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.
** Earlier this year, Bryan Danielson suffered a concussion that caused him to miss AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door. Danielson commented on that injury on the newest edition of The Bellas Podcast. He said he was having trouble reading long blocks of words. He could only read poetry because he could not read fast.
It’s just a quote to contemplate [Bryan said about a quote he was going to share]. It’s my favorite poet. When I had my concussion in May, I couldn’t read long things and so I could only really read poetry because I couldn’t read fast. I had to go through slow. So I was reading a lot of poetry for pretty much six weeks as opposed to — and I haven’t read poetry in a long time.
In 2014, there was a robbery attempt on Danielson and Brie Bella’s home. They discussed that along with Nikki and recounted the burglars taking a jewelry box. One of the individuals dropped the box as Bryan was chasing him.
Brie: I don’t know if we’ve talked about it before but the first gift Nicole ever got was — you were always so thoughtful with your gifts. It was a jewelry box which everyone’s probably like, jewelry? Bryan doesn’t wear jewelry. But he had a wooden watch and then a watch that was his dad’s and I think it was when we just got married so he might have thought it was a wedding ring.
Danielson: He had gotten it for our wedding but I didn’t get it ‘till after he died and then it said ‘B.L.D.’ on it and then it said on the back how proud he was of me… He wanted to come to our wedding but then his wife had pneumonia so he didn’t come. Then we went on our honeymoon and he passed away that following Monday right after Easter. But, that’s why you got me that.
Nikki: He needed a jewelry box and then, I put in the wrong initials. I put B.F.D. instead of BLD. I thought his middle name was Floyd, not Lloyd. But then, if anyone knows what B.F.D. means too, it’s been a big joke in our [circle].
Danielson: And then, when we got robbed [in 2014], the one thing they tried to take was that box. They walked into our house like, what on earth are we gonna steal here? Oh, there’s a jewelry box.
Brie: And they dropped it because you chased them.
Danielson: Don’t chase ‘em and choke ‘em.
Brie: And it was 115 degrees outside.
** The most recent guest on AEW Unrestricted is Willow Nightingale. She and Aubrey Edwards recounted the match Willow had against Red Velvet in April in a Owen Hart Foundation tournament qualifier. Nightingale received the more positive reaction while Velvet was booed. Aubrey remembers being told to relay to Velvet to ‘heel it up’. Afterwards, Velvet, who was a babyface at the time, asked to stop being booked against the babyfaces who are in their hometown.
Edwards: I think my favorite part of that match [Willow Nightingale vs. Red Velvet in Owen Hart Foundation tourney qualifier] was because you were sort of the hometown girl and people were rooting for you and there’s all this stuff, at one point we’re just like, ‘Okay, we may need to call an audible here’ and even though Velvet’s supposed to win, it’s like, she’s gonna get booed so let’s just freaking go into it. So I think I remember getting a cue like, ‘Hey Velvet, kind of heel it up a little bit’ and just immediately was like, okay, no, Willow’s gonna be super, super over after this match and testament to Velvet, right? As soon as you tell her, ‘Hey, do this instead,’ she’s immediately onboard and going with it. She’s so good and I’m so glad she’s back. But for me, it was just a funny match where it was like, okay, oh boy, oh boy, we’re gonna have to fix this real quick and then Velvet’s like, ‘Can you guys stop booking me against the super hometown babyface? Because the same thing happened with Skye Blue in Chicago.’
Nightingale: Yeah! I felt bad when I got to the back because I was like, ‘I’m sorry they booed you.’ She was like, ‘Don’t even worry about it. We’ve been talking about a heel turn’ and I was like, ‘Oh, okay. Well good.’
The topic of a possible heel run for Willow was brought up. She has played the role of a heel before and does not enjoy it but thinks there could be space for a heel run in the future.
I’ve been a heel for very short stints, whether it’d be a one-off match or a short angle on the indies and every time I do it, it just feels so… So I don’t love it. Sometimes in training, I’ll have a little fun and I’ll be a little bit of a bully. If the time comes, I will do my best to rise to the occasion and find my own twist on it. I don’t know that I would be the traditional heel, but, I’m sure there’s space for it one day.
Prior to Nightingale receiving her per-appearance deal from AEW in April 2022, there were points when she felt down about where she was career-wise. She recalled being in Jacksonville for shows and feeling like she was not making any progress.
There were a lot of times, especially when we were in Jacksonville and I was coming in for enhancement work all the time that I was like, ah man, I feel like I’m sitting front row of watching everybody else live my dream and it felt like it wasn’t clicking or I wasn’t really making any headway in getting closer to where I am now. So it was really rough for a while where I was just kind of down on myself. But you know, obviously I pushed through and we’re here now. So, there’s a lesson there to be learned folks.
There is a plethora of women of color who inspire Nightingale in and out of wrestling. She listed names like Mercedes Varnado (Sasha Banks), Mercedes Martinez, Jazz along with her peers who inspire her.
Oh my God [Nightingale responded when asked how it makes her feel to see women of color thrive in wrestling]. I cannot say enough about how much I’ve been inspired by Sasha Banks. Again, through my indie experience, my indie career, I would watch her hit all these landmark matches, right? So that was incredibly inspiring and Mercedes Martinez, I know I’ve mentioned her a number of times, has been a huge inspiration for me. Jazz is someone who has always [been like], F you to expectations, love her and then when I look around at my peers, other women of color, I’m just constantly inspired. I wanna see them thrive. I want to hold their hands and pull them up with me and be like, yeah! We’re gonna do this together. So I’m constantly inspired and not even just within wrestling, just in life in general. Hell, my mother is my biggest inspiration, you know? Everything I do, every bit of my feminist self has been inspired by her so yes, women of color in wrestling, out of wrestling, very, very special place in my heart.
During the Q&A portion of the chat, Nightingale was asked what males or females she could see herself teaming with in AEW. On the male side, she named Dalton Castle, Eddie Kingston and Powerhouse Hobbs, adding that the pairing with Hobbs could be for her heel turn.
Well if it’s male or female [that I could form a team with in AEW], I think I would choose Dalton Castle. There’s a lot of guys I think I would have a lot of fun having an intergender tag team with. I think Eddie Kingston would be a lot of fun. I think Will Hobbs would be fun, maybe one day doing my heel turn but I think Dalton Castle is the most entertaining, most charismatic person and I feel like we could mesh together really well.
As Nightingale was looking back on the time she spent in Ring of Honor pre-Tony Khan, she spoke highly of Maria Kanellis-Bennett. She expressed that Kanellis-Bennett cares deeply about wrestling and the women in the business.
They [ROH pre-Tony Khan] bring me in and I meet and correspond with Maria Kanellis-Bennett, who again, was somebody I watched growing up and the character she has on-screen does not do any justice just to how intelligent that woman is. She is so smart and so incredibly kind and caring and cares about this business and cares about the women in this business and that is why I say I’m happy I was a part of Ring of Honor when I was because I got to work with her and Bobby Cruise and they put so much of their heart into making the women’s division as good as they could there. So no pun intended, it was an honor to work with them.
** Joining Busted Open Radio were the AEW World Tag Team Champions The Acclaimed (Max Caster & Anthony Bowens). Caster feels he and Bowens represent the homegrown talents of AEW and mentioned that their fellow homegrown talents will come to them and ask for help when it comes to on-screen presentation.
Caster: We represent all the homegrown talent on the roster as well. They look at us different now too. They wanna know what to do now and if we can pass that on, that would be great. Guys are always asking questions or they don’t know what to do. I’d love to pass it on because you know what? We need people to wrestle and a lot of these guys that are homegrown have a long way to go and so do we. We have a very, very long way to go. But, if we can bring these guys along with us and show that the homegrown talent in AEW is what it’s built on. It’s what it was built on from the start.
Caster then had a chat with Mickie James about potentially selling children’s scissors to kick off a school year. On the day of the interview, Max said he wrote that idea down when Bowens, Billy Gunn and himself were having their ‘team meeting’.
James: I was gonna ask if you have a scissor line coming? If you have a scissor line or one in the works? Sell like hot cakes. I think you could do children’s scissors and they are the safety scissors. You could do the big scissors and those could be the daddy scissors. So worlds of possibilities.
Caster: It’s so funny you say this because for the team meeting today, I legitimately wrote down, ‘Kids scissors for back-to-school.’ What if we had pink scissors with, you know, maybe not our face. That’s kind of weird but, it’s just some Acclaimed scissors for kids to go back to school.
James: I have to buy my son kids scissors because they have to be a certain type for school, right? I thought safety scissors because they could be cute and they could be safe for the children, to scissor.
Caster: We can’t be selling blades out there to kids. We don’t wanna do that.
** Prior to Ricky Starks challenging MJF for the AEW World Championship, he chatted with Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN Wrestling. Starks commented on where he thinks he’d be in AEW position-wise if he remained a heel. Starks initially said he would not have elevated to where he is now but then added that maybe he would be in the same position.
Um, I was gonna make a bad joke [Starks laughed]. So I was definitely getting in trouble for that. I don’t know [where I’d be right now in AEW if I stayed a heel]. I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know. I don’t know. Definitely wouldn’t be at the top, I’ll tell you that. I can guarantee you that. I probably would not be at the top in that regard just because a lot of things were already happening at the time. But who knows? I think even if I had just maintained that type of lane so to speak, I still would be in the same position I’m in right now.
A conversation about clothing styles came up and Starks heaped praise onto Seth Rollins’ style, highlighting his WrestleMania 38 gear.
Man, Seth [Rollins] wore the black lace not too long ago. So great. Ah, I was so mad… So my friend Sarath [Ton], he does the gear for Seth. Super, super nice and I remember seeing Seth’s WrestleMania gear and being like, ‘This is beautiful’ and then I saw Seth come out in the black lace. I was like, ‘Damn man!’ I have a white lace shirt but it fails in comparison to that whole outfit.
** WWE N.I.L. signees Haley and Hanna Cavinder welcomed Liv Morgan onto their ‘Twin Talk’ podcast. Morgan touched on what she would like to do after her career in wrestling and she listed acting, focusing on her businesses and getting into real estate as routes to go.
I think immediately, I think day after retirement, I’d like to be doing movies. I’ve been lucky enough to have some opportunities within WWE. I was in Chucky season two and I got killed by Chucky which was like a dream, it was amazing. It was so cool. I never get starstruck over anyone but, when I saw Chucky, I melted. I was so starstruck. I was able to participate in this movie called ‘The Kill Room’ with Uma Thurman and Samuel L. Jackson and that’s yet to be released so I’ve had these opportunities luckily while I have WWE and while I have their platform so hopefully one day, you know, if I ever part ways — I mean I will wrestle forever — I kind of have my foot in the door with acting a little bit and I hope to be able to do more of that. My soap business, I have to expand that but yes, real estate is always in the back of my mind and it’s something that I hope I can fall on at the end of the day regardless of any of these things.
** On the 12/16 Friday Night SmackDown, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY will defend the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles against Liv Morgan and Tegan Nox. Kai was the guest for episode #87 of WWE – Die Woche. She commented on the upcoming title defense and thinks pinning Nox would set some things in motion as far as their rivalry goes.
Tegan [Nox] and I have a long history too. That’s actually someone that, with the question before, in terms of who you’d wanna go against again? Tegan is actually one of those names too. We’ve had such a history in NXT, you know? Going back and forth, I turned on her in WarGames. We had a Street Fight in Portland, a Cage match on NXT. So, I think for me, pinning Tegan [on SmackDown in the Women’s Tag Title match], I feel like that would set off a lot of things going forward, you know? I don’t think us going against each other is done. But I think if I pinned her, I think it might set a lot of things in motion going forward. I don’t know, I just got a feeling about it but yeah, she and I have a long history and I think it would be just like, you know, rub a little bit of the salt in the wounds of Tegan if I got to pin her.
Looking at the NXT women’s division, Kai named Alba Fyre, Cora Jade, Zoey Stark and NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez as names she’d like to see on the main roster.
Alba [Fyre is who I would like to see on WWE’s main roster]. I already mentioned Alba. She’s insanely talented. I wanna see what she could do on Raw or SmackDown. Roxanne [Perez] just won the title but she’s also another one that’s so young. Her and Cora [Jade], they’re so young and they’re so talented. Those girls are just so — I don’t even know. I can’t say it. I don’t know how they can be so young and do what they’re doing right now. That’s insane to me. But yeah, Zoey [Stark], she’s insanely talented too but that roster is really stacked. Any of those girls could do amazing things on either Raw or SmackDown.
The topic of the Royal Rumble came up and Kai recalled being in a suite with fellow NXT talents when Edge returned in 2020. She stated that the feeling of witnessing that was ‘insane’ and everyone in the suite was ‘freaking out’.
I remember when I was in NXT, a whole group of us NXT guys got a box in the stadium to watch it [Royal Rumble 2020]. I don’t know the name of it. ‘Suite’ or something like that? And then this was when Edge returned and none of us had any idea and the sound of being there live for the pop of him coming out was insane and obviously, his theme song is incredible but we were freaking out. It’s such a cool moment when you get experience that working here but still experiencing that fan excitement.
** As Bayley was hosting an Instagram Live stream to promote Family Giving Tree, she gave a shoutout to the newly crowned NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez for her title win.
Bayley: Also, wanted to say congratulations to Roxanne Perez on her NXT Women’s Championship. Good job sister. I didn’t know who was gonna knock Mandy [Rose] off the throne but, can’t believe it’s a little 21-year-old, however old you are. That’s insane. That’s insane. Very proud and NXT is in good hands so, don’t mess it up!
Perez would later join the livestream and she further commented on her victory. She feels overwhelmed by everything and joked that her first goal is to pass Mandy Rose’s 413-day mark.
Perez: I feel good [Perez said about her NXT Women’s Title win]. It doesn’t feel real still, but, yeah, I feel overwhelmed but really, really happy, you know? It feels like so many things happened so fast within the nine months that I’ve been here but I’m so grateful.
I’m gonna hold it for longer than 413 days [Perez laughed].
** In late 2023, Oceania Pro Wrestling will be presenting a Starrcast-like fan festival in Australia. As of this writing, Conrad Thompson, Nick Aldis and Mickie James are involved along with Cameron Vale, former CEO of Baseball Australia, Hockey Australia and C.O.O. of the North Melbourne Football Club. Vale guest appeared on The Business of the Business podcast and detailed how this idea came together. The parties involved feel this project could be sustainable enough to run it again.
In the last 12 months is when I started sort of to reach out to different contacts and did some cold calling and, you know… sort of played up who I was. An Australian looking to do something… I found it has been good to have an initial contact with so I’d been talking with the NWA guys as well which obviously, Nick Aldis has been part of and I got to meet Nick — so we’d been communicating on email and the like and we got to meet in person in Knoxville and he’s been a real key for me because and he’s a real prominent athlete, great career, great success but has a tremendous mind as well for the business and I’m bringing a lot of experience from my side of things by in sport in Australia and as much as I’m a fan, I don’t have that inside business of wrestling knowledge and so we connected. We then really started to accelerate what could we do. I think there’s a really lot of good synergy between Nick and I and obviously, Nick’s connection to Mickie [James] and then obviously, it led to chat and introduction with Conrad [Thompson] and so I didn’t know Conrad. Obviously, I knew who he was and what he’d been doing and again, we sort of clicked really quickly in some virtual meetings and I think we all agreed that there was a great synergies in what we were collaborating to do and what really stuck with me with all of them is the fact that they see this as something that is sustainable. It’s not just a one-off type, you know, let’s see what we can do and be done with it and whatever that means in the future. That doesn’t mean Starrcast will be in Australia forever but it does mean we can build something that Australian fans and New Zealand fans and fans in Oceania can really get behind on a permanent basis so, yeah, that’s how it all came about. Really through just different connections, meeting Nick, really connecting with him. He was very gracious with his time and we’ve grown from there.
Vale was then asked if his goal is to eventually build Oceania Pro Wrestling into a full-time promotion in Australia. He’s open-minded about it and gave a hypothetical approach that could be taken to get to that point. Ultimately, Vale hopes that international brands will see the potential in Australia.
Which is an excellent question [if the goal is to spin the event in 2023 into a full-time promotion in Australia] and I’m gonna use some of my media training from other sports to possibly deflect but I’ll try to give you an answer. I’m going with this as we can do something sustainable. Without taking my eye off the ball, I think making sure that the annual event and maybe an event or two we do before that so that way then, we are really successful next year. So let’s call it, around 2023, that one-to-two events but particularly the benchmark event with Starrcast Australia is successful and shows the path for that event to be sustainable and for other things to emerge from that so, where and what that could lead to, I pretty much have an open-ended approach to it. I think growth in this market… it’s well overdue… Wrestling talent, wrestling promotions here, we’re a very sophisticated sporting market so, I really do hope it’s the catalyst for a lot of growth. I certainly have some views that I would like to do moving forward. But, again, I don’t wanna jump ahead too far. This might be a podcast to put into the diary in six months or so but there are a lot of opportunities that I think could spin off from this and I don’t think we’ll be invading AEW and Forbidden Door Down Under type-approach but at the same time, I really do hope the international brands see the potential here and there’s a lot of ways to collaborate on what that could be. Talent moving into their systems, talent moving out of their systems and moving into this market as well.
** While speaking to Shakiel Mahjouri, Braun Strowman revealed that he is going to be recording a few songs. Strowman mentioned that he’s not a ‘bad singer’ and has wanted to appear on The Masked Singer.
Man, I’ve been lobbying about that for a couple of years since that show started [The Masked Singer]. A little known secret, I’m not that bad of a singer. Me patting myself on the back? Never, right? But it’s definitely something I’ve talked about and now being back on FOX, Friday Night SmackDown, I mean let’s go, it’s hand in hand. In all honesty, I’ve actually been talking to a buddy of mine, a good friend of mine, Jared Barnett. He used to travel the world with Cirque du Soleil. He plays the electric violin, he plays it freelance now. We are gonna sit down with a couple other guys and record a few songs. It’s something I’ve wanted to do, I’ve talked about doing for a long time and I’m sick of manifesting these dreams in my head and sometimes pushing off to the side. It’s starting to check these bucket list things off. I’m not getting any younger so you know what? Let’s take a shot in the dark. You never know what happens.
The conclusion of the 2017 WWE Survivor Series pay-per-view, specifically the finish to the men’s traditional five-on-five match has been discussed by those involved. Strowman said he does not know if there was something planned long-term for him and Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque coming out of that.
In all honesty, I have no idea [what the plans were for myself & Triple H after Survivor Series 2017], which is usually par for the case with most of the stuff. Like I said, I show up to work, they hand me a script, I go out there, I do the best that I possibly can, because the end of the day, we all play a part in a play [Strowman laughed].
Continuing speaking about Levesque, Strowman recounted having a rough mental day and asking Levesque how he keeps it all together. Triple H told him that he does not have everything together and just controls what he can control.
I literally had a conversation with Triple H about this a week ago, because I was in a little bit of a mental funk the other day and like, he’s always so positive, always so chipper, always so smiling and excited and I went to him, I was like, ‘H, how do you do this?’ He’s like, ‘What do you mean?’ I was like, I said, ‘How do you keep such a positive mindset and balance all this stuff in life? I’m nowhere near as busy as you’ and I was like, ‘You have this all together’ and he goes, ‘Braun, you think I have this all under control?’ He’s like, ‘Dude, I’ll tell you the biggest piece of advice I’ve ever gotten in my life. Control the stuff that you can and don’t worry about the rest of it.’
** Chris Van Vliet conducted a new interview with Matt Cardona. He was asked if there have been conversations between himself and WWE. Cardona explained that if that was or was not the case, he would not reveal that information in a setting as such.
Listen, I appreciate you asking me this, but here’s the truth, like, if I were to go back [to WWE], I wouldn’t reveal it here. And if I wasn’t going back, I wouldn’t reveal it here, because I want people talking. So the more they talk, you know, the more people are talking about Matt Cardona, the better for me. I’m the internet champion, then now and forever. So let them talk.
Looking back on the death match he had with Nick Gage that resulted in him becoming GCW World Champion, Cardona said he received personal messages going into the match and people were telling him not to wrestle Gage because ‘he’s crazy’.
Well, she [Chelsea Green] was the one who found me in that hotel room the next day [after winning GCW World Title], and she had to go get all the bandages and she bandaged me up and cleaned me up. But um, a lot of people thought I was crazy going into it. I got so many texts and DMs like, ‘Don’t do this, this guy’s crazy.’ I’m like, if I’m convincing people in the business, this is gonna be great.
** Back at NXT Halloween Havoc, Apollo Crews clashed with Grayson Waller in a Casket match. He looked back on that bout while speaking to ‘Metro’. Crews’ mindset going into it was how to present the match in its traditional form but add the ‘NXT style’ to it.
Man, that was one of those things. OK, yeah the history of the Casket match, everyone knows its history. It was an opportunity to play off of that but do something new – an NXT Casket match, how do we do that? How do we give the fans such a historic match but an NXT style match as well? So thinking of that and coming up with different concepts and creative ideas was fun too. Working with Grayson was great.
Not that I forgot it happened but after you brought it up, it brings back the memory like, oh yeah, I did do that. It’s crazy because you try to enjoy all these moments that happen because they just come and go like that.
** Coming out of Keiji Muto (The Great Muta’s) retirement show in February 2023, he and Mashahiro Chono will be doing talk shows on March 12th in Kobe, Japan and March 19th in Nagoya. They’ll be signing autographs, doing a Q&A and the belts that they’ve won along with some of their ring gear will be on display.
** The 12/23 episode of Friday Night SmackDown will be taped after the 12/16 SmackDown on FOX in Rosemont, Illinois, per PWInsider.
** Drew McIntyre appeared in a commercial for the Sony Sports Network:
** Darby Allin was the focus of an article Pro Wrestling NOAH posted on their site ahead of Keiji Muto (The Great Muta) tagging with Sting and Darby on January 22nd.
** The New York Times published a feature story about W.O.W. (Women of Wrestling).
** NBC Bay Area has a piece up about Titus O’Neil.
** MCW Backstage Pass uploaded their chat with Jordan Oliver.
** December 15th birthdays: NWA’s May Valentine.
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.