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.
** CyberFight President Sanshiro Takagi was profiled by the ‘fumufumu news’ outlet. The site ran their extensive interview with Takagi about his journey in pro wrestling and dove into what he’s doing present day. As far as Takagi’s in-ring career goes, he does not want a formal retirement or an announcement made. He thinks it’d be best if he just stopped wrestling and moved on from the in-ring portion of his career without addressing it.
I don’t really want to retire. I don’t want to retire and then come back. It would be lying to the customers. If that’s the case, I think it would be better to fade away. If I were to quit wrestling, I would choose to disappear without calling it a retirement match. I don’t think of retiring after a certain point.
The WRESTLE UNIVERSE content folder expanded this year. Talents who are members of either Tokyo Joshi Pro or DDT are going to have their AEW matches uploaded to the service and they’ll commentate over those matches. Takagi wants to continue deepening CyberFight’s relationship with both AEW and Game Changer Wrestling. Select GCW events air on WRESTLE UNIVERSE.
I would like to deepen our relationship not only with AEW, but also with GCW and various other organizations, and send DDT athletes overseas or invite overseas athletes.
Takagi is still active in the ring and wrestles on a semi-regular basis. Back on March 19th, he wrestled for Tokyo Joshi Pro and suffered a shoulder injury. The following day, he wrestled AEW’s Michael Nakazawa and stated that he could not move his shoulder.
(Laughs) I hurt myself a lot at the Tokyo Joshi Pro ‘Grand Princess’ show against Hyper Misao. I couldn’t raise my shoulder. The next day, against Michael Nakazawa, I was working with a shoulder that wouldn’t move. I wondered if I could do it with one hand, and I won with one hand (laughs).
** Sammy Guevara posted a video clip on his social media pages of him and Tay Conti at a Comic Con convention. While answering a question, Guevara addressed those who have said he is one of the worst TNT Champions.
I want all the belts. You know, I held the TNT Title and people are gonna go and disrespect me, saying that I was one of the worst TNT champs, right? Saying that I destroyed the belt. But what did I do every single week? I tried to have five-star matches on the weekly, destroying my body and people are gonna go and disrespect me. Why? Because my relationship? F*ck everybody.
** Back in July of 2017, AJ Styles defeated Kevin Owens for the United States Title at a Madison Square Garden house show. The official for the match was Darrick Moore, who guest appeared on the ‘Table Talk’ podcast and shared that he did not know the finish of the match. Moore was told by Michael Hayes to just go referee. Initially, Moore thought he made a mistake because title changes at house shows are not a regular occurrence.
My other big moment [from my time in WWE], it was at Madison Square Garden. It was a live event and the match was AJ Styles versus Kevin Owens for the United States Title and this had been years — it hadn’t been a title change at a live event in years and we actually had a title change at a live event and then it came shocking to me. I didn’t know what was going on the whole day. I didn’t know what match I had. They just threw me out there, because I remember Michael Hayes was the producer. He was like, ‘Darrick, you have this match.’ I said, ‘Okay. Do I know what’s going on?’ He said, ‘Just go out there and ref.’ I said, ‘Okay’ so I just had to go on the fly and when the shoulder’s not coming up, that’s the three count so that’s what I had to do and I was like overwhelmed with that. I was almost in tears myself because, I didn’t know the title — [I knew] nothing [that] was going on in the match the entire day, at all. Yes, I thought I did [make a mistake], and it goes back again, I know Vince McMahon wasn’t there but I knew I had to go to Monday Night Raw. I was like, oh no. I hope this is not what I’m gonna get chewed out — I hope I didn’t do nothing wrong. But, I didn’t [Darrick laughed].
** New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb appeared on the 5/25 AEW Dynamite and took out Rocky Romero and Trent Beretta along with FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler). O-Khan spoke to Tokyo Sports following his AEW debut and mentioned that he has thought about moving to the United States.
I’ve already taken over Japan, and I’m thinking of moving to the U.S. to base my activities there.
** From February 2021 to November of that year, Taya Valkyrie f.k.a. Franky Monet was with WWE. She reflected on her experience with the company during her appearance on Busted Open Radio. Valkyrie does not know what she could have done to turn that run in a different direction, but she felt she tried her hardest and went the extra mile. Looking back on it, she said her time there was disappointing despite checking off a career goal which was to work there.
I really don’t know [what I could have done to turn my WWE run in a different direction]. I think John [Morrison] said it best when I was trying to be like, ‘I don’t understand,’ you know what I mean? He was just like, ‘You can’t make sense of something that makes no sense. It is what it is.’ I did everything I was supposed to do and beyond, tried to make everything work that I was handed, even if I sometimes didn’t agree on the creative or whatever it was. Got along with everybody, went to do my stuff every single day and it just didn’t work out and I blamed myself for a long time. I was just — and I didn’t even know what I was blaming myself for but I was just so disappointed that something I worked so hard for didn’t work out just like anybody would. But, it is what it is. I don’t know. It sucks, it was a really horrible experience honestly for me and very disappointing. But, at the end of the day, it was an experience. I accomplished something I had set out to do 12 years ago, something I had wanted to do since I was a kid and yeah, sometimes, it doesn’t work out. It sucks but, rather than — and I had my moments of being super upset at myself and very almost depressed and questioning my ability and all this kind of stuff so, but now I’m just kind of like, eh, it sucked and people ask me, ‘How do you feel about your experience?’ I go, ‘It sucked.’ It’s just kind of all I can say because I don’t — I now have moved on from that mentally and personally in my career and I just know that I have a very supportive group of people around me and all these different wrestlers that I’ve come to wrestle again and work with have been just so incredibly positive that I really feel like no matter what, I mean I was destined to do it. Was I destined to be successful there? Obviously not but also it gave me, you know, one more thing on my resume, one more thing I accomplished and now I’m just looking to find another mountain to climb.
On June 11th, Valkyrie is scheduled to make her NWA debut at ‘Alwayz Ready’. She’s excited for the event and said she’s eying Kamille’s World Women’s Title.
I’m very excited [to debut for the NWA]. It’s just one more other place I get to go and work and do what I do, do what La Wera Loca does best and I’m gonna be looking at Kamille for the NWA Women’s Championship down the road. I’m coming in guns a-blazing and I know that there are a lot of people in the NWA right now, women’s division that I have not faced before so there’s gonna be a lot of possibilities for first time matchups and yeah, it’s gonna be really, really fun so if you’re in Knoxville on June 11th, please come see me.
For the fourth time in her career, Valkyrie became AAA Reina de Reinas Champion by defeating Deonna Purrazzo at IMPACT Wrestling’s Rebellion pay-per-view. Valkyrie discussed why the Reina de Reinas Title is so important to her and mentioned that she’s tied with Faby Apache for the most reigns.
I mean, I’ve had a 12-year relationship basically with that championship [AAA Reina de Reinas Title], having worked in AAA for over a decade on and off. First winning it, you know, in 2017 I think it was. It’s now my fourth title reign. I am tied with Faby Apache for the most title reigns. A girl from Canada doing that is crazy. I’ve just like — the Reina de Reinas Championship has been there for me through so many stages of my career and I was just so happy to be able to, you know, win her back and now be representing lucha libre on a worldwide stage. I plan on defending this championship all over the world. I did defend it in Canada last weekend. It’s really important to me. It holds a lot of history, a lot, and a lot of history with amazing luchadoras that came before me and I’m just happy and proud to be representing that again and to be, you know, taking it everywhere and giving it the spotlight it deserves and it’s a part of my story and it’s really cool that this next chapter starts with her as well.
** Going into AEW’s weekend of events, TBS Champion Jade Cargill penned a letter for The Players’ Tribute. Below is an excerpt from her write-up:
I know there will always be people who are going to talk their talk. People who think I wasn’t ready when I became TBS champ. People who think I haven’t paid my dues. And honestly I’m not even mad at those people. I appreciate that a lot of those opinions, they just come with the territory when your audience is as passionate as ours is. And at times I’ve felt many of those same doubts. Believe me, I was shocked and humbled to be the first TBS champ — and I had moments where I was questioning things. Like, How will this be perceived by our fan base? How will my coworkers feel? How am I going to feel? All of those thoughts were on my mind.
At the same time, though, I can promise you another thing: I would’ve never entered this sport if I didn’t think I had it in me to be great. Not good…. great. And I’m still growing, that’s just a fact. This is my second year as a wrestler. I debuted in front of the whole world. Half the time I feel like a lab experiment for TV viewers. And when I’m feeling doubts, I just remember that my daughter — she’s one of those viewers. And she’s seeing her mom be a champion. She’s seeing me grab life by the horns, and refuse to settle.
I come from a proud, Black family, and generations of proud, Black women. So I’ve always grown up with that special armor, that ability to be the only Black person in a room and keep my head up high — because I feel like I’m representing a lot of Black people who aren’t there. And I feel like I’m representing them even more in the role I’m in now. In everything I do, I want to be a pioneer for the next generation. I want to be proof.
** While Mickie James was still with WWE, she ventured into commentary on ‘Main Event’ and for the 2021 NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver pre-show. On GAW TV, James discussed how difficult commentary is and trying to call matches while being in character and having a producer in her ear.
James: That really makes so much sense to me [JBL’s reasoning for enjoying Vince McMahon as a commentary producer] because I tried out commentary on Main Event and I really struggled with — I felt like — obviously, we pick ourselves apart the most but, I was like, oh God, I’m just not any good at that. Vince was always nice so he wasn’t really — like you said, he would throw in one word or one phrase. No one was ever mean to me; I won’t say that. I just think that I was hard on myself but again, I think I still wanted to wrestle and so, I didn’t dive wholeheartedly into it, you know? To be as good as I could to whereas now, I can kind of sit back and go, I learned a lot going to NXT and just trying to learn but it’s a whole different ball game because you do have so much going on in your ears and you’re trying to tell the story but you’re also still trying to be your character and who you are as a performer. But still deliver the message and help the match and do all the things. I didn’t understand how difficult that job was until you sat in the seat and really had to take it all in.
John Bradshaw Layfield was a guest on the show and expressed that he enjoyed Vince McMahon as a commentary producer. He said McMahon never yelled at him and added that it is ‘fashionable’ for people to say they disliked the way McMahon produced his commentators.
JBL: And Vince [McMahon] gets a lot of heat over the way he produces guys. I loved it and by the way, Vince was never rude to me, not one time. Did not yell at me one time. Jerry Lawler says the same thing, Booker T says the same thing. Now, he yelled at Michael Cole and he yelled at some other guys but I think it was the old guys who had been in the ring for him, you know, he just treated us differently. Even when I made mistakes, he was very kind about it but I loved him being in my ear because he was very succinct. He’s a great producer. You know, he would tell you just a short little phrase. He wouldn’t tell you a whole paragraph and usually, I’d be one word behind it. I’d just repeat exactly what he said because he knew what was coming up and he also knew what he was feeding somewhere else. So sometimes he’d be feeding me something but he would feed Cole something different and it made sense after Cole said it, you know, so he had access to everything and so I enjoyed Vince being a producer. A lot of guys, you know, I think it’s fashionable to say they hated it but I thought he was terrific at it.
** It is official that Wardlow and MJF are going one-on-one at AEW Double or Nothing. Wardlow told the New York Post that from a business aspect, MJF is a genius and is one of the most hardworking and demanding people he’s ever come across.
When you look at Max from a business aspect, he is an absolute genius. He is one of the hardest working, most demanding individuals I’ve ever seen. That aspect of him is truly amazing and truly impressive. Now with that said, as a person, he’s scum of the earth. I’ve seen him disrespect people to unimaginable levels. If you think the things he says on TV in front of millions of people is bad, you should hear the things he says on a private jet or in a limo when it’s just a few of the boys. He’s not a good person.
As for what’s next for Wardlow, he thinks he has some unfinished business with the TNT Championship. MJF got involved in the match and cost Wardlow the title.
Experiencing what I’ve experienced with the crowd lately, obviously there is a part of me that thinks let’s get Max out of the way and let’s get that heavyweight title, but I do have some unfinished business as far as the TNT title is concerned. I was a literal second away from winning the TNT championship and Max took that away from me. It’s one of those things where if I think about something daily, I have to do something about it. So once Max is through, I think I need to bring some peace to that.
** On the ‘OTEKOMACHI’ website, Hiroshi Tanahashi provides life advice to those who write in questions to him. One individual noted that his life has not been going well as he approaches his late 30s; adding that he’s unemployed, been bullied in past workplaces and struggles with his confidence. Here’s a portion of what Tanahashi wrote back to him:
First of all, there is something I always keep in mind. That is, ‘Even if you are not having fun, you can live like you are having fun.’ My body is tired. My knees are in shreds. I couldn’t get any customers to come to shows. My company’s business was in bad shape at one point. I was in this situation, and to be honest, it was very hard. I was always smiling, even though I was a champion at the time.
This was because I was the champion at the time, and to speak out in weakness meant that New Japan Pro-Wrestling would wave the white flag. I’ve talked about me a lot, but what I wanted to say was that desperation comes across and hard work is cool.
During a match, there are moments when wrestlers who are not necessarily handsome look really shiny and cool. Isn’t that what it means? So, if you are not confident about your appearance, please put even more effort into your way of life.
Since you said you are currently unemployed, the first step is to start working. Then try to live life to the fullest. ‘Coolness’ is determined by your overall score; your work, your personality, your kindness, your ability to take care of people, the way you talk, your humor… and your muscles! So I also recommend muscle training. I think it is important to have confidence in any one thing. If you are confident, the effort and time you have spent behind the scenes will show through.
** The NXT 2.0 brand is scheduled to go on the road for house shows starting June 10th. NXT Champion Bron Breakker told Jim Varsallone that he’s excited about the upcoming dates.
I think it just comes down to the WWE Performance Center coaches and the wisdom that they can bestow on us [about NXT house show loops] and you know, kind of get us ready to be prepared and stuff like that. These will be the first set of house shows that I’ve worked so… I think I’ve done a few with the main roster at different times and yeah, I’m just so excited. I can’t wait to get out there.
Breakker spoke highly of both Shawn Michaels and Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque. He hopes he’s able to work with Levesque more in the future, but said he loves both him and Shawn and thinks the world of them.
Oh, huge impact man. I love Shawn Michaels. He is wonderful to work for. Just absolutely fantastic. You know, just, I cannot say enough good things. It’s been such a wonderful experience getting to work for him and I hope there could be, you know, working with Triple H more and doing some things because he was down in NXT in my very early stages of being here and then, you know, he left shortly, maybe a couple months after I arrived so I haven’t really gotten to work with him a ton but, I love both of them, I think the world of both of them. Like I said, I’ve said many times, Triple H is my favorite wrestler of all time and it’s such an honor and a privilege to be working for those two. Just absolute amazing superstars, Hall of Fame careers and just, it’s so great, I’m so thankful for that. I just think the world of both of them.
** Former UFC and Bellator fighter Seth Petruzelli is a featured guest on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast. Seth used to work as a striking coach at the WWE Performance Center. He still visits the facility from time to time to assist with training and shared that in a few weeks, Shinsuke Nakamura is coming to his karate dojo for a session.
I still go occasionally once in a while to hold pads for some of the guys [in WWE]. A lot of guys train with me at The Jungle [MMA and Fitness gym] and at the dojo, we have big names. Shinsuke Nakamura, he’s testing in a week at my karate dojo. He’s training with me and a bunch of other guys are at The Jungle doing the jiu-jitsu and stuff like that. So a lot of them still train with us and I still train them.
Petruzelli did venture into performing in the ring with the assumption that it would be easier on his body opposed to MMA. Seth said it was much worse and he could not believe how painful it was. It got to a point where he stepped away from in-ring competition.
I started getting into it [pro wrestling] and then just started practicing and then just started taking matches, but then I realized with that, I was like, okay, this isn’t gonna be as hard on my body like MMA. Man, was I wrong. It literally — it’s so much worse. Like, taking the bumps and the rattling in my head. My headaches were getting worse. I was like, this sucks. I’m like, I can’t believe it’s this bad, like no way so I stuck it out for about a year, a little over a year and then I was like, I can’t do this. This is killing my body. I can’t do this anymore. So I kept teaching [for WWE] but I stopped doing it and then they went in a different direction.
** Prior to advancing to the finals of the Owen Hart Foundation tournament, Britt Baker was interviewed by TV Insider. She told the publication that she’s been interested in the idea of doing a reality show with Adam Cole.
There has been interest on more than one occasion. It’s definitely something I’ve warmed up to. At first, I felt I am too busy, and most importantly I always thought my life is way too boring for something like that. To me, being a wrestler and dentist is just my life. If it’s content that can be entertaining for others, I would definitely be open to that.
It is well documented that Baker is close friends with IMPACT Wrestling’s Deonna Purrazzo. Deonna made her AEW debut on the 5/4 Dynamite. When the show was over, Britt said she asked Deonna not to leave and that she wanted her back at the next show.
It got to the point at the end of the night, I was backstage and said, ‘No, I don’t want you to go. I want you back here next week too!’ Deonna really deserves a big stage and a crowd of thousands chanting her name because she is so talented. She has proven herself time and time again as one of the best in the world. Her WWE career didn’t really pan out, but right now she is arguably one of the biggest stars in all of women’s wrestling. That’s pretty cool she was able to do that. In terms of having a match, it’s not up to us. Hopefully sooner or later.
** Ahead of AEW Double or Nothing, ‘Las Vegas Sun’ spoke to AEW Women’s World Champion Thunder Rosa. She stated that if she loses her title at the pay-per-view, she’ll continue working to make a difference for Latinos in wrestling and in general.
As a champion, I think I can make a difference not only in the ring, but outside of the ring. I take this very seriously. If I lose this championship on Sunday, I will continue to work to make a difference for Latinos in general. There’s a few of us that are making strides in the business.
** Nick Aldis appeared on Ranters Nation Network and elaborated on why the occasion of winning the TNA World Heavyweight Title was bigger than his NWA Worlds Title win but explained why the NWA Title victory means more.
So, I would say the occasion of winning the TNA World Title was bigger to me because it — you know, I was on the same roster as Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe and I’m winning the world title so that to me — and it was on worldwide television. People always seem to give TNA a hard time for that peak period but it’s like, they were doing two million viewers consistently on Spike TV primetime, and I was there and it was on Spike TV so you know, millions of people saw it and people around the world and it was a big deal in the U.K. and we ended up throwing an impromptu, kind of like world title party almost. Me and J.B. [Jeremy Borash] came back — came to England for Christmas that year and he was like, ‘Hey, you wanna do a fan party?’ And I was like, ‘Sure’ and it was packed and it became kind of this big deal because the British media kind of picked up on me winning that belt and made a big deal of it so, I would say that — now, the flipside of that is the NWA World Title means more to me because of the lineage but it’s more important to me because of what I was able to do with it, to get it, to sort of put it back in the consciousness of the wrestling business, right? Do you know what I mean? The first time I won it, I beat Tim Storm at a CZW show in New York or whatever it was or in Philly. So, you know, not exactly my cup of tea. But you know, more power to ‘em. But, it wasn’t like I was sitting there like, this is it, you know? But, you know, winning it in a TV main event with Jeff Hardy, obviously, whole different ball game. What I was then able to do but then you contrast that with a year later, less than a year later after winning the NWA Title, it’s like, me and Cody [Rhodes] are stood face-to-face in a sold-out building and it ends up being a real sort of milestone event in wrestling. So yeah, I’d say that the occasion was bigger for the TNA one for me but the NWA Title means way more to me.
** TNT Champion Scorpio Sky looked back on his ROH World Title match against Cody Rhodes from a 2017 WrestleCircus show. Sky told Sports Guys Talking Wrestling that-that was a turning point for him in his career and recalled Rhodes specifically requesting to work with him.
Honestly, I think it [favorite memory of WrestleCircus] probably had to be the match with Cody [Rhodes], just because that was kind of a turning point for me. Just all the build up leading up to it. You know, he was kind of still fresh on the independent circuit at the time and I’ll never forget getting the call from Al [Lenhart] and he was really excited and he was just like, ‘Hey, we’re bringing Cody in’ and I’m like, ‘Oh! That’s awesome man’ and he’s like, ‘Oh, and he requested to work with you. Like he specifically asked for you’ and I was like, ‘Me? That’s weird but okay, cool,’ you know? And me, at the time, I was still on the indies and I was kind of struggling. I hadn’t even started working for Ring of Honor yet and once we had that match, I knew if I knocked it out of the park, that people were going to watch it and everything just kind of kicked off from there and that led to Ring of Honor which ultimately led to AEW so, that had to be my favorite memory.
** Sports Illustrated’s ‘This Week in Wrestling’ column includes a chat with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada as they reflected on Okada’s first IWGP Heavyweight Title win. Tanahashi stated that Okada has exceeded expectations and thinks he’s the ‘spiritual pillar’ of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
It is more than even I expected. He excels in a visual sense, with athletic ability, and through his strength. I think he is now the spiritual pillar of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
** Per PWInsider, Serena Deeb, Jordynne Grace and Savannah Evans all filmed roles for Starz’ ‘Heels’ series.
** Xavier Woods will be part of the broadcast team for Armed Forces Sports Championship’s Halo tournament. G4tv is going to rebroadcast the finals.
** On May 28th, Fukigen Death (Kaori Yoneyama) is challenging Mayu Iwatani for the SWA World Title. Fukigen did an in-character interview with Tokyo Sports and told the publication what she currently thinks of STARDOM as a promotion:
I’m pissed off because there is no catering, no cigarettes [in STARDOM]. Also, I’m tired of bald old men taking pictures with their phones. Don’t take pictures.
** A press conference was held on 5/25 to formally announce a promotional collaboration between New Japan Pro-Wrestling and the city of Karatsu which is located in the Saga Prefecture. The collaboration period starts in June and will last through December 2022. NJPW President Takami Ohbari, Karatsu city Mayor Tatsurō Mine and Jushin Thunder Liger were in attendance.
** Jack Evans joined the 2022 PROGRESS Wrestling ‘Super Strong Style 16’ tournament field.
** Matt Clement (Tyler Breeze) returned to UpUpDownDown to continue the Battle of the Brands series with Xavier Woods.
** NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results (5/26/22) Korakuen Hall
– Best of the Super Juniors B Block: Master Wato (4) def. Titán (2)
– Best of the Super Juniors B Block: TJP (6) def. DOUKI (6)
– Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Clark Connors (6) def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (4)
– Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Alex Zayne (8) def. Ryusuke Taguchi (2)
– Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Francesco Akira (4) def. YOH (6)
– Best of the Super Juniors B Block: El Lindaman (8) def. Wheeler YUTA (6)
– Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Ace Austin (10) def. Taiji Ishimori (8)
– Best of the Super Juniors B Block: BUSHI (6) def. El Desperado (8)
– Best of the Super Juniors A Block: SHO (6) def. Hiromu Takahashi (6)
– Best of the Super Juniors B Block: Robbie Eagles (6) def. El Phantasmo (8)
** Liv Morgan was the subject of WWE’s ‘Grit & Glory’ series that is hosted by Montez Ford.
** Sting and Darby Allin guest appeared on Steven’s Wrestling Journey.
** WWE’s Titus O’Neil is going to be the 2022 grand marshal of the Indy 500 Snake Pit on May 29th.
** John Bradshaw Layfield and Gerald Brisco welcomed Freddie Prinze Jr. onto their podcast.
** An interview with Ricky Starks is up on the ‘Bleav in Pro Wrestling’ YouTube channel.
** May 26th birthdays: Steve Maclin, Ashley Massaro.
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.