POST NEWS UPDATE: Tony Schiavone has not seen Queens, NY on AEW’s 2023 schedule, assumes they’ll be back for Grand Slam

AEW Grand Slam note, Okada on the conclusion of WK 17, Miz-Stephanie McMahon, Kip Sabian chats Orange Cassidy program, Jungle Kyona-GHC Title

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.

** For the past two years, AEW has ran their Grand Slam events from Arthur Ashe Stadium in Queens, New York. During a virtual signing with Highspots Superstore, Tony Schiavone assumed that AEW will be back in Queens for Grand Slam this year, but he has not seen it on the schedule.

We’re [AEW] gonna go back there (Queens, New York). That’s where we had Grand Slam at the Arthur Ashe Stadium and we’ll be going back there I think for another year coming up. Haven’t seen it on the schedule yet but I’m sure there’s plans to do it. It’s been a good venue for us, it has.

Elsewhere during the signing, Schiavone joked that a gene he has is trying to make bad matches sound exciting. He added that the hallmark of his work is 2000 WCW.

I have a gene that not many people know of that causes me to even try to make sh*tty matches sound exciting (Schiavone laughed) … The hallmark of my work was 2000 WCW, I can tell you that.

** At the conclusion of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 17, newly crowned IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada said Antonio Inoki’s catchphrase, ’1,2,3, Daa’. Okada informed Tokyo Sports that he was not planning to do it but felt he had to-to properly send the late Inoki home.

I wasn’t planning to do it, but I felt I had to do it to send him home. I think I was able to reach Mr. Inoki and I was able to see the scenery that he used to see. It was a good event (Wrestle Kingdom 17) that made me feel that the fight with Corona is coming soon (referring to vocal crowd noise still not being allowed at some shows).

He went on to further comment on his idea for a pro wrestling World Cup where talents represent their respective areas of the world. Okada suggested an idea like himself and Shinsuke Nakamura teaming up or himself and Tetsuya Naito teaming up.

I think there are such events overseas, but I don’t think there are any big tournaments. I think it would be fun to have a big (World Cup) event on a global scale. Maybe we could have a tag team with Okada and (Shinsuke) Nakamura, or Okada and (Tetsuya) Naito if they are asked to fight for their country. I don’t know if that would work. I think it would be interesting to include various groups.

** While TMZ Sports was speaking to The Miz, he gave his thoughts about Stephanie McMahon’s resignation from WWE. He credited Stephanie for ‘The Dirt Sheet’ YouTube show being greenlit when she was in creative.

Stephanie McMahon’s legacy, I mean, for me, she’s always been one of the people that you can go to talk, to talk to. I remember when she was head of creative when I first got to WWE. I ran an idea by her, it was called ‘The Dirt Sheet’. It was before YouTube was really a cool thing… It was a show that me and my tag partner really wanted to do and we couldn’t get it going and so we went to Stephanie, I pitched her the idea and she said, ‘We’re gonna do it’ and literally gave us the freedom to do it and it literally created one of the models of what WWE’s YouTube channel is today and so it started the whole YouTube channel. So yeah, that one thing turned into one of the biggest YouTube channels that WWE has… She was the one, the reason behind all that happening.

Vince McMahon is back in WWE as Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors. When it comes to that, Miz reiterated that the company wants to put smiles on people’s faces and regardless of who is leading WWE, the talents just try to do their jobs.

I think everyone is excited about the future of WWE and what it holds (Miz responded when asked for his thoughts about Vince McMahon being back in the company). Whenever you’re in a company like that and we touch so many lives, so many times, we go all over the world and travel and the whole idea of WWE and the number one thing we always say is we just try to put smiles on people’s faces and so, whoever is at the head at the time, we’re just trying to do our jobs as WWE superstars to make people happy and give them something to remember…

** Earlier this month, Kip Sabian wrapped up an on-screen program with Orange Cassidy over the AEW All-Atlantic Championship. Sabian told Captain’s Corner during a virtual signing that he’s happy with how everything played out and feels it was the first time he’s got to spread his wings. Sabian added that he has more ideas in mind for his character.

Sabian: What we created with the Best Friends and Orange Cassidy by far (is my favorite thing I’ve done since coming back to AEW). I was saying this the other day on my Twitch stream where I talk about this stuff a lot to chat but, I feel like it was the first chance that I’ve actually had to fully expand my wings with wrestling… I’m very high on the belief that the art form of wrestling is super important and I try and treat it in an artistic manner like you would treat a role in a movie and I feel like there was so many little undertones that we did during that period that I was very, very happy with the outcome, especially when we had the final match. So yeah, that’s probably the thing that’s been most rewarding since doing the new character because — and I mean, there’s still so much more to go with it. It’s still in its infancy still, you know what I mean? I have some really good ideas.

Taking a look back at the early portions of his career, Sabian shared that it was AEW’s Saraya who suggested he use the name ‘Kip’ for his ring name. Kip wrestled for W.A.W. (World Association of Wrestling) which is ran by Saraya’s family. Kip would later go on to be called ‘Kip Sabin’ because he was a fan of Chris Sabin.

Sabian: So, when I used to backyard (wrestle), I had a different name and when I started at W.A.W., the first show, they asked me what I wanted to be? ‘What do you want your name to be?’ And one of my backyard names was ‘Jett’, J, E, double T and I wanted ‘Jett’-something but there was someone else in the company called ‘Jett’ so I didn’t have ‘Jett’. So, I have no idea what I’m gonna be called… My nickname since I was a kid has always been ‘Kip’. So, it was actually Saraya at the time, who, they asked me what I wanted to be called. I said, ‘Oh, I don’t mind, whatever’ and it was ‘Raya who came up with just putting Kip and I think I wrestled the first match as ‘Kip Jones’. I think it was Kip Jones… And then it went from Kip Jones to Kip Sabin because I was a Chris Sabin mark back in the day and then it went from Kip Sabin to Kip Sabian. So, I told Chris that story… when he was backstage. 

Penelope Ford chimed in on the conversation about wrestling names and shared that her name was created by Drew Gulak’s wife. The inspiration behind it was the film Wreck-It Ralph and the character named ‘Vanellope’. The ‘Ford’ portion of her name was suggested because it’s easy to chant.

Ford: How’d I get my name? Drew Gulak’s wife came up with the name based off of Wreck-It Ralph’s ‘Vanellope’. Yup, and she drove a little pink car and they were like, ‘Oh, well Penelope’s long so you need something that’s easy to chant so Ford…’ One syllable.

Elsewhere during the signing, Sabian recounted the time when he was working an independent show and an elderly man headbutted him in the nose. Sabian had been taunting the man and his wife. In the moment, he said he acted as if it did not hurt.

Sabian: So I’m doing the show and there’s this old dude and his Mrs. in the front row and they’re popping off. They’re getting super aggressive so I’m like, you know, what am I gonna do? I’m gonna mess with these guys. So I started messing with him and I started messing with his wife. I don’t remember what I said, but I said something like… what a real man looks like to this guy’s face. So he gets right in my face and I’m staring him down and he literally leans over the guardrail and just headbutts me full-on on the nose, mid-match… (He was like) 70, 60, 70 (years old). But at this moment, I’m like, what can I do? Because getting headbutted on the nose just sucks so I completely no-sold it and just laughed in his face but then went back in the ring and cried a little bit to myself because it hurt so much or when I got backstage… I think I let him stay (in the crowd instead of signaling for security)… I mean I guess I was doing my job correctly.

While talking about some of his past tag partners, one name that Sabian highlighted was Robbie X. He feels Robbie is going to be signed this year.

Sabian: Robbie X was always fun (to team with). I’ve been putting Robbie X over for years now. He’s so good. If you’ve not checked out Robbie X, check out Robbie X. He will be signed this year by someone.

** Current ESPN host and former WWE backstage interviewer and host Charly Arnolt f.k.a. Charly Caruso was the focus of a virtual signing hosted by Richie DeGregorio. She weighed in on Mandy Rose being let go from WWE and conversed with the live chat about it. Arnolt feels a warning is not needed when content as such is being posted while working for WWE. She added that it is a shame Rose was being built up to be let go in the manner she was but said if she had a fan site, ESPN would let her go.

What does everyone think about what happened to Mandy [Rose]? The big drama in NXT, spill, talk to me people. What are you thinking? Do you think it was justified? Do you think it was wrong? Do you like the direction that Mandy has gone in? Who subscribes to her site? What kinds of photos are we looking at these days? What kind of videos is she posting? Someone spill the tea… Yes, she’s making good money… I don’t think you need warning when you work for a company and you’re posting stuff like that. I don’t even think you would need a warning.

[Mandy went on] Tamron Hall, yeah. I guess if you talk about it on Tamron Hall, it means it’s all good, right? (Arnolt laughed) I’m just kidding.

That is a shame (that Rose was let go after being built up as NXT Women’s Champion for a lengthy period of time).

I would definitely be fired from ESPN if I had a fan site.

She reflected on her days hosting the NXT TakeOver Kickoff panels. She feels the best trio for those panels included herself, Pat McAfee and Sam Roberts.

NXT, I remember my days being in NXT. They were very short-lived but I enjoyed the NXT pre-shows. Those were fun. We actually had a really fun — I feel like when it was me, Sam [Roberts] and Pat McAfee was the best NXT panel. That was actually the best panel in general I think.

** During MLW CEO Court Bauer’s appearance on Busted Open Radio, he discussed his vision for the growth of MLW’s women’s division. Bauer mentioned that he wants the women to have multiple divisions and threw the idea out there of an atomweight division in addition to the featherweight group that is in place.

That’s a big one (how he plans to grow MLW’s women’s division). First, you have to have a credible champion then slowly build out and the one thing that we struggle with really is like, we have five men’s titles and now we have one women’s title and it’s trying to get them more time. Now we have two weekly shows, two hours of original programming per week. We have MLW FUSION which now is gonna be streaming exclusively on Pro Wrestling TV and then we have MLW on Reelz, Tuesday nights. That’s 10 PM starting February 7th. So now we have more window, more opportunity to bring more women, we’re doing more women’s matches and that has been such an important part. So Taya’s defending the title, we have B3CCA debuting from New England and we have Billie Starkz and we’re gonna be announcing some more stuff soon for this card. We wanna build out and have multiple women’s divisions. We have a Featherweight division, maybe there’s an Atomweight division. We’re just trying to get that thing up and running and the more time we have, the more hours we have to put ‘em out there, the more chances we’re gonna have to do that.

** After competing at The Great Muta’s ‘Final Bye-Bye’ event, Jungle Kyona spoke to the press and suggested the idea of NOAH creating a Women’s Championship belt. If such a belt is established, she’d like to be the first to go after it.

I was able to return to Japan after an absence of about two years and four months. I’m back! I’m really honored to have my match on such a big stage. I heard in the U.S. that KAIRI, whom I respect, won the IWGP Women’s belt… This is the ring of NOAH… and I think it would be good to have a GHC Women’s Championship… If such a belt is really created, I would like to be the first one to run for it because I think it would be perfect for me, a worldwide wrestler.

** NJPW The New Beginning in Nagoya Results (1/22/23) Dolphins Arena in Nagoya, Japan
– Togi Makabe & Toru Yano def. Oskar Leube & Yuto Nakashima
– El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Ren Narita & Tomoaki Honma def. House Of Torture (Dick Togo, EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi)
– TMDK (Kosei Fujita, Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste & Zack Sabre Jr.) def. Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Ryohei Oiwa
– BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo, KENTA & Taiji Ishimori) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Jado & Master Wato
– United Empire (Aaron Henare, Francesco Akira & Will Ospreay) def. Just Three Guys (DOUKI, Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (w/ TAKA Michinoku)
– Kazuchika Okada, YOH, Ryusuke Taguchi & Shota Umino def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito)
NJPW KOPW Championship: Shingo Takagi (c) (w/ Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) def. Great-O-Khan (w/ Aaron Henare, Francesco Akira & Will Ospreay) by TKO

** Frankie Kazarian guest appeared on K100 w/ Konnan & Disco.

** NJPW is airing the Rumble on 44th Street event on their YouTube channel. 

** All Japan Pro Wrestling Results (1/22/23) Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
– Black Menso-re & Kotaro Suzuki def. Oji Shiiba & Rising HAYATO
– Hokuto Omori & Naruki Doi def. Ryo Inoue & Yuma Anzai
GAORA TV Championship: Minoru Tanaka def. Toshizu (c)
– Dan Tamura, Hikaru Sato & Yuji Nagata def. Masao Hanabatake, Ryuki Honda & Shotaro Ashino
– Voodoo Murders (Jun Saito, KONO, Rei Saito & Suwama) def. Ren Ayabe, Shuji Ishikawa, Takao Omori & Yoshitatsu
AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Championship: Atsuki Aoyagi (c) def. Kaz Hayashi
AJPW World Tag Team Championship: Naoya Nomura & Yuma Aoyagi def. Kento Miyahara & Takuya Nomura (c)

** Dragongate ‘The New Year Gate’ Results (1/22/23) Kobe Sambo Hall in Kobe, Japan
– Dragon Dia, Madoka Kikuta & Yuki Yoshioka def. Jack ‘Funky’ Kamei, Jason Lee & Ho Ho Lun
– Kaito Nagano & Yoshiki Kato def. Minorita & Ryu Fuda
– H.Y.O def. Kono Mama Ichikawa
– Syachihoko BOY & Takashi Yoshida def. Genki Horiguchi & Punch Tominaga
– Dragon Kid, Kagetora & Shuji Kondo def. M3K (Mochizuki Jr., Susumu Mochizuki & Yasushi Kanda)
– Don Fujii & YAMATO def. Natural Vibes (BIG BOSS Shimizu & Strong Machine J)
Open The Triangle Gate Championship: Ben-K, BxB Hulk & Kota Minoura def. Z-Brats (ISHIN, KAI & Shun Skywalker) (c)

** KENTA versus Q.T. Marshall from the NJPW STRONG ‘Nemesis’ taping:

** Independent talent Ki Vibez was profiled by San Antonio Express-News.

** Part two of Dakota Kai playing The Last of Us on the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel.

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 7792 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.