POST NEWS UPDATE: Giulia aiming to return from neck injury by the end of December

Giulia update, Top Dolla talks Hit Row being drafted, Bobby Fish reflects on his NXT run, 'Tag In' initiative, MSK talk NXT changes

Photo Courtesy: Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

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.

** STARDOM’s Giulia is currently out of action with a neck injury. She told Tokyo Sports that she is about to resume in-ring training and is hoping to return to STARDOM in late December.

I walked to the sauna every day and resumed light [weight training]. I’m about to resume ring practice. (Doctor) says, ‘If you take a rest for 3 months, you will be completely cured,’ so I want to return by the end of the year. The goal is the Ryogoku Kokugikan [show] on December 29th.

Towards the end of August was when she knew she was hurt. She was in pain going into the New Japan MetLife Dome show[s] but did not want to miss it.

[I was] hurt at the end of August. When I [tried] to get up in the morning, it [felt] like the end of the world. However, there was also the New Japan Pro-Wrestling MetLife Dome [show on September 5th], and there was also 5STAR [Grand Prix], so there was no option to take a rest. During that time, Syuri gave me massage[s] all the time. Acupoints on the neck. Thanks to Syuri, I was able to reach [my] limit.

Giulia had to pull out of the STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix. She expressed how disappointed she was that she had to miss the remainder of the tournament.

It hurts and [I regretted it], so I stayed in the room all the time and cried and cried (laughs). My mother and my local friends brought me some cakes.

** As a part of the 2021 WWE Draft, Hit Row (Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott, Top Dolla, B-Fab & Ashante Thee Adonis) were drafted to Friday Night SmackDown. Top Dolla a.k.a. AJ Francis spoke about being called up from NXT while on the Jobbing Out podcast. He also dove into the dark match he had against Cedric Alexander prior to SmackDown going live.

Man, it was incredible bro. To go in the third round with the third pick, first pick off NXT… 11th overall. Just the fact it’s in Baltimore [WWE Draft night one], it’s crazy man.

So like, to go back to that arena [Royal Farms Arena] and get drafted to SmackDown, something — really I’ve been working, trying to get to this point since October 2018, you know what I’m saying? So almost three years now. But like, just under three years now but, really I’ve been working for this moment for 31 years, you hear what I’m saying? So it was honestly amazing and to come out and then they obviously popped as soon as they hear ‘Hit Row’ but then an even bigger pop when they hear I’m the one in the match, it was just crazy bro. It was like — people were yelling ‘not nada’ with me when I was doing my gimmick. It could not have gone better. It really couldn’t have gone better.

He recalled the moment when Hit Row heard that they were drafted. It was an exciting moment for all involved and he’s grateful for the opportunity. Top Dolla says he’s aware that they could have been in NXT for another year and feels that they have a vote of confidence from the powers that be to have been called up.

The fact that they dedicated television time to drafting us [Hit Row], that was — we were sitting in the back and it was like, because she [Sonya Deville] says my name first before she says — she says my name and then lists everybody else in the crew and then says, ‘Hit Row!’ I hear ‘Top Dolla’ and I immediately pop and everyone is like, ‘What’s going on?’ Because we’re watching [in] the back and then she finishes by saying ‘Hit Row’ and then everybody’s like, ‘Oh! Yeah!’ And it’s like it really felt like — I went over and we just hugged with Hit Row man. It was crazy man. We’ve been trying to do this for — I’ve had this idea for years. So, to actually get a chance to do it and then only really do it for like four months on TV and them being like, ‘You know what? We’re just gonna give you guys a chance to run with this.’ We got to skip so many steps that a lot of people don’t get to skip and honestly, I think that we earned that but also it’s like, we’re grateful for that opportunity because we know Hit Row could’ve easily been on NXT for another year and just tried to do storylines with everybody we could and you know, did that to elevate NXT and but we know we’re ready for the main roster. We know that. So for them to be like, ‘Yeah, we think you are too,’ it gives us even more confidence.

He further spoke about his dark match and said those in attendance only saw a portion of what he can do in the ring. He mentioned that while he was in NXT, it was not his job to display how athletic he was because he had to work a big man style.

You gotta recognize the fact that anybody who saw me wrestle on the indies and has seen me wrestle in WWE, knows that I haven’t really done nothing yet, of what I’m capable of. When you saw that dark match in Baltimore, I did some really cool stuff that big men can’t do. That’s what I’m saying [you could hear the audience reacting to the moves]. When I did the kip-up, people were like, ‘Woah. Well I did not expect that.’

And that’s not even a tenth of what I’m capable of in that light, so it’s like to understand that I can get so much out of so little makes me recognize that when I get an opportunity against a Roman Reigns, of what I can really break out and show people about my ability. That’s what I’m most excited for because on NXT, I was way bigger than everybody and I’m still the biggest person on SmackDown right now because Omos and Commander Azeez both went to Raw. So I’m still the biggest person on SmackDown right now but there’s a lot more people my size on SmackDown than there was in NXT so on NXT, I couldn’t do my kip-ups and my Taker dives and all these other things that I do and moonsaults and all these other things that I can do that I haven’t had the opportunity to do because that wasn’t my role on NXT. Now, because there’s other big guys on SmackDown, I can do a lot more cool stuff and that is what I’m most excited for.

Prior to and after the Draft in Baltimore, members of the WWE roster went to Jimmy’s Famous Seafood. It was there that Top Dolla told Universal Champion Roman Reigns that he can take a great spear.

Look man, I’ve told Roman [Reigns] this. I told Roman this when I saw him at Jimmy’s [Famous Seafood] after the Draft. I told him, ‘I take one hell of a spear.’

Closing out his thoughts about Hit Row being drafted, Top Dolla said when someone like Edge says what they’re doing is what WWE needs, he knows they’re on the right track. He brought up how just five months ago, they were just starting as a group in NXT.

We’re [Hit Row] changing the game. That’s the thing that I’m most excited about is because like, when I come back through the curtain and Edge tells me, ‘This is what we need. This is 2021. This is today’s wrestling. This is what we need.’ To hear Edge say that to me about an idea that I came up with three years ago before I was even here, and to see it go all the way through to fruition and then not only did it work for me, but it worked for my boy Tehuti [Ashante Thee Adonis], it worked for my girl Bri [B-FAB], it worked for my man Swerve. All four of us are able to eat off of this.

We went from four people that didn’t have anything going for ‘em in NXT. Like even Swerve was on TV but he wasn’t in major storylines and he wasn’t winning any big matches. He’ll tell you that himself. So like, we went from four people that there wasn’t really anything for us in NXT to five months later, the hottest act in wrestling and now we’re on SmackDown on FOX. I could not be more grateful of the opportunities I’ve been given.

** The All Real Wrestling Podcast has an interview with new AEW signee Bobby Fish. Fish looked back on his run in WWE NXT and the formation of Undisputed ERA. Regarding Roderick Strong joining the group, Fish says it was a no-brainer and there was nobody else in the company that could’ve seamlessly transitioned into the group like Strong.

I don’t think there’s anybody else in the company who could have joined the group [Undisputed ERA]. Honestly, looking back, when they decided they wanted to give us a fourth, I don’t know if it was completely just a reaction to my ACL injury, or if there was a plan for that prior, I don’t know. The timing was literally right after I tore my ACL and we weren’t gonna say no but if our opinion was asked and they were to have said to us, ‘Hey, is there anybody in the company that you would –’ Roddy [Strong] would have been the unanimous choice so for them to launch — again, it’s another one of those serendipitous where it was like, ‘Please. Yes,’ and I think The Undisputed ERA had a little bit different look at that time with Roddy coming in and there was an adjustment for sure and then once I was healthy and could come back, there was another adjustment because they had such great chemistry between the three of them and then I was coming back into the fold and then it took a little bit of time for the chemistry of the four of us to work itself out but every facet and every turn, it just seemed to — it was like we couldn’t help but bat a thousand when the four of us were together.

It was at TakeOver: Brooklyn III in 2017 that Bobby Fish, Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly first formed Undisputed ERA. Fish said there was that initial concern that those in attendance wouldn’t be familiar with them.

But in those moments and you’re debuting and it’s gonna be the three of [us] and you have your doubts, you know? Humans have insecurities and I think while we were waiting to go out, you know, Kyle [O’Reilly] and I were gonna come out at an earlier segment in the show and it was like, ‘Is anybody gonna know who the f*ck we are?’ You don’t know until you know and to then follow that up with after the main event [of TakeOver: Brooklyn III], doing the part with Adam [Cole] and the pop being even bigger and then standing at the top of the stage and having people do the Adam Cole Bay Bay in unison with him which is even further confirmation that like, ‘We know exactly who the three of you are,’ was pretty special. You know, and again, just beyond humbling and it was definitely career — one of the career highlights for sure.

The Undisputed ERA competed in every NXT WarGames match. Bobby feels that the group is synonymous with that match when it comes to NXT.

I grew up being a big fan of the Crockett years of WCW, lesser known as the NWA and blah, blah, blah. So when Dusty [Rhodes] and The Horsemen and Nikita Koloff and Sting and they were legendary for these WarGames matches. I grew up on those and the WarGames were probably my favorite gimmick. So, for the relaunch of those — and I know Hunter and Shawn [Michaels] were big fans of that, the WarGames and that incarnation as well so for them to bring it back the way that [they] did and then for us to be the spearhead of that and then not only the spearhead of the first one but then to be in every one of this new incarnation. We, the Undisputed ERA is synonymous with WarGames when it comes to NXT. There is no WarGames without us. That’s, again, I hate to keep using the same phrase but just so humbling to know that there are kids that watched these WarGames the same way I did. I mean I wore out those VHS tapes and the WarGames and the way that The Horsemen to me, as a kid were synonymous with WarGames, I feel like we got to be that and I can’t — I’ll be endlessly thankful to Hunter and Shawn Michaels for allowing us to be that. I have such gratitude to them.

In his AEW debut, Fish used the reDRagon theme song that he and Kyle O’Reilly used in Ring of Honor. Bobby credited ROH’s Delirious for being the individual that initially paired he and O’Reilly up.

So Kyle [O’Reilly] had come to a [Harley Race] camp. That was when we met then we ran into each other numerous times on independents and different things. Ring of Honor, it was their idea. It was Hunter, Delirious, it was his idea. I gotta give him credit for putting Kyle and I together and it was a way to break Kyle away from Davey [Richards], because they were making that split and they were looking to get Davey and Eddie Edwards back together and so there needed to be an antagonist and it just seemed to fit. For me to come in and kind of, you know, just help Kyle poke Davey and be the guy that kind of needled Davey even more and that was kind of the catalyst for what ended up being reDRagon and I don’t think we realized. I don’t think Hunter realized the chemistry we’d have right away but [it] was, I don’t wanna say instant but, I’d say within three meetings or three outings or whatever you wanna call it and they weren’t even all matches. There might have been one match and a promo and one other thing and it was just — I mean the ideas. You just hit that flow state and he had ideas, I had ideas. My buddy George had ideas. We just — they were endless. Yeah, it was fun.

** While speaking to Yahoo! Finance, MLW founder Court Bauer spoke about collaborating with competing companies and promotions. He said one must be careful because the door is open for interference from those competitors. He added that it’s much easier to work with an overseas organization or a promotion in Mexico.

I think you have to be careful when working with competing promotions domestically because you open the door to tortious interference. You’re the shepherd, the advocate, the guardian for the talent, so you need to make sure you’re putting them in the best position to succeed and represent the fan base you have built. It’s much easier when you work overseas or with Mexico because it’s smoother transactionally.

Bauer recounted working for WWE as a writer and not being keen on the idea of UFC airing immediately after Monday Night Raw on Spike TV because that would be letting a competitor receive a portion of their viewership.

When you have an established franchise like ‘Dark Side,’ the strategic move is to build on that by having it as the lead in. When I was at WWE and we were on Spike TV, there was the opportunity to lead into UFC at 11 p.m. on Mondays. I told them not to let that air. I love UFC, but considering my responsibility to WWE at the time, I believed that they were letting a competitor on, and in that case, it could jeopardize the business. In this case, we’re not a competitor, it’s more complementary strategic programming.

** The Philadelphia Inquirer published their chat with CM Punk. Punk looked back on the 2006 Survivor Series event that took place in Philadelphia. He said the reaction he got from the crowd made some people upset. Punk said the term ‘internet fans’ was alluded to in response to the reaction he received.

People were mad because, ‘We don’t understand. Why’s this kid over?’ Then they’ll use the crutch of, ‘Oh, it’s just internet fans.’ Yeah, OK, 18,000 people packed the place and they’re all just internet fans but whatever. It means something to me now because it was validation. Like, ‘Yeah. My hard work is paying off. Yeah. People are seeing me and the things that I’m doing and people like me. Let’s go.’ Now I’m in a spot where if that happens, it’s embraced. It’s not picked apart and told why 18,000 screaming people are wrong. Now we’re just like, ‘Yeah, those 18,000 screaming people were right.’

Punk often competed at the Murphy Recreation Center in Philadelphia and said he hopes to be a part of a show there again someday.

It was a place in time. It was just a magical place. It’s one of those things that you wish you could go back there. In 2021, I’d love to go back there and put on a show there. It’s everything that punk rock was to me. Seeing a band like Green Day play in a bowling alley in 1993 right before they exploded in 1994 and now they’re doing stadiums. Murphy Rec Center is like that to me.

** David Taub has a feature story up on GV Wire about Bob Jenkins, who was a ring announcer for WWE house shows in Fresno, California from 1986-1992. Jenkins recalled several run-ins he had with ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage. He said there was a time when he almost came into contact with Miss Elizabeth while Randy Savage wasn’t there. He made sure not to look her way because he did not want Savage getting physical with him.

That whole thing with he and Elizabeth? That was like real. She just kind of stood there and smiled as we were talking because I guess we were chaperoning, I don’t know. And then we had to go do stuff, and I felt bad because I didn’t want to leave her there. I didn’t want Randy to come back and see her standing there by herself, without us there.

I walked through one area and Miss Elizabeth [was] in short shorts, painting her toenails, and I’m thinking, ‘Look anywhere but there, Bob, look anywhere but there.’ Gorgeous lady. Very pretty lady in person, stunning. And I could not, was not, going to risk my life over an inadvertent glance.

There was one occasion when Jenkins did not follow along with how George ‘The Animal’ Steele requested the finish of a match to be called. Steele later grabbed ahold of Jenkins and shook him hard which led to Jenkins having neck and hip pain. Linda McMahon ended up calling Jenkins to apologize and offered to pay for a chiropractor. Steele later apologized to Jenkins out of character.

George comes out and starts kind of wandering around the ring and then he picks up this table and the match is almost over. He picks up a table and throws it in and basically clears out the ring. ‘Ladies and gentlemen, George The Animal Steele would like you to know that he has found the table to be the winner of the battle royal, but the real winner is Bret Hitman Hart.’ George looks at me, scrambles out of the ring. I’m standing there. I don’t know what he’s going to do. He grabs my hair, which at that time was something he could grab and gives me a shake. I felt every vertebrae from my neck down to my hips crack. Finally, I got up enough speed to hurdle over one of those metal gates that they used to have down there, and I walked into the crowd.

Screw it, I unhook the microphone. I turn around. I jumped over the rail and I walked into the crowd. They couldn’t even tell people that the night was over. [He later tells me], ‘George sorry. George hurt your neck, George sorry.’ He comes in and starts kissing my neck. ‘Thank you very much. OK, we’re good.’ How can I be mad at George ‘The Animal’ Steele? I’m sore as heck. But you know what? I’m a big boy, I can handle it.

** Trish Stratus and Lilian Garcia are a part of a mental health initiative titled ‘Tag Me In’. Both Garcia and Stratus spoke to Sports Illustrated about ‘Tag Me In’.

** The following notes are from the 10/8 Wrestling Observer Newsletter:

– One of the reasons Davey Boy Smith Jr. has not been around since his dark match on SmackDown in July is because he contracted COVID-19. He was present at the WWE Draft show (SmackDown) in Baltimore.

– The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) recommended that Bobby Fish join AEW.

– Ross and Marshall Von Erich were not present on the MLW Fightland show because they are both dealing with back problems.

The new MLW World Middleweight Champion Tajiri is scheduled to defend the title on All Japan Pro Wrestling shows.

** The latest guest on Excuse Me: The Vickie Guerrero Show was recent AEW signee Lio Rush. He detailed the differences between the backstage atmosphere[s] in AEW and WWE from his perspective. Rush didn’t feel any stress or anger in the air while at AEW and said it feels good to be in a locker room full of people that are hungry.

So, the feeling was so crazy because it feels, like visually, being back in a stadium and seeing the backstage area like that, it was kind of trippy because it was reminding me of WWE in a lot of ways. But the overall feeling was just completely different. Like I didn’t feel any hostility, I didn’t feel any stress or anger in the air. It just felt good. It felt good. You know, even seeing guys that I was in the locker room with in WWE. Some guys that I might not have had a close connection with in WWE but to see us all here in this environment, I think it shows common ground and I think it eases that tension up a little bit and I think that that’s so healthy for even the people who haven’t made it to WWE. I think it’s healthy and good to see that interaction with us and I think it’s cool to be in a locker room full of people that are hungry.

Rush spoke highly of AEW President Tony Khan and how appreciative he is of him. In early September, Khan tweeted out that he had been talking to Rush about a return to AEW. Lio feels that Tony is making the wrestlers fans of the sport again opposed to it just feeling like a job.

He’s amazing. I’m so appreciative of Tony [Khan] and I’m so grateful for Tony. I’m so grateful for what he’s doing for the wrestling world, even for — I think he’s making the boys fans again. I think it’s very easy to have it be just a job, especially when you’re in WWE. I don’t wanna speak for everybody but, at least for me, it got to a point where it just felt like a job. It felt like I wasn’t a fan of wrestling anymore. I felt like I wanted to get away from it as far as possible when I wasn’t wrestling. But, being with Tony and being with AEW, I’m excited. I’m excited. This is the most excited that I’ve ever been. I feel like I’m learning how to — that feeling when you’re wanting to be a professional wrestler and you’re learning and you’re going to training every week and I feel like that again. I can’t wait to be on TV every week, I can’t wait to be in that locker room, I can’t wait to, you know — I just can’t wait to be back in front of fans and this time, wrestling on TV because a lot of the time in WWE on Raw, I wasn’t wrestling so, I’m excited.

** NXT Tag Team Champions MSK (Wes Lee & Nash Carter) spoke to Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture. They discussed NXT’s transformation into NXT 2.0 and the duo said the transition has been smooth. Wes Lee added that the powers that be have been consistent with letting them know how to adapt to the changes.

Lee: It’s been relatively smooth. They — the office does a great job of informing us of things. Letting us know how we should be presenting — well approaching situations and tackling any of those obstacles that we may be having with the new changes that are happening. It’s been so smooth. I can’t say anything else other than smooth because with any kind of changes that you make, it’s always going to be pushed back from the people that are viewing it and just figuring out how to make it all cohesive and they’re doing a great job with it and everything is flowing.

Carter: I love NXT 2.0. I love it. It’s bright. It’s big. That new way of style.

Carter and Lee reflected on the moment they signed their WWE contracts together. They described it as “surreal” and one of the best moments of their respective careers.

Lee: That was surreal. The moment that we knew that we were putting pen to ink, I remember just sitting next to him [Nash Carter] because we did it at the exact same time so…

Carter: It’s one of the best moments of my life.

Lee: Just this rush of euphoria and bliss happened when we completed everything and I’ve been saying that it’s hard to describe this but that was an out of body experience. It felt like we were watching ourselves and just observing our dreams come true.

Carter: Exactly. Dreams come true.

Lee: Absolutely. I’m gonna use the word magnificent. Magnificent is the word of the day. Magnificent.

Wes Lee shouted out Sami Callihan along with fellow Rascalz Myron Reed and Trey Miguel. He said they played a major role in shaping him into the talent he is today.

Lee: For me, my biggest would have to be Sami Callihan. Sami Callihan has been one of the biggest catalyst to the growth of me than anyone else has outside of him [Nash Carter], and our brother Trey [Miguel] and Myron [Reed]. Those guys — like he said, iron sharpening iron and it was great individuals that were wanting to push each other and they saw the potential in each other and they did their best to bring it out.

** The Wrap caught up with CM Punk and asked him how he feels physically after his first several matches in AEW. Here’s how Punk responded:

Oh, I feel like trash, I’ll be honest. I’m 42 years old and I haven’t taken bumps in seven-plus years. I think there’s something to building up a callus, to something you do on a regular basis becoming easier because you do it on a regular basis. I think a lot of wrestlers are feeling this right now. The pandemic, when it shut everything down and it essentially killed house-show business — they’re not on the road, they’re not taking bumps Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday — I think everybody kind of felt this awfulness of, ‘Oh man, I’m wrestling less-frequently than I used to,’ (but) it feels worse somehow.

It’s the miles. The perception that wrestling is fake shields people of the reality that– it’s the bumps, yeah, but it’s the travel, it’s between the shows, it’s driving five hours.

** Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon and SoCal Val welcomed Kia Stevens (Awesome Kong) onto GAW TV. Stevens announced her retirement from wrestling at NWA EmPowerrr. Although no one was aware she was going to make that announcement, she had been talking about it for a month to her husband. Stevens also assumed the production crew knew this was going to be her last in-ring appearance.

Thank you [Mickie James] for that opportunity and that chance. I’m so sad that, like, because the wires did get crossed. I told Brian [Wittenstein/her agent], I’m like, ‘Okay, this is gonna be the last thing I do in the ring. So yes, it will be perfect with Gail, yes. Sign me up.’ In fact, I had been walking around the house talking about that even with my husband. My husband was even surprised. He was like, ‘Wait, so you announced your retirement?’ I was like, ‘I have been walking around this house,’ albeit naked, ‘Talking about this for a month.’ The nakedness distracted him. I had been saying this for a month and even though I would not change a thing in what transpired in the ring, I won’t lie, I thought everyone knew, I thought production knew this is my last thing so on my way there, you know you envision how it’s gonna go. I was like, ‘Yeah, this is gonna be my last thing so I’m sure they’re gonna give me flowers and stuff and I’m gonna be like bye wrestling!’ And whatnot and then no one knew that that’s what I was doing. So there were no flowers.

** East Coast Autograph Auctions live streamed their virtual signing with Tenille Dashwood. The IMPACT Wrestling talent said she’d be open to working with AEW in the future.

Well I have actually [worked with AEW]. I did their first big women’s match on their pay-per-view [ALL IN]. But, yeah. I’m open to anything in the future. You never know.

Tenille was a part of WWE from 2011 to 2017. She described her time working for Vince McMahon as “interesting”.

It was interesting [working for Vince McMahon]. Let’s say that. I mean I didn’t even really see him much and we kind of just did our own thing, you know?

** New Japan Pro-Wrestling hosted a virtual meet-and-greet with Minoru Suzuki as the guest. Below are several highlights from the session:

– When Suzuki comes to the U.S. for matches, he avoids researching who he is going to be wrestling because of the excitement he has. He gets pumped up when sharing the ring with someone who he hasn’t wrestled before.

– Suzuki says when he laughs in the ring, it’s not an act. It means he is having fun in the ring.

– He’s confident he’ll be in England soon. He’s sure he’ll be called out by someone.

** Karrion Kross went live on Instagram with WWE Deutschland. Kross made his Monday Night Raw debut in July and suffered a loss to Jeff Hardy. Kross said things did not go the way he would have preferred but he was able to get his win back over Hardy.

Surreal. I mean I had to put that in the back of mind when I was going out there. There’s no place for that in your head. You absolutely can get starstruck but, growing up watching Jeff Hardy on TV, watching him compete live and then being in the ring with him was absolutely awesome. It definitely didn’t go the way I would have preferred it to the go the first time around but I corrected that in I think less than 50 seconds so I feel pretty good about it now.

When asked about the possibility of a mixed tag match with himself and Scarlett, Kross would like to share the ring with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon and thinks the match would “blow the roof off the place”.

Well, since you asked me, because I don’t try to — I like to see what fans think and see and then play off that. I don’t like leading people into stuff. I feel like it’s a sort of cheap way to do things. But if you’re asking, I would say Triple H and Stephanie [McMahon].

Under the right circumstances and the right place and the right time, I think if something like that could happen, I think we could all blow the roof off the place. I really do.

Kross heaped praise onto fellow Raw roster member Bobby Lashley. He said another Bobby Lashley can not be created and even if someone trains and diets in a perfect manner, they still won’t be on Bobby Lashley’s level.

He’s an absolute monster. There’s certain — if you’re an athlete, you’ll understand this. There’s certain people on this planet that you could — they can train all they want, they can get a coach, they can eat a perfect diet. They will not ever reach the level that Bobby Lashley is at. There’s just certain people on this planet that are just naturally stronger, faster than other people that you just absolutely cannot get near. Like if you watch boxing or mixed martial arts or any sort of combat sports, you’ll see people like that in the top five rank of every division where they’re just different. There’s something very different about him. He’s one of those people. You cannot create another Bobby Lashley. The guy is an absolute animal.

** During a virtual signing with East Coast Autograph Auctions, Layla El, Kelly Kelly and Brooke Tessmacher heaped praise onto Gail Kim and discussed how much they enjoyed wrestling her throughout their respective careers.

Brooke: Literally, I owe her [Gail Kim] pretty much most of my career. She taught me — Nattie [Natalya] started out helping me a ton and then I’d say Gail is really — we had some of the coolest matches. I feel like we just went out there and beat the sh*t out of each other. A lot of times, [I was like], ‘I don’t think I’m gonna make it out of the ring. I just don’t.’ It was like sink or swim with her but she was such a good coach and a leader and I can’t say enough good things about her. I don’t care who she’s in the ring with. She’s gonna make you look like a million bucks.

Kelly Kelly: Every time I wrestled her — in Jacksonville was one of my best matches actually.

Brooke: My best matches was with her. I wish I could do it all over again.

Layla El: She’s amazing. That’s all I can say. I only worked with her briefly, like a couple live events because I wasn’t on the same show as her at the time but, by far, one of the best workers. She deserves that, without a doubt.

** Tom Savini, who was a part of the crew that helped bring Bray Wyatt’s ‘Fiend’ character to life, spoke to Darren Paltrowitz for an interview. Savini detailed how he and Jason Baker’s working relationship with WWE started and it began with an invite backstage from Chris Jericho.

Wrestling, yes [I was always interested in]. I was going to — my dad was taking me to live wrestling… my dad was taking me to local wrestling with Bruno Sammartino and Batman [Tony Marino] and Crusher Lisowski and Killer Kowalski. These are the wrestlers I grew up with and then, I had a girlfriend who was crazy about wrestling so, I was invited by Chris Jericho to go backstage because we met him at a convention and then Jerry Lawler saw me waiting and he’s a big fan so, from then on it became we would go backstage before wrestling matches in the commissary and eat with Jerry Lawler and the wrestlers and then stick around for the matches and that led to, ‘Hey, can you do a mask for,’ you know? We did Triple H’s crown for five WrestleManias so it turned into a work relationship with WWE.

Regarding his work with Bray Wyatt, Jason Baker puts the actual items together and WWE is just a client of Savini’s. He relays what they want to the design team.

It’s mostly in name only [that I’m associated with WWE]. I mean Jason Baker physically creates that stuff. They’re simply my client. It’s almost like, okay, I have a client. I’m turning the work over to the studio to get it done. But there are certain things I had a hand in as far as design-wise.

** Miranda Gordy was a guest on Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling and she discussed her relationship with Michael Hayes, who was partners with her late father Terry Gordy.

My dad [Terry Gordy] passed — I call him my uncle Michael [Hayes] but he kind of took over as a Godparent the best he can and obviously he’s busy, Vince [McMahon] keeps him busy and he’s gotta be busy to entertain the masses at WWE as a producer but, he’s been there for me when he can be and especially now. We have the greatest connection now because we have the same interests, you know? So any time I need help with something, like I said, The Freebabes, I immediately called him up like, ‘What do you think about this?’ And he gave me some good ideas constantly, constantly giving me some good feedback on what I should do, wear and what to watch or how to take in certain things.

Miranda had a WWE tryout earlier this year and the biggest takeaway for her was the feedback about her promos. That is something the coaches and trainers wanted her to focus on and improve.

Yeah, absolutely. They [WWE] gave me a lot of good feedback so, obviously promos which is my biggest thing. I will absolutely say that I am not a talker. I’m an introverted person and that’s probably the biggest critique I’ve given myself and they gave me is the promos, and it’s so important and people forget about that. Even I forgot about that so that’s probably the biggest thing and getting a character because they wanna work towards bringing the character stuff back so, just developing who I am and what I’m gonna be in wrestling and working on promos and as far as the wrestling stuff, I got to work with William Regal and Robbie Brookside and Norman Smiley and Matt Bloom and stuff and just kind of cleaning stuff up, because really, I’m still green and so after the tryout matches and stuff, we had like an educational time and they watch us work and, ‘Oh, you can change this about this’ and kind of stuff that they’re looking for, and in that sense, I’m grateful that I got to work with all those people and suck up all that knowledge too.

** Prior to MLW Fightland airing on VICE, MLW founder Court Bauer chatted with TV Insider for an interview. Heading into the new year, Bauer wants to establish MLW in the Latin American market and noted that-that is one of his key goals for the near future.

Spanish language. That is the big goal. Going after that space. I’ve seen others try and go there. They just can’t figure out how to play to that audience and be authentic. Having worked with great people like Dorian Roldán and Konnan, I’ve been able to get a little granular on how it works. I haven’t attacked it as hard as I’d want to. That’s my real goal, to build that out to our audience in a larger sense with live events and touring and really hit Latin America.

The Jacob Fatu versus Hammerstone match headlined Fightland. Bauer first talked to Fatu and Hammerstone about the title versus title match in February 2020.

When I first talked to Alex and Fatu about this match it was February 2020. We were looking at the Battle Riot 2020 being the kickoff for this rivalry. Then COVID hit. Well, 18 months later in July 2021, the Battle Riot happened and the outcome was exactly how we planned [it] out in February 2020. It led us down the same road with the same destination. We had to hold back and tread water with a lot of stuff, knowing we would rev it up when fans are back. But there is no playbook of what to do during a pandemic.

** ROH Women’s World Champion Rok-C joined Sports Guys Talking Wrestling and said she’d like to share the ring with AEW’s Ruby Soho.

I really want to wrestle Ruby Soho. I think she’s amazing. I was a fan of her before she got released [from WWE], so yeah, I think that would be really cool.

** MARKS WITH MICS welcomed Miranda Gordy onto their show. Miranda detailed how the opportunity to compete at NWA EmPowerrr came to be. She also stated that she is looking to continue working with The Freebabes (Jazzy Yang & HollyHood Haley J) post-EmPowerrr.

I was super excited so, Jazz actually told me. She’s like, ‘Hey, Mickie James is gonna reach out to you. They want you for NWA’ and so, I remember just looking at my phone like every hour like, ‘Did she call? Did I miss it?’ Super excited so she finally called and she told me her ideas about The Freebabes. She was like, ‘I wanna make it all second generation’ and she threw some names at me and I’m like, ‘That sounds good.’ The first pick was HollyHood Haley J and I’m like, ‘Cool. I know her mom. She’s really cool’ and I hadn’t met her yet but I liked her, I heard about her, I’ve been following her. I’m like, ‘Cool, yeah. She’s definitely a Michael Hayes,’ so, she’s a mouthpiece. She’s the talker, the heat-getter, all that. I’m obviously the [Terry] Gordy, the muscle so we need a third and Mickie found Jazzy Yang and it kind of comes full circle because Jimmy [Wang Yang] and my brother [Ray Gordy] teamed as well in the WWE so, she found Jazzy and Jazzy’s just starting out but, she’s kind of got the technician thing going kind of like Buddy Roberts was so, we got her a little bit out of her shell and she did great. We were so proud of her. You know, she’s only had a few matches and we weren’t sure but, she killed it, she did really well and so, we’re really hoping to keep pushing this thing because I think it’s a great dynamic.

** Episode 41 of Josiah Williams’ Wrestle and Flow series:

** Variety’s analytical breakdown of WWE and AEW’s respective trajectories and trends.

** Highspots Wrestling Network hosted a virtual signing with Thunder Rosa. Dean Muhtadi (Mojo Rawley) appeared on the Virtual Gimmick Table show.

** Chris Adonis appeared on this week’s NWA Powerrr post-show to talk about Strictly Business turning on Nick Aldis.

** Gail Kim joined Sportskeeda’s InSide Kradle show to chat IMPACT Knockouts Knockdown.

** The latest recording of Rick Bassman’s Talking Tough show featuring Kurt Angle.

** Naples Daily News published a story about Tara September, who is a former Communications Manager for WWE.

** A contest to win tickets to a WWE live event.

** Planeta Wrestling’s conversation with Drew McIntyre:

** Former WWE developmental talent Krissy Vaine was a guest on Taylor Wilde’s ‘Wilde On’ podcast.

** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated caught up with Gail Kim.

** Slice Boogie appeared on Alyssa Marino’s ‘Let’s Get Cereal’ show.

** Click here to read WESA’s feature about the Enjoy Wrestling promotion and their ‘Night Moves’ show.

** KFOX 14 interviewed John Morrison.

** spoke to Natalya to promote a WWE house show on October 10th.

** AEW’s Michael Nakazawa is celebrating a birthday today. The Miz is celebrating a birthday 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 8250 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.