POST NEWS UPDATE: Road Dogg states that around WrestleMania 34 is when conversations of the show being two nights began

WrestleMania 34 stories, Samuray Del Sol chats NXT coaching/training opportunity, Dolph Ziggler note, Dustin & Cody vs. Von Erichs, Bianca

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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.

** The focus of Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James’ latest ‘Oh…You Didn’t Know’ podcast was WrestleMania 34. James was the lead writer of SmackDown at the time and he shared that the conversation of a two-night WrestleMania started around the time of the 2018 WrestleMania.

Seven straight hours I believe it was (WrestleMania 34). Goodnight Irene.

Yeah, this is at the time where that conversation started (about WrestleMania being two nights), you know what I mean? Where it was like, this is too much. But then it’s like, well who has been productive for you all year that you’re gonna take off the show?… That’s a tricky situation to be in and so, this was one of the years, one of the first years where that conversation started milling around like, ‘Hey, is there anything to doing this on two nights? Or three or something?’ So yeah, that conversation started because of these seven and eight-hour nights like these.

He was asked if he remembers the amount of armbars being toned down when Ronda Rousey made her in-ring debut and he said remembers people having to stop using similar armbars. James compared it to when Brock Lesnar’s suplex city run was hot and not too many talents were using German suplexes.

So I do remember about Ronda (Rousey) coming in and people having to stop using the similar armbars. Look, a lot of people do that, you know what I mean? (He laughed) Lot of people come in and have stuff and you go, yeah, we’re not gonna do that anymore. Don’t do those and look, a lot of German suplexes when Brock (Lesnar) was coming around and taking everybody to suplex city and that shirt was selling like wildfire, you didn’t notice too many other people doing German suplexes did ya? But nobody said a word about that.

The U.S. Title match at WrestleMania 34 was a Fatal 4-Way involving Miro, Randy Orton, Jinder Mahal and Robert Roode. Road Dogg gets that everyone wanted the booking on that night to go in favor of Miro and said he’ll take the blame for that missed opportunity. He added that the mindset was since they couldn’t have Miro win, the way to get the most heat was to have him be beaten by the person the crowd disliked the most in that match which was Jinder Mahal.

My thinking here is — and this is the conversation that we had (about the U.S. Title match at WrestleMania 34), ‘If you’re not gonna put it on Rusev, how do you get the most heat with the heel that you’re trying to –’ well, we thought, you beat Rusev, you know what I mean? You have this bad guy, take it away from him and hey, wait a minute and fans nowadays are so entitled to the, oh, we didn’t get our way. You didn’t book it the way I wanted you to book it, and I get it. A lot of people wanted us to book it that way, but we didn’t. We missed an opportunity, and I’ll take, again, credit for that. I’m not happy to take the credit but, I’ll take the heat because we missed an opportunity with Aiden English and with Rusev but, that’s in the past and I can’t go back and change it so, all I can tell you now is well, what was the crazy thinking behind it, you know what I mean? And so, that was it. We’re not putting the title on Rusev. So, who are we gonna put it on? And we knew Jinder (Mahal) was a project we were gonna work with and that’s the way things are done, that’s the way things have been done forever in this industry so yeah, it was how do you get the most heat? You beat the guy they love the most with the guy they hate the most.

Asuka’s undefeated streak was ended by Charlotte Flair at that year’s WrestleMania. James explained the thought process behind that decision:

Either you’re gonna put Asuka over (at WrestleMania 34) and she maintains that thing or you’re gonna put Charlotte (Flair) over and holy mackerel, she’s broken the streak and you know, the streak only goes for so long. You can’t be undefeated forever, you know what I mean? As much as everybody hated it with The Undertaker’s streak being broken, I guess he could’ve just retired with his streak unbroken but they were thinking about the future and who do we give this (to)? Same thing, same thing here. If you’re gonna beat Asuka, who you gonna give that carrot to? Because she’s undefeated and so somebody who beats her, you better be looking to do something with and of course we were looking to do something with Charlotte always, and so, that goes back and forth and you’ll hear ideas for each to go over and the bottom line is you look at the roster and go, hey, on the other side of this, who’s better as a champion? Who has more people to work with? There’s a lot of stuff people don’t think about (that) goes into all this and so there’s a lot of thinking down to the wire all the time. It’s just a little different when it’s Mania. But a lot of meeting behind closed doors goes on there too and people negotiate. People go in and have an idea and maybe it wins the day, and something changes. That happens.

He would later go on to speak highly of Matthew Rehwoldt, formerly known as Aiden English. James feels he missed the ball with Rehwoldt as well.

Great dude, great dude, great body, great wrestler, great voice (Road Dogg said about Matt Rehwoldt). Couldn’t pick a nicer guy, and I don’t know. I will say I missed the ball with him.

** In November 2022, it was first reported by Fightful Select that Samuray Del Sol f.k.a. Kalisto was present at the WWE Performance Center and he produced several matches at an NXT house show. Samuray confirmed on The Sessions with Renée Paquette that he had the opportunity to train and produce NXT talents.

I got an opportunity to train as a coach in NXT. Seeing that view from that side, man, I learned a lot more. I produced two matches, it was great… Me, Terry Taylor and Norman (Smiley), as producers. So yeah, it was great. From that view and producing a match, it was great. I learned so much.

Before he came down with his health issues in 2021, Samuray tweeted out a vignette which hinted at a boxing debut. He expanded on that and said he had been training with pro boxers in preparation for a debut and was going to wear his signature mask during his fight.

I was gonna box but that’s when the COVID happened (he laughed). I was training to box… I don’t know (how it would’ve gone) but, my grandpa always wanted me to box and like, ‘Mijo, mucho dinero in boxing or baseball.’ I’m like, ‘Ah. I love wrestling. Come on grandpa. I like wrestling’ and yeah, I kind of wanted to do it because of my grandpa. He always wanted me to box… Yes, that was the plan (for me to wear my mask in the fight), and I had it designed and everything. I was training with professionals. I was training with a couple boxers in Miami and Texas…

** For episode #45 of Comedy Store Wrestling, Dolph Ziggler joined the show and listed dream retirement scenarios for his career. One would be a four-way with himself, The Miz, Matt Cardona and John Morrison. The second that Ziggler mentioned is to be retired by his brother, Ryan Nemeth.

I always kind of cop out on this and go, I want Miz, (John) Morrison, (Zack) Ryder and myself to either have everybody running down. It’s like Miz and myself and then they’re running in and picking sides or something or we all just have this (four)-way match and not Attitude Era guys where we all hug each other afterwards but we just do it and we’re out there like, we got it. We did this, we built it with a story and I got to be here with my friends who I’ve been friends with because of the business because they always wanted to do more and I just was drawn to them because Ryder was doing the YouTube show that we weren’t doing and it was like, this guy’s trying everything. Miz was going above and beyond, doing some other show so he can get a push and we were just all drawn to each other doing these extra things and it’s like, these are the people who want to be on top and are doing the extra work. So that would be cool and I would like my brother to retire me.  

** Cameron Hawkins of The Ringer has a piece on Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair. She looked back on NXT TakeOver: Phoenix in 2019 where she challenged Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Title. Belair recalled dealing with imposter syndrome going into the match and touched on what she was able to learn from Baszler.

Yeah, that (NXT TakeOver: Phoenix) was a poor memory for me in WWE and NXT because before that, I was on the whole undefeated streak in NXT. And I remember I had a lot of confidence. But when I got to TakeOver, I was, like, dealing with impostor syndrome a little bit because it was my very first TakeOver and my first time on the stage and really showing people that I can go in there and I can hang with the champion… And so I was like, OK, let me go in here and, whatever, show these people. But I learned a whole lot from Shayna… [She’s] like a complete package. She brings the physical part. She’s great on the mic. She’s great with personality. Honestly, my mama, one of her favorites is Shayna Baszler. She loves Shayna… I learned a lot from her just being in the ring with her… That match was very important for me to build the confidence of, like, no, you belong here.

** As Dustin Rhodes was speaking to Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, he said he likes the idea of himself and Cody Rhodes taking on The Von Erichs (Ross & Marshall Von Erich).

Really, really talented kids (Rhodes said about Marshall & Ross Von Erich). I would love for me and Cody to one day wrestle them. That would be so cool.

** Before The Miz successfully defended the WWE Championship against John Cena at WrestleMania 27, the ‘Hate Me Now’ video package aired. Miz told Adrian Hernandez that his first time seeing that package was right before he went out to the ring.

When you saw it (is when I first saw the ‘Hate Me Now’ video package). I swear, I’m standing, getting ready to go out. I think my music’s gonna hit and all of a sudden, this amazing video plays and I go, ‘Oh my gosh’ and then my music hit and I went, wait, I gotta perform after that? That was amazing, that was incredible. I didn’t even know that was happening. That’s the incredible part and everyone’s like, ‘Oh my God. How’d you not know?’ It’s like, ‘I don’t know how I didn’t know. No one told me.’ It was so busy that day that it’s just, I was doing this, I was doing media, I was getting ready, my brain prepared for the match and then once you see that video, you go, oh wow and then your music hits and you go, oh wow. Alright.

** Jon Moxley has spoken at length about the potential he sees in Marina Shafir. She opened up about being mentored by Moxley on episode #61 of the Swerve City Podcast. That working relationship kicked off when Shafir approached Moxley after an AEW meeting and told him she needed help and was ready to work.

You know what? It’s really cool (being mentored by Jon Moxley) because he just gives me little feedback after my matches and I just, I don’t know. I feel like he states some obvious sh*t sometimes, like I just don’t see. Does that make sense? Maybe it’s just the way that he’s said a few things to me that I just, I don’t know, I just absorb it a little bit better but like, his perspective on the sh*t that I do is very interesting and some of the things he has suggested for me and I tried, clicked, and you know, at this point, I just really have to take it one match at a time. I know my role. I still have some work to do but, I’m not very far off and I’m not going to be very far off for a long time. It’s going to be clicking for me whether it wants to or not and he’s definitely helping me kind of fuse that sh*t together. But I also don’t feel like I’m stretching myself thin. This is such a special opportunity that’s here right now. I’m literally getting an opportunity to really learn how an authentic me operates within this system and I can’t f*ck it up. That’s how I feel. I need that pressure. It forces me to chill out and enjoy this process because this is a moment of my life… It’s really cool how this all started from we had a meeting, we had one of those meetings and they were like, ‘Let us know if you need some help’ and everybody left and I just went up to him and I’m like, ‘I need some help. I wanna work.’

** Joining Busted Open Radio was NXT Women’s Champion Indi Hartwell. She stated that she is looking forward to one day appearing on Raw and/or SmackDown.

Definitely. NXT Champions have appeared on Raw and SmackDown in the past so, I’m looking forward to doing that too.

Since 2019, Hartwell has been part of the NXT brand. As she was discussing her journey through the brand, she expressed that she feels she’s the gatekeeper of NXT.

Indi Hartwell is the heart of NXT. I’m a leader at NXT, I’m the gatekeeper of NXT. I’ve been there for three-and-a-half years now, seen a lot of people come and go. I’m one of the girls who’s been there the longest. There’s only a few women who have been there longer than me which I look up to those women. But, I’ve been through it all when it comes to NXT. I was back there for black and gold Full Sail days, the turnover with NXT 2.0 and I’m still here on the other side so yeah, Indi Hartwell is the heart of NXT.

** IMPACT Wrestling X Division Champion Trey Miguel chatted with VL Média’s Lucas Charpoit and reflected on being part of wXw’s 16 Carat Gold weekend. Miguel said he left the country of Germany in tears because he knew he was going to miss it.

I never thought I would have the chance to do this tournament (wXw 16 Carat). It’s one of the most prestigious and coveted in the wrestling world right now. When you’re a wrestler, you never know which promoter is noticing you and who appreciates your work. I remember crying the morning I got the email. When I arrived at the airport in Germany, I was met by a wrestler named The Rotation. He is one of the nicest, most welcoming and friendly people I have ever met in my life. He has been checking in with me regularly via message ever since. Everyone who struggled that weekend had what we call ‘post-Carat depression.’ We were gutted to leave each other. I have wrestled in eight different countries since the beginning of my career. I’ve never left a country crying like I did that weekend.

** Episode #3 of Kamen Rider Outsiders features IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi. 

** Minoru Suzuki and Jun Akiyama are going to team up at the ‘Fortune Dream 8’ show on June 14th at Korakuen Hall. They’ll be taking on Chihiro Hashimoto and Yuu.

** The full NJPW Battle in the Valley pay-per-view

** Good Karma Wrestling welcomed Rey Mysterio onto the podcast.

** Game Changer Wrestling is returning to Japan for a tour from July 17th-20th.

** Justin of The Wrestling Classic pushed out his chat with Adam Cole and Britt Baker. 

** Austin Theory, Candice LeRae and Johnny Gargano were part of a Ringside Collectibles panel. 

** Golden Ring Collectibles hosted a virtual signing with Alicia Atout.

** Natalya was interviewed by Chris Van Vliet.

** At WrestleCon, Koffin Radio spoke to D’Lo Brown.

** April 11th birthdays: Dustin Rhodes & Ari Daivari.

** At the WrestleMania 39 press junket, Sports Guys Talking Wrestling caught up with Dakota Kai, MVP, Bianca Belair, Grayson Waller, Roxanne Perez, Rhea Ripley and Alpha Academy (Chad Gable & Otis).

** Busted Open Radio welcomed Carmelo Hayes onto the 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 6870 Articles
A Maryland native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.