If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.
** Former WWE talent and member of The Nexus, Michael Tarver chatted with Sassy Stephanie on her Talkin’ Sass podcast. Tarver was candid about his issues with John Cena and how Cena was tough on him. Things were patched up over time but Tarver feels that Cena targeted him.
It [the backstage heat] was never direct, it was never direct. Yeah, so a lot of people would come up to me and would like tell me, ‘Hey, there’s big plans for you. Like there’s a lot of people very impressed with you. Just keep your head up’ because everyone saw that I had heat with one person in particular. Everyone saw it and it was just, it was obvious. Like backstage, it was relentless, relentless — I don’t wanna use the word ‘bullying’ because I’m not a victim but it was just relentless and you know, I stood up for myself. There was times where he would take liberties in the ring so I would give him some knuckles in the ring and I had to defend myself. You know how it is. Somebody takes liberties, you gotta — don’t let ‘em walk all over you.
Oh everyone knows who it is, you just can’t see him. Yeah, yeah, so it was [John] Cena. I don’t have any heat with Cena now. I make jokes about it but, there was a target on my back. I don’t know why he targeted me but it is what it is but, you know, we ended up on good terms. We ended up on good terms. Yeah, I had to defend myself a lot. But, everyone was high on me and all of a sudden they all turned on me and I’m like why are — people wouldn’t shake my hand, they wouldn’t speak to me. Like all the top guys, I go shake their hands and they would just fade me in front of everybody. I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what did I do?’ And I thank God for like Booker T, Mark Henry and Teddy Long. They would pull me aside a lot. Mark Henry would pull me aside a lot and be like, ‘Hey, this is what’s happening, weather the storm. You got heat, right? Just weather the storm,’ blah, blah, blah, this and that. MVP was another one that would give me really good advice. Like, ‘Okay, just weather the storm.’ Matt Hardy was really cool. I was like, ‘Alright, thank you guys, I appreciate it.’ ‘You’re only getting this kind of heat because there’s something there, so just weather the storm.’
Tarver talked about his experiences working with Vince McMahon. He says McMahon would work closely with him on his promos and he also had help from Armando Estrada and Mikey Whipwreck. Tarver added that there were some who were not fond of his constant one-on-one time with McMahon.
Vince [McMahon] and I were doing a lot of work backstage. He was working with me one-on-one doing promos. Yeah, so another crazy story, you’ve [Sassy Stephanie] been there so you know how Vince, pre-show is always standing by the ring doing all of the control work and all of that clap work. Every Monday and Tuesday, Sundays for pay-per-views, he’s standing by the ring, checking all of the cameras and everything like that. Well, he started ditching that to do one-on-one work with me and pre-tapes and that was unheard of apparently. Yeah, it was kind of crazy because I remember they brought back — who was Umaga’s manager? What was his name? Armando Estrada was his name I think, and they brought him back and him and I were working together and Vince was doing promo work with him and I. No one was allowed — it was just Brawler, Brooklyn Brawler was the one that did pre-tapes and when he was there, he would work it and all of that but it was just me and Brawler, Armando Estrada and Vince and we were just for hours doing promos after promo after promo and I got so much heat for that. I was like, ‘It wasn’t even my decision.’
The original NXT was a focus point during the conversation as well. He feels that he was buried upon his arrival onto the main roster when he came from developmental.
It was exactly that. I chose to stand out [by not doing the NXT challenges] so, the irony of how WWE works, you could be the man or the woman in developmental and get to the main roster and be [fart noise] and it doesn’t matter how good you are. If one of the main roster people there don’t like you, they will do everything they can to bury you and I got buried when I got to NXT, because I was like on top of the mountain. It was me and Wade Barrett and Justin Gabriel [PJ Black] and a couple of other guys and Heath Slater, you know, that was one of the top guys in developmental and then I got to main roster and just got buried.
Continuing on the topic of promos as it relates to Vince McMahon, Tarver says McMahon was focused on helping Daniel Bryan improve his promo ability early in Bryan’s WWE run.
So Vince [McMahon] would do the promos and promo classes and I remember he was like working so hard to get Bryan Danielson’s promos better. That was just his pet project and he wasn’t really that good at talking. He’s amazing now. But he just wasn’t comfortable with it and Vince was just working hard, just calling Bryan up left and right.
Michael did speak about The Nexus and their formation. He shared that the group found out their name through a promo that another wrestler had on TV.
They proceed to tell us this is what we’re doing. They didn’t even have the name ‘Nexus’ yet. They hadn’t even come up with that yet. So that didn’t even come — we didn’t even know our name was Nexus until someone said it in an interview. Like they were talking about us like, ‘Those rookies, what do they call themselves, The Nexus?’ We’re like, ‘That’s our name? Okay, I guess that’s our name!’ Yeah, it was crazy.
WrestleMania 24 in 2008 was the beginning of Tarver’s run in WWE. He was a part of Floyd Mayweather’s entourage. Mayweather’s legit entourage did not know wrestling was scripted so developmental wrestlers were slotted in those positions when it came to the in-ring portion of Mayweather’s feud with Paul Wight (The Big Show).
Oh my goodness. So, Floyd Mayweather is one of the most interesting people ever. So what happened was they had a lot of his shoot entourage when they were doing the TV spots, and they obviously don’t know how to work and they don’t know that it’s a work, and they’re from like the hood, they’re his real shoot bodyguards to really protect him. So they don’t realize that the wrestlers, it’s a work. It’s not really trying to hurt Floyd Mayweather, it’s a show. So there was a lot of like — I guess a lot of stuff going on. They were like, ‘We need higher — we need to get some talent in there so they understand’ and I guess a perfect way to do it was take a couple guys from developmental that no one’s ever seen before, dress ‘em as Floyd’s entourage, that way they’re smart to the work and everything’s safe and it worked out perfect.
Tarver continued speaking about his WrestleMania experience and felt that he had heat because he was a newcomer and was already positioned on a WrestleMania card. On top of that, Tarver got to hang around Floyd Mayweather for several days because WWE wanted people to think some of their developmental talents were really a part of Mayweather’s entourage.
We spent all day — I got so much heat. So I literally, I flew down — I’ll never forget this. I flew down March 25th which was a Tuesday. I finally flew down to Tampa, right? And I moved down there and by that Sunday which was the 28th, I was freaking main event of WrestleMania, my first week on the job. I got so much heat. Oh! I got so much heat. It was crazy. So then all the talent, we had to report to Orlando and they had booked us all in hotels or whatever but then they took the four guys that were in the show and they booked us in like special hotels and we’re riding around in limousines. So they were like they wanted to keep the work alive to everyone, completely kayfabe so we’re like literally shoot riding around with Floyd [Mayweather] and his camp for like two days straight. Like in limos and all of that. Yeah, it was insane, and then we’re doing rehearsals and all of that. So we’re at the actual show. I’ll never forget this, so I’m standing behind the arena, outside and all of the fireworks and all of that, it was mesmerizing. I’m having a conversation with Rey Mysterio and Umaga, God rest his soul. I remember breaking down into tears looking at them, telling them, ‘Dude I was homeless when I signed this contract’ and that’s a shoot. I was homeless, and I was like, ‘I was homeless when I signed this contract when I came here and look where I am, who I’m talking to’ and they were like super cool. They was like, ‘Alright kid, we can tell this means a lot to you.’ Like you don’t know. I can’t even tell you how much — I remember walking up to Ric Flair right after his match with Shawn Michaels and with tears in my eyes just shaking his hand saying thank you. I was just like, ‘Oh my God, thank you,’ sobbing. Oh man and Shawn Michaels but I just remember seeing Flair taking his tape off and I was like, ‘Thank you, thank you.’ All I could think of was thank you.
** During her appearance on Busted Open Radio, Molly Holly discussed her WWE Hall Of Fame speech and how initially, she was told she was going to have 15 minutes to deliver her speech but ended up getting two minutes of ceremony time. A separate video with Molly’s full speech was pushed out. She shared that finding out her speech time was being cut made her emotional because it brought back memories of her run as a full-time WWE performer.
When I first — it was really awesome that Hurricane Helms was the one who tells me I was going to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame and the fact that he legitimately, for real got choked up and he was super proud of me and that was really, really special so I love that moment. But the behind the scenes of after that is that I was told I’d have about 15 minutes to give a speech so I spent a lot of time and had three friends of mine that are professional writers help me and I practiced it for like 60 hours. I have a regular 9-5 job and after work every day, I would practice it while I was going for a walk and I worked really hard on it and then a couple days before, they said, ‘Oh never mind, you actually have two minutes to give your speech’ and I cried for like four hours. I was like I think all this — and the girls and I’m sure it happened to the guys too but a lot of times when I used to wrestle full-time, they would tell us, ‘Okay, you can have 12 minutes to wrestle’ and then right before we walk out they’d be like, ‘Nope, nope. You have four minutes’ and we’d be like, ‘Aw! We were so ready to tell a story of good versus evil and give the fans their money’s worth’ and now it’s just like entrances, two moves and the match and it would be like such a heartbreak so I think I took a lot of that resentment or hurt from 20 years ago and piled it onto that moment when they cut my speech down and I just was like, I was so sad. But, here’s the good news: The WWE made it right and they let me give my speech on their YouTube page. They have like 75 million people that have looked on that. So I was like so hurt and then I was so happy that they let me thank Dean Malenko and Lanny Poffo and these people that really, really helped shape my career so it’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for me.
** IMPACT Wrestling’s Josh Alexander appeared on “Da” Podcast. While speaking about the Canadian independent scene and talents that have come from it, Alexander provided details about his IMPACT contract and said he’s on a per date deal.
And not to disparage any of these guys but when I started wrestling, Bobby Roode, Eric Young, Petey Williams, all these guys, they got signed to TNA and they were on exclusive deals. So they couldn’t do independent shows freely. So they couldn’t give back. I’m luckily on a per date deal with IMPACT so I can do whatever I want.
Reflecting on he and Ethan Page’s run as IMPACT Tag Champions, Alexander said it might have been in the works to have Rich Swann and Willie Mack defeat them at Hard To Kill 2020 but Rich suffered a severe Achilles injury.
I think it was completely organically [The North’s lengthy tag title run]. I think we were heading into a feud with Willie [Mack] and Rich [Swann] and I think at Hard To Kill , it might have been in the works for them to win the tag team championships but Rich had broke his ankle at a show like two days before. So this is the kind of stuff that happens in wrestling where it was just by chance that ended up happening because I think there were plans for us to lose them or win them back or whatever, but it just played out that way and I’m not gonna knock it because I’m cool with us being named in the history books the rest of time. That’s something my inner child will definitely smile about later on in life.
Prior to signing with IMPACT, Josh worked with several IMPACT talents on the Canadian independent scene. He admitted that it always sort of bothered him that IMPACT hadn’t signed him sooner.
I don’t know how I got signed. It’s all assumption. I will definitely be asking this question to Scott D’Amore and Don Callis in the future as things roll around because it’s always kind of bothered me that I didn’t get signed sooner. I was completely tearing Canada to shreds. Like, if there was a main event match or somebody coming in that was a name, I was on the marquee and I was wrestling them and I had built this name and brand for myself with Canadian strong style and everything else. Going against Pete Dunne and the whole British strong style scene for Destiny [Wrestling]. But then on the other hand, I was also wrestling Sami Callihan on these IMPACT one-night only shows that they did and I distinctly remember having a cage match against Sami Callihan for a Destiny show and Don Callis and Scott D’Amore were on commentary and in that match, you can Google ‘trash can Josh Alexander’, it’ll probably come up on YouTube if you wanna check this out. But I’ll warn you, it’s disgusting. Sami Callihan hits me with the trash can and he hits me with the seam of the trash can so a trash can is made of a flat piece of metal that you roll into a circle so there was an overlapping seam so when he hit me in the head, that folded and pretty much filleted the top of my skull and it was — it’s up there with Eddie Guerrero versus JBL or [The Great] Muta-level bleeding and I remember me telling the ref. Thank God I had Harry D. because he’s a very experienced ref. He was being told to end the match and to tell me to end the match and I was telling him I’m fine. He’s like, ‘I’m with you man. I’ll keep an eye on you. If you say you’re fine, I trust you’ and like I didn’t have a head injury or anything, I was just bleeding and I didn’t know how much I was bleeding at the time but, I bled all over that ring. That ring was one giant puddle of blood. By the time the match was done, I ended up moonsaulting off the cage, doing all this crazy stuff that I just wanted to do and it wasn’t because I thought that was an opportunity for me to get noticed. I have this thing inside me where if I’m not giving everybody in the crowd everything I have, I’m gonna be disappointed with myself and it’s like that if there’s five people in the crowd, 500, 5,000, doesn’t matter. I’m always gonna try and have the match of the night, I’m always going to kill myself trying and that’s a reason why I think I got signed.
** Brian “Road Dogg” James returned to work in-person for this week’s NXT, as confirmed by PWInsider. James was released from the hospital in late March after suffering what Tracy James, his wife described as “likely a heart attack”.
** SmackDown referee Jessika Carr was a guest on the Health Babes Podcast. Jessika stated that she has been dealing with a nagging back issue for about a month or two.
I have had a back issue for probably a month or two, so we’ve definitely had to adjust what we’re doing in that time [workout wise]. Yeah, because it’s just been a nagging thing that kept coming up and just not going away so I’m doing like — finally I was like, ‘Fine, I’ll go do therapy for it.’
She dove into her time with WWE thus far. She said that initially, she wasn’t sure what to expect as she began her time as a referee in the company. She thought there was a chance she could only be refereeing women’s matches as well.
I never felt — so when coming in I wasn’t sure what the expectation was going to be. I wasn’t sure if they were going to tell me, ‘Well you’re just gonna strictly do women’s matches.’ I wasn’t sure what to expect out of it but from day one, they told me that, ‘You’re gonna do everything that the guys are doing,’ which it meant a lot to me. For not only to be in the position to referee guys’ contests but there’s a lot to the backside of refereeing that people don’t realize as far as we are usually, especially at the level of NXT and the Performance Center, we are big people manager[s]. We are really big into leading the buildings of the rings and tearing them down and the safety of that, and concussion protocols and all of those things and I just felt always that the ball was in my court for an opportunity, not because I was a female but because I was good at my job and I still feel that now, but at the same time, I really hold high expectation for myself and I’m essentially setting a standard.
When asked what is next for her, Jessika said there’s a lot of uncertainty in her work pertaining to WWE. She mentioned the chaotic environment backstage and how things can change on a whim.
There is a lot of uncertainty in my line of work. We don’t know generally what is going on that evening when we’re there at 3 PM. Like, it’s utter chaos but I don’t think I would enjoy a life much different because I love hanging on the seat of my pants and going, ‘Where’s the adventure now? Where are we going? What are we doing?’ It’s fun for me.
** Adam Pearce is now in the role of Director of Live Events, per PWInsider. The individual in that role oversees house shows, touring creative and match lineups. Pearce will still be producing TV matches.
** Singer, actress and TV host Dionne Warwick chatted with Darren Paltrowitz for an interview. Dionne talked about her back and forth on Twitter with AEW’s MJF.
Yeah, I mean it was so hysterical. Yeah, I’m gonna get in the ring with you, of course I am. Let’s get real here.
Oh absolutely [I laughed it off]. You know, I don’t think he [MJF] would ever attempt to think about coming at me in any fashion other than, ‘Hello Ms. Warwick.’
** While making the media rounds, ‘Metro’ caught up with Chelsea Green. She shared that she had an idea to be a part of ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss’ storyline.
I was always trying to figure out a way to incorporate myself into that group because I felt like that was such an extension of the Hot Mess in so many different way[s]. I felt the Hot Mess could fit in perfectly there! Then also, I do feel like that group, they’re so strong, the two of them, but they’re almost missing that third person that can jump over to the women’s division. Alexa’s the puppeteer, The Fiend’s the men’s side, so why can’t they have a woman to take over to the women’s division and then they’re taking over the entire show. Or then Alexa has a tag partner – there’s just so many different ways to spin it. Lilly is so creepy and I love it, and I just imagined myself with that hair, with that dress, with that makeup. I just could picture it the minute I saw it!
** An opinion piece from Nigerian news outlet Pulse.ng about how Apollo Crews’ current gimmick isn’t holding up well.
** Fightful spoke to Mike Bennett for an exclusive interview. Mike and Maria Kanellis-Bennett recently inked new deals with Ring of Honor and Mike shared that their contracts run through the end of this year and likely an extra year after that.
I’ll tell you—so, the length is definitely until the end of this year and most likely an extra year after that. But, there’s a ton of extra wiggle room for renegotiation, for length or whatever. So, like I said, we’re in the middle of a pandemic, and I want to be there and they want me there, so I’m willing to go and maneuver around every which way. Because at this point in my career, I’m just gonna go to where I’m happy and Ring of Honor is what’s making me happy at [this] point. So, if they come to me and are like, ‘Hey, we need to hold off on this or we need to do this,’ I’m all on board because I want to be the Ring of Honor guy. That’s kind of where I’m at in my career.
** Dawn Marie, who spent time in WWE and ECW was the most recent guest on D-Von Dudley’s Table Talk podcast. Dawn mentioned that she recently spoke to Jim Ross and is interested in going to an AEW show to say hello and catch up with some people she has not seen in a long time.
Like I said, I really divorced it [wrestling]. I mean I miss my friends. But, I don’t know. I was talking to a few people. I know AEW has a lot of old school people. I think I wanna maybe — I was talking to J.R. [about] maybe stopping by just to visit and say hi. You know, I just wanna say hi because it’s been so many years.
Dawn shared several road stories and one was from her time her time traveling with Randy Orton, Dave Bautista and D-Von. Dawn said she got in trouble for letting Randy Orton sleep in chairs in her hotel rooms for a period of time.
I almost got into a lot of trouble because Randy [Orton] didn’t have a room or something and he probably lied, just trying to get in my room, who knows? So I felt bad for him, you know, because he was broke. Not that he’s broke now, he made up for it. So I was like, ‘Randy, okay, fine. You can sleep on the chair in my room!’ And I was like, ‘If you come anywhere near my bed, I swear to God I’m gonna kill you.’ So I let him do it like a couple different nights, I let him like sleep on the chair. I don’t even know if he remembers this and someone saw him coming out of my room and you know, back then, that was a no-no. You can not sleep with the boys, and it was [innocent]. It was totally innocent, and I was like, ‘Randy, you don’t even touch me. I swear to God I’m going to kill you,’ and I remember Bob Holly and everyone, they were getting on me, they were, ‘Yeah, we know’ and I could’ve gotten fired for that and not like now. Now they do stories about it. It’s like a freaking kick in the ass. Like everyone getting pregnant now and they glorify it. Meanwhile, I was [throat cut gesture] for being pregnant.
The now-50-year-old Marie is a nurse and takes care of the elderly. She said she’s extremely happy and would redo her life if she could’ve just jumped right into being a nurse, despite her love for the wrestling business.
I love it [her wrestling career]. Ivory was the one that gave me the best advice ever and what she said to me was, ‘The only way to get out of the business is to divorce the business,’ and I completely didn’t understand it but I got it because I kinda always had one foot in, one foot out in the beginning and I just did it. I just divorced the business, started over. Just realized you can’t do two things great, you know? I’m an overachiever and I just decided to become a nurse and I’m so happy. Like I’m truly, genuinely happy. If I could do my life over again, I would give up everything. No offense D-Von [Dudley] even though I love you. But I would give up everything to just be a nurse.
** While doing a virtual signing with Highspots Wrestling Network, Jerry Lawler spoke about his late son, Brian Christopher Lawler. Jerry feels that Brian earned everything he got in his wrestling career on his own and that is why he and Brian did not want to add Lawler to his ring name.
And that was the whole idea behind that [Brian Christopher not having “Lawler” as a part of his ring name]. I mean, everybody knows. From a kid growing up, if you were on a softball team or a football team or whatever and the coach’s son was on there, he was always the quarterback, he was always gonna get special treatment and that’s the way it had always been in wrestling as well. A lot of promoters would have their sons come into the business. I could tell you one classic example that we learned from here. Nick Gulas, who was a promoter in the Memphis territory and he brought his son George [Gulas] into the business and George is a great guy, likeable guy, still see George on occasion but he was not a great wrestler and I think George would admit that but Nick, because it was his son, he pushed him too strong and the fans resented that. So I didn’t want, we didn’t want to do that with Brian and so, his real name is Brian Christopher Lawler so we just went as Brian Christopher and like you said, some people knew but a lot of people didn’t because he wanted to — and also in my situation, it wasn’t just the fact that I was helping — owned the territory and helping book everything. It was the fact that being the top wrestler, it was almost impossible shoes to try to fill for anybody so I think that was the reason he just wanted to go as himself.
** Martin Casaus returned to in-ring action as a part of the 4/27 AEW Dark lineup. He took on Brian Cage in a singles match and Casaus spoke to Sports Illustrated about what it meant to get back in the ring under the AEW umbrella.
This match meant the world to me. We’d only wrestled once before, and it’s a whole new situation getting to go into AEW. He’s gotten even better since the last time we were in the ring together, to a point I didn’t even know was possible. And for me, I’m savoring every moment. I worked so damn hard to make this happen, so I’m enjoying it more, whether it’s hearing the crowd or kicking someone in the face.
He suffered a spine injury in his L4 and L5 that put him on the shelf. Casaus says that he likely would’ve had to retire had he undergone surgery.
I couldn’t pick up my dog, I was in pain with everything I did. My first motivation was to get back to normal living. Wrestling played a big role, too. I’ve been doing it for more than half my life. It’s what I love. I wasn’t willing to let it go. My career would have probably been over if I had that surgery, so I went another route. I got some stem cells in my L4 and L5. Slowly, I started getting better. I did every therapy you can imagine. I laid on a bed of nails, electroshock therapy, cupping, acupuncture. I did it all just to get back in the ring.
** Lio Rush vs. Laredo Kid is taking place at AAW’s ‘Take No Prisoners’ show on May 7th. Rush defeated Laredo Kid for the AAA World Cruiserweight Title. Although Rush’s win was recognized by AAA, Laredo Kid was referred to as the Cruiserweight Champion during his AEW Dynamite appearances. Laredo Kid is the official AAA World Cruiserweight Champion. As of this writing, their match at AAW’s show is not a title match.
** Wrestling Inc. has an interview on their site with JD Drake. JD has consistently been appearing and competing on AEW programming since February. He said he does not know if there’s more to come in the future and detailed how the opportunity came about.
I’m actually in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina playing in a slow-pitch softball tournament. I was actually in bed that night. It was about 1:30 in the morning. I wake up, check my phone and I have a text. ‘Hey, are you available to do AEW?’ I was like, ‘Yes, absolutely I am.’ I had sent an email in November, maybe October, just sending my resume in, and I got a text message because I left my telephone number and email asking me if I was available. I told them, ‘Yes.’ They said, ‘Good, we’ll see you next Wednesday,’ and they sent me all the information.
I got down there, and when I walk in, they give me my itinerary for everything I’m going to be doing. I see my name next to Eddie Kingston on Dark. I’m like, ‘Alright, this will be fun.’ This is not the first time we’ve done this dance. Me and Eddie have wrestled about eight times already, and we beat the bleep out of each other every time. Then the next night, I had Stu Grayson. I had no clue what was going on when I walked in down there. I get Eddie Kingston and Stu Grayson in my first two matches in AEW.
You want to talk about excited? I was thoroughly excited, and I must have impressed because I’ve been back ever since. They keep bringing me down. That’s all I know. I’m not kayfabing anybody. I don’t know anything. I know that I’m going down. I’m impressing. I’m doing my job. I’m hanging out with my boys Peter Avalon, and Ryan Nemeth and Cezar Bononi, who I became friends with on my first trip to the PC back in February (2020). So how wild that me and him are hanging out a lot when I go down there.
** Ahead of his Universal Title match against Roman Reigns on SmackDown, Daniel Bryan chatted with Robbie Fox on the My Mom’s Basement show. Bryan said he’s enjoying this current version of Roman Reigns and would like to see him versus Planet’s Champion Daniel Bryan.
So yeah, so I actually have more fun with this iteration of Roman Reigns than I do with this iteration of Daniel Bryan. You know, I would have loved to have done Planet’s Champion Daniel Bryan versus this version of Roman Reigns to see who could get the fans to hate them more but I don’t think that’s really like a — something that’s good for the mass audiences. Like oh, two people that everybody hates.
When asked to give some of his favorite matches from his WWE run, Bryan selected his WrestleMania 35 match with Kofi Kingston and his one-on-one match with Brock Lesnar.
Oh gosh, that’s really hard. I think my favorite match in my WWE career is my match with Kofi [Kingston] at WrestleMania 35. To me, it’s just so, so special and such a cool moment and it’s also one of the things that I love is because it’s Kofi winning at the end so it’s like say WrestleMania XXX, right, so like my shoulder’s horrible and my neck and I got this horrible pain down my arm, then I know I have to get up and do media the next morning and then everybody comes up to you and be like, ‘Oh! Congratulations, congratulations’ and all that kind of stuff. There’s a lot of responsibility to that. When I wrestled Kofi, Kofi wins. Everybody goes to Kofi, everybody says congratulations to Kofi. I get to have my moment with Kofi being like, ‘Hey man, thanks, that was awesome’ and then my daughter was there and my wife was there and I get to go hug my daughter and my wife and I get to go home the next day and Kofi’s the one who has to do media and Kofi’s the one who has to deal with all the people saying, ‘Hey man, congratulations!’ All that kind of stuff. So I think, actually that’s my favorite WWE match. It’s hard to narrow down things when it comes to that kind of stuff. But I love my match with Brock Lesnar, and I think it’s just really cool because I had just turned into a bad guy the week before and like oh man, I finally get to wrestle Brock Lesnar and it’s as a bad guy, but one of the things that I’m very, very proud of is I went out to boos, got them to cheer me by the end and then when I left, they still booed me.
Am I sad? Absolutely. Do I think that this is the wrong decision? Yes, because I have confidence in myself. With that being said, it’s kind of — it’s like having an ex-boyfriend. I kind of want to prove them wrong. I want them [WWE] to want me back the way I want ex-boyfriends to want me back and I think I’m going to have a lot of fun doing that.
** Tamina talked to The Independent about her father, Jimmy Snuka initially not being big on her aspirations to join the pro wrestling business.
I was at college and was done playing basketball and I wanted to try and start to train to get into wrestling. At first, he [Jimmy Snuka] was kinda like, ‘No, absolutely not! You don’t know how it is, the men in the business, it’s harder for women and they don’t get paid as much as the guys.’ All these different things. It’s not that he was trying to stop me from [doing] it but he was just trying to shelter me in a way like, ‘This is my daughter, my baby. There’s no way I want anyone to hurt her or her to hurt herself.’ Now I have two daughters myself, and would I want them to get into it now? I have to be somewhat different to the way my father was because I feel like the women have evolved so much – it is such a better place and much more of an open avenue for women.
** On the 5/11 edition of NXT, Mercedes Martinez is challenging Raquel Gonzalez for the NXT Women’s Title. Mercedes spoke to Sportskeeda’s Rick Ucchino for an exclusive interview and said a title win would validate her entire professional journey. She mentioned that signing a contract with WWE is a career highlight.
It has a lot of meaning. I’m one to say that opportunities don’t come very often and sometimes you just gotta take them or you gotta make your own opportunities. So winning that NXT Women’s Title just validates everything that I’ve worked hard for. You know, I’ve won championships all around the world on the independent scene but that has nothing compared to doing it on one of the biggest stages that I could ever dream of. Getting an NXT contract, a WWE contract was a highlight of my career. It was something that I didn’t think I was ever gonna get and here I am proving everybody wrong and proving my worth and just winning that title is gonna mean everything in my career and put 20 years of my life on the line just for that validation to say yes, I am one of the best. Now I am best in women’s wrestling and I’ve gone through all the craziness of women’s wrestling of the highs and the lows. This just validates that if you just keep working hard and you dedicate and the passion that I have, that one day, your goals and your dreams will come true and that’s one thing I wanna be able to prove and validate in my career. Winning a title in WWE and NXT is the first step and then from there, who knows? Sky’s the limit for me.
** talkSPORT ran highlights from their chat with NXT UK’s Primate. He referred to Pete Dunne as “The Godfather” of NXT UK and went into detail about what it’s been like to collaborate with Dunne over the years.
He’s like The Godfather [of NXT UK] isn’t he. For his age, he’s just fantastic. Backstage he’s nothing but a great guy to be around, helping you, giving you feedback on the matches. The way his mind works in wrestling is second to none. If it hadn’t been for the likes of Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, the OGs should I say, NXT UK wouldn’t be what it is. We all look up to these guys in a way. Don’t get me wrong, I think we all deserve a pat on the back for the way we’ve picked it up and ran with it and we’ve made one of the best brands in WWE, but Pete Dunne deserves a lot of credit. I think he’s doing pretty well Stateside as well [laughs]. He’s working hard.
** Cinta De Oro (Sin Cara II) was interviewed by WrestleZone. He told the site that he is currently not wrestling because he wants to be cautious of the COVID-19 pandemic. He has received inquiries from promoters but right now, he’s focusing on himself.
It’s one of those things that’s very uncertain right now, but I’ve been getting calls from promoters that wanna work with me. But right now like, for them, it’s very uncertain. So, obviously, since I don’t know when shows are gonna happen, I’m gonna have to be on standby in a sense, but I’m doing other projects, that’s the main thing. I’m keeping myself busy doing other projects, doing other things and traveling a little bit, keeping myself in that mindset of, ‘When everything gets back into the swing of things, I’ll be able to do what I love’ and that’s wrestle.
But for me, right now, the main focus is keeping myself healthy, keeping my mind healthy, my soul healthy and just being ready for when the time comes of me working in wrestling and right now, the only people that are wrestling are the people who are on television, you know? There’s no live events right now for anybody and I think once everything starts going, people are gonna start going to events because they wanna go out, they actually wanna be there now. They’ve been home for so long and they’re actually gonna be able to come to the arenas and the gyms or the places where we get to wrestle. So, I’m just excited for the future and hopefully, everything gets back into the swing of things, not just for me, but for everybody.
** Jeff Hardy was announced for the April (2022) ‘For The Love Of Wrestling’ convention. Hardy is joining Shawn Michaels, Kurt Angle, Torrie Wilson, Victoria, Candice Michelle, JBL, Brutus Beefcake, Marty Jannetty, Scott Levy, Lanny Poffo, Alundra Blayze, Scott Steiner, Rick Steiner, The Nasty Boys and more names as currently scheduled guests.
Here’s a preview of Rob Van Dam’s WWE Icons episode:
** KSAT.com chatted with Mickie James about her GAW TV show with Lisa Marie Varon and SoCal Val.
** Shakiel Mahjouri of ET Canada conducted an interview with Matt Hardy.
** NJPW ‘Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni’ Results (4/29/21)
– BUSHI & SANADA def. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
– El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki def. Tiger Mask, SHO & YOH
– DOUKI, Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi vs. Jado & Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) – No Contest
– Master Wato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Toru Yano & Ryusuke Taguchi def. Dick Togo, EVIL, Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi
– Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito def. Will Ospreay & Great-O-Khan
– Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi def. Aaron Henare & Jeff Cobb
** John Walters vs. Xavier from ROH War of the Wire 2003:
** Natalya’s latest write-up for the Calgary Sun was about fitness.
** Former two-time ROH World Champion Jay Lethal turned 36-years old on 4/29. Titus O’Neil turns 44 today.
** Thunder Rosa spoke to WrestleZone about her Mission Pro Wrestling promotion.
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.