POST NEWS UPDATE: RevPro owner Andy Quildan discusses Gabriel Kidd’s return, changes to ‘Epic Encounter’

Gabriel Kidd's return, Carmella-WWE note, Dreamer pitched for Gia Miller to wrestle more in IMPACT, Shotzi interview, Matt Hardy/EC3 and more

Photo Courtesy: @RobPoulloin on Twitter

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.

** Revolution Pro Wrestling owner Andy Quildan talked about Gabriel Kidd’s return to the promotion while on the PWTorch Dailycast. Kidd took a break from wrestling as he was navigating through mental health issues. Quildan explained that Kidd’s return was not promoted so there was no pressure on him to feel like he had to appear. He recalled speaking to Kidd afterwards and Kidd said he felt anxious and nervous until he heard the crowd’s response to him.

Without a doubt, you know, we talk about his [Gabriel Kidd] wrestling, his intensity. He’s found out who he is in the ring. He knows exactly who he is in the ring now and that absolutely — he burst onto the scene and I mean, look, his mental health issues have been well documented and it’s not something where — it’s not something that’s gonna heal overnight but for him, part of his recovery is being inside a professional wrestling ring. Obviously, we’ve been in close contact with New Japan and alongside them, we’re kind of dedicated to helping him in whatever way we can, and the reason the match was unannounced [at RevPro Epic Encounters] is because we didn’t wanna put any undue pressure on him. There was no obligation to kind of follow through with the match because it was a — just so many different emotions. I guess emotions that come with competing on that stage in the first place, coupled with the journey that he’s been through and you know, everything’s very much a day-by-day basis for him. But, he’s a warrior, and he’s gonna keep fighting and I feel like one of the things that — I mean he’s almost put more pressure on himself as in talking about his struggles in the past and such a young age as well, he’s put a lot of pressure on his shoulders. But you know, look, when the bell goes, bell-to-bell, he’s one of the best in the world and it was so good to see him smile, it was so good backstage and it was so good to see him cool, calm, composed and taking in the moment, enjoying the moment and living for that moment and you know, he’s a very, very welcomed addition back to our roster and being able to be around people that look out for him I think is very important for him and like I say, we’re committed to helping him any way we can but you know, as far as — and I think a big thing for Gabe as well was the reaction he received from the crowd. That really gave him — that reassurance and that confidence. You know, he said the anxiety he was feeling prior to the match, just the second he stepped through the curtain, it all disappeared and that’s good to hear and I think sometimes we forget that wrestlers are human beings.

On that same ‘Epic Encounter’ show, the lineup had to be shifted around as Will Ospreay was sidelined with a kidney infection. Ospreay was scheduled to face Minoru Suzuki, but Michael Oku ended up pulling double duty and wrestling Suzuki in his second match. Quildan broke down how it all came together and attempting to stay in contact with New Japan throughout the process.

I’m pretty sure Thursday [before RevPro Epic Encounter], we thought it was food poisoning [that Ospreay was dealing with] because Will was originally gonna do the promo to announce [Aaron] Henare was coming and he got food poisoning or like I said, we thought was food poisoning and he was unable to do that. But we figured he’d be okay in a couple of days. Normally, obviously, it’s a 24-hour thing and then you feel a bit rough the next day but we didn’t think in our wildest imagination that by Sunday, you know, he wouldn’t be okay and then we got to Friday and he was still sick. Then Friday night, he messaged us saying, ‘I’ve got a real high temperature,’ just basically the condition that he was in and he said, ‘I’m gonna have to go to the hospital.’ So we didn’t get any further update until Saturday morning where basically it was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got a kidney infection. I won’t be able to do the show,’ and obviously at that point, it was like, obviously the first thought is, I hope you’re okay. I’m checking on his well-being and he really wasn’t — you know, it was one of those things as you’re expecting to get better, all those points you’re expecting to get better, you’re getting worse, you know? And then obviously there was that and then, this is like Saturday, I wanna say it was about 10 o’clock in the morning on Saturday, but then the next thing is we now need to get word to [Minoru] Suzuki but Suzuki was flying so, again, Suzuki had just been to America so he was coming in later. Normally, the guys would come in on a Friday if the show was a Sunday. But obviously, he’s done a lot of traveling, he’s coming on a Saturday to give him that extra day at home and so basically, he was in the air when all of this happened. So obviously, instinctively, the first thing you wanna do is communicate what’s going on with the talent and we couldn’t do that and obviously, everything has to go through the New Japan office as well. So, I reached out to the office as soon as we heard, got the information because that’s — again, everything’s a blur but, everything’s in a spin and you’re like, oh, what am I gonna do? What am I gonna do? So you have to do the first logical thing which is inform the office and see what they wanna do, you know? So we got the message out to them and it wasn’t until, I wanna say about half 1, 2 o’clock that someone got back to us and then we were going back and forth with them and put on the table essentially options of what we could do without really thinking about it and then, no one got back to us where essentially, we wound up making the call. I was just like, I have to let people know that Will’s not gonna be at the show. I ideally would say, ‘Will’s not at the show. This is what’s happening in its place’ but we kind of had to make that call in advance and I know it wasn’t the most ideally time to do it but, it was the only option we had, you know? Because the day was getting away from us, time was getting away from us so, the decision as to what we were doing, again, like I said, there were multiple options floated about. I think by the time I’d gone to bed that night, we’d come up with the scenario that we were gonna do. We were still waiting to get the ‘all clear’ from office to move forward with what we were gonna do and then we got to the next day and I still haven’t heard back and then that’s when we kind of just made the decision, ‘Oh, we’re gonna have to call it’ and essentially at the show, set the match up at the show. So, I know this was a thought as to whether that was the right thing to do or not, but in my heart of hearts, I believe it was and I believe the way it played out, it was the best creative way for it to play out.

Earlier in the conversation, Quildan dove into how he goes about booking talents from New Japan Pro-Wrestling during this COVID period. The formula he leans towards is looking at gaps in NJPW’s schedule so that RevPro can bring talents in.

So I think I’ve made no secret about the fact that we’ve been talking on a regular basis with New Japan about reopening the doors between — of travel — and it had been possible to potentially do something sooner, but there were a lot of issues in the way. You know, such as the quarantine time on the way back had to match New Japan’s schedule and obviously in turn had to match with our schedule. We were in a very unfamiliar position when we announced our dates and I think it’s something we’re gonna keep doing, but we kind of blindly booked our — I won’t say ‘blindly’. We had a New Japan calendar so we could guess where there were gaps in the calendar, for potential to work with talent. But essentially, we booked all our big show dates ahead of time whereas traditionally what we had done before was book it show by show and we’d have to, you know, first of all, hope that York Hall for example, were available on the weekend but there was an opening. So we’re kind of doing it the other way around now. So we, I guess, educationally guessed where the dates of the shows but, yeah, like I said, the conversations have been going for some time. It’s always been the plan to get back to this and obviously, we’ve proven that we can bring imports over. We brought imports over during the pandemic. Obviously, we had the strategy of bringing them over for the longer term. At the start, when they had to go through quarantine when they arrived, all the extra testing, etcetera. The only way we could financially make it work was by — and also logistically make it work because by bringing them in for the longer term, longer stays and then obviously as the restrictions eased, that’s when the conversations with New Japan started to get more serious about, you know, look, we can really start to open these doors now and bring guys over when the schedule allows. Obviously, New Japan’s schedule is now busier than ever because not only have they got their own domestic schedule, they’ve now got their U.S. schedule as well. So, yeah, it’s been interesting watching how all of that has grown and evolved. But yeah, we’ve been in constant communication throughout.

** It has been several months since Carmella competed on WWE TV. During her appearance on ‘Out of Character with Ryan Satin’, she was asked when can people expect her back on TV and here was her response:

I don’t know [when I’ll be back on WWE TV]. Hopefully soon, hopefully soon. I spent a little time away but, I’m excited for when I come back, I really am. I feel like especially now, I’m not in a tag team anymore, it’s my time and I’m going to make the most of it so I’m really ready for this next phase of my career.

She reflected on her time teaming with Queen Zelina and shared that-that was a fun period of her career. She does wish that more TV time could have been dedicated to their title run and the titles in general.

I did [have fun teaming with Queen Zelina]. It was fun. I mean, I guess we’re the second-longest reigning tag team champions which is crazy, that’s news to me. I can’t even believe that. It kind of just went by very quickly. But yeah, we got to have a lot of fun and just kind of be brats and I mean, it’s always fun to be a brat so, I’ll take it.

Yeah, I definitely think so [I would like to see more time devoted to the WWE Women’s Tag Titles] and I think, you know, we would have liked to have more TV time with them and do more with them but sometimes, it just is what it is, that’s just how the cookie crumbles but, I think if given the opportunity, we could have had more time and just been really like rubbing it in your face, we’re better than every — I mean, ‘The Queen’ and ‘The Most Beautiful Woman in all of WWE’, that’s such a — it writes itself, the story, right? So, if given the opportunity, I would have loved to do a bit more with it but, it is what it is, you know?

** Tommy Dreamer interviewed IMPACT Wrestling interviewer/correspondent Gia Miller for an episode of the House of Hardcore podcast. Dreamer shared that he has pitched for Gia to wrestle in IMPACT on several different occasions outside of her one match at the Throwback Throwdown special.

Dreamer: And something you have quickly excelled in [Dreamer said about Gia’s interviewing skills]. You’re — most people don’t realize you are a big part of the show because you’re forwarding storylines with your interviews. I have personally pitched several ideas for you to wrestle and that has not happened yet. I don’t why, it kind of gets me angered but hey, I’m not the boss. If I was the boss, your ass would be wrestling and interviewing.

At the Throwback Throwdown II show, Gia wrestled Deonna Purrazzo. She spoke in-depth about the opportunity and appreciating that people had trust in her to be in that spot. Dreamer mentioned that the bout was a locker room sell out.

Miller: Man, I honestly — I couldn’t believe it when it was pitched to me [wrestling Deonna Purrazzo at IMPACT Throwback Throwdown II]. I thought it was a joke, because Jimmy [Jacobs] actually was the one that just brought it up to me randomly and like, ‘So! You’re wrestling?’ And I was like, ‘I… I have wrestled, yes.’ He was like, ‘No, on IMPACT for the Throwback show, you’re wrestling.’ I was like, ‘I am?’ He was like, ‘Oh, well yeah. Has nobody talked to you yet?’ And I’m like, ‘No, not yet’ and this was several, several, several weeks out and so, I was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ like freaking out. I was like, what am I gonna do? But I was so excited and it’s funny, when you say about how everybody was so excited and happy and a locker room sell out for that, I really feel like I’ve kind of become the little sister of the locker room, especially being the youngest and the newest to the business. I think everybody has kind of taken me under their wing in some form or fashion, so I feel like it’s almost like a collective effort to finally see what everyone’s taught me up to that point. We go out and try to put all of that knowledge to use and then of course I was with someone that could literally wrestle a broomstick, Deonna, so it was such a low-stress night and I wrestled for O.V.W. for a couple of weeks at that point so I was used to the venue and I was used to the ring and I felt very comfortable so it was one of the matches that I expected myself to just be absolutely terrified before I went out. But I just felt so confident and so excited. I was nervous but it was a good nervous. Like, I can’t believe this is actually happening because it’s always been on my to-do list, to wrestle for IMPACT, even as an interviewer, whatever. That was the natural progression in my head, that was always what I wanted to do. But I never, ever, ever expected it to be this early. I expected it to be much farther down the road even if it was, you know, a one-time thing. I was just grateful that anybody had trusted me enough to even do that. So it was, just kind of like, a really feel-good moment for it because it was like, a lot of that hard work had paid off and I felt like I performed well, I felt like it was the best match I had-had so far and I think it’s really in part because of that confidence and the confidence that everyone else had in me was why I was able to be confident in myself.

** Ahead of the 6/22 AEW Dynamite in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Malakai Black spoke to the ‘Milwaukee Record’. He was asked about wrestling in the city while he was with NXT and said the brand allowed him to translate what he does on a bigger platform. Black added that NXT shaped wrestling in a positive way.

It’s safe to say that a lot of what I did in NXT is not everything prior to my independent career in Europe and Japan, it’s that NXT has given me that platform to being the reason that you and me are having a conversation right now. From a platform of just conversing with people and getting my name out there, it’s obviously given me a platform and skills to have a continuation of what I’ve always done in wrestling but just giving me that larger stage and allowing me to translate what I do on a bigger platform. A lot of the smaller shows, even with NXT, were a massive part of that. It’s undeniable. I’ve heard on many occasions that the reason why wrestling is in the state it is-is because the years of 2017 to mid-2020, NXT and the gold-and-black brand. It’s shaped wrestling and it’s actually a conversation I had with William Regal not too long ago. Regal was also very much under the impression that what we did back then garnered a lot of eyes and made people think about how wrestling could be presented too.

** The latest guest on the ‘Out of Character’ podcast is WWE’s Shotzi. She discussed her transition to the main roster and said it was a lot to take in at the start and that environment keeps her on her toes.

It definitely is [a lot to take in at the start of my main roster run] and I think that is what’s different about the main roster or SmackDown and Raw is like, it is fast moving, you know? You never know what’s gonna happen, you’re always on your toes, so you just gotta be ready for anything and everything.

Along with that transition, Shotzi’s signature tank was no longer a part of her on-screen presentation. She said that was not her choice, but she’s enjoying exploring this new version of her character and leaning into the heel role.

Yeah, I mean, that wasn’t my decision [to no longer use the tank]. But you know what? I’m also — I’m embracing the change because I’ve been the ballsy badass my entire career. Even on the indies, I was always booked as a babyface. So, it’s nice after seven years later to finally change up the character and find something new within me and I think I’m finally grabbing the horns and rolling with it and I feel like it’s finally clicking.

In NXT, Shotzi teamed with Athena f.k.a. Ember Moon and when she arrived to the main roster, she tagged with Tegan Nox. Although she always saw herself as a singles talent, she liked working with both of her former partners.

I always have [preferred being a singles talent]. I always have felt more comfortable as a singles competitor. I always thought of myself as a lone wolf. But I had a lot of fun with Ember [Athena]. Like, we gelled really well and it was a good time. I never thought that I would like having someone there that I could rely on and work off of and I had a training buddy so, that was nice, especially coming up to the main roster, having Tegan [Nox] with me, you know? Coming into a new locker room, it was good to have that pal and that person that I could travel with, just experience this new locker room with somebody.

** Episode 23 of ‘The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy’ podcast featured EC3 and Matt Hardy discussing their feud in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. Matt recounted going to the powers that be and asking to work with EC3 and said he wanted to help make EC3 the face of the company.

Hardy: My whole deal with you [EC3], I remember Jeff [Hardy] had just broke his leg, so I really didn’t have anything going on and you’d beat Kurt [Angle] for the title and I remember pitching and I probably told you as well and I told Big and Dixie [Carter], I was like, ‘Well, I’m not doing anything. Let me work with EC3 and he can defeat me and then we can move to a Ladder match and he wins there, I’m kind of established in those things.’ I said, ‘We can build him, try to make him the face of the company’ and then as it kept going on, once we did the title change, when it was myself, you and Drew [McIntyre] at Bound For Glory and then the future of the company was up in the air, they weren’t sure what they were doing. It ultimately came down to I said, ‘I just need one win. I need this one match and this one win. This one match and this one win’ and that’s what I did during this Falls Count Anywhere match and it was also the same thing I was pitching for Jeff with the Final Deletion. It’s so weird how those kind of parallel one another but it fits because it’s the same character.

During the podcast, Matt and EC3 watched rewatched their Last Man Standing match from January of 2016. EC3 feels that it was the right call for him to lose and credited Hardy for being the catalyst to get him to that next point in his TNA run.

EC3: You know what? I didn’t think I should have won that match [Last Man Standing bout against Matt Hardy in 2016], but I’m glad you made the call because I thought, if Matt’s gonna be champion, why have a title change just to change it right back? I was just like, the integrity of the title because you know, I like a good long reigning champion and things like that. But you’re right, that did me a great favor to get me to that, to get me this… it all worked out because you’re a genius Matt. You’re a genius.

Matt spoke about his departure from TNA in 2017 and stated that before ultimately returning to WWE, he wanted to stay with TNA.

Hardy: When I went back [to WWE] in 2017, after we [The Hardys] left IMPACT, you know, my plan, initially was going to be to stay there but Jeff Jarrett came in, he wasn’t in the best place in his life and things happened, we ended up leaving. We went back to WrestleMania, that big WrestleMania 33 return.

** Davey Richards guest appeared on Phil Strum’s ‘Under the Ring’ podcast and was asked to reflect on the body of work he put together in Ring of Honor and Richards credited Gabe Sapolsky. Richards added that he feels he earned everything he got in the company.

The legacy was Gabe [Sapolsky]. I mean Cary [Silkin]… Gabe… that was Ring of Honor. You know, not to say the other guys didn’t do things. For example, Adam Pearce is the reason The American Wolves exist because he gave it a go. He was great, you know? But the legacy, as far as [when] I talk to people and myself, that was the Ring of Honor under Gabe. That was the mastermind or Gabe was the perfect fit for that company I should say and my body of work there, I always wanted to be there… It’s one of those things where I’m most proud to say that I earned everything I got there, you know what I mean? I very much earned it. So yeah, it was great. It was definitely time to go when I left, but I’m very thankful for my time there. But the legacy began and ended with Gabe, in my opinion.

** NHL and WWE host Jackie Redmon joined Renee Paquette on her podcast and spoke about her experience with WWE so far. She was brought into the fold of the company in October 2021 and said things have been going well.

Really good [Redmond said of her experience with WWE so far]. I mean, I drop your [Renee Paquette] name every chance I get. I have no shame in that whatsoever. I’m just like, I will be that person. Like, oh, hey, I’m Jackie. Do you know Renee? Yeah, I know her. Like me, please like me [Redmon joked]… working wonders, working wonders, especially with like the Kevin Owens and the Edges of the world, it’s a great, great thing to toss out there… yes, and you can actually feel that a little bit backstage [Canadians looking out for one another]. It’s kind of wild but, no, everyone’s been really great, really awesome. It’s been a kind of whirlwind experience so far but, what a world, what a world that is. It is like so cool.

** While she is on her break from pro wrestling, Tsukasa Fujimoto told Fightful’s Scott Edwards that she is eager to get back into the ring and when she returns, she’s looking to face newly debuted wrestlers.

My body is getting some rest. But it turns out that I’m itching to fight matches again, after all!

I want to have matches with newly debuted wrestlers. When I have my return match, I want to fight against the one who shows the most enthusiasm.

** As a part of Starrcast weekend in Nashville, Tennessee, Ric Flair’s last match is now taking place at the Nashville Municipal Auditorium which seats 9,000 people. The match was originally going to take place at The Nashville Fairgrounds but the event sold out in one day.

** Those who reside in Japan will not be able to watch AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door on FITE TV, New Japan announced. The only way for those in Japan to watch the event is through NJPW World. FITE is issuing refunds if the event was already purchased.

** Episode 311 of Being The Elite:

** New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s amateur wrestling team has earned a spot in the world championships this coming September in Serbia. Takashi Ishiguro won his second straight All Japanese amateur wrestling title on June 18th. The team is coached by Yuji Nagata.

** IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White was a guest on CBS Los Angeles.

** Jake Lee is defending the AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Championship against Suwama on July 14th. At that same event, New Japan’s Tiger Mask is scheduled to put the AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Title on the line against Dan Tamura.

** Wheeler Yuta was interviewed by Brandon F. Walker of ‘Rasslin.

** The final spot in Pro Wrestling ZERO1’s 2022 ‘Fire Festival’ tournament is going to NOAH’s Yoshiki Inamura. He is joining the following list of names in the tourney: Takuya Sugawara, Masato Tanaka, Takafumi, Junya Matsunaga, Chris Vice, Hide Kubota, Tsugutaka Sato, Daisuke Sekimoto, Fuminori Abe, Shu Asakawa and Satsuki Nagao.

** Lucha Central Weekly has an interview with Mr. Iguana.

** Sonny Kiss spoke to Hollywood Life.

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

About Andrew Thompson 3683 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.