POST NEWS UPDATE: Kia Stevens (Awesome Kong) reflects on her run in AEW

Awesome Kong talks AEW run, John Cena/Mania 21 story, Dan Lambert talks Tony Khan, Kenny Omega discusses AEW's newest additions

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

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.

** DS Shin of Ring The Belle put out a compilation of his interviews that were recorded with the talents of NWA EmPowerrr. He caught up with Kia Stevens (Awesome Kong) and asked her about her run in AEW. She described it as a great experience and said the company works hard to entertain their viewers.

Stevens: It [AEW] was a great experience. Everyone there has the great intentions of making sure wrestling is propelled forward. They want all their friends — friends… fans are friends, you know? Especially when you need a tissue or a ride to the airport. But, they want all their fans to be satisfied with their product and they work really hard and use their imaginations to make sure that you guys feel fulfilled after you watch each show.

If AEW were to contact Stevens about returning to be an agent, she said she’d be up for it. She added that although her body is not for hire anymore, her brain is.

Stevens: Well, I would always love to contribute in any way in wrestling period. If AEW would like to utilize my brain again then that is up to them. My brain is for hire right now. Not my body, not anymore. I don’t do that anymore.

Kiera Hogan was interviewed as well and she discussed departing IMPACT Wrestling and her pairing with Tasha Steelz. She said she pitched for Tasha to come into IMPACT and they made a success story out of being thrown together during the pandemic.

Hogan: Honestly, we [Fire ‘N Flava] started from nothing, we got thrown together. I always wanted Tasha to come into IMPACT and team with me. That was something that I pitched to IMPACT. I was like, ‘Hey, bring her in. I think we would be an awesome tag team’ and when the pandemic hit, they kind of threw us together and we were like, ‘Oh, we’re not ready’ but we started from the bottom up and became tag team champions so, I say that’s a success story.

Bianca Carelli, daughter of Anthony Carelli (Santino Marella), shared that she recently moved to the U.S. to train with D-Von Dudley. Bianca is also going to be under the tutelage of Serena Deeb who she’ll be living with in the States.

Carelli: So right now, I actually just moved down to the U.S., so I’m going to go to Florida. I’m gonna go train at D-Von Dudley’s school and I’m gonna be living with another one of my role models I really look up to, she’s like a big sister, Serena Deeb. So I’m very excited. So I’m hoping, you know, to learn anything I can, anything and everything from her because she’s amazing. She’s like the best women’s wrestler ever so I’m really excited about that and I’m just gonna learn and grow and develop and see how things go.

The IMPACT Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo isn’t sure what the next big thing is for her in IMPACT Wrestling. She said a goal of hers is to have a ‘blood feud’ that is lengthy.

Purrazzo: I don’t really know what’s next. I think on my goal list is to have such a feud in IMPACT because I — I’ve had storylines but there’s nothing really that has been like drawn out and like a blood feud and I really, really like that and then with that comes the possibility of maybe being the main event of whether it’s an actual pay-per-view or we do our monthly specials on IMPACT Plus so one of those. I think that is what I would wanna check off the bucket list at some point next.

** At Florida Supercon, John Cena was the focus of a Q&A session (footage courtesy of Jorge Soler). Cena recalled winning the WWE Title at WrestleMania 21 but before his entrance, he questioned why JBL had such a grand entrance and why his was not on par. Cena was reminded by John Laurinaitis that he was winning the match and that left an impression on him.

Every chance for a connection or every opportunity to have [an] experience in life, you can learn from something and I remember this: John [Layfield’s] entrance that day, he had a limo and it was like raining money and he had all this pomp and circumstance and I remember being backstage with John [Laurinaitis], our producer and myself and I think that Vince [McMahon] was there as well and I said, ‘My God, look at him. He’s got the the limo, it’s raining money. What do I get?’ And deadpan, John turned over to me and he said, ‘You’re winning tonight’ and that sunk in and I learned that here I am, looking at all the things he had, wanting what he had and not looking at what’s right in front of me which is an opportunity to be world champion for the first time, something that I dreamt of as a kid. I made my own paper championships so he was — John was always great about keeping you grounded and he did a lot for me and I’m forever thankful to him. That’s the one thing I remember from that day, him turning to me deadpan and saying, ‘You are winning!’ And almost like, ‘Get over yourself man.’ I’m trying to build myself up as the biggest obstacle you can overcome which is why it’s raining money and you’re going to win so that’s going to be enough for this evening so just take that and you’re going to be good and I really thank him for not only that lesson but he gave me a bunch of lessons through my career.

Cena stated that his match on SmackDown with Kurt Angle and that moment backstage with The Undertaker were not supposed to happen. He says opportunities have often popped up like that, much like James Gunn initially considering Dave Bautista for Peacemaker.

It’s surreal and it all happened so fast [match with Kurt Angle and shaking hands with The Undertaker]. It wasn’t even supposed to happen. I was thrown in there last minute because they had no other options. That’s like the story of my life by the way. I was just — all my opportunities came when either James Gunn was sick or nobody showed up to wrestle or they didn’t have anybody else to bet on. I’ve never been — even for Peacemaker, I know James had Batista in mind for it. That’s okay. I think yet another lesson here is don’t ever be ashamed with how opportunity finds you. Be ready and knock it out of the park. So it was all surreal, it was all like a blur but I remember I was ready to wrestle Kurt and he brought, technically the best out of me and forced me — he tried to run me ragged but I hung in there with him and yes, they filmed backstage moments of other superstars shaking hands there because it was genuine. Everybody was like, ‘Yo, good job’ because when you see a new guy in the locker room, the jury is still out and it worked. So even Kurt himself came up and thanked me and everybody was great and after that I sucked but for that one moment… but it was all such a [whirlwind]. It was crazy.

He touched on the idea that WWE has just now started to consistently change the name of talents and their entire personas. Cena said this is something that has been happening for years and it happened to him as well.

I know there’s a lot of news headlines about, ‘Oh, they’re changing performers names and forcing them to have a new personality.’ I can assure you guys that this has been this way since the dawn of time and it happened to me. I went from having a personality and having an identity and having a following to getting my haircut, changing my look and throwing me out there with my real name and I was just told to be a good guy and I had no idea what that meant and it almost led to me getting fired and if it wasn’t for me taking the chance and socializing with my peers and then management seeing that and taking that chance on me, I certainly wouldn’t be sitting here right now so, I absolutely jumped at the opportunity and went all in. Dressed crazy, talked crazy, really immersed myself in Hip-Hop culture and try to craft a character off of that because the one I did before of looking like everyone else and not nearly wrestling as good didn’t work so I knew I had to change stuff and that’s kind of the origin of that.

** Shakiel Mahjouri conducted an interview with American Top Team’s Dan Lambert. He shared that he and AEW President Tony Khan discuss his promos beforehand and Tony simply approves or disapproves. He added that Tony is going to jump in if he is going to say something that’s over the line.

The first time I walked in, I texted Tony [Khan] before I got there. I said, ‘Hey, I’m gonna say something like this’ and he texted me back and said, ‘Great,’ and then the second time he’s like, ‘You wanna come back?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’ll come back’ and when I got there he’s like, ‘Hey, what are you gonna say?’ I said, ‘I’m gonna say something like this and this’ and [he] said, ‘Okay cool, but can you add this?’ ‘Yeah sure. Cool.’ So that’s pretty much been what it’s been like, and he’s obviously gonna have some creative control if I’m gonna do something that’s gonna be stupid or get somebody in trouble, although it might be fun to get cancelled. But, I don’t wanna cause him any headaches, but at some point that might happen.

He detailed how his consistent AEW appearances have come about. Things started off with a phone call from Jorge Masvidal’s manager who called Lambert to come have dinner with he and Tony Khan.

As far as how it came together, I just struck up a friendship with Tony Khan a couple years ago when he was down in Miami meeting with [Jorge] Masvidal about something and I got a phone call, I was at dinner down in Fort Lauderdale [Florida] and it was Malki Kawa who’s Jorge’s manager and he’s like, ‘Hey dude, I think you need to get down to Miami. I’m having a meeting with a guy. I think you guys were separated at birth. You might wanna come down.’ I’m like, ‘Huh?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, you gotta come meet this guy.’ I’m like, ‘Who?’ He’s like, ‘Tony Khan.’ I said, ‘I’ll be there in 30 minutes.’ I hung up the phone, looked at my wife and said, ‘See ya. Get another ride home’ and I hauled ass. Went down there and hung out with them and Tony’s just a super cool dude. He’s a wrestling nerd like I am, which is kind of crazy because he’s younger and did not grow up watching the same stuff that I watched but he knows everything about it so he’s obviously gone back and re-watched it and we’re basically just friends and I used to go up and see some shows and he’d get me some good seats and he’s an MMA fan as well so we talk about things like that. Obviously he’s a bit of a football fan with his other ventures, I’m a football fan and when it came down to Miami, we were just talking. We were like, ‘Hey, maybe you wanna pop in and do a promo?’ ‘Yeah.’ Bring a couple fighters, have some fun. It was probably just gonna be a one-off in my opinion. So we did it and afterwards he texted me later that week, ‘Hey, you wanna come by next week?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, why not. Where you gonna be?’ So [it] just kind of worked like that.

Lambert summed up his AEW run thus far as it being “fun as sh*t”. He said he’s had 45 years of practicing being a heel in his bathroom mirror.

It’s fun as sh*t, you know? What am I gonna say? It’s a blast. You got 45 years of practicing in front of your bathroom mirror as a wrestling fan, yelling at everybody. I was always playing heel my whole life, I always liked the bad guys so, when you get a chance to do it and it reflects some of your own real feelings anyway, it’s even better.

** The Adam’s Apple YouTube channel has an interview with Kenny Omega. He talked about some of the newest additions to All Elite Wrestling and being able to reunite with the likes of CM Punk, Adam Cole and Bryan Danielson.

For a lot of fans they’re known as WWE guys [Bryan Danielson, CM Punk & Adam Cole] perhaps, but for me they’re my friends that I’ve seen and grew up with and done indies with, toured with so it’s like a high school reunion of sorts and it’s great to work with these guys after four, five, ten years, maybe even more in some cases. It’s just great to be back with old friends and making some new magic because we’ve all changed, we’ve all grown, we’ve all evolved.

** Gerald Brisco was a guest on the most recent Talk’n Shop podcast. Brisco, a former talent scout for WWE, played a role in putting WWE in contact with their newest signee Gable Steveson. Brisco spoke about the first time he met Steveson while Steveson was in high school and throwing the idea out there of the now-Olympic gold medalist and WWE one day collaborating.

We all do it. You’ve been around the business all your life. You’ve been in dressing rooms and you hear these guys coming in and I did a lot of studying of Lou Thesz, Danny Hodge, Sputnik Monroe, The Assassins and a lot of the great stars of the past and I watch how they come into a locker room, I watch how they conduct [themselves] and I watch how they went to the ring. I watch their footwork, I watch how they move in the ring, I watch their personality with the fans going and coming to the ring and you know what? And you can always tell the stars because they just handle themselves just a little bit different but that little bit [of] difference stood out like a sore toe to me so I tried to grab a lot of those strengths of those guys during my career and I don’t think it’s much different when you get into a college wrestling tournament and you do a little research on guys and I mean, Gable [Steveson], he was a no-brainer. He grew up in Minnesota. He went to University of Minnesota and I actually knew Gable before he got to University of Minnesota the year before he arrived at the scene. You know how all these kids, they announce where they’re going to college and everything, so we’re — I believe it was St. Louis, Missouri at the NCAA Wrestling tournament and so Gable was going to announce what school he was going to and it came down between two schools brother.

It [came] down between University of Minnesota Gophers and my school, Oklahoma State University so of course I’m waiting for — I want him to announce Oklahoma State University and I could see the kid was a worker right away because the way he was going for the hats, you know? And finally he comes out with that maroon and gold Gopher hat. Surely after that, just gave him a little grief and I said, ‘Man, you know, somewhere down the line, maybe we can help you’ and he said, ‘I’ve always been a WWE fan.’ He said, ‘That’s the reason I’ve come to Minnesota because of Brock Lesnar’ and I said, ‘Holy sh*t. He ain’t gonna be a hard recruit. The kid’s already there, mindset and everything.’

** While speaking to Lucha Libre Online, Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman said that while he is grateful for his WWE Hall Of Fame inductions, one would have been fine. He doesn’t get how Christian Cage wasn’t inducted and added that if he had been, maybe Christian would have stayed with WWE.

Honestly, just one [WWE Hall Of Fame induction] would have been fine with me. You know, there’s a lot of people out there, for instance, and maybe he might’ve stuck around if they would’ve put him in the Hall Of Fame, Christian [Cage]. Like what the hell? Dude, come on man. I’m not saying I don’t deserve this or whatever but come on man, if I got two of these and Christian don’t even have one, f*ck is up with that? It’s hard for me to go, ‘Oh yeah, looking forward to my third induction.’ Eh, not really. I don’t even like talking in public really. Those type of speeches, prepared speeches, I’m terrible at that. I might be the worst person in the industry when it comes to that.

** PWInsider pushed out their interview with Ruby Soho. Ruby told the site that when the crowd at AEW All Out began to chant her name during the clock countdown, Tony Khan jumped out of his seat and yelled ‘let’s go’.

I thought I knew what nervous was. I thought with my past experiences that I knew what nervous was. I had no idea. I could feel my heart beating in my throat. My hands were shaking. My legs were shaking. And like you said, it was a 100%, it was a culmination to my entire wrestling career. Everything that I had done up until that point had led to that moment, is their response going to be happy? Are people going to be excited to see me? Are people are going to be behind me? It was so many questions that I wasn’t sure if I knew the answer to. And I’ll never forget, just standing at the bottom of those stairs, my whole body shaking. I have friends of mine that are encouraging me and cheering me on, but I’m just so lost in this moment, tunnel vision of just, ‘Oh gosh, I hope this goes well. I hope it goes well.’ And then when the fans started to chant Ruby Soho before the countdown actually happened, I’ll never forget this in my whole life, Tony [Khan], from behind his screen, just jumps up and goes, ‘Let’s go!’ I was so pumped and that energy just channeled them to me where I was, ‘Yes, yes, this is it. This is the moment.’ And then stepping out on that stage, the emotion that you saw on my face was true and was so real in that moment of just, I just didn’t want to leave that moment because I was just, ‘Wow, this is what every professional wrestler dreams of is this moment, as this time is being appreciated for the work that you’ve put in the past, having people be excited for the work that you’re going to put in the future.’ It was just the best moment of my wrestling career, honestly.

Ruby has found a sense of freedom in AEW when it comes to her work. She feels that everywhere else she has been, she has tried to appease everyone else but now she can do what feels natural.

I said this in an interview right after All Out. When I spoke to Tony, one of the first times that I talked to him, I just asked him a million questions and one of them was, what do you want, what do you need from me coming in and working for you? What do you need? And his answer was just so simple, ‘I just want you to be you. And I want you to come work for me.’ And it was so simple, but it was so bizarre that I hadn’t really heard that before. [It] was just, just be you. I just want you to be you. And I’ve never had that freedom before of just being able to go out there and show the fans the most authentic version of myself and that is everything to me. That’s the reason I entered this industry to begin with. Because I felt like everywhere else, I was somebody I wasn’t. I was trying to appease friends or family or co-workers or anything like that. I felt I just was trying so hard to be something I wasn’t. And I entered the wrestling industry for the freedom to be who I wanted to be, to be myself, to explore myself, to celebrate myself. And AEW has given me that, and that I think is why that fire is there. That is why I’m so excited about everyday coming to work and learning new things about the other women, about myself. Learning and that’s honestly what this journey is. It’s just learning things about myself, learning what I’m capable of and Tony has given me the freedom to do that. I’m very, very grateful.

** The latest guest on Cultaholic’s Desert Island Graps show is Nicole Matthews. A conversation came up about how women in wrestling are critiqued. Nicole feels that people aren’t as critical of women’s matches because of the idea that they’ll be perceived as unsupportive of women in wrestling or sexist.

I think there’s a thing unfortunately with women’s wrestling sometimes in some areas where there’s that kind of lowered expectation thing and it’s like, I think people — people aren’t as critical of women’s wrestling [and] maybe women’s wrestlers as they could be because maybe — and probably for very good reasons. They wanna seem supportive or they wanna support women’s wrestling but I think sometimes when we don’t hold women’s matches to the same standard as men’s matches, it kind of gets people to be complacent and not as good as they could be and I don’t see that, in the U.K. scene I don’t see that and I don’t see that in the Australian scene and there’s like pockets I don’t see it in the North American scene as well but I wish everyone — I wish all the scenes were held to the same standard as those scenes when it comes to women’s wrestling.

Nicole’s first match in wrestling was with current SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch. Nicole said that had Lynch not been in that match, things would have gone off the rails.

There was a kind of switch over in trainers about like six months I think into me training and I was wrestling at that point because I was a woman and they just rushed us in. They’re like, ‘Oh, you know how to bump? Have a match.’ It’s like, ‘Oh dude, dear God. How am I gonna do this?’

And luckily for me, me and Veronika [Vice] were both pushed forward. Luckily for us, our first match was against Rebecca Knox a.k.a. Becky Lynch and she did a stint over here [Canada] so like she carried our asses so good. Like we would have been f*cked if it wasn’t for her so we got lucky with our first match for sure.

** Sami Callihan joined Matt Rehwoldt for a live recording of the ‘Straight Shooting’ podcast. Callihan asked Rehwoldt to share the reactions of those who were in NXT when they found out Sami was joining the roster. Rehwoldt said the roster thought it was cool, but then-head coach Bill DeMott was not too fond of the acquisition.

So, being bluntly honest, the boys, the locker room, like I said, a lot of them — and this was when NXT was starting to pick up steam and they were starting to embrace a little bit of that kind of like, ‘Hey, we like guys from the indies. We like guys with this world traveled reputation’ kind of thing. So in the locker room, the boys were like, ‘Oh, f*cking cool. Sami Callihan’s coming. That’s pretty badass.’ But, and you know this, it wasn’t really well hidden. People like our head coach at the time, not into it, you know what I mean? And I’m not even gonna — Bill DeMott at the time was very much just like, had that, you know and it wasn’t just you. It was a couple, it was several people. It was like, ‘We’re gonna show em how we do it’ and there’s almost like this chip of like, ‘We’re gonna stick it to you a little bit.’

Callihan went on to add that TNA/IMPACT Wrestling was always a goal of his. He wanted to join TNA before he signed with WWE. He and Tommaso Ciampa worked with TNA and were told they would hear from the company soon but never got the call back.

Dude, my dream was TNA. I almost signed to TNA right before I came to WWE and I wanted to sign with TNA. I did one of those gut check challenges, they loved me and Tommaso Ciampa and Jeff Jarrett straight pulled us out, they were like, ‘You’re the only two good guys here. We’re gonna sign you guys, you’ll hear from us in a week’ and we never heard anything. So I was kind of like, ‘You know what? F*ck it. I’ll try to go all in on going to WWE’ because it was either go to WWE or TNA. But, that was always my dream. I was a huge TNA fan.

** spoke to Al Snow about him recently saving a child from a rip current.

** interviewed Evan Husney and Jason Eisener. They were asked about the idea of CM Punk’s WWE departure being a topic for a future Dark Side of the episode.

Husney: Man, I don’t know. It is an interesting story. It’s one that comes up a lot in terms of when you’re talking about fan suggestions. I mean, fans love CM Punk and that was absolutely evident over this past month. And so, that suggestion does come up a lot in terms of what our fanbase wants to hear and see. I mean, I think it would be fascinating. I would love, in some capacity, to get CM Punk in front of our cameras. I think he’s an incredible interview. He’s an unbelievable talker. And it’s like him coming back into the industry and coming back into wrestling over this past month, I’ve been feeling that fire of being a wrestling fan again.

And even though my day job is all about wrestling, sometimes you don’t always look at it through the lens of being a fan still just because you deal with it so much in your daily life, but there’s been that inertia. I’m getting caught up in it and it’s been really exciting to see what he’s been doing and that match he had on Sunday (against Darby Allin at All Out) was absolutely fantastic. It felt like wrestling again. So, yeah. If he’s down, I’m down and anything, anything he wants to do at this point.

Eisener: Oh, I’m the same. I feel there’s hopefully still many more years for his career to come, but I think it’d be awesome. I’m not sure what the subject would be yet, but to have him on the show would be great. He’s amazing. And seeing him putting over Aunt Linda on AEW last night, it was so cool. And yeah. Him putting our show over, it was cool.

** Ahead of IMPACT ‘Knockouts Knockdown’ being taped this weekend, Gail Kim made the media rounds and spoke to PWInsider. The headlining bout for Knockouts Knockdown is a Monster’s Ball match which is going to be a tribute to the late Shannon ‘Daffney’ Spruill. Gail shared some of her memories with Daffney.

She was the very first person to want to do those custom matches and she was the first person with one of our current [Knockouts] for a while, that had the Monster’s Ball at the beginning. So we thought that-that would be a great dedication to her. We spoke to a couple of the people that were very close with her to get their input. ‘Do you think that [Shannon] would’ve loved this?’ And they all agreed that she would be watching them, that they think she would be very happy and mostly all the girls just wanted to come together. And honestly, I feel like the whole show was dedicated to Daffney, because that’s all the girls have been talking about and coming together for in the last week and a half. Once they found out about the show too it’s been nonstop Daffney talk. I think we know where everyone’s hearts and minds are right now and I think it’s going to be beautiful because of that.

Gail was asked to list off some names who she would deem underrated. She named Jordynne Grace, Tasha Steelz and Mercedes Martinez, who has been announced for Knockouts Knockdown.

I’ll pick a couple. I’m going to pick three probably. Off the top of my head. Tasha Steelz just had Kiera Hogan leave her and they were on top of the world with the tag division. So I’ve always said, I’m very curious to see what Tasha does in the singles division, because I think she’s got a lot of talent and we haven’t seen that side of her yet. I think we’ve just [hit the] tip of the iceberg with Jordynne Grace as well. She’s been a great tag team with Rachael Ellering right now and I love that, but I feel like I want to see a little bit more of Jordynne. And I do think she has the capability to go up a few notches as well and I want to see it. And then I would say on the other side for maybe one of the girls I announced was Mercedes Martinez. She’s been a veteran of women’s wrestling for so long. She’s very well respected. I’ve never seen her have a bad match in person live. I’m curious to see her match up with some of our girls. I think there are so many possibilities for match ups. I get goosebumps just thinking about some of the matchups that I want to see that we haven’t seen yet, or even just, like I said, seeing Deonna and Tasha or Tasha and Jordynne, things we haven’t seen yet. That’s what I want to see.

** The Adam’s Apple YouTube channel has an interview with Paul Wight. Although Wight knows that WWE’s Drew McIntyre and Cesaro have found success in the company, he feels that-that success should have happened a long time ago.

There’s so many of those guys that I’ve looked in my mind and [said], ‘Why isn’t this guy one of the legends that people are talking about all the time?’ And those are guys that are still doing well and still building themselves and establishing themselves. I mean you look at — I was a fan of Drew McIntyre for a long time. Drew has all the skills. He’s got the looks, he’s got the height, he’s got the size, the athletic ability, the in-ring knowledge, the mic skills. You know, he’s a good freaking dude. Cesaro was always another one for a long time. I think now that the business is changing, I think a lot of those guys that — I mean Drew’s had some success and Cesaro had some success but, these are guys that are dependable guys that should’ve had their success a long time ago.

He dove into the differences between AEW and WWE from his perspective. Wight admitted that he enjoys both products but narrowed it down to AEW having an authentic wrestling product and allowing talents to be free.

I think both products [WWE & AEW] are amazing. I think they’re just different products. I think WWE is always gonna be the entertainment sports spectacle, that global brand that they worked so hard to be and AEW is more of just an authentic wrestling product. There’s not 15 to 20 writers backstage at AEW. If you have a promo, you have a promo. If you have a match, you have a match. There’s not as much… upper level handling on what they want done in a match and what they’re trying to present for the intellectual property that they own. I mean even for me, I’m doing Paul Wight now but I’ve never had as much freedom as I do now at AEW doing the things before, when I was WWE Big Show, it was a committee to get anything done and that’s fine. That’s their brand and that’s the way they built it and I was compensated well for it but, I think at this stage in the game, it’s just a lot more fun environment to be in. I’m just grateful.

** Drew McIntyre is going to be a part of WWE’s upcoming tour of the UK. This tour was initially announced as a SmackDown-brand tour and McIntyre is a part of Raw. McIntyre told The Scotsman that even before WWE had the chance to ask him, he requested to be on the tour so he can get some extra time with his family when WWE comes to Scotland.

I couldn’t believe we had a European tour as soon as things started getting back towards looking like normal and especially with a Glasgow show on there. Then, I couldn’t believe it, to top it all off it was a SmackDown tour. I instantly told them I was going to go. It didn’t matter if they put me on the show or not – I’d fly myself over. I could go and be annoying in the crowd and distract the show. I would fly over and sign autographs sitting in the crowd if they didn’t! I joked around at the beginning and thankfully we figured something out where I am able to be on the full UK tour now – but I will miss a Raw TV show to ensure I can be there. I will get to go across the UK – Newcastle, London and Cardiff and then finish off at home in Glasgow and hopefully get an extra day to hang out with the family. I’ll make time for that for sure. We’ll try for the day of the show but realistically I’m trying to get extra days because it’s been so long. It’s been 18 months but it feels like three years or something.

** While speaking to Ryan Satin on the ‘Out of Character’ show, Damian Priest discussed how he has been presented on WWE TV over the past several months. He isn’t sure about the term ‘rocket strapped’ but he is receiving cool opportunities.

It’s incredible. I don’t know about a rocket strap but I’m definitely getting cool opportunities and I’m just grateful that I’m delivering on those and I’m literally having a blast every day that I get to work in my dream job.

At SummerSlam, Priest defeated Sheamus for the United States Title. Priest said that throughout his near-20-year career in wrestling, he has never been hit by anybody like Sheamus has hit him in the ring.

Yeah, hard-hitting match [against Sheamus at SummerSlam] to say the least. I’ll say this — what is this like my 17th, 18th year in this business? Never in this business have I ever been hit harder than I’ve been hit by Sheamus. It’s ridiculous and especially you know, SummerSlam, he’s amped up, I’m amped up and I’m not saying that I don’t hit hard either but, wow. So yeah, I was definitely lumped up after that match. I was feeling it but man, that moment was too cool for me to just worry about a little bit of pain. I was having the time of my life.

** D-Von Dudley welcomed Rhea Ripley onto his Table Talk podcast. When asked what she sees for herself in the immediate future in WWE, Ripley said she isn’t quite sure. She hopes to win the WWE Women’s Tag Titles with Nikki A.S.H. and added that she wants to make history in wrestling.

I don’t know [where I see myself going from here]. It’s hard to picture because everything can change so drastically and so quickly. I would love to keep doing this tag stuff with Nikki [A.S.H.] for a while and hopefully we end up getting the tag titles. I would absolutely love that, another thing to tick off for me. But, I don’t really know. I don’t really set goals because I just wanna see how far I can get and I’m just gonna keep working and keep doing my thing and I guess we’ll see where it takes me. I’m not gonna give up on anything. If [there’s] something that I do wanna focus on, I will focus on that but I just wanna make history in this business and I feel like I’ve done a lot already but I wanna make more.

Both Rhea and D-Von commented on Big E’s WWE Championship win. They expressed how happy they are for him.

Ripley: I love it. I love it so much. I was watching it in the back and I was so excited for him [Big E]. I’m so, so excited and he deserves every second of this spotlight.

D-Von: Yes he is. He’s such a great guy, he’s great to be around. Fun, funny. We had him on the show here and I mean, Bubba [Bully Ray] and I, when we first came back, we were with The New Day. We were married to them for a little bit and had good times in the ring and I would always tease him. I’d be like, ‘Man, y’all hit me too hard. That’s why I retired.’ It’s like good God, but no, I was very happy. The thing about it was when he won the match, I kind of went out there on the side, waiting for him to come to the back and the brother, he was soaking up the moment which I thought was great and I mean he went around the ring and then went right back around the ring with the fans and took pictures. I go, ‘I gotta go, I’m getting tired. I got a flight in the morning. I’ll call him and tell him congratulations’ and I’ll see him Monday, give him a hug and tell him good job. I mean it was great. It was so cool to see him do that. Somebody like Big E who has worked so hard in this business to achieve the goal that he achieved on Monday, it was worth it. Everything that he went through, everything he put his body through, just everything, that’s what we work for. That’s what we work towards. Myself was the tag team titles and for Big E and Rhea, the world title. I mean that’s something you work for. Once you reach that, it’s like you’re on top of the world at the moment. Now the hardest part is staying on top once you get there. That’s the hard part.

** Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald caught up with Caleb Konley for an interview. Caleb shared his thoughts about the growth of women in wrestling in just the last several years or so. He mentioned that in IMPACT Wrestling, Gail Kim is constantly going to bat for the women’s division and making sure they are getting TV time.

SHIMMER is kind of the OG of this. They saw this 15 years ago that women can hold their own and have their own show and people would wanna watch it and it’s taken ‘till now really. I mean I guess the women’s revolution [has] been a couple years old but like now with the EmPowerrr and IMPACT’s had a couple all-women shows and WWE had a women’s show like last year, the year before and it’s awesome to see and it takes people like Gail Kim who is in a management role. She sticks up for all the girls there. She fights and makes sure everyone gets their just due and gets their time on TV and everything and it takes a woman in leadership it seems to make — it shouldn’t be that way but it takes a woman in leadership to really push for these girls. They’re killing it, they’re killing it so it’s awesome to see that too.

On IMPACT TV, Caleb is known as ‘Kaleb with a K’ alongside Tenille Dashwood. He spoke highly of Dashwood and her professionalism.

Tenille [Dashwood] is awesome. She is a presence in and out of the ring. She is a complete professional, she knows how to make money like nobody’s business.

** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated ran the written version of his conversation with Edge. Edge said that when he comes back to TV, he wants to work with Sami Zayn and also gave his thoughts about the evolution of Zayn’s on-screen character over the years.

I would love to share the ring with Sami Zayn, and I would love to do it in Toronto. We’d keep it real simple. He can come out in his Habs jersey, I’ll come out in my Leafs jersey, and we’ll go from there.

There’s a key to Sami’s success. There is an element of truth to all his promos. As a heel, you have to have that nugget of truth. If you have it, you can push everything else forward. So his promos feel much more real. He’s doing incredible work.

The crowd just knows to boo this guy. That’s to his credit. His promos, his character work—Sami is incredible. He’s gone from El Generico, then this plucky babyface with checkered tights and Mighty Mighty Bosstones–type music. Now he looks like some kind of dictator. I really dig it. Thinking about it, I can’t wait for it to happen.

** During the ‘SmackDown after 9/11’ edition of the Grilling JR podcast, Jim Ross said he doesn’t think Jerry Lawler received any flack from WWE for appearing at the Ad Free Shows event during AEW All Out week.

Yeah it was [good to see Jerry Lawler again]. You know, I haven’t heard of him getting any fallout. He hasn’t contacted me and said there’s any fallout from WWE about that because it wasn’t a WWE event. It was a Conrad Thompson event so, I’m sure he won’t have any issues with it. They’re only using him for those pay-per-view pre-shows, post-shows, things of that nature so, you know. It is what it is.

** Dark Side of the Ring co-creators Evan Husney and Jason Eisener spoke to WrestleZone. Jason told the site that while they were doing voiceover work with Chris Jericho for the Nick Gage episode of their show, judging by the way Jericho continuously asked about Gage, he and Evan had a feeling Nick Gage might end up in AEW programming in the future.

Eisener: It was crazy. When we did the voice recording with Chris Jericho for the Nick Gage episode, he hadn’t really heard of Nick Gage before then. Like he was coming in and asking us questions about it. And I remember looking to Evan at some point while we were editing the episode saying, ‘I have a feeling Nick Gage is gonna wind up in AEW after this episode comes out,’ and it did and it’s surreal to see. It’s pretty cool.

** STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix Results (9/16/21) Korakuen Hall
– Hanan def. Lady C 
– Starlight Kid def. Waka Tsukiyama
– Himeka def. Mai Sakurai
5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Block B: Natsupoi [9] def. Saki Kashima [2]
5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Block B: Momo Watanabe [10] def. Mina Shirakawa [4]
5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Block A: Saya Kamitani [11] def. AZM [2]
5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Block A: Takumi Iroha [9] def. Unagi Sayaka [5]
5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Block B: Mayu Iwatani [7] def. Koguma [5]
5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Block A: Konami [7] def. Utami Hayashishita [10]
5STAR Grand Prix 2021 Block A: Syuri [9] def. Tam Nakano [8]

** Joey Janela vs. Minoru Suzuki is official for GCW ‘Aftermath’ on October 10th.

** Rok-C is defending the ROH Women’s World Championship against Killer Kelly at New Texas Pro Wrestling’s ‘Olajuwon’ show. The match was originally supposed to be for Rok-C’s New Texas Pro Women’s Title.

** Bianca Belair did media with WBIR-TV to promote Friday Night SmackDown in Knoxville, Tennessee.

** Jushin Thunder Liger picked SANADA and Tetsuya Naito as his favorites to win the 2021 NJPW G1 Climax tournament.

** The latest episode of Battle of the Brands:

** The Washington Newsday were part of a media conference that Riddle was the focus of.

** Sportskeeda conducted an interview with Rich Swann.

** Tokyo Sports spoke to Great-O-Khan about the 2021 G1 Climax.

** Colt Cabana vs. Adam Pearce from ROH ‘Good Times, Great Memories’ is up on Ring of Honor’s YouTube channel.

** WrestleZone has an interview with Matt Rehwoldt.

** Jim Varsallone’s chat with Savannah Evans is at this link.

** Big Japan Pro Wrestling Results (9/16/21) Abashiri Kita Community Center
– Kota Sekifuda def. Kosuke Sato
– Kazuki Hashimoto & Takuya Nomura def. Hiroyuki Suzuki & Takuho Kato
– Brahman Brothers (Brahman Kei & Brahman Shu) & Yuichi Taniguchi def. Kazumasa Yoshida, Yuji Okabayashi & Yuya Aoki
– Daichi Hashimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani def. Daisuke Sekimoto & Yasufumi Nakanoue
– Abdullah Kobayashi & Jaki Numazawa def. Kankuro Hoshino & Yuko Miyamoto
Deathmatch: Ryuji Ito & Yuki Ishikawa def. Akira Hyodo & Drew Parker

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 8782 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.