POST NEWS UPDATE: Jakara Jackson recounts receiving WWE contract offer, suffering concussion at tryout

Jakara Jackson-WWE, Theory chats Johnny Gargano, Road Dogg fought for Claudio's WM 30 win, Josh Alexander/Ethan Page note and more

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 the 2021 WWE tryouts in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jakara Jackson (Jamara Sade) was one of the participants that was offered a developmental contract. As she was getting chiropractic work done by Dr. Beau Hightower, Jakara revealed that she suffered a ‘small concussion’ at the tryout while learning how to fall on the mat and was later checked on by Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque. After the tryouts wrapped up, Jakara was informed that she was being offered a WWE contract.

When I was at this [WWE] tryout, first time bumper, you just ease into it. So, you just start gradually from the ground up and you just start gradually learning to throw yourself on the ground from your feet and we were just doing a drill and I was going at it and it wasn’t one thing. It was just a multitude of things. It was whiplash. So I completed the first day, everything was great and by the end of the workout, I just felt funny and so I had to — I ran to a trash can, did my business a little bit and I was like, ‘I’m good, we’re good. I just worked out hard,’ you know what I mean? I went hard so it is what it is. But I found my medical person. I was like, ‘Can I just have like two Aspirin? Because I have a little headache’ and she’s like, ‘Yeah, but come this way’ and I’m like, ‘Okay,’ so go with them and all of a sudden, I’m being interrogated. Not really, they’re just asking me questions [Jackson laughed]. Protocol, and came to the conclusion that I have a small concussion and I’ve never had one before in my life so I don’t know what that’s like, until the next day. The lights, the whistle blowing, all that was too much. But eventually, as that day is going, Triple H, all of sudden I see is making his way my way and I’m like, oh my gosh. What do I say? What’s going on? What’s gonna happen? And so he walks up to me, he’s like, ‘How you feeling?’ I’m like, ‘I’m good, I’m good, thank you, considering’ and he’s like, ‘Well you know, it’s just part of the job. Good job though’ and everything and I’m like, ‘Thank you!’ Like, oh my God and so I’m literally just standing to the side, cheering people on because I feel like, you know, being a team player and just really rooting on people who were doing their thing as I couldn’t is probably the way to be. But it was just awesome for him to just walk up and be like, what’s good? Acknowledge what had happened to me but also be encouraging and stuff about it because I’m not gonna lie, you’re in this huge tryout that could change your life and something happens to you that you can’t help and you’re like, am I gonna make it? Next day comes along, it’s promo time. Time to be that b*tch and yeah, killed that and then the rest of the tryout went down and it was the end and all of a sudden, we’re just getting ready to go and we’re thinking, yeah, we’ll hear back later. No, so first person gets called out and she comes back in crying and we’re like [looking at her]. She’s like, ‘I made it’ and I’m like, ‘Yes!!’ And then second person gets called out, it’s your girl and I was like, stop. I was like, what? So, walked on over to the door, I open the door, I see the WWE backdrop and I see Triple H and everybody at the table and I’m like, what!? So, sit down, they let me know that I’m moving to Florida and I was just — it was crazy. It was absolutely amazing. Day my freaking life changed.

It was through Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and NBC’s ‘Titan Games’ show that Jakara was discovered by WWE. She was initially contacted for a tryout in early 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic occurred. She stayed in contact with the company and it was a full year before any progress was made in terms of bringing her in.

I was spotted on the Titan Games, looked like I’d be a good fit and so I was contacted about the WWE tryouts and I was told about it and then that’s some pretty exciting news so you’re just like, ‘When are they? Let me know and I’ll be there.’ But, the pandemic happened and so it was like a good whole year that I didn’t hear anything back and so I was — I’m a person who likes to jump on things and so I like to follow up on stuff and I did and he let me know, he’s like, ‘Hey, yeah, they’re still happening. Just, you know, it’s the fact that the world’s shut down right now.’ So, just waited on that and then got the email that it was time, it was go time.

** WrestleMania 30 was the focus of Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James and Ryan Katz’s latest ‘Oh… You Didn’t Know’ podcast. At the event, Claudio Castagnoli f.k.a. Cesaro won the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. James shared that he was one of the individuals who fought for Castagnoli to win that match.

We fought for Claudio [Castagnoli] a lot and sometimes he got on there and sometimes he didn’t, you know what I mean? This was one of the things that we fought for [Claudio’s win at WrestleMania 30], for him to win and it’s like the first step in his career. I don’t think it was exactly what he thought it was gonna be or what I kind of expected it to be in the long run but, man, look what he’s doing now. He’s wiser, he’s smarter about his work and literally one of the best professional wrestlers in the game today and you could probably, arguably say top five, maybe top three. Yeah, because he’s that good and I’ve seen him do stuff that was so good and you just go, why isn’t he — why aren’t we doing more with him? And you know, sometimes you can’t fight City Hall and sometimes, the people that are in City Hall get voted out and there’s new people sitting in those seats and let’s see how it turns out this time.

Earlier in the conversation, James began his praise of Castagnoli. He spoke highly of his in-ring ability and feels that Bryan Danielson nor CM Punk can hang with him.

As far as Cesaro goes, Claudio [Castagnoli] goes, what’s not to like about Claudio? Everybody loves Claudio. You can’t say a bad word about him because the guy doesn’t have an evil bone in his body and what a great man, what a great father he’s gonna be and he’s one of the best wrestlers going today. You could argue that his promo needs work or whatever but you’re just nitpicking, you’re just pointing out a negative, you know what I mean? The guy, it’s not like he can’t speak. He can cut a promo. You can do stylized promos with him, packages, backstage if you think you need to. But as far as his in-ring ability, nobody, I don’t think anybody hangs with him and I’m dead serious. I don’t think Daniel Bryan hangs with him, I know [CM] Punk don’t hang with him. Punk couldn’t hang with him on his best day. Am I still beating up Punk? I should stop. I should let cowboy crap [Hangman Adam Page] do that for me [Road Dogg laughed]. I don’t know what I’m talking about.

Back in February 2014, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn took on Dustin and Cody Rhodes in a Steel Cage match on Monday Night Raw. James was not big on the way the match ended. He felt that Gunn should have pushed him out of the way of Cody’s moonsault and then proceed to hit Cody with the ‘Fameasser’. James felt it would have shown that a big mistake cost Rhodes. The match ended with Cody hitting the moonsault on Road Dogg and then being pinned by Gunn.

Look, I thought it was fine [Steel Cage match against Cody & Dustin Rhodes from 2014]. I thought, you know, it took all day to get to that and it says I was supposed to — whoever said I was supposed to catch him, I had a conversation with Cody that day. Look, that’s all that I remember of that day is because it was such a traumatic deal about this moonsault and look, I’m not like a lucha base. At the time, I’m like 45 years old and he’s young and in the prime of his career and he’s gonna jump off and I said, ‘I’m not just gonna catch you, you know, like guys catch. I’m not that guy, I don’t do that’ and he was like, ‘No, you just gotta put yourself –’ and so it happened exactly how it was supposed to happen. I just got a bunch of heat from it and the thing is-is for me, the finish I wanted to do was Billy [Gunn] push me out of the way, Cody hit the ground, Billy hit him with a ‘Fameasser’ so me and Billy are a formed tag team, but he took this high-risk maneuver that didn’t pay off this one time and it cost him, you know what I mean? That was the finish I thought made more sense. Hitting me with the thing and then losing to Billy right there, I don’t know. That just never felt right to me.

** Prior to his World Junior Heavyweight Title defense at NWA 74 night one, Homicide appeared on Busted Open Radio. He was asked how he’s feeling and how he’s still going 100 percent at this stage of his career. He said he does not think about it and just goes with the flow but admitted that he’s banged up and feels like “crap”.

Man, I don’t think about it. I just go with the flow [Homicide said about maintaining his body while still giving 100 percent in the ring after so long]. I just be smart. I love Hip-Hop. I love people like E.P.M.D., Wu Tang. I would say I’m a Slick Rick storyteller of pro wrestling, you know? So I like to tell stories in wrestling. Wrestling is like drama but in a violent kind of way. But me, I just go with the flow man. I’m not gonna lie man, I’m banged up, I feel like crap and more of my boys telling me I’m Old Man Logan. I don’t even know what that means but it sounds cool. I just don’t think about it. I just go with the flow. I feel like someone’s trying to beat me and I feel like back in the day, I started in ‘94, everybody didn’t believe in me. Even my parents, never believed in me so right now, I’m just going with the flow. I’m gonna prove to y’all that I can make it. Now I got toys, video games. I was on national television with the name ‘Homicide’ but let’s be real, it’s not a marketable name but still, for some reason — I see a body count.

** The reigning IMPACT World Champion Josh Alexander spoke to PopCulture’s Brian Jones for an interview. Alexander is a two-time tag champion in IMPACT as a part of ‘The North’ with Ethan Page. Alexander said that he and Page have not kept in touch since he joined AEW. He chalked it up to people just going their separate paths in pro wrestling.

We don’t really keep in touch at all [Alexander responded when asked if he and Ethan Page are still in contact]. He left for AEW and we went to separate sandboxes, we have separate goals. Things have been going well for me, things have been going well for him. It’s just, you know, the pro wrestling world, people break apart, they go their separate ways man. You just pick up one day when you might come back together again like there was never any time lost between you but yeah.

In the main event of Slammiversary 2022, Alexander defeated Eric Young to retain the IMPACT World Title. Alexander explained why he felt the most pressure he’s ever felt in his career ahead of that match.

I always say that when the pressure is at its highest, I rise to the occasion, I seem to embrace it and that Slammiversary main event [with Eric Young], I don’t know why in particular, more so than Rebellion, challenging for the world championship or anything like that but it felt like the most pressure I’ve ever felt in my career. I had the most nerves I’ve had in a long time and I think it might be because it was like the culmination. The first 20 years, the celebration of the first 20 years and then the kicking off point for the next 20 years, you know? I took that all very seriously. It seemed like a very special night. There was a lot of history-making matches on the show and to go out in the main event and try to follow everything that was on it, there was a great deal of nerves and then against somebody like Eric Young who I respect so much and yeah, when that three count hit at the end of the match, I was extremely relieved and happy because there were so many moving parts of that match, so many parts that went on and I was so happy that it went so well and I was so happy that the crowd, the fans around the world actually understood what we were trying to do with that match because we kind of tried to tip our hats to the first 20 years with that whole thing and we did it.

** Ryan Satin sat down with Big E to record an episode of ‘Out of Character’. E recounted his mindset when he decided to provide a video update after suffering a broken neck in March. He joked that when he saw all the EMTs around him, he thought people were overreacting. E went on to add that he’s grateful all the medical personnel were there and it surprised him to see how much support there was from fans and colleagues.

So for me, it was like, honestly, it happened [neck injury] and I really didn’t think it was that big of a deal. When they had the EMTs and everyone coming, I was like, yeah, y’all doing too much. Just relax. It’s a lil contusion. I’ma lay here. I know something is amiss right now but y’all are doing too much but thank God they were all there. For me man, I was in a good place [when I put that first video out post-neck injury]. I wasn’t worried about myself or I didn’t have this woe is me feeling so I thought, man, there are people — I know if I was watching television, if I was watching a football game or I was watching WWE and a performer that I liked, an athlete that I liked, if I saw them — you know, those are scary instances when you see someone carted off, when you see someone stretchered out and you know it’s a spine thing and that’s scary because they can be like me where they’re okay, they can have a concussion or… they told me too, like, a stroke was possible or paralysis so I just wanted to let people know. It’s late at night, I’m good, everything’s okay so that was it man. I just didn’t want people to worry about little ol’ me. But honestly, what blew [me away] is just the outpouring of tweets and texts and just so many people reached out. I didn’t know that many people cared [E laughed]. It was wild to see. It was really wild to see but it really, more than anything — and that was the cool thing is I’m a big proponent of giving people their flowers while they can still smell them because I think there’s merit to eulogizing the dead and those who’ve passed but, you know, it’s cool I think to let them know how much you care for them and how much you appreciate them while you’re still here, while they’re still breathing and it was cool. I got like a living eulogy in a way so, it was cool to see.

** On the 8/22 Monday Night Raw, Johnny Gargano made his return to WWE and his return segment concluded with him superkicking Theory. Theory joined Mike Riley on Wrestling Inside the Ropes and gave an in-character response to Gargano’s return.

You know, especially when I look at my past and somebody that was a mentor [Johnny Gargano]. Not quite as good as Mr. McMahon was obviously. But, yeah, somebody that took me under their wing and showed me ‘The Way’ and I feel like, you know, you take nine months off, something that I would never do because I know how good I am and I know how much the WWE universe — they need me. They need Austin Theory so, for me, it’s just one of those things with him is well, why can’t I teach you things now? I mean, you’ve never been United States Champion, never been the youngest United States Champion, never had the Money in the Bank, never been the youngest Mr. Money in the Bank and I’m telling him right to his face that I’m gonna be the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion so, why wouldn’t you wanna learn? Because you’re jealous and that’s why he kicked me. That’s why, that’s it. There’s no other explanation.

** The most recent guest on The Sessions with Renée Paquette was Billy Gunn. He feels that AEW All-Atlantic Champion PAC is one of the best talents in AEW. He recalled when PAC first arrived to the WWE Performance Center and he questioned why PAC would do a variety of different moves just to do them. Gunn said things started to click for him when he discovered how to filter that in and out of his presentation.

I think PAC, that works for us, ‘The Bastard’ PAC is a good example. When he came to the Performance Center, I was still coaching there and this kid can do everything and I mean everything at a high level and is amazing. But it was like… the same thing. Like why are you doing all this? And once he finally understood that, now you can finally see a transition and he’s probably — he’s one of the best guys that we have in my opinion, you know? Because he knows when to turn it on, he knows what to put in, he knows when to take it out and it’s not that he doesn’t do all of this stuff. He does it all when he needs to do it.

As the conversation went on, Gunn then touched on his friendship with the late Joan ‘Chyna’ Laurer. He said he reconnected with her a couple of weeks before her passing. There was even a point when Billy’s wife suggested that Chyna move in with them and she and Billy could take bookings together.

My best friend. She was amazing [Billy Gunn said about Chyna]. She really was, in all aspects of life. Great to train with, great to just be friends with her, and even to this day, what still gets me a little rocked up because she was just that special to me. She really was. When she first passed, I was so mad at her. That’s just life. That’s just what we do. I didn’t know how bad her struggle was because I went through it, the same thing. Luckily for me, I came out on the good side of that. It doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle with it every day. It just means that today, I have it under control, because I connected back with her like a couple weeks before this all happened and you know, she was worried about, ‘Hey, you know, I’m trying to get back in the flow of things but every time I go to these promotions, guys are just trying to take advantage’ and I said, ‘I get it. All you have to do is call me. I’ll do them with you. I’ll do whatever it is’ and I’m not trying to make me sound like the savior at all, but I’m just saying she was that good to me. My wife literally said, ‘Hey, you need to get her out of L.A., just have her move with us. You guys can travel,’ because my wife is one of the most special people on the planet so she is awesome and she knew our relationship and never had a problem with it. It was more of a brother and sister thing. So it’s horrible when things like that happen, but if you stay in that life, if you stay in that, it’s gonna get you. It will. I wish there was — I go, hey, if you do this, you might — no, there is no ‘might’ to any of that. It’s all downhill and it goes downhill until you either die or you go to jail or whatever it is and it’s very cliché but that’s — it’s what happens. I’m allowed to say that because I was there and that’s what was gonna happen. I never in any aspect glorified this, but there is a bright side to this. Ask me and Brian [‘Road Dogg’ James]. We were deep, deep in it. But luckily for us, we came out and we did the program and did what we were supposed to do. There wasn’t any, hey, if I go this way, maybe it’ll work. No, it doesn’t.

** While promoting his A&E Biography episode, Rey Mysterio was interviewed by TV Insider. Back in the late 1990s, the National Enquirer published a story about the supposed friendship between Mysterio and Golden Globe Award-winning actress Jennifer Aniston. That led to the speculation that the two were romantically linked. Rey said his wife Angie found the rumors to be funny.

That was hilarious. I don’t know how that story came about. My wife did get a kick out of it. ‘Yeah, right. Jennifer Anniston be looking at you.’ I said, ‘Hey, you never know. We may have had a little get-together, and you never found out.’ For me, it was good promotion. The fact I was connected with a superstar like Jennifer Aniston, who broke out from Friends and does incredible movies and dates some of the top Hollywood stars like Brad Pitt. Not bad.

** While guest appearing on Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, IMPACT World Champion Josh Alexander named A.J. Styles and Frankie Kazarian as two talents he’d like to defend his title against.

I could name a ton of names. The automatic ‘dream opponent’ would be the A.J. Styles because that is the figurehead for the entire — you think of TNA, you think of A.J. Styles and you know, I think when you think of IMPACT Wrestling, I wanna represent IMPACT Wrestling so if we went head-to-head, one-on-one, I think that would be the marquee matchup but there was a guy that showed up around Slammiversary and watching him in the ring with Chris Sabin on IMPACT on AXS TV just absolutely tear it up. I would really like to step foot in the ring and defend this championship against Frankie Kazarian one day if possible.

It is official that at Bound For Glory, Josh Alexander is defending the IMPACT World Championship against Eddie Edwards. Alexander discussed the upcoming match and his respect for what Eddie has been able to do throughout his career.

Well, like a lot of the matches I’ve had as champion, my entire character I guess you would say is completely genuine. I represent myself as a wrestling fan, a long time IMPACT fan so I’ve followed Eddie Edwards’ career since pretty much the start. He has done everything there is to do in this business, he’s had high-profile matches on pay-per-view with Ring of Honor, IMPACT Wrestling, so on and so forth and the interesting part about that, much in the same to me and Alex Shelley at Emergence is that me and Eddie Edwards have never had a one-on-one singles match. So for the very first time, we will lock up in a ring, one-on-one. It will be in the main event of Bound For Glory, the biggest stage we have in this company and that kind of pressure, as I’ve said in the past, I seem to always rise to the occasion when the pressure is at its highest and I’m gonna embrace it. I know that match is gonna be one of the toughest of my career. All of the Honor No More stuff aside, I have an immense amount of respect for what Eddie Edwards is capable of in that ring and I think it’s gonna be something special.

** Bad Dude Tito wrapped up his run in Japan that lasted throughout the NJPW G1 Climax 32 tournament. Tito was a part of the undercard matches. He talked to Koffin Radio about it described the experience as ‘fantastic’ and heaped praise onto JONAH for being helpful.

So I was out there for a little over five weeks but that was a long time, really long time but it was f*cking fantastic bro. I had the time of my life. I couldn’t have written it any better. Teaming with JONAH was amazing. He’s a f*cking great guy, very smart, he has a great wrestling knowledge and great in the ring so he helped out a lot. I’m not sure I would have been able to do it without him so, hats off to him, he was fantastic. He killed it too at the G1 and all his matches were f*cking awesome.

T.M.D.K. (The Might Don’t Kneel) consists of JONAH, Shane Haste, Mikey Nicholls and Bad Dude Tito. Tito confirmed that he was added to the group after their match at NJPW Capital Collision in Washington DC.

I started wrestling for [NJPW] STRONG in December of 2021 and then my first match after I helped JONAH kind of jump [David] Finlay and then after that, I started teaming with JONAH and we just went to Seattle, back to L.A. We had the big blowoff match in Chicago, the Chicago Street Fight and after that, they were like, ‘Oh, we like Tito. Tito fits in like a glove. Let’s just join him’ so in D.C., we had the match and after the match in D.C., Shane [Haste] and Mikey [Nicholls] and JONAH decided to invite me in TMDK so, we’ve been going pretty strong since then.

** While speaking to Wrestle Inn, Maki Itoh told the site that her favorite memory from her time in Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling thus far is winning the Tokyo Princess Cup in 2021. She suffered a partial fracture to her cheekbone in the quarterfinals.

Winning last year’s [Tokyo Princess Cup] tournament. I broke some bones on my face and yet I went all out to win. And I did. How amazing is Maki Itoh?!

She was asked what she has been able to learn from Miyu Yamashita. They’ve tagged together and faced each multiple times throughout their respective careers. Here’s what Itoh had to say about Yamashita:

No matter how weak I am, I will fight with my all. Yamashita’s tough. I’ve been fighting her ever since my debut, but she always went straight for me regardless of how weak I was. She has that same look even against people stronger than me. Regardless of how strong anyone is, she taught me that going all in against your opponent is important.

** Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair did the coin toss at the Howard versus Alabama State University football game. She was also on stage with Rashan Ali and ESPN’s Elle Duncan before the game to hype up those in attendance.

** STARDOM 5STAR Grand Prix Results (8/28/22) ACT CITY in Hamamatsu, Japan
Three-on-Two Handicap Match: Oedo Tai (Fukigen Death, Rina & Ruaka) def. Queen’s Quest (Hina & Lady C)
5STAR Grand Prix Block A: MIRAI [8] def. Hanan [0]
5STAR Grand Prix Block A: Saya Iida [2] def. Momo Watanabe [6]
5STAR Grand Prix Block B: Tam Nakano [6] def. Mai Sakurai [6]
5STAR Grand Prix Block B: Himeka [10] def. Saki Kashima [4]
5STAR Grand Prix Block B: Maika [8] def. AZM [10]
5STAR Grand Prix Block B: Koguma [8] def. Syuri [6]
5STAR Grand Prix Block A: Saya Kamitani [8] def. Hazuki [14]
5STAR Grand Prix Block A: Giulia [8] def. Natsupoi [6]
5STAR Grand Prix Block A: Mayu Iwatani [8] def. Ami Sourei [8]

** BT Sport released the following video about Drew McIntyre ahead of WWE Clash at the Castle:

** Xia Li got chiropractic work done by Dr. Beau Hightower.

** Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling ‘Go Girl 3’ Results (8/28/22) Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
– Arisu Endo & Suzume def. Haruna Neko & Pom Harajuku
– Mahiro Kiryu & Nao Kakuta def. Juria Nagano & Moka Miyamoto
– Hyper Misao def. Raku
– Maki Ito def. Yuki Aino
– Saki Akai def. Hikari Noa
– Yuki Kamifuku def. Yuki Arai
– Miu Watanabe, Rika Tatsumi & Shoko Nakajima def. Mizuki, Yuka Sakazaki & Miyu Yamashita

** Fightful pushed out their interview with Maki Itoh.

** Kurt Angle was present for the minor league baseball team Wisconsin Timber Rattlers’ game on August 27th.

** The new logo for Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling was revealed.

** ‘Telegraph & Argus’ has a story about Ridge Holland with comments from his trainer, Marty Jones. Jones also trained William Regal.

** Ice Ribbon Results (8/28/22) KFC Hall & Rooms in Tokyo, Japan
Mexico Expedition Tournament First Round Match: Hikari Shimizu def. Kaho Matsushita
Mexico Expedition Tournament First Round Match: Tae Honma def. Nao Ishikawa
– Sumika Yanagawa & Yuko Sakurai def. NATSUMI & Saran
– Maya Yukihi & Ram Kaicho def. Asahi & Misa Kagura
– Stephanie Vaquer def. Ibuki Hoshi via referee’s decision
– Dalys, SAKI, Totoro Satsuki & Yuna Manase def. Cherry, Hamuko Hoshi, Makoto & Rina Yamashita
ICExInfinity Championship: Saori Anou (c) def. Maika Ozaki

** Ring of Honor posted The Briscoes (Jay & Mark Briscoe) and reDRagon (Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish’s) entrance videos.

** There’s an interview on the Lucha Libre Online YouTube channel with Erick Redbeard.

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 8246 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.