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 newest edition of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s Ace’s HIGH series is out on NJPW1972.com. A highlighted portion of the piece was Yujiro Takahashi confronting then-IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2012. Yujiro brought up that Tanahashi was stabbed in 2002 by his former significant other. Tanahashi was stabbed in his back and she confessed that she tried to kill him.
Tanahashi said that was part of Yujiro’s presentation at the time and he would say edgy things. He says it was on brand but the pictures show how caught off guard he was by the comment. Tanahashi added that despite the comment stumping him, it showed that Yujiro was stepping up. Yujiro’s direct quote was, “Women loved you enough to stab you near to death.”
He caused quite the stir digging up my past… It was a pretty big shock, but it was like Yujiro at the time. He was pushing himself as this ‘R-Rated’ guy who would say and do all kinds of scandalous stuff. So it was on point in that regard, but I think the pictures show how caught off guard I was.
Well, I think it reminded me that the whole thing was something that people could bring up at any time. That day will be with me for the rest of my life… What he said had taken me aback, but I saw a window in there to sell this match, and I took it. That’s why I was the champ, heh… We’d faced one another in the G1, in his hometown in Niigata, and I won then. But I was pulling for him in a way. All the while he was trying to be a singles guy, Tetsuya Naito was sprinting ahead of him. I’m sure that was tough for him to swallow, and I did want to see him make a move for himself… I did [have a soft spot for Yujiro], and as much as that comment of his stumped me for a second, it showed that he was stepping up to the plate.
** AAW promoter Danny Daniels sat down with Robert Anthony on his ‘Podding With Ego’ show for an extensive conversation about the history of AAW. Daniels told the story of when current NWA owner Billy Corgan wanted to get involved in the promotion. That situation not going well led to Corgan launching Resistance Pro Wrestling and there were overtures made to regulars of AAW including students that Danny was training.
The Billy Corgan thing really f*cking — him opening up a group called Resistance Pro really lit a fire under my ass dude.
He doesn’t contact me [about coming into AAW]. We had two guys that were helping us market called The Baron Brothers. Yes, they were helping us market and one of them’s wife got ahold of him. So they go, ‘Okay, let’s go meet him. He’s interested. Let’s go meet him.’ I went with The Barons. We went to his studio and I know you’re [Robert Anthony] friends with him but it was the most awkward f*cking thing because he had his own personal chef, didn’t offer us anything. He just sat down and ate his food. I’m like, okay, whatever and then he starts talking about his theories on wrestling and I’m like, oh, and if you know me, I’m very opinionated on what I think is good wrestling. We did not gel, we did not see eye to eye, whatever. They were kicking me under the table to shut the f*ck up. Yeah, they’re kicking me because I’m getting f*cking hot. They’re like, shut the f*ck up. Just agree to this. This is gonna be good… Book, he wanted to book. That’s what he wanted to do… which was my baby. Yeah, my baby. I have a lot of people that — AAW doesn’t run without Mike Petkovich. He’s the f*cking backbone. It’s a lot of my vision but Mike brings it to life with everything, keeps me going and he’s the backbone of everything and there’s a lot of other guys, believe me. Trent [Zuberi], Keith [Lipinski], [Ryan] Boz, there’s a lot of f*cking other guys. Our production guys, so many that I can’t list. But, Billy wanted to book and I’m like, whatever, so I agreed. I agreed for our — I trusted The Barons too so we do a show together at 115 Bourbon Street, they got the building for us. We make a $3,000 profit, I think. Maybe a little bit more, I don’t remember. It was three or four grand, we made profit and at the time, that was good. So when you make profit normally, back then it’s like, all right, we made $500, we made $1,000. Everybody’s like, ‘Oh, this is great’ so I believed in the Baron Brothers… That was a Danny Daniels-booked show with them throwing names out there, promoting, getting sponsorship. They helped. They got Raven, sh*t like that. The next one, we had Scott Hall booked, he f*cking bails. We thought we had Dennis Rodman booked for ten grand but he goes into the Hall of Fame right before that and he doubles his price to 20 grand and we’re like, ‘No. We can’t afford that.’ So The Barons book Nova, Blue Meanie, Stevie [Richards], Sabu… Billy Corgan booked this one. So he booked a couple segments and it was the worst show I’ve ever put on. I was so embarrassed. I was so f*cking embarrassed… [I told him], ‘This is the talent I have booked…’ and he pitched, ‘I think I can do this, let’s do this, let’s do this.’ ‘All right. Okay.’ Billy Corgan … you’re gonna draw in Chicago, right? You’re Billy Corgan. Well, Billy Corgan did not draw at 115 Bourbon Street. Whatever, we didn’t pay him. So I can’t be mad. We didn’t pay the f*cking guy, he does it for free, whatever. It just wasn’t my f*cking cup of tea of wrestling. It didn’t work, the fans weren’t f*cking buying it and regardless if Dan likes it or not, if the people aren’t reacting, that means it’s not working. That’s your measuring stick… So it didn’t f*cking work. I’m red hot, so we end up losing f*cking three grand on that show. So whatever we made, we lost. So I’m like, oh my God, we lost three grand. We end up doing a music video with him at the Berwyn Eagles Club. He filmed one of his videos there and then — that was before the three grand-lost show. So I go to The Barons, I’m like, ‘Hey dude, we lost three f*cking grand.’ I said, ‘This isn’t gonna f*cking work.’ ‘Well that’s fine because we’re gonna go start our own with Billy Corgan.’ I remember sitting on their f*cking porch and they’re like, ‘Well that’s fine, because we’re gonna go with Billy Corgan and do our own.’ So, that was Resistance Pro and they went to everybody in my locker room and even to my opening students that I was giving ten bucks to. They were offering them like $75… There’s always two sides to every story but this is what talent is telling me. They’re like, ‘Oh, they contacted me. They offered me this much.’ I’m like, ‘Well f*cking go. If you can make that money, I’m not gonna tell you not to. Go.’
One of the notable names that started in AAW is Seth Rollins, formerly known as ‘Tyler Black’. Daniels said he knew from the start that Rollins and Marek Brave had what it took to make it wrestling. He added that when Marek stepped away from in-ring competition and Rollins moved on, he thought about no longer promoting.
They [Seth Rollins & Marek Brave] came up to me. I remember I was selling merch at an Iowa show and they came up to me and they asked me [could I train them] and we agreed and along we went. Dude, I remember I called my wife on the way home the first day of training and Marek and Rollins just wrestled around and I have it on tape because I was taping all this sh*t so I have Rollins’ f*cking training days, and I call [her] and they’re both 18 years old and I’m like, ‘I know you don’t care but I had to tell somebody.’ I’m like, ‘These kids are gonna be f*cking stars. They’re that good. They look good.’ F*cking Rollins and Marek looked amazing. They both had long hair, they were good looking f*cking kids and I’m like, these kids are gonna f*cking make it and I told her and one of ‘em did, the other got hurt [Daniels laughed]. But you know what? Marek is doing great for himself. He’s a trainer at the Black and the Brave, shoutout to him.
I thought about stopping [promoting] when we lost Tyler Black, because he was the f*cking — Marek was gone. Marek had got hurt, Marek didn’t wanna do it anymore. I lose Tyler Black and I’m like, the reason why I built this company was for my students. These are my main two. What are we gonna do without Tyler Black? It’s like, f*ck, this blows. We thought about it then.
He went on to talk about the relationship he formed with Penta El Zero Miedo and Rey Fenix. By Daniels being on the ground level with Penta and Fenix as they were becoming more established in the U.S., they worked with him rate-wise. Daniels added that he talked to Fenix in September and although he has a high rate now as Daniels described, Fenix told him that he’d do him a favor.
One fly in a show. That was my limit until 2015… He [Mike Petkovich] goes, ‘Let’s go big.’ All right, I’m nervous as f*ck. I think he told the story about the building that went haywire. It was his call on the lucha guys and they were $800 each. That was from AAA. Yeah, Penta [El Zero Miedo] and [Rey] Fenix and again, the only shows they did prior to that was BOLA… they did B.O.L.A. and f*cking CHIKARA but when they did the f*cking CHIKARA one, nobody knew who the f*ck they were. By B.O.L.A., they were cooking. We got ‘em in November and I talked to them and they were unhappy with AAA and I said, ‘I will you give you all my dates –’ ‘If we quit AAA and you give us all your f*cking dates, we’ll f*cking be here.’ But they knew they were gonna supplement with other ones.
And believe me when I tell you, I was grandfathered in with a price dude when they were charging people f*cking tripling four times and they’re like, ‘No, Danny’s our guy.’ I just talked to Fenix a month ago and he told me what he’s charging, it’s f*cking ridiculous and he goes, ‘You won’t pay that’ and I said, ‘Wow, I can book you?’ He goes, ‘Yeah.’ He goes, ‘I’ll do you the one favor’ [Daniels laughed]. Dude, but I gave them the platform.
AAW was started by Tony Scarpone. In 2005, Daniels, Jim Lynam and a childhood friend of Danny’s, Tom, acquired the promotion for $4,500. Daniels stated that he wanted Scarpone to be his partner but he did not take the offer.
I’m like, ‘You’re gonna lose all this talent because I’m gonna run my own and they’re all gonna come with me.’ But I said, ‘I’m not gonna f*ck you. Buy into this for me, with me as a partner’ and he [Tony Scarpone] said no. So offered him an opportunity as a partner but my call… whatever my vision was-was that so he didn’t want any part of it but, Jim Lynam did and my childhood friend Tom, he did. So they bought into my vision and we bought AAW for $4,500.
Early in the podcast, they discussed Daniels’ time as an in-ring performer. He recounted doing a few spots for IMPACT Wrestling via dark matches. Daniels was told by current Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore that there was nothing about him as a wrestler that made him stand out. At the time, Daniels was disheartened but with hindsight, he respects D’Amore’s honesty and understood where he was coming from.
Where back then and I’ve heard you [Robert Anthony] say it and I’ve had this conversation, when that ended in 2001, I’m not talking about the guys who came off of TV, I’m talking about just indie guys, nobody was making money dude. Nobody. The [CM Punk], [Colt] Cabanas, the f*cking Chris Daniels, maybe the Reckless Youth [were making good money]. I’m spitballing names but there wasn’t many. They were the top echelon of talent, you know? It was just a different era and either you went to WWE or IMPACT and IMPACT, you weren’t making a living at IMPACT. Half that roster had regular jobs. Maybe the top guys were and I tried going there, I did the darks and they told me, they’re like — and this hit home but I get it now — they’re like, ‘You have good matches with everybody. You can have a good match, it doesn’t matter’ but they’re like, ‘You just look like a f*cking wrestler. There’s nothing that’s gonna stand out about you’ and at the time, it’s like, oh f*ck, that hurt but looking back at it now, I can look at myself, where I failed and what I didn’t bring to the table and if I was in that position — [Scott] D’Amore told me that and I love D’Amore. He’s honest and that’s who I am. Looking back, he was absolutely right. I was just a f*cking good — I was a wrestler that hid his flaws very well because I did great with that.
Danny was trained by Al Snow. He shared that he held a lot of resentment towards Snow for many years because outside of training, he did not show Danny the ropes of how to navigate his way around the independent scene. Because of his experience with Al, Danny acquired AAW and wanted to help his trainees find work.
And that’s why I didn’t f*cking like Al [Snow] — I’m over it now but I was bitter forever. I paid Al all this money [to train me]. We got trained by him and then, okay, the final day, like, ‘What do we do now?’ ‘Just use my name.’ ‘What do you mean?’ ‘Just use my name. Say you got trained by me.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t even know where to go,’ and I’m like, ‘Really?’ So he didn’t do anything to help us out. F*cking nothing and I was bitter towards him forever and I was like — and then I remember when I started training people, I’m like, I’m gonna do this totally opposite. I’m gonna take my kids and I’m gonna find ‘em work and I f*cking created AAW to get them f*cking — all right, I’ll help you here, get you work and plus you’ll have a f*cking home base to wrestle too.
** Independent wrestler Ben Ortmanns was profiled by ‘CambridgeToday’. He worked as an extra for WWE when they were in Montreal, Canada in August and he was put in an arm bar by Ronda Rousey. Ortmanns recounted a run-in he had with Rousey years prior. She calmed him down as he was having a nervous breakdown due to personal reasons.
It was a surreal experience, and at the same time felt right. I found out that she [Ronda Rousey] was going to toss me around and then give me an arm bar. I remember right before going out, wondering why I wasn’t nervous. Once I got out in front of that audience, everything just felt right. It felt like I was supposed to be there. There was absolutely zero imposter syndrome running through my body. Whatever it is in life that we all search for, I found that night.
Long story short [about my run-in with Rousey years prior in Toronto], she stuck around with me for about 45 minutes and just talked to me. Literally, talked me through a nervous breakdown. This complete stranger that she met in an elevator, she spent 45 minutes with while her husband waited for her in their rental truck. So to get to wrestle with her live on SmackDown on FOX with my hero Pat McAfee doing commentary for me, getting arm barred by Ronda Rousey, it was a complete dream come true for me.
** At NJPW Rumble on 44th Street, Kazuchika Okada will be teaming with Eddie Kingston to take on Juice Robinson and IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White. Okada was interviewed by Sports Illustrated and commented on tagging with Eddie.
It’s been a long time since I’ve made it rain in NYC. It is not often that I team with someone who isn’t a contracted NJPW wrestler, but I know Eddie loves Japanese wrestling. Between the two of us, we’ll have a match that leaves the fans in New York more than satisfied.
** On episode #153 of Logan Paul’s IMPAULSIVE podcast, Shawn Michaels joined the show. Michaels dove into Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque always having his back and putting his career in harm’s way to stand by him.
His career [Triple H] got hurt numerous times because of me, you know what I mean? And he still stuck… Nobody else did that. Again, it was so easy to [kick me to the side] … And there were times, right there, going down and, ‘You coming with me?’ ‘Yep.’ Having your back every time and hell, I don’t know, probably half the time he was like, I don’t even think he’s right but I’m going anyway. I’m there for you anyway. You’re dead wrong, but I’ll go down with you anyway.
** Brian Hebner welcomed Deonna Purrazzo onto his Refin’ It Up podcast and as the conversation rolled on, they discussed Purrazzo’s program with Mickie James that started when James returned to IMPACT Wrestling at Slammiversary 2021. Purrazzo recounted sending a message to IMPACT creative writer Robert Evans about her uncertainty about getting physical with James in their first encounter. She thought there was a lot of story to tell and wondered if immediately going to the physicality would make it difficult to keep the story interesting.
I don’t know [if the build between myself & Mickie James was mapped out from the start]. I think that Mickie coming in at Slammiversary was kind of like a last minute thing and then we had some physicality there where I tell her, ‘Get your trash bag and get the hell out’ and then she kicks me and I remember, you know, when I got my creative the day before I left or whatever it was, calling Robert Evans, one of our head writers and just saying, ‘Ah, do you think this is too soon?’ Because I knew we would be building at least until Bound For Glory but that’s our next biggest pay-per-view. But I was a bit worried of like, we have so much potential storytelling here that is starting with physicality going to make it hard to keep it interesting as long as the next three or four months? And they were like, ‘Well, is there something better?’ Or, ‘What do you think? Let’s come up with ideas. Let’s kind of shoot the sh*t about this and see’ and you know, they just landed on we think the physicality is the best way to introduce Mickie back and you know what? Like I said earlier… I can ask but at the end of the day, I’m here to do whatever you want me to do and that’s my job so, we did it and I think that it really got the impression that they wanted. It was like, oh sh*t, she’s back and this is gonna be interesting, you know? And then all the layers we got to add to it; winning Reina de Reinas Championship at Triplemanía and then being able to defend the Knockouts Championship against Melina, one of Mickie’s best friends at [NWA] EmPowerrr and then… there was just so much opportunity because so many companies were working together and this Forbidden Door that it made it so much more interesting to have this story kind of bleed through all these other companies. So yeah, it wasn’t anything I thought that was maybe discussed beforehand, at least not to my knowledge but, it was something that we really got to capitalize on for sure.
James and Purrazzo’s story culminated at Hard To Kill January 2022. They competed in a Texas Death match. There was a moment during the match when James hit Matt Rehwoldt over the head with a guitar. Purrazzo said originally, she was supposed to take that shot to the head.
And then another highlight, at the very end of the match [Hard To Kill bout versus Mickie James]… is Mickie hit Matt Rehwoldt over the head with a guitar… No, no it didn’t [break] so I can’t imagine how much that hurt and I’m glad it wasn’t me because it was going to be originally.
** There’s an interview with Robbie Eagles that was conducted by Piers Austin. Eagles shared that one full day after he quit his job, New Japan Pro-Wrestling offered him a full-time contract.
And then it was early 2019 where I got told they [NJPW] wanted to sign me to a full-time deal and it was good because the day before, I quit my full-time job. So, for 24 hours, I was stressing like an absolute head case about what I was going to do. I had signed up to be an Uber Eats driver just in case wrestling didn’t make ends meet and yeah, the call came within 24 hours of all that happening so I’m very fortunate for how things happened with New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
Well I actually did do a couple of deliveries just because there was some time between my contract starting and being unemployed I guess for a couple of weeks. So I gave it a go. I gave it a red hot go.
Back in 2019, Eagles left BULLET CLUB and aligned with CHAOS. He mentioned that when El Phantasmo came into BULLET CLUB is when he started to question where he fit in the group. Eagles added that-that style of wrestling was not necessarily something he was looking to do upon arriving to New Japan.
It was all natural [joining BULLET CLUB]. It felt like the right fit at first and then it just wasn’t. Especially when El Phantasmo came into the group, that’s when there was a pretty easy divide in terms of where I fit in the structure of BULLET CLUB and that’s where I started seeing myself just go to the wayside and I was like, oh, I don’t fit in here anymore, and it wasn’t necessarily the style of wrestling that I wanted to do so I think where I’ve ended up in CHAOS is where I was always destined to go and then the idea of myself and Will Ospreay as a tag team was always something that early on was thought of. But then as things rolled in and I started tagging with [Taiji] Ishimori, that kind of got forgotten about. So then when there was an opportunity to bring that idea back, we were like, ‘Yes, let’s run with it’ and I think people realized pretty quickly how crazy our chemistry was as opponents and even more so as tag team partners because the Birds of Prey was one of the most fun things that I got live out and I still look back at that very fondly, our run there. I’m disappointed we didn’t get to do anything in Australia because there was talks of Birds of Prey versus VeloCities [Jude London & Paris De Silva] at one point and that would have been very, very fun.
** At Crown Jewel, Roman Reigns is defending the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Logan Paul. Ahead of the bout, The Bloodline’s Solo Sikoa commented on the matchup while speaking to Mirror Sport. Solo was complimentary of Paul and said he’s happy to see anyone who comes from outside of the wrestling space take it seriously.
Logan Paul is a hell of an athlete. He’s a great boxer. I think he’s always been a fan of wrestling and wanted to try to get into it. And once he found out what we actually do, he took it even more seriously. I’m happy to see everybody that comes from the outside world that takes our sport seriously, like Paul or Bad Bunny, because everybody wants to say it’s scripted. But that ring ain’t scripted, that ring hurts. I’m happy to see Logan Paul progressing his journey. But come November 5, it’s a whole different ballgame.
** Ahead of NWA Hard Times 3, Nick Aldis appeared on Sports Guys Talking Wrestling. Nick will be facing Odinson at the pay-per-view. Aldis says it’s quite simple to work with someone of equal stature but posed the question of what can be done when the match on a card is not the most anticipated because the audience is not that familiar with one of the participants. Aldis feels that’s when a talent sees how far along they are in regard to market value and attraction.
It’s a match I’m looking forward to [versus Odinson at NWA Hard Times 3] because matches like this are where you really separate the men from the boys so to speak in terms of, okay, if you have a gimmick and say you’ve had a run in WWE and you’ve got some stuff that you know works and it’s kind of, you got a formula or whatever, you could show up and go, hey, book me with this other guy who’s also a star, who’s also been in WWE and also done this stuff and you can kind of guarantee that you’ll get a good reaction, right? But what can you do when you’re working with a guy who doesn’t have that profile? Can you create a situation where this is one of the most anticipated matches on the card, in spite of the fact that on paper, it doesn’t necessarily excite a lot of people because they don’t necessarily know one of the participants. That’s the true testament of when — that’s when you can see where you really are, as far as market value and an attraction, because like I said, it’s one thing to make it happen when you’re sharing the spotlight with someone of equal stature. Whole different thing to do it with someone who’s, you know, less further along in their career and I love that challenge and I can’t wait to take up that challenge at the Hard Times pay-per-view.
** The Wrestle Buddies podcast welcomed Adam Cole back onto the show.
** Shinjiro Otani took to Twitter and expressed how grateful he is for the nurses that have been taking care of him.
** Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair chatted with Jazzys WorldTV.
** NJPW Battle Autumn Results (10/27/22) Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
– Aaron Henare def. Ryohei Oiwa
– Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii def. Yuto Nakajima & Ren Narita
– United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) def. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (Titán, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) def. Gideon Gray, TJP & Francesco Akira
– Hiroshi Tanahashi, Master Wato, Hikuleo & Alex Zayne def. TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
– Tetsuya Naito & SANADA def. Gedo & KENTA
– NJPW World TV Championship Tournament: EVIL def. YOSHI-HASHI
– NJPW World TV Championship Tournament: Zack Sabre Jr. def. David Finlay
** Tim ‘HANN’ Rivera caught up with Bret Hart.
** The latest episode of Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze’s Battle of the Brands series features Top Dolla, Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis, Kofi Kingston and ma.çé.
** IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Jay White was interviewed by New York Post.
** MMA and pro wrestling referee Yuji Shamada was selected as the official for Kaito Kiyomiya’s GHC Heavyweight Title defense against Kazuyuki Fujita on October 30th.
** October 27th birthdays: Eita (Pro Wrestling NOAH), Masa Kitamiya.
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.