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.
** The latest guest on Ryan Satin’s Out of Character podcast was Candice LeRae. Early in the conversation, LeRae dove into her time working with Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. LeRae is a former tag team champion in the promotion and before this past July, she had been the last woman to wrestle at a PWG show which was in 2016. LeRae said that part of her career changed her life.
I always look at that time in my life as just being lucky. I don’t know how I lucked into that [being a regular at PWG] but I felt like… I was told ‘no’ there a lot. They did not have women’s matches, there were no women that were gonna wrestle there and I was just kind of one of those — I’m very stubborn. I’m very, very, very stubborn. My husband will tell you [LeRae laughed]. I’m so stubborn and I just kind of was like, ‘Well why not? Why can’t women wrestle here?’ And so my stubbornness got me a yes from a lot of no’s and it was every day for a year asking, ‘Hey, so can I have a match?’ ‘No.’ ‘All right.’ ‘Hey, can I have a match?’ ‘No’. ‘All right’ and I don’t know, I guess when you really, really want something, you’re pushing, pushing, pushing and I think even though many people don’t know that part of my journey, I think when there’s all of a sudden a girl in the mix with a bunch of guys, for other women, that’s empowering because you’re seeing that, you’re like, well, there were no women, no women, no women, now there’s women. That’s hope. Like you said, I got to work with some of the most amazingly talented people and the knowledge that I got from them, the experience I got, it just changed my whole life. Really, it did.
Prior to returning to WWE, LeRae gave birth to she and Johnny Gargano’s child. Indi Hartwell and Candice dropped the NXT Women’s Tag Titles at Great American Bash 2021 before LeRae stepped away to embark on motherhood. She recounted a moment she had in the locker room after the match and having the thought that it could be her last.
I will say that at [NXT] Great American Bash, because Johnny [Gargano] and I suspected that I would be pregnant, I had this feeling of it possibly being my last match because again, that’s another thing you don’t know. I didn’t know how things were going to play out and I was very fortunate to be alone in the locker room, just some weird stroke of luck where I was alone in the locker room and I was unlacing my boots and it was this kind of real thing where I was like, oh my gosh, I might be pregnant and this could be it and that was all I’d ever known. I’ve been doing it for at that point, 19 years, so it was a very kind of like, I don’t know, time kind of stopped for me and it was very real and I’m getting emotional talking about it now because for my whole life, this is all I wanted to do, this is all I wanted to be and now, this could be it. But, holy cow is that kid so well worth everything. He was definitely worth the wait.
Circling back around to PWG, Candice said she has thought about asking to break out her Super Dragon mask in WWE. When she was tagging with IYO SKY in NXT, she was going to inquire about using it on TV but IYO turned on her.
Someday [I’ll bring out the Super Dragon mask]. I almost asked about it and IYO [SKY] used to wear her mask — she had her mask attached to her entrance jacket and sometimes would wear it and I was like, oh man, especially when we were tagging. I was like, maybe I’ll ask them if I could bring my mask back and then she turned on me and I was like, well! Okay, maybe not. But I’m saving it because I’m like some day, it’s gonna make its return and people are gonna know I’m very serious. I mean business [LeRae laughed].
** While The Miz was on Ekeler’s Edge with Matt Harmon and Los Angeles Chargers Running Back Austin Ekeler, he provided an update on the USA Network series Miz & Mrs. He said they’re trying to get a fourth season and they’re just figuring things out and looking at numbers.
You can also see my reality show Miz & Mrs. It’s on the Peacock network. All three seasons are on there. We’re looking to try to get a fourth season right now. We’re just looking at the numbers and figuring everything out and contract style, you know how that goes. So, you know, we’ll figure it all out and get it going.
** NJPW STRONG Openweight Champion Fred Rosser guest appeared on Insiders Edge: A Pro Wrestling Podcast. As The Nexus was being discussed, Rosser proposed that the group should be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame and not at a time when they’re all at the later stage(s) of life.
Again, it was an awesome spot to be in [The Nexus] but personally, I was dealing with demons. Personally, I wasn’t comfortable with myself so, when you’re amongst these seven guys, it’s very, ‘I want that, I want this, I want this, I want that’ and I’m very calm, cool, I’m collected, very passive-aggressive I guess so I didn’t wanna step on any toes. But now, fast forward to over ten years after doing The Nexus, I’m more me and not only am I more me, I’m more myself with New Japan. I was more myself when I came out publicly but I wasn’t myself when I was with The Nexus. Again, I was a part of history and it’s something I’m very grateful for. I always say on social media or even in interviews like this that The Nexus needs to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Not as old men but as veterans, as polished guys that still look good, that still do what they do. Yeah, I’m still campaigning for a Hall of Fame induction. I wanna wear a ring just like Titus [O’Neil]. My partner Titus got a Hall of Fame ring, the Warrior Award. I said it’s time for me to get one.
New Japan is hosting two shows in New York City on 10/27 and 10/28. Night two is Rumble on 44th Street and the night prior is ‘The Night Before Rumble on 44th Street’ which will be a mystery card. Rosser said there is going to be a STRONG taping and he’s thinking about dressing like John Cena.
I don’t remember the exact person but however it came about, Michael Tarver from The Nexus, he would call my chin — I had the All-American chin and I don’t know how that came about, me being the Black John Cena but it’s funny, New Japan STRONG is doing a show in New York, a Halloween show and I’m thinking of dressing as the Black John Cena. So, we’ll see how that goes at a New Japan STRONG show. I’m still thinking about it… I think that’s what I might be for Halloween, the Black John Cena but it’s gonna be my own way, my own version of it so, we’ll see if I do it or not. I’d have to shave the goatee off too so I can have that pronounced chin like him so, I think that’s what I’m gonna be.
** There’s an interview on the WrestlePurists YouTube channel with Melina. She told the platform that she sometimes thinks about the idea of managing again. Melina explained that for years, she’s been searching for that feeling of creative liberty. She shared that the closest thing she’s felt to that was her program with Deonna Purrazzo in IMPACT Wrestling.
I struggle and I try not to be that person that says, ‘I’m gonna retire’ and then doesn’t retire, you know what I mean? We get that all the time. I will not say that unless I know for sure that I’m gonna retire, I will not say that because I know how this business is. It sucks you in. You get a little taste of it and it’s like, oh!.. Maybe I can do it some more. I don’t wanna let people down, but I wanna be happy. I wanna find a balance. Part of me is like, well I wish I can manage again because I know I can do that and not feel like I’m suffering, you know? I won’t get any… It’s more than just that. It’s just not physical where I do worry about my knee sometimes. I’m like, is it gonna blow out at some point? But it’s also the art because every time I do shows and I want to be able to be creative and then people don’t allow me to be creative. In my mind when I think of the villainess I know I can create or even the babyface I know I can create, I see things in TV show format or even movie style. I see in-depth intricate characters and how they move and what their wants and needs are and what they’re willing to do to make somebody suffer or make a point or to triumph over something. I love those intricacies and there’s no way in wrestling that no one will ever give me that. It’s just, here, tell you what to do. Go dance monkey and that’s what I feel. I’m not saying people are doing it. I’m saying that’s what it feels like and WWE, as much as people want to talk crap about them, they gave me the creative liberty and platforms and opportunities to create an amazing character. I’ll always be grateful for that and I’ve been searching all these years to try to recreate that and it’s like, I come close but then no cigar. Come close and no cigar. I do credit IMPACT [Wrestling] though for giving me the story with Deonna [Purrazzo] because that has been the closest I’ve come to ever having that again.
She spoke about the hurdles she’s had to overcome in wrestling. Melina recounted times when she was yelled at for not keeping up with her heel persona outside the ring when it came to her interactions with fans.
I got yelled at for being a nice person. I got yelled at because, ‘You should be a heel at all times’ and I’m thinking, am I not allowed to hug kids? Am I not allowed to sign autographs? I got yelled at for signing an autograph for a fan. I would get yelled at for every little thing where it’s like I don’t know what the f*ck to do because am I gonna get fired? Am I gonna get heat amongst my peers? I didn’t know how to live. Other people didn’t go through this. It was only me and I was thinking, my God and maybe people wanted to see my reaction because I sold everything like, you know my facial reactions? People love to see this and it’s their entertainment when they’re bored. So if I hurt and I cry or I freak out, oh yeah, let’s do that to Melina.
** In late 2021, Jim Ross announced he was cancer-free after undergoing radiation treatments for skin cancer. On an ‘Ask Me Anything’ edition of his Grilling J.R. podcast, Ross shared that the aftermath of his treatment has been tasking to deal with. Ross added that he has not been pain-free since November.
Well I appreciate that very much [Jim Ross responded to a listener who asked how he’s doing after dealing with skin cancer]. I get a lot of messages along those lines and it’s always invigorating, it always makes me feel good. The cancer took more out of me than I was willing to admit to be honest with you. I got a massive open wound on my ankle and it’s going away slowly but I gotta prepare to get on a plane, I gotta wrap my leg. You know, I’m not the greatest nurse in the world. I have no patience, I cuss myself out because I can’t get the wrap around my leg tight or not so tight. It’s been really hard and I’m kind of glad that I — ignorance is bliss sometimes and I just didn’t realize how hard it’s gonna be and it’s still hard, still hard to this very day. This freaking wound on my ankle and if I wasn’t traveling, I probably would have less issues but I am traveling and I wanna travel, I wanna go to work. I love working for AEW and I love working for Tony Khan and so, I just keep fighting. I overcome the pain. I’ve told you [Conrad Thompson] this before, off-camera, I haven’t been pain-free since November and sometimes you just get half-assed used to it but it’s not fun. But I appreciate the sentiments very much from everybody and skin cancer is no joke and 22 radiation treatments inside a month will rip your skin all to hell and it’s like a big crevice down there so, but that’s the hand I got dealt and I’m gonna play the hand and at the end of the day, we’re gonna win.
The reigning AEW World Champion Jon Moxley signed a five-year contract extension with the company. Ross feels that move is stabilizing for the roster.
Jericho’s doing a great job and we got leaders like Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley who just signed a new five-year deal which I think is very stabilizing for our roster. He’s our top guy, he’s the champ and so he’s emotionally invested. You sign a five-year deal, anyone, at his age, you’re invested. So I’m really happy to see that happen.
This past June at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, Jim Ross reunited on commentary with Kevin Kelly. He enjoyed working with Kevin again and spoke highly of Kevin’s growth as an announcer.
Always fun working with Kevin [Kelly]. He does a good job. I like to think I was there for him in the early days [at WWE]. For whatever reason and I don’t know if it was an issue he had with Kevin Dunn, I don’t know, he wasn’t received well there, Kevin I was referring to… But it was fun [reuniting with him at AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door]. Kevin’s become a really good announcer, really good and he gets a lot of reps, high quality product so he does a good job. He works hard, prepares hard so I always enjoy any time I see him, catching up and chatting, but he’s a talented kid — not a kid anymore. He’s losing his hair. Something you [Conrad Thompson] and I can’t say [Ross joked].
Mostly just recovering from my knee surgery. Getting stronger and getting myself ready to get back in the ring. It’s unfortunately the only thing I can really focus on right now, and I just want to heal as best as I can.
** While recording episode #40 of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast, Matt recalled there being a working plan for him to have a program with John Cena after wrapping up his program with Jeff Hardy during which he turned on him. Matt then dove into the pain he was in at the time and trying to power through it.
I know initially, whenever I turned on Jeff [Hardy], the initial plan — but it changed because I don’t think I got over to the level of being a heel that they desired me to be at. I was going to work with Jeff and that was all said and done. There was something penciled in that I was gonna work with John Cena for a little while. But that never ended up happening. Obviously, I got hurt and I was real beat up at this time. Physically, I was not in a good place. Physically, I was beat up, especially like my back and my hips. This was when it really set in hard for the very first time and I felt like I could be in a more top-tier position as far as working matches and people but physically too, I was having a lot of issues and whenever I had that scenario when my hand was broke and I worked around it, then there was that deal where my intestines literally popped through my abdominal wall and I had to have that corrected. I was pretty beat up because I had so many other injuries, I was overcompensating and it was causing me to get hurt even more and I should’ve just asked for time off at that point already before we get into this but me, being, you know, this man of a workhorse mentality, I was gonna try and work through everything and work around.
** Current PFL and former WWE ring announcer Lilian Garcia guest appeared on MMA on SiriusXM. She was present for the 9/16 Friday Night SmackDown in Anaheim, California. Lilian discussed her experience backstage and catching up with Stephanie McMahon and Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque.
Well you know, it’s so funny because actually I was there backstage [at WWE] just a few weeks ago when they were in Anaheim [9/16 Friday Night SmackDown] and I got to see Stephanie [McMahon] and I got to see Triple H and speaking to them, it was great to catch up. Kevin Dunn, he was my boss for years and just seeing everybody around. For me, it feels like home. I go home and I see my family because I was there for 15 years full-time and known them for over 20 years of my life. So, it’s wild because before I answer your question, I just ran into — I was at the airport — and ran into Rey Mysterio and AJ Styles. AJ looks at me, I look at him and we’re like, ‘Wait! Wait! What are you doing here!?’ But immediately, I ran into their arms and it was like my brother, and we really are a family and that’s the whole landscape backstage. Everybody was just really pumped to do a great show. I think that’s more than anything, everybody loves what they do for a living and they love to entertain and the energy in the building is just always great and the fans, you just hear them backstage and their roar and I’m all about that and I think everyone’s just gonna put their best foot forward to try to make the best of everything that’s going on.
** Adam Morrison of Inside The Ropes conducted an interview with Juice Robinson. The idea of returning to WWE was brought to Robinson’s mind and said he’s not sure he’s a person they’re looking to have there. Juice added that he’s already been there, it didn’t work out and that’s not a problem.
You know what they say in wrestling, never say never. Hahaha. But you know, my life, it seems to be going [in] a different direction now, so I would say… I don’t even think that I would be a person that they [WWE] are looking to have there, I was already there, it didn’t really work, no problem. I think they’re cool. I don’t really know what they think about me. I don’t really care. And I’m sure they don’t care what I think about them, so it’s all good.
** During edition #157 of Cultaholic’s Desert Island Graps show, Tasha Steelz shared that she went back to school for her degree in Journalism and she is interested in venturing into commentary.
I love commentary now. When I got my little dip in the water of commentary, I enjoyed it and a lot of other people enjoyed me doing commentary a lot too so, like I said, as long as it’s in the sports world because this is what I know. It’s definitely my life, definitely what I know, sports and music. Long as it’s part of that, yeah, I would love to do that. I would love to do commentary here and there.
** NJPW Battle Autumn Results (10/19/22) Aimesse Yamanashi in Kofu, Japan
– DOUKI def. Kosei Fujita
– Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) def. Togi Makabe & Yuto Nakashima
– Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI def. David Finlay, Ren Narita & Ryohei Oiwa
– United Empire (Aaron Henare, Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) def. Alex Zayne, Tomoaki Honma & Toru Yano
– HOUSE OF TORTURE (Dick Togo, EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Hikuleo, Jado, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ryusuke Taguchi
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Titan) def. Francesco Akira, Gideon Grey & TJP
– El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru def. Master Wato & Tiger Mask
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & Shingo Takagi) def. BULLET CLUB (Gedo, KENTA & Taiji Ishimori)
** The American Wolves (Davey Richards & Eddie Edwards) versus Motor City Machine Guns (Alex Shelley & Chris Sabin) is official for Prestige Wrestling’s 12/30 event.
** Superstars Fan Fest Wrestling Convention is taking place on October 22nd at the Thornton Recreation Center in Floyd County, Georgia. Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts, The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express (Ricky Morton & Robert Gibson), Terri Runnels and Virgil will be present.
** To promote Black Adam, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was interviewed by BroBible.
** Jake Taylor is the next subject focused on in the NJPW TAMASHII series on NJPW1972.com.
** A magazine titled ‘Imperial Secretary’s Work’ is releasing their next issue on November 16th and it’ll include an interview with Great-O-Khan.
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.