POST NEWS UPDATE: Red Shoes Unno discusses Kota Ibushi’s injury, stopping the G1 Final

Red Shoes Unno talks the G1 final, Dan Lambert's status for 10/27 Dynamite, Tay Conti on her AEW run, Happy Corbin interview and more

Photo Courtesy: New Japan Pro-Wrestling

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** During the 2021 NJPW G1 Climax final, Kota Ibushi suffered a dislocated shoulder while attempting a ‘Phoenix Splash’. Tokyo Sports caught up with senior official Red Shoes Unno and asked him about his decision to stop the match. Unno says Ibushi is one of those wrestlers that will fight through an injury to compete but Ibushi must’ve been aware that he could not continue.

He’s the type who [wrestles matches] even if he [can’t] do it, but he must have decided that he can’t do more than that on a big stage.

Following the G1 final, Unno was contacted by Kota Ibushi and said they’ve always had a comedic type of rapport with one another, but this was the first time he can recall them being serious. Ibushi told Unno that he did not need to apologize for stopping the match.

I used to get drunk and call, ‘Come on now!’ But maybe it’s the first time I’ve talked seriously [to Kota Ibushi]. It was like, ‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience.’ [He said] I don’t need to apologize.

Unno went on to mention the likes of Tetsuya Naito, who he considers to be “stubborn” when it comes to injuries. He talked about finding the balance between letting talents continue working and stepping in when necessary.

Because he (Tetsuya Naito) is the most stubborn. If he can still do it, he will be messed up in the waiting room. Some guys don’t want me to stop… it’s difficult. This is hard to say in a nutshell. It happened to happen on the big stage of the G1 final, but the injuries during the match aren’t new. You won’t get used to it hundreds or thousands of times. I personally think that I have a relationship of trust with the [wrestlers]. Not only [Kota] Ibushi, but each [wrestler I’ve been working with] for such a long time. I intend to understand the personality of each [wrestler]. Standing in the ring with the pride.

** American Top Team owner Dan Lambert chatted with Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald. Lambert will not be present on the 10/27 AEW Dynamite in Boston because he’ll be at the PFL World Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada that day.

We got five championship fights, five fights for world titles and a million dollars. You couldn’t keep me out of there with a thousand wild horses coming my way.

Lambert reflected on Junior dos Santos’ in-ring debut on AEW Rampage. Lambert thinks dos Santos held his own and has a future in wrestling if he decides to pursue that on a more consistent basis.

Man I think he [Junior dos Santos] took to it like a fish to water. I mean he was out there in a main event on national television live against some of the biggest names in the business and I think he did more than hold his own. I thought he did great. He was very well received and I think he’s got a future in that business if that’s what he’s looking to do and he’s looking to do some boxing, maybe get back and do some MMA and do some professional wrestling but, he said he’s having the time of his life doing it.

** Doc Gallows was the featured guest on episode 40 of the MCW Cast. Gallows said while he was in WWE, he heard there was a philosophy within the company to eventually control the independent scene and purchase other wrestling companies.

I did hear this; I’m not gonna drop anything here but I mean I know at one point, there was a philosophy in WWE when I was working there that they basically wanted to control all the indies and have everything self-produced through them. This was before AEW had officially launched and that was kind of the plan. They were trying to buy, like say Ring of Honor for example. I don’t know if that’s one of ‘em but they probably tried. Luckily these people held out, they said no. AEW happens and now we’re sitting, it’s fruitful for everybody which is really important because if it’s a monopoly, we all know it’s boring, it’s less interesting to watch.

** Mercedes Martinez talked to Bell To Belles and further expanded on her decision to opt out of being a part of RETRIBUTION. WWE wanted Mercedes to wrestle in a mask and because of her asthma, that was not something she was interested in doing.

Yeah, we knew we were gonna wear masks but I thought it was more for entrance or for just the aesthetic, you know, just because that’s part of — and that’s fine because I wear a face mask in my entrance, which is perfectly fine. I believe that the facemask, maybe we should have had some input in it. I was like, maybe, ‘Here’s my facemask. I have two different facemasks. Maybe we can make something similar to these two but for this group.’ You know, I tried really hard but I can’t wrestle in this mask and that’s another issue is that I can’t wrestle in a mask. I have asthma, it’s hard for me to breath in the first place without a mask. How am I going to wrestle in a mask? And you know, we’re still in [a] pandemic. For me to train or be in a gym or anything like that, I have to wear a mask and it’s so hard for me to do that-that I built my own home gym for that reason because I can’t breathe, I have to have an inhaler so, that was a safety issue for me. When something doesn’t feel right, regardless of maybe you can be on the main roster, you can make all this money and stuff, at the end of the day, I just didn’t feel it in my heart. It really came down to that. It really just didn’t feel like I should be a part of this group and people think that it’s probably the wrong decision but for me it was the right decision right then and there, for me. Maybe they could’ve gotten somebody else but for me and for the 20 years that I put in-in this business, I didn’t want my WWE career to be valued as part of a group and a name change and everything changed from what people know me as. I built my legacy on my own and for me, I was like, ‘I don’t have a long shelf life at 40 years old. I don’t know how long I’m gonna be a part of this business’, especially with WWE. I don’t know if they’re gonna keep me around long. I don’t know anything, nothing’s guaranteed in life so do I want my legacy, my WWE stamp to be part of RETRIBUTION? Or do I want my stamp to be known as Mercedes that people know and love and the badass?’ And that’s really what it came down to. It was, ‘I need to be known as Mercedes.’ That’s what they grabbed me as, that is what we got my contract from is ‘Mercedes.’ That is what I want to leave as when it came to WWE.

** Prior to Malakai Black’s main event match against Cody Rhodes on the 10/23 AEW Dynamite, he did a Q&A with Decibel Magazine. Black shared that he is working on several different masks for his on-screen presentation.

The mask is based on the Celtic god Cernunnos. There’s not a lot known about him. He was referred to as the horned god. Anyone who knows what I did with the Tommy End and Aleister Black characters knows there are always ties to the occult and mythology and alternative history. I thought this was a good presentation because Cernunnos was worshipped in low Celtic lands like the Netherlands back in the days of Julius Caesar. It felt very cool to introduce this Celtic tribal lore that a lot of people don’t know, but that plays a big part in the history of Europe. I’m working on several different masks that will affect the aesthetics and presentation of Malakai.

** At AEW Full Gear, Tay Conti is challenging Britt Baker for the Women’s World Championship. Bell To Belles released their interview with Conti and she discussed how happy she is in AEW. She feels like she belongs in the company.

I promise you, I have never been more happy in my life. I’m really happy right now. I love my job, I love my co-workers, my boss is the best boss ever and I’m not kissing butt because if you guys know me, everybody knows I’m not that type, I’m really honest and then I just do my job and I go home but like I feel really, really, really happy in AEW. All the stuff, like everybody, they’re super nice, the lawyers. It’s a family pretty much. I’m not kidding. It’s like, ‘Damn, okay.’ I feel happy here, I feel like I belong here.

She credited Serena Deeb for being a mentor of sorts to her dating back to their time together in WWE while Serena was a coach. Tay also commented on the TBS Title tournament which is underway and said AEW’s women’s roster earned that title.

But honestly, I’m super happy. It’s more opportunity for the whole roster [TBS Title tournament] and I do really feel like we deserve it because the entire roster is like, we’re working so hard. You know, we’re going together, really to make things better and I think it’s translating really well with Dustin [Rhodes] helping, Serena [Deeb] helping. I love Serena. She’s one of my biggest examples in the ring and outside the ring. I’m so glad that we’re working together again. Her psychology, her experience, everything is so good and I’m so grateful because I always go to her like, ‘Hey, what do you think about this? Can you watch my match? Can you give me feedback?’ And she’s always so available so she helps a lot and I’m grateful for it. I feel like the entire roster is like we’re doing better, way better. We deserve and we’re getting the opportunity. So everything’s working well so this title came like in a perfect moment. Of course, I want the gold, you know? I’m going for it and I’m also going for Britt Baker because I never wrestled her and yeah, I’m ready to kick her tail so…

** Former Lucha Underground Champion Martin Casaus (Marty ‘The Moth’ Martinez) spoke to Lucha Libre Online and during their conversation, he shared that viewers of the show sent death threats to him and his family after he won the Lucha Underground Title.

By the time we got to the season where I win the championship, for me, it was validation that I did it. I actually ended up bringing my parents out to see that match [Lucha Underground Title win] so I had my mom, my dad and my girlfriend there in The Temple with me during it so it was a big — it was one of the best moments of my life for sure. I have Chelsea Green who’s an amazing worker and killing the industry wrapping the belt around me. I have my parents in front of me, I have my now-wife who’s standing there in front of me and then I have half the crowd. The reaction from the crowd is also what helped [make] it so fun because half the crowd was so pissed, so pissed that I won the championship that they were very vocal about it and then I had another half of the — maybe a fourth, but they were a very vocal fourth of The Temple that was chanting, ‘That’s my champ.’ So these guys would chant how much I suck and then these guys would chant, ‘That’s my champ.’ But hearing those guys argue so loud after it happened, seeing my parents, beautiful girl wrapping a belt around me, staring at my beautiful wife. It was one of the best moments ever, and just to know, even if I pissed you off, whether you loved me or hated me winning the title, I got a reaction out of you and that means I did my job and for me, holding up that belt meant that I knew I could do it. I did it, I finally did it. This is awesome. So, it was a great moment. You got a hot girl wrapping around you, you got your family in front of you, the entire Temple going nuts and angry at you, really angry at you and then it was really fun because then the social media came in too. I got death threats from winning the title and the stuff I would do with Melissa [Santos]. [The] whole thing was an experience and one that I would love to do again and again and again. Yes, straight up death threats. ‘Hey, if you do this and this and if you do something like this to Melissa Santos again, I’m gonna come over there and kill you and your family.’ I’m like, ‘… They recorded this two months ago so it’s probably gonna happen again.’

** Olympic Gold medalist and MMA fighter Kayla Harrison joined Renee Paquette and Miesha Tate’s ‘Throwing Down’ show on SiriusXM. Kayla has appeared on AEW programming alongside American Top Team, but Kayla has no interest in pursuing anything in the ring.

Yeah, so we went to the show [AEW] and I didn’t even do anything and everyone was like, ‘Oh my God! Kayla Harrison! All Elite Wrestling!’ And I was like can you imagine if I actually bombed someone or something? People would absolutely — oh God no [I’m not thinking about wrestling]. No offense, this is what I always say, I always say, ‘Listen, I worked very, very hard to get out of the trailer park. Why would I wanna be the entertainment?’ 

** Rey Mysterio headlined the 10/25 Monday Night Raw and prior to the show, he chatted with TV Insider. Rey said his daughter Aalyah recently asked him what he would think if she wanted to wrestle.

Not too long ago she asked, ‘Dad, what would you say if I wanted to step in the ring?’ I said, ‘As long as you don’t leave your career behind.’ She wants to join the medical field. As long as she does that and tries wrestling as a second option, I don’t mind. She always had the curiosity to take a bump, hit the ropes. I said whenever you want to try it, let me know. I think it’s in the back of her mind. She is very dedicated to her school and education. I’m proud of that right now.

Rey has spoken at length about how Dominik coming into wrestling brought back that spark for him. He added that he felt like he was losing his passion in 2019.

Before my son even stepped in the ring I thought maybe it was time to hang up the mask. Having my son kick off his career gave me a moment of renewal. It was a rebirth. I see my son wrestle now and see myself from the early days. It definitely inspired me to stay in this industry because I have so much passion for this. I thought I was losing my passion in 2019 and that my career was coming to an end. My son was able to boost my energy and help me keep going.

** ‘Catch Off’ spoke to WWE’s Happy Corbin (Baron Corbin). Corbin discussed his relationships with Vince McMahon, The Undertaker and Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and how they’ve impacted his career. He also showed appreciation for the Performance Center coaches like Norman Smiley who guided him early in his in-ring career.

I have a few [inspirations]; definitely in my career, you look at guys who have found a lot of success but have stayed amazing people. To me, I look up to Vince [McMahon]. What Vince has done is special. I have a special relationship with Vince.

When you’re as close as me, you just say Vince. It’s like, ‘Hey Vince. How’s it going?’ And you’re lucky if he doesn’t try and knock you over. But Vince is a guy I look up to. Triple H, he really helped hone my NXT career and helped me develop the skills I needed to go to the main roster and be successful along with a lot of the coaches from the Performance Center from Norman Smiley to Billy Gunn… Terry Taylor. Those guys have all had an impact on my sports career and it’s helped me to find a lot of success and then there’s guys I can call. If I’m having a rough day, I can call any one of those guys and say, ‘Hey, help me figure this out. Help me work through this. Help me — talk me off the ledge’ if you will with some of the things because you get frustrated and you feel helpless sometimes so those guys are fantastic for that. Another guy that helps me is Undertaker when he’s around. He definitely grabs on and helps point me in the right direction.

At WrestleMania 35, Corbin defeated Kurt Angle in what has been Angle’s last sanctioned match to date. Corbin said he is more grateful to Kurt than Kurt will ever understand.

Best [memory] was obviously beating Kurt Angle at WrestleMania. To me, that was something that will live in my career forever because it was an amazing moment to be in the ring with not only an Olympic gold medalist but a Hall Of Famer and someone who has had an unbelievable career and to get that opportunity and to walk away with a victory is something I will hold dear for my entire life and I appreciate Kurt Angle far more than he’ll ever understand. I think he is an amazing person in so many ways, inside the ring, outside the ring, the things he does as a family man. He is someone to look up to so it was a really amazing thing.

** Bryan Danielson guest appeared ‘Gresh and Keefe’ on WEEI Sports Radio Network. He was asked how his in-ring style has changed since his return to the ring in 2018. Danielson feels that he should be working less matches because he likes to go all in-in every match he has. He said it’s about doing a lesser number of matches per year and focusing on the quality of those bouts.

Well so, I’m a little more judicious but realistically, the big thing that has changed and this is just a choice when I re-signed my last WWE contract and when I came to AEW too, one of the benefits of AEW is that I need to be doing less matches, right? Because I like to go hard. If you tell me to like, ‘Hey, go a little bit lighter today,’ right? When you’re wrestling, it’s easy to say but in practice, it’s not. It doesn’t work like that. I don’t care if there’s 20,000 people out there like there were in Arthur Ashe Stadium and I don’t care if there’s 85 people out there which I’ve wrestled in front of many crowds under 100 people. Those people all still pay their money to come see the show and you wanna give them a great show, right? And so it’s hard to — it’s hard for somebody like me to pull back and so really it’s about doing less number of matches per year and focusing on the quality of each of those matches, you know what I mean? And making sure that I give the live crowd every time I go out there, giving them something that they’re happy they paid their money to see, you know?

** SLAM! Wrestling conducted an interview with Crimson. Back in 2013, Crimson had been released from TNA and he detailed how difficult that was to process considering he wrestled for the company for almost a year with a torn ACL and meniscus.

I’d only been in the wrestling business for a few years. So, to me, it was one of those things that’s pretty devastating. Nobody wants to say, ‘Hey, you’re no longer needed at this job,’ especially when it’s something that you’ve been a lifelong fan of, and it’s been your dream to become a professional wrestler. I wrestled in TNA for about a year with a torn ACL and torn meniscus, and I tried to honestly just do the best I could. Tape it up, brace it up, and keep going which I managed to do, but over time it just started getting worse and worse. It was right around the time of a bunch of cuts and releases that I was also like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna need surgery.’ So, although it was pretty heartbreaking news to get that call, it was also time for me to get surgery on my knee and kind of reset, regroup and figure out what to do next.

** At WWE Crown Jewel, Xavier Woods defeated Finn Balor to become King of the Ring. Fellow King of the Ring winner Booker T spoke to Mike Johnson of PWInsider and gave his thoughts about King Xavier Woods.

Man, winning King of the Ring is one of those things to where you have an opportunity and I always say, ‘When you’ve got an opportunity, you got to take advantage of it.’ It’s like a moment. It could be there and the next minute it could be gone. So, Xavier Woods has a chance to create what people are going to remember from him being King. There again, he’s definitely going to have to step out the box, but I don’t think that’s something that Xavier Woods [has] ever had problem doing is stepping outside of the box. You got to be able to laugh at yourself. I don’t think Xavier Woods has a problem with that as well. Such as I didn’t have a problem with laughing at myself. So, I think he’s going to be okay. We’ll see exactly if he lives up to the role of King Booker.

Booker has released two books and he plans on putting out a third. He thinks there’s another story of his career to be told with the growth of Reality of Wrestling and being a Black promoter in the wrestling space.

Man, of course we’re going to be doing another book. I mean, of course, Reality of Wrestling growing as big as it’s getting with me being one of the few Black entrepreneurs in the wrestling business from a promoter standpoint, I think there’s still another story that’ll be told.

** Colt Cabana was a recent guest on Chris Jericho’s ‘Talk Is Jericho’ podcast. Cabana looked back on his days in WWE as ‘Scotty Goldman’. In what turned out to be dry humor from Shelton Benjamin, Cabana was of the belief that Shelton had an issue with him because Shelton made a remark about the ‘Goldman’ name seeing as how he had ‘The Gold Standard’ nickname.

Shelton Benjamin was ‘The Gold Standard’ and got — it’s funny because in my mind, he got very mad that I was trying to do some kind of ‘gold’ thing and it’s like, ‘They named me Goldman. You’re The Gold Standard’ and then years later I toured NOAH with him, Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan and I realized like, ‘Oh, he wasn’t being a dick or he wasn’t mad at me. That’s just who he kind of is. [He’s got that] dry [sense of humor] and I can only — the way I thought about Shelton Benjamin at that point in my career because I was like, ‘Everyone was kind of nice but screw that guy.’ I said that to myself and my friends and then later toured with him in NOAH and realized what a good guy this guy is. The number of people who have been hated in wrestling is that situation. Had I not toured with him in Japan, that’s how I would think of him.

I don’t even think he was mad at me. I think he just said a snide remark in passing. In his mind it was like nothing. Like, ‘Goldman? I’m Gold Standard’ and I took it as like, ‘You’ve got heat. I’m gonna bury you to all the writers’ and that’s just how minds work but it is from that environment of course.

** The latest guest on “Da” Podcast was Nick Aldis. While discussing his time in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling, Aldis elaborated on his feeling that Eric Bischoff “blew it” as soon as he got to TNA by insulting the audience’s intelligence.

When I came to TNA, I came in ‘09 and by the end of ‘09, [Hulk] Hogan and [Eric] Bischoff were coming. So then 2010, here come Hogan and Bischoff and they change everything, you know? And then it’s like here comes Bruce [Prichard] and he changes a bunch of stuff. It was just like — for years in a row pretty much, it was sort of new people doing everything and of course it’s like — you know, that’s why we use the term ‘politics’ because it’s very much like new people taking office. They’ve got to put their stamp on everything, so they sort of got to, ‘Forget these people. I’m gonna bring in my people’ and sort of, you know, and I agree with Jeff Jarrett’s sort of take on this and I have great admiration for Bischoff. I like Eric a lot and I consider him a friend and I have a lot of time for him but, at the time, I do feel like he — you know, when he came into TNA, I feel like he blew it right away because he insulted the audience. He came right in and when he did the whole thing where he tore up the format and said, ‘Well, we’ll give more room for effort’, and trying to be cute and insider and stuff and I just felt like the audience — and the reason I feel qualified to say this is because I was one of the audience. I was 22 years old at the time, I was a kid. So I was the guy that they were trying to get, do you know what I mean? I was their key audience they were looking for and I just thought it was so [unable to make out word] and just — I was like, ‘We’ve done this for the last ten years.’ This whole insider terms and you know, it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s a shoot.’ All of that just felt so dated and kind of crappy and desperate but more importantly, what they did was told everybody, ‘Hey, all the stuff you like… the things that are unique to TNA’s brand, the talent’, the AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, X Division guys and all this different stuff. It’s like, you basically told the audience, ‘You’re stupid for liking that. You shouldn’t like that. You should like this’ and everyone went, ‘No.’

** During his appearance on the Battleground Podcast, Da Pope expressed that one of his goals is to become the second Black NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion behind R-Truth.

It’s real simple, as always, one is to make money. Billy Corgan, let’s talk. It’s make money. But no, the next goal is real simple and that’s to become the second Black man in the history of the NWA in 73 years to become world champion. That would — again, lil boy — it makes me emotional just to think about it, which is crazy. A lil boy from Jacksonville, afro-headed Black kid that had no Black heroes in the National Wrestling Alliance. So the closest thing we had to a Black champion was The American Dream Dusty Rhodes and when he reached out and said, ‘Your hand touching my hand,’ I was at the TV reaching out to him and he made me believe. Yes, I never overlook my Rocky King, we had him. Yes, I never overlooked Pistol Pez’ Whatley. You know, Big Cat Ernie Ladd and all of ‘em that came through from time to time; Abdullah The Butcher. But we just never had that, you know, and I don’t ever feel like when it comes to NWA, that-that Black representative, that representation has ever been there. Even dating back to when they were doing it and shout out to my man R-Truth who succeeded during the TNA version affiliation with the NWA. There was no kids looking at that and there were no — the internet and wrestling today was not what it was then because no one was able to see, no one recognized and it just kind of happened on a weekly pay-per-view and then a week later, it was done. No celebrations, no real acknowledgements other than a magazine so yeah, that’s what I wanna do. I wanna bring that to National Wrestling Alliance and to the scene of professional wrestling.

Da Pope later recounted how he got his start in wrestling. While he was working at a jail, he was on the computer because intake was backed up and it was then when he spotted an Ohio Valley Wrestling tryout banner on the computer.

Besides being in intake and booking someone into the jail — good crazy this is — the intake was backed up and so I got on the computer that we used to enter the guys’ information and the OVW, the first-ever OVW tryout camp banner came across the screen. That’s what got me here. That started the process. So that’s good crazy, and so I clicked on and I’m like, ‘What?’ And I took two weeks off. I took two weeks off and I went to Louisville and that’s how it all started, that banner popped up on the screen. I don’t know how. But as you have effectively conveyed here, it was in the universe. It’s something I’ve always said I’ve wanted to do, always. It was there.

** Dan Barry guest appeared on the Knights of the Gimmick Table show and provided an update on his knee injury. Dan is currently out of action after suffering a torn MCL and he explained how the injury happened.

I tore my MCL, it sucks. It’s brutal. It’s not really that super painful. People think it’s probably a lot more painful than it is. It’s only that painful if you do this one movement, like your lateral movement. If I do something slightly wrong, it’s like, ‘Oh sh*t. The f*ck was that?’ I have to like rub my leg but otherwise I’m alright. It just sucks.

I was wrestling. I was in Deer Park, Long Island so not far from [home]. But I did a move, a moonsault that I’ve done probably 50 million times in my life. People, like seriously, that’s what people know me as the guy who does — ‘Oh, he does moonsaults’ and I landed and I guess when I landed, the dude I was wrestling was like 350, so I think I hit my chest and then my feet came down later and I think my toes pointed and turned my knee, popped it.

While he does not have a concrete timetable of when he’ll return to the ring, based off what his doctors have told him, he expects to be back by December.

I think I should be back by like December, based on what he [the doctor] was saying so, it’s not too bad, it’s all right but I’m more annoyed because you know, losing all my bookings and sh*t.

** The Battleground Podcast welcomed NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Trevor Murdoch onto their platform. Murdoch feels that the only other world champion in wrestling that could give him a tough fight in the ring is WWE Champion Big E. Murdoch added that Big E as world champion was the best decision for WWE.

I am the real Worlds Heavyweight Champion, I am the toughest man in the business right now. The only person that I think would probably be able to give me a tough fight right now, a real tough fight is Big E and that’s because [of] how big he is and how strong he is and if you watched his career, he has learned so much within the last two years that him as world champion is, for that company, it was the best decision for them. [Big E is] very deceptively fast.

** All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Zeus is departing the company at the end of 2021 and he’ll then begin serving as President of Osaka Pro Wrestling. Zeus told Tokyo Sports that he wants to run an Osaka Pro event from Universal Studios Japan.

Yes. [My] goal is to do Osaka Pro Wrestling in USJ [Universal Studios Japan]. There are many open spaces in USJ. I would like to aim for something like Osaka Pro Wrestling starts at 2:00 noon every Saturday and Sunday when it is sunny in one of the open spaces. As part of a dance show, parade, or something like that.

Zeus said he is aiming to draw families into the Osaka Pro product. He feels that New Japan Pro-Wrestling attracts the younger demographic and there are many women who enjoy DDT and Dragon Gate. He wants Osaka Pro to be marketed towards families.

I’m aiming for the family. Many All Japan Wrestling fans love professional wrestling. The fans of New Japan Pro-Wrestling are mainly young people. Many women are fans of Dragon Gate and DDT. But we, like the original Osaka Pro Wrestling, have a family of marketing. I want to do professional wrestling that children in kindergarten, elementary school, and junior high school love. It would be great if they said, ‘I want to join Osaka Pro Wrestling’ when they [grow] up.

** In the main event of IMPACT Wrestling’s 2020 Slammiversary event, Rich Swann made his return to the ring after being sidelined with a multitude of injuries. Swann told WrestlingSport that after all he endured in 2020, that night when he returned is the biggest moment of his career thus far.

You know, it’s possibly one of the greatest moments of my whole entire career because it was the ultimate diss to the people that have said to me, ‘Hey, you’re never gonna make it. Hey, you’re not going to be a wrestler. Hey, you’re not big enough to be a world heavyweight champion’ and you know, the biggest one of all was through that year [2020], the very beginning of the year, I had broke my back, my leg, my foot, my ankle, my Achilles and the doctors told me, ‘Hey bud, you might not walk the same, let alone get into a ring again.’ So, with that being said, just seven-and-a-half months prior and then to fast forward and be the world champion, that was the biggest moment of my career bar none.

** Vickie Guerrero invited Josiah Williams onto her podcast. Josiah reflected on performing Adam Cole’s entrance at NXT TakeOver 25. He said it was Adam Cole’s idea to do the special entrance and Cole put things in motion to make it happen.

But it was all credit to him. I mean that was 100 percent his idea and he pitched it a couple of times, Shawn Michaels pitched it a couple of times but Adam Cole was the person who made that happen and he said, ‘Look, if there’s ever a special event, I want this guy to be able to do it’ and it timed out that I was there and I get chills just thinking about it [Adam Cole’s entrance at TakeOver 25]. It was… one, he’s such a nice guy. I mean just one of the greatest people to ever talk to, but he’s so passionate about his craft and that match specifically, he had his mindset going into it but he said, ‘Before I get to the ring, I want to feel like I’m gonna dominate.’ It was so much that went into it but I loved it. I really do think that it was one of my favorite moments in my career, in my life and I’ll always be thankful to him and to D-Generation X because they all worked there at the time but, just for all of them to let me do that and it was a special moment.

Elsewhere during the conversation, Williams detailed how he began working for WWE. He talked about his first audition which did not go well and then eventually winning over the powers that be.

So, it kind of starts back in 2018. I’m making my own music as a Christian Hip-Hop artist and I’m not one of those people who can just go into a studio and do a bunch of songs at once. It takes me a really long time to make stuff so, I get stressed out easily and I wanted to do something that was different that wouldn’t stress me out so I started remixing wrestling themes and it started with Undisputed ERA at the time and then the Guerrillas of Destiny in New Japan but WWE heard it and the person who ended up being my manager, he contacted me and said, ‘Hey, you know, we’d love to send you some shirts to wear in your videos.’ That never happened but the beautiful part of it is that it turned, like you said, into a really cool conversation that nine months later eventually turned into a job so it was like, it was a really, really, really cool story. I got to do an audition at Monday Night Raw in Chicago, that was horrible. I got to fly down — it was really bad. I got to fly down to NXT for a weekend and try that out and just as I showed who I was and showed what my dreams were, they really opened up their hearts and said, ‘Hey, I think we have a place for you’ and my dream came true and it was a wonderful ride.

** Taylor Wilde welcomed Caleb Konley (Kaleb with a K) onto her ‘Wilde On’ podcast. Konley said although he does want to wrestle more in IMPACT Wrestling, he enjoys what he does in the company and talked about how he used to feel like he needed to be a serious wrestler 24/7.

Yeah, I am [loving Kaleb with a K]. Obviously I want to do more wrestling but I do [like what I’m doing in IMPACT Wrestling]. I love the ability to just go out there and be as stupid as I wanna be. For the longest time, it was like, I assumed from everybody’s perspective but definitely for me, I felt like I needed to go out there and be a serious wrestler, I need to be respected and taken seriously and I needed to do suplexes and all the things that you do and then probably around — I mean obviously I get older and I get goofier but like doing FSCW [Fantasy Super Cosplay Wrestling] and it was just me being Star Lord from Guardians of the Galaxy. I got to be real goofy doing that and it was so much fun, it was so much easier. I didn’t put this pressure on myself to be like this five-star match guy. I feel like I’m bringing that over into Kaleb with a K and then just going to 100 with it. Just be as dumb as possible. Whatever I think is dumb, I go, ‘Let’s try to make it a little dumber.’

** AEW referee Aubrey Edwards appeared on Wrestling Inside The Ropes and told the story of how Tony Schiavone selected her to co-host the AEW Unrestricted podcast.

He [Tony Schiavone] was asked to host the official All Elite Wrestling podcast and asked to pick his co-host so, this was in Washington D.C., our first show ever for Dynamite and he’s walking around trying to figure out, ‘Who should I work with?’ Blah, blah, blah, and I’m standing next to the ring looking kind of concerned and frustrated and he’s like, ‘What’s wrong?’ I’m like, ‘I’m trying to find a Goddamn cameraman,’ because we needed to take a photo of the roster and all these things and apparently that was the thing that clicked for him where he was like, ‘That’s my co-host.’

** The collectable company ‘Panini Group’ has inked a deal with WWE to be their exclusive trading card partner. The multi-year agreement begins in the first quarter of 2022. Panini is taking over from Topps Co., whose licensing agreement with WWE expires at the end of this year.

** Former WCW talent Air Paris opened an eye exam/eyewear store in Rome, Georgia.

** Business Insider’s piece about All Elite Wrestling.

** The Boston Globe published a feature story about All Elite Wrestling’s show in Boston on 10/27. The outlet spoke to Tony Khan, Bryan Danielson and Britt Baker.

** Warrior Wrestling announced Will Ospreay for their December 12th show.

** News 5 Cleveland caught up with The Miz to promote Dancing With the Stars’.

** 2point0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) hosted a Q&A on their YouTube channel.

** AEW wished Wheeler YUTA a happy birthday today. CM Punk is celebrating a birthday today as well.

** Trish Stratus will be a judge on the next season of Canada’s Got Talent.

** Sportskeeda published the written version of their interview with Indi Hartwell.

** All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Naoya Nomura turned 28-years-old today.

** Former IMPACT Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo spoke to SEScoops.

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.