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.
** While at the WrestleMania 39 launch party, Seth Rollins spoke to the media (video courtesy of @JHWreporter) and shared his thoughts about Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque now leading the creative charge for WWE’s main roster product. Rollins described Levesque as a mentor, adding that WWE is somewhat of a brand new world now.
It’s exciting man, it’s very exciting [working for Triple H now]. Like I was saying in a couple interviews, it’s a brand new world. It’s a lot of the same but just a little bit different. It’s like kind of stepping into a wormhole into some parallel universe where it’s all WWE, it’s all the same people that you knew and love, you worked with before but now it’s just going in a different direction and so I’m very excited to see what the next six months look like and see where we end up. Triple H is awesome. Someone who has been a mentor to me for a long, long time and I’m very excited to see where he takes WWE.
Rollins’ WrestleMania dream opponent is Shawn Michaels. He said he has teased Michaels about the idea of having that match but does not think Michaels is coming back to the ring following his return match at Crown Jewel 2018.
‘Heartbreak Kid’ Shawn Michaels baby [is my WrestleMania dream opponent] … Shawn? I’ve teased him a little bit about it. I think after his last coming out of retirement match, I don’t know if he’s ever coming back again [Rollins laughed].
** To close out season one of Complex Unsanctioned, Omos joined the show and he looked back on his journey to WWE. He shared that he did not think the company would hire him initially.
They [WWE] had like a weight training session I did and then spoke to Matt Bloom, the head coach and Canyon [Ceman] and they’re like, ‘Hey man, if you want a job, you have a job,’ and I was like, ‘Huh?’ [Omos laughed] Because to be honest, and maybe I was naïve at the time, I didn’t think I was gonna get hired. I know it’s the wildest thing to say, especially after you met me and you’ve seen my stature. I did not think I was gonna get hired and I’m thinking like, wait, what? I just came and he just offered me a job. He said, ‘Yeah. Go home, talk to your girl, figure it out and come tomorrow.’
He recounted his first time meeting Paul Levesque. Omos was told that if he wanted to continue playing basketball, he could do that and the door to WWE would always be open for him.
The guy Canyon [Ceman] calls me and goes, ‘Hey, I want you to meet somebody’ and he opens the door and I’m walking through Gorilla, it’s freaking Hunter and actually, I’m walking in, I look to my left and I’m like, well this is Shawn Michaels. He’s just casually sitting down here and I’m like uh… I’m like, oh my gosh, this is freaking Shawn Michaels and I look, it’s Triple H and he stands, I’m like, oh, shucks, it’s Triple H. He’s like, ‘Hey big fella. Funny thing is before you reached out to us, I just asked Canyon whatever happened to that big kid from a couple of years back.’ I was like, ‘Huh?’ He was like, ‘Yeah, so I’m glad that you’re here. How do you like it?’ I said, ‘Man, I love it.’ He said to me, ‘Hey, we know you used to play basketball. If you wanna go play basketball, go play. You always have a job here whenever you’re ready’ and I’m like, ‘Oh shucks, all right.’
The first sanctioned pro wrestling match that Omos had was produced by the late Scott Hall. He dove into his relationship with Hall and the WWE Hall of Famer consistently checking on him to wish him well.
Scott Hall actually — a lot of people don’t know this but Scott Hall produced my very first match I ever had. Yes. I remember vividly. He had come to the P.C., he and Kevin [Nash] had come for a couple of days to the Performance Center and Kevin had left and then I think he went to go do something, I can’t remember what it was and then he stayed an extra day. He actually came in that Friday because typically, we have Fridays off. It was like the open gym type of day before the live event and he just told me, ‘Hey, I’ll be there Friday. Wanna come in?’ I went in that Friday with him and came early, walked through some stuff then he was like, ‘Are you on the show tonight?’ I was like, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘You know what? I’m gonna drive to it. Where is it?’ I’m like, ‘It’s in Lakeland.’ He said, ‘You know what? I’m gonna make it out there tonight.’ He comes, he shows up, the guys are working, he helps them put the match together and dude, I am so eternally grateful that he did that for me because me and him ended up forming a relationship and I remember him just ever so often, he would call me, just FaceTime me just to see how I’m doing. He’d be like, ‘Hey big man. How you doing man? I’m watching TV and just seeing you do great things. Keep your head up, stay humble, keep learning, keep getting better’ and before I could get my how you doing, he’s gone and every so often, he would get ahold of me and so I truly miss him and so, he, Kevin Nash and dude, I could go down the list but a lot of great men and giants have played a huge role and continued to play a huge role in my career.
When asked what some of his favorite career moments are, Omos listed winning the Raw Tag Titles with AJ Styles at WrestleMania 37 and hearing the reaction that Bobby Lashley got after their match at WrestleMania 38 as two highlight moments.
The first one [of my favorite career] moments would be last year when I made my debut at WrestleMania in Tampa. That was a big moment for me, because I did go to college in Tampa to play college basketball and go back and achieving such a goal was very, very — it was a very emotional day for me. Just me going back there, debuting at WrestleMania, winning the tag team titles, having a Hall of Famer, having one of the greatest to ever do it by my side, I couldn’t ask for anything better and then my second greatest moment was after Bobby [Lashley] beat me at WrestleMania this year and that Monday, he came out and the amazing pop that he got, it made me happy. I really enjoy my job as a giant to make sure these people wanna root for this babyface has been done and I am truly happy that I got to share the ring with him and got to help him. He helped me a ton! Bobby helped me a ton but I got to help him to get to the place where the fans believed him as a babyface and I’ll never forget that moment.
** D.S. Shin of Ring The Belle posted his sit-down conversation with Christy Hemme. At WrestleMania 21, Hemme challenged Trish Stratus for the WWE Women’s Championship. Christy said she vocally expressed prior to the match that she did not want to win.
I was fighting backstage and I didn’t want to win the match [against Trish Stratus at WrestleMania 21]. I remember vocalizing because I felt like I wasn’t ready. I felt like I needed to work.
After exiting WWE, Hemme joined IMPACT Wrestling. At the 2007 Final Resolution event, she interrupted a segment involving Billy Gunn and Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James. Hemme said that spot was originally meant for the late Joan ‘Chyna’ Laurer. She would add that for her personally, it was a tough time in her life as she was trying to regain her passion for wrestling after being let go from WWE.
This was a very tough spot [segment with Billy Gunn & Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James at TNA Final Resolution 2007] because actually, Vince [Russo] in his heart of hearts didn’t want it to be a heel spot for me. Actually, it wasn’t even supposed to be me. It was supposed to be Chyna. This was supposed to be Chyna. Vince Russo loves Chyna, we all love Chyna and something happened where she wasn’t able to come but he had already written it with her in mind and he was a huge advocate for women and women’s wrestling. Because I was so dark at this time, I mean you could tell by just, look at my hair, look at my clothes. When I left WWE, it took me years to come back and be more of the me that you know today. Because I was so dark, it’s hard to pull off a powerful position when I was really in my stuff. I was struggling in the business. I was hurting from losing something I loved. I was rekindling my passion right at this time with IMPACT and it was really — that for me was like a butterfly moment in itself, just coming back into myself so yes, it was meant to be not a heel. It came off heel because of where I was at personally in life.
Hemme is the winner of the 2004 Diva Search contest. The runner-up that season was Carmella DeCesare. Hemme said DeCesare was in a rough spot and a lot of the talent were rough on her because she did not love wrestling the same why others did.
You know what? God, that must have been a hard position to be in because everybody was pretty hard on her [Carmella DeCesare]. She didn’t love the business in the same way some of the other girls did which is why I think they were hard on her because they were like, why are you here if you don’t love it like we love it, right? She was a great girl. I actually really enjoyed my time with her but I knew if she didn’t win, she probably wouldn’t be here [in the business] today. I knew, here we are, 20 years later almost and I am still kicking.
** The latest episode of William Regal’s ‘Gentleman Villain’ podcast was a Q&A edition of the show. AEW signee Nick Wayne became the topic of conversation and Regal said he has seen Wayne wrestle and enjoys his work. He strayed away from speaking too much about Nick because he does not want to put any pressure on him to rush his growth as a wrestler. Regal feels that is the downfall of a lot of young talents.
Oh yes [I’m familiar with Nick Wayne]. I know his dad. So I’ve known about him since he was young. I got to meet him a couple of times recently and what a lovely, polite young man he is. Yes [I have seen him wrestle] and he’s… let’s just leave this where it stays now. I don’t like putting… I’ve done so much — whatever I’ve done because of the job I used to do, one of the first questions people ask me, ‘Who’s gonna be the next big thing?’ I’m not gonna put — I just say, ‘Don’t ask me’ or, ‘I’m not telling you what I think’ because I don’t want to put pressure on. I’ve seen too many people put too much pressure on these young lads and young ladies to get too good too quickly and it can have a detriment to his… I just let them develop. You wanna go scream from the rooftops about people, but 16, let him develop because he’s incredibly good now but let him do his thing. You don’t wanna ram people too quickly with stuff because it usually comes back to get you in some form or another because it comes a point if everybody’s telling you how great you are or what is expected, pressure gets on because all of a sudden, you’re expected too much of and I know everybody wants instant gratification now but it’s too much pressure to be putting on young children — not ‘children’ but teenagers and people in their early 20s. By the time you get to about 25 or 26, yes, you can handle it but when you start doing it from that age, it’s that ‘child star’ thing, isn’t it? And it can backfire so, incredibly talented young man with a good head on his shoulders, good people around him as well. He’s got a great support system. People around him, hopefully not — the people I know around him are good people so it’s just gonna get better and better. The thing is, I know a lot more than what a lot of people think because I don’t go around grabbing my mouth, but I’ve seen it time and time again when you put too much pressure on somebody when they’re young and it doesn’t work out or they end up going — and I’m proof of that. It wasn’t pressure to me. It’s just that I got to 20-what? 26 and then I started looking for something that wasn’t there. I don’t want that to happen to any of these younger people. They need to just do what they’re doing and keep getting better, because I don’t want them to lose precious time in their lives or end up in a bad way like I did for a few years because that’s all it was. I was just looking for something that wasn’t there because I basically achieved everything I wanted at 20-something, because I understood my role as a pro.
** There’s an interview on ‘The Sun’ website with Damian Priest. He was asked for his thoughts about Vince McMahon resigning as Chairman and CEO of WWE. Priest stated that like others, he never thought McMahon would not be in that position, but feels this regime is going to bring forth something special.
Just like everybody else, like every other fan or everybody else that’s into our business, we know this is a big deal. Never thought it would happen. At least not in my time here, so it’s crazy. Just the idea of it, didn’t think it would happen so we know we’re part of something that’s a moment in time in our business that’s memorable. There’s definitely a feel of we’re part of something special because it’s new. This is an era that’s unprecedented so there’s been moments in time when you have [the Stone Cold Steve] Austin Era and people are going to say, oh man, I wish I was part of that era or, I was part of it. We’re part of an era, we’re part of a movement, we’re part of a moment that happened that’s gonna be talked about forever. So there’s that, we know this is a special time. So it’s cool, everybody is excited about the idea of being part of something special.
Priest later commented on the work he did with Bad Bunny in WWE. He said if the award-winning artist were to return, he’d like to see him be part of The Judgment Day because of their established history.
I get asked that a lot, about facing Bad Bunny. Of course! Any business I can do with somebody on that level, it’s gonna bring more eyes on me, on The Judgment Day, for Rhea and Finn… Of course, I’m all about it. But honestly seeing our relationship, why wouldn’t Bad Bunny be a part of The Judgment Day? Look at the last time he was here, he didn’t come just to put a promotion on one thing and then leave right away. He put in time, he put in the work, he moved to Florida to train full-time. He was at every RAW and this is during a crazy time in the world during the pandemic. If he’s gonna be here, he’s gonna be here. If he was gonna be part of The Judgment Day, he’s gonna be in The Judgment Day. Not just for a day or two.
** New York Post published the written version of their chat with Shawn Michaels. He spoke about Paul Levesque overseeing creative for WWE’s main roster. He feels that Levesque is going to bring the culture that was established in NXT to the main roster. He added that it’s the same culture they had in the 90s, but people are more sane and stable-minded.
There’s a real comradery. He’s going to bring a culture that we had down here in NXT, and still exists today, up to the main roster. It’s the same mentality and culture we all had in the 90s, believe or not, just a little more sane and stable-minded individuals.
** NXT 2.0’s Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons are competing in the tournament for the vacant WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles. They joined the After The Bell podcast and Stark recounted being told about the opportunity by Shawn Michaels.
So, I didn’t get either of those [a phone call or a text about the opportunity to be in WWE Women’s Tag Title tournament]. Actually, Shawn Michaels pulled me aside which already threw me off. He sat down, like, oh, okay, this is a serious conversation we’re about to have right now, so he sat me down and [is] saying that we’re getting this opportunity to be a part of this SmackDown and Raw tournament for the tag titles. So, I was very excited because I go back to me as a child, the six-year-old little girl would be freaking out, jumping out of her chair and everything so I had to use all of my composure, just sink in that moment.
** Part two of Ariel Helwani’s sit-down interview with Bianca Belair is up on the BT Sport YouTube channel. Belair looked back on her heel run in NXT and said she tried to be a heel and focus in on it, but the support she received from the public led her to leaning in the opposite direction.
I think it’s I just go out there and I try to be unapologetically myself and I’m all about just being the EST and I really, truly believe what I say and what I represent and I know what it feels like to lose yourself and not believe in yourself and then once I found myself, I’m like, I’m never letting this go and I just wanna spread that to everyone else and I tried to be a heel in NXT and so many times people would say, ‘I don’t know. You’re just not anything that I wouldn’t want my daughter to be’ and I’m like, ‘No! I can be a heel, I can be a heel.’ I can say that I’m the best and I don’t care if you don’t like it but it’s just like, why would you be mad at anybody for having self-confidence? So, I don’t know, I just — that’s my main goal is to just make people feel something and inspire people and I always say I don’t want people to just watch me do 450s or hair whip in the ring. When people think of my legacy, I don’t want them to be like, oh, I remember that time she did the 450. I want them to be like, I remember that time at WrestleMania when she won or I cried like a baby when she was in the ring, I remember how she made me feel and so that’s just always my main goal is to try to make people feel and connect with the fans and connect with little kids especially. I feel like I am where I am now because of all the people that poured into me as a kid and were role models to me as a kid.
** While speaking to Lucha Libre Online, Moose expressed that he thinks he and Kenny Omega should have a rematch so that fans can be present for it.
Well, I think me and Kenny [Omega] definitely need to have that match again in front of fans because when we did it, we didn’t have any fans there and you never know how good a match is when there’s not fans that give you the reaction so, I think we owe each other one to have that match in front of actual fans.
** Ahead of Monday Night Raw in Washington D.C., Mike Jones invited Dana Brooke onto his radio show. She commented on IYO SKY and Dakota Kai’s arrivals to the main roster and sharing the ring with them on the 8/8 episode of Raw.
It’s an amazing feeling to see how, you know, never giving up is really paying off, because they [IYO SKY & Dakota Kai] never gave up. Even though Dakota went her separate ways, she never gave up, she always believed in what she was capable with and now she is here on Monday Night Raw, showing that she never gave up and what she’s capable [of doing]. With IYO, it’s amazing what she accomplished in NXT being here too. It’s amazing. Again, I’m not really fond of their attitude. I will put it out there. Being alongside of Bayley and coming in and facing Bianca [Belair] and Becky [Lynch] at SummerSlam, I was just like, woah, that’s blunt. So it’s amazing to see that these women are going out there and showing what they’re capable of but again too, having them come in with that attitude, I was like, um, listen here guys and when IYO was like, ‘I don’t like you’ on Monday, I was like, ‘What do you mean? You don’t even know me. How don’t you like me?’ You know? So yeah, definitely we’ll see. I’m sure we’ll be able to face off again in the ring one day again.
** TV Asahi in Japan aired a special during which the top 15 most popular active wrestlers in Japan were listed. Keiji Muto ranked in at #4. He was asked has he chosen an opponent for the end of his retirement tour in Spring 2023. Muto said he has not, but suggested the idea of facing the #1 ranked wrestler on the aforementioned list, Kazuchika Okada and Okada welcomed the idea.
** For Jun Akiyama’s 30th anniversary show on September 18th, it is official that Akiyama will team with Tetsuya Endo and Yoshinobu Kanemaru to take on Yuji Nagata, Konosuke Takeshita and Shunma Katsumata.
** Joey Janela is back in DDT Pro-Wrestling and the organization published a column about Janela on their site. He joked about having the Yoshihiko doll with him in the USA several years ago. Here’s an excerpt from the write-up:
I let him stay at my house for three months because he said he didn’t have a place to stay, but all he did was sleep, and he didn’t do anything. He ate all the food in my house and didn’t clean up after himself. One time when I came home, he was sleeping with my girlfriend in my bedroom. I ended up breaking up with her because of it. But now I miss Yoshihiko. I used to play UNO with him all the time.
** Atsushi Onita had to postpone an explosion match he was scheduled to be in due to a typhoon warning.
— 川崎フロンターレ (@frontale_staff) August 13, 2022
** DDT Pro-Wrestling ‘Road to Peter Pan’ Results (8/14/22) Korakuen Hall
– Danshoku Dino, Koju Takeda & Yuki Ino def. Sanshiro Takagi, Soma Takao & Toru Owashi
– Daisuke Sasaki, KANON & MJ Paul def. MAO, Yuki Ishida & Yukio Sakaguchi
– HARASHIMA def. Takeshi Masada
– Battle Royal: Shinya Aoki def. Chris Brookes and Hideki Okatani and Kazuki Hirata and Makoto Oishi and Shunma Katsumata and Yuji Hino and Yukio Naya and Yusuke Okada and Yuya Koroku
– ASUKA def. Saki Akai
– Toi Kojima & Yuki Ueno def. Antonio Honda & Masahiro Takanashi
– DDT Extreme Championship – Death Match: Joey Janela def. Akito (c)
– Kazusada Higuchi & Naomi Yoshimura def. Jun Akiyama & Tetsuya Endo
** Lucha Libre Online’s chat with Shane Haste is up on their YouTube channel.
** All Japan Pro Wrestling ‘Royal Road’ Tournament Results (8/14/22) Tokyo, Japan
– Dan Tamura & Hikaru Sato vs. Rising HAYATO & Yoshitatsu – Time Limit Draw (10:00)
– Three Way: Black Menso-re def. Izanagi and TAJIRI
– Atsuki Aoyagi & Yuma Aoyagi def. Ryuki Honda & Yusuke Kodama
– All Asia Tag Team Championships: Voodoo Murders (Minoru & Toshizo) (c) def. Ryo Inoue & Takao Omori
– Hokuto Omori, Jake Lee & Shuji Ishikawa def. Voodoo Murders (KONO, Suwama & TARU) by DQ
– Atsuki Aoyagi, Hokuto Omori, Jake Lee, Shuji Ishikawa & Yuma Aoyagi def. Voodoo Murders (KONO, Suwama, TARU & Toshizo) by DQ
– Royal Road Tournament Second Round: Kento Miyahara def. Cyrus
– Royal Road Tournament Second Round: Yuji Nagata def. Shotaro Ashino
** NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Trevor Murdoch guest appeared on Wrestling Observer Live to promote NWA 74.
** The Miz appeared on ESPN’s NBA Today with Ramona Shelburne and Matt Barnes.
** At All Japan Pro-Wrestling’s 8/14 show, GLEAT’s Soma Watanabe and Yu Iizuka confronted the All Asia Tag Team Champions Minoru Tanaka and Toshizo. Watanabe and Iizuka suggested that the match take place under the GLEAT banner and the champions accepted.
** August 14th birthdays: Kofi Kingston, Johnny Gargano.
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.