POST NEWS UPDATE: Booker T details the racism he and Stevie Ray experienced during their in-ring debuts

Booker T note, Sonny Kiss wishes he could redo match with Kenny Omega, Scarlett & Kross wanted to face Wyatt & Bliss, Nicole Matthews/WWE

Photo Courtesy: WWE

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.

** Gerald Brisco and John Bradshaw Layfield welcomed Booker T onto their ‘Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw’ show. Booker made his in-ring debut in 1992 alongside his brother Stevie Ray. Their first match as a team was for the Global Wrestling Federation in Dallas, Texas and Booker detailed the racism they experienced upon their arrival.

My brother [Stevie Ray] and I, we made our debut in the Global Wrestling Federation and we were working these two guys — man, what was their names? I can’t remember. I don’t know why I can’t remember these guys’ names. But, it was an eye-opening experience. I grew up in Texas, I was born in Louisiana and I never dealt with racism a whole lot coming up as a kid or anything like that. Of course I knew about it, of course I saw it, of course it was there in my face but it just never had hit it me like it had hit me on this night, our debut in Dallas, Texas and just a 250 mile ride from Houston and I was like, ‘Wow.’ It seemed like I was in a different country being in The Sportatorium and my brother and I, we got called everything that night. We got called the n-word, we got called everything you could possibly name and we were in the ring, my brother-in-law was taping it. He had one of those old camcorders and he was taping it and you could hear everybody talking crazy and saying bad things and I did the ‘spinaroonie’ and this one redneck was by my brother-in-law, he says, ‘Oh my God! What was that!?’ And literally, it was only about 150 people in the arena that night and from that 150 people, it grew to, you know, two-to-three thousand people a week and everybody in that arena was, ‘Ebony Experience, Ebony Experience.’ They had become huge fans and I just saw how one move could change a whole people to look at you a totally different way. Not to look at your race but look at your talent and I was like, ‘Wow’ and the night we left The Sportatorium, on our way to WCW, the whole crowd was in the parking lot and so many people cried when we left that night. It was amazing. So that’s what the spinaroonie taught me man. It just taught me the power of don’t fight back sometimes with your hands. You know, just go out and deliver and maybe that’ll work.

Booker has previously stated that he has no desire to wrestle again. He jokingly told Gerald Brisco and JBL that if Vince McMahon were to ask him to return, it would have to take place in Saudi Arabia because of the payout.

It’d have to be in Saudi [Booker laughed]. I can make that one happen.

Like I say, I know what the check is gonna look like in Saudi. I’m gonna negotiate that one.

The conversation transitioned over to crediting WWE talents who persevered, broke through and were able to remain in top spots. Booker mentioned that while John Cena was world champion, he would often clean up the locker room so that the wrestlers wouldn’t look bad to the next group of individuals that were going to use the locker room.

The guy that makes it to the next level, it’s so much more to that guy than what you see on television and I bring up John Cena just because I was there and he was one of the guys that sat under the learning tree with guys like you [JBL] and myself and John was the guy who — see, everybody out of the locker room, John would have a trash can picking up trash, you know? Just so the boys wouldn’t look bad and look like slobs to whoever came in there after us and he was a guy that was the world champion. So, when I see guys that are willing to go out there and not just talk it man, but go out there and be about it, nothing but respect man. Nothing but respect for those guys.

The duo of Booker T and Stevie Ray was first put together by ‘Hot Stuff’ Eddie Gilbert. Booker tagged along for a meeting that Stevie had with Eddie. He then suggested that they should team up and when they came back to the promotion for their tag team debut, Gilbert had been fired and their planned debut was converted into a tryout.

‘Hot Stuff’ Eddie Gilbert actually wanted to take a look at my brother and my brother, you know, I knew he was going to Dallas and I knew he was going to get looked at so I said, you know, ‘Maybe I’ll ride with him.’ So I rode with him and actually walked into the meeting with my brother and met ‘Hot Stuff’ Eddie Gilbert and ‘Hot Stuff’ goes, ‘Who’s that guy?’ And he goes, ‘Well that’s my brother.’ You know, he goes, ‘Well, you know, we’re looking for a tag team, and have you guys ever tagged before?’ We go, ‘Yeah,’ but we hadn’t ever tagged before and he goes, ‘Okay, cool. We’re gonna get you guys in. Come back in a couple of weeks. We’re gonna let you guys debut. The Ebony Experience; you’re gonna be Stevie Ray, I like your name, Booker T, that’s great. All right, great.’ We came back the next two weeks for our debut in Dallas and we was like, you know, Eddie, he had this big angle set up for us where we were gonna wear suits, we were gonna be this, that, whatnot and the other. We came looking for Eddie and some guy told us, ‘Eddie got fired.’ So our big debut got turned into a tryout. But it worked out for us and became something, The Ebony Experience, definitely.

In the mid-1990s, Booker made his debut for New Japan Pro-Wrestling. He recalled earning the respect of the Japanese talent by reciprocating the physicality that was being put onto him. Booker and Stevie garnered respect after breaking a wrestler’s ribs.

I remember getting powerbombed one night in one of those arenas [in Japan]. I don’t know where the hell we were, but it was so cold because they didn’t have any heaters in there and the mat felt like it was concrete because it was so cold and only thing I remember, literally, it’s like a picture still in my head; it’s smoke coming out of my mouth and I remember that so vividly and that powerbomb being so freaking hard. Me and my brother, after that night, we made a pact to make sure that these Japanese wrestlers treat us a little bit different going forward and the next thing after that, we went out and broke a guy’s ribs and they loved us from that point on.

** The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast brought AEW’s Sonny Kiss onto their show. Sonny regularly competes on the Dark and Dark: Elevation programs but his last match on TV was in October of 2020 when he lost in under 30 seconds to Kenny Omega in the World Title Eliminator tournament. Kiss does not like the way he took the ‘V-Trigger’ from Omega and wishes that they could’ve had a longer match.

That’s actually one moment that I wish I could have change [match against Kenny Omega] and not that — it was just that I was so — I was so nervous and I was so — it was surreal for me because here I am going from, you know, doing [AEW] Darks and I was thinking I was just gonna valet Joey [Janela]. So, and they were like, ‘Okay, it’s gonna be you now because you know, Joey can’t make it’ or, ‘Joey can’t be here’ and I was like, ‘Wait, wait, what?’ I got super nervous. I just wish we could’ve actually had an actual match. That way I’d have been a little bit more prepared for it but I guess you can’t really get prepared for Kenny Omega, but I just hate the way I took the V-Trigger. It just looked so bad. Like to this day, I cannot watch that because it’s so cringy for me. I don’t know, I can’t.

Well that’s because AEW is awesome in helping with the camera angles [so that’s why you didn’t see how I took the V-Trigger] but I did not take that well. Like it was definitely something that I definitely could have been a little better with. It is what it is.

Sonny shared that there have been conversations held about turning him heel but those plans did not come to fruition.

It’s been talked about, yeah [Sonny turning heel]. It’s been talked about a lot of times. The question was raised backstage if we were gonna go that direction. Clearly, I’m not there so that’s not where we were going.

There was a point in time when Sonny had several on-screen interactions with Billy Gunn. She said the idea of them as a team was talked about as well and Sonny does feel that more could have been done with herself and Dustin Rhodes as a duo.

So no [Billy Gunn and I never teamed up]. We did segments together. There was just like one backstage segment and there’s also a spot in the ring in the Battle Royale but we never teamed together. It was talked about as well. I don’t think that it was actually gonna actually happen but…

I wanted it so bad and even when I teamed with Dustin [Rhodes] the one time, I thought that they could have definitely done so much more.

Sonny expanded on the feeling of wanting to be featured more on AEW programming. She said whenever that feeling comes about, she remembers how blessed she is to be in a company that allows her to be herself. Sonny added that she can stay hungry and want more without biting the hand that is feeding her.

It’s honestly such a crazy thing and I just, like, I can’t even fathom it [getting to wrestle in her hometown for AEW]. I’m just like, ‘Wow’ and that’s one of the things that keeps me going because even when I’m not feeling the most confident, even when I’m not feeling appreciated or valued, I definitely think about how blessed and how grateful I should be and that I am. [I get] to be who I am without anyone telling me what to do or how to be, on a national platform. I can’t be mad at anyone, you know? I can definitely stay hungry and I can definitely strive to want better and more without, you know, disrespecting the hand that feeds you. So, yeah.

She then went on to speak about the LGBTQ representation in AEW and how the company allows talents to be who they are as individuals.

It’s so amazing because there’s not just one of us [LGBTQ representatives in AEW]. The company didn’t say, ‘Oh, we could only have the one, the token one.’ There’s me, there’s [Anthony] Bowens, there’s Nyla [Rose], there’s Leyla [Hirsch]. You know, am I missing anybody? I’m sorry if I am but yeah, there’s a lot — there’s Aubrey [Edwards], Diamante, Kiera Hogan. Yeah, so there’s so many of us and that’s the coolest part is that they do allow us to be us and it feels good that a company trusts you to be that representation so, I love it. I think it’s amazing.

** ‘Signed By Superstars’ hosted a virtual signing with Scarlett Bordeaux. While she and Killer Kross were with WWE, they were anticipating a program or on-screen encounter with Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss. Scarlett added that she and Kross’ WWE entrance was made for WrestleMania and they were excited about the idea of it.

We were waiting for that to happen [Scarlett & Killer Kross vs. Bray Wyatt & Alexa Bliss]. I feel like our entrance was made for WrestleMania. We could not wait to do that entrance for WrestleMania and every time we talked to Bray, he was such a cool guy. [I] got along great with Alexa, so just maybe it’ll happen somewhere else.

As Kross’ run on Monday Night Raw got underway, he began to sport a mask and a harness-like chest piece during his entrance. Scarlett said it was confusing because there were so many changes to Kross’ presentation with no explanation.

If there would have been an explanation for why everything was happening, I would have thought it was cooler [Killer Kross’ changes when he got to Raw]. But it was confusing. Like where did I go? Why is the music the same? Why is there a different outfit?

Scarlett got her start in wrestling by working with AAW in Illinois. Her first official night as a part of the wrestling business consisted of her taking a piledriver and after being carried to the back, she was ‘formally’ welcomed into the business by her colleagues.

So, my friends were big independent wrestling fans. They would go to shows every single month so instead of my prom, I wanted to go to a wrestling show so —

It sounded more fun to me so I’m like, ‘No, I want to go to a wrestling show.’ But I was a theater major so when I was sitting in the audience, I’m like, ‘Damn, this is cool. This is amazing. I wanna do this’ so I just kept going to shows, I asked if I could help set up chairs, sell raffle tickets, anyway I could learn and just be backstage. Finally, it was around Christmas, this was 2009. I asked Danny Daniels from AAW — well he asked me if I had a ‘Sexy Santa’ costume because he was gonna give me a piledriver. I didn’t know what a piledriver was. But I’m like, ‘Yeah, of course, whatever.’ They just said, ‘Tuck your chin and good luck.’ So they gave me a piledriver, I got carried to the back and they throw a bucket of snow on me and said, ‘Welcome to the business’ and I fell in love with it. I’ve been doing it ever since.

** Ahead of AEW Dynamite in Greensboro, North Carolina, Matt Hardy appeared on ‘The Drive with Josh Graham’. Hardy reflected on the ‘Version 1’ character he portrayed in WWE and credited Kevin Dunn for coming up with the idea to display ‘Matt Facts’ as a part of his entrance.

We had the idea about doing the overlay for the entrance of Matt Hardy Version 1. Once I was sort of doing like a computer, online, cyberworld type-deal, I wanted to relate to that and we talked about putting a computer-like screen which it was an old Windows Media Player is what that screen was based off of and they [WWE] put that little spot down there and I wanna say it was a Kevin Dunn idea. I’ll probably give him credit for it because I think it was his. He said, ‘What if we put up a little Matt fact? A fact about you during the scene?’ I said, ‘Yeah. We can call it a Matt fact’ and they ended up doing two of those per entrance and it’s crazy how remembered those things are. I mean it was so different, it was so unique and so catchy and I submitted three or four every time I was gonna wrestle and they would select two of them so there were a ton of Matt facts that I had actually created that never got utilized and I will share one with you right now that is a little more current but it is one that would definitely be going on if I was walking out to a Matt Hardy Version 1 entrance right now. Matt absolutely adores spicy mayo.

At WrestleMania 22, Matt Hardy was a part of the Money In The Bank Ladder match. Also in the match with Matt was Ric Flair. Prior to the bout, Ric pulled Matt aside and asked Matt to give him a suplex off the ladder. Matt recalled Ric telling him that he was the only person he trusted to execute the move from the top of the ladder.

Obviously I was a huge fan of Ric Flair and The Four Horsemen. Growing up in North Carolina, I feel like it’s hard not to be so it was great to actually tell him and get to work in matches with him and become friends with him. I actually — when we did our Money In The Bank Ladder match together [at WrestleMania 22], Ric pulled me to the side and he said, ‘Look, I want to take a big bump off this ladder. You’re the only person I trust to give me a suplex off the top because I know you got experience in these and you’re good’ and that was like the ultimate compliment coming from someone that I grew up watching as a childhood hero.

Both Matt and Jeff Hardy have spoken about the possibility of reuniting again. Matt thinks it’d be great to have one last run with Jeff and he can’t think of a better to place to do than All Elite Wrestling.

I mean that would be fabulous [to have one last run with Jeff Hardy] and I know both of us have stated on quite a few occasions that we both wanna end our careers the way we began our careers and that is as a tag team. That was our dream as two kids growing up. You know, we wanted to be the tag team champions of the world at least one time. Obviously we have very fortunately exceeded that many times over but I think us teaming together and having one last great run as a tag team would be amazing and I couldn’t think of a better place to do it than All Elite Wrestling. There’s one thing I have to say about Tony Khan, I can’t put him over enough for this; he is so good and so great at treating legends like legends and he has such a smart utilization of talent and I cannot commend him enough on that. That’s why AEW has been so successful is because Tony Khan has been the guy in the driver seat and he has really been putting out a very smart product where he rewards the wrestling fans in 2021 that are willing to invest a lot of time to watch a product and watch a storyline, watch a rivalry. He always gives them a payoff that’s gonna reward them.

** This past April, Bryan Danielson headlined night two of WrestleMania 37 alongside Edge and Roman Reigns for the Universal Title. Bryan told the Asbury Park Press that-that is the most surprising thing of his 2021. With his contract expiring and being a part of the creative team, Bryan didn’t think being in the main event of WrestleMania was the way to go.

The thing that surprised me the most (in 2021) was being inserted into the main event of WrestleMania. When I started the year, I knew my contract was ending and I was part of the creative team with WWE and I was like, ‘OK, what’s the best thing for me to do on my way out?’ And it was certainly not (being part of) the main event of WrestleMania.

To open the ‘Winter Is Coming’ episode of AEW Dynamite, Danielson and AEW World Champion Hangman Adam Page went to a 60-minute time-limit draw. Danielson said time-limit draws are story devices and those are normally used to set up a rematch down the line. Tony Khan confirmed that an announcement concerning Danielson versus Hangman II will be made on the 12/22 Dynamite.

It’s just a story device, right? And it’s interesting to me in the sense of in sporting events, and especially when you’re looking at MMA or boxing and the idea that there are draws in boxing and there are draws in MMA… Usually what it does is it’s a mechanism to lead to a rematch.

** talkSPORT published the written version of their conversation with Eddie Kingston. While speaking about his friendship and on-screen interactions with Jon Moxley, Eddie shared that Moxley attempted to get him into WWE on several occasions and would often mention Eddie’s name to those with say in the company.

A lot of people don’t know that he was trying to get me into WWE years ago. Trying his best to do what he could. ‘Hey, I told this guy to check you out.’ And this is me and Jon not talking for years and out of nowhere he’ll text me, ‘Hey, I told so and so to watch your match from blah blah blah’ and I’ll be like, ‘Who is this?’ And he’ll be like, ‘Jon’ and I’ll be like, ‘Oh hey, what’s up Mox?’ [laughs]. That’s the kind of friends we are. When we ran into each other when I got to AEW, he even said and I agreed, ‘Eddie, it feels like I saw you two weeks ago,’ and at that time, we hadn’t seen each other in about eight or nine years. It’s just how our friendship is, but Jon is one of those dudes that I would be forever grateful for having him as a friend, and I don’t call a lot of people my friend. But he’s definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, one of them.

At Double or Nothing 2021, Moxley and Kingston challenged The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) for the AEW World Tag Team Titles. It was that night where Kingston finally felt like he belonged in AEW.

After that match with Moxley against The Young Bucks [at Double or Nothing], for the first time, I felt like I belonged in AEW. It was because of that match. And also because we had 5,000 people in Daily’s Place and that was my first time in front of an AEW crowd really. Before Jon kicked the door open, he looked over at me and said, ‘Get ready to be over.’ I said, ‘What did you say motherf*****?’ And he kicked the door open and we just went! It was definitely a career highlight. But being in there with Jon? Come on, man, that’s my boy. It’s huge. He’s the man. He’s my man.

Kingston looked back on the conclusion of the 2021 Revolution pay-per-view. Moxley and Kenny Omega met in a Exploding Barbed Wire Death match and at the end of the bout, Kingston jumped into the ring to shield Moxley from the ‘explosion’. Kingston explained how the idea came about to say that he ‘passed out’ from the stress of the situation.

The idea for the next day, how we were going to ‘cover it’ or whatever you want to call it, I took a real-life experience where I did have a panic attack before I had to go to court. I didn’t pass out, but I was very close because I was so amped up and so scared of going to jail that I was shaking. That’s how mentally I did myself in and I had a panic attack. I couldn’t breath. I just said to them, ‘Well, let’s bring real life in there.’ And the things I’ve noticed since doing the Players’ Tribune and then openly talking about panic attacks etc., I always knew I wasn’t alone in how I felt, but now I really know I’m not the only one who goes through this sort of stuff and that’s a great feeling. Hopefully other people feel that too.

** Nicole Matthews guest appeared on Taylor Wilde’s ‘Wilde On’ podcast and told the story of when WWE sent her to a heart specialist before the Mae Young Classic tournament. Nicole’s heart rate was high when WWE medical checked her out and they were on the fence about letting her wrestle. She explained that her heart rate is high whenever it gets checked. She was ultimately cleared by the heart specialist, WWE took care of her medical expenses and she was able to compete.

I had a really weird medical thing though. I don’t think I’ve ever really told this — I’ve alluded to it but I’ve never told this story in-depth. So I get very — my heart rate spikes when someone’s checking my heart rate.

It’s like that [White-Coat] effect or whatever you call it, right? Like I don’t have — I’ve never had any heart issues. I’ve never — and my heart rate, it’s been like that since I was younger. Since I was like swimming those 30 hours — I always bump it up every time I say how long I was swimming. 50 hours a week! — when I was training the most I was training so I’m in the best shape I could have possibly been in. I still would get like — if I checked my heart rate, I’d get a high heart rate, but if I was just — like it didn’t affect me negatively. If I had just had a heart rate monitor, it’d be fine, you know, throughout the day but when you check my heart rate, it would like spike. When I did a tryout with them [WWE] like a year-and-a-half before this [Mae Young Classic], they checked my heart rate and they’re like, ‘That’s really high’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah. I’ve never had a heart –’ and blah, blah, blah, blah. They’re like, ‘Okay, we’re not gonna prevent you from doing the tryout but if you start to get dizzy or whatever, you have to sit out.’ I’m like, ‘I won’t.’ Like it’s not — I’ve been wrestling, at this point, for ten years. You know, I’ve been an athlete my whole life. I’m fine. So we’re going through the pre-screening for the tournament and I’m like, ‘F*ck. They’re gonna say something about my heart rate for sure.’ Yup, and it spiked even more than usual. I’m like, ‘Jesus Christ.’ It was like 120, like resting. ‘What the f*ck? What am I having a heart attack right now?’ It was crazy and I was like, ‘Oh no’ and they’re like, ‘Have you drank a lot of coffee? Did you have pre-workout?’ I’m like, ‘No, none of that.’ So it got down to like less than that but that was the highest it was while resting so they’re like, ‘We can’t let you do this.’ So they’re like, ‘You have a heart problem or something.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t, I promise,’ blah, blah, blah and they’re like, ‘No, we need to send you to a heart specialist.’ So they sent me to a heart specialist and they weren’t gonna let me be in the tournament so they sent me to a heart specialist and I was just like, ‘I can’t believe I f*cking flew all the way from Vancouver to Florida to not even be able to compete.’ It was so annoying, I got so frustrated. But I understood where they were coming from obviously. I’m not sh*tting on them but it was just so frustrating. Oh, they did, they did [take care of the bill]. It was all under them and everything so, I had no medical — no expenses for me at all.

So I went, they did all these tests or whatever. They’re like, ‘Yeah, no, your heart’s fine’ and they’re like, ‘Maybe for the next 24 hours, we want you to wear this thing just in case.’ I’m like, ‘I need to be cleared by the time I’m out of this office’ and they’re like, ‘Okay, you’re cleared.’ I’m like, ‘Okay, thank you.’ He’s like, ‘I wasn’t really worried about it so you’re fine’ so they cleared me, and then I went back to the P.C. and I was like, ‘I got cleared’ and then Canyon Ceman was like, ‘Oh, I don’t know still. We might not let you,’ blah, blah, blah. But then he was like, ‘Ah, just kidding’ and I was like, ‘Ha.’ I’m like, ‘Ha, ha, ha.’ I’m gonna pretend that was funny but it was not funny. Yeah, so then I got to compete which was great except that my gear kept falling off my body the whole — both my matches, I just was having gear malfunction after gear malfunction. So it’s just a comedy of errors really.

** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated conducted an interview with Sting ahead of AEW Holiday Bash in Greensboro, North Carolina. Sting will be a part of a six-man tag match and it is going to be his first match in Greensboro since 1994. Sting touched on what this means to him and thinking that he’d only be doing cinematic matches in AEW.

This means the world to me. I never thought I’d be back here like this. I thought I was just going to disappear from wrestling, and I didn’t like the thought of that. Then I came to AEW, and originally, we were just going to explore cinematic matches. And I got in the ring. I can still hear Cody [Rhodes] telling me about my kinetic energy and that I could wrestle a match. I was like, ‘Ease up now, Cody.’ Then I heard Darby say, ‘Steve, you can do it.’ This entire stretch, and now coming back to Greensboro, it has all been surreal.

Sting is teaming with Darby Allin and CM Punk to take on MJF and FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler). Sting described FTR as a modern-day Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard. He’s willing to put them at the top of any conversation when it relates to the best tag teams right now.

FTR, they’re a modern-day Arn and Tully. They’re as good as it gets. I put them up there with anyone, and they’re one of the best tag teams in the world. When you’re in the ring with them, it’s game on. There is no playing around, especially the pace they can go, and I saw that firsthand when we wrestled.

** ‘Metro’ caught up with Booker T and he discussed how his willingness to take small roles and turn those roles into big deals was something Vince McMahon appreciated.

It helped a ton! A lot of times, I would get the smallest roles and I would always try and make that role the biggest thing it could possibly be – say, for instance, Stone Cold Steve Austin and I in a grocery store. I’ve always been able to go out and take what I got and try to make the best of it. Vince McMahon always was one of the guys that appreciated that – I’d come back through that curtain a lot of times and he’d go, ‘Book, you did it again.’ That would let me know that no matter what role that you get, you take it and you try to make it the best you possibly can!

** Drew McIntyre told Bleacher Report that he is hoping to have a full circle moment at WrestleMania 38 in Arlington, Texas. He wants to have that world title victory in front of a stadium-filled crowd as intended for WrestleMania 36.

Of course, I’m going to have to win in the end, that’s what I do. It’s WrestleMania season! Then I’ll win the Royal Rumble and go to WrestleMania and finally get my WrestleMania moment I’ve been chasing for the last couple of years. As proud as I am of headlining WrestleMania 36 in the times that we were in… I’m still chasing that moment with fans in the building, and hopefully it can happen this year at AT&T Stadium.

** Rico Constantino joined Chris Featherstone on Sportskeeda’s ‘Unskripted’ show and during their conversation, they spoke about AEW’s Billy Gunn. Rico was paired with Gunn and Chuck Palumbo in WWE and he recounted telling Billy that he did not want to be a manager. Gunn assured Rico that he’d take care of him.

Billy still looks great. He still performs like he’s a young kid. He’s a freak of nature. But like I said, I got a lot of props to him for my career starting out as a stylist because I barely knew how to wrestle. And then he brought me in as a manager. And I was like, I didn’t want to manage. And Billy says, ‘Don’t worry, kid. I gotcha.’ And I’m 40 years old, and he’s calling me kid.

** Episode #48 of the MCW Cast featured Leila Grey, who’s an independent talent and she has also worked over ten matches for AEW on their Dark show[s]. Leila was contacted by AEW four months into her wrestling career. She feels like those spots put her on the map.

So since they [AEW] were in Florida, they were looking for I guess a lot of local talent. So yeah, so they reached out to me on Facebook actually. I got a nice little message from somebody asking me if I was interested in going to Dark, and oh my God, it was crazy because at this time, I had only been working for maybe like four months and I’m like, ‘Oh, am I ready for this? I don’t know, but I’m gonna take the opportunity.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know what’s gonna happen’ but look, it’s been almost a year and I’m still coming back so, it’s great stuff.

And it’s put me on the map and now people are starting to know who Leila Grey is. It’s completely changed my life having those AEW Dark opportunities and you know… so from doing AEW, then I got the opportunity to wrestle for Mission Pro Wrestling and then a lot of people watch that too so that just kept opening doors and I started working more out of state and because that’s what I’m trying to do. I’m not just trying to be local, I’m not trying to be in Florida, I’m thinking big. I like to be out of state. I’m trying to be out the country.

Grey went on to share a story of when she questioned why she got involved in wrestling. She worked an independent show and she participated in a ‘Three Shots’ match where talents would have to consume alcohol while wrestling.

Last year, this was probably like a month or two after my debut, I did like a gimmick show and in the gimmick show, they had a bunch of different types of matches that you know, you would pick out of a hat and the opponents would be picked out of a hat so you don’t know who your opponent’s gonna be or what [the] stipulation is gonna be and I drew a ‘Three Shots’ match, against my trainer actually so, yeah, a Three Shots match and it was real alcohol they were giving us. It wasn’t like kayfabe. I thought it was and then they were filling up these shots, craziness. I don’t even understand what the match was. I just know they had us drinking.

Not really [an adult-themed show]. I don’t know what the point of this was. This is just one of those things that I’m like, ‘What the heck? Why did I even do this?’ So, they give you a shot — I think the point is, you know, you knock the person down. Every time they get up, you have to take a shot or something like that. I don’t know but I just know that I took three shots and I was done because I’m not a drinker. It’s not safe, it’s not safe. I think he gave me like a suplex and after that, I was done. I went to the garbage can — thank God this never got posted online but — they brought the garbage can, I’m like still in the ring, half my body’s in the garbage can. I’m like, I just ran out mortified and then my man, he had my back. He came down the steps like, ‘I’ll give you a real Three Shots match!’ So then he ended up doing the match with the guy and I’m outside freaking puking my brains out. I’m like, ‘Never again’ and after that I’m like, ‘What is this sh*t?’

Tara Meyers, who is a co-host of the MCW Cast, recounted being one of The Godfather’s ‘hoes’ when she got her start in wrestling. Meyers said WWE had a dressing room for the women that accompanied Godfather to the ring and the name tags on those doors was ‘hoes.’

Meyers: Our dressing room [in WWE], it would say ‘hoes’. I’m not making this up, I swear to God. It said ‘hoes’.

** Greenville Journal interviewed Finn Balor to promote Monday Night Raw in South Carolina on January 3rd.

** ESPN Sportsnation welcomed CM Punk onto the show:

** Taya Valkyrie’s appearance on Teasy’s Table:

** The latest episode of Tama Tonga’s ‘Tama’s Island’ podcast.

** NJPW Road to Tokyo Dome Results (12/22/21) Korakuen Hall
– BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Jado) def. Kosei Fujita, Ryohei Oiwa & Yuto Nakashima
– Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) def. TenKoji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Toru Yano
– House Of Torture (Dick Togo, EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Tomohiro Ishii, YOH, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma
– Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Master Wato def. Suzuki-gun (Taichi, TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr.)
– United Empire (Aaron Henare, Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito)
– Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi def. Kazuchika Okada & Ryusuke Taguchi
– BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo, KENTA & Taiji Ishimori) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Robbie Eagles & Tiger Mask

** The 87th edition of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s Ace’s HIGH series is up on NJPW1972.com.

** Pro Wrestling NOAH’s YO-HEY made his in-ring debut 13 years ago today.

** Bobby Lashley and Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman are scheduled to appear on WWE The Bump on 12/29.

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 8756 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.