POST NEWS UPDATE: IMPACT Wrestling offered Thom Latimer a deal in 2019, he chose NWA

Thom Latimer's offer from IMPACT, Johnny Gargano media interviews, Shinsuke Nakamura on his WWE run, Nick Gage talks Dark Side of the Ring

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.

** NWA’s Thom Latimer guest appeared on the ‘This Is Pro Wrestling’ show for an extensive conversation. Latimer, a former member of IMPACT Wrestling was offered an opportunity to return the company in 2019. He decided to head to the NWA.

I arrived in Clarksville [for the NWA Pop Up show] the night before. I was there a day before and then I never — then I stayed here.

That was literally me coming back from the U.K. which was really cool because I came out and I was surprised and I sound like a f*cking mark here but, I came out, there was a good reaction. Normally I’m heel and I came out and I got a babyface pop so I was, ‘Oh! That’s cool’ and so it was fun, especially because Billy [Corgan] sort of was like, ‘Yeah, you back in town? I’d love to get you back rolling with the NWA.’ I was like, ‘Lovely’ because I needed, I wanted something to come back to. When I came back, I also — IMPACT also offered me a deal too. I went to one of their shows and I did like a match on Xplosion or whatever it was called and to get in front of Don Callis and Scott D’Amore because it’d been a few years since they’ve seen me even though I used to work for the company, and they did offer me a deal and I thought, ‘Well I want to see what the NWA — what’s going on with that first.’ I’d had such a bit of a rough [time] working for them the years before that I thought, ‘Ah, I don’t know if I want to jump right back into that. I need to sort of see what else there is or at least spread my wings somewhere else and try and do my own thing.’ So that’s what I ended up doing then just eventually going with NWA instead.

Latimer did spend two years with WWE as a part of their developmental system. Latimer admitted that he is to blame for his eventual exit from the company. He sees the likes of Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt and Cesaro who he started in WWE with and believes he could’ve been where they are now.

It’s weird. It’s like self-sabotage. It’s like getting hired by WWE, your dream, right? And then going, ‘Screw it.’ It’s crazy because I look back now, every time WrestleMania is on, I go, ‘That could have been me.’ I came up with Seth [Rollins], I came up with Roman Reigns, with Husky — with Bray Wyatt, with all of these guys, right? All these guys and I should’ve been there with them but I wasn’t adult enough or grown up enough to realize that at the time. Like they said with Cesaro the other day at WrestleMania, he’s been with the WWE ten years. I went, ‘Man, I had his first couple of matches when he came in. I was there the day he walked in. I could’ve — why did I throw away the ball?’

Back in 2017, Thom Latimer traveled over to Japan to compete for Pro Wrestling NOAH. He was sent home for what was deemed inappropriate behavior in public which is related to a picture he put up on Instagram.

Scott D’Amore and a bunch of others that came in [IMPACT/TNA], Jeff Jarrett and whatnot and they sort of took over the place a little bit and there was another changing of guards that meant another sort of pay cut and whatnot and Scott had sort of threw me a bone and he got me a gig wrestling for NOAH in Japan and of course I got drunk out there like I did and I ended up putting — doing something stupid on Instagram that got me kicked off the tour and kicked off their — they pretty much Chris Benoit’d me from the NOAH tour. You wouldn’t even know I’d ever been there. I wrestled four or five matches in NOAH but they’ve [erased] me from the thing. It’s like I’ve never been there and they put me on a plane and they sent me back home. They got rid of me, which I completely understand. At the time I’m like, ‘I can’t believe this is happening to me. What have I done?’ And that was another thing where IMPACT went, ‘Ugh, we’re giving this guy a chance and he keeps sh*tting the bed,’ you know what I mean?

Latimer has been wrestling since 2003 and he feels that the window for his in-ring career is closing. He has a nagging back issue that he’s been dealing with for close to a decade. He shared that at points he’s had to drink bottles of morphine to ease the pain.

As far as on a selfish level, it [training students] definitely helped me. It definitely helped me get my frustrations out and be able to give back because I’m 34, I’ve got an incredibly short — I’m going for an MRI actually in two weeks on my lower back. Like finally I’m gonna go figure out what’s wrong with it because I’ve had a bad back now for eight, nine years, you know? To the point where I’d have to drink whole bottles of morphine to be able to walk to the toilet. It’s been pretty bad at points, so I’m finally getting looked at. So I know I can’t do this forever. So, it’s really nice then to be able to groom the next lot because if I don’t, it’s such a waste and if I can’t do it, then at least one of them can and selfishly, then I ride their coattails, you know what I mean? I get to live vicariously through them. So, if I’m not gonna make it, at least one of those guys will.

The topic of his sobriety came up and Latimer was open to discuss his past issues. He said he never thought he’d be in a position to be sober and he barely thinks about drinking now. He recalled showing up to IMPACT tapings under the influence to help him deal with the nerves he felt.

It’s a lot to deal with so, you know, but, it was the best thing that I ever did and I never thought I’d be able to say, ‘I’m –’ and of course I always have to be careful, always. But I never thought I’d be able to get into a position where I’m like, ‘I’m sober.’ I never thought I’d be able to do it. I never did. I just thought it would be absolutely impossible to quit and so now I’ve gone the year-and-a-half of the year and three quarters. I barely think about it now except for if there’s an event or friends are getting together or there’s a lot of things I’ve had to re-learn to do. If I went to the cinema before, I would drink. If I would — any event, I’d need to drink. I mean even when I was at IMPACT, I would show up to the building and at the time, I still didn’t even realize I was an alcoholic. But I’d have three or four cans of Four Loko that I would chug before going into work so I’d stop shaking, you know? And it was completely normal for me at the time. I didn’t think anything was wrong. I’d get into work and they’d see me and there would be certain people that I would see there and they’d look at me and I have my glasses on covering my eyes and they’ll be like, ‘Go in there and don’t be seen. Go get your head down somewhere.’ A lot of them, they didn’t enable me, but at the same time they wanted to protect me so it’s kind of a double-edged sword. But I was the only person to blame.

Thom is a former NWA World Tag Team Champion with Royce Isaacs. The two are no longer a pair and Thom feels that he and Royce did not click as they are two different people in and out of the ring. He spoke highly of Isaacs as he got the chance to wrestle for AEW on several occasions.

Me and Royce [Isaacs], he’s got another tag partner [Jorel Nelson]. I think he recently did a match, a couple matches on AEW Dark with his original tag partner, and they work better anyway. I mean, you know, me and Royce are close and we text every now and then and whatnot but we didn’t necessarily — we’re two very sort of different people, and two different people in the ring so we did our best to try and make it what it was but like I said, the guy that he tags with now, they’ve got all their moves down, they’ve got their thing down and their sort of style and Royce is very much gonna be Royce and I’m very much gonna be me so it was kind of — we didn’t exactly gel as a team. We just looked like two singles guys tagging the entire time, you know? And you’re gonna get that sometimes.

** Shinsuke Nakamura was the latest guest on Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast. Nakamura admitted that he feels he is still struggling in wrestling since coming over to the U.S. from Japan.

I’m still struggling in wrestling. Yes, still. Coming to U.S. and coming to WWE, it’s challenging. I came to challenge myself, that’s why I’m here.

When asked about his working relationship with Vince McMahon, Nakamura said he does not pitch ideas often. He’ll speak to McMahon when it has to do with a promo or a match of his.

I don’t pitch ideas to him [Vince McMahon] a lot. We talk after the match a little bit or before the match, if he [has] an idea for my promo.

Nakamura shared that he still gets nervous doing promos in WWE. He said he’s given short one-liners now and on the comedic front, some of those comedic lines can be tasking to understand because he did not grow up in America.

Yes [I get nervous], still. Nowadays, they only give me a short line. For example, a famous joke. I don’t know because I didn’t grow up in [the] US. That’s a hard thing for me.

Shinsuke was candid in his book about his experience working with Brock Lesnar in New Japan Pro-Wrestling and how much that affected him. If given another opportunity, Nakamura would wrestle Brock in the WWE.

If I have the opportunity, of course I want [it]. I was young, he [Brock Lesnar] was young? I don’t know. Probably yeah.

** Ron Funches brought Nick Gage onto his Gettin’ Better podcast. Gage’s Dark Side of the Ring episode recently aired and while speaking to Ron, Gage said he initially did not want to do the show and put himself out there like he did.

Yeah, it was awesome man. I was nervous. You know, I didn’t want to put that sh*t out man. I was nervous about putting that sh*t out and I met them guys [Evan Husney & Jason Eisener] and they were dope and I put it out and it was awesome so…

Sandra, Nick Gage’s girlfriend was a focal point during the Dark Side of the Ring episode. Gage was hesitant to include Sandra and he fought against it but is ultimately proud of her.

Sandra? I’ll talk a little bit about her. So, met [Sandra] in high school, and been together ever since and I was really nervous of putting her on. I said no at first, because I don’t like putting Sandra on camera, she never does but she always shows up and supports me and sh*t like that. Man we’ve been together forever. Ride or die chick, you know what I mean? It’s crazy.

Sandra man, I can’t believe I put her in the series. I didn’t wanna put her in at all. I fought with them people, but I’m glad I did. She did a good job. She did a good job. I was proud of her. I called her when the show was over and just let her know, ‘Hey, you did a good job.’ She was nervous. I was proud of her. She never did an interview in her life, you know what I mean? And I was nervous about it because I know a lot of people are gonna see it.

** The Miz spoke to Looper.com and told the site that when the idea of doing the Canadian Destroyer with Bad Bunny at WrestleMania 37 was brought up, he declined. Miz said he was in awe of how John Morrison executed the move.

When they brought it up, I was like, ‘Absolutely not.’ One, because I can’t even do a Canadian Destroyer, let alone Bad Bunny doing one. But man, that was an incredible move. And the way John got hit with it, I was in awe. I mean, you see the look on my face. It’s like, did that really just happen like that? I did not expect it to look like that at all. It was magical. Incredible. And yeah, kudos to Bad Bunny because I don’t think I could have done it that well.

** Ahead of his North American Title defense against Bronson Reed on NXT, Johnny Gargano chatted with Sports Illustrated. He said after winning the NXT Championship, he had his mind set on becoming a heel. He said it was always in his head to have Candice LeRae with him and vice versa and he had his eyes on Austin Theory since Theory came into NXT.

People forget that, on the indies, I was always a heel. Sure, in NXT, I was an underdog babyface, but that was new to me. That was something I was learning how to do. From the moment I started on the indies, I was always a heel, and I could not wait to show this side of me. When I was a babyface, nearing the end of my run, after I lost the NXT championship, that was the end of that pure Johnny Wrestling story. That was the top of it for me, and I always imagined turning after that. I was just consumed with constant ideas of what I could do when I turned and when I showed this other side. I wrote ideas for music, gear and stories in these Word documents, and I sent them to Hunter [Paul “Triple H” Levesque], I sent them to Shawn [Michaels], I sent them to everybody.

The idea was always to place Candice with me. We’d really wanted to work together. Knowing how talented she is, I wanted to get her as bright a spotlight of her own—not as Johnny Gargano’s wife, but as Candice freakin’ LeRae, one of the best wrestlers in the world. I always wanted a stable as well. I had the idea of Austin Theory being with me a long time ago. I’m talking a long time ago, like right when he got signed to NXT. I remember saying to Hunter, ‘He could be like my Randy [Orton].’ I felt like I could help mold him into what he can be; he just needed the right platform.

Indi is someone we didn’t know too well, but it was easy to see her potential and we felt like she’d fit in with us really well. Now, to see what we’ve transformed into, this sort of dysfunctional family, it’s completely different than what I imagined. It has a sitcom vibe, and that’s definitely not what I wrote up in those Word documents. But things happened on camera, and we went with it. The dynamic just feels right, and hopefully it helps Indi and Austin in the long way, especially showing off their personalities. The Way came from The Gargano Way. We likened it to Evolution a bit. And that’s the story of how it came together.

Gargano is a three-time North American Champion, a former NXT Champion and Tag Team Champion and has been a part of the brand since 2016. He feels that out of his six years in NXT, this is his best run.

I was very open about having a run with the title, and it’s my chance to make other guys, too. Now Leon goes into something with Swerve, and he’s taken more seriously. He can do so much; he’s so talented. Having a 24-minute TakeOver match with Kushida and being able to show the world what he’s capable of doing, that’s something I take very seriously. He’d shown that all around the world, but this was his chance to show it here, so I really wanted that match with him. He works incredibly hard and deserves that spotlight. And Priest is amazing. He’s incredibly talented, and he’s a guy that takes opportunities and runs with them. He’s gone to new heights, and everything he did with Bad Bunny at WrestleMania was next-level.

Like you said, I do think this is my best run. I take pride in the fact that I can give certain spotlight to guys and bring others up. I can make other guys along the way, and I think that’s my role now. We have such a talented locker room, so that’s incredibly easy for me to do.

** A new edition of Rewind, Recap, Relive is up and ‘Wildcat’ Chris Harris is a guest on the show. Harris returned to IMPACT Wrestling to be at ringside for James Storm’s 1,000th match for the company. Harris isn’t sure if he’d be able to match Storm in the ring but as far as another America’s Most Wanted reunion, he’s up for being Storm’s cornerman.

Yeah man, wasn’t expecting that. [James] Storm and I have always kept in touch and I even keep in touch with a lot of the guys at IMPACT because I really want that promotion to explode again and I mean there’s still a lot of people [who] have said for years how they won’t be around much longer and they just keep turning that corner and keep striving so, I would love to see some great things happen for them but yeah, Storm had said somebody got a hold of him and I guess they had counted the matches and said something to him about his 1,000th match and so they decided to put it in a story and put it on the show and I got a call from Scott D’Amore and he said, ‘Hey man, we’re putting this together. We’d like to bring you in for that match’ and I thought it was awesome. People have been talking about an A.M.W. reunion for years and while it wasn’t a match, it wasn’t a tag match, people got to see us face-to-face and I think we got more attention from that face-to-face thing than we did the actual match so, it was really cool to show it on IMPACT, to be on IMPACT for something like that and for his 1,000th match and we got to hug there on camera so yeah, people — I got some really great feedback from that and so, as far as where we go from here, who knows man? I know if there ever was some type of reunion, I don’t know if I can hang with Storm in the ring anymore but if there’s ever any kind of reunion where I could be in his corner or something, I’d love to see it and judging from the people on social media, they’d love to see it too so, maybe we can make something work and we’ll see what direction they have for Storm and see if it works to have me involved. You know, it’s got to work on all sides so, we’ll see what happens man. But [regardless], I’m happy for his career, I’m happy for IMPACT so it was great to be back there.

** The Miz made the media rounds to promote the Soles4Souls charity auction. One of the outlets he spoke to was Forbes. Miz told the site that he doesn’t see himself and John Morrison splitting or going their separate ways on-screen.

I don’t see myself and John Morrison splitting up for a very long time, if ever. I don’t see that happening. We’re too connected, we have too much chemistry and we still have more to go. John pushes me more than anybody else in WWE. Right now, he is just absolutely incredible, he is on a tear, and I think if he’s not in the main event scene going for the WWE or Universal Championship in the next year I think this is something we’re missing in WWE.

** Wrestling Inc. conducted an interview with Mr. T. He told the site that he still has a business relationship with WWE on the marketing front. As far as an on-screen appearance, Mr. T says he never knows what Vince McMahon is thinking but he’ll be ready if the call comes.

I still got stuff going on with WWE. I got Mr. T dolls and stuff like that. They selling the goods and stuff like that. What I tell people is I never considered myself a Hollywood celebrity. I don’t act. I react. I’m just a tough guy that has the opportunity to play some roles in Hollywood. I’m not any different. I was never a guy that made the guest appearances in wrestling.

That’s who I am. I love wrestling. In high school, I played football. I liked the tough sports. I like man-to-man stuff. Throwing the guy, flipping the guy, running through and driving. I wasn’t a wussy when it came to that. I can take a punch. I can give it, and that’s what it’s about. Maybe I was more of [a] wrestler than an actor, more tough guy than I was an actor so that’s the part I like. That’s why I will still go to wrestling matches, still go to boxing matches. That’s what I love. I can make a guest appearance here and there. Right now, I got some toys and dolls with wrestling. I still watch on TV. I might appear somewhere here and there. Never know what Vince has in mind because he’s always thinking of something, but my job is to be ready when they call, so that’s what I’ve been doing. I’ve been training, getting ready. So when they call me, I’ll be ready.

** MTV The Challenge and reality TV star Johnny Bananas chatted with Screen Rant. He told the site that if the opportunity to wrestle was presented to him, he’d do it in a heartbeat.

Oh, dude. I’ve actually said that in the past. I’ve actually publicly called The Miz out multiple times to see if he’d bite, but if that was ever offered to me, I’d do it in a heartbeat. It would be hilarious. I’ve become over the years, I think, a heel of reality television. And I think it would be a great space for me to make an impression. But speaking of The Miz, what he’s been able to do with the MTV Challenge and Real World platform, parlaying it into what he has as an actor, as a host, and as a WWE superstar? That guy is pretty much the blueprint of exactly the steps I’d like to follow and the trail I’d like to blaze for myself.

** ‘Metro’ ran their interview with Noam Dar. As the conversation rolled on, Dar discussed how important the U.K. wrestling scene is to him. In 2019, Dar moved back overseas full-time, but he is not against the idea of one day returning to the United States.

It’s a position that I take very seriously. The UK scene is important to me, of course. I left the UK scene at a young age, and I felt like there was a lot of stuff that I needed to complete here, a lot of boxes that need ticking. Once I’m done with that, we’ll see what’s next for me.

** New York Post caught up with The Miz for an interview. He spoke to the publication about the dynamic he adds while he’s champion. He feels that him being one of those on-screen talents that can lose to anyone and beat anyone adds a uniqueness to his title reigns.

I always want to be WWE champion or WWE Universal champion. I think whenever I do have the title, it creates intrigue because you look at our champions now: Bobby Lashley is an unstoppable force, Roman Reigns has been on fire since he’s come back and nobody has been able to take the title from him. Now, imagine if I get the title? When I get the title, it’s completely different because anyone can beat me on any given day and you never know when it’s going to happen.

** A tribute to New Jack at an event that was held at the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhtYdfrOWCQ[/embedyt]

 

** Marko Stunt was the focus of a virtual meet-and-greet hosted by Pro Wrestling Junkies. Marko is going to be releasing an EP this Summer and he’s putting the final touches on it this week.

Fun fact, I go in Wednesday to finish an EP. So, I will have an EP out by the end — I can’t give you a date. I don’t wanna give you a date and then it not come out at the right time. But hopefully by July or the end of July.

** At Atomic Revolution Wrestling’s show on July 9th, The Headbangers (Mosh & Thrasher) are defending the ARW Tag Titles in a three-way against Matt Cardona and Brian Myers along with The Awakening (Big Kon & Vik), formerly known as The Ascension.

** During his ‘Hall Of Fame’ podcast, Booker T gave his thoughts on the zombie Lumberjacks at WrestleMania Backlash:

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hDJnzdd6ys[/embedyt]

 

** The Dallas Morning News caught up with The Miz.

** The Ringer’s Oliver Lee Bateman wrote an extensive obituary about New Jack who passed away last week.

** POST Wrestling would like to send our condolences to Frankie Kazarian whose father passed away recently.

** IMPACT X Division Champion Josh Alexander is scheduled for AAW’s June 11th show.

** The newest episode of referee Jessika Carr’s ‘The Brinklife’ Podcast.

** Rey and Dominik Mysterio appeared on ESPN SportsNation following their SmackDown Tag Title[s] win.

** Deonna Purrazzo sat down with That Hashtag Show.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj7RFUycroM[/embedyt]

 

** The Metal Hammer Podcast welcomed Rhea Ripley onto the show.

** Kari Williams of SLAM! Wrestling spoke to Renee Paquette about her cookbook.

** Trent Seven, Jinny and Rob Armstrong previewed WrestleMania Backlash on BT Sports’ ‘The Run In’ show.

** Cultaholic interviewed NXT UK’s Aleah James and Oliver Carter.

** WWE confirmed that The Godfather is the next guest on Broken Skull Sessions with Steve Austin.

** PopCulture.com ran their interview with Mr. T.

** Nightmare Family’s Colten Gunn turned 30 on 5/18.

** The Miz spoke to Hollywood Life.

** Comicbook.com caught up with Johnny Gargano ahead of his NXT North American Title defense on 5/18.

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.

About Andrew Thompson 3438 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.