Originally published at POST NEWS UPDATE: Daniel Bryan believes Big E can carry 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.
** Sporting News’ Andreas Hale chatted with Daniel Bryan. When asked who he feels can carry WWE into the future as the next main star, Bryan named Big E as that talent.
It’s hard, but that person would be Big E. He’s such a good talker, wrestler and so charismatic. He’s still in his early 30s, he looks the part, he can be funny or scary or everything in between. If I were in charge, he would have a bigger role. One of the things with wrestling is that you don’t know if somebody is going to succeed in the main event spot until you put them in the main event spot. You never know until they have that opportunity.
Bryan said he’s proud of how wrestling has improved within the WWE product. He mentioned that he still gets a bit disappointed that Chad Gable has not had a breakthrough moment yet but is happy to see Cesaro’s ascension.
I’m very happy with how much the wrestling quality has improved in the WWE, but I guess what I still get a little disappointed about is somebody like Chad Gable, who is insanely talented but still never has had a real breakthrough. And then there’s Cesaro, who has had a breakthrough and the fans have gone nuts over him, but somehow this is his first singles match at WrestleMania. On one hand, I’m excited about how the WWE has evolved but there are still things that are lacking and could improve. I’m disappointed that some of the people who I think have been fantastic are being overlooked. But there has never been a time in wrestling where there haven’t been fantastic wrestlers who were overlooked. I bet if you ask Leonardo DiCaprio if the best actors he knows were given the best roles in movies, I bet you the answer is probably not.
The Performance Center run for WWE is one that Bryan looks back fondly on. He said he was glad to be able to wrestle Drew Gulak and just focus on the in-ring work. Bryan also wanted to work with Gran Metalik.
Oh yeah, for sure! I got to wrestle with Drew Gulak in front of a live crowd at Elimination Chamber last year. But once the pandemic started, we had to do these matches in front of nobody. While everybody else was trying to figure out what to do in front of nobody, I was like, ‘Yes!’ Me and Gulak could just go out there and do wrestling stuff and we don’t have to entertain anybody. I think that kind of stuff actually plays better with no people. I got to have a couple of matches with Cesaro in front of nobody and it was so much fun. The one guy that I didn’t get to wrestle when he was on SmackDown was Gran Metalik. I have had a lot of fun over the past year.
** Robbie Fox welcomed Kevin Owens onto the ‘My Mom’s Basement’ show. As the conversation rolled on, Owens’ interaction with Vince McMahon following WrestleMania 33 was brought up. It was shown in a WWE documentary that McMahon was not pleased with the match Owens had with Chris Jericho. Owens went on to speak about the rough 2017 he had that included a feud with AJ Styles that he isn’t big on along with being sent home from a European tour.
And the match got sent home from a Europe tour because we were having issues so like, it was a real rock and rollercoaster year for sure, and it all kinda started with WrestleMania so, yeah.
Owens has spoken at length about not being a part of WrestleMania 35. He did ask to be a part of the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal but Vince McMahon felt it was not a good spot for him.
And then as it was getting closer to the show, I kept getting in more and more disbelief that I’m really not gonna be on WrestleMania? And then I thought, ‘Oh maybe that night –’ Alexa Bliss was the host, maybe I could do something with her. The Kevin Owens Show, she’s like, ‘That’s my –’ at least I’d be there.
Well I didn’t wanna be in the Andre Battle Royal simply because I had already talked to Vince about it and he had told me he didn’t feel it was the right spot for me. So once he tells me that, okay fine. But I still thought doing something on the show would’ve been fun. Just have me go out there and Stun someone for whatever reason, or let me do something with Alexa, the host and then just for whatever reason, none of it was connecting with them.
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens are going to have a singles match at WrestleMania 37. One of Owens’ favorite matches with Sami happened at the 2016 Battleground pay-per-view and Kevin spoke in detail about his fond memories of that bout.
Yeah, so Battleground in WWE is a clear favorite for me because it’s underrated, but it’s also really appreciated so people will go back and I’ll get it every week where they’ll randomly go back and watch that match and be like, ‘Man, I forgot how good that match was,’ and I think the reason this match is not hailed as one of the best matches in WWE, it’s simply because the day after it was done, everybody just moved on but like, I wanna say if two other people had the same match basically, depending on who they were, people would have been talking, commentators would’ve been talking, ‘This match last Sunday, a match for the ages,’ blah, blah, blah and we didn’t get that treatment but it’s kind of cool because we still get people going, ‘Man, how did this match not get talked about more?’ And man, personally I have — I’m not the kind of guy who comes through the curtain after a match whether I did good or bad, I’m not the kind of guy to let it show. But man I couldn’t help it. Like when I got through the curtain and it was just Gorilla, I just screamed several expletives because I was so pumped and even Vince was standing up, pretty pumped himself so, that was a special one.
** Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN caught up with Drew McIntyre to promote WrestleMania 37. The newly crowned IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay stated that he’d like to defend his title against McIntyre and here’s how Drew reacted to that:
Very familiar. He’s a very, very talented individual, and I’m very proud to see how far he’s come and how far British wrestling has come. From the day I was released from WWE and gone back to the UK, I started seeing the level of talent we produced and how much things have changed since I was last there. I was blown away, and that’s when we started getting the British invasion all across the different independent companies, and Will was one of them, myself and few other Brits started traveling the world doing the PWG’s. Myself and Will had a great match at What Culture Pro Wrestling. I’m very happy to see his success. I spoke to him privately. I saw him calling me out. I will not reply publicly (laughs). I’ll just say I’m very happy for him. If we had that match, he knows I would take the back of my hand and smack him if it was in real life (laughs).
McIntyre reflected on his adjustment to the pandemic era of wrestling. While speaking about that, he mentioned that one day, he’s going to have a big heel turn and he can’t wait for it.
It was a big adjustment for me. We had to figure out different ways to do things, specifically when we had no fans in the Performance Center. I looked at it as ,‘Okay, it’s a challenge. How can we reach everyone?’ I watched a couple of shows that I hadn’t been on and how people were approaching it. I could see they were struggling. They were doing promos and talking to imaginary people. I was like, ‘No, this is not how we go to do it.’
You mentioned the pressure, and some people have not been able to handle it in the past that champion, all the eyeballs on you, and all the responsibility is on you. Everything I’ve been through prepared me for everything. Nothing gets my eye off the prize. I’ve done this for a very long time. I know how to do my job. I do it to the best of my ability. If the fans are digging it, that’s cool. If they don’t like it, that’s cool, too. Eventually, big Drew’s going to have a big heel turn. I can’t wait for it.
** Darren Paltrowitz welcomed Jazz onto his ‘Paltrocast’ show. While speaking about training her daughters to wrestle, Jazz said there was a period when she was wrestling three months pregnant but was not aware she was pregnant.
Yes, they love it . They’ve always been around it. I actually wrestled three months pregnant, I didn’t know it. So they’ve been around it all of their lives. As soon as they turned six weeks old, took ‘em to the first match. I was trying to get back into a swing of things so they’ve been around it all their lives.
** Daily DDT has an extensive interview on their site with William Regal and Kyle O’Reilly. Regal recalled when he wanted to bring in Adam Cole prior to 2017 but Paul “Triple H” Levesque insisted that Cole continue to find himself.
When Adam Cole first came in, and I was all for bringing him in, and Triple H said, ‘No, a couple of years.’ He will not stop. Everybody’s completely different, but with Adam Cole, there’s a drive in him. He will stay doing this and go and be a better for it after a couple of years. When the time was right, he said, ‘Let’s get Adam Cole.’ That’s why he can walk straight in the door, no waiting around and straight into a main event caliber spot. That’s how Triple H and myself work.
Elsewhere during the conversation, O’Reilly credited Daniel Bryan for paving the way for smaller independent wrestlers to get chances in WWE.
Not a lot of us smaller independent guys were getting chances in WWE. Bryan really kicked those doors open for a lot of us and I couldn’t be happier for him, he’s been a huge inspiration throughout my entire career. When I first got into wrestling, I started training in 2005, Bryan Danielson was the king of the indies. He was on all the tapes I wanted to watch, so I have nothing but respect for his career and admiration for everything he’s been able to accomplish.
** It was noted in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that AEW’s Dax Harwood has been working through an elbow injury for about six weeks.
** Gorilla Position released a clip from their stage show with Becky Lynch and Seth Rollins. Lynch said there was an occasion when a WWE writer threw the idea out there of Becky shaving her head.
So this was the whole pitch that I got sent to by a writer: It was like, ‘What if Becky shaves her head?’ And that was pretty much it, but there wasn’t — it wasn’t something I did on TV, I lose my hair in a match. It was just, ‘What if Becky was bald?’ I was like no!
Yeah, but you’d think that they would want to at least fill it with a hair versus hair match, especially with hair so luscious as mine.
Lynch went on to speak about the original name for herself, Charlotte Flair and Paige as they were initially known as the “Submission Sorority”. That was the name of a porn site and the site sent Vince McMahon a fruit basket for the traffic he sent over.
Well, when I first came up to the main roster in the women’s evolution, they wanted to call myself, Paige and Charlotte the Submission Sorority. Turns out that was a porn site. Said porn site sent Vince McMahon a fruit basket, for all the traffic that Vince sent them. So there’s that.
** English pro footballer Adebayo Akinfenwa told the ‘Four Four Two’ site that in 2020, he sat down with WWE officials to discuss the idea of him joining the company once he retires from his current sport.
I sat down with WWE chiefs a year ago and said I’d decide when I’ve hung up my boots. I’m meeting an LA producer about making a movie, and Netflix have called. I want to embrace new things once football is over. I don’t see myself coaching, so let’s see what Hollywood’s saying.
** Digital Spy’s Stephanie Chase spoke to Finn Balor. He was asked what talent he would like to see join NXT and Balor feels that Randy Orton could add a great deal to the brand.
Someone who I feel like the locker room really looks up to is Randy Orton. He could have a huge effect on the locker room with regards to morale, with regards to professionalism and just generally giving people a voice. I would love selfishly to have Randy Orton in NXT for the simple fact to help build NXT as a brand.
Balor reflected on his Universal Title match with Brock Lesnar in 2019. Balor views that as one of his greatest memories and feels Lesnar doesn’t get the credit he deserves.
For me, that night is one of the truest great memories of my career, in the ring that night when the bell rang. It really felt like that big match feel and Brock was someone who pushed me more than I expected. I learned so much in such a short match, to learn so much from an opponent is so rare. They call him The Beast but really he is something special and I don’t think he gets enough credit from the wrestling media, or wrestling fans or even colleagues because he’s one of the absolute best that has ever done it and it was a pleasure to be in the ring with Brock.
** Charly Arnolt, the former Charly Caruso stated in an interview with The San Diego Union-Tribune that she talked to Thea Trinidad (Zelina Vega) about the idea of them transitioning their storyline on Raw to the ring.
Arnolt said some of her best experiences at WWE were the interviews with Zelina Vega and Angel Garza, because she was more a part of the storyline and got to spread her wings more. She said she talked with Vega about whether the storyline culminated with something happening in the ring, even if it wasn’t a full match, but those plans never materialized.
** Molly Langmuir of ELLE published a feature story about Becky Lynch, WWE and their pandemic era of wrestling. Lynch reiterated that she plans to come back to wrestling but doesn’t know when.
** UK outlet ‘JOE’ spoke to WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. Lashley said he is all for the idea of either stepping into the ring or the cage with new UFC Heavyweight Champion Francis Ngannou.
He has a title, I have a title – we could do it in the ring or the cage. I don’t mind it. If this is calling him out, this is calling him out.
I’m a fighter, man – so I’d love to be able to fight him. If that’s what it is, let’s do a big marquee match up. People know him as a killer, so I think we’d be able to do something.
** While speaking to Steel Chair Magazine, Big E revealed that himself, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods are going to be recording a live ‘New Day: Feel The Power’ podcast before WrestleMania 37.
The lead-up has been cool, you know? One thing that I’m excited for is before Kofi and Woods have their match, we’re back doing a live version of our podcast, and we haven’t done that in a long time. We’re going to have brunch, and there will be bottomless mimosas. The main excitement for all of us is getting back to what we do. When I started back in 2009, it was all about your ability to move a crowd. That’s the beauty of what we do. I think there are guys that can do it all in the ring and get little reaction, and guys who maybe aren’t so good in the ring get massive reactions. I think this pandemic era can expose certain people, and I think the beautiful thing about getting back to crowds is we’re getting back into the essence of our industry. I’m hoping that people are as excited as we are and that they’re loud and into it. I hope we get to put on a good show.
** Ahead of his Universal Title defense against Daniel Bryan and Edge at WrestleMania, Roman Reigns did an interview with Yahoo! Sports. Reigns said he would retire before he has to stop working with Paul Heyman and Jey Uso.
I’d retire twice before I’d go back and not be able to work with Paul or Jey. With Paul, it’s almost an everyday creative venture that we are on of how to continue to service our audience. How do we make it better? How do we make it more detailed? How do we make it all make sense? How do we connect to it better? How do we display something that has never been done before? How do we continue to build and grow the business? There are so many hows, and whys and what ifs that we dive into on a weekly basis.
With Jey, it’s so much more instinctual, natural and blood built. The reason why our story, dynamic and interaction work so well is because it is a 35-year relationship that we are displaying. For that experience alone, I will never take that for granted.
** Chris Hero will be on the next ROHStrong Podcast.
** Leyla Hirsch was the latest guest on the Women’s Wrestling Talk podcast. If there was one intergender match that Leyla could have in AEW, she would want to wrestle Dark Order’s John Silver.
It is so funny because I have that attitude towards anybody. I don’t care who you are. You can give me anybody. Like the one match I would love to have, even if we can do it in AEW is John Silver. I’ve had two matches with him on the indies and it was great, you know? So I would love to wrestle him on a big stage like that. Will that ever happen? I don’t know.
** Seth Rollins spoke to Bleacher Report. He discussed his return to WWE this past February and using the ‘Burn It Down’ theme. Rollins added that it was just meant to misdirect the audience from what was coming but there could possibly be a new theme in the works.
I think the first night I came back, it was just supposed to be a bit of a misdirect. It was meant to be a misdirect, but as we drifted forward with the character, the Messiah theme didn’t seem to fit. The ‘Burn It Down’ one is more memorable, so we stuck with that. There’s a possibility we work on something different, but I don’t know how different it’s going to be, but we’ll see where we go.
** JTG returned to Sportskeeda’s UnSKripted show with Chris Featherstone. He shared the respective pieces of advice that he received from Chris Benoit and John Cena early in his career.
Benoit’s advice: Never wrestled Chris Benoit but Chris Benoit was one of the — I’m not gonna say he was the first but he was one of the first that I actually can remember that came up to me and gave me some great advice. Like my first — when we debuted at the Staples Center, right before I was going up, I was stretching and you know, he pulled me to the side, he’s like, ‘This is your debut match, right?’ He was like, ‘Alright. When you go out there, never pull back, never hesitate’ because sometimes talent — sometimes there’s miscommunication and let’s say I’m going to throw a punch and he was supposed to duck but he’s still there. They hesitate and do something. He’s like, ‘If they don’t duck, hit ‘em. You have to protect yourself and you have to protect the business, but protect the business before yourself.’ He was always big on protecting the business.
Cena’s advice: Cryme Tyme was always opening up the show ’cause we had so much energy and charisma. They wanted to use us to get the crowd ready for the rest of the show. That’s cool. You have to know your position on the card. You know, I tried to do that main-eventing, when I was main-eventing with him. And then he just gave me a look. It was one of those looks, like . He was like, ‘You don’t do that in the main event.’
** NBC News profiled Stephanie McMahon and within that article, McMahon detailed her first time leading a creative team for WWE and it happened after Vince McMahon tore both of his quads.
He sounded terrible, saying ‘I don’t give a f— about the show.’ Now, if you know him, the creative is what he cares about more than anything. That particular day , he did not care and he let me know, and now here I am leading a team of almost all men, all veterans in this business. I had to be not afraid. That moment before in that production room gave me the confidence to recognize I know what I’m doing, and I belong in that room.
** NXT’s Bronson Reed was interviewed by Wide World Of Sports. Reed looked back at his rode to being signed by WWE and having a tryout in 2014 and almost being signed by the company in 2016.
I was on their radar as of 2014, which was the first time I did a tryout with them. They signed Billie Kay and Peyton Royce. From there they told me to keep doing what I’m doing and perfecting my craft. They liked what they saw but they wanted me to do more. I continued to do that, and at the end of 2016 I did a second tryout and that’s where they saw a lot of growth and that’s when they wanted to sign me. I got into the process of doing that, then things didn’t work out. I wasn’t sure if I was going to sign. So again, I continued to travel around the world and make myself undeniable, so there was no reason they shouldn’t sign me. Then by the start of 2019 I had succeeded in what I thought would work out – trying my hardest and they signed me.
** Back in September of 2019, Karrion Kross headlined Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport event and before the show ended, he issued a challenge to Dave Bautista to come wrestle him at Bloodsport. While speaking to Comicbook.com, Kross said that moment was not planned nor did Josh Barnett know he was going to make the challenge.
Nope . I was just in the moment, I didn’t even tell Josh about it. I was there and I wanted it to be real. That show, when we were there, is as real as it gets. I was just thinking to myself, right before the curtain it just popped up in my head like, ‘Well he’s legit. He’s got a legitimate background, he’d be awesome here.’ I felt like a lot of people felt like Dave Bautista still had more in him than at the time when he retired, a lot of people were kind of bummed that he was retiring…. I thought, maybe sometimes people just need an invite to come into someplace other than just knock on the door.
** Gable Steveson, who was shown in the crowd at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver night two, chatted with Cultaholic. Steveson said that he wants to be a Paul Heyman guy if he chooses to fully pursue a career in wrestling.
** The Miz told UPROXX that the day after Bad Bunny won his Grammy, he went back to training for his WrestleMania match.
You never know when a celebrity is going to overstay their welcome. Obviously (Bad Bunny) came to do a performance (at the Royal Rumble). He loves WWE. He’s a huge, huge fan and he wanted to train. So I guess he’s been training the past couple of months and from what I’ve heard in the locker room, I don’t think any other celebrity has done the work he is doing. He literally came to a WWE ring and trained after winning a Grammy. He went to the Grammy’s, did a performance and then came to WWE ring the next day to train. This guy is dedicated and he’s hardworking, but he’s barking up the wrong tree.
** New England All-Star Wrestling is partnering with IMPACT Wrestling’s Eddie Edwards and Hardkore Athletics gym to bring a pro wrestling training program to the Boston, Massachusetts area.
** GCW For The Culture Results (4/8/21) Tampa, Florida
– Six Man Scramble: Troy Hollywood def. AC Mack and Alpha Zo and D-Rogue and Mysterious Q and Robert Martyr
– Impact Knockouts Tag Team Championships: Fire ‘N Flava (Kiera Hogan & Tasha Steelz) (c) def. Brooke Valentine & Willow Nightingale
– Jon Davis def. PB Smooth
– Four Way Match: Calvin Tankman def. Andy Brown and Frontman Jah and Myron Reed
– Darius Lockhart def. Bryan Keith
– Tre Lamar def. Eli Knight
– AJ Gray def. JTG
– Lee Moriarty def. Lio Rush
– Rich Swann def. 2 Cold Scorpio
** NXT talent AJ Francis is co-hosting the ‘Most Wanted Treasure’ series with Paul “Triple H” Levesque and Stephanie McMahon. He detailed how he got the opportunity to host the A&E/WWE program while speaking with Miami Herald’s Jim Varsallone:
Honestly, a lot of times in the WWE, if you come from the NFL, people think that you’re handed things and people think that I was handed this job but I actually got this gig because — not through WWE, because a friend of mine I went to high school with is Hollywood actor named Tommy Williamson. He’s on the ABC show The Fosters, and he is friends with the Associate Producer for the show. They were just talking last year and he was like, ‘You should check out my buddy. He just signed with WWE.’ She checked me out, she liked me, she pitched me to the production crew, they liked me, they pitched to the network, it was cool and then they pitched me to WWE. ‘Well, we haven’t done anything with him yet so sure, why not?’ And so, that’s how I got the gig.
** GCW/Allie Kat’s ‘Real Hot Girl Sh*t’ Results (4/9/21) Tampa, Florida
– Allysin Kay def. Jordynne Grace
– Davienne def. Erica Leigh
– Willow Nightingale def. Brooke Valentine
– Holidead def. Dark Sheik
– Edith Surreal def. Lady Frost
– Tasha Steelz def. Trish Adora
– Allie Kat def. Billie Starkz
– 2 Cold Scorpio (2020) and Shad Gaspard (2021) are inducted into the Grey Sweatpants Hall of Fame.
– Grey Sweatpants Battle Royal Winner: JTG
** ACTION Wrestling/Southern Underground Pro ‘Have Fun, Be Sad’ Results (4/9/21) Tampa, Florida
– SUP Bonestorm Championship: AJ Gray (c) def. JD Drake
– Kevin Ryan & Suge D def. Brett Ison & Cabana Man Dan
– Scramble Match: Damyan Tangra def. Adrian Alanis and Bobby Flaco and Graham Bell and Jaden Newman and Liam Gray and Rob Killjoy
– AC Mack def. Myron Reed
– Four Way Match: Alex Kane def. Derek Neal and Logan Creed and Manders
– Arik Royal def. Daniel Makabe
– Adam Priest def. Matt Makowski
– O’Shay Edwards def. Jon Davis
– Unsanctioned Match: Nolan Edward def. Angelus Layne
– FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) def. Violence Is Forever (Dominic Garrini & Kevin Ku)
** Mickie James was a part of a WWE After The Bell podcast bonus episode. James did commentary on both nights of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver on the pre-shows and she spoke highly of NXT commentator Vic Joseph.
From the commentating standpoint, you have to look back at it as the art itself and I’m so grateful for you because you know and you can see it and you can captivate it and you know how to make those calls to make the people — hook ‘em in. I can add a little fun color side comments.
** WTOP News conducted an interview with Braun Strowman. The former Universal Champion reflected on his days with The Wyatt Family and said he will cherish those memories for the rest of his life.
The Wyatt Family will always be very near and dear to my heart. Three amazing guys that I had the opportunity to travel around the world and learn with…. thinking back on the passing of Brodie Luke Harper, passing away, it’s something that I’ll think about and cherish the rest of my life. It was a very special time with the younger me falling in love with this business.
** Xavier Woods gave his takes on the greatest wrestling-based games on the G4TV YouTube channel along with Adam Sessler.
** Colby Corino and Kevin Gill were highlighted in a Bay 9 News piece about the independent wrestling weekend of events in Tampa.
** Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre gave comments to the Tampa Bay Times about their memories of Florida Championship Wrestling.
** NXT commentator Wade Barrett joined Vic Joseph on a bonus episode of WWE After The Bell.
** Sean “X-Pac” Waltman was a guest on Chavo Guerrero’s Suplexes & Cervezas podcast.
** Cesaro talked to T3.com about fitness and health.
** Bianca Belair turned 32-years old on 4/9. The Root published their interview with Belair.
** Shayna Baszler and Mia Yim playing the ‘In Silence’ game:
** Edge was a guest on ESPN SportsNation to recap some of his best WrestleMania moments.
** Jay Reddick of the Orlando Sentinel interviewed Braun Strowman.
** Bobby Lashley, Drew McIntyre and The Miz spoke to the Associated Press about WrestleMania 37.
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.