POST NEWS UPDATE: CM Punk in talks for an in-ring return, per report

CM Punk update, QT Marshall on being told he would not wrestle in AEW, Jericho's babyface run, Mickie James talks IMPACT return, more

Photo Courtesy: WWE

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.

** According to a report from Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select, CM Punk has been in talks about making a return to the ring. The site added that there are no details about if a contract has been signed, a return date or future creative plans but conversations are ongoing as far as Punk’s return to in-ring competition goes.

He last wrestled in January of 2014. Since his departure from WWE, Punk ventured into MMA and had two fights in UFC. Punk is also appearing in the ‘Heels’ series alongside Stephen Amell. While speaking to Renee Paquette in December of 2020, Punk was asked what it would take for him to return to wrestling and he weighed his options between AEW and WWE.

Well, I think the landscape is currently much different than when I left, right? You could play the game where you’re like, ‘Oh, if AEW was an option, you would have gone right after you left WWE.’ If you’re gonna play that game, there’s no way they would have handled it the way they handled it with suspending me for two months and nobody contacting me and then, the next thing I know, I get release papers on my wedding day. That wouldn’t have happened if there was an AEW because then they probably would’ve approached me and been like, ‘Hey, your suspension’s up. Ready to come back to work? Like let’s work this out,’ you know? Or handle it like any other sports organization would’ve handled star pitcher f*cking going home. They’re not just gonna let him leave the team, they’re not gonna let him go to a rival organization. What would it take? Oh gosh. Without wanting to insult anybody on either side of the fence, any WWE talent, AEW talent, it would take, above all, an interesting scenario. A story that would be fun to tell. Also, just the stupidest amount of money. But they could save themselves a whole lot of money if they just presented a fun storyline. Now what that is? I don’t know. I’m a pretty picky guy, especially at this point. I think there’s more interesting people on the AEW side of things for me to wrestle but that’s just because I’ve never wrestled them before. Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, talking about your husband [Jon Moxley], I look at that and I go, ‘Well I wrestled him already, so it’s just less interesting than something new’ and on the WWE side of things, I don’t know that there’s anybody there currently that I haven’t wrestled that I’d be interested in wrestling.

** Matt Cardona, Brian Myers and Mark Sterling welcomed QT Marshall onto The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast. QT brought up missing the first round of talent scans for action figures in 2019 and Cody Rhodes telling QT that he didn’t need to attend the scanning session because he would never be a wrestler in AEW.

I’m like, ‘Tony, can I get scanned at least?’ Well the worst part is they sent the list to scan people and someone messaged me like, ‘Hey, are you getting scanned?’ I was like, ‘I didn’t know what it was. When are we doing it?’ And I wasn’t on the list so I nicely asked, ‘Hey, I don’t know if I need to be free that day’ and then they came out like, ‘Yeah, you and Anthony Ogogo need to get scanned. We just forgot to put you on the list.’ Like there were two open time slots so it wasn’t like they were just being nice to me but still it was like, I was trying to tiptoe around asking without like, ‘Hey, what the hell?’ You know? Because I had already missed the first batch back at All Out 2019 and I remember I missed that and the concussion protocol and that was because I told Cody [Rhodes] like, ‘Hey, do I need to go to this?’ He’s like, ‘You’re not a wrestler. You’re not gonna be a wrestler in AEW’ and I was just like, ‘Okay, well I’ll just go back to f*cking just sitting here on my hands while everyone else is [getting scanned].’

At WrestleMania 27, QT was an extra in Triple H’s entrance. He talked about losing a piece of memorabilia from that entrance.

I was an extra at WrestleMania with Triple H with the shield, from WrestleMania 27. I don’t even have the shield. That’s how bad I am at holding onto things. They made us take it. They were like, ‘You need to take this home with you’ and I was like, ‘Yeah sure,’ and over the course of moving so many times, I don’t know where it went so, yeah.

** Independent talent Lady Frost guest appeared on Jade Chung’s ‘See You Next Tuesday’ podcast. Lady Frost told the story of how she and fellow wrestler Victor Benjamin, who is her significant other were having conversations with Mike Quackenbush and CHIKARA as WWE wanted to purchase CHIKARA to put it on the WWE Network. These conversations were held pre-pandemic and prior to Quackenbush being named in the #SpeakingOut movement.

We [herself & Victor Benjamin] were in talks with CHIKARA who was under a deal with WWE to buy their product for their Network, and Mike Quackenbush was the coach at the time and I’m sure he doesn’t have the best rep on the internet but we absolutely adore his coaching. He took us to a different level mentally, physically, tag-wise, psychology, all of it. We were driving two-and-a-half hours each way from Baltimore to Philly just to train with him once or twice a week. Yeah, he was that valuable so, when he asked us to come, we had to make a decision kind of how it was going with Ring of Honor or if we wanted to work with him under WWE essentially. There was no guarantee either way but I know the coaching was like, you know, a really big factor in us moving to Philadelphia so, after selling our house in Pittsburgh, moving to Baltimore, we then moved to Philadelphia and then the world shut down because of COVID-19.

Lady Frost had her first sanctioned match in 2018 on Monday Night Raw. She wrestled Asuka on the show. She detailed how that opportunity came to be.

Well, technically I debuted on WWE Monday Night Raw.

Yes, I wasn’t even trained. I was a manager. Like I didn’t have shoes, I had Nike’s on. I was a manager for my husband. I had done some training, bumping but like, I barely even knew how to lock up. I knew what it was but I was not a wrestler in training really. So yup, we did an extra loop. We were extras and they needed a female for essentially like a squash match and I was pretty much the only one available at the time and I was like tested out in the ring a little, they gave me a sheet of paper for a promo. The guy came back I think to ask me a question within two minutes and I had already had the promo down and he looked at me bewildered. He asked to me to recite it and I did and he was like, ‘Uh, one second please.’ He left, came back and then next thing you know, I was on live television with a live mic and had like a 30-second match that was very forgettable but the promo, the promo was alright. I was trending on Twitter. I didn’t even know what Twitter was, I didn’t know what independent wrestling was. It was an interesting in. It was a bumpy road into independent wrestling when you debut on Monday Night Raw. I was not very liked. But yeah, that’s my story.

Frost and Victor Benjamin were a part of the Ring of Honor Dojo at one point. They moved everything to be closer to the Dojo and began to reside in Baltimore, Maryland. Things did not work out following Benjamin’s neck surgery.

We had a wedding, he [Victor Benjamin] had neck surgery, we sold our house and we moved to Baltimore for Ring of Honor, all in like a week. Like a week.

No [he didn’t wrestle right after surgery]. We went to the [ROH] dojo and I wrestled for three months before he was cleared. He started slow. It was like a — I don’t wanna say a ‘volatile’ situation there but it was not super welcoming for him to like come back and start bumping. They just really were like, ‘Whatever kid.’ So, yeah, he was just uncertain of how it was gonna go. He had taken so much time off and we had moved our life because I did the tryout, they said yeah, ‘Move out here. You can be a part of the dojo’ so we did. We sold our house, we moved there. Yeah, so that was an interesting phase of life.

** The Hollywood Reporter has a feature story about how the Jungle Cruise film starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson came together. Johnson reflected on contracting COVID-19 in the Summer of 2020 and his housekeeper catching the virus and taking it back to her family.

It was very scary. I couldn’t control it because then the nanny took it home to her family. And then the housekeeper took it home to her family, and they were a little older there. And you don’t want to be the fire-starter that then causes all this bedlam and fear. But luckily we all got through it, thank God. I’m always going and going and going. It really forced me to stop and slow down.

** David LaGreca and Tommy Dreamer welcomed Mickie James onto Busted Open Radio. This past Saturday, James made her return to IMPACT Wrestling at Slammiversary and she will be appearing on this week’s IMPACT on AXS. James explained what it means to her to come back to IMPACT and use her ‘Hardcore Country’ theme again.

It is, it is very exciting. I was very grateful to be able to show up at IMPACT and obviously, there’s a part of my heart, to hear Hardcore Country again but then walk back to the locker room, it’s like we often forget because we get up in our own little bubbles that we have friends everywhere. It’s such a small universe, this wrestling world, you know? And so it’s like to be able to walk back and it kind of felt like — to see so many friends, to see your face there, it felt really, really good and to go out there because often too I think, leaving and then kind of feeling so disheartened in that moment and even though you know it’s not the truth and you know it’s not your truth, it’s just really cool to have the fans validate that — that you know, you did do something special somewhere along the way, so I’m grateful.

NWA’s all-women’s event Empowerrr will be produced by Mickie. The NWA Women’s Tag Titles are being brought back into play and there will be a tournament to determine the challenger to the NWA World Women’s Title at 73rd Anniversary. James said that Billy Corgan has left the majority of the responsibilities for this forthcoming progression of NWA’s women’s division in her hands.

He’s [Billy Corgan] legitimately giving me the whole space to do it myself. He’s not really chimed in at all, for Empowerrr at all and just said like, ‘You just book it’ and obviously if there’s going to be stuff that we’re crowning the first-ever NWA — well not first-ever. We’re bringing back, re-crowning the NWA [Women’s] Tag Team Champions which haven’t been represented since like 1983, and then the Cup, we have this Cup. We’re introducing the first-ever NWA Women’s Invitational and the winner of that Cup will go on to face the champion the next night, whoever the champion is after Empowerrr. So those are two kind of big things we’re introducing. It was my idea to do the Cup and we had talked about the tag championships and so he’s having those made. I’m very excited about that.

As far as who James will be wrestling at NWA 73, she has left that choice up to Billy Corgan and as of the podcast recording, she is not aware of who her opponent will be.

At NWA 73, the next night, I don’t know [who my opponent will be]. I told Billy [Corgan] that I would leave that in his hands since he’s allowing me to do Empowerrr the first night. I’ll obviously be on the show, come out and do the waves and thank everyone for being there but I really am trying to set it up strictly for the women then save my match for the next night because I just feel — you’ve been doing this a lot longer than me Tommy [Dreamer] so, I feel like — and maybe I’m wrong but I just felt like my energy would be split. I’m so focused. I really want this show to come off well, I want the women to look amazing and just kind of the whole thing to be applauded at the end of the day and I didn’t wanna split my heart and my energy in the sense of like I’m worried about my match and the show, you know what I mean? So I told Billy that I would wrestle on NWA 73 and I told him whoever he wanted, whatever that match was. Is that terrifying or is that good? It’s terrifying but I’m excited. I’m excited. It’s gonna be amazing. I don’t know who it’s gonna be. The thing is there’s a plethora of incredibly talented women out there, so, you know.

** Chris Jericho went live on Facebook for his Saturday Night Special to promote his new book. At AEW Fyter Fest on 7/21, Jericho is taking on Shawn Spears. Jericho said he is looking forward to his babyface run in AEW which kicks off tonight.

I’m excited to be a babyface because like I said, there’s a couple tricks about being a babyface that a lot of the modern guys haven’t picked up on or maybe it’s gone away but there’s a basic premise of what a babyface is that a lot of guys have forgotten that I will try to implement in my babyface run in AEW which will start this Wednesday by the way with the first ‘labour’ of Jericho out of the five ‘labours’ of Jericho. Jericho versus Shawn Spears. Spears is allowed to use a chair, I am not so I’m excited about this match. It’s my first match since I think April when I worked with Dax Harwood.

** The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast welcomed Trish Adora onto the show. Despite being defeated in the ROH Women’s Title tournament qualifier, Trish still received entry into the tournament. She stated that she was not aware she would still be a part of the tournament and was surprised by Maria Kanellis-Bennett’s news.

No, I did not [know I’d still be getting into the tournament]. I did not. I was like, ‘Alright, let’s chat,’ you know? I knew at that point. I’d lost my match so I was kind of like, ‘Okay, I wonder what the next step is?’ And they sprang that on me and I was like, ‘Oh okay, cool.’ I was like, ‘Cool, can I come right now? I’ll leave right now. I have all my stuff packed right now.’

This past February, Trish wrestled a 60-minute match against Tony Deppen for Beyond Wrestling. Trish expressed that every layer of that match and how it came together was nerve wracking.

That was nerve wracking. Just every layer of that too. It kind of came about like early February and when the date got set for, you know, Valentine’s Day, I was like [shocked]. I’m thinking like, ‘Alright, maybe they’ll say it’ll be in August or something’ but they were like, you know, the date had got set pretty early, the challenge got laid. I felt like I was kind of caught up in a whirlwind and I had very little time to get ready which is why you kind of just stay ready. You kind of stay in third gear so something like that is very trying on just mentally and physically, and there were no fans there too for that as well so, that really — my lifeblood, I really felt completely out of my comfort zone then, you know what I mean? And just working for the first time under the Beyond [Wrestling] banner. I hadn’t met Tony [Deppen] prior and it was just all pressure. I’m so just trying to go through all those paces and just making sure I was keeping myself right. Those time cues, they echo in my head sometimes. When I’m all alone, I just hear those time cues and I’m just like, ‘Ah.’

** EC3 has spoken in the past about how he feels WWE used an idea he pitched for his character and turned that into Raw Underground. He further elaborated on it while on ‘Drinks With Johnny’. EC3 can envision a scenario where one of the WWE writers watched his underground fight club video and then pitched it to Vince McMahon.

In theory too, it was an idea that was part of my long form pitch about where I wanted to take the character. I don’t think there was a malicious intent to seek out something and take it from this bastard we wanna destroy more so than probably one of the 9,000 writers that are running around trying to save their jobs constantly, scatterbrained, thinking of new things [and] says, ‘Why don’t we have an underground fight club!?’ While my video’s playing on their phone and Vince [McMahon] is like, ‘Yeah! We’ll call it Raw Underground and my son will lead.’

** published the latest edition of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s Ace’s HIGH series. Tanahashi discussed working with a torn ACL and PCL from 2001 to 2008:

I knew I had injured the quad in the Champion Carnival, like we talked about, but when I went to get that looked at, they found I’d torn the ligaments as well. But the truth was, it wasn’t the Carnival that did it- I’d been carrying that injury since 2001 (laughs).

For seven years, yep. I wrestled Silver King, and when I went to pick his leg, he countered with a basement dropkick. My leg bent back the wrong way; looking back, that has to be when it happened. Couple weeks after that I was teaming with Kensuke Sasaki against the Steiner Brothers; it’s a miracle that happened…

** Ohio State Buckeyes basketball player Seth Towns was contacted by WWE about a tryout.

** Dayton 24/7 Now caught up with Otis for an interview. He spoke about the change that his on-screen character has undergone since Heavy Machinery split. Otis has been paired with Chad Gable for a number of months.

I ran into Chad Gable a few months ago. I’d say maybe six or seven months ago and he’s told me what he thinks I should — because back in 2020, I was Money In The Bank, I had my beautiful girlfriend Mandy Rose and I kind of lost everything. I even lost my brother in Tucker Knight so, right now, that was the low of lows so Mr. Chad Gable, my coach, my mentor has come in to basically rethink how a person is supposed to be liked here in this world of sports-entertainment and I’m just basically destruction right now. Otis destruction basically because being a number one guy, you’re basically a wrecking ball for Chad Gable in the Alpha Academy so we have our strategies, our tactics and we’re going after those SmackDown Tag Team Championships or anybody else in the locker room, that includes anybody. Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, even Cesaro this past Friday night, knocked him. Yeah.

** Ahead of AEW Fyter Fest night two, Bleacher Report chatted with Eddie Kingston. While reflecting on the social media rallying that led to him getting signed to AEW last Summer, Eddie thanked those who said he did not get a fair shake in wrestling up until his signing. He added that the opportunity likely didn’t come earlier because he was in his own way.

To the people who said I never got a fair shake, I want to say thank you. But I messed up a lot. For instance, telling a certain promoter to f–k off or telling one of those boys who has stroke that he’s an assh–e. A close friend of mine once said: ‘We were all just waiting for you to get out of your own way.’ So it wasn’t me not getting a fair shake, it was me not letting myself get a fair shake. I don’t like blaming other people for anything. I know me and I know how I am.

As far as what Kingston does when he’s not wrestling for AEW, he has become a familiar face at the American Top Team facility and is working on his ground game.

Cleaning my clothes from the road. That’s what keeps me busy. I do Muay Thai at American Top Team in East Orlando. I’m doing more grappling. I should do more jiu-jitsu but it’s very intimidating. I play a lot of sports video games. I am that guy in the video gaming community who only plays sports games. I go to the gym and stuff like that.

** Pro Wrestling Illustrated spoke to NXT’s Franky Monet. Monet said WWE has always been her end goal and she would not change anything about the route that has led her to the sports-entertainment company.

Yes, I always saw this as the be all and end all. I mean, it’s the WWE. This is where you wanna be. This is where you come to be seen, to be around the best sports-entertainers in the world so ultimately I knew that this was my end goal. Of course there’s times when I was like, ‘Is this gonna happen? Is this not gonna happen?’ But, just like I said, I had this vision. I’m a very determined person when I have something in my head and I’m going for that, I can never be told ‘no’. I will continue to claw my way to, you know, prove that I belong or prove that I am as good as I am or whatever it is, you know? So I’ve just always been very determined and that stubbornness maybe to a certain level got me here and it’s taken me over a decade, I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is exactly where I’m meant to be in this moment. The universe has a plan. Like it always has a plan. It tests us so many times along the way, but this is where I’m meant to be and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of the WWE universe and a part of NXT.

** Levi Cooper, the former ‘Tucker Knight’ did an interview with Wrestling Inc. He told the site that Otis’ flirting with Mandy Rose on social media was initially done as a joke to mess with her significant other, Tino Sabbatelli.

He just did it on social media. He’s the man. It was just a joke to mess with Mandy’s boyfriend at the time, Tino Sabbatelli. I mean, not just to mess with him, but it’s like, ‘Hey, do you think if I do this thing on social media where I just ask Mandy to be my girlfriend all the time, that would be super cringy?’ And I’m like, ‘No, dude, that’d be pretty funny, I think.’ He just started doing it and talked to her, and she was like, ‘Oh, I like it. People are into it. Keep doing it. It’s funny,’ and so anytime she posts a pic, he just takes that picture and was like, ‘Oh, Doz’s future girlfriend’ and posts it right. It just started getting over and became a WrestleMania match. Take your shot, baby.

** ‘Metro’ pushed out another portion of their interview with Bayley. She told the site that some of her favorite matches of her career have taken place at house shows and named a match that involved Charlotte and Ric Flair as one of those bouts.

I’ve had some of my favorite matches that nobody will ever see on TV. The first one I can think of is our first show out of Florida with NXT, the first time we traveled outside of the state. It was in Columbus, Ohio and I wrestled Charlotte. Ric Flair was out there with us, he managed her. That was our first time out and the crowd was so ready and so insane and so there for everybody. But being out there with Charlotte was so fun, and having Ric there, just him reacting and feeling everything from the crowd was great as well.

** During a virtual signing with The Asylum Wrestling Store, Lance Archer shared that his favorite match in AEW thus far was against Rey Fenix. Archer believes that one would have to be a bad wrestler to have a bad match with Fenix.

I mean if we’re talking AEW, I think my best match to date with AEW just — was with Rey Fenix and he’s just so amazingly good that it’s hard — in my opinion, you have to be really bad to have a bad match with Rey Fenix, and he and I were able to go out there and put on a really cool classic, big versus little man type thing. He was flying and going and running and gunning and I was blasting, slamming the crap out of him and it came out in my favor in the end and I think it just made it a lot of fun for us. Me more so because I won and then for the fans that were watching, absolutely.

** Foxtel and WWE have come to terms on a long-term deal. Foxtel is an Australian pay television company.

** Kylie Rae vs. Lee Moriarty was added to Freelance Wrestling’s July 24th event.

** Game Changer Wrestling announced that Penelope Ford will be competing on day two of their ‘Homecoming’ show[s] on July 25th.

** nZo (Enzo Amore) joined The Rob Breaux Show.

** Sports Illustrated published an article about Odyssey Jones, who advanced in the NXT Breakout Tournament on 7/20.

** Tom Prichard dove into his training of The Great Khali on the latest episode of ‘Taking You To School’.

** Ahead of challenging for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title at Wrestle Grand Slam, Robbie Eagles spoke to NJPW’s official website. 

** Below is a new episode of Reality of Wrestling TV:

** NXT UK’s Dave Mastiff turned 37 on 7/21. Ring of Honor’s Beer City Bruiser is 43 today.

** Flo Rida will be performing at Titus O’Neil’s Back to School Bash on August 7th at Raymond James Stadium.

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 3680 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.