POST NEWS UPDATE: Brian 'Road Dogg' James reflects on Mercedes Moné & Bayley's 'start & stop' story in WWE

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/05/30/post-news-update-brian-road-dogg-james-reflects-on-mercedes-mone-bayleys-start-stop-story-in-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.

** WWE Backlash 2018 was the focus of Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James’ Oh…You Didn’t Know podcast. The former SmackDown lead writer agreed that there was a lot of start and stop with Mercedes Moné and Bayley’s story in WWE. He cannot pinpoint who is at fault for that if there is anyone at fault but said ‘we’ saw it happen.

Yeah, I don’t know. I agree with that 100 percent to tell you the truth, that it did start and stop a lot (Mercedes Moné/Bayley story in WWE) and I don’t really know if that was, oh, well let’s… there’s a fine line between having them team together so long and you tease it a few times and then you’ve kind of missed it. You should’ve done it 10 times ago and I think that’s kind of what we did with them, you know what I mean? And I don’t know who’s at fault for that if any one person is. But, it’s true, it happened. We saw it all happen.

** Andreas Hale of Sporting News conducted an interview with Jeff Jarrett and Jay Lethal going into AEW Double or Nothing. During their chat, Lethal spoke in-depth about the Jay Briscoe tribute match he had with Mark Briscoe in January. Lethal described it as one of the toughest things he’s ever had to do and credited Mark for consoling him beforehand. A video package about Jay Briscoe aired before Mark hit the ring and Lethal broke down watching the video. After the match was over, he felt a weight lifted off his shoulders.

To start it off, it’s one of the toughest things I’ve ever had to do (Lethal said about the Jay Briscoe tribute match), and the day started when I knew I was going to eventually, in the locker room, at some point, I had to come face-to-face with Mark Briscoe and I just knew that, man, I just gotta try to keep it together and the wild part was and it’s the God’s honest truth, when I got together with Mark Briscoe, instead of me trying to console him, it was the flipside. I feel like he was more so consoling me and trying to keep me together and his reasoning which really resonated with me… You gotta know Jay Briscoe but to have either one of us crying or saddened, if Jay Briscoe was there, I can’t say because I can’t curse. I can’t say the bad words that he’d probably say but, he would call us every name in the book. Look at you over there crying. That’s why Mark Briscoe, it was easier for him to hold it together, he said, which made total sense. Well anyway, another tough part was I go to the ring and then when I get to the ring, we go to commercial break and while in commercial break, I had no idea — I wish they had told me, especially since we were in commercial so it wouldn’t have mattered but, while we were in commercial break, they played this video on the screen and I don’t know if they played it on TV for you guys eventually but they played one of… all I can describe it is one of the saddest videos that I’ve ever seen in my life because my friend was gone. That video broke me down and I remember the ring announcer at the time, Bobby Cruise, he gave me his handkerchief, because he could see (me) and when we got back on, when we came back on television, I was able to pull it together. It really felt like the opposite of what I thought was gonna happen. Going into the match, I thought I was gonna have to keep Mark Briscoe, help him keep it together and it was the exact opposite. Mark Briscoe had to help me keep it together and to this day, there has been nothing more, in my life, more tougher to get through and I’ve been put through some pretty tough workouts (he laughed). Nothing tougher to get through than that moment. Ultimately, I’m glad it happened. One of the only things I could think to pay tribute to a great friend of mine. But yeah, after the match, I definitely felt a weight was lifted because the whole time, I was worrying about whether or not I’d be able to get through this whole match without just breaking down. So after the one, two, three, I was definitely like, oh, I got through that. So yeah, a weight was definitely lifted off my shoulders after but toughest thing to date that I’ve ever had to do in my life.

** Prior to AEW Double or Nothing, Jade Cargill told Women’s Wrestling Talk that she passed on doing a cosplay entrance so she could do what ultimately was a routine with her A.K.A. sorority sisters. Cargill stated that the DC Universe fans will be excited about the next cosplay she does.

The next gear that you’re about to see is something very personal to me and to the Black community (Cargill was referring to her 2023 AEW Double or Nothing entrance). So I’m really excited for (Double or Nothing) and for everybody to see and what I go out there and do because it’s very personal so, and yeah, I’m really excited about this one more than any of ‘em. I’m not doing cosplay this time so, let’s see. But the next cosplay is gonna be a banger. I’m really excited, the DC Universe is gonna be really excited. But I passed it up this time for a lot of reasons so let’s see.

** In his newest blog post for Tokyo Sports, Jushin Thunder Liger previewed the IWGP Junior and World Heavyweight Title matches at NJPW Dominion. Looking back at the 2023 Best of the Super Juniors final, Liger expressed that he was sad that neither Hiromu Takahashi, El Desperado nor Yoshinobu Kanemaru were in the finals.

On the other hand, what bothered me was that Titán is a great wrestler, but I thought he was still in the process of growing. Personally, I was sad that the names of Hiromu, (El) Desperado, and Kanemaru (Yoshinobu) were not in the finals.

On the IWGP World Title match front between Yota Tsuji and SANADA, Liger recounted watching Tsuji train in the dojo. He thinks he has potential to pull off what Kazuchika Okada did in 2012 which is to return to NJPW fresh off excursion and win the top title.

Another notable fighter at Osaka Castle is Tsuji, who will challenge SANADA in the main event. He used to do barbell squats at the dojo when he was a youngster, with ridiculous weights. Wrestlers don’t do barbell squats because they tend to hurt their knees and backs. He must have a very strong core, because he did it with no regard for that. He played football in part, but that is his strength.

After watching him train at the dojo, I think it’s a natural thing for him to do (challenge for the World Title). I think he has the potential to do a repeat of how Okada Kazuchika won the IWGP from Tanahashi (Hiroshi) in 2012, right after his triumphant return to Japan. He went to Mexico, which he had always wanted to do, and I am sure he is learning new techniques that use space and other unusual techniques. I think Tsuji should be watched closely by everyone.

** Joining Bobby Fish’s Undisputed Podcast was Colt Cabana. He looked back on a British Rounds match he had with Nigel McGuinness in Ring of Honor. Cabana described it as ‘the worst match’. He added that he thought the overall program between Nigel and himself was great.

Me and Nigel (McGuinness) had a feud. I moved to England for the summer and I came back on this British kick. I loved British wrestling. I finally started to understand it wrestling with Robbie Brookside and wrestling with Johnny Kidd and before I got there, I thought it was kind of silly and then once I was a mercenary, I was like, oh my God, this is the best and so Nigel and I were starting to do some British stuff and we blew it off with this match that was called a Soccer Riot match. But before that, we did this match, a British Rounds match in the New Yorker hotel, downtown New York and we had the f*cking worst f*cking match. It was me thinking this Rounds match that worked with Ft Finlay and Johnny Saint, of course the Ring of Honor fans would love it, and boy was I f*cking wrong… and so I remember after being so down. But my point is-is that’s something that I remember is what a lesson to learn and be able to move forward and also to know I wasn’t gonna get fired if that makes sense. We had the opportunity to eat sh*t and have security in our jobs… And I wasn’t on eggshells, you know? I was mad at myself but I knew I was allowed to be mad at myself and I would go on to — it gave me the spark to know that I could still move forward and do great which we did in that feud and it was a great feud. I think people remember it. But, I remember how bad that f*cking match was.

** Current IMPACT Wrestling talent, Kon, guest appeared on Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore podcast. He looked back on requesting his release from WWE in 2007 while in developmental. He explained that he had issues he needed to work through at the time. Kon would return to the company several years later. He shared that John Laurinaitis told him to reach out when he needed to make that call and when Kon eventually reached out, Laurinaitis was in contact within 10 minutes.

I came back (to WWE) in 2010. Yeah, 2007, I ended up asking for my release. So I took about a two-and-a-half, three year hiatus… Be miserable (is what I did during that time away). Hate myself, you know? (He laughed)

I asked for my release back in 2007. This would have been the very beginning stages of FCW when they were putting me out on the road and I had some issues I needed to work through which I needed to step away for my personal wellbeing and it was just a move I needed to make for myself and then, you know, it was one of those things where I didn’t know if I was gonna be able to come back or not. I had no clue. But I do remember and I will say this too, John Laurinaitis did tell me, he goes, ‘When your head starts going below water, you give me a call’ and that is exactly what I did and within 10 minutes of an email, he got right back to me, which was insane.

** Joining Corey Graves and Kevin Patrick on WWE After The Bell was Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince & Kit Wilson). The duo reflected on their time in NXT U.K. and Wilson feels it was the best pure wrestling brand in the company. He added that both him and Prince felt they could add more ‘pizzazz’ to the product.

Wilson: We got into NXT UK and we felt that brand was an unsung hero in the WWE universe. It was like the best pure wrestling brand but then, us seeing that, we thought, well here’s our market to be the entertainers of the show, to be the color, to be the pizzazz…

Prince: To have that certain je ne sais quoi.

Wilson: So we really felt we stood out there in a good way for us, for NXT UK and we could show our abilities not only in the ring but kind of outside and that got us across the pond and that got us to NXT and it kind of steamrolled from there. A beautiful steamroller.

Prince: Because I don’t know if you guys remember but on our debut, we won the NXT Tag Team Championships which is actually, that was history-making actually which is quite an achievement. It’s pretty cool. Yeah, and a couple of months later, we unified the NXT UK and NXT Tag Team Championships.

Wilson: That was pretty cool.

Prince: We’re on the only team to have done that which is, again, pretty cool.

** NWA owner Billy Corgan spoke to Toronto Sun.

** There’s a chat with Bret Hart on the Johnny I Pro Show YouTube channel.

** Masha Slamovich and Savannah Evans were the focus of a K & S WrestleFest virtual signing.

** MuscleManMalcolm pushed out his chat with Mark Briscoe.

** NJPW’s Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma were appointed as P.R. ambassadors for the Japan Burger Festival.

** IMPACT Wrestling talents are going to be signing at Animate! Columbus on June 10th following the Against All Odds event on the 9th.

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.