Originally published at POST NEWS UPDATE: Leyla Hirsch signed her AEW contract in October
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.
** All Elite Wrestling officially announced the signing of Leyla Hirsch on March 15th. Following that announcement, Hirsch did a virtual signing for Highspots Wrestling Network and shared that she signed with AEW in October. It was after her match with Serena Deeb on Dynamite that Kenny Omega and Christopher Daniels offered her a contract.
I don’t even know if I’m allowed to say any of this but, my first week on Wednesday night, I faced and that was great and then there was an incident with — there was a match that was supposed to happen with the girls and it didn’t because there was an injury and then they called me and they were like, ‘Leyla, we need you to wrestle Serena Deeb.’ So me and her literally only had 20 minutes to put the match together. Went out there, did it and then when I got backstage, Kenny Omega put his arm around me and said to me, ‘I hope I’m not putting too much pressure on you’ but he was like, ‘What’s your availability? We would like for you to work here’ and then Christopher Daniels pulled me aside and gave me the contract right there and then. So surreal but my first week there, I ended up getting the contract. So, it was wild.
I don’t know . Just timing. Yeah, just certain things but it happens, so, grateful for it.
When it comes to Leyla on AEW programming, there have been many on social media that have called for her to join Team Taz. She sees those comments and does hope to be a part of the group.
Oh yeah, my whole Twitter: ‘Team Taz, Team Taz’ and yes, one day I would love to be part of Team Taz.
As far as her goals in AEW, she wants to win the Women’s World Title which could possibly be the first title win of her pro wrestling career.
I’m shooting big. My goal is the AEW Women’s Championship, you know what I mean? Even though I am new, still, I’m here for a reason at this time, so my goals are big. So, AEW Women’s Championship, and you know what the cool thing is? I’ve actually still never won a championship anywhere. So it’d be pretty sweet to say my first championship is the AEW Women’s Championship.
** Big E joined Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg on ESPN’s Cheap Heat podcast. The current WWE Intercontinental Champion gave his take on how NXT call-ups have been handled over the years and says one of the issues is when the expectation is that those NXT talents will be utilized and promoted the same way on Raw or SmackDown.
What I liked about it is when I got called up, I had a bit of a mystique because no one knew who I was and I think as much as I enjoy NXT, I think one of the issues is when people come up from NXT, there’s the expectation that they’ll be used in a similar way and that they’ll have the same presentation and often times, I almost feel — not that people burn out but almost like you can have your best run in NXT and people think that it’s just supposed to go in this very linear way where you go straight from NXT and if you were hot in NXT then you’re gonna keep getting hotter and hotter on the main .
Kicking off the week of March 7th, a focus point was the conclusion of AEW’s Revolution pay-per-view which saw the final explosion to the Exploding Barbed Wire Deathmatch. Big E feels that Eddie Kingston was put in a difficult position, referring to his reaction because he didn’t witness the ‘explosion’.
It is. He was put in a difficult position, I will say that. If you can’t see what’s going on around you, if your head is down, what are you supposed to do? Yeah, you don’t know. I don’t know. It is not like he looked up and saw — there’s not really room to improvise if you don’t know what’s going on around you.
Big E spoke highly of Apollo Crews, who he’ll be defending the Intercontinental Title against at Fastlane. He feels that Apollo has stepped up and could’ve easily been a guy who was just happy to be in WWE.
Despite our beef, I’ve gotta say tip of the hat to him for stepping his game up. He’s a guy who could have easily just kind of been happy to be there and you kind of see slowly decline and you don’t see him on TV anymore and then he’s just kind of gone. He put the onus on himself to step up and in this business, man, you wanna face the best. It’s iron sharpens iron so I wanna see guys be at their very best, I wanna see them bring it, I wanna see them reinventing themselves, I wanna see people at their best and he’s a guy who always had the look, he always had — he looked like a million bucks. Man, he reminds me in a different way, not quite like Cesaro but in the same way like you’ve seen him do Lucha stuff and strength stuff in a similar vein. Dude, Apollo can do moonsaults, beautiful moonsaults effortlessly. The stuff he does in the ring, you expect a guy 50 pounds lighter than him to do and then he’ll show you his strength too so he’s such a cool and unique blend I think of kind of what a modern-day wrestler is so it’s cool to see him start to grow as a personality.
E shared his thoughts on Crews’ Nigerian royalty persona. He says he can understand why people would be upset with it but it’s important to listen to the voices of Nigerians and Nigerian-Americans on the matter.
That’s where I see where people would be kind of upset with it, but if you don’t have those experiences, if you’re not Nigerian or Nigerian-American, for me, I have to reach out to understand more what the line is but more than anything, I’m just glad he’s getting the opportunity, he’s getting the limelight because he’s a guy, you don’t know that — he’s a guy that maybe a year ago who could’ve been let go quietly and it’s what could’ve been with him and I’m so glad that he’s now beyond that ‘what could’ve been’ stage. He’s at a point where he’s shown, ‘Yeah, I deserve to be here’ because you don’t see packaging like that for a guy who’s just going to be off TV in a week or two, you know what I mean? And I’m excited to see where it goes and like I said, I want the best programs, I want to face guys who have some momentum and it’s good to see him with that.
Diving into his tenure in WWE thus far, Big E stated that the biggest difference between the environment now and when he first got started is that people are cooler.
But I will say for the most part, our locker room is so much better than when I first came in as far as personalities and people not being dicks. It was a different time around 2009, 2010. Just people are cooler. It’s more of a tight knit community I think.
** Mike Mansury, former WWE Vice President of Global Television Production was the latest guest on the Notsam Wrestling podcast. Mansury spent 11 years in WWE and departed from the company in May of 2020. He said his departure was a peaceful one and it came down to him feeling that he accomplished all he could in WWE. He dove into his relationship with the McMahon family and broke down his overall thoughts about his time in the sports-entertainment company.
100 percent tends to be pretty critical of that person and that’s usually what leads to that person leaving.’ I had such a great relationship with Vince. I had a phenomenal relationship with the entire McMahon family. Triple H and I were unbelievably close because of all the work that we did together down in NXT. I mean, I was pretty much raised in WWE. I spent a third of my entire life there, right? Just over 11 years and leaving wasn’t actually the easiest choice in the world. I had a couple years prior, I was kind of frustrated with would I — with my course, right? Like where I was going, and the plans for the future because no one really knew what the plans for the future were and I, being selfish if you wanna call it that, I just wanted to work more and I wanted to do so much more and I wanted to contribute a lot more and have an impact on the product and have an impact obviously on my career and I wanted to do stuff and those opportunities for whatever reasons weren’t readily available to me at that point and I had expressed that I was looking to leave, had a few meetings with folks at WWE. Kinda said like, ‘Look, don’t make any rash decisions just yet. Just kind of sit on it. There is some stuff happening. We promise whatever you’re feeling right now, your concerns, they’ll be assuage and we can move forward but just don’t make any rash decisions just yet.’ So, did that, went along, FOX starts happening, NXT starts going live, sky’s the limit, we’re off and running. So even while I was in the middle of it, while I was enjoying what I was doing, I kind of again still find myself in a position where I still necessarily wasn’t where I wanted to be. I was showing them that I could do the work, they knew that I could do the work. But again, even though I was Vice President of Global Television Production, I was still kind of in the executive role. That was still pretty junior.
And you know, truth be told, this isn’t like a way to bury anybody, right? But you know, I had asked a couple times in reviews or whatever the case may be, ‘What’s next? How do I get to that next level? I’ve shown you that I can execute on TV, I’ve shown you that I can do X, Y and Z. What do I need to do?’ And I was more often than not met with the answer, ‘I don’t know. We just kind of need to see what the future, the next year, the next two years are gonna look like’ and not necessarily from what I was doing from a work standpoint, but more so from the landscape of the company. Were people gonna retire, reduced schedules, whatever the case may be, were new projects gonna come up. The answers weren’t tangible enough for me to kind of sink a hook into without feeling like a carrot was being dangled in front of my face. So, it kind of just got to a point where I realized, ‘I think at this point, I’ve accomplished all that I can accomplish at WWE and I think if I continue to stay in this capacity, I’m gonna wind up becoming bitter and I don’t want that. I don’t wanna come to work and to be resentful of my environment or the people around me because I’m not in a position where I can do what I wanna do and what I’ve shown you I can excel at. So maybe the time has come for me to just move on and who knows what the future may hold,’ and that’s what I did and I actually, I gave my notice, I think it was the first Monday of March. We were doing Raw in the Barclays Center. It was after we had gotten back from Saudi Arabia. So, kind of just told them then and there like, ‘Hey, I’d like to have a meeting this week and to discuss my exit from the company’ and at that time, COVID, we didn’t really know what it was, it hadn’t shut the world down just yet, the XFL was still going on. The WWE world was a busy place and I asked for the meeting so we could just kind of sit down and take a look at everything as whole. WrestleMania was a month out. What do we do and how do I help the transition to get me out of there? So, met with Kevin Dunn, we sat down for an hour, we had a great conversation. I even let Kevin pick my exit date which was I think May 1st, so two full months pretty much for me to wrap up what we were doing and transition and head out the door and see what the world had for me.
One individual that Mansury worked closely with was Kevin Dunn, WWE’s EVP of Television Production. Mansury feels that Dunn gets a bad rap from those on social media but described Dunn as “salt of the earth”. Mansury did add that not everyone has positive experiences with Dunn.
100 percent off base. Completely off base. You said it best, he really is the salt of the earth. From whatever I read that — whatever the narrative is about Kevin get the kind of attention of the big folks but I was fortunate enough, pretty much from the onset of my WWE career that I had Kevin Dunn guiding me, Vince guided me because at the time when I started working on the arena floor, Vince was doing rehearsals so there I am running for Kevin Dunn, running for Vince, the two guys with Pat Patterson, Bruce Prichard, that built the WWE. Like what more of an education could you necessarily want in the business?
Mike Mansury shared what his schedule was like prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It consisted of him being at TV for Raw, flying out to do WWE Backstage, heading to Florida for NXT, the office on Thursdays and flying in on Fridays for SmackDown.
I was spending a lot of money to have a closet in New York. There was a stretch like you that town. Tuesday morning, whatever ungodly hour it had to be, fly out to L.A. to do WWE Backstage with Renee Young, red-eye to Orlando, get a couple hours of sleep on the plane and go do NXT. Thursday, office hours in the city. Friday, SmackDown and then the occasional Sunday pay-per-view. But, like it sounds crazy. You say that and it sounds so crazy, and Kevin Dunn would pull me aside. Kevin Dunn was my boss in WWE, Executive Producer, he would say, ‘You good? Do you need anything?’ Pretty f*cking crazy and It’s like, ‘Nah man, I love it. Let’s just keep going. What do you need? What’s next? What’s next?’
Elsewhere during their conversation, Sam Roberts detailed his initial audition for WWE and what that entailed. Sam had to do commentary over matches and had to do an interview with Mansury who played the role of a talent.
I distinctly remember, I went in for an audition. Like just a traditional audition, which I mean, I didn’t even get a ‘no’. Like the amount of no callback that I got, it was like I’m leaving messages on the machine asking you, not you but asking WWE to say no and it was like, ‘We’re not even gonna –’ it’s such a no that we’re not even gonna call you back. It’s not a chance. Like, we’re not even having a conversation with you and there were people at that audition who got the gig so you know it’s not the audition, it’s you. It’s like okay, alright, but, you go in and I did the trail of commentating some matches on tape and everything and one of the things they had me do at that time was they wanna see how you would interview a superstar. So they’re like, ‘Here’s producer Mike Mansury’ and I believe at that point, you were Ryback and I had to interview you and you were just trying to throw every conceivable monkey wrench in my direction as I interviewed you.
** The most recent guest on ‘A Kinda Fun Sports’ Podcast was WWE Champion Bobby Lashley. The topic of social media and how to navigate troll accounts came up. Lashley feels that there are fellow wrestlers that he’s been in locker rooms with who say negative things about him online by way of a fake social media account.
One, I know a lot of ‘em are bots of guys that are in the locker room with me trying to hate on me so that they can get my spot. I’m 100 percent sure it is. I’m 100 percent sure it is.
I’m not saying it is and when I say that, you got several different organizations and thousands of wrestlers so I’m not saying any particular one, but I’m saying it is a cutthroat business so, any little edge you can get on somebody else. But you know what I think? A lot of the times the office knows that. Some of these guys think they’re getting away with it and they’re b*tching and complaining. The office knows it. Some of the things that you try to do and try to get away with, it’s really not worth it. It’s just put in the time, put in the work, try to figure out what your character is then you have fun with it. Just have fun and I think that’s the biggest thing is just let yourself loose and have fun, not caring about things.
When Lashley first returned to WWE, he was of the mindset that the company needed him to make their good guys more likeable.
I said, ‘You know what? They need me so that they can like their guys more,’ because if I’m out there, I don’t care if you don’t like me personally, you don’t like me anything. You know I’m a big, dangerous Black dude that’s in there that no matter who comes out of that curtain, there’s a huge obstacle and you don’t want me to do anything to kick his ass.’ He can’t! But if he does, you’re happy and if he doesn’t, you’re mad. So ultimately, I’m exactly what you guys want. I’m the heel.
** Dylan Postl (Hornswoggle) joined Lisa Marie Varon, Mickie James and SoCal Val on GAW TV. Lisa told the story of when WWE was on an overseas tour in Singapore and recalled when a man who resided in the area legitimately wanted to purchase Hornswoggle. Here’s how the story was told:
Lisa: This was a time in Singapore and they had catering at the Singapore. We get in the elevator, Fit Finlay is in the elevator and with a couple of the boys, you were in there and then a local, a businessman came in the elevator and wanted to buy Dylan. He said, ‘How much? How much?’ For Dylan, and we were all like, ‘Haha,’ laughing and he’s like, ‘No, no, seriously.’
Hornswoggle: And Fit started asking how much he would pay. He was gonna sell me to a man. He was gonna sell me to another man!
Lisa: Dylan is hiding behind Fit, like this . He was shoot scared. Oh my God.
** Rob Van Dam guest appeared on The DropKick Podcast. As the conversation rolled on, RVD gave his take on the comparisons between himself and Matt Riddle. While speaking about the comparison, he remembered WWE wanting him to switch up his ring gear.
I get a lot of people on social media saying that he’s because the airbrush outfits wear out.
Elsewhere during the podcast, Rob Van Dam’s first stint in WWF/E while he was still a member of ECW was brought up. He detailed his first meeting with Vince McMahon.
Me and Sabu got pulled into a room with Vince McMahon, first time. I mean I’ve been there for however many weeks, never talked to the guy except shaking his hand, hello and this is where I hear him saying, ‘Well of course I planned on you staying here. I never would’ve put you on my television. I see you as being a babyface long term, an aggressive babyface’ and I was just like what? It was so alien to me that I couldn’t even accept that because I felt like I was there as a soldier, fighting for my team and so that wasn’t what I was ready to hear and we walked. That’s what happened.
RVD is going to be spotlighted on the WWE Network/Peacock service as a part of the WWE Icons docu-series. He stated that his significant other Katie Forbes is heavily featured in the episode and people are going to enjoy it.
The RVD, Rob Van Dam show is going to be so f*cking good. Yeah, people are gonna love it. It’s gonna get — I really enjoyed filming it. I might be done, I don’t know if I am right now but they’re definitely still interviewing other people to get the second-hand perspective. But we filmed some really cool sh*t, and when people see it, they’re gonna be amazed. They’re gonna be like, ‘Why the f*ck isn’t RVD in the ring right now!?’ And it tells my story. I mean Katie is in it a lot of course and they really showcased what she is in my story and I’m really looking forward to it.
** On episode 169 of ‘Knockouts and 3 Counts’, Myron Reed joined the show. Myron is a member of ‘Injustice’ with Jordan Oliver. Kotto Brazil was originally a member of the group in MLW and during the interview, Myron stated that MLW didn’t want to re-sign Kotto. Kotto was written off MLW programming in May of 2020.
Whatever happened with Kotto were like, ‘It’s just us.’
** FOX 5’s Good Day DC welcomed Natalya onto the program and with WrestleMania coming up in April, Natalya talked about the competitiveness that arises in the locker room around this time. She said although tension is high, the sisterhood amongst WWE’s female talents remain strong.
We’re on the road to WrestleMania so the tension is high in the locker room. Everybody, every woman wants to be a part of WrestleMania and with WrestleMania being literally four weeks away, I see the competitiveness but I also see a sisterhood and so many of us in WWE, we understand how important it is to go in the ring, to compete, to be strong, empowered women but we also know that we need each other. We all need each other and I think that’s an important message to send, not just to women around the world but people around the world that we’re kind of in this together and we work better when we work together and we can be competitive and we can be fierce and we can have our own individual goals but at the end of the day there has to be that level of respect so a lot of us really carry that with us.
** NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion Nick Aldis represented the National Wrestling Alliance at the Georgia General Assembly. Aldis worked with Governors to officially declare October 21st “NWA day” in the state of Georgia.
** Jordynne Grace sat down for an interview with the Wrestling Perspective Podcast and she gave her take on the idea that major wrestling companies should open their titles up for women to win. Grace doesn’t think that needs to happen and also feels that New Japan Pro-Wrestling shouldn’t be required to feature women’s wrestling.
I don’t necessarily think every company needs to open all their titles to women. Like I know that’s not a very feminist thing to say but I just don’t think that. I don’t think that New Japan should have to feature women’s wrestling. If we can have women’s promotions that don’t feature any male wrestling, then why does New Japan have to feature women’s wrestling? And I feel like that is an equality thing. We can’t have it both ways, and there’s this argument that’s like well, if the women can wrestle for the men’s titles, why can’t the men wrestle for the women’s titles? And I do agree with that aspect of it. So I just feel like it’s all about timing and especially with WWE, they have sponsors that don’t necessarily understand wrestling very well and I understand the need to keep those sponsors because we wanna keep paying those wrestlers the amounts of money they get paid, right? So I don’t necessarily think that we need to push that thought process on all these companies at once.
When asked who is a locker room leader in IMPACT Wrestling, Grace named agent and Co-Head of Talent Relations, Gail Kim as one.
I feel like it’s always been Gail , right? She’s the one behind the scenes and she’s the one coaching everybody to get better all the time. So, even though she’s not an active wrestler, she’s always there cheering us on, giving us advice, agenting matches. She’s just like, she’s awesome.
** SO CATCH by Hal 2 released their interview with PJ Black. As Black was discussing his exit from WWE in 2015, Black went over his relationship with Paul “Triple H” Levesque. He said they are on good terms and Levesque sent him a text recently that he can’t say too much about.
I mean, yeah, I wouldn’t say was not happy but I could’ve done things a lot different. I probably should’ve spoken to a few people before I made this crazy decision but that’s my life, I’ve always made crazy decisions when it’s in the ring, out of the ring, skydiving, you know? That’s just how I live my life. For me, life is a video game and I will never change no matter what happens. But yes, we’re good now. He actually sent me a text the other day so, cannot say too much about that but, we’re good.
** Esquire Middle East published their chat with Paul Heyman. Heyman took on the role of Executive Director of Monday Night Raw in 2019 and throughout his time in that position, several fresh faces to the brand were spotlighted. Heyman talked about some of those talents no longer being in those spotlighted positions.
WWE is like any other business. It constantly redefines itself and constantly assesses its placement in the marketplace, and it’s constantly disrupting its own business model. The cream will rise to the top, as the saying goes. There are great talents. And the people that I chose are not people that—the people that I chose to promote, are not charity cases, they are extraordinarily talented men and women. And they will find the trajectory to the top.
They will, because they’re top stars that are waiting to happen. Whether that path is as smooth as I tried to make it—and admittedly, I tried to put everybody on a fast track—or not, is a matter of conjecture. But these are extraordinarily talented people. And they will find their way to the top of the industry.
Heyman also gave his thoughts on the latest WWE Performance Center class. He feels that Parker Bordreaux, Bobby Steveson and Bronson Rechsteiner could be the next crop of WrestleMania main event talent.
Parker Bordreaux is a very interesting human being that took his education very seriously. He’s not just a meathead. He’s a six foot three, six foot four 300 pound athlete who has one hell of the head on his shoulders. So Parker Bordreaux is doing what everyone else does. He’s starting from the bottom. He has reported to the WWE Performance Center. And he’s got to work his way up to the top. There’s a lot of roadblocks on the way. Do I think he can navigate them? Absolutely.
Bobby Steveson is in his class. Bobby Stevenson is from the University of Minnesota, Brock’s alumni. Bobby Steveson’s brother Gable Steveson has publicly declared his intention to either go to the Olympics, UFC or WWE. And he’s the number one college wrestler on the face of the planet today.
Rick Steiner’s son is in the current PC class. There’s someone else that could truly become a huge star for the next 20 to 25 years. So there’s a crop out there of hot talent that’s ready to become the next generation of WrestleMania main events. Parker Bordreaux has some very stiff competition to deal with.
** Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports conducted an interview with Colt Cabana at Daily’s Place in Jacksonville. Cabana shared that on top of his in-ring duties, he is also working as a coach for AEW.
Well, what it is for me, I don’t know if you know, I’m both a coach and a wrestler for AEW. He hasn’t been my coach many times but we’ll sit back and we’ll kind of gives notes together as coaches and something that was very cool, Jerry Lynn, 30 years in the industry, he was watching me give notes to the wrestlers. So I did a match, they all come back and I was like, ‘Hey, I’d like to see this and I’d like to see that’ and he took me back and I was like, ‘Oh Jerry, you have anything to add?’ He’s like, ‘No, just listening’ and then once the wrestlers left, he was like, ‘Ah, I didn’t even think about that. That was a great note’ and I was like, ‘Really?’ He was like, ‘Yeah. I just like to hear from everyone. I’m always learning. I just learned. I wouldn’t have thought of to do that in that situation’ and so, to hear a guy like Jerry Lynn be able to step back and say, ‘I’m still learning’ at 30, 35 years in wrestling or whatever is pretty cool and I think it’s great that we have coaches like that-that are chill, and I’ve had wrestlers afterwards come up to me and just be like, ‘That was such a — I wasn’t scared to come back and get notes from you or get critique’ because I’ve been in that situation. I’m not looking to yell at anybody, I just want to nurture and make sure everyone becomes the best wrestler that they can be and Jerry Lynn is very much like that and so I love working around Jerry and it’s always a pleasure.
** Matt and Nick Jackson sat down with Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports for an exclusive interview. The Young Bucks discussed AEW’s tag team division and singled out several teams who came to mind. One of those teams are Santana and Ortiz who Matt and Nick believe have a big run in them.
Matt: There’s so many guys on this roster now where — and we especially, we look at the tag team division obviously and we have because we helped hand pick a lot of these teams and it’s like I don’t think people have truly seen how good Santana and Ortiz can be. They’ve had a lot of big matches and big moments but I think that they’ve got a big run in them. They’re one team immediately. Like Private Party, this new heel thing they’re doing with Matt Hardy. Right away, I’m like, ‘These guys got something.’ Top Flight, you just know. This is a classic babyface tag team.
Nick: Jurassic Express, I feel like without an audience, it’s hard to gauge who’s over but those guys have always been over so if we had a packed house, those guys would be getting big reactions.
** Drew McIntyre chatted with Bleacher Report to promote his WWE Championship match against Bobby Lashley at WrestleMania 37. One talent that McIntyre would like to see pushed in WWE is Cesaro and he would also like to share the ring with Cesaro.
We’re watching it right now. I think everyone and their dog have been saying Cesaro for about five years, and it’s true. The fact of the matter is I’ve never been in the ring and had a match with him. I can just tell watching him. Usually, you can only tell how good someone is when you get in with them. If I got in with him, that would be so much fun. But to see him getting an opportunity to work with someone as good as Seth—and Seth is incredible—I’m excited to see where they’re going to go. If they give this the right build, present Cesaro in a way that highlights his strengths and get to that match, it’d be cool to see Cesaro break into the next level and finally have a match with Drew McIntyre.
** During his interview with Ringsiders Wrestling, WARHORSE revealed that he is working on a music album.
** Keith Lee was last in action on the February 8th episode of Raw. He was supposed to compete in a three-way for the United States Title at Elimination Chamber but was pulled from the match. Today, Lee took to social media and wrote the following:
I hear many of you. I see many of the messages. One day, I will explain it all for the ones true to me.
For now, know that I more than appreciate the continued support.
And WHEN I return, it will be filled with all the love I have for those that represent this #LEEGION
** AEW World Champion Kenny Omega is going to appear on the 3/23 episode of IMPACT on AXS. Omega and IMPACT Unified World Champion Rich Swann are scheduled to go one-on-one at the Rebellion pay-per-view and both of their titles will be on the line. PWInsider noted that AEW President Tony Khan was present at the recent IMPACT tapings.
** Inside The Ropes published their chat with Shawn Michaels and during the conversation, Michaels was asked how he would deal with the prime version of himself. Michaels stated that it would either come down to him getting released or getting help.
I don’t know. I don’t think I’d deal with them and I’d probably suggest that we let him go, he’s going to be nothing but trouble, no matter how talented he is. Either that or get him help. Honestly, that would be the biggest thing. Especially, as I look at it, I think to myself, Well, I… I was good at my job.
So when you see that kind of ability and they’re young, and they are just angry at everything, and obviously have a problem – as opposed to getting rid of them, the first thing you probably should be doing is helping them. So, the more that I think about it, I think to myself that, again, ‘We should try to at least help him because the young man is going to end up hurting himself someday,’ or he’s going to be one of those wrestling tragedies that we hear about.
So I think if he had all the drug issues and things like that, that I had, that’d be the first step. If it was just an attitude thing and there were no other circumstances, that’s when sometimes it may not matter how good he is, he’s probably more trouble than he’s worth.
Michaels works with the NXT UK brand and he spoke highly of several NXT UK talents, including the brand’s Women’s Champion Kay Lee Ray. Michaels feels that if Kay Lee were to come to NXT in the U.S., she would find the same success that Drew McIntyre did.
I will say to you, and I’m not patronizing. Absolutely, some of the sweetest, most hardworking young men and women that I’ve ever met. I’m very partial to Gallus, ‘Gallus Boys On Top!’ And Kay Lee Ray. She, to me, is probably the greatest… I think, you know, NXT UK Women’s Champion, but she’s just now… She’s the best kept secret. If she ever chooses to come over and come to America, and be part of the WWE from a global standpoint, I see her having the exact same kind of success that Drew has had. She is very, very good and she has done unbelievable work for us over in the UK and I couldn’t be more proud of her because she is an absolutely fantastic young lady.
** The Good Brothers (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson) took to their Talk’n Shop podcast and spoke about their on-screen time with The New Day (Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods). Gallows said he can’t say enough good things about New Day and also praised Big E for his support of the Huber family.
You can’t say enough good about those guys is and the heart that he has when you see the love that he has and has given the Huber family right now. Our brother Brodie Lee. Man, just the greatest.
** WWE and the Special Olympics are creating an online workout called ‘School of Strength: Class Is Now in Session.’ Drew McIntyre will be leading the virtual workout.
** Steel Chair Magazine ran their interview with Parrow. He opened up about how his career in wrestling changed when he came out as gay several years ago. He mentioned that his bookings changed and opportunities decreased but he remained optimistic about the business.
I have to be optimistic. My whole life changed when I came out three years ago. Realistically, how I was booked changed, my opportunities went down, so I have to be optimistic because I have to believe I can, at least, help change things for the other open athletes. If I’m just a pessimist, or I’m negative, what am I doing for anybody? Negativity in a locker room or anywhere is cancer. I played sports my whole life, when that negative seed is planted, it grows and grows and ruins everything. A leader in any shape or form can’t be negative. You can’t lead through negativity; you have to lead through optimism. Especially at this time, being a pessimist right now, it’s not good. Especially for your own mental being. There’s not a lot of opportunities out there, so you have to find the positive. When you find the positive, you find the opportunity in that positive. That’s the way I look at it. Rather than looking at what you’re not getting, find the one thing you can get and grow upon the opportunity. That’s what I tell younger guys. There’s no such thing as a bad opportunity in pro-wrestling. Do that opportunity to the best of your ability, and more will come from that point. You need to start somewhere. You can’t start at the top, that’s a rarity in this business. That’s like winning the Lotto. It happens to like 0.001%. I’m doing Steiner math over here. That’s the way I look at it.
For the first time in two years, Parrow returned to Major League Wrestling this month. He provided a lengthy answer when asked what led to him coming back to the organization. That answer included MLW’s focus on heavyweights.
What brought me back was I felt it was time. When I started MLW there was a lot of stuff going on. They were still in their re-emergence infancy stage, and there was stuff that I wanted to do in my career that would mean I couldn’t devote my full attention to MLW. It was always a dream of mine to go to Japan. I had the opportunity at that time, and I had to make the choice between the MLW schedule and the All Japan schedule. The cool thing about MLW is you actually have access to your owner. There aren’t 900 men in front of him you have to go through to talk to him. Court (Bauer) is very available to all his talent, and we had a real discussion, and he said it was way too good of an opportunity to pass up at the time. He wanted me to learn my craft, and MLW would always be here when I come home. He was true to his word, it was time to come back, and MLW is currently the only company focusing on heavyweights. No other company in the world has heavyweights. There’s what, 3 in WWE? None in AEW really, well there is, but he’s an announcer. Impact has a couple, but no one is focusing on true heavyweight wrestling as it used to be.
Being a heavyweight is a dying art these days. Court and everyone behind MLW are trying to put an emphasis on heavyweight wrestling. To me, that’s an attractive point to MLW, and I always say this, for any young talent getting started in the business, MLW is a great port. Everyone who has gone through MLW now has something great they’ve accomplished. That first roster, everyone is either in WWE or AEW, are they not? So MLW knows what they’re doing. Young talent, MLW is where you need to be, and for me to get to work with young hungry talent, who all want to be world champion, you’re always going to have the ability to have great matches. I’m a driven person, so I like to have a challenge in front of me rather than not have a challenge.
** Scott Fishman of TV Insider caught up with EC3 and he expressed his feeling that Ring of Honor is one of the only tolerable wrestling products on television right now.
ROH is really, top to bottom, one of the only tolerable wrestling products on television. In my negotiations, they provided me with the freedom to create. No amount of money can take away the happiness and pleasure I truly get from creating and controlling my narrative.
** Chavo Guerrero is taking on Rocky Romero at Josh Barnett’s Bloodsport event during WrestleMania week.
** Joey G. of Wrestling Headlines conducted an interview with Chase Owens. Chase was asked who are some of his favorite members of Bullet Club to team with and he said he enjoys/enjoyed teaming with all except for the original Bone Soldier, Mitsuhide Hirasawa.
It’s a hard question because I think that everybody has their own little niches that make it different to tag with them. I pretty much like tagging with everybody except for the original Bone Solider because that was just a mess, but everybody else, like I said, they got their own little techniques whether it’s Fale with his power, Phantasmo with his athleticism, Jay with his ring-awareness, Tama and T, they’re already one of the greatest tag teams to be in New Japan, their tag team specialty. Everybody in there has their own thing.
Owens is the current NWA Texas Heavyweight Champion. He was presented with the title this past January and New Japan Pro-Wrestling acknowledges him as champion. With NJPW supporting him over the past six years in the manner that they have, he doesn’t see himself going anywhere else.
You always want support from the company that you work for. Sometimes I see guys at company’s and they’re kind of burying the company’s ideas or booking ideas…you shouldn’t be burying someone that’s doling your paychecks. So to have New Japan backing it, and acknowledging it, and even putting out a t-shirt…that’s more weight with me than let’s say money. If somebody offered five million dollars, I guess that’s a lot of money and it would be interesting to take but at the same time you got to think, ‘Would I be happy there? Do they take care of you besides just money?’ That’s New Japan. This whole six years that I’ve been here…they’ve taken care of me. I don’t see me going anywhere anytime soon.
** Global Wrestling Syndicate is running a tournament to crown their first-ever Women’s Champion. Below are the tourney matches:
– Kimber Lee vs. Trish Adora
– Hyan vs. Allysin Kay
– Deonna Purrazzo vs. Jordan Blade
– Vicious Vicki vs. Holidead
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated interviewed Hijo del Vikingo for the latest ‘This Week in Wrestling’ column. Vikingo wants to be the face of AAA and said to accomplish that goal, he must face the AAA Mega Champion Kenny Omega.
I want to be the face of AAA. That is my objective, so I will have to defeat Kenny Omega to do that. I am very impressed by him, and I’m honored he’s challenged me to the front of the line. A match like that will take a lot of heart and effort.
The 23-year-old feels that he has a future in wrestling in America but right now, he has many goals he wants to accomplish in Mexico.
I believe I have a future in America. That will happen in the future. Right now, there are many goals for me to accomplish at home, and still so much for me to prove.
** While speaking to Sportskeeda, NXT Women’s Tag Team Champion Shotzi Blackheart spoke about how crazy it was for her to read that Ember Moon considered retirement following her Achilles injury.
That is wild to me. I have always been a huge Ember Moon . I have been a fan of her even before when she was an independent wrestler. She is just amazing. And to think that she felt like she needed to end her career a year ago… I am glad that we have something so special together and that she is energetic about wrestling again.
** Prior to the IMPACT Plus special ‘Sacrifice’, WrestleZone caught up with Jordynne Grace who tagged with Jazz on the show. Grace shared that a goal of hers in wrestling is to become the strongest active female wrestler right now.
I’ve really just been working on my body and my strength. I have a home gym now so I’ve been trying to lift heavy every single day and try to live up to the ‘Thicc Momma Pump’ moniker. I feel like I want to be one of the, and if not the, strongest female wrestler that’s active right now. So that would be one of my main goals right now and if I think that I could do that and it can be legitimate, that would set me apart from everybody else.
** Lee Moriarty is defending the IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship against the winner of the Cassandro Cup tournament that is happening at the Butch vs. Gore show on March 28th.
** The Tampa Bay Rays are hosting a drive-thru Fan Fest at Tropicana Field on Saturday, March 27th.
** Xavier Woods and Tyler Breeze’s Battle of the Brands livestream:
** TwinCities.com has a feature story up about Gable Steveson.
** Before headlining the 3/17 episode of AEW Dynamite, Britt Baker chatted with WrestleZone for an exclusive interview.
** Comicbook.com caught up with Shotzi Blackheart. Blackheart also spoke to Daily DDT.
** AEW’s Rebel was a guest on Busted Open Radio.
** AEW set up a YouTube channel for their theme music.
* Mike Herrman, creator of RetroMania Wrestling was a guest on ‘Counted Out’ with Mike and Tyler.
** RUSH’s debut match in Ring of Honor against TK O’Ryan:
** Natalya made the media rounds and spoke to FOX’s Baltimore affiliate.
** Gabriel Kidd’s latest write-up for NJPW1972.com.
** IMPACT Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo spoke with Lucha Libre Online.
** WrestleZone ran their interview with Renee Paquette.
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.