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.
** UFC President Dana White guest appeared on The Pivot Podcast and recounted being on the call for the owners meeting that was hosted by Donald Trump at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Various league owners were laying out their future plans and after the call was over, Dana received a great deal of text messages from WWE Chairman Vince McMahon who was not happy that Dana did not speak up during the call.
Yeah, there was several teams that did reach out to us — leagues, especially when we [UFC] set up in Abu Dhabi and you know, at the time, President Trump put me and a bunch of the other guys in sports on a panel and we would get on a call every week with the President and walk through how we would do this and I — God, I don’t even know if I should talk about this publicly but… I’ve never talked about this before. So we were on the call with the President one time and I remember I was listening to everybody get on there and talk and I was like, these guys are all full of sh*t. None of these guys are gonna f*cking roll or really wanna do what they’re saying they’re gonna do except for one and when we hung up the phone, he f*cking texts me and said, ‘Why the f*ck didn’t you talk on that call? There’s f*cking questions that need to be f*cking asked. You didn’t ask any f*cking questions. You didn’t do this,’ berating me on this text. Three guesses who it was?… One of the sports guys who was also going and he talked but felt like — he’s like, ‘Why didn’t you f*cking talk?’ I didn’t talk because I felt like everybody was full of sh*t except for him… Vince McMahon. Vince McMahon starts texting me and basically berating me after the call like, ‘Why didn’t you talk? Why didn’t you back up what I was saying? And we gotta go through this’ and all this other sh*t and I was like, ‘Because I think everybody’s full of sh*t, that’s why, except for you. You’re definitely not full of sh*t Vince,’ you know? Vince is a f*cking killer. Vince was putting on his events down in Florida at the time too.
** ‘Dead Meat’ welcomed Malakai Black onto their YouTube channel. The interview was recorded following AEW’s Revolution pay-per-view in March. Malakai shared that he was dealing with a ‘light injury’ coming out of the event but was back in action the following week.
I mean, you know, it [post-match pain recovery] was different when I was 22 versus now where I’m almost 37. My body definitely heals differently but you know, when it comes to this thing, especially when it’s pay-per-view time, it’s time to go man. No holding back and I’ll deal with the injuries later. I actually did sustain a light injury but very manageable. After this actually, I have treatment, I’ve got dry needling and physiotherapy on my lower back so we’re just gonna get the kinks out…
The ‘House of Black’ consists of Malakai, Brody King and Buddy Matthews. Malakai broke down Brody and Buddy’s respective AEW debuts and his thought process when it came to how they should be introduced. He brought up a conversation he had with Tony Khan when House of Black was an idea and Khan agreed with Malakai that King and Matthews should be in the group.
Just the whole way we brought in Buddy [Matthews] versus how we brought in Brody King. With Brody, I had to feed it to people and make them believe that they were the ones who came up with the idea and discovered that it was Brody versus Buddy, who I could hide and let people speculate on and you know, it’s two different calibers of two different stars, one being well known in the indie circuit and Ring of Honor and the other one coming from the exact same setting as me and arguably, our most famous trait was with one another so, there’s two different approaches but both got the exact reaction that I wanted to just of how we emotionally played it and that’s the beauty of it. It gets much deeper than just the bell rings and two dudes are walking up and you know, hammering each other on the chest or the chin or throwing each other off the top rope into a ring that is not that forgiving as people think it is.
Yeah, he [Buddy Matthews] deserves it, absolutely and so does Brody. You know, two of these dudes and when we coined the idea, me and Tony [Khan] coined the idea of ‘House of Black’, I just had a set idea of who I wanted and they were first picks. I was like, ‘No, it’s these two and I understand if you can’t do it because I can’t look in your — in the business side of things but this is how I see it’ and he was like, ‘No, that’s how I see it too and I understand your reasoning for it’ so we started fabricating so I owe a whole lot to Tony.
** While in Liverpool, England, Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon and SoCal Val recorded a live episode of GAW TV. They answered questions from those in attendance and Mickie talked about if she’d be interested in signing another pro wrestling contract. She is a free agent and explained that it’s situational for her. Mickie questioned if she would want to be locked down with another company.
I’m actually — I’m a free agent. That’s the reality and I chose to go to IMPACT because they’ve always been loyal to me and they also — I was able to do everything with NWA for EmPowerrr and then I had several conversations with Scott D’Amore and we were able to do so much incredible business on IMPACT to help promote EmPowerrr and so I wanted to go because they’ve always been great to me. That’s where ‘hardcore country’ was born and honestly, if it wasn’t for Kurt Angle, ‘hardcore country’ would have never went to IMPACT in the first place and had an incredible run; my Cage match with this woman right here [Lisa Marie Varon] who is a damn warrior because she separated her elbow halfway through that match and still kept going. I don’t know how you did that but all these memories and all these things, that’s why and because they let me do all this stuff to help with EmPowerrr and Billy [Corgan] gave me the platform, I’ve continued to stay and help lead up their women’s division and everything but pretty much, everybody has my number so you can just call me. You never say never [Mickie said in response to if she’d sign another pro wrestling contract]. It’s all situational for me, you know, it really is and I think that I’m at a point in my career, do I really wanna sign and lock down to any company for a number of years? I have a little boy, he’s seven and I wanna be able to go to his soccer games and stuff like that and I never thought like that…
Mickie further reflected on her appearance in the 2022 women’s Royal Rumble as IMPACT Knockouts World Champion. James said she has not felt that level of excitement since her match with Trish Stratus at WrestleMania 22.
I do hope that there’s many more opportunities [for talents to cross over into other companies]. It was really cool to be able to go back and do that [return to WWE at the Royal Rumble] … It was awesome. I can’t even — I’d say the one feeling, if you see when I do my entrance, I get so excited, I go up on my tippy toes and I almost took a face bump because I’m so excited and that this was — I prayed about it all day and I just kind of kept calm because a million things could go wrong and it didn’t, it came off perfectly and I was so happy and just celebrating in the moment. The last time I genuinely had that much energy and excitement was probably the match with Trish [Stratus] at WrestleMania because it was so much emotion going into that moment so…
** Josh Nason of F4WOnline welcomed Swerve Strickland onto his ‘Punch-Out’ show. Strickland reflected on his decision to join All Elite Wrestling and part of the reason he decided to join was the production value. He then explained why he chose to sign with AEW over other potential full-time landing spots.
Production. It [AEW] was just the biggest production that we could have, that you could have and it was all at your disposal. I’ve always been a fan of New Japan, but there’s things that — as far as great matches, I can have great matches in New Japan all day but for me and my podcast and my music and branching off into acting and bringing crossover appeal, there’s not much you can really do in New Japan as far as that. Ring of Honor, it was announced that they were having their final [farewell] soon so there’s no growth with that as well for me. IMPACT Wrestling is doing it very well, but I don’t see the great big picture appeal with IMPACT, because I just look at it as I don’t just wanna have good matches or whatever. To me, that’s the given, you should be able to have good matches at this point. In my career, I should be able to have good matches wherever I go, you know? But I’m always looking for the how big can I really make it? I always wanna take it to the max, like once again, I was talking about my podcast career, it’s like, I’ve dipped the toe in. Now I’m like fully engulfed into this media thing. Now I feel like, what’s the next level of that? How much further can I go? With the music career, how much further and deeper can I go? It was just like making an album or two with my friend in the studio. Now it’s like, okay, now we can get big features, big music videos, bring the production up and then, oh, at the GRAMMYs, how can I maximize all these things? What’s a promotion that I can truly maximize all these things [in]? And AEW and Tony Khan, having a conversation with him before signing with AEW, that fully solidified it for me because he understands the vision and my purpose and the best way to utilize all these tools that he has at his disposal for me to utilize as a star and an employee.
In April, Strickland shared footage of him involved in the filming of a movie titled ‘You Promised’. He provided details about the film and his role in it.
I don’t wanna spoil too much about it [‘You Promised’ film he’s starring in] but it’s a lot of supernatural, drug dealing/crime-oriented, espionage type of genre so we’re mixing multiple different genres involved in it. You know, I’m a bad guy in it so, it was a really great experience, can’t wait for it to come out. I’m not sure when exactly it is. They’re gonna probably put out some information when it’s gonna be released soon but yeah, I pretty much get dragged across the floor by the throat of a ghost. That’s the scene that y’all saw me putting out there.
Dating back to 2017, Strickland has worked with DEFY Wrestling in Washington state. He said the promotion is always a ‘home’ for him and mentioned that he’s been enjoying building a story with fellow AEW signee Nick Wayne.
DEFY [Wrestling] is always a home for me. I love going back to Seattle, I love giving back to the Pacific Northwest and building something with a Nick Wayne and having Darby [Allin] come out there and being a part of something special and big. It just caught fire across the wrestling world.
He then talked about recent matches and events he’s been a part of such as Pro Wrestling REVOLVER naming their event ‘Swerve’s House’, traveling overseas for PROGRESS Wrestling and OTT. Strickland feels that it’s important for him as a Black man to be in those spots and help bring that spotlight to others.
I wanna be where the fire is. For me, that’s where… what persuades me to take these bookings. Going to Pro Wrestling REVOLVER, Sami Callihan, one of my greatest mentors in [my] professional wrestling career, you know, being with FITE TV, the relationship I have with them, naming the event ‘Swerve’s House’, having me and Monteasy, Swerve City, our song ‘Talk Too Much’ be the theme song of the pay-per-view, that’s a big deal. So that’s another fire and then doing a dream match like me versus Athena, the current Warrior Wrestling Champion, Women’s Champion, that’s like, you can’t see that anywhere else so that’s creating a fire right there. It’s like creating something special in all these places that you can only see it at that place, you know? So that’s the importance of me going to certain places and doing the bookings, especially in PROGRESS, which is like, to me is still one of the meccas of the UK. Them, RevPro, OTT’s stadium show with RVD on it, stuff like that. Those are the first places that really brought me over and made me one of the family over [in] the U.K. and doing all these places as an African-American in the position that I am, I can’t ignore that. That’s really important for me as well to be placed in hot, premiere spots on these big, big shows. I also wanna do that for the culture as well.
** Episode 197 of the Pro Wrestling Illustrated podcast featured Ricky Starks. If there was an addition to Team Taz that Starks could make, he said he’d add WWE’s Sasha Banks to the mix. Besides that, he likes Team Taz the way it is and does not want the group to become crowded.
I mean, if I had to pick anyone to be in Team Taz, it’d probably be Sasha Banks. Yeah, but I think for right now, I like it how it is. I like the fact that it’s this small group. I don’t want to overpopulate it and then it becomes something boring and just corny. Most importantly, I just don’t want it to get to that but, I think for right now, it’s good how we have it. We all have seemingly found our groove a bit and this is the best version of Team Taz in my head by far.
He touched on his working relationship with Taz and how Taz constantly tries to help him improve and bring out the positives of what Starks does on-screen.
Taz is really great when it comes to [the] business side. Obviously he’s great when it comes to some of the stuff in the ring, so I try to pick his brain when I can. The relationship that me and him have is that I don’t necessarily always have to go to him and ask him for advice. There’s times when he’ll come to me and he is letting me know, ‘Well I think, you know, keep this in mind’ or, ‘Do this or do that’ so it’s cool to have that relationship where everyone else here has somebody, you know? They seemingly have somebody on their side. Darby [Allin] has Sting, [Bryan] Danielson has his crew and stuff like that so there’s times when I was like, well, who do I have? And I had Taz in that regard and I’m glad to have that and I definitely think he’s helped me out when it comes to my matches and things of that nature and when it came to the promos, we collaborated quite a bit. I don’t think people realized that so, I like that about Taz man. He doesn’t try — he sees the positives and he tries to accentuate the positives with me. The bad things that I do that he nips in the bud and I never do it again so, the relationship is really good I think.
Ricky has been reigning as FTW Champion since July 2021. He dove into what that belt means to him and what he wants his legacy to be as it relates to the FTW Title.
I think, one, coming to AEW and winning the title was a big deal because I’m a big, big person on history and making sure that things from the past isn’t forgotten because when you’re forgotten, that’s true death, right? I always think of things in that sense, although it may be a bit morbid but I think it’s cool to have a piece of history like that on television and to carry it. That is the original title from 1998 so that thing has seen so much. I would even akin it to the ‘Smoking Skull Title’. Imagine if you had that title, the original one. You would cherish that and honor that with everything because of the history that it has and I’m not saying they are on the same level but I’m just saying in terms of having such a piece of history like that is insane and so for me, I think it’s more important to have this title and represent it in the best way I can and do with it what I can and I know that it won’t be perfect and I know that it’s things outside of my control that I just have to deal with, right? But at the end of the day, I wanna make sure that one, I do the best that I can with the title and represent it and make sure that it has some type of legitimacy, regardless if it’s recognized or not. I get that so much. You have a title that isn’t recognized by the company, this and that, sure, whatever. I don’t care. To me, it’s important to represent this title and its legacy to the utmost that I can. It wasn’t done by the previous champion and I wanna make sure when I won it, I made a promise to myself that no matter what, I would ride all the way to the end with it and whatever happens, that’s the end of my title reign. I would hope that it goes down as someone that actually cared and put in the work for it and dealt with it the best that he could with what he was given.
And I only saw Vince [McMahon] for like a split second at one of the Raws in Nashville actually and I said to him, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I’m gonna be on FOX Business, because I’m taking a portion of my pay-per-view money for the Rumble in Crypto.’ He’s like, ‘Oh! That’s great. You’re in that?’
** Coming out of the 5/4 edition of AEW Dynamite, The Universal Wrestling Podcast, which is co-hosted by former WWE writer Chris Dunn, released their conversation with Malakai Black. During the chat, Black reflected on the ‘Dark Father’ promos he put out in WWE. Black shared that the original idea was for him to return at the Royal Rumble.
Black: I always think that the ‘Dark Father’ vignettes could have been — you know, I’m saying that wrong. That ‘Dark Father’ vignettes were great, but it’s always such a questionable thing as to why they [WWE] did what they did and you know, the thing is I say ‘questionable’ but, you know, now I obviously know everything that went down and why things went the way they went but, it still sometimes feels like an incredible waste of time for both me and Chris [Dunn] because we were invested in that thing for eight months, we spoke a lot and Chris, a lot of times was my conscience in this and yeah, calming me down because sitting at home for eight months, for a guy like me who, you know, loves working, I love to be involved, I’m involved with the process to the point where it just eats me alive sometimes and you know, I guess that’s part of the creative person’s brain but also I think the athlete’s brain because you know, there’s a part of this that’s more than character. It trickles down to every single thing that you’re doing so, a lot of times, Chris was my, ‘It’s gonna be fine. It’s gonna be okay. Calm down, breath. I’ll give you a call,’ you know what I mean? Because the initial idea was that I was off TV for like what? Six weeks and they were gonna put me back at [Royal] Rumble.
Malakai spoke about some of the younger talents in AEW who he’d be interested in working with and one of the names he feels he can pull something out of is Sonny Kiss.
Black: Sometimes I just see potential and I’m like, if I focus on this one thing with this person, then I know I can bring it out and one of those people is also someone like Sonny [Kiss], you know? Who athletically is so gifted but she has a different platform and she’s viewed as different but I know that I can change the tide if we do certain things or certain aspects or a certain perspective or a certain program, that I know that I can give a different dimension to an individual that they can build on because sometimes it starts this small and they can grow from it and they can create something from it.
Chris Dunn and Malakai dove into the first pandemic year of pro wrestling. They discussed the process of getting vignettes and things alike cleared in WWE and Dunn mentioned that it took more than three months to get Bianca Belair vignettes approved.
Dunn: The biggest thing that kind of impacted your character [Malakai Black in WWE] and like, you were also my sounding board a lot during that process because as a writer, you get frustrated too. I think COVID had such a great negative impact on the company because the heads of the company are so busy to begin with, because when it comes to things like vignettes, everyone thinks about the 80s and the 90s where they’re happening left and right. A lot of time it takes… there’s so much more content now. You’re not just recording four episodes a week that gives you time to go do these things and it’s also, money’s involved because it’s a publicly traded company so you have to get signoffs, all these things. It has to go through so many loops. Like I remember when we did the Bianca [Belair] vignettes, that was like four months it took to get off the ground and just getting them in front of the right people can be a long process because you’re constantly in production.
Malakai went on to share the advice that The Undertaker gave him about protecting of his on-screen character. Undertaker relayed to Malakai that whoever is opposite from him in the ring cannot be their ‘normal’ selves, adding that their characters need to be sold by the individual[s] across from them.
Black: Taker used to come up to me and say, ‘Just make sure that whenever you wrestle people, that people cannot be normal with who you are’ and even now in this installment, people can’t look at what I do and just go, ‘Regular guy’ because you’re not a regular guy. He’s like, ‘Characters like ours need to be sold by the individual.’ He always mentioned Shawn [Michaels] being so good at it because Shawn would mock him but then all of a sudden, Taker would go in his face and [it’d] be like, uh oh. There would always been an ‘uh oh’ moment and that would sell the character.
Kicking off Malakai’s run in AEW was his program with Cody Rhodes. He appreciates Rhodes for making him look like a star and establishing him right out of the gate.
Black: A day later, he [Tony Khan] said, ‘Cody [Rhodes] has an idea for that to mesh it in. It’s gonna be you and Cody’ and I just got butterflies, because I was like man, this is Cody Rhodes. It’s not like a small guy. He’s a ‘Rhodes’, it’s a big deal and he did a great job of selling me and making me feel like a star and he did a great job of putting me over and you know, etching my first few months in AEW as being very fruitful and being productive and giving me a sizeable rep and you know, I released that little video prior, the ‘Devil Made Me Do It’ which kind of wove with those black masks and stuff. Everything just kind of trickled into it. It was just fun man. Everything trickled into it and yeah, it was a great time.
** While recording an episode of Talk’n Shop, Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson talked about 2022 WWE Hall of Fame inductee Scott Steiner. Gallows recounted being in a tag match with Steiner and Steiner roughing up Gallows’ partner for being stiff with him in the ring nearly 20 years in the past at that point in time.
My tag team partner missed his flight and it was Buff ‘The Stuff’ [Bagwell] and Scott Steiner versus me and [Mike] Knox and Knox’s flight got canceled so they found this indie guy who’s a really old school guy and all of a sudden, Scott was in a bad mood. I’m like, why is my best friend Scott Steiner in such a bad mood? [I’m] like, ‘Is everything cool Scotty?’ And he goes, ‘Yeah. I’m only working with you tonight. You don’t tag that motherf*cker in!’ And the guy’s standing three feet away. ‘No problem, whatever you want.’ We get out there, we circle, we lock up, he pushes me off, he flexes and he goes, ‘Tag that motherf*cker in’ and I went, ‘Oh no.’ So I tag that motherf*cker in and we went from working to shoot waist lock, german, ride him around, german, ride him around, german, throw him out of the ring and then I did the rest of the match. When I got in the back, I was like, woah! This is another grown man, maybe had a family, I don’t know and the guy’s laid on the floor, like Japanese style with the ice thing on the back of his head and I walked in, I go, ‘Is everything okay?’ He goes, ‘You were great, thanks man’ and he [Steiner] leans over the guy and he puts his finger in his face, he goes, ‘That’s for trying to stiff me in ‘92 you stupid f*ck!’ A 20-year receipt. Want to talk about a man?
** The most recent guest on AEW Unrestricted is Samoa Joe. He chatted with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone about his arrival to ROH/AEW and said he’s looking forward to mixing it up with everyone on the roster, including CM Punk and Bryan Danielson.
I mean obviously, me and [CM] Punk have been skirting around this issue for a while and I think we need to get it settled. You know, [Bryan] Danielson, any time I step in the ring with him, we get down. Up and down the roster when you talk about guys who I’ve worked with in Ring of Honor that I’m currently on the roster with now in AEW and Ring of Honor, I mean yeah, anyone of those guys. I mean it’s just — it’s wide open.
In October 2005, Samoa Joe clashed with Kenta Kobashi and Joe described that match as an awesome experience, adding that it’s one of his career highlights.
Awesome experience. He’s [Kenta Kobashi] one of those athletes that has an aura, has a presence and he brings it definitely to the ring with him whether he likes it or not. Just an incredible athlete. Definitely one of the highlights of my career.
Joe was present behind the camera for Scott Steiner’s ‘Steiner math’ promo. He recounted watching that in person and not being able to control his laughter after it was over.
Strong math. Strong, strong math. It’s almost unbeatable [Joe said when reflecting on the ‘Steiner math’ promo]. You know, we did defy the odds. We did defy the statistical odds but, ouu, when he laid it out like that, I mean it just kind of made the struggle that much more real in people’s minds. The insurmountable odds that were in front of me.
So, I tell people, I was standing behind the camera as Scott was kind of free-forming and said, ‘Yeah’ and I remember kind of, you know, he did an earlier take and he was kind of getting the idea and then, I think it was the second one, he just went. I was visibly behind the camera just trying to hold myself together and when it all got done, I just looked at Scott, I was the one [Joe laughed].
** Women’s Wrestling Army, the promotion co-owned by Maria Kanellis-Bennett was the focus of Wrestling Inside The Ropes’ recent podcast. Maria joined the show and said W.W.A. was being put together before it was announced that AEW President Tony Khan acquired Ring of Honor.
The desire wasn’t there to start a whole company. I was hopeful that Ring of Honor would come right back and while we were creating the Women’s Wrestling Army, that’s when the Ring of Honor news [Tony Khan acquiring ROH] started coming up. But we already have two streaming deals, so for me, it’s like I’m super excited to give the women this opportunity to tell more of their backstory if they want to, more documentary-style footage, get their feet in the door with more companies by showing who they really are and giving them a platform to wrestle, so we’re super excited about it.
Maria said talents who wrestle for Women’s Wrestling Army will own their respective match footage. She explained that there is a timing aspect to it because subscriptions need to be drawn and then they’ll be able to use that footage however they see fit.
So how it works is this: They can share it on their on BrandArmy pages [talents who compete for Women Wrestling Army having footage of their matches]. So, they can share it there for now. There is going to be a timing aspect of it, of, for a while, we have to draw subscriptions and then after that, they’ll be able to use it. I don’t have that timing set out yet, but they will own their own matches moving forward so, that part of it is important. They own the profits. Do they own the show itself? No. But no matter where we go, it will be a profit sharing model and I think that makes us very different.
** While guest appearing on The Cut Pro Wrestling Podcast, Ted DiBiase Sr. recalled his thought process when it came to returning to the WWF/E in the late 1980s. DiBiase Sr. stated that he had been doing well financially by way of his work with All Japan Pro Wrestling but knew if he wanted to remain relevant in the U.S., he had to work for Vince McMahon.
My first WrestleMania which was WrestleMania IV, which was the tournament to crown a new champion because all the stuff that we had done prior to that. That was obviously special because you know, it was a year before one of — I was going back and forth between Japan at the time and I was wrestling in the Mid-South territory and I remember I was at a motel somewhere, I think maybe in Baton Rouge or somewhere. I opened the door and I picked up the paper and it says, ‘World Wrestling Federation sets indoor attendance record for WrestleMania III, Pontiac Silverdome, 93,000 people.’ I was like, wow and I remember saying to myself, I said, ‘If I’m going to remain relative to the wrestling community or in the wrestling world in this country, then I have to go work for Vince’ and so, again, at this time, I had this enormous deal, I mean wonderful deal with All Japan Pro Wrestling. I mean if I had just done that, I would’ve been fine…
** Zack Sabre Jr. informed Tokyo Weekender that he moved to Japan permanently at the start of 2022. He debuted with the promotion in 2017. He said the following when asked what is next for him:
I would like to have another wrestling match again in my life! I also only moved here permanently at the start of this year, so I’d like to explore more of Japan and use my down time to do activities, like hiking, rather than dealing with constant jet lag and sleeping in hotel rooms. More broadly, I also want to get as many people as I can speaking and thinking about animal welfare. Whether that’s trying to eat less meat – one-hundred-and-twenty million animals are slaughtered for food every day, so something like meat free Mondays has such a massive positive impact – buying cosmetics and household cleaning products that avoid testing on animals, or avoiding buying fur or wool clothing. I think the impact we have on animal welfare is one of the few things in our lives we can take full control of.
** Now that he’s longer IMPACT World Champion, Moose told the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast that he’d be interested in going after either the IMPACT Tag or X Division Titles.
I mean there’s definitely plenty of goals, I mean just in IMPACT Wrestling because that’s where I’m currently at. I would like to have a tag title run if I could find a tag team partner that suits my style that like I enough, or I’ve never been an X Division Champion so, maybe one day going after the X Division Title.
** On May 4th, both Tsukasa Fujimoto and Tsukushi Haruka competed at Ice Ribbon’s Yokohama Budokan show. Fujimoto is taking a leave of absence from in-ring competition, but she’ll be active behind the scenes. Haruka, in her early 20s, is choosing to step away from wrestling to pursue outside interests such as child education.
Ice Ribbon supervisor and former All Japan Women’s Champion Manami Toyota gave comments to the media in Japan about those departures and credited both talents for being able to step away. She then spoke on Ice Ribbon’s roster minus Haruka and Fujimoto.
To use my own example, I retired after 30 years and my body was in shambles. I came without doing what kids of my generation do during their working years, and after I retired, I am enjoying life. I got a motorcycle license, I ride a Harley, I drink every day, and I have fun doing it. Even if I die tomorrow, I can die saying, ‘Oh, that was a fun life.’ I envy Tsukushi for being able to live another life while her body is still healthy. It’s something I couldn’t do myself. She is still young, and I hope she enjoys it so that she can live a happy life, I want you to enjoy it. Come to my house for a drink. Come be healed by this super positive lady! There are more girls [on the Ice Ribbon roster] who can do it, and I hope they will support this [version of] Ice Ribbon until Fujimoto comes back. We have a lot of people, and I think that’s the best thing about us.
** Yoshitatsu spoke to the press in Japan about his history with New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Taichi. Yoshitatsu shared that Taichi is the first person he became friends with that worked for a different pro wrestling organization. He heard many stories about the wrestling scene outside of New Japan which encouraged Yoshitatsu to explore that and eventually land in WWE.
Taichi was the first fighter from another organization that I became friends with. I heard many stories about the world outside of New Japan, and I was able to learn about it. That was one of the reasons I became interested in the outside world and went to WWE.
** IMPACT World Champion Josh Alexander is going one-on-one with Konosuke Takeshita at Garden State Pro Wrestling’s 7/23 show.
** The latest episode of Sammy Guevara’s Vlog which looks at he and Tay Conti becoming AAA World Mixed Tag Team Champions at Triplemania Monterrey:
** AEW’s Nyla Rose appeared on ‘Dead Meat’ to chat horror films.
** Pro Wrestling NOAH ‘Dream On’ Results (5/5/22) Korakuen Hall
– Slex def. Kinya Okada
– El Texano Jr. & Super Crazy def. Atsushi Kotoge & Hao
– Kongo (Hi69 & Katsuhiko Nakajima) def. Funky Express (King Tany & Mohammed Yone)
– Alejandro, Alpha Wolf, Dragon Bane & Extreme Tiger def. Stinger (HAYATA, Seiki Yoshioka & Yuya Susumu) & Kai Fujimura
– Naomichi Marufuji, Ninja Mack & YO-HEY def. Kongo (Hajime Ohara, Kenoh & Tadasuke)
– Michael Elgin def. Manabu Soya
– Stinger (Chris Ridgeway & Yoshinari Ogawa) & Simon Gotch def. Daisuke Harada, Junta Miyawaki & Kaito Kiyomiya
– Satoshi Kojima def. Yoshiki Inamura
– Daiki Inaba, Go Shiozaki, Masa Kitamiya & Masato Tanaka def. Sugiura-gun (Hideki Suzuki & Takashi Sugiura), El Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. & Rene Dupree
** Big Japan Pro Wrestling ‘Welcome Back’ Results (5/5/22) Yokohama Budokan
– Takato Nakano & Tatsuhiko Yoshino def. Chicharito Shoki & Onryo
– Masaya Takahashi & Takumi Tsukamoto def. Kazuki Hashimoto & Kazumi Kikuta
– Abdullah Kobayashi, Jaki Numazawa & Yuichi Taniguchi def. Akira Hyodo, Kankuro Hoshino & Yusaku Ito
– Ryota Hama, Shigehiro Irie & Yasufumi Nakanoue def. Hiroyuki Suzuki, Kazumasa Yoshida & Satsuki Nagao
– Bring Your Own Weapons Death Match: Isami Kodaka & Ryuji Ito def. Michio Kageyama & Yuki Ishikawa
– BJW Junior Heavyweight Championship: Kota Sekifuda (c) def. Kosuke Sato
– BJW Tag Team Championship: Fuminori Abe & Takuya Nomura def. Daichi Hashimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani (c)
– BJW Death Match Heavyweight Championship — Scaffold Death Match: Drew Parker defeats Yuko Miyamoto (c)
– BJW World Strong Heavyweight Championship: Yuji Okabayashi (c) def. Daisuke Sekimoto
** Straight Talk Wrestling has an interview with The Bollywood Boyz (Harv & Gurv Sihra).
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.