POST NEWS UPDATE: Deonna Purrazzo & Mickie James planned to do bar brawl at Hard To Kill, had to cut their match short

Deonna Purrazzo/Mickie James, BUSHI's finger injury, Jungle Kyona comments on her return match, Lance Archer talks MMA commentary and AEW

Photo Courtesy: IMPACT Wrestling

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** PWTorch’s Zack Heydorn conducted an interview with Deonna Purrazzo. She detailed the scrapped portions of her Texas Death Match with Mickie James at IMPACT Wrestling Hard To Kill. Purrazzo said they had a backstage bar brawl planned but that along with some of their other ideas had to be cut so they could end the pay-per-view on time.

I think with this specific match [Texas Death Match against Mickie James at Hard To Kill], I think it was more laid out. We tried to lay it out like, ‘We’re gonna do this and we’re gonna do this and it’s gonna work to this’ and you know, when we get into the heat of a match, I’m kind of just like, well, I’ll tell you what I need and I don’t necessarily plan that. But, for this type of match because we wanted to go up on the ramp and then we needed the cameras to follow us and then we were down ringside. We actually planned a whole bar brawl. There was a bar in the back. We wanted to go back there and throw drinks and do the things. We just couldn’t because we were running short on time so we were just talking to each other of like, ‘We have to go here, we have to go here’ and what we planned out, because we needed the cameras and stuff to come with us, it was more planned out than I think typical. But we actually had to cut a lot of it to be able to end the pay-per-view on time. But yeah, I think that also what makes it easy with Mickie is you can just go out there and be like, ‘Hey, we gotta go. Let’s just go here’ and nix a whole bunch of stuff you planned and just kind of work on the fly and feel it out and know how to work back to the spots you did plan.

** For the first time since the fall of 2020, Jungle Kyona competed in a sanctioned match and it was against Kyoko Kimura at the Hana Kimura tribute show on 5/23. Kyona wrote about the match on her blog page and here are several excerpts from her piece:

I really wanted to have a match. I wanted to give my thoughts and feelings to her. I wanted to accept Ms. Kimura’s thoughts and feelings. I managed to get Ms. Kimura to agree to the match. I was filled with emotion. I chose a great person as my opponent, and she was so determined to get in the ring. She came up to the ring with determination. At first, she was Kyoko Kimura, the ‘flower mother’ but from the middle of the match, she completely became Kyoko Kimura, the pro-wrestler. She was more powerful than when she was active in the ring full-time.

All the emotions of the past two years were concentrated. A woman-to-woman fistfight. It was painful, but it felt good. It made me feel alive. The look on Ms. Kimura’s face before the lariat. I put all the power I could muster. After that, I heard the three count. The fight was so intense that I forgot it was an exhibition match. The pain, the elation, and the feelings… It was the happiest 11 minutes and 23 seconds. Just thank you.

** Part two of Paul London’s appearance on René Duprée’s Café De René podcast is out. London looked back on the Ladder match he was a part of at WWE Armageddon 2006. He said originally, the match was supposed to be him and Brian Kendrick versus William Regal and Dave Taylor but the duos of The Hardys (Matt & Jeff Hardy) and Joey Mercury and John Morrison were added the weekend of the pay-per-view. London added that he personally did not like one of the people in the match who he would later reveal to be Matt Hardy.

Brian [Kendrick] and I, we originally had a match with [William] Regal and [Dave] Taylor, that was the original match. Literally going into that weekend, we were contacted by the office and told that they were changing it into that four-way Ladder match. So, personally that made it more exciting for me because I had quite a bit of experience working with ladders and I liked it. I liked the creative opportunities that it affords and then you’re adding two other teams, you know, that’s four more guys. So, it just afforded for a lot more creativity. So that’s where my head was at going into it and while I didn’t like one of the people in this match, I still approached it from a professional standpoint and you know, basically said, ‘Listen, you guys have the experience here at this stage doing these kind of matches. Why don’t you take the lead and help structure this thing?’

After Joey Mercury suffered his injury in the Ladder match, London claims that Matt did not come to the hospital to check on Joey.

There was one person who we didn’t see at the hospital who didn’t show up and it was the initial guy that I was telling you that I didn’t care for. Yeah, yeah [London responded when the co-host threw up Matt’s hand signal that he does during his entrance], and this is your friend? This is the guy whose ass you kiss? He didn’t even bother to show up to the hospital to see you off? You know, to check on you? So, there’s different waves of professionalism and professional disgrace. 

** In his blog post on NJPW’s official website, BUSHI shared that he injured his left middle finger against El Phantasmo in his first B Block match of Best of the Super Juniors. BUSHI has competed in multiple matches since then.

** On July 31st, Ric Flair will be coming out of retirement for what is being billed as his last pro wrestling match. Flair told the Tampa Bay Times that he will be jumping off the top rope in that match and he’s currently working on that while training.

That’s what I’m working on. It’s just a timing issue. I’ll guarantee I’ll be coming off the top rope. Whether it’s the flip or not, I don’t know.

** Now that Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James is no longer with WWE, he wants to try his hand at color commentary. James told Sportskeeda that he wanted to do it in WWE, but Vince McMahon said no and insisted that Brian remain in his backstage role and help keep the show[s] on track.

I’d also love to do color commentary on some show so if anybody out there is hiring, I’m not retired, I’m unemployed. Let me make that perfectly clear [Road Dogg laughed] and look, I’d love to be working somewhere and doing what I love to do and helping these young guys and helping the television product become better as well.

Well it kind of goes hand-in-hand. When I first got released, I thought, I always wanted to do color commentary and Vince [McMahon] always said, ‘No. I need you back here helping to set up and construct and execute the show,’ you know what I mean? I thought, okay, that makes sense. That’s why I’m writing the show. You need me back here to kind of help execute it, but I thought, man, I’d love to try that. I wanted to try the podcast, I’m doing it now. I don’t think I’m doing it well but I will get better. We will hit our stride, but, it’s just fun and it’s a new challenge, you know what I mean? So I’m up for it.

On the topic of AEW, James thinks he can help spruce up the company’s television product and he knows some ‘unwritten rules’ that could improve the quality of their show.

I would love to go back and work behind the scenes. I think I could help with AEW’s television product and I think I could help with the creative consistency about some things, some unwritten rules that’ll just make their television show prettier and look, maybe that’s not what they want and I understand that too. But, I’m here if you need me.

He was later asked about Lacey Evans’ return to WWE TV. He recounted seeing Lacey at the Performance Center while he was still with the company and praised her work ethic. James said Lacey would put her baby to sleep and then head to the ring to take hip tosses.

I think she [Lacey Evans] looks great in the new outfit. I think she just had her second baby and she got back in shape quickly. Actually, before I got released, I saw her down at the Performance Center training hard to get back in the ring after having that second baby. She would literally put her baby down for a nap and go in and take hip tosses in the ring so I mean, that kind of woman, that kind of drive in any human is respectable, you know what I mean?

** WWE broadcaster and interviewer Kayla Braxton appeared on ‘Unlocking The Cage with Jimmy Smith’ and discussed her on-screen chemistry with Paul Heyman. Braxton dove into how good Heyman is and said there are times when they are recording a segment and Heyman manipulates her into believing what he’s saying.

It’s that kind of skill set [that Paul Heyman has] that — I don’t know. He’s been doing this for decades and decades so he’s definitely learned how to manipulate the crowd and how to manipulate the little new backstage interviewers too, to sometimes believing what he’s saying to me which is — a lot of people — my reaction, sometimes I forget we’re kind of acting and I’m like, the hell you’d just say to me!? [Braxton laughed] And I think he knows. He knows how to get that out of me.

Both Kayla and Jimmy touched on the on-the-fly changes that can happen during WWE broadcasts. Kayla spoke about how she adjusts to those changes and recounted a situation on The Bump when there was a time mix up and the crew had to go one hour without the guest that was scheduled for that entire block.

That’s another thing I think I said about ‘being on top at all times’. I’m less than a prep person. I’ve always been more of an off — I can — like ‘The Bump’. A few weeks ago, we had a show, an hour-long show that’s not super scripted but we have an idea of where we’re going with things and there was a time mix up, so we had one guest for the entire show. This was our 60-minute show that we had one guest booked and the time mixed up to where they couldn’t make it, so for 60 minutes, we had to just figure it out and make sure our audience didn’t know that something had gone wrong. But that kind of thing, I feel like I am better at. Just kind of being — and I think that’s what being a lifestyle host [has] always kind of done is, you know, the lifestyle ad libber kind of person so, it is different. Now, let’s say I’m backstage doing an interview for SmackDown and something happens while I’m about to get counted down in my ear. It hasn’t happened to me yet, don’t know how I’d be able to handle that. I feel like I’d probably just black out.

** With AEW Double or Nothing on the horizon, talents in the company are making the media rounds to promote the show. Steve Fall of NBC Sports’ Ten Count podcast welcomed Lance Archer onto the show. Archer was asked if he’s disappointed about not being on the upcoming Double or Nothing card and here was his response:

No [I’m not disappointed I’m not on Double or Nothing]. It’s wrestling man. That’s just how things are. We have an amazingly stacked roster so sometimes you’re a part of it, sometimes you’re not. Guess what? Doesn’t mean I might not show up and kick the crap out of whoever wins that championship match. Just because I’m not ‘written down’ on the card doesn’t mean I’m not gonna show up and make my name be heard.

In early May, Archer made his MMA commentary debut for the Xtreme Knockout promotion in Texas. He detailed how that opportunity came to be and said it would be fun to do more commentary spots.

I have no idea [if I’ll do commentary in AEW]. Back in like 2017, I had a back surgery and there was a company in Austin, Texas called WrestleCircus and they were kind enough to let me do commentary while I was in the healing process and I actually had a lot of fun doing that. The commentary spot for the MMA company, it’s called XKO [Xtreme Knockout]. It’s here in Dallas, Texas and they run a very high quality company and [the] family that runs it used to run pro wrestling. It’s kind of where I got my start, a company called PCW, Professional Championship Wrestling in Arlington, Texas and then since, they’ve gotten just strictly into MMA, XKO and I stopped by the show. It was one of the weekends I actually had the day to go and watch the show and the event and see the family and talk to everybody. I was ringside and the guy who’s doing commentary was like, ‘Lance! You wanna jump on commentary?’ I was like, ‘Sure, why not?’ I don’t know a lot about mixed martial arts. You obviously can be a fan just by watching the guys fight and the fight that I did commentary for was a very long fight, around 37 seconds [Archer laughed]. 37 seconds man, it was hilarious. I think the kid who won, won with a submission and it was just really quick and it was really good. So it’d be fun to do it more often. I don’t know if the fan base can handle my killer commentary.

** It was formally announced at a press conference on May 23rd that All Japan Pro Wrestling’s Suwama and Shuji Ishikawa are coming together to launch a women’s wrestling group/promotion. The advertising agency ‘Status’ is backing their endeavor. ‘Status’ has had a working relationship with All Japan that since 2009. The women’s wrestling organization is going to be called ‘Evolution’.

The only requirement for aspiring talents is that they must have already graduated from junior high school or above. The hope is that the organization debuts at All Japan’s Nippon Budokan event on September 18th. Suwama also plans to continue seeking out the services of Ice Ribbon’s Tsukasa Fujimoto, who was going to serve as an advisor when this project was initially announced in the fall of 2020. The ‘Evolution’ website is live at this link.

** Allison Danger pushed out the first edition of her ‘Dangerous Thoughts’ column and here’s an excerpt from the write-up:

Why the hell not?! My name is Allison Danger and I have been a part of professional wrestling for the past twenty-two years. Name your favorite female professional wrestler of the last decade and chances are I have wrestled, coached, or produced them. Natalya? Check. Mercedes Martinez? I’ve been chopped by her. Twice. Becky Lynch? You better believe it. Come to think of it, I just might be the Kevin Bacon of professional wrestling! Six Degrees of Allison Danger! So, how did I come to land on your favorite website ever?

On October 4th, 2021, after ten months of back and forth with the company and moving across the country, I began my dream job as a coach and producer at WWE, the largest professional wrestling company in the world. On January 4th, 2022, I, along with a list of other incredible talents, was released out of nowhere for “restructuring”. After wallowing in a haze of ice cream and New Girl reruns (yes, I totally sang along with Dirty Dancing!), I am ready to see what the future has in store for me and take on some new challenges and goals, one of which is to begin writing for you lovely folks.

** While speaking to PWInsider, Powerhouse Hobbs was asked who from the west coast he would like to see compete in AEW and he name-dropped Reno SCUM (Adam Thornstowe & Luster The Legend). Hobbs touched on how helpful both talents were during his early days in wrestling.

I would love to see the Reno SCUM… Those guys have taught me so much, from the time I got thrown into a battle royal when I was training. I would love to see those guys in action in an AEW ring. 

Hobbs shared in the past that he hopes to one day take on the ‘Hacksaw’ nickname in honor of the late Butch Reed. It was relayed to Hobbs by Butch’s family that Butch was a fan of his. Hobbs stated that he recently had the chance to chat with Ron Simmons and Hobbs learned that Simmons enjoys his work as well.

It’s an honor [to be compared to Butch Reed]. You may have heard the story about him being a fan of mine, and that was an honor. I do hopefully one day wanna carry the ‘Hacksaw’ name on in his honor, if the opportunity ever presents itself. I actually got to meet Ron Simmons for the first time and he was telling me how he’s a fan of mine, and how he had heard Butch was. Just the fact that both guys, what they’ve meant to the business and the African American community, them looking at me – hopefully I can carry some things on for them and make them proud but one day hopefully I have the opportunity to take the Hacksaw name on.

** Former two-time WWE Tag Team Champion Doug Basham was the focus of a Q&A that was hosted by Sportskeeda. He detailed how he and Danny Basham were added to JBL’s ‘Cabinet’ stable. The opportunity came about when Doug and Danny successfully stopped Tough Enough contestants from winning a capture the flag-like game on TV. Both Undertaker and JBL felt that Doug and Danny protected the company and went to Vince McMahon to express that they should be rewarded.

We [Doug & Danny Basham] represented the company and didn’t let any of those [Tough Enough] kids get the flag [in the Capture the Flag type of game]. They got closer and closer the further down the line we went because we were — our arms and bodies were getting like jelly, you know? It was like, ugh. By the time we got to [Daniel] Puder, we had all those big dudes. We had to stop all them big dudes and you know, at that point in time in my career, my body was cosmetic. It was made for show, not for go, you know what I mean? But that put me and Danny to the test and then after we represented the company and we stopped all the guys, JBL and Undertaker went to Vince McMahon and said, ‘I think we need to reward those boys. They were put in jeopardy and they held those kids off’ so JBL had the idea, he had The Cabinet, he had — Orlando Jordan, he was the Chief of Staff. They had — I can’t remember her name… Amy Weber was like the… I forget what her title was and then JBL, he just needed his Secretaries of Defense which is me and Danny so we were like the muscle, like the guards, you know? His C.I.A. agents, special agents, whatever, protected. We were the crash test dummies basically for JBL is what we were. But man, we made a lot of money doing it so, it was an advancement in my career and some of the best times of my life. It put us straight to the top, straight to the top, working with all the top guys so, loved it so, that is how the Secretaries of Defense came about.

** In the semifinals of the Owen Hart Foundation tournament women’s bracket, Ruby Soho is taking on Kris Statlander. Ruby spoke to PWInsider about her upcoming match against Kris and said she’s one of her favorite opponents.

I can honestly say that Kris Statlander, when I faced her in the TBS Tournament, was potentially one of my favorite opponents that I’ve been against. She brought out, you know, a whole new level of fighting. She’s unbelievably talented… I feel like with this new mentality that Kris has, it’s almost like I’m, you know, I’d be facing a new opponent in her as well. If I were to face her because she is far more vicious. You know, she calls herself ‘More than a Woman’ and she’s essentially just, you know, a warrior. And she’s brought out a whole new level of fight in her and on top of that she was in the best shape I have ever seen her [in]. Kris, who is somebody that I respect and I consider a friend would also, you know, make me feel like, if I were to be able to secure a win, I would feel that I had earned it because I’ve beaten some of the best that we have in AEW.

Dr. Martha Hart, along with her family, were in attendance for the May 11th Dynamite. Soho did not get a chance to chat with them, but she thinks the family being in attendance added some positive pressure and made the roster want to up their respective games.

I didn’t, unfortunately, get a chance to talk to them. I really, really, really wanted to meet them, but I unfortunately was preparing for my match against Riho. But honestly, I think that there was an added extra element of a positive pressure there. I think, you know, having them watching us live is definitely something that made I think all of us up our game, because, it’s one thing to have them watch us from TV but watching us live, you know, try and preserve a memory of a man who was legendary in our industry, was very, very intense. But I think it was a good kind of intense, is was good as an added extra boost of motivation for us to make sure that you know what? [Martha Hart] was happy with what she saw, she’s happy with how much effort that we put into our matches and to make sure that this tournament, being the first year of us doing it, this tournament was everything that she wanted it to be.

When asked what the most surprising thing about her run in AEW has been so far, Ruby stated that she did not expect her confidence level to reach the point that it has.

The most surprising is how quickly my confidence has been in this place. I knew that there was going to be a level of creative freedom here. I knew that I was going to be able to come in as an unapologetic version of myself. But I did not realize how this would affect me personally as far as my confidence within, you know, my career as a professional wrestler. It has really helped me in more ways than I can imagine. And that’s thanks to the AEW fans and thanks to Tony Khan and thanks to the women who have pushed me to a limit that I didn’t even know that I could get to in the ring within the roster. And it’s been a huge, monumental thing for me in my career. It’s a place that I never, I never thought possible, you know? I’m able to participate, you know, kind of [on] an Apple TV show with Carpool Karaoke that I’ve watched for a long time and that those are opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to get if it wasn’t for AEW but on top of that, to be able to be a part of a prestigious tournament like the Owen Hart Tournament, it keeps on, it keeps getting better. I keep having to pinch myself and realize that this is currently the life that I’m living and I’m so unbelievably lucky to be living it and to be a part of this team and to be a part of AEW. And I think, you know, the growth of our company and really how much we’ve done just within the last year and, you know, tribute to Tony Khan and to our roster who works tirelessly to make this a product that it’s 1,000 percent worth watching.

** JTG was a guest on The Wrassingh Show and reflected on being present at the 2022 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony to honor the late Shad Gaspard. JTG said he felt welcomed and a lot of people were happy to see him.

I’ll be honest with you, it felt like home [being backstage at WWE for the 2022 Hall of Fame ceremony], because that’s where it all started for me. I came in there as a young 21-year-old, naïve, just no — just bright-eyed and bushy like, oh my gosh. So that’s pretty much where I — my professional career, that’s where I was pretty much raised. I was there from 21 to what? For eight years. So it felt great to be back, and the feeling was mutual. Everybody was so happy to see me and I could — you can tell when it’s genuine too. Like, let’s see if I get any of this fake love. ‘Aye, Jay! What’s going on? Long time!’ No. Everything was genuine, definitely happy to see me and the energy felt great and we’ll see what happens.

** The latest edition of Teasy’s Table on the Swerve City YouTube channel featured Shane Taylor as a guest. Taylor explained the difference in his mindset and presentation when it comes to leading Shane Taylor Promotions versus being part of ‘Pretty Boy Killers’ with Keith Lee.

I think it’s a similar mindset, but I think I’ve had to evolve more as I transitioned into that leadership role with S.T.P. [Shane Taylor Promotions]. With Keith [Lee], we were equals, right? The best way that I could describe it is yin and yang personalities coming together to create this dynamic team, right? You have Keith who is very eloquent, very intelligent, very poised, very confident, right? Who oozes charisma and is able to do things that make people sit up, pay attention and drop their jaws, right? And then you have me, just as intelligent, just as charismatic but I tend to be more aggressive. I tend to be more in your face. I tend to bring that sort of violent personality that compliments what he does and so we’re able to both do a lot of similar things but also be at two different ends of the spectrum and so there, when it was with me and Keith, we both were able to come together to share our perspective of what we thought stars could be in this sport who could draw money, who could do what and that’s what that ‘Pretty Boy Killer’ name was about. You know, so many people already have a preconceived notion of who they think a champion is, of what they think a draw is, of what they think a leading man or woman can be in this sport and me and Keith wanted to dispel all that and completely shatter whatever they thought a superstar could be. You know, stars aren’t meant to look like us, stars aren’t meant to talk like us, walk like us. They’re not meant to represent the way we do and we wanted to put a definitive middle finger up to that thought process and now, me transitioning into the CEO and captain role of S.T.P., I’m able to take that same idea, that same spirit and now impart that onto my peers and the next generation of talent coming up that you do not have to sit here with this handout, please let us be a part of your industry, please grace us with your benevolence-type mindset. You can go in there and go, ‘No. I know how talented I am, I know how special I am, I know what I can do and I can go out there and absolutely show it to you and I can absolutely prove it night in and night out’ and be proud of that and carry that on your shoulders so I think what you’re seeing with S.T.P. is the evolution of who I was when I was with Keith.

** Best Friends (Orange Cassidy, Trent & Chuck Taylor) were guests on Dead Meat’s YouTube channel.

** WTAE-TV’s story about the latest Bruno Sammartino documentary.

** WWE filed a trademark on the ‘Max Dupri’ name which is being used by the former L.A. Knight.

** Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp pushed out his interview with Hangman Adam Page.

** ‘Sega NET Mahjong MJ’ is partnering with New Japan Pro-Wrestling to host a ‘New Japan Cup’ gaming tournament that will kick off on May 30th.

** NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results (5/24/22) Korakuen Hall
Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Alex Zayne (6) def. Francesco Akira (2)
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: Titán (2) def. TJP (2)
Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Clark Connors (2) def. Ryusuke Taguchi (2)
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: Wheeler YUTA (4) def. BUSHI (4)
Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Ace Austin (6) def. YOH (4)
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: DOUKI (4) def. El Phantasmo (6)
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: Master Wato (2) def. Robbie Eagles (4)
Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Yoshinobu Kanemaru (2) def. Hiromu Takahashi (6)
Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Taiji Ishimori (8) def. SHO (2)
Best of the Super Juniors B Block: El Lindaman (6) def. El Desperado (6)

** ‘Gimme A Hull Yeah!’ has an interview with ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey.

** The June 2022 edition of ‘Team NJPW’ magazine will include a transcript of a sit-down discussion between Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yuji Nagata.

** Matt Cardona and Brian Myers welcomed Jeff Jarrett and Conrad Thompson onto their podcast.

** Josh Alexander vs. ‘Filthy’ Tom Lawlor is taking place at Future Stars of Wrestling and Wrestling REVOLVER’s joint-show on May 27th.

** AEW’s The Bunny was a guest on the ‘Dead Meat’ YouTube show.

** The most recent episode of ‘Under the Ring’ with Phil Strum includes an interview with Serena Deeb.

** Following her match at a ‘Coastal Championship Wrestling’ show, Jessie Elaban (Jessi Kamea) was interviewed by Jim Varsallone.

** Ahead of AEW Double or Nothing, Thunder Rosa guest appeared on Casual Conversations with The Classic.

** Rob Schamberger’s newest Canvas 2 Canvas piece spotlights The Judgement Day’s Rhea Ripley.

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.