POST NEWS UPDATE: Israel Adesanya discusses his Undertaker entrance, interest in appearing for WWE

Israel Adesanya chats Undertaker entrance, Tony Khan on the idea of a WWE x AEW show, Mia Yim reflects on NXT run, Blood & Guts, Bobby Lashley

Photo Courtesy: Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

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.

** Before Israel Adesanya’s victory over Jared Cannonier at UFC 276, he did The Undertaker’s entrance for his walkout. WWE’s Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and Pat McAfee were in attendance and Adesanya spoke about that during his post-fight chat with BT Sport.

Tuesday was the day I came up with that with my friends [Undertaker entrance at UFC 276]. Just sitting down and just pondering but, I didn’t even realize the McMahons were in the house tonight, that was kind of cool… Triple H too. But yeah, I’m a kid who grew up during the Attitude Era. Wednesday nights during wrestling, I’d play those tracks like the Batista entrance, Stone Cold entrance just to get the mood while we wrestle, go in the trenches and even The Undertaker’s theme so, yeah, it just comes to me. I let these things come to me just for the show.

Definitely, that’s something I would try my hand at later on, just for fun. I’m not saying it’s gonna be a full-time job but I’m definitely gonna jump into WWE or something along that line. Just for the entertainment factor because I grew up jumping off the couch, broke my arm doing f*cking Shooting Stars so yeah, I’m living my dream.

** AEW President Tony Khan was a guest on The Ringer’s Masked Man Show and was asked if he could see AEW and WWE doing a joint show. Khan is not sure if that will happen and thinks it’s a bold prediction, but he’d be open to talking about it.

I’m not sure if that’s gonna happen [AEW and WWE doing a joint show]. But, I would be open to talking about that type of thing. It’s not crazy but it’s a bold prediction.

He touched on the injuries AEW is navigating through and said the depth of the roster is paying off. Khan feels that they would be ‘screwed’ if this slew of injuries occurred when the company first started.

Now, as we put together the shows, it’s the depth of AEW paying off because I’ve tried to build a really strong roster and when we started out, if we’d been hit with the kind of injuries we’ve been hit with, we would be screwed and it’s quite the opposite. We’re the number one show on cable on Wednesday the last two weeks and we have great momentum thanks to the great wrestlers we have, even though a large percentage of the stars have been injured. We have so many great wrestlers, it worked out and we were able to do a very successful event, Forbidden Door and the AEW wrestlers on the show delivered as did the New Japan wrestlers in a major way. I feel like we showed AEW is such a great wrestling promotion and the AEW fans showed why we have great events and they were great hosts to New Japan. We had great matches and for AEW, I know a lot of our top wrestlers were out but we have so many great stars in AEW. The truth is, I can’t get all of my big stars into a four-hour wrestling pay-per-view. It’s just not possible to have great matches, long matches and I’m not gonna force feed or jam too many people in; at least I try my best not to. So I really think having this kind of depth paid off.

Elsewhere during their chat, Khan was asked what wrestlers he would love to have in AEW in their respective primes. He chose Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart, Ric Flair and Randy Savage but if he had to choose one, he would pick Steve Austin. He feels Austin is the greatest all-around package ever in wrestling.

I would say Steve Austin [is one wrestler I would pick to have in AEW from their prime years].

I wish — Steve Austin at any time in his career, you’d love to have Steve Austin in AEW. I think he’s the greatest of all-time. I’m a huge fan of many others. Bret Hart is somebody I could say you could say the same thing. I would kill to have Bret Hart at any period in his career in AEW. Also, Nature Boy Ric Flair, the Macho Man Randy Savage. I think those are four you could not go wrong with and I think they would all fit in incredibly well at any point in their careers in AEW and I think — but if you put the gun to my head and I had to answer, I would probably say Steve Austin because he’s the biggest box office star in the history of the business and also one of the best workers, one of the greatest talkers, I think the greatest all-around package ever in this business is probably Steve Austin and when you look at the bottom line. But Bret Hart would fit into AEW so well too so if I had a 1A, 1B, I think it would be Steve Austin and Bret Hart. Certainly, Randy Savage and Ric Flair would be great fits here too I think though.

** Following her loss at UFC 276, Jessica Eye retired from the sport of MMA. In her post-fight press conference (footage courtesy of MMAFighting), she expressed that she’s interested in pursuing a pro wrestling career. She shared that she did a tryout during the pandemic and later mentioned AEW and WWE.

Well I’m gonna go to Cabo at the end of the month because I’m turning 36. But you know, I’ve always wanted to dabble in wrestling, in pro wrestling. I wanna be the female Undertaker man. I wanna ride a motorcycle down to the [ring] and DDT somebody, you know? I’d love to do that and I tried out a couple years ago during COVID and I didn’t end up making it and you know, suffered a lot of health issues. I lost my gallbladder, found out about the parasite so, you know, AEW, WWE, let’s go. Jessica ‘Evil’ Eye is ready. Jessica ‘Evil’ Eye does not end here. She’s just starting a new journey.

Jessica feels that training for pro wrestling is more difficult than training for MMA and there’s more skills that are required for wrestling.

It’s hard [pro wrestling training] and it’s just as hard as professional fighting and there’s a lot more skill set, there’s more coordination. You know, we’re fighters, we’re not coordinating anything out there and sometimes you go through these practices and you coordinate the moves, right? You’re like, ‘Hey, you’re gonna do this to that person.’

** After Bobby Lashley defeated Theory at WWE Money in the Bank to become United States Champion, he was interviewed by Ariel Helwani. This current run that Lashley has been on was brought up and he stated that he envisioned all of it happening.

Um, it’s not man [Lashley said that his current run is not exceeding his expectations]. It’s one thing — you know how you see stuff? I saw this years ago. Before, people would say, ‘They’re not gonna let you in WWE at 40 years old, they’re not.’ But I kept seeing that. I was training so hard before I got back in here and people used to see me at the gym when I really wasn’t doing anything. They were like, ‘What are you training hard for?’ I said, ‘I got something, I got something for you. I just have to get ready for it’ and I kept getting ready and kept getting ready and I was like, ‘It’s gonna happen’ and I’ve seen all this. I saw myself winning this title, I saw myself winning the world title, I saw myself right here interviewing with you, the great Ariel Helwani, I mean I seen all this stuff and I keep seeing more things. If you would only imagine some of the things coming on in my career for the next couple years, it’s astronomical, it’s crazy and it just keeps coming and it keeps happening and it keeps happening so I just say the harder I work, the luckier I get because next year, we’re gonna be standing here next year and you’re gonna be like, damn, could you really believe that you did this? And I’m gonna say, ‘Yes, I did because I saw it and I told you last year’ so when we interview next year at this same time when I’m holding another title and I’m holding two titles or three titles around my waist, you’re gonna be like, ‘You said it’ and yes I did and it’s gonna happen, no doubt about it.

Lashley is no longer aligned with MVP and is a solo act. MVP was alluded to in the interview and Lashley said he loves him. He went on to say he’s good being a solo talent but would also welcome someone else aboard.

I mean there’s people that are gonna come and join my journey and there’s gonna be people that fall off. At that time, I had a loudmouth, I liked the kid, I love him to death [Helwani mentioned that Lashley had a ‘loudmouth’ last time they talked]. But you know what? Ultimately, I’m the one who has to go in that ring and do what I have to do. So, regardless if somebody’s around me or not, I’m still gonna go out there and do what I need to do so, if somebody comes along, joins the journey, sure, come on, I have plenty of room but I’m gonna keep going.

** Coming out of the AEW Blood & Guts match, Chris Jericho appeared on Busted Open Radio. He feels the 2022 installment of the match was the true debut of Blood & Guts although he thinks the 2021 version was great as well.

I thought Blood & Guts was amazing. I thought it was great last year but this year to me was the true debut of this match in front of 12,000 people in Detroit. That’s the way the match was designed, that’s the way the match was supposed to be when we had it booked for the Prudential Center pre-pandemic. So to see that kind of come to life and come to fruition was definitely my vision of what I thought of this match when we created it and was all across the board a success and exactly what I was hoping for and wanting to see as a fan and as a wrestler in the ring.

** Part two of Mia Yim recapping her experience in WWE was about her time on the NXT brand. In 2019, Yim wrestled Shayna Baszler at TakeOver: Toronto. She feels they were put in a bad spot on the card, but Yim placed the blame on herself for how the match turned out. Regardless of that, she was excited about competing against one of her closest friends and having her family in attendance.

If anything, in NXT, I will always cherish the friendships that I made with people like Bianca [Belair] and being able to do something at a high caliber like TakeOver with my best friends and so, even though at TakeOver [Toronto 2019], one, we were placed in a really bad spot on the card in my opinion but, I messed up because with, uh… because with high pressure situations, either I do really, really well or I just sh*t the bed. That’s just how I am and I sh*t the bed. I forgot something and it just [went south]. That was on me. But you know, the fact that we were in Toronto, the fact that my family flew out for this match, mom, my sister, my dad. First of all, this was the first time my whole family’s been together in years, years. I just had everyone I loved in the crowd watching, I had my best friend who was my opponent for that match and it was just — even though I sh*t the bed, like that’s something I’m always gonna hold on near and dear to my heart because I had everyone I loved, even — everyone was there.

Going into the 2019 women’s WarGames match, Mia Yim was ‘ambushed’ and removed from the match to set up Dakota Kai turning on Tegan Nox. Yim shared that she appreciated Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and Sara Amato for informing her of the switch privately before telling the group. She then went on to speak about how much Levesque cared about the NXT roster.

I was a part of the [NXT] WarGames that I was taken out — but like, when I was told I was in WarGames, before Hunter told us as a group, Hunter and Sara [Amato] pulled me aside and they told me, ‘Hey, this is the deal: You’re going to be in WarGames but, we’re gonna have you get taken out before the match. We just wanted to let you know just so you don’t feel like you did something wrong. Just so you don’t feel like you’re not important in this match’ and to me, throughout my whole time in NXT, Hunter and Sara and all the coaches and stuff, like Hunter especially, you could tell that he really gave a f*ck about all of us. He really f*cking cared about us and our feelings and our health. He was so comfortable — if there was something that bothered me, I would comfortably be able to go up to him and talk to him about it, at least in my experience. He went out of his way to make sure that — to let me know that I’m good. This is nothing against me but, ‘I’m letting you know before we tell the group about the first-ever women’s WarGames.’ So I appreciate that beyond anything else because honestly, if they would have told me that in the middle of telling us, oh yeah, you’re in the middle of — you’re gonna be a part of the first female WarGames but, you’re gonna be taken out, sorry. Then I probably would have felt some kind of way but the fact that they pulled me aside and told me everything first before telling the group, that means something to me. So, I could say I was a part of the first-ever women’s WarGames [Yim laughed]. I mean it would have been really cool to actually be a part of the match but like I said, to be considered to be one of the women in that, for one, leading up it, it was just so fun just to do, you know, the photoshoots and the promos and everything with the group. It was awesome and it was a great bunch of girls for that.

Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair’s name came up a handful of times during the video. Yim said Belair was very helpful while they were together in NXT and encouraged Yim to be herself in the ring and on-screen.

That intimidation of meeting the different coaches that I haven’t met before and the different people that I’ve seen before on TV or you know, I’ve seen watching NXT TV shows and stuff like, Bianca Belair, that was intimidating but the minute I met them, they were so welcoming. Bianca was so sweet. She has such a star power that it’s intimidating but, the minute you meet her, she’s just so open and just caring. She just wants to take care of everybody and that’s something — she is someone I consider a friend outside of wrestling.

It was cool to have a feud with Bianca which we became closer and aside from just work associates, we became friends so, Bianca was really easy and fun to work with and she helped me push my limit because I was very — I was in the mindset in NXT when I first came there that I had to do things perfectly and I don’t think in real life I am a perfectionist, but I know for sure my time in NXT, I just wanted everything to be perfect, I wanted everything to be right. I just wanted to be the perfect wrestler, the perfect character, the perfect employee and so she knew that I was always second guessing everything and trying to make sure everything made sense and, ‘Okay, but they told me that I need to do this and I need to stop doing this’ and she was just really cool. She would be like, ‘Just do what you do. Ain’t nobody can take that away from you’ so, she helped me push the boundaries and to slowly become comfortable in my own skin again in the WWE world.

Circling back around to the TakeOver: Toronto match with Shayna Baszler, Yim touched on the lead up to their match and working with Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir. Yim pitched the idea to NXT creative of hitting Jessamyn with a foam brick and presenting it as if she hit her with an real brick. She was told that they were unsure if they wanted an attempted murder segment on TV.

I remember I wanted to [Yim laughed] … so Shayna [Baszler] has this foam brick that she would throw at the TV when the [Minnesota] Vikings would lose which would be about 90 percent of the time. So, I remember Joe [Belcastro], who was pretty much the head creative writer at NXT at the time, I was like, ‘Joe, listen, I know that I’m gonna be taking out Jess and Marina before TakeOver. Let me use this brick on J. Duke. Just let me use a brick and it’s gonna go off like — it’s never been done before, let’s do it. Let’s do something different’ and then Joe’s like, ‘Eh, you know, we don’t want an attempted murder on TV, you know?’ And I was like, ‘But it’s Jess, she’s my best friend. If I’m gonna do an attempted murder on TV, it’s gonna be with her’ so, I thought that was really funny.

** While on Sportskeeda’s ‘The Wrestling Outlaws’ show, Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James stated that he does not know what value Vince McMahon saw in Sting when he brought him into WWE in 2015. He thinks he may have viewed Sting in the long term as an opportunity to promote the once-planned Triple H versus The Rock match at WrestleMania 32.

This is going to get me in some trouble, but this is just the truth. I don’t know what value Vince McMahon saw in Sting. Like, he was an older gentleman at the time, he was not going to come back and work 300 days a year for me [McMahon] and he worked for the other company that I didn’t follow. I don’t know if he knew what he had in Sting and I think he saw it as an opportunity to utilize whatever he had and promote this big match [Triple H vs. The Rock] for WrestleMania next year, which ended up falling through but I see the business strategy behind it. It’s just that it sucked because it didn’t happen and it definitely sucked for Sting’s fans.

** At AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, Thunder Rosa successfully defended the AEW Women’s World Title against Toni Storm. She spoke about the match on Busted Open Radio with Dave LaGreca and Mark Henry and recounted what Dustin Rhodes jokingly said to her after she used his finisher.

Henry: ‘Stop stealing my sh*t.’

Rosa: Yeah! That’s exactly what he [Dustin Rhodes] said! [Rosa laughed]. I was like, ‘Sorry bro.’ I said, ‘You don’t have any daughters that’s wrestling right now so beat it.’ That’s what I said.

She feels she could not have asked for a better opponent in that spot than Toni Storm. Rosa felt that it was very important for them to show why they belonged on the card.

Rosa: It was a very special match. We were the only — I think it was like — there was two singles matches and we were one of them… two? Three? And we rose [to] the occasion. Honestly, I couldn’t have had a better opponent than Toni Storm. She is such a joy to work with. I hadn’t had the pleasure to work with her one-on-one ever in my career so this was the first time that we actually got in the ring together and I felt it. It was that — an energy that I can’t describe. I felt like I was back in Japan. The fans, they were hot the whole entire show… Again, the match, it was very interesting and it was hard-hitting and it just showed the both of our styles and we really, really had so much chemistry together and as I said after the match, I was really looking forward to have somebody like her in the ring because people like her bring the best out of me and I think I brought the best out of her.

It was very important that in this match that we both show why were we booked on this kind of show. As you guys know, New Japan just started introducing women on their cards, like very recently, a couple years ago. They never had any women there and this at the Forbidden Door, for us to be on the card was so important and we just couldn’t be like, ‘Oh let me just smack you.’ Like no, we had to bring the Japanese style, the style that we both know very well. Toni was a champion in Japan so she knows how difficult it was to defend and maintain the championship and I think on this one, we both were ready to show them why we are the best in the world and she’s one of the best competitions I’ve had in a while.

** Brian Jones of PopCulture.com caught up with IMPACT Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace. She feels that IMPACT Wrestling does not get a fair shake and they have consistently put on good shows, adding that their product is up there with AEW and WWE.

The main goal I have at IMPACT Wrestling now is just to bring more eyes to it. I don’t think that IMPACT is getting a fair shake to be honest with you. We haven’t had a bad pay-per-view in a long, long time and our TV product is definitely up there with AEW and WWE and I think if fans give IMPACT a chance, they would see that.

** Ahead of NJPW’s G1 Climax 32 tournament kicking off on July 16th, Jushin Thunder Liger previewed the tournament for his latest blog post on Tokyo Sports. He feels that Will Ospreay and YOSHI-HASHI could have breakout performances in the tourney but ultimately, he thinks Kazuchika Okada will win his fourth G1.

In the battle for the breakthrough performance, I’d say (Will) Ospreay. He’s really strong right now, and there are no holes in him. I’m sure that YOSHI-HASHI is a favorite to win [in that category], just like every year. I had HASHI as a candidate for the championship, but the competitors in the tournament are a bit strong… YOSHI-HASHI is the type of wrestler that Ospreay and Takagi (Shingo) would say, ‘That’s all I want.’ It seems that all his good points will be surpassed by his opponents, so I think he is at a bit of a disadvantage.

If I had to pick one wrestler for the championship, it would be Okada Kazuchika, because he lost to Jay at Osaka-jo in June, but it doesn’t matter. I watched that match and thought that Jay was doing a good job of putting him in his hands and rolling him around. It was such a one-sided match. I think it was such a frustrating loss that we couldn’t imagine. He is a man who never ends things like that, and G1 is the best stage for him to show that he is here to stay. He’s been very conscious of the 50th anniversary, and I think he wants to make his name here.

** Konosuke Takeshita is temporarily returning to Japan for DDT Pro-Wrestling’s Wrestle Peter Pan show on August 20th.

** New Japan Pro-Wrestling is hosting a ‘strategy presentation’ on July 7th at the Ueno Airship Theater in Tokyo. It will air live on the official NJPW YouTube channel along with NJPW World. The event is free to attend and the likes of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Great-O-Khan and Hiromu Takahashi will be present. Bushiroad CEO Takaaki Kidani and NJPW President Takami Ohbari are going to be speaking.

** The latest episode of Hey! (EW) with Adam Cole as a guest:

** The BATTLE SLAM promotion is introducing their first championship and the champion is going to be crowned via a tournament. Lee Moriarty, Richard King and JDX have qualified.

** Yuji Nagata and Yoshinobu Kanemaru are scheduled for Jun Akiyama’s 30-year anniversary show on September 18th at Korakuen Hall.

** NJPW New Japan Road Results (7/3/22) Korakuen Hall
– Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe def. Tiger Mask & Ryohei Oiwa
– Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) def. Akio Fujita, Master Wato & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
– United Empire (Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan) def. BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) def. The DKC, Clark Connors & Yuji Nagata
– EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo def. Toru Yano, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto
– Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii def. TAKA Michinoku & Taichi
– Alex Zayne, KUSHIDA & Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Gedo, Taiji Ishimori & KENTA

** DDT Pro-Wrestling Results (7/3/22) Korakuen Hall
Pre-Show: Hideki Okatani, Saki Akai & Yukio Sakaguchi def. Soma Takao, Toi Kojima & Toru Owashi
Pre-Show: DAMNATION T.A (Daisuke Sasaki, KANON & MJ Paul) def. Yuji Hino, Yuki Ishida & Yukio Naya
– Danshoku Dino, Yuki Ino & Yumehito Imanari def. Akito, Antonio Honda & Kazuki Hirata
King Of DDT Tournament Semifinal: Naomi Yoshimura def. Yuki Ueno
King Of DDT Tournament Semifinal: Kazusada Higuchi def. Jun Akiyama
– Yusuke Okada & Yuya Koroku def. HARASHIMA & Masahiro Takanashi
– Andrew Everett & Chris Brookes def. MAO & Shunma Katsumata
King Of DDT Tournament Final – Vacant KO-D Openweight Championship: Kazusada Higuchi def. Naomi Yoshimura

** The Miz appeared in-studio for the ‘TODAY’ program to promote WWE and Miz & Mrs.

** Ahead of NXT Great American Bash, Cameron Grimes sat down with Sportskeeda for an interview.

** ‘TODAY’ published a story about Sonya Deville.

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 3962 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.