POST NEWS UPDATE: TJ Wilson talks producing Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair at WrestleMania

TJ Wilson on producing Banks vs. Belair, Wesley Blake on his WWE release, Anthony Bowens, Tucker on his future and tons more

Photo Courtesy: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

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.

** TJ Wilson appeared on ‘That 90’s Wrestling Podcast’. Wilson is currently a producer for WWE and he worked with Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair to put together their match at WrestleMania 37. Wilson commented on what it was like being a part of the creative process for that match.

I mean, it’s always very cool and special to see, like with what I do now, we kind of — it’s cool to have an idea and then to see it come to fruition and kind of come to life in 3D, it’s a very cool thing on every level. So when it’s the main event of WrestleMania, it’s almost indescribable and I’m not gonna — not that we’re gonna sit around and take credit for other people’s work but it was a fun process and it was a hell of a performance to watch and to be a part of, even a small part of it or whatever part of it I was, it was very cool to experience the entire thing from start to finish. It was very exhilarating and a thrilling, fun ride, like I said, from start to finish.

As the conversation went on, Teddy Hart’s name came up. Hart has made numerous headlines over the past several years for his troubles outside the ring. Wilson feels that Teddy has a natural instinct to battle authority, but when Wilson is around Teddy in person, nothing is ever unusual.

Maybe, or it’s just kind of funny, I don’t know if — I don’t know. It’s funny because I’ll be around him [Teddy Hart] and everything, he’ll be great. Like when he was in FCW, it wasn’t, like you said, it wasn’t very, very long. It was a few months but, we did a few tag matches and they were great. He was doing great. He just — and I get it. I think we all have it a little bit. With Teddy, I think he has it a little bit more intensified when it comes to that, authority. I think he — someone tells him something, his natural instinct even if he knows the person is 100 percent giving him great advice, his natural instinct is to try to battle it for some reason and I think some, not everybody but some of us have a little bit. Like I have a little bit of that in me too. I understand where it comes from, but I also can understand — I can differentiate when it’s time to go with it and when it’s time to maybe dig my heels in a little bit and I think that might be the difference. I think he always — his instinct is always to kind of combat authority a little bit and I think from there it kind of snowballs. That’s what I think. I’ve been around him since — his very first match is in a tag match against me. It’s both of our first matches so both of our careers have been together. A lot of it has been with each other and this is just what I’ve witnessed. I don’t think a lot of his trouble when it comes to the wrestling world, I don’t think a lot of it — I don’t think a lot of is intentional. I think maybe it becomes an authority thing and then it kind of snowballs and takes on its own life. That’s at least my experiences.

Wilson was asked to name some of his favorite matches that he’s produced. He listed the Banks versus Belair match, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler versus Tamina and Natalya at WrestleMania 37 along with the tag match on SmackDown that concluded with Bayley turning on Sasha.

It’s hard to go against that Sasha [Banks]/Bianca [Belair] match, but I’m very proud of that tag title match the very next day too. 26,000 fans chanting for Tamina. Tamina’s a very, very good friend of mine. I don’t know. I think she might’ve been signed for two or three months and then got called up with The Usos so she was literally just thrown into the deep in and she did great and I’d work with them three or four nights a week every week so, I’m very familiar with — and I would kind of help her out on the road in terms of at the ring and stuff. So man, I mean that and another match that I’m very, very proud of is — I mean a lot to be honest. I’m blown away by the girls, by the women of WWE. I’m blown away by them, I’m really in awe of them all the time. They surprise me all the time and just when I think like, ‘Okay, these guys are that good, I get it now,’ they still surprise me. Take it another level, another level, all of them across the board. They’re so cool to be around and just how hard they wanna work and another one would be Sasha and Bayley against Nia [Jax] and Shayna [Baszler] when Bayley turns on Sasha after. I’m very proud of that match. I love that match. It was so many twists throughout the entire thing that it just was cool. It was a different version of a traditional — a different take on tag team wrestling that I really, really love that match.

Following Shawn Michaels’ match against The Undertaker at WrestleMania 25, TJ caught up with Michaels backstage. It was there that he gave Bret Hart’s number to Shawn and the two spoke some time later. Wilson said the phone conversation was a decent start to getting Hart and Michaels in contact, but they needed to see each other face-to-face.

So, then, I think Nattie had mentioned it to Bret [Hart] and then he and I had a very long talk. He called me and asked me about the conversation and we just kind of talked a lot back and forth and then at WrestleMania 25 when Shawn [Michaels] and Undertaker had that amazing match, I followed Shawn to the locker room and then I — I think I gave him Bret’s number that day and then he called later, like way later on but that was kind of the start of that but the truth is those two hadn’t seen each other face-to-face. That was too big of a thing and they’re both just too talented and I think they had to see each other face-to-face. They couldn’t talk that one out over the phone.

During his time in WWE, TJ was a three-time Tag Team Champion with Davey Boy Smith Jr. Following the Night of Champions event in 2010, Wilson and Smith Jr. split and TJ stated that it was his idea to split the duo and explained why he wanted to break apart:

So that was my pitch to break up but it was because I thought I saw the writing on the wall. I kind of saw that — I knew we were losing the tag titles which is fine. The second you win the titles, you gotta know that you’re losing it too, so I knew we were losing the tag titles then I figured, ‘Hmm, we’ve been heels and we’ve been babyfaces already so, what more can we really do?’ I was like, ‘Man, I think to kind of preserve our tag team, rather than just — now we start losing all these matches after I thought we put in a lot of good work for a year-and-a-half,’ I was like, ‘Now let’s wrestle each other’ because I already know what type of chemistry Harry and I have so I was like, ‘Let’s wrestle each other. Let’s kind of keep this tag team somewhat pristine. Let’s not run this thing into the ground,’ and I remember calling Harry and asking him, I said, ‘Hey man, here’s the thing: I think we’re losing the titles. That’s not a problem, I’m not mad about it, it’s business, it’s cool.’ I said, ‘But now we just gotta take the next step.’ I said, ‘My next step is this: I think we should break up, I think we should wrestle each other’ and he said, ‘Yeah. I love our matches.’ ‘Okay, me too.’ I said, ‘Which do you prefer? Do you wanna be a babyface or a heel?’ And he thought that he made for a better babyface and I was like, ‘Okay, no problem’ and then Night of Champions, the day we lose the tag titles in Chicago and I talk to Vince [McMahon] and kind of pitch him this whole thing and didn’t quite go exactly how I pitched it but he took some elements of it.

The British Bulldog was formally inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame this year. Wilson understood the reaction from those who felt he should have gone in sooner, but Wilson felt it was inevitable that he would be inducted at some point.

It was so awesome. I see people say this and I understand where they’re coming from. They’re like, ‘Oh, it’s about time’ but to me, it’s not a race. It’s not a race. It’s, ‘Where does everything fit perfectly?’ It’s not a race. I knew Davey [Boy Smith was] gonna go into the Hall Of Fame. Is it in 2010 or is it in 2020? That’s all, it’s just time. I knew that it was inevitable, but it’s very cool that now, it has finally, officially happened and I’m very happy for Harry, Georgia and Diana that they got to be a big part of that and have that moment and I know it wasn’t — it wasn’t the usual setting and that’s just the way the world is at this moment but I thought it was still a beautiful tribute, a very nice — a great presentation all things considered.

** Dave LaGreca and Tommy Dreamer welcomed Anthony Bowens onto Busted Open Radio. In early March, AEW President Tony Khan publicly shared that Bowens had been out of action with an injury. Bowens opened up about that period of his career and said he had been working injured since his first night in AEW. The next day, he signed his contract and continued working hurt so it would not delay he and Max Caster’s start in the company.

It was stressful because I knew I was banged up. Honestly I was banged up from the first night I got there. I never really told anybody this. I took a weird bump the first night before I signed my contract and I woke up the next day, I couldn’t get out of bed and I was like, ‘Oh no, I gotta sign a contract today and wrestle. I don’t know what I’m gonna do’ and I kind of made the wrong — not the wrong decision but I probably should’ve said something but I kind of just sucked it up and I gotta thank Max [Caster] because he carried the load for me for about two months and then my knee started bothering me and I’m just like, ‘I haven’t been injured in the eight years I’ve been on independent wrestling. When I finally get my break, I’m hurt.’ So I fought through for a couple of months and then it finally caught up to me and then I eventually had to get my knee scoped and have that cleaned up so it was a bummer, but at the time it was like listen, I have this opportunity to establish who The Acclaimed were. We had to make sure we got through the things that we did and we did thankfully and I rehabbed with Devon Storm/Crowbar. He killed me for six, seven, eight weeks. Four times a week, I made sure that I hit physical therapy hard so I could get back and be a lot stronger and I am and I think The Acclaimed have risen to the top of the tag rankings pretty quickly since I’ve back been and Max did a good job of carrying the load for the month-and-a-half for The Acclaimed.

Bowens spoke about the wiggle room that he and Caster have on TV. Tony Khan does not demand that Caster share the lyrics he’ll be saying on TV.

No, he [Tony Khan] pretty much lets out go out and be creative and that’s the — I guess the most rewarding part of this entire journey is that through our ascension, obviously AEW puts us in positions to succeed but it’s very much a sink or swim environment that we have. I think [we have] the best lifeguards to make sure we don’t drown and the fact that we’re connecting with people just by doing stuff that we thought of or we thought would be funny or like, ‘Hey, let’s just try this tonight.’ They allow us to go out and do it. It’s pretty rewarding, especially when you’re getting the result you want.

Elsewhere during the show, L.A. Knight guest appeared and he expressed his thought that NXT is the best wrestling product on television right now.

I don’t wanna sound like I’m here brown nosing, doing the company thing but I mean if I’m honest, I think NXT’s gotta be — I’m gonna say probably the best wrestling show there is on TV right now and I think that’s because there is a little bit something for everybody. Just the different creative juices that are getting moving and just the way that things work on that show, it’s next level.

** This past April, Wesley Blake was released from WWE after being with the company since 2013. He joined the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast and spoke about his departure. Blake ran through the series of events that occurred on the lead-up to his release and he and Buddy Murphy pitching to reunite the day before Blake was released.

I would say yes and no [the release was a shock], just for the simple fact so, we all know I was tagging with Steve Cutler, now known as Steve Maclin and we were doing the Knights of the Lone Wolf and we were working with [Baron] Corbin and stuff like that at the beginning of the year and towards the end of last year as well, and so we were very excited about it, we were happy to do it. We had known Corbin since NXT so were happy to be working with him and we had a lot of promising stories coming our way and stuff like that so we were very excited about the future of that. But then, as fate would have it, he caught COVID the beginning of this year and about two weeks later, he was released which was a huge shock, not only to him but myself as well and when he got released, they kind of told him that creative had nothing for him and so, with that being said, that’s when it kind of left me like, ‘Are we still just doing this Knights of the Lone Wolf with Baron Corbin?’ I know there was a halt on it but once he was told that, we — myself I should say, started thinking like, ‘Well, what’s the plan for me?’ And of course I reached out to the writers and stuff like that and of course they said, ‘Knights of the Lone Wolf will be no more.’ So, I started pitching ideas and stuff like that and the one idea that we came up with, which would be the fastest way to get me on TV was tagging with Buddy Murphy and I know at the time, Buddy was doing stuff with the Mysterios but that got dropped for [an] unexpected reason. I don’t know really why so me and him were just kind of left there and we started reaching out to each other and starting formulating, maybe we’ll pitch some ideas to get us back together. I think that would be — I always enjoyed wrestling with Buddy and we learned a lot from each other. That was one of the fun times in my career was wrestling with Buddy so we started doing that and I believe after Mania, I actually talked to him the day before I got released and he was going in to talk to the creative and some of the writers to see if we could make that happen but, unfortunately…

Blake, a former member of The Forgotten Sons alongside Steve Cutler and Jaxson Ryker, was taken off TV following a tweet Ryker sent out in support of Donald Trump during the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020. The trio were brought back to TV separately in late 2020, but they were told in September that they would be brought back as a trio and be repackaged.

We got a call in September as well. All three of us, we got a joint call saying that they’re gonna bring us back, you know, as Forgotten Sons, us three, we were gonna come back all together but they were gonna change our look a little bit. It wasn’t gonna be so military. They had an idea of bringing all three of us back together and then a month goes by, two months go by and we didn’t hear anything and then we find out in December that [Jaxson] Ryker went to Raw and we stayed on SmackDown and of course that’s when we were getting told we were gonna be with [Baron] Corbin.

The former NXT Tag Team Champion stated that he holds no bitterness towards WWE. He now views his time away from the company as a blessing because he was able to be home with his significant other, as they are expecting their third child.

No bitterness. I tell Steve [Maclin] and I tell my wife and anyone around me that everything happens for a reason and I believe that. I believe there’s no sense in being bitter when I can get up and try to make it better, you know? And so there is some good that came out of it. I mean obviously I was home for a while and luckily I was home because my wife is pregnant with our third so I was able to help the kids and stuff like that and just little things like that-that kind of, you know, little blessings that I see and that I like in my life that’s kind of helped me overall. My overall look and perception of things has left me better and left me not bitter. If anything, it’s probably made me better.

Blake held tag team gold with Buddy Murphy in NXT. As the duo were coming together, they were told not to invest in their team because it would not be a long-term thing. They were told it was just a way to get them both on television and get more reps.

I had to borrow someone’s boots and I had to borrow someone’s trunks so I could match his white [gear] so I was like completely borrowing other people’s stuff just so we could kind of look like a tag team and then that’s when me and him decided — it’s funny because we were told several times like, ‘Listen, we’re just trying to get you reps, we’re just trying to get you work. Don’t invest in this tag team. Do not get –’ but me and Buddy [Murphy] were just like, ‘You know what? I think this is our shot to try and get on TV.’ So we did. We went and got ourselves matching gear and stuff like that and that’s when we had a five-minute match. I wanna say it was against The Lucha Dragons where it was a ‘get over’ for them but when we showed up in matching gear, that’s when we kind of turned heads like, ‘Woah, okay. Maybe we should start doing something with these guys.’

** Heath is currently recovering after undergoing surgery for a sports hernia on the left side of his pubic bone, another hernia on the right side among several other internal injuries. He did a virtual signing for The Asylum Wrestling Store and said he’s hoping to be back in the ring in a few months.

I’m rehabbing. I’m getting better and everything so you know, hopefully in a few months I’ll be back swinging for the fences.

He reflected on some of his memories from his time in WWE. He once pitched to have an Intercontinental Title feud with The Miz. Heath stated that Vince McMahon liked it when he first heard it and a couple of weeks later, McMahon was not big on the idea.

And then, I’m pitching to go for the I.C. Title which Miz had at the time. So I wanted to do like Hollywood with The Miz versus country and hillbilly for me. So hillbilly was Hollywood, you know? So I do hillbilly things, he does Hollywood things. I try to take him to do hillbilly things, he’s like, ‘Nah man, this is awful.’ He tries to take me to do Hollywood things but I [don’t like it]. You know, that type of stuff. It could have been entertaining as hell, let me get the title. The following week, I lose it back to him, who cares? But it would’ve been a good storyline, good things and then Vince [McMahon] looked at me and loved it, two weeks later he hated it and wanted me to the do the story [of the tag team titles] and tag with Rhino so I’m just like, ‘What just happened here? You were all for it, now you’re not.’

The 3MB group consisted of Heath, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal. Heath originally asked for Jon Moxley, EC3 and Fandango to be a part of the group.

So Michael Hayes was all on-board for it. He’s like, ‘Heck yeah kid, you need a band. You should have a band.’ So, I pitched the idea to have me and this was before Fandango was Fandango, Dean Ambrose was Dean Ambrose and EC3 was EC3. So I pitched for those guys because they weren’t on TV yet. So they told me no on Dango, well at the time was Johnny Curtis. So they were like, ‘No, we got ideas for him.’ So I asked for Mox and they’re like, ‘No, we have ideas for him.’ I asked for EC3, they’re like, ‘No, not at all.’ I’m like, ‘Sh*t, well what are you gonna give me?’ So literally a month went by, Michael Hayes comes to me, ‘Hey man, we got you a band. You’re debuting your band tonight.’ I’m like, ‘Who is it?’ He’s like, ‘Jinder Mahal and Drew McIntyre.’ I said, ‘What? What happened with my idea, my pitch?’

Another group that Heath was a part of was The Corre, which was a spinoff of The Nexus. Heath was joined by Ezekiel Jackson, Wade Barrett and PJ Black. Ryback was supposed to be in Ezekiel’s place but he suffered an injury.

The Corre baby. We were so hot. Not as hot as Nexus, that’s for damn sure. That right there was like the watered-down version of Nexus to where it was supposed to [have] been Ryback and not big Zeke [Ezekiel Jackson] but Ryback broke his ankle and we was supposed to be The Corre of The Nexus and then when Zeke got threw in the mix, it was like, ‘What’s going on?’ It wasn’t the same. But big Zeke filled the role as big man knocking heads off so it worked a little bit. Hell, we got a Mania match out of that-that only lasted four minutes.

** Forbes published a feature story about All Elite Wrestling. Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars was interviewed for the piece. He initially thought the idea of AEW was not a good one but was also of the mindset that he’ll be leaving Tony Khan and his sister a great deal of money when he’s no longer here, so why not spend that while he is here.

I absolutely didn’t think this was a good idea. But I told Tony, ‘Look, when I’m dead and gone, I’m going to be leaving you and your sister a lot of money. Why don’t you blow some of that while I’m alive?’

Tony Khan commented on WWE being the number one company following their purchase of WCW. Khan is glad that WCW failed because that opened the door for AEW.

I’m glad that WCW failed because it created a vacancy for us to come in and succeed, but it made it a fairly bleak period for the wrestling business.

** Pro Wrestling Junkies hosted a virtual meet-and-greet with longtime WWE official Earl Hebner. Earl spent over 15 years with WWE/F but when asked which company he enjoyed working for more between WWE and AEW, Hebner chose AEW.

AEW. I love those guys. I just love them. It’s a different world in AEW than it is in WWE or WWF however you wanna put it.

Hebner shared that his daughter is currently training with Cody Rhodes. He’s hoping that she can become the next Gail Kim.

Well I want my son in the business. I don’t want my daughter in the business but, she’s at AEW training down there with Cody [Rhodes] and Cody’s giving her so much help that it’s unreal. So, hopefully she can be the next Gail Kim.

Throughout his tenure as a referee, Hebner received different offers from several companies including the UFC. He decided to not take the UFC opportunity because he does not like seeing people get legitimately hurt.

I had the opportunity to work for UFC, but I turned that down because I don’t like to see people really getting hurt on purpose.

** Levi Cooper, the former “Tucker Knight” in WWE was a guest on F4WOnline’s Left My Wallet show. Cooper spoke about what is next for him post-WWE. He’s interested in participating on a Bloodsport show and wants to show everyone that he’s far more than what was presented in WWE.

Big time, yes. Definitely interested in that [Bloodsport]. I’ve actually been doing Jiu-Jitsu myself. I’ve been getting back into that. You know, [I agree] with you on the stylistic fit. Actually, I’m planning on kind of stripping away some of the façade and sort of just reminding the world on a pro wrestling level where I come from, the reason why I got into pro wrestling in the first place and things that I’m capable of doing. I’m not just necessarily a butcher singlet, jean jacket-wearing guy who turned on his partner and got f*cked up by Ricochet. I’m a legit guy and I’m ready to put that back into the world a little bit and let everyone kind of remember what’s up.

** Bill Carr (Dutch) made his Ring of Honor debut at the 19th Anniversary pay-per-view and he is currently aligned with Vincent and The Righteous. He was a guest on ‘Brotherly Love Wrestling’ and explained how his ROH debut came to be.

Well, it was kind of out of the blue. So, I mean I’ve been friends with Vincent for a while now. They had — I can’t think of the other guy, Chuckles I think was one of the guys in The Righteous and he just wasn’t like a good fit so there was an open spot and it just kind of, like I said, came out of nowhere like, ‘Hey, if you want this.’ I know — he knows how I am with horror movies and everything. We like the same things and I’ve been wanting to do a character like this for literally like the last ten years so, I jumped on the opportunity and then I was told, ‘Yeah, you’re gonna be making your debut at the ROH 19th Anniversary pay-per-view.’ I was like, ‘Oh man, that’s a pretty big spot to be in right off the bat’ so, like I said, everything all came together real quick and really I don’t think I had time to really soak it in so, you know, it’s been great so far though.

Carr was signed to a WWE developmental deal early in his career. He recounted his run-in with the company’s former senior director, Mark Carrano. Carr said he knocked on Carrano’s door once, was told to come in and then Carrano began to shout at Bill for coming in and made him wait outside his office for two hours.

Being backstage at those shows [WWE], it’s like, okay, I have to shake everybody’s hand, introduce myself to everybody, don’t look anybody in the eye, go stand in this corner, make sure that nobody sees me. It’s a really stressful environment and they play a lot of mind games and everything. One specific time for me and I was under contract at the time and came home for like a Christmas break I think and we had a week off so we can come back home and Raw was up in Albany and I asked somebody if I could go up there and hang out and they were like, ‘Yeah, absolutely. Just show up, they know who you are. You’ll be good.’ So I get up there and was told, ‘Okay, just go tell Mark Carrano that you’re here.’ So I go to his office, knock on the door, I hear him say, ‘Come in,’ open up the door, walk in, looks at me, starts screaming at me. He’s going, ‘What the hell are you doing walking in unannounced? Not knocking,’ all this and that. ‘[If John] Laurinaitis was here, you’d be fired on the spot. Go wait outside my door and I’ll come outside when I’m ready.’ So I’m like, ‘What the hell just happened? What was that?’ Like I knocked, you told me to come in and now you’re telling me that I’m almost getting fired for not knocking. So he made me wait outside of his door for two hours before he came out and he came outside, opens up the doors and he’s like, ‘Okay, you’re here. Just go put your bag somewhere’ and I’m like, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ So they play a lot of mind games and he just got recently let go and I don’t like people losing their job but, I’m not mad or upset that he got fired. Everything that you read on this guy is 100 percent true. He’s not a good person at all.

** The National Wrestling Alliance is presenting an all-women’s pay-per-view on August 28th. Mickie James is going to be the Executive Producer of the event. James took to GAW TV and spoke about the partial inspiration behind the forthcoming show. She recalled being told that women’s wrestling does not draw money and that made her rethink the way she viewed the wrestling business.

For 80 years, we’ve watched wrestling, television wrestling from a male perspective. We’ve watched women go out there in storylines that men think that women are — that creates drama and so many times, it’s just not realistic and even though you would say some of these things, it’s like, ‘Well, you’re a wrestler so go be a wrestler’ and that’s cool, right? So then totally okay. Like I’m never ungrateful for those moments but I think that we have a genuine opportunity — the business is changing. The business is changing, the way people watch wrestling is changing and it’s damn time we present women in a professional manner in the way that women belong to be perceived [in] wrestling. We’re no longer a novelty act, right? I honestly — when I was told that women’s wrestling doesn’t make money, it really set me back. It set me back like, ‘What!?’ It does [set women back] and I know that but it really resonated with me because I think after that one conversation, it was a real defining moment for me because I go like, ‘What am I doing? Then what is all this for? What is this for?’ Because to me, women’s wrestling does matter. I’ve given my life to this business. I’ve missed birthdays, I’ve missed funerals, I’ve missed so many things because I love this business so much and we all have. You do it because you love it, but to feel like you’ve given up so much for something and it doesn’t matter, it was not cool with me and I’m just like, ‘I want to change that,’ you know?

** Code Orange, who created Bray Wyatt’s ‘Fiend’ theme are collaborating with NWA’s Billy Corgan.

** Chris Van Vliet sat down with John Cena for an exclusive interview. Cena feels that Roman Reigns has greatly benefited from the pandemic-era of WWE, as he’s been able to solidify the character he wants to present ahead of audiences coming back to WWE events in July.

I’m excited for the WWE performers [to be back in front of fans]. I know how hard it’s been and I don’t think I could’ve — amazingly enough, I don’t think I would have done very well in this atmosphere without an audience but I also think that this time without an audience has allowed performers like let’s say Roman Reigns for example to unobstructively mold his character. If you send Roman Reigns from city to city to city with paying audience after paying audience, there may be some audiences that don’t even care what he has to say. They just want to boo him, or cheer him or whatever. Without that, especially when developing a character, when trying to get your message across, when trying to hand somebody your business card, I think Roman Reigns has absolutely needed this time and in it, he has developed himself, his personality, found out who he is so now when he goes back to live audiences, they’re not confused. He spent this 15-month block defining who he is and he’s the one that could benefit from this whereas established performers, I think I really would have had a tough time with no audiences so I as a performer and what I enjoy out of the performance, I’m happy for the WWE to have crowds again. I really look forward to getting back in front of those crowds, but I’m just happy for everybody that their music can hit and they can feel that genuine excitement that makes all of our hearts beat.

** At NXT TakeOver: In Your House, L.A. Knight defeated Cameron Grimes to win the Million Dollar Championship. Knight spoke to PWInsider following the match and reflected on the win:

Well, it’s just crazy to think about. I mean, the very first time I saw the belt, the first question was, ‘That’s the real thing? That’s not a replica? That’s the real deal.’ ‘No, no. Oh geez, this is the only one that exists. It’s the real one.’ We get the name of the jeweler up in Connecticut that made it. And that blew my mind. You start to hear different stories. As a kid, I was there watching when it first popped up on the scene, when the thing actually happened and with Ted and he’s going into the jewelers in Connecticut and he’s getting it made. He’s checking on it and all that stuff and he brought it in and hit a home run with it. When I was a kid, I had the figure where he was wearing the green suit and it came with the Million Dollar Championship. So, that’s insanity to me to then walk in the door in NXT just four months ago, not even knowing that something like this was an option. You look at the NXT Championship and North American Championship, and those are things I’m gunning for, but then all of a sudden, wait a minute. Ted DiBiase? Million Dollar Championship? Hell yes, because you’re talking about just…I hate when people get too hung up on it’s a childhood dream and stuff like that, but you cannot deny the fact that this is on some level…it’s something that, if I wasn’t lying, a little bit overdue for myself. It’s been a long, storied road.

** Former WWE talent Mike Knox was a guest on Rewind, Recap, Relive. During his time as a member of WWE’s ECW brand, Knox was paired with Kelly Kelly on-screen. Knox stated that he did not want to be paired with Kelly because he knew the focus was not going to be on him as a performer.

Like I said, if you’re good, they come up with stuff for you. I didn’t wanna be Kelly Kelly’s boyfriend. I know what it’s like when you got a brand new character with a beautiful woman. They ain’t looking at your ass, you know what I mean? You will be forgotten. I was like, ‘Sh*t, that’s death.’

Knox was last in action in March of this year. He suffered a torn bicep and is currently recovering from that injury.

Nothing concrete [for me in the future]. I just tore my — I ended up tearing my bicep. I tore my bicep about three months ago, so I got three more months until the doctors are gonna clear me to do anything. So, it’s gonna at least be three months. ‘Till then, I’m your real estate heavyweight baby.

** FOX Sports’ Ryan Satin caught up with Drew McIntyre. McIntyre is aware of the comments that viewers want to see fresh faces in the WWE Title picture. He appreciates the criticism and doesn’t take it as people not thinking he isn’t working hard. McIntyre believes it has more to do with viewers wanting to see him on another spot on the card.

These days, because of my journey, all the ups and downs, I’m so hardened to criticism. But I never worry if it’s constructive criticism. I appreciate constructive criticism. I understand some fans may be like, ‘Ugh, I’d like a new fresh face in the picture,’ perhaps. Realistically, I have been fighting for the title or been champion for over a year now – which is a pretty significant time – but I don’t think anyone is saying, ‘Oh my goodness, Drew’s not working as hard as he can to give us the best matches possible and do the best he can with every interview possible.’ I think it’s more, ‘I would like to see something different here and see Drew do something different over here.’

** The film ‘UNCHAINED’ starring NXT’s Franky Monet is releasing on July 2nd.

** Ring of Honor’s Matt Taven joined the Wrestle Slam Podcast and gave his take on ROH possibly getting involved in the company crossovers. Taven thinks it could be good for ROH, but also thinks the company is solid on their own.

You know, it’s one of those things where you just never know. From one day to the other, this stuff just pops up all the time and you’re kind of finding out like everyone else is and you’re like, ‘Oh, I guess that’s happening now.’ So, in wrestling, they say ‘never say never.’ I would always be open to that. Wrestling is a huge community and the more you can kind of cross blend things, the better. The more you can kind of get different eyes on the product, the better obviously. At the same time, Ring of Honor is in such a great spot right now, just because there’s so much talent on the Ring of Honor roster that I really feel like just highlighting our talent alone, I think so many people would find themselves being bigger Ring of Honor fans if they just watched the show top to bottom because we have such an unbelievable group of talent and there’s so many people still that haven’t been able to come over in the UK.

** ‘The Sunday Post’ covered Piper Niven’s WWE Raw debut.

** During her appearance on the Wilde On podcast, Nikki Cross recalled several of her most embarrassing moments in wrestling. One of those occasions took place during a dark segment in-which SAnitY ambushed No Way Jose. Cross was supposed to give a dropkick from the top rope to Jose but she missed and had to redo it two more times.

The other one [most embarrassing moment] was the pre-recorded show and when I was coming off with a dropkick from — it was actually in Toronto. It was in Toronto. It was a TakeOver in Toronto and it wasn’t live though. It was a section that they record before it goes live and it gets aired on NXT a few days later and I was to be a part of SAnitY, run out, hit No Way Jose with a dropkick to the back and this is my big moment, this is my big moment! SAnitY’s a fresh, hot new act, this was my big shining moment, coming off the top rope and I missed. I f’ing missed, so I come up to the top and it was a bad idea because honestly, No Way Jose, love No Way Jose, his back was turned and it’s like, then I learned from that night, it’s really hard to take — ‘I wanna see it coming,’ do you know what I mean? So it was such a — and I feel bad for Jose because I would never want to be dropkicked in the back and I misjudged it and I just missed him but then because it was pre-recorded, they were like, ‘Okay, go up and do it a second time’ and then the second time, my teammates held Jose because they were like, they thought it would help me. It was an awesome dropkick but when you pre-record something like that, you need to go into it the same way so the first time they did it, they weren’t holding Jose, so then I had to do it a third time and by this point, the crowd are just crickets. They are like, ‘What is going on? There’s something so weird and she’s so crazy, she just keeps going’ because I was playing that character that was a little bit wild, a little bit unpredictable so they were like, ‘Is this just part of her character? Is she just dropkicking from the same rope three times?’ So the third time, I just felt horrible. It was the biggest crowd I had ever performed in front of and my heart just — I was in pieces. My heart sank, I was so sad but then you just — you pick yourself up and you get on with it.

** Renee Paquette and Jon Moxley were interviewed by ‘Metro’ prior to Renee giving birth to their child.

** The following matches have been added to AAW’s ‘United We Stand’ event on July 9th:

AAW Women’s Championship: Kris Statlander (c) vs. Allysin Kay
AAW Heritage Championship: Myron Reed (c) vs. Hakim Zane

** WWE 2K’s development team released the following video:

** Cesar Duran, the former “Dario Cueto” is scheduled for MLW’s Battle Riot show on July 10th.

** The Daily Press has a story about an independent show on 6/19 in DuBois, Pennsylvania. Al Snow is presenting the show and scheduled to compete are Sinn Bohdi, Lady Frost and several more talents.

** NJPW Kizuna Road Results (6/15/21) Korakuen Hall
– Zack Sabre Jr. def. Yuya Uemura
– Taichi def. Yota Tsuji
– Toru Yano & Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) def. Jado, El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori
– Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii def. Gedo, Dick Togo, Evil & Yujiro Takahashi
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Shingo Takagi) def. Master Wato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi

** Scorpio Sky appeared on Sippin’ The Tea TV with Ariane Andrew and Matt Dillon.

** Madi Wrenkowski spoke to Alicia Atout.

** Drake Maverick joined the Notsam Wrestling podcast to discuss The Conjuring movie series.

** Miami Herald’s Jim Varsallone chatted with Lilian Garcia.

** WWE’s Bayley turned 32-years old today.

** Xavier Woods, Tyler Breeze, Adam Cole and Cesaro played ‘WWE Undefeated’:

** Rosemary guest appeared on the Battleground Podcast.

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 2071 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.