POST NEWS UPDATE: Linear TV Network wanted to secure the rights to WWE’s VOD content for ten years

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/06/11/post-news-update-linear-tv-network-wanted-to-secure-the-rights-to-wwes-vod-content-for-ten-years/

If any of the quotes from the following podcasts or video interviews are used, please credit those sources and provide an H/T and link back to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

** WWE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon was a guest on Nadine Dietz’s ‘CMO Moves’ podcast. Stephanie and Nadine were talking about OTT services versus Linear TV while on the topic of the WWE Network. McMahon revealed that WWE were in deep conversations about a Linear deal but did not mention the provider or network by name. She said that the platform wanted to lock up the rights to WWE’s video-on-demand content for ten years and it was then when WWE decided to go the route of having their own service.

“We’re currently around, and of course there’s a lot of trim but we’re around two million subscribers, and you think about the fact that we intentionally cannibalized our own pay-per-view business and it was a huge risk, particularly at that time. It was a really big calculated risk and that’s what we believe in is taking calculated risks and it was based on research. We were actually pretty far down the pipe with a Linear deal, but they wanted to lock up our rights for ten years and we saw this opportunity. So we did some more research, found that our fans were five times more likely to watch online video, than at that time just in America than the American norm and we decided we had a real opportunity and that’s why we went for it and it was hugely profitable for us. More than doubled what we were doing on pay-per-view.”

Stephanie recalled working with Ronda Rousey when Ronda came into WWE. Stephanie joked about Ronda not holding any punches back when they worked together and taking a beating for the first couple of months they worked together.

“And also, all of the practice and rehearsing that we had to do building up to it, Ronda’s incredible but this is her first match and she wasn’t maybe as skilled at pulling the punches as I would’ve liked,” Stephanie laughed. “Because that’s not what she’s used to although she’s such a pro at anything she does but yeah. I took quite a beating for about three months building up to that match and I’m proud of it.”

** Bianca Belair and Montez Ford created ‘The Culture Connection’ website to spotlight the history of African-Americans. This website also has links to black businesses, articles, books and documentaries about black people and how one can get involved in the fight against racial injustice. Bianca and Montez also organized a resume building section for the site. The two sat down to chat with 10 News, which is a Knoxville news affiliate to discuss the creation of The Culture Connection.

Bianca Belair: “We wanted to speak out and say how we felt but at the same time, we were at a place where we were like, ‘Okay, what can we say that has not already been said?’ We kinda felt a bit hopeless and powerless so, where do we start? What do we do?”

Montez Ford: “Giving everyone a gateway to send them to something else that’s culturally involved, whether it’s an event, a movie, an article or a business, a revenue, anything that can give them an outlet to show them that we have different other outlets and segues.”

Belair: “This is more than just one case. This has been happening and it’s not anything new. It’s just that people are starting to get more aware, and we also didn’t want to react, we wanted to act.”

Ford: “Like I said, in this process of us creating this website and links and information and everyone is being passed, it’s more things that we’re learning and getting knowledge about too so it’s a learning process just for everybody.”

** Below is the full video version of Xavier Woods, Andreas Hale, Big E and Kofi Kingston’s conversation about being black in America, the death of George Floyd and much more.

 

** Randy Orton took part in an international media call ahead of his match against Edge at Backlash. Randy was asked about his Twitter back and forth with Tommaso Ciampa and feels that he could help Ciampa prolong his career. Randy shared his thoughts about how some of the NXT wrestlers take unnecessary risks in the ring and Randy added that he wants to wrestle until he’s 50-years old. (Audio courtesy of Inside The Ropes’ YouTube channel):

“I mean, as I was saying earlier, whatever Vince gives me to do, whatever my job is on that particular situation, I’m gonna do it and if it’s working with a Tommaso Ciampa then I’ll be all for it because I think he’s very talented and I think there’s a few things that I could help him with. Mainly, to help him get a little more out of his career because I know he’s been plagued with injuries but I also know that he loves and respects this business. The NXT guys worry me because I see them doing such highly physical things during their matches. It’s almost like they do so many physically impressive things, but those things are dangerous and they wear and tear on your career. I’ve been doing this 20 years and I’ll do it another decade. I just turned 40 and my plan would be to keep going until my 50th birthday, you know what I mean? And I think that I would be able to do that and to support my family for 30 years of wrestling under Vince McMahon because of the way I tell stories in the ring. The facial expressions, the little transitional things that you do on the fly or you adlib so-to-speak during a match. Those are the things people remember. I watched a match the other day and I’m not gonna name names, but a lot of the NXT guys work like this and it was just train wreck after train wreck after train wreck and it was all very impressive but when it’s all said and done and the match is over, I couldn’t remember anything that happened because it was just movement, it was just big car crashes and when you see so much of that back-to-back and you don’t see how that affected the talent, meaning they didn’t sell that move or there wasn’t enough of a delay between high spots that I was able to see facial expressions and see that, ‘Oh, this guy’s hurt. Oh, he hurt his neck on this spot and then he just tried to pick up the other guy but he couldn’t because his neck. Ah, I think he’s really hurt, oh my God.’ You don’t get to invest into these matches because they’re just boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. One thing after another and although it’s highly physically impressive and it’s something I don’t think — I wouldn’t be able to that style. There are a lot of these things these guys do I’m not capable of doing, but they’re gonna have very short careers and what I worry about for Ciampa in particular is that with all these big injuries he’s had and we’ve all had injuries, we all work hurt, we all wake up stiff after a good fight, but he needs to learn how to tell stories and slow it down and not think that the fans wanna see him kill himself, you know what I mean?”

In regard to the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” tagline that has been placed on he and Edge’s match, Orton was not too happy about that being done but thinks he and Edge did go out and deliver a great match. He feels that the “best ever” part is subjective.

“Yeah, usually if somebody calls a match the greatest or of the greatest matches of all-time, the match has already taken place. So, it definitely — the expectations are very high for Edge and I, and I wasn’t exactly happy when I heard that they were gonna be calling it before it even went down, the greatest wrestling match in history but, I feel like at this point in my career and being in there with Edge of all people who I consider to be one of the absolute best workers in the business, past, present or future. He’s amazing in the ring and with me, I feel like I have a natural ability, a natural chemistry with him. We’ve only had a handful of singles matches over the years and of course he hasn’t really wrestled in a true wrestling match in a decade, just about. But I think if anybody could have a great match, it’s Edge and I, and I think it will be great. I think it really, really makes it hard on us as talent because of those expectations but, I think given the circumstances, I believe at this point after a few months of doing these matches, these shows at the PC, I think that the fans, they go into this understanding that this is gonna be very hard so, although the expectations are high and although it’s very unlikely we can have the greatest wrestling match ever, I think the fact that-that pressure is there, no matter how the match goes down, I think it makes it very, very interesting. As a fan, I wanna tune into Backlash and I want to watch this match between Edge and Orton because it’s supposed to be the greatest match ever so, I think it’s a double-edged sword. There’s some negative sides, there’s some positive sides. I’m gonna try and focus on the positive, go out there with a guy who’s very talented, I’ve got great chemistry with and we’re gonna do our absolute best so at the very least, you’re gonna get an Edge and an Orton that are motivated to have the greatest match ever and I think that’s enough to get people to tune in there.”

** Flash Morgan Webster welcomed Sierra Loxton onto his ‘Wrestling Friends’ podcast. Sierra Loxton, an independent wrestler based in the United Kingdom suffered a career-ending injury in the Summer of 2019. Sierra officially announced her retirement from in-ring competition on May 28th. Sierra broke her back in a match against Nightshade on June 8th of 2019. She revealed that she took a One Winged Angel and landed directly on her shoulders. She said that she never took moves like that but felt the pressure from those who said she “didn’t take big bumps”.

“So obviously I was wrestling at Pro-Wrestling: EVE, which I love wrestling for EVE. It’s such a nice atmosphere to be in and EVE is one of the only female promotions as well in the U.K. so for me to get booked on EVE was a massive deal. So yeah, I think this was like my fourth or fifth match with EVE or something like that, and it was June 8th, which is literally coming up in a few days, and I remember I was really ill as well. I think I had the flu but it was going so I had a really bad chest. I couldn’t really breath, I was really weak as well, and had this amazing match planned out and was loving life and yeah, I just took this move and I didn’t flip myself over fully and obviously that’s what happens when you don’t go training. Your body forgets how to bump and take moves properly and stuff, and landed on my shoulders and broke my back, basically.

It was on the One Winged Angel that I took, and I’d never taken it before, ever but I kinda wanted to prove myself because a lot of people had said to me, ‘You don’t take big bumps. Wrestlers have to take big bumps and you never bump’ and all this. So, this match for me was make or break, literally, because it was such a good match as well. It was just great, really good and I wanted to take the One Winged Angel because I wanted to prove to people that I do take big bumps and I don’t care what you say, I am a good wrestler. I am good, so, for me to take this bump was a big thing. I’d never taken it before, I was absolutely scared out of my mind and I remember just closing my eyes and kind of just flipping myself over and tucking my head, but I literally came straight down on my shoulders and I didn’t flip over enough and then I landed on my shoulders and I remember just hearing my spine crack and pop and I was laying there for the pin and I was so winded and I remember just shouting out, ‘Ow! My back,’ and then I kicked out and kinda rolled to the side and I was literally shaking, and then the ref was like, ‘Are you okay?’ I was like, ‘No, I’m literally so winded’ and I had just thought I winded myself and I was like, ‘Just give me a minute because I’ll calm down’ and obviously, you know how horrible it is when you’re winded anyway. So I literally was just like, ‘It’ll go in a minute. It’ll go in a minute,’ and the match that we had, it was gonna be a time-limit draw match so we had 15 minutes, or it was like 20 minutes or something like that and I was looking at the clock and it was literally like six minutes left and we had the rest of the match left and I was looking at it and I was like, ‘Oh my God,’ and she was like, ‘Can you continue?’ And then I started getting pins and needles in my hands, down my legs then I was like, ‘No.’ I was in so much pain, so they cancelled the match.”

Sierra detailed the surgical process that she had to endure. There were six screws placed in her back to keep her spine secure.

“So they had to put six screws in my spine to keep my spine secure and then when the lumbar heals, then it has a bit of support to heal. But yeah, so they had to put like six screws in my back.”

After the surgery and some healing time, Sierra went back to her other job of working in a nursing home. She was not told by the surgeons that she had another fracture in her back but she later found out when she went and got a check-up. Sierra then asked the doctor would she be able to wrestle again and the doctor alerted her that the chances of her returning are very slim.

“I continued to go back to work and I was still lifting people who were up to 20 kilos — not 20 kilos, 20 stone. So I’m moving people on my own, doing all this work, just powering through the pain and I was annoyed at the fact that they hadn’t told me I had another fracture in my back. So I was still at work, lifting people, washing people, doing everything that you have to in a nursing home which the people are up to 20 stone. I mean for someone who has broken their back and you’re moving 20 stone, that’s a lot of pressure on your back. So I was really upset about that but where I had my first break was on the left side… but my new fracture is on the right-hand side but lower down, so it was like two different bones which I broke, which made me so confused and I was so upset by it and he just said, ‘It’s from the pressure on your back and the screws need to be taken out. If your new fracture doesn’t heal on its , then we’re gonna have to put screws in and put a rod in and stuff so it heals naturally and then we can place it together’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t wanna be having all these surgeries and all these screws in my back. I want my spine to heal naturally. I don’t wanna have foreign objects in my body.’ So, he kinda just said that and I was upset at the fact that he told me I had another fracture on my back anyway, but then I said, ‘Can I wrestle again?’ And he literally looked at me and he was like, ‘Seeing as how this fracture that’s on your back, no.’ He was like, ‘You can’t wrestle again.’ He said, ‘If it heals on its own in a few months, then possibly.’ He said, ‘But no. Looking at this, you literally can’t’ and obviously I was so heartbroken, cried my eyes out and stuff and I even tried to find private insurance so I could try to go to private healthcare so I could have the screws out quicker and stuff so my spine can heal naturally, but no insurance company is gonna insure me because I’ve already had problems before I have to have surgery.”

** In 2019, Undertaker was booked to appear at Starrcast in Las Vegas which was the media/fan interaction weekend of events that led up to AEW’s Double Or Nothing show. Undertaker was ultimately pulled from Starrcast by WWE and during an interview with Newsweek, Undertaker was asked that booking came about and how his relationship with Vince McMahon played a role in him not wanting to be affiliated:

“It wasn’t the friendship aspect of it, or the personal feelings for each other. It was definitely business, and the fact that Vince and I are at this point where we rarely have to talk business, especially that kind of business. I believe that caught us both a little bit off guard.

Like I said in the doc, I was oblivious to what’s going on. At the time, I wasn’t really keeping up with what’s going on here and there. And when he called and made me aware of it, it was a no-brainer. I can’t associate myself and I can’t be there. And I understood that. I don’t like committing to things and not being able to fulfill my commitment, either. In this case, it was a no-brainer and I had to pull out of that.

In general we had , and I had some other things lined up and it was more of a misunderstanding in the sense of, ‘OK, I’m not working that much anymore and now it’s time to capitalize on the brand that I built in outside projects.’ So that’s what I did. I finally started a social media account to get out there and work on different opportunities. And WWE at the time wasn’t doing that for me and I didn’t have a problem with that. The way I perceive it, I had my run and there are guys out there working all the time and that’s where your focus is going to be.

We were filming and we didn’t know what we had at that point, as far as the doc was concerned. I was just trying to be a businessman in the sense of trying to earn a living off of other ways other than being in the ring, and Vince, with some of the things that I set up, said I couldn’t do those things without this being in the WWE nest.

The big thing was, there’s nobody working for me on this side of things now. And I’m fine with that and I get it and I’m good. So we had to realize, he had to realize, that now that I’m not in the ring anymore there still needs to be someone to generate interest and get my name out there for outside projects. And once we let our man-pride and egos get out of the way, we were obviously able to sit down and have a productive conversation and he saw my point of view and I saw his point of view, and it was back to business as usual again.”

** On June 11th five years ago, Virgil Riley Runnels Jr., better known as Dusty Rhodes passed away at the age of 69.

** RTV6 in Indianapolis has a feature story up about the career of Mr. Wrestling II who passed away on June 10th.

** According to the official Michinoku Pro Wrestling Twitter page, Korakuen Hall will be able to hold close to 500 people during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

** Tampa Bay Buccaneer Tight End and former WWE 24/7 Champion Rob Gronkowski sat down with PEOPLE.com for an exclusive interview. Gronk lost the title to R-Truth in a taped segment that aired on RAW. During his interview with PEOPLE which was conducted prior to him losing the title, Gronk said he was ready to drop the title.

“You know, I’ve been defending it for quite a while. The people that I’ve been around have been coming at me. They’ve been out taking their shot, I rejected them all. I actually took the belt and smashed it over my roommate’s back already, took it right over him. He wasn’t too thrilled with it but he understood. He came at me first and tried to take it away from me but I am the longest-tenured WWE 24/7 belt Champion of the world, ever. But you know something? I’m ready to give it up. I’m a nice guy, I’m a team player. I’ve already broke the record so it’s time for myself to give it up. I will defend it still if people come at me, but if I lose, that’s cool. I broke the record. It’s time for someone else to have a chance now.”

** Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre are clashing for the WWE Championship this Sunday at Backlash. Ahead of the match, IMPACT Wrestling uploaded McIntyre and Lashley’s TNA World Heavyweight Championship match to their YouTube channel that took place in the Summer of 2016.

 

** GQ Magazine chatted with The Undertaker for an exclusive interview. Undertaker further spoke about the protection of his on-screen character throughout the years and he recalled having struggles crossing that line because of the Make-A-Wish requests that he would receive.

“It came pretty easily for me to separate it and to put it as the Undertaker side of me.” But he was struck by the amount of children with terminal diseases who sought him out via the Make A Wish Foundation. “Them wanting to meet the Undertaker, right, which is synonymous with death and their mortality and everything. I was always like, ‘Are you sure they want me?’ And they were like, ‘Yeah, they were very adamant that they wanted you.’ I guess the Undertaker kind of made it acceptable I guess in some cases to be OK with it. Not to get too deep.”

** Vickie Guerrero welcomed Erick Rowan onto her podcast and Rowan shared that on his WWE release papers, the company spelt the name “Erick” as “Eric” so with that, he’s going to continue using the name “Erick” in his post-WWE ventures.

“Funny thing, when I got my release papers, the company spelt ‘Erick’ the wrong way. I’ve already got the papers. They spelt it ‘Eric’, so I’m gonna continue with ‘Erick’.”

** Randy Orton joined Corey Graves on the latest installment of WWE’s After The Bell podcast. Orton talked about the empty arena setting that wrestling has been in for the past several months and wrestlers being placed at ringside. Orton recalled watching Braun Strowman and Goldberg’s Universal Title match at WrestleMania 36 and feeling bad for Strowman because he was trying to get amped up with no crowd in attendance.

“What really made it refreshing for us what I see, they have some NXT guys ringside, but I don’t even know how I feel about that.”

Randy Orton ran into Austin Theory backstage at the Performance Center. Theory approached Orton and asked him was it okay to use his “ATL” finishing maneuver which has a variation of a Cutter in it. Orton immediately told Theory he could use the move and praised Theory for having the respect to ask him.

“Austin Theory, never met him before. The Corona thing had just started. I was down in the P.C. and everyone’s staying apart, few people have masks on, no one’s shaking hands and Austin Theory comes up to me to shake my hand and I just kind of look at him and I give him a little like, ‘What are you doing? Nah’ and I give him one of the little elbow taps, and then he laughs and I could tell he was new, he was young and he was trying not to say the wrong thing, but he asked me — he goes, ‘Hey, I wanna start doing this move and it ends up in a similar position, kinda like a Cutter’ and I think he picks the guy up in a Fireman’s Carry, spins him around and does a Cutter and I was so taken back that this kid took the time and had the respect and the wherewithal to ask me if it was okay with me for him to do that. Before I could even think about what the right answer should be, I said, ‘Yes! Oh my God. Are you kidding me?’ He came to me and he asked me. I don’t know if that’s ever happened. I see a lot guys of doing variations of other guys’ moves and it’s just like that was such a huge no-no. I feel like the way it used to be for me when I was at that stage is so different now. It’s almost like I don’t know how to navigate anymore when I’m trying to help out younger talent because my advice should be, ‘Don’t do anyone else’s sh*t. Have your own sh*t. Don’t let anyone kick out of your finish, get your top moves over,’ sh*t like that. But now I feel like everyone needs 50 moves and they don’t stop and it’s a race to the finish line every time.”

Randy Orton posted on Instagram several weeks back that he purchased a plane. He later revealed that he was just joking but one person who did buy the joke was The Undertaker who congratulated Orton on his new “purchase”.

“I did not buy a plane. I came home and my wife goes, ‘What the f*ck did you say you bought a plane for?’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ She’s like, ‘Look at your social media’ and I had — I was flying home after TV, it was a private plane, I had a few drinks and we were about to take off and I was just like, ‘Look at that.’ Took a picture and I’m thinking of a comment and it’s my social media so I gotta try and put the word f*ck in there somewhere, so I having fun, but that’s how I like to use it.”

** Bar Wrestling shared via Twitter that WWE had a tweet pulled of theirs which was a link to a match between Jake Atlas and Brian Cage, which Bar Wrestling owns. The match is up for free on YouTube.

** Kris Statlander chatted with Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards on the AEW Unrestricted podcast. Statlander shared that she’s waiting to break out her 450 splash that she calls “Area 451”. Statlander is just waiting on the green light from Kenny Omega who is one of the overseers of AEW’s women’s division.

“Well, I have a move that I haven’t been allowed to hit yet, as per Kenny , because we don’t know when I’ll be able to hit this move but my good ole’ Area 451. It’s a 450, I can hit that. Only twice in my life have I ever over-rotated and bashed my face onto the mat. Out of all the times that I’ve done it, only twice and I’ve done it a lot so, I’ll take it.”

Kris Statlander is a graduate of the Create A Pro Wrestling academy that is ran by Brian Myers (Curt Hawkins) and Pat Buck. Statlander discussed her decision to join AEW over WWE and she initially worried that because of her trainers being a part of WWE and her joining AEW, it might cause a rift but Myers and Buck gave Statlander their full support as she embarked on her new career venture.

“But then they were like, ‘Okay, we’ll get back to you. It could be a while though,’ and during that ‘while’ period, AEW snuck their little way in and were like, ‘We wanna book you for a dark match’ and I was like, ‘Oh, okay.’ So, I did that and then the contract offering with AEW happened and then I sent an email out to WWE and I was like, ‘Hey, unfortunately I have another offer that works with my overall life schedule a little bit better’ because I’m also a massage therapist and I would still be able to do that and I just got my license like that year so I was like, I kinda still wanna — I don’t wanna waste that, that I just went to school for two years for, and they responded with something like, ‘What are the other offers? Don’t accept anything’ and I was like, ‘You don’t own me,’ and even my trainer was like, ‘Just send them like a sorry, not sorry text message. Like just let them know. You don’t have to go back and forth with them. Just kinda be like, ‘Sorry, no thanks’ type thing’ and I think my biggest fear about going with AEW as opposed to WWE at first was that you know, both my trainers work for WWE. Would I have their blessing to go here when I have an offer with the company they work for and they were both like, ‘It’s a much better fit for you. Just go for it’ so, once I got their blessing, I was 100 percent peace of mind that I was making the right choice so…”

** R-Truth was present at the protest in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina on June 10th.

** Bret Hart will be guest appearing on next week’s edition of WWE Backstage on FS1. Leading in for that show is the 1996 Survivor Series which is the show that Bret Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin clashed on to determine the #1 contender to the WWF World Heavyweight Championship.

** WWE ring announcer Greg Hamilton did an in-person interview with Chris Van Vliet during-which they discussed a number of topics concerning Hamilton’s career. Greg talked about the World Cup tournament from 2018 that concluded at Crown Jewel and the winner being declared the “Best In The World”. Hamilton revealed that WWE wanted him to memorize the accolades of every talent in the tournament and announce those accolades in the ring which he was able to pull off.

“One of the most difficult times I’ve ever had with that , was the Best In The World tournament in Saudi. Remember the big tournament that we had. So before that show during rehearsal, they had me listing each superstar’s accolades. So, ‘Introducing first, from St. Louis Missouri, weighing in at 250 pounds, he was a 14-time world champion, this champion, this kind of champion, two-time Royal Rumble winner, Randy Orton!’ I had to do it for everybody and at first I’m like, ‘Okay, well I’ll be at ringside. I’ll just do it from ringside’ and they’re like, ‘No, they want you in the ring for that.’ I’m like, ‘So you want me to memorize in the next hour and-a-half, all of these stats for eight individual superstars?’ And they sound the same, right? Because maybe two people are two-time Royal Rumble winners or Grand Slam Champions or whatever you wanna call it. That was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to do because you’re in the ring.

I used my phone. This is before we opened doors and stuff, and in my phone, I opened the voice memos and for each superstar, I read it off but I did it sort of sing-songy and I just memorized a song for each superstar. So when I got in the ring, I knew what the Dolph Ziggler song was, and I had less than two hours to do it. I was really, really scared.”

Early on in Greg Hamilton’s career in WWE, he would constantly receive, “We want JoJo ” chants. Offerman is currently a parent of two with Bray Wyatt.

“For a while there was just, ‘We want JoJo’ chants whenever I got in the ring. Oh my God, yeah. Long time of course. ‘We want JoJo’ chants and I get it man, I get it.”

As far as WWE video games go, that was a four-to-six month process that Hamilton was a part of. He would fly out to San Francisco to 2K Games to announce every title, every city, every weight and every name that was going to be in the game.

“No, this was probably a four to six month process. Yeah, because this was my first time on the video game so they don’t have any audio of me before. This was the first-ever recording so I have to announce every single title, every single human being for the ring, every single city, every single possible weight, you see what I’m saying? Because there are so many titles in that video game. There are so many promotions in that video game. I had to do every single one from scratch because I hadn’t done it before. So I would fly out to San Francisco once or twice a month to 2K Games and we would record two days each time and it took about four to six months.”

When Greg Hamilton started working in WWE, he wanted to use his real name which is Greg Hutson. Initially, he was not happy when WWE told him that he could not use his real name but once he calmed down, he used the last name “Hamilton” to salute his hometown of Hamilton, Ohio.

“So I was trying to build something towards my own brand as Greg Hutson. So Jonny Greco calls me. He goes, ‘Hey, by the way, we need you to come with a list of maybe ten names you would want to use.’ I’m like, ‘Whoa, what’s wrong with Greg Huston?’ He goes, ‘No, no, no, no! It’s proprietary stuff. You need to have a new last name,’ and I was kind of upset at first but I’m trying to build this brand… and I felt like I was starting from zero after that. So once I calmed down and figured out what he was talking about, it was really, really easy for me. Greg Hamilton was a no-brainer. My hometown is Hamilton, Ohio and it just sounded great, it just sounded perfect and I wanted to give sort of a nod to Hamilton, Ohio where I grew up and it was a wonderful place, still is.”

** Nikki and Brie Bella brought Titus O’Neil onto The Bellas Podcast. O’Neil further spoke about his experience as a black man in America, the Black Lives Matter movement and how people can support the movement. Daniel Bryan was also back on the podcast to host the ‘Bella Brains’ segment.

** John Morrison did an interview with GameSpot ahead of Backlash. Morrison recalled when he was on ‘The World According To Wrestling’ podcast and said he’d like to wrestle Roman Reigns in a few years once Roman learns how to wrestle. Now having been in the ring with Roman, Morrison stands by that statement and feels that Roman has come into his own since he made those comments.

“Someone asked me if I wanted to wrestle . I said, ‘Yeah, I’d love to wrestle that guy. Maybe in 10 years once he learns how to wrestle.’ And they screen capped that with a really jerky picture of me smiling. And I stand by that then, but I’ve been in the ring with him once now, right down to seeing the caliber of matches that he’s capable of now. That’s another example of a guy who has really come into his own.”

Morrison is excited for Backlash and the potential outcome. He also is excited about the idea of stepping in the ring with those who he hasn’t gotten to wrestle in WWE and mixing it up with those who he has wrestled outside of WWE.

“One of the reasons I was excited about Backlash–one of the reasons I came back to WWE–because I never got that big win. I was, at the end, a multiple-time tag team champion, but never the World Champion, never the Universal Champion. That is one of the things that I want to achieve. In addition to that, there’s a lot of guys on the roster that I have not yet taken Rollins, Kevin Owens, Aleister Black, Ricochet, which is funny that I say that because I wrestled Prince Puma plenty of times, but Ricochet not much. There’s a lot of unfinished business that I feel like I have, which to me is exciting. The other reason I came back was to have fun. I feel like I missed that a little bit on the first run. And now my mentality is everything I do should be fun.”

** Pro Wrestling NOAH: ‘NOAH In The Spotlight’ Results (6/10/20) Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
– Kaz Hayashi, Kendo Kashin & NOSAWA Rongai def. Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka
– Hao & Nio def. Kaito Kiyomiya & Kinya Okada
– Stinger (HAYATA, Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa) def. Daisuke Harada, Tadasuke & YO-HEY

Pro Wrestling NOAH: ‘NOAH In The Spotlight’ Results (6/11/20) Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan
– Hao & Nio def. Black Spider & SUSHI
– Atsushi Kotoge, Hajime Ohara & Seiki Yoshioka def. Sugiura-gun (Kaz Hayashi, Kendo Kashin & NOSAWA Rongai)
– Daisuke Harada, Kaito Kiyomiya, Tadasuke & YO-HEY def. Stinger (HAYATA, Kotaro Suzuki & Yoshinari Ogawa) & Kinya Okada

** Eric Bischoff chatted with Bully Ray and David LaGreca on Busted Open Radio. Of the many topics that were discussed during the interview, Bischoff expressed that he feels WWE is starting to feel the weight of their own success and explained what he means by that:

“I’ve said before, becoming successful is a real challenge, it is. The odds of being successful in any new venture, any new business is so slim. The odds are stacked against you, but that’s not the hardest part. The hardest part is staying successful, and to a certain degree, I think WWE has become a victim of their own success. They are now feeling the pressure of the weight they’ve created by building this amazing company called WWE and in order to manage that amazing company called WWE, you make certain sacrifices along the way and having complete control is one of those things that I think I can understand from a business point of view. But, I think we’re seeing the downside.”

** NXT UK’s Xia Brookside spoke with Alicia Atout:

 

** Loudwire uploaded their interview with The Undertaker to their official website. Undertaker was asked about his entrance at WrestleMania XIX in 2003 that was performed live by Limp Bizkit.

“‘Rollin’ and being on the bike all tied in together. Again, another high-energy song, a song that a lot of people recognized and identified with. A wrestling match, in my eyes, doesn’t start at the bell. It starts when the music plays. As soon as that music kicks in, your match has started. It sets the tone for the entire match. It was a such a high-energy, fun song and still kind of bad ass and got people going, got them excited. The lyrics, obviously, weren’t quite the same, but the energy level was still where we wanted it to be.

It was really cool in Seattle at WrestleMania when Limp Bizkit played me in. Came in, American flag off the back of my bike… one of my favorite entrances actually.”

Undertaker also recalled the time he was tattooed by Paul Booth, who is a close friend of Loudwire. Booth once ran into The Undertaker at the Hilton Newark airport. The two conversed about tattoos and Booth ended up tattooing Undertaker hours before Undertaker’s match at Madison Square Garden.

“Yeah, I had seen a little bit of his work in Tattoo Magazine or something like that. Just by chance, we used to stay at the Newark Hilton at the airport there, and they were having a tattoo convention. I worked some other town, drove into Newark, checked in and headed down to the bar just to have a couple beers before I went to bed. Just by chance, I sat down right next to Paul. We introduced ourselves and he goes, ‘Look, I’m not tattooing at this convention, I’m just selling some of my swag, but if you want a tattoo, come up to my room tomorrow and we’ll put something on you.’ I was like, ‘Hell yeah.’

Sure enough, the next day, I went up to his room. I think he worked on me for five or six hours. We finished up right in time for me to grab my bags and go to the Garden where I was working that night. I was just in the right place at the right time. It’s still, to this day, one of my favorite tattoos and probably the tattoo I get the most compliments on. He did it freehand too, which I was amazed by. I was like, ‘Dude, aren’t you gonna… No? Never mind, I’ll just shut up.’ Really good dude.”

** WWE 2K development team member Patrick Gilmore posted a job link on Twitter for a game designer job to work on WWE 2K22.

** The next portion of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s interview series with NJPW1972.com is up on the site.

** Renee Young was the most recent guest on the Gorilla Position podcast. Renee talked about her husband, AEW World Champion Jon Moxley and if she gets concerned with the hardcore matches that Moxley partakes in.

“You know, I’m torn between it. It doesn’t bother me. There’s some things I’m watching between my fingers because I’m nervous to see what’s gonna happen next but, that’s the outlet that he’s chosen. It’s a thing he loves to do and I know he does all those things as safely as possibly can so I trust him, I trust the other performers that he’s in the ring with doing those things so, it’s a thing that makes him happy and yeah, there’s days when I’m like, ‘Hey, we should set up an Epsom Salt bath and maybe go to Chirotherapy and maybe get a masseuse in here’ but, he’s a tough guy. He’s gonna do what he wants to do so, it makes it happy.”

** Per the official Grilling JR Twitter account, Jim Ross has secured the trademark, “The Voice Of Wrestling”.

** The Nevada primary race is on-going and former WWE talent Daniel Rodimer is going up against Representative Susie Lee in Congressional District 3.

** Newsweek conducted an interview with Karrion Kross ahead of the 6/10 episode of NXT. Karrion was asked did he catch any of the conversations online about him moving directly to RAW or SmackDown instead of going to NXT and here’s what he had to say:

“I heard all that. That sort of situation was… I don’t really know how to answer it. I submitted myself to the process of whatever WWE wants to do with me. I’m going to trust this process. So whatever direction they were going to point me in, I was going to go full speed, and, respectfully, I had no specific desire to go in one direction or another because I was going to trust the process.”

** Titus O’Neil was a keynote speaker on the Synapse Converge conference call which was to address ethics and inclusion in the city of Tampa Bay.

** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated chatted with Sonya Deville and Deville stated that she does not want to be cast as one specific thing in wrestling. She does not want to be only linked to MMA or only linked to her sexuality.

“I don’t like to be coined as ‘the MMA fighter’ or ‘the gay one,’” said Deville. “My work speaks for itself. I’m Sonya Deville, the most dominant superstar in the division right now. That’s how people should explain who I am.”

As far as how her career has panned out thus far in WWE, Sonya believes she is exactly where she needs and wants to be to go to the next level. She feels that she’s more ready than ever to be on her own and has what it takes to be at a top level in WWE.

“My career for the past five years in WWE has been everything it should have been in terms of preparing me for where I am now. I learned so much working with Paige in Absolution and with Mandy in Fire and Desire. I’ve never been more ready to be on my own and show the world what I’ve always known I am capable of. I have everything it takes to be the top superstar, whether it be male or female, in the WWE.”

** Chris Jericho did an interview with WrestleZone’s Bill Pritchard. Jericho discussed his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi which took place at this year’s Wrestle Kingdom. Jericho said it is one of his favorite matches and spoke about how smooth it was to work with the former 8-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion.

“If you haven’t seen Jericho versus Tanahashi from the Tokyo Dome, this year. Seems like it was f*cking 20 years ago but that was one of my favorite matches I’ve ever had because you got two guys with the same mindset. Everybody thinks you go to Japan and just beat the sh*t out of each other and that’s not the case. Tanahashi is very smart and I really enjoyed putting that match together and comradery we had. Never touched, never worked in the ring together, and that’s when you know you have a real pro in there.”

** The U.K. outlet ‘Metro’ spoke with Ric Flair ahead of the next episode of The Undertaker’s ‘Last Ride’ docu-series. Flair briefly spoke about the time when he lost his Rolex hanging out with The Undertaker.

** Charlotte Flair joined Maria Menounos on her ‘Better Together’ podcast. Charlotte was asked if she feels that she’s being “over exposed” on WWE TV and she does not feel that way, but thinks fans get frustrated because she’s consistently in storylines that she’s not the focus of and thus, they feel she should not be in those positions.

“No. I mean, I sometimes get more frustrated because it’s so hard for people to see past, ‘Okay, Charlotte’s always in the picture, but this isn’t her storyline. She is just a tool to help build what they’re trying to build,’ and I think that’s the frustrating part because I know that. It’s people saying, ‘We always see Charlotte on screen,’ but I’m not necessarily the push or the focus and it’s hard for people to just — ‘she’s on the screen’ — to see past my presence because I’m just a tool in the story.”

Charlotte spoke in-detail about some of the female athletes that come to her mind from each brand in WWE. She shared high praise for Nikki Cross, Ruby Riott, Rhea Ripley and Io Shirai, who she recently lost the NXT Women’s Title to at TakeOver: In Your House.

“Well, I have to give credit to two ladies in NXT, but for Rhea to be put in the position she was — like I don’t know what I would’ve been like in NXT if someone said, ‘Oh hey, by the way, you’re at WrestleMania this year, in two months, be ready’ because that story just came out of nowhere. That was not the plan, that wasn’t in the books, that was just fly on the moment, and I talked to her before the match and I said, ‘Bring it’ and she did exactly what she needed to do, and that’s a lot of pressure to have on someone. So Rhea, to have that mental calmness and she was able to get through it, kudos to her. But having the opportunity to be in the ring with Io because you hear a lot, you know? She’s considered one of the greats, she’s traveled all over the world. Just being in there with her, the way she moves, she’s so quick, she’s so solid. So, I’m just, ‘I didn’t get to wrestle you enough. I want more,’ and just her kind of loner aspect she tries to play and the look, I love it. With RAW right now, who’s impressing me… Man I know Ruby Riott has it. I think she is a natural babyface, and when they give her the ball and let her run with it, I think she has a very similar Paige-element to her. No matter how hard you try to be bad, people love you, they relate to you, you’re like one of them and she has that cool, ‘This is me, this is who I am’ look and then on SmackDown… Man I love Nikki Cross. She just radiates on your screen. When she runs down and she’s all crazy, she’s just another — I consider her a white meat babyface. That’s who she is. She’s bubbly, she’s nice. She has all that energy. When those two have the opportunity to shine, they will.”

** The career of Harley Race was spotlighted via the National Wrestling Alliance’s YouTube channel:

 

** Myron Reed’s “Kid Reed” album drops on June 12th.

** Tony Schiavone recapped the June 10th episode of AEW Dynamite on the All Elite Wrestling YouTube channel.

** “Switchblade” Jay White has an interview up with NJPW1972.com. The interview was conducted prior to the official announcement that New Japan Pro-Wrestling would be resuming operations next week.

** WWE India sent Sportskeeda transcriptions of an interview they conducted with Ric Flair. The transcriptions are of Flair discussing the “Greatest Wrestling Match Ever” tagline that has been placed on Randy Orton and Edge’s match at Backlash.

** AEW Women’s World Champion Hikaru Shida turned 32-years old on June 11th.

** wXw Germany announced that there will be a tournament for the vacant Shotgun Championship. Avalanche is going to be in the tournament and it will be a ten week tournament. Avalanche dropped the title to Alexander Wolfe during 16 Carat Gold weekend in March. Wolfe is currently contracted to WWE and on the NXT UK brand. Wolfe has yet to appear on WWE programming since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

** PJ Black wrote an article for ROHWrestling.com about returning to base jumping after suffering two base jumping incidents over the past four years that resulting in him having two broken ankles and losing part of a finger that was reattached.

** Episode 22 of Battle Of The Brands is up on the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel:

 

** WWE The Bump’s Matt Camp hosted a virtual round-table with Christian, Big Show and Mick Foley to discuss Edge and Randy Orton’s match at Backlash.

** On the June 11th episode of NXT UK, The British Bulldog and Bret Hart’s WWF Intercontinental Title match from SummerSlam 1992 aired during the program.

** Scott Fishman of TV Insider chatted with The Undertaker to promote the next episode of ‘The Last Ride’ that airs on the WWE Network this coming Sunday. On the topic of being inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame, Undertaker says he has an idea of who he wants to do the honors of inducting him.

“I have an idea. I’m going to keep it to myself at this point. I don’t think I have to make a decision any time soon. I don’t want to give that away because I don’t want him to come up with an excuse not to do it.”

Undertaker has had the chance to work alongside Drew McIntyre at various points throughout their time together in WWE. As far as what Drew is accomplishing at the moment and being WWE Champion, Undertaker shared that he is extremely proud of how far McIntyre has come.

“I’m really proud of Drew. He earned it. He came in with a lot of fanfare, and it didn’t quite work out for him. He has been one of the guys from day one who has come to me and picked my mind on different things and asked me my opinion on a lot of things. He is actually someone who has listened and tried to apply some of the stuff that I’ve given him.

So I’m really happy for Drew. Sometimes it takes a while to figure things out. For a lot of guys, you have to taste a little bit of failure and regroup and find out how important all this is to you. He did that. He left and worked and came back. His confidence is so much better now than it was. He always had the tools. A lot of times it takes a little longer to put the whole package together. I think he is really starting to do that now.”

** WWE Champion Drew McIntyre spoke with Daily Star about The Undertaker.

** In this clip below, Booker T discussed Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig wanting Booker T to take on the name “Mr. Perfect”.

 

** Natalya wrote about how social media can be used for good in her latest blog post for the Calgary Sun.

** Corey Graves and Carmella released episodes one and two of their ‘Bare With Us’ podcast.

** Ed Mylett brought The Undertaker and Michelle McCool onto his show to discuss their relationship, how they’ve gotten through hardships and if they’re interested in making their respective returns to the ring.

 

** ‘Comic Book Movie’ chatted with Sonya Deville and Sonya said that she wants to be the first female from WWE to make the transition over to acting in a similar fashion to how Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena have.

“Yeah, I took my first acting class when I was 12 or 13 years old. I remember that my mom used to drive me 45 minutes from our house to take acting classes, so it’s always been a dream of mine that recently, in the past year, I’ve started pursuing more than I was before. The timing felt good with that, and it’s my retirement plan. I can’t wrestle until I’m eighty, so I would love to transition like John Cena and The Rock have. I’d like to be the first female to make the big leap.”

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.