POST NEWS UPDATE: Bruce Prichard recalls pitches to bring Oscar De La Hoya into WWE

Oscar De La Hoya/WWE, who Vince McMahon wanted to break Undertaker's streak, Dax Harwood notes, Cody proud of Julia Hart, Red Velvet chat

Photo Courtesy: Isaac Brekken/AP

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.

** WWE No Way Out 2008 was the focus of a Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard podcast episode and as the conversation rolled on, Prichard recalled the occasions when 11-time boxing world champion, Oscar De La Hoya, was pitched to appear on WWE programming. Prichard thinks De La Hoya did not have the desire to make the jump to pro wrestling.

God, you know, I can go back to the late 90s, mid to late 90s, Oscar (De La Hoya) was another one that we’d pitch all the time. Friend of the company (WWE), friend of the business and great businessman, great guy, holy sh*t and it just never really worked out. I don’t think Oscar really had the same passion to make that jump into the wrestling business. I think that he was like, hey man, I know my comfort area, I know my comfort zone.

The late Jerry Jarrett came up and Prichard touched on how their relationship grew over time. Prichard stated that there was a time when they were not fond of one another.

I did hate his guts. I did not have a good relationship with Jerry Jarrett for many, many years. However, I think that in the last few years and frankly, after talking about everything on this podcast, Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, I got a lot of that out and it also brought to the surface a lot of those issues with Jerry and Jerry and I would talk. I saw Jerry at Jeff’s induction into the (WWE) Hall of Fame and went up, talked to Jerry, took some pictures and we reconciled and all that good stuff and then later on when Jeff (Jarrett) was working here, we would often just talk about stuff and I got to see Jerry at the SummerSlam event that we had in Nashville and spent some time with Jerry, took some great pictures and got to spend time with him and Deborah (Jarrett) along with Jeff and Karen (Jarrett) and it was really a great time. We talked about white labeling some chicken salad because his recipe, my recipe, we kind of put ‘em together then we could serve ‘em. Man, slap that label on it and let everyone enjoy.

During the Q&A portion of the show, Prichard was asked if he thinks the WWE did all they could with The Great Khali and here was his response:

I think with (The Great Khali), unfortunately, the limitations of what Khali could do, could and couldn’t do. Plus, you had a language barrier there where a lot of times, Khali didn’t quite understand and a cultural barrier where Khali hadn’t watched this his entire life and it was new to him when he’d come over and I think he got trained by some guy in California that didn’t do a lot of training with him so, he had a cultural barrier, language barrier and just physical limitations with Khali with his knees and everything that he just couldn’t do a lot so I think we took him as far as he could possibly go.

** The newest edition of ‘Ariel Helwani Meets’ on the BT Sport YouTube channel featured The Undertaker. The conversation about the WrestleMania streak came up and names that were tossed around to end it before Brock Lesnar did. Undertaker shared that Vince McMahon once wanted Vladimir Kozlov to end the streak.

Never that got to me (other times when the WrestleMania streak was almost going to end). By the time that we got to WrestleMania, it was pretty much (known) what was gonna go down but, yeah, there was a few people I guess that he (Vince McMahon) wanted to break the streak. (Vladimir) Kozlov, he wanted him to (Undertaker laughed). It was early on, it was early on.

He went on to state that he’s enjoying the work that is being done within WWE’s women’s division. Undertaker said Charlotte Flair may be the best talent on the entire roster.

The girls (are some of my favorites in wrestling right now). The girls are kind of next level. It’s good to see them given the opportunities now that they weren’t given. I remember my wife, Michelle (McCool), having to fight and claw to get anything remotely edgy on TV or given those opportunities and see the girls given the same opportunities the guys are now and delivering. Like Charlotte (Flair)… she may be the best talent on the whole roster.

Roman Reigns’ Undisputed WWE Universal Championship reign was brought up and Undertaker stressed that the right person has to be chosen to beat him. He feels the logical person is Cody Rhodes. He views Sami Zayn as a ‘dark horse’ but thinks Zayn’s current popularity is reliant on his connection to The Bloodline.

At this point, it’s gotta be the right person (to end Roman Reigns’ time as champion) and one, it’s gotta be somebody that you trust and you know is not gonna flake off and do something because there’s a lot of time and money invested in this whole thing at this point. I think Cody (Rhodes) with the momentum that he had, I think that would be the logical guy, and Sami’s a dark horse. See, those two entities though are so reliant on each other. As talented as Sami is, I don’t know, you know, without Roman and that group (The Bloodline) … he’s gonna be as entertaining but is he gonna mean as much? Because he’s such a contrast to what they bring so… It really is tough. They’ve almost booked themselves into a conundrum here. It’s gotta be somebody that they have a lot of faith in and knows is going to be here for the long haul.

While speaking about the current crop of talents in wrestling and their character work, he feels they don’t have enough understanding of ‘protecting a character’ to actually want to protect it. He wishes talents would keep at least a piece of their on-screen persona with them at all times.

I do think a lot of our talent, and not just our (WWE) talent but just in general, they don’t understand any concept of protecting a character or even developing a character enough to wanna protect it. They go and do something on TV and then you go to their social media and then they’re just completely different, you know? And I’m a dinosaur, I am. My mentality is still 20 years ago but, I guess there’s a reason too why I lasted as long as I did… Gosh, just live it a little bit. You don’t have to go to the extremes that I did. But, man, kind of be in real life just a little bit. If you’re gonna post something, at least still have it kind of match what you’re trying to — because that’s what you’re trying to convince people. You’re this and you’re that. I don’t know.

** An episode of FTR with Dax Harwood was centered around the 2020 of Dax and Cash Wheeler, primarily their program with The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson). Dax looked back at the match FTR had with Kenny Omega and Hangman Adam Page from AEW All Out 2020 and described it as the most difficult match FTR has had. Harwood claims that Wheeler went blind near the end of the match because of the humidity. Overall, Dax was not happy with the bout.

The match with Hangman (Adam Page) and (Kenny) Omega from that pay-per-view (AEW All Out 2020) was probably the most difficult match Cash (Wheeler) and I have ever had. We went 35 minutes I believe, between 30 and 35 minutes and as you know, by that time, we were performing at Daily’s Place and that’s an outside amphitheater, right? And we’re in the middle of Florida and it is hot as hell and humid as hell and I think the humidity that day, I’m not kidding, I think it was about 96 or 97 percent which is so thick, it makes it hard to breathe and we had to, you know — we were scheduled to go half-an-hour, maybe a little bit more than half-an-hour and that was physically the hardest match I’ve ever had. I’m not kidding when I say that Cash went blind in the match, towards the end of the match. You get oxygen deprivation. You get these spots in your eyes and he could not see. He couldn’t see anything. We got our belts after the match, we went to the back and we were getting pulled in this direction, that direction for social media and they needed pictures with us for the belts and there was an interview person that wanted some words with us and Cash, after a while, he kind of just freaked out and he said, ‘I can’t see! Give me a second.’ So even to the point when we were in the back, he was still having the effects of that. That was, physically, the hardest match I’ve ever had in my entire life because of the weather conditions and the toll that it took on my internal body and it took me four days to get over that match. It was so rough.

The match with Hangman and Omega, I was not happy with at all. There’s a lot of things that I’m not happy with for that match behind the scenes but also, in front of the scenes too, I wasn’t happy because, one, there were no fans to judge if you’re doing the right stuff but also, we were killing ourselves out there in that humidity, in that heat and I just felt that-that wasn’t our best performance. That was the first time that we had an opportunity to show the people we’ve been right, you guys have been right. We’ve all been right this whole time, we’re the greatest and we didn’t do it there so now we had to do it at this moment (against The Young Bucks at Full Gear 2020).

What Harwood considers to be the worst match he’s had in AEW was when him and Cash took on Jack Evans and Angelico on the 10/7/20 episode of Dynamite.

Dude, that, woof (Harwood reflected on FTR versus Jack Evans & Angelico on Dynamite) … What a rough night at the office that was. Maybe — and I’m not putting any blame anywhere… Yes, without a question (my worst match in AEW). Yes, I think so and God dang, given that much time, if we compare that time to all the matches we’ve had before, maybe one of our worst. That night just wasn’t clicking for anybody. Woof. What a rough one dude.

** The focus of episode #68 of The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy podcast was Jeff Hardy’s arrival to AEW. With hindsight, Matt feels that throwing Jeff right back into the mix on top of taking non-AEW bookings may have been too much too soon. He wishes he would have shortened their schedules.

Looking back in hindsight, it (immediate jump into the mix of AEW & taking outside bookings) may have been too much for Jeff (Hardy). Of course, once again, I wasn’t with him on a daily basis before then and I was with him on a daily basis during these weekends and it probably was overwhelming for him so, looking back in hindsight, I probably wish I would have changed and done like two weekends a month maybe. Because we went real hard and heavy… I thought he was in a real good state and I thought he could handle it but, looking back in hindsight, I would have changed it and I would have made it lighter.

Matt went on to recall a conversation he had with Tony Khan after it became public that Jeff was no longer with WWE. Tony sent his well wishes to Jeff though Matt and said they can talk when Jeff’s non-compete was up.

I’ll never forget, I was driving to the airport, I got a call from Jeff (Hardy) that morning. He said, ‘Hey, look, I just talked with Johnny… This is about to drop. They told me they want me to go to rehab. I took this drug test, they haven’t even waited on the results. I told them I’m not going to and I have not touched a drug and I haven’t done any kind of drugs and they said they’re gonna release me and I said, okay, that’s fine. Release me.’ He said, ‘But I want you to hear it first because I know your phone’s gonna blow up later in the day’ and we were in New York when this went down and then I remember I got on the plane and whenever I landed in Raleigh, it was just like, I had 50 texts, my Twitter notifications went through the roof and of course, everything was out. First, people were saying, ‘Oh my God! Now that Jeff’s gone, can you guys do bookings again?’ It was just insane and I’m glad he gave me that heads up about things and whenever I went to TV the next week, the first thing I ever heard from Tony Khan was just like, ‘Hey, how’s your brother? Is he OK?’ Because he’s met Jeff before. Actually, they were going to one of Ric Flair’s birthday parties. Tony and his girlfriend was there at the time, Jeff and his wife Beth, Ric was there obviously, a couple other guys but they had met on that occasion, they hung out that night and they really hit it off and Tony just asked me, he said, ‘Hey, is your brother good?’ And I said, ‘Yeah, yeah, he’s good’ and I kind of explained to him the whole deal of what went down. He said, ‘Okay, well just let him know I was asking about him and I hope he’s good.’ He said, ‘If you hear later on down the road when we can talk to him and when his no-compete clause is up, whatever, let me know’ and that was literally the first conversation I had with him about Jeff being released.

** As Cody Rhodes was being interviewed by Good Karma Wrestling, he shared how proud he is of AEW talent and Nightmare Factory graduate, Julia Hart. Rhodes stated that he keeps an eye on both Julia and Lee Johnson’s progression as wrestlers.

I’m very proud of Julia (Hart) because Julia came from the Nightmare Factory camps. So that’s like the question that anybody’s gonna ask, hey, how’s your school? Has anyone done anything? And we can name a few people who had experience already. But really she came from camp two, did the thing with the Varsity Blonds but she just took advantage of every opportunity she found. She was just hitting home runs and even maximizing her minutes and even small segments, big segments, whatever it might be. Just very proud. I keep an eye on her and Lee (Johnson) from a distance. You give to them and one thing I’ve learned as a coach and such and even my role within management, give without expecting anything back. There are people who I hired and my wife hired that don’t even remember us anymore and that’s okay. You give without expecting to get back.

** Guest appearing on season five of Taylor Wilde’s ‘Wilde On’ podcast was Red Velvet. The current AEW talent reflected on her time with the company thus far and listed off the accolades and milestones she’s been able to accomplish and be part of. Velvet expressed that she is enjoying the ride.

I always say my journey with AEW was just organic. It just started really random. I went in as an extra and I actually went in because I saw a dark match that KiLynn (King) had. So I was like, oh, okay, cool. She’s there. This would be cool, I wanna try it out and I went as an extra, then they just kept calling me back. I just went and I had a mindset that I was like, okay — not that I’m not gonna get my hopes up. I’m going over there to do my job, do what I have to do but always perform at 110 and we’ll see what comes out and thankfully, it just went from there, went on, then came the Shaq match with Shaq and Cody (Rhodes) and Jade (Cargill) and that kind of took off from there… It was my first big company and working for TV and stuff like that so I was learning as I was going. Everyone was seeing my mistakes and all these things but I think that moment, looking back now was a really big opportunity that I was given and I was really relaxed. I didn’t know how big of a deal it was until I did it all and that’s what got me signed full-time salary with them so, it was great and it’s been great since then. I’ve been a part of every women’s tournament that’s been going on there, I was on the first-ever Rampage against Britt (Baker) in Pittsburgh. That was something to remember (she smiled). First time I ever had everybody booing me but, AEW, just my experience with them, it’s just been great, it’s just been going, going, going and I’m so grateful. I’ve never had to force anything, things just happen organically and at least for me in AEW, it just always molds together and I’m pretty good at just riding the wave and going with stuff like that. I like being uncomfortable. I’m like, okay, cool. This is a chance to do something new. Let’s just tackle it. Why be fearful? Life is too short.

Along the way, she received advice from Cody Rhodes. They conversed about spots on the roster constantly rotating and Rhodes reminded Velvet to stay the course.

I’m doing what I love and that’s what I have to focus on. Sometimes we get sidetracked with, well I wanna be number one and I wanna be champion and I wanna be at the top and that rotates. Not everyone stays at the top all the time. That was a big thing, like Cody (Rhodes) instilled in me when he took me under his wing at the time of the match (with Shaquille O’Neal & Jade Cargill) and he was like, ‘Listen, people being at the top, it rotates.’ He’s like, ‘Time comes, you’ll be at the top, you’ll be in the middle, you’ll be at the bottom.’ He’s like, ‘Just remember why you’re here and why you love it’ and that’s what I try to hold close. Okay, today might not be my day, today, I might not win but I’m here and other people would kill to be in the position that I’m in so I gotta stay grateful to what I have.

** A live Q&A was hosted by Wrestling with Johners and Big Damo was the focus. Looking back on his days with SAnitY in WWE, Damo thinks that Eric Young should have been in the NXT Title picture. He feels Young would’ve been a great opponent for then-champion Shinsuke Nakamura.

My only real regret (about SAnitY) is I still think E.Y. (Eric Young) should have won the (NXT) title when we were villains and I think that could have been the big one. I know they went with the tag team thing instead, that’s all fine with everything else but I think that was the only thing missing is I think he would have been a great foil for Shinsuke Nakamura. I think that would have been amazing to see. So we did it a few times on the house shows and stuff like that. I just think that would have been really f*cking cool. I think E.Y. would have been nailed on to be a champion in WWE but, that’s me and my very pernickety, you know, what if but other than that, it was a great experience. It really was.

Elsewhere during the Q&A, Damo spoke highly of Drew McIntyre and recalled McIntyre being a locker room leader for the ICW (Insane Championship Wrestling) promotion in Scotland. Damo praised McIntyre for how giving he was.

Another program with Drew Galloway (in ICW) was incredible. You think where Drew Galloway is now — Drew McIntyre, sorry — you think where he is now and the fact that we had him available for so long on the independents at that time was just outstanding and he was a hell of a locker room leader for all of us and he was brilliant for me personally. He got me a lot of work as well. People would ask him, ‘Who would you like to work?’ He said, ‘How about bringing in Big Damo?’ It’s a massive tip of the hat, it’s a massive compliment, but it also made me wanna work harder, you know what I mean? It made me want more. I think he recognized that there was a determination in me and a few of the guys there and the girls there. I think he recognized that he really helped push that and there were times when I’d go to him and he’d be like, ‘Well I think this’ and I’d be like, ‘Oh, sweet. I’ll do it,’ and things like that so, but he was also so much fun and so giving to work with.

** While guest appearing on the Attitude Era Podcast, Angelo Dawkins opened up about his friendship with Sami Zayn. Zayn was the first person Dawkins met in pro wrestling. He said Zayn has worked hard to get where he is and added that he would like to see him in the main event picture going into WrestleMania 39.

So, me and Sami (Zayn) have a very interesting story. He’s the very first person that I met in pro wrestling because we had the same tryout together so, we had the same rental car. So we get to the airport and I end up meeting him and we’re waiting on somebody else that’s rolling with us as well so we just had time to kick (it), we had like an hour, hour-and-a-half to chill at the airport while we’re waiting on this person and so, he’s like, ‘Hey, I’m Sami.’ I’m like, ‘Yo, what up. Angelo. Nice to meet you.’ To be fair, at that point in time, I was fresh out of college. I did not know what I was getting myself into and Sami was the first (person) that I ever met involving pro wrestling and I remember he was watching CM Punk versus Daniel Bryan at the airport so I was just watching with him. He was just kind of explaining things to me that just was way over my head. I couldn’t even understand it at that point in time but like, we tried out together and got hired, part of that same 2012 class and just to see where he’s at and see how hard he’s working, the dude’s busted his butt for freaking ever. I ain’t trying to call him old or nothing but dude was traveling around the world while I was still in middle school. I was focused on second period (he laughed), studying for tests and stuff. My man’s was over in Japan, the U.K., over there wrestling and just finding himself and stuff like that and just to be kind of part of it in a way and to see how far he’s come, especially from the time that I wrestled him that one time to now is just cool to see and yeah man, I ain’t even gonna hold you, I kind of want to see him in that main event as well but, the way things are teetering… That dude’s busted his butt. He deserved it, he’s scratched and clawed through and through and I got love for him for that.

** There’s a story from the San Francisco Chronicle about WWE N.I.L. athlete Thunder Keck. He described WWE’s N.I.L. program as ‘awesome’. He’s not 100 percent sure about his plans after football but he’s interested in a future in wrestling.

I think WWE’s NIL program is awesome, one of the best. I’m not positive about my plans, but I’m honestly really interested in wrestling and a future with them. … It’s really about making that connection for when I’m done with football.

** On episode #136 of Café De René With René Duprée, Jake Roberts joined the show and told the story of when his wife got involved in a match and slapped Rick Rude. Rude would later tell Roberts that his wife hits harder than he does.

He (Rick Rude) was a state champion… But Rick, he broke a guy’s arm and did it. Just snapped it. But, we had some fun wrestling. Then my wife, she got involved and she wound up slapping Rick one night and we got back to the locker room and Rick says, ‘Your f*cking wife hits harder than you do!’

** NJPW’s Ryusuke Taguchi is going to be featured in a film titled ‘Esper X’ which is slated to release on April 29th, 2023. Taguchi is playing the role of a writer who is familiar with physics.

** Season 15, part one of ‘NOAH The Home’ aired on March 11th. The show is about the younger talents that are training at the NOAH dojo. 

** NJPW New Japan Cup Results (3/12/23) Shiga Hall in Shiga, Japan
– Ren Narita & Ryohei Oiwa def. Tomoaki Honma & Oskar Luebe
– Shota Umino & Yuto Nakajima def. Zack Sabre Jr. & Akio Fujita
– BULLET CLUB (David Finlay, KENTA, El Phantasmo & Chase Owens) def. Just 4 Guys (Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, TAKA Michinoku & DOUKI)
– United Empire (Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan, Mark Davis & Jeff Cobb) def. House of Torture (EVIL, Dick Togo, Yujiro Takahashi & SHO)
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) def. YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, Lio Rush, YOH & Toru Yano
New Japan Cup 2nd Round Match: Tama Tonga def. Aaron Henare
New Japan Cup 2nd Round Match: Hirooki Goto def. Kyle Fletcher

** STARDOM Results (3/12/23) Ceratopia Toki in Toki, Japan
– MIRAI def. Miyu Amasaki
– Yuna Mizumori def. Kohgo
– Mina Shirakawa & Mariah May def. Hanan & Saya Iida
– Tam Nakano & Natsupoi def. Natsuko Tora & Ruaka and Syuri & Ami Sohrei via DQ
– Utami Hayashishita, Saya Kamitani, AZM & Lady C def. Giulia, Maika, Himeka & Mai Sakurai.
– Saki Kashima, Momo Watanabe & Starlight Kid def. Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki & Koguma

** Josh Martinez of the ‘Superstar Crossover’ podcast interviewed Cody Rhodes.

** Session Moth Martina spoke to the WrestleSlam Podcast.

** March 12th birthdays: KENTA, Mae Young.

** Dragongate Japan Pro-Wrestling Results (3/12/23) Bingo Sports Park in Onomichi, Japan
– Kota Minoura & Ben-K def. Genki Horiguchi & Kaito Nagano
– Masaaki Mochizuki def. Konomama Ichikawa
– Don Fujii & Yoshiki Kato def. Punch Tominaga & Mochizuki Junior
– Eita def. Ryu Fuda
– Shachihoko Boy & Dragon Dia def. B×B Hulk & Minorita
– Kzy, Strong Machine J & Jacky ‘Funky’ Kamei def. Shun Skywalker, KAI & H・Y・O

** Fukumen MANIA X Ice Ribbon ‘Fukumen Ribbon’ Results (3/12/23) Gunma Convention Center in Takasaki, Japan
Three Way Elimination Match: Macho Pump def. ARASHI and HAMATANI
– Sumika Yanagawa & Yappy def. Saran & Yura Suzuki
– Bison TAGAI, Hamuko Hoshi & Makoto def. Gunma Cat, Kiku & Kikutaro
– Onryo & PSYCHO def. Shin Suzuki & Super Chino
– Nao Ishikawa & YuuRI def. Ancham & Kaho Matsushita
– Asahi & Totoro Satsuki def. Ibuki Hoshi & Tsuki Umino
Best Two-Out-Of-Three-Falls Match: Fujin, Nobutaka Moribe & Violento Jack def. Dragon Libre, Hiroshi Yamato & Mr. Cacao (2-1)

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.