POST NEWS UPDATE: Lince Dorado talks Lucha House Party split, Lars Sullivan, 2016 IMPACT offer, WWE release

Lince Dorado's in-depth interview, Big Swole writing a book, story from Triple H's bachelor party, Tony Khan, Harvey Wippleman notes and more

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.

** The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast spoke to Lince Dorado, formerly of the Lucha House Party in WWE. After requesting his release from the company, Dorado was let go in November of 2021. Since becoming a free agent, he’s been working on four books. Two will be children’s books and the other two are pro wrestling inspired. Dorado is hoping to open a wrestling school as well.

I’m doing a lot of things honestly. I’m writing books. I have four books I’m currently writing; two children’s books and two wrestling inspired books, one being an auto and one being a kind of like a satire of what I thought wrestling is from now, my point of view. So it’s gonna be pretty funny when that comes out and I’m also producing a comic book, a children’s graphic novel. I’ll be producing some children’s cartoon shows, some shows, mini films that I’m working on for myself creatively and I’m hoping to be opening up a school pretty soon, a lucha libre school. I got a lot of things. I have a lot of ambition, a lot of ambition.

Both Dorado and Máscara Dorada (Gran Metalik) requested their releases together in the fall of 2021. Dorado explained that he was looking to carve out his own success again and felt that he was getting complacent.

Well yeah, I think when I asked for my release, me and Gran Metalik, when we asked for our release in September or October, I forget what it was. I think it was September. You know, I went into two things: I was like, ‘Man, I don’t really have a plan.’ But I know I’ve been poor, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been broke, I’ll be fine. I’ve always been fine. I look forward to all the challenges in my life so, this new adventure of leaving something that I was so comfortable in needed to be done for me personally. I needed to leave and yeah, I was looking forward to it. I was looking forward to a lot of things. I was looking forward to, again, being my own boss, being creative, saying things how I wanted to say it, being how I wanted to be, dress how I wanted to dress, represent lucha libre how I wanted to represent. Not how, again, I’m not saying that they did but you know, I wanna put my flavor on it. I don’t wanna ride off of somebody’s idea. I wanna fail on my own and you know, that’s why I had asked for my release. I just felt like I was complacent, I felt like I was just floating, I wasn’t progressing creatively. I just didn’t like my position. I just needed a change and as much as it’s scary and as much as I left, you know, how much money on the table or how much time I had left on my contract, it just wasn’t worth it to me. I needed that peace of mind of being free and being creatively free, you know?

When it came to conversing with Vince McMahon or fellow higher-ups in WWE, that was always Dorado’s first base of communication. He stated that when he talked to McMahon, John Laurinaitis and those alike, he’d talk them like he’d talk to everyone else. He and Máscara had two years left on their respective deals and Lince said a lot of money was left on the table but he was not being creatively fulfilled.

I think — like I said, me and Gran Metalik both had a really, really good relationship with a lot of the upper hands, whether it came to Vince [McMahon] or it came to John Laurinaitis. We talk to them as if I was talking to you. You know, I don’t believe in ass kissing, I don’t believe in — you know, if we’re two grown ass men talking, we’re gonna talk as grown men, you know? I’m not — I don’t feel like I need to cower or little myself in order to talk to you because you’re in a higher position. My goal has always been to make it to WWE and once I did it, nobody could take that away. My problem was I didn’t have a goal after I made it to WWE and that’s where I started to get complacent in myself so when I had asked for our release, yeah, we tried to compromise which I think is a very important word in pro wrestling that a lot of pro wrestlers need to start doing more and I think that’ll help them become better businessmen is the word ‘compromise’ and we tried to compromise, WWE tried to compromise, me and Gran Metalik tried to compromise but at the end of the day, if this is the best you got, this sucks, I’m sorry. We’re better than this. We’re talented in the ring, we know we could be talented outside the ring but if this is what you want us to be, you could find two other masked guys to do that and let us just have fun and let us do us. You know, we had two years left on our contract and left a lot of money, more money than I’ll probably ever see in my life but again, my happiness and my sanity is priceless, you know? So, and again, it had nothing to do with one person or a group of people or one company. It’s just creatively, I wasn’t fulfilled and I’m looking forward to finally finding what fulfills me in pro wrestling.

Lince Dorado’s run with WWE began in 2016 as a part of the Cruiserweight Classic tournament. Throughout his years there, he felt that there were three writers he felt were on point with him and the others had priorities that were elsewhere.

He added that that’s why he always went directly to Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard or John Laurinaitis. He felt that he’d be wasting his time with some of the writers because there was no guarantee that they would be in their same position in the coming months.

I mean, okay, so obviously the chain of command is your writer. I’ll be very honest, I never — I had maybe two writers, I’ll put three just in case but three writers out of total of 12. My whole six years, 12 writers. I counted, I even wrote it in my book that I’m writing. About three writers that were probably on point. Like they knew exactly what they wanted, they were great writers, they understood wrestling, they understood entertainment, they understood the culture, they understood their job. But other than that, the other ones I just didn’t trust. I just didn’t see their drive. I saw them prioritize other things, especially when they’re talking to your face and you can see them thinking about other things and you’re just getting frustrated because they’re distracted. But honestly, whenever we had an issue or whenever we had an idea, we always, always went right to the man, Vince McMahon or Bruce Prichard or John Laurinaitis. I wasn’t going to entertain the idea of talking to writers who may not be here in six months or three months or they may move to NXT or they move back to SmackDown or they may just go to the office. I’m not gonna entertain those guys because I’m wasting my time there and my time there is precious. I need to go right to the source and that’s what we always did whenever we had an issue or had an idea, and most of the time, honestly, most of the time, it was my ass talking. You know, I was the one with — not saying that we didn’t have a backbone. Gran Metalik spoke decent enough English that it impressed Vince to have Vince say, ‘Oh, you’re learning English’ and I made sure that yeah, he’s learning English. Look, he’s just not a dude doing moves and I’m not a dude just, you know, part of this group. We could talk, we can actually do things. We always had very — I always stood on my own two feet, talked to him just like I’m talking to you. Never cowered, I don’t believe in it and those are the people I always talk to.

Lucha House Party consisted of Lince, Samuray Del Sol and Máscara Dorada. Lince dove into the different pitches that he suggested for the group but originally, he wanted Lucha House Party to have a more formal side, mentioning that he wanted them to sport suits opposed to being in their gear for segments.

So the original Lucha House Party concept was actually a little bit harder, a little bit darker. We were supposed to be in suits the whole time. You know, we wanted to have this lucha lounge-esque kind of background where it was totally different. We didn’t wanna be in our gear, we didn’t wanna be in the flashy colors. We wanted to look like sophisticated men, you know? The only difference is our faces have masks and we kept telling them that. We kept telling them we do everything that every normal person does. We go grocery shopping, we go sneaker shopping, we go to the mall. Everything we do, we do it in our masks, we don’t do it in our gear, that’s silly. But then we only wrestle in our gear. I don’t think I’m really a cat but I’m agile like a cat, that’s the influences and when we started explaining that to him [Vince McMahon], he kind of started to understand more the culture of lucha libre rather than like, ‘Oh, these are just guys in masks who do incredible things’ and we had told him, ‘Hey, let us wear suits in our promos. Let us cut promos like those old Santo movies’ where they’re almost like little action movies. I had pitched for us to be like Charlie’s Angels where we all had a specific personality and then, but we were all entertaining and always do cool stuff and then once we got to me and Gran Metalik, I said, ‘Well look, we have a cool dynamic here where we could be like Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan from Rush Hour where we could always have incredible action stuff but also put each other in cool dynamics.’ We had all these cool ideas and for some reason, we were just the lucha guys. Every promo, ‘Finish with lucha, lucha, lucha’ and I’d just be like, ‘Come on man. Is this really what you got for us?’ I don’t know.

The week of the Cruiserweight Classic tournament, Lince Dorado competed on TNA’s Xplosion show against current NXT UK talent Mark Andrews. According to Dorado, the match went so well that he was offered a contract from IMPACT Wrestling/TNA.

At the time, he was also in conversations with Lucha Underground and AAA but his goal was the WWE. When he received word that WWE wanted to offer him a deal, he did not hesitate to sign.

I was making gear and my phone never vibrates, it’s always on silent, you know? And I was like, ‘What is that noise?’ And I realized it’s my phone and then I saw a 203 number which is, you know, Connecticut and I didn’t think anything of it. I was like, ‘Ah man, this is spam.’ Picked up the phone, I’m like, ‘Hello!?’ He’s like, ‘Hi, is this Lince?’ And I’m like, ‘Who’s this?’ He’s like, ‘Darren.’ I’m like, ‘Who!?’ And he goes, ‘This is Steven Regal from WWE.’ I was like, ‘Give me one second… Mr. Regal, you gotta apologize for my brother. I’m so sorry. How can I help you?’ And he’s like, ‘Hey Lince, this is Mr. Regal.’ I completely just told him it was my brother that was being rude. But I didn’t think of it [as a WWE contract type of conversation]. It could’ve been a lie, somebody else but it said 203 Connecticut so I was like well maybe this is legit and he had asked me, ‘Hey, has anybody spoke to you about a contract outside of WWE?’ And at that time, I had spoke with AAA and Lucha Underground. But, you know, I was like — my interest was WWE, you know? Now mind you, let me backtrack real quick before I finish that story. The first week of C.W.C. was taped on a Thursday. I had wrestled for IMPACT Wrestling on Tuesday, that same week, the same week prior. Same week, Tuesday, I wrestled at IMPACT, Thursday I wrestled WWE. That Tuesday, I wrestled Mandrews [Mark Andrews] as ‘Balam’. You can go check it out on YouTube and we had a banger match, awesome match to the point where Al Snow and I forgot the other person — it actually might have been Bruce Prichard at the time — offered me a contract and I had turned it down right on the spot because I said, ‘WWE’s gonna sign me.’ I had confidence in myself that WWE was gonna sign me. I hadn’t even wrestled for WWE yet. You know, but I was 100 percent convinced that they were gonna sign me.

This is prior before talking to anybody. I was like, ‘No. No thank you. I really appreciate it but I’m gonna get signed by WWE’ and then, you know, after the first round, I didn’t get my name called and now we’re up to the William Regal story, and he’s like, ‘Well okay. Well, take their offers in consideration but also know that WWE wants to offer you a contract and we’ll talk after the second round’ and I said, ‘Thank you,’ hung up the phone and I was like, ‘Welp, no matter what –’ and I was already a teacher at this point, you know, making sh*t money. But I loved it, I loved teaching. It just wasn’t, you know, financially the best job. I said, ‘No matter what? As long as they pay me more than what I was making teaching, I’m taking it,’ no ifs, ands or buts, I’m gonna take it. It’s my dream and if it’s a dollar more than my teaching contract, I’m taking it and yeah, so I wrestled [Rich] Swann the next round, awesome match, I love that dude. One of my best friends in the world and you know, that night, they called me, July 27th, I remember, 11:26 at night, PM where I got called down and I said, ‘Yep. Give me the piece of paper. I’ll sign that b*tch right now’ and that was it, that was history.

Prior to the formation of 205 Live and that show being introduced, the cruiserweight talents would be spotlighted on Monday Night Raw. Dorado recalled members of what would become 205 Live, finding out that they were going to be competing on Raw via a live announcement on TV.

Not really [cruiserweights in 2016 were informed of the long-term plans for them]. You know what was funny? Is that they kind of just said, ‘Hey, we’re doing this thing, we don’t know when it’s gonna happen, but it’s gonna happen’ and then like the next week when we’re watching Raw and I think Stephanie [McMahon’s] saying, ‘Yeah! The Cruiserweights are gonna come on Raw’ so that’s when we found out. We found out when Stephanie said it on Raw and I remember all the cruiserweights texting each other, I was texting Ariya Daivari and [Rich] Swann, Tony Nese and I was like, ‘Did you guys hear that? Are we gonna be on Raw? What’s going on? Like oh my God’ and of course, we ended up being on Raw as part of the division and it was awesome. You couldn’t take away those group of guys who were hungry and passionate about pro wrestling and tell us, ‘Yo, you’re gonna be on Raw’ without us giving our all. Every time we went out there, we gave our all. We left it out there, every time. We wanted to have the best matches no matter what kind of situation we were put in and you know, it could’ve been so much more but, yeah, that’s when we found out that we were gonna be on Raw or part of the 205 division; when Stephanie said it.

He later touched on Lucha House Party bringing piñatas to the ring. Lince does not blame WWE for that and said one of his groupmates who he chose not to name, brought a piñata into their meeting with Vince McMahon.

Lince stated that when McMahon spotted the object, he immediately expressed that he liked it and wanted them to incorporate it into their act. Dorado had previously told this individual to not bring it into the meeting or don’t draw attention to it.

It wasn’t WWE’s fault man [Lucha House Party bringing piñatas to the ring] . It wasn’t WWE’s fault, I’ll say that. Nope. It was not their fault. It was somebody in our group, I’m not gonna say no names. It was a time where, you know, if Vince [McMahon] or somebody thought it was a good idea, they’re gonna run with it and I remember us being in the prop truck and somebody picked it up and I said, ‘Yo, we’re about to go in this guy’s room,’ because we had a meeting and I said, ‘We’re about to go in this guy’s room. Please don’t bring that in and if you do, don’t mention it, don’t even bring attention to it. Let it just be a prop in the back, like appease him for a little bit, right? Entertain the idea. But like, if we bring attention to it, we’re dead in the water. We’re gonna come out with it, it’s gonna be on our shirts,’ all this other bullsh*t and then as soon as we got it in, man, homie looked right at it and it was like, ‘I love it.’ I was like, ‘Oh my God. No.’ I said, ‘Bro please, look, listen –’ and then I was like, ‘Okay, then let us put weapons in it. Let’s have a hardcore match or an Extreme Rules match but like, let us put weapons in it. So that way when it breaks, weapons would pop out’ and then at least, people would be excited to see a piñata because you never know what will come out of it but never, never wanted to do that and then I had the idea of having the piñata have like a bazooka come out of its ass and shoot out like candy or shirts or something. I said, ‘Well if we’re gonna have fun with it, let us have fun with it.’ You know, let me get a piñata that shoots sh*t out of its ass or something and they were like, ‘Nah, just throw the candy out until we eventually give it to somebody else’ which they ended up doing. That’s why we stopped throwing out candy. They gave it to somebody else and I was just like, ‘Man, this sucks. F*ck these piñatas, I’m over it.’

In 2019, Samuray Del Sol, Máscara Dorada and Lince began working on-screen with Lars Sullivan. Sullivan was released from WWE in February 2021. Shortly after his arrival to the main roster, a series of old message board submissions from Sullivan came back to light. Some of the messages that he wrote were racially driven and homophobic.

Some of those remarks drove Lince Dorado to not want to work with Sullivan. Initially, Dorado did not have an issue with Lars specifically and it more so had to do with him having a negative feeling about what was to come for Lucha House Party presentation-wise.

Yeah, and we didn’t wanna do that either [the Lars Sullivan feud] and it had nothing to do with Lars but we had just did a European tour where, you know, we had the — one of the biggest pops all tour, Europe loved the luchas. We even made videos of ‘The Luchas go to Europe’ kind of thing. We were just having a great time with it and then we all got a text message saying, ‘Hey, you’re gonna go to Money In The Bank. You have a match’ and I just had this really bad feeling, like really bad feeling. I was like, ‘I don’t like this idea.’ One, I’m tired and two, I just don’t like this idea. They hadn’t told us what the idea was but I said this does not feel right. Like something is random and it’s gonna make us look bad and all of a sudden, all those things about Lars came out from his past, about him saying some racist things or whatever and you know, that was kind of more fuel for us to not do what they wanted us to do once they told us, ‘Okay, yeah, you’re gonna be in a three-way’ or a handicap match with Lars and he’s gonna kill you guys and I’m like, no offense to Lars, I loved that dude, he’s the nicest dude in the world, one of the nicest dudes but I was like, ‘You think that motherf*cker can take all three of us for real?’ That was always my mindset. I was like, ‘You really think that all three — could take all three of us?’ No, this is silly. Why are we doing this? And then I was, you know, I went back and said, ‘Well you also want me to put my life on the line to somebody who doesn’t value people of my color. Why would I do that?’ And again, there was a compromise made and WWE probably got the better end of the deal but at the end of the day, I think I won, which to me is ultimately the best so, yeah, we lasted longer than Lars and you know, at the end, I think we were one of his last matches I think. He blew his knee out unfortunately. But it was just, yeah — that was one of the other frustrating things like, the sh*t just didn’t make sense. But again, I don’t know. They see small dudes in masks and they’re just like, ‘All right, that’s the luchas.’

In April of 2021, Samuray Del Sol departed the company. There had previously been an on-screen split of Lucha House Party but Lince and Máscara remained a unit. Lince feels that Samuray wanted to branch off as singles talent when he returned from injury. They did have conversations about pitching a mask versus mask match with Dorado on the losing end so he could present a new character on-screen.

So I believe because one of the last live events, Kalisto got hurt and when he got back, I think he put it in his head that he wanted to be a singles star, which, hey, more power to you brother, but we had this idea, me and him, that we were gonna feud eventually with each other given the circumstances or what was going on. That was gonna be our trump card was like we were gonna feud with each other and pitch mask versus mask and maybe me lose my mask and go darker and be me, finally be me. But, when he got hurt and pitched that idea to himself, that kind of just went out the window and I think WWE was just like, all right, why do we need two lucha groups? We just need this one group and I think that’s why they ended up leaving him, let go. But, yeah, that was it.

Lince and Máscara went to NXT in late 2020 and they competed in the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. They asked to head over to the brand and initially, there was no response from Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and William Regal.

Levesque later asked Vince McMahon if he could borrow Lince and Máscara which was approved. Lince felt that at the time, they were the most polished team there.

Well we had asked for it [Dorado & Gran Metalik wanted to go to NXT]. Yeah, so once we [Lucha House Party trio] split – actually, before too, more once we split, we had emailed Triple H and [William] Regal and said, ‘Hey, if there’s any opportunities to come down to NXT and tear sh*t up, let us do it’ and for a while, nothing, nothing, nothing and then all of a sudden, Triple H saw us doing nothing and he had asked Vince [McMahon], like, ‘Hey, can I borrow these guys for a couple weeks in NXT and do some stuff?’ And that’s where, you know, Fantasma [Santos Escobar] and [Mascara] Dorada wrestled in the singles and then we, you know, we killed it and everybody loved it, everybody loves having the luchas in NXT so then, it just made sense for us to come back to the Dusty Classic where we had a great showing. We felt like we were the most polished tag team in NXT because we had that TV time, the main roster time. We got the blend of indie wrestling mixed with TV wrestling or WWE wrestling. We got it and you know, it was a good thing because it was our idea, it was a different style, different set of eyes, different rules, right? So it kind of just felt more, a little bit more free. But at the end of the day, it’s still a WWE ring, WWE product.

Once Kalisto separated from the group and was released from WWE, Máscara Dorada and Lince kept the Lucha House Party music. Dorado presented new music to the powers that be and ideas for entrances but feels what was created for him did not fit.

When we got to WWE and they gave us that music, I kind of felt like we didn’t have an identity because of that and when Kalisto ended up leaving and we were begging for some music, we had pitched a really cool entrance idea. We wanted to be like UFOs, you know, because everything that we did, I remember Vince [McMahon] saying we’re out of this world. I said, ‘Well the only thing out of this world are aliens and you know, they’re cool. Let us have an alien-esque entrance where you zap us in like Power Rangers and then now it’s lucha time’ kind of thing and the music they gave us was so wack bro, just so bad. I gave them everything from beats to graphics, everything and it’s just like, they came back with this cookie cutter entrance and I was just like, ‘Ah.’ I was like, ‘Man, I’m just not feeling this right now’ so both entrances — all three entrances, even my C.W.C. [Cruiserweight Classic] entrance I didn’t like. I just said, ‘Hey, I came out to this Megadeth Duke Nukem theme’ and all they heard was Megadeth and just gave me this crazy guitar rift which was awesome but just didn’t fit me. It just don’t fit me and they just, again, that’s where people — not being racist or anything but they’re just like, ‘You’re a luchador so you’re gonna have some lucha music.’ I’m like man, right now, my music isn’t lucha at all.

** Big Swole was the featured guest on a recent edition of the Public Enemies Podcast. She looked back on the period of her AEW run in November 2020 when she was ranked #1 but did not receive a shot at the title. She previously took on then-champion Hikaru Shida one month prior and Swole dove into why that was a rocky point for her in AEW.

During that time [when she was #1 contender for the AEW Women’s World Title], it was a little rocky because it was just only a couple of us that were, I guess blessed with being on TV, given the opportunity to be on TV. I remember Kenny [Omega] telling me that I had that [Hikaru] Shida match that Wednesday before. Everybody’s like, ‘Hey, you’re gonna have a title match with Shida’ and I was like, ‘Okay.’ But when I knew something was kind of eh about it, I realized that everybody else, when they went up against Shida or went up against anybody who held a title, they got some type of promo, some type of something, you know? Video reel or hype message, something like that. You know, and I remember emailing, I had ideas because I’m like if this is so abrupt, let me just be able to do some things. You know, get some filler out there. But nothing was necessarily approved or anything like that. It was just so quick and fast, whatever. After the match, yeah, that seven weeks, nothing happened so when they announced the tournament [Women’s World Title Eliminator], I was already pissed off about it, you know? So, I went and went to the people that I’d normally go to. I went to Cody [Rhodes] and them, stuff like that, because I would always have these meetings with Cody about the women’s division, we would do check-ins and that’s when we had the idea to the promo and he was like, ‘Okay, we’re gonna do the promo and then get you some wins and then everything will be good, you’ll be able to do your thing after the tournament’ and stuff like that because we knew what the deal was. You’re coming in — to bring in more Joshi talent and stuff like that so I was actually kind of happy not being in that because I didn’t want — I don’t wanna say ‘squash’ but I didn’t just — I didn’t wanna just get beaten for the sake of just a number, you know? Make this mean something. You have me win this ‘Tooth and Nail’ match [against Britt Baker], you know, which that was a whole other ideal type of thing. That was a whole other issue. But it’s just nothing necessarily came up from it, you know? Because I had this cool ass promo and I was ready man. I had super ideas.

Now that Swole is back on the free agent market, she would like to compete in a Royal Rumble match in WWE as a freelance talent.

Yes [I would be open to appearing in WWE’s Royal Rumble match] and in all honesty, I feel like a lot of people want certain moments with WWE because, in my mind, WWE is Disney World. You know, it’s Magic Kingdom. You know, you’ve seen these rides a million times, you’ve probably been on them a million times but it’s still magical, you know? You still get a little — you get to get a little funny… you’re just excited about everything and that’s how I feel about the Rumble. Like if there was any pay-per-view where I would just be like, ‘Okay, I’m here’ type of thing, you know, freelance and I’m out, it would definitely be the Rumble. Like next year, yeah.

When asked if she sees herself signing with another major wrestling company, Swole said no. She is enjoying the freedom of being a freelancer and added that she’s working on a book about her battle with Crohn’s.

Honestly, at this point, no [I don’t see myself signing with another major wrestling company]. I wanna do my own thing. I have an opportunity and I’m so thankful to God because when I tell you he’s blessed me so much to be able to have that title of like ‘homemaker’ and I know that there’s some people that look down upon, you know, they call them ‘housewives’ and stuff like that but, there’s a certain level of joy that I get with knowing that I fed my family, that I’ve cleaned, I’ve done things to actually truly help but also at the time, I’m able to do my music. I’m wrestling once, twice a month if I want to. You know, that level of freedom, wooo and to be able — everything’s coming back into my pockets. I got my trademark to start my line for Swole World so I have — I’m always dripped out. You see my… my style is always… listen, the sauce is thick out here, all right? [Swole laughed] You know what I mean? And like, sitting down with like, pretty much my scribe, my editor for my book about my Crohn’s and my testimony and stuff like that. I’m able to do things that, one, give me residual income but also, something that’s mine. You know, I’ve had some opportunities to do things but I couldn’t because of contracts and I just don’t wanna be in that predicament, you know what I mean? I want that Super Bowl commercial back.

Swole has other projects in the works such as an EP and she’s putting the pieces together to complete that project.

Yes, yes [I still want to do an EP]. Actually, I just got all my sounds that I want for this actual EP I guess that I’m doing and I got my feel and everything and my vibe and stuff so I’m really excited. Actually, Monteasy and I are going into the studio tomorrow. I have a new theme song coming out because hey, it’s a new year, I’m coming with some new sounds, I’m coming with some dirty south, some bass to it so yeah, we’re out with the old, we’re in with the new.

** Episode #106 of D-Von Dudley’s Table Talk podcast featured both Maven and D’Lo Brown. D-Von and Maven told the story of when members of the WWE roster were leaving a gentlemen’s club in celebration of Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque’s upcoming wedding. As the talents were standing outside, Undertaker asked Maven to take a hip toss onto D-Von’s car windshield. D-Von did not have insurance and Maven recalled Vince McMahon laughing at what occurred.

D-Von: So we are in the strip club for Hunter [Triple H’s] bachelor party and had a good time…

So, we’re heading there so now the lights come on because we done played it. You know, we always did that. We stayed until the lights came on and they closed the place down so we’re all out. Vince [McMahon] is out there, Taker’s out there, everybody’s there and we’re all trying to get our cars because we had the valet park the cars. Rey Mysterio, all of us are there so I see this girl that I met earlier that night. I’m like, ‘All right! This is great, yes. I’m gonna be talking to this girl, everything’s gonna be good’ and then all of a sudden she goes, ‘Well you gotta hurry up because you know, I gotta get up to work in the next morning if you’re going to have –’ what was it? What was the restaurant?… Waffle House, because we were all supposed to go to Waffle House and I was like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna go.’ I said, ‘Let’s go, let’s go.’ I’m thinking I’m gonna get her number and everything. All of a sudden, I get the valet, I’m telling the valet, ‘Come on! Give me my car, give me my car. We gotta go! We gotta go!’ And I’m going, ‘Maven! Let’s go!’ He wants to be the mayor and shake everybody’s hand and make sure everybody knows he’s good. All of a sudden, the valet gives me the keys, I’m screaming, ‘Maven! Let’s go now!’ All of a sudden, I get in the car and I drop the keys. I went, ‘Sh*t!’ I picked ‘em up and I went, ‘Oh my God’ as I looked up and looked at the window, freaking Undertaker hip tossed Maven through the front window of the car. Just hip tossed him. He went flying through the front of the car and I went, ‘God dammit.’ I looked at Maven and I went, ‘I don’t have insurance. What are you doing? What are you doing? I don’t have any insurance on the car’ and this is Vince and Taker, ‘Hahaha!’

Maven: Vince is going, ‘Good sh*t, good sh*t.’

D-Von: I didn’t get the insurance on the car. I’m like, ‘What the hell?’ And freaking, Taker goes, ‘D-Von, don’t worry about it. I’ll take care of it.’ I go, ‘Taker, I can’t do that.’ I said, ‘Maven’s gonna pay for it.’ So, it’s literally 20 degrees outside. We got about a 20-minute drive to the hotel. I’m driving with the window down. I’m driving like this with my head outside the window trying to see, praying a cop don’t pull us over. This idiot gonna go, ‘Are you mad D-Von?’ I go, ‘Shut the f*ck up.’ He goes, ‘D-Von, what do you want me to do? Taker said take the hip toss. I had to take the bump.’ I said, ‘You could’ve acted like your knee was hurting.’

Maven: I’m walking to the car, Taker looks at me, he goes, ‘Hey kid, take a hip toss.’ What do you do?

D’Lo: You know what? When Taker speaks, you just jump. If he says jump, you don’t act [a certain way], just go. So I would’ve done the same thing. I would’ve taken the damn hip toss.

** While speaking to Proresu TODAY, Kairi Sane stated that her relationship with WWE has been very good and added that she can’t thank them enough. She said they offered her a special position after she returned to Japan. Sane last wrestled for the company during the summer of 2020.

The relationship with WWE has been very good, and I can’t thank them enough for that. Even after I returned to Japan, they offered me a special position, which I think was exceptional.

** Gerald Brisco and John Layfield welcomed Harvey Wippleman onto their Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw show to recap and tell stories from Harvey’s career in wrestling. In January of 1995, Wippleman competed against Howard Finkel in a Tuxedo match. Originally, Finkel was supposed to win the match but before Wippleman went out to the ring, Vince McMahon changed the ending of the match to Harvey winning but Howard was not made aware.

How he [Howard Finkel] was before [the Tuxedo match], it was just like, he was like, ‘Let’s go over everything.’ I said, ‘No, go with the flow. Not like we’re having a match with high spots. We’re just ripping each other’s clothes off.’ I said, ‘Howard, just get out there, just go with it.’ So, we were in Madison Square Garden. Vince [McMahon] told Howard that he was going over in the match. They played — I think they played Hulk Hogan’s music and Howard went to the ring, and before they sent me to the ring, Vince goes, ‘I change my mind, you’re going over but don’t tell Howard.’ I said, ‘Oh Jesus Christ. Here we go.’ So I’m out there and Howard’s doing everything in his power to not lose because Vince told him to go over. Finally, I just had to stomp him on the head, not hard but just enough to sell and I ripped his glass thing off and that was it.

As their conversation rolled on, Harvey recounted Shawn Michaels taking up for him in the locker room. Wippleman brought food for Michaels and several other talents. Men on a Mission’s Oscar (Greg Garand) asked Harvey could he go run and get him some food which resulted in Michaels telling Oscar to get out of the dressing room.

What happened was, as you [JBL] know, if you were there, Jerry [Brisco] was there, either one of you, ‘Bruno, would you go get me a hamburger?’ Or whatever. I wouldn’t even blink an eye. I would’ve said, ‘Sure, what do you want on it? Jerry, what do you want? Okay.’ But that guy Oscar who was never in our business, if you remember, he was the manager for Mo and Mable in Men on a Mission. He was a guy that was just a rapper guy that, you know, ‘Men on a Mission, number one,’ whatever, they brought him in. So, I come in with a box of food, ‘Here Razor Ramon, here’s your –’ I don’t know what it was. For example, hamburgers. ‘Here Razor, here’s your hamburger. Here Shawn, here’s yours, here’ whoever and then Oscar goes, ‘Where’s mine? I need you to go get me one. How come you didn’t get me one?’ And before I could even respond or even formulate a response, boy, Shawn Michaels got up, let him have it. ‘This guy’s been in the business 15 years’ or whatever it was. ‘He’s been all over the world, he’s been in every territory in the country. Who the hell are you to ask him to get you a hamburger? Get your sh*t and get out of the dressing room. You didn’t belong in this dressing room.’ I mean he just… unprovoked. I didn’t ask Shawn to, you know, do that or whatever. Just wow. I never forgot that.

That’s it, that was it. He didn’t say, ‘Did that for you Bruno,’ nothing like that. It was unsaid. It meant a lot to me. It meant a lot to me.

Harvey was able to share the ring with Jacqueline Moore on multiple occasions. Wippleman is a former WWF Women’s Champion and he talked about how snug Jacqueline could be in the ring. Wippleman added that Jackie was tough and he’s sure she could’ve taken him in a legit fight if it ever occurred.

Oh, I probably had 200 matches with her [Jacqueline Moore], no kidding because we worked everywhere and I’m gonna tell you because I used to ask her sometimes afterwards, ‘Did I do something to offend you? Do you think I’m a bad person? Did somebody tell you I was a racist? Why did you beat me up so bad?’ You know, I was like — she was — I finally told her, ‘Look, the reason I got in this business because it was –‘ and I’m not gonna use the ‘f’ word, but you know what I — so, I said, ‘Please, lighten up.’ I mean she would clothesline me in my mouth or my nose. I’m like, ‘Okay, here, here, please. Here, here,’ you know? She says, ‘What do you wanna do for a finish?’ I said, ‘Jesus Christ, I’ll just hold you down on top of me, I don’t care.’ I mean she was good in the ring but she was snug, very snug. TV tight, even on house shows, even on spot shows [Wippleman laughed].

She is [tough]. I mean, I thought she was mad at me. God forbid if she was, I don’t know, I might not be sitting here today. I might be dead because she was — oh, hey, I don’t claim to be bad. She would’ve beat the sh*t out of me if we got into a, you know, altercation.

In the NBC series ‘Young Rock’, Wippleman was portrayed in a scene when Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson purchased his first car from a homeless person. In the scene, it was later discovered that another homeless person was in the backseat sleep as Johnson was driving the car. Wippleman stated that he was supposed to play the role of the latter homeless character, but the writers changed it.

Of course y’all are familiar with the show Young Rock on NBC, when they were first filming it, he [Dwayne Johnson] says, ‘Hey Bruno, I want you to come down down to Atlanta where we’re doing some filming’ and he goes, ‘I want you to come down and be a part of this show.’ Now initially, now this would have been so funny because he said to me too, this would have been the ultimate inside joke. When they showed the thing with the crackhead popping up underneath the blankets, it was gonna be me, because you know, the people that know it’s me like you [JBL] and Gerald [Brisco], whoever, would laugh. The people that don’t know, you know what I mean? So it’s an inside [joke]. But the writers changed it because they made — believe it or not, they made the crackhead good friends with Rock or something. I don’t know who did it [changed the script]. It might’ve been him [Brian Gewirtz], I don’t know.  

Wippleman recounted how that actually unfolded and said he did not find out there was another person in the car until Johnson pulled over. He purchased the car for Johnson for $80 and agreed to give the man the other half of the $80 the following day.

So they showed that [scene about Harvey Wippleman buying a car from a homeless person and giving it to The Rock] on the Young Rock which is like a documentary basically. Great show, but they switched it up. The true story was me and him were in downtown Nashville, which now it’s all gentrified. You know, the corporate places, coyote’d up, whatever. Back then, it was nothing but honky tonks and beer joints, gin mills and homeless people, prostitutes, drug addicts, what we call the old Nashville cowboys; the ones that came to town to get a music contract because they’re playing a guitar on the street with, you know, a can in front of them. So it’s rough, it’s very rough. So this guy walked up to me and Dewey and said — Dwayne — I call him Dewey but so the people know, Dwayne — walked up and said, ‘Hey man, do y’all — ain’t you Downtown Bruno?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He thought I was rich because I’m on TV like, putting $10,000 bounties on against Jerry Lawler or whatever, you know? Really, I made like $60 bucks that night. You know, but still, they don’t know. ‘Want to buy this car? We got a car for sale man. You wanna buy this car?’ It was the worst looking car you’d ever see in your life. An old Thunderbird, looked like it had been rolled hard, put up wet, just awful and I said, ‘No man.’ Then Dewey, ‘Oh no Bruno, find out how much he wants for it. I always wanted a car. Would you buy me a car?’ I said, ‘Look at that car.’ ‘I’ll fix it up, I’ll clean it up.’ I said, ‘Man, how much you want for it?’ The guy said $80 bucks. I said, ‘$80 bucks?’ I said, ‘Damn, that’s all you want for it? Will it start?’ It started up. I reached in my pockets, I said, ‘I ain’t got nothing but $40.’ ‘I’ll take the $40 if you promise to come back tomorrow and give me the other $40’ and Dewey goes, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah. Get it, get it.’ ‘Oh boy, all right.’ I gave the guy the money. We’re staying in Alamo Plaza, the hotel in Nashville, it’s not there anymore, about five miles from where the transaction took place. So, ‘Sorry Dewey. You drive the car but it ain’t got no tags or nothing so I’m going to follow you behind in my car so the cops don’t get behind you’ and you know, we follow each other back to the — trail each other back to the hotel. So we’re driving, he pulls over to the side, I said, ‘Oh Jesus Christ. The damn car done gave out already, I can’t believe it. I just lost $40 bucks.’ I walked up to see what’s happening. What it was, there was another crackhead in the back seat under a whole bunch of garbage and newspapers and blankets sound asleep and he goes, ‘Hey, what’s going on? What’s happening?’ Dwayne goes, ‘Man, you gotta get out of this car. I just bought it from your friend.’ ‘Well I’m sorry. Let me gather up my stuff.’ So he got out, walked off and I drove Dwayne back. Bout that time, Rocky Johnson’s standing there, he goes, ‘What the hell you got here? He goes, ‘Look dad, I just bought me a car.’ That car ended up sitting there in that parking lot when they left. It was just — it wouldn’t even start again or whatever. That was his first car, you know? He drove it for a few days but, that was it. So, he never forgot that though. I gave him his first car, you know? And he paid me back, believe me.

One of the talents that Wippleman managed during his career was Giant Gonzalez. Gonzalez and The Undertaker had two pay-per-view matches in 1993. Wippleman stated that he felt bad for Undertaker because Gonzalez was not sharp in the ring.

I mean, there’s an old saying: You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken sh*t. There’s no formula for it and like I said, [Giant] Gonzalez was a great guy, I love him, loved him and I pray for him. But as far as — I’d be a lying son of a gun if I said, ‘He was a good worker’ because he wasn’t, he wasn’t. He couldn’t work any better than a guy that was a paraplegic, you know? Which he wasn’t far from. Poor guy. Yeah, I felt sorry for Undertaker [for what he produced with Giant Gonzalez], I really did because Jorge just couldn’t work, couldn’t work. He was all hat and no horse.

** Sports Guys Talking Wrestling sat down with AEW President Tony Khan at Super Bowl LVI Radio Row. Tony shared that on the lead-up to Rampage premiering on TNT, he consulted with Jim Ross and watched a great deal of Mid-South Wrestling to take notes on structuring a one-hour wrestling program.

Yeah, I do and I have [asked for Jim Ross’ thoughts on how to present a one-hour wrestling program]. I’m a huge fan of Mid-South Wrestling and actually, in the summer of 2021, before Rampage, I watched a ton of Mid-South Wrestling shows on the run-up to going back to doing a one-hour show because I didn’t have a lot of experience. The only one-hour wrestling show I’d done on TV before Rampage launched on TNT was we did a late night Dynamite, a special one-hour episode and it featured some great wrestlers including Scorpio Sky, Anna Jay and they had great matches and we had a great show and I have to say, Mid-South Wrestling is one of my favorite promotions ever and obviously, J.R., Jim Ross was a huge part of it. I have a ton of respect for him and I really, really like and value J.R. a lot as a person.

** Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture spoke to David Finlay and during their conversation, Finlay was asked if WWE is a destination he’d be interested in. He shared that the thought pops up in his head here and there, but he’s enjoying his position in wrestling currently and wants to continue working with New Japan.

From time to time, the thought pops into my head. Honestly, it’s never really been somewhere where I have been dying to go. If the opportunity presents itself, we’ll see, but I am happy where I am at. I am not on the road 24/7 and I actually have off time. There’s pros and cons with it, but right now I am happy and content. I love wrestling for New Japan. I love the schedule that I have and the freedom I have, so I currently have no desire to go anywhere else.

Finlay recalled still being in training and his father telling him not to go to WWE developmental right away and explained that it could hinder his progression as a wrestler.

My dad was like, ‘This is what you’re gonna do. Don’t go to the (WWE) PC right away. Don’t go to developmental. It’s a cookie cutter system. You’re gonna come out and there’s not gonna be much difference to you.’ So the plan was to go wrestle in England for a little bit, go wrestle in Japan for a little bit, and then go to the United States if I wanted to.

** When Lita made her return to Maryland Championship Wrestling, she sat down for an interview with the promotion’s correspondent Nicole. Lita feels that she did not appreciate the storyline involving herself, Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs and Snitsky while it was happening.

That’s one of those storylines [Lita & Kane’s baby being punted by Snitsky] I feel like I did not appreciate at the time because I was like, ‘Wait, what is my job? This is insane’ and then now, looking all these years later, I’m like, that’s wrestling. The more wack storyline you can think of, the more off-the-wall, the more bizarre, the more that I like to think of that if you’re explaining what’s happening to a non-wrestling fan, they’re gonna go, ‘You’re a crazy person right now.’ You’re like, ‘Nope, seriously, that’s what happened.’

** Law360 published a piece about the antitrust lawsuit that MLW filed against WWE.

** Pro Wrestling Illustrated released their interview with Josh Barnett. Barnett expressed that there are clear differences between his presentation of Bloodsport and Matt Riddle’s presentation of Bloodsport.

Well I mean, I know that there was Matt Riddle’s Bloodsport, but I consider that a different show, that’s something else and I think it’s pretty obvious to see that there’s a difference between my first show and the show that preceded it and we’re only similar in having the name ‘Bloodsport’ for the most part in the middle of the ring.

** While making the media rounds to promote ‘Peacemaker’, John Cena sat down with GQ for a conversation about the characters he’s portrayed in wrestling and film. Cena spoke highly of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and doesn’t think Johnson is aware of the impact he’s had when it concerns wrestlers transitioning into acting.

As far as Dwayne Johnson’s trajectory is concerned, he’s broke down so many stereotypes, shattered so many barriers. He allowed the outside public to be like, ‘Yeah, these WWE guys, they may be on to something.’ None of those opportunities happen without him. By doing what he’s done with class and professionalism has given opportunity to folks like me, where people are like, ‘Yeah, okay, I’ll take a chance on John.’ I don’t think Dwayne understands the impact he’s had on an entire industry of people. He gave me some great advice when I got the audition for ‘Trainwreck’. The audition process is scary for me like it is for most people and it is a business of failure. You know, you gotta be used to getting told you’re not the right fit and I really wanted this one and deadpan, Dwayne was just like, ‘Just be yourself man. They called you in for a reason. Just be who you are’ and I was.

Cena’s first movie role was ‘The Marine’ and he shared that he was not ready for it. Cena felt that he had a good work-life balance at the time and was focused on being in the ring. At the time, his mindset was that if he was going to be doing action, it should be in front of an abundance of people in an arena.

The Marine was a wonderful experience and it’s one I’ll never forget because you can’t have a journey without the first step and the first step is always the boldest. They say timing is everything and I was not ready for the opportunity I was given. You know, I always spoke about how I was courageous enough to step up when I was asked to embrace Hip-Hop culture on WWE programming. Well this was a decision made to open a studio and to try to diversify the abilities of WWE superstars.

Vince [McMahon] said, ‘Hey, I’m going to send you to Australia.’ I said, ‘Okay, what am I doing?’ He says, ‘Well you’re gonna be in a movie.’ ‘…Okay when?’ ‘I gotta send you in ten days’ but I pretty much left this — a small meeting in his office and packed my bags and went to be in the movies which I knew nothing about. So I’m a young man in his mid-20s, I love the life I’m leading. I’m riding a lightning bolt of live audience every night, I’m champion at the time. As a former athlete, I get to be physical all the time. I have what I believe is a good work-life balance and then I get thrown into cinematic creativity which is very patient. It is a very slow process and I just wasn’t ready for it.

My mind was elsewhere. At the age and the time in my life, I wanted to be in the ring and I looked around and I always figured, ‘If I’m gonna do action, why am I doing it here? Why don’t I do it in front of 15,000 people? Because it’s so much cooler to do it then and I only have to do it once and there is no wrong and it’s live.’ At the time, I didn’t realize what I was doing. I never realized I was becoming a more seasoned professional, I never realized the nuggets of wisdom I would take from my peers, I never realized what the value of that opportunity was and I chalked that one up to being young and ambitious, just not too wise.

** pushed out their interview with Gabriel Kidd. He was asked for his thoughts about Ren Narita’s match against Katsuyori Shibata at Wrestle Kingdom 16. Kidd explained the relationship between Narita and Shibata and why that made Narita the perfect opponent for the match.

Narita was the perfect opponent for Shibata. If you know what those two have done together then you know why that is.

There’s a lot people don’t see behind closed doors. We all train together in the LA Dojo, but after training, it’s always those two together, working on kickboxing, working on strikes. If there’s anyone in the LA Dojo that’s ‘Shibata’s Boy’, then it is Ren Narita.

And I think that was big for Shibata personally. Shibata was living over in America with all these boys speaking English. I know what it’s like to be the only one in a house speaking your language. That’s hard. So when Narita came in, they became very close very quickly, and with all they’ve done it should have been him. But it fired me up.

Kidd was candid when sharing his opinion that he does not think Kaito Kiyomiya should have been in the main event of the NJPW versus NOAH show along with Keiji Muto, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada.

That main event had Keiji Muto, one of the biggest legends to come out of NJPW, and the two faces of New Japan today in Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Kiyomiya being in there pissed me off.

I know some people see me as a Young Lion still. I understand that. But I’m 24 and I’ve been doing this for ten years. Anyone who thinks that Kaito Kiyomiya is better than me is wrong. Dead wrong. It’s as simple as that. He doesn’t know as much as me, can’t wrestle as well as me, and the fact he was in there being seen as a top guy pissed me off. I’ll leave it at that, but I’m happy to prove my point tomorrow if I’m asked to.

** STARDOM held a press conference on 2/16 and announced their ‘NEW BLOOD’ event for March 11th. The show is going to feature talents from other organizations.

** Santos Escobar was interviewed by Daily DDT prior to challenging for the NXT Championship at Vengeance Day. Santos reflected on his Cruiserweight Title Ladder match against Jordan Devlin from TakeOver: Stand & Deliver 2021. He said he and Devlin did not meet each other until that day.

It was last year right after Stand & Deliver. That was, in my eyes, the best match I had up until then. Shout-out to Jordan Devlin, amazing talent. Never met him before that day, but as they say, you’ll know someone when you fight them and I have nothing but the best opinion of him.

Right after that match was when I knew: ‘Okay, now I’m ready, not just for the top spot but for WrestleMania and Madison Square Garden. Whatever comes, I’m ready.’ Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight. I knew right then and there that I was ready for it, but it was up the ante and work even harder and give something and not ask.

** Jetset Magazine has a feature story about Charlotte Flair.

** This coming weekend, Jay White is going to be in action at IMPACT Wrestling’s No Surrender show. He talked to MuscleManMalcolm about his current run in IMPACT thus far and the upcoming match against Eric Young.

** Seth Rollins appeared on Sports Guys Talking Wrestling with Stew Myrick.

** Deltatre, a sports streaming technology company, hired former WWE and Sony executive Giancarlo Bernini as their commercial Vice President.

** Hindustan Times has an interview on their site with Austin Theory ahead of WWE Elimination Chamber.

** Kento Miyahara, All Japan’s Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion, sat down with Tokyo Sports for an interview.

** WWE sent Dallas Cowboys linebacker Micah Parsons a WWE Championship belt for his 2021 NFL Rookie of the Year honor.

** The first episode of Alicia Atout’s YouTube series with WARHORSE:

** The National’s Art & Culture section has an interview with Lita.

** Dominik Mysterio spoke to ‘Metro’.

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 8801 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.