POST NEWS UPDATE: Josh Alexander recommended Bryan Keith & JDX to IMPACT Talent Relations

Josh Alexander recommended names to IMPACT, pitched name for Taya Valkyrie's WWE run, update on Barry Windham, Okada, Elix Skipper chat

Photo Courtesy: IMPACT 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 Josh Alexander was talking to Sunday Night’s Main Event about talents that have caught his attention, he shared that he has recommended names like Bryan Keith, J.D.X. and Canadian wrestler Judas Icarus to IMPACT Wrestling’s Talent Relations department. Alexander hopes those names and others he’s recommended eventually come into the company.

And then there’s just a bunch of people on the independents that have yet to be signed that I think are young, hungry and have something to show. Somebody from Canada, I think Judas Icarus, he’s from the Vancouver area, wrestles for DEFY every once in a while. He’s probably the best in-ring talent I have wrestled in Canada and he’s so young, he has so much talent, it blows me away and then for the American independents, it’s guys like ‘Bounty’ Keith out of Texas and J.D.X. out of Minnesota. There’s these people that I’ve mentioned time and time again to our Talent Relations department to just get an eye on these people because they’re gonna get signed eventually to somebody else and you’re gonna be sorry if they get somewhere else before they come here. So there’s a ton of names out there, there’s a lot of young, hungry wrestlers that are very good and I wish them all the best. I hope that it can materialize with them coming to IMPACT Wrestling because I’ve embraced that.

** While Taya Valkyrie was in WWE, she went by the name ‘Franky Monet’. She told Comedy Store Wrestling that her name in the company was almost ‘Paris’.

I think that it also just goes through phases when it’s okay to keep your name (in WWE). Recently, a bunch of people who were using their real, actual names have to get renamed for example. That was a whole thing. So I don’t know. So I just started writing stuff down and I mean, I was almost named ‘Paris’ at one point.

For several seasons of Lucha Underground, Valkyrie was part of the show. She wishes that it could be revived. Valkyrie said those are some of her fondest memories in wrestling and described it as ‘magical’.

I wish (Lucha Underground would come back). I wish so hard because I think that was some of my fondest memories was working for Lucha Underground.

Can someone out there that has like 15 million dollars just give it to us so we can do the show? That’d be great… We just need a few million. We’ll figure it out. No, I really wish that we could do it again because it was a lot of fun and it was really learning to do regular — we shot those backstage scenes like they do a regular television show, not like a wrestling show and that was just so fun to learn and be around all those people and at that time, there’s so many of us that were getting their first ‘big opportunity’. You look at people like Prince Puma who’s Ricochet, you look at [Rey] Fenix and Pentagon, myself included and Jeff Cobb and there’s just much talent that was there at that time that’s now gone on to do different things so we were all just bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and just so happy to be there so, that was definitely magical during that time.

When she’s not in the ring, Valkyrie is involved in film/acting. She shared that when she does auditions, she can sense casting directors labeling her as the ‘wrestling girl’. Taya says it’s still a foot in the door, but it can hinder her in the film space.

Oh, 100 percent (I can tell that casting directors view me as the ‘wrestler girl’ when I do auditions) … It’s hard because you kind of get people just look at you and get put in a box and a stereotype. It’s also why I grew out the side of my head because remember I had a side shave for five years almost and I was like, listen, I’m getting auditions to be a criminal, a criminal, an army person (she laughed) … I think I’m a good actress and I’m working on it and getting better and I would just love to be doing different roles and different parts and stuff but, it has definitely helped get in the door and definitely helps people go, ‘Oh, that’s that girl’ kind of thing. But, it can hurt me just because people assume that I’m just one thing.

** After suffering a heart attack, Barry Windman’s niece, Mika Rotunda, shared that Barry was in stable condition and out of the ICU. Both Tully Blanchard and Arn Anderson provided updates on Windham while on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast. Blanchard said he texted with Barry. Anderson went on to add that Barry is staying with Mike Rotunda.

Blanchard: He’s [Barry Windham] doing much better. I have texted with him back and forth a couple weeks ago until he was out of the hospital and he’s doing much, much better and hope to see him in the near future.

Anderson: I just hung up with Tony [Hunter], who does my bookings and all of my appearances. He just called as I was getting on (this podcast) and I told him I was gonna call him back. But he did get in touch and find out Barry is staying with [Mike] Rotunda and he’s getting better. I’d imagine he’s gonna have a long road back. But it’s good he’s got family and I’m sure they’re looking after him, taking care of him and my thoughts and prayers are with him and that was a close call.

Speaking about his time in AEW currently, Arn said the roster is full so he and Brock Anderson are going to visit some wrestling schools and do independent work until they receive the call from AEW.

Anderson: Well, we [Arn & Brock Anderson] work for AEW and we’re under contract. Right now, there’s a full roster, it’s hard to get everybody on TV every week and we understand that so, Brock and I are gonna reach out and go visit some schools and Dr. Tom’s. You know, our school, obviously Billy Gunn and company are masterminding down there, Q.T. [Marshall] in Atlanta and we’re gonna do some independent stuff and some signings and we’re gonna try our best to stay busy until they give us the call and hopefully, we’ll be ready.

Blanchard confirmed that he’s no longer with AEW/ROH. He looked back on managing FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) and feels they’re the best tag team right now. Blanchard added that their team and his pairing with Arn can’t be put against one another.

Blanchard: FTR is FTR and they are doing well and making lots of money and God bless ‘em.

FTR is probably the best tag team in wrestling today and you know, Arn [Anderson] and I were the best tag team in wrestling back then and you can’t put the two against each other.

As Arn was talking about different iterations of The Four Horsemen, the group with himself, Ric Flair, Brian Pillman and Chris Benoit was mentioned. Anderson said WCW was not behind them and it felt like they were not meant to be pushed. He feels it was a ‘height matters’ feel about the group as well.

Anderson: We didn’t have a company behind us (Anderson said about the Four Horsemen that included himself, Ric Flair, Chris Benoit & Brian Pillman). We were just thrown together just because it might’ve looked good on paper but you gotta have the support of the creative and I don’t think we were ever meant to get a push. It was probably viewed that height mattered. If you ever been in a ring with Benoit or Dean [Malenko], height does not matter, trust me.

** Ahead of IMPACT Wrestling Hard To Kill, the IMPACT World Champion Josh Alexander guest appeared on FITE In Focus. He believes that if IMPACT were to do a joint show with WWE, AEW or NJPW, their roster would match up perfectly with any of those respective rosters.

I love this place man (IMPACT Wrestling), I love this locker room. I think we are one of the most talented groups. I think if you were to take our locker room and have like an IMPACT versus AEW or an IMPACT versus WWE or an IMPACT versus New Japan show, we would stack up and match up with those guys perfectly. Our Knockouts division is second to none, our X Division is insane and the heavyweight division as well.

He went on to heap praise onto ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey. Alexander stated that he was not surprised by the 2022 that Bailey had in wrestling. He said any Canadian wrestler or fan who’s been able to see Bailey during the period he was not allowed in the U.S. saw that breakout run coming.

Nothing that Mike Bailey has done in this past year surprises me whatsoever (Alexander laughed). If I had the footage, I would pull it up. I’d tweet it out so everybody can see it because I was the one who was calling it. Any Canadian wrestler or Canadian wrestling fan that was watching Mike Bailey while he was stuck in this country knew that the second he got back into the spotlight of the American indies and the American wrestling scene because that’s where everybody seems to thrive so much in North America, it was gonna be nothing but success for him and it was a year before he signed his contract, I wrestled him on the very first show that ran in Canada post-COVID, it was an outdoor show and I wrestled him and after the match, I grabbed the microphone, wasn’t scripted or anything, I said, ‘It was a year-and-a-half ago, Scott D’Amore came in this very ring in this promotion and he said I was the best unsigned talent/wrestler in the world. Well I’m signed, I’m the X Division Champion now, I’m doing great but looking at you man, you are the best unsigned talent in the world. Whenever you get a chance, whomever it’s with, hopefully it is with IMPACT, you’re gonna do great things’ and everything’s transpired the way it is. He’s part of the team and he’s killing it and I couldn’t be happier for him.

** The written version of QJWeb’s chat with Kazuchika Okada is up on their site. He detailed the one time he thought about quitting wrestling while training. Okada was in his early teens when he ventured into the business.   

Yes, there was one time (I wanted to quit while training). I knew that practice was too hard, and everyone around me seemed to be enjoying high school. My mother told me to come home whenever I wanted, so I sent her an e-mail saying that I was thinking of quitting, but she replied, ‘Just hang in there a little longer,’ which I thought was strange (laughs). But after that, the feeling stopped. I went to bed every night telling myself I would do my best again tomorrow. Wrestling is a strange thing. Some people quit even though they can keep up with the training. In my case, after I moved to Mexico, I no longer felt the urge to quit.

** In 2022, Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James took on the role of Senior Vice President of Live Events for WWE. On a Q&A edition of his ‘Oh…You Didn’t Know’ podcast, James dove into how much he’s enjoying the role and discussed his mindset when it comes to booking house shows.

I’ll be honest with you, right now, I’m having a blast booking the live events (for WWE). It’s just really fun and it’s all about fun, it’s all about fun and giving the WWE universe a great, interactive fan experience when they come out to the live events so that’s what I’m getting to do now and it’s so fun because there isn’t strict parameters about television times and so forth and so on with the live events so while you may not have the pyro and the 4K stuff and the artificial, whatever that stuff is… They call it something… And there’s the big guys there (C.G.I. statue) and you don’t have all that when you go to a live event but what you do get is a 30-minute match with a bunch of false finishes, cheating, behind the back and a run-in, you know what I mean? It’s like old ‘rasslin so what I’ve been going for at these live events is have fun and make sure the talent is having fun too because that relates. It translates as well.

James was part of D Generation-X and stated that if he had to book a DX versus n.W.o match, he would choose the n.W.o to get the win.

And to me, I think we’ve asked on here before, like, ‘If you were booking, who would you put over?’ (Between D.X. & n.W.o)… And I said then, nWo. I feel like you got [Hulk] Hogan, you got [Kevin] Nash, it was hot. We were the hot little engine that could, you know what I mean? We kept going and kept doing crazy things but, they had the established superstars and we were trying to get over so I don’t know, I think it would have been awesome.

** There’s a virtual signing on the K & S WrestleFest page with four-time NWA World Tag Team Champion Elix Skipper. Looking back on his time in WCW, Elix credited Rey Mysterio Jr. and Billy Kidman for being two of the most unselfish people he came across. Skipper recounted wanting to be paired with talents he trained at the WCW Power Plant with but says it all worked out because he got to learn from Rey and Kidman.

I learned so much from so many people back then and I’m not saying what they’re doing now (in wrestling) is different, I’m just happy for the time that I came through because I learned from everybody and I was just telling them the story of I came in the business with [Billy] Kidman and Rey [Mysterio Jr]. It don’t get any better than that. Those are two of the most unselfish guys, unselfish. They’re already over so they go, let’s get this guy over. He obviously wants it so let’s show him what he don’t know and let’s get him to the next level. So I came in the business at the right time in my opinion with the right people and all my [WCW] Power Plant friends, they all wrestled together and I was like, ‘Man, I wanna be with them. I wanna do matches with them.’ But I didn’t see the bigger picture and the bigger picture was Rey Mysterio and Kidman so, I’m happy with the time that I grew up in.

Initially, Elix was going to go by the name ‘Skip Over’. He shared that it was Disco Inferno who convinced him to go with his real name and add ‘Primetime’ in front of it.

Glenn [Gilbertti], Disco Inferno I think you guys call him, he saw me training one day and guess what? My name went from ‘Skip Over’ to Primetime Elix Skipper. He said, ‘Because you are a human highlight reel. Just watching you’ and the thing was, I wasn’t even trying… Yeah (Skip Over) was gonna be my name. I switched to Primetime after Glenn seen me wrestle and he pitched it to the office and he said, ‘Just watch him. Watch him train, watch the stuff he do,’ were effortlessly. I didn’t have to try hard to do it or wait, let me do it again. It was just easy… Yup, Elix Skipper is my real name.

It’s all Glenn. That was all Glenn. He saw me wrestle one day and said he just thought I was great.

** It was this past November that it was formally announced that Jai Vidal signed a contract with IMPACT Wrestling. While speaking to Darren Paltrowitz, Vidal recounted receiving the phone call from Tommy Dreamer about the contract offer. He called Dreamer back after a flight and said he was ‘over the moon’ when he got the offer.

It’s funny because that whole day backstage (when I was at IMPACT), people were coming up to me like, ‘Did you hear anything yet? Did you hear anything yet?’ And I’m like, ‘No. Am I supposed to hear something?’ And they’re just like, ‘No, never mind.’ I’m like, ‘Okay,’ so I said goodbye to everybody and flew back over to south Florida and when I got off my flight is when I had the missed call from Tommy Dreamer and he was like, ‘Hey Jai. Call me back whenever you get the chance to’ and I called him back and he laid everything out for me that they’re gonna offer me a contract and I was on cloud nine.

** Coming off his in-ring debut for Pro Wrestling NOAH, Jake Lee was interviewed by Tokyo Sports. He expressed to the site that he feels NOAH is ‘missing something’, but currently that ‘something’ is being filled by Keiji Muto. After Muto retires in February, Lee wonders what the landscape will look like and if he could possibly fill that ‘something’.

I’ve been thinking with my rambunctious mind and I’ve come up with an idea. This organization may have the resources and the wrestlers, but something is missing. Right now, that something is being filled by Keiji Muto. But he will retire in February. So what happens after that? So, I can take Keiji Muto’s place.

I know (that sounds bold). So that would require more career and name recognition. But wait, then if I can do it with each and every one of the wrestlers here and beat them, it will lead me there. Then the belt will come to you on its own. That’s the simple way to put it. I’m not just going to fight, I’m going to create something interesting.

When it comes to his presentation, Lee said he’ll be fine-tuning his entrance gear and theme song.

There are things I need to gain and things I need to incorporate. There are things that I need to gain and things that I need to take in, and I’ll be be fine-tuning my entrance music and gowns accordingly. It can’t be the same all the time.

** Ahead of his NXT Championship match at New Year’s Evil, Grayson Waller was interviewed by PWInsider. He talked to the outlet about his ‘Grayson Waller Effect’ segments on NXT TV and how he feels that is a sign of trust in his mic work from the powers that be.

If you look at people that have talk shows and that they all have something in common in they’re just very good at talking. To get that type of TV time strictly on the microphone is very, very rare. And they don’t put that trust in many people. And I think they put it on me because they know you put a microphone in my hand, I’m good to go. And it doesn’t matter who I’m in there with. If I’m in there with Bron, I’ve been in there with Apollo, Cora and Roxanne. I can make that happen. I can make it a show. So I thought it was them showing huge trust in me to even give me that position. And I love it. I love wrestling. I love being in the ring, I love fighting. I love hitting other people in the face, but I love entertaining more than anything. So you give me that show, graphics are sick, I get to ask questions and the best part is that I don’t have to do the stereotypical questions of like, oh Cora, how are you feeling for your match? Roxanne, how do you feel? I can go out and I can start pushing buttons lad, and I can watch these fights happen in front of me and it brings me a lot of joy. But I think my favorite one so far was actually the first one with Apollo just ’cause me and Apollo hadn’t really had too much face to face and I got to say some things to Apollo that I know he didn’t appreciate and he punched me in the face and that’s kind of what I wanted. And the moment he punched me, I was like, I love this. I want to do this as much as possible. And luckily, I’ve had a few opportunities to do it since.

Waller spoke about returning to his home country of Australia over the holidays. He was able to do seminars at the PWA Academy. Waller feels there are an abundance of talents in Australia who are ready to break out but it can be difficult to get eyes on the scene. He was also able to reunite with his coach, New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Robbie Eagles.

It’s super tough (breaking out of the Australian wrestling scene). I went home recently, I did a few seminars and got to train with people from the PWA Academy, which is the biggest school in Australia. And it’s tough because the talent is there and the talent has been there for so long and when they get the opportunity like a Rhea Ripley, they show the world who they are. Or even you can talk about Aussie Open right now, they’re doing their thing all over the place and it’s just, it’s frustrating because we can’t get the eyes on us in Australia because we’re so far away. So you have to find your way somewhere else. And to me, I think this is the best place for me to go. And I had to go on reality TV, I had to do all these things. I had to be as loud as possible just to get the eye on me on the right night so that they would give me an opportunity to even come here. But as an Australian, it is tough because unless you are here or you go to Japan or the UK or you go to these places that everyone talks about, unfortunately you have a low ceiling and you have to do everything possible to kind of breakthrough that ceiling and get somewhere else. And it was cool going home. And my coach from day one was Robbie Eagles who’s killing it over in Japan at the moment. And getting to go back and work with him and just reminding myself, people in Australia are so talented. I genuinely think we’re the best wrestlers in the world and we just don’t get to show it enough. So as an Australian, I think sometimes I got lucky. The right eye saw me at the right day, but also I’m very talented. So I’m not surprised.

** There’s a feature about Danhausen that was published by The New York Times.

** IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada serves as lead coach on a television show about wrestling trainees that airs on Fuji TV. That series premiered on January 9th.

** New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s protein drink goes on-sale on January 20th.

** Elias guest appeared on CBS 42 ahead of the 1/10 Monday Night Raw.

** Toru Yano of NJPW is featured on the ‘Hands’ website.

** January 10th birthdays: Tamina.

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 8465 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.