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.
** During her appearance on the ‘It’s My Wrestling’ Podcast, Jazz said the plan for her retirement is to be done with in-ring competition come spring 2022.
Yes [2022 is going to be my retirement year] and it probably won’t be the entire year of 2022. I’m gonna try to maybe work up until the spring, maybe call it quits for my in-ring performance but I’ll forever take bookings for signings and appearances and you know, and stuff like that. Maybe even special guest referee. I’ll continue to do those but as far as my in-ring performance, spring of 2022 would probably be the last time you’ll ever see me in-ring.
One of Jazz’s daughters is currently training to be a wrestler and she is refereeing ahead of making her in-ring debut. Jazz says she’s hopeful that her daughter will have her first sanctioned match this year.
My daughters, both of them was training at one time but now it’s only one [that’s] training and she’s all about it. She’s in soccer now and she has soccer practice and after soccer practice, it’s wrestling practice and she gets pissed off if she can’t make it to both. You know, she don’t like to miss wrestling practice at all and right now, with our promotion, she’s reffing right now but hopefully in 2022, she’s gonna hopefully debut her first match. That’s the goal. Yes. That’s the goal and we don’t hold anything back on her because we let her know just because [of] who you are and where you come from, you got to work ten times even harder. The door’s not gonna open easily for you just because, you know, you’re my daughter. If anything, the people are gonna be even harder you, and being an African-American woman in this business still, you got way, way, way more to prove. So we let that be known. We speak that every day to her. [That way she’ll] have a great understanding and know exactly that this business ain’t gonna just give you anything. You gotta bust ass for it.
Jazz dove into the topic of representation in wrestling. She feels that her accolade of being the first Black woman to walk into and leave a WrestleMania as champion should be recognized more often.
You know, WWE made this big deal with Sasha [Banks] and Bianca [Belair], you know, of headlining Mania. You know, and it made me think back and I was like well hold on, I was actually the first-ever African-American woman to go into Mania as the Women’s World Champion and to walk out as the Women’s World — WWE Women’s Champion so, you know, I just want to let that be known that I am the first to ever do that. You know, but again, during that time and that era, it wasn’t really acknowledged the way it is now. You know, and I just feel that’s some recognition that needs to be seen and needs to be heard, and not just because it’s me. You know, but, just to [let it be] known that it has been done. So, it makes me feel like it just opens the door even more and more wider for us to continue to grow and continue to make history in this business. Not only as a woman but as an African-American woman.
** Cody Rhodes was interviewed for the ‘FITE In Focus’ series and reflected on the initial conversation that the AEW EVPs had with company President Tony Khan. Cody described what he and The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) were doing in Ring of Honor as “leaving the business better than we found it.” With AEW, Cody felt that it could be a game changer. He shared that when their group was approached by WWE, IMPACT Wrestling and other organizations, there was the assumption from the companies that the group wouldn’t stay together.
I look at Matt Jackson and Nick [Jackson] and I look at Tony Khan and that initial, you know — this is a public story now. Mike Johnson, our good friend Mike had set up that meeting and what happened on that phone call changed… changed the industry because what we were doing at Ring of Honor was definitely significant and it was definitely changing and moving the goalpost and it was leaving the business better than we found it. But, the capital, the infrastructure, his picture of coming back — wrestling returning to TNT. For me, that’s just the wildest thing you could possibly hear. ‘Hey, we’re gonna — we have an opportunity to be on TNT in the WarnerMedia networks’ and of course on you know, on FITE and all these other areas where we can be seen and I would have a very similar job to the one that my dad had when I was growing up. Yeah, it just — that phone call really just changed everything and then probably just as important as that phone call, the idea that we would all stay together, I think that’s where a lot of — and I say ‘promoters’ and you know, I think we all know who we’re talking about but there were other promoters as well. WWE had thrown their name in the hat for all of us as well, IMPACT had talked to — I mean everyone had talked to us and they all were under the impression that the package would not stay tight, the package would not stay together, no way. I actually — there is a prominent wrestling figure who told us that someone would be able to buy us and we wouldn’t stay together and that’s the most important piece to that puzzle. Tony had the infrastructure, he had the foresight, he had the mind, he had the connections but he also had these amazing free agents all right at the same time.
He was asked about the WWE champions photo from 2011 with himself, CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Matt Cardona, Kofi Kingston, Beth Phoenix and Matt Sydal. Cody said the photo makes him emotional.
I’m glad I can answer that question because if I start talking about that picture, I definitely will get emotional. That picture had been floating around the past few days and I know [Matt] Cardona put a post out about it and I didn’t, I chose not to. I’m pretty much off of social at this point but I chose not to only because I — I don’t know. In my heart, I didn’t wanna cheapen that day but I will never forget Punk getting everyone together in Philly. I know exactly where it was, right over by catering and to take that picture for the reason that we weren’t sure how long it would be that way and that was a really good call on his part. I do challenge people — I wish someone, maybe from WWE if you’re out there, if you’re any of those photographers who we worked with, if anyone actually has the professional photo, I would love to see it because I just have the one that was tweeted afterwards with cell phone-done but man, that picture was definitely — it could tell fortunes if that makes any sense. There was something special about it.
** The ‘Wrestle Buddy’ Podcast has an interview with Sabu. This past November, Sabu stated that he is done with in-ring competition, but he told the Wrestle Buddy Podcast that he is not officially retired. His back is the root of his injury problem[s] and doctors have advised him to get surgery if he wants to healed. Sabu does not want to have surgery done.
Yes [I’m retired], not officially. I’m done for now because my back is so bad. I can hardly walk. There’s no way I can wrestle without huge pain and my quality of wrestling is terrible so, I’m embarrassed to get in the ring right now. Until I get better and get back in shape, I’m not gonna.
If my back pain goes away [I might get back in the ring]. My back pain is the worst I’ve ever had and it hasn’t gotten better. It’s been almost over a year, almost two years now my back’s been bad.
Yeah, yeah I did [have my back looked at by doctor] and they said the only thing that’ll probably fix me is surgery and I don’t wanna do that.
He recounted his experience working with Kurt Angle. While Sabu thinks Angle is a top-level performer, he said Angle could be difficult to collaborate with because he likes to plan his matches all the way through instead of calling some of it in the ring.
Kurt Angle [was someone that was somewhat difficult to work with]. Yeah, he was kind of a pain in the ass to go over a match with, kind of. He was a great wrestler and a great worker, but a pain in the ass to go over a match with.
He kept wanting to finer tune it, instead of letting us do it in the ring. Kept finer tuning it. Yes, [Kurt’s a perfectionist] but so am I but I’m still a professional. I know what I’m doing, you know? I’m a perfectionist too but part of my perfectionist is that I call it on my feet or take it by ear.
During the conversation, Sabu was also asked about Paul Wight and wrestling him in WWE’s version of ECW. Sabu enjoyed working with Wight although he was snug in their matches.
I just did my thing and let the chips fall where they may. I just did my thing and it was a pleasure working with him [Paul Wight]. Not a pleasure-pleasure but it was fun working with him, but brutal. He was brutal. Yeah, he was very snug. Very.
** At GCW’s ‘Die 4 This’ show, Scott Garland (Scotty 2 Hotty) had his first sanctioned match since 2016. He was recently interviewed by Chris Van Vliet and discussed his return to the ring after departing WWE.
Yeah, I missed being in the ring, and I never said that I was retired. I took the job as a coach in WWE at the Performance Center back in 2016, I had my last match in August 2016, and that was it. I never said that I was retired, but I also never really saw myself having another match again. But I was ok with that, I look back at some of that Attitude Era stuff, and it is crazier than I remember. Nobody can take that away from me, my career peaked at the peak of professional wrestling. It was such a cool time with cool energy and cool characters, so I feel like I did everything that I wanted to do. But I missed the traveling, NXT wasn’t doing any live events, all the TV was shot in house. I wasn’t traveling and I wasn’t having fun, and I saw people from AEW right down to the small independents having fun, the independents are on fire right now. So I started asking around things like, ‘Well what can I make?’ I was doing the numbers and thought to myself that I can go out there and kill it. There are very few guys from the Attitude Era that are still going, Al Snow, The Headbangers, Billy Gunn. Val Venis does a bit and The Godfather does a bit, but there are very few that are still going. I can still deliver, so I am excited.
Garland went on to share that he cannot legally use the ‘Scotty 2 Hotty’ name:
No I can’t legally [use the Scotty 2 Hotty name]. I say that I am ‘Luke Warm’ now [laughs].
He was not pleased with the mass talent releases and expressed that-that may have taken a toll on him but his entire tenure there did not always consist of those feelings. He is grateful for his time as a WWE coach and is also proud that he got to leave on his own terms.
Don’t get me wrong, it was the last 6 months to a year that it started to get that way. It wasn’t like every day was this horrible thing, I don’t want that to be what people think when they think about me. I had an awesome career, 30 years from day 1. From the first time I stepped into a WWF ring in 1991 to now, that’s 30 years, and I did some awesome things. You and I wouldn’t even be talking if I hadn’t gone there. They gave me a platform to make a name and to do what I am going to do now and I am thankful for that. I just don’t know if the thought was reciprocated, I don’t even know if Vince McMahon knew I worked there. I was on the contract for 5 years and they never did anything with me as far as the Scotty 2 Hotty character.
You would think [they would have done something with me]. But they or he [Vince] believes that. But it’s his company and it’s his opinion. That’s what I keep saying, anything I disagree with, like how they want to train their talent, it’s their company. So I can either train their way and take the pay check, or I can walk away. I chose to walk away, and honestly, it’s one of the proudest moments of my life to say that I walked away on my own.
The conversation then turned over to Scotty’s run in WWE as a member of ‘Too Cool’ with Brian Christopher Lawler and Rikishi. Garland recalled when things clicked for them as a trio and mentioned that they were all on the chopping block before getting together.
We were getting good reactions when we were doing the Too Much stuff. We were getting good reactions, but it didn’t feel like it was for us, it was like we were there to help somebody else get along. Once we switched to Too Cool and they put Rikishi with us, that first night that we did the dance, that was special. We felt something with that. That snowballed fast and it was crazy, the 3 of us were on the chopping block at the time. They weren’t doing anything with any of us, and it just clicked.
He reflected on his relationship with the late Brian Lawler. Scott and Brian were not the closest of friends while they were on the road together. Garland said they were two different people and hung in different circles. They reconnected later down the line and became close.
We were never close. But after I was released in 2007, we did a weekend for Hermie Sadler in the Carolinas, and we did some Rock ‘n’ Roll Express tournament. Brian, it [the tournament] was 3 days long, and on the first night he showed up and he was in a bad place. I could smell it on his breath, he was a mess. By the time Sunday had rolled around, we had a big fight in the locker room, not a physical one, just a verbal one. I was like, ‘Dude, I don’t need this.’ We were just different people, we didn’t speak for 5 years. Then on our first appearance back, he pulled me aside and apologized for everything, we both apologized. Over the next few years, I felt like we got closer than ever. There were a bunch of shows in the UK with me, Rikishi and Brian, and I bought my son, who was 10 years old at the time. I have a picture of Brian showing my son Keegan how to use a payphone. It’s from behind of both of them, but it’s so cool. Brian was in a good place and cleared himself up, but towards the end was when we got closer than ever. I also was taking everything with a grain of salt, if he said let’s meet up at the hotel at 1 AM and go to a show, I would be there at 1 o’clock and he wouldn’t be there. I go and knock on his door, he’s half asleep. But I don’t let it bother me as much as it once did. Towards the end it was getting worse and worse, he had a fight and got beat up, then was arrested again. That last mugshot I saw, I knew he was in a bad place. Brian always smiled when he got his mugshot taken, because he knew that it would be publicity. This was in Memphis, where his dad was king. But that last one was where he was in a bad place, and he ended up passing away in jail.
** Yahoo! Sports pushed out their interview with Eddie Kingston. When asked about AEW’s growing talent roster, Kingston is of the “sign everybody” mindset because if new faces in AEW helps him raise his game, he’s all for it.
Sign everybody. This is my thinking. If you bring in all of these guys, it makes me step up my game. If I step up my game, it leads to a better product. A better product means more people will watch and more people will talk about AEW. That’s what we all should do. Some people don’t think that way and it’s on them, but they’ll be left behind. It’s nobody’s fault but their own. At the end of the day, if I’m pushing myself and everybody is pushing themselves, it’s good TV and AEW gets bigger.
** One-half of The Street Profits, Angelo Dawkins guest appeared on Ryan Satin’s ‘Out of Character’ podcast. Dawkins touched on the idea of a Street Profits split. If it were to happen, Dawkins hopes it can be similar to what The New Day have going on. Dawkins added that he believes Montez Ford has what it takes to be world champion in WWE.
Yeah, I mean that would be cool. We haven’t really honestly discussed that but, that’s honestly — if it ever happens [Street Profits split], that’s what we would hope to happen, you know what I’m saying? We’d still be boys while we’re watching each other flourish, you know what I’m saying? I think Tez has the potential to be one of the best. He does have Rock [Dwayne Johnson] vibes and I agree with everybody that says that. He has the potential to hold THE title so, I mean, hey, I hope I’m there to support him and I’ll be right there with him. That’s my brother for life and for me, hey, he’ll be there for me as well if the opportunity ever went that way but, if it does happen, hopefully we are like — kind of do what The New Day does and still be cool with each other, still be a unit just in case somebody tries to be funny and jump up on one of us, you know what I’m saying? We gotta handle business but yeah, that would be great.
While Dawkins and Ford were in NXT, they went on a run in EVOLVE and captured the promotion’s Tag Team Titles. Dawkins feels that the EVOLVE run was one of the best stretches for his career progression-wise.
That’s where I first met him [JD Drake]. Going there, probably one of the best things ever in my career for me personally because I can’t really speak for Tez. I think he feels the same way but I don’t really wanna speak for him on that one, but for me personally, just because I’d been at the — at that point in time when we started going to EVOLVE, I was at the P.C. for so long and to get a different set of voices in my ear, it was like — it was really good for me and it ended up helping me progress and keep getting better, keep getting better and then ended up — started to move off of that and that was the cool part. JD was one of the first dudes I linked up with there.
Elsewhere during the conversation, Dawkins spoke about how Scott Garland (Scotty 2 Hotty) helped him and Montez find balance within their partnership because they are two different individuals outside of the ring.
Well first, me and Tez were always cool before we even became a tag team. But it was just how we’re gonna mesh it, because we’re cool but two completely different dudes in a way. Like for instance, if I say, ‘Aye, let’s go to Chipotle or something or McDonalds,’ Tez will be like, ‘All right, cool.’ Now see, [to] me, that’s just a normal place. Tez is the type of dude that’s gonna put on like a three-piece suit, a tuxedo and go to that place. Me, Tez hits me up, ‘Hey man, I got a nice little dinner, you know what I’m saying? Me, Bianca, y’all should roll through. You and the Mrs. should roll through.’ I’m like, ‘All right, cool.’ They’re dressed to the nines, I’m showing up in house shoes and sweatpants. It’s to that degree with us. Like we’re the same, we rag on each other a lot, joke around, we talk about sports. We just kick it, talk about life, talk about our kids and all that stuff but when it comes — it was just a matter of getting it to mesh and then also, bringing a side of him out and also bringing another side of me out because see, Tez is the more outgoing or the more out there character and I’m more of the reserved, even though I’m pretty loud as well but, I’m more reserved because you can’t really try to have like two dudes trying to go over top of each other. We both have our own ways of expressing ourselves and how we react to things and that’s what makes it cool and Scotty [2 Hotty] was basically focused on harnessing that and then making it work in the ring.
** On the latest AEW Unrestricted podcast, Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards looked back at AEW’s 2021. Schiavone spoke about the AEW-IMPACT Wrestling partnership and said initially, he was not too sure about it.
You [Aubrey Edwards] and I have both been involved in it closely because we both have gone to Nashville when Tony [Khan] had his deal with IMPACT Wrestling and I’m saying this as an AEW employee, I think it did a lot for IMPACT Wrestling, to give them exposure on a national level. I was really unsure about it at first and everybody thought, ‘Oh! Tony is buying IMPACT Wrestling.’ That was not the case at all and the fact is that he — he and I used to do those on IMPACT, those stand-up interviews on IMPACT where he would talk about buying time on IMPACT Wrestling and there was one [when] he said, ‘It’s us against them’ and I think you know who ‘them’ is and without expanding on it here, what that told me was that Tony realized there’s a lot of promotions out there. I mean we’ve had the NWA Women’s Champion on our show, we’ve had the IMPACT champion on our show, we’ve had the IMPACT Tag Team Champions, we have had a New Japan Pro-Wrestling United States Champion on our show, we have seen [Minoru] Suzuki, [Tomohiro] Ishii on our show. You’re right Aubrey, the forbidden door has been, as they say, kicked open and it’s because there’s more than just us. There’s all these promotions that fans follow on the internet and know and appreciate us collaborating with them, right?
** NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Trevor Murdoch spoke with Slam Wrestling for an interview. He told the site that he believes the NWA should have a YouTube presence when it comes to programming similar to Powerrr which airs on FITE. ‘NWA USA’ premieres on YouTube on 1/8.
We need to be easily accessible. Fite TV has been a great partner for us, and they have bent over backwards to help us and work with us. But I think we do need to be back on YouTube, where we can hit a wider audience and just get more eyes on us.
Matt Cardona’s NWA debut was brought up to Trevor and he explained that moments like that are the exciting part about pro wrestling. Murdoch said that in WWE, viewers don’t often expect huge surprises because WWE stays “within their circle.”
That’s the exciting part about pro wrestling. And I will be specific in this aspect — when you watch WWE, you don’t expect any huge surprises, because they have made it very well known that they always stay within their circle. It takes a little bit of the excitement and the element of surprise out of it. Whereas with us, we’re an open company — you don’t know who’s going show up, and I think that’s the anticipation, the excitement of what could happen. I like that fact. I think it keeps the fans on their toes, it gives great payoffs and obviously great moments of, ‘Holy crap! I can’t believe this is happening!’
** Ahead of NXT New Year’s Evil, Bron Breakker spoke to Sporting News. He told the publication about his experience playing the role of a zombie in the ‘Zombie Lumberjack’ match at WrestleMania Backlash.
It was a fun experience. That was like my first taste of getting to go down to the main roster and seeing how they do things over there. I got to meet some of the guys. It’s something I look back on, and I had fun with a lot of the younger guys that I came in with.
** Mark Henry and Ryan McKinnell welcomed Mike Bennett and Maria Kanellis-Bennett onto Busted Open Radio. Maria shared a story from Chelsea Green’s first night with Ring of Honor and said when Chelsea returned to the backstage area, she told Maria that she had forgotten what it felt like to have fun on-screen and in front of a crowd.
Seeing Chelsea [Green] come back from her time in WWE, her first night out with Ring of Honor and her coming to the back and she said to me, ‘I forgot what it felt like to have fun out there’ and like she was able to do that. She came back and now she’s killing it everywhere and that’s what Ring of Honor has done for so many people. It’s what it did for me.
** Ice Ribbon’s reigning ICE×60 Champion Tsukasa Fujimoto addressed the crowd inside Korakuen Hall following the main event of Ice Ribbon’s December 31st show. She touched on the promotion’s recent talent departures and said regardless of who is leaving Ice Ribbon or leaving wrestling as a whole, the promotion will move forward.
I’ll lead the way. I’m glad we didn’t make the choice to disband, because of these kind of words and matches [that show] determination. There are people who are leaving, and there are people who are ending their professional wrestling careers today, but Ice Ribbon will continue no matter who quits. I would like to continue the story of Ice Ribbon with everyone. Next year? I’ll have to work harder. I’ll work a little harder.
** Bianca Belair created Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins’ WWE Day 1 gear and below is her recap of how she pieced the gear together:
** Jushin Thunder Liger’s latest write-up for Tokyo Sports was about Will Ospreay challenging for the IWGP World Heavyweight Title on night two of Wrestle Kingdom 16.
** Mr. Blacc of The Jobber Tears Podcast spoke to Mercedes Martinez.
** The WWE Day 1 edition of ‘The Run-In’ with NXT UK’s Trent Seven and Jinny is on the BT Sport YouTube channel.
** Chris Denker welcomed AEW’s Kris Statlander onto his podcast.
** Pro Wrestling NOAH ‘New Sunrise’ Results (1/4/22) Korakuen Hall
– Yasutaka Yano def. Kai Fujimura
– Funky Express (King Tany & Mohammed Yone) def. Junta Miyawaki & Kinya Okada
– Eita & NOSAWA Rongai def. Kongo (Hao & Nio)
– Atsushi Kotoge def. Seiki Yoshioka
– Sugiura-gun (Kazushi Sakuraba, Kazuyuki Fujita & Takashi Sugiura) def. Masaaki Mochizuki, Masato Tanaka & Daiki Inaba
– Daisuke Harada, Hajime Ohara, Masa Kitamiya, Naomichi Marufuji & Yoshiki Inamura def. Kongo (Aleja, Katsuhiko Nakajima, Kenou, Manabu Soya & Tadasuke)
– Kaito Kiyomiya def. Go Shiozaki
– GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Stinger (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa) (c) def. Kotaro Suzuki & YO-HEY
** Big Japan Pro Wrestling Results (1/4/22) Tokyo, Japan
– Kosuke Sato def. Satsuki Nagao
– Hiroyuki Suzuki & Takuho Kato def. Kazumasa Yoshida & Kazumi Kikuta
– Shigehiro Irie & Yuya Aoki def. Daichi Hashimoto & Kazuki Hashimoto
– Daisuke Sekimoto, Yuji Okabayashi & Yasufumi Nakanoue def. Fuminori Abe, Takuya Nomura & Kota Sekifuda
– TLC Death Match: Hideyoshi Kamitani & Masaya Takahashi def. Abdullah Kobayashi & Jaki Numazawa
– Barbed Wire Board Death Match: Masashi Takeda & Takumi Tsukamoto def. Drew Parker & Yuki Ishikawa
– Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match: Ryuji Ito, Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto def. Akira Hyodo, Kankuro Hoshino & Michio Kageyama by referee’s decision
– Fluorescent Light Tubes Death Match: Isami Kodaka & Yuko Miyamoto def. Hyodo & Kankuro Hoshino
** The written version of Fightful’s interview with Gail Kim and Chelsea Green.
** Colt Cabana was a guest on Steven’s Wrestling Journey.
** nZo joined Busted Open Radio with Bully Ray and Dave LaGreca.
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.