direction GPB Studios in Atlanta.
“When Dave Lagana came to me asking me, ‘What can we do?’ They wanted to shoot [in] Nashville [Tennessee] originally. I was like, ‘I know a spot in Atlanta that I think is pretty dope that I think we could do something cool at.’ So I went down there, they went down there. They checked it out, Billy [Corgan] liked it and we did it.”
** Renee Paquette welcomed Eddie Kingston onto her Oral Sessions podcast. Eddie further reflected on his WWE tryout and stated that the tryout was specifically to scout talent for the Mae Young Classic tournament so he just viewed it as an opportunity to have fun.
“Jimmy Jacobs hooked me up with it. He was just like, ‘Hey, you want a tryout?’ I was like, ‘Yeah sure. Let’s go.’ To me, that tryout was really more for the Mae Young Classic because it was the biggest class they had for females. So I was like alright, I get it. This is for the females. I’m just gonna go in and have fun, and that’s why I looked at it so — I said a couple things that…
I’ll give you the one [version of the story] I like the most. They had someone filming and Drake Younger [Wuertz] grabbed me out of nowhere and he was like, ‘King, tell ‘em how hard this drill is.’ It was like some dumb drill and I was like, ‘Yeah it was hard. I’ve had people shoot at me, try to stab me with knives and God I hate this drill more than that.’ Put the camera down, everyone’s looking at me like I’m nuts because I said guns and knives, and I remember doing the promo class and I said, ‘Where I come from, they believe in Tupac more than Santa Claus,’ and I saw two writers just have this confused look on their face when I said it and I went, ‘Oh yeah, I’m done. Let me just go have my match and I’ll leave.’”
Following AEW’s Jon Huber (Brodie Lee) tribute show, Eddie Kingston spoke to his colleagues in a moment that was captured and shown on Being The Elite. Eddie opened up about his speech to the locker room and how he expressed that he wants that emotion from them every week.
“Homicide makes fun of me now because he goes, ‘Ah, I see you’re the locker room leader now’ and I’m like, ‘Leave me alone,’ and he’ll randomly send me a picture of something saying ‘boss’ on it or something. I’m like come on. But, what was weird was I just had this overwhelming feeling of energy, after the show was over and I was kinda, I don’t know. I feel like I need people to understand why I’m getting this energy, and I just started yelling because I was like, ‘Why can’t we do this every week? Why does it take one of our fallen brothers’ and I consider Brodie [Lee] a brother. ‘Why does it take him to pass away for us to be this emotional in the ring? And bring it out to the people so the people can feel us?’ You know? And then I’m going on and on and on. I’m like, ‘Oh man, this is really embarrassing. These people are looking at me. What the f*ck is going on?’ And then I see the camera and you can actually see me see the camera, look at it and I go, ‘Okay, we gotta carry it, carry it!’ And then run away as fast as I can, because it’s not about that and I get why they put it up and that’s cool, because I’ve done a lot of bad in my past that I don’t think me doing this stuff now is, ‘Ooo, look at me. I’m a good boy, I’m a good guy.’ I could give a f*ck less, because as long as my family knows I’m good, people who I know are like, ‘Hey, Eddie has problems but he’s a good person,’ that’s all I care about. I don’t care about the masses or the internet community knowing. I don’t care.”
** A.J. Kirsch announced that he’s no longer under contract to Major League Wrestling. Kirsch was a part of the organization’s broadcast team. He appeared on the 1/12 episode of AEW Dark under the name “Joe Brody”.
** IMPACT Wrestling Executive Vice President Don Callis was a guest on the Sitting Ringside with David Penzer podcast. Coming off of Kenny Omega, The Young Bucks and The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) reuniting on AEW Dynamite, Callis was asked about the possibility of him returning to New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Callis says his he considers his time with NJPW ‘done’.
“I see my business with New Japan as being done. When I went into New Japan in 2017, they were on one level. When I booked Jericho versus Omega at the Tokyo Dome, their entire business model changed, their revenue for that Tokyo Dome show went up exponentially and they’ve been riding the Don Callis effect ever since. There’s nothing left for me to do in New Japan, because anything I could do in New Japan now would pale in comparison to the game-changing force of nature that was what I did three years ago. I have zero interest in — much like in the Bible where people are hungry and rather than just feed them, Jesus taught them how to fish. Three years ago, I taught New Japan how to fish.”
** wXw in Germany posted a series of updates to their website and social media platforms about how they are navigating promoting events as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold. Their academy is remaining closed, all events until March 31st have been rescheduled, they have no expectations for live events with audiences before this summer, 16 Carat is no longer being planned and no tapings dates are set in stone.
** TNT is presenting the first-ever AEW awards on January 27th at 7 PM EST. Voting is now open.
** The latest guest on the Rasslin with Brandon F. Walker show is Stone Cold Steve Austin. At the beginning of the pandemic, Austin appeared on Monday Night RAW to celebrate #316Day in the empty Performance Center. Austin stated that he initially didn’t want to do a promo and just wanted to do the interview with Byron Saxton.
“It’s a tough time for everything but if you’re into something where you’re performing or used to doing it in front of a crowd, it sucks. I went down there and cut a promo when it first happened and I didn’t even wanna do the promo. I wanted to do an interview with Byron Saxton. But I went and did the promo for Vince [McMahon] and playing into a live crowd and it was bad material to begin with, [it] was not good at all.”
Austin reflected on his WrestleMania 14 match with Shawn Michaels for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship. Austin did not think the match turned out well and expressed those sentiments to Vince McMahon.
“I think if it had been anybody other than me, I don’t know if Shawn [Michaels] would’ve dropped the title and he didn’t appear to want to drop it to me but nonetheless he did and the match was okay. I remember going right up to Vince [McMahon] after the match, before we went to the press conference and, ‘Man that match sucked,’ because it wasn’t what we could’ve delivered. I’ve worked with Shawn all over the United States at house shows and we ripped it up, and he wasn’t in a great place so the match was what it was but it was a means to an end and getting me the championship.”
** Veda Scott chatted with Ringsiders Wrestling and while discussing her commentary spots for AEW, Veda expressed that she’s not against the idea of transitioning to commentary full-time and feels that’s the direction she is headed in. Her last match was in August of 2020.
“I would honestly… I would not have said like a year or two ago that I was looking into it full-time but I feel like now that’s the direction I’m going. Not even just like on a practical level, but because I enjoy it so much and I feel like it’s so fulfilling creatively for me and that’s kinda been my main goal in wrestling is to just feel creative and feel like I’m doing something where I’m contributing to the overall picture of things, and I feel like I do that through commentating in a way that maybe I wasn’t sure how to do before and I was more creative in-ring, but I don’t know. If you told me today — I think the best way to look at this is kind of the best way to look at any decision making you’re trying to make in life is like — and I had a conversation with someone about this the other day is that if you told me today, ‘You have had your last match. You can never wrestle again.’ Like not even like, ‘You get to have a last match. You’re done. You’re never gonna get in a ring again,’ for whatever reason. ‘However, you can do commentary full-time. What would your feelings about that be?’ And I feel excited. I felt like that was like, ‘Oh, okay!’ And I don’t know if I would’ve felt like — I think I would’ve been more, I don’t know, like potentially regretful about that or apprehensive and I don’t have that apprehension anymore and it doesn’t necessarily mean AEW or WWE or any one place but I mean in a general sense. I could see myself transitioning roles and I wasn’t quite there even like a year ago, but now it’s a mix of things. It’s like age and time and having not wrestled for a long time but also the main thing is that I’m getting so much fulfillment from doing announcing.”
On AEW Dark, Veda was joined in the booth by the likes of Taz and Excalibur. She spoke about the legitimacy that Taz brings to commentary and how Samoa Joe adds that same element.
“He [Taz] doesn’t feel polished in a way that you forget like, ‘No, he knows what he’s talking about because he’d get in there and he could kick ass, at any moment’ and I think that’s something that’s really unique and cool about Taz as a wrestler who’s transitioned to a commentator is that he still has every ounce of legitimacy behind the desk and that’s really — Samoa Joe is someone. Obviously he’s — still as far as I know has an active career going but when he sits down, you still feel like, ‘Okay, at any moment, this could go down’ and he’s someone that you saw in a ring six months ago. This is someone that you haven’t, for the most part, seen in a ring for a very long time and when he got out there and choked out Cody [Rhodes], it wasn’t like, ‘Oh, what’s this commentator doing?’ It’s like no, it’s freaking Taz. That is something that like — when it comes to wrestlers who have bridged that gap between in-ring competition and announcing, Taz is someone that I don’t think gets talked about enough because he’s done it so seamlessly that you kind of forget about it and you become accustomed to it.”
** Former NXT Tag Team Champion Fandango chatted with Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald. He talked about his run in NXT thus far and some of the hurdles that he and Tyler Breeze have overcome on the road to becoming tag team champions of the brand.
“We’re having a blast man. It meant the world to us because we’ve had a lot of ups and downs over the last five years, you know? A lot of setbacks of me getting injured, [Tyler] Breeze going off doing some singles stuff, him getting frustrated here and there and kind of coming full circle all the way back around. Me getting healthy, us tagging back up again and you know, just Triple H having faith in us and all the NXT producers down there giving us time to go out and really show everybody what we can do in the ring because not only were we — are we good comedy guys but we can go in the ring. It meant a lot to us because that’s something that we really wanted to prove to everybody and prove to ourselves that we can go in the ring because it means a lot to us.”
** WWE revealed the complete bracket for the 2021 men’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. There is a mystery team in the bracket with the name “MSK”.
** Abdullah The Butcher joined the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast and praised Mick Foley. Abdullah worked with Mick while Mick donned the name ‘Cactus Jack’. He said that Foley is the best bump taker.
“I love that guy. The guy never messed with no drugs, the guy, he’s got a beautiful family, he’s a great worker. I loved him. I loved the way he worked and that was it. He was the best bump taker. Nobody could beat him in taking bumps. He’d go to the top of the ceiling if he had to and jump off. Yep. He was a great man. I loved him.”
Abdullah was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2011 despite never wrestling for the company. Abdullah stated that he was supposed to come work for Vince McMahon Sr. and wrestle Hulk Hogan but claims multiple talents were against the idea of him coming in.
“Well, I was in Japan and the old man Vince [McMahon Sr.] said, ‘Abdullah, I’m gonna bring you in to –’ because Hulk Hogan wanted to work with me in New York, and [Stu] Hart said to me, ‘Abdullah, you coming to New York?…’ So what happened, they asked a few of the wrestlers, ‘What do you think of bringing Abdullah The Butcher into New York?’ And they said, ‘I don’t know. He’s gonna use the fork, use gimmicks and stuff’ and that was it. It was cut, and I never went in.’”
** Les Thatcher sent the following update in to PWInsider after he tested positive for COVID-19:
Just a quick update for 1/12/21. Feeling better, but still weak and a long way to go. Thanks to all of you for the love & prayers. Starting and “old school” comeback, for the young & uneducated that’s pro wrestling talk! Stay safe out there and wear the mask! Love you all!
** Shad Gaspard would’ve been 40-years old today.
** Jim Varsallone chatted with Tasha Steelz to promote IMPACT Wrestling’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view. Tasha’s signing to IMPACT was announced in May of 2020. During the interview, she spoke about her journey to getting signed.
“Of course Kiera [Hogan], she was already signed there and I was just asking her like, ‘Hey, what do I do to get more eyes on me from the top at IMPACT?’ She was just telling me what to do and I did that [and] by the beginning of 2020, I started getting more notice from Gail [Kim] and Scott [D’Amore] and D’Lo [Brown] and they were just like, ‘All right, we’ll bring you in soon’ and when COVID hit, I was just like, ‘Oh yeah, well that’s not gonna happen anymore’ and luckily I got a phone call from Tommy Dreamer and he said, ‘Hey, I got an opportunity for you. It’s not guaranteed you’re gonna get anything from here but it’s an opportunity’ and I was not gonna say no to it. Even though it was the start of COVID, I still just wanted to have this opportunity because I know IMPACT of course is going to have safe protocols. So I did that, had went to the tapings for three days, did my thing in the tapings and by the third day I was offered a contract and I just couldn’t say no.”
** WWE Senior Producer Steve Conoscenti confirmed to Wrestling Inc. during an interview that season two of the WWE Network series ‘Ruthless Aggression’ is coming soon.
** WWE Chief Financial Officer Kristina Salen appeared on the CES 2021 live stream.
** Here’s a clip from Shannon Sharpe’s interview with Warren Sapp. Sapp talked about playing football with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson at the University of Miami.
* WWE uploaded a ‘Best of Luke Harper’ catalog to the WWE Network.
** While speaking to Maria Menounos, Matthew McConaughey said he’s interested in the idea of having a wrestling match.
“I’ll say… not too much, because as you know, you can’t say too much about these things, but it is, uh, it is something that interests me….”
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated caught up with Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson for the ‘This Week in Wrestling’ column. Gallows joked about WWE not sending he and Anderson their Slammy Award for their participation in the Boneyard match at WrestleMania 36.
“We don’t have any sour grapes about WWE, except that they forgot to mail us our Slammy Award for Match of the Year. Maybe the mail is slow. I’m still waiting on that. But we’re focused on right now. We’re the Impact Wrestling tag-team champions, Hard to Kill is going to be a banger of a pay-per-view, we’re in the middle of ‘Wrestle Week’ on AXS TV, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more fallout from us and Kenny Omega on Dynamite.”
** On January 8th, WWE applied to trademark the name “Joshua Bruns”.
** Ring of Honor’s Shane Taylor was a guest on Sportskeeda’s UnSKripted show and spoke about Keith Lee’s transition from NXT to the RAW brand.
** AJ Styles, Sheamus, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan and more names appeared on the 1/13 episode of WWE The Bump.
** Sportskeeda caught up with Kiera Hogan to promote IMPACT Wrestling’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view.
** FOX News ran their interview with Stone Cold Steve Austin.
** The newest Ace’s HIGH write-up is on NJPW1972.com.
** Here’s the lineup for the 1/15 episode of NJPW Strong:
– Misterioso vs. Barrett Brown
– TJP vs. Adrian Quest
– ACH, Blake Christian & Fred Rosser vs. BULLET CLUB (KENTA, El Phantasmo & Hikuleo)
** FITE TV’s Josh Shernoff chatted with IMPACT Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo.
** Tommy Dreamer welcomed Sami Callihan onto the House Of Hardcore podcast.
** Ring of Honor commentator Ian Riccaboni turned 34-years old on 1/13.
** SheKnows caught up with Nikki and Brie Bella.
** The UpUpDownDown crew plays UNO:
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.