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.
** Jeff Cobb was the latest guest on The Wrstling Podcast and shared that he’s been dealing with a pulled muscle. Cobb has not wrestled in a sanctioned match since night two of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16 where he lost to Tetsuya Naito.
Yeah [I’ve been learning Japanese while in Japan]. I’ve been studying and writing. I was supposed to go to some classes soon but, I kind of pulled a muscle so I can’t really — I had to take some time off so, but I’ll be back up and soon and when I have some down time, I’ll be taking more [classes soon] so, I mean as of now, it’s just pretty much a — I have an app that helps me which is great so, and I have friends that teach me so it’s great.
He spoke about the growth of United Empire and the additions of TJP and Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher). Cobb feels it speaks volumes that United Empire was represented in three marquee singles matches at this year’s Wrestle Kingdom.
Well, I feel like The United Empire got some steam, you know, when we first started, [what] was it? Back in 2020. Myself and The Great-O-Khan and — or actually it started off with Will Ospreay and The Great-O-Khan and then I joined but I feel like we’ve started gaining momentum all last year. It’s rough with the current world that we’re in with some of our guys like Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) and TJP and [Aaron] Henare — I mean Henare eventually joined us, joined us here in Japan but guys like Ospreay and TJP and Aussie Open, you know, they’ve been having problems coming over or well, [things] got squared away in time for Wrestle Kingdom  so that’s good but like TJP and Aussie Open, we still want them to come over. But I mean, like I mentioned, we’ve gained momentum the last year. We’ve branched out, Ospreay branched out and brought in Aussie Open and TJP so, you know, whenever I get a chance to [go to] America or England, you know, we’re dominating over there, New Japan STRONG and then Ospreay and Aussie Open are taking over the U.K. and Ireland and wherever they go out there in Europe so, it’s not a sprint, it’s more of a marathon and we’re slowly taking over and that’s our goal right now is just to take over and you know, just being a part of Wrestle Kingdom, having three high [profile] singles matches, it shows a lot; that the United Empire is taking over.
** The 40th episode from season two of ‘The Be Someone Podcast’ featured Ninja Mack. In early January, Pro Wrestling NOAH announced that Mack is scheduled to debut for the company. He shared that he was supposed to begin his tour there in late 2021, but the new COVID variant prevented that from happening.
Even the new variant stopped my Japan tour. I was supposed to leave last Monday to go to Japan [for] wrestling [Ninja Mack said during the podcast which was recorded shortly before the new year].
Ninja Mack competed at a handful of Game Changer Wrestling events throughout 2021 and 2022 so far. He discussed how helpful Big Vin has been for the presentation of deathmatches in GCW. Vin helps build some of the glass structures and items that GCW uses for that style of match.
Shoutout to Big Vin. Big Vin does, in Jersey, all of GCW’s ring crew, he builds all this stuff. The son of 911 [Alfred Poling] from ECW, guy’s a legend. Big Vin, man, shoutout to you. He’s a genius, guy does everything on time. I watched this man, in two hours, between shows because GCW will do a show at like 2 and like 8 so this first show ends at like 5. For this big show, watch this [guy] build a glass ceiling above a ring, 20 feet in the air and when I say ‘glass ceiling’, it’s a glass ceiling and they scaffold this b*tch up and they go through a glass ceiling in Jersey. It’s something — I might — even on this podcast, I might have to pull this up for you man and I watch him build this in between the show so it’s not like they had it ready. He built this within two hours and set this b*tch up and he does all the deathmatch stuff, he builds it. You got an idea, go to Big Vin. He’ll build it for you. He [brings] it to life, like in the arena. We’re right there and he does it.
He recalled watching GCW’s ‘2 Cups Stuffed’ show in 2019 and seeing G-Raver suffer a deep laceration after falling off a ladder. Mack claims that G-Raver passed away in the hospital for eight minutes before being resuscitated.
Man, those guys [deathmatch wrestlers], like I said, when you’re fighting and you have that killer mindset compared to when you’re just sparring and you’re training for fun, those guys have to have a different mindset to hit each other with glass tubes, go through tables that have forks and razor blades on them. To take — I watched Jimmy Lloyd and G-Raver go and do this slam off a ladder and there’s light tubes across this ladder [at GCW 2 Cups Stuffed in 2019]. He takes that splash, falls at an angle, comes down, cuts his whole arm, blood splashing, runs to the hospital, G-Raver dies in the hospital for eight minutes, gone, they bring him back. That’s why G-Raver’s going over big right now in GCW too.
** IMPACT Wrestling’s Hernandez was the focus of a Q&A for Sportskeeda’s digital channels. Hernandez is 48 years of age and has tallied up 24 years in the wrestling business. He believes he’ll be retired within the next two-to-three years.
I’m at the point in my life, I’ve made my money. How many more times can I be a tag champion some more, you know? [Hernandez laughed] I mean 87-time tag champion, who cares? [I understand when] it’s time to branch off because I mean, father time always wins. This is a young man’s sport no matter what anyone says. You know, I don’t wanna be, say, 55, 60 still wrestling.
Um, I would say the next two, three years, yeah [I’ll be retired].
Although Hernandez has a great appreciation for IMPACT and what they’ve done for him professionally, he is not interested in transitioning to a coaching or producing role.
For IMPACT, I have mad respect because you know, they’re the first person that took a chance on me, to give me a long-term contract. But no, I’m good [on becoming a trainer/producer]. I’m focused on the vineyard, I’m good with that.
The new voice of IMPACT Wrestling on AXS is Tom Hannifan, formerly known as ‘Tom Phillips’ in WWE. Matt Striker finished up with IMPACT and Hernandez is surprised that Striker is no longer with the company.
Well, I knew Matt [Striker] from Lucha Underground and I like him. I think he adds a lot to commentary. I think he toes the line, he makes sure the person who’s doing color commentary gets reeled in, especially when he was with Vampiro on Lucha Underground. I like his style, he’s very educated, he has all his notes from each wrestler and makes sure he has a little bit of history from each match and each wrestler so you know, in case it’s your first time watching, you know something about the guy who [you’re] watching so I mean, I think Matt is very well-versed being a commentator and I was shocked that he was let go or he was not there or what happened. I don’t know what’s going on, but he’s no longer there.
Hernandez looked back on his time working with Ric Flair in TNA. He told the story of when Flair was scheduled for a house show in West Virginia but decided to leave the venue when he saw the attendance. According to Hernandez, Flair opted to go to the Marriott hotel instead.
There were a lot of people that loved him [Ric Flair in TNA] and you know, it was Ric Flair of all the stories you’ve heard. Real quick, I’ll tell an abbreviated, P.G. version of the story. It’s nothing bad at all. We had a house show in West Virginia and he showed up and it was [a] high school or something like this and he left. He didn’t feel like going because it was only like 500 people there. So he goes, ‘I’ll be at the Marriott.’ I go, ‘Which Marriott?’ We’re in West Virginia, I live in Texas. I don’t know anything about this. ‘You’ll know when you see it.’ I go, ‘Oh my God.’ ‘I’ll see you for dinner.’ I go, ‘Oh my gosh.’
IMPACT’s latest Wrestle House special aired on the Thanksgiving holiday in 2021. Hernandez credited Jimmy Jacobs and Robert Evans for structuring and editing the show. He shared that the second day of filming lasted for 16 to 17 hours.
Brother, that thing [Wrestle House] was shot in two days. Mad props to Jimmy Jacobs and Robert Evans. I don’t know how they did it, but the first day, we did nothing but matches and as you saw, the matches were all cut up anyway and it was just some highlights but that last day, man, it was… I think maybe a 16 or 17-hour day and I don’t know how they do it but, you have to give it up to Robert Evans because that guy edits, spliced, you know, sending one-liners and making it magic. You know, it had to be done in two days. I think it was probably the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life.
** GHC National Champion Masakatsu Funaki did a series for Tokyo Sports during which he opened up about some of the encounters and experiences he’s had throughout his 35-plus year career. In the last installment of the series, he touched on his experiences with Antonio Inoki and detailed how tough Inoki would be on him.
I was crying already. When I returned to the waiting room after the match, Mr. Inoki slapped me and said, ‘What the hell was that match?’ He slapped me. It was a cold day in Fukaya, Saitama. During my match with Hirokazu Hata, Inoki was behind me in the gymnasium shouting, ‘Konoyaro’ to the ring. I cried because I thought I was going to be fired.
After that incident, the next time Inoki-san got mad at me was when I started sparring with Yoshiaki Fujiwara before a match. One day, Mr. Inoki came to the ring and said, ‘You’re in a good mood just because you’re sparring with Fujiwara. Don’t think you’re getting stronger.’ He told me to do a crotch split. He came at me from behind, and it hurt like hell. It was torture.
After the tour, we had a joint training session at the dojo. I was taken to the ring and sparred with Mr. Inoki. He put me in a body choke and I couldn’t move, then he got on top of me and stabbed me in the eye with his chin. This hurt like hell. I couldn’t help but say, ‘Boss, it hurts.’ I guess he was saying, ‘Don’t think you’re getting stronger.’
** During the most recent Talk’n Shop podcast with Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows, Anderson shared his thoughts about Ring of Honor and feels that company bragged about paying talent through the pandemic. He added that they gave up and let go of their roster.
I look at it like this: I don’t know if they’ll take it this way but I look at it like, ROH, I know they paid everybody through the pandemic, right? And so did mostly everybody. WWE fired some people but they keep bragging how they paid people through the pandemic. Well, f*cking congratulations, good for you. But then what happened? You gave up and you quit and you fired everybody and you’re saying you’re gonna have this big comeback in April. I mean what are you gonna do? You’re just gonna — who are you gonna bring in? I know one thing, if I was one of those main-event guys or something, I wouldn’t come back in for half my price. If I was an ROH guy, it’d make me — you [Doc Gallows] know me pretty well, I think the fans know I would say I got two birdies for ‘em. I wouldn’t go back there unless they called me and told me, you know, explained everything that’s going on and paid me properly. I don’t know. If I was the ROH guys, I’d move on. ‘All right, you guys did that to me, great. I’m moving on, I’m making my way’ just like broski [Matt Cardona] has done and just like The Good Brothers have done. You gotta have some balls about it and move the f*ck on. That’s just my opinion on Ring of Honor.
So, you know, timing is everything and it’s been six years since I was in WWE and stepped inside the ring. I know we’re still going through everything with the pandemic but being able to be in front of a live crowd, there’s nothing like that.
** Current WWE Champion and 15-2 MMA fighter Bobby Lashley guest appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. He dove into why he never fought for the UFC and Lashley explained that Dan Lambert held conversations with Dana White on his behalf. Dana wanted to Lashley to be done with wrestling and focus on MMA full-time. Dana was not willing to offer Lashley a big contract and Lashley was not ready to be done with pro wrestling for a small contract.
I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I know that Dan had talked with Dana at one time and Dana, he was fair with it, he said, ‘You know we can’t offer him a huge contract, but we will give him something that he can get his foot in the door and kind of prove himself.’ That’s all I knew and then when I talked with Dan about it — Dan’s a huge pro wrestling fan — Dan was like, ‘They want you to sign everything. There’s no more pro wrestling. Are you ready to shut the doors on pro wrestling?’ I was like, ‘Golly.’ You can’t offer me a contract and say, ‘Yeah we bring him in, but he needs to shut all of that down and get small money.’ Because the wrestling is something that I knew that I could really make some good money on long term. So I couldn’t take a small contract to prove myself where I had pro wrestling where I’d already proven myself and that was always my money bag that I could always go back to. So I really couldn’t do it.
Everything was left up in the air for me with Coker and I wish I could have done that with Dana, but I understand that you can’t do that in the UFC. He’s not gonna let anybody have that part-time, do-whatever-you-want kind of contract and that’s what I needed and that’s what he wasn’t willing to give.
** The Wrestling Perspective Podcast welcomed Rocky Romero onto the show. At this stage of his career, Rocky did not think he’d be wrestling in multiple companies while helping direct New Japan’s expansion into North America. Rocky talked about his work with SHO and YOH and being a background player as a wrestler in NJPW. He said that was by design and he’d even purposely get bad gear so SHO and YOH would be the talents who were focused on.
No, probably not at 39, almost going on 40. I wasn’t probably expecting that the winds would turn this way for me, you know, exactly and especially the last couple of years, I’ve been such a background player in New Japan as well, you know? And that was by design, you know, was to put — use me to help make the next couple guys, SHO and YOH, Roppongi 3K so like, all the success that I had was to put the shine on them and purposely took a backseat. Like I got — I purposely got terrible gear to make them shine. That’s the way that I was thinking about it, you know? Was like how can I be in a managerial role and just have fun and not have to be too stressed about it but within those two or three years, it was also like, ‘Man, I better start wrestling because the clock is ticking down.’ 45, I’m definitely not gonna feel the same way that I do right now at 36 and 37 or whatever it was so then I was like I better, you know, make sure that the office doesn’t forget that, ‘Hey, I can actually wrestle and maybe I should do that a little bit too.’ So kind of trying to get them to be on board but I wasn’t really needed for that position because really, we had to make the next generation, the younger guys so, to get the opportunity now, to showcase that I can wrestle and also have fans actually care about what I’m doing is I don’t know, it’s pretty amazing and I didn’t think I would be here right now doing this, especially after, you know, all these — the last couple years have been so crazy with the pandemic.
Romero is at the head of NJPW STRONG and he discussed his thought process when it comes to booking and what he’s been able to learn from the New Japan style of booking.
Yeah, I mean I think it’s just the education of watching wrestling, being involved in the wrestling for 20-plus years now and then of course, being involved in the way that the New Japan system works and how the matchmaker’s work. I think it’s just kind of — so like, any decisions or anything that I think — kind of like, I would say any of the New Japan wrestlers for the most part kind of think in the very New Japan way of like, well what makes the most sense, right? And at first, what actually makes the most sense as a sports type of situation, right? [Kazuchika] Okada’s the best because he wins 95 percent of his matches, you know? And that’s how the booking goes. If Okada’s in a match with somebody, most likely, Okada’s gonna win because he’s the best, right? He’s the best player. He’s gonna score the most, whatever so like, just thinking about that and that kind of sports way and then secondary on that is like, okay, how can we flip it to make it fun for wrestling or make it fresh? But if we do seven times of the basic outcome which everybody expects, you know, when we do it on the eighth time, we flip it then it’s like, ‘Oh look, that’s really cool’ so I think that’s kind of like, I don’t know. Kind of the motto is, ‘Keep it sports. Keep it grounded and then have the fun stuff on top of that after.’
** Tenille Dashwood spent six years of her pro wrestling career with WWE. She told Daily DDT that she does not want to go back to the company, nor does she harbor any negative feelings towards them. She feels that at that time in her life, WWE was right for her and what she’s currently doing is right for her.
People are often in this bubble in WWE. I had an amazing career there and I’m very grateful for it. People will ask, ‘Do you wish you could go back?’ Or, ‘Do you have any hard feelings?’ And I don’t. What I was doing was perfect for my life then and what I’m doing is perfect for my life now. That influenced where I am now and I’m grateful for the journey.
** East Coast Autograph Auctions hosted a virtual signing with Briana Brandy a.k.a. B-FAB. She reflected on her first singles match which was against Kayden Carter at an NXT house show. Brandy had an injured knee going into the match but did not tell anyone because it was her first shot at being in the ring as a singles talent.
That was my first-ever singles match [NXT house show against Kayden Carter]. I was so freaking nervous. I was so nervous. [What I remember most about the match is] that my knee actually was hurt. My knee was hurt and I couldn’t bend my knee fully but I didn’t wanna say anything because it was the first time they were like, ‘Okay B, we’re gonna put you out there’ and I was like, ‘All right, cool, let’s go’ but I was hurt so I couldn’t really do all my moves or like even kicks or whatever in that match that well because my knee was just in excruciating pain. After that, I remember icing it for like four hours straight. It was horrible.
Briana went on to recount an interaction she had with Brock Lesnar backstage and she was surprised at how nice Lesnar was to her.
Who surprised me? I would say honestly, Brock Lesnar surprised me because he’s really nice and he’s very soft-spoken and I was not expecting that. Like I was expecting him to be just like, ‘Don’t talk to me, no one look at me,’ and he was super nice. He came up to me and shook my hand and was like, ‘Hey, welcome.’ I was like, ‘Woah. This is awesome.’ He was really awesome, and Roman Reigns is really cool too. He’s a really nice guy.
** At ‘The WRLD on GCW’ at Hammerstein Ballroom, Gregory Iron was a part of a segment that featured 44OH! (Atticus Cougar, Gregory Iron, Eddie Only & Bobby Beverly) being taken out by Mance Warner, Matthew Justice, Sabu and Bill Alfonso. Iron spoke about the segment during his Iron-On Wrestling podcast and said it was cut a bit short, but he’s glad he’s able to say he participated in a wrestling event inside Hammerstein Ballroom.
Being in there [Hammerstein Ballroom for The WRLD on GCW], being able to stand in the ring for the segment which I was a part of. I do wish I would’ve had more time to soak it in because the segment was cut a little short. But, it was me, Atticus Cougar, Eddie Only, Bobby Beverly and we were trying to send a message to Mance Warner and Matthew Justice when all of a sudden, the lights went out, heard a whistle blow, lights came back on and in the ring was Mance Warner, Matthew Justice, Bill Alfonso and Sabu and Sabu threw a chair at Atticus Cougar’s face. Mance and Matt threw chairs at Bobby and Eddie and then I was all by my lonesome, and I turned my back to look at my fellow brothers on the floor and I was like, ‘What the heck guys?’ I turned around and Fonzie threw a chair at my face and then he DDT’d me. That was embarrassing.
But, DDT, and I took a splash from Matt Justice and then there was an unofficial three count from Fonzie as Matt pinned me, Sabu was pointing up. I don’t know if he’s [Bill Alfonso] still licensed [as a referee]. Regardless, sort of an embarrassing moment in Hammerstein Ballroom but I guess it was cool to say I did something in that venue.
** Laredo Kid spoke to Lucha Libre Online and expressed how proud he is to see Hispanic representation in pro wrestling in today’s landscape. He feels that the younger luchadors are being inspired by himself, Bandido, Dragon Lee and others.
I feel very happy for this, [to see fellow Latinos and Latinas] successful [in wrestling], for everybody. For all my friends like Bandido, Dragon Lee, all those guys are my friends. You know, seeing Garza right now in WWE with Humberto, with Raul Mendoza, all those guys, I’ve worked with them together a lot of times. I feel very, very happy for everybody and for me and for all the Mexicans and this is great motivation for the new wrestlers, for the new guys, for the new wrestlers like Hijo del Vikingo, Komander. Like a lot of names, they are in AAA right now, they come in and they see all these guys and then they wanna be like us. We saw all the guys in [the] X Division like Low Ki, AJ Styles, great wrestlers. I see those guys and I trained hard to be there, you know? Then, right now, Vikingo, Komander, Mr. Iguana, all those guys, they try to come in and do like we do, you know?
** While speaking to Ryan Satin on his ‘Out of Character’ show, Doudrop recounted an incident from when she was training in wrestling where she injured all the muscles in her ribs and suffered a vertebrae injury. She went back two weeks later despite her parents wanting her to give wrestling up.
I actually had a pretty bad accident pretty early on in my training. I had — I was learning how to flip bump and I kept doing it, doing it, doing it and I got tired and ran and jumped high but not over and like missed the crash mat and like brain bustered myself on the floor and like bust all the muscles in my ribs, crushed — really hurt my vertebrae and screaming and couldn’t walk and had to get like picked up and couldn’t — genuinely couldn’t walk for three days and for them [her parents], that was like, ‘That’s it! You’re never going back!’ And no, no, no, I went back two weeks later.
The first night, it [24/7 Title segment] did like over two million views in less than 24 hours. That’s when I was like, ‘Damn, out of my whole career, I just go on Monday Night Raw, beat a guy with a championship that’s supposed to be for all walks of celebrities. It’s supposed to be our –’ you know what I’m saying? We’re combining and linking people together with this and I did that many views and it was just going crazy so I was like, ‘You know what? I need to embrace this. I need to sit in the saddle and ride this thing out man’ and I know I’m funny, I know how to entertain, I know how to make you laugh and we all know that, we learn that but it’s like, with this championship man, to come up with the skits to make it make sense just like with you [Peter Rosenberg] and I, man it’s fun for me to have fun and to make people laugh and to entertain and to be creative. We can be creative and be serious, we can be dramatic, we can be all that but to be entertaining, to be fun and not corny, not stupid, not silly but fun, entertaining and good, bruh, you just become it.
** At New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s 2/6 show, Dai Watanabe, their new ring announcer made his debut.
** Brandon F. Walker of Barstool ‘Rasslin chatted with Deonna Purrazzo.
** Dragon Gate’s R.E.D. stable has undergone a name change and are now known as ‘Z-Brats’.
** NJPW Golden Series Results (2/6/22) Chiba, Japan
– Great-O-Khan def. Kosei Fujita
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) def. Ryohei Oiwa & Yuto Nakashima
– House Of Torture (SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask
– Satoshi Kojima, Toru Yano & Yuji Nagata def. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
– CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & YOH) def. House Of Torture (Dick Togo & EVIL)
– Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe def. Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, El Desperado & Taichi)
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada & Tomoaki Honma
** Nyla Rose appeared on Busted Open Radio with Dave LaGreca and Tommy Dreamer.
** Taz and Daniel Garcia joined 2point0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) for their livestream on YouTube.
** Tasha Steelz was interviewed by ‘Bison Talks’ on the Total Nonstop IMPACT YouTube channel.
** Episode 28 of TheShowRULES with 2point0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker).
**AJPW ‘Excite Series’ Results (2/6/22) Ina, Japan
– TAJIRI def. Ryo Inoue
– Rising HAYATO & Yoshitatsu def. Black Menso-re & Seigo Tachibana
– Takao Omori def. Kikutaro
– Hokuto Omori & Kuma Arashi def. Dan Tamura & Shotaro Ashino
– Hikaru Sato & Suwama def. Shuji Ishikawa & SUGI
– NEXTREAM (Atsuki Aoyagi, Kento Miyahara & Yuma Aoyagi) def. Koji Doi, Ryuki Honda & Yusuke Kodama
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.