POST NEWS UPDATE: Andy Quildan discusses RevPro’s relationship with NJPW

Andy Quildan discusses RevPro/NJPW relationship, Bruce Prichard on Tully Blanchard/JBL confrontation, Lisa Marie Varon notes, Alex Colon

Photo Courtesy: Revolution Pro Wrestling

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** Revolution Pro Wrestling owner Andy Quildan joined Martin Bushby on the British Wrestling Experience podcast. Quildan opened up about the working relationship between RevPro and New Japan Pro-Wrestling and said things between both sides are kept very professional. He added that they’ve always paid NJPW for the use of their talents.

The reason why every deal I do [goes] smoothly is because we’re professional with the way we go about doing stuff, you know? So, that’s the reason why our relationship with New Japan has stood the test of time and it’s something whereby we walked before we could run and it’s grown bigger and bigger, our involvement with them and our relationship with them has grown bigger and bigger as we’ve helped grow New Japan’s trust in us but you know, it’s a business relationship. It’s not like — again, I reiterate time and time again, it’s not something where I — New Japan aren’t paying us any money or anything like that. We pay New Japan every time we use talent. We pay them, it’s a business relationship that we keep very professional and we’re very much their partners and we appreciate everything we do with them.

Tiger Hattori and Rocky Romero help navigate the working relationships between New Japan and outside companies and promotions. Quildan spoke about the impact Hattori has had on his professional career and said he does not know what RevPro would look like without their relationship with NJPW.

I can’t emphasize enough, you know, what a positive influence Tiger Hattori’s been on my professional wrestling career, in Revolution Pro Wrestling. Yeah, much of — I always like to think that I’ll find a way so I don’t know what Revolution Pro Wrestling would look like without our relationship with New Japan Pro-Wrestling, but I know it’s a lot better with it and you can thank Tiger Hattori for that.

** While speaking to Hannibal TV, Lisa Marie Varon told the story of when her items were removed from the locker room in WWE when she first joined the company. She began to dress in the janitor’s closet. She did not name the individual who moved her belongings from the locker room because they are friends now.

I remember going to the locker room with my gear bag, put it in there and I’m very OCD, I set my makeup out. Like foundation first, powder, like that because I didn’t think I was — I was so new, I didn’t think I deserved to get my makeup done because I was still proving myself and I come back to the locker room, my stuff is outside the door and one of the girls — and I’m not gonna namedrop it because we’re really good friends — said, ‘Sorry, this is for contracted girls only’ and I go, ‘Oh, I just signed a three-year deal’ and I got my bag and I just rolled and I got dressed in the janitor’s closet at the arenas and I was like, ‘Oh my God, oh my God’ and it was humiliating but I get it now because The Godfather hoes at the time were brought in from strip clubs and things would be missing in the locker room, but I wasn’t smartened up about that so I get it now.

On an episode of Monday Night Raw in the year 2000, Varon took a powerbomb from The Godfather. He forcefully slammed her through the table to ensure that it would break and when they went to the back, The Undertaker jokingly asked Godfather if Varon owed him money.

Okay, so I was a Godfather hoe and Godfather, they had to throw one of the girls, me or Mandy [Frostee Moore] and I said, ‘I go to wrestling school! Throw me through a table’ which I didn’t know was gonna take me off TV and they were scared that I wasn’t gonna break the table and I’m like, ‘Wait, Spike goes through the table, Spike Dudley. I think we weigh the same.’ I was like 160, 155 and I was like, ‘I think I could break the table.’ It’s a real table and they said, ‘Just make sure she breaks the table’ and he threw me up and with all his might — he still, every time I see him at an appearance, ‘I just wanna say sorry for that powerbomb’ and I remember coming back and I sold it, I did not move. They were asking me, ‘Are you okay?’ I didn’t talk because I was selling it. I just didn’t want — I was so green, I was such a rookie and I was like, ‘I didn’t wanna get in trouble for not selling and came back and The Undertaker [had] told Godfather, ‘Does she owe you money or something?’ And of course my initial — after that big, huge bump in my career, right? I wanted to go out and celebrate and they’re like, ‘Oh no, you don’t show your face’ and I was like woah, this is not like a movie where, you know, Tom Cruise isn’t playing another character and he could go out and celebrate. You know, this is old school mentality where you sell it and I was — neck brace and it took me off TV for a while, for like a year or so and that’s when I was in OVW and I’m like, ‘I shouldn’t have volunteered going through the table’ but then I trained — I came back as a legit wrestler.

** WWE Cyber Sunday 2006 was the focus of a recent episode of the Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard. Prichard recalled Tully Blanchard being brought into WWE as a producer and his altercation with John Bradshaw Layfield. Prichard feels that Tully has changed but said he could be difficult at times and was harsh on the younger talent during his time as a booker.

You know, Tully [Blanchard] came in. I don’t think — he definitely had words with JBL backstage, or JBL had words with him. You know, there comes a time where Tully wasn’t the easiest guy to get along with in the dressing room, ever, that I knew. The best conversations — and I think I got along pretty well with Tully, didn’t dislike Tully by any stretch of the imagination but Tully could be difficult and Tully could come off like a pompous ass sometimes and treat younger guys pretty harshly when he was the booker, just different things throughout his career and coming into a different environment where Tully wasn’t the boss’ son definitely puts him behind the eight ball so to speak and I think that he had-had a run-in with Bradshaw at some point in his career and in an attempt to clear the air, I don’t think that — you know, people react to sh*t differently… Sh*t, I can’t hold grudges anymore about sh*t like that, in the past. People grow up and they’re different. Seeing Tully at a convention a few years ago was the first time I’d seen Tully in years. Tully was a different person. So, you know, it’s — people grow, people change. I do believe that.

A few weeks before Cyber Sunday, Steve-O and Chris Pontius of ‘Jackass’ were beat down by Umaga on Raw. Prichard said Vince McMahon was not aware that Pontius would often wear a speedo and he shared Vince’s reaction to seeing it.

[Chris] Pontius was hilarious and we tell the story about Vince [McMahon] didn’t realize that Pontius’ gimmick was running around in a G-string and was looking like, ‘What the hell is wearing? What the hell!?’ So that was kind of funny, but wasn’t funny for those who were directly involved in the production of that because yeah, it kind of looked like he was a little naked out there. Technically was but he was game man, he was funny as sh*t, they both were. They were awesome.

The duo of JTG and the late Shad Gaspard spent several years in WWE as a duo. Prichard was asked why they never won the Tag Team Titles and he responded by saying he doesn’t know if the time was ever right for it. He suggested that there was a disconnect in-ring wise when it came to Cryme Tyme.

I don’t know that the time was ever right for them [Cryme Tyme] to win the Tag Team Championships. Their gimmick was so strong and those two guys were so freaking entertaining, there was just — I don’t know what it was, but there was something amiss once the bell rang with them and connecting with the audience. If you could’ve done vignettes with them all day every day, I think they would’ve been one of the most over teams we ever had. They were fun.

Tatanka had been brought back to WWE in 2005. Prichard does not think the investment was worth it. He said the timing was off for this Tatanka comeback.

I don’t know. I don’t think he was [Tatanka was worth the investment during his 2005-2007 run]. I think that it was — looking back at Chris of yesteryear when Chris had come in young and hungry and tearing things up and I just don’t know that there was the fire in the step of Tatanka that was when he first came in. I just think it was a misstep. I don’t think that the timing was right.

Elsewhere during the conversation, he spoke about Ted DiBiase Sr.’s backstage work. He described DiBiase as a great mind who struggled to get things across to other talents. He added that Ted and Stephanie McMahon came to the agreement that he wasn’t doing well in the role which led to his departure just one week prior to Cyber Sunday.

[Ted] DiBiase [Sr.] had reached the point being on the creative team and trying to work backstage. Ted was really great at putting his matches together and being able to do what he did. I dare say Ted was one of the greatest of all-time in that regard. However, unlike Pat Patterson, Ted wasn’t really able to tell someone else how to do it and Ted realized that. I don’t think that Ted was fired at all. I think Ted, Stephanie [McMahon] had kind of come to an agreement that, ‘You know what? This isn’t what I do well. I’m not doing a good job at it. Maybe it’s best that I go home.’

WWE made the switch from ‘Taboo Tuesday’ to ‘Cyber Sunday’ and Prichard explained that it simply came down to presenting a pro wrestling pay-per-view on Sunday was easier on the viewers opposed to a Tuesday.

I don’t know that it was a failed experiment [Taboo Tuesday]. It’s just a lot easier to do it on Sunday, and I think that the viewing habits of people for pay-per-view and special events is a lot easier to kind of wind your day down on a Sunday with pay-per-view than get home from school and work and everything else and then get geared up for a pay-per-view. You know, Tuesday in Texas by God. Can’t forget that one.

Fabulous Freebirds member Jimmy Garvin had a stint on the creative team. It was Michael P.S. Hayes who brought Garvin onto the team. Prichard said Garvin was a very laid-back individual who may not have been ready for the intensity of the creative meetings.

Well I loved Jimmy Garvin personally. I don’t think that creative’s for everybody and it certainly wasn’t for Jimmy Garvin. I don’t know that Jimmy wasn’t into the product at the time. Man Jimmy, you know, Jimmy has been very blessed to live his own life away from the business. Jimmy’s a commercial pilot. You know, he can fly and do whatever he wants to do, he’s in a happy relationship, pretty easy-going guy and I don’t think that Jimmy was ready for the kind of high intensity creative sessions that we did. I think he thought, ‘Okay man, I’ll come in and try it.’ I think Michael [Hayes] may have wanted it to be successful, even more so than Jimmy. I think Jimmy was looking at it like, ‘Oh hey man, I’ll try it. I got some ideas about the business. Let’s see if they work’ but I think that by that point, the business as it was in 2006 had kind of passed Jimmy by, didn’t really know the characters and certainly had never been in a creative team like that and I just don’t think that Jimmy wanted to do it.

I think for Jimmy at that point in his life, even more so and I don’t know that Jimmy was like, ‘Hey man! I really wanna get involved! I really wanna do this! I wanna do that.’ I think it was more Michael like, ‘God damn boy, you got some great stories, great ideas. Why don’t you come on in and help us? Doot doot doot,’ and Jimmy’s like, ‘Okay, sh*t, yeah, I’ll try it’ because you don’t know ‘till you’re there and people think that, ‘Oh man, this is easy. You just sit around and bullsh*t all day and come up with ideas and how easy this is’ and don’t understand the incredible hours that go into the prep, to then go into the pitch to then go into the post-pitch and try to put a show together and then put that show together and then make it all work. So yeah, I just don’t think it was Jimmy’s bag and Jimmy recognized that pretty quick.

** Chris Jericho was the most recent guest on Sports Media with Richard Deitsch. Jericho is celebrating his 51st birthday and said he doesn’t see any reason why he should slow down his in-ring role. He feels that he is still contributing at a high level. While speaking about the idea of being a coach for AEW, he doesn’t think that would be something he’ll be good at because he isn’t sure if he can explain ideas to other talent.

The plan was for me to be a guest commentator that week [of the COVID shutdown] and I said, ‘Well instead of just doing it for the week, I’ll just do it the whole time’ and then you got me locked in so that’s what we did and it worked out good. Tony Schiavone and I had great chemistry, it was a lot of fun, I enjoyed it. I took a real Bobby Heenan-Jesse Ventura mindset towards it and I think Tony Khan really kind of put that into his library and, ‘Keep that for later’ and then when Rampage came up, he said, ‘I want you to do commentary on Rampage’ and I said, ‘That’s great, sure, I love it.’ So yeah, it is probably something I would transition to, I have fun with it, I enjoy that side of things. I like being on camera. Behind the scenes, I like giving advice and that sort of thing. Being a producer or an agent or a coach as we call them, I don’t know if I could do that well. I don’t know if I could really explain ideas. I like helping but I like kind of being on camera like you said and also too, you know, Tuesday I’ll be 51 years old. I don’t feel it. I think that I’m still contributing at the highest of levels. I was never the fastest wrestler or the most high-flying. I could still do all the stuff that I always did but now it’s the storylines, the promos, keeping things kind of really interesting and moving forward and like we mentioned, my demos and ratings are always near the top, thanks to everyone watching but I think it’s because I keep it interesting for people and you can’t teach experience and if there was no AEW, I don’t even know if I’d still be wrestling but because there is, it’s exciting for me, I love being a part of it, I love working here, I love showing up for work every week and I think that goes a long way too. If you are satisfied and excited mentally and creatively, that makes the physical go a lot longer too. When you start feeling stifled and start getting angry and feel like you’re not doing what you really want to be doing, I think the physical gets a lot worse as well so, those two combined is really keeping me excited and really, really enjoying what I’m doing and being a part of AEW. I feel great, I have zero injuries, so there’s no reason to not continue going.

The topic of how Jericho goes about his promos was discussed. He recalled Vince McMahon giving John Morrison a line in WWE about ‘platypus dung’ and Jericho told Morrison not to say it because it would not resonate with the crowd.

I used to hate that in WWE. It was like, ‘You need an insult here’ and if you didn’t have the right one [in your promo], you’d go up there [and] I remember Vince [McMahon] made John Morrison use the insult of ‘platypus dung’ and I’m like, ‘John, you can’t say that. No one’s gonna laugh.’ He goes, ‘Well Vince wants me to say it.’ I said, ‘Just say you forgot to say it.’ Of course he said it, it dies and you know, whatever.

** Piers Austin welcomed Alex Colon onto his ‘Shooting The Sh*t UNCESORED!’ podcast. Colon expressed that he plans to retire from deathmatch wrestling and wrestling as a whole when he’s 40. He’s currently in his mid-30s.

Yeah [I know when I want to get out of the business]. I think around 40 is what I’m — and you know, a lot of — look at Kaide [Lothbrok], he’s laughing. He’s like, ‘Yeah right dude. You’re gonna quit and come right back.’ I can’t. Trust me, I’ve already told — I’ve already got it mapped out. I can’t do this forever man. My body already sucks so it’s like, ‘Eh, how many years you have left?’ You don’t wanna do too long to where you’re slowed down and you’re hurting. Next thing you know, you’re taking medication to heal the pain and then it becomes a situation. I don’t want any of that to happen to me so like, 40 is where the cutoff is for me. I mean at — I’m 90 percent sure he’s like, ‘Yeah right motherf*cker.’ But I’m 90 percent sure 40’s it for me and I don’t even wanna have any, ‘Oh, this is his retirement match.’ I literally want my 40th birthday to come along and then that’s it. It’s done. I don’t want to let anyone know. It’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen.

I don’t know [if I’ll continue wrestling as a whole]. I’ve spent ten years doing the whole regular wrestling thing and at least for me, I don’t — maybe I could go, ‘Oh, deathmatch’ and I could go right back into — because [Jon] Moxley’s done it. He went from regular to deathmatch then back. Drake Younger did it. R.I.P. original Drake Younger kind of did it. He went from f*cking regular, deathmatch and then back. You know, and you can — I just, at least, the evolution of me, I just don’t want to, ‘Oh, well I’m just gonna write –’ I can’t. My mindset right now is very deathmatch driven. Even if I was on TV, I would be able to like, you know, fillet my style into a hardcore-y style still so I don’t feel like I could go backwards. I can only go forward so, the evolution of me, it would just depend [on] the evolution of me. Right now, in my own head, I’m a deathmatch guy and then I’m going to be a deathmatch guy ‘till I’m done.

** Inside The Ropes has an interview on their YouTube channel with QT Marshall. QT commented on the idea that AEW could be signing too many talents. He hopes Tony Khan continues to bring in more talents and brought up that contracted wrestlers are free to work independent dates if they choose to.

Especially in a time, obviously with some news that came out yesterday [recent WWE releases], at a time that wrestling isn’t guaranteed for everybody, I hope we sign as many people as we can because at the end of the day, listen, they can all pinch hit, you can all get your chance, you know and some are gonna be mainstays and that’s the way wrestling has kind of always been so, I don’t really see the negative in signing too many wrestlers. You know, we are all allowed to basically work independent shows as well as long as they’re, you know, creatively don’t mess you up or they don’t conflict with any AEW stuff so I mean if you really want to wrestle as well and you don’t feel you’re getting your fix, just go wrestle, you know what I mean? And you’re gonna be able to do whatever you want on any independent show because you’re on TV or at least you’re a part of AEW and I’m sure any promoter’s gonna know that-that’s gonna bring value to their event as well so, I mean there’s a lot of things that go into it but I can’t see anyone being upset that we’re hiring people and giving them money, right? At the end of the day and I say ‘we’ as AEW. Not myself personally.

At the start of the pandemic when AEW taped shows out of Norcross, Georgia, there was a match featuring Cody Rhodes that did not air on TV because things did not go as smoothly as the participants hoped. QT recounted how that situation played out:

I can confirm it [the match with Cody Rhodes did not air]. It was — which by the way, I did tell him he probably shouldn’t do that match because I know the guy and the match wasn’t bad. You know, I like the guy. I’ve had great matches with him but, you know, we wrestle on — when we wrestled, it was never on AEW. I mean we have done some stuff but like, yeah, I don’t know. I think it was also a creative part too, right? I don’t think it was just that Cody didn’t like the match or whatever. I think it’s, you know, creatively it didn’t make sense to air it at that time and it was kind of just like we filmed a bunch of matches that probably didn’t air that day. But we just wanted as much as we could have in the can so…

** IMPACT Wrestling talent Ace Austin joined Mark Henry and Ryan McKinnell on Busted Open Radio. Ace looked back on his decision to join IMPACT several years ago. Hindsight being 20/20, he believes he was too young to be in the WWE system back then and thinks it wouldn’t have been good for him.

I felt the most at home kind of in the IMPACT locker room so, that just seemed like the right way to go and it seemed like such a good way to build my foundation and learn how to work on television and just like, without — especially going to WWE in 2018 when I was 20 or 21 years old or whatever, I was too young. I was way too young. That system wouldn’t have been good for me then I think.

** Lio Rush joined Ron Funches’ Gettin’ Better podcast and discussed some of the stories that were out there about him while he was in WWE. Lio said he was just himself and thinks that intimidated people.

I remember there was — one of the rumors that I was like pretty problematic backstage or I was arguing with Finn Balor or whatever and I just always thought that it was so crazy because I’m like one of the quietest people, ever and yeah, it just, I don’t know. I just saw how politics worked and I was always brought up to be honest and just be me and I think that is what intimidated a lot of people.

** While speaking to Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture, Juice Robinson said he does not know what the next year of his career will look like. He said he might just float around for a while. Juice confirmed during another interview that his contract with New Japan Pro-Wrestling expires in February 2022.

I think right now I am just gonna float for a while because right now there are so many other things on my mind really than wrestling, so I don’t really know where I am going to be next year with wrestling, I might get fired up to do it, I might not. I don’t really know. We shall see. {laughs} I might just float for a while, I think it’s time for me just to do my thing, be my own boss, and just do what I wanna do on a weekly basis.

Juice began working with IMPACT in early 2021. He expressed that IMPACT TV feels natural for him and he likes the ‘lights, camera, action’ aspect of it.

I love IMPACT. It’s what I really like, I like lights, camera, action here we go. {laughs} TV wrestling, that’s what I grew up on, that’s what I grew up manifesting in my brain. As a child on my trampoline, in my living [room] crawling across the room reaching for the tag, I always viewed myself in front of the camera in a U.S company. So that right there makes me so happy to do it all the time, because it’s so different from what I am used to in Japan. I never knew that I would just land in Japan and that I would take to it, or I don’t even know if I did take to it but I just ended up going and I just didn’t come back for 5 years. It was a job, it was an open ended thing, and it stuck but I don’t know if I am natural at that the way I do it at New Japan. I feel more natural sometimes in an IMPACT setting.

** Bobby Steveson has undergone a name change in WWE and he’ll now be known as ‘Damon Kemp’. Bobby is the brother of Gable Steveson.

** This past summer on IMPACT Wrestling’s weekly show, TJP and Fallah Bahh were paired together on-screen. TJP told the ‘All Real Wrestling Podcast’ that he and Fallah have talked about doing independent dates as a duo.

Yeah, we’ve [TJP & Fallah Bahh] talked about going everywhere together. That is what we would like to do going forward. We both wish that we didn’t separate in IMPACT for a brief period but yeah, that is what we’ve talked about going forward. We haven’t organized anything together. There’s a couple things that we tried to but it just didn’t match up very well, and then yeah, there’s, I mean, maybe a dozen dates that I have independently just in the next few months alone, not counting IMPACT, New Japan, MLW.

Continuing on the topic of using IMPACT-based characters/storylines outside of the company, TJP would like to bring the ‘Manik’ character over to the independents as well.

I mean if I had it my way, it’d be something that would be universally applicable of course [using the Manik character], you know? And even before, when I was Suicide, they’re were plenty of Suicide appearances outside of TNA/IMPACT. So it is something that I would love to have be part of me, following me around going forward wherever I go. I would love to have Manik follow me as creepy as that sounds. I would love to have that so, but yeah, that’s what I would see.

** Highspots Wrestling Network shared the clip of when Mance Warner was injured at the NGW event in Knoxville, Tennessee.

** Prestige Wrestling announced Taya Valkyrie f.k.a. Franky Monet for their 2/20/22 show. Valkyrie was released from WWE last week.

** Eddie Kingston penned an article for The Player’s Tribune.

** WWE Hall Of Famer Beth Phoenix is releasing an EP on November 12th titled ‘Stone Rose & Bone’.

** TV Insider’s interview with Tony Schiavone.

** WWE pushed out the trailer for season two of the ‘Ruthless Aggression’ series:

** Kenny King and PJ Black react to UFC fighters talking trash on the microphone:

** Sam, a 22-year-old wrestler in the U.K. recently tweeted at Kevin Owens about using Owens’ ‘Pop-Up Powerbomb’ finisher. Owens credited Sam for his execution of the move. The ‘North Wales Chronicle’ interviewed Sam about the social media exchange.

** ET Canada’s interview with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson:

** Bayley and Jimmy Hart were present at the Dallas Mavericks vs. New Orleans Pelicans game on 11/8.

** Tokyo Sports published their interview with Tetsuya Naito.

** SEScoops caught up with MLW’s EJ Nduka.

** Davey Vega, one half of ‘The Besties in the World’ appeared on The Turnbuckle Tavern podcast.

** Sportskeeda was a part of a virtual meet-and-greet with Billy Gunn.

** WrestleZone spoke to Jimmy Hart.

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 3679 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.