POST NEWS UPDATE: Mercedes Moné would love to wrestle Mickie James

Mercedes Mone makes the media rounds, Hangman Page wrestled on Jericho Cruise while seasick, Jaxson Ryker's in-ring future, GUNTHER notes

Photo Courtesy: New Japan Pro-Wrestling/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 Mercedes Moné is making the media rounds ahead of NJPW Battle in the Valley, she spoke to Scott Fishman of TV Insider and expressed that she’s a free agent and is interested in wrestling IMPACT Knockouts World Champion Mickie James.

The thing is I’m a free agent. It doesn’t matter with New Japan. I can go anywhere. I can go to New Japan, IMPACT, Mexico, Germany, Europe. The potential matchups are endless. The same for New Japan. I know they have partnerships with CMLL, IMPACT, AEW. To be a fan and watch all these matchups from all parts of the world is amazing. I know there is a little woman in IMPACT I would love to face one day, Mickie James! We’ll see what is in the stars.

She spoke about her friendships with Trinity Fatu (Naomi) and Bayley and them being there for her at Wrestle Kingdom 17. Moné described them as her sisters and tag team partners for life.

That meant everything to me. Wrestling is such a small tight knit circle of friends you would call your friends and family. For those girls and my best friend Manny, Samuray Del Sol to fly all the way over to Japan from the United States to just cut a little promo. They did that because they knew how much it meant to me and that moment and how much I’ve been trying to decide what my next step in wrestling would be. It meant so much. It gave me more assurance that what I was doing was right because the time they took to spend their time with me. I love Bayley and Trinity so much because they are legit my sisters and tag team partners for life no matter what company we are working for.

** Looking back at winning the AEW World Tag Titles on the Chris Jericho Cruise in 2020, Hangman Adam Page shared during his virtual signing with Highspots Superstore that he wrestled while seasick.

I was not, no (Page said when asked if he was on the recent Jericho Cruise). I get seasick. I do. The second one, that was a little rough… You don’t really have an option (other than to wrestle in that scenario) so…

** Episode #94 of the Wrestling for the Faith podcast featured Chad Lail f.k.a. Jaxson Ryker breaking down how his on-screen partnership with Elias in WWE came to be. While speaking about his career present day, Ryker did state that he might wind down his career in 2023. He added that if he has wrestled his last match, he’s grateful for the journey and that he got to live his dream.

I just wanna thank everybody for supporting my career. It’s not over. Obviously, here in 2023, I might kind of finish up my career doing some shows but, it’s just kind of cool to sit back and go — somebody said it the other day, Terry Skaggs, he actually sent me a voice memo and was just saying, ‘Man, I was just sitting in prayer and just thinking about you and God’s really allowed you to do some cool stuff in life.’ I’m like, ‘You know what? You’re right man.’ We talked a lot last week about I watched the first SmackDown when I was a kid, I made it to SmackDown. I remember watching Raw in the Attitude Era and I made it to Raw when it was my ultimate goal. I worked beside Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair and Sting and dude, the names go on and I’m not boasting but it’s one of those things I sit back sometimes and go, man, I don’t have another match ever, dude, I’ve lived my dream and God’s given me the most amazing platform to be able to share his glory basically, it’s for his glory and I’ve realized that so I’m just very thankful for those who supported me and just family, friends, everybody, fans. So, that’s it man.

He stated that the initial concept for his portion of the pairing with Elias was to break out of the ‘mold’ of what Jaxson Ryker was perceived to be but none of those ideas went through.

We (Ryker & Elias) had pitched some ideas of trying to break the Jaxson Ryker, what’s the word? Stoic character a little bit and let me start doing some stuff where I was randomly singing and he’d be like, woah, woah, woah brother. What are you doing? But they never let us do that for some reason so at the time, it was just a way to introduce me back into the mix of being the bodyguard or the ‘brody’ or whatever you wanna call it. But we did have some ideas we were trying to pitch. For some reason, they never latched on to it because I thought it would have been great. I thought it’d be great to have this comedy side of me but he’s serious and was like, what are you doing? Kind of thing. But, they never ran with it.

Ryker would go on to add that he was the one that suggested the idea of being Elias’ ‘roadie’.

All I know is come November (2020), it was, ‘Oh, we’re gonna do some different things’ (as it relates to members of The Forgotten Sons) and I didn’t know what they were gonna do with me. All I know is I had pitched some ideas on my own to Elias. Him and I had talked back and forth and then shot some different ideas to the office about, ‘What if I came in as Elias’ roadie or something?’ You know what I mean? So, that’s really where we were. I was just sitting at home from June to December, like a long, extended vacation.

On the lead up to WrestleMania 37, Ryker and Elias were associated with Shane McMahon as McMahon had been feuding with Braun Strowman. Ryker claims that Shane loved the idea of having him and Elias do his ‘dirty work’.

It was the writers (who came up with the idea for myself & Elias to be associated with Shane McMahon). They came up to us and started talking to us about Shane was coming in to start building up a storyline with Braun (Strowman) to lead into WrestleMania 37 there in Tampa and I think Elias may have spoken to Shane because he knew Shane kind of well and was kind of talking to him about us kind of (being) his little goons, his little cronies, whatever you wanna call it and Shane loved the idea. He was like, ‘Man, that’d be great because we can use you guys. When I run away, you guys take the heat for everything’ which a lot of the times, we were just bumping around for Braun. But then going into Mania, it was using us to make the fans think that Shane was gonna pull one over on him and obviously, it backfired for us.

When it comes to their split, they felt they were on their way to the tag titles. Vince McMahon told Ryker and Elias they looked good together as a team. A writer contacted them to get on a three-way call and told them about the split and Elias’ immediate reaction was, ‘What!?’ Ryker added that he had a meeting with Vince not too longer after about cutting his hair.

Once again, throwing darts at a dartboard in WWE sometimes (he clarified that there were never any concrete plans for his pairing with Elias). We never got the word the word of hey, we’re gonna put the titles on you. But, every single week, we’re having tag matches with New Day, A.J. (Styles), those guys, (Randy) Orton and (Matt) Riddle. We’d get to the back and Vince (McMahon) was like, ‘You guys look great together. This is gonna be good for you guys,’ blah, blah, blah. So we’re thinking, alright, cool. We’re probably gonna go to the pay-per-view and work with New Day which we thought we were going to because funny thing is, Elias and I were like, ‘Looks like we might win the tag titles’ which would be great. It was a Friday before we had to fly out Saturday for pay-per-view. We got a text from one of the writers who dealt with us and said, ‘Hey, can we get all three of us on a call?’ We’re like, ‘Yeah, absolutely.’ We get on there and we’re thinking, man, we’re gonna go in Sunday and win the tag titles. This is gonna be fun and he goes, ‘Well guys, listen, we’re gonna bring you guys in for TV but you’re not gonna do the pay-per-view. We’ll have you at the pay-per-view in case we need you but Monday, we’re gonna do a split with you guys’ and you just hear Elias, just starts laughing, he’s like, ‘What!?’ And me, I’m like, ‘What’s going on right now?’ Because for two months, Vince is praising us like, ‘Hey, you guys get you matching stuff. You guys look great together.’ I’m just like, ‘Dude, this is nuts.’ So Elias and I get off the phone with the writer and call one another and we’re like, ‘So weird’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, it’s very weird.’ I don’t know — I would have loved to be a fly on the wall of the meeting that said, we’re just gonna split these two guys up or maybe it was Vince looking at me as like, okay, maybe we can push him as a new babyface. Um, I don’t know because it was not too far after that where we had a meeting, I had a one-on-one meeting with Vince about cutting my hair and all that stuff. But yeah man, we were all hyped up thinking we were winning the tag titles, continue this run because dude, we really were — and I’m not tooting my own horn but, we were having some really good tag matches. Like physical tag matches with The New Day, they were happy with the run, we were happy with what was going on. Riddle and R.K.O., Randy Orton was super awesome to work with. But once again, throwing darts at a dartboard. Instead of letting that run its course and then slowly doing a turn, it was like the next week, we’re working Omos and A.J. and it’s like, ‘Elias, you’re basically just gonna drop off the ring apron when Ryker tries to tag and he’s gonna look at you but then we he turns around, big ‘ole Omos is gonna be there to clobber him so,’ which gave me some — luckily, we did it that way instead of just some random, this week we’re a team, next week, who cares? There was some fuel there for me to be able to come in hot with Elias and have some aggression.

The word that was used to describe the post-partnership program with Elias and Ryker was ‘lengthy’. He said it lasted three or four weeks.

Once they told us about the split with Elias, Elias and I would do a ‘lengthy’ — is the word I remember — a lengthy feud to where we do some kind of blow-off and I think that lengthy feud was three matches. So, that wasn’t lengthy at all but, that we did have direction on. We didn’t know we were going into a Symphony of Destruction match until — see, we did the Strap match, we did a bunch of brawls and it was a lot of fun man but, after that, there was nothing. It was like, we’re gonna work on you being a babyface. Start kind of feeding you different heels and then go from there but the Elias thing, I thought, man, we could have milked that for so long. But we didn’t. It was three or four weeks. That happened, I guess, in the beginning of June and in July is when we did our first live TV back in Dallas, Texas. It was like July 19th or the 20th or something like that.

** The reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER stated on the After The Bell podcast that his ideal scenario for WrestleMania 39 is defending the Intercontinental Title and Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci challenging for the tag titles.

I would say this, I would defend the Intercontinental Championship 100 percent and I think (Giovanni Vinci) and Ludwig (Kaiser) would be challenging for the tag team titles (at WrestleMania) … That would be the ideal scenario, yes (for us to leave with more titles than we entered with).

Early in the conversation, GUNTHER was asked to provide insight into the formation of Imperium and the mindset of the group. He dove into its original incarnation which was Ringkampf which included Timothy Thatcher. GUNTHER said they took inspiration from Ludwig Kaiser’s father, Axel Dieter, and he went on to cite Thatcher’s wrestling style and the introduction of the ‘Symphony No. 9’ theme as key components.

How it call came together (identity of Imperium) was when myself, Ludwig (Kaiser), back then, Marcel (Barthel), when we wrestled in Germany, his father would still be around. His father was a very successful wrestler in Europe or especially in Germany and Austria… Yes, Axel Dieter in the 70s. So he was a little bit of an older gentleman already but he would still be around at the events on the weekends and telling tales to the younger wrestlers and stuff like that and we watched a lot of his interviews, like those little short TV clips that they had, Austrian or German interview and he would always be the one from all the other guys in there that would always talk about the sport in the highest regard possible. He really paid attention to make it come across like an elite sport, elite competition and that’s something we kind of took and just ran with it and kind of just made it our thing because we thought that’s a great idea to have because it’s kind of the opposite of what everybody else is doing right now. It’s good to play off from that and then with the time, it’s just the thought developed and it was actually Timothy Thatcher, he came to Germany a lot and he was the one with the music already, that was his music before and he was one, he did that (signature Imperium pose) and he was a very basic — his wrestling style is just basics. He’s a great technician, very efficient, no nonsense and we were like, ‘Hey, we really identify with this guy’ and we got along in real life as well. We said, ‘Hey, let’s start the thing and start the identity’ and that’s where it all began. Still to this day, we kept it.

** Guest appearing on The Bob Culture Podcast was independent talent LSG. He expressed that he’s in pursuit of a pro wrestling contract and it does not matter if it’s NJPW, IMPACT Wrestling, AEW, WWE or Ring of Honor.

Definitely, I would love to sign a contract and you know, work for one of the major organizations in the world whether that’s New Japan, IMPACT or Ring of Honor, WWE, doesn’t matter. AEW. That’s definitely on the bucket list. Something I’m in full pursuit of right now.

On top of his in-ring work, LSG shared that he’s a coach at Create A Pro Wrestling Academy in New Jersey which is ran by Pat Buck.

I’ve always had this idea of having a faction or a group of my own. This was back in 2019. I was at Ring of Honor and I was wrestling in Michigan, back when I was in my tag team ‘Coast 2 Coast’ and we tagged against a couple of the L.A. Dojo, the Young Lions and (Katsuyori) Shibata was there, Shibata-san was there with the two Young Lions and I remember feeling like, man, that’d be so cool one day if I could lead some young wrestlers and we could go on these trips, go on these journeys and I could teach them and we could team together. It was always like a vision I had and now that I’m one of the Create A Pro New Jersey coaches, it all kind of fell into place.

LSG thoroughly enjoys helping train the next crop of wrestlers and he’s hoping to open his own school one day.

Opening a school is an absolute dream of mine. I’ve been telling people that for a while. I really love coaching, I love working with the kids and I think, you know, winning championships and doing cool things on my own career is fun and it’s rewarding but what’s really rewarding is seeing kids that you work day in and day out with, you see them on the road or getting matches and excelling… Like, when that lightbulb hits and you see one of your students have a good match or get an opportunity, it makes you feel really proud. So I love seeing that, I love working with the kids and I came from a sports background so, I was always around a team and I had coaches that I liked and disliked so I always wanted to learn from them and be the best coach possible and I would love to open a school one day.

** After Miyu Yamashita’s upcoming stretch in the USA from April to June, she’ll be returning to action for Tokyo Joshi Pro on June 25th.

** FOX News Digital pushed out their chat with Damian Priest.

** A.J. of The AJ Awesome Show has interviews on his YouTube channel with ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey, KiLynn King and Tootie Lynn.

** The ‘Putting You Over’ podcast feed has a Sam Adonis interview up.

** Madi Wrenkowski was interviewed on The Bob Culture Podcast.

** The 47th Café De René livestream featured Rodney Mack.

** Ahead of NJPW Battle in the Valley, Clark Connors was interviewed by That Hashtag Show.

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 8246 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.