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.
** Nick Gage and Brett Lauderdale went live on Game Changer Wrestling’s Facebook page. Nick shared that prior to his brother Christopher Wilson (Justice Pain’s) passing in January 2020, the two were discussing the idea of Wilson returning to the ring and they were close to making it happen.
We’re always gonna rep for big Nate Hatred and we’re always gonna rep for my motherf*cking brother Justice Pain. Always. Before he passed away, we had conversations on him trying to get back in the ring and wrestle. We were that close. But it didn’t happen. I’m gonna keep doing this until my body can’t do it no more or someone puts a bullet in my motherf*cking head man.
Gage’s Dark Side of the Ring episode aired several weeks ago. Former CZW owner John Zandig was supposed to be a part of the episode. Jason Eisener and Evan Husney arrived to Zandig’s property 20 minutes late and Zandig was not happy about it.
Well, Evan [Husney] told me that he was 20 minutes late and John [Zandig] said, ‘Get the f*ck out of here,’ kicked him off his f*cking property. You know, John’s John. His good days, his bad days but, I love John to death. If anybody f*cks with John, I’ll fight for John man. If it wasn’t for John Zandig, I wouldn’t be here right now so…
** Prior to the announcement that Will Ospreay had to relinquish the IWGP World Heavyweight Title due to a neck injury, he recorded an interview with the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast. Ospreay stated that he’s fully committed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He added that he signed a long-term deal with the company. Ospreay noted on Twitter in 2019 that his contract was for five years.
I mean of course, I’ve committed myself to New Japan and I’ll say it time and time again, I could happily end my career here, just because it is — honestly my main mission in life was when I first started wrestling I was like, ‘When I’m 30 years old, I think I’ll just stop wrestling.’ I’m slowly hitting my prime, do you know what I mean? I’m 28, it’s two years away from hitting 30. I’ve signed a long-term deal with New Japan so I will be here past 30 so, I’ve already screwed myself over I guess. But, I’m happy here man and once again, before the pandemic hit, I was going back and forth to England and Japan, I was seeing my family, I could go to Australia and New Zealand, see my Mrs.’ family. There’s a little nephew that I need to go see as well so that’s one thing I’m looking forward to is going to see my nephew. That’d be cool. But I have so much free reign and I have so much that I enjoy working for this company. I enjoy doing everything I can and they’ve given me so much and in respect, me being a disrespectful little sh*t, I will always respect the company and want the company to do well. It’s just gotta be in my image.
Ospreay won the IWGP World Heavyweight Title at Sakura Genesis. He detailed having to keep his emotions in check leading up to the win and after it.
My thought process at first was like, ‘I had to hold back emotion,’ just because as much as I always say to people, ‘It’s okay to show emotion. It’s okay to not feel the best at times. It’s all good, you can speak about it, it’s all good.’ But I wanted to hold it back just for this moment just because this isn’t about my struggles, this isn’t about anyone else other than about that dream I had as a 14-year-old when I first watched [a] Japanese pro wrestling show and I found out that New Japan was the top of the top and the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship was the pinnacle and I had to hold back those emotions. Even the moment when I’m about to hit him [Kota Ibushi] with the [Hidden] Blade, I wipe away a tear and that was the last thing of the 14-year-old Will Ospreay that you would’ve ever seen. This isn’t a dream anymore. This is a job. This is now my job and my responsibility to take on the challenges to be the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion and I’m fully committed and prepared for it.
** Axel Tischer, also known as “Alexander Wolfe,” chatted with Ringsiders Wrestling for an exclusive interview. Wolfe’s contract with WWE expires on June 15th and the company opted to not renew it. During the discussion, he dove into storyline plans that were going to happen such as a reunion of SAnitY and the group feuding with Imperium.
But going back to the plan, actually the plan before the pandemic hit was to bring SAnitY back together. But then the pandemic hit and then E.Y. [Eric Young] got released, and what I know is that not even Triple H knew about EY. The only thing — and E.Y., he said it in an interview, he [Triple H] was one of the first guys to give him the call and, ‘Sorry man, I didn’t know about that,’ and I don’t know this, just [guessing], they probably tried to rehire him but, as I can relate right now, there’s no animosity, there’s no hatred but it’s a sour pill to swallow that they kind of like deny you and you kind of think, ‘Okay guys, you don’t want to have me? F you.’ We’re all humans, we all feel. That was the plan to bring SAnitY back just to have all three of us together and then we would feud with the three guys of Imperium but then they have to figure out what can we do, blah, blah, blah and I thought because of this and even with E.Y. being gone from the company that they wanna do something with Killian [Dain] and me and maybe with Drake [Maverick] together then or maybe with somebody else. We form kind of like a SAnitY 2.0 where a lot of people would say, ‘Where’s E.Y.? Where’s E.Y.?’ Because you know, they have to complain. But in the end, it [didn’t] happen that way. In the end, they did budget cuts and then as I got told, I was on the list for that so they will not fire me but because my contract is up on June 15th, they will not renew me and point.
Wolfe’s last appearance on WWE programming was on NXT. He was ambushed by fellow Imperium members Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner. He said the plan was always for him to join the group and end up feuding with them.
He [Killian Dain] got told to go back to NXT U.S. so we were kind of like, ‘Oh, what the hell is going on?’ But then I figured WALTER is now there and Marcel [Barthel] and Fabian [Aichner] just being over there [NXT UK] a couple times for wrestling. Oh yes, has something to do with that so that day in Montreal, I talked to Triple H and said, ‘Hey, what’s that all about?’ He said, ‘Yeah listen, I don’t want you guys sitting in catering, [getting] down on that. I want to use you guys more and it’s nothing for [you] guys here. We have to split you off and see where we can put you guys with something else’ and he said, ‘E.Y. will probably stay here, he will go to Raw, Killian will go to NXT in the States and I want to have you with your Ringkampf guys together in NXT UK.’ Blah, blah, blah, the whole plan was that I join those guys and then eventually I will split off and go feud with them, blah, blah, blah so, and then we kind of kept going. I debuted for NXT UK in Glasgow and then yeah, rest is history.
As SAnitY with Eric Young, Killian Dain and Nikki Cross was coming together, Wolfe was told he needed to change his in-ring style. If he did not adjust, it was relayed back to him that he would be replaced.
I used to train in like a lot of amateur wrestling and more like grappling, more towards B.J.J. but kind of, sort of get the whole elements to have the movement down and sometimes you have to switch legs to be a little bit more quicker around the other guys or something like that. But in SAnitY, they [WWE] told me, ‘Hey, I think you shouldn’t have wrestled that match’ and sometimes, once I got told with a little bit more pressure in a way like, ‘Hey, this is not how your character should wrestle so you need to get this down or we probably will replace you with somebody else.’ So it was a hard pill to swallow with that because it was kind of like, ‘Oh thanks for telling me now with the nice threat of replacing me,’ motherf*ckers. But in the end it was kind of like that’s what it is so they cannot sugarcoat you a lot of times, especially when they want to do something where [they] had a plan, it was a long time in the making and then the train starts rolling and then you cannot jump on and off. You have to dig in, otherwise you get thrown off and you know, so, it is what it is but, it was very hard. So they told me, ‘Yeah, you need a little bit more, be more rugged, [you’re a] psychopath,’ this and that and, ‘You’re a kind of like anarchist so you don’t put somebody in a hold’ but even I think if I would be in a street fight, I would not try to be a technical puncher. I would try to pull your eye out and just probably break your neck with a bullock choke or a headlock.
There was one occasion during Alexander Wolfe’s time on the main roster that he got to have a one-on-one conversation with Vince McMahon. He went to present an idea to McMahon and here’s how their exchange unfolded:
In the end, it is what it is. For me, it was a good experience because I knew, ‘Okay, nothing is for granted and you really have to find something, a niche to go in there and just maybe present him [Vince McMahon] something’ and then even in the end, I had one talk with Vince man-to-man and then I told him, ‘Okay, we have this great idea about something where we can involve social media’ because we know WWE is huge on social media because there’s a lot of exposure with that and he was like, ‘Well, this sounds all good. [Have] you texted your writer already?’ And he asked me, ‘Have you informed your writer with that? And he will pass it on to me’ and I thought like, ‘Yeah, he tried for five weeks, I guess.’ That’s a part of the process, especially when you’re nobody, you know? You’re new there and a lot of times, they say it is like your rookie years. One on the main roster, I don’t know if it counts if we have done something on NXT. It’s a whole different game because NXT is kind of 100 men strong backstage. Today I hear the figure [is] about 75 men. But there [main roster], it’s probably times three or four. That’s so many people, that’s so many workers and that’s kind of like a clockwork and everybody’s kind of working together and of course, if some gear of the clockwork doesn’t work, you exchange it. You get it out because the clock has to run because time is running.
When SAnitY was called up to SmackDown, they were told that ideas were being floated around and Vince McMahon liked them as a group but the ball never got rolling.
And then with the call-up, they kind of ‘promised’ us something with, ‘Yeah, they have a lot of ideas and Vince likes you guys and he can’t wait to start’ and we thought, ‘Okay, cool’ and we had a lot of ideas as well and we just, you know, then we got postponed for the debut. We planned to debut here on this pay-per-view. ‘Oh no, let’s do it the week after SmackDown. Oh, we don’t have time for it. Let’s do it next week,’ blah, blah, blah. So we signed actually in July but we debuted way later.
** AEW’s Anna Jay underwent successful shoulder surgery this past March. AEW noted that Anna could be out of action for 6-12 months. Vickie Guerrero welcomed Anna onto her podcast and Anna provided an update on how her recovery process is going:
Well it happened in training. I ended up tearing my labrum again. It’s the second time I’ve done this. Hopefully this time is the charm. Now I’m just rehabbing. Hopefully I’ll be back sooner than I want to or sooner than expected which is what I want and that’s pretty much what I’m doing right now. My routine that I just told you, that’s pretty boring plus rehab, that’s it.
** IMPACT Wrestling creative team member Jimmy Jacobs was a guest on the TWC Show. Jacobs was asked if he would ever work for WWE again and he said he said he’d like to do a promo class at the Performance Center at some point. When it comes to working alongside Vince McMahon again, Jacobs stated that there is a certain number that would have to be thrown at him money-wise.
I would work for Hunter down at the PC. I would love to go down there at some point in my life and do promo classes. I think that’s where I excel the most.
As far as working for Vince [McMahon] goes, it would take a lot of money. I’ve got a number where if they were like, ‘Hey, we’ll pay you x amount of dollars to come back,’ I would. They’re not going to so I’ll never have to deal with that day. But I have a number that I would sort of do it for, and I’m in a better place now where it’s like, ‘Yeah, Vince can act however he wants. Everything’s fine, it’s fine. If Vince wants to act this way or do this or do this it’s like, has nothing to do with me’ and I think you have to have a healthy, centered disposition to be a writer and not hate your life.
Jacobs was let go from WWE after posting a picture on social media of himself and The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) outside of a venue that WWE was running out of. Jacobs feels that even with what he was able to add to the creative team, he doesn’t think Vince McMahon will hire another independent wrestler as a writer again.
Yeah, well certainly I had a certain aptitude for the storytelling nature of wrestling. You know, I was the first wrestler to really be a writer there. There were other guys on the creative team like, let’s say Road Dogg or something but he’s not getting into the weeds, like putting pen to paper and so I was the first one to do that. Now look, it [independent wrestling background] helped in I knew a lot of the guys, I was friends with a lot of the guys and they trusted me which is helpful. It’s helpful to have a relationship with the talent where they want to collaborate with you and they want your ideas as well, and yeah, I think it helped me. I think that Vince [McMahon] will never, ever, ever hire another independent wrestler to be on the writing team again after I got fired so, so it goes.
While speaking about the IMPACT/AEW partnership, Jacobs said that when it was initially presented to IMPACT, it was going to be a short-term arrangement.
When this [AEW/IMPACT partnership] sort of came across our plate, it’s like, ‘Yeah man, let’s play, let’s see what happens, let’s see where this goes’ and I don’t know how long the relationship will go, how long — when it was first presented, it was gonna be a shorter-term deal than this and so we’re just playing, yeah. We’re seeing where it goes.
Jacobs dove into the ins and outs of getting ideas through to Vince McMahon and ultimately getting those ideas onto TV. He added that from his experience, all of the WWE writers are talented and have good ideas but it comes down to presenting what McMahon would like.
Yeah man, look, it took me about an hour or two of being in the writing room for the first time to go, ‘Oh, everybody here is really smart,’ and they are and everybody’s got their own talents and they’re good at their own things. There’s two things: One, it’s difficult writing a wrestling show, especially Raw at three hours every week. [Filming] something for three hours every week is a beast. You know, I do IMPACT Wrestling, Thursday nights on AXS TV at 8 PM EST and it’s two hours and look man, that can be a challenge and you’ve got, let’s say ten stories going on at once and it’s like, ‘Geez, there’s only so many ways to skin a cat and what can you do within the confines of this little ring that we have and how many times can one guy jump another guy?’ So look, you have a finite number of players, a finite number of matches and a lot of content to fill so it’s difficult to do. Look, that’s not to say that’s an excuse for being bad. That’s to say even with really smart people, it’s not always gonna be good. But, then you have Vince [McMahon] and that’s just the x factor and so, you are playing to an audience of one. Nobody is — it’s like we’re trying to make the best show possible but we’re actually trying to make the best show possible that Vince won’t yell at us for suggesting and trying to do and look man, just the way that Vince does things, he’s got certain preferences so you’re gonna, you know, storylines aren’t really gonna necessarily be cohesive from one week to the next because that’s the way the shows are written. They’re written one week and then the next week and Vince is kind of like, ‘Ah, I didn’t see last week.’ So, yeah, Vince is gonna blow up a lot of ideas and it’s fine, he gets to do that. It’s his sandbox, you’re just playing in it.
But look, again, Vince makes the whole thing — an already hard job even harder. Not to [not] give him any credit because obviously the man deserves all the credit in the world. It’s hard and mostly what I see is people complaining about things happening and it’s like alright, you’ve got Baron Corbin versus Seth Rollins. Like, ‘Oh geez, I don’t wanna do that, I don’t wanna see that match, I don’t want to do that match.’ Like yeah, fair enough man but here’s the thing: Wrestling shows, like reality, are not created in the negative. I can’t say for segments nine and ten, ‘Not Baron Corbin versus Seth Rollins.’ I have to put something down and again, you have a finite number of things and you go, ‘Okay, well maybe they don’t like that match right now. How do we get them to like that match and how do we tell a story where hopefully they care about the match? But maybe they don’t care about the character so it’s difficult.’ It’s difficult because you can’t just say what you don’t like. It’s like yeah, okay fine. You don’t wanna do this, don’t wanna do this, don’t want to this, don’t want to do this but we have to do something.
Elsewhere during the conversation, Jacobs talked about Danhausen’s start in wrestling before he formed his current character. Jacobs said it is interesting because when Danhausen first started in wrestling, his personality was not anything near what it is today.
Well, look, he actually trained at Truth Martini’s school and I was helping Truth out at the time. So it would probably be a jump to say, a leap to say that I trained him. But, he was always a nice kid and hard-working but you know, he kept himself in good shape, took good care of himself but, pretty bland personality which is interesting to say now, because once he found his thing and went with it, it’s really connected with a lot of people. I saw he’s got t-shirts in Hot Topic even. It’s like, good for him man. It just shows what you can do. If you keep going and you put one foot in front of the other and I’m gonna bring it back around to this sort of stuff because that’s a lot of what this experience is. It’s like you pick something and you go — you have a vision of the future let’s say. You can even say a goal. But, you pick a destination and you walk towards it and as long as you put one foot in front of the other, you’re gonna start to realize where the missteps are and how to aim properly and he’s a guy that did that, that even went outside of the box and I tell this to wrestlers all the time is, ‘Try something. Just try something!’ It doesn’t matter — and again, true to life, do something.
** EJ Nduka was released from WWE on May 19th. Coming out of his release, he spoke to Fightful and opened up about his confrontation with former NXT referee Drake Wuertz in 2019. EJ shared that following the run-in, he received props from coach Robbie Brookside for how he handled himself.
This happened two weeks into my tenure in WWE. I’m greener than money and putting my best foot forward. We’re on the road and doing live shows. The rookies, it’s an unsaid thing, a respect thing, where you put the ring together and let the vets and the guys who have been there take care of their business, handle the matches, do what they have to do. I came from football and bodybuilding, so I understand the hierarchy. I’m there with my new class, we’re setting up the ring, and I had never set up a ring. It’s probably my third or fourth time. Mind you, I didn’t even have to be there because the first four weeks of being in WWE, you don’t have to go on the road. You can take your time to find an apartment and settle down. Me being who I am, I wasn’t going to stay at home and twiddle my thumbs, I’m going get in the mix. There was one other person who went as well. Ashantee Thee Adonis (went). He was showing me how to tie the ropes. Drake was in the middle of the ring and there was something on the other side of the ring, a turnbuckle pad or something, Drake being Drake, he was yelling, ‘We need somebody here right now!’ Me and Tuhutti (Miles), we’re tying the knots and he looks at us and says, ‘You two get up here right now and put the pads on the turnbuckle.’ I slowly turn and look at him and said, ‘We’re doing this right now. We’re going to finish this and then we’ll get to that.’ He snaps, just yelling at the top of his lungs, ‘No, you get in here right now!’ I slid into the ring, everyone is watching, me being who I am, I got up and in his face and said, ‘Don’t ever talk to me like that again. Not even my father talks like that to me.’ He had said ‘boy’ or something like that, something that triggered me. I don’t know anything about him. I don’t know him from the next man. I know that he’s different so I got in the ring, looked him in the eye, and he took a step back and started yelling again. I slid out of the ring and said, ‘Let me talk to you outside.’ Everyone is like, ‘Ohhhh.’ I walked outside, he came out and we talked like men. I said, ‘Look, I know you’ve been here for a while. You’re a man, I’m a man too.’ I asked him, ‘Do you think you were respectful? Even if you thought I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing, do you think you respectfully asked me to do what you wanted me to do?’ He was like, ‘No man, you’re right.’ I’m the type of person that will nip it in the bud right there. If I feel like you’re being disrespectful, I’m not going to continue to allow you to be disrespectful to me because I’ve shown you nothing but respect. We had an eye-to-eye and that was the last day Drake did that to me. I didn’t have an issue with him. It was one of those things where after it happened, I walked back to the locker room and everyone was like, ‘Good on you. That’s how you stand up for yourself. You weren’t doing anything wrong. You were doing what you were asked to do.’ Sometimes, you have to check somebody because they’ll keep walking all over you and talk a certain way. That’s not how I operate.
Right after it happened [Robbie] Brookside was there and he said, ‘Good on you’ and that was it. He saw the whole thing and he understood that there was no reason, especially in front of my co-workers and me being new, I don’t know if [Drake] was trying to set the tone or….I don’t know what his thought process was, but I know what my thought process was. I’m going to respect everybody in the room and I feel like that should be returned.
** Sports Fan Promotions hosted a virtual signing with Deonna Purrazzo and Steve Maclin. Purrazzo recalled the time she was at the WWE Performance Center and did an impromptu match with Simone Johnson in front of her father, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
I almost [forgot] that happened. So, The Rock came to the P.C., gosh, probably a year, year-and-a-half ago now and we were all training like normal and Simone [Johnson] was with us at the PC at the time and was just learning how to wrestle a little bit and it was my job to lead her through our drill in front of her dad so that was nerve wracking but so, we did whatever and I said, ‘Give me a big line and I’m gonna go outside of the ring’ and I went outside of the ring, expecting that I’ll be counted out. The drill is over and our coach says to the ref to tell me, ‘Oh let’s see what Deonna can call on the fly’ and so Simone and I had a full wrestling match in front of The Rock and I got critiqued by The Rock in front of his daughter, in front of the class, and I beat Simone. So, it was really, really surreal. I always forget that happened. I feel like I kinda just got out of the PC, was like, ‘Blah! This is all the bad things that happened to me’ but some really cool things happened that I forget.
** On a recent episode of “Da” Podcast, Jazz joined the show and while reflecting on her run in WWE, she stated that she still doesn’t understand why she was released from the company. Jazz added that she should just now be retiring from WWE.
Regardless of how things ended, I’m still grateful for that and I still say that I should probably just now be retiring from WWE honestly. That’s how I feel what I brought to the table in WWE. Me leaving WWE should have been on my terms when I was ready to leave. But, I still today don’t understand why I was released. I don’t know. I don’t know if I wasn’t a kiss-ass or what, I don’t know because I was not a kiss ass and I spoke up for myself, you know? And back then, they didn’t like that sh*t so, it is what it is.
Jazz wrapped up a run with IMPACT Wrestling this year. She talked about the AEW/IMPACT Wrestling crossover. She feels a crossover for the women’s division would not be effective if the AEW Women’s World Champion is not a part of it.
I mean, the girls in IMPACT, they’re happy with what they’re doing. They’re all getting the opportunity to shine. No, I can’t see IMPACT girls going to AEW or AEW girls coming to IMPACT. I mean, would they do it? I’m sure. But there’s no need. I don’t feel — I don’t think it’ll benefit neither promotion honestly.
The whole thing with — oh God. Aw man, I have a bad memory. What’s his name? The one that just came over and took IMPACT’s — yeah, Kenny Omega. See, that’s something different there. You know, if they send the AEW [Women’s] Champion over to [IMPACT] to work some of their girls, then we’ll have something. But yes, just swapping talent like that, I don’t know. I really don’t know.
** Booker T took to his ‘Hall Of Fame’ podcast to speak about the WWE/A&E documentary on Ultimate Warrior. Booker shared his own Ultimate Warrior story and it had to do with Warrior’s last match in 2008 against Orlando Jordan. Warrior got in contact with Booker and wanted to get a training session in for his first match in almost ten years.
I was around the Ultimate Warrior for a minute. I didn’t really know him or anything like that on a personal level but, I was there when the Ultimate Warrior wanted to make his comeback. [This was the] 2000s, 2008, nine, something like that. He was gonna be coming back and doing a show in [Spain] and he actually wanted me to help him out as far as get him in shape for that match and I was pretty excited that the Ultimate Warrior had gotten in touch with me to get him in shape for this match. So I was getting myself together, I finally talked to him about it, he goes — it’s kinda funny, he goes, ‘Hey man, I’m gonna be coming down to train with you. How about I come down on Thursday?’ And the thing is I’m the only one that pretty much knows the story so it’s no way I can confirm it or anything like that. It’s not a bad story or anything like that. But he says, ‘When I come down on Thursday and train with you, start getting ready for this match. I’ll come down maybe — I land [at] probably 12 and I’ll get there around 2 and I’ll train around 4 and I’ll catch a flight out around 6.’ He wanted to train with me for two hours to get him ready for a match that he hadn’t worked in over ten years. Yes [he told me this over the phone]. I told him, ‘Bro, I’m sorry but it’s nothing I can do in two hours, you know?’ I said, ‘It’s going to take me a little bit longer than that to work with you, to get you ready’ and I think he was closer to California, so he went and worked with RVD for that match and I watched the match and they worked for a little while in that match, seemed like his cardio was there so you know, seemed like whatever Rob worked with him on — Rob do things from a witch doctor perspective sometimes. If this ain’t working, we might try that. You know, it might be a little unorthodox but he’ll get you there.
** Scorpio Sky appeared on the Sunday Night’s Main Event podcast ahead of AEW’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. Several months ago at the Revolution event, Sky won the Face Of The Revolution Ladder match. As he found out he was winning, he felt it was about time an opportunity like that came his way and added that he’s done being humble.
It’s about time [Sky said about AEW having faith in him to win ladder match at Revolution]. You know, I’m kind of done being humble, and I think it’s time for people to stop ignoring and pretending like I’m not one of the best guys in the entire company, you know what I mean? I honestly say that. I’ve got potential to be top guy, main event-caliber performer and there aren’t a lot of guys on the roster that can hang with me or can outperform me and I don’t really care if people knock me for saying that. I used to not say things like that because I didn’t wanna put myself out there but now, I don’t really give a sh*t. I’m just gonna tell it like it is and I’m one of the best, so to be in that spot, I deserve it so there’s no ifs, ands or buts about it.
Coming out of that win, Sky was paired on-screen with Ethan Page. Sky was curious about the pairing seeing as how he had separated himself from SCU. As of the podcast recording, Sky feels that everything has worked out smoothly between him and Page.
You know, at first I was a little bit like, not hesitant but, a little curious as to where this was going to go but working with Ethan [Page] has actually been really, really good. It’s something different, it’s something fresh, I can bring a little bit of my personality out more than before and we have this weird chemistry that actually works and people are getting behind it and they like it and I didn’t even know Ethan that well when we first started working together but, everything is clicking on all cylinders and it’s working out tremendously I think. I prefer being the bad guy than being the good guy. It’s a lot easier to make people dislike you than like you. Naturally, I don’t worry too much about making sure everybody in the room likes me. I just am who I am.
** Mickie James guest appeared on The CLS Experience with Craig Siegel. She recalled the initial meeting she had with Vince McMahon to pitch her ‘super fan’ storyline that led her to winning the WWE Women’s Title at WrestleMania 22.
I went home and I reset and I came up with this character, this story, this idea for this character who was a massive super fan which was genuinely in my heart. Not crazy but — well… we’re all levels of crazy, but yeah, I was able to come up and cultivate this character that I was like, ‘This –’ and I pitched it and I remember walking into Vince [McMahon’s] office with this idea and I go, I’m like, ‘I heard you read my idea and you liked it’ and Michael Hayes, I have to say Michael Hayes is the one who said, ‘You need to walk into Vince’s office, you need to tell him that you wrote that. You need to tell him that nobody can play it but you,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh God.’ This is backstage, I’m like in Columbus, Ohio, driving up from Louisville which is the developmental territory OVW at the time and I’m like, ‘I don’t know if I can do this.’ The whole time I’m sitting outside of Vince’s office I’m like, ‘I feel like I’m gonna vomit.’ It was the scariest — if you’ve never met the man in person, he’s so — he has this aura about him and he’s so powerful and so intimidating but yet so genuine and real. He’s always been kind and genuine to me and I’m just like, I was terrified for my life. Anyway, I remember walking in there and it just took everything I had and I’m like, yeah, I was so unsure of myself and so my confidence, I was like, ‘I feel like I’m confident but not even in the same level of confidence as somebody that’s –‘ you know. Anyway, I was like, ‘I heard you read my storyline and that you really liked it and I just want you to know I created that character, I know that character inside and out. There’s nobody, nobody that can play that character like me’ and he just looked at me and he’s just like, ‘Wow, you got guts.’ Yeah, I was like, ‘Thanks?’ I was like I don’t know what to say. ‘Okay, thank you’ but I had waited for hours to say this to him and I didn’t even know how to follow it up. I was like [shocked]. ‘Okay, well thank you so much and I hope you consider it’ or whatever and he’s like, ‘Okay, have a great [day]. Okay. Will do and thank you’ and I’m like, ‘Uh’ and I just left his office and I’m like, ‘Oh God, that was — either I’m gonna get fired or whatever’ and it was like a couple months later and then they brought me up to TV and then they’re like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna roll with this idea.’
** Daily Star caught up with Kofi Kingston and the ‘greatest of all-time’ conversation came up pertaining to pro wrestling. Kingston feels that-that conversation cannot be held without including Randy Orton.
The whole premise of ‘who is the best’ [is] really subjective – it’s just what you like. As far as Randy is concerned, I think he has the ability to do so many things so well. A lot of people think that because he doesn’t do a lot of moves, he’s not good, but that’s simply not true. The industry is not about the moves; it is about being able to connect with the crowd and express what you’re thinking without saying things a lot – to make people watch you. If you watch Randy move around the ring, he moves so slowly and every step has a purpose – you can’t take your eyes off him, yet he doesn’t ‘do’ anything, right? To be able to do that is an absolute talent. He looks a certain way, he flexes in a certain way… you feel that. That’s the stuff that makes you great and not just good. What Randy does is unique in that way – he does so much without doing anything at all, so I’d have to put him in the conversation as being one of the greatest. To be able to last so long… he’s even more compelling now in a lot of different ways. So as a performer, you can’t have the conversation [about the greatest] without having Randy be in there, from the longevity alone. That doesn’t happen by accident.
** Mike Bennett explained to WrestleZone why it meant so much to him and Maria Kanellis-Bennett that Ring of Honor announced their respective re-signings separately:
The fact that they announced it separately meant a lot to me personally, and I know it meant a lot to Maria. But that was one of the things going into [it] that like, when we decided to go back to Ring of Honor, that was one of the discussions that I had with Delirious and with Ring of Honor management, ‘This is how we wanna do it.’ We’re very much trying to go in this separately. Obviously, we’re married. Obviously, we have a family, we’re always gonna be connected, but there’s a certain time and place when you’re like, ‘You know what? It’s time to try something new. It’s time to reinvent yourself.’ Me and Maria had been doing ‘Mike and Maria’ for ten years now, and it was one of those things where when we reached out to Ring of Honor, again, it was a perfect fit. Because talking to Ring of Honor, talking to Delirious, that was exactly what he had in mind, too. When I had talked to him, he was like, ‘I want Mike Bennett, and then I want Maria Kanellis. And I want them to be two entirely separate entities, and I want to bring you guys in and show everyone what you can do on your own.’ And that meant a lot to me.
** The Dallas Morning News conducted an interview with Drew McIntyre. He further spoke about the potential comeback of his “Broken Dreams” theme song. McIntyre joked that if he fights for the song and none of the fans sing along to it, he’ll get flack for it once he gets to the backstage area.
I’ve been hearing about it basically every day. I get at least one tweet a day telling me, ‘Broken Dreams Drew’ and I always say I love my theme music I’ve got now. It matches who I am and the character I am today, especially now that I come out in the kilt with a big ass sword. The Scottish war music certainly matches that now. I don’t know if the Broken Dreams would match that but, perhaps there will be a time, maybe even in AT&T Stadium, some significant event where I think it’ll get an opportunity to come back. I believe we have the rights to the song and I think the right time, the right opportunity. The big thing I always say is every single person out there that talks about this song, has talked about it for the past eight years, that have [mentioned] it non-stop every day, you better know every single word because if I fight for it and it happens and 100,000 people aren’t singing it, I’m the one that’s gonna get hell when I get to the back.
** NXT UK’s Mark Andrews has a new show on BBC Radio titled ‘My Love Letter To Wrestling’. Andrews gave his take on wrestling not consistently being a part of mainstream media as opposed to other sports. Andrews admitted that he used to want pro wrestling to be incorporated into mainstream media because he wanted to be accepted for liking it.
I always wanted wrestling to be more mainstream and I think it was because when I was younger, I almost wanted to be accepted by people more for what I liked, you know? I definitely think in high school, I had a bit of a hang-up about wrestling not being as popular as other sports and not being accepted by the mainstream because I wanted — I almost like desperately wanted to be the center of attention, the popular kid in high school but I like wrestling. But over time I’ve realized it’s so much cooler to be kind of — I don’t even want to say outcast but to be part of something like wrestling. Wrestling is — it makes it more unique. It’s the art of the outcast because it’s not accepted in the wider world. It’s not in the bigger picture and now I think it never should be. Like of course it shouldn’t be. I desperately wanted it to be when I was younger but of course it shouldn’t be incredibly mainstream and it shouldn’t be as football or American football or anything like that because why would it ever be? It’s there for the people that don’t like those things and I’m not saying — loads of people like both but loads of people like pro wrestling and real sports but, it’s there for the ones that don’t like those things. It’s there for the kids who can’t get along with your footballs or your Rugbys or even for the kids who just wanna escape from that real stuff for a while. The kids who like those other sports but need something else to distract from or escape from for a bit. So it’s nice to escape to something which is so not normal and that’s pro wrestling.
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated conducted an interview with NXT North American Champion Bronson Reed. When WWE eventually returns to Australia for a live event, Reed is hoping to be a part of an intergender tag match with fellow Aussie Rhea Ripley.
I can’t wait to return to my homeland and wrestle on the big stage in front of fans, family, and performers. I’d be down for an intergender tag match where I get to tag with Rhea Ripley. That’s something we both want to do, and maybe it will happen in the future.
** WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns turned 36-years-old on 5/25.
** Mike Rotunda did a virtual signing for K & S WrestleFest.
** NJPW ‘Road to Wrestle Grand Slam’ Results (5/25/21) Korakuen Hall
– Chase Owens def. Yota Tsuji
– Zack Sabre Jr. & DOUKI def. Yujiro Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori
– Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Master Wato
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Shingo Takagi) def. Ryusuke Taguchi, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI
– Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi def. The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan)
** Katarina Waters, the former “Katie Lea Burchill” was interviewed by Darren Paltrowitz.
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.