Originally published at Charlie Morgan talks her return, choosing to retire in 2019, NXT UK
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.
** During the Summer of 2019, Charlie Morgan announced her retirement from wrestling after suffering a broken foot injury. Two years after that injury, she returned to the ring at Pro-Wrestling: EVE’s show on 8/27. Morgan appeared on Cultaholic’s ‘Desert Island Graps’ show and detailed what it felt like to receive the reaction she did from those in attendance.
It’s a really indescribable feeling. I was obviously super nervous and there’s that little bit of self doubt that’s like, ‘Are they gonna remember who I am or not? Are they?’ I could see the tron on the other side and obviously the cards were being laid down and you could hear the rumbling of the crowd and then the ace because I’m just — I just did not expect that reaction. But yeah, I was just… the adrenaline just absolutely hit the roof and I just, yeah. I went nuts as you could see.
Charlie’s injury occurred on day three of SHIMMER’s stretch of shows in March 2019. She wasn’t supposed to be in a second match that day, but because it was Kris Wolf’s retirement tour, Charlie pitched the idea of sharing the ring with Kris. As the match was going on, she had a feeling that she shouldn’t proceed with a dive off the top rope but she went on with it and when she landed, she immediately knew something was off.
So when I went backstage, I went up to Dave climb up there before the match to see it. It was just in that moment and when I was climbing I was like, ‘Oh sh*t.’ The railing is so close to the ring. I have no room to position my body and I was meant to do a crossbody and it turned into a really awkward — and this is me trying to adjust in mid-air, because I’m realizing that I don’t have enough space between the barrier and the apron, if that makes sense.
So as I jump, I sort of do this weird sort of positioning so it’s — it’s no one’s fault. It’s just one of those things and I land and yeah, straight away I’m like, ‘Oh, that doesn’t feel good’ and I put my broken foot — I didn’t know it was broken — flat on the floor and then my opposite, my other leg is — my knee is on the floor, you know? So I try and push it up off my broken foot and it doesn’t work. I was literally saying to myself, ‘It doesn’t work. It’s not pushing me up. I can’t get up off the floor’ from this kneeling position like I’m stuck and you see me on camera, like I fold my ankle and I’m physically trying to pull it off the floor because I’m like, ‘It’s just not working.’ It was like someone just cut off like it working basically. So I propped myself up from the barrier and I don’t think I threw up the X. I think the ref was there and I was like, ‘You need to get someone, I’m done’ and even before saying that, I was thinking, ‘I need to go do this enziguri thing. Can I just roll in and do it?’ And when I realized that I actually couldn’t get myself to stand up, I was like, ‘No. I think I just need to accept that I need to go back’ and yeah, someone came and got me. They tried to get me to do the whole one-arm over the shoulder and hobble, but like I said, my foot, it just didn’t work. It was such a weird experience, such a weird feeling. So he had to literally pick me up and carry me, put me on some chairs backstage and I’m just clutching at my ankle like, ‘Oh God. This feels awful. This is not okay’ and everyone’s running around and it’s horrible to see someone like that…
She went to get the broken bone checked out but the doctor she saw in the U.S. told her that it was sprained. When she got back to the U.K., another doctor told her the same thing. Charlie ended up going to her day job and she passed out at work from the pain. It was later discovered that Charlie’s foot/ankle area was so swollen that the x-ray could not recognize that anything was broken.
Flew home and then, I got on my crutches because Vicki doesn’t — Jetta doesn’t drive or didn’t drive at that time so, I got on my crutches and hobbled to the doctor’s. For some some reason, I had a doctor’s appointment that day and that was already pre-booked for I don’t even know what else now but, I obviously went there for my ankle. So, I hobbled there, it’s literally a 30 second walk. It took me 15 minutes that day and I was stopping and starting and I was like balling my eyes out and I don’t cry ever. I never, never normally get upset when I’m in pain but, it was a mixture of like, ‘I can’t believe this has happened,’ obviously exhaustion from just flying back and landing and then also I’m in this absolute agony. So he gets there and the doctor was just like — he was gobsmacked. He was like, ‘Wow.’ He was like, ‘You need to get this seen. Don’t go out the hospital now. I’ll book you in for an appointment. Go home, sleep. You should get the letter the next day.’ The two days went by and I finally received the letter and it was like, ‘Go the next day’ so I went up so three days have gone by but this time, x-ray came, the results came a couple days later, nothing. It looks fine.
Yeah over the day or the evening of my CT scans so we went up, they probably knew me by name at this point. Did the scan, I got home. I had like three missed calls, rang them back. They were like, ‘You need to come back 8 o’clock tomorrow morning.’ They’re like, ‘It’s urgent’ so I go back. I go back again, they’re like, ‘You need emergency surgery, you need it now’ and I was like, ‘Oh, so it’s broke?’ I said, ‘What happens if I don’t have the surgery?’ They’re like, ‘You’ll never walk, like again properly without a limp. You need the surgery. It’s already started to heal all wrong.’ The reason it wasn’t picked up before is because it was so swollen, the x-ray didn’t pick it up.
After undergoing surgery, Charlie began to do physiotherapy. She learned that she was cleared to return to wrestling in March of 2020 shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic began. She knew she was cleared this entire time and just continued to train and rehab more until she found the right time to return.
So, as we were going into the first lockdown, it would’ve been March last year, I had like physio probably like ten months ago, maybe 12 months ago and was like, ‘I wanna come back.’ So I’ve known for like ten months that I was gonna come back, maybe a lot longer and then started to, you know, go to training and see how I felt and felt good, yeah.
In 2018 and 2019, Morgan did a number of matches for WWE’s NXT UK brand. While she does appreciate the opportunity, she said it wasn’t what she thought it was going to be and felt like she would have to present a watered-down version of herself.
So yeah, I think I did two, maybe three PC’s and probably about four different tapings. So, over probably the period of like nearly a year actually I would say, and obviously my ankle. It was really difficult for me I think because I felt like it was my dream from such a young age and then when I got there, it was amazing. It was absolutely out of this world but it wasn’t how I thought it would be when I — you know when you have this idea of what you think it’s gonna be and you get there and it’s just like not how you think it’s gonna be. But, the training, the PC and what they have is awesome. It’s so good to have something like that. But me personally, the Charlie Morgan character, I just felt like I wasn’t able to go be the Charlie Morgan that you see on the independents. I felt like it was a very watered down version of Charlie Morgan and that’s what I didn’t like about it because I felt like I wasn’t able to — a little bit like — rewind six years ago. I felt like I wasn’t having that opportunity to be the full version of Charlie Morgan and I didn’t wanna feel like people have been ripped off considering what they had go seen me do on the independent scene and then they see me in NXT UK and be like, ‘That’s not the Charlie Morgan that I can see.’ Do you know what I mean? And then obviously, my journey got cut short so…
Charlie clarified that she was never under contract to WWE. She shared the story of the first time she ran into Shawn Michaels and played it cool when she met him, despite being a fan of his since her childhood.
Yeah, well obviously completely different now element of it because you still love that, you still have that passion. So it’s completely different to how I met him when I was a fan to then meeting him as I suppose my boss, I guess? So yeah, never was actually fully under contract but you know, just like the extra stuff and I did the P.C. a few times as well and it was great. No one knew what it was gonna be because it was all so new. So, yeah, I — Nina Samuels, we were in a hotel. I think it was the London O2 hotel… no, sorry. It may have been the Royal Albert Hall, which was my first appearance on WWE, NXT UK and we were staying in the hotel nearby and Nina Samuels walks up to me and we’re in the gym working out and she was like, ‘Don’t sh*t the bed will ya?’ I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ And she was like, ‘Look to your left’ or right or whatever. She was like, ‘Yeah, look to your right’ and I was, ‘Oh God.’ Shawn Michaels was there just doing sit ups or something like that and I was like, ‘Oh!’ I didn’t introduce myself. No one likes to be disturbed when they’re at the gym. But then I saw him at the venue and just, you know, was like, ‘Charlie, yes. Nice to meet you.’ He’s like, ‘I’m Shawn.’ I’m like, ‘Oh, yeah. I know. Yeah, cool, thanks.’
** This past weekend at NWA’s 73rd Anniversary Show, Nick Aldis lost the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Title to Trevor Murdoch. Before the match took place, he guest appeared on the All Real Wrestling Podcast. Aldis said when ALL IN happened in 2018, he was not under contract to the NWA. Billy Corgan offered him a deal but Nick turned it down.
Leave it better than you found it. That’s it. Whoever beats me for the title, if their market value goes up and now there’s another guy that can help pull the wagon, then I’ve done my job. You know, there’s another guy that’s now being booked more and I wanna make this point; I worked without a contract. I didn’t even have a contract at ALL IN. Billy . They were starting to go, ‘I want that. I want that at my show. I want that meaning, I want that significance.’ I’m not saying this to brag but I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve finished a match and my opponent got a standing ovation. Like that’s the whole point. That’s what I went in there to do. It wasn’t about me. I know that by him getting a standing ovation, he now knows forever that it was from wrestling me and wrestling for the NWA Title.
As the conversation went on, Nick dove into his mindset when it comes to doing business in wrestling.
In exchange for not having the sort of restrictions of being an employee, what you’re supposed to have is more of a say over how you do your job and it’s a sort of — you’re contracted to do certain work and kind of you know, you agree that sort of ahead of time and that’s very much the way that I’ve always done business with the NWA is like, hey, I think if it’s the right thing to do and it’s not going to harm my market value, cool, let’s do it. I’m interested in doing anything that increases — that’s good business for everybody involved. That’s how the business is supposed to work.
Whenever something is presented to me or I present something, think of something, it’s because I see it making sense and helping everybody make more money.
** Kia Stevens (Awesome Kong) made an appearance at NWA’s EmPowerrr show and formally announced that she is ‘done’ with the in-ring portion of her career. Stevens was interviewed by That Hashtag Show and said she’d be open to a backstage role in wrestling.
Well I think there’s a natural progression for any career and I think after you participate like you do physically, I think it’s natural to then nurture the up-and-coming generation and that’s not something I’m opposed to doing.
I’ll be honest, I wasn’t a mad fan of the Jake Paul thing or which one was it? Logan Paul? At the Mania thing.
Elsewhere during the conversation, Riddle talked about forgetting some of the lines that are written for him for WWE television. He says when he forgets, he goes to his ‘Bro’ catchphrase and starts dancing until he can remember his lines.
The promos though, especially if they want me to say certain things, because sometimes I just — especially with the crowd, people are chanting and I’m like, ‘Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!’ Here’s the mic, I’m like… ‘Bro’, and while I’m dancing, I’m like, ‘What am I supposed to say? That’s right, Randy’s there. Hey Randy.’
** WWE SummerSlam 2006 was the focus of the latest Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard podcast. Bruce told a story involving the late José Nieves, also known as ‘Super Porky’. While Prichard was at a show in Mexico as a guest, there was a heated argument between two groups and Jose was a part of the back and forth. Prichard was caught in the middle of it and he thought Jose was going to stab him when they later crossed paths.
I watched Super Porky in Mexico City, he knocked two dudes out in the middle of a match. They stiffed him and he rolled ‘em out to the outside of the ring and just knocked ‘em the f*ck out. Two punches, and then came back and . I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, now he’s gonna kill me. He’s got a knife!’ And it was a bottle of tequila and he says, ‘You and I drink amigo’ and we drank this f*cking bottle of tequila and I do not do — first of all, I don’t do well with just straight alcohol, don’t do well. Especially don’t do well with brown liquor at all, don’t do brown liquor. This was gold tequila. I drank it with him because I was scared.
but I walked into it, in the dressing room and then Porky grabbed me right after and had something in his bag, had something in his hand and I’m like, ‘I don’t know what the f*ck that is’ but he couldn’t have been sweeter. We became, you know, dear friends after that but a class guy and I understood man. I was with him for him knocking the dude out during the match. I was like, ‘Yeah, you should knock that motherf*cker out.’
At that time, I was only like a — at that time, I was and I’m very sad about that too.
On that SummerSlam 2006 card, Terry Bollea took on Randy Orton. In the lead-up to the match, Terry’s daughter Brooke got involved and Prichard explained the thought process behind inserting Brooke into the storyline.
Well I think that Hulk was looking to come back in general and also, during this time it was — Randy who was looking to start doing her music and everything. Randy’s that young, good looking guy that any girl like Brooke’s age might find attractive and want to get to know better and Brooke being an attractive young lady on her way up and maybe somebody that Randy would be attracted to in storyline. So, it was pretty easy. It was that forbidden love and daddy going, ‘Uhn-uh, you’re not going to do anything with that damn legend killer guy because I’m a legend, he could kill me.’ It’s logic.
** Lucha Libre Online caught up with Matt Rehwoldt for a new interview. Rehwoldt shared that it was Eric Young and Sami Callihan who put in a good word for him at IMPACT Wrestling which eventually led to him joining the company.
So I spent a lot of time figuring things out , seeing where I wanted to go. Reaching out to different avenues and also exploring different avenues myself. Obviously I’ve talked about it before, I’m doing podcasts and Twitch streaming, all kinds of stuff but I spoke out, reached out to a couple friends of mine in IMPACT Wrestling. Notably, people like Sami Callihan and Eric Young who are two good friends of mine. Always, always were guys who spoke very highly of me and we had a great relationship so of course they put in the good word and just a lot of back and forth and then eventually, this Homecoming tournament came up and the ideas started brewing of like, ‘Well, there’s The Virtuosa Deonna Purrazzo here who’s this very proper, incredible athlete, kind of very walking on air sort of thing’ and we’re like, ‘That’s sort of what the Drama King is too in his own way’, right? So it seemed the timing and marriage of both style and time of course worked out really well and so it just so happened to work out.
He recounted being late for his first set of IMPACT tapings because of travel issues. Rehwoldt missed hours of that first set but when he got the building, no one was upset with him and he was greeted by people asking him if he was okay and thanking him for being a part of IMPACT.
Here’s a little inside baseball for you: So my first day, we had talked about it, we had set up like, ‘Hey, you’re gonna come in, we’re gonna do’ x, y, z. I had been doing an independent show the night before, and so I needed to fly in that morning to get there for tapings, everything like that. Well I woke up that morning to a cancelled flight, which is always the worst thing when you’re a professional traveler and everything and it’s like six in the morning, I’m scrambling to find new flights. So immediately, you know, to start — this is my first day. First day on the job, you know what I mean? This is the worst way for me to — I’m like, ‘I wanna make a good impression. We get travel worked out, the IMPACT travel department is top notch, they were so helpful. But due to circumstances, I get there three, four, five hours late. I miss a chunk of the taping and a chunk of the show and I’m like oh my God, it sunk, right? This is the Titanic. But to show you the kind of place IMPACT is, I walked in there and the first thing I hear isn’t, ‘Hey, where –’ it was, ‘Are you okay? Thank you for going through all that to get here.’ They were thanking me and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ I’m like, ‘Thank you for not being furious.’ Everybody was just like they get it. ‘We’re so happy to have you’ and everything like that, seeing a lot of my friends. People like W. Morrissey, Sami Callihan and Eric Young. Juice Robinson is a good friend of mine, he was there that day and all the way to people like D’Lo Brown and Scott D’Amore and everybody was just like, ‘Hey, we’re so glad you made it’ so immediately there’s this warm embrace of an atmosphere that makes you go, ‘This is the place to be. This is the kind of environment it should be,’ and so that just immediately sent me on a high streak.
** At AEW All Out, Chris Jericho is taking on MJF and if Jericho loses, he can never wrestle in AEW again. Ahead of the match, Jericho spoke to Sports Illustrated and went over his recent stretch of matches, specifically the ‘Five Labours of Jericho’. He discussed switching things up throughout the different tasks to keep people guessing who his next opponent would be.
I started with Spears, so people would assume I was going to wrestle all of The Pinnacle. Then we threw in the Nick Gage surprise, and everybody flipped out. We went into my past with Juvy. So then people were thinking it was going to be all about past opponents, and maybe you’d see someone like Lance Storm, but then we went to Wardlow. That was so important to the story—Wardlow betrayed me and powerbombed me off the stage last March. He’s going to be a very important part of AEW’s future. And then I had my match with MJF, and people thought I was going to beat him, but I didn’t. You never know what is going to happen with my stories. I’m not going to do what people expect.
** WrestleZone pushed out their conversation with Renee Michelle. She was asked about the assumption that she is signed to a company whenever she appears for them. Renee said she is a free agent and is going to take the opportunities presented to her.
I’m always up to like expand and explore and you know, explore different options that I have. Obviously, with AEW, a lot of the people there, they’re great, I absolutely love it and whatever opportunity that is going to be presented to me, I’m going to take it. I think a lot of people, they assumed that I’m signed and everything but I’m not. I’ve always been a free agent. I wasn’t signed to AEW, IMPACT, WWE, NXT, none of that and from all of those that I have worked with, each and every promotion, I take it as a learning curve. If I’m able to present what I could deliver and obviously I’m, you know, how could I explain it… there’s nothing wrong with giving it your all but don’t show everything, because if you show all your cards, what else can you give?
When it comes to how she navigates the wrestling business, she often goes back to advice she received from William Regal which is that if an individual wants to purely learn wrestling, go to Japan and if they want to learn to build an on-screen character, compete for a televised North American promotion.
I do wanna branch out as much as I can but a wise man once told me, ‘If you want to become a wrestler, Japan is where it’s at. If you want to become a sports-entertainer, of course you’ve got WWE, IMPACT and AEW is where it’s at’ and I learned that from William Regal. So, I wanted to challenge myself for someone who didn’t grow up in wrestling, wasn’t a fan of wrestling, did not know a lickety-split about wrestling. I wanted to challenge myself to see like, ‘Okay, well, if I wanna become a wrestler, I make my chance over in Japan’ and I’ve done that. Now, I wanna learn how to do the sports-entertainment where instead of me just being a wrestler, now I have to learn the characteristics of being a character, as we all watch today of how a person is in the ring and I enjoy both, you know? And if I need to switch it up, I can. Now as far like me wanting a contract and stuff, the conversation hasn’t happened. Obviously, make me an offer I can’t refuse.
** While speaking to Inside The Ropes, Angelina Love was candid about her feelings towards Dixie Carter as the President of TNA Wrestling. Angelina thought Dixie’s time as President was a disaster and felt Dixie wanted to be like Stephanie McMahon.
Oh, like a disaster, and you know, coming from, you know, WWE and being devastated at you know, being released and stuff like that, and then coming into TNA and then seeing like, oh, like a female president or whatever she was, you know what I mean? But just not ready. Didn’t have the knowledge. And she’s the reason that we lost the Spike TV deal, which we were Spike TV, like the Ultimate Fighter, the Ultimate Fighter was on after us. You — like Velvet and I were like going, sitting like third row ringside at UFC fights. Because, you know, we had that, you know, kind of this, like, being on Spike TV is really, I think, what helped made a lot of us TNA people a household name, because we had that exposure. Um, but yeah, she just — I think a lot of people thought she was just very impressionable, maybe kind of dumb, and they could take advantage of her and tell her like, ‘Hey, this should be done this way. And this should be done that way.’ And she was like, okay, okay. Okay. And she changed too, at some point, because she used to be, you know, like, wanting to know about people’s families, and how are your kids and like, I had broken up with a boyfriend at the time and her and I talked in the bathroom for like 10 minutes, and it was really nice. And, you know, that was like back in ’08, and then come like 2010, 2011 it was just like, she’d walk by people like they didn’t even exist. And, you know, like the money that was being spent in the dumbest ways. And then her honestly, in my personal opinion, what I saw on Dixie is that she was so desperate to be just like Stephanie McMahon because she wanted to have her own reality TV show. And it’s like, who would f*cking watch that? Excuse my language. Who would watch that? Who would watch a Dixie Carter reality show? You know what I mean? Like that, and nobody wanted to. Nobody wanted to do that because they knew it would flop and like that was like a big contingency for her and you know this and that, then, you know, Spike TV was going to renew a contract with TNA and she wanted like double what they were offering and Spike TV was like, ‘Are you crazy?’ But God bless them and I don’t blame them. They held their ground until they were like, ‘Alright, well, no, we’re done.’ And then she was like, ‘Oh, no, no, we’re gonna sign… that sounds great. And then we’re just like . And then all of a sudden, you know, at TV we’re filming and all of us are like, are we gonna have a job next month? Like what? Like, it was crazy. It was crazy vibes backstage when that happened, but that was all her.
** Kris Statlander is challenging Britt Baker for the AEW Women’s World Title at All Out. Statlander told Women’s Wrestling Talk that when she wins the title, she wants to be the type of champion to have defenses every week.
When I become the champion, I don’t think the locker room needs any differences, change. I think I just want — I wanna defend my belt more than most people have in the past. It was always very, like once a month maybe and I wanna be the champion that’s defending it every single week. I wanna give that title purpose. I wanna show why I’m the champion week in and week out. That’s my one thing that I would do.
** Highspots Wrestling Network hosted a virtual signing with Lilian Garcia. She provided an update on her ‘Chasing Glory’ podcast and said she isn’t sure when it’s coming back and does not want to rush it. Lilian had been mourning the loss of her mother on top of working with PFL and making music.
It’s very easy to be spread too thin and then you’re no good at anything. So that’s why Chasing Glory had to be on hold during this time. I don’t know when it’s gonna come back, but I’m also not forcing it and I just appreciate that you guys are being patient and also venturing — wanting to see what’s next and still being involved into my own journey and my own chase for glory.
** Brandi Rhodes spoke to US Magazine about dealing with postpartum depression.
** The following matches were added to the lineup for the NJPW STRONG tapings in Garland, Texas on September 25th and 26th:
– Night One: Ren Narita vs. Tom Lawlor
– Night One: Juice Robinson, Clark Connors, Lio Rush & TJP vs. Bullet Club (Chris Bey, Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo & Hikuleo)
– Night Two: Jay White vs. Daniel Garcia
– Night Two: Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors vs. Will Ospreay & TBA
** KENTA versus Rocky Romero from Ring of Honor ‘United We Stand’ 2007:
** Mickie James’ birthday was celebrated on GAW TV.
** Deonna Purrazzo and Steve Maclin joined Matt Rehwoldt’s ‘Straight Shooting’ podcast.
** The latest Battle of the Brands episode via the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel:
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.