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.
** There’s a two-part interview with Mickie James on the ‘Wrestling with Rip Rogers’ YouTube channel. James shared that before she got the call to return to WWE in 2016 for NXT TakeOver: Toronto, she was going to retire. While speaking about ‘The Last Rodeo’ she’s on, James is thinking one last run and then off to doing ‘real-life’ things.
I had the opportunity to go away when I had Donovan next chapter and then NXT happened and then I ended up re-signing and having a whole second run and it was pretty awesome, you know? And it was amazing and I’m grateful for it now and IMPACT but I do think I have so much going on right now in wrestling and out of wrestling that I just want more time to focus on it and yeah, I think one last run and it’s time to, you know, just do things, real-life things.
In part one of the interview, James recounted being offered a WWE development deal for $500 a week. There was an opportunity on the table to go to Japan, but she ultimately chose WWE.
That was when I got signed to WWE and I was supposed to go to Japan for three months because my TNA contract was up and they were just switching over to where they were gonna sign talent for year-long contracts so I was doing month-to-month and then they did like a three month contract and then they did a year contract. So they just got into that place where they were gonna start signing talent to a year-long deal and I’d also had this opportunity to go to Japan at a female dojo for like three months and I remember talking to Dr. Tom about it and he then — I think this was when Johnny Ace first came into that position in Talent Relations and Johnny Ace was actually the one who called me right before my birthday. It was like August 27th or — I just remember because it was my birthday that weekend and he’s like, ‘Hey, we wanna give you a deal.’ Oh boy. I wanna go to Japan but I also wanna keep my teeth. It was Johnny Ace who called me. J.R. was still Head of Talent Relations at the time but, Johnny had just kind of stepped in that position and I remember he goes, ‘Hey, yeah, we wanna sign you, 500 bucks a week and you can move down to Louisville’ and I was like, ‘Oh, when do I — okay. When do I have to move?’ And 500 bucks a week was — it wasn’t great but it was as much if not more than I was making on the indies being a weekend warrior and I just couldn’t work at Olive Garden anymore, at the truck stop anymore.
** Tam Nakano, Natsupoi, Taichi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru got together to train for their eight-person tag match at NJPW x STARDOM Historic X-Over. NJPW’s official website caught up with them to get their thoughts on the upcoming bout. Taichi is excited for it and is hoping to do more mixed tags. He added that if that cannot happen under the NJPW banner, he’ll run a mixed tag with them on his own shows.
Taichi: When this joint event was decided, it was the first time for New Japan Pro-Wrestling to have a match with women. I think there are probably a lot of people who have both good and bad feelings about it, and it’s up to us to make it ‘good’. Since it was already decided, I was in the mood from the beginning to make it stand out more than any other mixed match. I don’t know what the old New Japan wrestlers would say, but I thought it was a totally new and good thing, so if we could get as much attention as possible and make it more exciting, I would do it. If we can make people think, ‘I’m glad we had this joint event,’ then I think we won.
Kanemaru: It’s my first time, and I’m not really sure what to expect, but I’m thinking I’ll try to do various things within the given situation. I’m going to bring out the good things I’ve done so far (grin).
Taichi: Of course, I don’t want this to be the end of it. I’d like to continue this, and I’d like to split up the teams and have Taichi and Tam versus Kanemaru and Natsupoi. I have the advantage of putting on my own shows, so I think it would be interesting if we could do something like that in the future. I don’t want this to be the end of it. So if Taichi and Tam versus Despe and Kid is not allowed in the New Japan show, I have my own specialty show, and I don’t want this to be the end with these four.
Nakano: When I heard that there was going to be a mixed match, I thought, I definitely want to participate. But now I’m really looking forward to having a mixed match that will make those people say, mixed matches are so interesting!
Natsupoi: The times will move on if we don’t always try new things, and I think that we can win by doing things that we never thought of before, such as, I didn’t know it was possible to do this or I didn’t think of that. I think it’s a big step forward to be able to do that, and I think it’s something new, so I’m really looking forward to it.
** On December 3rd, Mike Bucci (Simon Dean/Nova) will be competing in what he plans to be his last wrestling match. Bucci is going to team with Frankie Kazarian and Aron Stevens to take on Pat Buck, Matt Cardona and Brian Myers. He explained to Sportskeeda why those names are involved and how he came to the decision to put a bow on his in-ring career. Bucci added that he never thought he was deserving of a send-off. He joked that he may come back if WWE wanted to put the Blue World Order in their Hall of Fame.
This event, it’s coming up on December 3rd Meanie wanted to go and it was cool to go to Alaska and see Kevin and the guys for a couple of days. His crew is great, the WrestlePro crew. I love all those guys. Pat is one of my students back in the day so anything Pat and Kevin, I’m always going to say ‘yes’ and then I did Donnie B’s show in Lacey, we did that and I would have been content if that was it. But, when they started kicking this one around — it’s taking place in Toms River, New Jersey and I was born in Keyport, New Jersey but raised in Toms River. So, I think when you start looking down the list of well-known wrestlers so to speak in Jersey, my name and DDP’s usually come up because DDP’s from Point Pleasant. But the fact that this is in Toms River which is my hometown and they started kicking around and Donnie B came up with the idea, you know, I never wanted to do a last, final thing because not that I was gonna quote-unquote Terry Funk it or anything. I just never figured that my career was big enough or I was deserving of that or anything like that. I always hated when the spotlight was on me. I was always team player, I was a mid-card guy and primarily for most of my career, I worked to get other people over. I just always felt awkward when the spotlight was on me for something and not that this is but I was very careful in how we worded this. I didn’t want to make this a ‘Nova retirement show’ or anything like that. It’s not. This is a show, Contest of Champions that’s gonna raise a ton of money for The 200 Club and that’s the club in Jersey that works with the fallen officer responders. It’s a huge deal on the east coast, especially in New Jersey and both my brothers are in law enforcement and Sean, who’s one of the promoters, he’s the President of the club.
So I had to say yes… My match that night, when we were putting this together, kind of tossing it around, I said, you know what? I’m gonna have the guys in this who mean the most to me. Take the b.W.o. out of it because I wanted to end this as ‘regular Nova’ so to speak. I didn’t want to do Hollywood Nova, or else Meanie and Stevie would have been right there. But for this one, when The Major Players, Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, they reached out and they heard this was gonna be my last one, they said, ‘We have to be involved in this.’ I was a mentor to both of them when they came up through developmental. I was their boss at one time and I helped them out a lot and I’m very proud of the men they became outside of wrestling too. They have set the blueprint for how you can be successful if you’re not in a major company and they ran with the ball like Colt Cabana first ran with all those years ago when he was exploding and showing people. Even The Young Bucks, they were successful before AEW, New Japan, they were showing guys the way and for this one… Pat Buck of course reached out and said, ‘Nova, I have to be a part of this.’ So I reached out to my old two partners and a lot of people didn’t know that me and Frankie Kazarian, we were partners in U.P.W. for years after ECW closed. I was traveling the world, I got to U.P.W., I teamed with Frankie. We were called ‘Evolution’ and then when I came to OVW, Aron Stevens was my partner. Now he went on to become ‘Damien Sandow’, but I reached out to both of them. So that night, it’ll be me, Frankie and Aron versus The Major Players and Pat Buck and I’ve been training, doing what I can. I just turned 50 back in June so everything doesn’t quite work the way it used to. I’m gonna give it my best shot that night. Luckily, I’ll be hid in a six man. But, I’m not going in there and trying to have a WrestleMania main event. I’m going in there with five guys who at one point in my life, I was either their boss, friends with or their partners or something and then I’m gonna close it out. That’s the one I’m gonna do it with. I think I got one more ‘Kryptonite Krunch’ in me somewhere. So, we’ll see man, I’m pretty excited for it.
It’ll be bittersweet but when the bell rings and I go in the back and take my boots off for the last time and again, I said it before, I’m not Terry Funking it. If Hunter wants to put the b.W.o. in the Hall of Fame one day and the agreement is we have to do one more match, maybe. But, other than that, I just don’t see me doing it again. I think the business has passed me by a little bit, physically and just what it is so I have no desire to perform. But this one’s different, it’s gonna be an awesome night and I can’t wait.
** As Ken Shamrock was chatting with John Poz on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast, he weighed in on the idea of a fight between him and Mike Tyson. Ken knows he could not outbox Tyson but added that he would hope Tyson knows that scenario is flipped around if they are in an MMA setting.
I’ve heard talk about it .
In the world that I live in, trying to hit somebody when they’re trying to take you down, if you happen to do hit ‘em, you don’t got no power. There’s no power when you’re shooting on somebody and your timing is way off, you’re not able to turn your hips over, you can’t really get under it so it’s very difficult to catch somebody when they’re doing a low shot on you and be able to hurt ‘em so, it would be a rough night for Mike but if it was boxing, it would be a rough night for me.
** In 2021, Lady Frost spent some time in the National Wrestling Alliance. She told Cultaholic that she is not sure if she’ll be going back. Frost enjoyed her time there and is not opposed to the idea of going back, adding that NWA is not in the best light at the moment so her showing up won’t do her any favors.
So, I don’t know actually was a big part of it when I was there. I loved my time there which is wild. I had a great time. The women were fantastic. You have Jazz there, you have Madusa. I think their women are great. I don’t know what it does for me as far as my career unless it was something like winning that title but again, I don’t know if I wanna be locked in so a contract’s kind of off the table. But if it was a big pay-per-view event or it made sense career-wise, it’s never out of the question. But yeah, I don’t think they’re in a great light right now so me just showing up doesn’t really do me any favors at the moment but like I said, I loved my time there. I have nothing bad to say about my personal experience when I was there so, it’s definitely not off the table.
In late October, she wrapped up a tour with CMLL. Frost spoke candidly about the experience; how much she enjoyed it and how fast paced it was. All in all, she described it as eye-opening.
It was fast paced . It was a lot. We had a lot of press, I had five matches in seven days. One of them, we got in, we wrestled Monday, we slept for three hours, we got on a flight to Guadalajara Tuesday, wrestled there, got on a flight back so it wasn’t even like they were all right there in the same place and the language barrier is very tough. I don’t speak Spanish. I do have to learn. So just trying to take everything in, processing was very different. But, the fans were incredible, the wrestling was incredible, the arena was amazing and I couldn’t even take it in until I got home. It was just fast and furious then I got home and I was like, holy sh*t! Did that just happen? That was so much. But, it was amazing and the fans were just — that was the best part. They were waiting outside of the arena, signing autographs, I was getting recognized in the street. I was like, I’m a nobody in America I feel like. I went to Mexico and I was like, holy crap. So, I think that changed my perspective a little bit. We have these little confines and boxes and if it’s a Twitter bubble or a contract bubble or whatever it is, there’s so much more out there and I wasn’t allowing myself to experience any of the other very real things so, it was an eye-opener for sure.
** This past April, Blake Christian made his Ring of Honor debut at Supercard of Honor. While on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast, he detailed how that opportunity came to be and said it was offered on the day of. He had an obligation with NJPW on that same day and was able to work it out. Christian finished up with ROH and arrived to the NJPW show as the match before his was ending.
So yeah, that actually came last minute , I talked to them and we worked it out. It was crazy how it worked out honestly. But yeah, I hopped in an Uber, went to the arena ROH was at, wrestled Colt Cabana real fast. Didn’t even take my gear off, just shook everybody’s hand and immediately hopped in an Uber right back to New Japan to wrestle JONAH. Right when I got there, the match before me and JONAH was ending so, yeah, it all worked out so crazy. But yeah, that was my debut for Ring of Honor.
** Former WWE referee Jack Doan, who was with the company for over 20 years said on Sportskeeda’s ‘UnSKripted’ show that he has been approached a few times about writing a book centered around his career in the wrestling business.
I’ve been approached a few times about doing a book but, I have trouble, memory, you know, stories and stuff but as I get talking, I’m like, well maybe I could do this because things start coming out.
As he was discussing situations where he legitimately counted talents out, he recounted Hardcore Holly becoming upset with him and tossing chairs around the locker room for counting him.
It was Road Dogg and Bob Holly at King of the Ring or one of those and I counted same thing, counted Bob out, because he didn’t kick out in time and if you heard the stories of Bob Holly, he had quite a temper. There was some chairs flying. It was like walking into Bobby Knight throwing chairs then I quickly exited the locker room but, you know, I had a job to do too. But that was the toughest part of being a referee because every week, it seemed like they wanted you to change, you know? Either be more aggressive — when UFC was getting popular, all of a sudden, now we’re getting more aggressive like UFC type stuff and then it was, well, ‘Don’t put your hands on em’ so there was some tough moments because they couldn’t find out exactly how they wanted us… When you get to five, you DQ ‘em. Well I mean, if you got Triple H on top of Cena and he’s not out of the corner on five, I mean, that’s not one guy you’re wanting to DQ. Hopefully, your guys you’re in the ring with, you can trust and they’re working with you.
** While on ‘The Collection with Brad Gilmore’, C.J. Perry f.k.a. Lana dove into how her time with WWE helped her be prepared for projects and ventures she’s involved in outside of wrestling. Perry described WWE as the ‘perfect university’.
I miss WWE so much because of how you just described it, because there’s nothing in the world like professional wrestling at the highest level of such a global franchise of being in front of tens and thousands of people and on top of it, it could be live television and a huge social media following and reach. There’s such a merge of all these worlds and a lot of companies don’t have that. A lot of acting companies, acting shows don’t have that or studios even. A lot of them don’t have that type of social media reach like the WWE has, plus, you know, it being live television plus… it being live people there, performance. There’s just nothing in it that way. A lot of times, you have either social media people who are very heavy on the social media side and they’re not in the traditional space or you have people in the traditional space that are not as on the social media side so that’s where I really enjoy, that it was all these — it was television in the traditional space. It was in front of a live audience, a live crowd. When it comes to being a dancer and performing live, of course I love that. As an actor… and then blur it on the social media side so it was like this place where you could kind of create a lot and I learned so much. I learned so much about branding, I learned so much about telling stories, the power of social media… That’s the best university I could have ever asked for.
** Days before NWA Hard Times 3, Billy Corgan joined Gerald Brisco and John Bradshaw Layfield on ‘Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw’. He looked back on his start with TNA/IMPACT Wrestling and having to earn his stripes with the wrestlers by producing segments that helped them get over. Corgan highlighted Drew McIntyre as a name that took advice he had to offer from a non-wrestling perspective.
I just kind of tried to navigate my way through and I made relationships which last to this day. Drew Galloway, who was Drew McIntyre at the time, tremendous talent, had been in the WWE, came out and then eventually has now gone back and is one of the top guys of course. But, Drew was a guy who was smart enough to understand and pick my brain about the bigger world. He was able to get out of the wrestling bubble and try to understand, Billy’s had all these experiences and Billy’s been on the big stages so he would pick my brain because he’s a smart guy. Other guys just rejected me a whole cloth. ‘He can’t do anything for me, he’s just a stooge. It’s some celebrity thing, it’s some Dixie thing,’ blah, blah, blah. The way I really felt I earned my stripes was producing and getting there in the morning, taking talent in the corner, producing segments and getting those talent over on television. When they started getting on television more because of the segments I was producing and their value went up on the indie circuit and all that stuff, that’s when the talent started treating me differently. They saw where I could directly influence their ability to draw and I started to respect that and it became less of like, you should respect me because of who I am and we’re like, okay, I’m gonna prove it to you that I’m a valuable person in this business and not expect that you care who I am in another business and that really changed the tenor of my relationship in TNA.
** IMPACT Wrestling commentator Tom Hannifan guest appeared on the ‘Putting You Over’ podcast and spoke highly of his broadcast partner Matt Rehwoldt. Hannifan expressed how easy it is to work with Matt and how much he enjoys working with him.
It’s a breeze , he’s the best. We obviously worked a little bit together in WWE on 205 Live if you remember that old chestnut and also NXT UK. He’s so good at what he does. I do not think pro wrestling fans really comprehend how good he is and it’s really cool because he’s doing his thing right now on New Japan STRONG and to see him shift gears because I think New Japan and IMPACT are inherently different products. So for him to go New Japan and call sport and to still have the ‘Drama King’ persona, all those good things. But then to turn it over to IMPACT, we’re dialing up the entertainment more than New Japan Pro-Wrestling will in that respect. Not the in-ring aspect obviously but, it’s really spectacular and it’s effortless working with him. He’s got so much experience, he’s worked with a who’s who, he’s been on the grandest stage of them all, he understands these moments, he understands these characters so, I love working with him.
** Heading into AEW Full Gear, Chris Van Vliet interviewed Saraya and during their conversation, she joked about Taz getting her name wrong when she debuted at Dynamite Grand Slam. She said he cannot get her name right to save his life.
I was a surprise from everyone backstage too, so it wasn’t even their fault. And that’s why I even mentioned it on my Twitter. I was just like, it’s not their fault. You know, they didn’t get to see me beforehand. And so everyone just assumes the American way of saying my name is Sar-i-ah because of the way you guys pronounce that r-a-y. Yeah, the way I like to pronounce it is Sa-ray-a like a ray of sunshine. But yeah, I like I didn’t get to talk to them beforehand. But after that, Taz still kept getting it wrong. He cannot get my name right to save his life. He’ll be like, ‘Sariah? Saraya?’ Throughout his commentary. I’m like, bro, come on.
** NWA USA Tag Team Champions The Fixers (Jay Bradley & Wrecking Ball Legursky) appeared on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast. Bradley dove into the formation of The Fixers and his history with NWA owner Billy Corgan. Bradley said a good portion of the ideas that are used for The Fixers were things he and Corgan wanted to do in TNA/IMPACT but those did not come to fruition due to ‘politics and headbutting’.
Bradley: And as far as the whole Fixers dynamic and the ideas come from a lot of the stuff we’ve come up with or we do is things that me and Billy , myself and the NWA. We came in, we impressed enough to get regular spots on the rosters as far as being on tapings and I think that we really made a connection.
** The 2023 SXSW conference is scheduled for March 2023 and Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque will be speaking at the event.
** Strong Style Pro-Wrestling, which is ran by the first Tiger Mask (Satoru Sayama) will hold an event at Korakuen Hall on December 8th. There is going to be a 30-bell salute for the late Antonio Inoki. Inoki’s life will also be honored at NJPW’s festival on November 17th.
** Darren Paltrowitz pushed out his chat with Masha Slamovich.
** Rob Schamberger’s latest piece that is centered around Sami Zayn:
** To promote IMPACT Wrestling’s television tapings in Louisville, Kentucky, Crazzy Steve spoke to Darren Paltrowitz.
** A write-up about a Leukemia patient receiving a video from Seth Rollins.
** NOSAWA Rongai is scheduled for Tatsumi Fujinami’s 50th anniversary show on December 16th.
** Titus O’Neil was a guest on Good Morning America.
** C.J. Perry appeared on KTLA to promote VH1’s ‘The Surreal Life’.
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.