POST NEWS UPDATE: Big E wanted more out of his WWE Title reign, proud of how he handled the demands of being champion

Big E reflects on WWE Title reign, Sheamus chats WM 38 bout being moved, Rhea Ripley/Bianca Belair, Bret Hart chats CM Punk, Dana Brooke/Regal

Photo Courtesy: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports

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 Big E was being interviewed by PopCulture, he looked back on his WWE Championship reign. He wanted more from it and doesn’t think he had the best reign, but regardless, he’s proud of how he handled the outside-the-ring responsibilities. E closed by saying he does not get to that point he was at without Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods.

It was a great learning experience for me (being WWE Champion). It was one of those things where, you know, if I’m being honest, I wanted more. I didn’t feel like I had the best reign. I feel like there was a lot of meat left on the bone, a lot more that we could have done there so yeah, for me, I was really fortunate and really blessed to have that opportunity and really grateful for it as well but you know, the one thing, I felt like I was proud of myself in that, the demands with that title are real. There are times where when I had the title, in a week, I might be in seven different cities. Going from not just Raw and SmackDown, also going to live events and then having to do conferences in Vegas and then going to New York to do media. It was a constant grind but I really embraced the grind, I really loved it and one of the things I got to do too outside of the ring. I had just a myriad of things I got to do outside of the ring, even getting to do intros for Fury-Wilder 3, getting to do boxing walkouts, The Breakfast Club, so many of the things that went on outside of the ring during that time and really feeling like, man, I have the confidence and oh, I can go on these big platforms and I can crush it. Really feeling like, yeah, I’m meant to do this so, for me, in many ways, even though I wanted more out of the reign and felt like a lot more could have been accomplished in-ring and on TV, on SmackDown, on Raw. As much as I have those feelings, I’m also so grateful for the opportunity and so grateful for so many doors that have opened because of that run but yeah, it’s definitely something that I’m incredibly proud of and grateful for and I can go on and on about it but honestly, truly, I don’t get there without Kofi (Kingston) and (Xavier) Woods and just the experience with The New Day and really being able to open up and expand and grow as a performer because of those two.

Big E was asked if he could see himself contributing to WWE behind the scenes or as an on-screen personality while he is out of the ring. He can see himself in those roles and then went on to speak in-depth about chatting with college students about WWE’s N.I.L. program.

Yeah, I think there’s a ton of different ways to add value to the company. That’s the one thing that I love is in a lot conventional sports, it’s hey, if you’re not on the field, if you’re not on the court then it’s hey, you can be a coach or you probably gotta leave the game and what I love about WWE is there’s so many different ways for me to be involved and right now, you know, for a while I’ve been working with the N.I.L. program, being able to go to these college campuses and talk to athletes and let them know about WWE and the opportunities here and for me, that really resonates because I remember being 23 years old, a ‘failed football player’ at Iowa, dealing with a bunch of injuries and then trying to figure out, hey, football’s over. All you’ve thought about your entire life is — I had dreams of doing other things as well but I primarily saw myself as an athlete, since about age four, I’ve been an athlete so for me, I just felt what do I do with my life? And then this opportunity with WWE came along and has incredibly, vastly changed my life. So that’s why I really connect with the N.I.L. program.

** While speaking to Ryan Satin on the Out of Character podcast, Sheamus commented on his match at WrestleMania 38 being bumped from night one to night two. He tagged with Ridge Holland to face New Day (Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) at the 2022 event.

Everyone should get an opportunity to go out there (at WrestleMania) and be involved in that, you know? That’s what we work for. That’s our dream — to get into WWE — is to be at WrestleMania and over two days is great too, and also, people get time in their matches unlike last year of course where we got bumped the first night and then the second night, I think we got five minutes. But that’s a one-off and I won’t go there. That’s a different story altogether.

One of the inductees into the 2023 WWE Hall of Fame was the late Tim White, who Sheamus was close to. Sheamus shared that he was in the same city as Tim when he passed away. Sheamus added that he has not gotten over losing Tim.

Yeah man, we (Sheamus & Tim White) were very close. I started hanging out with Tim, I think it was 2012. I’ve always been there, one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and in 2012, I started doing a lot of autograph signings and appearances and Tim was there at every single one and if he wasn’t down for one, I’d always ask him to be there. He came to my house when I lived in Tampa, he came to my house when I was in Nashville. Any time I got to see him, it was incredible. I love that guy. That guy is just… unbelievable. He’s amazing. I miss him so much because it was times when I was going through different — no matter what I was going through career-wise where I was up and down sometimes but every time I’d see him, he’d always bring a smile to my face. He’d always crack a joke, he had something smart-ass to say… Definitely one of my closest friends in the business was Tim. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who’s got one bad thing to say about that guy. The stories about him and André the Giant were amazing and Shawn (Michaels), and he was the one guy that would take care of anyone needed to be taken care of or talent-wise back in the day, Tim would be the guy that will come in. Unbelievable guy. Everybody loved Timmy… I was there when they found him, you know? I wasn’t there. I was in the city. But yeah, I don’t know. I haven’t gotten over that one yet.

** The idea of Bret Hart sharing the ring with CM Punk was brought up during Bret’s chat with the TWC Show. Bret gets excited at the thought of it and said he would enjoy just sitting down and planning a match with Punk.

(CM) Punk is one of my favorite workers in the business ever and I might give him my jersey today if I see him. But, he’s always been one of my most favorite wrestlers.

It’s fun for me to even imagine (facing Punk). Even if we didn’t do the match, I wish we could just sit down and plan the match, and then animate it or something.

The Billington Bulldogs (Tom & Mark Billington) came up as well in the conversation. Bret spoke highly of them and how much they remind him of their uncle, Dynamite Kid.

They’re really good, I really enjoy them (Bret said about The Billington Bulldogs). They’re really good and they got a lot of heart and there’s some kind of gene in there. Thomas Billington, who’s not Dynamite’s kid but it’s his nephew, is a dead ringer for Dynamite. I mean, he looks like him and talks like him and acts like him and reminds me of him and it’s a beautiful thing.

Yeah (they are a throwback when it comes to their wrestling style). They’re like Dynamite. They’re indestructible, they can do anything, they can dropkick you off the top turnbuckle or anywhere in the arena. They take a lot of chances out there but they’re really exciting.

** Newly crowned SmackDown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley and Dominik Mysterio appeared on The Ringer Wrestling Show after their matches at WrestleMania 39. Ripley continued to speak highly of Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair and thinks they’ll main event a WrestleMania one day.

Ripley: With Bianca (Belair), coming up in NXT with her, I also know her extremely well and I know that she’s gonna be in this business for a very long time so our time is gonna come when we’re gonna get to step in the ring again and go face-to-face. Whether that’s WrestleMania 40, WrestleMania 41, WrestleMania 42, I don’t know when that’s gonna happen but it’s gonna be a WrestleMania match and it’s gonna steal the show and it will be the main event of one of the nights of WrestleMania. We’ll see when it happens.

There was a point during the podcast when Dominik recalled his father wrestling Damian Priest on the 3/27 WWE Raw and Dominik jokingly told Priest that Rey broke his leg in the match.

Mysterio: When (Damian) Priest had a match with my dad last week and there’s a picture of us going around the corner and I’m smiling and I literally had just told him, I was like, ‘Hey, my dad broke his leg.’ He goes, ‘What? Are you serious?’ And I was like, ‘No, I’m just playing,’ and then he just started chuckling. He’s like, ‘Man, don’t do that.’ So it’s like, we’re literally, constantly having fun out there and yeah, it’s a blast. Especially with all of them (Judgment Day). They just make it so easy.

Outside of Judgment Day, Dominik mentioned names like Randy Orton, John Cena, The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) and Roman Reigns as talents that have given him advice about improving what he does on-screen.

Mysterio: I definitely hear Randy (Orton) in my ear a lot, just because of the relationship he’s had with my dad and just over the past, I felt like he’s one of the guys I grew up with in the back. Guys like him, Jey Uso as well. Him and Jimmy (Uso) have given me a lot of advice starting off. When we first came back from the pandemic, we did the live events with them. It was me, my dad and John Cena versus Roman (Reigns) and The Usos so I was able to learn a lot from them and same with John Cena. Him and Roman (Reigns) being in my ear about certain things so I’ve just been very fortunate to have a lot of top talent be able to give me great advice and for me to just go out there and do my thing.

** There’s an interview on the PWInsider site with Valhalla (Sarah Logan) and The Viking Raiders (Ivar & Erik). Valhalla looked back on her release from WWE in April 2020. She described it as earth-shattering, but now she’s back in the company and herself and The Viking Raiders are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing.

I mean, getting that news that you’ve been released is always heart-shattering. Especially… I am a wrestler through and through. I did it for five years before I even came to WWE. I wasn’t in some other profession that just landed me in WWE. So, when you get that call, it’s earth-shattering. But looking at it from where I’m standing now, I got released, but we shuttered our farm, I had our son, and now I’m back with the boys… That’s like a storybook. So it just makes me, again, reiterate that we’re doing exactly what we’re supposed to be doing and the Gods are showing us that by giving us all these opportunities.

** On WWE’s ‘Main Event’ program, Dana Brooke is often in action against a talent from NXT. Brooke guest appeared on The Ringer Wrestling Show and described herself as the ‘gatekeeper’ of Raw and SmackDown. After she wrestles those talents, William Regal will approach her to get feedback. One of the talents Brooke immediately knew had ‘it’ is Zoey Stark.

I have the opportunity now to work with a lot of the new and upcoming NXT stars on the show Main Event and I always tell myself, I’m the gatekeeper of WWE Raw and SmackDown and if you want a shot, you have to get through me, right? So, I find that very humbling and rewarding having that kind of my place now and you know, (William) Regal comes up to me backstage and is like, ‘Was she alright? Did you like working with her?’ So I take pride in that and again, I feel like every single one of us superstars has played a part to be here at WrestleMania.

Zoey. Zoey Stark (is who I know had ‘it’ immediately). Yes. She is amazing. She has so much talent. She’s super, super athletic, she has the ‘it’ factor, she has the confidence. A lot of times, before we go out… If you don’t have nerves, you shouldn’t be here, right? Because that just means you don’t care so nerves are a good thing. But she had nerves but she was confident. She was like, ‘We’re gonna go out there and we’re gonna kill it’ and sure enough, we did and I was like, ‘No, this is everything. You did amazing, I want you back. I want to continue this’ and it was awesome. I think she has a very bright, bright future here.

** At the WrestleMania 39 press junket, Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair told WrestleBinge by Sportskeeda that she’s interested in having matches with legends. Belair named Molly Holly as one she’d like to be in the ring with again.

I would love that (to share the ring with legends). I haven’t had the chance to really have matches with legends and everybody else is getting to do it. Becky’s living out her childhood dream and getting to tag with Lita and Trish (Stratus) and Rhea’s gotten a match with Beth (Phoenix) who was always my dream match and I’m like, okay, can I be next?

I got a chance to get in the ring with Molly Holly for my very first Royal Rumble match and it was just very briefly so if anybody can talk her into coming back, I’d love to get in the ring with Molly Holly again.

** Ahead of NWA 312, Chicago Tribune ran a story that includes comments from NWA owner Billy Corgan. Corgan stated that he’s still learning how to promote. He wishes music did not consume so much of his time but added that it still pays for the wrestling.

I’m still learning how to be a promoter. It’s a full-time job. There are times when I wish that the music didn’t take so much of my time. But let’s put it this way, the rock still pays for the wrestling.

** TJPW Princess of Princess Champion and Princess Tag Team Champion Mizuki was interviewed by Wrestle Inn. She explained to the site how she came up with her ‘Whirling Candy’ move where she goes in for a crossbody and does several rotations before hitting the mat.

I took the crossbody technique that I have cherished since my debut, and improved it over and over again by layering it with my own personality to create a technique that rotates in a circular motion.

** AEW World Champion MJF received the ‘Key To The Town’ from Oyster Bay, New York and did a Q&A with the press afterwards. 

** Jushin Thunder Liger was the focus of a talk show. It is available to watch here: 

** Pro Wrestling NOAH has a recap of The Great Muta’s WWE Hall of Fame induction

** On June 18th, as a part of the NJPW New Japan Road tour, Yuji Nagata is producing his ‘Blue Justice XII’ event at Sakura Municipal Gymnasium in Sakura, Japan

** GCW World Champion Masha Slamovich appeared on the 68th Café De René livestream.

** In edition #30 of Akira Hokuto’s series on Tokyo Sports, she dove into her retirement from full-time in-ring competition in 2002.

** NJPW Road to Sakura Genesis Results (4/4/23) Twin Messe Shizuoka in Shizuoka, Japan
– Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano def. Yuto Nakajima & Oskar Luebe
– Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ren Narita def. House of Torture (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Dick Togo & SHO)
– Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare def. Shingo Takagi & BUSHI
– Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito def. Gedo & El Phantasmo
– United Empire (Jeff Cobb, Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) def. Tomoaki Honma, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto
– Ryohei Oiwa, Shota Umino & Ryusuke Taguchi def. TMDK (Zack Sabre Jr., Robbie Eagles & Akio Fujita)
– Just Five Guys (SANADA, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, DOUKI & TAKA Michinoku) def. Master Wato, Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask & YOH

** There’s a story about NJPW’s Hiroyoshi Tenzan in Power Watch magazine.

** Announced for Prestige Wrestling’s April 29th show is Penta El Zero M taking on Kevin Blackwood.

** April 4th birthdays: Chelsea Green and Kerry Morton.

** Bianca Belair, GUNTHER and Drew McIntyre appeared on The Ringer Wrestling Show.

** At the WrestleMania 39 press junket, The Mark Hoke Show caught up with Roxanne Perez.

** NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Isla Dawn and Alba Fyre spoke to In The Kliq.

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 8604 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.