Originally published at POST NEWS UPDATE: Mustafa Saed reflects on New Jack's passing
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.
** HANNIBAL TV caught up with Mustafa Saed and Saed reflected on the life of the late Jerome Young (New Jack), who passed away in May. Mustafa said they had more to do together and expressed how much he misses New Jack.
Man, to be honest with you, I sat in my room said, ‘Yeah, he’s gone.’ I said, ‘Damn.’ Wow, that hurt me man. I was hurting. People don’t understand, when we’re real brothers and we got real love for each other, you don’t even pay attention to that stuff in the past. A lot of this stuff, shake it off anyway but, it’s still hurting now because I still got his number, I still got his text messages and things in my phone now, you know what I’m saying? I’m not getting rid of ‘em because it was — we had a good time, had a good time but I miss him though, really do.
No, not surprised because we all gonna go. It’s just that we still had things to do. We still had projects to go and everything. Working things out and you know, he’s gonna watch out for number one first, we all do, you know what I mean? Come on, and when he felt like, ‘Hey man, I got something else for you Mustafa. You wanna do it?’ I said, ‘Let’s do it.’ You know, but I really miss him, because we came up together. We came up together and we grew together. We grew apart at times and then we came back, we’re brothers man. Damn, that was my boy.
He continued speaking about New Jack and credited him for coming up with most of the ideas for their tag team.
You know what though man? I will say this and I really miss the brother . I tried to take that belt to the pawn shop. That man said, ‘Nah, go on and take that with you,’ you know what I’m saying? So I want that money man. You know, them bags man.
For several years, Saed worked for Paul Heyman in ECW. He developed a great respect for Heyman despite the lies between them.
Let me tell you something, Paul Heyman is the most — he’s a low-life, backstabbing, one of the greatest people I ever worked with. I got so much respect for him. He was a low-life lying ass, you know what I’m saying? And I lied too, and boy we enjoyed each other’s lies, you know what I’m saying? And that’s how we worked out. We worked together.
Boy, that man — you listen to him talk, he’ll talk water into an ocean. I’m just telling you how he is. He’ll say some stuff to you and I didn’t never go for it but you know… he was a good dude to me, you know what I’m saying? But we got along because I wasn’t sh*t at times and he wasn’t sh*t. But he was good people.
IMPACT Wrestling Co-Head of Talent Relations D’Lo Brown was a part of The Gangstas with Mustafa and New Jack in Smokey Mountain Wrestling. Mustafa said he always knew D’Lo would find success in wrestling beyond the in-ring work.
And D’Lo , let me tell you something about D’Lo real quick. D’Lo was — I predicted D’Lo would go further as far as up in the corporate side of the game and I knew that-that would happen because he just had a knack for it and he could work, you know what I’m saying? So…
He knows how to play the game man. With me, I talk too much sh*t sometimes. You know, they might not wanna deal with me but the boys, a lot of the boys loved me though, you see what I’m saying? That’s what really counts is to have that character. The hell with the reputation. It’s good to have a good reputation but the character is that you don’t want to lose that in your life.
In 1991, Saed worked a WWF Superstars taping against Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. He recalled having a conversation with Pat Patterson afterwards and Patterson saying that Saed was the first Black man to ever let Roberts place a snake on him.
The favorite one a little payoff and everything. He said that, ‘Uh, I need to tell you something.’ I said, ‘What’s going on?’ He said, ‘You’re the first Black guy to let that snake get on top of you like that.’ So we cracked up laughing, you know what I’m saying?
While Mustafa Saed was in ECW, he had a conversation with Rey Mysterio before Rey joined WCW. Mustafa showed confidence in Rey and told him that he was going to do great because nobody could do what Rey could do at the time.
Rey Mysterio Jr., one of my — man, good people man. I remember me and Rey, we was back in the back and I had a big ole blunt and I didn’t have my dirty one though. I didn’t let him hit the dirty one because you know, I wasn’t trying to mess him up like that. The wet one, that one was wet. That’s just for special people, but the one I had — so we was back there and he said, ‘Man I just signed with WCW. How do you think I’m gonna do?’ I said, ‘Rey, I can’t do that stuff you do man. You’re going to make it. What are you talking about? I can’t do that stuff you do and they can’t either so you’re going to make it man. I’m just letting you know.’
** Alex Shelley guest appeared on the ‘Wrestle Buddy’ podcast. Shelley looked back on his time teaming with KUSHIDA in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. In 2012, Shelley had the choice of going to New Japan, Dragon Gate or All Japan and he began to think about the potential pairing of himself and KUSHIDA.
So I met KUSHIDA formally in 2009 at a show in Detroit. He wrestled Petey Williams in a singles match and it was f*cking awesome. It was just a great match and I thought, ‘Oh man, that’s so cool and I’m gonna tell him how much I enjoyed this match afterwards and that I’m a fan of his work’ because I was. So I met him then and there and kind of would watch him when he got back to Japan. When he got back to Japan, he changed his aesthetic and like a lot of people at the time, he ended up looking like a Motor City Machine Gun, right? He wrestled in a manner that was already kind of similar to me anyway. Like we used a lot of the same techniques to begin with and in 2012, I knew my contract was going to be up so I started reaching out to different Japanese companies and they started reaching out to me and I had offers from All Japan, Dragon Gate and New Japan. New Japan, I had already worked for. I sent KUSHIDA a message at one point because I was already starting to lean towards them and Tiger Hattori who was a ref and liaison contacted me and said they were interested. I thought, ‘Well what would be a good idea to come into the company?’ And I thought, ‘Man, they don’t really have any tag teams.’ At the time, they had Apollo together, because we used some of the same techniques, I bet this would be a good fit. So I ended up in New Japan, under contract in 2012, my first tour was in September and they said, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna try and put you guys together as a tag team’ so they put us together on some house shows, we started training together in the dojo. I requested to live at the dojo so I could have access to the ring so I could train, and we got in the ring and started training more and more together, against each other, with each other, we’re wrestling together and we’re on the road and he speaks pretty good English and from there, it just took off.
Shelley’s early years in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling was discussed. He was asked who he would consider to be his favorite opponent from that run and he could not narrow it down to one person. He went on to heap praise onto Jimmy Rave and described Rave as an “underrated GOAT”.
Man, that’s really tough .
The former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion shared advice to talents who are just getting started in the wrestling business. He thinks going the route of having an occupation or career outside of wrestling is the way to go because it allows for more resources including additional income to fund a pro wrestling career. Shelley started off by speaking highly of AEW’s Lee Moriarty.
You look at somebody like — I’ll use Lee Moriarty as an example because I know him very well. Yeah, he’s very good but he’s actually been around for quite a while. Like he took a couple years off I believe because of a shoulder injury and I think he’s been wrestling at this point like seven or eight years and people think like, ‘Oh, he just showed up.’ Like no, he didn’t just show up. He was grinding on the independents for years before he actually got a spotlight put on him and I think that’s more common than you realize in the U.S. These guys will wrestle for five, six, seven, ten years before they actually ‘catch a break’ so to speak. Nowadays, I see wrestlers starting later than I did. I started when I was a teenager and that was more normalized back then. But to hear that, ‘Oh yeah, I had my first match when I was 18’ now is definitely the exception and not the rule. Now, you have a lot of people going through university first and acquiring some sort of education or skilled trade and then getting into wrestling and I think that’s probably the better way to do it, if I had to pick between the two. I wouldn’t change anything I did in particular but, if I look at what that affords you if you’re able to actually acquire some sort of occupation or career and succeed outside of wrestling, you typically end up with more resources with which to work when you start out and that’s important, right? Because wrestling is going to cost money and it’s going to cost you time at the very, very least. It’s going to take those two things so if you want to be able to have your fitness on point and your nutrition on point and your gear on point and you wanna be able to afford to drive somewhere and get paid but not get paid a lot, you know, Petro’s expensive and you’re putting miles on your car. It doesn’t hurt to necessarily have some sort of steady income on top of that. Yeah, and that’s my TED Talk as far as people who are starting out.
** On the latest Chris Jericho cruise, Kurt Angle sat down with Chris to record an episode of Talk Is Jericho. Angle further spoke about leaving WWE for TNA in 2006. He detailed the myriad of issues he was dealing with at the time and expressed that had he not left, he might not be alive.
I wasn’t happy in WWE . After I did all the comedy stuff and I became the serious, Mr., you know, The Wrestling Machine, I was getting injured a lot, I was spending a lot of time on the road, wasn’t getting much time off, I had a pain killer problem that I had to kick, a lot of stuff going on. My marriage was in shambles, just a lot of personal issues and I was very bitter and I treated the company very bitterly too. But don’t get me wrong, they weren’t listening and that was the problem I had. I was getting injured all the time, I had a pain killer addiction and nobody wanted to do anything for me and I had to do something for myself and what I did was I left the company in 2006 and decided I was gonna start new somewhere else. I didn’t wanna go. I loved the WWE but I really didn’t have a choice. I really believe if I didn’t leave, I might have been dead by now and I didn’t want that to happen.
After winning gold at the Olympics, Angle became depressed because he did not have a plan in place for what was next after the Olympics.
I worked really hard. I trained my butt off from day one, from when I was seven years old, all I cared and dreamed about was winning a gold medal. That’s all I wanted to do. It’s so crazy because when I actually won the Olympic gold medal, I woke up the next day, I was depressed. I was like, ‘What the hell am I gonna do now?’ Because I had never planned for anything after the Olympics. I went through a major depression and what pulled me out of the depression was going to the WWE.
Angle told the story of when Vince McMahon wanted him to loosen up on-screen and incorporate more comedy into his presentation. It was not long before McMahon changed his mind and told Angle that the comedy was ruining his wrestling.
Yeah, that’s what Vince and I said, ‘Listen, I’m being a little too funny.’ He said, ‘No, you’re an Olympic gold medalist. People know when you get in that ring that sh*t’s going on and you’re gonna annihilate your opponent. So don’t worry about that, just keep doing the comedy and when you get in the ring, have your opponent take you seriously and the fans will too’ and he was right, you know but the crazy thing is you know Vince McMahon, he changes his mind in six months and he brought me in the office and I’m enjoying the sh*t out of doing the comedy. He’s like, ‘Kurt, you’re done with the comedy. It’s ruining your wrestling. We’re gonna make you The Wrestling Machine, you’re gonna be serious from now on.’ I’m like, ‘You just told me that comedy was good.’ He goes, ‘No, no. It’s not working.’ It’s like, ‘Make you your mind man.’
** New Japan Pro-Wrestling President Takami Obari gave a comment to Tokyo Sports about Will Ospreay’s status for Wrestle Kingdom 16 after the Prime Minister of Japan issued a ban on foreigners entering the country. Due to the new Coronavirus variant, he wants to prevent the possibility of the variant spreading. Ospreay is currently working in the U.S. and in the UK, but he will be able to compete at Wrestle Kingdom because he already has a visa that allows him to work in Japan.
** During his appearance on the Wrestle Buddy podcast, Ricky Morton of The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express questioned why AEW did not follow up on the Tag Team Appreciation night segment from the summer of 2020. Morton punched Tully Blanchard and then FTR (Dax Harwood & Cash Wheeler) took out Robert Gibson and gave Morton a piledriver.
Yeah where I slapped Tully Blanchard and remember they piledrived me? I don’t know — see, that’s what I’m talking about. They did this, but they didn’t take it nowhere else. Do you understand what I’m saying? You see, you got to have people in the back and say I learned this from Dusty Rhodes, smart guy man. You know, you got to keep up with what’s going on in the news, especially — now you don’t. It’s just the liberals and all that bullsh*t and I’m not into that. But back then, you can’t put what’s going on in the media and you’re making it through the wrestling.
On the topic of possibly being an agent for WWE, AEW or IMPACT Wrestling, Morton feels that some talents do not want him around because they know he could take their job.
You’re talking about an agent? I would love to but you know, and this is the way it is, it’s the same thing. They don’t want me back there, the boys don’t because I know if they — they know that I can take their job. But listen, I don’t want their job, I just want my job and I’m not gonna come after your job. I’m not like those other guys so right now it’s so defensive but, when Ricky Morton comes through the door, everybody in there is wondering what the f*ck am I there for, because I do know. I’m 65 years old, I wrestle with independent circuits and we do big business, okay. I make more money now than I’ll ever make in my life and I’m 65 years old wrestling. It’s because I know how to make the people come back.
** AEW’s Jake Hager talked to Renee Paquette and UFC’s Anthony Smith on SiriusXM and he discussed some of the goals he still wants to accomplish in pro wrestling. Hager has talked to Tony Khan about the idea of hosting wrestling classes for the male roster and Hager would also like to have his wife on AEW TV with him more often. She was involved in the Baron von Raschke-Ethan Page interaction at Full Gear.
Yeah, it’s really cool. After my last fight with Bellator, I came out and I said that I wanted to go after some championships and we got into that really intense storyline, the team storyline against The Pinnacle that led us Stadium Stampede II which was a huge success and really cemented The Inner Circle in AEW history in my opinion. We had a great moment there. Really, it’s so cool to see what The Inner Circle has done. I just want to continue to help them and contribute in whatever way I can. I definitely would like to go on to some individual or tag team championships. I don’t care, I like ‘em both. I really like what AEW’s doing. They really bring in just good people and that makes it fun to go there and work and makes you wanna help people so, whatever they need me to do to help, I’d love to. Tony a big sports fan. He’s talked to me about doing like wrestling classes for the boys so maybe we’ll go down that route and keep going but, individually, I think I definitely need some championships going on. I’d really like to get Catalina on TV more with me. I think she just makes me cooler. I think everybody would agree with that.
This past summer, Hager had a back and forth on social media with Josh Barnett. He said he doesn’t know why they have issues with one another.
I don’t know man . Some old man with a walking stick started coming at me on Twitter and I just kicked the stick out from underneath and kept on walking.
** Nick Aldis joined Mickie James, Lisa Marie Varon and SoCal Val on GAW TV. While speaking about talents coming in and out of the NWA, Aldis said there’s a handful of people in NWA who are on a full-time salary and then there are some talents who work with them on a per-season basis.
The thing with the NWA is that there’s a handful of us who are on full-time salary contracts but then, most guys are sort of working per season. doing stuff with IMPACT or whatever. It’s like, ‘That’s cool. We’ll keep tabs on what you’re doing in that territory’ so to speak and then, we’ll sort of, you know, if there’s any way we can enhance it, work it in with what we’re doing and you know, so on and so forth and so it’s like there’s been quite a few guys who have been at TNA but aren’t necessarily there all the time.
At the upcoming NWA tapings in Atlanta, Georgia, Darius Lockhart will be debuting. Aldis spoke highly of Lockhart and his potential. He added that Lockhart made a good impression when he showed up to St. Louis, Missouri for NWA 73 weekend to introduce himself.
The new guy coming in-in Atlanta for the next set of tapings is called Darius Lockhart and I sort of — he tried to get my attention last year and you know, when I was still the world champion so I was kind of like, ‘Okay, he’s on my radar but I can’t do anything about it right now.’ But yeah, now that we have these tapings coming up and COVID stuff has kind of eased up and all that, I put a word in and made that connection for him and he’s — so he’s coming in. He’s got a lot of potential. He’s a smart guy, he does a lot of stuff in his community, he’s very active in sort of — like the Black community. He’s sort of, not outspoken but he’s very sort of — he’s got a lot going on in terms of his public messaging and he’s engaged in that stuff but in a positive way. But he’s a really good wrestler and he’s a really good talker. He’s got like a real good charisma about him. He came to St. Louis even though he wasn’t booked. He came, just to sort of make an impression and meet everyone and it worked. He made a really good impression. He’s well-dressed, he presents himself well, he carries himself well.
** In October, AEW President Tony Khan and Eric Bischoff had back and forth exchanges through media appearances after Bischoff weighed in on some of Khan’s comments that he was making in interviews. Shakiel Mahjouri recently spoke to Bischoff and Bischoff said he tried to call Tony but did not receive a call back or a message.
We were friendly and cordial. Mutual respect there. All that good stuff. It wasn’t until recently, I was asked a question and I responded and it caused, I’m guessing, hard feelings from Tony. I tried to call Tony and he didn’t call me back. Someone told me, who Tony was complaining to, about how upset he was about the things that I said. He said, ‘Hey, why don’t you give Tony a call?’ I said, ‘Sure! I’m not mad at Tony.’ I don’t carry grudges. It doesn’t change the way I feel about Tony, I just had to express my opinion and react to something Tony actually said that involved me and I took as being disrespectful of my accomplishments and even more disrespectful, and quite frankly, ignorant, with relation to the comment he made about Ted Turner. That’s what I reacted to. But I wasn’t angry with Tony. When my friend said to give him a call, I thought, ‘All right, I’ll give him a call.’ I left a message and I haven’t heard back so, evidently, he’s a little pissed off. But that’s OK.
** Ryan Nemeth appeared on Into The Danger Zone with Chris Denker and dove into the topic of his film ‘HEEL’, which focuses on sexual assault/harassment on the independent wrestling scene. Ryan thought the film would get him blacklisted from the business.
I crowdfunded it. In 30 days, raised a gigantic budget for helping with that and we shot this movie and cut the script down a lot and started hopefully — the goal was to start a conversation about sexual assault in indie wrestling okay, so that was very not talked about and I was prepared that this was going to get me blacklisted from wrestling forever because I was sure that this was gonna fall on deaf ears or just have me being a guy just making up sh*t, you know? Then the pandemic happened and during post-production while we’re editing it, during the editing process, the Speaking Out thing started happening. It was like July or June or whatever and people started talking about literally the thing I was making a movie about and fans were kind of being like, ‘Woah, we didn’t know this was happening. Oh my God, this is terrible.’ Then I started to think, number one, ‘Awesome, that’s great. This sh*t will all be out there and exposed.’ But also, ‘This will maybe be well received by the wrestling community versus ruining my career,’ you know? It sucks that any of it is true but I’m glad Speaking Out happened and I did not get blacklisted from wrestling as it turns out and the film has went on to screen at so many festivals and win so many awards and be really well received for the most part.
He is working with All Elite Wrestling and said the company including President Tony Khan have been supportive. Khan has offered resources to Nemeth along with social media support.
And I gotta say, to credit AEW and Tony Khan and everybody there, they’ve been so mentally supportive of this and stuff. Again, unheard of anywhere else in my life and anywhere else I’ve worked at so, great. Very, very great company, very supportive and thanks to all them for helping out man.
Nemeth began working on the film prior to the Speaking Out movement. He said there are times when he gets comments and people write that he’s piggybacking off Speaking Out for a profit.
The very few percentage of people who attack me online and say, ‘Oh, you used the Speaking Out movement to make a profit’ or whatever. There’s just the festival and no one is giving you a check when you win an award.
** Bleacher Report’s Graham Matthews conducted an interview with King Woods. During their conversation, Woods explained his approach when it comes to how he presents himself on WWE TV. He said on Raw, SmackDown and NXT, there are a great number of individuals who are “world beaters” and serious. He questioned how much of that can the audience consume before they become bored with it.
There’s so many serious people on the show and people who are world-beaters and they come out angry and want violence. That’s cool, but on Raw, you have three hours to fill; and on SmackDown, you have two. Then you’ve got NXT and pay-per-views. How many hours of people being intense badasses can you really consume before you get sick of it and before it gets old? I’ve always been of the school of thought that if 85 percent of what you’re seeing in wrestling is going to be that, what happens if I do something else? Let’s try something else, and it worked with New Day. That’s the kind of stuff that I like. I like for it to be a little more ridiculous. I like for my wrestling to be wrestling and to me, wrestling is the most ridiculous thing anybody could ever watch.
Woods touched on the singles run he is currently on. He’s enjoying the spotlight and being in position to show what he can do and what he’s learned over the years.
It’s been a blast getting that spotlight and going out and talk a little bit more and wrestle a little bit more because this is my life. This is what I do, this is what I enjoy. And to be in a position where I can really start to show off the the things not only that I can do but also that I’ve learned over the years from being a part of the company is really cool.
** Ring of Honor’s Caprice Coleman chatted with Fightful’s Sean Ross Sapp for an interview. Caprice reflected on how well Ring of Honor handled talents, staff and their product over the past year-and-a-half in terms of navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. Caprice mentioned that with the consistent COVID testing and creating a bubble, he knows that had to be expensive for the company.
Yeah. They honored our contracts and everything. So for six months, we didn’t do anything. We still got paid. We got taken care of. We did PR stuff like I’m doing with you, interviews, and different stuff like that. Then when they started back wrestling, we were part of a bubble and we couldn’t do roommates anymore. We had all these tests to do, had to be flown in on this day. We would take a COVID test before we got there to make sure we didn’t have COVID. We would take a COVID test when we landed and we would take a COVID test before we left. It had to be expensive.
** The Hindu spoke to Rhea Ripley and WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion Queen Zelina. Rhea said there’s more that the women’s division can fight for such as more TV time and a second Evolution pay-per-view.
I’m so proud of everyone in the division, and credit must go to the women before me who paved the way for us. They inspired us and made us believe that we can be as good as the guys. Having said that, I think I’m very different to everyone else out there; I’m representing the punk kids and bring my own style to my skill. I hope I can be someone they can look up to. There’s a lot of things we can keep fighting for; top of that list would be for more time on television, and we certainly would love another Evolution event, the only WWE pay-per-view to consist solely of women’s matches.
** NHK BS Premium in Japan aired a special about Antonio Inoki and Inoki’s health issues were spotlighted. Kenzo Suzuki, the producer of the documentary chatted with Tokyo Sports and said Inoki wanted to be as candid as possible. He did not want them to hold anything back.
Chairman Inoki said, ‘Give them everything.’ He said — Chairman Inoki told me, ‘Give them everything, everything is Antonio Inoki, so don’t hold back.’
Kenzo credited New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s Hiroshi Tanahashi for helping him get connected to other people to collect more stories about Inoki. Tanahashi was included in the documentary.
I was supported by my network of people. Mr. Tanahashi helped me spread the word about the program by asking for stories.
** At the FMW-E event on December 19th, Suzu Suzuki and Akane Fujita are going to be competing in an explosion match. Atsushi Onita told the press he’ll consider taking the winner with him to the United States and he’ll recommend that individual to a promoter he knows in the States.
** The 2022 PWG Battle of Los Angeles tournament is taking place on January 29th and 30th.
** ROH Women’s World Champion Rok-C is set to appear at MLW’s ‘Blood & Thunder’ show on January 21st.
** Kairi Sane is a part of a team that is opening a 24-hour gym in Japan.
** Danhausen’s sit-down conversation with Chris Jericho.
** Kevin Hart welcomed The Undertaker onto his ‘Cold As Balls’ show.
** NJPW World Tag League Results (11/30/21) Korakuen Hall
– Ryohei Oiwa vs. Yuto Nakashima – Time Limit Draw (10:00)
– World Tag League Tournament Match: BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens)
– World Tag League Tournament Match: House Of Torture (EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi)
– World Tag League Tournament Match: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI
– World Tag League Tournament Match: Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
– World Tag League Tournament Match: Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.)
– World Tag League Tournament Match: United Empire (Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & Tetsuya Naito)
** The latest guest on Steven’s Wrestling Journey is AJ Styles.
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated caught up with The IInspiration (Jessica McKay & Cassie Lee).
** F1RST Wrestling announced Tony Nese and Ariya Daivari versus Lio Rush and Dante Martin for their December 19th event.
** Christian Cage and Naomi are celebrating birthdays today.
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.