POST NEWS UPDATE: The Acclaimed attempted to bring Bart Gunn, X-Pac & Rico to AEW for Billy Gunn

Photo Courtesy: All Elite Wrestling

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.

** Joining Chris Van Vliet to record an episode of his podcast was former AEW World Tag Team Champion Max Caster. He shared that he and Anthony Bowens attempted to get Chuck Palumbo, Bart Gunn, Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman and Rico Constantino to come to AEW for Billy Gunn. He said the invitation will always be there.

We’ve tried (to reunite Billy & Chuck Palumbo in AEW). He’s a busy guy in his own life and I finally just met him at an autograph signing a couple of weeks ago and he was (a) nice guy, amazing guy. He’s like, ‘You work with Billy? I worked with Billy!’ And it seemed like he doesn’t follow but, just having that connection and a conversation with him about our tag team partner is a special thing so, I don’t know if he’ll ever show up on the show. I wish he would. We’ve tried Bart Gunn, we’ve tried Rico (Constantino), I think we’ve tried Sean Waltman. No one is showing up for Billy except for Max Caster and Anthony Bowens… They would all be great. They all, I think, deserve a little bit of a moment along with us because we’ve given Billy so much, Billy’s given us so much. But, they’re part of that family too. So, if they ever wanted to, if it ever came up, the invitation is always there but, if they’re busy, they’re busy. They have their own lives and not everyone can be a wrestler on TV all the time.

When it comes to The Acclaimed and Billy Gunn, Caster was asked if he could ever see them breaking up. He said he does not feel any animosity yet. Within his answer, he called himself a locker room leader.

I don’t feel the animosity yet (that would cause The Acclaimed to split), and you would think, right? It has (been almost four years) and it doesn’t feel like that, because we can look back on the start and it seems like yesterday and again, for me, I feel like I don’t give myself enough respect to say, I am a veteran in wrestling,  I am one of the most popular wrestlers in AEW, I am a locker room leader, even if it’s by example. People could watch us and say, I want to aspire to be that, and I don’t know if I give myself enough credit for that because… I don’t even know if there’s a reason. That’s one of the things I want to improve this year. For some people (it’s hard to give themselves praise). For me, definitely, and that’s where ‘Best Wrestler Alive’ comes from. It’s just, we gotta reiterate that, we gotta drive that into everyone else’s head but also my head and come out of that on the other side way better and actually the best and when people call me the best, that’s the validation and they will. It’s not gonna be tomorrow. But one day, it’s gonna start and it’s gonna keep going and keep going and everyone’s gonna say, wow, I never realized how great Max is and I think it all just starts with me and in here. So, that’s what we’re working on this year, along with the physical improvements. It’s just making sure that I know that I am the best.

There was a point in the interview when Caster’s appearance on WWE Raw in 2018 was brought up. He played the role of one of Bobby Lashley’s sisters. He said it gets grouped as one of the worst things to ever happen on WWE TV, but he thinks it was great. He was not expecting anything to develop from that. The next year, he had offers from both WWE and AEW.

Sure (I played Bobby Lashley’s sister on WWE Raw). You know, young wrestler, hungry, $500, a quick drive, three hours… Catering is great. What else could you ask for? I think most other wrestlers, aspiring wrestlers would have taken that booking. It was a very last-minute thing from what I remember. They had called I think the week of like, ‘Hey, can you come to Raw?’ You go, ‘Okay.’ No idea what they wanted me to do. Gotta be in a dress. I don’t know about that. You know what Katt Williams says about tan-skinned guys in dresses. It’s a little like a slippery slope but again, you’re getting paid, you’re getting on TV. I’m like, this will be good for my career.

They thought of me. They’re like, specifically, ‘Yeah, let’s bring you in for this’ and I go, okay, that makes sense. Sami Zayn has dressed up three men to lure Bobby Lashley to the ring and now we have to beat him up. Fine. Very, very cartoonish. Very, like, Bugs Bunny, Elmer Fudd I thought. I don’t think people really responded to it. It still gets brought up as one of the worst things on their show of all-time but I thought it was great.

No (nothing came from the appearance). That was kind of it. I didn’t expect anything. I think after that, I had my WWE tryout at the Performance Center which was completely independent of that, and, you know, at that tryout, they had told me, ‘You did great. Go make a name for yourself and talk to you then’ and it took me, I think another year-and-a-half before it came down to the decision of AEW or WWE. They were both offering at the time.

Following up on the previous quote, Caster explained what made AEW more appealing than WWE. He shared that he almost did something with NXT. He said he ‘technically’ did not have the deal on the table, but they were flying him out.

That’s a good question (what about AEW was more appealing than WWE). Because I gave it a lot of thought and I almost did the NXT thing. Yeah (this is 2020). The full story is they had a guy on Dynamite that they did a match with on one of the live shows and then the very next week or something, he signed with WWE. They swooped in, boom, grabbed this guy right up, and he’s still there and I’m sure he’s doing great. I don’t keep up. But, I think Tony (Khan) or whoever got word that WWE had been interested in me. I’d done a couple shows on pay-per-view with David Marquez and that’s when they called me and I go, oh, okay, this might be it, and then I think AEW got wind of that and then they go, in my opinion, let’s swoop in on these guys and take this guy that they want and I was, I think, the beneficiary of that and just the environment there. Even when I worked there as an extra at AEW, it was night and day different than working as an extra for WWE. I think I changed in the men’s locker room as opposed to a curtained-off area at the back of the arena. The only memory I have of Brodie Lee in person is me and him just sitting across from each other, him as him, and me as an unsigned guy just putting on my boots and I’m like, wow, this is actually way different and no one even cared. Everyone was just like, oh, yeah, you’re here, you’re wrestling today, good for you, and I feel like that put me more at ease and then the fact that it was Tony’s idea to put me and Anthony (Bowens) together to be The Acclaimed, to give us that name and he seemed, ‘Yeah, this is an exciting thing, this is my idea’ and I hadn’t heard anything specific. I technically didn’t have a deal on the table with WWE but they were flying me down to come meet and hang out and see if I was a good fit. They put that contract in front of us and that was it. It was like a leap of faith for me and Anthony together to do that.

Circling back to The Acclaimed, Caster feels they’re the best homegrown talent that the company has ever created.

I think me and Anthony (Bowens) are the best purely homegrown talent AEW has ever created. We had not been on major wrestling television as signed wrestlers prior to that. We literally had our first match together on an AEW show, and who went as high as us? And at this point, we’re still doing fine. We’re still very, very popular. I mean, we just showed up at the Ring of Honor show, the pay-per-view and that crowd was super excited to see us with no announcement. I think if we are announced, that’s appointment viewing because they wanna know what I’m going to say, they wanna see Anthony and Billy (Gunn) interact with the people and it’s really like a big feel-good party when we’re out there so, for us to kind of cultivate all of that and create scissoring, the pink, Daddy Ass…

** The featured guest on the newest edition of the Swerve City Podcast was Will Ospreay. In 2016, Ospreay signed with Ring of Honor and had a dual contract as NJPW was the other party he was contracted to. He said he opted out of that because he wanted to focus on Japan and England. Ospreay admitted that he felt he was out of his depth in ROH and was wasting the company’s time.

When I was with Ring of Honor and I had the dual contract with New Japan and Ring of Honor, I opted out of that because I just didn’t like — personally, I just wanted to do Japan and England just because it was a bit too much travel for me. But, I did just feel out of my depth there. I felt like, oh, this is nice… At that time, I was sitting around The Young Bucks, the BULLET CLUB and all those guys and rightfully so. It should have been but I just felt like another guy and it was almost like I felt like I wasn’t being — not utilized properly, not at all — but I felt like I was wasting their time. It was just a case of I didn’t really take to it. I just kind of was a little bit drained so I wanted to commit myself to New Japan and to the indies. It was too much. The overloading of it and it was just like, they’re not gonna miss me. At the time, you had so many guys there so it was like, let me just keep learning. I’m still trying to figure this sh*t out.

A discussion took place about move sets. Ospreay does not think he’ll be doing the Robinson Special anymore because of the damage it does to his hips. He feels he could still do it if he wanted to.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to do the Imploding 450 ever again. The double spin kick that I used to call the Robinson Special. I believe I can still do it… It mangles my hips.

** At the Dream Star Fighting Marigold launch press conference, members of the Actwres girl’Z promotion showed up and they’ll be part of the promotion as well. While ShuPro Weekly Pro-Wrestling was speaking to Giulia and Victoria Yuzuki, they stated that they were not aware the Actwres talents would be showing up.

Giulia: I was surprised (to see Actwres girl’Z talents show up to Marigold press conference). It wasn’t even on the time schedule for the press conference I had been given beforehand. Did Yuzuki know?

Yuzuki: I didn’t hear anything.

** As Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) were being interviewed by Tom Campbell of Cultaholic Wrestling, Gibson revealed that Grizzled Young Veterans was originally a trio. It was him, Drake and Screwface Ahmed a.k.a. Jamie Ahmed. He said they were a trio behind the scenes as well but once PROGRESS Wrestling paired Gibson and Drake as G.Y.V., they ran with that.

Yes and no (I came up with the Grizzled Young Veterans name). Oh God, this is gonna be a bit of a glass shatter but, we weren’t the original Grizzled Young Veterans.

So, it was still us collectively but there’s a third member basically. Jamie Ahmed, you probably do know him. Screwface Ahmed as well and he’s incredible. One of the most underrated guys to ever come out of this country and me, Jamie and J.D. traveled a lot together up and down these camps so, the three of us would team depending on what the show would look like that night. If you know the nature of the holiday camps, it’s not (a) set act. It’s just drop a load of names on a page and that’s the show for tonight. Just sometimes, J.D. and Jamie would be the tag team, sometimes me and Jamie would be the tag team, sometimes me and J.D. would be the tag team. The phrase itself, grizzled young vet gets thrown around a lot and the three of us obviously fit the bill. I started when I was 15 and J.D. started when he was 13 and we’ve been around the block a few times so, that was kind of our collective term. Myself and Jamie Ahmed wrestled in Europe quite a lot of under the name Grizzled Young Veterans and then because the three of us were in this sort of little, I guess, behind the scenes faction rather than in front of camera, when PROGRESS said, ‘We’re gonna put you two together’ but, that was just already the name that was getting sort of swirled around with the three of us and so it did initially start as a trio and just the way that it played out, myself and J.D. took the ball and ran with it.

** Erick Novak of the All Real Wrestling Podcast welcomed NXT and No Quarter Catch Crew member Myles Borne onto the platform. He spoke about the relationship he’s formed with Randy Orton.

Randy Orton, he’ll text me from time to time. When I ask him for advice and whenever he’s at the P.C., he’ll give me some tips and share his knowledge with me. We’ve watched film together before and there were things, as far as psychology-wise, that I would have never known unless someone of that caliber was sitting next to me and telling me about (it)…

** AEW President Tony Khan joined Cincy 360 with Tony Pike and stated that he thinks Cincinnati, Ohio is a great location to host an AEW pay-per-view.

I do think it’s a great idea. Cincinnati is on a list of cities I think would be a great home for a first-time pay-per-view city. We could really do some special things there. You got great fans in Cincinnati and we have one of the greatest stars in AEW, maybe the biggest star in AEW happens to be from Cincinnati and a hometown hero and when Jon Moxley is one of your top stars, I think it makes a lot of sense for a wrestling company to do a pay-per-view in Cincinnati. So, eventually that’s something I would love to do. We kind of have the calendar locked in for the rest of the year. But I think it’s definitely something to keep an eye on and it’s a great idea… I would love to bring more big AEW events to Cincinnati.

** Guest appearing on Highspots’ Virtual Gimmick Table was AEW World Champion Swerve Strickland. He shared that he’s touched base with the NFL Jacksonville Jaguars staff about recording a podcast with Jaguars linebacker Josh Allen.

I just spoke to some of the Jacksonville (Jaguars) staff and working on doing a joint podcast with Josh Allen. Working my magic. So now, I got a little pull over the last week to make some things happen.

** Giulia is scheduled to take on VENY at the 2024 Hana Kimura Memorial Show on May 23rd.

** Shelton Benjamin is scheduled for APC Catch’s June 30th show in France.

** Daily Star pushed out their chat with Drew McIntyre.

** May 7th birthdays: Owen Hart, Will Ospreay, Kevin Owens and Mike D Vecchio.

** AEW TNT Champion Adam Copeland was interviewed by The Canadian Press.

** To promote his new book, Jim Ross spoke to Sports Illustrated.

** Ahead of the 5/7 NXT, Chelsea Green appeared on Busted Open.

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 8584 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.