POST NEWS UPDATE: AJ Lee expresses appreciation for what wrestling has done for her

AJ Lee reflects on her wrestling career, Ted DiBiase talks NXT storyline, note on how WWE distributes TV time, Cameron Grimes and much 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.

** April Mendez (AJ Lee) went live on Instagram with ‘MOSTe Girls’. She expressed how appreciative she is of pro wrestling for playing a big part in her childhood, leading her to meeting her significant other and the supportive fans that have stuck with her post in-ring career.

Oh my God. It [wrestling] was the most fun ever, besides all the injuries. But, I, along with loving comic books and escapism and fantastical worlds, wrestling was one of those things that made me feel safe when my environment and reality was anything but, and I could live vicariously through these characters that were real life superheroes in spandex and it was such a saving grace for me as a kid. I was 13 years old and I said, ‘I’m going to do that one day’ and I’m very stubborn and I just did it when I was 18, about 19. I had gone to school for film and television and I couldn’t afford it and so, let me follow my other passion and then when I retired, that then led me to following my other passion of film and TV so, to me it all starts in childhood and what you think is possible and having commitments. Yeah, so it was this childhood dream that got to be reality and I mean I found my husband [CM Punk] there, I found this fan base that is so loyal and beautiful and my wonderful weirdos. They have stuck by me. They go to like mental health conferences and they follow our journey as writers now and I think it’s really because I got the opportunity to represent a message and a mission and they kind of related to that mission and that message continues so, yeah. It was a great time.

** Ted DiBiase Sr. recently wrapped up the Million Dollar Title storyline in NXT with Cameron Grimes and L.A. Knight. He did a signing with K & S WrestleFest and shared that after his recent NXT appearance was over, the powers that be thanked him and said so long until they reach out to him again.

That’s what they said. They said, ‘Thanks Ted and so long until we call you again.’

Elsewhere during the signing, DiBiase spoke candidly about Virgil. He commented on Virgil’s actions such as setting up a merchandise stand in Grand Central Station and on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

It was very hard [working with Virgil in the ring]. I mean, you know, if he had any real wrestling talent, he could’ve done a lot more. But it just wasn’t there. You know, not a — I don’t know. He’s just a different guy. He’s not totally a bad guy but, you know, and I think now more than anything, he didn’t have anything else, he didn’t save his money. Desperate people do desperate things so, all that stuff, you know, him setting up a table and trying to sell pictures at Grand Central Station. It’s just — and then just other things that I’ve heard makes it hard for me to… do anything with him. Now, if a promoter asks me, ‘Can we bring Virgil in?’ I say, ‘If you want to, yeah.’ I don’t wanna deny the guy an opportunity to make a buck.

One of DiBiase’s closest peers in wrestling is Terry Funk. DiBiase shared that when he was thinking of joining the WWE/F, he ran that decision by Terry.

Terry [Funk] was not only a friend, Terry’s more like a brother. I’ve known the Funk family half my life and even my decision to go to the WWE, I ran by Terry Funk. Yeah. His father, my father had what is the longest wrestling match ever. A three hour, 15 minute Texas Deathmatch in 1966.

** Renee Paquette welcomed Ric Flair onto her Oral Sessions podcast. Ric gave his thoughts about Dark Side of the Ring releasing an episode about the Plane Ride From Hell. Flair joked that something like that would come out while things are going good for him.

God, I’ve heard about it too. Just when things are going good for me.

Listen, you [Renee Paquette] put me on your podcast after. We’ll see how it plays out, because I was there and I don’t care whose name I gotta drop if the heat falls on me. I know who was where and what and who and what took place. I know the whole story.

At the 2019 Crown Jewel show in Saudi Arabia, Flair led his team of five talents versus Terry Bollea’s team of five talents. Flair said he was supposed to take a bump from Roman Reigns but Vince McMahon did not approve of the spot.

When Vince [McMahon] called me and asked me to go to Saudi Arabia, I worked out like I was going to Saudi Arabia to wrestle, right? The doctor said, ‘You can get knocked down, you can do anything you want. Few things you’re not supposed to do’ but fear is I got that [pacemaker] taken out. The longer it’s in, the more muscle where it’s protected, right? So Roman [Reigns] made this big comeback and I got up to feed Roman, but Vince had told him, ‘Absolutely hands off.’ I understand it but like I said, what a way to go, right?

Flair addressed the idea of Charlotte Flair possibly leaving WWE. He said she would never leave and is the happiest she’s been in her career.

See that’s why I’m glad we’re doing this and doing it with somebody that actually understands wrestling, because you’ve been there. Our business is totally unique to itself from any other business. Social media beyond belief-wise, everybody wants to start some sh*t that didn’t exist. Ashley [Charlotte Flair] would never leave there [WWE]. She’s the happiest she’s ever been and obviously they’re not mad at me. She had won it [Raw Women’s Title against] Rhea [Ripley] anyway but she won it because they wanted her to.

** While doing a signing with East Coast Autograph Auctions, Sonny Kiss recalled the praise Arn Anderson heaped onto him after his TNT Title match against Cody Rhodes. Arn told Cody that he would’ve loved to have worked with Sonny in his prime.

So I think it’s amazing to even be in the same presence as the legends, but after my match with Cody [Rhodes], Arn [Anderson] said to Cody, ‘I would have loved to work Sonny in my day’ and I went — Cody told me that and I was like [flattered].

** KiLynn King and Red Velvet made it to the finals of the NWA Women’s Tag Title tournament at EmPowerrr. Prior to the event, KiLynn spoke to Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald for an interview. She stated that she hopes EmPowerrr helps her get more opportunities with the NWA.

I hope so [that EmPowerrr leads to more opportunities with NWA]. I just always wanna be working, you know? I love being in that ring, I love being around other women and just evolving and growing together. So, if this leads to more opportunities with NWA, I would definitely be open and excited for that.

King has been working with All Elite Wrestling dating back to May of 2020. She dove into the process of learning how to work on TV, finding the red light on cameras and being patient so the production team can capture those moments when talents are performing.

Well that’s what I was told because like, the first time I was on AEW and I wrestled Penelope [Ford], I can’t remember if anybody told me about the red light. They just said, ‘Always find the camera.’ I wanna say that’s what happened. So, I think they didn’t want me to freak out too much. I think they wanted me to just enjoy the wrestling, enjoy seeing like a bigger stage and seeing how I reacted to that and then it wasn’t until shortly after they were like, ‘All right, these are more of the details that you need to know in order to have really good moments and find — for us to get good angles of you so we can put you over even more.’ I’m getting better about finding the red light. Sometimes I just have to, you know, if I’m caught up — because for me, I get very into it, especially like when I’m rocking and rolling, I just kind of naturally react. I don’t try to plan too much. So for me, as long as I can find a camera and I can just hold my gaze there long enough that they’ll be like, ‘Okay, we need to switch it over here.’ That’s usually what I try to aim for, but with time I’m hoping that it’ll just be a natural, ‘Oh I see red’ and I just go so yeah, it takes time. Some people get it right away and some people it’s just like they’re more zoned in on what’s happening in the ring that sometimes it’s very easy to forget like, ‘Oh hey, we have all this other stuff coming out there.’ There have been times where I’ll go for a pin or I’ll be talking to the ref and I’ll forget about the cameras, even just for a split second and it can affect the visuals that they get for you so it’s a little bit harder to learn in my opinion than the wrestling but, it’s fun, it’s really, really fun because slowly over time you start to realize like, ‘Oh, this is why when this happens, nobody’s in a rush to get to the next thing because we have to capture these moments.’ It’s really, really cool.

Continuing with the topic of EmPowerrr, KiLynn said she did not know she was on the NWA and Mickie James’ radar. She was approached about the opportunity through people at AEW.

No, I didn’t [know that I was on the NWA/Mickie James’ radar]. I was actually approached by people in AEW, [they] said, ‘Hey, NWA is having an all-women’s pay-per-view and they’re interested in having you. Would you like to be a part of this event?’ And I just looked at them, I’m like, ‘Is that a rhetorical question? Of course I would love to be a part of the event.’ It’s an all-women’s pay-per-view, it’s an historical event and I’m all about empowering women so the fact that that’s what the actual event is about is just incredible so, I was incredibly honored when they asked me and the fact I’ve been able to spend the last couple of months being in contact with people like Mickie James and just getting to chew their ear off and work up to promote the show. It’s been a really cool experience and it’s been a very positive experience.

** NXT’s Cameron Grimes spoke with Quetzalli Bulnes on El Brunch de WWE. Grimes said he wants to finish the rest of his career in WWE and transition to working at the Performance Center in Orlando.

My dream is to stay here for the rest of my life. When I can’t wrestle anymore, I wanna continue to be here in the Performance Center. I wanna help train that next generation of wrestlers or anything that requires me to work here, I wanna be here.

** Cultaholic has an extensive interview with Mojo Rawley which covers a variety of topics concerning Mojo’s WWE career. He said that WWE uses social media analytics to determine which talents get more TV time.

I don’t know if the fans realize how much power their tweets have, but the company sees everything and there’s a social media report that’s compiled after every TV where they track all the tweets and see if they were generally positive or negative, how many views, how many retweets, likes, all that crap and they are delivered for every segment and that’s how they dictate TV time moving forward, in a way.

During his time with the company, Mojo did pitch to be a manager. He said it did not come to fruition because WWE is of the mindset that managers should not be taller than talent.

No [I have not had any conversations with other promotions]. I’ve made it pretty clear that I wanted some time off from wrestling. I have been contemplating and maybe coming in and doing some managing or hype man work for somebody. Of course it’s harder to do that because I’m probably — it’s harder to do that. I always pitched being a manager in WWE. I didn’t wanna only manage but kind of having like a faction and being the mouthpiece and representing but, they always said it’s hard to manage guys that you’re bigger than. You know, it’s kind of backwards. I’d be open to some things like that I suppose but again, I really haven’t reached out to anyone. I’ve made it clear for anyone that has inquired about me that I’m not wrestling at this time. I got a plan in place and for me to just jump right back in, that’s not the move. Like I said, you wanna take some time, build your name and then come back when it’s right.

There were a number of pitches that Rawley presented to the powers that be and one of those ideas was similar to RETRIBUTION. Mojo said that was the idea he was least interested in but figured it was the idea that WWE would be most interested in.

Yeah, I hate to say it and I don’t want this to be perceived the wrong way but, I submitted a bunch of pitches with — that were just a wide range of feasibility and just how many — there were some that were really out there and some not so much. The RETRIBUTION, I thought was the pitch I liked the least personally, but I thought it was the one they’d go for the most, because it was a little more in line with what they’ve done in the past, and it’s the one they ran with so, hey man, the guys know in the locker room too; you can come up with this outlandish pitch for you to win the title overnight but the odds of them going with it are very slim so…

Rawley has spoken in the past about the plan that was in place for himself and Rob Gronkowski in WWE pre-pandemic. They were going to team up at SummerSlam 2020. Mojo isn’t 100 percent sure, but he thinks their opponents would have been John Morrison and The Miz. They were also looking for a partner for Jinder Mahal as well.

We were searching for that. I gotta think it was gonna be Miz and [John] Morrison. You know, but, we were also trying to find a tag partner for Jinder [Mahal] because we had that whole moment with him in the Battle Royal at [WrestleMania] 33 so, I think it was gonna be something to there if we could find the right partner for Jinder but, either of those guys would’ve been perfect because man, those guys are fantastic workers. They would’ve made Rob look like a million bucks and we had a good plan in place for that one.

Prior to Mojo sporting the blue face paint, the other option was for him to wear a mask and he was not a fan of that option.

They had the idea to do something with my face. They were like, ‘You come off too eloquent when you speak. You sound too intelligent. With your facial reactions, it’s hard for people not to get with you or emote with you’ which maybe the first thing I could see what he was saying but the second thing I didn’t really quite get. He’s like, ‘So we either wanna put you in a mask or we wanna do face paint.’ I was like, ‘Ah, face paint please. I don’t wanna be in a mask at all. Screw that.’

While reflecting on the early days in WWE, Mojo recalled being recruited into the company and being told that he would have to look out for himself because he was coming into wrestling from a different space. It was relayed to Mojo that certain wrestlers may not want him there.

Yeah, I did [face some animosity coming into WWE from another sport]. I remember when I was first recruited, the man recruiting me told me that, ‘Coming in from football and not earning your stripes within this industry, there’s gonna be a lot of people that are gonna take it for granted. You might have to fight to defend and protect yourself, they’re gonna be gunning for you, cheap shot-ing,’ all this and that. ‘They’re not gonna want you here’ and I completely understood that to be honest with you because I know for me, you know, we talked about the football thing. I was always a walk-on. The non-scholarship guy, the guy that had to earn their stripes on the team so when they’d sign these five-star recruits to come and get literally handed and gift wrapped every opportunity, I mean the same thing in the NFL too. It’s just like — you know, I never took it out against the guy but I certainly didn’t appreciate it from the system. It’s like I’m here and I’m doing everything right so I knew coming in it was gonna be situation where some guys aren’t gonna appreciate this. NXT wasn’t what it was. It was FCW, it was all homegrown talent, like career wrestlers, you know? Coming in as outsiders, even me, Baron Corbin and this other guy Brandon [Carter] that started in the NFL as well, we all kind of came in together. It’s kind of one of those things where they told us like, ‘You three need to stick together because they’re gonna be coming for you,’ so…

** Stephen Amell and CM Punk chatted over Instagram Live to promote the ‘Heels’ show. Amell recounted wrestling on Ring of Honor’s Survival of the Fittest show in 2017. He hurt his neck during the match after hitting a ‘Cutter’. Amell opted to finish the match and make all his spots despite being hurt.

The first Ring of Honor show that I did, I came in and I hit an RKO. It was my first time in the ring, but it was also the first time that I’d ever done an RKO and I went in, did it, came out and turned to one of The Young Bucks. I’m sorry, I can’t remember which one it was because I can’t remember much at this point and I said, ‘Are my ears bleeding? Or is there steam coming off of them?’ And they said, ‘No, why?’ And I said, ‘Because I’m having difficulty feeling anything north of my shoulders right now.’ I can move, I have feeling in my extremities but, my neck is jacked up and of course, this is a Ring of Honor show in San Antonio where I’m the fifth member of a six-on-five tag team match and I could’ve very easily begged off. To say nothing of the fact that I’m just there because I’m buddies with Cody [Rhodes] and you know, was trying to become part of the Bullet Club but, I stay in, I kept going. It eventually feels better and then after the match, I was in terrible shape.

** During the latest ‘Insight with Chris Van Vliet’ podcast, Steve Maclin joined the show and he feels that it did not make sense for Ricochet and Malakai Black to defeat him and Wesley Blake in the finals of the 2019 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. Maclin says it was known that Ricochet and Black were getting called up to the main roster but they still moved on to TakeOver for the title match.

There was a few times I felt like, obviously, you wanna be at the top. You wanna be a champion. There was times when the ball was kind of dropped on where we could’ve went, but it’s also just the creative mind of what Hunter had at that time, of where he wanted to go. Especially the Dusty Classic we had against Aleister Black [Malakai Black] and Ricochet. Did it make sense for them to go over at that time? Probably but at the same time, I didn’t think so and the booking standpoint, just because you knew they just got called up, that news came out like a week prior so now they’re scrambling for that and then they go to the finals just where they’re going to have a great match with The War Raiders at that time or The Viking Raiders and they went out and killed it but at the same time, you could’ve just built another team with a team that’s so high up on the freaking card as a tag team as The War Raiders and they get called up not even the next week either and it’s just — it’s insane but you can’t control that.

Maclin dove into how he got his start in wrestling. He shared that it was Fred Rosser who told him that when he gets out of the military, he should 100 percent go full in on wrestling.

It’s funny that I had a few friends who were on the independent scene wrestling and when I came home on leave one weekend, Darren Young, Fred [Rosser] now was with one of my buddies Jared at one of my hometown bars in East Rutherford at Railroad [Café] and it was just funny. He said, ‘Hey, you wanna talk to one of my buddies that’s in WWE?’ I’m like, ‘Hell yeah.’ I knew I loved wrestling growing up. He always tried to get me in a ring. I just was like, ‘There’s no way you could ever make that happen. I’m not 6’3, 255 pounds and above. I’m not Stone Cold, I’m not Hulk Hogan, like there’s no way’ and just speaking with Fred, it was one of those things where he just got that idea in my head. He’s like, ‘When you get out, you’ll have a good story. You already have a good story.’ He’s like, just give it a shot when you get out and if this is something you wanna do and pursue, just go all in about and one of the few things he did tell me too was never change who you are and just kind of stick to who you are and don’t let the business change you and that was one of those things that stuck with me and still sticks with me now and I try to pass that onto people nowadays.

** pushed out their conversation with Yota Tsuji who is going on excursion. As he was wrapping up with New Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi told Tsuji to do any and everything he possibly can overseas.

Yeah. I came to him [Hiroshi Tanahashi], because I really wasn’t sure what it is I should be doing, or how to approach wrestling overseas. He said, ‘This is your excursion, so you really should be trying to do everything you want’.

Tsuji gave his take on how Young Lions have traditionally been presented in New Japan. He feels that they should be able to have some character, which is why he did not shave his head and beard. He added that he would get criticized for showing too much personality, but he wanted to change the image for Young Lions.

The Young Lion tradition in NJPW is a deep one, but I always wanted to change the Young Lion image. There’s this strong idea of shaving the head and stripping all that personality back, but I think it’s important for the Young Lions to have a little character. That’s why I grew my hair out and kept the beard.

I know Young Lions are supposed to run to the ring and slide in. I’d be criticized and yelled at for walking out every so often, but I do like to think I might have changed the image surrounding Young Lions a little bit.

** Bully Ray and Dave LaGreca welcomed Tommaso Ciampa onto Busted Open Radio. Ciampa gave his take on the changes coming to the NXT brand. He stated that he is not going anywhere and added that the vision of NXT that Triple H and his surrounding crew have has not gone away.

I mean there’s always noise in wrestling, you know? That’s all I can chop it up for now and I did — I’ll be the first to admit man, I got caught up in it a lot, five, six, seven years ago, whatever it may [be] and you really — [there was a] point where I was reading the internet and keeping up on it and stuff and I tended to pull back a lot from that especially the last few years since having a daughter. I don’t know if it’s a combination of I don’t have time and I just realized that how little it affects my life. It’s rumblings, it’s rumors. I did see the logo and I don’t know, cool. I’m not very picky. I’m not one of those fashionistas. Yeah, sure. Threw some pink splatter on a gold and black logo, whatever. It’s fine with me. NXT for me, it’s hard sometimes for me to articulate it. It’s — when I was sitting at home back when I lived in Charlestown, I still remember the exact moment, I was watching on my phone, NXT ArRIVAL and I saw Cesaro in the ring with Sami Zayn and just went, ‘I gotta be there. I have –’ it’s the first time I ever felt that way and at that point, I think I’d been wrestling for 12 years. I was like, ‘I have to be there.’ It’s just — what it represented, it was taking the indie style and putting the lights behind it, the music and the production and going, ‘Hey, we’re going to deliver. Bell to bell, we’re going to deliver but we’re also going to have a commentary team that can support it and tell our story and we’re gonna have entrances and this awesome vibe and crowd and atmosphere’ and it just had everything that I personally loved about pro wrestling as a kid growing up and then I started to watch it continue to grow.

What’s to come for me? I’m still there. I’m still on NXT and Hunter and Shawn [Michaels] and all these great minds, their vision [is] still there. I see them every week, every time I go to TV they’re there. So it’s hard for me to read too much into an internet report when my day-to-day life, my week to week life hasn’t really changed a lot, you know? I’m still going to work and saying, ‘Hey, I think my promo can get the best reaction and tell the best story this way. I think the match could go this way or that way’ and we’re still being heard and we’re still seeing our visions being delivered and put through on camera to a wider crowd at home through USA [Network] and stuff so it’s hard for me to buy in too much to — I just don’t think I’m going anywhere. So, and as long as Tommaso Ciampa gets ten, 15 minutes on NXT, you’re gonna see me doing what I do best and what NXT does best. I’m gonna represent the company the way I’ve been representing it the last six years.

** Coming out of the NWA EmPowerrr show, Bell To Belles pushed out their chat with Mickie James. She was asked how receptive other promotions and organizations were to being a part of EmPowerrr. She feels that once the anticipation for the show started to kick in, people did not want to miss out on the opportunity.

I would say they’re pretty receptive. I mean obviously nothing is ever easy when you’re doing business. I would say that they were both very receptive. I think that everyone recognizes that no one, right now is doing a single show for their women so for everybody to be able to come together and I think everyone got the energy and the purpose and as the energy around it started to build, I feel like a lot of people didn’t wanna miss out on the opportunity to be a part of history because it was gonna be amazing and it was, it truly was and I was grateful. I was grateful to have AEW represented. I was grateful to be able to go to IMPACT and do all — from coming out on Slammiversary, to be able to showcase this match between Deonna [Purrazzo] and Melina, who Melina is so special to me in the history that we have and made together but then, to have Melina show up on IMPACT when she had never been in an IMPACT ring ever before that moment. It was just good stuff all around and it just — it just kept building and building and building and I mean, Kamille and Leyla Hirsch, killed it. What a great match.

** While speaking to, Sheamus agreed that this current run is the best of his career.

I think it is. I absolutely do. I feel like, even on the mic, even in the ring, for a long time I was… You know, I wouldn’t say I doubted myself, but I’d second guess sometimes. I guess sometimes it was in my interest to emulate this persona that wasn’t me. So for the last year and a half, I’ve really been able to just throw all that aside and just be me, and go out there and do what I do best. I’ve always been a physical competitor in the ring, and for me it’s never been the, ‘Oh, you just want to take liberties.’ You hear all that stuff in the past. It’s always about bringing the best out of my opponent, bringing the fight out of my opponent, because I know at the end of it all, whoever I’m in there with when the match is over, I’ve had that physical encounter. I know they love it. You know what I mean? The crowd loves it. It brings people in. For me, this year and a half has been incredible. I’ve gotten to mix it up too, with people like Riddle, Priest, Keith Lee, Humberto, Drew. A lot of the younger talent. Jeff, obviously big league. Yeah, mate. Look, I love what I do. I love the physicality of what I do, and I love being in that ring. For me, I just feel like I’m starting my career right all over again.

** DS Shin of Ring The Belle conducted an interview with Gail Kim. She provided an update on the KAYfABE wrestling pilot that she, Lita and Christy Hemme were making the media rounds to promote prior to the pandemic.

Still plugging away. Just because we don’t talk about it guys doesn’t mean it’s not happening. Sometimes things like this take time, sometimes things like this take a little bit of a fight. But we will never give up. That’s all I gotta say. Me and Christy [Hemme] were just talking about that. We were just on FaceTime the other day and we said, ‘We just can’t. We can’t give up. It’s just not in our DNA. We have to keep plugging away even if it happens when we’re 60,’ you know? We’re gonna make it happen.

Gail went on to state that more Knockouts tag teams are going to be added to the division. She mentioned Kiera Hogan’s recent exit and wanting to add more talents, but not all at once.

Yeah, definitely [we’ll see more Knockouts tag teams]. Fans are a little impatient at times so you gotta give it some time, because Kiera [Hogan] literally just left so, you know, just give us some time and you don’t wanna add too many girls all at once. I think we’ve done a really good job at keeping things pretty fresh and we’re always looking of course for more Knockouts and if anything, we’re just growing in terms of how many segments the girls are doing, what the girls are involved with all the time and listen, all the girls work. It’s not like there’s girls sitting in the back doing nothing. It’s always someone’s involved with something.

** The Asylum Wrestling Store hosted a virtual signing/meet and greet with longtime referee Earl Hebner. He heaped praise onto AEW official Aubrey Edwards. Hebner says he wishes some of the male referees were as good as Aubrey is.

You’re talking about Aubrey [Edwards]? Well alright, she used ‘Hebner Girl’ because that was the only way she was ever gonna get over. No, but all honestly, she’s a great ref, she’s a good girl, she’s a good ref. I wish some of the guys was a good as she was, or she is.

During his time with TNA Wrestling, Earl had a signature shirt. He shared that the powers that be didn’t think a referee having merchandise would do well. Earl claims to have sold 40 to 90 shirts a night.

You know first of all, they [TNA] were against it. They said they didn’t think it would work, and then when they did it, I was selling in the States here, I was selling anywhere from 45 to 90 shirts a night. Damn right I did.

** The Associated Press caught up with Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson. He reacted to the comments about his facial expression[s] at SummerSlam. Steveson said it was pointed out to him that he looked like he didn’t want to be at the event.

People were like, ‘He didn’t look like he wanted to be there.’ No. I was just comfortable in the ring and just, straight face and just doing a good job of being who I am. So it was nice. I was happy to be there.

** While speaking to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp, Tommaso Ciampa said he’s not 100 percent against a move to Raw or SmackDown, but added that he’s aware he only feels as good as he does because he hasn’t taken on a loaded schedule.

I’m open to anything, it just has to fit me as a husband, a father, a performer, an athlete, a human being, knowing my age, my body, my desires, my wants and goals. It’s not as simple as, ‘I’m not doing that thing because I’m not fulfilled creatively there.’ It’s such a silly…I’m a grown ass man. I have a wife and kid. I don’t care about a fake storyline as much as people think. I care about my livelihood. I get it, perception is reality and people always look for headlines and want to spin it and go with whatever direction, but at the end of the day, I love the art form of pro wrestling and the idea of getting in there with new and fresh opponents. I love the idea of being challenged in ways I haven’t been challenged. Whether that’s a different platform with more eyes on me or with someone like Rey Mysterio, a legit living legend, I love all of it. That sounds great to me. I also make all my decisions based on what’s for me. I’m a realist. I understand the surgeries that I have. I feel great right now. I feel 100% super healthy, but I’m not dumb. My schedule has been fairly limited and I haven’t pushed my neck beyond it’s limit. I haven’t taken a crazy load or schedule. I know there’s a reason why I feel as good as I do. Any time I make any decisions to increase any load, that’s just going to play a factor in my decision. It has nothing to do with any spite or hate towards anyone. We all work for the same company. We’re friends with all those guys and girls and I enjoy watching them perform and succeed.

** Eva Marie sat down with Ryan Satin for his ‘Out of Character’ show. The two parties spoke about Eva’s first run in WWE. She explained that it was difficult because she hadn’t crafted her character and could not understand why people were constantly booing her.

Oh my God, of course [it was difficult to get used to fans booing her during her first run] because I didn’t even know really my character quite yet. So, I was trying to navigate so many different new things and then at the same time, this amazing fan base booing me out of arenas where I’m like, ‘Dude, wait, what? Hold up. I’m so nice and so cool and I work really hard and I’m here’ so I had all of those emotions without really understanding but I hadn’t built what character I wanted to be. It was just kind of already getting established because of the WWE universe like, ‘Who is this girl? She came out of nowhere and she just got handed this job’ type-thing, you know? So that’s where all of that was stemming from and so it was just kind of hard to juggle but that’s why now, so different.

Within this current run that Eva is on, she pitched something similar to her original character which would be coming to the ring for a match and not wrestling. There were elements of that in her on-screen partnership with Doudrop (Piper Niven).

I mean of course I did pitch along those lines too because it was just so funny and it made the people so angry. So mad. But, I feel like, you know, I’m definitely making people angry still so, you know, I kind of want to continue to play into that as much as I can. It’s fun.

** The WrestleSlam Podcast welcomed Ace Austin on as a guest and Austin explained why he decided to join IMPACT Wrestling several years ago:

Absolutely [it’s an honor to work with IMPACT Wrestling] and I mean, I had a – I don’t know how many people know but I absolutely had a choice in the matter in 2018 and I wanna make sure that people know that like, IMPACT didn’t just, you know, pick me out of the bunch as an indie [talent]. I was doing really well for myself in 2018 and I had a choice about where I wanted to go and who I wanted to work with and IMPACT showed me the most hospitality and they showed me the best working environment that was out there and that’s why I chose to start with IMPACT Wrestling back then just because I could not have thought of a better way to really lay a foundation for myself in this industry and it’s done nothing but boost up — you know, people are getting to watch a very organic story right in front of their very eyes, like a story of just a young, hungry kid who wanted to be a pro wrestler, like really fighting and earning it. There’s no gimmicks about it, nobody wrote this storyline that you’re watching. You just are watching me organically take over the wrestling world.

** AEW’s latest ‘Road to Dynamite’ video:

** Bell To Belles spoke to the newly crowned NWA World Women’s Tag Team Champions Allysin Kay and Marti Belle.

** Belts by Dan created a custom GCW World Championship for Matt Cardona.

** Pro Wrestling Illustrated released a portion of their conversation with former AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Champion Akira Francesco. He spoke about being the only foreigner in All Japan at the moment and how challenging that can be.

Yeah, pretty much. I’d love for others to be there, as well, but it’s not possible now. I’ve been studying Japanese since I arrived, but it’s a difficult language to master. And there are just two rookies who speak English in my dojo, but they’re not wrestlers, so we don’t interact that much. Before the coronavirus, we used to hang out with other outsiders. After the pandemic hit, I had to push through all by myself.

** Goldberg is participating in the Salvation Army of San Antonio’s celebrity bowling game[s] on September 4th.

** Bell To Belles has an interview with Kylie Rae.

** Wrestling Inc. conducted an interview with Kurt Angle.

** R-Truth, Big E, Dakota Kai, Ricochet, Cesaro, Tyler Breeze and Xavier Woods played ‘Quiplash’ and ‘Mad Verse City’:

** The latest guest on Steven’s Wrestling Journey is Beth Phoenix.

** Roman Reigns went live on Instagram with C4 Energy.

** MJF did an interview for Inside The Ropes’ magazine and a portion of that conversation is up on their website.

** Josh Alexander is challenging Fred Yehi for the AAW Heavyweight Championship at AAW’s 9/2 show.

** Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald chatted with Rhea Ripley.

** Jeff Hardy turned 44 years old today. Mickie James is celebrating a birthday today as well.

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 7217 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.