POST NEWS UPDATE: Ryan Katz reflects on working with Triple H, NXT creative, Vaudevillians entrance

Chat with former NXT Creative Producer Ryan Katz, Raj Singh/IMPACT, Good Brothers on their 2020 IMPACT offers, Tanahashi talks Mox, JR notes

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.

** Former WWE NXT Creative Producer Ryan Katz was one of the more recent guests on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast. Katz spent close to a decade with WWE before being released in January 2022. He discussed working for Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and said Levesque was a tough boss and requested excellence. Katz said their relationship was professional and he always pushed for his staff to be better.

I mean he’s [Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque] a tough boss. He demands excellence and demands you to bring the best out of yourself. Generally, every person that’s working there has set a high bar for themselves. Generally, the people hired are at the top of their craft and when already setting that bar so high, it’s up to you to raise the bar and exceed past your potential and he tries to bring that out of all those people.

I would say [Triple H and I’s relationship was] professional. I mean, that’s the — I was given responsibilities, we didn’t necessarily have a friendship but I was asked to do stuff and I tried to do the job [to the best of my ability]. Most of the time, I think he was pretty pleased with my work and the few times that he wasn’t, you know you were just — he was disappointed and it kind of, you know — as I was saying before, sometimes you get criticism and it’s not something you want to hear or feel but it helps you improve what you’re doing. It helps you look at yourself from a different perspective, look at your work from a different perspective that hey, maybe you thought it was great but if I take another look, I guess I could see it could be better. So, just always, always pushing you to be excellent.

Katz currently co-hosts a podcast with Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James. He was asked if he and James saw eye-to-eye while working in NXT together when it came to creative. Katz said there were times when that was the case and times when that was not the case but that’s what allows for good creative to happen.

So, it’s a team atmosphere and there [NXT], there’s definitely a team atmosphere so, I think the biggest — and I can’t get into too many details on some of the specifics of that creative process but, I think we all bring something to the table so, generally the thing would go is we know we have an agenda or we’re given some bullet points of what we need to do for a person or character and/or whether it comes to dialogue and promo and stuff like that. So, I think generally, ideas get presented and we all kind of do our own thing and then come back in the group atmosphere and kind of brainstorm and workshop to see what’s going to work. So I think we [Katz & Road Dogg] definitely saw eye-to-eye on a lot of things and there’s definitely times that there’s conflicts and differences of opinion and I think that’s what actually allows for really good creative to happen is you don’t want everything to be yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. You do need some pushback and as frustrating as it could be to get pushback on your ideas, on your stories, on your writing, on your editing, whatever it may be, that pushback usually leads to making your own edits, revisions, corrections and improvements and in the end, even if you get frustrated and upset that it’s not something you wanna do or you thought it was perfect as it is, it becomes a point where you end up improving your skill set when other people get their eyes on it and make you take a more discerning, critical view to your work.

He would later discuss how he got started with WWE. Ryan was first tried out as a referee and interviewer but his initial contract was to be a talent for the company and once his first contract was rescinded, he was brought back several months later. Along the way of recounting his journey, he shared that he helped Luchasaurus get signed by WWE and Ryan almost scored a job to work for WCW in their internet department.

I get a breakthrough with the guy who is doing Talent Development at the time, Ty Bailey and I was able to meet with him at SummerSlam in Los Angeles, 2012 and he gave me the opportunity to kind of get in there and they tried me out as a referee, I did some interviews, I cut some promos and things were cool and they brought me to another show in Vegas and I actually helped Luchasaurus get signed at the time before he was Luchasaurus and a woman named Buggy Nova who I helped in those opportunities and all of a sudden, I get a phone call and I thought my dream came true because I got a call from Johnny Ace and I was offered a contract as talent and I was on top of the world and about a month later… well let me go back. Two days after getting the FedEx contract in the mail, getting my contracts FedEx’d, I look on the internet and I see that Ty Bailey gets fired and I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s not good. That’s the guy that was hiring me’ and this has happened twice in my life actually where I had big opportunities and someone gets fired and I lost opportunities. One, out of college, I almost scored a job with WCW to work on their internet department in the emergence of the hotline back in the late 90s and the website as it was growing. My contact ended up getting transferred from WCW to Cartoon Network, another Turner entity and when that happened, my file went away and my job opportunity went away.

In WWE, Simon Gotch and Matt Rehwoldt were collectively known as ‘The Vaudevillians’. Katz was a part of their signature entrance as he would introduce them via a taped vignette that aired at the start of their entrance video. Katz said they filmed an alternative heel version but it never came to light because of Gotch’s exit from the company in 2017.

So, William Regal actually pitched me for that role [being a part of The Vaudevillians’ entrance]. I remember they were doing the characters so The Vaudevillians were an act and I remember it was Regal who pitched me being a barker for them in their intro so we filmed the intro and it was pretty cool and it lasted and I remember it was a lot of fun to do. I also remember being at a Brooklyn TakeOver and I was actually in the crowd with a camera getting crowd reactions and shots and Vaudevillians came out one of — this fan was doing my whole intro like word for word and I’m standing in front of him with my camera shooting him do it and he has no clue that it’s me and I just thought that was funny as can be.

I always hoped it would become something more but knew it wouldn’t and then once we — we filmed an alternative before The Vaudevillians were released, of a heel version of it where I changed and I put on a dummy mask and I pop out of a box like I was a Jack in the Box doing it and it was a lot of fun but, never seen but good times.

A question came up about if Ryan missed performing while working behind the scenes for WWE. He said he’s always been a performer at heart and did stash away some of his personal interests to focus on his job. Now that he has a looser schedule, he’s getting back into creating music and hopes to release an album this summer.

So, I love performing. I’ve been performing my whole life so it was actually strange for me to always then be in the behind the scenes role [in WWE]. Super enjoyable. I mean I love doing it and there is so much — it’s so rewarding to be able to help someone else live and fulfill their dreams. I mean that’s something that — it’s an experience that you just — you get to feel their emotions, you get to live vicariously through them a little bit too and then just to have the pride of, seeing I don’t have kids, but it’s like having your ‘kids’ do well. So, I had always been a performer so there was a piece of me that always felt a little bit unfulfilled creatively. I got to put creative energy into other people but in the WWE world there, it wasn’t my job to get attention. It was [a] job to get other people attention so I feel I kind pushed down my own kind of personal creative interests. I stopped making music as much as I used to and kind of just, you know, I was all in on my job. I worked a lot. It was something I was committed to and given 100 percent to be the best I could be. So, I like to perform so from the day I got that release man, I started writing music again and I’ve been putting down — I got like, I don’t know, in the last few months, probably done about 12 to 14 songs and I’m looking forward to this summer. Hopefully dropping an album that should be available on Apple Music, Spotify, all those sources. We’ll get to it and you’ll hear about it on the podcast as we start to dropping the singles coming clean in the next couple months but, I just like to entertain people. I’m an energetic person and I like to feed off other people’s energy so, so whether it’s in front of a live crowd which is where I really feel I strive, I got the juice. I like to perform.

** This past September, Raj Singh returned to IMPACT Wrestling. He was a guest on Ringside Mayhem and told the platform that it looks like he’ll be with IMPACT for a while.

I’m a second-gen wrestler and I’ve been doing this my whole life and I mean, for those watching, I’m on IMPACT Wrestling currently and looks like I’m gonna be here for a while…

He dove into the presentation of the Desi Hit Squad group (Rohit Raju, Raj Singh, Mahabali Shera, Bhupinder Singh & Gama Singh) that once existed in IMPACT. Raj thinks IMPACT did right by the group and he is not looking to pass any blame around for the group’s trajectory. He feels that if he would have been more prepared, things would have turned out better. If Raj could change anything from that run, he wishes the Indian stereotype was less leaned into.

Yeah, so the thing for me is hindsight’s always 20/20, right? And it’s always easy to say, ‘We could’ve done this. We should’ve done this.’ Myself personally, there are so many things I could have done better and I hold myself accountable for that. There’s no, ‘The company could’ve done this, the company could have done that.’ If I came a little bit more prepared, they would have just skyrocketed with us [Desi Hit Squad]. So I can take the onus for that and I can own up to that. Booking-wise, they did a great job, they kept us strong and then we started — I mean we were losing matches left, right and center but we went out there and it was not my best… yeah, you’re telling me brother. My finishing move for the longest time was staring at the lights, you know? [Raj laughed]

I mean we were working with such good talent. We worked The Rascalz and The Deaners, they put us with The Deaners and then like, even the enhancement talent we were working with, it was so fun and I just thought like, ‘Yo man, I really like this, where we’re at’ and we had TJP in there with Fallah Bahh as well near the end before I got hurt and like, they were trying and just as it looked like it was about to turn around is when I got injured so I can’t really say the office was gonna or should’ve done anything differently because it looked like the trajectory was turning for the better and then it just happened that a little bit of bad luck with myself getting hurt and then [Mahabali] Shera got hurt right after too so it was kind of like, you know, and then you saw what Rohit [Raju] did by himself so it ended up being good for him but ultimately, I guess to answer your question, what more could they have done? I’m only gonna put that on myself and say I could always be that much better, look much better, diet proper and all that stuff so that’s all on me but company-wise, they did do their part… I mean maybe if anything, step a little bit away from the stereotypical aspect of characters because you know, I’m Indo-Canadian. I’m from Punjabi, I’m proud Punjabi. I can go to India and have my conversation. You would never know that I’m not from there, but, at the same time, I’m proud of also being, like you said, a ‘Stampede guy’ so I can be Indo-Canadian, represent my people but at the same time, I can be an Indian dude on TV with swag and dress nice as opposed to wearing a traditional garb looking like I’m about to get married every weekend. So I’m trying to — maybe we’re trying to get away from that but I think we’re on that road now. 

Singh is cousins with former WWE Champion Jinder Mahal. He said they gave a good relationship and remain in contact with one another on a consistent basis.

We [Raj & Jinder Mahal] talk all the time and we stay in communication as much as we can. He’s super busy with his acting and his… obviously being on TV every week. But, we catch up every so often or it’s a quick, ‘Yo, what’s up brother? How you doing?’ ‘Hey man, I’m busy right now. Call you tomorrow.’ We don’t miss the calls, we don’t miss the birthdays, we don’t miss anything like that and it’s whenever we’re in the same state or city, it’s like, ‘Hey man, I’m gonna be in Florida’ at such and such time. He’ll make time to go out of his way to come see me and vice versa, you know? So it’s cool. We’re still really close.

As the conversation rolled on, Raj shared that he has owned a men’s hockey league in Canada for over a decade called ‘Royal Hockey League’. He also played Ball hockey in the World Cup for Team India.

And what a lot of people don’t know about me and it might be, not ‘common knowledge’ but some people might know, I own a hockey league. So I’m actually the commissioner of a hockey — a men’s hockey league in Calgary. So, you know, a lot of my time is there.

I’ve been doing that for 15 years. So, like, I think a lot of people don’t know. Like I said, hockey was my first love — well, second love after wrestling and then it went back but I played in the World Cup, Ball hockey for Team India. So I did that and then I used to organize playing street hockey with all the kids in our community but then we would run it like this school versus that school, this community versus that community and we’d sort of make it like little tournaments on the weekends and I’m just like, ‘Yo dude, I wanna start making money.’ I was like 12 years old. I’m like, ‘I’m gonna start making money out of this’ and soon as I was old enough, got the arena, locked down the contract, the sponsors and I’ve been running it ever since so, it’s been 15 years and it’s called the Royal Hockey League, and it’s basically like WWE. We’re pushing storylines, little stuff like that and then we just have the guys go play hockey and have their fun.

** AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa guest appeared on The Ringer’s MackMania show. Rosa is the founder of Mission Pro Wrestling and while speaking highly about some of the regulars for the promotion, she shared that Holidead is now the booker for Mission Pro.

So, one of the main people that we [Mission Pro Wrestling] — and I use her. When I first saw her matches, I didn’t really see what the person was telling me about her. It was Jennacide, right? But I saw some matches from like, when she first started and I was like… ‘I don’t know.’ But then I started seeing how she developed herself and how comfortable she started getting and now, she’s doing NWA and because we were able to open doors for her and now it’s just like that’s another person. KiLynn King is another one. She’s been growing and growing and growing and I remember when I saw her in AEW, I was like, ‘I want you to come and work with us and really develop what you have. I think you are up to something’ and she’s been getting a lot of championships all over right now and she’s just getting more comfortable with herself and we have had a lot of personal conversations because she traveled with me last year. We were like in a — like literally, we were on tour for a whole month so she was staying in my room. You know, we would just like traveling together. Another one that I felt people kind of slept on her for a long time is La Rosa Negra. She was our first champion. She’s so much fun, she’s entertaining and she has so much to show to the world. She’s very talented, very athletic. Some of the stuff she does, I’m like, ‘How do you do that?’ And she’s just like — age is just a number for her because she does some stuff and I’m like, ‘Yo, you are like 40 years old and still flying’ and it’s crazy, right? Holidead is another one. You know, she’s my sister and she’s been stepping on another role too. She’s the booker now for Mission Pro. So, she’s bringing a lot of talent that I’m not aware [of] because she’s still working a lot more in the independent scene…

One match that Rosa is hoping to have is a singles match against Sarah Stock, who is making her return to in-ring competition at the end of April. Rosa said Stock inspired her to become a pro wrestler.

She is in Mexico currently [Thunder Rosa’s dream opponent] and she’s an inspiration for me to start becoming a professional wrestler; Sarita or Sarah Stock, Dark Angel. She was a trainer…

She is just one of the most talented female wrestlers I’ve ever seen. Her style is just remarkable. She worked in Mexico for so long, she worked in America. I mean she reminded me a lot of me and she went and made a career in Mexico where she learned Spanish, she learned the trade over there and she was a superstar in CMLL and it’s like me, I moved from Mexico to America. I learned the American, the lucha, all the stuff and I became a star in the United States and I learned the language too so it’s just like there’s so many similarities and I have a lot of respect for her because she’s continued to follow her dreams and now she’s wrestling out there in Mexico and I think she’s training people out there so it’s pretty cool. So, I would love to wrestle her.

** The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) have been making the media rounds to promote IMPACT Wrestling’s Rebellion pay-per-view and they sat down with Sam Roberts for a conversation about their careers. Gallows and Anderson joined IMPACT in 2020 and said they were very surprised with the offer IMPACT presented them from a financial standpoint.

Anderson: He [Scott D’Amore] called us when our [WWE] contracts were up and he was like, you know, ‘Hey guys. I really want you guys to come here and I got this for you.’ He offered what he offered and like, our minds were blown and I was like, legitimately, we were in some parking lot of a Planet Fitness somewhere on the road.

Gallows: I’ll never forget it because we’ve got to at least see what he’s got.

Anderson: We had it on speaker phone and the offer he had, we both looked at each other and dropped our jaw and we go, f*ck, people need to know you can make a great living there and it’s a cool place to be and we’re on the phone with a lot of people trying to get them to come because we’re having fun.

They recounted the story of when Anderson helped bring Gallows into NJPW. Gallows had dates lined up with Pro Wrestling NOAH at the time as well. Gallows then shared NOAH’s reaction to him informing the company that he had to pull out of their dates to be with New Japan.

Anderson: I showed [Tiger] Hattori his [Doc Gallows’] stuff, so he watched it, comes back the next day and he goes, ‘Hey man, this guy’s big guy, good worker.’ Hattori’s the guy who’s booked the foreigners for years and I go, ‘Yeah, he’s pretty good.’ He goes, ‘Yeah. Gedo thinking maybe you and him, maybe good tag team’ and I go —

Gallows: Oh f*ck!

Anderson: That wasn’t part of the deal.

Gallows: ‘This guy sucks. He’s an asshole.’

Anderson: I’m in the middle of this massive singles push. What the f*ck are you talking about?

Gallows: ‘I don’t need this motherf*cker.’

Anderson: Then he calls me up before his first tour. He goes, ‘Hey man –’ so he’s coming for New Japan, right? He goes, ‘Hey, I’m gonna do New Japan in December and then NOAH wants me to come in January.’ I go, ‘What the f*ck are you talking about?’ He goes, ‘Well can’t I just do both?’ I go, ‘No bud.’

Gallows: I didn’t understand I was trying to go to WWF and WCW. I didn’t understand how it worked. He was like, ‘You absolutely f*cking cannot. Don’t do the other one.’

Anderson: I said cancel the NOAH one immediately… because NOAH had just fallen off.

Gallows: I’ve called the — at the time, God rest his soul, he’s deceased now but there was a NOAH guy who was like the liaison guy for the gaijin and I called him up and TNA told me I could not — I could work for NOAH because I had already done a tour or two and then they kind of blocked it so I was like, okay, I’m gonna go to NOAH right away. So they book me for NOAH, I get booked for New Japan. I’m like, New Japan, that’s what I’ve been looking for. Here we go so he tells me this and I call the brother up and I said, ‘Sir, you know, I have a little problem. I’m doing a tour for New Japan and I can’t come to NOAH’ and I’m like, these Japanese people are the most polite people I’ve ever spoken to. They’re gonna take it well. He goes, ‘Fuck you! Bad business!!’ I’m just like holding the phone over here just — I mean, he’s just raging on me, what a piece of sh*t I am. ‘Boy, I really hope New Japan works out.’

** Coming off of scoring a win over Jungle Boy to qualify for the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament, Kyle O’Reilly appeared on Busted Open Radio. He said he has enjoyed working with Jungle Boy and hopes they can have a longer singles match in the future.

Yeah, it was a pleasure [wrestling Jungle Boy in the Owen Hart Foundation Tournament]. I think we’re like-minded individuals in how we want to represent ourselves and represent pro wrestling and we’ve had a few tags or multi-tags and straight tags as well. I guess maybe two, two total but still, you can tell when you work with someone if you got chemistry or not and I felt right off the bat. I got chemistry with Jungle Boy and I think maybe the powers that be saw that as well and decided, let’s make this a singles match and see what these guys can do working together and of course in the future I would love to have a longer match as well.

O’Reilly is a former ROH World Champion. He shared his thoughts about AEW President Tony Khan acquiring Ring of Honor and Khan taking ownership of the ROH tape library.

It’s very exciting [Tony Khan acquiring Ring of Honor] and I was happy, especially because of the recent news surrounding Ring of Honor that we weren’t sure what was happening; are they closing shop? Are they gonna start running less? And then Tony buys it and I realize, okay, this company’s in good hands and the train’s gonna keep going. What I’ve heard a lot amongst the boys is that, you know, the tape library now is under Tony’s control and what a great get that is and the legacy of all these guys; your Bryans, your Joes, your Punks, their footage of when they were cutting their teeth is all gonna be in good hands and with this company so now video packages or whatever they wanna use it for just become so much more epic. You know, me and [Adam] Cole, they can show that bloody lip thing without any issues down the line so it’s really cool and I’m excited to see what’s gonna happen with it. It’s awesome.

** WrestleMania 23 was the focus of a recent episode of Jim Ross’ ‘Grilling J.R.’ podcast. 2007 was the year that WrestleMania took place and it was in 2007 that Ross was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He watched the announcement back and said it was an emotional moment. Ross said he tried to sit down several times, but the fans kept cheering so Vince McMahon told Jerry Lawler through his headset to not let J.R. sit down.

Pretty emotional. Pretty damn emotional [Ross said while watching back his 2007 WWE Hall of Fame induction announcement]. I got tears in my eyes right now. Yeah, trying [Ross responded by when Conrad Thompson said he’s still going strong]. I’m trying, I love it. I love what I’m doing. I think that’s the thing that keeps me in it is I still love my job and I still love the fans and I still love the wrestling but man, during that — after [Jerry] Lawler made that announcement and the fans started reacting, I tried to sit down about two or three times. Well yeah [they kept going] and Vince [McMahon] is telling Lawler in his headset, ‘Don’t let him sit down. This is too good.’ So it was a sustained ovation which was so emotional and so moving and you know, I thought it was kind of cool to be the last guy in the class. But boy, that was a special night. Special weekend to be honest with you. You know, I still remember what Jan [Ross] was wearing, where she was sitting. My buddies, a lot of my buddies from Oklahoma flew up from here in Oklahoma to [Detroit] were there. I don’t know how many of them remember being there because all they did was drink. But nonetheless, it was a fun, fun scenario, fun deal. I was going to my favorite little neighborhood bar called — what the hell was it called? [Ross chuckled] Louie’s here in Norman [Oklahoma] and I was walking to the bar to meet my buddies for the regular afternoon happy hour and I got a phone call from Kevin Dunn. He was in his office with John Gaburick and he said, ‘I wanted to let you know you’re gonna be inducted into the Hall of Fame’ and it kind of took me to my knees because quite frankly with all the political issues and the differences in philosophies and the headbutting that I had with Vince from time to time, I never really thought I’d get that honor to be honest with you. But I also know the plan was for me to end my career on Raw that fall and Todd Grisham was scared to be my replacement, be the voice of Raw so, that never transpired.

Stone Cold Steve Austin’s return to the ring at WrestleMania 38 came up. Ross expressed his opinion that Austin is the most popular WWE talent of all-time.

Anytime [Steve] Austin comes back, it’s — it’ll be the same thing this weekend [WrestleMania 38]. You know, he’s the most over guy — I know this is gonna cause some debate in some camps and I’m not disrespecting anybody but in my view and I’m biased, Austin was the most popular wrestler ever in WWE. For a guy to create this much buzz 16 or 19 years later, whatever the hell it is-is extraordinary. Just doesn’t happen.

The conversation then turned over to Ross’ friendship with the late Ernie Ladd. He discussed how close they were and how often the two would hang out. Ross touched on the hurdles Ernie overcame and dealt with as a Black man in pro wrestling and Ross explained what he learned from Ernie from those conversations they had pertaining to race.

Ernie [Ladd] was a mentor to me. Ernie liked me. My nickname was the ‘junk food dog’. That’s what I heard he called me, ‘junk food dog’ and we would go down to Shreveport every other week and write television. We [go to] Cowboy [Bill Watts’] for Mid-South. We did two shows every other Wednesday night at the Irish McNeil Boys’ Club and so after those meetings we had in — started to say Vince [McMahon’s] room but it was Bill’s room, same difference. We would go to my room and open the patio on the first floor there at this Holiday Inn near the airport in Shreveport. Pretty new at that time I think and we’d play Dominos ‘till three, four o’clock in the morning. So, over those Domino games, different talents would come up and Ernie would tell stories related to those talents. He’d tell me why they got over, why they didn’t get over. So it’s like going to class every — night school if you will because Cowboy’s gonna go to bed and Ernie and I wanted to go to my room and smoke and I just had amazing respect for him. For him to be — if you think about it and you put in today’s terminology, today’s scenarios, Ernie was a Black heel and most promoters were reluctant to book a Black heel because of the heat, uncontrollable heat that they perceive the big bully Black guy was gonna have when he beat up a Caucasian hero. Ernie had no fear and for that, I always had great respect for him. So, but that’s also why Bill booked Ernie against [Junkyard] Dog and some other Black stars which kind of controlled that animosity because racism, as we all know, unfortunately is still very prominent, wish it wasn’t, but it is and people had deep-rooted animosity towards successful Black people. Ernie told me one time, ‘White man’s biggest concern was an educated Black man’ and there’s something to be said about that, especially in that era. So, but Ernie was my mentor and he was just a blessing for me and my career. I had Bill Watts there teaching me everything and then his right-hand man Ernie Ladd was teaching me the rest of the story so I was very lucky in that regard and [not] a lot of young guys in the wrestling business had two mentors so powerful, so influential and so knowledgeable as I had with Cowboy and Ernie.

While talking about the Melina versus Ashley Massaro match at ‘Mania 23, J.R. said that Melina was a bit underappreciated for her in-ring work and the entrance she had may have overshadowed that.

Melina was underrated a lot. She’s still working. I know she was working some — she works some indie shows and things like that. She was always a sweetheart to work with and you know, she lost a lot of — she had a hard time overcoming her entrance. When she came on the ring and did that split on the apron, it’s like, ‘Okay, that’s what I wanted to see.’ So, it’s just interesting what catches, what [viewers] attach their fandom to. But she was good. I always thought that she was a bit underappreciated in speaking of Melina.

Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs wrestled The Great Khali on that show and Jim Ross heaped praise onto Jacobs for his professionalism. He said Jacobs knew the match was not going to be good and Khali was not ready to be in that spot.

No, no, I didn’t like that match [The Great Khali vs. Kane at WrestleMania 23]. That was just — and Kane deserved to be on the card, skill set-wise, dues paying-wise, all those things. Khali, not so much. He just wasn’t ready. Dalip was not a bad guy. He was friendly and he was in a different country, he’s trying to learn a different language. He was an attraction guy. If you saw him on TV a handful of times a year like Andre [The Giant] used to be booked, so be it but he was getting overexposed and same thing happened to Big Show [Paul Wight] when he first came in. All of a sudden, he was on every TV show which is not good for an attraction guy. So, but that was not a good outing. I applaud Kane for being so professional. He knew what he was in for. He knew the match wasn’t gonna be good. He couldn’t make it good and he couldn’t make it good no matter how hard he worked or how smart he worked. So, but that was — it was almost a ‘let me up’ type match. That five minutes following the [Money In The Bank] Ladder match, it needed something to — a breath of fresh air. ‘Let me up’ as Vince [McMahon] would say and so we let ‘em up with Khali and Kane.

** The first several weeks of May 2022 for Hiroshi Tanahashi includes taking on Will Ospreay for the vacant IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Title and then facing Jon Moxley at NJPW Capitol Collision in Washington DC. Tanahashi told the media in Japan that he hopes to be champion going into the Moxley match and thinks it’s pointless for a Japanese talent to have that belt if it’s not being defended against American talents.

I think it is meaningless for a Japanese fighter to be wearing the [IWGP U.S. Heavyweight] title if he doesn’t compete against American fighters. The situation [with COVID-19] is getting better little by little, so I think we can show our true colors as heavyweights from here. In the U.S., the ban [on crowd cheering is not in place], and I want the Japanese fans to see it and think, ‘Wrestling is great.’

** The Detroit News has a feature story about 2022 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Scott Steiner. Scott reflected on his exit from WWE in 2004 and says bad feelings can’t be kept in and he had to grow up and move on.

You’ve gotta let it go, you can’t harbor all the bad feelings. You’ve gotta grow up.

He then went on to discuss the creation of his ‘Big Poppa Pump’ persona. Steiner said the persona was more so formed out of rage because his view of the wrestling business changed once he got in it and then he ‘flipped the switch’.

I knew I had to go in a totally different direction. So I just totally flipped the switch.

In amateur wrestling, you really didn’t talk too much trash. Wrestling is a humbling experience: if you get too big, you’ll get beat. So I had always had that mindset. But after a while, once I saw everything in the business, the politics, I had a totally different mindset than when I broke in. I had a whole different attitude, it was more of a rage. And that’s what came out.

Steiner talked about his mindset when he first broke into wrestling. He stated that there was no plan B and wrestling was always the goal. He added that he always wanted to make it alongside his brother and never thought about being world champion on his own.

I never had a plan B. I wanted to wrestle and take it as far as I could. And it was always with my brother: I never had a single thought about being a world champion on my own. It was always wanting to be the best tag team wrestling champions ever.

** At GCW For The Culture 2022, Shane Taylor and O’Shay Edwards took on The HitMakerZ (AJ Francis & Tehuti Miles). O’Shay told Ringside Mayhem how excited he was for that match and thinks it holds up against any independent match that took place that weekend.

Man, so that was my only show that weekend [GCW For The Culture] and I have never been more excited and we had like one show. I was like, ‘Yeah! Hell yeah, one show’ because then at that point in time, we just got to goof off around Dallas and I was cool. I was like, ‘Woo!’… It was really for us to stand on the fact that, you know, all we needed was one show. That’s all we needed, just one show, you know? But not take anything away from those who worked all — there was some workhorses that weekend. Those guys put in work man, woo and God bless ‘em, God bless ‘em but for me I was like nah man, I can put all my chips in this one match. If I do that, yo, that one match will stand against anybody’s weekend and I just, man, that’s what we did. That’s exactly what we did. We went all in and yo, screw it, let’s just go.

** While speaking to ‘Metro’, Lisa Marie Varon (Victoria) said she gets inspired by watching Mickie James still compete in the ring and there are times when she feels like she wants to wrestle again.

Oh my body hurts, dude. My body hurts. But I am inspired by Mickie when I watch her. I’m like, ‘God I wanna get in there!’ We had some freakin’ fun matches, and we went with the flow! If something got messed up, we’d giggle about it and go, ‘Let’s just go on!’ But we wouldn’t get mad of each other. She is an inspiration.

** Damian Abraham welcomed MVP onto his ‘Turned Out A Punk’ podcast. MVP gave his thoughts about GCW regular Jimmy Lloyd sporting a Hurt Business shirt at WrestleMania 37 and said if Jimmy wanted to join the group, he would have to last in a grappling session with each member.

Oh!!!! I know the dude you’re talking about now [Jimmy Lloyd]. Okay, okay. Yeah, I’ve seen that guy. I guess I’ve seen some of those photos [Lloyd wearing the Hurt Business shirt].

He wants to be in The Hurt Business huh? [MVP laughed] Um, well, here’s what I’ll say about that: Everybody in The Hurt Business could legitimately wrestle. So if Jimmy Lloyd — if you’re a legit grappler, you have a legitimate — you know, it’s funny because people don’t even realize that Cedric [Alexander] had a JUCO-level amateur wrestling background. A lot of people didn’t know that.

Yeah, [Jimmy Lloyd has to be put through a] gauntlet. If you can last a five minute round with each of us, we’ll you’re good to go.

In early 2021, MVP recorded a verse for the remix of Wale, Westside Gunn and Smoke DZA’s song titled ‘The Hurt Business’. MVP reached out and asked how they could do a song with that title and not include him. They then asked MVP to record a verse for the remix.

But yeah, just re-releasing old music and now I started writing some new stuff and I got a huge look, one of the biggest boosts as far as my music goes was during the pandemic, you know, as The Hurt Business became this huge phenomenon that everybody was into, from Westside Gunn, Wale and Smoke DZA all collaborated on a song and they called it ‘The Hurt Business’ and you know, for those of you listening to this who don’t know, those guys are heavyweights in the Hip-Hop industry, you know? And you know, I had lost my phone when they dropped it and for a few days, I was completely out of touch. Got my phone back, I see all these messages, ‘Hey, did you hear this? Did you see this? Did you see this?’ So I reached out and I was like, ‘Hey man, how you gonna have a Hurt Business song without me?’ And they were like, ‘Man, send us a verse. We’ll do a remix’ and I said, ‘All right, send me the track’ and I did it and they did a remix and you know, The Hurt Business Remix featuring MVP and man, I had laid down some bars on that verse and everyone was giving me props and this friend of [mine] was like, ‘Man, MVP, you make good music. Like, put it out, do it.’ So, I figured I’ll actually put a little more time and effort into doing music as well.

** Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling tweeted out that they are accepting applications from wrestlers.

** Shingo Takagi is challenging Taichi for the KOPW trophy at NJPW’s ‘Golden Fight Series’ show on 4/25. At the 4/20 event, Takagi suggested that the KOPW trophy gets a new look to make it more grandiose. He added that if he beats Taichi, he’ll attempt to bring IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada into the KOPW trophy picture.

** Muscle & Fitness President Dan Solomon visited Dave Bautista’s tattoo shop to get his first tattoo.

** At the 2022 NFL Draft, Titus O’Neil will be present to represent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and The Miz will be present to represent the Cleveland Browns.

** Prior to the 4/20 episode of AEW Dynamite in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh Magazine caught up with Britt Baker. She reflected on being a part of the first episode of Rampage on TNT and successfully defending the AEW Women’s World Title in her home city.

It was just so surreal. To be a part of the first-ever Rampage, to have it in Pittsburgh … I could not have been any more thankful for the reaction from the fans that night.

** KAIRI and Keiji Muto are co-hosting a talk show on July 10th.

** Jeff Cobb vs. JONAH is scheduled for Warrior Wrestling’s 5/28 show in Missouri.

** Sportskeeda has an interview on their site with D’Lo Brown.

** Genichiro Tenryu’s ‘Tenryu Project’ promotion hosted a show on April 19th. Current GHC Tag Team Champion Hideki Suzuki was in action at the event. Tenryu was impressed by Suzuki and hopes he’ll be able to return to the promotion.

This is the first time I have seen Hideki Suzuki in the ring, but he looks so composed. I hope he will participate again.

** New Japan Young Lion Akio Fujita was interviewed by the company’s website. He described the dojo life he’s currently living as the toughest in Japan.

** April 21st birthdays: Nikki A.S.H.

** IMPACT Wrestling’s D’Lo Brown guest appeared on Gimme A Hull Yeah!

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.