POST NEWS UPDATE: LuFisto reflects on Indie Wrestling Hall of Fame, competing in wXw’s 16 Carat

LuFisto chats Indie HOF and 16 Carat, John Silver & Alex Reynolds note, KAIRI donating to Shinjiro Otani, Charlotte Flair talks Mania-Rousey

Photo Courtesy: C4 Wrestling

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.

** LuFisto was a guest on the Pro Wrestling Illustrated podcast and she reflected on her induction into the Indie Wrestling Hall of Fame. She expressed how proud she is to be the first female inductee of that Hall of Fame.

It was like, um, overwhelming in a good way because I didn’t really think I would end up there because when they announced it [Indie Wrestling Hall of Fame], I thought it was so cool that finally, independent wrestlers would be celebrated for their work. There is so much that has been done on the independent circuit and people don’t know about it. They think — they watch TV and they always go, ‘This is the first time ever.’ No! It’s not true. It happened on the independents and now with the Hall of Fame, we can talk about those stories, we can reminisce [about] them, we can celebrate the heroes that were there before, you know, everything else that happened on TV so, yeah, I was really proud and honored that I was the first-ever female inducted in that Hall of Fame.

This past March, the 20-year veteran became the first woman to participate in wXw’s 16 Carat Gold tournament. LuFisto made it to the semi-finals of the tourney before losing. She touched on that experience and ageism in wrestling, adding that women past their early 30s can be relied on and can deliver in marquee spots.

Yeah, I mean I went — I was in the final four [of wXw’s 16 Carat Gold tournament] and for me it was — what I’m really struggling with right now is people think that women past 30 can’t do anything. With the men, it’s always like, ‘Oh, they have experience, they can bring so much, they can elevate the new talent’ but for women, we’re just old. So for me, at 42 to go in there in that tournament, being the first woman chosen to be exactly in that prestigious tournament, it was like a big — I can’t say it but you know, ‘f you’. Age doesn’t matter if you have the passion and you still have the drive and you still can go in there and perform at a top level and they could have chosen any younger talent but they chose me and I went in there, like I said, I ended up in the final four and I was in there with, you know… in that tournament, it was big names like Jonathan Gresham who’s one of my favorite wrestlers who I think [is] one of the best right now if not the best wrestler in the industry right now and yeah, it was just [more] proof that you should not look at women’s wrestling like the age factor, no. Can this woman go out there and deliver? And you know, when she comes out, do people stand up? And are they [giving her a] standing ovation? You getting cheered the whole match, that’s what matters and I really hope things are gonna change in wrestling when it comes to women and age because it’s still out there. I always feel like people think, not only for myself and women past, even I would say 35, not 30s but, ‘Oh, they can’t do much. They can put the young talent over. We can’t put our time on them’ which is so wrong. You can do so much with somebody who has experience, who has the knowledge who can carry anybody of any level of experience. So for me, it was — that’s how I saw it. See, I’m 42 and I’m still the first at doing stuff.

** While doing a virtual signing for K & S WrestleFest, Dark Order’s John Silver and Alex Reynolds were asked if they’d be interested in working for WWE. Both talents said ‘no’ and Reynolds added that any feeling of wanting to work there was gone when they did their first AEW show.

Silver: I don’t want to [work for WWE]. I wanna wrestle for AEW.

Reynolds: We’re very, very, very happy at AEW and… yeah, I haven’t even thought about… that dream kind of subsided when we did our first AEW show and we realized how awesome the place is. So yeah, we’re good sticking where we are.

** KAIRI is donating a portion of her merchandise sales to Shinjiro Otani, who is scheduled to undergo surgery on 4/13 for a cervical spinal cord injury.

** Going into WrestleMania 38, SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair went live on Instagram with WWE Deutschland to chat about her match with Ronda Rousey. Flair said it was the most pressure she’s ever felt going into a match and she felt that same type of pressure before facing Asuka at WrestleMania 34.

Definitely Asuka, WrestleMania 34, I think was the most pressure I’ve ever felt and then second would have to be Saturday with Ronda [Rousey]. It’s crazy because I didn’t necessarily — I felt like when I faced her at Survivor Series, I had nothing to lose. But now because I’ve had a taste of what we are capable of so going into Mania, I feel so much pressure. Yeah, I feel like Saturday is just as much pressure as when I faced Asuka, if not more.

Two names that Flair would be interested in forming a group with are Shotzi and Rhea Ripley. She added that she sees a lot of fire in Shotzi.

I think for ladies, I would take Shotzi under my wing. I see a lot of fire there, and who else? Shotzi and Rhea Ripley would be my two picks. Even though I love facing Rhea, I don’t wanna face her, I want her to be with me.

Looking at NXT’s women’s division, Flair thinks Dakota Kai has the biggest potential and said she can envision Kai and herself competing for a singles title in WWE.

I guess I’m pulling for Dakota Kai [as someone I could see competing against for a singles title]. I think she’ll surprise us.

If Charlotte is to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, she would select Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque as the person to induct her because of their professional relationship and his understanding of her.

Actually, that’s where my mind went [Triple H being the person to induct her into the WWE Hall of Fame] because he’s… I mean, yeah, he’s known me my whole life. Not my whole — I mean, since I was really young. So yeah, I think Triple H, and he understands how I think.

** At AEW Battle of the Belts II, Nyla Rose is challenging Thunder Rosa for the AEW Women’s World Title. To promote the upcoming match, Rose appeared on the Battleground Podcast. After Nyla’s in-ring career is over, she would like to remain with AEW and either become an on-screen manager or a producer.

For sure, for sure [I’ve thought about what I want to do after my in-ring career is over]. I’ve got the sickness. I’ve got the wrestling sickness… I don’t wanna go anywhere honestly. I would love to be a part of this industry until my last breath, as morbid as that is, sorry guys. But, after I can no longer be in the ring, I would love to kind of be someone else’s Vickie [Guerrero]. I would love to be, you know, take on that role and just kind of still be involved and then maybe dual duties? Work backstage as a producer or you know, just some kind of way, constantly be in touch with this industry, be in touch with AEW. I would just love to work here for the rest of my life.

Rose is the second-ever AEW Women’s World Champion. She held the belt from February 2020 until Double or Nothing that same year. Nyla feels that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her title reign was not as dominant as it could’ve been.

I was one of the first few women’s champions in AEW. My title reign wasn’t as dominant as it probably could have been due to circumstances in the world, right? Pandemic, world shut down, we had to pivot, do some things, shift, juggle and we found our place, the pandemic era of wrestling. Hikaru Shida, fantastic champion, wonderful opponent. I love getting in the ring with her, I feel she elevates me and brings out a different side of me…

Cody and Brandi Rhodes’ exit from AEW and Cody’s return to WWE became a topic of discussion. When Nyla was asked if she thinks they’ll ever return to AEW, she said she can’t speculate on that but she misses them both and wants them to be happy.

If pro wrestling — I’m not even gonna say ‘AEW.’ If pro wrestling has been any indication, I can’t speculate, anything’s possible [Nyla said when asked if she thinks Cody & Brandi Rhodes will ever return to AEW]. We’ve seen things this past year that have just come out of complete left field. Selfishly, I would love to see that, you know? I miss my friends, I miss seeing people that I like backstage. Cody and Brandi have been absolutely wonderful to me and you know, I would love to see them more. But, if they’re happy, I’m happy. Like I always say, if you like it, I love it so, that’s what’s important to me; their happiness, that Liberty’s doing good [Cody & Brandi’s daughter] and it looks like she is so hey, thumbs up to them.

** Gail Kim joined JBL and Gerald Brisco on their ‘Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw’ show. Michael Hayes’ name was brought up and Gail spoke about how she appreciates Michael for informing her about her standing in WWE before she was let go from the company during her first run.

I like Michael [Hayes] because I remember before I got fired, he — because with the WWE office, when you ask them questions directly as talent, they don’t really give you direct answers. They don’t give answers. So I remember him almost trying to warn me. I remember this conversation pretty clearly and he was trying to almost warn me, like maybe not that I was getting fired per se but I was probably in that gray area and I always appreciated that.

She gave props to Fit Finlay for bringing aggressiveness out of her in the early 2000s. Gail said that Fit encouraging her to be more aggressive resulted in her giving Trish Stratus a black eye from a slap and she recounted that story.

Fit [Finlay] brought out the aggression [out of me]. Most of all, that’s the one thing I remember. I’d come back from a match, he’s like, ‘You need to be more aggressive Gail.’ I’m like, ‘Okay’ and I go and be more aggressive and then he’d like, ‘No! More aggressive’ and I’m like, ‘Okay’ and I swear to God, this must have happened like five times in a row to the point of, okay, I’m beating this girl’s ass and that’s when he’s happy and I remember there’s this one… I know he enjoyed that [physicality] and I remember, it was so funny and which it’s not really funny but it’s funny. I had a four-way with — it was me, Victoria [Lisa Marie Varon], Lita and Trish [Stratus] and I remember during — we were putting the match together and Trish said, ‘Slap me’ and I said, ‘Um, I’m not really comfortable slapping because I kind of ruptured Stevie Richards’ eardrum when I first got here’ and then so she’s just like, ‘No, no, no, just slap me.’ I go, ‘Can I slap you on the neck?’ So we have the sound and whatever. She goes, ‘No, slap me in the face.’ I’m like, ‘Ugh, okay’ and I slapped the sh*t out of her and I remember — and I don’t even know I’m doing — I couldn’t control it, that’s mainly what it was and I remember watching it back and [Mike] Chioda was the ref and in the back and when it happened, he goes like that [jumps back], right? And so, I didn’t think about it, I didn’t even notice to be honest that I did it in the match which was terrible on me and the next day, Trish shows up to Raw with a black eye and she walks into catering and we’d have the monitors where we could watch the matches back and she walks up to the table and I go, ‘Oh my God, what happened to you?’ And she’s like, ‘Um, you did it,’ so I was like, ‘Oh my God, oh my God, I did?’ And we watched back the match and I saw it and I was like okay, I’m an asshole and then, um, but Fit was laughing about it the next day because he loved it so much and that’s just… yeah, he’s like, ‘Here. Here’s your 20 bucks Gail,’ you know? Whatever [Gail laughed].

** The April 13th episode of AEW Dynamite will see Minoru Suzuki defending the ROH World Television Title against Samoa Joe. Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated interviewed Suzuki and he had the following to say about the upcoming match:

Many fans think this matchup is very special, but for me, I have to stay true to myself. I am here to hurt people. The opponent truly does not matter. This week, I will make Samoa Joe suffer.

People are brave until they step into the ring with me. Hopefully Samoa Joe is not scared. I don’t know him well, but he will know me by the time we are done.

Suzuki’s history with New Japan Pro-Wrestling dates back to the late 1980s. At the age of 53, he is still seeking out an IWGP World Heavyweight Title reign.

I am wrestling for New Japan Pro-Wrestling. And that is what I want—I am aiming for the IWGP title.

** A photo made the rounds on social media of friends of Corey Graves and Carmella at the couple’s wedding. There was a group photo that included Jon Moxley and he was sporting Cincinnati Bengals attire, jeans, a fanny pack and combat boots. Renee Paquette took to her ‘Throwing Down’ show on SiriusXM and shared that Moxley flew into Florida on the day of the wedding. He arrived to the venue as Carmella was walking down the aisle and that photo was taken immediately after the ceremony.

Since then [Corey Graves & Carmella’s wedding], it turns out that Jon [Moxley’s] been trending on social media due to a group photo. If you’ve not seen it, it’s on the internet. You can find it somewhere but it’s everybody fully dressed up in like beautiful wedding gowns, all of these things and then Jon, dead center in his wrestling boots, jeans, fanny pack and a Cincinnati Bengals t-shirt and leather jacket, in classic Jon fashion I will say… the fanny pack, oh my God. It was such a great group of people. It was so much fun.

Okay, so what happened was I flew into the wedding the day of. I got there Thursday morning and he was flying in from Boston and he had to fly to Miami because there was no other flights to get into where their wedding was and then he had to take an Uber from the Miami airport to where the wedding was after flights already being delayed. He was already crunching time. I showed up to the wedding with his suit, with his shoes, I had the whole thing. I had to find one of the bartenders, I’m like, ‘Can I hang this somewhere until my husband gets here?’ And then he’s texting me and he’s like, ‘I’m gonna be there in five minutes.’ I was like, ‘Cool dude. Well guess what? The wedding is starting. They’re walking down the aisle, it’s happening.’ As Carmella is walking down the aisle, he’s at the entrance with his luggage, dressed as so and as everybody stood to watch the bride walk down the aisle, he was able to sneak in beside me to watch the wedding so that picture was right after the wedding actually happened and yeah, he was wearing that. He did change after I will say. He didn’t change into what we fully bought though, so he just put on black button-down shirt.

** WWE seamstress and gear maker Sarath Ton (Mikaze) joined the The Ringer’s ‘Cheap Heat’ podcast and shared that he made Chris Pontius’ tear away pants and underclothing for his cameo appearance during the Sami Zayn versus Johnny Knoxville match at WrestleMania 38.

But I’m doing that [making Sasha Banks’ WrestleMania 38 gear], then all of a sudden I get pulled aside, they say, ‘Hey, we need a thong for Pontius.’ So okay, I gotta stop that… yes, we made the Pontius thong. They’re like, ‘Okay, we also need a pair of tear away pants for Pontius’ so they brought us some sweatpants and we had one of the other ladies put together a pair of tear away Adidas pants for Pontius so we’re trying to do the gear stuff but then that’s the stuff that’s needed for the show and that’s priority, so we have to jump on that and then I gotta come back and scramble and finish everything else that’s going on.

** Renee Paquette welcomed Jay White onto ‘The Sessions’ podcast and he gave an in-character answer when asked if he felt pressure to keep Bullet Club in the marquee after The Elite left. He brought up that Tama Tonga got wrapped up in trying to do that so that’s why he and Tanga Loa were kicked out of the group.

I never felt the need for it [the pressure to keep Bullet Club relevant after The Elite left]. It doesn’t feel like it’s weight on my shoulders or nothing. I think with the Bullet Club, I kind of, I don’t put too much weight on my shoulders. I think that’s what Tama Tonga did and he kind of drove himself crazy with that so we kind of had to cut him out of there. So he seemed to have so much pressure on himself trying to carry Bullet Club where as my way of kind of doing things with it is that I’m gonna kind of put myself out there as well with Bullet Club attached to me, as opposed to trying to focus on Bullet Club and that may sound selfish and all in some ways but, it works out. If each guy kind of focuses on themselves while also worrying about the team as opposed to making Bullet Club number one over themselves, his career is gonna fall which means Bullet Club’s gonna fall and myself and other guys. That’s what we keep going for so I don’t really feel the pressure of it, but I think there is [a] cool opportunity for me to go back and maybe mend some of the relationships and connections with guys that have been there. That’s kind of what I was doing at AEW, which I think I mentioned at the time, I have no issue with The Young Bucks. I know guys like Tama and [Tanga Loa] may have had issues with The Young Bucks. I don’t have issues with them. I don’t even have issues with Kenny [Omega]. I know some people think we do but I know Tama had issues with him so that’s why Tama, T, they’re cut because those guys are making things difficult so now, we can actually move forward and onto bigger and better things.

** Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp conducted an interview with the group formerly known as ‘Imperium’ before Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser (Marcel Barthel) were called up to WWE’s main roster. Kaiser explained why he believes he and Fabian Aichner benefited from the NXT to NXT 2.0 transition:

Absolutely. You hit the nail on the head. I can just say that. It’s been a crazy transition for all of us because when we first started is very different to now. I’m not even rating that, better or worse, but I just said before, Fabian and I have been here for three / four years before the 2.0 transition. I think we were one of the few winners of that transition. Because it actually showed how much work we put in. So many other guys coming in all of a sudden, the difference between them and us is very clear. I think we’re absolute winners of that transition. Keep going.

** At Ring of Honor Final Battle 2021, Shane Taylor, Kenny King, Kaun, Moses, Ron Hunt, O’Shay Edwards, World Famous CB, Eli Isom and Caprice Coleman stood in the ring together and held their fists in the air. Moses told The Shining Wizards Wrestling Podcast that he did not think that moment would make the rounds on social media like it did. In the moment, he said he was just doing the pose that Shane Taylor Promotions would always do.

I didn’t think it would blow up on social media the way it did [moment at ROH Final Battle 2021 when Black talents stood together in the ring with their fists in the air], just because that’s been S.T.P [Shane Taylor Promotions’] pose ever since S.T.P — since Kaun and I joined S.T.P, that was kind of our pose. We were doing what we always did. It was just there are other African-American talent on the roster is here with us. But, afterwards, I was like, ‘Man, this is cool. This is significant.’ I was a part of history, I loved that but in the moment, I didn’t think anything of it. I just went out there and did what everybody else was doing.

** May 5th is the date set for WWE’s first quarter earnings call.

** On April 15th, multiple Joshi promotions are coming together to present a joint show in celebration of Korakuen Hall’s 60th anniversary. Starlight Kid, who’ll be representing STARDOM, promoted the show while doing media in Japan.

** The AAA Tag Title match between champions FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) and challengers Dragon Lee and Dralistico is up on AAA’s YouTube channel.

** Gunn Club (Austin & Colten Gunn) were the focus of a virtual signing for Captain’s Corner.

** Former AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion Suwama is 1-2 in this year’s Champion Carnival tournament. After his win on 4/11, he told the press that if he wins this year’s tournament, he’ll be going by his real name which is Kohei Suwama. He stated that he wants to keep his matches ‘clean’ going forward.

** April 12th birthdays: Marq Quen, Nick Comoroto.

** MLW pushed out the following highlight reel of EJ Nduka:

** JONAH appeared on comedian Jim Jeffries’ podcast to discuss the pro wrestling business.

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.