POST NEWS UPDATE: Martin Stone (Danny Burch) reflects on WWE run, injuries he dealt with, NXT Tag Title win

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.

** In January 2022, Martin Stone f.k.a. Danny Burch was released from WWE which wrapped up his second full-time run in the company. He reflected on that run as he was doing a virtual signing for Golden Ring Collectibles. The only thing he wishes he got to do was be on the main roster.

No (regrets about my time in WWE). Obviously, I would have loved to have gotten the chance to be on the main roster. But, you know, out of my hands. I had an absolute blast. I had so much fun there. So, yeah, my only regret is, you know, not getting a chance to be on the main roster but apart from that, it was an absolute blast mate. It was a real pleasure.

He opened up about the injuries he dealt with over the last several years which includes a separated shoulder and a broken collarbone that got infected.

I first got injured on March 2021 which was the tag match against Finn Bálor and Karrion Kross. That was when I first separated my shoulder. Then I came back for the final NXT black and gold brand, the final taping for that and you know, I did that and then in training a few weeks later, I got my collarbone broken and then it got infected and just, you know, a whole host of problems and then obviously, 2022, I got released in January but I still had to have another surgery June of that year so, finally all done and dusted now so, good to be back. It’s really, really good to be back.

The idea of competing for either AEW or New Japan Pro-Wrestling was brought up. Stone said he’d like the chance to wrestle for either, but primarily New Japan. He feels it’s possibly the best promotion there is right now.

I would love the opportunity for both (competing for AEW or NJPW). Specifically New Japan because it’s probably the best wrestling promotion out there. So yeah, but you know, I would love the chance.

In October 2020, Stone captured his first title in WWE and that was the NXT Tag Team Titles alongside Biff Busick. He said he tried to hide the emotions because he was a heel at the time but it meant a lot to him.

Again, very surreal night (winning NXT Tag Team Titles). Very, very surreal moment… And it’s hard as well because obviously, we just turned heel so we were not trying to show emotion and you can see on my face, that just went completely out the window… That really meant a lot to me that night. I’ve been a professional wrestler, next month will be 20 years. So, you can’t really get higher than that, you know? To win a title in WWE.

** There’s an extensive interview with AEW Senior Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, Megha Parekh, on ‘The A2theK Wrestling Show’. Parekh spoke candidly about her home being broken into in May 2021. She said she punched the individual in his throat and ran over to her neighbor’s home.

Parekh said she went to work the next day and the individual who broke in was arrested and is going to jail for 10 years. There is a part of her that felt empathy for the man and added that the experience gave her the ability to understand those who deal with anxiety and how that feels.

On May 21st, 2021, I was asleep on my couch. I woke up, a guy had broken into my house and he was just looking for money but I woke up, I punched him in the throat. I ran out the door to my neighbors. They had heard me screaming so they met me at the door. I went and was just like sitting on my neighbor’s kitchen floor for a minute. I was crying and having trouble breathing and somewhere in my brain, I was like, I know that I need oxygen and he was like, ‘Do you wanna go sit on the couch?’ I was like, ‘No! Take me outside.’ So I went outside, called 9-1-1. I don’t have any memory of the phone call itself. Whatever I told the police, they were incredible in their response. They came at the building from both sides. He had already left the place but he dropped his wallet in my home. The police talked to my friends and I for — they were next door when the guy broke in. They talked to us for a couple hours. The next day, like a complete lunatic, I got up in the morning and went to work (she chuckled) and as I’m walking into a meeting with our coach and G.M., the police actually called and they said that, ‘We think that we found him.’ So I left that meeting. By noon that day, he had confessed, he had dropped his wallet in my house and he was in jail and so, what was interesting to me about that and this is why it’s a long answer, it’s like I knew I wasn’t going to be myself. All I know, especially from all of the counseling that I had done… I don’t even know how it’s going to change me. I know that I’m not going to be 100 percent and for like two weeks after that, I couldn’t even put on shoes. I felt like, okay, at least I know how people respond to trauma and I know that I’m gonna need to take extra care of myself and so one of the things that I didn’t really realize until after the fact but there’s (an) Eric Church song called ‘Never Break Heart’ and I would listen to that on repeat because it has such a consistent, steady rhythm and it’s not that popular of a song. I don’t even know if it was ever released or not but, I played that live just because that song reminds me so much of that time and the message of is like, even when bad things happen, basically don’t give up and I used to listen to that… Because I was working and I never stopped. I would just need like a little bit of time to be away from people because I would get very jumpy if somebody was behind me and so I would just put my headphones in, do a couple laps around the stadium listening to that song and then come back and I just knew that I was going to need to have extra coping mechanisms. I also told everybody at both companies after it happened because I was like, I want them to understand if I’m not myself, it is because of this and people were just really sweet and thoughtful and to your point about leadership, everybody was so generous in terms of having empathy for me during that time so it was like, ‘You know what? I can only do so much today’ and people really were kind about it and I probably spent — I’ve never been more tan in my life because I would spend all day walking on the beach basically just, you know, for a couple months after that. But yeah, it was scary that it happened but really, in a lot of ways, I had empathy for the person who broke in because it’s like, somewhere along the way, you just got lost. He was a drug addict looking for money and now he’s gonna be sitting in jail for 10 years, and so yeah, but it is definitely a good learning experience for me in terms of some of the things I was experiencing. I was like, you know, I’m so used to counseling other people, I basically was doing it to myself and it gave me a lot of empathy to people. I was never jumpy in crowds before and like I’m unreasonably confident, like to your point, I’d walk around Paris by myself at 2 AM and then all of a sudden, I felt myself having anxiety for the first time and I was like, you know what? This is good because I never really understood other people and what it was like for them when they had it but now I do and I have a different, newfound appreciation for it and hopefully then I’ll be better able to help other people.

I remember, I just so quickly like, I wanna go back to normal and then at some point I was like, there isn’t that. There’s no, oh, it’s just gonna go back to what it was. It’s always going to be a part of me and it’s always going to impact me in some way and the goal is to just acknowledge it. I’m with you, I still have trouble sleeping about it sometimes but I’m like, okay, if that’s the case then what can I do to make that time that I’m actually awake productive? And then I’ll get up and either start working or reading or whatever and then go back to sleep when I can… I have this vision in my head of like, oh, an ideal night of sleep is like eight straight hours and you’re just curled up and that’s just not, I think, the case for most people. But people don’t really talk about how many people have those challenges and I just try and make my insomnia productive for me so that it (goes) to some good use and then catch up when I can.

Early on in AEW’s television run, she made on-screen appearances, but she does not think she was good at it and it made her nervous. Megha added that she has no interest in being on-screen again.

No! I’m terrible at it (Parekh responded when asked if she’ll be back on AEW TV). I am. I am better off behind the scenes (she smiled). I get so nervous and uncomfortable. People probably don’t realize because I’d do anything for my job. I’m pretty introverted. It’s like, I don’t have any interest in getting on-screen at all. I will save that time for the people that deserve it and have experience in it because it is not my strength. I just, no joke, just get so nervous and just sweating the whole time. It’s awful.

** During Preston Vance’s appearance on AEW Unrestricted, he recounted tearing his ACL before his WWE tryouts in 2017 and 2019. After both tears, Q.T. Marshall was there for him and allowed Vance to stay at his home. When the second tear happened, The Nightmare Factory was open. It was there that Vance met Cody Rhodes. He said Rhodes gave him his rolodex of independent promotions to work for and even began calling promoters to get Vance booked.

So my first year, I pretty much just worked at the Monster Factory and then I would do extra work for WWE and stuff. I had a tryout scheduled for 2017 and I tore my ACL like right before it. So then I moved back home, lived with my parents and then was healed in nine months and at this point, Q.T. (Marshall) had opened the school in Atlanta. So he called me, ‘Hey man, when you’re cleared, if you wanna move down here, you can stay with me and my wife until you find a place, whatever.’ I’m like, ‘Okay.’ So I move down there, get rolling again. Start doing the indies like down southeast and stuff. I did an NXT extra work or whatever and did a dark match where you just get squashed basically so I’m like, whatever. Nothing’s gonna come of this and I get to the back and one of the agents is like, ‘Hey, we never do this but we wanna offer you a tryout on the spot.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, this is awesome.’ So they’re like, ‘Our next tryout –’ I think it was, I wanna say, two months away. ‘There’s no spots open but we’re gonna add a spot for you,’ whatever. I’m like, oh yeah, this is awesome. Lightning strikes twice I guess. So then this one’s coming up. I’d say about three, four weeks before this one, I tear my other ACL. So now I’m like, ‘oh my God. Maybe this isn’t for me.’ I was depressed. I was like, ‘How the f*ck does this happen?’ So I didn’t move home. I stayed in Georgia and stayed at the school and I just wanted to be around wrestling so like, Q.T. was a huge help. He’s been a huge help in my career from the very start. I got healed and that’s where I met Cody (Rhodes) at Q.T.’s school and he just had — I think he was maybe going through a little bit of a rehab himself so we kind of met. I was fully back and then he gave me his whole rolodex of all the indies to work and he was at one point, calling indie promoters to get me booked on, Cody was. I didn’t even know him at this point, you know? And I’m like, damn, that’s awesome. So he saw something in me.

Preston’s real first name is ‘Cody’, and he could not use that when he first arrived to AEW. The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) came up with the ‘Preston’ portion of his name. He added that Charlie Ramone of the props department suggested making ’10’ part of his setup because ’10’ is sounded out in the name Preston.

So my real name’s Cody. Wasn’t allowed to use that (when I got to AEW). Fair. So, The Young Bucks actually came up with the name ‘Preston’ because they said they had a friend in high school who was like the jock and also kind of like an arrogant prick and they’re like, ‘You look like a Preston’ and I’m like, ‘I’ll take it. I don’t care’ and then Charlie (Ramone) from props, he’s like, ‘Dude, the number 10 is in Preston so maybe you should make that your whole thing.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, that’s smart.’ So then, that’s how that came about.

** Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts provided an update on his new book during his conversation with John Poz of Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling. Roberts said it’ll ‘probably’ be another two months before it’s released.

I got a book that’s gonna be coming out very soon and I hope people enjoy it. I hope they get a lot out of it. It’s gonna probably be out probably another two months.

** While speaking to Stephanie Chase, Nigel McGuinness said he was excited when he heard the news of Tony Khan acquiring Ring of Honor. When he first spoke with Khan on the phone, one of the first questions he had for him was what did he have planned for ROH going forward.

I was excited (to hear Tony Khan acquired ROH). I was excited to see what Tony was gonna do with the company, what his plans were. That was one of the first questions I had (for) him when I first actually got him on the phone was what his plans were for the company? He’s done so much in terms of expanding the fan base and the ability for professional wrestlers to make a living through AEW that I was super happy to see him get a hold of Ring of Honor. I mean that’s arguably been a lot of the issue with Ring of Honor over the course of its history is that there was always the product and there was always the passion and the guys that were constantly evolving the style of professional wrestling. If you look at the history of professional wrestling, I don’t think you can make an argument. You look at a lot of the guys that came through Ring of Honor, where they are today. You look at the style of the in-ring product and back in the early 2000s, that was obviously where it was developing. I mean obviously, Ring of Honor followed on from ECW and from All Japan and other places as well. It didn’t come out from thin air. But that being as it was, there was always the issue, there just wasn’t the money to get it to that next stage and thank God for Cary Silkin who without his support and funding, Ring of Honor just would have died before it had become anything. But he never had the sort of money, the Tony Khan money to get it to that stage and that sort of platform that hopefully we’re gonna be able to get it to now.

** Looking back at WWE Crown Jewel 2022, Omos told Shakiel Mahjouri that he remembers the doubters him and Braun Strowman had going into the match and Omos feels they delivered.

And I remember all the doubters before that match (with Braun Strowman at Crown Jewel), before we went out there and had the match that we did, and so sometimes you just gotta show why you are who you are.

** One-half of the IMPACT World Tag Team Champions, Ace Austin, appeared on Busted Open Radio and said he’d like for himself and Chris Bey to face AEW World Tag Team Champions FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler).

I think the obvious (team for myself & Chris Bey to work with) is FTR. I think that would be probably top of the list. I wouldn’t say just because of the separate styles. Also because of the — I mean, they’re very accomplished. I would say the statures too. But the contrasting styles would be a huge part of that and I also think that would be good for the business. I feel like that would be really great for both brands, I feel like that would be great for everybody involved.

** The latest guest on Bobby Fish’s Undisputed Podcast was Martin Stone a.k.a. Danny Burch. Stone expressed that he’s never liked the ‘Danny Burch’ name. It was given to him during his first full-time go-round with WWE and he thought it was awful. Stone said ‘it worked’ but did not sound cool.

So then I was Martin Stone up until, yeah, I got hired and then obviously I was Danny Burch then I got released then I was Martin Stone. Then when I did the U.K. tournament, originally, I was supposed to keep Martin Stone but then they changed it back to Danny Burch and then yeah, Danny Burch again… And again, that was a name I never picked. Obviously, this was a name back in the FCW days when you submit 10 names and then they pick the best one and they literally just made it up and I went, ‘Well we’ve got three’ and I was like, ‘What’s the other two? Because this is an awful name.’

It worked… Just, I wasn’t a 100 percent fan of it for sure… I just wasn’t a fan. It just wasn’t a cool-sounding name. It doesn’t sound cool.

** As Stone Cold Steve Austin was making the media rounds, he spoke to Fox News Digital.

** The Mirror has an interview with Nigel McGuinness.

** Catherine Newman, who is WWE’s EVP of Marketing, has been added to Ad Council’s Board of Directors.

** Hiroshi Tanahashi’s latest advice column.

** Muscle & Fitness has a feature on Zelina Vega.

** Joining Ryan Satin on his Out of Character podcast was Ricochet.

** Big Japan Pro-Wrestling Results (4/27/23) Takamatsu Symbol Tower 1F Exhibition Hall in Takamatsu, Kagawa, Japan
– Yuko Miyamoto def. Yuichi Taniguchi
– Daichi Hashimoto & Yasufumi Nakanoue def. Kazumasa Yoshida & Takuho Kato
– Ender Kara, Kota Sekifuda & Yuki Ishikawa def. Kankuro Hoshino, Kazuki Hashimoto & Satsuki Nagao
Barbed Wire Board Death Match: Abdullah Kobayashi & Ryuji Ito def. Hideyoshi Kamitani & Kazumi Kikuta
– Fuminori Abe & Takuya Nomura def. Jack Kennedy & Quiet Storm
– Daisuke Sekimoto & Yuji Okabayashi def. Daimonji So & Yuya Aoki

** There’s an interview with The Pope (Elijah Burke) on Developmentally Speaking’s YouTube channel.

** Forest Lake Times has a feature story that includes quotes from F1RST Wrestling promoter Arik Cannon. 

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.