POST NEWS UPDATE: AEW’s Griff Garrison almost signed with ROH pre-pandemic

Griff Garrison's pre-AEW plans, D-Von Dudley on producing Dominik Mysterio's matches, Paul Heyman/ECW, Queen Zelina talks Andrade El Idolo

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

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

** Pro wrestling booking agent Bill Behrens guest appeared on Josh Nason’s ‘Punch-Out’ show on F4WOnline. Behrens is an agent for AEW’s Griff Garrison and shared that prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the duo known as ‘Master & Machine’ (Griff Garrison & Marcus Kross) were close to signing with Ring of Honor. They were told they were going to be signed.

If the COVID thing hadn’t happened, Master & Machine (Griff Garrison & Marcus Kross) would have been signed to Ring of Honor now. They had already been told they were being signed. It just hadn’t happened yet and then Marcus tweaked his knee, they had just wrestled The Briscoes for the tag titles, won their two matches after that and then COVID hit and then the last match, Marcus dinged his knee and had to have knee surgery and that’s — once COVID hit, AEW started doing the, ‘We’re booking everybody in the free world and paying them well’ dark match stuff down in Jacksonville, I had to get Griff there so that was the next step.

Griff is currently paired with Brian Pillman Jr. and Julia Hart in AEW. Varsity Blonds’ AEW signing was formally announced this past July. Behrens said Griff signed with the company in the summer of 2020. Behrens recalled talking to Griff recently and Griff thought his job in AEW was in jeopardy because he hadn’t been utilized consistently.

So AEW was the goal for Griff [Garrison] and he was — well before Brian Pillman [Jr.] got there, even though he wasn’t announced as being signed, he was signed four or five matches in, and right now, he hasn’t been back recently and he’s going crazy thinking he’s gonna be released tomorrow and I said, ‘Trust me, in the Tony Khan list of where I could save money, getting rid of you would not in any way help him. You’re an asset he’s got in his pocket because right now, he’s in the hot shot business and there’s much less booking going on. There’s much more matchmaking going on’ and there’s a difference. Booking is the process of telling stories and putting people together for [a] reason, providing a scenario, paying it out over time is good booking which WWE still tries to do. They just have too many cooks. AEW has fewer cooks but now are primarily hot shotting. They’re doing more dream match booking. You know, ‘We now have Bryan Danielson. Oh boy, new toy. Who can he wrestle next? We now have CM Punk. Ooouuu boy, new toy. Who can he wrestle next?’ And they do the hot shot setup like blah, blah, blah, in-ring, I yell at you, you yell at me, pull apart, now we fight. It’s house show booking. That’s matchmaking, that’s not booking, it’s different.

Behrens discussed how he had Griff Garrison and Marcus Kross booked for an NXT show but pulled them from it. That led to Garrison being sent to AEW and Christopher Daniels, who is also a client of Behrens’, assisted with Garrison getting a spot on Dark.

Totally different reality [at WWE] so I didn’t really want to send them down to WWE. I had them [Griff Garrison & Marcus Kross] booked for NXT and cancelled them, when I second guessed myself and that led to eventually me sending Griff down which Daniel Covell/Chris Daniels helped, who’s one of my clients.

Earlier in the conversation, Behrens recounted his first time meeting Garrison and how that led to him becoming his agent.

Griff [Garrison] came into a show while he was still in college, first year and was playing on the college football team. He had been a standout high school football player, held wide receiving records in the state of North Carolina so legit great athlete, and he’s at the show and I agented the match he did with another kid, Jeremy Foster and I laid the match out and Griff listened. I gave him a couple of spots that he’d never done before; going into the heat, ways to get to things that he had never known to do because he just had the experience he had. He had just been trained by LaBron Kazone in Greensboro and you only get as much as that person knows and that’s not insulting LaBron, it’s just everybody can only teach what they know. So, and I may know more because I’ve been dealing with this longer and so, but he listened and he did everything and he did a good job and he was respectful and he listened so we had a conversation and in the conversation, I asked him questions; ‘What are you doing? What are your goals?’ Blah, blah, blah, wrestling. He told me about his friend Marcus [Kross], how they’d been fans, gotten trained together, wanted to do this together, that was their dream and I said, ‘Okay, but, you’re in college and A, were I to be somebody helping you, I wouldn’t let you quit college. So that’s step one. So we’d have to work around that in the development process’ and he went, ‘Yeah, well my mom wouldn’t want me to quit anyway.’ I said, ‘Good, so we’re on the same page.’ I said, ‘But, here’s your other problem: You’re an exceptional football player. You can only do one of these two things. Either you’re gonna devote your full attention to football because you cannot be a half-assed football player and start on a college football team as a wide receiver. You have to commit to it. That has to be the thing you’re trying to do and then hopefully you’re good enough that that’s going to spin into a football career if that’s something you want to do. Or, if you devote your attention to wrestling, you’ve gotta decide that’s what you wanna do. It can’t be –’ either that or it’s a hobby.

Behrens got into agenting when he helped The Bad Street Boys (Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Joey Mercury & Christian York) get into WCW. Only Helms and Moore were offered full-time deals and they were later rebranded as ‘3 Count’ alongside Evan Karagias.

I’ve learned that, ‘Okay, what am I good at?’ Well I can run a show, I can run a locker room, I can book a show, I can script a show, I can do finishes just fine. I can do all that stuff. I’m not the guy that’s gonna teach anybody how to wrestle, how to lock up, how to run the ropes. I can do those things but it’s not my skill. But what I can do is identify talent and groom that talent and hopefully get them hired. So, as I transitioned — I mean I started that in Music City with The Bad Street Boys, which were the first outsiders who were really brought into the company and that was when Matt Hardy called me and said, ‘Hey, can you help these guys out?’ So I brought in Shane, Shannon, Christian and Joey. Shane Helms, Shannon Moore, Christian York, Joey Matthews, eventually Joey Mercury and they did a boy — we did a boy band thing that eventually led to 3 Count when our videos were seen by Jimmy Hart and two of them were eventually hired by WCW. So that’s when I realized, ‘Okay, that’s what I can do better. I can see talent here.’ I change Shannon’s name from Kid Dynamo and told him to use his real name and got them started.

** Episode #96 of D-Von Dudley’s Table Talk podcast featured Dominik Mysterio. D-Von has been the producer for a few of Dominik’s matches. He spoke about the matches that Dominik and Rey have had with The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) and Vince McMahon being happy with those bouts.

I had a couple of your [Dominik Mysterio] matches as a producer, when it was you and your dad versus The Usos and I thought it was an amazing job that you did that night, especially hanging with a tag team like The Usos. I mean, good God. You talking about getting thrown right into the mix? You got thrown right into it and the great thing about it is yes, you were out there with your father, but a lot of people don’t understand, once you tag in, your father’s on the outside. He can’t come in and guide you so you have to hold your own and my friend, my hat is off to you, you held your own. Congratulations on that and I was so happy at the end of that match because again, you guys made me look good, you know? Vince [McMahon] looked at me and said, ‘Good job D-Von.’ I said, ‘Don’t thank me. Thank those guys. Those guys were in there working. Those guys did that, not me. I’m done, I’m retired.’ Congratulations on that.

As Dominik continues to compete in more singles matches, he said he’ll often watch those matches more than ten times shortly after they happen.

Even nowadays, I still freak out, you know, whenever I have to go out and I gotta make sure I perform every time I go out there because if I don’t, I feel like I’m already losing a step and every time I have one of my matches, I gotta make sure that I watch it at least 20 to 30 times before I go to bed that night, the night that I wrestled. So like, I just wrestled Bobby [Lashley] on Monday and I’m already — so that night, Monday night, I watched it maybe 15 times before I went to bed and started packing just because I needed — I need to know what I’m doing wrong and I’ll watch it over with my dad a couple times and he’ll let me know, he’ll nitpick and tell me his little details but I’ll go back and I’ll look at it and I’ll be like, ‘Man, this was terrible.’ Or just looking at my footwork or just something, I’m always kind of nitpicking on myself to try and be better and I’ll even reach out to my godfather and even Lance [Storm] sometimes to send them my matches and try to get as much as possible just so I can, you know — because at the end of the day, I want to be able to put my best effort and entertain and have good matches that people remember, you know? And I’m just trying at this point.

Dominik has spoken at length about being involved on WWE programming at an early age via the Rey Mysterio-Eddie Guerrero storyline. Dominik shared that after the Ladder match at SummerSlam 2005, Eddie was visibly upset because of a missed time cue.

There’s certain things that I remember [about being involved on WWE programming as a child] like after the SummerSlam match [Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero], there was a missed time cue there and I remember going in the back and Eddie was just losing it. He was just freaking out and I remember I asked my dad, I was like, ‘Yo, is he good?’ I was like, ‘Is he angry because I’m not going home with him?’ That’s what I was thinking. I thought he was actually angry because he lost and I couldn’t go home with him. I was like, ‘I guess I’m pretty cool.’ But everything was just super, super straightforward and like I said, I think they just wanted a scared eight-year-old, seven-year-old kid and I was actually scared so it worked out perfectly.

** Paul Heyman guest appeared on Metal Injection’s Squared Circle Pit podcast. He dove into ECW using licensed music without paying for it. Heyman reiterated that ECW had a rebel mentality and questioned what the labels and law firms would sue ECW for because they had no money.

We actually had three different types of deals in ECW regarding music. One, which is the easy one to talk about — they’re all easy to talk about. The easiest one to talk about was there were several labels; Tommy Boy Music was a sponsor of ours from the very early days. There was another label in New York. I wish I could remember the name of it and I should and I have no excuse as to why I don’t remember the name of it, but there was another label in New York that had some real avant-garde music with some great up and coming artists and they would always provide us — Gerald Cosloy I believe was the President of the label and they would provide us with music and we also went out of our way — the very early days of ECW, we featured ‘Slam’ by Onyx and we had written rights to that music. We had Jeru the Damaja, we had Three 6 — we were the first television show to ever feature Three 6 Mafia and we had cut a deal with the band and the label so we had deals like that. We went out of our way to find up and coming artists that we knew we could feature. We did have rights to White Zombie, we cut a deal for that. There was no money involved. It was a publicity deal and a rights exchange, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. That was the first type of deal that we had. The second type of deal that we had was at times with playing the music video and intercutting the ECW action with the music video. So we would get, you know, certain rights to run the music video along with the ECW footage as long as we didn’t use the music live which we ended up doing anyway, and the third one which was like what we had with Metallica or certain other — Natural Born Killaz for New Jack and a lot of [the other] music. We just gangsta’d it. We just stole it. That’s who we were. We were a, no pun intended — all puns intended for the name of our first pay-per-view; we were a Barely Legal promotion. We were gangsters. We had no money, first of all. We were in the most hyper competitive environment in the history of sports entertainment/pro wrestling against two billion dollar companies and we had no money. All we had was balls, bullsh*t and bravado. So, we would say, ‘Hey, Sandman’s gonna come out to Enter Sandman by Metallica’ and he did, so when we would get these cease and desist letters from the labels or from the publishers, what are they gonna sue us for? We had no money. So come and sue us. You can probably stop us with a court order, but then they’re gonna have to pay their attorneys to go into court and file an injunction and then serve us which we’re pretty good at avoiding servicing for a while.

** While discussing MMA training, Lady Frost told DNC Digital that she’s been dealing with a myriad of injuries that makes it difficult to give it her all during training. Frost has inked a deal with IMPACT Wrestling, as first reported by Fightful Select.

It’s very different [wrestling training and MMA training]. I mean, everything is — it feels more like a struggle on the ground I think and I’m used to being in the air and being up and postured and when you’re fight training, it’s different. It’s less about form and more about movement. I prefer just heavy bag work. I don’t do a whole lot of grappling right now. I’ve been dealing with a myriad of injuries that really make it difficult to kind of grab and move and flex so once I’m healed, I’ll get more into that.

** Unforgiven 2001 was covered by Jim Ross and Conrad Thompson on the Grilling JR podcast. J.R. recounted the time when Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar wrestled in the ring prior to a WWE event and Vince McMahon got upset with J.R. for letting it happen although Jim wasn’t in the vicinity.

It’s like the time we were in South Dakota or wherever the hell we were and Kurt [Angle] and [Brock] Lesnar had their little amateur go and boy did I get my ass chewed out for that like I booked it. ‘I didn’t book it Vince.’ ‘Well you should’ve been out there.’ ‘It’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon.’ But, that was a famous day.

J.R. heaped praise onto William Regal and expressed that Regal may be one of the most underutilized and underappreciated talents of the last two generations of wrestlers.

And again, my hat’s off — or my visor is off to William Regal because I said all along, he may be one of the most underutilized, underappreciated talents in the business in the last generation or two. There’s nothing Regal can’t do well and he took a liking to Tajiri and took him under his wing and off they went man, good stuff.

He touched on AEW’s Dynamite Grand Slam event at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Ross said he was initially concerned about AEW booking the venue and not in a negative way, but he just didn’t know what to expect as far as visual presentation.

I know when we booked the venue [Arthur Ashe Stadium], I was so — I wasn’t concerned in a negative way. I just didn’t know what to expect. I’d never been in that facility before in my life. I’m probably not the world’s greatest tennis aficionado but I did catch the U.S. Open this year just to see what the arena looked like with people in it and as the fans that watched, it was pretty impressive. So, it’s good. Good win for the team, everybody’s happy I think and I sure was proud to be a part of that presentation. It brought back a lot of cool memories of, you know, passion and all the signs and all the masses of people and to see their enthusiasm and more importantly for me, to hear their enthusiasm was just the medicine that we all needed so it was good stuff man. It was good stuff.

Current MLW World Middleweight Champion Tajiri competed on the 2001 Unforgiven card. J.R. thinks Tajiri could have been a bigger star in WWE and spoke about how good Tajiri’s comedic timing was.

Both those guys [Tajiri & Rhino] could have been bigger stars, especially Tajiri because of the uniqueness of his Japanese heritage and trying to acquire the various American tastes and traditions.

Timing. He had natural timing, with his comedy and here’s how good he was, he had natural timing with his comedy and he didn’t have a command of an understandable English language. Facial expressions, that one or two word answer. He was priceless so…

Months after the Unforgiven event, Rey Mysterio was brought into WWE. Ross detailed his early conversations with Mysterio about making the move but before doing so, he mentioned that WWE did not want to bring Juventud Guerrera in at the time because of his “out of the ring issues”.

Out of ring issues [was why WWE didn’t bring Juventud Guerrera in at the time] and you know, you hope that somebody who has out of ring issues and that communicate it and they’re aware of it will make some changes. Rey Mysterio, I didn’t wanna screw that deal up. Rey knew that we were gonna hire him. I met with Rey, we had a great meeting in L.A. at a live event. He came in and I remember sitting — where the room was — it was an important meeting for me because I was a huge fan, still am of Rey Mysterio’s work and as a personality. But you know, I couldn’t pay him what WCW was guaranteeing him. I couldn’t guarantee him money. I thought we could make him more money and we did, considerably more money. You know, Rey with the merch and him being able to work with anybody even at his size, you know, he was a major target but he needed to let his contract run out and I told him this, I said, ‘You know, Rey, for the first time, you’re getting paid a lot of money and you’re gonna be able to sit home and draw your check and be with your family and not travel’ and he looks at some of those old wounds because he was a bump taker. You know how Rey was. When he was young, one of the things he amazed people with was the bumps he took. So that’s a conversation we had. I said, ‘We’ll have a deal here and I’ll try to get as close to your number to make you comfortable but you need to know our pay scale here is based on the house shows and the pay-per-view buys and a lot of ancillary things that can’t be guaranteed because we don’t know how many tickets are gonna sell, we don’t know how many pay-per-views are gonna sell.’ So that’s why I didn’t go a lot of detail on Rey. I do remember that part of it.

Around that time period, Kid Kash had a tryout with the company. He didn’t get his first shot with WWE until 2005. J.R. thinks Kash’s height did him no favors as far as Vince McMahon’s perception of him went. He also thinks that Kash was never considered to be anything more than a preliminary talent at the time.

Well his size [Kid Kash] didn’t do him any favors as far as the Vince [McMahon] decision was concerned and I think that he was always perceived and it may be because of his tenure in ECW, I don’t know that. That’s gonna sound like me knocking ECW and I’m not. We got some good recruits out of there, signed a lot of good people out of there without question and a lot of them on this card [Unforgiven 2001]. I just don’t think that he was ever perceived as anything more than a preliminary guy, mid-card guy type thing. Was he fundamentally sound? Hell yeah. Very much so. Good talent but was there something really extraordinarily special about him at that time? Not really and so, he was not a high priority to sign. If he had been a high priority to sign, I would have signed him. But that was not my directive.

** The latest guest on Ryan Satin’s ‘Out of Character’ podcast was Queen Zelina. She reflected on the chemistry between herself and Andrade El Idolo and how they understood one another without having to verbally communicate.

Oh my God, yeah [her approach is different as a singles talent than it is when she was a manager]. Especially because before, it was more about Andrade [El Idolo] than it was me and I remember thinking at one point like — again, before coming in, I had never been a manager before. I hadn’t even thought about it. But I did love Paul Heyman and Sherri [Martel] and Melina and I was like, ‘How can I blend these worlds to put it into this new manager character of mine?’ And yeah, it started off something that I fell in love with eventually because I had no idea what I was doing at first. But, it felt like lightning struck when I met him and we just started to almost read each other’s minds and I know that sounds crazy but I literally can look at him and knew what he was thinking right away, so we can just go into whatever. We didn’t even have to say anything so that was a really magical thing that I feel only happens once in a lifetime. But, now the way I look at things is it’s not just about someone else but it’s about me and how do I want people to perceive me and I always feel like I have something to prove especially because I started out as a manager, people think that-that was all I’ll ever be or that I ever was. So it’s like you’re constantly trying to prove yourself and now, being Queen it’s like you can shove it up their butts a little bit more, you know?

Zelina detailed how helpful Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque was from NXT to when she and Andrade were moved to the main roster. She told the story of how Levesque reacted when she informed him that her and Malakai Black were getting married:

[Triple H helped me figure things out] as a manager, as a person. Yeah, we call him Papa H because he’s been there for everything, every part of our career even on the main roster, you know? And any time we had a question, again, professionally, personally, he was always there for us and I think too, he always kind of gave me that confidence that I needed, that extra little boost that I needed and he would say things like, ‘There’s no one like you right now. Not even on the main roster. You can do this’ and it just was little things that I needed and it helped — I feel like it helped me propel to the next level, you know? And I remember thinking at — oh gosh. I forget which — where we were backstage but even when I told him like, ‘Hey! Um, I’m getting married.’ He’s like, ‘Oh! Okay. So you and Andrade are getting married?’ I’m like, ‘No. Me and Aleister’ and he’s like, ‘What? Wait. You guys completely threw me off with that. I didn’t even think that you guys were together’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, that was — hiding it for a very long time.’ But yeah, and he was just so happy and it’s just — he’s like, ‘Oh my babies, they’re getting married but not the babies. You know what I mean. I’m just happy for you guys.’ So yeah, it’s really cool. He’s like — yeah, he’s Papa H.

** John Bradshaw Layfield hosted a Q&A on his YouTube channel and told the story of when Val Venis hit him with a pool cue during a taped segment and the cue went through his cheek. JBL said he was not looking to get a receipt because Val’s a good person and JBL told him to swing the pool cue with force.

We were doing a bar fight scene in — it was in St. Louis and I told Val [Venis], ‘Hit me [from] behind with the pool cue. Make sure you hit me hard. We got one take.’ The reason we always had to do one take in those bar fights was that guys got busted open, things got broken so you couldn’t do more than once, so because of continuity, you couldn’t stop and film different things. So they were pretty stiff. So I tell Val, ‘Make sure you bust it open over my back. Go ahead and hit me hard, I’ll be fine’ and they usually gimmick the pool cues a little bit and put a cut in ‘em. One time, I think it was Edge… I think it was Edge? Had the wrong one or had it backwards and it almost KO’d me. I threw Bull Buchanan to the wrong wall one time so you know, those things happen. But he hit me with the pool cue and it came around and you can barely see it now but I got — the pool cue went all the way through my cheek, all the way through. I could stick my tongue out through my cheek and when he hit me, I thought he knocked out all my teeth. Thank God it was higher or it would’ve knocked out all my teeth because it broke, sticks in my cheek, goes through it, I take a bump through a table. I know I’m covered in blood because I can see red all over my face so I grabbed the cameraman by the ankle to let him go out on me but he had the scene where he’s shooting this way and none of it got caught on camera, none. So I’m busted open, got blood everywhere. None of it made camera. I go back to St. Louis, they have a plastic surgeon waiting for me in the dressing room, sew my cheek back up and I go out for the last match, because that was taped earlier. By the time I get sewed up, go out and wrestled or ran in or something on the last match so, yes, Val Venis, I got this huge scar but not his fault and there was never a receipt because Val’s — Val didn’t mean it. He was a good guy. I’m the one that told him to hit me hard so, if it’s anybody’s fault, it’s me.

Bruce Prichard recently commented on the backstage altercation between JBL and Tully Blanchard. JBL addressed that and as of present day, there are no issues between he and Tully. JBL feels he could have handled the situation better.

No, I don’t think so [still have heat with Tully Blanchard]. We shook hands. I had heat with Tully from an old event. Tully doesn’t even remember it from what I’ve seen, stories. You know, he, I thought was disrespectful to me and I carried stupidly a lot of anger towards Tully for years and I saw him for the first time at WWE and I just exploded and it was unprofessional, it shouldn’t have happened, it shouldn’t have happened there. I should’ve just pulled Tully aside because no matter whether you’re mad at him or not, he’s a legend and he’s one of The Four Horsemen, one of the greatest of all-time, what a worker. I mean Tully was a real true heel. When I mentioned ‘heels’, that’s one of the ones that, you know, was one of the great ones and I should have just pulled him aside and said, ‘Hey, this is what happened’ and he didn’t even remember it. Wasn’t a big deal to him and it was to me and it’s one of those things where you let stuff fester and it builds up over the years but I handled it completely wrong and for that, told Tully I was sorry for the whole thing and I am because I shouldn’t have handled [it] that way. I should’ve just pulled him aside and talked to him and we shook hands and later we shook hands but didn’t have to go through all of that first so as far as current heat, I don’t think so. I certainly don’t have any heat towards him. A lot of respect for Tully Blanchard.

Elsewhere during the Q&A, JBL spoke highly of Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs and thinks he’d be a great President of the United States.

So, the last Presidential race, you had two 70-plus year-old guys that you probably should be talking to that you’re going to take the keys from ‘em for their car, not give ‘em the nuclear codes. So I really would like to have somebody that was actually kind of in their prime and Glenn Jacobs is one of the smartest guys I’ve ever met and I think Glenn’s gonna be — would be a great President. I think Glenn would be great at anything he does. He’s that smart.

** Renee Paquette and Meisha Tate welcomed Brandi Rhodes onto their ‘Throwing Down’ show. Brandi provided an update on her in-ring training and said she’s either working out or in the ring daily. She is hoping that the work she’s putting in now translates to when she returns to competing in sanctioned matches.

I’m in-ring at least three days a week. I’m in gym seven days a week. So I mean, I’m busting it as hard as I possibly can and that’s because I wanna do well. I don’t wanna half-commit to something or not commit to something. I just really wanna be an actual contender and you know, I think that myself doing all the work, that just makes me that more confident when I do get back in the ring that, you know, I know exactly what I’m doing, I know what I’m capable of and hopefully that translates. Hopefully people will actually pay attention and watch. I’ve seen a lot of, lately, people saying how I’m taking time away from other women and stuff. Well that shows me that you don’t watch. I haven’t been [in a program in a] year so, if that’s taking time away from women, that means maybe we’ve had one match a year. That’s a bigger problem. Clearly we don’t. Clearly that’s not the case so yeah, you know.

** The future of Shane Taylor Promotions (Shane Taylor, Moses, Kaun, Ron Hunt & O’Shay Edwards) was discussed during Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s interview with Taylor. Shane admitted that it is tasking to move five talents around at the same time on the independent scene but there are spots out there for them. All members of S.T.P. will be free agents coming out of Ring of Honor’s Final Battle event.

I mean, there’s a lot of potential options on the table. We’ve had a few calls. I’m about to make some more calls today, you know what I mean? It’s very hard to move five people at once. But, there’s a lot of options out there. There’s a lot of places that need ready-made talent that can step into a main event role, especially our African American talent. There’s a lot of places that are nervous about who it is that we are and what we stand for and the message that we send out and then again, there are a lot of people who like to take risks and can see just how much something like S.T.P. [Shane Taylor Promotions] is needed in the sport right now and are ready to take those chances and really have some fun so, there’s just so much opportunity out there and it’s just a matter of finding the right fit and being able to make it work.

** During her sit-down interview with BT Sport, Charlotte Flair spoke highly of Rhea Ripley and Bianca Belair. She feels both talents are going to be leading the women’s division but specifically speaking about Rhea, Flair looks back on their match at Money In The Bank and feels Rhea left that bout as a star.

Well first I wanna say Rhea Ripley [is someone who has impressed me]. I truly believe she is the future of the women’s division. Our Money In The Bank match was untouchable and she walked out a star and she could have beat me easy that night. I just had more experience, more older and to see her grow and develop, I’m really proud of her. Obviously Bianca [Belair]. When we had that main event — we had two main event matches back-to-back on Raw a couple weeks ago and was like, ‘You’re the real deal. Take it, run with it.’ Obviously there’s even newer girls but to me, Bianca and Rhea are still just getting their feet wet. It’s an exciting time.

Flair and Sasha Banks headlined several of the shows during WWE’s recent tour of the United Kingdom. Charlotte thinks that she and Sasha have undeniable chemistry.

Well first of all, Sasha [Banks] and I have undeniable chemistry and this sounds corny but what? Iron sharpens iron, you know? We’re both so competitive, but I truly believe that we were both born to main event and when I walk out there, when she walks out there, you believe these are two stars that can carry that and we know we can and to come over to the UK, especially for me, I know she had a tour before this. My first tour back feels incredible and it’s just — being able to do what I do and then seeing, like you said, Drew McIntyre say like how good it has been to see us main event, like yeah, just a reminder that, ‘You must be doing something right.’

** ‘Metro’ pushed out their conversation with Jeff Hardy. He has a multitude of ideas he has yet to pitch to the powers that be in WWE such as having an alter ego to the Willow character. Hardy has thought about doing a Bob Ross type-character and having Willow be the alter ego to that.

I think there’s something special about Willow. I’ve written down some ideas, I don’t know if they really make sense. I’ve yet to pitch any to anybody, creatively, in WWE. So I just need to go in and do that, not hesitate. They might shut it down, but it might be cool. I can’t help but think how cool it was when I first witnessed The Fiend, and the light shutting down. It was so cool to me – that’s kinda my thing too, I was like, ‘Man, this is so cool!’ Now he’s not here anymore, I think there’s something really cool Willow could do similar to that. It wouldn’t be exactly like that, but I’ve even had ideas like a Jeff Ross character – like I was a painter, a really silly painter Jeffery Ross, and then Willow would be my Fiend. But then that’s too much like the Fun House. But that’s what’s cool about pro wrestling – anything’s possible and anything can make sense if it’s thought out correctly and really believed in.

** After their Final Battle pay-per-view in December, Ring of Honor is scheduled to go on hiatus until April 2022. Eli Isom, who has been a part of ROH since 2017, guest appeared on the Front Row Material podcast and recounted initially hearing ROH’s announcement.

It was very out of left field [ROH’s announcement about their hiatus]. It just came as a big shock to me and a lot of people that I know. Yeah, we thought that we were gaining ground and we thought that we had a lot of good things going for us and then we had a meeting about two weeks ago and then that’s when they told us that they were gonna seize operations until next April so, yeah it really kind of caught a lot of us off guard and now it’s crazy with all this; the WWE releases and now with Ring of Honor taking some time off, there’s a lot of great wrestlers out there looking for work so now, for me, that makes me wanna turn my game up even more.

** Maria Kanellis-Bennett, Christy Hemme and Brooke Adams (Tessmacher) were the focus of East Coast Autograph Auction’s latest virtual signing. Hemme and Adams spoke highly of Kia Stevens (Awesome Kong) and how skilled she was in the ring.

Hemme: She [Awesome Kong] is one of the best of the best of the best, and an incredible human being.

Tessmacher: You know what’s crazy is I did not expect when I got there [TNA], her to talk so softly and so sweet and just, you know?

Hemme: And for someone that is such a beast in the ring, in the ring, when you’re in a match with her, she’s so controlled and she’s really well paced. Like not in a rush, well-paced.

Tessmacher: No matter how neurotic you feel out there, it doesn’t matter. She always somehow —

Hemme: Slows you down, she’s in charge. She is boss.

Tessmacher: I was scared to death, scared to death to work her for a couple reasons. Like one, when you get in the ring with somebody that’s so great, you’re like, ‘Can I even amount to anything like that-that would even be worth watching’ first of all? Yeah, she was awesome, awesome. Fun to work.

** On the latest episode of ROH TV, Kenny King and Dragon Lee lost the ROH World Tag Titles to Matt Taven and Mike Bennett. Coming out of that, King spoke to WrestleZone and reflected on his time in Ring of Honor as the company is inching closer to the beginning of their hiatus.

It’s always been the place where the best wrestlers in the world go to show what pro wrestling is always about, and whatever era that you’ve ever seen in Ring of Honor, and I’ve been in the era of Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuinness, I’ve also been in the era of Claudio Castagnoli and Chris Hero and Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin, and Davey Richards and Kevin Steen and El Generico, and all these different eras. But it’s always been where the best wrestlers have come.

And you know it’s very bittersweet. I’m very proud that I’ve had the tenure that I’ve had in Ring of Honor because a lot of people have come and gone. I’ve always been very proud of my stay [and] my tenure here. And if this is it, man, then I feel like it’s been a beautiful thing to be able to look back and see how many amazing pro wrestlers have come through there, how many of my friends have gone on to be amazingly successful doing this thing, and how many phenomenal matches I’ve been able to witness first-hand and be a part of. Ring of Honor’s always gonna be one of the most special things in my career, in my life. And I’ll be thankful to Cary Silkin, to Joe Koff, just for making Ring of Honor endure for as long as it has.

** Episode #115 of Cultaholic’s Desert Island Graps show featured Lady Frost and Victor Benjamin. They remembered when they first began working together on the independents and Mick Foley ordered them a plethora of indoor snowballs to go along with Lady Frost’s character and that’s how they were able to throw snowballs at most of the independent shows they worked.

Frost: So, we [Lady Frost & Victor Benjamin] go to the next show and God rest his soul, The Patriot [Del Wilkes] was there and said, ‘Hey, what if you used real snowballs?’ It was a blizzard outside. It was a freaking blizzard so, he goes [Victor Benjamin], rolls up these snowballs, packs them in, pre-show, right outside the door and he’s managing me at the time, we’re bad guys.

Benjamin: I leave in the middle of the match, in the heat. I run out the door, get the snowballs and I come through hurling them.

Frost: Yeah, it was great. So we had a blast, we hit it off and we call uncle Mick [Foley]. He literally ordered the indoor snowballs and he said, ‘I’m sending them to your house right now.’ Like, what an insane gesture. He said, ‘I’m sending them right now. You better use them in all your matches.’ So I was like, ‘Okay! Yes!’ So that’s why early days, you watch any of like the first year or two of my wrestling, there’s always snowballs. He’s throwing them, I’m throwing them. That’s because of uncle Mick so, yeah.

** Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin are appearing on WWE The Bump on 11/17 to discuss their match at the 1996 Survivor Series.

** ‘We Are The Mighty’ has an interview with Lacey Evans.

** AEW President Tony Khan joined the Wrestling Perspective Podcast.

** Cedar Fair Entertainment Company hired Brian Nurse as their Chief Legal Officer. Nurse formerly worked for WWE as their Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary.

** Announced for AAW’s ‘Windy City Classic XVI’ on 11/26 is a Ladder match with the winner getting a shot at any AAW title of their choosing. Ren Jones, SCHAFF, Storm Grayson, Gringo Loco, Jah-C, Jake Lander, Davey Vega and Brayden Lee are the competitors in the match.

** Bianca Belair appeared on WFXR FOX to promote WWE’s live event in Roanoke, Virginia on 11/27.

** Dave LaGreca and Tommy Dreamer welcomed Nyla Rose onto Busted Open Radio.

** NJPW1972.com published part one of their chat with IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion El Desperado.

** Leyla Hirsch versus Masha Slamovich is set for Beyond Wrestling’s 11/18 show.

** Darren Paltrowitz spoke to The IInspiration (Jessica McKay & Cassie Lee).

** Josh Martinez of Z100 interviewed Ethan Page:

** Manchester Evening News caught up with Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Jeff Hardy and Charlotte Flair and got their thoughts on the idea of WWE running a pay-per-view event in the United Kingdom.

** The Miz appeared on NBC TODAY.

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 8444 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.