POST NEWS UPDATE: All Japan’s Jake Lee aiming to return in March, hopes to work with NJPW

Jake Lee provides injury update and talks aspirations of working with NJPW, Darius Lockhart notes, Summer Rae, David Crockett-AEW and more

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 the end of 2021, All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Jake Lee had to vacate the Triple Crown Heavyweight Title after suffering a fractured nasal bone and a fracture of the medial wall of the left orbit. Lee told Tokyo Sports that he is aiming to return at All Japan’s March 21st show.

In my mind, I have my sights set on March 21 at the Ota Ward General Gymnasium. I’m thinking of coming back with something new. How do I plan to get back? There’s one thing I know I have to do, and that’s regain the Triple Crown Title. I saw in an article that Kento Miyahara said he would [make his title reign legendary], but that won’t happen if I come back. I’m going to be the center of everything.

Looking back on his injury, Jake stated that it felt like he fell apart at the last minute. He initially thought it was just a scratch. He went to a doctor on January 31st and was told that he could begin practicing in doses.

I felt like I fell apart at the last minute. At the time, I said, ‘It’s just a scratch!’ But it wasn’t a scratch. But my recovery was quick, and on January 31, I had a checkup and the doctor said it was okay for me to come back to practice little by little.

When asked about New Japan Pro-Wrestling celebrating their 50th anniversary, Jake Lee said he’d like to wrestle in NJPW to seek out more competition. All Japan and New Japan are going to be collaborating for Korakuen Hall’s 60th Anniversary celebration in April.

It’s crazy. I want to be in New Japan. I just want to expand the scope of my [skills] and seek for a higher level.

** David Crockett guest appeared on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast. Over the past month-and-a-half, Crockett has been featured on AEW programming in spots where he would hand over the TNT Championship to whomever the holder of the title is. He also did commentary for Dark and Dark: Elevation and did not realize how much he missed being involved in wrestling until he was back at it.

Now I did do — when they [AEW] were here in Charlotte, I did do some commentating over Dark and Elevation with Tony [Schiavone] and I told Tony Khan afterwards, I said, ‘We made a mistake.’ I said, ‘I didn’t realize how much I missed it until I did it’ and yes, I do miss it more than I really thought. I had sort of everything pushed down, everything was quiet, had all this stuff in boxes and put away and carrying on with my life and you know, working the yard, do a lot of different things; grandkids and you name it, volunteer and you do this and I — there’s something brewing inside me that I wonder if I need to push, I don’t know. It would take — I would need to learn the talent, learn new moves. You know, there would definitely be study time. You know, time to watch tapes, be around the talents, get to know ‘em. With WCW and J.C.P., I knew the talent. I knew ‘em, inside and out. I got drunk with them, you know? We’d eat and sleep and you know, go on trips together and party together so, I knew their families so, that was easy. Now, the new breed, hmm, yeah.

After Jim Crockett Promotions was purchased by Ted Turner, David Crockett began working as an executive for WCW. When WWE acquired the company, Crockett was told that him working for WWE would not happen.

It crossed my mind [working for WWE] but they told us — told me that it wouldn’t happen. You know, when they came in and the last [WCW] Nitro, we come in, back to the office and they have security people there and shut all the phones off and they, you know, watched what can you take out of the office. They made this comment, you know, ‘Who else in this room would be willing to, you know, consider people here?’ It was a joke so…

While speaking about Jim Crockett Promotions, David said he was hesitant about agreeing to sell the company to Ted Turner. Initially, he planned to file Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and convert Jim Crockett Promotions into a territory again with syndicated television.

I felt I probably should’ve been the person to lead the company [Jim Crockett Promotions] later on in that — personally, I wasn’t ready for it at that… Jimmy was more — again, I was the last one [that] came into the company so as far as my father mentoring, it was Jimmy. Jackie [Crockett] was a crazy man. He would just, you know — Jackie’s Jackie. You know, great. He was the best cameraman out there. He would take a hit to get the shot, you know? Really. None better. But, you know, Jimmy was that way but, I know that — I’m going to go forward a little bit. When [Ted] Turner — when we got into our mess, our fix, that we outran our money. We had plenty of money sitting in receivables, time sales. But you know, everybody’s slow pay. You know, God forbid, 90 days, 180 days and we were just outrunning that money and Ted Turner saw an opportunity, I can’t blame him, and he said, ‘Either you sell to me or I’ll kick you off our station and I can stand it longer than you can.’ But I still did not want to go to Turner. Ric Flair did not want to go to Turner and Ric said, ‘David, I’ll stay with you, whatever you wanna do’ and I was gonna take the company into Chapter 11 [bankruptcy] and start with whomever we had, a territory again or whatever you wanna call it and our other TV stations, we were syndicating shows to 82 TV stations. So I had a TV truck, I had all that; the editing and you know, so we could get by with that. You know, we could get by and create our own. We just wouldn’t have TBS, you know, I figured and the Governor of North Carolina called and he said, ‘We’d help.’ He said he’d help in any way. Jim Babb, who was President of Jefferson Pilot Broadcasting, now see that is what I was gonna do. He wanted to be partners. Jefferson Productions, which was in huge as far as sports, the ACC, NFL as far as their broadcasting trucks and crews and so forth. So, that would’ve been perfect but my mother, she said, ‘David, sign the document’ and some people [said], ‘You’re crazy.’ You know, I have that much respect for my mother because my mother and father got us to the point, you know, that we were huge and to say no, I couldn’t do that. So I went kicking and screaming but, think about this, I and Jackie — and I was the only one that really survived at Turner. I became Vice President, you know, of production. So, Jackie was cameraman. Jimmy, they asked to leave, Frances, they asked to leave and I was only supposed to be there five years as just a consultant and then they asked me to stay on so I ended up [staying] 15 years until AOL bought Turner.

** Ahead of his bout at UFC Fight Night on February 5th, Sam Alvey spoke to ‘That KJ Guy’ and expressed his interest in pursuing a pro wrestling career. Sam loves UFC and hopes to spend the rest of his career there, but if the opportunity to get into wrestling came about, he’d do it without hesitation.

I absolutely would [like to give professional wrestling a shot]. I mean in a heartbeat. Now I love the UFC and I hope to spend the rest of my career fighting because there’s few things I like more. But if I had the opportunity to perform on the wrestling stage, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Sam went on to add that being a part of WWE is one thing that would make him step away from MMA.

I’ve always said the WWE, it is the one thing that would get me to quit fighting; is if they were to call.

When the topic of All Elite Wrestling was brought up, Alvey said he is interested in the freedom that the company offers their talent and would love to be on the microphone in an environment like that.

I would like that [the freedom that exists in AEW]. The WWE, after the Attitude Era, they started locking down on, you know, people’s mic time and it seems so much more scripted now than it used to and I would love the free reign to get that mic and just try to make fans that way.

** Steel Chair Magazine released their interview with PCO. PCO has tallied up 30-plus years in the wrestling business and he was asked how many more years he thinks he can give to the business. PCO expressed that he still has more to do and thinks he can push himself further.

Well, Sting, he is 62, he’s doing very well, but he’s not doing everything I can do in the ring. He’s not taking as many risks as I do, and he doesn’t put his body on the line like I can do. I think I can push the machine even further. I don’t know how many years I will be performing in a ring. For me, it’s all about the results. Some want to wrestle the best, sell tickets and bring a lot of people into an insane event. I just want to leave an impact on people’s minds, it’s not a matter of money or age. I just want to accomplish myself. I still have so many things to say and do and make sure pro-wrestling and pports entertainment remember PCO as the greatest of all time. That’s it, and then I’ll retire.

** Sports Illustrated pushed out their interview with Cesaro and asked him was he disappointed about not being a part of the 2022 men’s Royal Rumble match. Here’s what Cesaro had to say:

Yes, I was. A lot of people would have liked to see me in the Rumble, and a lot of people would have liked to see me win. That would have put me on the next path of my journey. I saw Big E say in an interview he’d like to see me win, and that was very nice. I appreciate the support of my colleagues, but unfortunately, that did not happen.

Cesaro looks back at his win over Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 37 as the crowning achievement of his pro wrestling career. He explained what made that night so special to him.

WrestleMania, that moment meant a lot. Up to now, it’s been the crowning achievement of my career. That was my first WrestleMania singles match, and it was with Seth Rollins. We’ve known each for half our lives. The crowd was back, and the crowd means so much. The ThunderDome era was so weird, so to have the crowd back was important, and then to have that kind of match and hear that kind of reaction was amazing. I don’t know what other superlative to use. It meant a whole lot.

** Before being banned from the U.S. for five years, ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey was hoping he’d end up in NXT or IMPACT Wrestling. He told Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture that-that was the direction he thought things might have went. During that time, Bailey turned DDT Pro Wrestling into a home and said he’d be right back there if the pandemic wasn’t preventing him from doing so.

You assume that things are gonna go a certain way for your wrestling career, a lot of people with whom I wrestled at PWG during 2015/2016 ended up going to NXT shortly thereafter or IMPACT back then. And that’s sorta what I was hoping would happen with myself as well, and once you know that’s not gonna happen, the trajectory that you had made for yourself is not gonna work out at all, you have two options basically, I can just quit, I can stop, I can take the ‘L’ and move on to something else with my career and let pro wrestling go or I can figure out another way to become a successful pro wrestler outside of the United States, outside of the place where everyone wants to be. That forced me to look at Europe, shortly after I was banned I did some shows in Canada, RevPro, then I got to wrestle for DDT…DDT was really my home from 2016 to 2020 right up until the pandemic. I would have been right back there if the pandemic wouldn’t have made things so darn difficult. DDT became my home, I was able to learn a living as a pro wrestler outside of the U.S, my mission was really to keep as much momentum as I could going up until the end of my 5 year admissibility.

** Prior to the 2022 women’s Royal Rumble match, Danielle Moinet (Summer Rae) appeared on Pirate Radio and during the conversation, she discussed the reaction she received on social media when WWE referred to her as a ‘legend’ on the 1/21 Friday Night SmackDown.

So I had no idea [WWE was going to call me a ‘legend’]. Again, there’s a theme, a running theme here. So I had no idea they were gonna say that so I like giggled and laughed. I just thought it was great because I just don’t consider myself like that at all. But most of the wrestling fans on Twitter thought it was hilarious and they thought it was really cool and they’re like, ‘Of course, give her-her roses.’ But then, a lot of men were furious and were angry but to the point on wrestling Twitter, there’s that back and forth and there’s like a haha moment but people are actually really mad, so I love that. I’m a bad guy in WWE… so I just started pulling up all the tweets and I was just like — wrote this long tweet. It was like four pages long and I just was like, ‘You guys are like living in your basement with your mom for 12 years. If you ever saw me at a bar –’ those guys were like, ‘Oh, a legend? I wouldn’t even ask her out on a date’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah right. Not only would you ask me out on a date, you’d ask me for an autograph.’ I don’t know. I was just playing around with them. Anyway, the next day, I opened Google and the caption is, ‘Summer Rae attacks bald middle-aged men of Twitter’ and I’ve never been more proud of a headline in this life and when I die, I want that on my tombstone. I think it’s the greatest thing ever.

** Darius Lockhart was invited onto the Culture State podcast and dove into the reaction to his NWA debut promo. Lockhart touched on receiving props and praise from the likes of Raven, Mick Foley and former WWE Champion Big E.

I kind of knew in the moment that it was gonna set me apart [NWA debut promo] because I was taken out of the match [at Hard Times 2] due to injury but they were like, ‘But we’ll give you promo time’ and the match I was stated to be in was a Gauntlet match so that’s like 12 people and so it’s like do you wanna be one of 12 or 13? Or do you wanna be one of one in your own segment and introduce the new show? So, giving me — first of all, I wanna say thanks to the NWA for giving me that spotlight period to do that and trusting me in that position but then at that point, it was ball in my court. So once we did it though, the — I felt good about it because as soon as I got backstage, there were people, you know, people pulling me to the side, ‘Hey man, you’re a hell of a promo.’ ‘Hey, that was really good,’ and then I was blessed enough to be, you know, like complemented by some of the great orders of pro wrestling history. Like it was Raven pulling me to the side and Mick Foley is messaging me and telling me, ‘Great promo’ and the current WWE Champion at the time, Big E tweeting me and you know, even commenting about the promo. It was really cool to see that it was — I don’t like to use the word ‘validation’ when it comes to like being around my career because I don’t think we really need things to validate us in terms of quality of talent or humanity or anything like that, but it was a cool thing to just, like, get that affirmation of what I thought already, of like, ‘Oh yeah, people are paying attention. They’re just not saying anything’ but like now, it’s confirmed like, ‘Nah, we gotta see you now. We have to –’ so no, it was a very cool nod from a lot of people saying, ‘No, we do see you and you know, your work isn’t disappearing into the void. You are good, you are talented’ so, it was really nice to see such positive feedback. I didn’t really get anything negative. The fans have been very complimentary of it, even new fans so, people are fans without even watching me wrestle now, which is brilliant. I think that’s what every wrestler aims to do at this point in time.

** Chris Ortiz welcomed AQA (formerly known as Zayda Ramier in WWE) onto his To Be Someone Podcast. AQA spent over nine months with WWE and her only regret is that she did not take Norman Smiley’s class at the Performance Center.

The only regret I guess I would say [concerning my time in WWE], the only regret that I had there [is] that I did not take Norman Smiley’s class enough. Like when I had free ring time, I wish I would have went to his class a little bit more. That’s my only regret there honestly is that I didn’t get to spend enough time in his class but, he’s great. He’s so great with just the fundamentals and teaching why you should and shouldn’t do something and why it does and doesn’t make sense, and he explains it to you in a way that it’s like you have to get it, you know what I mean? He could break it down in so many different ways.

She dove into the story of how she came up with the ‘Zayda Ramier’ name. The last name was inspired by Tony Nese’s ‘Premiere Athlete’ nickname and here’s AQA’s recap of the journey to finalizing her WWE on-screen name:

I’ll tell you the story of how I got my name and then how that first win went. So my first, technically debut was when I had the tag match. It was me and Gigi Dolin. I think it was versus Candice [LeRae] and Indi [Hartwell]. Again, I think that was the first match. I might be wrong but, I remember I got a call at like — not at a call, a text message at midnight and it was like basically, ‘Here’s the outline of the show’ and, ‘Woah! What do you mean?’ I was like, ‘Is this a joke?’ Because I remember I texted someone the next day and I was like, ‘Hey, is this really supposed to be happening’ and that person was like, ‘Yeah, it’s happening.’ I was like, ‘Okay,’ so I just wanted to make sure I didn’t get the wrong message sent to me or whatever because I didn’t have a name, I didn’t have gear, I didn’t have anything because I was gonna get gear, but I was told, ‘Don’t get gear yet’ until you know your name because you don’t wanna spend money and they’re like, your name is, I don’t know, Zambookie or something, I don’t know. So I’m like, ‘All right, cool. So I’ll wait.’ So I’m there, I get the message. I’m like, ‘Okay, all right. I guess we’re just gonna be going with Angela.’ I thought they were gonna make me just ‘Angela Arnold’ because they didn’t ask for a name at the time. I was like, ‘Okay.’ So I get there, we got like five hours ‘till showtime and they’re like, ‘Hey, you got a name?’ And I’m like, ‘What do you mean do I have a name? No.’ I sent a list of names. Luckily I had a list of names saved, that way, in case they did ask me one day, here’s what you can choose from. It was such a long process because either the first name would get cleared but the last name wouldn’t or vice versa or both and the name I originally wanted to go with was ‘Mazikeen.’ It was a different character I was doing at the time. It would’ve fit, but I originally wanted to be ‘Mazikeen’ and they liked ‘Mazikeen’ but we couldn’t do that, it didn’t get cleared because DC [Universe] owned the name. So they’re like, ‘We can’t do that name’ and the first name I thought of months prior to even coming to WWE, I was like, ‘Zayda?’ I was like, ‘Okay, Zayda.’ It was the first name on my list but it was always last whenever someone asked me to send in names. It was always last but it was the first one I thought of and they’re like, ‘All right, we like Zayda.’ I’m like, ‘Well all right, cool.’ They’re like, ‘Now you need a last name.’ I’m like, ‘Aw man.’ So the last names I sent in, all of them, ‘Nope, we can’t use that.’ One of them they told me sounded too much like ‘Sarray’ but it was completely — I think the name was ‘Areee.’ That was like the last name I was going for but they said it sounded too much like ‘Sarray.’ So I was like, ‘Okay, can’t use that.’ But I wanted to use the name ‘Zayda’ for that one, and then I was sitting around, I was like, ‘Man, we have like two, three hours until showtime now and I don’t have a last name’ and so I just happen to have — Triple H had called one of those big meetings and was telling everybody, you know, we’re great and we’re gonna keep pushing and doing what we’re supposed to be doing, go NXT, that type of thing and so, the meeting had ended and I’m like looking around the ring and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, I don’t have a name’ and my eyes just plant on Tony Nese and he had on his shirt and you know, his shirt, his slogan is like he’s The Premiere Athlete.’ I was like, ‘Okay, drop the pre, add a ra, Zayda Ramier’ and I sent it into them and I was like, ‘This is my name.’ They were like, ‘Ah, this is really cool. Does it have a deep meaning behind it or something?’ I said, ‘Yeah, desperation,’ because I didn’t have a name at the time. I was desperate. I just took the name off of his shirt and just slashed it in half and put a ‘Ra’ on it. I was like, ‘I hope they approve Zayda Ramier’ because I literally have nothing left. If they didn’t say ‘yes’ to that name, I don’t know who I would’ve been to this day to be honest with you.

** Web Is Jericho pushed out their interview with AEW’s Wardlow. He told the site that he is eager to show people that he can hold his own on the microphone and is more than just a body.

Absolutely. My character on TV really isn’t a character. My last name is Wardlow. Who you see out there is me. There’s different sides to me. Outside of the ring, I’m usually a very quiet person, so that’s very similar. Outside of the ring I also used to be the maniac you see inside of the ring, but that gets you in legal trouble. I get to be myself in the wrestling ring without having to worry about going to jail for beating somebody to a pulp. So it’s very much me. But as you can tell, once you get me talking about something I’m passionate about, I can talk. And I am excited for people to see, ‘OK, he’s not just a body. He’s not just a look. He’s not just strength. He can actually go on the microphone as well.’ So I’m looking forward to that.

** The ‘Total Spotfest’ podcast welcomed JDX onto their show. He was a part of TERMINUS’ debut event in Atlanta and credited TERMINUS co-promoter Baron Black for making that happen.

Hell yeah, absolutely. Absolutely [JDX responded when the amount of Black talent on TERMINUS’ debut show was mentioned]. I’ve got Baron Black to thank for that. Baron Black was one of my assistance coaches at the Nightmare Factory. He’s really taken me under his wing. At first it was like, I call him like my new wrestling dad so to speak because I said Air Wolf, Darius Martin of Top Flight, I traveled with him and Dante Martin up in Minnesota under Ken Anderson and all those guys… But then yeah, Darius would take me around to like different promotions and stuff and now it’s kind of like Baron has taken that role into my career in my life so to speak. So yeah, Baron Black is to thank for me being on TERMINUS. Of course, Jonathan Gresham had to bless it of course, you know what I mean? Because they’re like co-promoting it or whatever so, yeah. I had never met Jonathan before [TERMINUS’ debut show]. So I was like, ‘Damn, does he even mess with my work? Or was it like strictly a Baron thing?’ Like a favor type of thing. So, I was curious about that.

JDX made the move to Georgia from Minnesota. He spoke about the difficulties of breaking into the wrestling scene in some states. As he’s looking to expand into different markets, he questions if some promotions have a ‘filling a status quo’ mindset in regards to not needing a talent such as himself because they have already a Black talent on the card.

For sure. There are different — I would say that some states are probably harder to break into than others because there are like — yeah, people are territorial, you know what I mean? And I feel like some towns, some states use a lot of the same talent, rightfully so because — and specifically here in Atlanta. There’s great freaking guys like, dude, AC Mack, freaking Owen Knight, freaking Ashton Starr. You got a whole lot of good talent here in Atlanta so, that’s what makes it harder, you know what I mean? Sometimes I question, I’m like, ‘Damn, okay. Are they like, we already got a very good Black indie wrestler?’ You know what I mean? Already homegrown so it’s like why do we need a JDX? That’s how I kind of question myself on that, sometimes.  

** Ethan Page’s most recent Vlog:

** CBS announced their new series ‘Beyond The Edge’ is coming to the network in March and Mauro Ranallo is hosting the show.

** AEW unveiled their partnership with American Heart Association. Brandi Rhodes talked to Sports Illustrated about the partnership.

** Alyssa Marino brought Marina Shafir onto her ‘Let’s Get Cereal’ show.

** Corey Graves appeared on Renee Paquette’s SiriusXM show.

** Matt and Mike Sydal were interviewed on The AJ Awesome Show.

** Danielle Moinet (Summer Rae) is a graduate of East Carolina University. She was interviewed for the school’s website.

** Tasha Steelz sat down with Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture.

** To promote his appearance on truTV’s ‘Fast Foodies’, Chris Jericho spoke to Comicbook.com.

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 3683 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.