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.
** Steve Maclin, the former “Steve Cutler” guest appeared on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast. Maclin, Wesley Blake and Jaxson Ryker arrived to SmackDown from NXT in April of 2020. Maclin said it was not until January of 2021 that their main roster deals kicked in.
Yeah, the money [on the main roster], a lot more money. But the funny thing on the money is our contracts didn’t hit until this past January of main roster and then two months later I got let go. So once COVID hit, we got called up and they said, ‘Hey, we’re working on contracts but as of right now with COVID hitting, they had to take the budget cuts back’ and they said, ‘We’re gonna send you guys a contract but it doesn’t go in effect until January of 2021.’ So okay, cool but we still got paid our downside of NXT but then we were also getting paid TV bonus extra for — we were pretty much making our upside for that which still was great, great money. But yeah, didn’t connect until January of 2021 this year.
He spoke about his experiences with the powers that be in NXT on the communication front. Maclin feels that-that communication can differ for talents depending on where a talent is on the proverbial totem pole.
There is [communication]. It’s just to a certain extent of where you’re at on the totem pole-type thing, because he’s [Paul “Triple H” Levesque] gonna have his guys and like any business, even Vince [McMahon] has his guys and that’s how it works. They pick who they’re — ‘This is who I want at this time’ and that’s kind of how it’s booked around. You gotta think back to Attitude Era. You had [Steve] Austin, that was probably the first person brought up in every meeting. I’ve heard stories of that as well. Austin, Rock, Taker, Hunter and then it’s just a pecking order of this is the mainstay of what we have to book for TV and then it kinda goes down a list, and that is when you find your way and find your niche of getting on there. That’s just — you gotta think, it’s a TV show.
Following the Jaxson Ryker tweet that led to Maclin and Wesley Blake being taken off TV, there were a number of ideas that Blake and Maclin came up with to get themselves back on TV. One of those ideas was to be a modern-day version of the A.P.A. and possibly getting Ron Simmons and John Bradshaw Layfield involved.
Not until — we were out for about eight months and [Wesley] Blake and I were pitching ideas like I said, just week after week. I pitched an idea of us as a new version of A.P.A. where we kind of wanted to still be us, but we’d be doing things in the back and then we’re pitching ideas for Farooq and Bradshaw to even be there and obviously nothing came of it but just to get — you got the legends coming on TV at that time and just getting better airtime for having no crowds. I was [like], ‘Alright, how can we make this work? How can we make this work?’ And just nothing was sticking to them and it was keeping us off TV.
Maclin believes that The Forgotten Sons were going to capture the SmackDown Tag Team Titles from New Day. He said he could see where the story was headed and thinks the title switch would have happened at Extreme Rules 2020, where Kofi Kingston and Big E dropped the tag titles to Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Yeah we were. We were supposed to win them [SmackDown Tag Team Titles] from New Day which kind of sucks now thinking about it but at the same time, I try not to harp on it anymore. It’s a letdown and it’s obviously, we know where it could’ve been but then it’s also it wasn’t meant to be.
We kind of figured it out and the way it was booked and kind of talking with Big E and Kofi [Kingston], just kind of where we were kind of going with the story and even after we were taken off TV, we saw Cesaro and Shinsuke [Nakamura] get slid into it and they won the titles the next pay-per-view and we would’ve been in Extreme Rules and going through tables and stuff and I’m just sitting there just, ugh, chopping at the bit because all I ever wanted to do was that type of match sometimes too. Just to get that little bit of, that Mick Foley, the [inner] kid of myself, let the garage out. But doing all the hardcore stuff, having fun with them and just being creative too. But yeah, we saw kind of where the writing was going and just like I said, wasn’t meant to be.
Steve Maclin spoke highly of Big E and Kofi Kingston. He talked about how helpful they were to him and Blake, even after the situation with Jaxson Ryker began to unravel.
No [there was not a concrete plan for us], you kinda just kinda saw the writing on the wall of how we were getting talked about and our promos and where it was going. We were told we’re going to New Day and where that was gonna kind of go and even talking with Big E and Kofi [Kingston], they kind of smartened us up to a lot of things and they were so generous to us. Two great human beings and just two great professionals too because it was the first time [Wesley] Blake and I had ever really — well even on the main roster with anybody, just kind of everybody was very generous and giving and open to just doing things and keeping us looking strong because we’re new and we’re going to a certain story and Big E was really — and Kofi were a big part of that, for that whole process and it was a lot of fun with them. I wish we got to tear it up. We had a lot of ideas coming down the line and then of course, everything kind of happened with the tweets so…
** Wrestling Inc.’s Drew Rice conducted an interview with TJ Wilson. WWE’s health and safety rules became the topic of conversation at one point and Wilson talked about the differences with the drug testing policy now versus his earlier days in the company.
For example, the drug test used to — they used to drug test you when you first get signed and if you fail that, you’re allowed to fail that first one. It would be counted as your baseline and then whatever you fail for couldn’t be in there obviously in the follow-up test and things like that, and it’s changed. Now it’s changed to you have to pass clean the first one or your contract doesn’t get executed which is — that’s a giant change and in the right direction.
Wilson went on to speak about his return to NXT in 2014. Wilson stated that the original plan for the first TakeOver show was for him to face Sami Zayn. They were going to be partners and then Wilson would turn on him. Those plans changed when TJ arrived to the tapings and he ended up challenging PAC [Neville] for the NXT Championship.
That’s when we started getting ready for that first TakeOver. I think the first one initially was maybe gonna be some time in July, and then maybe with like the [WWE] Network members and stuff, they moved it to May because I think the original plan that I was told was that I eventually was gonna wrestle Sami [Zayn] on the first TakeOver. We were, I think supposed to become a tag team and kind of — a little bit like Bret [Hart] and Owen [Hart] maybe and then finally I turn on him and then I think we were supposed to wrestle at that first TakeOver. But that’s when it was supposed to be like in July, maybe end of July. Then it got moved to the end of May, and so, I did that Mason Ryan match and they would tape every three or four weeks at that time, four weeks and then I show up at the next taping which is after WrestleMania XXX, I did the Andre Battle Royal and I was talking to the writer there and that’s when he explained to me the Sami — the tag team stuff and I was like, ‘Yo, this is awesome man’ and then that was on — that was literally like I think on the Monday or Tuesday of WrestleMania that week, after WrestleMania XXX, and then I show up at the next NXT taping which maybe we taped enough in advance that it wasn’t the same week as WrestleMania. Maybe it was the following and I show up and I see that same writer. He’s like, ‘Yo, things changed. It’s you and Neville at TakeOver’ and then, you know, so it took on a different thing. It was awesome, I loved it. I loved wrestling Neville [PAC]. I think he’s insanely talented and one of my favorite guys I got to wrestle.
** Former NXT referee Drake Wuertz was a guest on ‘Afternoons with Mike’.
** ROH World Television Champion Tony Deppen went live on Ring of Honor’s Facebook for a Q&A. Deppen was asked if he would ever work for the National Wrestling Alliance and said he would not because he likes to be paid for his work.
I have no [real] desire to work with NWA. I wanna make money, simple as that. Would it be cool to work with Nick [Aldis]? Yeah. I met him once or twice. Real nice dude, it’d be cool to work with him. But, I’m not looking to work for exposure, I’m looking to work for money.
Deppen once wrestled Bill Dundee at a GCW show in 2019. Dundee thought Deppen was going to shoot on him during their match so he threatened to stab Deppen in the ring.
I wrestled Bill Dundee once and leading into the show, he thought the entire show was gonna shoot on him and he threatened to bring his gun and shoot people or stab me in the ring. So if I’m not afraid of Bill Dundee stabbing me with a knife, I’m not afraid of anyone.
Back in October, Deppen tested positive for COVID-19. He has still not retained his senses of smell or taste.
No, my sense of taste is still not back. I still can’t taste or smell and it’s been six months so, that’s pretty much why I just drink whatever flavor.
The ROH locker room is one that Tony is fond of. He says he’s been in many locker rooms where it’s a crab in a barrel mentality. He feels that the ROH locker room is rooting for all who are a part of the team.
My favorite thing about Ring of Honor I really love is the locker room and the atmosphere around it. I’ve been in quite a few locker rooms being on the independents for the past 11 years and a lot of it’s full of egos and people that wanna stab you in the back as quick as they wanna shake your hand and I haven’t felt that in Ring of Honor. Every single time that I’ve been in the locker room, I’ve felt more than welcome and then when I won the Television Title, a lot of people were just coming up to me in the lobby when I was in the locker room and congratulating me and they didn’t have to do that. They don’t know me, they probably never met me prior to that but they went out of their way to make sure they congratulated me which means a lot to me in wrestling.
** Katarina Waters, the former “Katie Lea Burchill” guest appeared on VOC Nation’s ‘My Big Break’ podcast. She reflected on the storyline with herself and Paul Burchill in WWE. The two played the role of brother and sister on-screen and WWE was moving forward with an incest story. Katie said she was all for it.
I mean for me it’s always been about the characters and storylines and people always ask me, they’re afraid to ask me about the incest thing like they felt maybe it was something I didn’t wanna do or it’s a little bit shameful, whatever. I mean I was all for it. I thought it was cool and it’s been in movies and television. People are excited by it and even The Crow, you had his half-sister, that’s some weird vibe-thing going on so, I don’t know. I was excited about the storyline and upset that it wasn’t able to go forward.
** Vanessa Borne was one of eight NXT talents/referees that were cut from WWE on 5/19. Borne took to social media and put up a video during which she spoke about her departure. She thanked WWE for the five years she spent in the company. There are no hard feelings, but she mentioned that ideas of hers would be given to other people. She closed her statement by sarcastically saying she’s disappointed she didn’t get to wrestle zombies.
Hello friends, family, fans. Today I got the call that I will no longer be a WWE superstar, which came as quite a shock to me considering all of the work I’ve done these past 18 months. First, I wanna thank the WWE for the opportunity these past five years. It’s been a fun ride. I also wanna give a huge shoutout to all of the people and fans who have supported me throughout my wrestling career. Your kind words never went unnoticed. To all of the haters and Twitter trolls, I wanna thank you guys as well. You really motivated me and lit a fire within me, just kidding. You people f*cking suck. Be nice, it shouldn’t be that hard to be a decent human being to someone you don’t even know. I’m really excited for this next chapter of my life and really excited to just be able to fully express myself. There are so many do’s and don’ts and faux pas in the wrestling business and I feel like I finally don’t have to worry about what Captain Insano said in 2007 or if another one of my visionary ideas is going to be given to someone else. I can just be myself. I have no hard feelings, no animosity. Just a lot of good energy and love. I feel good walking into this next chapter and I hope you are all there to witness it. Oh, and one other thing that I am disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to do in the WWE and that’s… wrestle zombies. Shucks.
** On a recent episode of The Palcast, Insane Clown Posse’s Shaggy 2 Dope was asked to give his thoughts on several wrestlers he spent time with during his run in WCW. One name he further elaborated on was Sting’s. Shaggy said Sting would tell wrestlers’ wives if their husbands were cheating. Sting allegedly mentioned to Shaggy that he had the black and white face paint trademarked because Shaggy wore/wears black and white face paint.
Konnan, nice guy. Curt Hennig, super nice. Booker T, nice. Sting, dick. He’s a rat. He f*cking told on all the wrestlers who were cheating on their wives. Just ratted ‘em all out. He turned like f*cking Christian and just ratted all the boys — that’s what the wrestlers are called, ‘the boys in the back.’ All the boys in the back, told all their wives they’re all f*cking b*tches. Stinger thinger. I don’t know if that’s like an industry secret. If it is, I guess I’m horrible at keeping industry secrets. That’s what he did though. Oh, and he told me and [Violent] J that he got trademark on the white and black face paint. I did [fight for it], I won. You see what I’m wearing right now? What is Sting doing? He’s not wrestling. He got his back broken in that one match. What’s his face? F*cking — not Roman Reigns, his old homie [Seth Rollins]. Why do I care?
** Jade Chung, pro wrestler and significant other of Josh Alexander welcomed Alexander onto her ‘See You Next Tuesday’ podcast. With the AEW and IMPACT Wrestling relationship continuing on, Alexander feels there have been parts of it that have been “super lame”. He brought up Rich Swann not appearing on Dynamite as one of his reasons for feeling that way.
I mean, portions of it have been super lame, obviously. I think — especially with the Rich [Swann] and Kenny [Omega] thing, Rich never showed up on Dynamite. I thought that was super strange but, you know, it’s definitely a good thing business-wise. It’ll just get more eyes on IMPACT regardless of what the booking or anything else is. I think there’s an opportunity to make stars on both sides by people jumping back and forth a little bit. So some of our guys could show up on Dynamite and showcase ourselves to bring the eyes back to like Thursday nights with IMPACT and then some of their guys can come over that might be less experienced and stuff, only doing [AEW] Dark and show what they can do.
Kenny Omega is the current IMPACT and TNA World Heavyweight Champion. Alexander feels that out of everyone on the IMPACT roster, he’d have the best match with Omega.
I would love to wrestle Kenny [Omega]. I think probably out of anybody in IMPACT, I’d have the best match with him. Just style-wise, how we match up. That’s just me personally. There’s matches I’d wanna see obviously but, I think I would tear it up. Win or lose, you know?
** Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN interviewed Jim Ross. Ross shared that when he turns 70 which is next January, his AEW contract will have expired. Ross does see a light at the end of the tunnel for him behind the commentary desk but is hoping to take things a year at a time.
I do. You have to. Like, yeah, I’m not John Wayne where I can take an arrow by the stick and pull it out of my own arm or something. We all got a shelf life. I started my third year with AEW recently. I don’t really pay a lot of attention to that stuff. You’re having fun. You’re not thinking about it.
I hope that in a perfect world, I would like to stay working for Tony Khan and AEW and take it a year at a time. The contract I came in here was three years because that’s what he (Khan) wanted. He wants stability. It made Time Warner happy because they’re used to my work in their company for many years and the WWE stuff as well. I’d like to, in a perfect world, Steven, I would say I’ll do this year, and then let’s evaluate and see where we are health-wise, motivational-wise. Then if I come back, I’d like to come back for a year at a time. That way, it doesn’t put Tony in any unnecessary stress. Because by the time my contract ends, I’ll be 70. So some young dude like you that’s 40 is going to be like ‘Jesus Christ, he’s old, dude’. But I’m having fun doing this. I’m not going to work every day. We do four shows a month. I’m required to be somewhere four times a month. It’s not bad. I’m not complaining. It’s just a matter of getting back in that travel groove. I’m a good packer. I have this saying, ‘I don’t have any room in my carry-on for negativity.’ But I think a year at this stage of my life to be realistic and not be egocentric, a year at a time is smart money for me.
** IMPACT Wrestling’s Kimber Lee signed a long-term deal with the company in 2020. She told ‘The Shooting Up North’ podcast that prior to that deal coming to fruition, she was considering scaling back her wrestling career and moving on to another career.
I really think part of the circumstances of the world is part of why I was given the opportunity when I was and I, you know, before I started at IMPACT, I was starting to kind of have — not necessarily super, super soon but I was starting to think, you know, maybe it’s time to move on and do something else with my life and not wrestle and focus on wrestling as much and then bam, here comes IMPACT and that focus changed a little bit again.
Kimber does not see herself departing IMPACT and stated that she is not going anywhere if she has any say on the matter.
You know, IMPACT just accepted me with open arms man. It’s been a wild year but it’s been awesome and I don’t really wanna be anywhere else. IMPACT has become my family very fast and I’m proud to be an IMPACT Knockout and I’m proud to be a part of that women’s division because there’s so much talent and just — it’s been one of the best years of my life I think and I can’t wait to see what the future holds because if I have any say in it, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.
** Gabbi Tuft, the former Tyler Reks in WWE, chatted with Yahoo! Lifestyle about her gender transition. She was candid about the mental health struggles she faced and feeling it would be easier to not be here than facing the world post-transition.
In the past we have seen several celebrities come out as transgender, we have heard several stories and there has been a lot of media buzz about it, but you don’t see all of the minutia. You don’t see all of the emotional stress and trauma that happens. I went through seriously dark times, I was very suicidal, I was so nervous and scared to face the world being trans that it was almost easier to end my life than to face everything.
** Miro captured the TNT Championship on the 5/12 edition of AEW Dynamite. He started up a Twitch stream and discussed his title win. Miro guessed how the late Jon Huber (Brodie Lee/Luke Harper) would have reacted to his title win. Miro feels it would’ve been a sarcastic congratulations from Huber.
Ah, Brodie [Lee] now, Brodie, as soon as I would’ve walked backstage, he would be like, ‘Oh, you happy now!?’ That’s what Brodie would’ve said. Brodie would’ve had the biggest grin, smile on his face and would’ve said, ‘You happy now?’ I know him, I know him. I miss Brodie so much. But thank you Brodie. Thank you for — even now when you’re gone, in a way I still feel you. You were gonna give me so much crap about this. It’s unbelievable.
** Chuck Palumbo is making the media rounds and one of the outlets he spoke to was ‘Metro’. In 2007 while with WWE, Palumbo took on a biker gimmick and was paired with Michelle McCool. Palumbo said he was not comfortable with it because it had hints of domestic abuse intertwined in it.
As the character developed, the writing got distasteful towards the end. The part with McCool, we started to get a little rough and they kinda made my character… they started to show domestic violence. I found that distasteful and at that point I was like, I’m not sure if I’m liking this anymore.
I tried to [speak to management about it] but it’s tough when you’re getting an opportunity and you tell them that you’re not happy with it. That can be taken different ways, right? But being on a show that kids watch, I just thought it was distasteful. When you write, you have the ability to create anything, so why not create something that’s tasteful? That’s just my opinion. But at the end of the day, I always appreciated the opportunity, so it is what it is.
Upon returning to WWE in 2006, Palumbo was sure that it would be his last run in the company. He started to prepare for life after WWE and ultimately life after wrestling as he formally retired in 2012.
I knew at that point when I first agreed to sign back that it would be my last run. My gut told me, so I was preparing at that point for the future, I really was. I had been into that stuff since I was a kid, but I knew where I was going so it was a great opportunity to almost promote what I was going to be doing next. I was wearing my shop t-shirts on TV, no one said anything to me. I was like, ok, I’m gonna continue this!
** Matt Cardona has spoken at length about his WrestleMania 35 and 32 moments. During his appearance on the MCW Cast, he said that prior to WrestleMania 35, he and Brian Myers met with Vince McMahon and pitched the idea of Myers winning the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. The two ultimately went on to win the Raw Tag Team Titles at the event.
Brian [Myers] or Curt [Hawkins], whatever you wanna call him is in the middle of this huge losing streak. I think like maybe over 100 matches, maybe close to 100. That was the gimmick. I wasn’t doing anything on Raw and that was the story. Let’s put them together and sort of likewise, maybe they’ll get each other out of each other’s funks, you know? And my pitch and Brian’s pitch, I think it was the week or two weeks before ‘Mania , we went to Vince [McMahon’s] office and we pitched for Brian to win the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Our pitch was like, ‘We’re gonna be the last few guys in the ring and I almost sacrifice myself. He wins in our hometown, breaks the streak, WrestleMania moment’ and Vince is just like, ‘No.’ Well that was fine. He’s not gonna go for every idea but it’s totally fine.
Chelsea Green is awaiting July to officially become a free agent. She has done a number of media appearances discussing her time in WWE. Cardona said the company did want her to use the “Hot Mess” character that came to prominence in IMPACT Wrestling.
I think we will see that [Hot Mess character] again. Unfortunately, WWE did want her [Chelsea Green] to do the Hot Mess and maybe that would have come eventually, I don’t know, who’s to say but now, she’s her own boss. If she wants to come to MCW [Maryland Championship Wrestling] and be a Hot Mess, she’ll do it, she wants to come MCW and just be regular Chelsea Green, she’ll do it. No one’s gonna tell her what she can and can’t do.
Looking back at WrestleMania 32, Cardona recalled initially being on the list for the Intercontinental Title match, being taken off and then added back after PAC went down with an injury.
And then one day backstage, there was a piece of paper and it was a list of the matches for WrestleMania  and I’m in this ladder match. I’m like, ‘What? How am I in this ladder match?’ And apparently Vince [McMahon] was like eating a steak before Raw watching Superstars and whatever match I was having, he’s like — he must’ve looked at it and saw what I was doing and the next day in the meeting he was like, ‘Why aren’t we doing anything with this guy?’ And then that’s just how it happened and then I got added to this match, I’m on this list and then of course, the next week, I’m off the list. But I’m like, ‘You know what? It’s cool. At least I was considered. Maybe things will turn around.’
** Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone welcomed Tay Conti onto the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Aubrey recalled her first interaction with Tay Conti in WWE and it was not a smooth one. When Kenny Omega approached Aubrey about possibly bringing Tay into AEW, Edwards initially did not think she’d be good for the locker room based off of their one interaction. After one day of being around Tay in AEW, Edwards changed her mind.
I don’t know if I ever told you this story or not but I remember when Kenny [Omega] told me, ‘Hey, we’re thinking about bringing in Tay,’ and I think you and I had-had an interaction at the previous place when I was trying out. There was like, ‘Man, this girl’s kind of a b*tch. Like what’s up?’ And we’ve talked about it further since then but I told Kenny, I’m like, ‘Dude, I don’t know. She might not be good for the locker room’ and then after that first day you were around, I texted him and said, ‘We need her. She’s good energy, she’s [a] solid worker. She will be a great addition to our team so,’ I’m really glad that I got to know you a little bit more in our setting because I feel like it’s a good place for people to be themselves and kind of demonstrate who they are as people, right? You’re not walking around on eggshells. You get to be you so, thank you for being you.
Tay Conti’s signing to AEW was announced in September of 2020. Tay was hesitant to sign with AEW because she was not happy while under contract with WWE.
Oh my God, really, I was not expecting [to be signed that quick]. That was super fast and I was like, ‘Yes, I will keep coming. Let’s see if we like each other’ because that was the conversation because since I was not real happy at my previous job. I was like, you know, I don’t know if I want to sign a contract for long here, long-term contract, being happy again so we kind of feel each other and then when they offered me [the contract], I was like, ‘You know what? I’m pretty sure that I’m happy here so, I’m gonna sign it’ and then, I remember my first match after they announced that I got signed. I was so emotional, let me tell you. I cry a lot.
Conti was asked why she believes she’s improved a great deal since being in AEW and that not being the case while at the Performance Center. She narrowed it down to her being happy in AEW.
Because I’m happy, 100 percent. That’s the most important thing. It’s not that like — of course I have a great trainer, like Dustin [Rhodes] is doing great work with me and I’m grateful for him but I have more time to watch matches but all of this is happening because I’m happy with myself. I can be who I am without being judged. I can try things. I feel that people trust me, you know? I don’t have that pressure on my back every single time like, ‘Oh, should I say hi? Oh, should I walk with my right foot or my left?’ I don’t have that so, that’s why I’m happy and then I can do better. I feel like every time you’re happy, everything is better, you can do your best.
** NXT UK’s Trent Seven and Tyler Bate spoke to The Independent. The two talents expressed their thoughts about the growth of NXT UK and Trent confidently feels that he and Tyler have carrying the brand since it officially started.
Seven: It just gets to a point where you just have to be that proud of what you’ve done that you’re allowed to tell people, do you know what I mean? The way we’ve carried this brand and carried NXT UK the way we have since we signed, I don’t think anyone else could’ve done the job as good as we did. Some may say that’s arrogant, but if you know me then you know I am not an arrogant person – just a very confident person, and incredibly proud of what we’ve done over the last four years. It all looks like it’s coming together and… we’re so proud of what we’ve done as wrestlers as far as expanding the UK into this market and giving it that home here in the UK.
Bate: We just love it and want it to be as good as possible. I’d like wrestling to be better off for my contribution.
** Lucha Libre Online conducted an interview with Kevin Fertig, formerly known as “Kevin Thorn” and “Mordecai”. Fertig was a member of WWE’s ECW brand and he feels that the brand could have been an earlier version of NXT if the company got behind it.
Towards the end, you got guys like Bobby Lashley in there, Matt Hardy, Christian, the list goes on. I think that they probably could have made ECW NXT, but you didn’t do that because Vince [McMahon] wanted to own NXT. He didn’t wanna say ECW. That’s not his so, NXT, there it is.
At WrestleMania 23, the newer members of the ECW roster went up against the original ECW roster members. Fertig says throughout the day, there was talks of the match being scrapped and nothing was locked in until shortly before the match.
There were talks, I mean basically during the day and stuff like that-that they weren’t gonna have even enough time for a match. We were gonna get scratched and not even be on it [WrestleMania 23]. So, it’s kind of pins and needles up until that point. We got up to that point, now all of a sudden we’re on it, we’re good to go.
For a short period of time, WWE’s ECW brand held house shows. Fertig says those events were not advertised by WWE and that was directly told to talents.
I got so many opportunities. I was wrestling RVD on house shows, wrestling Tommy Dreamer on house shows. I mean, you know, I started off with CM Punk. Wrestling weeks and weeks and weeks with Punk on house shows which was great. As far as that goes, some of the greatest house shows I don’t think anybody ever saw because WWE never promoted ‘em, some of the ECW house shows we were doing out there but no one knew because we’d be like, ‘What was the budget for the advertising this week?’ ‘We didn’t even advertise.’ ‘Oh great. So people were supposed to know this was happening?’ We made it work and we did it.
** Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp caught up with Allysin Kay for an interview. One day after Kay tweeted that she was a free agent and no longer with the National Wrestling Alliance, she was contacted by AEW which led to her Full Gear appearance.
Oh, my gosh. So, this was, like I mentioned, a rollercoaster of a week. So, I go from essentially losing my job, even though it was on mutual terms. I lost my job, I tweet, ‘Hey, everyone. I’m a free agent,’ ‘cause I want to put it out there I can work, you know? I’m free to work. The next day I had an e-mail from AEW. I had a message from someone else, too. But, I’m not gonna get into those details. But, I got an e-mail.
So, I had an e-mail from AEW. So, I went from a low—like, I was happy to work the indies and not have to deal with contract stuff and not have to report to anyone and stuff like that, but it was still a low. I would call that a low because I didn’t know what to do. Then the next day I have an e-mail from AEW. So, of course, that put me on a high. They’re like, ‘Hey, you want to come out in three days to work the pre-show of the pay-per-view?’ So, of course, I’m like, ‘Yeah.’ It’s funny because before I responded to that, because of course, I’m thinking everything through. I don’t want to just say yeah right away. I want to read it, let it sit for a minute. Maybe message a friend and say, ‘Hey, guess what? Should I do this?’
** IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champions Kiera Hogan and Tasha Steelz did a virtual signing with Highspots Wrestling Network. Steelz and Hogan are hoping to have a crossover match with talents from AEW and two individuals they want to share the ring with are Big Swole and Red Velvet.
Steelz: Big Swole, Red Velvet, y’all ain’t doing nothing in AEW right now and since we are at the top of all women’s wrestling tag teams, you might as well come and step up to the plate, and come get it.
Hogan: You were tweeting — Big Swole was tweeting about, ‘If you want it, you can get it.’ But no, if you want it, you can get it though. Don’t be using our stuff against us. Like, make sure you want it before we give it though.
Tasha went on to say that she was once supposed to be on one of Booker T’s Reality of Wrestling ‘Ladies Night Out’ shows but there was a miscommunication of sorts that Steelz did not dive too deep into.
Oh, Booker [T], I was gonna go there one day. Change of plans happened. But, I’ll get back there soon. I’ll get back there soon. I was gonna be on something that was coming out of Booker. I got the tea and I could spill it. I was gonna be on that. What was it coming out of there? Ladies Night Out. But unfortunately, it was just not a good… it was just too much flavor I was gonna bring in and it was gonna [outshine] a lot of people so…
** Tamina and Natalya defeated Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax to become WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions on the 5/14 Friday Night SmackDown. Natalya wrote about the title victory for her latest Calgary Sun article. She noted that it is possibly the most special title win of her career and here’s an excerpt from the piece:
It’s been a whirlwind of a week, but I couldn’t be happier because I finally got to see a dream become reality for me and my tag team partner, Tamina Snuka. This past Friday on Smackdown, Tamina and I became the new WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. This was my third championship in WWE, but winning this title was incredibly special to me, and possibly the most special of all the titles I’ve ever held in WWE. Winning the Tag Team Championship reminded me of how I was able to honour my dad and my uncle Bret Hart, who were one of the greatest tag teams in WWE history. I got to win it with someone who I respect greatly, exactly like the same mutual respect my dad and the Hitman had for each other.
What was most special to me was watching Tamina win her first championship in WWE in over 11 years. It may have taken 4,008 days, but Tamina did it and she proved everyone wrong. She reminded people around the world that it’s never too late to reach your dreams. She dedicated her win to the WWE Universe, her children and her Samoan family, who are one of the most prestigious families in all of sports entertainment.
** Entrepreneur.com has an extensive interview up with Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis-Bennett. When asked how much longer he sees himself in wrestling, Mike said he plans to keep going for another ten-to-15 years if his body allows him to do so.
For me, it’s a little bit different because at 35, I feel like I have a good 10, hopefully, 15 more years left in me if I’m still enjoying it and my body holds out. I still want to go and achieve my goals and elevate myself, but I kind of want to change perception. For the longest time, it’s this view that if you’re successful in wrestling, you’ve got to do it all on your own and leave everyone behind and go do it for me.
I very much adapted this mentality of elevating myself while I elevate everyone else around me. I want to go, ‘Hey guys, I’m taking this journey to the top. Join me.’ There is no better example of an industry where you need to work with each other in order to be successful. That’s the mark I want to leave going forward. I’ll be there to reach that hand down and try to pick you up.
Maria talked about the support system she’s had throughout her wrestling career. That list included her parents, Paul Heyman, Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Billy Corgan.
My parents always supported me in whatever I did. My mom was driving me to bikini competitions from the age of 17 in Chicago. She and I would hang out at the bar and drink water and Diet Coke while I was walking the runway at these bars. But along the way, I had several men that didn’t look at me like a girl, but like I was just a person who wanted knowledge. One of them was Paul Heyman. From the get-go, Paul always asked me what I thought about how the show was written, who I thought the most talented people were going to be moving forward. That meant a lot to me, but it also made me have the self-reflection of, ‘OK, I can do this. I am understanding this industry.’ Freddie Prinze Jr. always pushed for better storylines for me. I didn’t get ’em, but he pushed for me, and that meant a lot. And he talked to me like a human being, and that meant a lot to me. Billy Corgan, when we got to Impact Wrestling, he saw something different in me than was ever seen before. That was truly inspiring to me. And then everyone at Ring of Honor, same thing. They said, ‘You know what, why don’t you go see what you can do?’ In [WWE], I told Hunter what I was interested in doing with the women’s division, and he said, ‘OK.’ It wasn’t, ‘Do you think, as a woman, you could really do that?’ It was just, ‘OK, let’s try this.’ And to have someone backing you, to make you feel like you could accomplish things, that’s made all the difference in the world for my career to have those people along the way.
** IMPACT Wrestling is partnering with UTV in Iraq to bring their programming to the MENA region.
** New Japan Pro-Wrestling is resuming live shows on May 22nd. Below is the announced card for the event in Nagoya, Japan:
– YOSHI-HASHI vs. Yota Tsuji
– Master Wato & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Gedo & Chase Owens
– Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto vs. SANADA & Tetsuya Naito
– Tomoaki Honma & Kota Ibushi vs. Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb
– Ryusuke Taguchi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. BUSHI & Shingo Takagi
** Rok-C, who is competing in the Ring of Honor Women’s World Title tournament hosted a Q&A on the ROH Facebook page. Rok-C shared that her biggest inspiration in wrestling was AJ Mendez [Lee].
So, I was super, super inspired by AJ Lee. She did retire, but yeah. She was super influential to me when I was younger. She’s one of the reasons I wanted to become a wrestler as well. But yeah, I feel like she kind of changed a lot. She changed a lot for women’s wrestling. She was like this different woman’s wrestler or different diva that you usually didn’t see. She liked video games and she was a tomboy and she was like — that was her message to fans and I kind of caught that and I was able to relate to her as a kid being like a tomboy and whatnot so, that kind of — like how I said I was able to relate to that and I was like, ‘Oh, she’s a wrestler? I can do it.’ So definitely her.
** U.K. pro wrestler Eddie Ryan is partnering with the Reach Academy to launch a wrestling school for children aged 8-to-14. The Reach Academy specializes in helping those who have social, emotional and/or mental health needs. Ryan wrote the following on his Facebook:
So if your little one is between the ages of eight and 14 years old and crazy for wrestling, this will be great for them to try! A great way to learn the basic fundamentals of wrestling, basic coordination and body control, as well as helping with confidence and meeting new friends! And tons of fun too.
** Tyler Bate and Trent Seven were interviewed by Cultaholic.
** Kofi Kingston told Sports Illustrated his reasons for wanting to see Big E in the men’s Money In The Bank ladder match.
** ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage passed away ten years ago today.
** Danielle Moinet, the former “Summer Rae” co-hosted the 2021 ‘Preakness Stakes’ horse racing competition.
** Drew McIntyre appeared on NHL’s ‘Celebrity Wrap’.
** Mirror Fighting has an interview with Bellator MMA Women’s Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg. She further expressed her interest in pro wrestling but said she is focused on her MMA career right now.
** The newest episode of Battle of the Brands:
** NXT’s Kayden Carter turned 33-years-old on 5/20.
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.