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.
** ‘Sick’ Nick Mondo appeared on Cultaholic’s ‘Desert Island Graps’ show and shared that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he was going to be behind an action film starring Jon Moxley titled ‘American Blood’. Portions of the film were set to recorded on the island of Malta. Mondo is hopeful that the ball can get rolling on production again.
Dude, we’ve been working hard on that and I mean, 2020 was such a rough year for everybody. We had a deal. I signed a one-year option agreement because yeah, we’ve got a script that’s complete. That was to be shot last year. A good portion of this film was gonna be filmed in Malta, the small island country of Malta. But COVID torpedoed that. Half the funding was gonna come from Malta and so we’ve had to start from scratch. I’m still fighting for that thing like crazy and as a matter of fact, I’ve got three different production companies I’m talking to right now that are considering it. I don’t have anything signed so it’s still — I’m open to — if anybody’s listening to this, I’m open. But like, confidence is coming back post-COVID now and so I’m living in Atlanta, Georgia and we can talk about it but I just finished season one of this show [HEELS] I’ve been working on so we’ve got the system down for shooting during COVID, people are getting vaccinated and so, I’m still hopeful this thing is gonna happen but yeah, we both want this very much so…
Game Changer Wrestling announced that Nick Mondo will be the headliner for the 2021 GCW Deathmatch Hall Of Fame. Mondo said the honor had been offered to him several times in the past but those occasions did not work out.
Yeah, thank you. That’s [GCW Deathmatch Hall Of Fame] coming up in less than a month with Game Changer Wrestling so, I’ve been in touch with those guys for a few years. I even did some work for them. I did a vignette for the [Jon] Moxley/Josh Barnett match that was delayed a couple times but, yeah. Brett [Lauderdale] has very generously offered this to me I think the last couple years but this is the first time it’s worked out and so yeah, we’re gonna do that early June.
Mondo helped create and produce Jon Moxley’s WWE departure and New Japan Pro-Wrestling arrival video packages. While speaking about the NJPW package, Mondo said the individual who was the focus of that video was not actually Jon Moxley and they used a body double.
Both of us were pretty concerned because I’d only dropped, I don’t know, a week after the first one. We were concerned it was gonna be too obvious and so we put a little bit too much work into covering everything up and assuming that people were gonna know it was us. I’m not sure if you know this, Jon [Moxley] said, ‘Since we’re not gonna show my face, can you film with a body double?’ And so that’s not Jon in the video. We filmed that in Los Angeles and so I put out a casting call for Jon’s specs. We found somebody who matches his build and you know, the dude gets very excited about producing content but keep in mind, he was coming off almost 300, like 280, 300 shows a year with WWE. I mean just exhausting, traveling non-stop and that instance, he was just like, ‘Oh yeah, I trust you guys. If you can shoot it with a body double, let’s just do that’ and so yeah, we got somebody else to be in there.
Nick Mondo keeps his eyes on the deathmatches of today and he caught wind of Atsushi Onita launching the FMWE promotion in Japan. Mondo is slightly worried about Onita participating in explosion matches because Onita is in his early 60s.
I saw that. Oh man, so they [AEW] of course tapped [Atsushi] Onita or got him to promote the Mox and [Kenny] Omega explosion match and which you know, very, very sad. I mean I love that match. It was just the unfortunate malfunction with the explosion at the end was so embarrassing and so, I understand. It must’ve gotten Onita’s gears turning and the dude is — he must be what? Pushing 70? I don’t know and now he’s gonna try and show everybody what a real explosion match is and I mean, of course on the surface I get excited but I’m like oh gosh, is this a good idea, you know? So he’s gonna try and show people what real explosions are. It is exciting. I’ll watch it for sure, but it makes me worried a little bit, you know?
** Jimmy Smith made his Monday Night Raw commentary debut on the 5/31 edition of the program. He spoke with David LaGreca and Bully Ray on Busted Open Radio about his first go-around on live commentary and having Vince McMahon, Michael Cole and Kevin Dunn in his ear.
Number one, easier. Yeah, because I’ve heard all the stories you guys have heard but you gotta remember I had Bjorn Rebney yelling at me in Bellator, you know what I mean? That happens. It’s not a big deal. Dana [White] didn’t really do that in the UFC but, you know, I’ve dealt with people yelling and multiple people talking to me at the same time, that’s not weird at all and when Vince [McMahon] hopped on, it was about things that was specific to WWE that I need to learn that I found very, very helpful. He didn’t just, I don’t know. I don’t know what anybody expected but you know, things like, ‘Whenever we say WWE fans, it’s our fans.’ Got it, 100 percent. There’s verbiage that is specific to the WWE. They specifically want certain things, they specifically don’t want certain things that are very common in other sports especially MMA. So every time Vince jumped on, it was a specific, ‘Hey, in WWE we say this. Be sure next time –’ got it, 100 percent understand. So it wasn’t — it was all helpful. Three people were never talking at the same time, although it was three different voices, they all jumped on at different times. I had [Michael] Cole in my ear because Cole was producing from the event as well. I had Kevin [Dunn] and occasionally Vince. Vince not that much and Kevin and Cole were good at not stepping on each other. The hard part is when people try to tell me stuff at the same time. You know, the director and producer are yakking at the same time. You go, ‘Guys, one voice, I can’t hear.’ That never happened. So as far as that went, their on-air traffic was great and Kevin’s lead-ins were great, he gave me plenty of time. The count outs are a lot shorter, I gotta get used to that because they’ll go, ‘Commercial, 3, 2.’ You usually get more time than that. It’s just the nature of the way pro wrestling works, you know what I mean? But production-wise they were great.
One of the key pieces of advice that Smith received from multiple people in WWE was to have energy. He was told that mistakes happen but just have energy.
But a big part of it was, they said, ‘You have energy. Just have energy. Just tell people they should be excited to be here and be excited to be seeing what you’re seeing.’ That was the advice from like four different people was, ‘Hey, you can F this up, you can F that up. You can F up people’s names. Have energy during the match’ and I went, ‘No problem, that’s what I’ve been doing for a long time’ so that was really the preparation is like, you know, if you don’t care, fans aren’t gonna care and I was able during the match — especially during the Kofi Kingston/Drew McIntyre [match], that was incredible. My energy level was through the roof the whole time, so as long as I have that, I felt good but that was the major advice I was given, you know?
The main event of Raw was Drew McIntyre versus Kofi Kingston to determine the #1 contender to the WWE Championship. Smith stated that Kofi was checked on during a commercial break after a spot on the outside with McIntyre.
And when Kofi Kingston against Drew McIntyre went over that wall, he literally did catch his leg on the wall and started screaming, and we all went, ‘Oh crap,’ you know? They rushed back there to help him get [up] in time for the commercial and he got up, was like, ‘Dude I’m good, let’s go.’ Insane. Insane watching it live.
** The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast welcomed Billy Corgan on as a guest. Corgan, the owner of the National Wrestling Alliance has an ongoing relationship with All Elite Wrestling. While speaking about the idea of that relationship potentially growing into something more, Corgan thinks things are solid where there are and mentioned Chris Jericho’s past comments about the IMPACT/AEW partnership.
I’m open to all that stuff. I think it’s sort of like where do you want it to go? You know what I mean? Because right now, the NWA is in a position where we’re just building back up. So, like I said, I totally appreciate those opportunities but we’re not really geared in that way, you know what I mean? If you saw some of the comments that Chris Jericho had about AEW working with IMPACT, who I’m publicly no fan of because of my dealings with them, including them stealing a former talent from us. Not to mention what went on with Dixie Carter and that whole [situation]. You know, Jericho completely buried the situation with IMPACT, because he basically was talking about the disparity in power and star attraction. Now there’s plenty of talented people at IMPACT. Not to denigrate them and I’ve worked with some of them, particularly like the people in Decay, super talented people, Rosemary, Crazzy Steve. So yeah, no mark on the talent but look, you’re not an equal in the situation so you’re put in a situation where you’re trying to convince another fan base to believe in some form of equity, it’s always a bit wonky. So I think under the right circumstances like the Serena [Deeb] dynamic, being the holder of the title, Thunder Rosa is an NWA talent working for AEW with great regularity, that’s a nice balance. It’s balanced out by a couple forces. If Tony [Khan] calls and wants to do Cody [Rhodes]/Nick Aldis III, I’m all over it. Some of the traditional ways people work together, invasion angles and stuff like that, I don’t think that’s a good fit for either one of us. Tony’s got more talent than he knows what to do with. He doesn’t need our talent too.
NWA contracted talent Thunder Rosa has been spotlighted on AEW programming dating back to 2020. Serena Deeb, who is with AEW is the current holder of the NWA World Women’s Championship. Corgan spoke highly of AEW President Tony Khan for providing another platform for the NWA during the pandemic.
Yeah, I met Tony [Khan] — actually, he came to one of my shows with a mutual friend, Chris Nowinski, who wrestling fans would know as Chris Harvard but now is very much in the concussion research field. Chris is doing amazing work in that field really for making sports, particularly for children safer, and actually all professional athletes involved [in] contact, including wrestling, and so we met back then, just kind of socially and then when Tony looked like he was lining up to launch what is now AEW, we had a conversation that — just sort of see where he was going, where I was going and so we’ve stayed in touch and then we built a business relationship on top of that and he’s just been a great business partner. I can’t say enough good things about him, as how he’s been in terms of the business side of the thing. You know, having the NWA Women’s Title on AEW television has been super valuable to us. Tony kept the name of the brand up when we were shut down for a while due to the pandemic, and then Tony allowing his talent to come wrestle on NWA television is huge and of course, Tony helped bring Thunder Rosa to national, international prominence as she should. She’s an incredibly talented person so I think that’s been a cool relationship for everybody involved.
During the conversation, Corgan was candid about his thought process as a booker when it comes to smaller talents. He is of the belief that the larger athletes are more believable as a world champion to those who are not within the wrestling bubble and are on the outside looking in.
But you look at the stories that were told around them [smaller wrestlers], it was them being undersized against bigger men. You know, a Terry Funk or an Undertaker. That was a part of the dynamic that I think was attractive was when they were able to fight out from underneath that. That’s part of what created the interest in them as characters. I just have a hard time believing — it’s like how they book space movies these days, you know? It’s like anybody can beat anybody if somebody wants to believe it and I just don’t believe in that personally.
Yeah. One thing I always like to point out to was one of the greatest matches I ever saw was Rey Mysterio against The Undertaker, and the whole match and the whole dynamics of the match was predicated on the fact that Rey had to chop down this unstoppable force. But it had to do with Rey’s speed and agility and his innovative offense. It wasn’t just because he did something well, you know what I mean? The story in that narrative is what I like to key in on, and so yeah, you see it now when promotions have champions that are 5’9. That is their world champion. I’m sorry, I think it’s a very difficult thing to ask the public on some level beyond what I call the wrestling bubble. There’s no doubt that some of the people working right now are some of the most talented people to ever work in the ring. We’re just talking, you and I are talking about the dynamics of like, let’s call it the laws of gravity within the bubble that we’re in and I think one thing that’s difficult is trying to convince people outside the wrestling bubble, people like you and I that really follow the business, why it’s valuable and why it’s important and when they tune in and they don’t see that kind of law of gravity, I think it makes it very hard for a mainstream or a general fan or even a lapsed old school fan to really engage with the product on a deeper level because they’re being asked to suspend a disbelief beyond this particular point.
Nick Aldis has reigned as NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion dating back to October 2018. Billy Corgan recalled his first encounters with Aldis while they were in TNA together and the powers that be in TNA trying to paint Aldis as difficult to work with.
Can’t say enough good things about him [Nick Aldis]. A real leader in the locker room, in the ring, behind the scenes, just a total stand-up dude and it’s so funny because I knew Nick a little bit, but when I came in to work at TNA for a while, Nick was kind of — Mickie [James] was there and Nick were both there at the same time and you know, of course I was in the office and I heard — the whole way the office there painted Nick as a problematic, complaining and they didn’t wanna book him and I could never quite put my finger on it and the guy’s just smart, you know what I mean? He’s not a difficult personality. He can be difficult but that’s because he believes what he’s saying.
** Eddie Kingston joined Wrestling Observer Radio prior to AEW’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view. Eddie was asked what he learned from the likes of Chris Hero and Cesaro during their time together on the independent scene. Eddie credited Hero for helping him throughout his career despite the two not getting along.
Without even knowing them [Cesaro & Chris Hero], I had that [being a student of the game] but it was good to be around guys who did have that and this is before Hero became what he is. You know, for those who don’t know, me and Hero do not get along. No, it’s all good, I’m not gonna poop on him here. I’m not gonna curse about him here, but I will give him credit. That man did a lot for me early in my career [in] a whole lot of places and he did train me and he did open my eyes to other wrestling like in Europe, with [Mike] Quackenbush as well, like Johnny Saint and stuff like that.
It was in the Summer of 2020 that Kingston officially signed with AEW. He relays to the younger talent on the roster to not get complacent with being a mid-card wrestler or opening the show and reminds them that they got into wrestling to be the main event.
The goal is to always be world champion. I hate to tell young guys in the locker room like, ‘You didn’t get into this business — you know, I get it’s to make money but you didn’t get into this business just to make a little bit of money if you wanna go with that or be a mid-carder or be an opening curtain jerker. No, you got into this to be the main event, you got into this to be a world champion, don’t forget that,’ you know what I mean?
** Jamie Horowitz, Samira Shah & Matt Drew are joining WWE’s senior leadership team. Jamie Horowitz is coming in as Executive Vice President, Development & Digital, Samira Shah as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, and Matt Drew as Senior Vice President, International.
** The newest episode of the ten/o Game Club podcast featured AEW World Champion Kenny Omega. Omega revealed that he wrote the song that he and Kota Ibushi used while they were the Golden Lovers in New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
So he [Toby Fox] doesn’t just have that talent and the knack for finding and writing things appropriate to his own work, he is able to suit it for other things too. Just a great — and he has no musical background. He’s just all on his own, taught himself, self-taught. His work inspired me to start writing my own stuff so I have a couple tracks that I helped create. This is kind of a tidbit: My tag team music in Japan before leaving, that was written by me and Toby inspired me to give it a go and try it myself and yeah…
** Dominic DeAngelo of WrestleZone conducted an interview with former NWA World Television Champion Zicky Dice. Dice is no longer with the NWA but sees how everything unfolded as a blessing in disguise.
There are many sides to the die and not everyone has seen those sides just yet. ‘Outlandish’ Zicky Dice has yet to spread his wings. If you think about it, I didn’t get a full title run over at NWA. I didn’t get to walk out with my championship or have I think a full complete television run and unlike everyone else, the pandemic actually was a blessing in disguise for ‘Outlandish’ Zicky Dice. It helped me take the brand to the next level partnering up with Twitch and staying creative and really pushing the limits in trying to have that creative outlet.
Dice has mentioned in the past that one of his preferred landing spots is All Elite Wrestling. That is still one of Zicky Dice’s goals as he is curious about what he could do if a company got behind him.
Damn right it is! Damn right it is. 110%. 110%, yes. Imagine if I had a machine behind me that believed in Zicky Dice as much as I do! Dude, possibilities are endless, try me and guess what? If you don’t believe, just bring me up there to the main stage anyways and let me and Scooch handle the rest. We’ll still keep the ball rolling. I’m not worried about a damn thing. My production will always stay top-notch.
** Pete Dunne will be in action on the 6/1 NXT show in a three-way to determine the next challenger to the NXT Championship. To preview the match, he spoke with Sports Illustrated and said if he could have a long-term program with any of the fresher names in NXT or NXT UK, he would work with Leon Ruff and A-Kid.
If I can pick one from NXT, someone I actually worked with recently, but it was very brief, it’s Leon Ruff. The way our styles are, and the way we are as characters, there is so much to be done. It would be a completely different style of match. We got a brief showing of that, but when live events are back, I’m excited to do more with him. Over in NXT UK, A-Kid would be the guy. He comes from a similar place from where I come from, but it was even more difficult because there is no wrestling at all in Spain—yet he’s still become one of the best technical wrestlers in the world. To do that, pretty much off your own back, it is so impressive. I can’t wait to have a match or two together and really show the world what he’s about.
** Stephen DeAngelis, former Major League Wrestling and ECW ring announcer is returning to MLW for their live show on July 10th at the 2300 Arena. DeAngelis talked to PWInsider about his return to MLW.
** INVICTUS Pro Wrestling announced AJ Gray versus Jacob Fatu for their show on 6/26.
** Asuka noted on Twitter that she did motion capture work for the Virtua Fighter 5 and Gal*Gun 2 video games.
I'm a motion actor for many characters from Virtua Fighter5 https://t.co/ITX9qjCvk9
— ASUKA / 明日華 (@WWEAsuka) June 1, 2021
** Alex Hammerstone hit the two-year mark as MLW National Openweight Champion.
** Robbie Eagles chatted with Dean Olsen and Eric Mack on The EPW Exchange podcast.
** Booker T, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Diamond Dallas Page will be a part of Planet Comicon in Kansas City, Missouri.
** Joey G. of Wrestling Headlines has an interview with Amber Nova. She discussed the growth of women’s wrestling throughout her time in the business. While there have been great improvements, Amber feels more can be done.
Thank you, it’s very inspiring and wonderful with how far women’s wrestling has come in the past few years. From divas to Superstars and wrestlers but still, it would be nice when we have more women and the women we do have get more time on tv. Lance Storm has been doing the percentages of how much time the girls get compared to the guys on TV and the percentages are still pretty low. I hope that changes in the near future.
** Brie and Nikki Bella spoke to TODAY.com about parenthood.
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.