POST NEWS UPDATE: Mace & Mansoor share Sami Zayn/Braun Strowman story, L.A. Knight learning he was no longer a heel

Originally published at Mace & Mansoor share Sami Zayn/Braun Strowman story, L.A. Knight learning he was no longer a heel

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.

 ** As part two of Mace and Mansoor’s post-WWE release Twitch stream was underway, Mace told the story of when him and Dijak took on Braun Strowman and Drew McIntyre on an April 2021 episode of Monday Night Raw. They were told to be snug, they were ‘big b*tches’ and to lay it in. Mace said afterwards, Vince McMahon looked like he wanted to hug all four of them. McMahon said it looked like they had fun and he wishes he could’ve been out there with them.

Mace: That was my other favorite matchup until Paris was me and Dijak versus Drew (McIntyre) and Braun (Strowman) because they go out, they said, ‘Listen, you guys are some big b*tches. You guys go out there and you just beat each other’s ass for real.’ I was like, ‘Okay.’ So we went out there… Everything was safe, but it was all heavy. I was beat up by the end of it and we got to the back and Vince (McMahon), he looked at us like he wanted to hug us. He’s like, ‘Man, you guys looked like you had fun out there. Wish I could have been out there with you (he laughed).

Transitioning over to part three of the stream, Mansoor recounted his match with L.A. Knight in October 2022 on SmackDown. After the bout, Knight cut a heel promo and cut down the audience. He spoke to Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque afterwards and Levesque questioned why Knight talked down to the crowd. Levesque informed Knight that he was not a heel, but Knight did not know that.

Mansoor: So, L.A. Knight turned on us. For some reason, he’s the good guy in this scenario. Don’t know why. He beats the sh*t out of us backstage. Next week, we get to work, it’s me, L.A. Knight, singles match and so I have my match with Knight and he’s supposed to cut a promo afterwards. So in the match, he’s a babyface because obviously, because… so everybody cheers him beating me up and then it’s over, yay, and then he gets the mic and as we’re walking away, he’s like, ‘You incels didn’t think I was fighting for you did ya? Yeah!’ And we’re like, ‘Haha! You were cheering for this guy’ and he was like, ‘I don’t want any of you swamp ass, mud dwelling pieces of trash to cheer me, aht, aht! You don’t deserve it, yeah, let me talk to ya, dummy!’ So on and so forth and we get to the back and we’re waiting… and we thank Hunter, blah, blah, blah. Then we leave Gorilla, wait a little bit longer. The match is over, he’s been gone but he hasn’t come out for a while. So he walks out the curtain, I’m like, ‘Hey! Thanks for the match.’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah.’ I’m like, ‘What’s going on? Everything okay? And Knight goes, ‘So, I guess somewhere along the way, something got lost because I was supposed to cut a babyface promo.’ I was like, ‘Excuse me?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah. Hunter was like, why’d you go and sh*t on the crowd? I was like, because I’m a heel and he was like, no you’re not’ and he was like, ‘Oh, oops.’ Wasn’t his fault. The writer told him… the dialogue he went over with the writer was that dialogue promo. So, it was approved, but Hunter, I guess, wanted it to be a babyface promo. He was supposed to be a babyface well before he turned. Just a fun, little fact for you guys. But then you had to commit. He went out there and called everybody incels.

Elsewhere in the conversation, both Mace and Mansoor shared the story of when Sami Zayn shoot took down Braun Strowman at a house show in Canada. They got tangled up and when Braun lifted Zayn up, Zayn turned it into a single leg takedown and legitimately pinned Strowman’s shoulders to the mat, but Braun kicked out. Mace and Mansoor said everyone backstage reacted in a big way. People kept referring to Sami as ‘Shooter Zayn’ and acting scared of him.

Mansoor: We are on a loop and the main event is Sami Zayn, Jey Uso, Jimmy Uso versus Drew McIntyre, I think Sheamus, and Braun Strowman and this was the night that ‘shooter Zayn’ was born.

Mace: Oh! Sami the shooter. Was that the Saskatoon shoot?

Mansoor: That was the Saskatoon screwjob, yeah. We were in Saskatoon, Canada and the Saskatoon screwjob happened where they’re getting to the falsies. Braun and Sami get turned around in a way that everything got muddled up so Sami ended up on his back and Braun goes to pick him up and I sh*t you not, Sami goes to perform a single leg takedown on Braun Strowman, puts him on the ground, shoot f*cking pins him, one, two, kick out and everybody in the f*cking back pops so hard, and when Sami came back in the locker room, we were like, ‘Woah, woah, hey, I got no heat.’

Mace: ‘We don’t want any trouble shooter Zayn,’ and then Braun came back and Braun was like, ‘Oh man, he really got me out there. I was fighting for my damn life against that God dang shooter Zayn.’

Mansoor: ‘I forgot f*cking Sami Severn over here.’

Mace: ‘I didn’t know he trained at the Hart Dungeon.’

Mansoor: ‘I didn’t know Stu Hart stretched his ass.’ Great f*cking moment, great f*cking moment. I wish you guys could see it.

Speaking about an overseas tour, Mansoor talked about how much fun he had being around The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) and how welcoming they were. He remembers after a night out, Jey shared that when Roman Reigns asked who’s next up, Jey told him that Mansoor was next up.

Mansoor: We got back after a long night out with The Usos and a bunch of people. We drive back in a cab, this is in Europe, Amsterdam or something, in a car with Jey (Uso) and Jey, Jey’s ready to go to bed. It was the last night of a tour, we had a flight at like 5 AM the next day and we get back at 3 AM and we get into the lobby and he pulls us in and he looks at me and he goes, ‘Aye Mansoor, man, you’re one of the best guys here.’ I’m like, ‘Really?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, you know, when big uce — ’ he’s talking about Roman (Reigns) — ‘When big uce asks me, aye, who’s next uce? I say, aye, Mansoor’s next uce’ and then he looks over at Brennan (Mace) and goes, ‘And Brennan, you low key big as f*ck.’

Later in the conversation, Mace recounted WWE producer Chris Park a.k.a. Abyss being happy when he performed the Black Hole Slam finisher and did Park’s signature pose. Abyss expressed to him that he thinks some of what was done in TNA gets forgotten about, but it made him happy to see what Mace did.

Mace: And that’s all of our producers (at WWE), all of our producers were in TNA when we liked it. I popped Abyss so big because one of my moves that you’ve never seen because I don’t wrestle for more than two minutes is I do a Black Hole Slam, a Bossman Slam. But I do a Black Hole Slam because I was an Abyss mark when I was a kid. So, Petey (Williams) loves us too and so, one of the matches, I told Abyss, I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna do a Bossman as a falsie.’ So he’s like, ‘Okay, cool, cool. Cool bro, cool’ and I do it and when I do it, I get up and I go (and do Abyss’ signature pose) and I go back after the match and he was like, ‘Aw bro, I saw what you did out there. Was that a shout out for me?’ I was like, ‘Yeah man. I’m a big Abyss mark. I’m a big fan of Abyss.’ He’s like, ‘Aw man, sometimes I feel like the stuff that we did over there, nobody saw it and to see that it means so much to guys like you, it’s cool bro. You really made my day. I love you bro.’ I love Abyss.

Capping off the highlights from the stream, the WWE 2K19 character named ‘Cole Quinn’ was voiced by Mansoor. He said he did not get that gig through WWE, adding that he auditioned for it.

Mansoor: You may not know this but I was actually the voice actor in WWE 2K19 (for Cole Quinn) and the motion capture and I got that job and they didn’t know I was a wrestler. I auditioned for it as an actor. It was a secret. It was called ‘Greenhorn’ and it was gonna be a TV drama about wrestling, like G.L.O.W., but I found out when I got it, my agent called me, ‘Hey, you’re in the 2K thing.’ I was like, ‘2K thing?’ And that’s the first time I was ever in a WWE ring was standing in one of those.

** As Rob Van Dam was speaking to Chris Van Vliet, he dove into the Ladder match he had with Eddie Guerrero in May of 2002. Van Dam said the spot when Guerrero did a senton onto him while he was on a Ladder caused long-term damage. RVD stated that his rib was moved and it bothered him for four years. He also feels it was the root of his back issue that only recently went away.

But, man, have you ever had bruised ribs? It’s so painful to have bruised ribs, and it can last for a really long time. So that very famous match that I had with Eddie Guerrero, the Ladder match, he goes over the ladder, does a senton and landed on me. That moved my rib, where my rib connects to my spine. And that bothered me for four years. In fact, that was the source of the back problem that I was telling you just recently went away. And that was that. He died in 2005, and that was just like two years ago, that’s not bothering me… It will come on maybe for like four months where it just hurts so bad. There was nothing I could do. I go to chiropractors, I go to all these physicians that have like a pile drive around my back trying to loosen it up and I just had this knot where my last rib connects into my spine like I say, bulging discs compressed, blah, blah, blah. But it was that one bump that started it and afterwards, every time I go out to the ring, I’m already sore, but I have to give 100 percent RVD to the fans. They’ve been waiting two months to see me. They don’t know that my ribs are hurting. So when I go out there, you know, I got to present that image that they want. And sometimes I remember Randy Orton just covering me and it hurts so bad… I was just waiting for the two count to kick out because his weight was on and I was like, oh my God, kicked him off. I was like, oh, holy crap, I’m in a lot of pain. And in those times, you know that lasted through my TNA run too. I remember when I was with TNA in 2010, 2011 and 2012. My back was messed up through all of that. There were times when I couldn’t even reach my boots earlier in the day and I’m like, how am I going to be doing the Rolling Thunder tonight? Holy crap. But with enough stretching and drugs and warming up and whatever I could do, I sucked it up and went through.

With 33 years in the wrestling business and being in his early 50s, Van Dam said he’s ‘not really’ thinking about retirement. He added that it has crossed his mind every now and again. He remembers when him and Sabu would talk about doing a retirement tour together.

Not really (have I thought about retiring). I mean, you know, sometimes the thought goes through my head. If I’m having a bad travel day, for instance, ‘I’m done, I hate this, I just want to be home, traveling sucks.’ I’ll have those moments inside my head. But they usually don’t last that long. And I used to think I was gonna retire, that was like several years ago, and I thought I was probably close to hanging the boots up. And now I just don’t even think I will. I think I’ll be like Dory Funk Jr. And just (keep going), and I may quit taking bookings. But I don’t think I’m gonna make a big deal out of being retired because the credibility of wrestlers retiring is so broad anyway. You know, so I don’t (know). Sabu used to say, it’d be cool if we did a retirement tour. And we went around the world and wrestled for all the companies that we’ve wrestled for. But the timing of that didn’t work out too well, because he finished up before me.

** The A Show on RNC RADIO pushed out their chat with Ilja Dragunov. He looked back on the match he had with Trick Williams on NXT TV and said it’s one of his favorite performances from his time on the brand. Dragunov touched on how Williams has the crowd behind him.

It is still, one of my very much favorite performances in NXT, I must say that (Dragunov said about his match with Trick Williams) because we had so many moments in the match when I thought, how can a person be that over? The people were suffering with him together… I’d beat everything out of him. I gave him so much pressure, I pushed him so hard where just moments when he was just rising in the corner. I remember this moment as he was just rising in the corner… He was kind of getting up in the corner and just the people were exploding behind him. It was amazing and then when he came back and he kind of got on the drive and pulled out some real fire, I thought, how is that possible? How can it be a person that over? And so he really, really impressed me in the match and I think he definitely also realized that he has a different side inside of him besides being so charismatic but sometimes just the funny persona that he is. But just discovering this side, it’s gonna help him on his career to get even more successful than he probably will be either way.

** Going into NXT No Mercy, Phil Strum of Under the Ring conducted an interview with Ilja Dragunov. The NXT Title challenger spoke highly of Axel Tischer, the former Alexander Wolfe and how pivotal of a role Tischer played in his training. He expressed how grateful he is to him.

Extremely (good teacher). He (Axel Tischer) was probably like the best teacher I could have right at the start because he’s such a good worker, he’s such a good human being. He’s very, very disciplined. He is absolutely honest, which is also a very important part in training people. Being so honest sometimes that it hurts a little bit, but you gotta do it because otherwise, you’re not gonna improve and I just remember all of those good times. I just remember those good times when we’re just about to start and he put so much effort into everything he does. So I’m very, very happy and proud that he was my beginning, that he paved kind of the way for me too and did his best to give me as much knowledge as possible, to me, and yeah, I’m just so happy I’m still in contact with him. I’m still calling him my friend after all those years. This business has so much more to offer, especially if you make very good friends and very good boundaries and it’s a fulfilling feeling.

** Director of the Cassandro film, Roger Ross Williams, spoke to That Hashtag Show. He shared that Gael García Bernal, who plays the role of Cassandro, spent months learning how to wrestle and he trained with luchadors. Williams said all of the luchadors in the film are legitimate wrestlers and none of them are actors.

I think you (interviewer) would agree, he’s (Gael García Bernal) one of Mexico’s greatest actors… and I’ve loved him ever since ‘Y tu mamá también’. He played a similar role in a film called ‘Bad Education’ by Pedro Almodóvar, another really famous director who I admire. It was an amazing role. I knew that Gael could handle this role (as Cassandro) because he could handle both the physicality of the role, wrestling, and the emotionality of the role in that these emotional scenes with his mother and his father and handling both was really important. He did mostly all of us own stunts, he learned to wrestle. He spent months learning to wrestle from real luchadors. All the luchadors in the film are real luchadors, they’re not actors and he really took it on.

** To promote WWE Elimination Chamber 2024 in Perth, Australia, Grayson Waller was interviewed by Australia’s Sports Entertainment Network. He told the outlet that his trainers, Robbie and Madison Eagles, set him up to succeed in pro wrestling and be better than everyone right out of the gate in WWE.  

I ran through the NXT system like it was nothing and I owe that — I think it’s because of my experience on the Australian independent scene. I got trained by the best in the world; Robbie Eagles, Madison Eagles. They put me in a position where I came to WWE and I was already better than everyone.

** WWE German announce team member, Sebastian Hackl is scheduled to have his first singles match since 2013 at wXw Germany’s ‘Broken Rules’ event on November 11th. Hackl returned to the ring in the Shortcut to the Top Battle Royal in August.

** WWE referee Jason Ayers was invited onto Spec Tales: A Comic Book Podcast.

** There’s an interview with NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes on the UPROXX site.

** NJPW Road to Destruction Results (10/26/23) Fukui Prefectural Industrial Hall in Fukui, Japan
– Togi Makabe def. Yuto Nakashima
– Oleg Boltin, El Desperado, Ren Narita & Minoru Suzuki def. Tomoaki Honma, Master Wato, Shota Umino & Yuji Nagata
– YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano & Satoshi Kojima def. Callum Newman, HENARE & Jeff Cobb
– BULLET CLUB War Dogs (Drilla Moloney, Clark Connors, Gabe Kidd & Alex Coughlin) def. Oskar Leube, Kevin Knight, El Phantasmo & Hikuleo
– Jado, Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga def. Gedo, Chase Owens & David Finlay
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, Yota Tsuji, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) def. YOH, Lio Rush, Tomohiro Ishii, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada
– HOUSE OF TORTURE (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, SHO & EVIL) def. TAKA Michinoku, DOUKI & SANADA

** Arn Anderson appeared on Going Ringside With The Local Station.

** Former IMPACT Digital Media Champion Joe Hendry was interviewed by WRESTLESPHERE.

** NXT Tag Team Champions Tony D’Angelo and Channing ‘Stacks’ Lorenzo spoke to Jim Varsallone.

** September 26th birthdays: Naomichi Marufuji, Asuka and Sanga.

** IMPACT Wrestling Throwback Throwdown 4 is taking place on November 4th in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.

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.