POST NEWS UPDATE: Madison Rayne talks joining AEW, recaps her first day with the company

Madison Rayne on joining AEW, Brian Gewirtz interview, Toa Liona's 'never say never' mindset about WWE, Stan Hansen notes, Matt Cardona

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

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.

** Former 5-time TNA Knockouts Champion Madison Rayne was hired by AEW to be a coach. She was in action at Quake By The Lake and took on Jade Cargill for the TBS Championship. Prior to that match, Rayne appeared on Busted Open Radio and commented on her start with AEW and how the opportunity came to be. She said it was an opportunity she could not pass up.

I mean, that’s kind of it. It was there was an opportunity when AEW came to my hometown and you know what? At this point in my career, I’m searching for moments, right? Especially ones that maybe I haven’t had before and to have the opportunity to… even walk out on the stage in Columbus, Ohio at The Schottenstein Center with friends, family. I haven’t talked much about this, but my dad was recently diagnosed with stage four cancer so, and he’s been a huge wrestling fan. He’s the reason that I got into wrestling so, just the idea to have that opportunity to have a moment there with those people, it was something that I couldn’t pass it up and from that conversation, just the snowball kept rolling and rolling and it evolved into Madison Rayne becoming coach of the women’s division at AEW which still blows my mind to say it out loud. But again, chasing moments and this was a moment and this was an opportunity that I would have been an absolute fool to not capitalize on and take the ball and run with it as best I can.

Rayne looked back on her first day with the company and said she felt welcomed. She did have the chance to meet majority of the roster and although she is not fully settled in, she loves where she’s at.

I have [gotten the chance to meet most of the AEW roster] and my first day on the job was last Wednesday in Columbus and I remember… the whole day is still a bit of a blur but in the best way possible. Everybody was so welcoming and warm and kind and they showed me where catering was and showed me — I didn’t have to question anything from the second that I walked in the arena last week and I went home and my husband was like, ‘Okay, tell me everything’ and the only thing that I could verbalize and articulate to him was, ‘I love my job.’ I don’t even know the specifics yet, I haven’t even gotten my hands dirty yet but, I love my job. Just because this entire locker room is so excited every time they show up to work and they want to put out the best product and use this platform that they’ve been given so, I have gotten to dive in? And mentally, yes, I’m making notes and talking to people and having conversations, but I’m also still kind of trying to get my feet settled. So, I’m taking it a day at a time and one show at a time and now also wrestling so I’m trying to pace myself and not get too overwhelmed but also, let’s hit the ground running, let’s go.

** During Brian Gewirtz’s chat with Ariel Helwani, the former WWE writer dove into the storyline during which Stone Cold Steve Austin was ran over by a car in 1999 and the individual behind the wheel was revealed to be Rikishi. Gewirtz said there were a multitude of people of who were pitched for that spot, one of which was Taz who Vince McMahon suggested.

Let’s see, how do I put this? [Gewirtz laughed] The amount of people who were gonna freaking run over Stone Cold Steve Austin at some point, you know, you could fill a jury with them and have alternates. It was a lot, a lot of people and it kept switching. It was kind of hot potato. I remember at one point, Vince [McMahon] looked at me, I forget what day it was and he just looked at me and was like, ‘Taz.’ At one point, it was gonna be Taz. Okay, great, let’s make it Taz and then, you know, for whatever reason it’s someone different. But yeah, it was a — yeah, I wouldn’t call that necessarily a success. Rikishi is a Hall of Fame performer but he’s just likable and a natural babyface and people wanna like him so I think it was sometimes you just don’t know until you try and then ultimately, it was Rikishi but Triple H was behind it all along and it went back to the natural order of things.

Earlier in the conversation, Brian touched on what he describes as the low point in he and Vince McMahon’s relationship. In 2012 while in Miami, Florida, Gewirtz wrote a line for The Miz to go out and say about the Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade. McMahon was not happy and started arguing with Brian because he was unaware of who Wade was. This situation resulted in Gewirtz having a reduced role in WWE.

I never told the story of basically the low point, the nadir of my relationship with Vince [McMahon], when we got into an argument stemming from a… as I call it in the chapter, ‘The Dwayne Wade Incident’ where I had written kind of a cheap heat line for The Miz for him being a Cleveland guy and they were in Miami for Survivor Series and Vince didn’t know who Dwayne Wade was and he blew up at me in the production meeting and it was just a really, really, you know, for that period of time, it was dicey, it was ugly, it was awkward and I said look, you know what? It wouldn’t really be truthful in terms of the book to leave this out. This is kind of a major part of what led to me ultimately receding in responsibility, going from head writer to part-time consultant while working at Seven Bucks [Productions] and there have also been so many, relatively speaking, different, not necessarily accurate ways in which that transition had actually went down. So I’m like, you know what? Why not just set the record straight? Because in the end, it all came back and it all worked out. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and as I write, even though we had hit a low point, including a particularly tense exchange that I’m sure you might recall from the book, ultimately, we stuck it out and ultimately, it was like, God, you know, I kind of appreciate — there was a mutual appreciation for each other to the point where when we finally left, my last day, you know, was a big, big hug and really a feel-good moment whereas if I had left the company after that episode in 2012, it would have left a much more sour taste in my mouth.

While talking about certain pitches and things of the sort that he advocated heavily for, he said he pushed for The Rock and Hulk Hogan to main event WrestleMania 18.

The following year’s WrestleMania, Gewirtz was a strong advocate for Roddy Piper getting involved in the Vince McMahon versus Hulk Hogan match. He said there were some who were not for that idea because they felt Piper would take away from the focus which was McMahon and Hogan.

I always felt like [The] Rock and [Hulk] Hogan should have went last at WrestleMania 18. I felt like, you know, that’s like a — title matches happen every WrestleMania, every title and going in, we knew this iteration of [Chris] Jericho/Triple H with Steph [McMahon] in Jericho’s corner, yes, it’s the title match but, we just knew going in, it did not have the same electricity and heat so I know pushing for that match to end WrestleMania 18 was something I was advocating.

And again, with the idea of Roddy, who was my hero, Roddy Piper, who I have a whole chapter on and the debate whether or not for him to do the run-in in WrestleMania 19 [during Vince McMahon versus Hulk Hogan], I never advocated so strongly for something I don’t think in my life. Just from the pure, oh my God, as sitting in the crowd, watching that match between Mr. McMahon and Hogan, if Roddy did a run-in that nobody knew about, that would be the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen in my life and there were a lot of people who were against it. Like, ‘No, the focus, the spotlight should be on McMahon and Hogan. He’d take away from that.’ Again, not like screw Roddy, we don’t want him but just for the telling of the story, I was like, ‘It doesn’t matter. Yeah, it will enhance it believe it or not. It will make it even better.’ I remember advocating very strongly for that.

** In 2016, Stan Hansen was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. While doing a virtual signing for Captain’s Corner, he looked back on that honor.

All my family was there [2016 WWE Hall of Fame ceremony] and WWE treated me and my family all really well. I appreciate it. Good to see big Bruno [Sammartino].

Hansen spent many years of his career in Japan and he credits Andre The Giant for being the person that got him popular with the crowd there. He feels Andre is the reason his career took off.

Andre [The Giant] got me over in Japan. I mean he was the guy that really made my career take off. We had some great matches.

In January of 2001, All Japan Pro Wrestling hosted a retirement ceremony for Hansen at the Tokyo Dome. Hansen said he was never really into the ‘Stan Hansen’ persona but on that night, he felt appreciated.

You know, my whole family was there and everything and you know, I never — I took my career serious but I wasn’t really into ‘Stan Hansen’. The people that night made me feel like they appreciated me so…

During his time in All Japan, he captured the World Tag Team Titles twice with Terry Gordy. Hansen was asked about Terry and said the following:

He [Terry Gordy] was a great guy, great talent. For a big guy, he could move. He was good.

** Episode 12 of the Comedy Wrestling Store featured a chat with Toa Liona of AEW/ROH. There was a conversation about potential interest in heading to WWE. Liona is of the ‘never say never’ mindset but said he’s not eager or actively seeking out WWE and is happy where he is.

I wouldn’t say so. I wouldn’t say it’s a goal [being in WWE] but I wouldn’t say no either. I don’t know what life has in store for me. As you can tell, my journey wasn’t a regular one. Would I like to finish my career out with AEW? Yeah, I mean if it makes sense. Would I jump over to WWE? Yeah, if it makes sense. I literally draw my line in the sand and I’m for me and my family and what’s best for them, and I do have loyalty though and with that being said, am I itching to go over to WWE? Hell nah. I’m proud to be where I’m at. I’m with the brand-new Ring of Honor. I plan on making a statement. I plan on doing that to be competitive with them. AEW’s a brand-new business, correct?… And it’s grown drastically since then so imagine the next five years, the next 10, the next 15 so I think it’s gonna be more. You should ask those questions to the guys on the other side [Liona laughed].

Liona commented on some of the reactions he receives from those who think he’s part of that Samoan dynasty with the likes of Roman Reigns and The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso). He added that he is thankful to be often associated with that lineage and said they were put on the map for people like him.

You know what’s so funny? Is like now that you ask that question [does he get upset when people assume he’s a part of ‘The Dynasty’ with Roman Reigns, The Usos etc.], I can see how I could be upset, but honestly, for the Samoans and our culture, we love seeing our people thrive. We love it. We root for each other. That’s why we have such tight connections compared to any other cultures. That’s why we call each other usos, this, this and that is because we’re all really brothers and we’re family so, whenever anyone comes up to me throwing one’s in the air [Toa laughed] … oh man, they do it in my entrance. Stuff like that, it makes me smile because I’m like, man, they’re doing it. They got put on the map for people like me so, without me showing these fans anything of what I’m really capable of, just based off my look and I’m Samoan and they think I’m with The Dynasty, immediately I’m getting over with them, you know? So, yeah, why wouldn’t I be thankful and be happy to be called that?

As the conversation went on, Liona expressed that he does hope to work in Japan one day. He has spoken with Rocky Romero and Romero is aware of who he is, but Liona said he’s not going to be fishing for bookings.

I know [Rocky Romero is the guy to talk to when it comes to landing in NJPW]. I have spoken to him, but at the same time, he knows of me. I’ve spoke to him already and I’m not the one fishing for bookings. Like I said before, when it’s my time, they’re gonna call me. I’m not going in just to lay down. I’m here to fight and they’re gonna know that if they’re reaching out to me, if that makes sense?… Like I said, I’m totally fine being patient, because when the time is right…

** At NWA 74, Matt Cardona will be having his first match since suffering a torn bicep in late May. He took a Diamond Cutter from Diamond Dallas Page at Ric Flair’s Last Match. Cardona told Wrestling Inside The Ropes he was not 100 percent for that.

Well I mean, listen, I wasn’t gonna be able to just be on the show [Ric Flair’s Last Match]. I wasn’t 100 percent, I knew that, so I couldn’t rush it back. If Ric Flair said, ‘Hey, I wanna wrestle Matt Cardona,’ I wouldn’t have cared if I was zero percent, I would have had that match… I would have done it.

He went on to comment on the ambush from DDP in-character:

So, The Major Players, we weren’t booked [for Ric Flair’s Last Match] so we had to make sure our presence was felt and then comes DDP with a Diamond Cutter. Bullsh*t in my opinion. I think he was trying to retear my bicep… I don’t know what his deal is, I thought we were bros, I thought we were boys so I’m kind of pissed off about that.

** Winner of the 2016 WWE Cruiserweight Classic, TJP, told Chris Van Vliet that he was not signed when he won the tournament. TJP said he officially signed with the company at the Clash of Champions pay-per-view which was several weeks after he won the C.W.C. tourney.

I didn’t sign until Clash of the Champions. I had some time between the [Cruiserweight Classic] final and Clash… but I didn’t sign [until the pay-per-view]. So I could have left.

** The latest guest on Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw is The Boogeyman. He shared that while he was still in WWE’s then-developmental system Ohio Valley Wrestling in 2005, he was released but eventually was brought back.

Boogeyman: That was an intimidating time [being at OVW/WWE developmental]. I mean honestly, I did what I could do, I did the best that I can be but it was walking into a situation of an unfamiliar territory that, I mean, as far as athletically and everything so I was completely humbled and intimidated and I was really hard on myself too. I mean tremendously. I wanted to be [where] I wanted to be. So, throughout the course of that developmental contract, I was fired.

All I know is the word ‘fired’ [Boogeyman responded when asked why he was cut].

I was released and I couldn’t believe that, you know, what? I’m doing everything I can. Prior to that, it was a tough situation but I knew kind of what was going on. I felt like what was going on, being the older gentleman in class, I felt like at a certain point of this, I wasn’t getting taught.

As he began to get into the thick of the ‘Boogeyman’ character, he was told he was “too scary” and converted the character into a more kid-friendly version.

Boogeyman: I wanted to bring a twist to the whole ‘Boogeyman’ thing… I remember once, they told me before the show that I was too scary and I’m like, ‘How can Boogeyman be too scary?’ You know what I mean? It’s The Boogeyman, that’s what I’m going for. So anyway, that had to be a certain look so I had to reduce it and this actually is a little bit more kid-friendly I’d say, so to speak [he laughed].

JBL and Boogeyman began to talk about their on-screen program. Layfield recounted telling those behind the scenes that they could not drop the worms on him because they weighed in at several hundred pounds and were dropping from over 20 feet above. Layfield felt that it could have been fatal if the worms were dropped on him.

JBL: You know, I’ll tell you a funny story. They were gonna drop those worms on me and then they realized they are like several hundred pounds. It would have killed me [JBL laughed], because this is like several hundred pounds from like 30 feet in the air. ‘You can’t drop these worms on me’, so they’re like, ‘Oh yeah, you’re right. That might hurt you.’ ‘Hurt you? Kill me.’

Continuing on the topic of the worms, Boogeyman said he and Teddy Long would have to go pick them up from stores. Initially, the worms were supplied to Boogeyman until he was told he had to get his own.

Boogeyman: The bait shop [is where all the worms came from]. It was at a bait shop, worms. It was like a bait shop, fishing… normally, they are at Walmart. I remember times where we were driving to different house shows, me and Mr. [Teddy] Long would have to go, at least give ourselves two hours in advance of time of us to leave so we’d be on the road for hours just to go look for some damn worms in the next city, I’m serious [he laughed] and yeah, I’m like, wait a minute, you know? Because before, they used to supply ‘em then it got to a point, ‘Okay Boogey, you got to go look for your own. Get your own worms man.’

** Orange Cassidy, Trent Beretta and Chuck Taylor were guests on the Drinks with Johnny podcast. Beretta looked back on the way he took Great-O-Khan’s chokeslam through a table on a May 2022 edition of AEW Dynamite. He explained that he got excited and jumped through the table before O-Khan went through with his motion.

Beretta: I was all excited. I don’t get to go through tables a lot and I was all excited and I, you know, homeboy [Great-O-Khan] hooked me for his move and I didn’t realize — because it was like a face chokeslam, I didn’t realize he hooks it and then he does his pose first and when he did the pose, I felt him go back, but he really was gonna do the pose and then hook my tights and pick me up. I felt the go back on the pose so I just jumped through a table on my own and he went like, ‘Oh sh*t’ and tried to make it look like he did it.

Later in the conversation, Taylor detailed the influence that Chris Jericho has had on his career. He added that he wears long tights and kick pads because of Jericho.

Taylor: So, I think the biggest influence on my career was Jericho’s heel run in WCW when he was like, you know, 1,004 moves and when he was going crazy and smashing the ring post with a chair, having his hair in a [ponytail]. I wear kick pads and long tights because Chris Jericho did in WCW.

** There’s an interview on the NewsDayExpress website with Veer Mahaan. He said he would like to see more Indian talent come into WWE so they can be given a chance and bring more glory to the country.

There are winning fans of this wrestling in India, they have always been demanding that they should be given their hero. I think after the Great Khali there has not been anyone that the people of our country can cheer for. So I think that somewhere, the demand of the people of India was fulfilled by WWE and Sony Sports and they are doing it. I personally would like that more talent should come from India and they should be given a chance, so that they can bring glory to India.

** Carlton Cole sat down with Chris Jericho for a chat about West Ham United FC.

** After scoring his first win in the N-1 Victory tournament, GHC Heavyweight Champion Kenoh said in his post-match interview that when he wins the tourney, he wants Keiji Muto to challenge for the Heavyweight belt again. Muto is currently on his retirement tour and is scheduled to wrestle next on September 3rd.

** Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly member Shinichiro Kawamatsu is making his pro wrestling in-ring debut at DDT Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Peter Pan event on August 20th. At the pre-event press conference, Kawamatsu said he’d welcome the idea of doing a death match with Atsushi Onita.

** Pro Wrestling NOAH N-1 Victory Results (8/11/22) Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan
Pre-Show: Daiki Inaba & Mohammed Yone def. Stallion Rogers & Yoshiki Inamura
N-1 Victory Block B: Katsuhiko Nakajima [2] def. Masa Kitamiya [0]
N-1 Victory Block A: Masato Tanaka [2] def. Anthony Greene [0]
N-1 Victory Block B: Masakatsu Funaki [2] def. Kinya Okada
N-1 Victory Block A: Hideki Suzuki [2] def. Masaaki Mochizuki [0]
– Alejandro, Atsushi Kotoge & YO-HEY def. Daisuke Harada, Kai Fujimura & Seiki Yoshioka
N-1 Victory Block B: Jack Morris [2] def. Kaito Kiyomiya
N-1 Victory Block A: Kenoh [2] def. El Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. [0]
– El Hijo del Santo, Naomichi Marufuji & Ultimo Dragon def. Los Perros del Mal de Japon (Kotaro Suzuki, NOSAWA Rongai & Super Crazy
N-1 Victory Block B: Takashi Sugiura [2] def. Satoshi Kojima [0]
N-1 Victory Block A: Kazuyuki Fujita [2] def. Go Shiozaki [0]

** ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey is returning to wXw Germany in October.

** Episode 12 of Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze’s Battle of the Brands series:

** IMPACT Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace was interviewed by Jim Alexander of ‘Reel Talker’.

** Highspots welcomed Stacy ‘The Kat’ Carter onto their Virtual Gimmick Table show.

** Sunny The California Girl from GLOW spoke to Joey G. of Wrestling Headlines.

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 4650 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.