POST NEWS UPDATE: ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan has completed 27 of his 39 radiation treatments

'Hacksaw' Jim Duggan update, Riddle chats SummerSlam match with Rollins, Booker T/AQA, idea for Mickie James' ECW debut, JR talks Paul Heyman

Photo Courtesy: Gilbert Carrasquillo

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.

** This past May, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan shared that his cancer treatment is not over. At the end of 2021, he received the news that he was cancer-free after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Duggan sat down with K & S WrestleFest for a virtual signing and said he has completed 27 of his 39 radiation treatments. He is hopeful that it’ll cure his cancer.

I just finished my 27th radiation treatment out of 39. I got a total of 39 treatments to do, and that should hopefully cure my cancer after all the surgeries and everything. Hopefully, all the radiation will do it. If not, whatever it takes.

** It has been two months since Randy Orton last wrestled. Riddle was asked about Orton when he was live on Instagram with ProSieben MAXX. Riddle did not have a concrete update to provide about Orton, but said he hopes he’ll be back sooner than later and that Randy is in high spirits.

Randy [Orton] is still recovering from his injuries and hopefully he’ll be back sooner than later. I can’t give more of an update because I’m not a doctor and I don’t have one so, but I know Randy’s in high spirits for sure and he’s doing well.

At SummerSlam on July 30th, Riddle is going one-on-one with Seth Rollins. He commented on the upcoming bout and said Rollins is one of the greatest wrestlers of this era.

So Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins is probably one of the best, greatest wrestlers to be doing it right now in this era and to be on the SummerSlam card against Seth Rollins, dude, there’s nothing — other than fighting for a world title or something like that, there’s nothing bigger than going against one of the best in the world at one of the biggest shows in the world in the biggest company in the world so, pretty, pretty excited bro. Plus, we’re going to Nashville. It’s a pretty fun town.

Former Bellator MMA fighter Valerie Loureda signed with WWE and has started at the Performance Center in Orlando. Riddle was asked to give advice to those looking to make that MMA to pro wrestling transition. He thinks Loureda checks majority of the boxes and it’s just a matter of getting her reps in.

Well there’s a couple things that help drastically [transitioning from MMA to pro wrestling]. One, were you good? Two, do you like or love professional wrestling? Is it something you actually wanna do or are you just trying to take advantage of the system, you know? And make money off something you think might be easier than fighting, because people do it and they fail. It happens all the time and number three, most importantly, you gotta be charismatic. Now, she is extremely beautiful, she’s extremely talented in the cage. I think she kind of checks majority of the boxes, but until you get in front of a crowd and in front of a camera and on a mic, it’s different. It’s something you gotta get your reps in and do and it takes time. Nobody’s a natural right off the bat. But, I think she’s got a promising future. She looks amazing, she can work, she can move. I don’t know how she can wrestle, but she can definitely punch and kick and submit so, we’ll see, and only time will tell.

** Mickie James joined ‘Stories with Brisco & Bradshaw’ and recounted her ECW tryout in 2000. There was an idea for her to debut as Beulah McGillicutty’s younger sister. James wonders how her career would have panned out if that idea came to fruition. She’s glad it did not happen because she feels she was not ready for it.

It was my ECW tryout. I think it was about 2000 and I went to — they were in Norfolk, the Norfolk Scope and I remember going in there and I was still very green, you know?… In ‘98, I had my first pro match — it wasn’t even pro. Like ‘practice match’ at the VFW Hall in Staunton, Virginia, you know, March 3rd, ‘99 so really on the indies, you’re doing one match a month maybe if you’re lucky, besides practice so it’s still very, very green and I just remember going in and feeling so out of place but also eager but at the same time, I could feel how green I was and how — I could just see, you know? And I was like, I’m not ready for this but I want this so, what do I need to do to be ready for this and that was like, I have to get — learn everything. I really have to learn everything that I can and I took like 200 — it wasn’t 200 DDTs from Mikey Whipwreck but it felt like 200. I did take like 20 DDTs in a row. Just up and fed, up and fed and the idea was to be Beulah McGillicutty’s little sister who was not quite 18 yet. If you ever have Tommy [Dreamer] on, you gotta ask him this story. But that was the idea for me to come in but then I go like, God, I wonder how different my career would have been had I come in and that was my beginning, rather than what most people remember as the beginning of Alexis Laree was either Raven in The Gathering for Alexis Laree or the debut of Mickie James if they didn’t see any of that TNA stuff back then so, it was unique, you know? It’s just really crazy and I was really devastated that, oh, they weren’t interested but they were also going out of business at the time and I wasn’t ready, so I’m grateful that it didn’t happen.

In addition to her wrestling career, James is a musician. She shared that she now has a distribution deal which will allow her to get her music out on all platforms.

Now I work with my friend Sean Gasaway with my fire-water records which is just like stuff I’ve been putting my personal stuff out on now and I just got a distribution deal for it so to be able to get it out on all the platforms and to get it up on Vevo for my music videos so it’s more of like a legit distribution platform and not just a CD Baby which a lot of independent artists use.

** On 7/18, A.Q.A. put out a statement to announce that she is stepping away from pro wrestling. Her trainer, Booker T, spoke about her decision on his ‘Hall of Fame’ podcast. Booker hopes she is able to regroup and return to the ring when she is ready to do so.

I wanna get started with showing out a little love, showing a little love for my girl AQA. Angela, definitely one of my pride and and joys. Got a shot at WWE, that didn’t work out. Got a shot at AEW. She seemed to now — said she’s gonna be stepping away from pro wrestling for a minute to work on herself and I get that. One thing I wanna say about… one thing I wanna say about some of my stars like an A.Q.A., like a Kylie Rae, when you get into this business really, really young, just like Rok-C is right now, you know? I was so worried about Rok-C getting into this industry at 20-years-old just because I know how much of a whirlwind it really, really is and how much it could — that whirlwind can take you by storm, I’m serious… getting to my point meaning, when you’re young and getting in this business, man, it could be a whole lot to handle more so than anything. So I can understand A.Q.A. stepping back and saying, man, let me reanalyze this and let me refocus and more than anything, try to figure this thing out… It’s nothing more than being young and trying to figure this thing out and hopefully that’s what she’ll do and regroup and we’ll see her back in the ring sometime. 

** WWE Backlash 2002 was the focus of a Grilling JR podcast episode. That event emanated from Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri which is the same venue that the Owen Hart tragedy took place in. Jim Ross wishes WWE ran another venue for Backlash ’02 and brought up that being in the arena caused him and Jerry Lawler to relive ‘Over the Edge’ 1999.

Kemper [Arena] especially. I don’t know why we [WWE] went there. I’m not… because of what happened prior, the Owen [Hart] situation. I mean of all the arenas in America that we could have run, we ran Kemper and I don’t — I never have quite figured that one out but in any event, the crowd [at Backlash 2002] was responsive, it was representative, you know, got over 10,000 folks there, they were pumped up. I remember the crowd being involved. But I also know that behind those tearful eyes sometimes in the crowd, that they were thinking about the last time they were there for a WWE event and it’s just challenging to get those thoughts out of your — and those images out of your mind… and for [Jerry] Lawler and I, nobody gives a sh*t about us but bottom line is-is that we had to relive it again too and considering I was the one that made the announcement that Owen had died, I carried those with me from all the way when it happened to going back. So, I don’t know. I just… selfishly, I wish we would have done it at another building.

Paul Heyman became a topic of conversation and Ross feels that Heyman is the MVP of WWE as much as anybody on the roster. He commented on Heyman’s work with Roman Reigns and said other than Reigns himself, Heyman is the most responsible for Reigns’ success over the past several years.

He’s been a key player in that company as — Paul Heyman is as much the MVP of WWE as anybody on the roster, because he makes stars and he’s done that with Roman Reigns obviously and done it very well, but Paul was the perfect guy to manage Brock [Lesnar] or to be his agent, same deal. So, I like Heyman’s promos. I’ve always liked ‘em. When the booking committee in Atlanta didn’t wanna do business with Paul because he was arrogant and argumentative and smarter than most of them on the booking committee, I said I’ll work with him, because I saw a great partner for me as a broadcast partner. So I wanted to take care of me and my team… so, it was fun. Paul’s good, he’s really good and he’s going strong man. He’s still doing great work.

As you should, as you should [J.R. agreed with the statement that Heyman is a big part of Roman Reigns’ success over the past several years]. Paul’s very much responsible for much of the success of Roman Reigns more than any other individual other than Roman. Heyman’s the guy.

In 2021, Molly Holly accepted her place in the WWE Hall of Fame. She shared in the past that her speech time was cut short and was told not to mention the production team as she planned to. J.R. said Molly called him to get his thoughts about her speech.

Sweetheart of a person [J.R. said about Molly Holly]. I met her through Dean Malenko. She introduced me to Nora, Nora Greenwald, and she’s… has never been anything but a pleasure to work with. I had not talked to her in a long time. Before she went into the [WWE] Hall of Fame, she had to get a little talk and she called me two or three times to talk about her speech. Just, you know, what I thought and some ground rules. I said, ‘Vince is gonna lay the ground rules. He’s not gonna give you the time that you probably believe you need to tell your story in this forum.’

** At the 2022 WWE Money in the Bank press junket, Big Gold Belt Media spoke to Titus O’Neil. He touched on the presentation of WWE’s African American and minority talents. He said that he and the likes of Rey Mysterio, New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E & Xavier Woods) among many others played role in that change of presentation.

I’m also equally as proud of the transformation of the portrayal and the presentation of African American and minority talents on our roster now as opposed to when I first got here and a lot of that, I had something to do with some of that, but a lot of that had to do with all of us. You know, whether it’s The New Day or Rey Mysterio who’s been doing it for years, representing his Latino culture and now to see all of us representing, winning titles. Bobby Lashley, you know, leaving, coming back. Still killing it at the level he’s killing it. It’s pretty amazing to see.

O’Neil went on to discuss Bianca Belair’s rise in WWE. He recounted a conversation they had when Belair was being featured on ‘Main Event’ before she was on TV consistently. O’Neil gave her words of encouragement and added that that he did not like what happened with Belair at SummerSlam 2021.

I wanna see Bianca [Belair] continue this run that she’s on. I remember almost a year-and-a-half ago, running into her in the hallway and she hadn’t been on TV for a few weeks and you know, she was on Main Event. She skyrocketed up, went to Raw, dominant and then essentially disappeared. I remember pulling her to the side and I was like, ‘You’re a superstar in so many ways. You represent this company. You will represent this company in ways that nobody else can and you don’t need to have your head down about not being used right now because when the time is right, things are gonna turn around and it’s gonna be a crazy whirlwind for you’ and I didn’t know any creative plans for her. I just know how this business is very cyclical. Three months later, she’s the first African American woman to win the Royal Rumble and then goes on to WrestleMania and wins the WWE Women’s Championship and it has been on a very up and down ride since, but I would say more so up than anything. I didn’t like what happened at SummerSlam last time I was here [Las Vegas] so I’m hoping that she remembers that and I’m sure she does…

** The Sporting News caught up with NXT 2.0’s Xyon Quinn. He dove into the character change for his on-screen character and feels it occurred naturally. He stated that now, the proverbial shackles are off and he’s finding a rhythm.

It was something that naturally occurred…it’s always very hard to show lots of personality when you start as a baby. You’re a lot more restricted when you’re a baby, so when the shackles are off, you have a bit more fun. I think that’s what he is starting to experience at the moment. He’s finding a rhythm and things are going in the right way for him. It was a pretty smooth transition. I think coming into the ring, already being the bigger person usually in the match, people tend to look at you in that light already – you should be the bad person. I kind of took advantage of that and took the shackles off and I got to be a bit more free and a bit more me. I think showing aggression is one of my strong points, but also doing it with a bit of cheek and making Xyon Quinn the person who is basically ‘The Terminator’. He got tired of people not trusting him and people breaking his trust, and he decided to go south. He is obviously still a person that runs it straight, just in a different direction. I’ve always liked the dark horse approach. The way I envisioned him to be introduced, I didn’t want him to be a favorite.

He believes his physical presence helps set him apart from others on the NXT 2.0 roster. Quinn believes he’s already in the mix in terms of talent from NXT 2.0 who could make the transition to Raw and SmackDown.

It’s definitely got to be a contributing factor [his physical presence]. I believe I’m already in the mix (to move to Raw or SmackDown). You have to establish who you are and you’ve got to be liked. It all comes down to Vince (McMahon). If he likes you and he sees what he sees, he gets what he gets and that’s how it works. All the coaches, all the teachers and all the producers all report back and it just gets taken into account. That’s all this whole place is about – it’s a journey and at the moment, I’m in an exciting time of my journey.

** A trios match has been added to AEW Dynamite: Fyter Fest week two that will see Kris Statlander, Athena and Willow Nightingale take on The Baddies (Jade Cargill, Kiera Hogan & Leila Grey) who’ll be accompanied to the ring by Stokely Hathaway.

** On September 15th, Minoru Suzuki is returning to All Japan Pro Wrestling.

** Tetsuya Naito did guest commentary on July 13th for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp versus Yokohama DeNA BayStars baseball game.

** There’s an interview on the Fightful website with Montez Ford.

** Tokyo Joshi Pro’s Yuki Kamifuku was present at Fujisawa City Hall and met with the Mayor of her hometown, Tsuneo Suzuki. TJPW is hosting a show on August 7th from Fujisawa and part of the proceeds from the show will be donated to the Fujisawa Education Support Fund. Over 100 tickets for the show were given to children in the city.

** TARU is filling in for Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion Suwama in the 2022 AJPW Royal Road tournament. Suwama opted to ‘boycott’ the tournament. TARU is going to face Kenta Miyahara in the first round.

** The ‘Real Canadian Wrestling’ promotion was profiled by ‘Rebel News’.

** July 19th birthdays: Jinder Mahal.

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 8726 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.