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.
** At AEW Full Gear, Baron von Raschke got involved in the Minneapolis Street Fight that saw The Inner Circle take on Ethan Page, Scorpio Sky and American Top Team. Baron locked in ‘The Iron Claw’ on Page as Page exchanged words with Jake Hager’s significant other. Baron talked to K & S WrestleFest about the appearance.
Well, I have a few problems with the way he [Ethan Page] acted. He was going after that other wrestler’s wife, insulting her right in front of where I was sitting. I just couldn’t take it anymore. So, I had to do what I did, and that is all the people need to know! Take that Evan. Ethan.
The 80-year-old von Raschke jokingly said he has another match in him and he and Ethan Page have unfinished business.
I don’t know where it comes from, but I’m sure I do. Ethan [Page], I’m sure I do [have] one more wrestling match in me and with me and against you. ‘Unfinished business’ we call it.
** There was a panel at Steel City Con that Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs and John Bradshaw Layfield were the focus of. Layfield and Jacobs fielded questions from the audience and Layfield recounted when Vince McMahon told Michael Cole he was going to fight him and then fire him while Cole was on the headset. Vince relayed the message that he did not want commentary to bring up that James Snuka Jr. (Deuce) was Jimmy Snuka’s son. Cole was not aware and mentioned the fact which led to Vince making those comments. When McMahon realized it was a mistake, he said he “lost it a little bit.”
Layfield: We were sitting in the back one time with Vince [McMahon] and Jimmy Snuka’s son [Deuce/James Snuka] and Vince said, ‘Be sure when you say he comes in, that’s Jimmy Snuka’s son.’ Now later we tried to say that but then Vince goes on to say, ‘Last thing you wanna say is he’s Jimmy Snuka’s son because he can’t live up to the fact that Jimmy Snuka was his dad.’ Now later they tried that because he wasn’t really — didn’t really work out and they tried. But Michael Cole took copious notes. So he’s writing down, ‘Jimmy Snuka’s son.’ I don’t even notice it. Soon as the kid tags in, Michael Cole says, ‘In comes Jimmy Snuka’s son.’ Vince had just told him don’t say ‘Jimmy Snuka’s son.’ Well when he says that, they’ve got the little God camera that can look at us. I start laughing because I realize Cole doesn’t know not to say that, Vince sees me laughing and thinks Cole is making fun of him in front of the whole entire company. Vince’s response was, ‘Michael, I’m gonna come down there and I’m gonna fire you. No, I’m gonna come down there and I’m gonna kick your ass. Not I’m not, no I’m not’ and he’s debating with himself at this point. This is during a live show and he goes, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. I’m gonna kick your ass, then I’m gonna fire you! That’s what I’m gonna do! I’m coming down right now’ and Michael’s just looking at the camera like — and I’m dying laughing and there’s no commentary and then by the time the commercial comes around, there was no commentary in the match. Vince realizes what happened, that Michael did it by mistake. He goes, ‘Haha, I lost it a little bit there didn’t I? Ha, yeah.’
Layfield stated that Michael Cole was pranked often in WWE. There were several instances mentioned such as Cole not knowing Fit Finlay was going to hit him with a shillelagh and Titus O’Neil throwing up on Cole and Vince McMahon telling him to not acknowledge it.
Layfield: We had so many different times on commentary where they would do stuff to Michael Cole but they wouldn’t do it to me and I’d be in on it; when [Fit] Finlay hit him with [the] shillelagh, I mean they abused Michael Cole for years and thank God I just got part of it. They had Titus O’Neil throw up on him one time. Titus was supposed to drink this pea soup and spit the pea soup out on Cole. Well Titus thought that he was supposed to drink it and actually throw up. True story. So he drinks it and throws up on Cole. He actually threw up on him on live television and Michael’s out there with puke all over him and he says, ‘I feel like I’m in a freaking frat party back in college’ and Vince goes, ‘Don’t acknowledge it, don’t acknowledge it. Don’t say anything about it.’ Michael’s like, ‘I’m covered in puke. You had a guy puke on me and you don’t want me to talk about it.’
When The A.P.A. (Ron Simmons & JBL) would film their bar scene fights with other wrestlers, they would often shoot at former WWE referee Tim White’s bar in Rhode Island. When items would be broken during filming, Tim White would send Vince McMahon an invoice for $15,000. McMahon was not pleased about the amount of money he was sending over to White.
Layfield: The Friendly Tap was Tim White’s bar up in Providence, Rhode Island, wonderful place and so he and Andre [The Giant] were best friends, Arnie Skaaland were best friends. I mean he has like a Hall Of Fame, pictures and all this stuff. When you’d walk in though, you’d see pictures of Kane and JBL because he would take Andre’s picture down and put yours in the very front and [I’d] go, ‘Tim, come on, I’m not buying this.’ But when we tore up his bar, Tim had all these Nanotube televisions up on the wall and we come back and Vince [McMahon] had-had to buy him flat-screen HD televisions and Vince was so mad he goes, ‘I didn’t know I was rebuilding his entire damn bar.’
Jacobs: They’d break like the pool table and he’d send Vince an invoice for $15,000 and then you go into The Friendly Tap and it’d be completely renovated, every time they’d have a bar fight there.
Jacobs went on to tell the story of when he and Paul Bearer were on the road and JBL crashed his car into the back of Jacobs and Bearer’s vehicle.
Jacobs: So one time, me and Paul Bearer are driving, I forget where from. It might have been Pittsburgh actually and we’re driving to Huntington, West Virginia, alright? And we’re going along and you have to understand Paul’s personality okay? Paul has a heart of gold but it’s buried pretty deep behind some serious curmudgeon-ess, alright? So we’re driving along and we’re just driving on the interstate. We’re driving and driving and then all of a sudden, the car just ‘bam’ and just lurches forward, okay and Paul is like looking around and looks in the rear view mirror. Another car had hit us and bumped us, not that hard but enough and I look in the rear view mirror and I see this guy [John Bradshaw Layfield] in the other, ‘Woooo!!!!’ Meanwhile, Paul says some things I can’t — I blushed with what Paul was saying. But yeah, that was the lesson: Never get ahead of The A.P.A. when they were in a hurry to get to a show.
Layfield: It was a mistake. I just bumped into them. I didn’t know and there’s Paul Bearer, ‘Woooo!’
Elsewhere during the Q&A, Jacobs said the Hardcore Championship was his favorite title and while he was champion, he had an exchange with a TSA agent who thought the title was legitimately broken.
Jacobs: So my favorite belt, and actually they are called ‘titles’ and you will get in trouble if you don’t say ‘titles’ with Vince [McMahon]. My favorite belt was the Hardcore Championship and the reason is because one time I’m going through TSA security at the airport, right? And I have the belt in my bag and normally you would take it out so you go through the metal detector, you know, they pull it out but I forgot and I left it in the bag. So, the TSA agent opens my bag, he looks at the Hardcore Title and then he looks at me and he says — and he is serious. He says, ‘You know it’s broken, right?’ ‘Yeah, that’s kind of the point dude.’
** Taya Valkyrie, the former ‘Franky Monet’ is now a free agent after being released from WWE in November. Prior to joining the sports-entertainment company, Valkyrie had been a part of IMPACT Wrestling for several years. Rosemary spoke to Inside The Ropes and commented on the possibility of Taya returning to IMPACT.
Well, we did hear a rumbling about her getting out of prison. We haven’t looked too far into it because we don’t know what her intentions are. If you keep in mind, that attempted murder that she got arrested for, that did foil an awful lot of our plans, and even she did it with good intentions, she still delayed our getting of the virginal blood of that stupid John E. Bravo. So, really, if she comes back, she’s coming back and she’s gonna have to answer to us for ruining our plans, let alone this human, murder, all these laws, whatever. She has to answer to us now and if she wants to come back here, she’s going to realize we’ve been hash tagging #NoMoreHumans for a reason.
Rosemary discussed how much of an influence the late Shannon ‘Daffney’ Spruill had on her career. Rosemary feels that if Daffney did not have her run in TNA, there would be no Rosemary in IMPACT.
Daffney was a wonderful, close, beautiful friend, and a beautiful soul. To be able to pick her brain and to recognize different techniques that she put forward… without Daffney in TNA, there is no Rosemary in IMPACT Wrestling, to be perfectly flat out. Without Daffney and without Roxxi Laveaux, without characters that set the precedent and paved the way for dark characters to be accepted, for the Su Yungs and the Rosemarys and the Havoks of IMPACT Wrestling now, we had to have them before. She was absolutely a game-changer and a pioneer, but she was also suffering. That comes from a time when people didn’t talk about things and it wasn’t as common, but we’re trying to break that stigma. Daffney’s suicide had to do with the final straw. Coming out with the Tag Me In campaign, on top of that, Ashley Massarro and Hana Kimura and countless others that we’ve lost over the years. Enough is enough. Now is the time we talk about it and we help each other through this because, quite frankly, let’s not lose anymore.
She further dove into the conversation of mental health. In 2018, Rosemary tore her ACL which led to a long period of depression she had to battle.
Absolutely 100% important! There’s so many different ways that everyone reacts to different situations, no two humans are the same as we’ve noticed, just the same as us. We don’t react the same way. When we were injured in 2018, there was a long spell of depression that went through the head. It was nothing to do with physical recovery, but before our knee could recover and get healthy again, we had to address the sickness in here [points to her head] before we could address the physical. It is so much more difficult to recover from because there is no set guide, there is no set ABC, there’s no surgery for depression or anxiety or anything like that. So, what the Tag Me In campaign is, is a collective of wrestlers and everyone coming together to recognize that mental health is so important and to reach out and to be able to talk because talking and getting all of these issues and all of these feelings… if they’re bottled up, it just becomes poison and sickness inside. That is what ends up costing us several people taking their own lives, or ending up in a situation where they are beyond help. We want to talk to you before it gets to that point. The Tag Me In [campaign] has been reach out, talk to somebody. It’s all about just acknowledging that we’re all different. Everyone needs something different, different helps, perhaps more help in this situation in your life, or just because we’re struggling doesn’t mean we can’t help out someone else. Being able to talk to them can help each other as well. It’s all this system of being able to heal together and that you’re not alone. What it will tell you is that you are alone, and it’s lying.
** Episode 20 of ‘The Q Interview’ featured Bret Hart as he was making the rounds ahead of accepting his spot on the Canada Walk of Fame. When Hart first joined the WWE/F, it was suggested that he select another state or city to be billed from such as Los Angeles or Detroit. Bret insisted that he be billed from Canada and was told that being billed from there would not get him far.
Oh, it was always important [to represent Canada]. I mean I do remember when I first went there [WWE], they were like, ‘Where do you want to be from?’ I was like, ‘What do you mean? I’m from Calgary’ and it’s like, ‘We’re gonna bill you from the States.’ Like, ‘Pick a city and Bret Hart can be from Los Angeles or Detroit’ or somewhere I can’t remember. I said, ‘I just wanna be from Canada. My dad, my whole history is there’ and they were like, ‘Okay, your loss. You’re gonna be Canadian which won’t get you so far’ but I don’t think at that time, nobody thought much of me anyway and it was kind of like, you know, I was — nobody saw anything from me back in those days. I went from being a big fish in my dad’s little pond in Stampede Wrestling to being a little tiny fish in a huge pond in WWE in 1984 when I started there and I don’t think there was any — if there was a wrestler that you ever said for sure, ‘He’ll never be a — he’ll never amount to anything,’ I was one of those kind of guys. Nobody saw any big future for me there and you know, I was just determined to make it down there.
Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin have gone into detail about their WrestleMania 13 match on several occasions. Hart feels that-that bout was more of a “Bret Hart match” and Austin agreeing with what Bret was putting together.
Yeah, I did, I knew [that match with Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13 was special.] I knew, I could read it, I could tell. I mean I don’t wanna take anything away from Steve Austin who’s a great wrestler but, I think that match is a Bret Hart match. That’s me sitting down and telling Steve Austin what we’re gonna do and him just agreeing with me and saying, ‘Okay, I love it. I love the story you’re telling and I love the story you’re — the way I’m envisioning it, the way you’re talking it through’ and it’s like, ‘Okay, that’s exactly what we’re gonna do and this is what the story’s gonna be and you’re gonna be surprised at the end but the fans are gonna love you and they’re gonna hate me’ and it was just someone that knows how to read the audience before you get there.
Before it was decided that Hart and Austin would go for the double-turn, Bret said Austin wanted to remain a heel for a few more months but Hart could tell that the crowd was beginning to shift in Austin’s favor.
He [Steve Austin] wanted to stay a bad guy for like quite a few more months. It wasn’t supposed to be overnight, but I could feel the audience going with Steve Austin more and more every week and I could — whether he realized it or not, it’s like, ‘You’re going to be a hero soon anyway’ whether you realize it or not.
Hart won the WWE Championship for the first time in 1992. He spoke about that title win and thinks it came about because Vince McMahon needed to put his trust in a talent who would not drop the ball and bring negative press to the company. Bret mentioned the steroid and sex scandals that were unfolding at the time and how much of an impact that had on the then-WWF.
Well it was even more than that. The company [WWE] had run into a bunch of varying scandals, one was that Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan had been shipping steroids to each other at their home and flying steroids in the air which I guess is illegal from state to state and anyway, became a big black eye with steroids and wrestling and Vince McMahon, you know, supposedly selling steroids and things like that to the wrestlers which never happened. But there was a scandal and it took — the company took a huge hit. [There] was also a sex scandal with the ring crew with one of the management guys in WWE which was another big headline and there was just — became this series of bad headlines for wrestling and Hulk Hogan, I think because he was a little bit embarrassed of how much of a fallout came from him sort of and his steroids. Like you know, ‘Eat your vitamins and say your prayers’ and all that stuff bit him right on the ass and so he disappeared and the company was really sinking fast and they tried [Ultimate] Warrior, they end up with Macho Man, they end up with Ric Flair but nobody was really turning things around and things were getting worse. They were losing all these toy deals and big, you know, things within the promotion that I was really unaware of but, and I was like the guy who pulled the sword out of the stone. I was like, ‘Try Bret Hart. He’s — the fans love him. He had this great match in Wembley with Bulldog a few weeks ago. See if he can do the trick’ and Vince McMahon, I think worried that he might end up actually going to jail over all that stuff, decided that he needed to put the title on somebody that was a safe, secure bet that wouldn’t drop the ball, wouldn’t mess up, wouldn’t have no scandals. You know, an impaired driving or anything could set the company back huge if it was the wrong guy and he chose me and I turned out to be a good hero for him and a good hero for the wrestling industry and I took wrestling in a different direction. I think when you look back today, they don’t wrestle like Hulk Hogan anymore, they wrestle like Bret Hart. Wrestling’s all about action and speed and telling the story and I think that’s where I came in.
At SummerSlam 1992, Hart headlined the show with The British Bulldog. Hart recalled asking Vince McMahon if he wanted to know how the match was going to end and according to Bret, Vince responded by saying that he did not want to know.
Before I was ever champion, most wrestlers would sit down and go to me, ‘What are we doing?’ And I would tell them what we’re doing and I was a guy that was — even with Vince McMahon, when I think of wrestling The British Bulldog at Wembley Stadium, I remember telling Vince, I said, ‘You want me to tell you the ending?’ And he goes, ‘Don’t tell me the ending. I wanna watch it,’ and it’s like that’s what I was. I was the guy that was the stunt coordinator or the director, the stage manager, I put the whole thing together. How it started, how we look at each other, when this happens then you get up and you come up to me and you do this or all the little details.
** During an episode of Jim Ross’ ‘Grilling J.R.’ podcast, the topic of discussion was longtime WWE commentator Michael Cole. In 2011, Cole and Ross were involved in several matches together for WWE and Ross shared that throughout those several exchanges, he suffered a broken hand and Cole’s tooth once got lodged in Ross’ knuckle.
But anyway, it just — when it was over, I was relieved as hell. I really was and I did break my hand and [Michael] Cole’s face got a pounding and for no reason, because it was something we had to do and it was booked that way. So, and when you get guys like he and I, we have no skills. So what am I gonna do? Start applying holds? I applied an ‘Ankle Lock,’ wow. But other than that, nothing, I got nothing. So then you rely on kicking and punching of which neither are you trained to do. So apologize later and that’s what I did. ‘Sorry about that.’ I remember I had to get tetanus shots, where I hit Cole one of those shows along that period where I hit him in the mouth, oh God. His tooth ran in between my knuckles and it bled like a hog and little did I know that-that was really dangerous as far as infections [are] concerned. Another human being’s bite and so then I had to take antibiotics and you know, the doctor’s got to look at it every time you go out there and all this other sh*t so, is this one of those deals where it’s like, ‘What else is gonna happen here? Can we just get out of this cluster and move on?’ And I think [if you] asked all four guys who were involved in it, they would tell you basically the same thing, ‘We’re just glad we got through it, based on who the talents were in this match’ and it lasted three or four weeks, it probably should have lasted two weeks. You shoot the angle, you get a reason, you have the match, you get out of there. But it lasted longer than that because they liked what they saw leading into WrestleMania and they loved Cole’s heel banter to good ole’ JR.
When Michael Cole first came into the fold and was being featured more, J.R. did not think Cole was going to replace him. J.R. did not want to have that mindset because he knew he could not control it if that was the case.
Nah [I didn’t think Michael Cole was gearing up to be my replacement]. Ah sh*t, no. I thought I was invincible. But if I was, hey, he does good. It’s up to me to do better and continue to do my job well. But you know, that’s living in fear. Why the f*ck would I think — why would I want to sit there in my — ‘I don’t know. I think this kid’s getting pretty good. He may replace me someday.’ Okay, first of all, I can’t control that. If I’m gonna be so naïve and so pro wrestling dumb that I’m gonna get all up in arms about something I cannot control, it’s almost freaking embarrassing. So no I didn’t think that, I just tried to help him and he’d ask me questions and you know, we got along great so, I had a lot of respect for Michael especially as a husband and a father and his wife had some health issues and he’s always been right there, steadfast and with that crazy job and the hours he keeps because he’s now in charge of all the announcers. I think he does their contracts and scheduling and all those things so good for him and maybe some of my old administrative skills and my desire to do it rubbed off on him somewhere down the road. But he does a good job. He’s really good at what he does, but we all know he can only take it so far. He can’t make the major decision about, ‘I’m gonna replace so and so and put somebody else on Raw’ without talking to Vince [McMahon].
Following the 9/11 attacks, WWE aired a tribute edition of SmackDown which was commentated by Jim Ross and Paul Heyman. J.R. had a feeling that Michael Cole and Taz were disappointed that they were not on that broadcast.
It is a hell of a run [amount of consecutive shows that Michael Cole has called throughout his career] and I’m sure he was a little miffed that he didn’t do the 9/11 show, and neither did Taz and if I had been them, I would be miffed as well because of the importance of the broadcast, because that was a show that [Paul] Heyman and I did. So, I would be a little bit — my feathers would be ruffled without question and those guys got every right to be a little bit angry or disappointed is maybe the better term. So, yeah man, I’m so glad I wasn’t married to SmackDown. I enjoy the show and I enjoy the show because I was there when I would tape them all because I got that day job, you know, take care of talent and somebody’s always got a boo-boo face about something.
Current New Japan Pro-Wrestling commentator Kevin Kelly was a part of WWE from 1996-2003. Ross thinks it was difficult for Kevin to develop solid footing in the company due to a situation where he wanted his name to be spelled a specific way and Kevin Dunn had to get involved because of trademarking and name rights.
I think he [Kevin Kelly] came in and there was a little bit of an issue and that may not be a good word but a little bit of a discussion about how they were gonna spell ‘Kelly,’ and somehow or another, it got in the pipeline of conversation where he went back to Kevin Dunn to get a ruling because the studio didn’t know how — they didn’t know [how] to copyright stuff or you know, intellectual property, all this stuff. Trademark, all that stuff, yeah. So anyhow, Kevin Dunn had to intervene over how Kevin Kelly’s last name was going to be spelled and I don’t know that Kevin Kelly ever really got out from under that thumb. But I always liked his work and I [knew] a lot of people that liked his work. But sometimes he could be his own worst enemy, as I’m sure he would agree. We all were young, full of PnV man, so he was just that — he could be a little bit — we’d wanna say, ‘Hey Kevin, chill, exhale. Don’t live and die on all this bullsh*t’ and so I think he was — he made a mistake there. He should’ve just let it go. Who gives a sh*t how your last name’s spelt? Who cares? So, and then [Michael] Cole had that look, Cole was smaller. Kevin’s probably two or three inches taller than Michael, I’m assuming, guessing. So they knew that Michael could do play-by-play and/or he could do interviews and he’d fit in physically. Kevin was a little bit larger for that role of interviewer. You didn’t see me doing a lot of interviews. I did some big interviews, sit-downs and things like that but on a regular basis, no, it’s not my thing. So that’s why — that’s how I would say that but you know, Kevin did a really good job. He just went and fouled the wrong people it seemed like.
Ross recalled Vince McMahon wanting him to be the heel commentator opposite of a babyface Michael Cole. He thinks it did Cole no good and that made fans turn against him.
But Vince [McMahon] wanted to turn me heel. Wanted to turn me heel, there you go. So, and I never knew why, it was never explained to me and it never worked. If it had worked, it would’ve been good for the TV show and [had it] been a boost in areas of importance, I’m all for it. But I never thought it was going to achieve sh*t and it didn’t.
The deal was, ‘Let’s get J.R. over as a heel,’ but nobody bought it. They like J.R. better than they like Michael Cole at that time and it put him in a tough situation, because it stagnated his growth and influenced the direction and the perception that the audience was gonna have with him. They believed my bullsh*t. ‘You’re trying to take my job.’ They bought it but the other way around. Instead of making Michael Cole the young, handsome heir to the throne, they made him come off as a prick and that’s not fair but that’s how it worked out.
** NWA World Women’s Champion Kamille was the focus of Asylum Wrestling Store’s latest virtual signing. Kamille stated that she is interested in sharing the ring with WWE’s Rhea Ripley along with AEW’s Jade Cargill and Britt Baker.
I think it’d be really cool to wrestle Rhea Ripley one day. Yeah, that’d be a cool match-up.
One day, I think me and Jade [Cargill] would be a great match, one day.
Yeah [I’d like to wrestle Britt Baker too]. I mean as long as she has that title and then I can have [the] NWA Title and the AEW Title.
This past August, Kamille defended her title against Leyla Hirsch at NWA EmPowerrr. Kamille has fond memories of that match and of Leyla as an individual.
Oh, that was great [match with Leyla Hirsch at NWA EmPowerrr]. We had really good chemistry and I personally love a big man, small man match so I had a lot of fun with Leyla and she’s just a cool person too so, that was good.
** Robbie Fox of ‘My Mom’s Basement’ has an interview on his YouTube channel with Freddie Prinze Jr. The former WWE writer was told by Stephanie McMahon that he was going to be the lead writer for SmackDown. Prinze Jr. was not interested in the job because Vince McMahon does not read the script[s] until showtime.
It’s a long list man [of people I enjoyed working with in WWE]. I had some good times. I loved R-Truth, I loved every opportunity I got to work with Truth. I didn’t get many because he was on Raw and they had more seasoned writers and they felt I could help SmackDown more. So I was over there more but I love Santino [Marella]. I still love Santino to this day. All the girls I worked with, I really loved. If I would have stayed, they were gonna put — Stephanie [McMahon] told me this: Originally, they were gonna put in me in charge of the women’s division and then the first time I quit when I came back, she said they were gonna make me the head writer of SmackDown and they were disappointed when I left and I started laughing. She goes, ‘Why are you laughing?’ I go, ‘Nobody wants that job.’ I was like, ‘Vince doesn’t even read the script until it’s showtime.’ I was like, ‘There’s no way I’m taking that job.’ She’s like, ‘Well that’s not true.’ I’m like, ‘That’s 100 percent true. Like you know it’s true, we talked about it a year ago.’
Prinze Jr. feels that writers in wrestling are not 100 percent necessary. He added that for every wrestler that struggles with promos, there should be a writer. He recounted working with Jeff Hardy and the initial verbal material he wrote for Jeff not being good because it was not coming from Jeff.
Absolutely [writers want to present the best product possible]. So this is twofold. First thing, I don’t think writers are 100 percent necessary. I think there’s a lot of wrestlers that can and if they don’t, should write their own promos. For every wrestler that can’t, a writer’s necessary. However, you have to spend time with the talent, okay? Otherwise, it’s your words coming out of their mouth and it may not be their speed, their pace. You can make someone look like crap and your sole function as a writer is to get the talent over. The first promo I wrote for Jeff [Hardy] was horrible. Now when I wrote it, it was freaking gold man. I wrote every line that writers would never let me say because my movies were all sweet rom-coms and you have to fall in love with the sweet boy. Okay, so I’m looking at this, I’m like, ‘This is so good. I wish I could say it.’ Well that’s why I wrote it, right? So I’m showing this to Jeff the first time and he’s not clicking with it at all so the promo sucks. It’s not — it instantly sucks because it’s no longer about him, it’s about me so I’m listening to the words that he says. We had no time together, I never got to hang out, we’re still not friends to this day. I don’t know his number, I emailed him every promo weeks in advance, never emailed me back. I don’t think he even saw ‘em. It was probably a work email that he didn’t check, so this was all on the fly. I’m just listening to how he speaks and how he talks and he keeps saying — instead of ‘imagination’ which is a word I wrote in there, he said, ‘Imagi-nation’ and so I’m changing that and he starts talking about how the black and white — or he didn’t say black and white. He was talking about good and evil and so I turned that into black and white, right? And so it was just listening to how we spoke so that first promo we did together was the worst of all the promos we did because I didn’t know Jeff. I’d seen Jeff talk but again, those were other people’s words, not his and he had never been known as a talker, right? And so my goal was to make that work and so if you go in there and you’re like, ‘Well make what I wrote awesome,’ then you suck. So you have to go in there and be like, ‘All right, this is Play-Doh and this is what I made but it isn’t dried up yet so let’s reform this’ and once we got pretty good at that, then I was able to just write everything.
I mean, yes, yes and twice on Sundays. Yes, of course [I would return to Ring of Honor in April]. This is where my heart has always been, this is where my loyalty has always been and you know, people have always called me the heart and soul of Ring of Honor and I can’t see Ring of Honor continuing without the heart and soul so I gotta be there. It’s my job to be there so, you know, of course I’ll be there.
** Dark Order’s John Silver and Alex Reynolds guest appeared on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated podcast. They discussed some of the talents who are from the Long Island area including MJF. Both Silver and Reynolds reflected on when they first noticed there was something special about MJF pre-AEW.
Silver: So, and you can’t really — it’s hard to explain. I know I just said he’s [MJF] a jerk but it’s something extra that you’re like, ‘Okay, my attention is now drawn to watch this match and care about it.’
Reynolds: Yeah, when he was training, wrestling-wise, you’re like, ‘Okay, this kid’s athletic,’ you know? He was an athlete, played college football for a little bit but it was really — I noticed it when we would do promo classes at Create A Pro [Wrestling] and he would just start talking and that’s when I was like, ‘Oh wow, this kid has like the gift of gab.’ You know, and — it’s like John said, he just has that kind of jerk attitude so you knew that there was something special. Obviously you didn’t know how far it would go, you know? That’s hard to tell. But, to his credit, he put in all that extra work. He didn’t just rely on maybe his natural ability. He hustled, so, that was good to see but yeah, he was still just kind of a prick.
** Following the main event of the 12/19 FMW-E show, Atsushi Onita issued a challenge for the AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Title. Onita last wrestled for All Japan in 2017.
** Kyoko Hamaguchi interviewed IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi and World of STARDOM Champion Utami Hayashishita for Tokyo Sports. During their conversation, Takagi and Hayashishita spoke highly of one another and their respective abilities in the ring.
Takagi: It’s getting exciting, STARDOM, I can feel it. In the midst of it all, it’s really great to see [Utami], after three and a half years in her career, making a big splash as a champion and thinking things through from the same perspective as you. Five or six years from now, she’ll be even more formidable.
Hayashishita: All I can say is that Takagi is amazing. He’s the most energetic fighter I’ve ever seen. He has a great presence.
** Titus O’Neil and his Bullard Family Foundation served thousands of families ahead of the Christmas holiday. WFLA.com has a story about it.
** December 19th is ‘Mean’ Gene Okerlund’s birthday.
** VLMedia has an interview with former WWE 24/7 Champion Reggie.
** Highspots Wrestling Network hosted a virtual signing with Danhausen.
** Alicia Atout pushed out her interview with ROH Women’s World Champion Rok-C.
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.