POST NEWS UPDATE: Ryan Katz recalls Dusty Rhodes wanting to launch a small production company

Ryan Katz's Dusty Rhodes story, Frankie Kazarian chats AEW, D'Lo Brown notes, Griff Garrison talks Pillman Jr./Julia Hart, Toni Storm

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.

** For episode 115 of ‘Stu’s Wrestling Podcast’, he had former NXT Creative Producer Ryan Katz on as a guest. Ryan detailed he and the late Dusty Rhodes’ plan to launch a side project called ‘Hippie Dog Productions’ which was going to be a small production company. Katz said he and Rhodes were planning on making short films.

And that ‘Hippie Dog’ thing was just something he [Dusty Rhodes] always wanted to do which was just going to be our little side film production company where we went and made some side little short films under the banner of ‘Hippie Dog Productions’ and unfortunately, that’s something that never got a chance to come to fruition but the memory lives on and his legacy will live on forever and that guy is one of the most phenomenal people ever.

Katz spent time in the XPW promotion and he recounted when New Jack threw Vic Grimes off a scaffold. Before the match, Grimes asked Katz to come up to the top of the platform where he realized that the ring was not lined up. Katz believes that had he not saw that, the ring would not have been repositioned and the result of Grimes’ fall would have turned out differently.

The New Jack-Vic Grimes clip goes down in infamy as one of the scariest, craziest pro wrestling bumps ever. The story of course being — I’ve told it a million times, I’ll make it quick, just because I’ll say it a million and one that we moved the ring before the show started. I remember I always say Vic asked me when I first got to the venue to climb up the scaffold and tell me what I thought and I come back down and I’m like, ‘The ring’s not lined up.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah man. The ring’s not lined up.’ So we had to grab everyone; from the back, the crew and anyone available and we moved the ring and if we didn’t do that… gone, gone. See you later, over. Vic Grimes would not have had the outcome that he did which was extraordinary because in the end, we get to reveal these things now as all these years ago. Didn’t even have any major injuries after that thing. Like some minor, little, little things but — I was the guy that did all the press and P.R. for that stuff but, we put out a list of fake injuries that were not real man. He was hobbling, he may have been hurt but not injured at that point.

Continuing on the topic of New Jack, Katz had an interaction with him during a match and Katz said Jack took care of him. Katz mentioned that New Jack barely touched him when he dived off a structure onto him through a table. Katz had already been bleeding and Jack told him that he thought about hitting him with an object but decided against it because of how Katz’s open wound looked.

I go to the office to find out what I’m doing that night at the show [XPW] and Kevin [Kleinrock] tells us, ‘You’re gonna have an interaction with New Jack’ and I’m like, ‘Oh God’ and he’s like, ‘And we want you to bleed’ and I was like, ‘Oh God. I’ve never bled’ and he’s like, ‘No big deal,’ blah, blah, blah. ‘Ask Supreme. He’ll show you how to do it’ and [Joey] Kaos, they all show me what to do of how to gig because at that point in my career, we’re probably a year-and-a-half, two years at this point, something like that and of course, I hadn’t gigged and of course that’s what XPW’s known for so I go home and I pull a white shirt because I know if I gotta bleed, I got to go in a style that’s gonna show this so I get a white button down and my blue and white seersucker slacks and a pink headband and I put together… So all of a sudden I’m in the back and I’m with New Jack and he’s like, ‘So you’ve done this before?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, a few times’ and he’s like, ‘All right kid’ and that’s that and I’m just like, whew, whew. All right, we got past that part. Match happens, Kaos versus New Jack and then it’s the post-match interaction and I’m getting involved and New Jack, I turned towards New Jack as he just pummels me with a garbage can and I go down and as I go down, I take my blade and I go for what someone told me were two techniques. Yeah, I’m not gonna reveal the techniques… So I go for my move and I’m like, I’m not getting a drip and they’re telling me I’m going to get a drip and I’m like, if I come up and I got no blood, New Jack’s gonna slice my head open and I’m legitimately just totally freaking out and scared. So at that point I’m like, what are you gonna do?… Slice my head. Oh, I felt the drip and to say this warm, gelatinous, just ugh, ooze and everyone told me in the back, ‘Spit everything out and get it out of your eyes.’ Those are like rules of hardcore blood. Just don’t let it coagulate and get crusty around your eyes. You wanna be able to open your eyes, see, so just fling that away from the eyes and just get it going. I’m gushing and at this point, I know that me and New Jack have an interaction where he’s gonna come off about a 20-something, 22-foot tower onto me on the table and we fight outside of the ring and we’re on the dirt pile and the rodeo and I’m just taking rolling bumps and once again, I’m wearing white so I’m like, I’m gonna go make a mess of myself. It doesn’t matter, I got this big, huge wound across my head.

I’m rolling around in dirt at the Pico Rivera Sports Arena which is a rodeo ring which happens to be my favorite venue ever. That place was just incredible because we got to to do wild stuff with it being outdoors and it having different props that were there. It was just an incredible place and New Jack goes and he does his balcony dive and in the clip that’s available and it’s on my YouTube channel and you can check it out, it’s called ‘GQ Money is a bloody mess.’ He takes the whole table himself man. I mean this guy didn’t even touch me and it’s so funny because big, bad, scary New Jack, on-camera, pretty much breaks character and you see him tap me on the belly and he’s just like, ‘Good job kid’ and that was one of those moments and I’m just laying dead. Legs bent, arms bent, blood’s gushing, you see it flowing from my head, devastation in all of that. The security picks me up and carries me out. We get to the back and New Jack and me are talking and of course in wrestling as we all thank each other for allowing us to come back safe and having a great match and situation and involvement and he looks at me and he’s like, ‘Smiley –’ everyone called me Smiley back then — he’s like, ‘Smiley, I was about to hit you in the head again with that garbage can, but I saw your head and it looked like you had a vagina on your forehead and I was like, nope. We’re just going to the balcony’ and it was just one of those moments where like, he took sympathy on me and it was just — I have this calming, soothing effect on some big bad people sometimes where I bring out the good in them. Just, it’s something about my personality.

** Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon and SoCal Val welcomed Frankie Kazarian onto GAW TV. He reflected on his time with AEW so far and heaped praise onto the company for treating the talent like high-level athletes and introducing him to a business structure that prioritizes the needs of said talent.

It’s cool. This is kind of like the second company that I’ve been part of almost since day one. TNA/IMPACT, I joined, you know, ten months, a year into its existence. With AEW, I was around before day one. I was involved in meetings the summer before, real clandestine-type stuff, discussing what we wanted AEW to be and to see where it’s at right now is… it’s really mind blowing. I mean the business has changed so much just in the last five years. You have AEW and you have a real alternative and you have something that’s catching the eye of [the] casual wrestling fan, hardcore wrestling fan, mainstream media. It’s really cool and you know, AEW, we’re still a — we have a lot of growing pains just like any new business would but, they’re definitely taking leaps forward. One of the main things I think that sets AEW apart from at least any company I’ve been a part of is the fact that the Khans and the management team come from the NFL and they’re dealing with high dollar athletes. So we are treated very much like athletes. We are not just cogs on the wheel. They realize that the athletes are the lifeblood so the way they take care of us medically, the way they take care of us in terms of travel, the way they take care of us in terms of checking in on our mental health. There’s all these things that are kind of foreign to me as a guy that, you know, came up on the indies and basically, you’ve all been there; how we had to fight and scratch and claw to even get an ice pack after a match or something. Those are all things that AEW has done very well and things that I think are gonna help continue to help AEW set themselves apart from everything else going on right now.

** The latest episode of Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw featured D’Lo Brown as a guest. D’Lo was part of the Nation of Domination faction and Gerald Brisco recalled being told to go speak to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and tell him to take a step back and be more aligned with the group. D’Lo said from his standpoint, no one in the group had any negative feelings about The Rock’s ascension. Brisco assumes that-that perception of The Rock may have come from the higher-ups.

Brisco: Did Rock have any internal heat with you guys [Nation of Domination]? Because I know I was called to ask — to talk to Rock several times to tell him to kind of step back and kind of join the group a little bit because Rock was — at times, he felt he was busting out too so Rock was really stepping forward and taking control. Was there ever any internal heat from the group?

Brown: I can only speak for myself. I know I never did. I don’t believe Mark [Henry] ever did because Mark just was happy one of his boys was rising up. I don’t believe Godfather did and I’ll never, ever be pretentious enough to speak for Ron Simmons, ever.

Brisco: I don’t blame you. I wouldn’t either.

Brown: I will never, ever be that pretentious so…

Brisco: So what I’m getting, it was more of an office perception than anything else? The office trying to cover their ass on a few things I think.

Brown: There was never any internal heat from us from our standpoint. I could say that.

Brisco: You guys were happy for that kid.

Brown: We were happy and then once again, when one of us breaks out, we all break out. There’s more attention on all of us, there’s more eyes on all of us so, why would any of us be upset with more eyes being on you? Because the more The Rock got put in high profile stuff, so did the rest of The Nation. So, I was happy just to be there and be going along for the ride so…

While sharing road stories, D’Lo and JBL spoke about when they were in separate cars and D’Lo threw food at JBL, Ron Simmons and The Godfather which led to JBL intentionally hitting the back of D’Lo’s car.

JBL: Remember when me and Ron [Simmons] and Godfather hit you guys from behind when you threw that food on us in Nova Scotia?

Brown: Yes! Yes! We had TAKA [Michinoku] in the back. We had TAKA in the back and I remember because it’s at night, it’s 11 o’clock at night — kids, don’t do this — at almost 12 o’clock at night, we’re driving down the highway at like 70 miles, 80 miles an hour and we see Ron and John driving and we had this game, it was called — it was tag. We would throw food at the car. So we threw it, boom! And Mark [Henry] immediately went, ‘Oh no,’ because I saw John’s face changed and so I hit the gas and I’m flying and I’m flying and I’m driving like this [straight-up stance]. TAKA’s sleep in the back. All of a sudden at 90 miles an hour, I feel, boom! And right behind me in the brake lights is John’s face looking like a demon possessed going, ‘Hahahahaha!’ And TAKA sits up calmly, looks in the back window, goes, ‘Bradshaw, he crazy’ and then back down [D’Lo laughed].

JBL: We pushed them down the road. They threw food all over our car and Ron goes, ‘No they didn’t’ and Godfather’s in the back, Godfather goes, ‘Hit him.’ ‘Okay.’

Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs’ name came up and JBL remembered seeing Jacobs for the first time in Europe. When the promoter would hype up the newest talent that he scouted, JBL and his colleagues would root against them and they did the same in Jacobs’ case but Jacobs had a good showing.

JBL: When he [Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs] came to Europe — they had brought over a lot of Americans. They had to do fill-in spots and Otto [Wanz] would always go, ‘Oh, I’ve got this great American talent.’ That was the death knell of a guy because they’d bring ‘em in and we’d just — we would root for their failure. So, Glenn came in, he goes, ‘I’ve got this guy, he looks like Sid Vicious. He’s great’ and we’re like, ‘This guy’s gonna be horrible.’ So we all go out to watch him wrestle and he was good and we thought, well that sucked [JBL laughed]. Then I end up tagging with him which was awesome.

** While speaking to Chris Van Vliet, AEW’s Griff Garrison discussed the possibility of splitting away from Brian Pillman Jr. and Julia Hart. He thinks seeds have been planted for Julia to make the move via the House of Black and adds that he could turn on Pillman Jr. or they could turn together.

I think there has already been a little seed planted here and there as you have seen with Julia. There is definitely some tension in the group, but one day I could definitely go with turning on Brian or we turn together. When we started, we did the whole Ivy League thing and we loved it.

Garrison opened up about the tumor that was discovered in his foot when he was in school. If it had not been discovered, the tumor would have expanded to his leg which would require amputation.

It was terrifying. Ever since after my senior football year, I started having this nagging pain in my foot. I didn’t know what it was so I started to go and see doctors. I would get a frozen lacrosse ball and rub it on my foot, wear insoles, I would try everything. Then finally when I broke my foot, the doctors were like, ‘Yeah, you have been growing a tumor in your foot for 2 years.’ She said that it was eroding my heel bone, and if we didn’t discover it then it would have gone up into my leg. If that happened, they would have had to amputate my leg.

** Sebastian Hackl of WWE Deutschland went live on Instagram with Ciampa. The former NXT Champion touched on the friendship he established with the likes of Gunther, Butch and Ludwig Kaiser in NXT. Ciampa hopes he gets to be on the road with them again someday and would like to see Fabian Aichner join Gunther and Ludwig on SmackDown.

You know, I like both [Gunther & Ludwig Kaiser] a lot. They’re two guys that I spent a lot of time with backstage in NXT. Fabian [Aichner] as well. I hope Fabian gets back with his brothers sooner than later because he’d just fit them so perfect and those guys all — watching their body transformations over the last year or two and the hard work they put in outside of the ring. I always connect really well with guys who put in the work outside the ring and those are three guys who, I mean, they were three of the last guys I’d be sharing the locker room with in NXT day in and day out and we would just be chatting and I miss those guys. I don’t get to travel with them anymore, but yeah man, hopefully we all get put on the same brand together and same with Pete or Butch or whatever you wanna call him, just because those are all guys that I miss. That was my family, you know?

Elsewhere during their conversation, Ciampa spoke about the influence that Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque, Shawn Michaels and William Regal had on his career and the role they played in his development as a talent.

Him [Triple H] and I, we hit it off right away and he was a huge part — same with Mr. Regal — a huge part in getting me — I’d say Mr. Regal getting me in the door in front of people and then Triple H seeing something in me early on prior to Johnny [Gargano] and I becoming D.I.Y. We were tagging on and off and he saw something in both of us pretty early. So he was instrumental in the developing process for me quite a bit. Working with him and Shawn [Michaels] behind the scenes and just coming up with the character and the nuances and I think Johnny always had a lot of Shawn in him and I always had a lot of Hunter in me so, I pull so much from his career anyways that it’s almost like a natural fit. It was like I have a player-coach mentor there who really understood where I was coming from and then I could take stuff from him and say, ‘Hey, I have this match or this segment’ or, ‘How do I make it a little bit better?’ He’s just such a wiz for that stuff so, I mean he’s probably my number one when it comes to somebody who’s helped me develop from just a top independent talent to a guy ready to perform on the WWE stage as a superstar globally and all that. He really helped me cross that bridge.

** Back at ROH Death Before Dishonor 2021, Josh Woods became Pure Champion. His father was scheduled to be in attendance but passed away before the event. Woods spoke to Jim Varsallone about that title win and working with Jonathan Gresham.

Oh man, I’ve wrestled [Jonathan] Gresham so many times throughout my career in Ring of Honor and just being in the ring with Jon is just an experience in itself no matter if it’s a tag match or for singles or for Pure. Learning from Gresham is incredible and anyone who gets to wrestle Jon is gonna come out better and I got to wrestle Jon a lot of times so that helped me so much. Just that was a great moment for me [winning the Pure Title at Death Before Dishonor]. Especially, that was first match I had after my father died and my dad was gonna be at that match so, that was a lot. That was a real — it was pretty hard and kind of did that, had that moment for him and it was cool. He would have been super proud and I know that.

** The 5/17 episode of The Ringer’s MackMania Podcast featured John Bradshaw Layfield as a guest. Current talents reaching out for advice became a topic of discussion and JBL recalled Happy Corbin contacting him about how to structure a match with a talent of a smaller stature.

Baron Corbin, a while back was wrestling — he may have been wrestling Rey [Mysterio], I’m not sure. He was wrestling somebody that was — Baron’s a tall guy and he asked me some questions about Rey. ‘How do I work with a smaller guy?’ And it was really cool. It wasn’t — it was a really intelligent way that he was asking questions. It wasn’t just, ‘Hey, what spots do you do?’ It was like, ‘How do you, psychology-wise, work with a guy so much smaller than you?’ And I was really impressed with Baron with the way he was asking questions.

JBL went on to credit his longtime tag partner Ron Simmons for providing him with mic time during their run together. He said Simmons was asked to do most of the talking for their team, but Simmons would pass the mic to JBL.

Especially back then with Ron [Simmons], they didn’t let me talk that much and so it wasn’t — Ron was such a good promo that, you know, Ron would actually give me the microphone on live television to let me talk because they wanted Ron to do the whole promo and Ron literally — of course nobody said anything because it was Ron [JBL laughed]. So, you know, I owe so much to Ron.

** Toni Storm reflected on her time in STARDOM while on the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Storm said she did not realize how much of her heart is with STARDOM and credited the promotion for boosting her in-ring confidence.

It means a lot [to be the first non-Japanese wrestler to win the World of STARDOM Title]. I didn’t realize how much of my heart is still in STARDOM. I guess I always did realize but I guess I never got over it and it was — I guess I spent so much time there more than I realized. Life moves so quickly that I just, I love it out there, I really do and I love the girls and I look back on it and I had some really fond memories and it made me who I am. It elevated me to who I am and it gave me a big confidence boost I think as well with my work because I got to wrestle a lot, I got wrestle long matches, I got to be in there with girls that are just out of this world good and I guess, yeah, all those things kind of came together and really helped me grow.

** AAA Reina de Reinas Champion Taya Valkyrie was interviewed by Jaychele Nicole. Now that Valkyrie is back in IMPACT Wrestling, she shared that she’s looking forward to sharing the ring with Jordynne Grace again.

Absolutely [I’d like to share the ring with Jordynne Grace again]. We have a long history in IMPACT and with the Knockouts Championship. We’ve faced each other, know each other very well and I think we both have grown so much over the last couple of years so I’d be very excited to face her again.

** New Japan Pro-Wrestling revealed the dates for the 2022 G1 Climax tournament. It starts on July 16th and will wrap up on August 16th at Nippon Budokan.

** Former WWE talent Jeet Rama launched a pro wrestling academy in India.

** The friendship between Masahiro Chono and René Duprée dates back to when René was a child. Chono got to see René wrestle for the first time in-person at NOAH’s 5/19 show. Chono told the press that the reigning GHC Tag Team Champion should be open to doing more singles matches.

He wrestled more solidly than I expected. I was relieved when I saw the match. If he wrestles so well and has such strength, he should be willing to aim for singles matches.

** NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results (5/19/22) Hachinohe, Japan
– YOH & Hiroyoshi Tenzan def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & TAKA Michinoku
– Jado, Alex Zayne, Clark Connors & Ryusuke Taguchi def. Dick Togo, Gedo, SHO & Taiji Ishimori
– Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi def. Ace Austin & Tiger Mask
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: Wheeler YUTA (2) def. DOUKI (2)
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: El Lindaman (2) def. Titán (0)
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: BUSHI (2) def. Robbie Eagles (2)
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: El Phantasmo (4) def. Master Wato (0)
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: El Desperado (4) def. TJP (2)

** AL.com has a feature story up about Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels’ rivalry and the ‘Sunny days’ remark.

** AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa guest appeared on Complex Unsanctioned.

** Starrcast and David Crockett applied to trademark ‘Jim Crockett Promotions’ and ‘JCP’.

** May 19th birthdays: Danny Havoc, André the Giant, NXT’s Sofia Cromwell, La Parka Negra.

** Jim Varsallone’s chat with Cezar Bononi is up on his YouTube channel.

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 3890 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.