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.
** At AEW Fyter Fest week two, Hip-Hop artist Kevin Gates was part of an on-screen segment with Tony Nese, Mark Sterling, Swerve Strickland and Keith Lee during which Gates punched Nese. Nese reflected on that as he was doing a virtual signing for Captain’s Corner:
Yeah, everything’s been great obviously [for me in AEW]. Having a blast, getting featured. A lot of fun.
[Nese asked if he’s a fan of Kevin Gates] Ah, yeah, you know… I respect the punch. I’m a fan now after the punch.
Nese was with WWE from 2016 to 2021. He commented on Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque now being the head of creative and thinks Levesque is perfect for the job. He added that he was a fan of the presentation and booking of the black and gold version of NXT.
You know, in working for him, I think it’s awesome [that Triple H is now leading WWE creative]. I think that he’s, you know, from what I gathered, talking with him and everything that he’s perfect for the job and I think a lot of people feel the same way. I don’t know too much past my pay grade, but you know, I think — I don’t know. I like his style because I was a fan of the black and yellow NXT. So, I mean hopefully that is what — just the style. Doesn’t have to be necessarily the same type of people or whatever but as long as that type of booking style comes back.
** A new edition of Shane Douglas’ Appalachian Expose was pushed out with 2 Cold Scorpio as the featured guest. 2 Cold discussed working with today’s current crop of wrestlers and highlighted their in-ring abilities but also touched on what this generation of wrestlers can improve on and what he does not like about the style.
A lot of the young kids I wrestle nowadays, it’s not — I ain’t never gonna come down to your level to wrestle. Learned that in the business. You never go down to anybody’s level if you’re less qualified. You always bring that person up to your level. Our stamp and what we’ve done in our career, when we step in the ring, if they’re willing to listen, we can show you how easier it is to get your sh*t done without having to get all my sh*t in, that’s why it don’t meaning nothing because a lot of guys, I mean phenomenal workers, can do all the flips and all that bullsh*t and they done did all that through the whole match and they end up with a small package, why? My thing is why are you guys doing people’s finish? I got a problem with everybody doing everybody’s finisher and kicking out of ‘em… You hit a person with a finish and they kick out… what does that do to everybody else that might have done that move or had that as a finish?
** P.J. Black guest appeared on The Tyrus and Timpf Podcast. He told the story of when he returned to South Africa as a part of a tour WWE was doing there and wrestling a local talent who he competed with early in his career. P.J. said the individual attempted to shoot on him which led to P.J. choking him out. While his opponent was unconscious, Black made it appear as if the individual caught him in a small package so he could get the win in front of the hometown crowd. Black added that the wrestler passed away in 2021.
Him and I had some great matches [local talent that P.J. Black wrestled at a WWE South Africa show]. Remember we had that TV deal in South Africa before I went to WWE? He was probably one of the biggest stars. You saw what he looked like, right? He was just a massive, massive star. So ten years go by and I wrestle this guy and I’m thinking, okay, he must have progressed in the last ten years as much as I have. So I put together this match. On paper, it was gonna be the match of my life, the match of his life by far and it was in his hometown in front of his friends and family, right? There’s thousands of people in the audience and a lot of them know him because he’s the hometown hero and this guy just freezes in the first minute. He was just probably nervous or whatever it was and he starts shooting on me. So I just grab him in a hold and I just let him calm down and we do a few more moves and he just f*cked up the spot, f*cked up the next one and then he starts shooting on me again and I was just like, I’ve had enough. I just choked him. I just choke him out, I do my springboard moonsault. The ref goes, ‘One, two,’ I do the old heel thing where I pick up the hair. I’m like, ‘No, no, no. One more. I can do another moonsault.’ Ref goes, ‘One, two,’ I go, ‘No, no.’ Pick him up by the hair… he’s out, he’s out, he’s out. So this time, I do the springboard 450 because I gotta give the crowd a show, right? They’ve been wanting to see P.J. Black for so many years now in South Africa. So I do the springboard 450, one, two and I just pull him up. I’m like, ‘No, no no’ but as I pull him up, I put my hand behind his neck and my other hand in between his legs and I make it look like he small packages me and I just tell the ref like, ‘Count, count, count!’ And this guy’s knocked out so he small packages me — well me pretty much [put] myself into a small package. One, two, three, there you go. He wins but he’s knocked out… Bless his soul. He passed away last year.
** Prior to AEW Fight For The Fallen, Robbie Fox of ‘My Mom’s Basement’ conducted an interview with Bryan Danielson. He dove into working with the newer talents in wrestling such as Jade Cargill. Danielson stated that Anthony Ogogo approached him about working together as well.
Tony Khan asked me to work with Jade Cargill and so I was like, ‘Okay. Jade, when works best for you?’ And the women a lot of times have a training session at 12 with Dustin Rhodes, like a lot of the women go and do a class setting so it’d be better — she was saying like, ‘Oh, maybe 1…’ and then somebody else asked me, so Anthony Ogogo who is doing great, right? He asked me if we could start working together and I was like, ‘Yeah, but we’ll have to go in at 11 because the girls start at 12 and I train with Jade at 1’, and then it just started — you know, once you start [Danielson laughed] … But you know what? To me it’s fun so it’s like, I would rather do that than sit in my hotel room. So, and I also too, I feel like I’m giving back which is part of my — this portion of my career, to me, feels like mostly, one, having fun and two, giving back so…
Danielson was part of Anarchy in the Arena at Double or Nothing. He enjoyed the match and said he was disappointed when the music stopped playing during it.
It was wonderful [being part of Anarchy in the Arena]. It was — and I loved the music playing for so long. It just felt chaotic. Part of what I really love about wrestling is it really makes you feel alive. If you’re in that moment, you just get this energy coursing through your body and that specific night, it was crazy. It was just awesome, because it’s just like, you’re in it amongst the people and it’s like being that close, that kind of intimate with them but in such a large arena, I loved it. I was just as disappointed as the fans when the music stopped playing. When [Chris] Jericho throws the thing, I was like, ‘Aw.’ I was really into that, you know what I mean? [Danielson laughed] But yeah, it was fun.
** Sports Illustrated’s ‘This Week in Wrestling’ column includes a chat with The Undertaker during which ‘Taker shared his thoughts about Ric Flair’s last match. Personally, Undertaker does not want to see it but hopes Flair gets everything he wants out of it.
I love this business and I’ve dedicated the past 30-plus years of my life to it, but knowing how my body feels after my career, I don’t know how he’s doing it. Flair is on a whole other level.
It wasn’t long ago he was on his deathbed. This world is better with Flair in it. Personally, I don’t want to see it. I’m happy he’s doing well. I wish the best for him, and I hope he gets everything out of it that he wants.
No, no, no [I was never a candidate to be part of Ric’s last match]. I saw Flair recently, and I said to him, ‘What are you doing?’ But Flair is Flair. He started telling me, ‘I’m working on this, I’m working on that.’ Again, I want all the best for him. I just hope he takes care of himself and that he is smart about this.
** At AEW Blood & Guts, Jake Hager and Claudio Castagnoli crossed paths for the first time since their time together in WWE. Hager reflected on sharing the ring with Castagnoli again during a virtual signing with Captain’s Corner.
What a cool twist of fate for our paths to intertwine at Blood & Guts like that [Hager said about him and Claudio Castagnoli]. You heard the audience when he came out at Forbidden Door. The wrestling universe, whatever you wanna call it has been dying to have some more Claudio. It’s just too bad he had to get in my way and we had to punch each other in the face again but, it’s cool to see [he’s] the new ROH Champion, World Champion. Guess I got my foot in my mouth. Said he’d never be a world champion and now he is one. You know, good for him. Stay out of my face Claudio.
Jake Paul’s name was brought up which led to it being mentioned that Logan Paul signed with WWE. Hager thinks in the long-term, it might be difficult for Logan to establish a connection with wrestling fans.
I got a feeling it’s gonna be pretty hard for Logan [Paul] to get over with the wrestling fans. Yeah [in a long-term sense]. We’ll see.
** Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards welcomed producer Pat Buck onto the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Buck expressed that he thinks former IMPACT Wrestling talents Fallah Bahh and Kevin Matthews would be solid additions to the AEW roster.
Two people that come to mind [that I would like to see join the AEW roster], of course I’m bias, I think my booking partner K.M. who’s six-foot-five, worked IMPACT Wrestling.
I think he’d be a solid addition to this roster and the last one who I think would be tremendous is Fallah Bahh. He is a Filipino sumo wrestler. He was struggling for a while, didn’t have an identity and I was like, ‘Hey, I don’t wanna insult you but do you like Yokozuna?’ He was like, ‘I love Yokozuna.’ I go, ‘What about this presentation?’ And that’s what got him in the door in a couple companies and I think the AEW crowd would go crazy for a Fallah Bahh. A Filipino sumo wrestler. While I didn’t train him from scratch, I certainly kind of revamped him to give him something to go off of. I’d love to see them all here.
Early in his career, Buck had an opportunity to work for WWE through their then-developmental group, Ohio Valley Wrestling. When that opportunity did not work out and developmental was moved to Tampa, Florida, Buck said Norman Smiley, Steve Kern and Dr. Tom Prichard tried to get him hired. This ultimately led to Buck putting together his first independent show.
I got the invite to OVW. A lot of times, if you got in that position, if you work your butt off, you get your body right, you train with all the contracted talent, well here’s your opportunity. Well things changed and different people stepped in, so what could have been one year end up being four-and-a-half years and I’m still unemployed, I’m bouncing, I’m going to college in the morning, I’m taking out student loans to pay for my training to be a wrestler but I’m still doing seven days a week of wrestling and I went, man, am I a loser? Can someone just tell me that I’m horrible so I can just go home but it was always like, ‘Hey, you’re doing everything right, you’re doing everything right’ and that’s a big thing for wrestlers. ‘Well I keep hearing I’m doing everything right.’ ‘Maybe you are. It’s just timing, it’s just something’ and then, the deal with WWE got plucked and went to Tampa and I went, okay, I’ll move home, I’ll go back to New York. I’ll figure out something and my friends in the system with friends in the company were like, ‘We think you should move to Tampa.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t know guys.’ They’re like, ‘No, no, no. Brand new system, maybe you could help out down there’ and I did so I followed the WWE train to FCW and I basically joined a class that you had to actually pay for because this was a new crop of people that I didn’t know. I knew Dr. Tom Prichard very well since I’ve started but there was Steve Kern and Norman Smiley and guys I’ve never met before. So, I pay for this beginner program and just to make a little bit of a shorter story, by the end of this program, I was helping coach the program with Norman and with that and they were like, ‘We’d like you to be in here’ and they fought more, those guys, Norman, Steve, Dr. Tom, in that short year that I was there, tried to get me hired and the whole pitch was, you know, ‘Hey, even if you don’t think Pat’s a star, you need him in this system to work with the people that you do think are stars.’ It still falls on deaf ears. It wasn’t happening, then an idea, to relate to you Aubrey [Edwards], ‘Pat could be a referee, but he’s a little too muscular. Can he trim down?’ Okay. Dropped 25 pounds, I was about to do a couple tryouts as a referee and then that changed to, ‘You’re gonna go out there and wrestle a couple dark matches and that’s it’ and then I just gave up and I said that’s it, moved back home, started working indies again and I was frustrated again because now, I have all this incredible training, I’ve worked with so many people, so many brilliant minds like at that time, [Jim] Cornette and [Paul] Heyman and the whole FCW system with Dusty [Rhodes] and full-time wrestler for this whole amount of time. I can’t get the opponents I wanna get, nobody knows who I am because I never had TV so, why would you care about me? Why would you feature me? So I said you know what? I’m either gonna go back to school, to medical school or I’m gonna put on one show and I put on one show, put everything I had into it and luckily I had 900 people there.
** The most recent guest on ‘The Sessions with Renée Paquette’ is Taya Valkyrie. While she and John Morrison were in WWE together in 2021, Valkyrie said Morrison pushed for them to work together on-screen.
I remember it was brought up a lot at first [working with John Morrison on-screen in WWE] and it honestly, they were like, ‘Well you might get put with John…’ you know, when I would ask where a story is going or what was going on and obviously John was also pushing to have me be with him, but it was also like, it just never was the right time and that’s the main — let’s be real here, a huge motivator for me to go WWE, not only because I was trying to accomplish this dream that I’d had since the beginning of time, but also to be reunited with John because we did some of our best work together in Lucha Underground and on IMPACT Wrestling and all over the place so, I really was like, every day thinking, you know, the big picture here. Even if I was uncomfortable or having a bad day or stressed the hell out like a lot of us are there, I was just always with that vision of being like, I need to get to John, you know? I also just like thinking of that time as just a small fraction of my life and a lot of people almost want me to say more bad things but it was like, I’ve said it all. It is what it is.
** Ahead of SummerSlam, Jim Varsallone interviewed Angelo Dawkins. Dawkins touched on the idea of him and Montez Ford going on singles runs and said they are not thinking about it, but they’ll be ready when that day comes.
I’ll say this, we ain’t really thinking about that right now [Street Profits going on singles runs]. We’re just focused on becoming Grand Slam Tag Team Champs. But, we’ll be ready when that day comes.
Jeff Jarrett is going to be the guest referee for The Usos versus The Street Profits at SummerSlam. Dawkins recounted his reaction to finding out Jarrett would be in that spot:
You know, it was like, oh snap, okay. Now we got something cooking here [Dawkins recounted his thoughts when Jeff Jarrett was announced as the guest referee for his match at SummerSlam]. He’s from Nashville so that’s his hometown. He reps Nashville through and through. Home of country songs and all that stuff, Nashville. But, so man, it’s gonna be fun with him and the magnitude of this match is just crazy because it’s Street Profits versus The Usos II. Who wouldn’t wanna be a part of that? And to have a Hall of Famer like Jeff Jarrett, Double J, J squared, J to the second power as our ref is gonna be history making.
** Before AEW Fight For The Fallen took place, Ricky Starks was interviewed by PWInsider. He told the site that he was not surprised to see Danhausen land in AEW and thought it would be only a matter of time before he appeared for the company.
I wasn’t that surprised, I figured it would only be a matter of time. I met Danhausen on the independents, I’ve seen the growth with Danhausen, and I kind of figured it was going to go hand in hand with AEW. Tony really looks at the stats and numbers, especially when it comes to the online presence that one person has, so to me it was a no brainer. I’m not surprised that people are big fans of him. Just look at him…you don’t really get it, but you kind of do get it all in the same breath.
In April 2021, Starks suffered a fractured neck while competing on a match on Dynamite. He said the injury changed his viewpoint a lot. He tries not to think about it, but said he’d be lying if he said he’s moved on from it.
I think it has changed my viewpoint a lot. Obviously the neck injury was something that was scary just because I could have had it all ended and taken away from me before I even came off the starting line, you get what I mean? And the thought of that is so scary to me. Because here’s a guy who really didn’t get a chance to really show what he can do and then now it’s over, you know. So with that being in my mind, I do think a lot of the way that I move in the ring or the way that I’m progressing and things like that, I’m not saying I need to be rushed at all, because I’m thankful and appreciative that Tony’s taking the time but in the other note, how much more does one person have to wait? You know, I’m not saying this to Tony. I’m just saying in a general sense. There has to be a point where you have to just fire on all cylinders, and you’re already ready to go. So the neck injury does cross my mind quite a bit because I don’t want to get hurt again. And I do protect myself and I do take care of myself. And we’re now at a point where I feel like I’m the old Ricky before the neck injury. I feel like that with a bit of, some improved trinkets on, so I try not to let it take too much of my time in terms of thinking about it. But I’d be lying to you if I said that I’m okay and that I’ve moved on from it.
** In 2021, C.J. Perry (Lana) finished up her run with WWE. She told Inside The Ropes that when she gets back into wrestling, she wants her return to feel important and impactful. She added that when she was in WWE, she was a ‘company girl’ and never said no to what the company or Vince McMahon asked her to do.
But it’s really important to me that when I return back to wrestling, I want it to be meaningful and I really want it to be impactful and I just don’t want to do something half-assed and I don’t want to do something that’s mediocre. I think in WWE I was just always a company girl. I was whatever Vince wanted, whatever the company wanted. It was like at the end of the day, and this maybe was because I came from acting, you’re an actor, so it’s your job to figure out whatever story they give you, even if it doesn’t make sense to you, it’s your job, make it make sense. So because I came from that mentality, I never said no to anything. I was always like, okay, yeah, yeah, okay. That doesn’t make a lot of sense at all, but I’ll figure it out.
** While doing a virtual signing for Captain’s Corner, Julia Hart mapped out her road to AEW. She stated that initially, she was not aiming to land in the company and just wanted to learn from Cody Rhodes and Q.T. Marshall at their school as she had been inactive for a lengthy period during the pandemic.
During COVID, I wasn’t doing anything and I thought I would go to Cody [Rhodes] and Q.T’s school so I went there. I did the three-month camp and then Cody had asked me to come to TV the next week so, and then [Brian] Pillman [Jr.] saw me and then Pillman wanted me in the group [Varsity Blonds] and then the rest is history so, yeah.
It did [COVID-19 pandemic changed a lot of people’s lives for better or for worse]. I think if COVID didn’t happen, I don’t know what I would be doing because I started doing indies right before COVID. I think I had like five shows and then COVID hit. So it was like — and then I didn’t do anything for a year so I was like, man, I gotta do something and then Cody and Q.T’s school opened up so I was like, oh, this sounds like a great opportunity to learn and learn from them so, and I wasn’t even trying to get to AEW. I just wanted to learn and do more so, yeah. I would have never thought I’d be in AEW right now. It’s crazy.
** During the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Hall of Fame induction weekend, Trish Stratus became the first woman to receive the Lou Thesz award. Stratus spoke about the honor on Busted Open Radio and gave her take on the differences between that Hall of Fame and WWE’s Hall of Fame ceremony.
I think there’s an actual physical Hall of Fame in this regard so that’s kind of neat [Trish said when asked to explain the differences between the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Hall of Fame and WWE Hall of Fame], and I get asked that question all the time and they see the ring and they’re like, ‘Where it is?’ I’m like, ‘So, the thing is, it’s sort of –’ don’t even know how to explain it [Trish laughed]. It’s in our hearts, you know? A little different. I think the Hall of Fame with WWE, it was definitely a moment to just thank everyone and acknowledge everyone who kind of got me to become recognized at that level I guess and that’s what I took that opportunity to do as whereas now it’s about what does it mean as a female in the business, kind of looking at a bigger picture almost. Does that make sense?
She reflected on receiving the Lou Thesz award and what it represents. Stratus said the event organizers told her that they hope she is just the first of many women to win the award.
And of course what the [Lou Thesz] award meant to me as well. As you said, the first female to do it. I don’t know, it’s just really cool. It felt like it was a good moment. When I was writing my speech, of course I was listing some of my thank yous and I was like, okay, Bubba Ray… ah, the list goes on [Trish laughed]. But, I just felt like this was a moment to really send a message of what it means for me as a female to receive this award and what it means moving forward and even when I spoke to the organizers, they were like, ‘We were hoping… you’re the first of many, many more females added to the list and not just the one female that gets to be a part of this weekend.’ It’s like there will maybe two females and not think about the fact that it’s a female, it’s just a superstar or a wrestler that’s being recognized and you know what? It really kind of made me have a retrospect on what it meant for me during my career to be a woman in that — underrepresented at that time and how that became my driving force to go out there and become a voice for women and knowing that women are watching, they’re starting to watch more at that point and it was really special so this moment, this weekend gave me a chance to look back on it which was nice and kind of, you know, just put a nod towards it.
** wXw Germany promoter Tassilo Jung published a column in-which he wrote about promoting in this portion of the COVID pandemic and how his promotion has adjusted since the pandemic started back in 2020. The following are excerpts from Jung’s article:
In April, we looked at travel costs, which make a lot of difference, especially for organizers with high travel intensity. At that time, we had a 38% increase in airfare and a 58% increase in fuel costs compared to the same period last year. It is also clear that the end of the line has not been reached for either of these. Using our example: We recently paid 1,400 and 1,800 EUR respectively for flights of guest wrestlers, which in the past were 500 – 750 EUR. Flights for our Hungarian wrestlers to NRW, which used to be 50 EUR, are now at best just under 200 EUR. What the current gasoline price means for organizers like us, who send two Crafters, a nine-seater and 5-8 cars through Germany, is also clear.
A week and a half ago we had a great event at the Batschkapp in Frankfurt. That hall has been sold out well in advance every time since fall 2018. In July 2022, we did not provide nearly 100 chairs from the seating plan. Our evaluations show that it was not fans who traveled far, but fans from the region who were absent. The connection between willingness to travel and emotional investment is clear – these were casual fans from the region who understandably preferred something else from the diverse entertainment on offer that day or that month.
** Kidd Bandit, Jordan Oliver, Tony Deppen and Shigehiro Irie are scheduled for PROGRESS Wrestling events this fall.
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated published interviews with Kurt Angle and Liv Morgan.
** Episode 10 of Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze’s Battle of the Brands series:
** Independent wrestler Jazmin Allure appeared on Taylor Wilde’s podcast.
** July 28th birthdays: Sammy Guevara.
** Natalya joined Busted Open Radio with Mickie James, Tommy Dreamer and Dave LaGreca.
** WWE United States Champion Bobby Lashley appeared on NewsChannel 5 Nashville.
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.