Originally published at Cary Silkin recalls CM Punk & ROH being in contact a couple of years ago
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.
** Ring of Honor ambassador and former owner Cary Silkin dedicated a portion of his ‘Last Stop Penn Station’ podcast to discussing CM Punk’s return and Punk’s run in Ring of Honor. A few years ago, Cary put Punk back in contact with Ring of Honor because there was a possibility of Punk returning to the company. The two sides could not reach an agreement.
A couple years ago I called him … we can talk about it a little. It was a possibility of him coming back to Ring of Honor and I put him in touch with the powers that be and the powers that be told me that this time it just wasn’t a mutually beneficial situation so, that’s it.
Silkin feels that during his time running Ring of Honor, he was too lenient with some of the talents when it came to letting them partake in WWE tryouts and ventures alike while under contract.
I was too — in retrospect, I was too lenient with these guys. Whether it was Nigel , whether it was Bryan Danielson, whether it was this guy or that guy. If somebody had an opportunity, not necessarily TNA but a WWE tryout, I would let ‘em go and even though they were under contract and I think they appreciated that and… it was very few cases of guys just trying to break out of the contract or else just leaving. It was a decent amount of respect both ways.
** Anthony Henry, the former ‘Asher Hale’ in WWE joined the All Night Long Wrestling Podcast. In part one of the conversation, Henry spoke about his first tryout with WWE prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Henry did not get a job with the company due to their medical staff saying he had undiagnosed concussions. That led to Henry no longer being able to work with EVOLVE because of their relationship with WWE.
Well, like you said, it Drake. That was awesome. That experience was awesome, the match was awesome, the crowd was awesome. I wasn’t in the best mind space and like you said, right after that, pandemic happened so I really wasn’t in the best mind space.
As far as what was different in the second go-around that resulted in Anthony being signed, he doesn’t believe anything changed. Anthony was offered the deal in December of 2020 and the medical staff did not bring up his past health issues in that instance.
Nothing set to wrestle into January only because I extended it because there was a certain match I wanted to have or whatever and I couldn’t do in December so we did it in January and that was gonna be it. But I get the call in December. It’s like, ‘Hey, do you still wanna retire?’ It’s like, ‘Well, you know, I guess it depends. What are we talking about?’ And so it’s this WWE thing and you know, I did my initial tryout which was like the whole stupid thing where there’s a million people there and most of ‘em are not wrestlers. We’re just basically doing a bunch of cardio to try to kill us to see who quits and whatever.
That was the first tryout. The second tryout which was this one was more told to me that it was going to be more independent wrestlers, guys who are already, you know, know what they’re doing and it’s not gonna be just cardio the whole time. ‘We’re gonna actually see what you can do.’ So I go and do this, my wife talks me into it. Now granted, the concussion thing had never been addressed. It was just kind of like forgotten. Like okay, I guess your doctors are full of it, right? Whatever. So go do this tryout and I get chosen and so my world goes from, I don’t know. From being at a high all the way down to a low, I’m quitting, to now I’m brought back and now I’m signed and so, crazy whirlwind of emotions and all this stuff and yeah, that was it. Pack up my stuff and move to Florida, right?
In part two of their conversation, Henry talked about his forthcoming match against Minoru Suzuki for PWX Wrestling. He is excited about the bout and has always been a fan of Suzuki’s.
So Minoru Suzuki, first off, huge fan of his, have been for years and years and I’ve been watching him for years and years and I think he’s fantastic. I think stylistically, he had a big impression on me. Being from a catch wrestling background doing the Pancrase stuff. But you know, and implementing that into the professional wrestling and then after that, also becoming the huge personality that he always is. He is a king and yeah. I’m so excited about this. This is insane to me that it’s happening. A lot of things that have happened in the last couple of years have actually been pretty insane to me and sometimes I don’t have words and this is one of those moments. The match is gonna be insane, it’s gonna be crazy. Is it the biggest match that I’ve ever had? Probably so. Even if people don’t view it as the biggest match, from a buy standpoint, from a selling standpoint, that doesn’t matter because it is the biggest match to me, personally.
** AAA’s La Parka passed way in January of 2020. He is being succeeded by his son, Karis la Momia Jr. Hugo Savinovich appeared on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast and said both Konnan and Dorian Roldan believe Karis is ready to take on the La Parka name and mask.
The tragic death of La Parka, we were believe that he’s ready. But he is a good worker, very tall and such a — I look at him and I know we gotta do the right thing with the tradition of the name. But then, the kid is such a nice looking kid. Handsome and tall and you hate in a way to put the mask on him because he kind of looks like a Hollywood star. So, you know, that’s something to think way ahead in the future but the mask will come in and then you have another legendary hero.
** BT Sport pushed out Ariel Helwani’s chat with Raw Tag Team Champion Riddle. The other half of the Raw Tag Champions is Randy Orton. Riddle says that RKBro was not supposed to last this long and thinks Randy is enjoying their partnership.
It’s crazy, you think about how it started . I was just like, ‘How funny would it be if we were RKBro?’ And then we do it and the story and that’s the thing about wrestling. You can pitch it — just like any fighter, you can be the best, whatever. But you never know who’s gonna be next big thing or what’s gonna attract a mass audience or anything and when RKBro started to get legs and start taking off because it wasn’t supposed to last this long at all, it was kind of like, kind of Randy set up to beat me up probably and the people loved it so much that they just went with it and I’m glad, Randy’s glad. Randy’s extremely happy. Me and Randy work very well together, we enjoy each other’s company. At least, I enjoy Randy’s company but I think deep down, Randy enjoys my company as well. I think we make work easier for one another and we push each other but at the same time, I think we elevate each other because we’re with each other so, I’m with Randy Orton. I can’t, I can’t. It’s gotta be good, right? And I think he’s the same way with me because he knows every time I’m in that ring I bring it.
In October of 2020, Riddle underwent a name change in WWE and his first name was dropped. He explained that it was due to the company trying to decide if they wanted to call him ‘Matt’ or ‘Matthew’ Riddle. It was ultimately decided to drop the first name.
You know, I think it’s because they didn’t know wants me to change my name, sure and it’s not even changed. They’re just taking part of it away, even better. Super cool. I get paid so much money, I’m super cool. I’m Riddle.
** Johnny Gargano shared that he and Adam Cole almost launched a podcast together in 2020. A pilot was filmed for the podcast.
** The following notes and news items are from the 8/27 Wrestling Observer Newsletter:
– CMLL’s Vangelis is out of action after rupturing his hamstring on 8/17.
– Jon Moxley versus Satoshi Kojima at AEW All Out was always the plan. The recent promo Moxley delivered about Hiroshi Tanahashi was to make viewers think a match was coming soon. Moxley will have more programs with New Japan talent and Satoshi Kojima is first on the list.
– There was a match that was going to take place on this week’s AEW Dynamite in Milwaukee. It was pulled because the two talents tested positive for COVID-19.
** Newly crowned WWE United States Champion Damian Priest joined Corey Graves and Vic Joseph on After The Bell. Priest said while he was still in NXT, he butted heads with Performance Center coach Terry Taylor. Priest admitted that Terry was trying to steer him in the right direction.
Man I learned a lot from Terry . Learn.
Priest dove into how he is always taken aback by the crowd reacting to him the way they have as of late.
The roar, the crowd and I never take it for granted. Every single time people have any type of reaction to me, I’m like in awe that they know who I am, that they feel I’m important enough to react no matter how they react. I still think it’s the coolest thing in the world to me and you see it in my face in my entrances, where I’m being told all the time like, ‘Hey, you gotta stay in the zone and not worry so much’ and I’m like I can’t. It’s the coolest feeling in the world and in front of that many people , it was times ten so to me, like I said, I might joke about it, the whole ‘don’t suck’ thing but yeah, that’s what I was feeling. I was like, ‘Oh my God. Please don’t trip and fall, please don’t look stupid.’ I was so nervous. I mean I was trembling.
** Bleacher Report has an extensive interview with Riddle. He looked back on the segment he had with Asuka from March during which he forgot his lines. Riddle said there was a lot of written material he had to remember. The likes of Bruce Prichard and several more people thought what occurred was better than what was written for him.
I’ll tell you this; when I got back to the locker room, Randy Orton, just before RK-Bro was a team, he goes, ‘Hey, Riddle. I don’t know if that was planned, but best promo yet.’ And he walked away. If I’m being honest, that was not what was written. They had me talking about robot fights and Tokyo underground battle bots, there was a lot there. In my defense, they waved me over and I thought it was just a rehearsal. I roll up and say, ‘Yeah, yeah. Do you like scooters? Do you want a scooter? OK. I forgot what I was saying.’ And I just roll off. And as I roll off, I see everybody behind the camera… waving me down. I said, ‘What? Wait, was that live?’ They said, ‘Yeah.’ I was like, ‘Nooooo!’ I thought I messed up so bad. I was like, ‘Shoot. I can’t believe I did that.’ But then and everybody thought it was better than what was written for me.
Riddle went on to share that he has changed the way he goes about presenting ideas. He would just do things but now, he runs it by Vince McMahon first. He grew his facial hair out to look like Randy Orton. While McMahon found it amusing, he wanted Riddle to be himself and told him to cut it.
I used to be a firm believer in doing something and asking for forgiveness later. That was my mentality. After talking to Randy and stuff, I ask before I do things. The other day, I grew out my facial hair at SummerSlam to look like Randy. I had the mustache and the flavor saver and the goatee and I colored it in so it was really dark so you could see it. I showed Randy and he died laughing, but he said, ‘You have to run that by Vince. You can’t go out there like that, you can’t go to Gorilla. If he doesn’t like it, you’ll be screwed.’ So, I took Randy’s advice. I talked to other people who said, ‘Oh, just do it.’ I said, ‘No, I got to talk to Vince.’ I talked to Vince and he said, ‘Hey, I think it’s hilarious, but I want you to be yourself. I want you to be you. So, take it off.’ I said, ‘For sure.’
While in NXT, Riddle won the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic and became an NXT Tag Team Champion alongside Pete Dunne. With his success in NXT, being NXT Champion was never his goal and Riddle always had his sights set on Monday Night Raw.
It means the world to me to do well on the main roster and, as you said, as far as people coming up, my thing is that, not that I don’t like NXT, but my goal was never NXT or being NXT champion. My goal was the main roster, WWE, trying to be on Raw. Not that I don’t like SmackDown, but my goal even when I got called up at first was I wanted to be on Raw. I grew up watching Raw. Raw is War. The War Zone, baby! I wanted to be on that product. It’s something that’s near and dear to me.
I’m stoked I’m in the position I’m in and being used the way I am and everything else, but with , our goal wasn’t NXT. Some people set themselves up for certain things, but my goal was to be a main roster Superstar. Rhea Ripley’s goal was to be a main roster Superstar. Damian Priest’s goal was to be a main roster Superstar. I think that’s why we’re having the success we’re having. Not that we didn’t mind the stuff to get here, but our goal was this. I think a lot of people were happy with NXT. My goal was always to use it as a stepping stone to get to WWE.
Elsewhere during the conversation, Riddle gave his thoughts about Roman Reigns saying he’s the reason for SummerSlam doing as well as it did financially and analytically. Riddle added that he knows he can beat Reigns in a legit fight.
No disrespect to Roman, he seems like a swell fella, but at the same time, it’s like when people say they’re a good parent. You know what? If you were a good parent, your kids would be telling you you’re a good parent. When he’s saying ‘Acknowledge me’ or ‘I move the needle,’ no, you don’t. You’re related to The Rock. Shut up. Like, I’m not impressed, I can beat you up in a real fight. So, shut your mouth. You’re not moving needles. I’m the real stallion, RK-Bro is moving the merch, we’re moving the needle, and that’s it. I don’t want to say too much, I’m not trying to get in trouble. Hey, hats off to him. He’s amazing at what he does. I do like what he does, but at the same time, it’s like, get off your high horse. You’re in that spot for a reason. You’re not a bro. You’re second generation. I’m first generation.
** During a media call, Inside The Ropes asked Samoa Joe if he thinks Karrion Kross’ losses to Jeff Hardy and Keith Lee while being NXT Champion took steam off he and Kross’ TakeOver Title match. Here’s what Joe had to say:
I mean… I’m approaching this question from just a perspective standpoint. I can sit here and say ‘no’ all day long, and really it’s just the perceptions of the fans’ minds. They’re going to make up their own mind. That’s fine. As far as I was concerned, Karrion Kross showed up on Sunday ready to be champion and ready to stay champion. He showed up ready to go and so that was who I was prepared for.
We went out there, we got the job done. And now he’s moved on to RAW. Now he’s got to re-prioritize his focus on RAW, because obviously it’s a rough go up there right now. So I mean, hey, like I said, that perception’s left for the fans. As far as I’m concerned, we got down and that’s all there is to it.
** Dave LaGreca and Mark Henry welcomed Ric Flair onto Busted Open Radio to discuss his forthcoming return to the National Wrestling Alliance at the 73rd Anniversary show. Flair spoke about the likes of Pat O’Connor and Gene Kiniski who he got to wrestle under the NWA banner. Flair also touched on some of his favorite memories from wrestling in St. Louis.
I’m honored. I just — it’s hard to put into words, because a lot of people remember — you’re .
** Prior to SummerSlam, Nikki A.S.H. appeared on the Wrestle Buddies podcast. She discussed in detail each of the characters she portrayed on WWE television dating back to her days with SAnitY. Nikki narrowed her favorite down to her current character and says she feels most satisfied and fulfilled by the Nikki A.S.H. character.
I think we’re representing so much with the Nikki A.S.H. character and what we’re doing, I think it’s important. I really think it’s important and that’s been really fun to play and I think I loved how it caught people off guard and it surprised people and I’m — and then the Nikki SAnitY character did the exact same because on the independent scene, Nikki, you know, I was almost like a supervillain on the independents. I had the microphone and I was just this really loud mouth, diluted, funny character on the independent scene. Go to WWE and I’m Nikki SAnitY. A little bit chaotic, a little bit unpredictable, wild and that was so much fun and getting to work with SAnitY, my husband, my best friends, someone who has been a mentor to me and like an uncle, you know with Eric Young and Alexander Wolfe and my husband Killian Dain, Damo Mackle, it’s like, so for me, I was so lucky and fortunate to be able to learn from those guys and I’m so grateful and that was so much fun. It was like this dysfunctional, wild family running rough in NXT. It was really fun. With Nikki A.S.H., I think it was really, really, really, really important what we’re doing and I’m able to be like, you know, embrace my love of superhero movies and TV shows and kind of mix that with my love of wrestling and my love of the WWE fans and I get to mix all of that together so that — then I think about the time with Alexa Bliss, that was a fun dynamic of me being like this wild little ball of energy and Alexa’s so cool, calm and collected and you’ve got these polar opposites who are similar in some ways in terms of just wanting the best stories and putting out the best performances so I think we had a lot in common but we were also opposites attract and that kind of oddball tag team. All the stages and all the layers of Nikki over the last five years has been really fun and it’s hard to kind of pinpoint one. But I think what we’re doing right now and the message we’re sending to people about being good to one another and picking yourself up if you fall down and you always try and keep believing in yourself and believing in your power. I think that’s a really, really important message so, I think what I’m doing right now is probably like — this is probably the most satisfied and most fulfilled but it’s been an incredible ride for all those reasons I’ve just said.
** ‘Those Wrestling Girls’ welcomed Chelsea Green onto their show. Green has spoken at length about wanting to involve herself with a character or storyline similar to the one Alexa Bliss has in WWE. Green is confident she would have thrived in that role.
Trust me, I tried. I really tried and when I saw Alexa Bliss doing what she’s doing, I’m so happy for her but I have forever been jealous of that character because I know that-that is exactly the type of character that I would’ve thrived if I was given it but you know, that’s the crazy thing about wrestling.
She went to add that if WWE asked her to be the real-life ‘Lilly’ character, she would have agreed to it.
I totally agree and like, honestly if they called me and said, ‘Do you wanna be Lilly?’ I would, in a heartbeat because that is totally the type of character that I just feel like we need to see and I want to be that person.
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated pushed out his chat with Big E. When asked if he thinks he can be the face of WWE, Big E said it’s a tall task but he’s ready.
It’s a tall task, but I’m ready. I’ve been beating the drum of meditation over the past year, and it’s helped so much by focusing on the present moment. That’s all that it is for me. So I’m not worried about this gargantuan task of being the face of the company because I’m too focused on doing my very best to be entertaining with whatever I’m given. I’m all about handling what’s right in front of me, and I feel like I can handle whatever is in front of me. I’m ready, and I’ve been ready.
As the conversation went on, Big E further spoke highly of Xavier Woods. He mentioned that Woods is the most experienced of the New Day members. Big E hopes this isn’t the case, but he thinks when Woods’ career is over, people will look back wondering why he didn’t get more opportunities.
Woods’ past and trajectory is so interesting to me. He’s the most experienced member of the group. He’s been wrestling longer than any of us, and I feel like he’s going to be a guy—and I hope this isn’t the case—who, when his career his over, we’ll be scratching our heads asking, ‘Why didn’t he do more? Why wasn’t he King of the Ring? Why didn’t he get world title opportunities?’ I just think he’s so, so good, which he showed on Raw against The Miz. He’s so unique, one of one to me, and I’d love to see him do a lot more than he’s done so far.
** Wrestling Inc. has highlights up from a Q&A CM Punk and Stephen Amell did to promote episode three of ‘Heels’. Amell recalled asking Punk is he going back to wrestling and here’s how the exchange happened:
Alexander (Ludwig) had us over for dinner when we were filming the last episode, and I finally broke and I’m like, ‘Phil, are you going to go back?’ ‘I don’t know, should I?’ That’s what you said. And I said, ‘Yeah, because you can still go.’
** talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy chatted with Samoa Joe for an interview. Joe is a part of WWE’s recruitment team and discussed the criteria that the company is looking for in their talents. Joe says the directive does come from Vince McMahon and while he has seen the stories about what WWE is specifically looking for, those directives have been changing since he was connected to the company via developmental early in his career.
As for the directive, yeah, there is a directive and they do come straight from Vince . Vince says, ‘Hey, this is what we want.’ But, the directives, it’s weird. They’ve been around forever. I worked for WWE in developmental when I very, very first started in California and these directives existed. But, they change. It changes based on the needs of the company. It’s funny, I read the articles – I know exactly what you’re talking about – I read the outrage about the directive and I’m like, this is nothing different. And then next week, the directive will be different. I think at this point, the track record of NXT and the hiring process has shown that. There have been different cycles where different types of athletes come in. Everything from independent talents come in to just straight up athletes; these directives change and they shift basically on the needs of the company. The directive right now is probably a little bit younger and looking for a little more athletic, which isn’t terrible whatsoever, but that directive will invariably shift as the needs as the company shifts. So yeah, there is a directive, it comes from Vince, we all follow it and we get the job done for him. We’re happy to do so.
** While speaking to Tru Heel Heat, Chuck Palumbo stated that he came across an ad to join the WCW Power Plant and it was listed that if a talent makes it through, there’s a chance to make six-figures in WCW. Palumbo added that being naïve enough to believe that caused him to be motivated and to stay hungry.
Well, and I said this before. I saw — it said it right there. ‘If you make it through the camp, there’s a possibility you get a six-figure contract.’ So, that’s in the back of my head. Now the fact that I believed that, I was naïve. But, being naïve kept me motivated because today if you told me that, I would’ve said, ‘Excuse me. I’m gonna –’ no guarantees, no health insurance. I didn’t realize the adversity I was gonna face. I probably would’ve said no, right? No way. But the fact that I was kind of naïve, I was hungry. I thought, ‘Hey, if I can make a living as an athlete –’ I wasn’t gonna play in the NBA. I knew it. At the very best, I was gonna play overseas which I wasn’t excited about. So, to have the opportunity to get paid to be an athlete, it’s pretty good, right? So that’s where I — coming from humble beginnings, that was always in the back of my head.
** Cassie Lee and Jessica McKay are now known as ‘The IInspiration’. They are going to be announcing dates and appearances soon. Both talents were released from WWE this past April.
** Ella Jay of ‘A Wrestling Gal’ podcast caught up with Jennacide for an interview. Jennacide opened up about some of the negative reactions she has received towards her in-ring name. She said it’s a play on her real name which is ‘Jenna’.
I definitely outgrew the it in comic books and wrestling. It’s a play on my name Jenna. It does not mean anything else and people like to get the negative of things but I really am half-robot so that’s where it comes from.
** Samoa Joe spoke to Daily Star about his in-ring chemistry with Brock Lesnar. Joe feels that Lesnar wants to work with someone who is going to take it to him physically in the ring.
I think it really comes down to the simple fact that, when Brock shows up for fight night, he wants to be in a scrap. He wants to go out there and he wants someone who is going to smash someone in the face, and he wants to smash somebody back! Brock knew he had that with me – he understood, and I understood I had to have that with Brock. It’s an attitude. He wants people to go in there and go after him. It is all of those things.
I think that was the simplistic but major reason that we click the way we do; we step in the ring and we’re stepping in there for chaos and destruction to happen, and nothing less than that. I guess it’s some weird, unspoken gentlemen’s agreement we have!
** Minoru Suzuki versus Jonathan Gresham is set for GCW ‘Highest In The Room’ on September 17th.
** Downstait created a theme song for Buddy Matthews, the former ‘Buddy Murphy’.
** An announcement about the future of the International Pro Wrestling Hall Of Fame is going to be made on August 28th in Albany, New York.
** The latest guest on ‘The Indies with Booker T’ was All Elite Wrestling’s Fuego Del Sol.
** NWA owner Billy Corgan appeared on The Rich Eisen Show.
** Rhett Titus watched Samoa Joe’s first match in Ring of Honor.
** Stephanie McMahon and Shelley Zalis’ latest recording of ‘Women In The Business of Sports’.
** The Miz is going to be appearing on season two of Celebrity Wheel of Fortune.
** During his ‘Hall Of Fame’ podcast, Booker T shared his thoughts about Karrion Kross’ new attire.
** Mick Foley is stopping through Peoria, Illinois on September 10th for his comedy tour. Foley joked that it’ll be the second biggest crowd reaction in Illinois behind CM Punk’s return to wrestling.
** WWE Champion Bobby Lashley joined D-Von Dudley’s Table Talk podcast.
** Tootie Lynn was a guest on The AJ Awesome Show.
** Rich Swann vs. Ruckus from a Maryland Championship Wrestling show:
** The Great Khali turned 49-years-old on August 27th. NJPW’s SHO is 32 today. Jazz is celebrating a birthday today as well.
** Xavier Woods, Adam Cole, Tegan Nox, Nikki A.S.H., Kofi Kingston and Tyler Breeze participated in Marvel’s Contest of Champions Punishments Challenge.
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.