POST NEWS UPDATE: Samoa Joe reflects on last couple of years of his career, feels it’s probably the most ‘career calm’ he’s been

Samoa Joe notes, Jamie Noble lists previous injuries, what Kofi Kingston wants to do before it's over, Tessa Blanchard & Karrion Kross notes

Photo Courtesy: All Elite 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.

** As Samoa Joe was speaking to DAZN Wrestling, he reflected on the last ‘couple’ years of his career in wrestling. Joe said it’s been the calmest he’s ever been in the midst of a storm. He brought up being in and out of WWE, being a recruiter for the company, making the move to AEW and filming for the Peacock series ‘Twisted Metal’.

I’d love to say it was a wild ride or unexpected [last couple years of his career] but really, I mean for me at least and how many places I’ve worked and things that I’ve seen, it was funny. It was a very, very, I guess, chaotic as far as me working in a million different places but for me personally, it was probably the most career calm I’ve been in the midst of the storm if anything. I think a lot of people thought, oh man, it must be crazy and nuts but during the whole process, there was always a lot of offers and a lot of other things to fill my time so, like I said, I think when it comes to how many times I was in and out of WWE, the transfer to AEW, really, I’m just now kind of settling in and kind of realizing what a journey it’s been because it was from top recruiter at WWE to television show with Peacock to AEW and now I’m finally kind of getting to settle in and kind of realize it’s been kind of a crazy summer and year in general.

Elsewhere during the chat, Joe spoke highly of William Regal and how helpful Regal has been to him and others. Joe mentioned that Regal would be in contact with many independent wrestlers to give them feedback on their work and he’d often try to pass some of those corresponding duties off to Joe.

[William] Regal is largely responsible for a great many leaps in my career where he’s been a guy that’s always, you know, heavily recommended me to anybody who would listen, consistently been in my corner, always made time which is something that is so, so very rare in this industry period. Would make time if you would send him a match. He would watch it and he would meticulously pick it apart, give you great criticism, send you back his feedback within a week or two and it’s something that he still does to this day which is amazing to me, you know, to the point where he was trying to offload guys’ matches onto me because he had correspondence with so many indie wrestlers and giving them feedback and seeing potential in people and trying to foster it along and I was one of those people, Bryan Danielson was one of those people. There’s a laundry list of other people who would probably do the same thing and to me, that’s who William Regal is. He loves the art of professional wrestling. He loves this industry with everything he has and he desperately, desperately wants to try to make anybody better who will take the time to sit under the learning tree and listen and he definitely made me better. He’s largely responsible for how my approach to the ring and my acumen and what I do and my attitude and how I handle things and he was definitely a massive influence to me.

When asked about his change in attitude on-screen in AEW and leaning into more of the heel role, Joe feels viewers enjoy him more when he’s the one picking a fight.

I think in general, fans enjoy it when I am out there picking fights and usually if you’re out there picking a lot of fights, usually you’re not doing it with the best intentions and I think that’s really the gist of it. I think that’s just as simple as it gets is that I feel people find me much more engaging when I’m in people’s faces and stirring up trouble.

** Ahead of his in-ring return on 12/11, Jamie Noble guest appeared on 580 Live with Dave Allen. Noble was asked to share some of the injuries he’s tallied up in wrestling and mentioned the nerve damage and stingers from working with bigger talents. Noble said things turned out fine because he’s behind the scenes now.

Well I had a little bit of nerve damage done to my neck. At one point, WWE was having a lot of huge guys and a guy name Mike Knox, great guy, Jack Swagger, great guy but just they were so big and they were green at the time and I got spiked on my head and it caused me to get — I think it’s called a stinger. That did a little damage to my neck and Mike Knox accidentally spiked me on my head too and it messed my shoulder up a little bit and then when Sheamus and me, that turned out to be a lot real actually. That was a real bad bump I took off the powerbomb on the floor and they were just piling up. We was worried about getting concussions. It just took for me deciding to step back and I ended up getting a job behind the scenes though so it turned out great.

** The ‘Bubba Show’ welcomed Kofi Kingston on as a guest and he stated that before he retires, he would like to win the Royal Rumble match and wrestle in Ghana, West Africa. Back in 2019, Kofi signed a five-year extension with WWE and said he was considering retirement after that deal ends.

The one thing [I wanna do before I retire] … there’s a lot, there’s a lot man. Gosh, I mean winning the [Royal] Rumble would be great… There’s a list. You gotta stay hungry. You don’t stay around this long by sitting on your laurels and being complacent.

There’s a ton [of people I’d like to wrestle]. Guys in this company, guys in the other companies, you know what I’m saying? Guys all over the world. Having a match in Africa, in Ghana specifically. We just had a tryout in Nigeria and — well not the actual tryout but they announced the tryout that’s gonna happen in January and the winner of that is gonna be able to compete with everybody in Los Angeles leading up to WrestleMania so that’s huge man.

** While doing a virtual signing with Captain’s Corner, Tessa Blanchard listed Red Velvet, Natalya and Charlotte Flair as names she’d like to wrestle and added that she is impressed with The Renegade Twins (Robyn & Charlette Renegade).

People ask me this all the time. There are some people I would like to wrestle. Most of them are in different companies right now. One of them is Red Velvet. I’ve watched a little bit of her work and I think that she is pretty solid so I would love to work with her. Last night, I saw some girls working and I got to work with The Renegade Twins a little bit and they impressed me a lot and just speaking to them outside of the ring, in the locker room and stuff, I really was impressed by who they are as people. Natalya is one that I would love to do. Neidhart versus Blanchard, I think that would be badass. Charlotte Flair versus Blanchard. There’s a lot of people on my list, a lot of talent that I’d love to have matches with.

Early in Blanchard’s career, she spent time in STARDOM. Looking back on highlights from that time, she thinks back fondly on getting to become close with KAIRI and IYO SKY and headlining a show at Korakuen Hall.

They [memories of STARDOM] were good. My résumé’s always been really important to me so I wanna go everywhere, I wanna do everything, I wanted to learn all the different styles. That way, I could become as versatile as possible so no matter who I wrestled or what style they were familiar with, I could accommodate or adapt and have a great match so learning the Japanese strong style, learning the lucha libre, learning British strong style, learning American style, learning all these different styles of wrestling I felt was really important to me. I wanted to learn everything. So that’s one of my greatest memories there. KAIRI Sane and I got very close, IYO Shirai and I got very close. Wrestling girls like Jungle Kyona, Momo Watanabe, it was really cool for me. Yoko Bito and I, we got to main event Korakuen Hall, that was a great memory, just because Korakuen Hall’s such a famous building or venue so to be able to say I main evented that was really cool for me.

** Peter Rosenberg conducted an interview with Karrion Kross and as their conversation rolled on, Kross looked back on his time with NXT and described it as a ‘dream run’.

I got the dream run in NXT that some people who have 20-year careers will never get near. They gave me essentially two undefeated streaks, they had me crush everybody completely clean as a kill and I was only pinned one time in NXT.

While Kross was NXT Champion, he made his debut on Monday Night Raw and fell in defeat to Jeff Hardy. He shared that after the match, he received props from his colleagues for going through with what had been asked of him.

I got a lot of people coming up to me shaking hands after doing that actually [debut on Raw and losing to Jeff Hardy]. People — I won’t drop names but people that are many, many years deep in saying, ‘This guy gets it.’ It’s not a one-man show, it’s not about me coming up here making crazy demands. I got a lot of respect actually from my peers when we’re doing that and to me, I would have done that really with anybody because as I said, with the run that I got in NXT, I never politicked, never buried anybody. They put me on course to be a star and this one thing that they’re asking me to do, it’s nothing.

Going into Survivor Series: WarGames, Kross had a run-in with members of The Bloodline on SmackDown. He said the group feels as big as the n.W.o. did in certain aspects. He mentioned that when wrestlers are backstage while The Bloodline are on TV, they’ll often stop what they are doing to watch the monitors.

It [The Bloodline] feels as big as the n.W.o. when I was little watching on TV. Not the same energy but it feels like it’s as big or sometimes even bigger. With the way that they’re able to maestro the audience through stuff. Some people love them, some people hate them and then some people love to hate them and some people actually hate the fact that they love them. This is a very special, nuclear type thing that you cannot just create. You could not just create a course to take a bunch of people and have the audience react to them like this. This is about putting — I know people feel like The Bloodline is a newly — relatively new thing. Each person, with the exception of Solo [Sikoa], and I don’t mean that in a derogatory but each person has been in the company for so many years. This is a lot of time put in to have these members in the group and whatnot. Solo being related to them and the tear they’re putting him on right now… That’s exactly where I was going with it [it’s about establishing equity]. It’s an incredible thing and it’s very fun to watch live too. A lot of us backstage at the monitor usually stop what we’re doing and start cracking up at the stuff that they’re doing out there so, it’s a very cool thing. I’m glad fans are enjoying it.

** Joining the Culture State podcast was 4-time WWE World Tag Team Champion Sylvain Grenier. He looked back on his WWE main roster debut in 2003 at the No Way Out pay-per-view. Grenier played the role of the ‘corrupt referee’ who helped Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson defeat Hulk Hogan. Grenier stated that he was not under contract to WWE at the time and he got the opportunity through his connection to Johnson’s family.

So finally, I end up in Florida in a warehouse and I paid a guy, big, huge Black guy. He said he’s actually from Canada. I said, ‘Oh cool!’ Okay, speak a little bit and later that week said, ‘Oh, my son’s gonna come. He’s gonna show you some stuff.’ I was like, ‘Good,’ and The Rock shows up. That was his dad. So I was like, ‘Oh, okay, okay. Gotcha.’ I was blessed in the beginning so that’s why I got the spot with The Rock and Hogan as the special referee at No Way Out [2003]. We screwed Hulk Hogan in Montreal and I did a run-in at WrestleMania with [Vince] McMahon and Hogan’s match and Hogan beat me up in front of 70,000 at WrestleMania so that was cool. The beginning of my career was really, really amazing and there were talks about me rolling up Hogan for one, two, three count in a match. But I wasn’t even signed under contract at the time. It was crazy. So, sometimes that’s how wrestling is. Sometimes it’s timing and everything but after that, I went training with O.V.W. and they put me with René Duprée and my fellow Canadian and we were at the right time with the war, politics. We were a little more free.

He would go on to speak about his connection to Rocky and Dwayne Johnson. While Grenier was training with Rocky, he would go to Rocky’s home and have dinner as they watched The Rock on WWE TV.

It was very touchy for me to watch that thing [NBC’s Young Rock], especially now. I didn’t watch the new season because now it’s getting close to my time when I met the family and stuff and they were helping me a lot. Every Thursday after practice, I used to go to Ata’s house and Rocky’s house. We watched The Rock on SmackDown and they cook and I have peach pie with the family so, it was really nice and I was really fortunate. I didn’t blossom like The Rock, but, who can? He’s The Rock… One of millions so… And look [at] what he accomplished now. Rocky was an entertainer before it was entertainment. So I think one part of my success, because I didn’t have the right skills when I start in the beginning because I didn’t have the time and background training but, I was an entertainer so I was able to do it as long as I could.

** Over the summer, ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan announced that he is cancer-free. Duggan talked about the decision to initially share his cancer diagnosis while doing a virtual signing with Golden Ring Collectibles. He was not sure what the outcome of the battle was going to be, so he wanted to share that information publicly.

It was a hard decision to decide to share that with everybody [cancer diagnosis] because it’s a private decision. So it doesn’t just affect the person with cancer, it affects the whole family and we didn’t know where we were going to go with it. We didn’t know if we were gonna survive it or what so we decided to share it and it worked out great because a lot of folks are getting their checkups now.

** Former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Tadao Yasuda trained under Antonio Inoki. Tokyo Sports asked him why he did not publicly comment on Inoki’s passing nor attend his funeral. Here’s what he had to say:

There was no need for me to make a comment. Toward the end, he came out (during his illness) and said, ‘I don’t want to be seen like that.’ I was grateful to him, but I am a civilian now (after retiring in 2011). I was too busy with work to go to the funeral.

** Prior to ROH Final Battle, Claudio Castagnoli guest appeared on Busted Open Radio. He stated that he’s looking forward to AEW’s debut in the U.K. come 2023. Castagnoli wants to hear what types of chants the fans come up with while AEW is in the country.

I’m so much looking forward to AEW going to the U.K. because the U.K. fans are so creative and obviously, they have a little bit of an edge when it comes to soccer chanting. So, can’t wait to hear what they come up with.

** For Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling’s January 4th event, Chris Brookes and Drew Parker will be doing English commentary.

** At the NJPW World Tag/Super Junior Tag League final on December 14th, the company’s new protein drink is going to be available to taste.

** All Japan Pro Wrestling announced Atsushi Onita for their February 4th, 2023 show.

** Ahead of KENTA and Naomichi Marufuji challenging for the GHC Tag Team Titles in January, NOAH released interviews that Weekly Pro-Wrestling did with Marufuji and KENTA in 2003.

** On January 7th, KENTA will host a talk show in Tokyo, Japan to promote his autobiography.

** STARDOM’s Natsuka Tora started a YouTube channel that is dedicated to horse racing. She will not be discussing pro wrestling on the channel at all. She’s the first STARDOM talent to launch their own YouTube channel.

** Dragongate ‘Fantastic Gate’ Results (12/11/22) Nagoya Congress Center in Nagoya, Japan
– M3K (Masaaki Mochizuki, Mochizuki Jr., Susumu Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda) def. Eita, Kaito Nagano, Mondai Ryu & Yoshiki Kato
– Masaaki Mochizuki def. Kono Mama Ichikawa  
– Madoka Kikuta def. Punch Tominaga
– Z-Brats (Diamante & H.Y.O) def. Minorita & Ryu Fuda
– Takashi Yoshida def. BIG BOSS Shimizu
– Z-Brats (BxB Hulk, ISHIN, KAI & Shun Skywalker) def. Natural Vibes (Jacky ‘Funky’ Kamei, Jason Lee, Kzy & U-T)
– Dragon Kid vs. Ultimo Dragon – No Contest
– Dragon Kid & Ultimo Dragon def. Z-Brats (Diamante & H.Y.O)
– Ben-K & Kota Minoura def. Dragon Dia & Yuki Yoshioka

** December 11th birthdays: Rey Mysterio.

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 6008 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.