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.
** nZo (Enzo Amore) joined Piers Austin’s Shooting The Sh*t UNCENSORED! show and dove into his time with WWE. The storyline between nZo and W. Morrissey (Big Cass) was formulated so that nZo could take time off to have plates and screws removed from his leg. Instead of that, nZo opted to have a run in the cruiserweight division.
Well the truth is that I had screws and plates in my leg and I was going to get them taken out, and we had to draw up a storyline for me to get gone so we started finding me dead backstage and you find me dead backstage becomes the hottest storyline in pro wrestling. So now they look at me and they’re like, ‘Bro, you’re white hot. Do you really want to get the surgery right now?’ So I was like f*ck it. I’ll go to the cruiserweight division and I’ll do that and you know, so, I mean really, you can’t look in retrospect and say was it too soon [to split from W. Morrissey] because I mean, I never won titles with Big Cass in a tag team and I went on my own to have my favorite run of my career.
The former WWE Cruiserweight Champion shed light on his contract status with the company before being released in 2018. He said he was only under contract through one WrestleMania. nZo added that he had no plans on re-signing once his deal was up.
Did I leave [WWE] on my own terms? No. But when I was there, man I was — I had no plans on re-negotiating a contract, re-signing with the company. I was gonna ride it to the wheels fell off, literally. When my contract day ends, I was gonna do what Dean Ambrose did. They never re-signed me for years. I was only under contract for one WrestleMania so I was a week away from the [Royal] Rumble and now my contract is gonna slip through the cracks and they don’t even realize it at the time. I’m signed with Barry [Bloom] at that time but you know, that was two years ago so…
nZo shared the advice that was given to him by Jon Moxley while they worked together in WWE. Moxley told nZo to use WWE and don’t let WWE use him.
I had a seven-year run in the WWE that you couldn’t — it’s storybook material so, including the way I walked out, so it was a wild time. I had such a good time. I don’t have any regrets about my run in the WWE. I don’t hold any animosity, I’m not bitter at all. I just think that some of the best advice I got in pro wrestling was early on in my career from a guy who might not even know he said it. Jon Moxley said, ‘Don’t let them use you. Use them’ and then I watched him go out there and personify that in ways that are inexplicable. You can’t explain the ways in which that guy was able to walk out on his terms and walk into another big money deal.
** In September, former USWA Champion Eddie ‘Snowman’ Crawford passed away. During a virtual signing with K & S WrestleFest, Jerry Lawler said Crawford had a stroke and then the following day had blood clot troubles which led to his passing.
I did know about it [Eddie Crawford’s passing]. I heard right away down in Memphis. It was kind of big news down there. Barely had a stroke one day and then the next day a blood clot. Finished him off, yeah.
Lawler dove into his views about ECW and why he refers to the company as ‘extremely crappy wrestling’. Lawler also mentioned AEW celebrating the likes of Taz, Jerry Lynn, Dean Malenko and Chris Jericho after AEW Dynamite went off the air in Philadelphia.
ECW, yes. Extremely crappy wrestling. I just was watching, I guess last week, the AEW people had the show there [Philadelphia] and they brought out Taz and Chris Jericho and then I guess CM Punk had been the champion as well and Dean Malenko and all these guys, and they were in that crappy —
What’s funny is that whole deal with the extremely crappy wrestling and with ECW is it resonated so well with the fans and everybody just — especially Tommy Dreamer and I, they [the fans] just believed we hated each other and that I really hated ECW and all that stuff. Well, here’s the thing [about if I really hated ECW]; I was the only WWE guy that went over and worked with them on their pay-per-views, you know? So, you had to do what you had to do.
Back in August, Lawler wrestled nZo, the former ‘Enzo Amore’ in a Casket match for Northeast Wrestling. Lawler detailed how that match came to be and said nZo is the individual who provided the casket because he had one on standby.
It was crazy. nZo had been talking about — he’d been making these social media interviews about our match that was coming up and it was just gonna be a regular match, and all of a sudden, I get to hearing from some friends of some of the things nZo was saying.
nZo had run his mouth about — you know, he was kind of throwing in a little bit of shade towards the WWE and he wanted to play off the fact that of course that I had the cardiac arrest and he said, ‘You know, Lawler got a second chance at life. I never got a second chance when I got fired from WWE. I didn’t get a second chance but The King did’ and he said, ‘I’m a little jealous of that fact’ he said, so, ‘He’s not gonna get a third chance, when I finish him in the ring’ and he said he’d been studying Ox Baker’s ‘Heart Punch’ and he said, ‘I’m gonna finish Lawler off once and for all with this Heart Punch and he won’t have a third chance.’ So I heard those interviews and I called the promoter and I said, ‘You know what’d be kind of cool is why don’t we make this a Casket match?’ And so, plus, you don’t have to actually beat anybody in a casket match. Somebody’s gonna get put in the casket and roll away and so, apparently, this is the funny thing; apparently Mike Lombardi, the Northeast Wrestling promoter, he calls up nZo and approaches him with the idea of making it a Casket match and nZo says, ‘Oh my gosh, yeah. I own a casket.’ What? So Mike calls me back and says, ‘You know nZo owns a casket?’ I said, ‘Well that’s perfect.’ Sure enough, he pulled up in a truck with a casket behind him. So that’s how the Casket match came about.
Jerry Lawler later added that he’ll be present in Brooklyn, New York for Survivor Series in November.
Actually, the following week is Survivor Series on the 21st. I’m in New York for that.
** While speaking to Renee Paquette on her Oral Sessions podcast, Lio Rush recalled being told by former NXT head writer Joe Belcastro that he was not ready for [main roster] TV and would not be ready for quite some time. That lit a fire in Rush and he detailed being called up to Raw and Vince McMahon catching wind of his promos on social media.
That came about because, aw man. But that stemmed from me being in the P.C. and just wanting to be so ready for TV and asking, I believe his name is Joe Belcastro [former NXT head writer]. I remember one day asking him to watch my promo during promo class and he said that he would. He was kind of texting while my promo was going on and I saw it in the corner of my eye so I had asked him if he watched my promo and he had said, ‘Yeah. It was great,’ and I was just like, ‘Motherf*cker, you didn’t watch it’ and it just lit such a fire underneath me and I had asked him — I was just asking him some tips and he had told me that I wasn’t ready for TV and I wasn’t gonna be ready for a while. It was just so much going through my head like, I was thinking like, ‘Why am I even signed?’ But I took that moment to say, ‘You know what? I think I am ready for TV and I’m gonna show you that I’m ready for TV’ so I started cutting promos on my phone every day and I would release a promo every day on my Instagram, on my Twitter and they started really catching fire and I was doing it every day all up until me getting signed to 205 [Live] and I got a call when I flew back home from 205 saying that I was needed for Monday Night Raw and to send my flight details and I was like, ‘What? I’m needed for Raw?’ And they wouldn’t tell me what I was doing so of course I’m backstage, when I get there, I’m panicking. I don’t know what’s going on and Paul Heyman had walked up to me and said, ‘Vince had saw one of your promos that one of the writers had showed him from your social media and he thought that you were great and he wanted to pair you up with Bobby’ and I was like, ‘Ah man, that’s so cool.’ I just couldn’t believe that me taking that initiative to put out promos essentially landed me a job on Raw, and it was seen by Vince [McMahon] and Vince had pulled me into his office and said that I was gonna be working with Bobby and I didn’t know what it was gonna be and he kept saying like a hype man and that was the first time — and I’m a WWE fan so I never heard [of] a hype man. I was like, ‘What’s a hype man?’ He said, ‘Yeah, Paul will talk to you about it’ and we went in the weight room of the stadium and he was saying that I was essentially gonna be Bobby’s manager but in a way of kind of like Jimmy Hart and I was gonna be loud and I was gonna wear obnoxious suits and I was gonna be that mouthpiece for Bobby and yeah, that was the most surreal day of my life.
While Lio was managing Bobby Lashley, he was concerned that he would be too good at his role and be pigeonholed in that position. He does wish he could have wrestled more in WWE during that stretch with Lashley.
I was a little nervous that I was gonna do it so good that I would trap myself and put myself in the position of just being a manager forever and that was a lot. That was a lot but at the same time I wanted to do my best. I couldn’t help it. Of course I would have liked to do more wrestling. I would have loved to wrestle more. I think I would have put on some really good matches. I think I would have been talked about even more than I was talked about if I was wrestling. Yeah, I would’ve liked to wrestle a little more.
Rush felt that there was a stigma or an idea that he was too cocky and that hurt him personally. He said he’s just a confident person and self-motivated. He added that he was not going to work to make friends and that may have rubbed people the wrong way.
I think a lot of people thought that I was super cocky and that honestly hurt me to my core. It sucks when that’s the stigma about you and I think, me, I’m just a very driven person. I’m very driven, I’m very confident in my abilities. I know what I’m capable of as everyone else does. I think a lot of people thought that I was cocky, which wasn’t the case at all. I just believe in myself so much. I’m a self-motivated type of person, you know? I like speaking things into existence. I like saying that I’m gonna do something and then doing it. Not for anybody else but for me. I think also, a lot of people don’t take into account that there is a such thing as introverts and extroverted people within the wrestling company. I always went there — work — I had other things to think about. So it’s not like I was going to work to try to make friends. Obviously friends are great, but that’s not my number one priority. I don’t know. I was just in a very unfortunate hard position and I can see why things went the way that they did for me, but at the same time it does suck.
One talent who pulled Rush to the side and talked to him about people’s perception of him was Xavier Woods. Lio appreciated Woods doing that and said their conversation was not about wrestling and Woods was checking on him to see how he was doing.
I remember, and I could be slightly wrong but the two instances I remember; one was Bobby [Lashley] because I was working with him every week and we would talk all the time and he knew me better than anybody did. He knew what kind of person I was, he knew my values, my morals and everything like that. But one person that I didn’t really talk to all that much that saw me from afar and you know, he expressed that he was a fan of me was Xavier Woods. I remember he pulled me in a room, he was just talking to me. He just wanted to know what I was thinking, how I was as a person and how I can maybe better assist people warming up to me in a way. That’s so cool that he did that, because it was real, it was genuine. We didn’t talk about wrestling. It was just like, ‘How are you?’ But I think the overall aura of backstage WWE, it’s a little difficult, for me at least, especially when you just wanna do your absolute best every week and you just wanna work. You just wanna make a name for yourself.
** Chris Van Vliet has an interview with Axel Tischer, the former ‘Alexander Wolfe’ in WWE. While he was with the company, Tischer was a part of SAnitY with Nikki A.S.H., Eric Young and Big Damo (Killian Dain). They lost their first match on SmackDown and Tischer remembers being told that nobody would remember them losing their debut.
Specifically, what we had on SmackDown, there was a thing. They told us [SAnitY] — so we lost our debut match and they told us, ‘Don’t worry. Everything is fine. People will forget about that.’ But, [nowadays, we have the internet]. Internet doesn’t forget. Doesn’t matter what you do. You know, somebody takes screenshots, somebody remembers. The data guy, database, whatever. So, ‘Okay. You say we’re fine, we’re fine. Cool’ and then, ‘Yeah, we have to figure something out.’ ‘Okay, yeah. We already figured something out. Use the pitch, maybe you use it.’ Okay, but if you pitch it to one guy, maybe it does not go up to Vince McMahon in that time.
Throughout his time in the sports-entertainment company, Tischer said there were times when WWE almost killed his passion for wrestling.
I’m a passionate wrestler. I love this sport so much and even if I’m very grateful for my time in WWE, I had some times where they tried to kill my passion for it, and they almost were successful with it and that is something when I review that, again, I learn so much about this business in those six years working with the biggest wrestling company in the world. But also, learning a lot of things what — for example, empty promises. Nothing is for granted if it’s not written on paper or signed by somebody.
It was in 2015 that Tischer joined WWE. He talked about the early days of NXT being filled with some egocentric individuals. Although he had thoughts of his own, there was a sense that he had to walk on eggshells because he was new.
Also, it’s you easily step on somebody’s foot because especially in that time, it was more throat cutting in NXT with some egos and with some guys who think they’re the sh*t. But for me, it being the sh*t, you have to kind of swallow it down because you’re a new guy. You cannot go head-to-head with somebody and tell them the truth and you know, you maybe work with that guy and also it was kind of like a little bit — you’ve got kind of, what’s the word for that? Indoctrinated to follow the system. The system of, ‘This is developmental. Your goal should be-be on the main roster and those are the veterans right now. Those are the guys who have been here a few years so you should listen to them.’ But it was kind of like a cool mentality because you had some good guys but the majority of it was sometimes, you know, you walk on a lot of eggshells. If you don’t, you feel too comfortable and they made sure you are too comfortable right now so make sure you go back to the eggshells.
** Chase Owens welcomed New Japan Pro-Wrestling commentator Kevin Kelly back to his Twitch channel. When asked for his thoughts about the 2021 World Tag League tournament, Kelly doesn’t suspect any foreigners to be involved who haven’t wrestled for New Japan since the COVID-19 pandemic started. For example, a team like Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) will not be competing in World Tag League.
Well, no foreign teams [are not going to be in World Tag League 2021]. No teams that have not competed in New Japan over the past year, because there’s no new visas. I know people were encouraged, ‘Oh, maybe Aussie Open will be in it.’ Nope. They can’t be. They probably would, but they can’t be.
Chase Owens often uses the running knee strike which is sometimes referred to as the ‘V-Trigger’. Owens and Kelly talked about how Kenny Omega gave Chase permission to do the move.
Owens: You know what a big factor this tour has been I think? All those times tagging with Kenny [Omega], got that knee down. The knee, game changer.
Kelly: By the way, Kenny gave Chase all the permission in the world. I mean he didn’t write a letter but he didn’t have to. He told Chase and he’s even gone on social media and said, ‘Yeah, I let him use it.’
Owens: Now everybody’s all, ‘Mhm, look at this Kenny Omega rip-off’ because he does one move.
On 10/4, Chase Owens defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi in the G1 Climax tournament. Owens spoke about how nervous he was heading into the match.
You want me to tell you how nervous I was last night to be honest? Yes [I was legitimately nervous to face Hiroshi Tanahashi]. Just hearing the music. I mean, you know, all jokes aside, it is Hiroshi Tanahashi. One of the greatest of all time. Most G1 wins.
** Inside The Ropes released a clip from their stage show with Bret Hart. In the clip, Hart spoke about his return to WWE in 2010 and how there were legal troubles with the Lloyd’s of London insurance firm stemming from it. Hart’s lawyer and Lloyd’s of London came to an agreement to give Bret $1.25 million of the alleged $16 million WCW contract Bret had.
My lawyer had talked to the Lloyd’s of London lawyers sometime that summer and he didn’t really talk about me going back [to WWE] or anything but he told me that they were totally fine with the settlement. I got a full settlement — for my $16 million dollar contract, U.S., that I had with WCW, I got paid $1.25 million was what I got from my insurance policy which is quite a chop in what I should’ve got.
When Bret returned to WWE, there was a segment where Vince McMahon got physical with him which Lloyd’s of London were not pleased with. They sued Bret for the money that was settled for which led to WWE crafting Vince and Bret’s storyline without the two getting physical or doing full-contact wrestling until things were settled with Lloyd’s of London. Bret went on to give props to current IMPACT Wrestling talent Heath for the number of stiff punches he took while Bret was re-learning how to work safely again.
Everything went really good and then Vince [McMahon] did that thing after where he kicked me in the — I think he kicked me in the shin. But it looked like he kicked me in the crotch and I fell down to my knees on TV. I don’t know if anyone remembers that great highlight but, anyway, Lloyd’s of London was watching that and they decided to sue me for all the money that they had given me and they opened up their old lawsuit again for — wanted every penny back that they gave me and I remember thinking they hardly gave me what I deserved anyway and they took me to court for a couple years to win what I got and I was so mad that I didn’t cover that better. I should’ve got their permission but turned out that when my lawyer was trying to get all that settled with Lloyd’s of London to get the clearance for me to do what I was gonna do, everybody went on holidays and nobody got — that was over Christmas and I had to sign my contract with WWE. Vince said, ‘You have to be –’ in wherever it was, Ohio. Dayton somewhere? ‘You have to be there on January 1st.’ I think it’s January 3rd or it’s a no-go. The whole thing is scratched. So I flew and then I did do that whole thing with Vince and they kicked me and I fell down on my knees and as soon as I got home the next day, my lawyer told me that Lloyd’s of London was suing me and we were up — you know, it was gonna be a big problem and then I had to go back to WWE and say, you know, ‘I don’t know if I can do this. This sketch or whatever that we’re doing’ and luckily for me, Vince, he worked — I thought they did a really good job of if you watch that story that they did with me every week or two on Raw, that built up from me breaking my leg with the car backing up into my leg. That was all really good stuff considering I can’t do any physical wrestling and can’t really actually get hurt for real and that was my whole thing. The only thing I had going for me was that I’m not actually doing any physical or full-contact wrestling because I can’t.
I couldn’t let Vince body slam me or hit me with a chair or punch me in the head or do anything. Any kind of blow to my head would be serious for me because my concussion injury was legitimate and like honest and so we had to come up with ways to tell this whole story without actually physically hitting each other and mostly me doing offensive things. Like you might remember me pulling Vince’s jacket over his head and punching him out in the ring and all that. It was me doing stuff to Vince every week and I don’t know how many of those WWE wrestlers that I — when you’re off for a long time, you forget how to work safely. I punched a lot of guys in the head. That poor Heath. Heath Slater. I’m so sorry for all the potatoes I gave that poor guy and he never complained about it once but I potato’d the heck out of him.
** On a recent episode of Talk’n Shop, Rocky Romero reflected on his early days in wrestling and recalled Christopher Daniels being a tough instructor. Rocky admitted that initially, he hated Daniels. Years later, Daniels told Rocky that he might have been too hard on the trainees.
For me, Chris [Daniels] was a big deal because whenever I’d go to his class, it was always like so serious. I f*cking hated him. Like probably for the first two months that I knew him. Hated him a lot, like badly because you would get in there and he was like so regime in how he was doing stuff and he was really good, right? And he knew he was really good and he didn’t have time to waste on — when you go to wrestling school, there’s some of the guys that take it really seriously and then there’s a bunch of guys who are just kind of in there, kind of just doing it, helping to support the system for the guys who are really wanting to take it seriously and maybe try to go to the next level, you know? And for the other ones it’s like, I don’t know. They just wanna try it out basically and it doesn’t really go past that.
But Chris, I remember — and if you messed up the spot or you messed up a drill, Chris was such an asshole at that time and he admits it later to me what an asshole he was but he’d be like, ‘What the f*ck are you doing? Get the f*ck back in the line. That f*cking was terrible! How do you f*ck that up!? It was a drop down’ and then you’d be like — so you’d be in line like, ‘Oh God. Oh, oh. I better get it’ and then you’d — you had to really pay attention because it’s not a joke either though.
** The most recent guest on Insight with Chris Van Vliet was new AEW signee Bobby Fish. While at meet-and-greets and autograph sessions, Fish strays away from doing The Undisputed ERA hand signal because he’s not sure if he can legally do it in pictures and videos anymore.
I get a lot of Undisputed ERA stuff [at meet-and-greets]. I get a lot of requests to do the hand signal. I tell them they can do it. I won’t do it. No, I don’t do it and honestly, I don’t have a yes or no answer for legally on it. I just know it’s a grey area and I’ll just stay away from it. Just in case.
** The Havana Pitbulls (Rocky Romero & Ricky Reyes) reunited on the Talk’n Shop podcast. They looked back on their ROH World Tag Title win in 2004 when they beat CM Punk and Colt Cabana for the titles. Cabana underwent Lasik eye surgery at some point before the match and he told Rocky and Ricky not to hit him in the face but they thought Cabana was joking.
Romero: That’s when [Colt] Cabana got eye surgery, right? Or Lasik surgery and this motherf*cker had Kurt Rambis goggles, right? He just showed up to the show. Me and [Ricky] Reyes and I think [CM] Punk were sitting by the ring before the show, we’re like, ‘Where’s Cabana?’ And Cabana shows up like a minute or two later and he’s wearing these f*cking goggles and I just started looking at him, I just started laughing. I was popping because I thought he was f*cking around. Like what the f*ck are you wearing these stupid ass goggles for? And he goes, ‘Alright guys, just don’t hit me in the face because I’m wearing these f*cking goggles.’ I’m like — ‘And my eyes were f*cked up. I got this surgery’ or whatever and I’m like, ‘What is he talking about?’ I honestly thought he was f*cking joking so we put the whole match together, doing this whole thing. We get in the match and I think me and or Reyes, one of us, first thing we do, lock up. The first punch we throw, it’s like right between the eyes and he just starts freaking out and I’m like, ‘Oh sh*t.’ I’m like, ‘What is he getting so mad for?’ And then he starts yelling at us like, ‘You motherf*ckers! Why are you hitting me in the face?’ And we’re like, ‘What are you talking about? You’re wearing these stupid ass goggles. I thought that’s what you wanted.’ He’s like, ‘No! I shoot can’t f*cking get hit in the face. These are to protect my eyes!’ We’re like, ‘What?’ I was like, ‘You’re always f*cking around. We thought you were kidding the whole time. We thought you were just ribbing us and that you’re wearing these f*cking stupid goggles for nothing.’ He’s like — it was really to protect his eyesight. You couldn’t get hit in the eyes and me and Reyes are just like punching him right between the eyes. We thought he was joking the whole time because he would do stupid, funny sh*t like that, you know? We thought he was just being a jokester, pulling our f*cking chain.
Reyes: I don’t remember him saying [anything] about the surgery so I literally thought it was just being funny. Like Colt just being Colt. That’s what I chalked it up to and then I remember, I know it was you [Rocky Romero] because I’ve seen the footage of it. You kicked him right in the eye, like with your toe at one point and he starts swinging from the ground, like legit. In my mind, I remember thinking, ‘The f*ck. Is he throwing real punches? The f*ck is wrong with him?’ I remember grabbing onto him and he’s like, ‘What the f*ck!?’ And I’m like, ‘What’s he really mad for?’ And I didn’t get it until afterwards and I remember he put his arms around us and he was like, ‘It’s all right’ and I’m thinking, ‘What the f*ck is all right?’ I was so confused the whole night.
** Former WWE Performance Center recruit Zechariah Smith told Lucha Libre Online that to his knowledge, there were no plans in place for him to make his NXT in-ring debut. Smith was released from WWE in August.
No, nothing of that. There were never any plans in place as far as I’m aware [to make my WWE in-ring debut]. So you know, we went through some names, we went through that creative process but never got as far as that. There were never any solid plans of that nature.
** While on the Front Row Material podcast, Alex Colon dove into his decision to focus primarily on deathmatch wrestling and how it is a struggle at times. He often questioned if he should go back to the traditional style of wrestling. On the other side of the coin, Alex was able to find his character by immersing himself in the style.
All the time [there was a feeling that he needs to do more than deathmatch wrestling], because being a deathmatch wrestler, at least being labeled a deathmatch wrestler because I’ll consider myself that because that’s what I’m primarily doing right now. That’s what I do from a weekly-to-weekly basis. I won’t say ‘unfortunately’, sometimes I do. As a deathmatch wrestler, you tend to struggle because you come into the business to be a professional wrestler. You kind of lean towards this style because you just gravitate towards it and for me it just — it fit me and it kind of — I guess it’s kind of the X factor that a lot of promoters would say, ‘Hey Alex, we know you can wrestle but there’s something missing. There’s an X factor missing’ and then when I started doing deathmatches for whatever reason, a lot of things started clicking, like character-wise, just being more aggressive and learning a different side of me. I guess it gravitated towards fans and then promoters and bookers obviously hopped on the bandwagon, were like, ‘Yeah, this is who you are’ so I kind of figured, I guess that was my X factor. So, you know, I struggle all the time because I come from ten years of just straight professional wrestling and then the last five to six years or five going into six have been solely, primarily deathmatches so it’s always a struggle because a part of me wants to be more than what I am but in deathmatch wrestling, a lot of people say, ‘Oh, there’s no ceiling.’ There is a ceiling because the style we do isn’t geared to appeal towards a TV crowd per se. It’s more of how ECW in the 90s was geared towards indie wrestling crowds, a very niche sector. So it’s just a battle, at least personally for me that I go through even to this day.
** At IMPACT Wrestling’s Bound For Glory event, Josh Alexander is challenging Christian Cage for the IMPACT World Title. Ahead of his main event bout, Alexander appeared on Wrestling Travel’s ‘UNLOCKED’ series. He thinks the best match of his career thus far is his 60-minute Iron Man match with TJP.
I would say it’s probably the best match [Iron Man with TJP] I’ve ever had in my career when you take in all the factors that are involved. A 60-minute Iron Man is, to me, the most physically and mentally grueling thing you can do in pro wrestling. I think it’s the biggest and hardest challenge you can have in pro wrestling and to go out there with TJP and to come back out of it, exceeding our own expectations like we did, you know, it’s something I look back on fondly now that it’s over with. Definitely in the moment it wasn’t all that awesome but, you know, it’s probably the best match I’ve ever had in my career to this point and it was definitely the springboard that got me to the point now where handing over the X Division Title for Option C. I think people are ready for what can possibly be a bigger step for me and just the feedback from that match and all the buzz that was wrapped around what came out of that match.
** Mercedes Martinez guest appeared on the Front Row Material podcast and said if she could interject herself into a past match or storyline, she would have been involved in Natalya’s reign as SmackDown Women’s Champion in 2017.
I think it would be in the reign of when Nattie Neidhart was SmackDown Champion. It was her second reign as champion. When she had that reign, she had all these incredible challengers; Naomi, she had Charlotte [Flair] and I think I would interject myself in that reign somehow and make my debut and take her out and say, ‘I’m the force that you need to be reckoned with’ because no one knows who I was. That’s where I would be. In midst of her reign and have matches and I think that if I did it right, I would interject myself probably after the Charlotte match that she had and probably make my name with her and me and Nattie would go on to have this big long feud of the best of three, the best of five, leading to a cage match, leading to so many stipulations that maybe at that time, no one’s seen. That’s where I would interject myself because I think Nattie would be her best if she could just showcase a lot more of her skills and her veteran status and she’s just a very — I’ve never wrestled Nattie so every time I talk about it, it’s like, ‘Man, if only I had the chance’ but wrestling her would be the highlight of mine and not just one match. Like a compilation of matches.
** Allure Magazine profiled Bad Bunny and he discussed his run with WWE from earlier this year. Bad Bunny said he’s never watched a replay of his concerts, but he’s watched his match at WrestleMania a multitude of times.
I had the lucha libre [action figures], but I also had my own character for when my brother and I wrestled on our parents’ bed. I had my entrance music and outfit — a jacket that I took from my dad and underwear that we painted and decorated. We’d play that for hours. Truly, wrestling has influenced me a lot, and I’ve applied that to my career. The style, the importance of having a trademark move or phrase or look, and always remembering the element of surprise. In wrestling, the fans love getting caught off guard. I like to create that same emotion with my music. It was like I died and went to heaven. I’ve never sat to watch a recording of one of my concerts. Never. But my wrestling fight — I’ve watched it a hundred times. For like a week, I would go to bed watching it.
** Cody and Brandi Rhodes continued to make the media rounds and they guest appeared on the Endless Hustle podcast. Cody looked back on sharing the ring with Shaquille O’Neal earlier this year. Cody thinks Shaq is among the best when it comes to celebrities who have gotten involved in pro wrestling.
I think he’s [Shaquille O’Neal] up there as, if not the best celebrity involvement, he’s definitely at the very top which was a goal of his. Shaq took it very seriously, he trained multiple times. He asked a lot of questions. He very much committed to the idea. He wanted to do good by wrestling fans which is hard to do and the scary thing was right before the actual match, he’s got Shaq Life on TNT as well and they’re filming him and he’s got so much going on and all these people wanted to get pictures and that there was so little time to really have any type of discussions, so I feel like the first time I saw him on that day was when he comes out and hits the double bicep behind Jade [Cargill] and I realize right then, he’s got it because Shaq is just the type of red light personality that has that gene that he’s got it and I really look forward to Shaq returning when and if. He’s still in that ambulance apparently. He disappeared. One of the unsolved mysteries of Dynamite but gosh, I’d like to be on his team this time because he did right by wrestling, historians and right by wrestlers and just he did it right so Shaq, top man. Come back Shaq, yes.
** Ahead of the 10/12 episode of NXT 2.0, NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez spoke to Yahoo! Sports. When she was trying to decide on a name to use in WWE, Raquel said there was a bit of push back when she asked to use her first name ‘Victoria’.
The one [name] that they did push back on was Victoria, my actual name, because it had been used a couple of times, but González wasn’t a problem. It was very important for me to keep it because my father went by Speedy González and Rick ‘Desperado’ González. I wanted to keep those initials. It was important for me to have a first name that started with R. I think that they loved the González part because it added something different to the women’s division at the time.
** AEW’s 2point0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) did a Q&A on their YouTube channel. Back in 2017, Lee wrestled on an episode of 205 Live as ‘Johnny Ocean’. He shared that it was WWE commentator Corey Graves who gave him the name.
So, he [I] needed a name. Actually no, that’s not true. I wasn’t thinking of a name. I went into a room to see Corey Graves and he looks at me, he goes, ‘You’re Johnny Ocean’ and I said, ‘I’m Johnny Ocean. All right.’ Corey Graves. Corey Graves. Loved it, loved it. It’s a really great name.
2point0 also said that they’ve been in touch with the Midwest-based promotion AAW about a future appearance.
Lee: We’ll be there [Chicago] at the end of November.
Parker: November 24th I believe it is.
Lee: Maybe you tell AAW to reach out. We’ve been in touch.
** During her appearance on Into The Danger Zone with Chris Denker, AEW official Aubrey Edwards verbally dove into AEW’s gaming division. She said Evil Uno is the head of the Twitch division for the company.
AEW hired me, they had no idea what my background was. So it’s a matter of taking advantage of an opportunity that comes across, right? And I think my favorite example of this is Evil Uno who’s currently heading up our Twitch division and getting the channel up and running, getting the content generated, organizing all of that, doing the actual recording, editing, all of that and it makes sense because he’s a gamer and he has a successful Twitch channel and we saw him continuously doing this. Like when we were doing the Sunday Susday during the pandemic when they were all coming together, it’s like, ‘Uno’s already doing this job. Why are we not just using him to do this?’ And it’s great because you have people who have existing connections. You have people that you know work well together. Like, I’m in meetings now with Evil Uno weekly and it’s like obviously we work well together in the ring so why wouldn’t we work together well in the office? So, it’s so nice that it’s like, ‘Oh, you’re good at this thing? Cool. We’re gonna have you do this thing,’ and then you bring a lot of passion because you have people working on things that they legitimately like.
AEW’s console game is in the works and there have been videos and images of it that have been shared publicly. Aubrey is not working on the game at the moment and she is currently focused on the AEW Elite GM mobile game. Edwards added that she hopes to work on the console game but there are plenty of things regarding AEW Elite GM that need attention.
This is gonna blow your mind. I’m not working on the console game at all. At all. I am 100 percent focused on Elite General Manager, have been. All of the things that you have seen of the console game are the same things that I have seen of the console game. So if it’s public footage, that’s what I’ve seen. It’s very, very close to the chest right now. I know Kenny [Omega] is like — and I think part of that is the expectations are so high is that Kenny is very, very focused on this. When he’s not wrestling, he’s working on this thing. It’s insane, and I will be working on it eventually. That’s a given. But with Elite General Manager shipping this year and then us trying to get out our season passes and all these things, there’s a ton of things for me to be focused on with that project and I don’t wanna be like, ‘Peace guys’ and then go over to the cool hotness and then ditch my buddies over here because it’s still a project that is important to us and needs to continue to generate revenue for the company so, I totally agree with you that anticipation is very high, for me in particular because I really, really wanna work on it. Console games are like my bread and butter.
** Per PWInsider, MLW’s Mads Krügger has been training with AJ Styles in Georgia.
** PopCulture.com spoke to Shaquille O’Neal for a new interview. Shaq further chatted about the potential match between him and Paul Wight. Shaq said the match has to be in his home-state of New Jersey.
** Nikki A.S.H. and Drew McIntyre were featured on episode 48 of UMPC NOW.
** K & S WrestleFest hosted a virtual signing with Evil Uno.
** Perched On The Top Rope spoke to TJ Wilson for an interview.
** Adam Cole appeared on Alanah Pearce’s YouTube channel to chat Halo.
** Tomohiro Ishii’s entrance video:
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.