POST NEWS UPDATE: Bayley feels IYO SKY & Dakota Kai have been ready for solo runs, doesn’t think Damage CTRL will be done post-WrestleMania

Bayley chats Damage CTRL's future, Michael Cole on what WWE looks for, Charlotte Flair's advice to Ava Raine, Heyman-Cody, Big E note

Photo Courtesy: WWE

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.

** Towards the conclusion of Bayley’s appearance on The Masked Man Show, she was asked for her thoughts about the possibility of Damage CTRL going their separate ways post-WrestleMania 39. Bayley feels IYO and Dakota are ready to go solo and they’ve been ready but regardless of whether Damage CTRL wins or loses at WrestleMania, Bayley does not think they’ll be done as a trio.

They (IYO SKY & Dakota Kai) were already ready (for solo runs). They’ve already held championships. IYO’s held the NXT Women’s Championship, Dakota’s been NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion. But like, they’re already ready. They don’t need me to get them there. I wanted them here. I don’t necessarily need them but I want them here because they belong here and because I feel like if they… I don’t know. Look at all the eyes that are on them right now. Look at who they get to be in the ring with, Lita and Trish (Stratus) and it’s because Becky (Lynch) has an issue with me. So I think they’re already ready, I know they’re already ready. But, I feel like we’re not done with what we need to do. Win or lose, I don’t think we’re done yet. Win or lose, we still gotta get those tag titles back. Those are my babies. Mercedes (Moné) and I brought those into existence and so I can’t stand watching them, my childhood heroes and the stupid idiot man, Becky Lynch. Can’t stand it. They said they were dusty on our shoulders. Where have they been? The heck.

On the February 6th Monday Night Raw, Bayley wrestled Becky Lynch inside a Steel Cage. When she returned to the backstage area, Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque told her she went out there like she had something to prove. Bayley feels she does have something to prove and is not seen in that special light.

After (my) Cage match with Becky (Lynch), Hunter said something to me like, ‘Man, you’re out there like you had something to prove.’ I’m like, ‘I do, I always do.’ I feel like for some reason, I’m just not seen in that light yet and maybe WrestleMania will be the day.

Earlier in the conversation, Bayley heaped praise onto Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and touched on Belair’s growth over the last several years. She feels Belair was able to learn and absorb information from herself, Mercedes Moné and Becky Lynch.

It was a little different when I came back (from injury) and Bianca (Belair) for example, you know, I had the opportunity to work with her when she just got to Raw and SmackDown. During the pandemic when we were at the Performance Center, she made her debut at WrestleMania, kind of with Street Profits but then wasn’t being used so I would see her literally sitting in the locker room just reading her book and not being used and I’m just like, man, there’s so much potential right here so, then getting to work with her throughout the pandemic and watching her grow and talking to her. Her and I have such easy chemistry, have such easy conversations so then being away, I felt like we did so much together but didn’t get to finish the story and then I was gone for a year. Then I came back and I just saw this totally different person. She got to work with Sasha (Banks), she got to work with Becky (Lynch) every single night, have these big matches with them. Saw this whole different person where I’m like, ah… But it’s just like she grew from that. Everything she learned from the three of us at that time and just being on everything, she took it, absorbed it and learned and that’s kind of off from what you’re asking but just Bianca in particular, I (saw) the growth within a year.

** Joining Richard Deitsch on the Sports Media podcast was longtime WWE commentator/broadcaster Michael Cole. As Cole was discussing what the company is looking for as far as the position he’s in, he shared that he does not like hiring ‘massive fans’.

We (WWE) have an idea of what we’re looking for. We want, especially for the role that I do, we want polished broadcasters. We want someone that sounds good on the air, has a genuine working knowledge of wrestling. For lack of a better term, sports entertainment. They don’t have to be a massive fan. In fact, I don’t like to hire massive fans. I like to bring people in who have a casual thought about our product but are competent broadcasters and then normally what happens is if they sound good, we’ll bring ‘em down to Florida, we’ll run them through an audition and then, you know, sometimes we get lucky and we move them down to Orlando and they work out of the Performance Center.

He continued to speak highly of his former broadcast colleague on SmackDown, Pat McAfee. Although McAfee is not calling the action with Cole on a weekly basis anymore, Cole said he tries to keep the energy that he got from McAfee.

He (Pat McAfee) allowed me to be that person and, ‘Hey, there’s nothing wrong with being a fan Michael. You’ve been doing this for 26 years. Be a fan, enjoy the product’ and that’s what I did and he really reenergized the way that I look at this business and even not working with him the past number of months, I’ve still tried to keep that emotion and that entertainment intact going forward and Pat’s really done that for me.

** Ryan Satin invited Paul Heyman back onto his Out of Character podcast. As they were discussing the Undisputed WWE Universal Title match between Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania 39, Heyman mentioned that one thing his side of the program never wanted to do was disrespect or talk down about Dusty Rhodes.

There were two things that we knew walking into this (Roman Reigns versus Cody Rhodes story): One, we knew we did not have to manufacture anything. We knew the truth was the most compelling, riveting, gripping story we could tell all the way to WrestleMania. We knew it. Number one, here’s what we didn’t want, ‘Hey man, your father was a piece of crap. You know what? When I beat you, it’s like pissing on your dad’s grave.’ We weren’t gonna disrespect Dusty (Rhodes) because we all love Dusty and just me saying that, when Cody watches this, something inside of him is gonna go, mhm. You know how I can really hurt Cody Rhodes right now? If I tell him how much I loved his father. It hurts, it does. It can’t but hurt. No matter how righteous of a man he is, no matter how good of a man he is, no matter how wonderful and altruistic of a man he is, it hurts. There’s jealousy, there’s envy. Cody grew up having to share his father with the world. That’s tough enough as it is. Here’s what even tougher: He had to share a lot of that with people in the same industry that Cody’s in.

Earlier in the conversation, Heyman told a story about his appreciation for Vince McMahon’s business mindset. It had to do with McMahon not being overly excited about WWE’s stock hitting a big number and being calm while everyone else was celebrating.

I was on the jet, I was Executive Director (of WWE) at the time, of Raw, the day the stock hit 100, which by the way was solely because I was the Executive Director of Raw at the time. But I digress, therefore I am and everybody was celebrating, everybody. ‘My God, the stock hit 100. Remember when we debuted at 19? The I.P.O. was for 19.’ Everybody’s celebrating. Not Vince (McMahon). Number one, because he made it, gave himself the moment. Moment was over, get back to business and two, I’m sitting there on the jet with him and I look over and say, ‘Hey, just for the record, congratulations,’ you know? And couldn’t have been a shorter, ‘Thank you.’ Okay, well that was a short conversation and I’m thinking to myself, okay, did I piss him off? And I looked at him, I said, ‘Let me see if I get this one. Let me sit under the learning tree for a moment’ and he says, ‘Well okay, go for it’ and I said, ‘Everybody else is sitting there celebrating 100. You’re sitting there celebrating, okay, we got to 100. That means we have to strive to get to 200.’ Looks at me and goes, ‘Mhm.’ That’s the mindset. See, that’s the mindset, that’s the ambition, that’s the drive, that’s the pursuit. That’s the momentary fulfillment that brings you some soulful nirvana that allows you to then focus in on the next pursuit and the chase becomes everything. It’s a never-ending chase with a few stops along the way to go, yeah! Okay, what’s next? It’s a polyamorous relationship with pursuit and fulfillment.

** When the Roman Reigns versus Cody Rhodes match came up during Big E’s appearance on Busted Open Radio, E expressed his thought that Cody is the person to dethrone Roman.

I think so, I think so (Rhodes will defeat Reigns at WrestleMania) but who knows? The thing is who knows what wrench could be thrown in there? We’re in L.A., The Rock rumors were afoot a while ago and they kind of cooled off but who knows? If Dwayne makes an appearance, you never know. Obviously, there’s The Bloodline to contend with as well. I think Cody should be the guy. But, who knows?

** At NXT Stand & Deliver, Ava (Simone Johnson) is making her in-ring debut as a part of an eight-person tag match. SmackDown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair gave advice to Ava via an interview with Insider. Flair hopes that Ava does not take on all the pressure of who her father is and crafts a career that’ll make her happy.

I hope she (Ava) doesn’t take all that pressure on because it’s hard and it’s exhausting — emotionally and mentally — and you can’t make everyone happy. I just hope she makes herself happy in this career.

** Looking back at the shift from NXT to NXT 2.0, Raquel Rodriguez told The Masked Man Show that it was a confusing time, especially with the way the women’s division was changing.

This past year, it’s so hard to look that far ahead into the future, especially in the positions that you’re put in where you’re right, it was a very confusing time for a lot of us (in NXT 2.0), especially us with the way the women’s division was changing and the direction it was suddenly going so, it was (a) very confusing time. I remember talking to IYO (SKY) in the locker room, just kind of figuring out what we were gonna try and change or bring to the table or what we needed to do to stay in the picture so seeing us all here (on the main roster) and seeing Dakota (Kai) here and having Bayley and be a part of all that, it’s really, really cool to know that we all were all able to make it to this point which is gonna be the biggest WrestleMania in WWE history and we’re in Hollywood and it’s two nights and I couldn’t be happier for those women because I know what they went through and I know that they feel the same way for me too but it really was a confusing time and I’m just so glad that we’re here and we’re doing it and we’re going big.

** Los Angeles Times has a profile on Shawn Michaels’ marquee WrestleMania matches. He spoke highly of the late Sensational Sherri as WrestleMania 8 came up. He dove into what she did for his career. Michaels feels she leveled him up and she was a blast to work with.

She made me noticeable, gave me credibility right off the bat because of who she was. She was the one that had been with Randy Savage. She’s the one that had been with Ted DiBiase. Sherri was more of a top player than I was. So placing me with her raised me up in a way that that allowed me to skip a number of levels that I would ordinarily have to kind of go through to make your way up that card. So she was huge to my career, and she was such a professional and was an absolute blast to work with because she was just so open and willing to do anything.

** When Veer Mahaan arrived to Monday Night Raw in 2022, he went after Dominik and Rey Mysterio who were in the ring. Dominik brought that up to Firstpost during their chat and said it was a lot of fun working with Veer.

Veer Mahaan debuted against my dad and myself when he came out and attacked us. And then the following week, I had a match against him and he actually took me out and sent me out on a stretcher one time. But it was interesting to work with Veer, super good guy until I got in the ring with him and he took me out. But it was a lot of fun being able to work with him and I saw all the love I got from fans in India, the support and why Veer would do that to us. Then there were couple of other fans that were excited because they’re big Veer Mahaan fans. So I’m excited to be able to go to India and perform for you guys.

** There’s an interview on Daily Star’s website with Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson). Prince told the story of when his father came to an NXT UK TV taping at the BT Sport Studios and told Prince that his favorite match was Axiom (A-Kid) versus Nathan Frazer.

I do have a funny story which potentially leads to why I don’t miss my father too much! A little while ago, he came to an NXT UK taping and we were in the main event – of course, where else would we be? After the show, I texted him the classic, ‘Did you enjoy yourself?’ And he replied back with, ‘Hey son, very fun’ – or something dad-like that makes no sense. Then he said, ‘My favorite match was Axiom vs. Nathan Frazer.’ ‘Let me ask you this, Papa Prince: You really think I’d miss you when you’re gonna say stuff like that to me? I invite you into our home, our place of work and we’re not your favorite wrestlers?!’

** For the first time since the debut of AEW Dynamite in October 2019, AEW is running the Capital One Arena in Washington D.C. on June 14th. There will be a Rampage taping after Dynamite.

** Tokyo Sports received a comment from IYO SKY about meeting MLB Los Angeles Angels player, Shohei Otani.

** Helping out with a training session at the NJPW Academy was Minoru Suzuki.

** KTLA welcomed Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins in-studio to promote WrestleMania 39.

** NXT’s Sol Ruca was profiled by Los Angeles Daily News.

** Monday Night Raw announcer Kevin Patrick and four-time NHL Stanley Cup winner Darren McCarty guest appeared on Busted Open Radio.

** IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada will be present at the FC Tokyo versus Shonan Bellmare game on April 9th.

** NBC Sports published the written version of their chat with Charlotte Flair.

** A feature article is up on ‘LAist’ that includes comments from P.J. Black and Angelo Dawkins.

** Jon Alba of FITE Wrestling welcomed Tony Khan onto the show for a chat.

** pushed out their interview with Carmelo Hayes.

** At MegaCon Orlando on 3/30, Mercedes Moné partook in a Mandalorian panel: 

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 8251 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.