POST NEWS UPDATE: Naomichi Marufuji receiving hyaluronic acid injection once a week to treat knee pain

Naomichi Marufuji's knee pain, Brian Gewirtz chats Vince McMahon, Abadon on her AEW run, Gangrel/IMPACT pitch, Tajiri writing two more books

Photo Courtesy: ABEMA TIMES

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.

** On 8/5, Naomichi Marufuji returned to the ring for the first time since May. He had been dealing with knee pain and at the pre-NOAH ‘Departure’ press conference, Marufuji shared that he is receiving hyaluronic acid injections in his knee once a week. The injections act as a lubricant and shock absorber in the joints and helps those joints work properly.

** On the latest ‘Cheap Heat’ podcast via The Ringer, S.V.P. of Television at Seven Bucks Productions and former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz joined the show. Gewirtz was promoting his book which releases on August 16th and he mentioned that in the book, he shares that he was the one who proposed the idea of doing Brock Lesnar versus Stone Cold Steve Austin in 2002. The first idea for the finish of the match would see Eddie Guerrero cost Austin the match.

By the way, in the book, I’ll be — I copped to it. You know, I’m the one who proposed [Steve] Austin versus Brock [Lesnar] that led to, you know, let’s say a fracture… what’s the word? It didn’t lead to good things.

Again, the story is at the time, this was supposedly gonna be a brand split that was a true brand split. It was our first brand split, where it was like these guys are not gonna be facing each other anytime soon. The idea at the time too is we were talking it out with Vince [McMahon] in the creative meeting was to really use it as a springboard to this Austin/Eddie Guerrero angle that we were doing at the time, because Eddie was gonna do a run-in and cost Steve the match. We had done stuff like that in the past. We had done stuff somewhat similar with Austin causing a distraction that led to Hurricane beating Rock and obviously, I know Hurricane versus The Rock is not a future main event and not the biggest match potentially in WWE history, but at the time, it was like, yeah, we can… we’re not gonna have this for years. When we do it, we’re gonna treat it as if it’s the biggest match in existence. We can afford to do this match and have this with a zabada finish and eventually Vince changed it from a finish to a non-finish as far as disqualification. Let’s do this as a big, big last hoorah kickoff before we truly split the brands and do this but I think everything and my part included because if I didn’t know any better, when Steve gave an interview at the time to WWF Magazine and literally said, ‘I don’t need some kid straight out sitcom school handing me a piece of paper,’ I kind of deduced he might have been talking about myself at the time.

At WrestleMania 21, Gewirtz was assigned the Piper’s Pit segment involving both Roddy Piper and Stone Cold Steve Austin. Vince McMahon told Gewirtz to make sure that Piper did not curse during the segment, but Piper did it anyway and McMahon was not happy with Gewirtz although he did tell Piper not to curse. Brian went on to share Piper’s reaction when approached backstage.

Long story short of it is Vince [McMahon] is like, ‘Okay, I got your bullet points, it’s all good. I only ask you one thing, make sure Roddy doesn’t curse. There’s sponsors here, the world is watching us, make sure he doesn’t curse’ and, ‘I got it. I will tell him’ and so I told Roddy that. He’s like, ‘Yeah, got you kid. No problem. You can trust me’ and Roddy goes out there, he’s cutting his promo, everything’s going great. I’m in Gorilla Position backstage on headset, Austin’s pacing, waiting to go out and Roddy starts doing his little improvise like, ‘Who’s the biggest rebel in WWE history?’ The whole crowd’s chanting ‘Austin’ and goes, ‘Ah! That’s bullsh*t!’ And Vince, as soon as he saw that, it was like — I’ll date myself. The old Legion of Doom in the swamp… the device, rising slowly, rising… shows you I’m not a comic book guy. That’s how Vince’s head was slowly rising from his place in Gorilla with the headset on, screaming, ‘Did you know he was gonna say that!?’ I’m like, ‘The man’s crazy.’ So he’s like, ‘Dammit Brian!’ Slamming the headset down, pencils flying everywhere and so yeah, the promo itself is great but I had to talk to Roddy afterwards. He goes like, ‘What’s wrong kid? You don’t look like…’ ‘Roddy, you know how we had that talk? You kind of said you wouldn’t say bullsh*t or any curse word. Well you kind of screamed it in the middle of the ring’ and I don’t know if he’s working me. I’m 90 percent sure he was working me but 10 percent like a little bit vague where he’s like, ‘Yeah, I guess I did say that. But is bullsh*t really a curse?’ It is top six curse, yes. 100 percent and he’s like, ‘All right, well, I’ll see you at the afterparty kid’ and what am I gonna do? We can’t turn back time so, but yeah, I’m so thrilled I got to work and got to know Roddy as a human being.

Months after he had started in WWE, Gewirtz got into a shouting match with Vince McMahon around the time of WrestleMania 2000. He later apologized and McMahon said he likes being challenged. Other staff members told Gewirtz not to do it again.

I don’t even remember what I was fighting, arguing about, but I got into a big-time argument with Vince [McMahon] over something, I don’t remember, in his hotel suite during WrestleMania 2000. I don’t remember what I was arguing, but this was — I’m half-a-year into the company and I’m arguing with him and I’m huffing and puffing and I’m storming out and then I later had to go knock on his door unprompted and apologize. Not that I had to, but once I got back into my room and I, ‘Who does he think he is? This is a good idea’ and I’m in that mindset of he hasn’t paid for a WWE ticket in 50 years… and then like, holy sh*t, I was arguing and not dropping it with Vince freaking McMahon over WrestleMania. Like who the hell am I to be doing that? So finally, took a step back and then I went to his hotel, I knocked, I apologized. He was very cool. He was like, ‘No, I love to be challenged,’ then I had a talking to by some others afterwards being like, ‘Yeah, don’t do that again.’ Not don’t apologize but don’t, you know, be a pain in the ass challenging him. There’s a time to fight for your ideas and everything. Again, going back to that whole fine line being challenging and being respectful and all that but, at a certain point, you gotta recognize he’s the boss, it’s his vision, it’s his company. Now, even if you don’t agree with it and there’s been plenty of times I didn’t agree with it and plenty of times I did agree with it, but now you just gotta make this as good as possible and put all your efforts into making it good even if you personally don’t think it works…

** Episode 72 of René Duprée’s Café De René podcast featured Tajiri as a guest. The former WWE Cruiserweight Champion stated that when he wrestled on TV against Rey Mysterio, if it was a good match, Vince McMahon would give him a bonus.

When I wrestled against Rey Mysterio on TV and if it was a good match, Vince [McMahon] paid bonus, extra bonus always.

Tajiri has a book out and he is writing two more books he’s planning to release this September and the other in February 2023.

I like many books so, it’s my first book [that’s out right now] and I’m writing… September, new one coming, and next February so I’m writing two books now.

** At Terrificon 2022 (video via Fandom Spotlite), Abadon and Dustin Rhodes represented All Elite Wrestling. Abadon commented on this current stretch of her career and said it has been life changing.

Life changing for sure, definitely [the last several years of her career]. I never expected anything like this and then now that I have it, I’m gonna give my all for everything that I’m doing and it makes you look at yourself differently for sure, for me.

Back in October 2021, Abadon headlined an episode of AEW Rampage with Britt Baker in a ‘Trick or Treat’ anything goes match. Abadon was emotional because she was grateful for the opportunity. One of the spots she wanted to do was to have the thumbtacks mashed in her face. She added that she ended up accidentally swallowing one of the tacks.

When I found out I was wrestling Britt [Baker on Rampage], I was excited because I was like, yes, I get to show people what I’ve been working on at that time. When I found out it was the main event, I went — I didn’t know how to — I cried. I cried because I didn’t know… speechless. I can’t even talk right now clearly. I was very thankful and I was very appreciative of the fact that I was trusted with the main event, especially with the champion Britt Baker at that time, my favorite match that I’ve had so far. I put everything, my blood, sweat and tears went into that match because I wanted it to be disgusting and brutal and I was like hit me with everything, I don’t even care. I want to get messed up in this match. I literally did. She had suggested, ‘Hey, do you –’ this is a question I have been asked a lot this week and so far regarding the tacks in my mouth, were there any in my face? No, I wish. I felt like that would have looked really cool, because my piercings, everybody was like, ‘Oh! There’s tacks in your face!’ I was like, ‘No, that would have looked good though.’ I had suggested a couple of things, like I wanted my face mashed in them but we chose the superkick to the face.

I swallowed one [tack]. I did [use the bathroom and the tack came out]. I didn’t die, because I can’t [Abadon laughed].

** Ringsiders Wrestling pushed out their chat with Madman Fulton. He shared that during quarantine while IMPACT Wrestling was still filming with no fans in attendance, he and Jake Crist suggested the idea of bringing in Gangrel to convert their characters into vampires. The idea came about as they found out o.V.e. was splitting up.

Completely random, but when they were doing the stuff and we found out o.V.e. was gonna be breaking up, Jake Crist and I kind of came up with this completely random storyline where you know, we’d go on this losing streak and we don’t know what’s about to go on, what are we gonna do to save our careers and we end up meeting up with Gangrel over the series of all these backstage shots and basically, we convince him to bite us and make us vampires and this was all definitely during quarantine so there’s no crowd, it was the perfect time to do it and we were trying to get them to bring in Gangrel and make us just new vampires and just like, it might have happened, it might not and then things just kind of fell through, they went a different direction and right after that is when Edge did the Brood entrance and there’s all the rumors about Gangrel trying to go to AEW and I’m sitting there like, ‘See, we told you. We had this! It was right there.’ Listen to us [Fulton laughed]. No, but it was cool.

Looking back on his time with SAnitY, Fulton said although he was no longer with the company, he still owned one fifth of the trademark and was receiving royalty payments throughout the group’s existence in WWE.

It’s weird when people ask because I was 50/50 [about how I felt about SAnitY continuing after I was no longer in the group] because there’s still part of me that was salty and was like, man, I earned this spot. I was working hard, I wanted to be there, I wanted to be a part of it. I mean hell, they debuted them on SmackDown in Toledo, Ohio where one, motherf*cking me was born so that kind of pissed me off too but they’re still my friends, I still want them to do well and I still had one fifth of the trademark for SAnitY so I was making all their royalty money too so it’s hard to want them to fail when they’re making you money on the side.

** Bellator MMA fighter Austin Vanderford was interviewed by Jim Varsallone and asked about his past appearances on AEW with American Top Team. Vanderford enjoyed his time in the pro wrestling space and being side-by-side with his wife Paige VanZant. He added that he has a tremendous amount of respect for pro wrestlers and their work ethics.

It was fun [appearing for AEW]. I grew up being a wrestling fan and growing up watching that and getting to meet some of the guys we got to meet, it’s been a lot of fun. Of course my wife [Paige VanZant] is signed to AEW and she’ll actually — her fight is a week after me so she’ll take care of business and then I’d imagine she’d get right back into wrestling and get some more stuff going so, it’s been a really fun experience honestly and I look forward to more of it.

To get started, it was literally like a Tuesday, he [Dan Lambert] was like, ‘Hey, would you guys want to come and hop on the jet and go do a wrestling event? And you know I got this good shtick going’ and I was like, ‘Yeah. That’d be awesome man’ and so, we did it and then it turned into, ‘Hey, we’re going back next week. You wanna come? Let’s keep the story –’ and you know, and so we just kept doing it and it honestly has been so much fun and the wrestling world, it’s crazy. It’s intense, it’s really fun and it’s physical. Those guys work really, really hard and yeah, unless you really go in there and do it, you don’t understand but I have a tremendous amount of respect for their work ethic and what those guys go out there and do.

Vanderford is open to the idea of working with VanZant in AEW. He said he would like to get more involved once he’s done in MMA.

Yeah, I would love to [work with Paige VanZant in AEW]. We definitely, you know, like I stated before about having the respect for what those guys go out there and do. I gotta go out there and as well as her too to get to that level to be able to go out there and do it but, yeah, I would love to. Like I said, it’s a lot of fun and I really hope to get more involved once I’m done.

There was a point when Vanderford got the chance to get physical with Chris Jericho which is something he looks back fondly on.

Oh man, it was crazy [getting to work with Chris Jericho in AEW]. Chris Jericho is this, you know, a wrestling legend. He really — a guy on the mic and his promos and stuff are so incredible and he’s a true professional too and you know, it was fun and for those guys, they gotta swallow their ego so much and swallow their pride just for the sake of everything and it’s a lot of fun. It was cool. I really hope to get more involved in stuff once I’m done fighting and all that.

** Towards the backend of her full-time in-ring career, Jacqueline Moore was with TNA Wrestling. She told Captain’s Corner during a virtual signing that she enjoyed working with Beer Money (James Storm & Robert Roode) along with sharing the ring with the likes of Gail Kim.

Working for TNA, I loved working with Beer Money. Remember that tag team?… It was fun working with those guys. We had strong chemistry and it was fun, it was fun. I had matches against Gail Kim, she was great to work with. But yeah, it was good. I wasn’t there that long but it was good. The short time I was there, it was good.

** Joey G. of Wrestling Headlines has an interview with IMPACT Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace. She reflected on being the first Digital Media Champion and her program with Matt Cardona which resulted in him becoming champion.

Well, I think that being the first of any kind of champion is a really big deal because it kind of sets the stage for how the championship is going to go. And I think it’s good that IMPACT introduced that title because I know that digital media, and like YouTube and social platforms, they’re huge. And Matt Cardona was, you know, he invented the Internet Championship. And that was, I think, really before all this social media stuff kind of blew up. And now I think is the perfect time. So I’m not 100% sure why they didn’t call it the Internet Championship. To be honest, I think Cardona actually might have like… a trademark or something to it, but it’s basically the Internet Championship. And I think it’s good because you can basically have these really fun, fast paced matches with that title. And they’re just super exciting. And people have very short attention spans nowadays, you have noticed, but you put those up on YouTube, and that generates impact. It impacts a lot of income. And I think it gets a lot of eyes on the product too.

** The most recent episode of Insight with Chris Van Vliet features a conversation with AEW’s Anthony Ogogo. He detailed back and forth and at times, somewhat heated discussions he would have with Diamond Dallas Page as DDP was trying to get Ogogo into pro wrestling following his boxing career. Ogogo wanted to take in that his career as a pro boxer was over, but DDP wanted to push him into his next venture.

So I retired from boxing and I was friends with DDP. He is like my mentor in this game, what an unbelievable dude, I can’t put him over enough. So I was injured, I just hurt my eye, I had nine surgeries on my eye in three years. It was a very difficult time. I was training so hard, making and losing weight, and I got a back injury. I thought that I needed to do something, and being a wrestling fan, I listened to podcasts, and Jericho was always putting over DDPY. So I reached out to him [DDP] and he got back to me and we became best mates. I had 9 surgeries on my eye in 3 years, 4 in America. Every surgery I had in the USA, I would come over early and stay over in Atlanta and we would hang out together. We would do yoga together and hang out together, and he said, ‘Have you ever thought of being a wrestler?’ I said, ‘Dallas I am honored.’ He said, ‘You can talk, you got the look, you are athletic. I think you can do this.’ I was really humbled but I told him that boxing is my thing, he got it, he is someone who is all about work ethic and achieving your dreams. So I had a surgery, and one of the maddest things happened to me. I woke up from the 3rd surgery and I knew the protocol, 5th on my eye altogether, but then my heart stopped altogether. They resuscitated me back to life, and it was scary as you can imagine. I stayed in [the] hospital overnight to have some regular checks, and Dallas called me. He asked how did it go and I said not well, all the doctors were panicking, big thing. He said, ‘Listen, when are you going to give this dream up? It’s not happening for you. I can make one phone call and make you a wrestler today.’ That was the only argument that me and Dallas ever had. I snapped at him and said, ‘F*cking hell! I need everyone that I love and respect to be on my f*cking side now. I can not have you dangling the carrot over here. I have got the blinders on.’ We had an argument and I said to him, ‘Don’t mention this to me ever again.’ He said, ‘I get it.’ That was March 2018 and I retired in March 2019. I Facetimed Dallas and said that I was retiring from boxing and to thank him. He said, ‘I’m sorry. I know how much this meant to you.’ He took a beat, then the next thing he said was, ‘So now do you want to be a wrestler?’ I said, ‘F*ck Dallas, let me mourn my career! 18 years of unfulfilled dreams and pain and bitterness.’ I wanted to sulk, I was still writing my retirement speech. He goes, ‘When you are finished sulking then give me a call.’

** There’s a feature story about the Australian pro wrestling scene on Timeout.com. Robbie Eagles was interviewed for the piece and he brought up a ‘Pro Wrestling Australia’ show that took place in 2017. Will Ospreay was booked for the show as PWA was entering a new market. Eagles feels that the landscape of the scene would be very different had Ospreay not been part of that event.

The Paddington show was a big risk, but we sold it out, which was ludicrous. Some of the people that came to that show had never seen PWA before but they were wowed from match one to the main event. The atmosphere in the room that night really set a trajectory for where we’ve been heading ever since… If Will [Ospreay] had never made that trek, I think we’d be in a very different landscape right now.

** While guest appearing on The Sessions with Renée Paquette, Miro expressed that he’s looking forward to sharing the ring with Konosuke Takeshita.

I really love [Konosuke] Takeshita. I just watched him fight your husband [Miro said to Renee Paquette] and I watched him [versus] Eddie [Kingston] and I was like, man, this guy is really good. He’s got great basics and he just moves so good. I really love him. I would like to fight him as well.

** WWE N.I.L. (Next In Line) athlete Dalton Wagner was profiled by Hogs+. He’s going to look at WWE someday but wants to give the NFL a shot.

I’m going to look at that [WWE] someday, but I’d really like a shot at the NFL.

I do not have a (wrestling) name. I don’t know about the role I’d play, but probably the bad guy. They will decide that. They are so good at writing scripts, really good. I learned that (in the NIL trip).

** Ricky Starks versus Aaron Solo has been added to AEW Quake By The Lake on August 10th.

** Keiji Muto is going to be wrestling as ‘The Great Muta’ on September 3rd at Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Osaka, Japan show. Muto’s final match as ‘The Great Muta’ character is taking place on January 22nd, 2023.

** All Japan Pro Wrestling selected comedian Bibiru Ōki to be the ambassador for their 50th anniversary show on September 18th. Ōki has a deep knowledge of All Japan and the company believes he can promote the forthcoming event beyond the boundaries of the pro wrestling industry.

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 4198 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.