POST NEWS UPDATE: Ho Ho Lun discusses AEW Dark appearance, GCW, if he'd move to U.S. full-time

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/01/06/post-news-update-ho-ho-lun-discusses-aew-dark-appearance-gcw-if-hed-move-to-u-s-full-time/

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.

** On the 1/4 AEW Dark program, Ho Ho Lun made his AEW debut and took on Sammy Guevara. Lun was interviewed by the South China Morning Post and shared that he received the invitation in mid-December.

That’s gonna be fun. I received this invitation two weeks ago. This AEW Dark TV show, they always invite a lot of people from the independent scene to come in there to perform, to fight with some of their contracted talent. So I’m lucky enough to get invited for this one, and they put me in a match with this former champion Sammy Guevara.

Lun admitted that he did not think the U.S. fans would remember him, seeing as how he hadn’t wrestled in the U.S. since 2017.

That was five years ago and I’ve been wrestling in Japan a lot. I’ve spent a lot of time in the Philippines, in China, and Singapore as well. So I would say there have been some changes. But I have done a few matches here already since I came here in November. It was a surprise to me. I thought the fans here are gonna forget me already, and don’t know who I am. But most of the time I come out, there’s a few people still knowing who I am and shouting the Ho Ho name. It’s such a surprise to me to be honest. The fans here are so funny. After the show, the kids like my T-shirts a lot. They get them signed, shake hands and take photos. There’s a lot of interactions after the show with the fans.

He competed on GCW’s ‘Til Infinity’ show on 12/31. Lun has not made any decisions concerning a full-time move to the U.S., but he touched on how much he enjoyed the environment of GCW and what he initially assumed about the promotion.

I did not make any decision yet to or talk to anybody . Although some videos you see online will be a little bit violent, a lot of people covered with blood, that’s only part of their thing. Before I wrestled for GCW, that was my impression as well. I thought, ‘Oh, do I have to do something like that? Is somebody gonna come cut my head and hit me with chairs?’ Things like that. But in a wrestling show that consists of 8 to 10 matches, usually those kind of things happen in only 1 or 2 matches. The other matches are very athletic. The production team know what they’re doing. Things are on time, they have a plan weeks ahead. So everything was fine and it’s done professionally.

** FOX 25 welcomed WWE’s Shotzi onto their show to promote a WWE event in Oklahoma in February. Shotzi was asked why she doesn’t ride to the ring in her tank anymore and here was her response:

So, I put the tank in the warehouse because I’ve decided that, you know what? I don’t need the tank anymore. I am a tank myself and I can do just as much destruction without it.

Shotzi has been competing on WWE’s main roster since the summer of 2021. She shared how that transition from NXT to SmackDown has been for her.

Oh, it has been a wild journey because when I started on SmackDown, we were just getting back to traveling and getting to wrestle in front of crowds again so I got to experience it all fresh. New, wild journey.

One talent that Shotzi is hoping to work with is Asuka. She also wants to get back in the ring with Sasha Banks, who she last went one-on-one with in November.

You know, I’m hoping that Asuka makes a comeback and I can finally get my hands on her. I’m a big fan of Asuka but my biggest problem lately has been Sasha Banks and I don’t think my feud with her is done and I really want to get back in the ring with her.

** Scott Garland a.k.a. Scotty 2 Hotty was invited onto Cultaholic’s ‘Desert Island Graps’ show. Garland looked back on being the lead producer for NXT road shows and how much fun he had during those times. He also discussed how NXT would often steal the weekend of WWE events when a TakeOver happened.

We , yeah, and it just fits — we started to lose that somewhere along the way and I don’t know — Hunter was definitely a big part of that, you know? And he always said, ‘If we could just bottle this, we would make millions on it, what we have here. Bottle this feeling’ and he was always right, you know? And somewhere along the line, it all just went away. For me anyways, you know?

As Garland was figuring out what could be on the horizon for him post-WWE, he reached out to Matt Cardona for some insight into how the independent scene was doing. He later returned to the topic of NXT and gave his take on the company primarily aiming for young talents over experienced veterans.

A lot of things played into it though , I was seeing guys like Matt Cardona out there doing independent shows and looking like he was having the time of his life and I reached out to him and he was one of the people I reached out to. I said, ‘Dude, what do you think I could make?’ You know? ‘Is it as good as it looks?’ And he goes, ‘Dude, I’m having the best year of my life. I’m having the most fun I’ve ever had,’ you know? And, ‘This is what these guys are making and this is what I think you could make’ and so that, it all just — it was kind of a perfect storm of, you know, it felt like — so this is the funny thing: I felt like in 2007 when I left, I went and did a Ring of Honor show and I felt like me going out at that point to a Ring of Honor show, I was going to be the enemy, you know? Because I’m a WWE guy coming into Ring of Honor. Now I feel like it’s so much that the time is so far removed, that now it’s just kind of a cool nostalgic feel as I come back, you know? And I don’t just wanna live off of nostalgia and I’ve struggled with this over the last month, like how do I present who I am? Or do I try to bite on what I did in the past? Do I try to evolve to some degree and present me as I would be 20 years later? You know, I don’t wanna — okay, yeah, I could pull off the 2000 look probably, but I don’t wanna be that guy just hanging onto that so I think I’m better off to go the route of, ‘Let’s… what do you look like 20 years later? How do you work?’ And I’m cool with — it’s funny in wrestling and I guess it’s in entertainment in general but really at WWE right now is they’re on that young kick, you know? A point you keep hearing is that, ‘We’re not hiring anybody over 25 unless they’re special, they’ve got some specialness to them’ so they’re really on this young kick. What’s wrong with acknowledging, ‘Hey, I’m 48 years old. I’ve put 32 years into this thing’ and playing that part into — rolling that all into the character, you know? Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, they’re all pretty cool dudes and they’re older than I am and they still fit into a story somewhere, you know?

He talked about his first exit from WWE in May 2007. The year prior, Garland signed a three-year extension and said signing that extension was one of his biggest regrets because he felt he was done. He was cut on the same day that his doctor cleared him to return from injury.

No, not surprised at all . I actually — I had signed a three-year contract the year before I was released so 2006 it must have been. I signed a three-year contract and I sat on that contract for about a month before I signed it. I was ready to be done man and that was one of my biggest regrets was signing that last contract because I wanted to walk away on my own and I didn’t and in 2007, I had a back injury and the day that I got cleared by the doctor to come back to work at WWE, they called me and released me, said the creative had nothing for me. ‘Okay.’

** Going into the Hard To Kill pay-per-view, Moose is the reigning IMPACT World Champion. He opted to re-sign with IMPACT Wrestling in 2021 and Scott D’Amore, IMPACT Executive Vice President, appeared on Busted Open Radio and spoke about Moose choosing to stay with IMPACT.

Yeah, the world championship match coming up this Saturday is a great example of what IMPACT Wrestling is. You’ve got Moose who is pretty IMPACT through and through and I mean heck, if you ask Moose, I mean he was sent up here very, very early on in his wrestling training by a guy by the name of Frank Trigg who had worked with the UFC Hall Of Famer and he had sent Moose up here to train and Moose is a world-class athlete, one of the best I’ve ever worked with, someone who’s a close friend and one of the most annoying people in the world, causes me as much grief as anybody but he’s a world-class athlete who like you said Tommy , chose, ‘This is where I wanna be. I’ve got all these other options out there. This is my home.’ To me, it’s like he’s — although his attitude is a little gruff sometimes and a little different, he almost is like a more modern-day Eddie Edwards in the fact that Moose, everywhere he goes, he wants to fly the IMPACT Wrestling flag and this is where he’s grown, this is where he’s developed and this is where he became a world champion and you know, that wouldn’t have happened if he would’ve decided to go to one of the other places that were out there vying for him.

On night one of NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 16, it was announced that New Japan programming is returning to AXS TV and will be airing after IMPACT’s weekly show. D’Amore is glad to have New Japan back on AXS and discussed the potential growth of their already-existing relationship.

A deal that’s been pretty exciting for us for a while and it finally got announced just recently is the return of New Japan Pro-Wrestling to AXS TV. It’s been a few years since they’ve been on television over here, since they had previously left AXS TV and it’s been monumental to get AXS TV as the U.S. broadcaster for New Japan Pro-Wrestling. We’ve seen throughout this year how well IMPACT Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling have been able to collaborate. We’ve seen all the people with Jay White and FinJuice and El Phantasmo and so many people coming over to IMPACT. We’ve also seen, even despite the border restrictions, we’ve seen The Good Brothers, we’ve seen Chris Bey, we’ve seen Josh Alexander, we’ve seen Moose, we’ve seen all these people crossover and go to New Japan, just in the U.S. right now because of the immigration restrictions in Japan but think about that. What happens to that relationship in a more open-bordered world? We could see Moose defending the IMPACT Worlds Championship at Wrestle Kingdom and after that match that he went out there and had with Juice , who wouldn’t wanna see matches like that around the world? So it’s an exciting time and it’s great to see that all these different organizations are coming together. I think it’s great for the talent, I think it’s great for the fans and frankly I think we’re seeing that it’s good for business for the companies that are involved as well.

** The latest guest on Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast was Thunder Rosa. Rosa is currently involved in a program with Mercedes Martinez on AEW TV. Rosa shared her thoughts about Mercedes joining the AEW roster and what she adds to the women’s division.

My head still hurts . I think we need more veterans that are able to guide all the young, new talent that we still have. The learning curve is so big in our division because we have a lot of people that have been in our business less than ten years and you like it or not, there’s a lot of stuff that we all still need to learn and she is a book of knowledge and every time I have stepped in the ring with her because we’ve been having a lot of matches on the independent scene. But they get better and better and better and better so, what you guys are about to see in the next couple of months is gonna be fire because you have somebody that is a super freaking good veteran that knows what she’s doing and then you’re seeing fiery thunder, baby Rosa right now. It’s gonna be money inside and outside of the ring and if you guys go on YouTube and see our matches that we have had in the last couple of months, you gotta know what I’m talking about because we both can go. I just hope that the world is ready to see what’s next.

Rosa reflected on the 60-minute time limit draw between Bryan Danielson and AEW World Champion Hangman Adam Page. She feels that she’s ready to go 60 minutes with one of the talents in AEW’s women’s division.

I mean I saw — because last time when they had this 60-minute match, Cowboy , ‘Mark, I’m ready for this. I am ready for this’ and I know a couple of my peers are ready to have a 60-minute match.

In March of 2021, Thunder Rosa and Britt Baker had their Unsanctioned Lights Out match. Coming out of the match, Rosa felt that most of the focus was on Britt. To Rosa, it felt like her contributions to the match weren’t as celebrated.

I bled too and I knew that for her, it was gonna be a defining moment in her career, this match specifically. For me, it was the match that I needed for people to understand who Thunder Rosa is and I’m just not talking about as a worker, but I’m just talking about as in general, like what I’m able to do. I can do technical matches, I can do high-flying matches, I can wrestle in a mask, I can speak Spanish, I can speak English. I can do Hardcore matches. I’m not afraid of anything. I can do MMA, I can do everything. But I feel like the drift went with her and it didn’t go with me.

When asked why she thinks most of the attention shifted to Britt, Rosa believes it could have been due to her not being signed to AEW at the time or Britt doing a better job on social media after the match.

I mean it could have been for allowing me to be part of this storyline because he could’ve picked anybody that was signed at the moment in AEW.

Thunder Rosa is also behind the Mission Pro Wrestling promotion. She shared that her initial plan was to make current NXT talent Zoey Stark the MPW Champion. Stark lost to La Rosa Negra in the finals and signed with WWE weeks later.

We had a bunch of girls from different parts of the country that came and helped us out. One of the main ones that I wanted to bring was – she’s already signed, Theresa Serrano was her name. What’s her name in the WWE? Zoey , yes, her. People will not give her the moment of her life and she’s so talented and I was like, ‘I want you to come over’ because my idea was to make her my champion.

** While speaking to PWInsider, Bron Breakker said that he hopes to appear in the 2022 men’s Royal Rumble match.

Oh yeah. It’d be awesome. That’d be another dream come true. I mean everybody who’s in WWE dream to be in the Royal Rumble. And I hope it happens. It’d be awesome.

** Former WWE employee Marie Shadows was a guest on the Front Row Material podcast. Marie worked with the company in their WWE Network department. She spoke about why she was let go and shared that it stems from her mishandling three days’ worth of content logs. Marie was hoping to transition to the creative writing team before her exit.

Come to find out that WWE was not having it, or I should say that department was not having it, to move me or even pitch the idea of sending me to a different department if they felt so strongly that I messed up on logs, that would have been a thing, right? You would think that you have an employee here who’s passionate, but you don’t wanna move them somewhere else where their talents can shine? And not to get too ahead, but that’s what they gave me as the answer for why they were letting me go. I usually say ‘budget cuts’ just to be like on a professional level but mainly it was because they said I messed up on three days’ worth of logs and I was like, ‘What?’ And they’re giving me crocodile tears and HR being upset with me and I’m like, ‘Lady, I don’t know you, I never met you. I don’t know why you’re upset with me.’ But you know, that happened and it happened during lunch time which is f*cked up. Like why would it happen during lunch time? I didn’t get to eat yet and stuff so, they decided to let me go on apparently me messing up on three days’ worth of logs when people had been messing up the logs since like day one. You know, and also, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t be an asset because another lady in HR actually called me after hours to help her understand one of the events that was happening that was all about the women’s evolution so I was there giving her tips, telling her the run-down of like everything that was happening and stuff. So like, I value her, she was awesome. She needed my help and I gave my help but then when it came time to let me go, there was a weird freaking dynamic of crocodile tears from the main boss and then the other HR lady being upset with me and I’m like, ‘Okay, maybe this is not gonna work out. I’m not gonna get the chance to go and you know, live my dream as a writer,’ which I really do have my degree in writing and also a publishing certificate too so it’s like, you know, I could have helped out. We could have been getting awesome stories onto WWE programming but, you know, that’s how the chips fall sometimes in WWE where, you know, they just see you as a person, or maybe not. Maybe a number. But yeah, and by the way, I got over them within like a day-and-a-half because I went to training after I got let go.

** The newly crowned NXT Champion Bron Breakker was interviewed by Steven Muehlhausen of DAZN. Breakker feels that with his recent title win, he has moved out of his father and uncle’s respective shadows.

Yeah, I would like to say that I’m on my own way. I do some things that are similar to them. He’s my dad. Things are gonna be similar. He’s my dad (laughs). They’re my family. It’s more of me paying tribute to them and paying my respects because they laid the groundwork for me. They paved the way, and it’s my job to pay my respects as a young guy and as my dad’s son to make him proud and to make my uncle proud and to be respectful and carry on what they’ve laid for me and make my own way.

He went on to speak about how much he enjoys collaborating with Shawn Michaels and how helpful Michaels has been.

Shawn has been unbelievable. He’s freaking awesome. I can’t say enough good things about him and the leadership that he’s imposed and the role that he stepped into. He’s fantastic. I love showing up to work every day. I get to freaking work for Shawn Michaels. It’s freaking nuts (laughs).

** Game Changer Wrestling commentator Kevin Gill co-hosted Wrestling Observer Live and reflected on his time working for the company that would ultimately become Rockstar Games. He recalled the company signing a deal with Paul Heyman to do an ECW video game.

This was at the same time that ECW reignited my passion for wrestling so I was escaping from hardcore music by going to ECW shows, working on the label during the week and that just an amazing crossover. That led to me getting a — my work in branding and marketing and all that led me to an opportunity with a start-up company called — it didn’t even have a name yet but it went on to be known as Rockstar Games. So I was one of the first handful of people to work there and I’m grateful for those opportunities. From there, I worked on a lot of great games there and had incredible opportunities. From there, I went to Eidos Interactive. I worked on games like Tomb Raider, Backyard Wrestling, Hitman. I got to create the Backyard Wrestling series, I got to do the soundtracks for it, tying all the other stuff together so, I feel very blessed to have the track record that I have and to have worked on hundreds of video games and put out all these records and there was even a time with Rockstar Games where we had a signed contract from Paul Heyman to do the ECW video game and who knows how that could have changed everything but in the end, it wasn’t meant to be but, I’ve gotten to meet my heroes and work with them, most of them are awesome and I really wouldn’t change a thing.

** WrestleZone spoke to Matt Cardona for an interview. He told the site there is no one in wrestling who has been counted out more than he has. Cardona went on to describe himself as the “cockroach” of the wrestling business, adding that he cannot be taken out.

I have no problem working hard. I have no problem busting my ass. I’m not gonna sit here and say that I’m the hardest worker in professional wrestling. But I dare you to find someone who works harder than me. And you can quote that, you can clickbait that all you want baby, because I mean that 100%. I will work my f-cking ass off and it’s not always gonna be a success. Look, ten years ago, I had the YouTube show, and it was a great year. A lot of sh-t went down these ten years. Highs and lows, baby — winning the IC title at WrestleMania, getting pushed off the stage in a wheelchair and everything in between, baby. Nobody in this business and I mean this as well, nobody in this business, in the history of this business, has been counted out more times, whether it be by management, the boys in the back, the fans, no one’s been counted out more times and come back more times than me. I’m the cockroach of this wrestling business, you cannot get rid of me, you cannot kill me, go steal a line from Matt Hardy, I will not die, and I won’t. I’m gonna keep trying, I’m gonna keep fighting. Ten years later, I thought 2011 was the best year of my career, ten years later, it’s 2021. That’s the best year of my career, without WWE, without AEW.

** Sports Illustrated shared another quote from their chat with Kazuchika Okada. He talked about how difficult it is to get into the U.S. from Japan. He looked back on his time with NJPW STRONG in San Jose, California and got the impression that there are a lot of great wrestlers in the States. Okada expects those talents to keep putting their best foot forward on STRONG so people demand to see them versus him in North America.

Right now, with COVID the way that it is, it is difficult to get into the U.S., and returning to Japan means quarantine as well, so I do not have a definite plan right now. Having said that, though, there are great wrestlers in the U.S. right now. I definitely got that impression when I was in San Jose. I expect those guys to keep tearing it up to the point that the fans demand they face Kazuchika Okada.

** Episode #51 of the MCW Cast featured independent talent Megan Bayne. Megan is interested in intergender wrestling and has been approached by promoters about it. She’s been hesitant about venturing into it and said that her trainers, Rip Rogers and Damian Adams are not against intergender wrestling, but explained to her that it can be easy for the match to not resonate with a crowd or for it to go left.

Bayne: To date, I haven’t done any intergender or anything wrestling. I would really like to, you know, dabble. They’ve asked. I’ve just, I don’t know, kind of avoided but I don’t know. I feel like — I personally feel like — okay, through middle school and high school, I was an amateur wrestler and so I was like a real-life intergender wrestler because there was never a girl on the other team that was my weight class, you know what I mean? I was always tall so the lightest I ever was-was like 138 or the 145 range which was my freshman year. They really didn’t do such specific weight classes in middle school but my freshman year, I was like, I think I was 138 and if there was a girl on the other team, she would be like a 106 or a 113 and that was never me. I weighed that when I was like ten. So it was always against a guy. I’m not saying, you know, I won them all but I definitely didn’t lose them all either so, going forward, I would like to bring that into my pro wrestling career.

I’ve just been hesitant because like, you know, not that my coaches and stuff have been against it, but they’re just not the biggest fans because it is so easy for it to, you know, not really resonate or to go bad but, I don’t know. Going forward, it’s like I’ve wrestled a lot of different girls and stuff. I want to continue that but I haven’t really, really touched the scene with like any of the guys and there’s a lot of talented men out there that I would like to get in there with.

MCW promoter Dan McDevitt shared during the conversation that he planned on using Max The Impaler more but she moved away from Maryland following her run with Ring of Honor.

McDevitt: Max too. She’s a standout too with that gimmick. It definitely, you know, she jumps out.

** Cody Rhodes spoke to PWInsider to promote AEW Dynamite’s premiere show on TBS. He was asked about Rosario Dawson’s appearance on Dynamite during which she jumped on the back of Malakai Black. Cody said her appearance was a secret between him and Tony Khan and detailed how it came to be.

That was one of those Khan/Cody secrets, that was one of those that you tell too many people and they might get too involved. You’ve just got to let it happen. In true wrestler fashion, she hiked from the airport, basically got out there with only a few minutes spare, and the next thing you know, she’s jumping on the incredibly dangerous and large and dynamic Malakai Black’s back. That’s why I told her the next day, I said, ‘If there was ever somebody who fit the category of a wrestler, it’s you, for just how you made the show and helped us out.’ I, think the judges, all of us have a respect for what we do, and whenever asked to do anything when it comes to Gin or T-Pain or Rosario or Bert, I’m there for it. I’ve seen now with having asked them to come be part of my world, they’ve been there for me. And I don’t know if you find that on other shows, that type of genuine chemistry between everybody. But again, that’s one of the things I like, we do have real synergy between the two series, and to get the Jedi, I mean, to get Ahsoka Tano on-screen in a Nightmare Family jacket, one that she had-had since the first season in Go-Big Show. She might be the best member of the Nightmare Family that we’re not talking about. She might be the best, very lucky.

** Seiji Sakaguchi, who was once a mainstay for New Japan Pro-Wrestling, was interviewed by Tokyo Sports. Sakaguchi talked about Antonio Inoki’s cameo appearance at Wrestle Kingdom 16 and he hopes to see Inoki standing in a New Japan ring again one day.

I really want Inoki to get in the ring with New Japan one more time. I’m sure he has a lot of feelings for , and there were guys who were like, ‘Fuck you!’ (laughs). (laughs) But now we all want to get together and do it again.

Inoki’s health struggles have been documented and when those struggles were revealed to the public, Sakaguchi contacted Inoki’s office and questioned why that information and pictures of Inoki not being at 100 percent were being shared.

When I first saw the video , I was really moved to tears. I complained to Inoki’s office. I complained to the people at Inoki’s office, saying, ‘Why are they releasing those pictures?’ I’ve known him for 55 years, and I’ve seen his way of life and his greatness from his side. I couldn’t imitate his way of life, but he had an indomitable spirit, and I want him to get well. Isn’t it possible for a miracle to happen? I believe in his resurrection.

** Tokyo Sports caught up with new IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada. Okada shared that he was aware of NOAH’s Kaito Kiyamiya’s challenge to him in May 2020. Okada could not respond due to New Japan’s policy at the time.

** Moose guest appeared on GAW TV with Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon and SoCal Val:

** Pro Wrestling NOAH ‘N Innovation U-Cup’ Results (1/6/22)
– Ikuto Hidaka & Super Crazy def. Kai Fujimura & Yasutaka Yano
U-Cup Tournament Match: Eita & NOSAWA Rongai
U-Cup Tournament Match: Stinger (HAYATA & Yoshinari Ogawa)
U-Cup Tournament Match: Kongo (Aleja & Tadasuke)
U-Cup Tournament Match: Stinger (Seiki Yoshioka & Yuya Susumu)
– Kaito Kiyomiya def. Daiki Inaba (12:52)
GHC Junior Heavyweight Championship #1 Contendership U-Cup Rumble: Daisuke Harada def. Aleja and Atsushi Kotoge and Eita and Hajime Ohara and Hao and Junta Miyawaki and Kotaro Suzuki and Nio and NOSAWA Rongai and Seiki Yoshioka and Tadasuke and YO-HEY and Yoshinari Ogawa and Yuya Susumu

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.

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