POST NEWS UPDATE: Big Time Wrestling promoter discusses Ricky Steamboat’s in-ring return, convincing Steamboat to agree

Ricky Steamboat's return, Tony Khan on AEW's behind-the-scenes MVPs, Scott D'Amore interview, Naito-Inoki, Ethan Page chats 'The Firm', NJPW

Photo Courtesy: Big Time Wrestling

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** Episode #97 of The Business of the Business podcast featured Big Time Wrestling co-promoter Steve Perkins. He discussed the forthcoming in-ring return of Ricky ‘The Dragon’ Steamboat and how that came to be. Perkins said it took some time to convince Steamboat to agree to the return.

So, and some of it, I’ll get into it as much as I can [Perkins said about Ricky Steamboat’s in-ring return] but obviously, everybody had heard about Ricky possibly getting back into the ring for Ric’s ‘Last Match’ and it didn’t happen for whatever reason and you know, it’s probably for a myriad of reasons that most the internet doesn’t get right but didn’t happen. But that allowed me to know that, hey, Ricky’s not against this. Ricky’s capable of doing this. This was close because Ricky’s agent was a friend of mine, Tony Hunter, who’s an agent for a lot of guys too. Bret [Hart] and I happened to be in Knoxville for a Comic Con and I was there with Bret. I just started asking Ricky questions and Ricky wasn’t adverse to doing it and I just went to Ricky and said, ‘Ricky, this night’s going to be about you. This is a night about Ricky Steamboat.’ We’re gonna do it at the [J.S.] Dorton Arena and that’s just a historic place for Ricky Steamboat, it’s an historic place for Jim Crockett. The amount of one-hour draws Ricky and Ric [Flair] probably had there is, you know, insurmountable, the number of times they probably went 60 minutes and it’s just a historical building and a great place and I said, ‘Ricky, it’s gonna be a classy thing. It’s gonna be all about you and we’ve got a hell of a lot of talent that’s gonna wanna jump on board and be around this’ so I took quite a bit of time to convince him and come to terms on it but it’s gonna be incredible. I know in my head who’s committed to be there and it hasn’t fully been announced because we’d love to get promos filmed first but… the talent on the card doesn’t end with Ricky Steamboat. It could be Ricky Steamboat in one match and you could take the ring down and go home and everybody would get their money’s worth because I don’t know if you’ve heard, I don’t think Ric Flair could have been more correct about it but when Ric was asked on his podcast about it, Ric said, ‘Hey, Ricky Steamboat wouldn’t be getting in the ring to do this if he wasn’t going to do it right and wasn’t gonna look like a million bucks’ and Ricky trains, Ricky works out, Ricky doesn’t have carbs after lunch. Ricky takes his body seriously now so, I guarantee no one will be disappointed by Ricky Steamboat in the ring.

Later in the conversation, Perkins was asked if he has spoken to Ric Flair about the idea of doing another match and would he ever book Flair versus Steamboat. Perkins said in a perfect world, that’s the match he would do but he has not spoken to Flair about wrestling Steamboat.

I have spoken to Ric since Ricky said he was going to wrestle. I have not spoken to Ric Flair about wrestling Ricky Steamboat. That’s what I’ll say. But ideally, in a perfect world, yeah, you’d have Ricky Steamboat wrestle Ric Flair but, you know, that’s also a perfect world.

** Going into the anniversary episode of AEW Dynamite, Tony Khan appeared on My Mom’s Basement with Robbie Fox. Paul Wight’s name was brought up and Khan said he wants to feature Wight more, but he’s unfortunately been hurt for a lot of his time in AEW.

Paul, seeing him up and around has been great and Paul Wight is such an awesome presence in pro wrestling and when he’s healthy and can be on the shows again, I wanna feature Paul. Unfortunately, a lot of his time in AEW, he’s been hurt and he’s great on commentary when he’s able to travel and I think that’s something he has a great future in frankly. I think he’s worked really, really hard at it and deserves opportunities there and so I have a lot of great things to say about Paul Wight.

Earlier in the chat, Khan listed off names who could be considered behind the scenes MVPs for AEW. The likes of Jim Morris, Kristy McConville, Kevin Sullivan, Tim Walbert and Andrew Thomas were named.

I think Andrew Thomas who people might remember as a former referee. I think Andrew does a ton throughout the week. Tim Walbert, our Director and Andrew Thomas who’s supervising producer and Kevin Sullivan and his team in Nashville and numerous people throughout the production team that don’t get shouted out enough but there’s a lot of work that goes into Dynamite and Rampage and all the pay-per-views and a big team there that those people lead so Tim and Andrew and Kevin, Darryl Marshall and a lot of other people and this goes back to a great team that Keith Mitchell helped put together. Keith Mitchell’s one of the first people I ever hired and he retired at the end of 2021 and I love Keith very much and he’s a legend in the wrestling business, absolutely… Keith was one of the two first people I hired and helped put a great team together. Andrew does so much on the production and in post-production. Jim Morris, Kristy [McConville] and so many other people that I could name and I’ll come back and I’ll do part two if you’d be kind enough to ask me this question again.

** As IMPACT Wrestling’s Bound For Glory pay-per-view inches closer, Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore joined F4WOnline’s Josh Nason on the Punch-Out podcast. D’Amore dove into the partnerships that IMPACT has established with NJPW, AAA, AEW and collaborating with WWE for the Royal Rumble. He doesn’t know if there’s been a better partnership than the one they’ve had with AAA. D’Amore also addressed the criticisms of the AEW partnership.

Look, I mean I think we had our ups and downs [with the IMPACT-AEW partnership] and we felt our way through a lot of things and that always happens and I know some of our fan base was frustrated at times as we got to it but to me, to culminate in a guy like Christian Cage who is as IMPACT Wrestling as IMPACT can be, a guy who has always said coming to IMPACT Wrestling, one of the best where he was allowed to make his bones and become a world champion and prove that he could be the guy. To have his return here to basically be the passing of the torch to Josh Alexander, to me, was a great culmination and our partnerships and collaborations with other companies, look, we talk so much here about collaboration with our own company. Look at the collaboration we’ve gone and done and I’d be remiss if I didn’t start off with — I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a better partner than what we’ve had in AAA from Mexico. They’ve been fantastically supportive of us. We’ve done our darndest to be supportive of them. We support their stuff down in Mexico, we support their efforts here. When we went down to Mexico, they were literally the backbone of our infrastructure and that’s been a fantastic relationship and you look at the AEW partnership, it’s allowed us to present some dream matches. You look at it, I’ll use Frankie Kazarian. He’s another guy, he’s a TNA-IMPACT original and he gets to come here 20 years later and be part of Bound For Glory in a meaningful way, challenge for a title that his name has been linked to and probably will be linked to forever so that’s kind of cool and the New Japan stuff… it took a long time to rebuild that relationship and rebuilding that relationship with New Japan and having so much of the great New Japan talent from all over and now as things get going, we’re starting to see some more IMPACT talent in Japan. I think it’s been a great relationship and look, it led to New Japan Pro-Wrestling returning to AXS TV which I think is a fantastic mix, right? We’ve now got a great three-hour wrestling block where you get two hours of IMPACT Wrestling and one hour of the very best strong style wrestling in probably history so I mean, I’m really proud of the Thursday night block we put together and you know, the great thing or one of the great things about wrestling in 2022 is those [unable to make out word] rules just don’t apply, right? You can acknowledge other companies, you can work with other companies. You can do different things and we’ve done that with everything from smaller promotions like Wrestling REVOLVER and F.S.W. in Vegas and Destiny in Toronto, right up to with AEW, with New Japan, even earlier this year like the Royal Rumble. It was a great moment to have Mickie James, one of the greatest and I think one of the most loved talents of all-time go out there at the Royal Rumble, she was out there and she was out there as the Knockouts World Champion. Acknowledged as that, came out with the belt. To me, that was an awesome moment and that shows that really, if everybody’s willing to put all the politics and B.S. aside, then the things you can accomplish working together far, far outweighs things you can accomplish working in a vacuum.

** While Tetsuya Naito was in the United Kingdom for the NJPW Royal Quest II events, he was informed of Antonio Inoki’s passing. Naito spoke to Tokyo Sports and shared a conversation he had with an Uber driver who brought up Inoki’s passing.

‘Where did you come from? Where you from?’ I answered, ‘Japan.’ He said, ‘You know Antonio Inoki is dead?’ I was honestly surprised that his name had reached such a distant land in England. The driver asked again, ‘By the way, what did you come from Japan to do?’ He was surprised when I told him that I was a professional wrestler for New Japan, the company founded by Mr. Inoki. In short, he knew about Antonio Inoki, but he did not know about the wrestlers in New Japan today. I was frustrated by that, but at the same time I was reminded that he was a great man.

** At WrestleMania 23, The Sandman was part of the ECW Originals versus New Breed match. He shared during a virtual signing with Captain’s Corner that he was paid $40,000 for the match.

Dude, $40,000 to do two moves [at WrestleMania 23]. I did a leg drop from the top rope on [Matt] Striker who was laying over the top rope and I did a clothesline over the top rope on [The Pope Elijah Burke] … And I clotheslined him over the top rope. Got a f*cking check like two months later while there were eight guys in the match and we were fit on the card of eight and the main event was — I forget what was after us but then the main was [Donald] Trump shaving f*cking Vince [McMahon].

Following up on that, Sandman claimed that Bobby Lashley was complaining about the half-a-million-dollar payout he received for his role in the ‘Battle of the Billionaires’ between Vince McMahon and Donald Trump.

I don’t know about [Rob] Van Dam [what he was paid for WrestleMania 23] because I don’t even like asking Van Dam stuff like that but all the guys that I know are like, ‘Yeah, that’s what I got. Yeah, that’s what I got.’ So they paid eight guys so that was — they probably got off cheap too. That was a $320,000 match just in paying the guys… And also, Bobby Lashley was in that match [Battle of the Billionaires]. He got fired, you know why? Because he b*tched about getting half-a-million dollars for that match, because Bobby Lashley could not wrestle a lick back then. Now he’s pretty good, but he couldn’t wrestle really good back then. He f*cking complained about getting half-a-million dude. Vince [McMahon] is like, you’re fired. Didn’t take him back for years… He’s over as sh*t now.

As the signing went on, Sandman told the story of how Paul Heyman got him to start using the Singapore cane and it becoming a part of his on-screen presentation.

I got so lucky for a couple of things before because I lived near Philly and the studio was literally like 25 minutes from my house. I get a call from Paul E., it’s a Sunday afternoon. He knows I’m pretty much always up on a Sunday afternoon, late Sunday afternoon and he goes, ‘Get up to the studio. I got something big for you.’ So I hauled the f*ck ass up there as fast as I could. I get up there and because he knows that I know politics because I’ve talked about it and everybody knew I was really into politics and he goes, ‘So you know the kid that’s getting the eight lashes?’ He goes, ‘This is what we’re gonna do for you. You’re gonna start carrying a Singapore cane’ and I’m like, ‘All right Paul. Where is this cane?’ He’s standing there like, I don’t know, it seemed like forever but my patience is so small so it was probably more like 15 seconds. Walked over. We weren’t too far. We were outside talking because somebody was filming something in the studio and he walks over to a tree, he breaks off this branch that was around that thick, around that long and he found some electrical tape or something, might’ve [been] black tape and we wrapped it around it and that was my cane for the very first video of having a cane and then I shot back to the older days when Tojo Yamamoto used one of these things in the 70s — I’m pretty sure it was Tojo — he used one of these…

** pushed out their conversation with Ethan Page. He is a part of ‘The Firm’ in AEW. At the helm of the group are MJF and Stokely Hathaway. Page touched on his history with both Hathaway and MJF and the respect he has for both men.

Me and Stokely have been buddies for years. My first taste of attention or any kind of buzz doing something in wrestling was with EVOLVE and I got to do that with Stokely. There’s that mutual respect. And he even said it on the microphone: we’ve loved each other, we’ve hated each other. That’s as true as it could be with our relationship in real life, but when it comes to business, I know his talents and I know his drive. On-screen, off-screen, he will go out of his way to make sure everything he does is memorable and special, and I have that same drive and motivation.

I have known Max probably since his first week in professional wrestling. He used to work for me in Canada [at Alpha-1]. Stokely was actually his manager at Alpha-1 Wrestling. The three of us have had a relationship together forever. We have natural chemistry. We’re all actually friends. For us to be working together on a national and global stage like All Elite Wrestling, to be put in a position like this is incredible. We all trust each other. There’s so many things that benefit us being together. This is not going to be a wasted opportunity for anybody involved.

** To promote the launch of NJPW TAMASHII, members of the company’s New Zealand dojo are being profiled such as Andrew Villalobos. He told about what it was like to be signed to NJPW at the conclusion of the docu-series about New Japan’s New Zealand dojo.

Getting signed to New Japan was something I’ve been envisioning for a while. When it finally happened, I wasn’t sure if I was going to be emotional shedding a tear, but in the moment, I was just grateful for the outcome. Sacrifice is just a normal part of wrestling, a normal part of life. I try not to shed too much light on it because we all go through it. I left my home, my country, a serious relationship, family and friends: It hurt at times, but I knew my discipline would help lead me to a career with New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

The ’TAMASHII’ brand is going to host events based out of Australia and New Zealand. Villalobos, an Australian native, stated that when he first arrived to the Fale dojo in 2018, it was to prepare trainees for the New Japan dojo but now the New Zealand establishment has been bumped up to “university standard”.

New Japan TAMASHII is the N.Z. Dojo’s first step in revamping the Australasian wrestling scene for New Japan post-pandemic. The more I think about it, this is a culmination of our entire team’s hard work the past four years to getting the N.Z. Dojo off the ground and up and running. When I arrived in 2018, the Dojo was the equivalent of the best high school education to prepare us for University studies at the New Japan Dojo. Now the Dojo’s been elevated to university standard. The level has always been high, but as an official part of NJPW, this comes with a lot more responsibilities. I want to see prosperity. I want pro wrestling to flourish in Australia and N.Z. so that there’s more opportunities to create wealth and long-term careers out of the business we all fell in love with growing up. We are more than ready for New Japan TAMASHII. TAMASHII is special and very important to me because I finally get to showcase my skills and prove my worth to NJPW, while also being tested in front of a live crowd on the world stage. I will always be paying my dues until the day I die. There is no coasting, there is no ending. To me, it’s about having the best life I can as a professional wrestler with a company I wish to dedicate the rest of my life to. I’ll be representing my countries, my family and myself. I’m ready!

** While speaking to Lucha Libre Online, Heath expressed that he’s nervous about going into the Call Your Shot Gauntlet at IMPACT Bound For Glory. It was at that event in the same match in 2020 that Heath suffered multiple injuries and was sidelined until September 2021.

I ain’t gonna lie man, I’m a little nervous [about entering the Call Your Shot Gauntlet at Bound For Glory]. Two years ago, it took me out bro, it took me out. But, two years ago, I wasn’t as strong as I am now, you know, so I gotta look back at where I was and how far I’ve came. So, with that being said, I’m gonna look the Call Your Shot right in the damn eyes, I’m gonna slide in that ring and I’m gonna throw over every person that I can until it’s down to me and whoever else is across the ring and I’m gonna win that damn thing and it should have been mine two years ago. It’s gonna be mine this year so everybody, October 7th, please come out to Albany. Watch B.F.G., Bound For Glory and damn, watch me get the Call Your Shot Gauntlet trophy… and see what I’m gonna do next because I promise you it’s gonna be exciting.

** Captain’s Corner hosted a virtual signing with Tasha Steelz as the featured guest. She is paired on-screen in IMPACT Wrestling with Savannah Evans and Steelz discussed that pairing.

Yeah, we [Steelz & Savannah Evans] got the Shawn Michaels and Diesel thing going on here. She’s definitely my heater. So, if I feel like I don’t wanna get my hands dirty, I gotta send her in to do it and I mean, look at her, you know? Who would wanna piss her off? But, unfortunately they always try Savannah and Savannah has to go in like the vicious, savage person that she is and prove them wrong and she does it every time and that’s why I got her right behind me at all times… You see me, you see her, vice versa.

** Mila Moore, formerly known as ‘Mila Malani’ in NXT was the focus of an East Coast Autograph Auctions virtual signing. She recalled the advice Samoa Joe gave to P.C. trainees about staying the course even if they were not signed by WWE in that moment.

So one thing I really remember from my [WWE] tryout was Samoa Joe was there as a coach and I remember right before we knew we got signed, they were giving us speeches like, ‘Hey, we’ll let you guys know within a few weeks’ and then Samoa Joe, I’ll never forget this, he was like, ‘If they tell you no today, doesn’t mean no forever. I got told no many times’ and look at him now and I think that stuck with me through now too, especially getting released. It’s like, okay, doesn’t mean no forever.

** A column on Tokyo Sports from a photographer who took pictures of Antonio Inoki in the 1990s.

** Former WWE Divas Champion Alicia Fox got engaged.

** NJPW’s Yuji Nagata is competing in All Japan’s 2022 Tag League tournament. He’ll be teaming with Yuma Anzai.

** Hiroshi Tanahashi’s latest column on the ‘OTEKOMACHI’ website where he gives life advice to those who write him.

** On October 9th, one day prior to NJPW ‘Declaration of Power’, there is going to be a talk show centered around Shingo Takagi, BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi at the United Cinemas Toyosu in Tokyo, Japan.

** Karrion Kross and Scarlett have been added to WWE’s European tour dates (10/31, 11/1 and 11/2).

** Ahead of headlining TJPW’s Wrestle Princess III show, Scott Edwards of Fightful conducted an interview with Princess of Princess Champion Shoko Nakajima.

** Powerhouse Hobbs applied to trademark ‘The Book of Hobbs’ on 9/29.

** A story about ‘Battle In the Creek 2: Halloween Mayhem’ on October 29th. Kevin Nash is scheduled to sign autographs and take photos at the event.

** Masato Yoshino has been named to GLEAT’s Belt Management Committee.

** There’s an interview on the Cultaholic podcast feed with Alex Windsor and Charlie Morgan.

** October 4th birthdays: Emi Sakura.

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 6885 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.