Originally published at POST NEWS UPDATE: Finn Balor hopeful for a third run in NXT
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 Deutschland went live on Facebook with Finn Balor. Finn is several weeks removed from returning to SmackDown from his NXT run. Balor explained how much NXT means to him and is hopeful for a third run one day.
And I used to think that other things would — in my career would mean more and really the two times at NXT, for different reasons have been two of the most beautiful periods of my career, like personally and professionally. I feel like I grow so much in NXT, I really feel a part of the team. It feels like a bond amongst the guys that are there, you know? And not only the guys in the ring but the stuff behind the scenes and the producers and the trainers and that’s something that I really feel attached to and really feel passionate about and I know I’ve had two runs there and hopefully in the future there will be a third.
Balor is 40 years of age and he feels that he has another five-plus years left in the ring if he’s smart and “economical” with his movements.
Crazy because when I was like 29 which seems like a long time ago now, I felt like, ‘Oh, maybe I’ve got five years left’ and now that I’m a little older and a little smarter and a littler wiser, I feel like I’ve at least got another five if not ten left in the tank so you know if I’m smart, if I’m economical with my movements, if I kind of pick my battles, I definitely think I got five-plus years left in the tank for sure.
When asked if he’ll ever use The Demon character again, Balor says he’ll get back to it one day but right now, he’s focused on the current iteration of his character.
Yeah, obviously I feel like The Demon definitely has a future but right now, I’m very focused on The Prince and this current invention of the character and the direction that we’re going. But I’m sure we will get back to The Demon at some stage.
On last week’s SmackDown, Baron Corbin ambushed Balor before he could sign the contract to make he and Roman Reigns’ Universal Title match at SummerSlam official. John Cena then made his way to the ring and signed the contract and got the match. Balor gave his take on how that scenario unfolded and doesn’t think a three-way at SummerSlam is off the table.
Of course have unfinished business. Roman accepted the challenge, so, you know, it may not be SummerSlam but I’m pretty sure we’ll get down to business once Roman and John is handled.
Well, I’m not sure if the possibility of a Triple-Threat at SummerSlam is off the cards right now so, if we could somehow finagle that, that would be fantastic but if not, obviously the one reason I’m in SmackDown is to become Universal Champion so you know, Roman Reigns is who I want. I’ve wrestled John before, I’ve wrestled Roman before but what I want is to retain the Universal Championship.
** Buddy Murphy sat down with Highspots Wrestling Network for a virtual signing and was asked where he sees himself landing next in wrestling and here was his response:
That’s tough. Obviously there’s a lot of places that, you know, interest me. I got friends in all the places so, we’ll see what happens, you know?
For months during his WWE run, Murphy was paired with Seth Rollins. He explained what he learned from Rollins and how helpful he was. Murphy admitted that he wanted to be like Rollins in terms of success and accomplishments in WWE.
Awesome. Every time — even if I was just doing like a backstage with him or anything like that, it was always a learning experience for me and I would always bounce ideas and I’ve said it before, like I would always ask him to break stuff down and ask him what he thought about it to figure out why my brain was going one way and his was thinking another, and I feel like that’s, you know, if you wanna become a better performer that — my whole mentality was that I don’t care what I did good. It’s all what I did not so good so I can improve that because overall, it’s gonna make me a better performer. So Seth was awesome that I could just throw the ideas and he was always willing to answer them and hopefully I wasn’t annoying him, but I don’t know what to say, I’m asking you this because I wanna learn so, but he was always awesome to bounce ideas off and he was, you know, yeah.
His mind’s so — he’s come up right through NXT and he did the indies and stuff like that. He was a young kind of guy when he came up to be pushed as a top guy so he’s been through it all so to — I wanted to follow in those footsteps so that’s why The Disciple character kind of fit because really, I did want to be him, right? I wanted to do everything he did.
Murphy looked back on his team with Wesley Blake. He feels that they took on the ‘workhorse’ role in NXT and credited FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) for teaching them what they know about tag team wrestling. Murphy added that there were occasions when he and Blake were too unselfish about cutting their spots out of matches and slotting themselves into that enhancement talent role.
I think me and , I couldn’t be like that, but also I was a singles wrestler so it was another world but it was definitely a learning curve but I think we did great work as a tag team. I think that, you know, thank you to The Revival, FTR, whatever you wanna call them because they basically taught us tag team wrestling.
One talent that Murphy has always wanted to work with was Dolph Ziggler. He feels that Ziggler does not get the credit he deserves for being as good as he is.
Any era? I think Eddie Guerrero. But that’s going back obviously. A match… dream opponent, I wanna wrestle Dolph which I never got to do which sucked. We did a little exchange in the Andre The Giant Battle Royal which I made sure I wanted to do, so, yeah. He’s just so good in-ring. I don’t think he gets enough appreciation for how good he is.
** WWE reached out to University of Pittsburgh football player Cal Adomitis about participating in a tryout once his college football careers comes to an end.
** Ring of Honor’s Maria Kanellis-Bennett was a recent guest on the State of Florida Sports Podcast. Maria dove into she and Mike’s arrival to WWE in 2017. They both have spoken at length about Mike’s drug addiction and recovery. Mike made his in-ring debut for WWE in July of 2017 on SmackDown. Several days before, Maria had to isolate him in his hotel room because he was three days removed from his recovery beginning.
I know a lot of people like to give WWE credit for him going through their program but he never did. He didn’t even tell them for a month-and-half after he told me. I was his recovery. I was his therapy. We were in the Loews Sapphire hotel in Florida and I had him basically locked in his hotel room for several days because he was worried he was gonna die and he had to go to the emergency room and you can actually see it yet but in his first match, he was three days from recovery and every time somebody says, ‘Oh, well WWE helped him,’ no, they never offered help and it was me. So if you want to pat someone on the back, you should pat me on the back because I was the one who was there making sure he didn’t die in that hotel room.
Both Mike and Maria were released from WWE in April 2020. Maria shared that Mike was eager to leave the company but she wanted to finish her career there. She added that Paul Heyman wanted her to be his assistant and there was also an idea for her to help out in NXT.
Yeah, I mean so Mike , I didn’t. I was only two months postpartum and WWE knew that we were gonna have a second baby. We had talked about it, we signed our contract with them having full knowledge — at least the Talent Relations side. So Talent Relations may not have told Vince McMahon but I know Talent Relations knew, so for me, only being two months postpartum, I was like, ‘Well crap. I wanted to finish the rest of my career out in WWE.’ I wanted to become a backstage producer. I mean Paul Heyman was trying to get me to be either his assistant or an assistant down in NXT, so I knew that was going to be the trajectory of my career, but for Mike, he wanted out, and so he wanted out but not in that way. I mean, to be released in a pandemic when there’s no work and nobody’s running shows, yeah, nobody wants to be released that way.
** During the latest Pro Wrestling 4 Life podcast, Sean ‘X-Pac’ Waltman mentioned that he pitched to have an exploding bomb deathmatch with Kane to cap off their feud in WWF/E. His idea was rejected.
I was trying to get an exploding bomb deathmatch with Kane for the blow-off to our feud but they f*cking ended up not letting us do it.
** Wrestling Inc. has an interview with Renee Paquette and she told the site that her non-compete with WWE is set to expire soon. With that information, the idea of possibly collaborating with All Elite Wrestling was brought up and Renee does see opportunities there.
Looking at AEW, I think there are endless opportunities of other things I could be doing over there, if that was to be something that came up down the line. I’ve honestly not put much thought into it.
** Nicole Savoy guest appeared on a recent episode of the ROHStrong Podcast. She shared that she did motion capture work for WWE 2K during the pandemic. The WWE 2K22 video game has an expected release date of either the third or fourth quarter of WWE’s calendar year.
Getting back into the ring though to take bumps and stuff, I will admit that I was sore, but it wasn’t as bad because… a little bit like later towards the end of the pandemic and stuff, I was doing motion capture for 2K so it wasn’t like I had a little bit of ring rust because I was bumping in their ring if that makes sense.
Continuing on the topic of her motion capture work for 2K, Nicole’s finisher and her entrance are in the game.
So, they have like what is called a create-a-wrestler and so I’ve seen a lot of those belts from people online. I guess you can download ‘em from , it’s really cool. I have a lot of fun doing mocap. Mocap is great.
** Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski hosted a roundtable conversation with Matt Cardona, Brian Myers, Erick Redbeard and The Awakening (Big Kon & Vik). Looking back on his AEW Dynamite appearance during the Brodie Lee tribute show, Redbeard stated that he would have been offended had AEW not asked him to be a part of it.
Redbeard: I would have been offended if they didn’t ask, but they take care of their people. Obviously, they reached out to me to be involved. It’s always unfortunate but certainly at that time when a funeral couldn’t be held, it was a way to say goodbye. I talked to some people there, but I never had discussions trying to go and work there. I have other things I’m pursuing. He knew about what I was pursuing, too, and I know he would be proud of what I’m trying to do. All you can do to honor him is remember. For me, I got a tattoo. Every morning, I see it. It honors him in the way that’s most personal to me.
Cardona further spoke about his agreement in place with IMPACT Wrestling. He explained that no promotion or company is his first priority as he is a free agent, although he’ll take the IMPACT dates over anything else.
Cardona: Nobody has first priority, because I don’t have a contract with anybody. My only contract is with the Major Wrestling Figure Podcast. I love Impact and they’ve been super-great to me. Obviously, I take the Impact dates over everything else. In that regard, it takes priority. But only because I want it to, not because I’m contractually obligated.
In December of 2019, Big Kon and Vik were released from WWE. In some ways, Kon sees his departure from the company as a blessing.
Big Kon: Now we get to create our own itinerary. You get to work with and be around people you love. For a while, you’re led to believe there’s only one way to be. Once the veil gets pulled back, there’s life after that point. You can see a lot of guys succeeding and doing really well elsewhere. There are others choosing to sit back and just enjoy life. Some are pursuing other avenues as well. Sometimes, it’s a blessing . It’s a good thing. It’s not a bad thing.
** On GCW’s two-day Homecoming weekend, Matt Cardona defeated Nick Gage for the GCW World Championship. After Cardona’s title win, he was pelted with beer bottles among other items by those in attendance. As this was happening, referee Kris Levin was also in the ring and even prior to the match happening, Levin had concerns about the reaction to the title win. He reflected on that experience while on ‘Tables, Ladders & Chaires: The Podcast’.
Going into this past GCW event with there was 700. This time there was like 1,200 people in the crowd so, me personally, I wasn’t really nervous about the match per se. I was just worried about the intangibles that you can’t predict of what’s gonna happen in a riot because on one hand, we all love the idea of people being so emotionally invested into a story that they get into a fit of rage. You hear that so many times from, you know, tales of yesteryear in professional wrestling and us being able to accomplish that legitimately, really does guarantee GCW’s spot as the last outlaws, but, if I get hit with beer bottles to the head or whatever a million times, like aluminum ones of plastic ones, that’s not a big deal. The scary thing is, ‘Okay, are they going to start throwing chairs? Are they going to start throwing other implements of destruction?’ That’s the scary thing.
** Sami Zayn returned to Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast and co-hosted the episode. A conversation came up about knowing your authentic self before other influences come into your life and possibly shape who you are. Paquette mentioned Roman Reigns as somebody who has found his authentic self on TV and Zayn responded with the following:
Okay, but when I say ‘authentic’, it’s one thing to believe what you’re saying but I’m getting at who you really are before you even become a wrestler. How is that stuff shaped and formed. It’s not authentic in that — it’s like created in your soul. It’s stuff that’s been added to you. Like you’re this bucket and different people have drawn different drops in there and then yeah, the end product is this person and the better you’re able to show this side of yourself, but I’m talking about the things behind that, the things that influence that. I don’t think those are necessarily authentic in the sense that they originate from within. I’m saying they originate from without, they come from the outside world and your experiences and things like that and they shape you. Roman can act the way he acts because he genuinely is a top guy and now he’s handling himself like the top guy but he was also put in position to be the top guy, right? So it’s like this circle. It’s this circle that begins itself. When I’m saying ‘authentic self’, I’m not talking about that you believe authentically in what you’re doing at any given time. I’m saying if you say, ‘Hey, where did that come from?’ Where did you get this attitude? Who taught you this attitude? And all of sudden, you realize, ‘It’s not mine, it’s borrowed, somebody gave it to me or oh wait, I stole this. I heard it in a song lyric one time and I thought, wow, that sounds cool. I wanna embody that’ so then you become that. You become Bob Dylan, and you might believe it and you might fool other people but ultimately you just took something cool and said like, ‘Okay, that’s me now.’
Later in the show, Zayn came back around to the conversation and circled back to Reigns again. He explained that we all need one another to succeed on an individual level and agreed that Reigns is on top of his game right now but there were a number of people who helped him get there.
The individual effort versus the collective effort, right? So you take someone like Roman Reigns who’s a great example. Roman, no one’s gonna say he’s not good. He’s awesome, clearly. However, think of how many people it took to get him there and so that’s an amazing thing about wrestling that I think about all the time is the duality and the dynamic between the individual and the collective because the very individual mindset of like, ‘I gotta get over, I’m the best. I have to believe –’ a little bit of that is like WWE conditioning or whatever. ‘You gotta think like you’re the man and you wanna be in the top spot!’ And it’s all through a lens of sort of dominance, which is a whole other — I won’t even touch all that. My point is just while we’re talking about us, us, us, you’re relying on the person next to you to get you there. You can be the best. You can be the best promo in the world. Who you gonna cut a promo on if nobody’s there to work with you? You know what I’m saying? We need one another to get ahead on an individual level and you know, just understanding that dynamic I think is important and again, it’s one of those things that’s reflected in society and in ourselves but also you see it in the wrestling business when we talk about this guy’s the best, that guy’s the best. You have to understand the totality of the picture. That’s all I’m getting at.
** NWA World Women’s Champion Kamille joined GAW TV with Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon and SoCal Val. Kamille explained how excited she is to have Mickie James be a part of the National Wrestling Alliance.
Well I was just super excited to have Mickie so I just kind of always — but now that she’s in the locker room and stuff like that, I feel like I can ask her to watch my match, get critiques from her, you know, stuff like that and so just being able to have that now and have that door open now and me feel comfortable with it is really nice. I can’t speak on the other girls but I’m sure they’re just as excited so I know that’s how I feel about it.
** Levi Cooper, the former ‘Tucker’ in WWE was a recent guest on Cultaholic’s ‘Straight To Hell’ show. During his appearance, he gave his account of the 2019 Saudi Arabia travel delay situation as talents were scheduled to make it back to the U.S. for Friday Night SmackDown.
So, we left from the show and we go to the airport. Where we’re flying out of is not the main terminal but ‘executive arrivals’. It’s basically a private hangar for big groups and those on invitation from the government. So we get to that executive arrival building, we’re one of the only ones in there at the time. It’s probably midnight or so, we left straight after the show so we’re tired and hungry too because we ate before the show but catering got put away at 6:30 pm. The confusion at the building was crazy because nobody’s getting any information about what’s happening. We sit there for like four hours probably in executive arrivals. Finally, they let us get on the airplane. We’re on the airplane for 90 minutes, maybe 2 hours and we can’t take off for whatever reason. The pilot is basically like, ‘We can’t get our completed paperwork.’ However, the air traffic stuff works, the plane’s good, the crew’s good, we’re all good here with Atlas Air, but the issue is we can’t get clearance from the airport. They’re not allowing us to leave. So we end up getting back off the plane. We sit in executive arrivals for like another two, two-and-a-half hours before finally the buses come back. By this point the sun’s up, it’s probably 8 or 9 in the morning. In the midst of all this, I forgot, a group of like 15 or 20 people, they booked them a separate charter flight to try to get them to SmackDown. I can’t remember who was on this plane but suffice to say it was people most needed for SmackDown. That plane ultimately didn’t make it either.
** Ahead of challenging for the NXT Title at TakeOver 36, Samoa Joe joined WWE host Quetzalli Bulnes on El Brunch de WWE. Joe said if he had to choose a partner to go after the NXT Tag Titles with, he would pick Oney Lorcan.
I often don’t work well in teams as history has shown, but the times that I have been a part of a team, we usually come up with championship gold so there’s a lot of guys that, you know, could fit that bill of a tag team partner but I could see something in a — how about Oney Lorcan. I think me and Oney Lorcan could be great. Oney can go out there, wear ‘em out, get beat up real good and when the opponents are tired, I’ll come in, do the cleanup work. It’ll work out real nice.
** The latest guest on Insight with Chris Van Vliet was Cassie Lee, the former ‘Peyton Royce’. While speaking about her release from WWE this past April, she explained why it came as a surprise to her and she thought that she would be released in April of 2020.
If I had thought that releases were coming, I would have been worried for myself. I was worried the previous year when they did releases. I thought, ‘This might be it for me’ and Ronnie , no, because she was just killing it and my God, she was so easy to watch and she was so fun and she was on everything. She was just on WrestleMania. I wasn’t even on WrestleMania. I was like one of two girls not on WrestleMania so, I 100 percent would’ve thought, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna be on that list’ if I thought there was a list.
Continuing on the topic, Cassie became emotional while discussing how much the release impacted her. She said it took away her love for wrestling.
Being let go really broke my heart and it kind of for a long time took my love. Like it stole my love of wrestling and I would love to get that back and not move on with my life with this bitter feeling about wrestling. I still get emotional about it but, I know one day I’ll — the circumstances I’ll have control over and I won’t let it affect me like it still does now.
On top of continuing to wrestle, Lee is also hoping to transition into acting and carving a career out for herself in that space.
So I don’t feel like I’m done with wrestling. I feel like I have dreams that I especially want to grasp between being split up from Jess and when we were let go. So I still wanna chase that but, my big dream now is I wanna be a movie star, which I feel is a natural way that wrestlers kind of wanna go. I have been taking acting lessons for going on two years now and I just love it. I love the process, I love learning a new industry and can’t wait to feel I know the industry inside out like I do wrestling.
** Prior to the 8/2 Monday Night Raw, Nikki A.S.H. talked to NBC Chicago and reflected on her days as a part of SHIMMER and wrestling at the Berwyn Eagles Club in Illinois.
Oh my gosh, I have such fond memories of working for SHIMMER Women’s Athletes at the Berwyn Eagles Club and I think that-that was the first time people had really seen me with a microphone in my hand and it was before my time with WWE and I was this over the top, larger than life supervillain and I had the microphone in my hand and I would just be winding up the crowd and rile them up and for me I think it laid the foundation really well for this Almost Superhero character and becoming the Raw Women’s Champion so, I’m so grateful and so honored about those times and just being able to come back as the Raw Women’s Champion at the Allstate Arena, it’s just incredible and I’m so excited and just so happy and I really hope I get to see some SHIMMER fans in our audience on Monday.
** Matt Cardona documented the lead-up to and aftermath of his GCW World Championship match against Nick Gage. As he was on his way to the venue, Cardona reflected on his career from his time in WWE, getting released, joining IMPACT Wrestling and now becoming GCW World Champion.
It’s crazy to think I was released from WWE over a year ago but it’s just been a year of me being able to work and do my own thing and I’m actually very proud of what I’ve done in the past year; the cup of coffee in AEW, IMPACT, now this Hawkins win the tag team titles, then I get released and now I’m doing better than ever so, I’m proud of the fact that nothing has come easy for me and that I’ve had to work and listen, of course I wish I was like Goldberg and undefeated and won all these championships but that’s just not reality for me and the struggle and I hate to use the word, the hustle, but the scratching and clawing and the not quitting and the never giving up, it makes the moments that much sweeter.
** D-Von Dudley welcomed Natalya and Tamina onto his Table Talk podcast. As their conversation rolled on, Natalya spoke about Universal Champion Roman Reigns and how Reigns is an individual that many WWE talents look up to.
I gotta say, Roman is my — I love Roman. I know it’s probably not — his character because he’s a bad guy right now but Roman is — he’s just like a really cool person. He’s just cool. He has a cool energy about him. Like whatever Roman or The Usos do, it’s just cool and I love it and I think they’re so good, they’re so talented. Roman is someone that I think a lot of us backstage and this is just kind of real talk but, backstage, we all really look up to Roman. He’s a really nice person and he’s just like a leader. He’s a really cool leader.
** Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards brought Rebel onto the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Rebel discussed her partnership with Britt Baker and shared that Baker does not give her discounts when she comes in for dental work.
What do you think? Hell no. She be charging everybody. I don’t get no free dental work. No . I’m pretty sure I paid the price. I did get some free toothpaste, you know those little sample ones that they give out? Yep. There’s no deals at the dentist’s office. I got the samples.
When Baker and Rebel are on-screen together, Rebel does her signature laugh which she put on display during the podcast. She was told to tone the laugh down and save it for ‘The Waiting Room’ segments.
I don’t know why, that’s what felt organic, that’s what felt authentic and genuine. Well, you don’t know how genuine but authentic in the end. So, it just became — I couldn’t believe — I hate doing it. I think it’s really ugly. I didn’t realize that people were gonna love that and so now it’s like, ‘Do the laugh’ but I’ve been told to tone it down a little bit, save it for ‘The Waiting Room’ but for other things, maybe tone it down a little bit with the laughs so, I’m glad everybody really likes the laugh.
** Nick Gage vs. Brodie Lee (2010):
** Chelsea Green and Willow Nightengale are taking on Rok-C and Miranda Alize on night two of Ring of Honor ‘Glory By Honor’.
** QT Marshall talked to Darren Paltrowitz about how he has navigated taking in the negative comments he has received throughout his career and letting the AEW EVPs know that he will commit to doing a great deal of backstage work, but also wants wrestling to be a focus point for him.
It was , the EVPs like, ‘Hey, I’m willing to do all this backstage work. Eventually I will ask to wrestle because that’s my dream’ but, at the same time, I don’t — I know how to wrestle. That’s the one thing I know how to do. I don’t know how to do all this production stuff and how to be a liaison between talent, production and everything else so I’m gonna learn that, I’m gonna mess up but I’m probably gonna be one of the hardest workers you’ll find. It’s just a matter of, you know, giving me a little bit of leniency to kind of mess up a little bit.
** The National Wrestling Alliance is presenting a Friday evening episode of Powerrr for free on their YouTube channel.
** The latest edition of Wrestling Travel’s ‘LockDown Sessions’ featured Rachael Ellering. Rachael is currently a part of a tag team with Jordynne Grace in IMPACT. She added that she knows there will come a time when she’ll get to have a singles run in the company so she is just enjoying the ride and her pairing with Grace.
I love our team . I think we’re very unique in a lot of ways. I adore her as a person and a performer, but it’s a treat to team with her and get to share all of these moments with her. My first match in IMPACT, we won Knockouts Tag Team Championships. One of the best moments of my entire career and I’ll always be able to look back and share that with her and so, I love, love what I’m doing right now. I know in the future, I’ll have singles runs and stuff there. I’ve said it before and I truly do believe this and want this but I want to be one of the best Knockouts that’s ever been in IMPACT and so to do that, I will definitely have singles runs and hopefully get to be Knockouts Champion one day and Knockouts Tag Team Champion again as many times as possible and you know, headline pay-per-views, headline specials that are on IMPACT! Plus, be the girl, be the Knockout to kind of be at the head of the division and so, I’m confident that over time my work in the ring, promo-wise, whatever it might be will get me to that destination but for now, I’m completely loving what I’m doing and just being embraced by the IMPACT fans.
** Ring of Honor posted the following video to commemorate the memory of the late Bobby Eaton, who passed away on August 4th.
** CM Punk vs. Alex Shelley | Ring of Honor 3rd Anniversary:
** WARHORSE vs. Kylie Rae for the IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship from Black Label Pro’s January 2020 show:
** While making the media rounds, Roderick Strong spoke to Daily DDT.
** Le Batard & Friends Network had Mojo Rawley on as a guest.
** Mickie James went live on Instagram with Craig Siegel.
** Season three, episode 20 of Tyler Breeze and Xavier Woods’ Battle of the Brands series:
** Season one of WWE and A&E’s ‘Biography’ series is releasing on DVD on September 21st.
** IMPACT Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo will be representing the company at the Nashville Sounds baseball game.
** Kurt Angle and Mick Foley will be present at Steel City Con in August.
** Rachael Ellering joined Tommy Dreamer and Dave LaGreca on Busted Open Radio.
** Comicbook.com chatted with John Cena and Joel Kinnaman about the new Suicide Squad film.
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.