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.
** Back in September of 2020, I spoke with Chris Nelms, who is a promoter, wrestler and one of several individuals spearheading the revival of Georgia Championship Wrestling. They ran a show on October 3rd that was a test run and are now planning to run events on a monthly basis in the state of Georgia. The promotion owner of 36 years, Grady Odum continued running Georgia Championship Wrestling events from 1990 until the mid-90s following its hiatus in the mid-80s. He also held reunion events from 2011 to 2012. In the Summer of 2018, there was a memorial show held in memory of Big Bill Dromo. Georgia Championship Wrestling is mostly remembered for its glory days from the 70s through the mid-80s as the likes of Jake Roberts, Ted DiBiase, The Hollywood Blonds (Rip Rogers & Ted Oates), Randy Savage, Dusty Rhodes and Harley Race were regularly featured in the promotion on WTBS in Atlanta.
I caught up with Chris Nelms and the next Georgia Championship Wrestling show is scheduled for April 24th in Buckhead, Georgia. Talent announcements are currently being made on the Georgia Championship Wrestling Facebook page. Chris stated that they are hoping to run monthly events going forward at the venue in Buckhead and several more cities once venues become readily available. They are planning to crown a Georgia Heavyweight Champion by way of a Royal Rumble-style match.
“We are looking at the possibility of a Royal rumble style match with all talent involved or a ‘winners rumble’ where all the nights winners go into a mini rumble in the main event,” Nelms said.
He added that himself and Tim Rice are hoping to begin tapings for a YouTube show and visit other towns in Georgia.
“October 3rd was more of a test run. The town we ran hadn’t been traditionally a very successful town, however we were able to bring in a little over 200 in attendance for an outdoor event which was a financial success. The venue we will be in on April 24 is in the small lake area community Buckhead, which is about 20mins from Eatonton and not to be confused with the more populated Atlanta suburb of the same name. We are working on a deal to promote events from there monthly with hopes of taping for a YouTube show as well as visiting other towns like Eatonton again for ‘house shows’.”
The event will be indoors and they are enforcing masks and social distancing. Seating will be spaced accordingly in addition to sanitation stations and sanitizing the ring between matches.
** Michael Kay and Don La Greca welcomed Paul “Triple H” Levesque onto The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio. Levesque was asked if he’s interested in running WWE and here was his response:
“Look, for me, all of this comes down to the success of WWE. I never started doing this in any standpoint — when I got into it, I just wanted to do this because I thought it was the greatest form of entertainment in the world and you just wanna be great at it and then whatever comes along with it. As my career wound down, I realized that I was just as fascinated with the behind-the-scenes of it. It is irrelevant to me who is steering the ship or who is doing what. There is plenty of work for everybody here. For me, it is all about ensuring that — like the tagline says, then, now and forever, right? That this brand of entertainment that I personally consider the greatest blended form of entertainment in the world, that it continues. So to me, it’s irrelevant of any of it. It is just as long as it continues.”
Levesque appeared on the 1/11 episode of RAW and brawled with Randy Orton in the main event. He said he was contacted for the appearance the night before the show. Levesque went on to praise the wrestlers that have been working under the current circumstances since the pandemic began.
“I said it a few weeks earlier ironically, not thinking it was going to happen so quickly but I said I’m like that little box on the wall that says ‘use in case of emergency, break glass.’ There’s a little hammer there, you smack it, pull the handle, Triple H pops out. To be honest, I got the call the night before and was like, ‘Hey, we’re gonna write you in the show tomorrow’ and that was it. It’s not the same. As a performer, my hat is off to all the men and women right now that are doing this week in, week out, that did it all this time during COVID and the pandemic and did it in front of no one. Did it in front of few, did it in front of video walls with fans cheering and booing. It’s not the same. It’s difficult when you’ve geared your whole life and your whole career towards getting that reaction and working towards it and now you have to work towards the reaction that you believe that you will get and — but it’s not the same.”
** Tony Deppen was the most recent guest on the ROHStrong podcast. Back in October, Deppen contracted COVID-19 and he spoke about overcoming the virus and how he’s feeling months later.
“Yes I did [have COVID], it was not fun.
Well, I was at a show and I came out, and I’ve been getting tested just because like when I did Ring of Honor shows for the Pure Title I was just like, ‘Okay, now every time I come home from shows I’m gonna make sure I get tested every time.’ So I was like, ‘I’m gonna get tested when I go home anyways,’ and I always wait like two days, three days because you don’t wanna get a false negative and around Tuesday, I started feeling a little funky. I’m like, ‘Well, I’m gonna get the test anyways but I’m pretty sure I have it’ and then the next four days was just me lying on my bed — well actually on my pullout couch because I slept downstairs because my wife was still pregnant at the time, and I didn’t wanna take the risk of getting anything with her. She got it though, but she didn’t have the symptoms I had. But, I just felt like something kept dunking me in a ice bath and then all of a sudden it would stop and I would heat up to like 110 degrees, go back down real quick, I had body aches all day, a headache that wouldn’t go away no matter what. If it had gone on for like an extra day, I would’ve asked my wife to take me to the hospital because I normally don’t complain about being sick but that just whooped my ass, it was terrible and then I lost my taste and my smell and I still can’t smell and I still can’t taste, so, and it kinda takes the motivation out of you. I was really adamant on going to the gym everyday, I was killing it everyday and then after that, after my two week quarantine went away and I came back negative, I had to find a lot of motivation just to even want to do anything.”
While on the topic of being snug in the ring, Deppen recalled working with 2 Cold Scorpio who told Deppen that he should be more stiff. Here is how Deppen reacted to hearing that from Scorpio:
“I don’t mind stiffing, being stiff. It doesn’t bother me. Sometimes I feel like I’m a little too light. I wrestled 2 Cold Scorpio and he wasn’t pummeling me but he was, you know, a little snug and I was throwing the way I normally would. He was like, ‘Oh you need to be a little more snug.’ I was like, ‘Well dude, you’re like 60. I don’t wanna hit ya.’ I feel like I’m beating up my wife’s grandfather.”
** A story from the Tampa Bay Times about a new stadium being built on the Tropicana Field site in St. Petersburg, Florida. The stadium is home to the Tampa Bay Rays and WWE is currently using the stadium for their ThunderDome setup. The Rays’ current use agreement for Tropicana Field expires in 2027.
** WWE’s Kavita Devi spoke to Firstpost.com ahead of WWE Superstar Spectacle. She stated that she wasn’t going to be a part of the event due to “personal reasons”. During the broadcast, a video package for Kavita Devi aired and it was clarified that she was taking care of a family issue.
** Matt Cardona appeared at IMPACT Wrestling’s Hard To Kill pay-per-view and had a match with Ace Austin. Cardona was also a part of the post-Hard To Kill television tapings. He joined F4WOnline’s Left My Wallet podcast and shared that he was contacted for the Hard To Kill spot one day prior to the pay-per-view.
“You can control your gear, you can control your attitude and you can control your physique. Nobody can stop you from training your ass off. Nobody can stop you from eating right. That’s on you. You might not be the champ on TV, you might lose every match but at least when you walk out that curtain, you look the part and if you’re asked to go 20 minutes or, ‘Oh, we’re gonna use you all of a sudden,’ you better be f*cking ready, you know what I’m saying? And that’s kinda how I’ve lived my life for the past couple years. With IMPACT the other day, it was Friday, the show’s Saturday. I got a text while I’m in the gym, ‘Can you be here tomorrow?’ ‘Yeah sure. Ready to go.’ I hadn’t wrestled since f*cking September. I haven’t even been in a ring, since September. But you know what? I say ‘always ready’, I better be ready to f*cking back it up.”
** WWE President & Chief Revenue Officer Nick Khan spoke to the New York Post about the WWE Network transitioning to NBCUniversal’s Peacock platform. Here’s what he had to say on the matter:
“As you said, if it is only on WWE Network and you are not a fan yet, why would you subscribe to that? This gives a chance to win people over when it is right in front of them and the hope is there is a trickle down effect to Raw and SmackDown and ultimately to ticket sales, once that is happening again, merchandising, etc.”
** Campaign India conducted an interview with Sheetesh Srivastava, Vice president and General Manager of WWE South Asia. Srivastave mentioned that WWE is launching a global OTT offering in association with Sony Liv in India. Users of the service will have over 10,000 hours of WWE-related content at their disposal via the WWE Network.
“We enjoy a unique relationship with this market. The kind of adulation and passionate fan base we have in this market is unprecedented and phenomenal. We have been associated with audiences for over 25-years. The passionate fan base fuels us to invest time and energy in India. We do this by generating local content (with our broadcast partners Sony Pictures Network), localized brand campaigns, getting superstars to the market by way of talent tours, and with a shop for authentic WWE merchandise at localized pricing. The latest example of this is our partnership with Sony to create an India-specific show for Republic Day. We have a WWE Superstar Spectacle and it’s one of the many firsts that we have around localized content. We are also launching our network – a global OTT offering – in association with Sony Liv in India. The offering will be available for Rs 299 a year, wherein users can get all the action and family-friendly entertainment programming whether it’s live or on-demand. One can expect to have a rich library of over 10,000 hours of WWE programming. We’ll soon also be launching a marketing program for this.”
** Natalya spoke to Sportskeeda for an exclusive interview and told the site her thoughts about TJ Wilson possibly making a return to the ring. Wilson publicly stated that he once pitched the idea to WWE of returning in a Royal Rumble. Natalya feels that it’s a ‘never say never’ situation but added that her husband’s injury is much different than Daniel Bryan and Edge’s respective injuries.
“TJ was so loved and so respected by people backstage and in front of the camera, but I think, you know, I’m one of those people where I say ‘Never Say Never’. But I feel like TJ is at a point in his life, especially with his health where he is really content with where he’s at as far as not returning to the ring. Again, I still say ‘Never Say Never’, anything in WWE can happen. That’s the fun part of WWE, you can always expect the unexpected. But it’s hard to say. I think TJ’s injury was so different than Edge and it was so different than Daniel Bryan. His injury was, you know, his neck was broken at the base of his brain. So it’s a much different injury and it’s much more risky for him to return. So, he’s just very lucky that he is alive and he is well. But thank you so much, I’ll tell him that you guys are thinking of him.”
** Joey Janela appeared on Wrestling Observer Live to promote GCW Fight Forever. Janela shared that he’s not taking a payday for being a part of the 24-hour stream.
“I’m gonna wrestle, I’m gonna still wrestle on this. I refuse to take a payday, for this. I’m well off right now. If my action figure addiction doesn’t take a hold of me any more than it already has, then I’d be in bad shape. I don’t want any pay. I’m flying myself there.”
** Independent wrestler Dewey Murray chatted with Outsports. He recalled the story of confiding in the late Jon Huber (Brodie Lee) about his sexuality. Murray said that Jon was the first wrestler he came out to and Huber supported him all the way through.
“[Brodie] was the first person, the first real wrestler, that I came out to. I probably would have hid for a while until I officially had to get married… I’ve never seen, in wrestling, somebody be more happy and get that adrenaline thrill from helping somebody else.”
Murray further opened up about his experiences as a gay male in wrestling locker rooms. He said straight wrestlers’ attitudes towards gay wrestlers were off-putting to him at times.
“It was weird… you go in a locker room and you’d see guys playing grab ass and stuff. But, if somebody was actually gay, it was a completely different tone. It was like, ‘They shouldn’t change in the locker room.’ Hold on. You just grabbed his butt but I can’t be who I am? I’m glad it’s a better time.”
** Chris Hero is launching a podcast on AdFreeShows with Conrad Thompson titled ‘Can Chris Hero Save Wrestling’.
** While speaking to Bill Pritchard of WrestleZone, Matt Cardona stated that he’s not under contract to IMPACT Wrestling but judging by how things have unfolded between the two parties thus far, he sees IMPACT in his future for now.
“So, I am not under a contract right now. We’re just seeing what happens, but so far, so good. I had a really good time this week. Whether it’s being in the locker room or being in the ring, I just really needed it. I needed to be in the ring—the Major Pod is awesome and it’s a creative outlet for sure—but I need to be designing gear or thinking about things for my matches. Wrestling is my first love and it’s something that I always grew up loving and being obsessed with. I had a pay-per-view debut and I wrestle on IMPACT this week, OK, so now I need more gear because I don’t like wearing the same gear over and over again. I’m already thinking for the future, and IMPACT definitely seems like my future for now.”
** News 18 caught up with Jinder Mahal ahead of his return to the ring at the Superstar Spectacle show. With WWE’s expansion into the Indian market, Mahal thinks the company will create an Indian championship.
“I have not heard anything yet. Currently, I am focused on my return and I will find out about it when I get there. But, it will be great if it is there and if not in this show, I am sure at some point there will be an Indian Championship and I will like to the first-ever, that would be awesome. Maybe, among the upcoming talents, one of the 7 footers can hold such a title. They remind me of a young Great Khali. Not only NXT India, what about Indus Sher, someday they will become the WWE tag team champions. Kavita Devi could be the women’s champion on RAW or SmackDown. The future is bright and I know several WWE superstars will be coming from India in the future and there will be another WWE champion from India. Time will tell and I look forward to it… I actually watch as a fan and I want to see these young guys do well in their careers and excel – I have seen them from being trainees to becoming WWE superstars.”
** IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champion Tasha Steelz joined Busted Open Radio with David LaGreca and Mark Henry. Tasha, alongside her partner Kiera Hogan want challengers from AEW for their tag titles.
“Oh yeah, speaking of AEW, Kiera [Hogan] and I being the new Knockouts Tag Champions, we looking for some more competition. So if the women in AEW wanna step up to us, we have no problem proving them why we are the best women’s tag team ever. So you know, [Big] Swole, [Red] Velvet, Diamante, Ivelisse, any women’s tag team in there. We don’t care if you guys are put together, we don’t care if you guys [have] been together, anybody. We don’t care. We wanna step up and show you guys why we are the best. The Good Brothers, they’re proving it, so let The Good Sisters prove it.”
** Matt Cardona and Brian Myers are launching The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast Network. The MC True Long Island Story will be a part of the Network.
** Arn Anderson and Conrad Thompson covered the 2016 Royal Rumble pay-per-view for the latest installment of the ARN podcast. As the conversation rolled on, Kalisto was discussed and Arn gave his take on why Kalisto has had an up and down run in WWE.
“Just the fact that there was never enough belief in that war room, that room where all the ideas were finalized and all that. There was not an equal distribution of TV time, and when you got three hours, no guy should be in five segments on a TV show when you have three hours. There’s enough time there to spread it around and keep the stories going and I just think that when it got to TV, your TV time got narrowed down and there were fewer beneficiaries of it and Kalisto was one of those guys. I don’t think there was ever a situation where they got down on him. I just think that, ‘Okay, we’re out of segments.’”
** The Complex Sports Podcast welcomed Sasha Banks onto the show. Banks was asked to share her favorite crowd reaction from her time in the ring and she chose her match with Bayley from NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn.
“But of course I think my favorite pop of all time is myself against Bayley in Brooklyn. There will never be — well I don’t wanna say that. Hopefully it’ll be more but, that crowd and that reaction was everything I’ve ever dreamt of my whole entire life, like oh my God. Oh my God, crazy. People were on their feet, no one was sitting down, not even people in wheelchairs were sitting down. They were all standing up. I was making miracles happen. I was making men cry, you know what I’m saying?”
** A catalog of Daniel Bryan’s best matches in wXw are coming to the WWE Network.
** Ring of Honor talent Mark Haskins chatted with Ringsiders Wrestling. He was asked about the consistency of his contact with those in Ring of Honor throughout the pandemic and Mark stated that he hasn’t been that in touch outside of online meetings and occasional check-ins. He did not specify if he meant talent or the powers that be in the company.
“I mean not really [still in touch with the people at Ring of Honor]. Some of them check in I guess, I get sent a newsletter every week which I ‘totally read’. I mean apart from that, they check in and say hi every once in a while or if there’s an online meeting we might catch up but for the most part I think they’re just kind of happy to leave me to my own devices and not hear from me and for me not to be a headache for them so yeah, I’ve just kind of — I’ve been left alone but it’s been nice. They’ve really taken care of us for all this time, and as well I’ve heard that they’ve had shows that they were gonna use talent on and they still paid the talent even though they didn’t end up using them so, they have definitely tried to take care of everybody during this whole dreadful, kind of COVID experience. So yeah, for that I’ll be forever grateful.”
** Aleah James of NXT UK was a guest on BBC News’ Radio 1 Newsbeat and spoke about her signing to WWE. Aleah getting contacted by the company came out of the blue and she said she immediately responded with a ‘yes’.
“I didn’t even say anything. They asked: ‘Is that something that you’re interested in?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah! Yes!’ It didn’t even feel real, I was so confused.”
** GIVEMESPORT ran their interview with Natalya and during the chat, Natalya spoke about the Montreal Screwjob and is of the mindset that had that situation not unfolded between Vince McMahon and Bret Hart, the success of the Attitude Era may not have reached the level that it did.
“My family has given everything we have to this business. From tragedies to championships to what happened between Bret and Vince during the Montreal Screwjob. I talk about The Screwjob because for me, when you think about the magnitude of that, it was a gamechanger for WWE. Had Bret not had that confrontation with Vince McMahon, we may never have had the success of the Attitude Era where that character of Mr. McMahon came about from that real-life situation. You might not have ever had that arch-enemy for Stone Cold Steve Austin. When you think about that rivalry, it was a by-product of The Screwjob.”
** Joey G of Wrestling Headlines caught up with former NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Tim Storm. Storm says he is not done in the ring and doesn’t know when that time will come but he does want to pass his knowledge on to the talents of today.
“You know I’m at a point in my career that I’m not done, I’m not done in the ring. I don’t have a timetable. I don’t know when that is going to happen but I also have always said that I never want to be that guy that stays too long and embarrasses himself or the business. That’s a fine line but here’s where I’m at today in the business and I’m trying to do that in other places…it’s passing on that knowledge. Same thing that people did for me, and one of the ways this business has changed, not necessarily in a positive way, is we don’t have those opportunities to get in a car with veterans and drive six hours and listen and be quiet. That’s how you build your knowledge base. We don’t have that anymore. I got that opportunity with some great guys that I respect. Now what I’ve got left, I want to continue telling good stories in the ring, I want to be involved when it’s time to step away from in-ring. I want to stay involved whether that’s on the production side, the agent side, something. Because whatever knowledge I’ve got that was handed down to me I want to give to somebody else, and I think that’s the right thing to do in the business. I’m passionate about the wrestling. I don’t want it to be gone. I wish I could wrestle forever, I can’t, but when that’s gone I still am passionate enough about it that I want to be involved.”
** Rocky Romero and David Finlay were the focus of a virtual meet-and-greet on New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s English YouTube channel. Rocky stated that his goal is to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship before he turns 40 which he’ll be in two years. Rocky has won the title under the Black Tiger character but wants to win it as Rocky Romero.
“I put out a tweet that by the time I’m 40, I would like to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title. I won it as Black Tiger (IV), but I want to win it as Rocky Romero in the now times. I feel like that’s a hell of a goal. It’s not gonna be an easy — it’s not like an easy one either, and let’s be honest, I’m not at the top of my game anymore. There’s a lot of young guys out there — I’ve always been in my prime. I’m one of the best of all time… but there’s just a lot of competition out there, there’s a lot of great wrestlers like Hiromu [Takahashi], Dragon Lee/Ryu Lee, [Taiji] Ishimori, ELP, I mean we have a pretty stacked Junior division. Desperado who really showed up in 2020, so I feel like it’s not an easy task but it’s something that I need to do by the time I’m 40. I have to do it. What if I don’t do it by 40 I guess is the real question, right?”
** Cronkite News conducted an interview with WWE’s Tucker.
** Viktor, who is a part of the duo formerly known as The Ascension in WWE chatted with Wrestling Inc. for an interview. Viktor has donned the nickname “The Spacelord” and shared that it was Jon Moxley who inspired the nickname.
“I am a comic book fan, but actually, it was Moxley that said it one day when we were training at Hard Knocks. The song came on, and he just like looked at me. And he was like, ‘I see you getting up in the morning just having that song playing. You walk out in your living room and just light a cigarette and start making eggs, and you probably kick some girls out of your apartment or whatever,’ and I started laughing.
And I was like, ‘Well, you’re right about the cigarette and eggs and definitely not kicking the girls out of my apartment at that time.’ It just kind of stuck. Everybody just kind of laughed and it just always stuck. All the guys that were around just kept calling me that. It’s one of those things that’s more or less true. I don’t know if I’m a lord of space, but I spend a lot of time out there.”
** WWE talents watched back the start of the 2020 Royal Rumble match:
** SLAM Wrestling ran their interview with former AJPW All Asia Tag Team Champion Joel Deaton.
** Here are the results from the 1/25 ROH TV episode:
– Pure Rules Match: Josh Woods def. Dalton Castle
– Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor, Moses & Kaun) def. The Foundation (Jay Lethal, Jonathan Gresham & Tracy Williams)
** Baron Black put out the following promo to promote his appearance[s] on AEW Dark:
— Baron Black (@TheEmpBruh) January 26, 2021
** AEW’s ‘Road to’ show to promote the 1/27 episode of Dynamite:
** AEW music producer Mikey Rukus was the latest guest on Metal Injection’s Squared Circle Pit podcast.
** Episode 299 of Reality of Wrestling television:
** The following video is from the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel:
** Chris Sabin appeared on the Wrestling Perspective 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.