POST NEWS UPDATE: Bayley chats Candice LeRae, WarGames, recovery from ACL injury

Bayley interview, Ludwig Kaiser addresses Gunther/Vince McMahon rumor, William Regal on KENTA's WWE run, Jericho-Sting, Bobby Lashley story

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.

** Episode #80 of WWE – Die Woche saw Bayley join the Instagram Live stream. She is scheduled to challenge Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Title at Extreme Rules in a Ladder match. Bayley said if she wins the title, she wants to defend the belt against Candice LeRae who returned to WWE this past Monday.

Well you know who would be number one I guess? Candice LeRae [is who I would defend the Raw Women’s Title against if I win at Extreme Rules]. She showed up. She won in like what? A minute-thirty seconds? Nikki [A.S.H.] had a little meltdown. She’s not really there fully mentally and that’s the only reason Candice was able to get the upper hand is because Nikki is going through a lot… But Candice LeRae, I know she’s gonna walk in here and think that she’s gonna take over this division because she’s super popular and she is trending and I hyped her up a lot so she can thank me. I mean I probably got her-her job back, let’s be honest. I tweeted about her so much.

For this year’s Survivor Series, WarGames is replacing the traditional Raw versus SmackDown theme. Bayley said she prefers WarGames and would add Rhea Ripley and Tamina to Damage CTRL’s trio for the match.

I’m gonna go with Rhea Ripley [Bayley said when asked who she would want to join Damage CTRL in a WarGames match]. Doesn’t seem like she has any fear right now and I like it and I am going to take Tamina. Nobody meaner and she has the most experience, she’s got literally nothing to lose.

I would much rather do WarGames [than champion versus champion] because that’s something I’ve never done before and I wanna do everything in the WWE so I would definitely wanna do WarGames instead. No offense to Liv [Morgan] or Ronda [Rousey].

While Bayley was recovering from injury, she shared that one of the biggest moments for her as it relates to WWE was Liv Morgan winning the SmackDown Women’s Championship.

Well I did watch [the WWE product when I was injured] and that’s when I realized things needed help, you know? And how many people were kind of just coasting and really didn’t take advantage of the opportunities at hand and that’s why Damage CTRL had to come do what we’re doing. But during my time off, I don’t know. I guess one of the biggest surprises or one of the biggest moments for me when I was hurt was Liv Morgan winning the title and I feel like that was a long time coming so watching her journey to get to that was fun to do.

She went on to speak about her recovery from the torn ACL and detailed that process. She recalled moments when she hesitated with trusting her body again.

The hardest part [of my injury recovery] was probably towards the end of it. The beginning, I was enjoying the time off. I was just trying to stay focused to not lose my mind at home and even as the time went longer than I expected, it was when I started to learn how to get back in the ring and learn how to jump again. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be and the ring hurt so much. My body thought I was done wrestling and when I got back in, my body was telling my mind, what are you doing? Why are you still doing this? I thought we were done with this? [Bayley smiled] And learning how to run the ropes again and just getting in there and rolling around was really difficult and super humbling because I didn’t think it would be as hard as it was.

It was weird just walking again and them being like, ‘You’re not putting your foot in front of the other foot correctly’ or I was favoring the leg a lot. I had a lot of trust issues with myself on that so I would always get in trouble at PT. They’re just like, ‘Nope, trust your body. It’s fine, you’re prepared. You’re not gonna hurt it again’ and that was a little hard too.

** There’s a feature story on WAZ (Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung) about WWE’s Ludwig Kaiser. The Imperium member was asked about a rumor that Vince McMahon was beginning to lose interest in him and Gunther. He’s never heard that and said they’ve been satisfied since arriving to SmackDown.

I don’t know anything about the rumors [that Vince McMahon was losing interest in Gunther and/or myself]. It’s also usually the case that we don’t let it get to us like that. From our side, we have been totally satisfied since we started on Smackdown. We’ve had a great reception there, the feedback has been positive right from the start. We can’t complain about our TV time either. When you look at what we’ve done in a few months, even with Gunther’s Intercontinental Championship title, it speaks for itself. Of course, there are always rumors here and there, but a lot of it is just not true.

He did weigh in on McMahon’s resignation as Chairman and CEO of WWE. He’s glad he got to work with Vince and added that it was a good collaboration.

His [Vince McMahon] resignation was unimaginable. There had not been rumors about it before. It’s a blatant thing. He’s an absolute revolutionary, a visionary. Especially when it comes to streaming things like the WWE Network. Great for us that we still had the chance to work with him, that was also a close, good collaboration in recent weeks.

At Clash at the Castle, Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci accompanied Gunther to the ring for his Intercontinental Title defense. He described being in front of that audience as “gnarly” and “surreal”.

That was gnarly. I used to do that in a north German gym in front of 20 people. A few years later, you’re standing there in a packed rugby stadium, seeing your head on this huge video cube. It’s just surreal.

Kaiser hails from Germany and he is a former world champion and tag team champion for the wXw promotion. He said those were some of the best years of his life and he owes a lot to people there.

I grew up wrestling there and have completely improved. I owe a lot to those guys. Those were some of the best years of my life. Now there are guys in the squad, some of whom I helped train back then. For the Rott Und Flott guys (Michael Schenkenberg & Nikita Charisma), I’m happy that they can now show what they’ve got. I’ve known Vincent Heisenberg for a long time from early training sessions, I’m also really happy that Michael Knight is doing a lot there now. He was also one of my best friends, with whom I traveled a lot and who was always much too good for me to only perform in front of 50 people. Leon van Gasteren, also one of my best friends, still does something at wXw.

** The subject of the latest episode of ‘Gentleman Villain’ with William Regal was NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way from 2014. KENTA made his debut at that show and Regal looked back at that stretch of KENTA’s career. Regal expressed that he gets along great with KENTA, but one must be careful with what they wish for because the situation might not be a fit. He added that the former ‘Hideo Itami’ asked to go to WWE.

I thought he [KENTA] was excellent. He was a huge influence to a lot of the wrestlers of his time period. Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, he was a huge influence… Everybody has a different story. It’s not my story to tell. I do know that if you’re having to carry the weight of a company on your shoulders which he was in Japan… what I can say is we’ve talked a little bit about — I get on great with KENTA but you gotta know what you’re getting into. He asked to come to WWE and NXT… Whatever he did, he came to America and whether he liked it or not, sometimes be careful what you wish for and that’s another thing people need to understand. No, it’s not always going to be a great fit. But I will say this, I am very much going to defend WWE here. He was injured a lot and he got the best care he could get and he got looked after [and] he got paid so, you know, again, I’m looking at it as a pro, who knows, who’s not full of nonsense. To get paid while you’re injured, everybody should take that as a bonus because it didn’t used to be like that. So, if you come from a time where it’s always been like that, you don’t realize you are fortunate when that’s happening and so it’s not something you consider. I do… His time there, I enjoyed being around him. He’ll have a different tale. I enjoyed watching him when he was there, I enjoyed talking to him. Even got to train with him a little bit and roll around the ring with him one day and I enjoyed that just to do that so, it’s how things work out and whatever happens when you’re there.

When NXT held their first tryout in California, Timothy Thatcher was one of the names who attended. Regal recounted Thatcher being very similar to him and stressing that Thatcher must find himself. Thatcher is currently with Pro Wrestling NOAH and Regal said Thatcher likes where he’s at.

When I was scouting or whatever and the first actual tryout we did outside of FCW was in California and Canyon Ceman had organized [this] and I remember Tim Thatcher was on there as well and I had to talk to Tim that day about — because he used to do somewhat of a copy of me and I said, ‘They’ve already got me. You need to find you,’ and I really liked Tim. I really liked him and I said, ‘Look, the best advice I can give you is to go out and find you’ and he found him and you know, his career’s worked out for him… I know him and he’s a happy cat. At the moment, he’s doing well and he likes being where he is and he’s fantastic.

At the NXT San Jose live event in 2015, former WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon was present. Regal does not know what McMahon was thinking, but he saw McMahon take a look at the crowd and could tell he was happy.

I remember being stood backstage [at NXT San Jose] and looking out and I remember Mr. McMahon being there as well and he was stood about five feet away from me and he was looking through the curtains and we’re both just looking at the crowd and it’s like, I don’t know what he was thinking but I know he was happy and I was just gobsmacked, going, ‘Wow’ and then feeling all kinds of happy for all the talent and all the crew… There’s a lot of points in my life where I look back and I go, if it all ends now, I can’t ask for a better time and I remember thinking that then. If it all ends now… it’s all good.

On the 9/28 AEW Dynamite, Juice Robinson went one-on-one with AEW World Champion Jon Moxley. Regal said he is proud of Robinson for choosing to leave WWE and carving out his own path.

So first of all, he [Juice Robinson] never got let go [from WWE]… Everybody liked him. It was just, okay, he is where he is at the moment and he went, ‘I’d like to take myself out of this please and I wanna go and do something else and prove myself somewhere else’ which is exactly what he did and he went to England, I believe was the first thing he did and went wrestling on what we call holiday camps in England. He was doing that and then he ended up with New Japan and training with them and then he got a spot with New Japan and now, he’s well known… And people know his name and he’s made a name for himself and now, he’s very valuable to anybody that wants him because he went out there and just took himself out of the game. It’s a hard thing to do. I’m already in. At the time, that was the one game in town or if you’re an American wrestler, as far as big, you know, WWE was the big thing. So I’m already in the system but I’m not getting anywhere. That takes a lot of courage to go, I’m just gonna go ask to be released… I can’t imagine making a lot of money in England at the time.

** For the newest edition of AEW Unrestricted, Chris Jericho joined Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone on the show. Jericho expressed that there has to be a match between him and Sting. He said he’d bring ‘The Painmaker’ character out for that.

Whenever there’s a Sting-Jericho match which there has to be because Sting and I have never been in the ring together ever, except for when Keith Mitchell retired and we had that after-ceremony. Never been in the same ring ever. Ever, ever, ever. There has to be a Sting and Jericho match in whatever way we decide it and that would be a great time for ‘Painmaker’.

Looking back on his WCW days, Jericho told the story of when he was going to wrestle the late Jim ‘The Anvil’ Neidhart. Jericho said he was going to win, but Neidhart said he was not a cruiserweight. Jericho added that he hated that label.

The thing was ‘cruiserweight’ was almost like being called a leper. There was such a stigma because I was two hundred and f*cking twenty-five pounds. I remember I wanted to work with Jim Neidhart once and they wanted to put me over and Jim’s like, ‘But, I’m not a cruiserweight.’ I’m like, ‘Dude –’ I mean I’m not as big as ‘The Anvil’ but f*ck, I was just as big as — bigger than Shawn Michaels or just as big as Booker T. What are we talking about here? Get rid of this stupid ‘cruiserweight’ name. I hated that name. Just have us wrestle.

** Shane Haste guest appeared on ‘Rewind Recap Relive’ and told the story of when RETRIBUTION took on The Hurt Business in a six-man tag and he attempted to mat wrestle Bobby Lashley. This took place while the show was on commercial break and Lashley began to laugh when he realized what Haste was doing. He immediately took the former ‘SLAPJACK’ down.

We had another six-man one. RETRIBUTION versus Hurt Business and during those times, the ThunderDome times, sometimes during the ad breaks, you’d stop and reset yourself, go through things. This one, they were kind of like, ‘Yeah, keep working, stay warm but you don’t have to go all out’ and it was me, the ad break comes in and I’m in there with [Bobby] Lashley and I’m like, f*ck it, I’m gonna shoot on Lashley [Haste laughed]. I didn’t throw fists-shoot. I don’t have a death wish but I’m just trying to keep him down like in [a] wrestling hold or whatever and then it took him a couple of seconds to realize what I was doing because I’m so bad at it and he’s so big and strong that he’s like, oh. He started kind of giggling and then, doom, decks me and I’m just trying to get out of it as I’m just wrestling around. He laughed because I’m terrible at it… We come back from ad and I’m gassed. I wasted so much energy doing that. It was a good memory. It was good fun.

** PCW ULTRA booker and MLW on-screen talent Josef Samael appeared on the Comedy Store Wrestling podcast. Colt Cabana’s name was brought up and Samael talked about his past issues with Cabana while they worked in the NWA together. Their experience with one another happened two regimes prior to Billy Corgan taking over.

No [it was not good working with Colt Cabana]. F*cking terrible. F*cking terrible [Samael smiled]. He was very difficult and holds a grudge to this day and like, he — so what happened with him, I guess he got the championship and nobody told him he had to drop it three weeks later and he was pretty sore about it. Me personally, if it was me trying to do business in that sort of environment, I would have probably been hot too, you know? But, I was doing business for myself, he was doing business for himself. This is a selfish business, we’re our own companies. We’re trying to make it, so, I was looking out for me, he was looking out for him but I don’t hold a grudge with anybody really. My slate’s pretty clean. Everything’s cool with me.

There’s way more to the story and we could have a whole podcast on that. There was multiple people — when you have a company that has a President and underneath are all people with competing businesses, they all want the belt on their show. So, there was a promoter that had a television show, but basically wrote his show around the belt and I guess he was under the assumption that it was never leaving. So, he ended up getting pretty bent out of shape and I believe they transferred it to Cabana before because the other guy that had it, his guy, they transferred it to Cabana because Cabana was this internet darling and he had all these friends and they were just trying to hurt my business. It never hurt my business because heat draws money so if everybody hates you in wrestling and you’re a bad guy, you get paid more, you work more, you get booked more.

** At WWE Extreme Rules, Drew McIntyre is taking on Karrion Kross in a Strap match. He was asked about the upcoming bout while speaking to The Dallas Morning News. He said he’s working a champion’s schedule and you won’t see Roman Reigns taking on that schedule.

No [I won’t get any regular matches]. I don’t think so. I suffer for the company, suffer from my art – constantly, it feels like. But that comes with the territory being the workhorse of WWE, being the conscience, I guess, of WWE. You ain’t gonna find Roman Reigns doing the schedule that I do. I keep the championship schedule. I’m happy to do it. I’m happy to do the media responsibilities. I’m happy to represent the company on the weekend live events. This is my dream. It’s a privilege to do it. And if it involves getting beat with chairs … still be involved in the Strap match with Kross, who has managed to divert my attention away from the title, so be it. Even though he keeps attacking me from behind. If it’s not him attacking me, it’s his girl [Scarlett] low blowing me from behind. I’ll do what I have to do get through all these new challenges and get my way back to Roman.

And apparently, I’ll have to go through not just The Bloodline – because I did that prior to Clash at the Castle – then the elders and a new member [Solo Sikoa]. I’m going to have to literally go through the entire family like door to door. And I like The Rock a lot. It’s gonna pain me deeply when I go through the entire family, have to go to Hollywood, tap The Rock’s door and say, ‘I’m sorry, brother,’ then beat them him [on] his own doorstep because it’s the only way I’m gonna get that title off Roman.

Looking back on Clash at the Castle, McIntyre doesn’t think there will ever be a crowd that loud again and is not sure if there has ever been a crowd that loud in wrestling.

I actually main evented, I was fighting for the title. And I was so happy to be proven right that we had such an amazing attendance. We took over Cardiff and the crowd themselves were electric all night and when I came out there, I was honestly thinking it would be like the Bret Hart-Bulldog match, SummerSlam ‘92 was probably, you know, 80-20%, 70-30% for the Bulldog when Bret was still popular even though it was Bulldog’s home turf… Roman [Reigns] is a popular character but to walk out there, hear that reaction for me and those chants for me – to hear the hatred for Roman. And Roman is somebody, you know, has been my No. 1 opponent since I returned to WWE, we have great chemistry together. The story that built toward the match was made to take out The Bloodline. You know, people were really ready and believed that the titles were going to change hands, which hasn’t happened in Roman’s entire two year title reign. So, it was an incredible night and incredible feeling.

I don’t think I’ll ever hear a crowd as loud as that again, I don’t know if there’s been a crowd as loud as that in wrestling. It’d be very hard to find shows with a crowd, 62,000 people on their feet, reacting that way, especially for the near falls at the end. And I was really aware in the moment – embrace this, take it and remember it because one day when you’re retired on the rocking chair on the porch, you’re going to be thinking about this match.

** In 2021, Joshi wrestler Rumi Kazama passed at the age of 55. Rumi’s friend, former wrestler and MMA fighter Shinobu Kandori opened up to Tokyo Sports about the last time she saw Rumi.

She died alone at home, so after she was found, she was taken directly to the morgue. I met her there and I couldn’t believe it. She had been saying that her stomach hurt for a long time, but anyway, she hated injections and had Coronavirus, so she didn’t go to the hospital. I guess I thought she would be okay because she was probably more pain tolerant than most people.

** While Charlie Haas was doing on-screen impersonations of wrestlers in WWE, one of the talents who wanted Charlie to tag along with him on-screen was John Bradshaw Layfield (JBL). Haas told the ‘Going Broadway Podcast’ that JBL pitched the idea but it did not come to fruition.

C.H.L., Charles Haas Layfield and yeah, it’s f*cking great, but that was actually. It was so good that JBL wanted me to be like a permanent CHL… I always say like a Dewey Hogg. You know, JBL’s like the Boss Hogg and I’d be Dewey Hogg, the nephew from The Dukes of Hazzard, if you guys remember that. You’d have to go back and watch that.

I’m not really sure man. I’m not really sure why it didn’t happen. I’m not really sure. I just know that — I know JBL pitched it but I think they had other things. I think they were gonna do The Cabinet or whatever and start with Orlando [Jordan] and The Bashams and all that. So I mean, it is what it is. We had a good time though. I enjoyed it. JBL and I are great friends because of it and we still talk to this day.

There were two occasions in Haas’ career when he held the ROH World Tag Team Titles with Shelton Benjamin. Charlie looked back on the teams that made up that division.

Jim Cornette was the one that brought us [Haas & Shelton Benjamin] in. They [WWE] released Shelton and he was like, ‘Do not sign with anybody. Just promise me you guys won’t because you owe me that’ and we were like, ‘Okay.’ We owe Jim a lot. Jim really helped us out a lot so, dude, it was awesome… Talk about tag team runs. You had The American Wolves, you had The Kings of Wrestling, you had The All Night Express, you had The Briscoe Brothers… You had Motor City Machine Guns. God, it was so much fun. Tag teams that were tag teams and that had meant something. They weren’t just thrown together and I mean, the Ring of Honor Tag Team Titles meant something and I’m like, dude, oh, it was such a great time. God I loved it. It was a really good, good time.

** Ice Ribbon’s Yuuki Mashiro is opting to retire at the end of this year to pursue a career in nursing. She is 21 years of age and Ice Ribbon President, Hajime Sato, gave comments to Tokyo Sports about Mashiro’s decision. He said he’s been aware of her goals outside of wrestling but was hoping the departures of Risa Sera, Suzu Suzuki, Akane Fujita, Mochi Miyagi and Kurumi Hiiragi in 2021 would have inspired her to extend her time with Ice Ribbon.

As for Yuuki Mashiro, the end is set, so I was wondering how far we could stretch it out. I was hoping that the departure of the five (Prominence wrestlers) at the end of last year would inspire her to extend her retirement, but she’s a stubborn girl. I will miss Mashiro, but one person quitting doesn’t mean the company will go out of business, and I have high hopes for the girls to come.

** Ahead of challenging for the Knockouts World Title at IMPACT Wrestling Bound For Glory, Masha Slamovich was interviewed by Cultaholic. She reflected on her time in IMPACT thus far and said it’s going better than she thought it would.

I’ve gotta say, it’s going better than I even thought it would [her time in IMPACT] because from not even expecting to get signed, look at me now. What are we at? A cool 15, 16-0? Something like that. It’s a very impressive number.

** Per PWInsider, Randy Orton testified in the WWE 2K-Tattoo trial. Tattoo artist Catherine Alexander filed a suit against WWE and 2K Games because Orton’s tattoos are original designs by her and she owns the rights to them. She claims that the defendants infringed on her copyrights and she never gave them permission to recreate those designs in their games.

** Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jushin Thunder Liger prep a meal:

** A California-based cannabiotech company and cannabis distributor named ‘Grapefruit’ entered an agreement with Rob Van Dam to bring his cannabis product to the California market.

** ‘Gold Spike’ bar in Las Vegas, Nevada is hosting a ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage themed night on September 30th. Guests are encouraged to dress up like Savage.

** Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair joined the fitness group ‘Team Domin8’.

** On October 1st, WrestlePro Alaska is running an event and Jay Lethal versus Scott Garland (Scotty 2 Hotty), The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens) versus Orange Cassidy & L.S.G. along with Tenille Dashwood in action is set for the show.

** Keiji Muto is scheduled to compete at Pro Wrestling NOAH’s 10/16 show. He’ll be teaming with Ninja Mack and Satoshi Kojima to take on Jack Morris, HAYATA and Naomichi Marufuji.

** Ticket holders in attendance for the 12/5 NJPW World Tag League/Super Jr. Tag League event will be allowed to make noise vocally.

** September 29th birthdays: Tajiri, Candice LeRae, Togi Makabe.

** New Japan Pro-Wrestling ring announcer Makoto Abe is doing the announcements at All Japan’s October 2nd event.

** Greg ‘The Hammer’ Valentine is scheduled to be a guest of honor for Hornell Sports Night on November 5th in New York. It is an event to raise money for the Special Olympics.

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 7216 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.