Originally published at Hiromu Takahashi provides recovery update, feels he's at 2 percent
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.
** Hiromu Takahashi relinquished the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title in February due to a torn pectoral muscle. Takahashi recently did a Q&A hosted by NJPW1972.com and provided an update on how his recovery is going. He underwent surgery in March.
We-ell, if 100 percent means what I feel it should, then honestly it would be 2% right now. To me being 100 percent means being able to do what I set out to do, win championships, make dreams happen. It’s not enough just to get back in there. So with that in mind, yeah, two percent.
2020 was Hiromu’s tenth anniversary in wrestling and there were plans to release a DVD to celebrate the occasion but the pandemic put those plans on hold.
Actually we had plans last year, because it was my ten year anniversary. We had five months of plans around DVDs and events in Hachioji, and then here comes that COVID guy.
Hiromu was asked if he was able to hold the IWGP World Heavyweight and Junior Heavyweight Titles at the same time, who would he defend both belts against. Hiromu named Finn Balor as that opponent.
Finn Balor. When I was a Young Lion, he was the toughest guy at the time!
** Hannibal TV chatted with Kurt Angle. Angle said he has something in the works with WWE right now that will likely materialize. That information came about while responding to the question of if he would join All Elite Wrestling.
Well my relationship with WWE is really good and I like to keep it that way. I don’t have any plans of going to AEW. I haven’t really spoke to them that much. Just a couple messages sent back and forth but nothing serious. I have something going on with WWE right now and it most likely will materialize. I can’t talk about it but that’s what I’m waiting on and I don’t wanna mess that up. The company’s been so good to me and I wanna be loyal to them.
** Paul “Triple H” Levesque was a guest on ESPN’s Cheap Heat podcast with Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg. Levesque commented on the idea of a physical WWE Hall Of Fame and said it is something that has been contemplated. He added that he would want it to be more than just a place for people to see old memorabilia.
For me to say, ‘It’s on the way’ makes it sound like we’re already building it. It is definitely something that we contemplated in our mind. It has to be done right. In the world today, it’s a funny thing, people go like, ‘Oh my God, that would be fascinating to go to see somebody’s old trunks’ or… Hall Of Fames like that, physical Hall Of Fames, museums like that tend to be money pits and not do well because over time, people will them and just think, ‘Well you need to make it something more’ and I think if it was interactive with technology the way that it is now, those objects were there, things that people can see and be wowed by, but also there’s reasons to keep going back. I’m of the opinion that-that means to be more than a thing you go to one time and go like, ‘Oh that was neat. I saw some boots.’ But more of a, ‘You gotta go see this. I was there. There’s a virtual this, there’s a 3D that, there’s a –’ technology takes you to another level. Like Disney, you go see these incredible things but also have these mind-blowing experiences around WWE and you can also spend the day there. You can go there and meet some legends and see people doing Q&A’s and maybe it’s a part of our developmental where there’s matches happening and there’s a lot of stuff to see, along with, so if done right. So there’s a lot of thought being put into it and a lot of thought being put around it. If you were to say and it’s clearly not my final decision always but if you were to say that’s something I’m bullish about doing in the future, absolutely.
Levesque has recently spoken about the possibility of a retirement match. He said he’d be open to the idea of doing a retirement tour and wrestling in different markets against talents who he has not worked with before.
I would like it to be somebody that I don’t have a — if I was to go and do one big — and I said this in the interview. For me, I would like to do, if I was able to do it and this would be a big ‘if’ because of the time challenge of it but to be able to go to different markets and be able to wrestle there and do like a ‘One World Tour’ where you go to the big venues and try not to get injured. But one big tour and go to Japan and go to The O2 in London and just all these different arenas. Go to the Garden one more time, go to Chicago one more time, go to L.A. one more time. Do these big things, Mexico City. To have those big moments in these big arenas because to me, it is about the different fans. It’s not just about that big WrestleMania moment and the different market and the feel there and the people there. But, yeah, if I was to do it in that manner and to me, the people that I’d want to do it with wouldn’t necessarily be — I wouldn’t be looking to do it with somebody that I had a long-term history with. I’d be looking to do it probably with somebody that was younger and getting rolling and I thought — doesn’t have to be younger and getting rolling but that just would be different and a different challenge and a different thought. Again, it’s not in the front of my head. It seems to bother everybody else more than it does me.
As the conversation went on, Levesque heaped praise onto Bad Bunny for his recent stint in WWE. He said Bad Bunny was at the Performance Center everyday and his body took a beating but he grinded through it.
It was intense, his reaction. You know, he his ass kicked and going through it everyday and grinding and that is why he was so good.
** Sportscasting.com conducted an interview with Xavier Woods. The multi-time WWE Tag Team Champion was asked how much longer he plans on wrestling and here was his response:
Until I feel like I can no longer perform at a level that’s acceptable to the fans. So once that happens, then I’m done. So I’ll probably jump out right before that happens so I don’t have to accidentally find it. But at this point in my career, I’m so focused on making sure that other people are taken care of and that other people are getting the chance to shine, whether that’s in the ring or outside of it…
For me, I want to make sure that I’ve done everything in my power to get a couple of pages of the next chapter written before I get there because I don’t want to have to pick up the pen and scramble to write…
I want to make sure that I’ve got everything I can to make sure that my transition into post-wrestling life as smooth as possible and that the transition into wrestling life for everybody in wrestling right now is as smooth as possible. So that’s really the focus I have right now. So when we talk about my career, when I’m done wrestling, it’s kind of just like when the work is done, you know, it’s never really done. So I guess when I’m comfortable enough passing the work on to someone else. I’ll step away then.
** Mauro Ranallo will be on commentary for the Rich Swann/Kenny Omega double title match at IMPACT Wrestling’s Rebellion pay-per-view on 4/25. IMPACT Executive Vice President Scott D’Amore joined David Penzer’s ‘Sitting Ringside’ podcast and dove into Mauro’s forthcoming appearance for IMPACT:
I mean look, I think respectful to everybody else there, when you look at it, Mauro Ranallo is the greatest combat sports commentator of our generation because if you’re talking about boxing, he’s right there. You’re talking about MMA, he’s right there. You’re talking about pro wrestling, he’s right there. There is no other combat sports announcer that transcends three genres like that. So to have him come in and do this, especially after he stopped calling wrestling and it’s been a year-and-a-half, two years, whatever it’s been and for him to come back for this Sunday I think is huge and I’m — you talk about being a mark or a mark for this, David Swann and Kenny Omega and as I listened to that first one, I just got chills and goosebumps kind of just listening to Mauro call IMPACT Wrestling action and break down and dissect something for an IMPACT Wrestling event. So I think it’s huge. Mauro is a guy I’ve known for over two decades. He’s uber-passionate, you know he’s gonna come in super prepared, knowing every minute detail of everything around this and to get him, like honestly, it is one of those things when me and him first chatted, I didn’t even think it was really much of a possibility but as things kind of went, it was like hey, he’s excited about this and an excited, passionate Mauro Ranallo is the absolute best and there’s no question that he will provide a world class call to a historic event.
IMPACT has not held a show in front of fans in over a year. D’Amore wants to be back in front of live crowds but would rather be late to that proverbial party than early.
I mean certainly, we all want to. As much as we wanna stay safe and obviously that is the most important thing, we wanna get back out there in front of live audiences and that’s been something that has been an ongoing topic through the entire period here. I know we did our first adventuring in the empty studio world in April of last year so just about a year ago here and we were thinking at the time — that we might have people at Slammiversary, then it was like, ‘You know what? We might have people at Bound For Glory.’ It’s been a constant adjustment and one of the things that we feel strongly about, both IMPACT and company-wide at Anthem is let’s be extremely cautious with this so we’ll continue to monitor things, we’ll continue to adjust as we go, we’ll continue to look at opportunities to get back in front of people but we’d rather be a day late on that one than a day early, so we will continue to monitor and we’ll continue to think on — so I could say, ‘Hey, it’d be great if we were in front of a live audience for the Fall.’ But, I hope we would be but who knows? I have no ability to say when that is gonna happen. We’ll just monitor it and do our best in the meantime and then when we can safely and effectively get back out in front of live crowds, we’ll be there.
** The Asylum Wrestling Store hosted a virtual signing/meet-and-greet with Erick Redbeard. He shared his thoughts on Bray Wyatt’s ‘Fiend’ character and how it has been presented on WWE television. Redbeard feels that if the creative surrounding the character was completely left to Bray, things would be fine.
In wrestling, it’s very hard to be a serial killer because you can’t keep dying, you know? Because you gotta come back for the sequels. When they burnt him to a crisp, it was like, ‘Oh well, what are they gonna do next?’ Because you can’t burn him in front of a live audience anymore. No, but I’m a fan of it because when I was wearing all the different masks and I had all the different ones before The Bludgeon Brothers, I know I did Talking Smack where I was a character that had multiple personalities so I’m glad something like that is getting on TV because it’s cool, but it’s like, there’s no right or wrong way to do it and up there, you only have so much control of what you can be. So, if he can get enough creative control, it would work but it’s all up to booking too. If Goldberg can beat him in two seconds but Seth Rollins can not beat him and throw everything but the kitchen sink at him, it’s just — it doesn’t make for a good watch.
** WWE named Chris Legentil as their Senior Vice President & Head of Global Communications and Scott Zanghellini has been named Head of Revenue Strategy and Development.
** SLAM! Wrestling has an extensive feature up on their site with former NXT Tag Team Champion Viktor of The Ascension. The piece covered Vik’s beginnings in WWE and his first meeting with John Laurinaitis. As Vik described it, Laurinaitis ran down a list of reasons why he shouldn’t hire him.
They brought me in, and Ty sat me down and said to me, ‘Here’s your five minutes with Johnny. Tell him why you deserve a job.’ It was weird. I thanked them for having me and getting an opportunity, typical political talk. Johnny replied, ‘Why should I give you a job, kid? We turned you down once. I know you can work.’ I stated my case as to why I believed I should be hired by WWE. And then he spent a good five minutes telling me why I shouldn’t be. The whole situation suddenly was like a boxing match where you’re just getting peppered in the face over and over again, all it was really doing was pissing me off. All I could think of at that time was, man, I’m so sick of assholes like this. At that time, every interaction I’d had with Johnny Ace was not a good one. He was always very arrogant and full of himself, rightfully so — he was Vince’s right-hand man at the time. But I was just really sick of it at that point in time. As he kept telling me why I shouldn’t be hired, I just kind of started to say to myself, I’m so done with this. I’m going to go home and I’m probably never going to wrestle again. I’m just so sick of this. I kind of tuned out from the last minute of dumping on me when he said to me, ‘So after all this, what are you going to say that will make me hire you, kid?’
I replied, ‘Nothing. You don’t want to hire me, you just gave me a million reasons why you don’t want to and you shouldn’t. There’s nothing I’m going to do, say at this moment in time or a picture that I’m going to give you, or a piece of videotape that I’m going to give you, that’s going to do that. So, I don’t know. Thanks?’ And then we sat there in uncomfortable silence for what seemed like a very long time. just doing my best, not to be fuming. He finally looked back and forth between Ty and me and then said, ‘Give this kid a job. Welcome to WWE.’ I stood up, we shook hands, and he walked out. I was left standing there with Ty Bailey, just staring at each other. And he said. ‘Wow, you got lucky. You caught him on a good day.’ That was a good day? That was the moment I really couldn’t believe it. I was really at the point where I was going to go home and never wrestle again. And I was wondering what I was going to do with the rest of my life and then the rest of my life happened.
** The Tampa Sports Authority relayed to Wrestlenomics’ Brandon Thurston that WrestleMania 37 sold 40,806 tickets over two nights and brought in $6.2 million in revenue. On April 10th, there were 18,328 in attendance with 20,172 total tickets sold and on April 11th, there were 18,924 in attendance with 20,634 total tickets sold. WWE announced 25,675 in attendance on both nights.
** Chelsea Green applied to trademark her in-ring name.
** Ring of Honor will be airing a new women’s match on their YouTube channel every Wednesday at 7 PM EST.
** Sixth Tone’s Kenrick Davis published a feature story about the pro wrestling scene in China and the struggles that the scene has endured and continue to endure. He received comments from several promoters including OWE Vice President Michael Nee. The following is an excerpt from the article:
But by mid 2019, reality had caught up with OWE, Nee says. Neither the TV show nor the live events were profitable. Their fan base was scattered across the country and skewed toward lower-income groups. And they were burning through money at an alarming rate.
“There was no market. There was nothing,” says Nee. “Nobody knows about (pro wrestling), and nobody cares.”
With just 15 million yuan left in the bank, the group was forced to take drastic measures. They shut down most of their operations and moved to Cambodia, setting up a fight bar in the tourist city of Siem Reap. The shows proved lucrative, but the pandemic torpedoed the venture and forced OWE to return to Shanghai.
Since then, the troupe has performed a range of commercial gigs. On Thursday and Sunday nights, OWE now has a regular slot at a Shanghai nightclub called Punch Cage, and they recently started staging fights at a suburban night market.
For the athletes, who are among the best-trained wrestlers in China, it’s a frustrating experience, Nee admits. The downtown nightclub only has an MMA-style cage for performances, meaning the fighters can’t perform their most impressive moves. Often, they end up beating each other up outside the ring, surrounded by tables of clubbers.
“You think we want to be here? We don’t want to be here,” says Nee. ‘We’re just looking for a way to survive.”
For every Chinese wrestling promotion, these paid events are currently an unavoidable necessity. The gigs can take place in a huge variety of venues, from variety shows, to beer festivals and water parks.
** Mike Johnson of PWInsider caught up with NXT Champion Karrion Kross for an exclusive interview. Kross opened up about preparing himself mentally for how different things could be upon his return to NXT. He knew there was a chance he might not be in the same position or his employer might have checked out on him as a character.
Well, in my mind at the time it was pretty terrifying, because I feel like I’m a pretty grounded person and I understand how the general public looks at entertainment in general. We’re dehumanized. For me going through that, I was very concerned that people, maybe even my employers, might check out. It’s a business at the end of the day. And they really had no obligation professionally to allow me to have that run and do what I was doing. So in my mind, I was like, ‘I need to prepare for the worst-case scenario, worst-case situation.’ That I may come back and I may not be the same, the way my body responds to hitting the canvas or the way I’m moving. I had no idea what it’s going to be like. I may come back, everything could be rewritten, everything could be different and I just have to respect that. So I trained and prepared myself mentally, as I said, for anything to happen. And the absolute best outcome actually came out of it and I just needed to do the work, so to speak. I just, I did my absolute best at demonstrates, emotional composure, professional composure, and focus on how I can improve every single day with the small victories. So at the end of it all, I think it was one of the best things that ever happened to me in my life. Never mind professionally, I feel like a stronger person mentally, physically now than I did before. And that was my silver lining of the whole experience.
** KUSHIDA is issuing an open challenge for the NXT Cruiserweight Title on the 4/20 episode of NXT on USA Network. Last week, he won the title by answering an open challenge from former champion Santos Escobar.
** While speaking to Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN, Damian Priest discussed Bad Bunny’s dedication to training in the ring and being prepared for his spots on WWE programming on the lead up to WrestleMania 37. He brought up Randy Orton giving Bad Bunny props along with the likes of Norman Smiley, Drew Gulak, Brian Kendrick and Adam Pearce helping train the Grammy-award winning artist.
We started working out because I trained with him from the get-go. Every time he was in the ring, I was with him and others like Norman Smiley, Adam Pearce, Drew Gulak, Brian Kendrick. Other hands helped his training and getting him ready. But I was there the entire way—every single time. We got in the ring before the Royal Rumble. I worked with him to get that crossbody. We all made sure that he was ready for every little step. He put in work at the PC. He also put in work before Raw. Sometimes we’d have to go to Tampa and put in work before Smackdown. We didn’t have to be there, but he wanted to put in extra time. He needed extra time. So he’d say, ‘Hey, is there any way we can get in the ring?’ We had extra rings at the time we were at Tropicana Field. He wanted to get some ring time there. So let’s go for two hours, let’s drive two hours to spend two hours and then drive two hours back.
It was all worth it. He had no issue putting in the work. I knew he would surprise a lot of people because though again like you said, nobody expected it. Nobody knew. You hear that he’s training. Anybody can train. That doesn’t mean you’re going to be any good. It doesn’t mean you’re taking it to the fullest seriously. There’s been other celebrities, and they train, but they didn’t train to the level he did mentally. He took this very prideful. He didn’t want to embarrass himself, the company, his fans, our fans, me, and anybody else in the ring because the first thing he was worried about was earning respect. He didn’t want to disrespect anybody. He wanted to make sure that people didn’t like him just because he was a celebrity here. He wanted to earn the respect of the boys and girls first and then go from there. I remember the Friday before Mania, Randy Orton going up to him and saying, ‘Hey, man, I want to say thank you because nobody, I’ve never seen anybody treat this business the way you have. So thank you for doing that and being so respectful to our stuff’. Bad Bunny is a humble dude. He’s quiet and shy. He was just like, ‘No, no, my pleasure. Thank you for accepting me’. That’s who he is. I was so happy that he got to deliver the way he did, shock everyone because he earned it. He really did earn that opportunity and that moment.
** U.K. outlet ‘Metro’ chatted with Rhea Ripley. She reflected on the moment that she shared with Raquel Gonzalez and Bianca Belair on NXT as all three champions held their titles above their heads in unison. She said it was Paul “Triple H” Levesque’s idea to bring them together in that manner.
I’m very thankful for Triple H for thinking of that idea to bring us out on NXT. It was just so special to be able to step out there and have all of us hold up our championships and show off that our hard work has gone towards something. And to have that exciting moment together and with the NXT crowd that have seen us along the journey – it was very, very special, and it’s something that I’m gonna hold in my heart for a long, long time.
Elsewhere during the conversation, Ripley spoke highly of NXT coach Scotty 2 Hotty for how helpful he has been to her throughout her time in WWE.
I think one of the main ones in NXT that helped not only me but Raquel as well is Scotty 2 Hotty. He had always been there for us through everything. We went through a real hard point together in NXT where Raquel and I were the only two females in Scotty’s class. We were going through it, we were really trying to work hard and do as best as we could, but for some reason it just wasn’t happening. So, Scotty was there to help us through that rough time and he still helps us today.
** 2021 WWE Hall Of Fame inductee Rob Van Dam joined Ryan Satin’s ‘Out of Character’ podcast. Van Dam stated that he thought there was a good chance he would be going into the Hall Of Fame at some point due to the love he receives from those in wrestling.
I thought that it might and I also thought that there’s a pretty good chance that it might not happen. I’m not very committing to assumptions and I could see it happening maybe either way, you know? I thought that maybe eventually, but I figured there was probably a decent chance. I mean I know that I’ve had an impact on the business. I know that I’m appreciated because I get a lot of love everywhere I go so I thought there was a really good chance but to be honest, I’m not even sure what all the criteria is to qualify. I don’t really know how all those decisions are made. I’m just — I’m glad for me and for all the fans. I feel like them being behind me and wanting to see this happen is a way for them as well.
At ECW’s One Night Stand show in 2005, Van Dam spoke to the audience in attendance about how he doesn’t have a script writer for this show among other hints that he was being held back in WWE. Van Dam admitted that he was frustrated during that period of his run in WWE and that microphone time was his way of venting.
I was . That venting was a complete shoot about how I felt at the time. Now, looking back at the big picture, you know, I look at it a little different because the more I’m alive, the more I learn about life and I still appreciate the perspective I came from and everything and that was integrity and that was what the fans enjoyed. But, I can look at the overall business a little bit with a bigger picture now because when I’m in that mindset, so competitive, I’m thinking, you know, ‘This position should be mine, I should be the guy. Shouldn’t bump me off a match for Coors Miller Lite girls’ or something like that. Just all that stuff in my mind was like, ‘Hey, if they wanna get their investment out of me, then why aren’t they doing this with me and why are those –’ a lot of those frustrations are — I guess it’s just part of the job but looking at it where I’m at now and knowing how everything turned out and how I probably wasted time on negative energy thoughts and being stubborn in certain areas, you know, when I look at it overall now. I’m glad that everything had its place. I’m glad that everybody, whether I looked up to them or thought that they were stealing some of my TV time or whatever, I looked at everybody and everything all different now.
** Stephanie Chase uploaded a new interview with Chris Jericho to her YouTube channel. Jericho discussed working with Mike Tyson and how Tyson is not a person that can be heavily scripted while involved in pro wrestling. Jericho shared that back in May (2020), he was not aware that Tyson would be coming to the ring with an entourage for the confrontation with The Inner Circle.
Absolutely . I mean, once again, Mike Tyson means viewers, Mike Tyson means box office and you know, he looks great, he looks the part, he looks better now than he did ten years ago so you can — he’s very believable, he’s very Mike Tyson. Like last week I told him, ‘Nobody is better at being Mike Tyson than you are so just be Mike.’ You can’t really have a lot of plans and tell him, ‘You do this, this and this.’ You can kind of say, ‘Here’s the idea’ and then he’s gonna go do whatever he feels and even back in May when he came to the ring to kind of interrupt The Inner Circle and that led to that big pull apart, that big fight, I had no idea he was gonna come to the ring with an entourage. I didn’t know there was gonna be six guys. There was guys in the ring, I’m like, ‘Who the hell is this guy?’ And it’s just like Mike felt like bringing them to the ring and that’s what he did and it’s like, ‘Alright, well then let’s deal with it’ so like I said, with a guy like him, that’s one of the reasons we love having him is he’s very unpredictable, he’s very Mike Tyson and that’s exactly what you expect and what you want when you work with him.
** AJ Mendez (AJ Lee) will be co-writing the untitled ’47 Ronin’ sequel for Universal 1440 Entertainment alongside Aimee Garcia, per Deadline.com.
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated spoke with Karrion Kross. He further reflected on the separated shoulder injury that he suffered at NXT TakeOver: XXX. Kross discussed how helpful Scarlett was throughout the recovery process.
While WWE medical was treating me the night I got hurt, she was already researching a recovery course I could start immediately the night it happened. She drove me to pick up a very specific machine from the Performance Center that helped ice the injury, and she helped me in the initial stages of rehab later that very night.
She asked me if I needed to go to the hospital and I said, ‘No, I need to go to Wendy’s and grab a Baconator.’ She’s the love of my life. A lot of people don’t know we’re a couple in real life, but we are. She helped me through this entire process, psychologically and physically. She helped me with everything. People love to be invincible on television, but no one really is. I was periodically concerned I wouldn’t come back in the same shape or how my body would respond to hitting the canvas. She was there for me every step of the way, telling me what I needed to hear and not what I wanted to hear.
Kross regained the NXT Championship at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver night two. He felt he couldn’t have selected a better person to share the ring with than Finn Balor.
I could not have asked for a better person to work with in that match. Finn is one of the best of all time to ever step in the ring.
** Bebe Rexha performed ‘America The Beautiful’ on night one of WrestleMania 37. She spoke with ET Canada about her experience at WrestleMania and getting to interact with fellow artist, Bad Bunny.
It was really cool being there because I grew up watching WrestleMania, watching wrestling, WWE, so it was really cool to be a part of that and then I got to watch Bad Bunny and he killed it because he had a match and got to meet him backstage. He was playing Dominoes; it was really cute. We took a picture together and he was so awesome and I just had so much fun.
She talked about the backstage environment at the show and telling one person backstage that she’d be interested in learning how to wrestle.
It was crazy. Imagine like backstage, just a whole bunch of naked wrestlers, like big wrestlers with baby oil on their bodies just running around. It was hilarious. When I talked to the guy, one of the guys there, I was like, ‘I wanna learn how to wrestle.’ He’s like, ‘We’re so down.’ That’d be so cool.
** Justin Dhillon of The Wrestling Classic uploaded a clip to his YouTube channel from an interview he did with the late Shad Gaspard.
** Eddie Kingston joined Highspots on their Virtual Gimmick Table show and he confirmed that his AEW Full Gear (2020) attire was a tribute to the late AJPW Triple Crown Heavyweight Champion Mitsuharu Misawa.
It was for my match against Mox, main event, Full Gear and the reason I got the colors is because they are colors of Misawa who wrestled for All Japan Pro Wrestling who was like the ace of aces and was a huge inspiration to me and that’s why I wore these colors that day. Usually I wear black and yellow but because of Misawa, I decided to get the green and silver.
** Joey Janela versus Lee Moriarty is headlining GCW’s ‘Ashes to Ashes’ show on May 1st.
** NJPW Road to Wrestling Dontaku Results (4/20/21) Korakuen Hall
– Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki def. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) & Tomoaki Honma
– Jado & Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) def. DOUKI, Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi
– Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano def. Gedo & EVIL
– The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Aaron Henare, Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & SANADA)
– NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships: Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (c) def. Taiji Ishimori, KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi
** A press conference was held with the cast of F9. Collider has highlights up of the presser that included the likes of John Cena and Vin Diesel. Diesel spoke highly of Cena and stated that he felt Cena was sent to the Fast & Furious franchise by Paul Walker who passed away in 2013.
And to that end, I will just add that years before we actually started casting, Justin and I were playing with this concept. Justin and I both have brothers. All of us have brothers. That interesting dynamic of what your brotherly love is and how complex it can be, at times, makes for great storytelling. But I remember, once we started getting closer to production, Justin and I would talk about how harrowing it would be to actually have to cast a new Toretto, for the brother of Dom Toretto. There are so many different directions that you can go. And I remember John Cena coming into this Dom shrine that I had, where I would go meditate and train and start getting into that Dom state of mind. John came in and call this crazy, but I remember feeling as though Pablo – Paul Walker – had sent him in. I talked to Justin that night and said, ‘My gut and my heart feels like this was meant to be.’
** Bianca Belair documented her WrestleMania 37 gear creation process:
** NXT’s A.J. Francis made the media rounds to promote WWE’s Most Wanted Treasure series that he’s co-hosting on A&E. AJ told WhatCulture the story of his first day being at the Performance Center in Orlando. He got to train with The Undertaker and the first guest he shot the A&E show with was The Undertaker.
Who says that I didn’t I marked out any time I met any one of them. To be honest with you, one of the coolest moments of my life… so, here’s a little backstory. My first training at the WWE Performance Center just happened to be the day they were in there filming for The Undertaker’s Last Ride documentary. It just worked out that way. My first day in the ring, I trained with The Undertaker. I had already been trained and had matches on the indies, but in WWE, my first day, I’m with The Undertaker. I’m thinking that it can only go down from here. Fast forward to shooting the show, the first person I shot with on the show was The Undertaker. We pull up to where we’re going to be working that day. He says, ‘Hey, AJ, what’s up?’ In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Oh my god, Undertaker knew who I was. I can’t believe it.’
** IndyStar caught up Charly Arnolt, the former Charly Caruso.
** WWE has been nominated for a Webby Award in the category of ‘Events & Livestreams (Social Content Series & Campaigns)’ for WrestleMania 37.
** Arn Anderson and Conrad Thompson covered the 2016 WWE Payback pay-per-view for the latest installment of the ARN podcast.
** Xavier Woods plays Mortal Kombat 11:
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.