POST NEWS UPDATE: Mark Henry recalls Vince McMahon not wanting him to cut his hair, went back & forth for nearly two years

Mark Henry/Vince McMahon story, Tony Khan on Jay Briscoe's tribute show, Dante Leon talks viral move, Liger note, Sami Callihan on The Design

Photo Courtesy: Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

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.

** Joining the newest edition of ‘Somethin’ Else’ on the Black Rasslin’ Podcast YouTube channel is Mark Henry. He told the story of how he wanted to shave his head back in 2008 but Vince McMahon would not clear it due to merchandise and action figures that were made with Henry’s then-current likeness. Henry and McMahon went back and forth about it for almost two years until one night, Henry’s braids were ripped out during a match. He was not happy about it and verbally expressed that to McMahon.

Alright, well I wanted to do it in 2008 (shave my head). But, his royal highness, prince Jaffe Joffer, Vince McMahon, did not want me to cut my hair because of action figures and likenesses and ads and everything that we had done and was posting, that’s how people saw me and I told him, I said, ‘Well as soon as I shave this sh*t, everybody is gonna know me like that.’ We went at each other for about a year and 10 months before finally, I got kicked in the head and three of my braids tore off, ripped from the skin and I said, ‘Listen man, when I come back tomorrow, this sh*t gonna be cut because I’m pissed and I wanna whoop his ass but I’ma let him make it on the sake of y’all using him on TV. So, I’m gonna go cut this and act like I’m not mad right now’ so, at that point, it was like, oh sh*t. Don’t say nothing. Just let him go and I came back with a bald head and that was October 10th, 11th or something like that and then, that’s when I came up with that brilliant idea that I should be Rick Ross for Halloween.

Henry mentioned that he dressed up as Rick Ross for Halloween and recalled conversing with Ross. He told Henry that he’s a “big motherf*cker”.

That was the first time me and him (Rick Ross) had a conversation. He reached out to me on social media the next day (after a photo of Henry dressed as Rick for Halloween was posted) and he was like, ‘Everybody keep seeing that we look alike.’ He was like, ‘Man, you a big motherf*cker.’ The way he say it is the funniest thing in the world. He is a classic, classic human being.

** Prior to the 2/1 edition of AEW Dynamite, Tony Khan joined Busted Open Radio and reflected on the Jay Briscoe tributes that took place on last week’s Dynamite.

Khan: It was a great show (Jay Briscoe tribute edition of AEW Dynamite) and I’m really proud of the tribute we put together for the late, great Jay Briscoe. It was an incredible match, incredible main event with Jay Briscoe’s best friend Jay Lethal going one-on-one with his brother Mark Briscoe and I was glad they were able to pay tribute to the life and legacy of Jamin Pugh, of Mark Briscoe and Jay Lethal coming together to pay tribute to Jay Briscoe last week. It was great.

Earlier in the show, independent talent Ashley D’Amboise guest appeared and dove into her tryout match for IMPACT Wrestling. D’Amboise was initially brought in just to have a singles match against Deonna Purrazzo for a TV taping. The feedback she received from the tryout was positive and she shared that Tommy Dreamer told those who partook in the tryout that he would offer them contracts if he could.

D’Amboise: So I was brought into IMPACT for my match with Deonna (Purrazzo) and there are local people that I train with that are also setting up for IMPACT and there for the seminar so, I wasn’t officially scheduled for a tryout. Deonna was the one who came to me and she said — initially, I almost stopped my own opportunity there because, it was either you (Tommy Dreamer) or Lisa (Marie Varon) said, ‘Okay, if you are already wrestling later today, please don’t wrestle because we don’t have enough time. Don’t take another match’ but then The Renegade Twins had their — they had to find two opponents to wrestle so I was like, ‘Damn!’ That would be so great because I train with them, I know them and I wanna try out as well. But, I’m not gonna seem greedy or break the rules… And a few minutes goes by and Deonna finds me and she goes, ‘Would you mind doing us a favor and doing a match?’ I’m like, ‘A favor!? No, I will gladly take this opportunity.’ So, I got to wrestle the match. Masha Slamovich was my tag team partner and we hit that tag team tryout for IMPACT and there was a hiccup that actually I think ended up working better in my favor because it was the up and over part where I didn’t have the right momentum or footwork leading into it. We kind of stumbled, but I still got up and over and everyone was like, ‘You’re so athletic’ and I was like, okay, cool. I showed something. But, the feedback afterwards melted my heart and lifted me up at the same time so Tommy, thank you so much for coming out there. You came out of the darkness and you were like, ‘If I could give you guys all a contract right now, I would’ and I was just like, you’re on the right path, you’re on the right path.

** As Dave Bautista was making the media rounds to promote the ‘Knock at the Cabin’ film, he spoke to Comicbook.com. He told the site his thoughts about Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque being the Chief Content Officer at WWE and how much he believes in Levesque. Bautista brought up that he was able to chat with Levesque for several hours when he visited SmackDown in December.

I think this is the best thing for the company. It really is. It’s a personal thing with me because I know Triple H. I know how well he knows this business. I know how much he loves this business. As far as this business goes, he’s the smartest guy I’ve ever met in my life. He made me who I was. He was responsible for my career. I’ve never been ashamed to say that.

I think that he is so dedicated to this product and just wants the best for it. I think he’s absolutely the right person. I’ve never met anyone else who thinks the way he does, as far as wrestling goes.

I haven’t watched [WWE] much, and that’s just because I’m not watching TV much these days, [but] I did have a sit-down conversation with Hunter because he was in Tampa for SmackDown. We talked for about two hours, just about old times and new times.

** In Jushin Thunder Liger’s latest blog post for Tokyo Sports, he weighed in on the NOAH versus NJPW show at Yokohoma Arena. On the topic of Kazuchika Okada versus Kaito Kiyomiya which is taking place at Keiji Muto’s final match event, Liger explained why he feels it may be too early for the two talents to go one-on-one.

Also, the rivalry this time led to a singles match between Kazuchika and Kiyomiya at the Dome, but I think it is still too early for them to fight as singles fighters. Kiyomiya’s career is about seven years old, right? It takes time for him to hone and master his techniques and be able to use them freely. I think Kazuchika is on the board. I think the reason Kazuchika is saying, ‘I won’t do it’ at this point is because he feels, I can’t do it with you yet, can I? Of course, I understand his desire to fight in a singles match, and he may be impatient, but I would like to see a match after Kiyomiya has matured.

** A flipping cutter maneuver made the rounds on social media when NXT talent Sol Ruca performed it on the ‘Level Up’ program. It was then pointed out that independent talent Dante Leon had already been performing the move. Leon commented on the situation as he was speaking to the All Real Wrestling Podcast. He said it’s wrestling, it happens and is surprised it took this long for someone else to do it.

My thoughts (on others using the flipping cutter) are literally whatever. I assume I’m the first one to do that. But I know it’s wrestling. Everything is gonna be taken and everything is gonna be reused… I’m surprised it kind of took this long to see someone else hit it and do it so, I get it, 100 percent.

Leon has been working with Pro Wrestling NOAH since the summer of 2022. He was first discovered by the company through matches he had with Ninja Mack.

Well, me and a dude named Ninja Mack had several matches where we did some pretty insane things and they reached out to Ninja, he came out, he worked for them and then they looked over some of his matches and was like, ‘Who is this dude? Who’s this colored-hair guy?’ And he goes, ‘Oh, it’s Dante Leon’ and so, you know, a few more months later, once the borders started opening up a little bit more and got a little bit more laxed, they emailed me, hit me up. They were like, ‘Hey, would you like to come to Pro Wrestling NOAH?’ And, ‘Yes please, yes. I’ll be there tomorrow if you let me’ so, really that’s how it kind of panned out.

** On IMPACT Wrestling programming, Sami Callihan is attempting to earn his way into The Design (Deaner, Kon & Angels). Sami talked about that storyline and spoke highly of each member of the group while on Busted Open Radio. He described Deaner and Kon as ‘underrated’ along with saying Angels is a future X Division Champion.

I think it’s (storyline with The Design) one of those things, people want long-term storytelling and I think right now, IMPACT does that better than anyone. As much as we wanna say, aw, in 2023, people’s attention spans are smaller. Good storytelling on a long-term basis in my opinion, I think is the best way to go with professional wrestling and I think that’s what we’re doing right now and I think people need to continue to tune in because it’s gonna be one of those things that you never know what’s gonna happen. I think that’s what’s gonna make this special and it’s one of those things, I think Cody Deaner — and this maybe a controversial opinion, I think Cody Deaner is one of the best, unknown, amazing professional wrestlers on the planet. He’s known, but I don’t think he’s known for being how good he is. He did a comedy character for years and now he’s doing what he is but it shows his range, it shows his body of work. I think he is an underrated cat in professional wrestling.

And not just him, that whole group. Alan Angels, young dude, has un-limitless potential and is just now really getting the chance to experiment and come into his own. He’s a guy, I think is gonna be X Division Champion in the next year or two and Kon is a guy I’ve known since being in NXT together. People seem to forget that The Ascension, at one point, was the hottest thing in professional wrestling and then they got ruined when they went up to the main roster. So now he’s getting a chance to wipe that all clean and be who he is. He’s another guy I think is extremely underrated and that’s not me just kissing ass because that’s where I work at, IMPACT Wrestling. I don’t say something unless I believe it. I think people (are) gonna be pleasantly surprised with what Kon can do in the ring as well. He’s a huge, gigantic, scary human being that can go when all the chips are down.

** Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards welcomed Arn and Brock Anderson onto the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Brock detailed how him signing to AEW came to be. The communication started with Arn and Cody Rhodes. Brock received a tryout and signed his contract on the day of. 

I think somehow, Cody (Rhodes), just in their conversations between him and dad had figured out what I was doing, that I was training, just keeping track of my progress and I guess he told him, ‘Any time he wants to come up, just have a tryout’ and he was like, ‘Alright. When he’s ready.’ So I think maybe February 2021, he’s like, ‘I think you’re ready’ so this was COVID Jacksonville. It was different so it was, y’all know, I walked in, it’s a different feeling. Daily’s (Place) was a different feeling of doing TV. It was pretty surreal and I had a tryout match with John Skyler who y’all know. It was nerve racking because everyone was out there. This was when Cody was still doing the classes in the afternoon so everybody was out there. I remember Cash was out there, Cash Wheeler, I remember I think (Powerhouse) Hobbs was out there. There was roster guys out there so there was probably about 50 people out there watching me when I usually had five people watching me. Yeah, no pressure at all, and I don’t know if I just exceeded their expectations because their expectations were so low but I got pretty good feedback from everybody. I think Cody came up to me, he said, ‘We can have that match on Dark tonight if you want’ and signed that day and it all happened so fast that I can’t really remember any details other than that it was just boom, boom, boom, boom. But it was nuts and then from there, I was rocking and rolling.

** NWA World Television Champion Jordan Clearwater guest appeared on Wrestling Observer Live. Clearwater has done work for NJPW STRONG in the past and stated that it was Aron Stevens who spoke highly of him to Rocky Romero which landed him spots on shows.

No (I didn’t do a lot of NJPW STRONG dates in 2022). I think the last STRONG I was offered was the most recent one in December but I had a competing booking at the time that I had to honor. But prior to that, I did start to tail off once I joined the NWA in ‘21 and then again, ‘22, I had a few one-stops at STRONG. I think the last legitimate match I had was over the summertime. I think I wrestled Jeff Cobb out of The Vermont in Hollywood.

I know Karl Anderson through Roger Ruffen and we both trained at the same school. I was able to go over while he was still living in Cincinnati, get to know his family, his friends and you know, by virtue, Rocky Romero but when I moved to California and COVID hit, wrestling shut down. Remember I was vacationing in Colorado, in a grocery store and Aron Stevens gives me a call, right? And Aron’s like, ‘Hey, would you be interested in working for New Japan STRONG?’ And I was like, ‘Of course. I would love to work for New Japan’ and he said, ‘Well, Rocky Romero’s gonna give you a call in 15 minutes and I suggest that you answer that call.’ Click, and I’m like, oh, what? I haven’t wrestled in months. Gyms are closed, wrestling shows aren’t happening and sure enough, Rocky gives me a call and says, ‘Hey. Aron spoke very highly of you.’ I was working for the United Wrestling Network at the time so that’s how that connection was really made but, Rocky asked me if I wanted to come aboard to New Japan STRONG and of course I couldn’t say no to that. I mean, what a great opportunity. 

** Big E, Dakota Kai, Xavier Woods and Shayna Baszler gave a preview of the WarGames match type in WWE 2K23: 

** The Daily Beacon’s written interview with Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair.

** Both Bianca Belair and Rhea Ripley unboxed their Funko Pop! Toys.

** Hiroshi Tanahashi’s latest write-up for the ‘OTEKOMATCHI’ site.

** There’s an interview on the Lucha Libre Online YouTube channel with Santino Marella.

** A preview of an interview that NJPW did with Ryusuke Taguchi.

** Straight Talk Wrestling spoke to The Renegade Twins (Charlette & Robyn Renegade).

** February 2nd birthdays: Isla Dawn.

** The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) stopped past the Wrestle Buddies podcast.

** Kevin Patrick and Corey Graves brought Kofi Kingston onto WWE After The Bell.

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 6046 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.