Originally published at POST NEWS UPDATE: Alan Angels reflects on IMPACT debut
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** On the July 7th edition of IMPACT Wrestling on AXS, Alan Angels made his debut and challenged ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey for the X Division Championship. Angels reflected on his IMPACT debut while on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast and said he’d be open to returning if possible.
Mike Bailey’s one of those guys I’ve — he’s been on my radar for a long time as somebody I wanted to wrestle and it was just — it was a really good opportunity for me I felt to get to go out there and wrestle somebody that’s — one, he’s been wrestling forever, so the wealth of knowledge that he holds is insane. On top of that, getting to wrestle him for the X Division Championship which is like in my opinion, my eyes, one of the most prestigious championships currently today just because of the history and like, you know, when I was a kid growing up, that’s what I wanted. I wanted to be the X Division Champion as opposed to the world champion or anything like that. I thought the X Division was just so cool in general. You had all the Chris Daniels and AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Chris Sabin, Alex Shelley, like all those guys and I thought that was like the coolest thing. To me, holding the X Division Championship was like, that was the goal for me. So getting to wrestle for the X Division Championship was just so surreal and so cool and like I said, Mike Bailey’s the man so I wouldn’t have wanted to wrestle anybody else. But that being said, the X Division right now in IMPACT is insane man. You got Ace Austin, Chris Bey, Trey Miguel, Mike Bailey, Alex Zayne, all these guys that are in the X Division right now, they’re all killing it and they’re all just like doing crazy stuff and it’s just — it’s high-tier wrestling. It really is and they’re killing it right now for real.
Yeah, I would love to go back. I don’t know what the future holds for me right now but, you know, if IMPACT is on the table, I’m definitely down. I love the locker room, the environment was awesome and like I said, the match was great and everybody seemed to like it so, I’m definitely open to it. Like I said, I don’t know what the future holds for me but, we’ll see, you know?
** Episode #157 of the True Geordie Podcast features an in-person conversation with Chris Jericho. While looking back at the start of All Elite Wrestling, Jericho feels that the product was on his back. He said he was aware he had a three-to-six-month window to help establish stars or the venture would fall apart.
When we started AEW, it was solely on my back. I really believe that because if you look at the roster, unless you were a hardcore wrestling fan, no one f*cking knew any of those guys.
There’s a perfect example, ‘Chris Jericho’s there? Really? Let’s check it out’ and then you see all the other great guys but I knew right out of the gate, I have three-to-six months to make as many stars as I can, because if not, I can’t — as great as I am and as great as I think I am, if I’m the only guy on the show for six months and the only star, it’s gonna die. It is. I can’t do it all. I’m not f*cking Michael Jackson or Elvis or somebody like that. So I knew very quickly I had to create stars right out of the gate and that’s why we concentrated on reinventing Cody Moxley, he was not the guy that he is now when he came into our company. Jungle Boy, all of those guys I worked with early on in the process to let people know — Young Bucks, Inner Circle. The first night we created The Inner Circle to show here’s some new guys. Who’s Sammy Guevara? I didn’t know how Santana, Ortiz was. Jake Hager was not the guy he is now. He was a useless character in WWE. So we built these stars in three months and that’s when we got a television deal for $160 million for four years.
Jericho has expressed on several occasions that he is not looking to rehash any catchphrases or characters from his past. When he was talking about the ‘Y2J’ nickname, he said that was initially pitched to be the name of his finishing move but Vince McMahon decided on it being his nickname.
‘Y2J’, I was pitching to him as the name of my finish and he’s like, ‘No, no, no, no. That’s not the name of your finish. That’s your name’ and I was like, ‘Me!?’ Like, ‘Yeah, you’re Y2J.’ I was like, ‘Really?’ And f*ck man, and people still chant it ‘till this day. I thought of the idea and the term ‘Y2J’. He’s the one who saw the overall picture that’s much more valuable for the name of you to be that.
** The Universal Wrestling Podcast welcomed former WWE writer Andrew Goldstein onto their platform. Goldstein told the story of when he and fellow writers showed Vince McMahon footage of Monty Brown on a flight. McMahon did not react to it but shortly after, Brown was signed to WWE.
I remember being on Vince’s jet and playing him — and we played him VHS tapes of Monty Brown in TNA to be like, do you wanna sign this guy or not? And then, you know, he doesn’t answer to us. He just watched two minutes of it, we turned it off and then like a month later, it’s like here’s Marcus Cor Von. One of the all-time bad name changes.
There was an on-screen segment that Goldstein was involved in during which he ended up covered in condiments. He had to get on Vince McMahon’s jet with the same clothes on and was questioned by The Undertaker for getting on the plane like that.
The story I always tell is I got roped into the… I think it’s Unforgiven with Vito and the dress and William Regal is basically the runner in the whole show; was William Regal searching for Vito and it was gonna culminate in them doing sort of like a Looney Tunes chase in the backstage and then they turn a corner and run into a guy with a hotdog cart and then they’re going to slip and slide and Regal in a three-piece suit is going to slip and slide on the ground; mustard, ketchup, relish, buns, dogs and it was a Michael Hayes idea that I had to be the messenger of to Bruce at TV. Bruce hated the idea, didn’t want to shoot it and because I was the messenger, he was like, ‘All right, well you’re gonna be the guy pushing the hot dog cart’ and so, that basically was a rib meaning I’m gonna get all that stuff over me, meanwhile I had one suit and I had to wear it for the rest of the week or the rest of TVs and I was flying on Vince’s plane so you know, we shoot the thing and Regal, I knock into Regal with the cart and the cart topples over and he pulls me down and then we’re literally grappling on the crowd, like slipping and sliding and the mustard and the ketchup and the relish and it’s all over me and then, you know, you yell ‘cut’ and the bit’s over and then I’m stuck in this completely soiled suit and Johnny Laurinaitis is like, ‘Don’t worry. We’ll pay for your dry cleaning’ and you know, I had to just scrape it off and then literally, of all the weeks, it was the one week that Undertaker was on the plane when I got on and I stepped on the — I got on the plane and Undertaker lifted his head up and was like, looked me up and down, was like, ‘You’re gonna get on this man‘s plane looking like that?’ And I was like, ‘Uh, uh, well Mr. Undertaker, I was…’ And he was like, ‘Just get in the back of the plane and shut up.’ I was f*cking terrified, you know? I smelled like mustard, and it was just so… I flew to the next city or flew home in a completely soiled suit.
Not crying, but it was just like, you know, The Undertaker had just — I mean he was like the f*cking judge, jury and executioner. He’s like… you know, I’m like pissing my pants because you know…
** To promote The Undertaker’s slate of content that aired on A&E, Peter Rosenberg conducted an interview with Undertaker. They dove into his days with World Class Championship Wrestling and his first match for the promotion was against Bruiser Brody. After the match, Brody vouched for him and insisted to Gary Hart that he should keep ‘Taker and part ways with some of the talent that were already there.
He actually stood up for me after that match and was like, you know, he was trying to convey to Gary Hart who was the booker at the time, he’s like, ‘You ought to keep this kid and get rid of some of these other guys around here.’ That’s not the way it worked out, but it meant the world to me that somebody of the stature of Bruiser Brody was impressed with what I did so…
For that match with Brody, Undertaker was accompanied to the ring by William Moody (Paul Bearer). It was their first-time meeting. Moody had been sent out by Gary Hart to manage Undertaker. ‘Taker later joked to Moody that he was sent out there to make sure he could assist him with where he needed to go after the beating from Brody.
Well to tell you, I honestly don’t know .
It’s crazy. It’s so many times where I cross paths and the stories, you know, throughout my career but, yeah, it was nuts and at that time, I had no clue that William Moody was a licensed mortician and I had no clue. All I knew was Percy Pringle and blonde hair and the starred jackets and you know, so I didn’t find that out until he actually interviewed later on for the WWE job so, it’s just crazy how things work out and yes, he was a vital, vital part of that whole development of the character.
** ‘Sports Graphic Number’ is releasing their next magazine issue on July 14th. It is going to have interviews with Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito, Masahiro Chono, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tatsumi Fujinami and Seiji Sakaguchi.
** With Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling’s ‘Tokyo Princess Cup’ set to begin, the promotion is creating a new trophy design.
** July 12th birthdays: Brock Lesnar.
** Renee Paquette welcomed AEW’s The Butcher (Andy Williams) onto her podcast.
** Jordynne Grace spoke to Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp.