POST NEWS UPDATE: The Rock & Brian Gewirtz recount sit-down conversation with Goldberg in ’03, how intense he was

The Rock & Brian Gewirtz go live on IG, story about Shane McMahon and WWE writers, Taya Valkyrie wants to write a book, Akiyama-Takeshita

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.

** There was an Instagram Live session that Brian Gewirtz hosted with Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson joined them for the conversation (video courtesy of ‘Just4People’ on YouTube). Johnson and Gewirtz recounted their first sit-down meeting with Goldberg when he joined WWE. Brian suggested several ideas and mentioned other talents Johnson worked with as reference points. Goldberg made it clear that he was not those other talents.

Gewirtz: It’s the simplest promo you could ever have. Rock’s running his mouth, I’ve done all there is to do. I’ve beaten everybody and Goldberg comes out and spears him, that’s it, you know? And people anticipated this because this was the day after Mania [19], after the big Rock/[Steve] Austin match. So everyone was anticipating it. I’m like, great. You know, ‘Oh, you know what we could do? We do this great thing, we did this thing with Rock and Hogan in Chicago where they’re standing face-to-face and they’re each looking at the crowd and it’s this iconic moment’ and Rock’s like, ‘Yeah, we can do that. Sounds good’ and Bill’s just like, ‘Yup. There’s just one problem. I ain’t Hulk Hogan.’ Intense stare and Rock and I do the little look to each other.

The Rock: Bill stared a hole through Brian. ‘I ain’t Hulk Hogan’ and I was like, oh my God.

Gewirtz: Rock and I were looking at each other like Lando and Lobot in Empire Strikes Back after Han Solo gets frozen. Just like, are you seeing this sh*t?… Afterwards, I said, ‘Okay, great. You know what? No problem.’ Not catching on —

The Rock: But by the way, when Bill said, ‘I ain’t Hulk Hogan,’ of course me being me, I turned to Brian, I go, ‘I f*cking told you he’s not Hulk Hogan…’ Brian’s like, ‘No, I know. I shouldn’t have done that. Okay, okay, I got something else.

Gewirtz: So yeah, not taking a hint at all, oblivious, I go, ‘You know what? That’s no problem Bill. This is gonna be perfect because what we could do is you could stalk him on stage. You could have this big pacing back and forth while he’s running his mouth in the ring because we did this promo with Rock and Jericho where Rock was going on and on.’ I could see Rock going like, I don’t think it’s a good idea and then Bill’s like, ‘Mhm, mhm, mhm. There’s just one problem, I ain’t Chris Jericho.’ Again, intense stare and this literally could have gone on for hours… First time I ever interacted [with him]. 

The duo also told the story of when they presented the ‘mocking Triple H’ promo to Vince McMahon. All of DX was in the room along with Gewirtz, Johnson, Stephanie and Vince. Gewirtz and Johnson both could tell that none of DX were too big on the promo, but Vince loved it.

The Rock: It was me and Hunter, we were building to some match. I can’t remember what it was. I think this is in the book [Brian Gewirtz’s new book]. Brian, is this in the book?

Gewirtz: Yeah, it’s in the book.

The Rock: Oh, we were in Atlanta, we were opening up Atlanta for the first time. It was a stadium in Atlanta, right Brian?

Gewirtz: Georgia Dome, yeah. Huge show.

The Rock: It was The Dome. It was the first time we were in a dome. WCW had ran The Dome so many times before us so it was the first time we were in The Dome and we were closing out the show and it was a big promo at the top of the show between myself and Triple H and this was the time I told Brian earlier in the day, I was like, ‘I got an idea. You know how when Triple H talks, it sounds like really long winded and he’s like and then-uh, gonna do this-uh, my name is The Game-uh’ and I was like, ‘What if I really went in on him and talked some really mad sh*t about it and just how he bores the sh*t out of people?’ So we come up with this promo in the back and I was like — and there’s the whole thing and I do him to a tee and of course that night, I think he left me laying so I’m cool with this kind of opening of the promo. So now we’re called to Vince [McMahon’s] office and it’s me, Brian, Vince, Triple H, Stephanie [McMahon], I don’t know. Was anyone else in there Brian?

Gewirtz: All of DX was in there.

The Rock: All of DX was in there, okay, perfect [Johnson laughed]. So Brian always had heat from the moment he’s walking into every arena so, just by being Brian by the way. The nicest guy in the world but a writer. So I said, ‘Okay, so I got this idea and I’m gonna make fun of how Triple H talks’ and Vince is like, ‘Oh! Sounds great. Let me hear it’ and I could just see already, Triple H is like [focused on what I’m about to say]. He and I, we were buddies but we were also very competitive. So, Vince goes, ‘Come on Rock! Let me hear the thing.’ I was like, ‘Okay, got it. Brian, show him…’ [Johnson laughed].

Gewirtz: The best part of that was you built it up so well because you did everything but the voice. You were like, ‘Oh, Hunter, you’re gonna love this. So I come out, you guys are in the ring, you’re looking at me and I’m like, you know what Triple H? Here’s what’s the problem with you. Every time you open your mouth, it sounds exactly like this… do the voice.’ ‘Me?’ And then you’re like, ‘Yeah! You were doing it backstage. You imitated him so well, it sounded just like him. Do it!’ And I could see Hunter’s ears have steam emerging from them and DX wasn’t exactly rollicking with laughter either. They were like, ‘The f*ck?’ And so yeah, so I did it. I was like, ‘In this ring-uh, I’m The Game-uh and I’m gonna say absolutely nothing-uh’ and then you know that laugh, Vince is like, ‘Hahahaaaa! Perfect! Go ahead and do it’ and then we’re just like, ‘All right, thanks, thanks’ and Hunter’s like, ‘Yup, okay, sure, love it.’ That’s when you do a Ron Howard. He did not love it. It was a great promo, you know? Apologize later. It was an awesome promo, it’s iconic. People talk about it today.

Back in 2013, The Rock was ambushed by The Shield on Monday Night Raw. Johnson recalled when he took the powerbomb and it caused him to cough up blood. He said Roman Reigns asked him was he OK, but Seth Rollins followed up by saying, “Who gives a sh*t.”

The Rock: You know what was really cool? Was when The Shield attacked me before WrestleMania and they powerbombed me and I remember Seth [Rollins], I was on Roman’s shoulders and Seth in particular helped [throw] me down so hard on that mat, busted my blood vessel, blood started coming up out of my mouth… Roman looked down and Roman was like, ‘You OK Uso?’ Called me brother in Samoan and before I could answer, Seth was like, ‘Who gives a sh*t.’ He walked away.

** As Kurt Angle and former WWE writer Brian Gewirtz were chatting on Angle’s podcast, they revisited WrestleMania 19 and Gewirtz reiterated that he thought Booker T should’ve defeated Triple H for the World Heavyweight Title. Gewirtz added that the mindset at the time was there could only be one big title change on the show and that was Brock Lesnar winning the WWE Title from Kurt. Brian felt it could have been a more the merrier type of situation and they should have as many incredible moments as possible.

I just thought it was his time [Gewirtz said about Booker T in relation to WrestleMania 19] and you know, there was a lot of reasons the title change didn’t happen, primarily, indirectly because of you Kurt [Angle]. Not that you know this or it’s your fault but, you know, the feeling at the time, WrestleMania 19 was, no, we have one big title change and that’s Brock Lesnar beating Kurt Angle and plus we have all the Mr. McMahon and Hulk Hogan stuff so to then have a third title change on the show, it wouldn’t feel as special and it wouldn’t feel as worthy, but my feeling was more the merrier. Let’s just have many incredible moments. I wasn’t really tapping into the psychology and I think you could argue either way.

One of the stories Gewirtz touches on in his book is when Shane McMahon encouraged the writing staff to take bumps so they could appreciate what wrestlers go through in the ring. There was one occasion when Gewirtz took a powerbomb from Bully Ray off the second rope.

So I get into that definitely in the book [Shane McMahon requesting the writers to take a bump]. You know, Shane, as we all know, we love Shane. Shane’s one of the greatest people I’ve ever encountered in my life. So cool and you know, one of knocks on writers of course is how could you possibly book these matches, write these promos when you’ve never taken a bump in your life? Fair criticism. ‘You’ve never taken a bump. How do you know what it’s like?’ And even worse, how do you propose a Steel Cage match or a Ladder match or any type of — Falls Count Anywhere, when you have no appreciation for the pain and sacrifice and everything that it takes doing a bump and on one hand, that’s a very, very fair criticism. On the other hand, it’s like well, it’s not my job to take bumps. It wasn’t in the job description. It wasn’t like, ‘How many bumps have you taken?’ When filling out my form for H.R. so, Shane being Shane wants to kind of — he wants to be able to have the writers at least appreciate what it’s like to take a bump and again, none of this stuff I don’t think would be passable in today… oh yeah, not a chance. But he was like, yeah, we’re working at the studio in Stamford. There were two buildings in Stamford; the studio where all the TV production was and the corporate Titan Tower. We were at the studio at the time, eventually we moved but there was a ring in there. So Shane was like, ‘Let’s get everyone in the ring and start taking bumps’ and he was showing us very, very basic stuff but for a non-wrestler, enormous stuff like doing flatbacks, running the ropes, with a stopwatch, at least two minute drills and that kind of thing and again, there were four of us at the time, so it wasn’t like a huge staff. But I blew up, I got winded, probably at the 46 second mark and I was probably the youngest of the four too and it was ridiculous. I’m like, ‘I’m nauseous.’ I had to take a seat on the side as people much older than me we’re going through, taking the bumps and doing it. I’m like, man, even running the ropes is hard. So Shane’s plan actually worked because we definitely did get a bigger appreciation but then yeah, infamously, one night in Baltimore, we were snowed in and it was only really one of the only times ever that the show was just flat-out canceled. So, this was before we got the call that the show was canceled. It was still in the, ‘Is the blizzard going to affect us or not?’ And all of a sudden, I see Shane kind of picking up Tommy Blacha to do a suplex and I’m like, uh oh, I need to get out of here and fast. That’s when I heard Shane call my name like, ‘Brian! Get in the ring. Let’s take a bump’ and now all the other wrestlers slowly turning like, oh, this should be good. This is pre-cell phone era, there’s no video, there’s no — thankfully. Actually, I’m kind of regretful that there isn’t because at this point, you have no choice but to take it, so I took the bump. It was a Dudley powerbomb off the second rope with D-Von putting me up into Bubba’s arm, Bubba on the second rope… That’s no bodyslam. Not that that’s no walk in the park either but yeah, that’s a real thing. Shane screaming, ‘Tuck your head in’ right as we’re taking off.

** Ahead of DDT Pro-Wrestling’s Wrestle Peter Pan event, Joseph Montecillo of Fanbyte conducted an interview with Jun Akiyama. He shared his thoughts about Konosuke Takeshita’s recent run in the USA and said Takeshita has been doing his best in AEW and can handle his own.

I rarely watch matches across the pond, but recently I’ve began watching Takeshita doing his best over at AEW. He can handle his own. He’s doing really well, against whoever he’s being put up against.

Eddie Kingston has mentioned Akiyama’s name on multiple occasions as someone he enjoys watching wrestle and would like to share the ring with. Akiyama said when he watches Kingston wrestle, he can see the respect he has for the King’s Road style of wrestling.

I can feel the respect towards the King’s Road style through [Eddie Kingston’s] wrestling. His match with Takeshita was amazing.

** Jason Powell welcomed Taya Valkyrie onto his Pro Wrestling Boom podcast. She gave her thoughts on Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque now overseeing creative. Valkyrie did not state if she would or wouldn’t return now that he’s leading the creative charge but is of the ‘never say never’ mindset. She thinks he’ll do great in the role.

I think before Triple H took over, I was definitely like, I never even wanna discuss the idea of ever going there [WWE] again [Valkyrie laughed] and then once Triple H took over, I mean, it was such a crazy turn of events. No one ever saw this coming so, Hunter was always so nice to me and Shawn [Michaels] was always so nice to me. Hunter is the reason I got hired, so for me, you know, it’s exciting to watch him take over and knowing he is so passionate about everything and how he sees this business and it’s really exciting for me to watch my friends go back and do some amazing stuff and everyone seems to be really happy and excited so I don’t know, we’ll see. I don’t know. They always say ‘never say never’ so you never know, but I think overall, it’s just a very exciting time for me to be able to see a company that literally all of us fell in love with as children, let’s be real, have this next kind of evolution and to see what’s gonna happen. It’s an exciting time for the fans, it’s an exciting time for wrestlers, it’s an exciting time for the business so, I definitely am happy that he’s at the helm of the ship, him and Stephanie [McMahon] and I know they’re gonna do great things.

Valkyrie has tallied up a decade in the wrestling business. She does want to write a book and said it’s something that’s been lingering in her mind.

100 percent [I want to write a book]. It’s actually something that’s been lingering in my mind for a while actually so, I will do it one day. I will be writing a book because I think that my story, I think it’s interesting, I think it’s different, I think that people think they know me or they think they know what I’ve been through or what I’ve done but they have no idea so, I definitely want to do that.

She looked back on getting her start in Mexico and working with the late Silver King. Valkyrie was only going to be working with him for five weeks and he told her she would not be able to learn anything of substance in that time so she should go home. Taya was determined to prove him wrong.

It was extremely hard [adapting to the lucha libre style when I started wrestling in Mexico]. I think that I probably should have done a little bit more research before going there but, you know, I’ve always kind of thrived in environments where I had to just prove myself and work really hard and you know, I remember Silver King was my first coach when I went down and the second or third day I met him, he was just like, ‘How long you plan on being here?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, five weeks’ because that was the plan and he’s like, ‘You’re never gonna learn anything in five weeks. You should just go home’ and I was just like, ‘Well that was rude.’ But I was just like I’m gonna prove him wrong and that’s exactly what I did. It was very hard, I had to learn the language. I had to fight off a lot of naysayers and I just had to make it work and that’s what I did.

** Now two years removed from Edge’s return to in-ring competition at the 2020 WWE Royal Rumble event, he reflected on that moment while speaking to Fox News Digital to promote his A&E Biography episode.

I expected if we could keep it as under wraps as we could, then, yes, just for the sheer shock of it [he said when asked if he was expecting the reaction he got at Royal Rumble 2020]. Because, just like everyone, I assumed that it’s done [his career]. So, because of that, I assumed there would be a pretty shocked response, and then you do it in a stadium and chances are there’s going to be a pretty good reaction. Even though I thought that, it still doesn’t really prepare you for every emotion that really jolts through your system at that point. I kind of felt like I got hit by lightning in a good way.

** The 2022 Japan Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame event is scheduled for October 10th at Korakuen Hall. There are going to be matches held as well. Last year’s inductees were Antonio Inoki, Riki Choshu, Giant Baba, Jumbo Tsuruta, Tatsumi Fujinami and Genichiro Tenryu.

** Steven’s Wrestling Journey posted an interview with AEW’s Jungle Boy.

** Pro Wrestling NOAH ‘N-1 Victory’ Results (8/17/22) Sendai, Japan
– Yoshiki Inamura def. Kai Fujimura
N-1 Victory Block B: Jack Morris [4] def. Kinya Okada [0]
N-1 Victory Block A: El Hijo del Dr. Wagner Jr. [4] def. Masaaki Mochizuki [0]
N-1 Victory Block B: Satoshi Kojima [6] def. Masa Kitamiya [4]
– Daisuke Harada, Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY vs. NOSAWA Rongai, Super Crazy & Kendo Kashin – Double Count Out
– Daisuke Harada, Seiki Yoshioka & YO-HEY def. Kendo Kashin, NOSAWA Rongai & Super Crazy
N-1 Victory Block A: Kazuyuki Fujita [4] def. Hideki Suzuki [4]
N-1 Victory Block B: Katsuhiko Nakajima [4] def. Takashi Sugiura [4]
N-1 Victory Block A: Kenoh [6] def. Go Shiozaki [4]

** While speaking to Daily Star, Ridge Holland heaped praise onto Sheamus.

** Former KO-D Trios Tag Champion Saki Akai was interviewed by Tokyo Sports.

** Rob Schamberger spotlighted Roman Reigns for his signature Canvas 2 Canvas series.

** August 17th birthdays: Danhausen.

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.