POST NEWS UPDATE: James Mitchell reflects on pairing with Abyss in TNA/IMPACT, states that Abyss 'made' him

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/12/17/post-news-update-james-mitchell-reflects-on-pairing-with-abyss-in-tna-impact-states-that-abyss-made-him/

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.

** In 2005, Father James Mitchell aligned himself with Abyss in TNA Wrestling. Mitchell reflected on that period of his career as he was doing a virtual signing with Captain’s Corner. Mitchell pitched to work with Abyss. He spoke highly of him as a person and is glad he has a job with WWE. Mitchell stated that Abyss ‘made him’ and as he was talking, he brought up a spot from Bound For Glory 2005 involving Abyss and Jeff Hardy. He thought both talents were ‘dead’ after Hardy gave Abyss a Swanton Bomb off a platform.

Clearly one of the best runs I ever had [was with Abyss]. Probably overall. I mean look, when I was on WCW, I was seen by more people but I was in a less important spot, you know what I mean? And TNA with Abyss, that was the perfect combination of manager and monster. Even when we were at the backburner, we were on the top of the mid-card, you know? When we weren’t figured in heavily. He’s an amazing guy. I used to tell him he gave way too much of himself, he’s left pieces of his body all over the f*cking world. But he’s very passionate about the business. It was an honor. He was one of the only wrestlers, other than [Chris] Kanyon, that I specifically lobbied to manage because when I first saw him, I said, ‘Man, I could do something with this guy’ and not to disparage anybody he worked with before, but, he had not been on that kind of platform before, Spike TV and I actually made the pitch, ‘Man, you need to put me with this guy’ and it might have taken nine, ten months but, he is a great friend, a very hard, hard, hardworking guy, loves the business and I’m glad to know that he’s cashed in his chips and he’s got a grown up job in WWE. I’m assuming the kind with insurance and benefits and 401k, dental vision, all that stuff… He deserves it man… There’s the famous clip of Jeff Hardy doing the Swanton Bomb or whatever it’s called, where there was the whole stage and he climbed on top of the set. Then he had to leap out, I don’t know, the length of this hotel room, to then fall all the way down and land on Abyss. I told them all day, ‘Guys, don’t do this sh*t. You’re gonna die’ and there’s a spot like right after he hits it, I have tears in my eyes. I thought they were dead. I thought both of them were dead and Abyss, he would just put himself through that all the time and he kept trying to top himself and I’m like, ‘Man, you gotta stop at some point. At some point, they’re gonna bring out the chainsaw. Let’s bring it down.’ Remember when [Mick] Foley fell through the cage and they play that highlight for 12 years, forever, right? But you can’t… At some point, you got to roll on your laurels. But, yeah, God man, what a sweet guy. I hate to say that about a heel but what a genuine, sweet person, good friend and I wish him all the best and he made me so, what can I say?

Back in 2000 when Mitchell was in ECW, he managed ‘The Unholy Alliance’ (Mikey Whipwreck & TAJIRI). There was an incident that occurred that resulted in Mitchell losing the tips of some of his fingers by way of a fireball thrower. He explained in detail what went wrong and shared that doctors were more concerned because shrapnel fragments from the explosion were on his stomach.

Yes [I can explain what happened with the fireball thrower incident in ECW]. I had a flash gun which you put in between — you wear it like a ring and it had two barrels on it so, originally I had a one barrel but I upgraded to two barrels and it was about the size of a .44 Magnum casing pretty much. You would put flash paper in it and you would hit a little glow plug just like on a cigarette lighter and it would make the paper go boom and fly out. Well magicians usually put a little piece of paper about this big in it while I brought 8 x 10 sheets of flash paper. So we started experimenting with putting more and more pieces in and getting a bigger pop and we were going to be doing a pay-per-view that night, so I wanted to make a big blast as we came out down the runway and I end up putting an entire 8 x 10 so imagine this [holds up Post-it Notes] many of those, crumpled up and ramrodded into a flash gun and I was putting it in with a toothbrush and somehow, I accidentally touched the button. I forgot to take the battery out of it so, I touched the button that ignited it and because the toothbrush was down in it, it couldn’t go up so it went out and it exploded in my hand and I’ve told this story many times and it never changes even though I always fact check it. It went bang! And I looked at Mikey [Whipwreck] and I went, ‘F*ck! This is not good.’ Mikey had pieces of meat on his face. Like in Pulp Friction, where the gun goes off in the car, Mikey had my blood on his face and I was like, ‘Oh sh*t’ but it wasn’t bleeding yet and I was just looking, I was in shock and then suddenly, it just started squirting to the beat of my heart and God knows what I was on then… So, I bump into Sandman in the bathroom. I had been buying these silly gimmicks and sh*t beforehand. Sandman thought it was a magic trick and he’s like, ‘Ah! Red guy! That’s the best one yet. That looks great!’ I’m like, ‘Nah man, I think I’m gonna die’ and I walked up to the mirror… I walked up to put water over my hand and I saw that my jacket was all exploded and I went, ‘Oh no’ and then there was I saw a big wet spot and my finger went about that deep into my abdomen. At this point, I about fainted, they took me to the hospital, blah, blah, blah. Blew off part of my finger here… It was much easier to kayfabe when I had the long fingernails because you couldn’t really notice the difference. But, yeah, this was horrible. My hand looked like Leatherface’s mask. Yeah, it was a nightmare. But I recovered. They actually said the worst part was the shrapnel on my stomach because they said it was like getting shot with a small [unable to make out word] gun. So they just taped my hand up and said, ‘F*ck your hand. We’re just gonna tape it up over here. We gotta worry about this stuff in your gut,’ and the lucky thing for me is that believe it or not, I apparently have a very muscular gut. It’s big but it’s solid. Sheiky baby… So apparently, that kind of saved my ass. So I had a lot of muscle that it had to go through.

James’ first appearance for WWE was at ECW One Night Stand in 2005. He recounted being backstage and seeing a ‘mad scientist’ smirk on the face of Vince McMahon when he saw the reaction Sandman received that night.

The first time that WWE branded an ECW pay-per-view and I’m sure they were expecting it to flop and I remember Vince McMahon standing there in the hallway or in the shoot when Sandman came out, and the crowd went ape sh*t, the look on all their faces. But Vince started smiling, yeah, I get it. Yeah, because you could see them looking like who are these rag tag, raggamuffin, outlaw wrestlers? But when that crowd popped, I remember seeing Vince ‘till this day, he goes [big smirk]. He got a mad scientist evil smile like, ah! I get it now.

Later in the signing, Mitchell told the story of when himself, Mikey Whipwreck and a young wrestler, whose name he could not say, were in a room together. There was a blow-up doll in the room that belonged to old friends of Mitchell’s. Whipwreck did a leg drop onto the doll and there were beer bottles inside of it. One of the bottles flew out and knocked the young wrestler out. Mitchell said this individual went on to have issues with concussions and passed out on TV.

A funny road story? Okay. I can’t use this guy’s name anymore because I told this story and he got upset because he now has a grown-up job and apparently, it was put online somewhere and it f*cked his life up and whatever. So anyhow, a young fellow in ECW — that we were trying to get into ECW. He’d not even had a tryout yet. I was on the road and I went back to my old roommate’s house and you know, he was a very nice, green guy and very respectful, very kind of, at least on the surface, religious and we kept telling him we had this great whore for him. ‘Yeah, you’re gonna come to this house, you’re gonna get this whore.’ Well my old, sleazy roommates had this f*cking blowup doll that they had passed back and forth between each other forever and anyhow, when we got in there, we had hid the blow up doll in the dark room and we told this young gentleman, ‘Look, go in there. Go in there. She’s waiting on you.’ So he walks in there and he realizes that there is a blow up doll instead of a woman so he got very angry, he came out and he threw the blow up doll out. Well then what happened was that Mikey Whipwreck and I forget who else was with us, they began doing wrestling moves on this porno blow up doll and at one point, the doll was on the couch with it’s head over the armrest. There were three holes in the doll, there were three empty beer bottles in the doll. Mikey came down with — what was the Bobby Eaton move? Alabama Jam over the neck of the doll on the armrest and when he hit, boom, the bottle, the longneck bottle flew out of the ass of the blow-up doll and hit this young wrestler right in the f*cking head and knocked him out. He subsequently went on to have a problem with concussions and passed out on television. That’s as much as I can say. I cannot say his name.

Looking back at how he got started in the wrestling business, Mitchell stated that him getting in was a con job and he just knew how to talk well.

I lied, conned and swindled my way into the business. There was no way to get into pro wrestling. Unlike some of my predecessors like Paul Heyman and [Jim] Cornette who had an in because they were photographers and they were at least hovering on the outer bands of the universe. I was just a guy who was too hard-headed to take a ‘no’ and I was stupid enough to call promoters I didn’t know and insist that they should hire me and through a whole confluence of events, I eventually started sending video tapes of myself cutting horrible promos because I didn’t know what I was doing… Any who, I bullsh*tted my way in. I mean we obviously can elaborate on this over the next little while but it was a complete con job to get in and the only way I got through was because I had a decent vocabulary and I could basically cut a better promo than anybody on the outlaw shows that I was working with. That was my in. I have one skill.

When it comes to his on-screen presentation, Mitchell said he never wanted to be the person that had a supernatural aura or to be shoehorned with anything of the sort. He feels he can do it better than anyone but initially, that’s not what he was going for.

I did not want to be, necessarily, shoehorned into being the guy with occultist, magic, monster, you know what I mean? Anything involving monsters or… what am I saying here? Supernatural. Anything that’s going to strain credulity. I didn’t necessarily wanna do that. I mean, I can do that. I think I can do that better than anybody. But, that’s not what I wanted.

** For the 38th Café De René livestream, Alundra Blayze (Madusa) joined the show. She was asked for her thoughts about Mandy Rose’s release from WWE. It had been reported by Fightful Select that WWE felt they had no choice but to release Rose after being made aware of the content she was posting on her site.

Blayze stated that she supports what was in the contract Rose had with the company. She stressed that situations as such is the reason people should have lawyers look over their deals to find out what they can and cannot do.

I don’t know [if releasing Mandy Rose was harsh by WWE] … Here’s my thing, if you’re a talent and you’re under contract, only you and your lawyer in that contract and the person you’re in that contract with know what that is. So, you know what’s right or wrong… You’re just pushing it to a certain extent. You know what you’re dealing with so it doesn’t matter [what] she chose to do, if it’s pictures, videos. Was it okay in her contract to do? I don’t know that, you don’t know that. Unless she puts it out herself, makes a statement, everybody can talk the way they want. But I know when I sign a contract, I know that I’m allowed to only do so much. I know that I’m only allowed to do this or that, that I allowed the contract to do. That’s why you hire a lawyer. So, I support whatever was in that contract. That’s the legal and if you wanna push the envelope to see what you can get by with then shame on you. I’m not saying her, I’m just saying people in general… Unless she wanted out of her contract, she was doing it on purpose and then she got out, well then okay, she got what she wanted. But if not and there’s some stuff in there which we’ll never know unless she makes it public, then, you know, that’s her business. Again, everybody reading comments, statements, what they think, what THEY think. Why not just think of the facts? You’re under contract, whatever was in there, she knew what she could and couldn’t do and… something happened so, you know, it is what it is. That’s why I feel that having the name ‘Madusa’, I trademarked that 40 years ago and it was the smartest decision.

Cyndi Lauper’s name was brought up as someone who helped make the first WrestleMania successful. Blayze added that Wendi Richter helped make the event successful as well and that Richter was ‘as big as Hulk Hogan’.

Wendi Richter was a big reason [WrestleMania was successful]. Wendi Richter was as big as Hulk Hogan and she got shafted big time.

** Eric Young was written off IMPACT Wrestling television when the new leader of The Design, Deaner, stabbed him. Deonna Purrazzo was interviewed by Counted Out With Mike & Tyler and she credited IMPACT for being good at introducing and writing talents out of storylines. She added that there is something for everyone as far as their programming goes.

I really think that IMPACT does a really great job of introducing people and then writing people off. We saw Deaner kind of kill E.Y., right? [Purrazzo laughed] But… that’s not just what Violent By Design was. E.Y. has been — not the heart and soul because that’s someone else’s thing — but the heart and soul of IMPACT Wrestling for 20 years, right? So I think that for them to do him justice all these years and then to write him off in a way that is now building somebody else is what IMPACT does great. Great debuts for people but then also, really thoughtful ways of saying, you did what you needed to do here, you’re putting the guy over on the way out and now, best of luck. So I think that it was incredible. I think IMPACT does really great, all across the board in any genre of wrestling whether it’s the serious Violent By Design stuff, whether it’s the serious Josh Alexander, multiple times he’s done hour-long matches on television. Whether it’s giving the Knockouts another platform for main event pay-per-view matches, for main event television matches, 20-plus minute matches, multiple women’s segments. I mean there’s just something for everyone in what we do so, it’s really exciting to see people are giving us a chance again and really investing in what IMPACT Wrestling is doing.

At Slammiversary 2022, Purrazzo and Chelsea Green were pushed off a ladder through tables in a Queen of the Mountain match. Purrazzo stated that she must have blacked out while on top of the ladder because Chelsea informed her afterwards that she said she was scared before they went down. Purrazzo does not recall that exchange happening.

I think when they announced and told all of us, ‘You’re gonna be in a Queen of the Mountain match,’ it was like, what the heck? I don’t even know what that is and there’s so many rules and things like that but I think once they kind of broke it down for all of us girls, we made a group chat, we constantly were talking about, ‘What if we did this?’ And, ‘Okay, so, how does the rules work with this?’ And just really tried to understand the concept first and then yeah, talk about ideas, all these things and someone had asked, ‘Oh, so, D and Chelsea, how do you feel about going off the ladder through a table?’ And I think we all just thought it was a joke and we were like, ‘Oh yeah, that’d be great’ and then we get there and they’re setting up the ladder to see where it needs to go to fall and I was like, if I just don’t think about it, it’ll be fine and then Chelsea [Green] climbs up and I climb up right after and we’re supposed to be yelling at each other like, ‘No! You’re not gonna do it, I’m gonna do it!’ Are they gonna work together? Or are they gonna turn on each other? We weren’t a tag team yet and Chels had said to me, ‘D, you need to come up one more rung’ and I guess I just had blacked out and been like, ‘Okay,’ so I climb up one more rung and she says, ‘You looked at me in the eyes, dead in my eyes and said I’m scared’ and then we fell [Purrazzo]. But I don’t know what was going through my mind because I don’t remember that but, I remember hitting the floor and being like, ‘We’re okay. I’m alive, I’m alive’ and then I was sobbing on the floor. 

** Prior to challenging GUNTHER for the WWE Intercontinental Title on SmackDown, Ricochet guest appeared on The A Show on RNC RADIO. He reflected on his return to NXT and working with Carmelo Hayes. He said the match with Hayes at Worlds Collide is one of his favorites of 2022.

He’s [Carmelo Hayes] my biggest fan. Look at that, he’s my biggest fan. He talk all — he’s my biggest fan.

Obviously, that was a match I knew people wanted to see. Obviously, any match that I’m in, people are gonna wanna see but that was gonna be a must-see match really and I knew that and that’s why I walked in. Melo talking, he wasn’t on the show, he wasn’t on Worlds Collide and he was talking about it so I just had to come down and I told everybody, ‘I’m gonna give Melo a match everybody can remember.’ He’s talking about all these matches he’s had, all these title defenses, all this stuff. I’m like, ‘Nobody remembers none of them’ so like, let me do you a favor, come down and give you a match that people are at least gonna remember and then while I’m at it, I’ll take the title off you but obviously, again, circumstantial, to see many people that I have to take an account for when there’s Trick [Williams] and there’s so much other stuff that I have to — you know what I mean? So, I give it to him. Again, just like with Braun Strowman, I can’t fault you for a victory. A win is a win and he got the victory. He used all of his influence and elements that he has at his hand to win. You can’t fault a guy for that but yeah man, that match, I was excited for that match when I found out about it, when I knew about that match. That match was something — again, I just knew something people were gonna wanna see and especially, it’s always cool to go back to NXT.

It was great [the reaction he received when he returned]. Yeah, it was great. Also, I think not even just it was me. Obviously, the fans like to see me back but I think they knew what they were gonna get as well, you know what I mean? They knew, oh, Ricochet’s back. Oh, wait, is he gonna wrestle Melo?… Like, okay, this is great. So it’s like all those factors had to do with it so it was awesome, it was really cool and being down there with Shawn Michaels and just getting to talk to him again, learn from him again and pick his brain again, that’s always gonna be welcome for me.

Me and Melo [is one of my favorite matches from this year]. Obviously, that match was so good. I really enjoyed that match. I mean, and with the circumstances, we were the first match, we didn’t have much time and it was kind of like we didn’t have much of a build and we had a lot of things — not working against us but we didn’t have a lot of the things that a lot of the other matches had to promote their match and we didn’t have 25, 30 minutes. We didn’t have all this time. So I think what we did with what we had, I think really shines. I think it really shows a lot as well and I think, it just shows a lot.

On the topic of tag teams, Ricochet could see himself tagging with Rey Mysterio and reforming the duo with Cedric Alexander. He then addressed the on-screen dynamic with himself and Braun Strowman as a potential pairing.

There’s so many guys out there that are just awesome… Especially nowadays, you could pick anybody from the roster [to team with] but if I had to pick and obviously, I feel like myself and Mr. Mysterio would be a great team. I think obviously, I got a lot I could learn from him as well. I think just the two of us would be a dynamic duo that’s basically unstoppable. I think there is something to — before, we were doing it a little bit with me and Cedric [Alexander], had a little bit of steam going. I think there’s a good team element there. Obviously, if I need some help and I need a Braun Strowman to come out there, it’s not bad to have a Braun Strowman watching your back, you know what I mean? Get the power game going. The power game.

** The 2022 of The Judgment Day faction was discussed by one of its members, Damian Priest. He appeared on ‘The Archive of B-sox’ and went over the changes and progression of the group in addition to consistently being placed in marquee positions on shows.

I mean, we’ve [Judgment Day] opened and main evented so many Raws that we’ve lost count and those are big spots on the show. You open the show, it’s just as, if not more important than closing so, you know, when we get these opportunities frequently and the main events. You talk about main eventing with guys like Edge and A.J. Styles. It’s hard to say we have complaints about this year. It’s been awesome. It’s been a rollercoaster, yes, but we’re ending it at the highest point and we all feel like we’re not even where we need to be yet which is crazy. The things that we look forward to, the things that we talk about and what we wanna accomplish, we’re just getting started.

** During the fall of 2021, it was revealed that A.J. Mendez (A.J. Lee) would be joining W.O.W. (Women of Wrestling) as an Executive Producer. W.O.W. founder David McLane did an interview with PWInsider and talked about working with Mendez. He said she had never done commentary before but when they did it together, the chemistry was tremendous. He added that it was great having Mendez involved and she added something unique to the team.

I never knew this until after the fact, but when AJ and I went to do the announcing for a while on the very first night, we had total chaos outside of the building, and I was pulled away for the whole day with just total chaos. She and I never got to sit and review anything. The show started at, I think 7 or 7:30. I literally came to the table one minute before. She just gave me a look like, I’ve been here since, you know, two or three in the afternoon. Where have you been? Then, the mics went on. The show went, and it was days later, maybe weeks later, that she told me, well, she had never done announcing before! [Laughs] Oh man, stupidity on my part, and my stupidity looks like a genius, genius, genius result because she and I blended perfectly and had tremendous chemistry and worked well together. I really enjoyed working with AJ and she kept me straight and narrow. It was great fun.

She’s blowing up now. She’s got big producer and writing gigs for Netflix movies, and her career’s just blossoming. I love to see it, but it was great working with AJ. She provided us something that none of us could do, which was really not only an insight to the women wrestlers and what they were going through in the ring. She gave a historical picture that no one else had of women’s wrestling. So it was great having AJ involved.

McLane touched on the feedback from WOW’s broadcast partners and stated that it has been excellent. He brought up the high percentage in female viewership which was highlighted in a New York Times article.

The feedback [from our broadcast partners has been excellent]. We’re gaining an audience. The eyeballs of the consumers are finding WOW. Syndication is a difficult animal, in that we’re not able to even be with you right now and say, watch Saturday night at such and such time in one place. You’ve got to be going to your local marketplace and find where WOW airs. So that’s a bit challenging in today’s marketplace, but we’re finding it, we’re growing it, we’re doing exceptionally well with women viewership. I’ve been told in some respects we have the highest women’s viewership of any wrestling program ever, period, and that was a goal to capture those dissatisfied women that were watching wrestling over the last few years and [to] bring them back and bring the families back to wrestling. The live events have been well received. Even AJ Mendez, whom you mentioned earlier, said to me, you know, ‘Wow, look at our live audience. We’ve got the kids back.’ That’s something very unique that she told me. You don’t see in other leagues, as much, the family component, the dad with the daughter, the mom with the youngsters, and they’re coming to WOW, but we got a lot of room to grow. We need you. We thank you and we need you and we need the fans. It’s a David versus Goliath, not only to grow in the wrestling space, but the entire entertainment space. A lot of competition. We need help. We need more eyeballs, and we need the fans to get online and say how they like WOW, and even what they don’t like. We’re listening and we will listen and adjust to what the fans want. We’re humbled that we’re on nationally, we’re growing, we’re humbled that we’ve got great viewership starting, but it’s just got to grow. And luckily this is a marathon and not a race.

** For the latest episode of WWE After The Bell, NXT’s Grayson Waller appeared on the show following his win at Deadline. Waller shared that working with Fit Finlay has helped him find his ‘mean streak’. He added that when it comes to Shawn Michaels, they have a good relationship and he is always straight-forward with Shawn and not acting like a fan around him.

Because now all the coaches wanna work with me because they all wanna say they put their fingers on me but Fit Finlay is the man. Legit, right now, if Fit Finlay got in a ring, he could kick anyone’s ass. It is ridiculous. Fit is terrifying, but I think what Fit has given me is he’s tried to help me find that dog in me because he knows I’m a showman, he knows I like to have fun. But if I wanna go to the top, I need to hurt people, I need to hit people hard and no one hits harder than Fit Finlay. So he’s the kind of guy who I go to and I’m like, he helped me find my mean streak. Because if you’ve ever worked with Fit in any capacity, he hits you, you feel it and you go down. That guy’s a different breed so I got a lot of time for Fit Finlay and then obviously, we got Shawn [Michaels]. I think a lot of people at the P.C. are fans. They’re not wrestlers or entertainers, they’re fans and you see ‘em fanboy over Shawn, they win the title and they do the H.B.K. pose and all that kind of stuff and it kind of makes me sick in a lot of ways but, me and Shawn have a really good relationship too because he knows I’m gonna be real with him and when I ask him a question, it’s an actual question. It’s not like, what was it like when you did the zipline at WrestleMania 12? That was so cool. I’m not gonna ask him that question, because I’m not a fan. My name’s Grayson Waller, not Mark Waller… I go to Shawn and he gives me incredible advice. Shawn’s done it all. I think Shawn is the greatest wrestler of all time so, and he did it in multiple ways. He’s a showman, but he’s a wrestler. He could back it up. Shawn was the total package. He could legit do it all. So having Shawn around here is a blessing and if you get past that thing where you act like a fan to him and you actually talk to him like a man, I don’t think there’s a better guy to direct you.

The comparisons to The Miz were brought up and Waller touched on how he separates himself from becoming another version of Miz. He stated that people know in reality, Miz is a nice person but that is not the case for him. He said he does not care to be liked by anyone and did not leave his comfort zone in Australia to come make friends.

The one thing about The Miz is I think at the end of the day, I think people know The Miz is a good guy too. He’s doing all these media appearances, he’s obviously who he is but he’s a good guy too. I’m not. I don’t care if anyone likes me. I don’t want anyone to like me lad… I’m in this P.C. right now, no one can stand me. Coaches can’t stand me, the talent but I don’t care because I’m not here for that. I didn’t leave my family and friends back home to come here and make friends. I came here to be a superstar. I’m gonna do whatever it takes and I’m gonna say whatever it takes and I think that differentiates me. You see these things I’m saying online? No one will say it. But I’m at least real, I’m at least honest. I would rather be a real [bleeped out word] [than a] fake nice guy and I say that all the time. I am who I am. So I think there’s comparisons but also, in the ring, no one can touch me. I know there’s a lot of super athletes here who played volleyball, did gymnastics three times in college but I can do anything in that ring and you never know what you’re gonna see from me. Everyone knows the Stunner, what a move. But no one hits the Stunner like Grayson Waller. Macho Man elbow, what an elbow but Macho never hit that elbow like I do. He’s not putting his hands between the legs. I’m a full on showman, so as much as people compare me to The Miz, I’m Grayson Waller and I’m the first Grayson Waller and there is no one who can do what I do.

On season one of NBC’s Young Rock, Waller portrayed Ric Flair. He dove into how much of an inspiration Flair is to him.

It’s very funny [that I played Ric Flair on NBC’s Young Rock] because maybe three years before, there’s a thing in Australia, we do a Pub Crawl for people’s birthdays, that kind of thing. We did a wrestling one and I dressed up as Ric Flair because I was a fan back then, not anymore. But it was funny, three years later, exactly the same. When I was in the dressing room and they brought in the robe and all that kind of stuff, it was cool because Flair’s the man. That dude, you know, he’s done so much and I guess he’s a little bit of a hero of mine. Just a wild man, likes to have fun, all those types of things so getting to play him, I had to wrestle Rocky Johnson which I don’t ever remember that match happening. But I think there’s maybe some creative liberties being taken with that script. But Rocky Johnson won, so I don’t know how I feel about that either. I don’t know if that happened.

** Earlier this month, Dustin Rhodes stated that he plans for 2023 to be his last year as an active in-ring performer. Rhodes’ former tag partner, Booker T, discussed Rhodes’ decision on the ‘Hall of Fame’ podcast. Booker touched on Dustin always wanting to train the next crop of talents and recalled him wanting to do that while they were teaming. He feels that Rhodes is never going to ‘really’ retire and he’ll be back in the ring post-2023.

I mean yeah, he [Dustin Rhodes] should hang ‘em up. Goldie’s been doing this a long time. He’s been around since what? The late 80s I think? Maybe ‘89 maybe? And you can’t do it forever. He’s done a hell of a job being able to give back here in these later years and I’m gonna tell you right now, this is something that Goldie has been wanting to do for a long time man. He’s been wanting to work with the next generation for a long time. Him and I, we talked about it. We talked about it ourselves. Me and Goldie, we was in the locker room and that’s when him I was together and we knew we were at the end of our careers, we knew we were coming close anyway and Goldie said, ‘Man, why aren’t we down there training those guys? Why aren’t we down in the P.C.?’ And I remember him talking about that. So Goldie is doing something now that he has really, really wanted to do which is just give back to the business and for him to actually be able to have done it this way is, you know, it’s awesome. It really is. Working with those guys, I don’t know how much he’s getting through to them over there [Booker laughed]. That’s another story but I’m sure he’s having a hell of time.

It’s over, it’s over. It’s all over at the end of ‘23 for my boy Goldie. He’s laying it down man, he’s gonna put the boots in the ring. You know what though? He’s not gonna retire, he’s never gonna retire. We’re never gonna retire. That’s what we do man. Goldie’s gonna be back in the middle of that ring somewhere but on his own time, you know what I mean? When he wants to do it and I understand that too, especially at this stage of the game.

** To promote Monday Night Raw on December 19th, ‘The Archive of B-sox’ welcomed Dolph Ziggler onto the show. A conversation was held about different types of ring gears and Ziggler recalled there being multiple times when he was told to never wear certain attires again.

Well there’s a couple [ring gears that people would know me by] because one time — I’ve had several different gears that I was told when I got back to the Gorilla Position to never, ever wear those again or in other spaces. In other cases, way worse language told to me than, ‘Never wear it again’ and so, one of my favorite things to do was I like leopard print and I got snow leopard gloves, a snow leopard vest, snow leopard trunks and I got the craziest, biggest, purple-orange spray tan you could ever get and I bleached my hair fresh the night before. I go, ‘This is so outlandish and douchey. It’s gonna be great’ and I loved it and I had a great time and I got to wrestle John Morrison, one of my best friends and we had such a blast beating the hell out of each other and I came to the back and in some words I can’t repeat, I was told that this would never be worn again… ‘Great match. Don’t ever do that again.’ ‘Okay. Thank you.’

** There’s a story on NJPW1972.com centered around Andrew Villalobos, who competed against KENTA on the first NJPW TAMASHII show in New Zealand. Villalobos feels it was the most important thing he’s done in wrestling to date.

This was the most important thing I’ve done to date [match against KENTA at first NJPW TAMASHII show]. I honestly felt like I couldn’t have done any better than I did on that night. That was me at 100%, I gave it everything. The emotion, the physical side – everything! Now that I’ve had time to dwell and let the experience marinate, I was humbled when KENTA raised my arm, even more humbled that he called me the future.

Since time has passed, and I’ve taken in the compliments of my Senpai and peers, we are back training at the Dojo in Auckland. I was grateful for the opportunity to wrestle in the main event of the first TAMASHII show. TAMASHII would not have been possible without the efforts of NJPW and our team at the N.Z. Dojo, namely Fale-San, who through his many hats as a New Japan wrestler, trainer, mentor, promoter and visionary, has worked hard to create opportunities for wrestling to grow in Australia and New Zealand.

** Story about the Bullard Family Foundation’s 13th annual ‘Joy of Giving Celebration’: 

** To discuss NXT Vengeance Day taking place in Charlotte, North Carolina, Shawn Michaels joined the Culture State show.

** wXw 22nd Anniversary Results (12/17/22) Turbinenhalle Oberhausen in Oberhausen, Germany
Pre-Show: Rambo def. La Estrella
Pre-Show: Massimo Pesca def. Anil Marik
– Metehan def. Bobby Gunns
– Heisenberg def. Kevin Lazar
wXw World Tag Team Championships: Aigle Blanc & Senza Volto (c) def. Rott Und Flott (Michael Schenkenberg & Nikita Charisma)
– Axel Tischer def. Cara Noir
wXw Shotgun Championship – Ladder Match: Maggot (c) def. Ahura
Six Person Tag: Elijah Blum, Orsi & Peter Tihanyi def. Icarus, Laurance Roman & Robert Dreissker
– Iva Kolasky def. Baby Allison
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Levaniel def. Tristan Archer (c)

** STARDOM Results (12/17/22) Takasaki, Japan
Three Way: Mai Sakurai def. Miyu Amasaki and Hina
– Koguma, Hanan & Momo Kohgo def. Tam Nakano, Natsupoi & Waka Tsukiyama
– Mayu Iwatani, Hazuki & Saya Iida def. Saki Kashima, Fukigen Death & Rina
– Natsuko Tora, Starlight Kid, Ruaka & Momo Watanabe def. Utami Hayashishita, Saya Kamitani, AZM & Lady C
– Syuri, MIRAI, Ami Sohrei & Tomoka Inaba def. Giulia, Maika, Himeka & Thekla

** Michael Cole guest appeared on the December 16th episode of The Pat McAfee Show.

** In 2023, wrestlers are going to start writing columns for Weekly Pro Wrestling Mobile. Those wrestlers are Hayato Tamura, MAO, Shun Skywalker, Miu Watanabe, Saki Kashima, Eiji Tosaka and Sayaka.

** Tickets for Wrestle Kingdom 17 night two on 1/21 go on-sale for the general public on December 18th.

** Scott Williams, who’s competing in the World Darts Championships, made several WWE-related references in his interview with Daily Star.

** PCO vs. Nick Dinsmore (Eugene) vs. René Duprée: 

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.