POST NEWS UPDATE: ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey says it was Kenny King’s idea to do Pit Fight match in IMPACT Wrestling

Pit Fight in IMPACT, Samoa Joe chats Twisted Metal Peacock series, Jordynne Grace reflects on PWG experience, Roxanne Perez note, Reby Hardy

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.

** Headlining the January 19th edition of IMPACT Wrestling on AXS was ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey versus Kenny King in a Pit Fight match. Bailey told the Wrestling Perspective Podcast that it was King’s idea to do that type of match. Bailey went into detail about his mindset going into it and wanting to make it exciting for a broader audience.

So, it was Kenny’s idea to have a Pit Fight originally. It was time for me at IMPACT to go into a feud with someone and kind of show a different side of my personality other than just good in-ring wrestler, guy that’s good at having good matches which is fun and very important in professional wrestling but I can’t be only that. But yeah, I think the shows like Bloodsport that happens at The Collective and wXw AMBITION which is still, you know, shoot rules is great on a weekend like The Collective and on shows like AMBITION because it really lets the wrestlers show a different side and a different set of skills and when the whole show is that, realism is a huge part of making that exciting which is not something that we had for the Pit Fight. It needed to be more exciting for a broader pro wrestling audience, than those Bloodsport or AMBITION shows that happen within like a weekend of shows. So I thought taking that concept, that element of the MMA style and pushing it to street fights and all the big stunts that you’d see in your average feud blow-off match was definitely the way to go, it made it extremely exciting and I couldn’t be happier with how that match came out.

Later in the conversation, Bailey credited Chris Hero for giving him advice and helping him along in wrestling. Bailey took what Hero told him and applies it to his television matches.

I wanna say that Chris Hero (helped me progress in wrestling) even though it was way before television — is someone that gave me a lot of advice when working with him and some of the things he told me really stuck with me and (I) apply it to television.

** The latest guest to join Renée Paquette on The Sessions podcast was Samoa Joe. Joe plays the role of ‘Sweet Tooth’ in the Peacock series ‘Twisted Metal’. He detailed how that opportunity came to be and said he was contacted by a producer at Sony Pictures who he had previously met over a decade ago. He described the filming process as well.

A guy that I had met 15 years prior and we had a mutual friend, we hung out, watched pay-per-views together a few times and stuff like that and he was kind of just getting started out at New Line Cinema at the time and doing his thing and he gives me a call and he’s a major producer at Sony Pictures and he’s just like, ‘Hey man, I got an opportunity for you. It’s pretty crazy’ and obviously, he goes, ‘Are you available?’ I said, ‘Yeah, yeah, sure I’m available. I’ve just been made available’ and he goes, ‘You heard of Twisted Metal?’ I said, ‘Yeah! Video game, PlayStation, it was great.’ He’s like, ‘Sweet Tooth’ and I was like, ‘Ah! I’m in, I’m in, let’s do it’ so, he had me read for the part and they loved it and the rest is history.

We did a lot of actual location shoots. So, we filmed up in New Orleans and got a lot of crazy, hot, sweltering days out in the sun, various lookouts and driving crazy. Mad Max heat, rigged up with no A.C. cars and chasing each other in the desert. So it was really, really cool from the Mad Max standpoint, which is awesome, jumping and driving cars but, pretty crazy as far as some of the crazy weather we dealt with down in Louisiana.

Joe spent time around and with the late Jay Briscoe over the last two decades. Joe touched on Jay’s personality and authenticity.

I think the biggest memory of Jay (Briscoe) and like I said, why a lot of us were really floored by this is that Jay was a guy who unconditionally loved people. He’d come in and it didn’t matter if you were having a good day or a bad day, he was always there to be like, ‘Hey! How you doing man?’ And you know, dap you up, give you a hug. You shoot the bull with him down at the chicken farm which always is wild stories, you know what I mean? ‘What’s been going down at the farm?’ ‘Aw man.’ I think that was the biggest thing was, you know, Jay was extremely authentic. We’re all gonna miss him just because the fun, the hilarity, the good times after the show, the great matches. It’s just all that kind of goes away and it leaves a big void and I think that’s why it hit a lot of people so hard.

** Former IMPACT Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace spoke to DAZN Wrestling and looked back on being able to compete in the 2023 PWG Battle of Los Angeles tournament. She was not expecting it and was also not expecting to wrestle at PWG ‘DINK’ in November 2022.

Oh, I was definitely not expecting it (to be invited to PWG BOLA). I wasn’t even expecting to wrestle on the show the first time against Masha [Slamovich]. Because they haven’t had women in so long, so I was just like, ‘Of course I wanna do PWG. Is that even a question?’ It’s something that’s on every wrestler’s bucket list I think or at least it should be if you know the history of wrestling in PWG. Some of the greatest wrestlers in the world, that’s kind of where they started and I was just very blessed and lucky to be able to get that opportunity.

The 2023 BOLA tournament featured Grace besting her significant other, Jonathan Gresham. Grace said she wanted to plan the match weeks ahead but Gresham insisted on doing it the day of. She agreed to his plan out of respect for his in-ring skill.

I’m gonna be completely honest. Me and Jon [Gresham] are very different when it comes to wrestling. So, we just have a completely different mentality on things and I mean, I wanna basically plan the match out way in advance but he is like, ‘No, we’re doing it the day of’ (Grace laughed). So, I mean, we did the day of unfortunately. He’s been wrestling way longer than me so I just waited and I was like, he probably knows best. He’s a much better wrestler than I am so we ended up doing it the day of and my stress level was at an all-time high just because he’s my husband obviously but I also think that he’s one of the greatest wrestlers to ever live. So, it was just really special for me to get to wrestle him on that kind of platform.

One month prior to Grace debuting for PWG against Masha Slamovich, she wrestled Slamovich at IMPACT Wrestling’s Bound For Glory pay-per-view. That is a match Grace considers to be the best of her career thus far and says that solidified that she can be the face of the Knockouts division. 

Man, it’s hard to specify one specific moment. But I’m gonna say recently when I realized that I did have what it took to be the face of the women’s division and it was my rightful place to be at the forefront was when I had my match versus Masha Slamovich and it was pretty recently actually. It was in October (at Bound For Glory). That match, it was so hard for me to prepare for that match because I knew that it was the biggest match of my career. I know how good Masha was and to be able to stand in that ring in front of that sold-out crowd and to wrestle her and have the caliber of match that we did was something that made me realize that this is what I was destined to do. That’s when it all clicked for me… I feel like personally for me, yes (it is the best match of my career). I think fans would agree too. I’ve seen a lot of comments about that but definitely.

** The reigning NXT Women’s Champion Roxanne Perez was the latest guest on ‘Under the Ring’. She recounted when she sat in the producers office with the headset on and took in how tasking that role is. Perez is not sure if she’d like to do that but is curious about creative writing in wrestling.

One time, I did try sitting in the producers office with the headset on and everything and I was like, ‘Yeah, no, I’m never doing this.’ It was so much. I don’t know how they do it. They are like masterminds but they got 20 voices in their ears, they got to switch camera angles, they gotta do so much stuff as they’re looking at papers and trying to see where they are on the show and what’s next, what’s before this, it’s crazy. So yeah, I was like, ‘Maybe not that’ but, I’ve always loved writing since I was a kid so, I would love to write one day so, yeah, maybe that. Maybe writing some storylines.

** Women’s Wrestling Talk has an interview on their YouTube channel with Reby Hardy. She recalled being part of the ‘Great War’ match at TNA Bound For Glory 2016. She cornered Matt and Jeff Hardy while Rosemary cornered Crazzy Steve and Abyss. Reby shared that what she and Rosemary were supposed to do in that match was altered because she found out she was pregnant the morning of the show.

I feel like me and Rosemary could have gone somewhere and it was on its way honestly. We had a lot more to do in the match in the (Great War) in TNA and the morning of Bound For Glory, I wake up, I felt like sh*t and at that point, I was just traveling with pregnancy tests (she laughed), and I took a test and I was pregnant. I found out that morning that I was pregnant. We were supposed to do so much more in that match and ended up having to change the whole match, change it for the boys, change it for us and that was gonna go on to become something else and I feel like that could have really gone somewhere cool so, I was looking forward to that but that never happened.

The history between Matt Hardy and Jeff Jarrett is well documented. Reby was asked for her thoughts on Jarrett and said he reached out before WrestleCade 2022 to make sure everything was smooth between them before seeing each other in person.

(She laughed) Well, this is impossible bro. One word (to say about Jeff Jarrett), I’m sorry baby. We’re gonna have to change the game.

I mean the whole — f*ck, that ‘owl’ thing, the whole drama with the lawsuit, the copyrights, that was all stemmed from Jeff Jarrett. So, we had obviously a very big problem. There was one point where I told him, ‘It’s on-site when I see you. You or Karen, f*ck both of y’all.’ It’s fine now, it’s fine now. He had actually called before WrestleCade and he was like, ‘Look, I just wanna talk before this. I wanna make sure that we’re good,’ he explained his reasoning behind it all. It was, you know, whatever. I can respect it. If you’re gonna come to me as a man, as a woman or whatever and be like, ‘Look, I was f*cked up. This was my reason,’ and you’re gonna stand 10 toes on it, that’s fine, I’m fine with that. At least he didn’t come with the fake sh*t, like Eric Bischoff.

A speaking role in All Elite Wrestling is something Reby would be interested in, but does not want to open herself up to more criticism as a result and mentioned that Matt has people who constantly ask him could he get them on television. She’s fine doing what she’s doing outside of wrestling.

I would never wrestle in AEW. The level of women’s wrestling is way beyond probably where I was when I was actually active and it’s not even fathomable now at this stage in my life. Now, I would love to come on in a speaking role but I feel like if that was going to happen, it would have already happened and I don’t wanna push myself. Matt (Hardy), everybody he’s ever met and even friends of his, constantly asking for jobs. ‘Can I manage you? Can I do this? Can I manage for this whatever run?’ I don’t ever wanna be that person like, oh, bro, get me on TV and everyone’s gonna say, oh, she’s only on TV because of Matt. I’m so past it, I don’t need it. I’d love it but I don’t want it that bad that I’m willing to open myself up to even more criticism for nothing, for existing, for doing something I’d enjoy. I’m good. I’ll stick to my own stupid TikTok, and I’ll talk my talk there. I would love to though and I love what he’s doing with Private Party. Boys from New York. I was like, ‘Of course you’re gonna end up with boys from New York, that’s amazing. You just got it all over on both sides. You can’t get away from us.’

** There was a live Q&A on the Wrestling With Johners YouTube channel that was centered around former PROGRESS Unified World Champion Cara Noir. He stated that a goal of his is to wrestle in the USA. Noir, real name Tom Dawkins, secured a U.S. visa before the COVID-19 pandemic and unfortunately had to watch it expire.

Love to (wrestle in the USA). It’s kind of a goal. The sad thing is I had a visa, a U.S. visa, right before the pandemic started and that’s when I got it so I watched it run out. So yeah, maybe (Noir laughed).

** In the 2022 NJPW Best of the Super Juniors tournament, El Lindaman tallied up eight points in the B Block. He reflected on that experience while being interviewed by Tokyo Sports.

I was the only one (in NJPW Best of Super Juniors 2022) from another Japanese organization, so I had a sense of responsibility to the extent that I carried the feelings of not only GLEAT but also other Japanese wrestlers. When I was in the waiting room with other senior fighters, I was told in a whisper, ‘You have to do it with the feeling that you have to bring all the fans back to yourself.’ I still fight with that kind of mindset.

** The Wrestling Perspective Podcast brought Ace Steel back onto the show to discuss all things Jay Briscoe.

** Fatherhood was the subject of Kazuchika Okada’s chat with NHK NEWS WEB.

** On March 18th, Aja Kong will be back in action for Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling. She’ll be taking on Yuki Arai in singles competition.

** IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi is featured in the trailer for the ‘Kamen Rider’ series. 

** WWE Board of Directors member Michelle Wilson was named to Make-A-Wish America’s national Board of Directors.

** A press conference for Keiji Muto’s final match event at the Tokyo Dome is taking place on February 2nd.

** An interview with Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts at this link.

** Prestige Wrestling is bringing Minoru Suzuki in for their March 26th show.

** NJPW Road to New Beginning Results (1/31/23) Furusato Village Dome Theater in Yokote, Akita, Japan
– Great-O-Khan def. Yuto Nakashima
– Tiger Mask & Tomoaki Honma def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Oskar Leube
– El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori def. Jado & Master Wato
– Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano def. BULLET CLUB (Gedo & KENTA) by DQ
– TMDK (Kosei Fujita, Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste & Zack Sabre Jr.) def. Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Ryohei Oiwa
– United Empire (Aaron Henare, Francesco Akira, TJP & Will Ospreay) def. Just 4 Guys (DOUKI, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) def. Kazuchika Okada, Ryusuke Taguchi, Shota Umino & Togi Makabe

** Tokyo Sports published the written version of their conversation with Kento Miyahara.

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 8477 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.