Originally published at POST NEWS UPDATE: Nick Aldis addresses NWA talent departures
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.
** The Angle Podcast welcomed Nick Aldis onto the show. There have been a number of departures from the National Wrestling Alliance dating back to the summer of 2020. Aldis shared his thoughts about talents leaving the organization during that stretch.
“There’s been a lot of talk about our roster or lack thereof I guess depending on who you listen to. But, our intention was always to build around a core group of guys, a small core group of guys who really embodied the qualities that we think should represent the NWA. But also, who really want to be there. Like if you don’t really believe and believe passionately in what the NWA is trying to achieve, then we’re — the company’s not gonna throw you a six-figure contract, you know? Just to prevent you going somewhere else. We’re gonna go, ‘No, it’s cool man. You go do you.’ But when I look at Trevor Murdoch and Pope, and Tom Latimer and Kamille, I get excited because you start — Tim Storm man. Building around these core characters that all represent different walks of life and have different qualities but they’ve all got one thing, they’re all incredible, believable, they can all talk and when you walk into a room you go, ‘Who’s that? This guy’s somebody.’ That’s the criteria that you need to be a sort of full-time player. But our intentions have always been to have a core group of sort of, for lack of a better term, principal cast members and then have rotating guest stars. Again, the internet wrestling culture loves to create this drama out of nothing. ‘Oh, so and so has left. They’ve been released’ or, ‘They’ve signed.’ Some of these guys, a lot of the talents that we were using were on like short-term deals for that reason because we’re like, ‘We don’t want to lock you up for two, three years.’ We give you an opportunity and here you go, and now use it and make it mean something and again, we don’t look at it as, ‘Oh, AEW stole a bunch of our talent’ or this company or that company. We see it as a great credibility because they go, ‘Look, some of these guys have been available for a long time’ and they do one season of our show and suddenly it’s like boom, boom, boom. So that is a testament to our quality and to the attention we’re getting and to the credibility that-that brings to someone who comes to work with us.”
Reflecting on his time as a part of TNA, Aldis stated that in 2013, he almost left the company and there were conversations held with WWE.
“To be honest, I was very close to leaving in 2013, right in the middle of my push because my contract came up, and I was — there was — I had some discussions with WWE… my experience with them anyway is that you never really fully know. There’s always a little bit of — and there’s so many different people there that it’s hard to know what is true and what is not.”
** Tokyo Sports ran their interview with Meiko Satomura who recently joined WWE and is going to be a part of the NXT UK brand. Meiko said the following about her move from Japan to London (Transcription credit to @EasternLariat on Twitter):
“Senjo has been in business for 15 years and has been in danger of survival due to the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake for 10 years. For the last 10 years, I have poured everything I have into the organization. And now I’m in the best condition as a wrestler. Then I decided I’d leave the organization to the younger generation and do what I wanted to do until I turned 50.”
Meiko talked about future goals and said she wants to do something that Joshi wrestling can benefit from ten years from now.
“I’m trying to do something the joshi wrestling industry in Japan will benefit from in 10 years. The seeds we are sowing now will definitely bear great fruits in Japan in 10 years. I’m confident that by then, Japan will be attracting female wrestlers from all over the world.”
** Sean “X-Pac” Waltman welcomed Kevin Nash onto his X-Pac 12360 podcast. They both reflected on their favorite Royal Rumble moments and Waltman stated that after coming off of his knee surgery, he’d be open to doing the 2022 men’s Royal Rumble match.
“I already told you Kev , but people are mentioning wanting to see me in this year’s Rumble which obviously isn’t gonna happen but I’m open to — I should be recovered by next year’s Rumble, and I would be open to doing it.”
Kevin Nash then dove into his last two Royal Rumble appearances in 2014 and 2011. 2014 was the Rumble that was won by Dave Bautista and the Pittsburgh crowd booed the finish of the match as it came down to Bautista and Roman Reigns. Nash shared that Jamie Noble laid the match out and doesn’t think Noble mapped it out well.
“This was the one they really wanted to focus on Roman . I thought for sure I tore my bicep. I didn’t get hurt but I just said to myself, ‘You know what? F*ck this sh*t. I’m going to do the indies. I’m going to have some fun.’”
Going back several years prior, Nash competed as ‘Diesel’ in the 2011 Royal Rumble. He talked about how Sheamus and Drew McIntyre were very stiff with their strikes. Nash wanted to be eliminated by Wade Barrett because of their back and forth on social media and he also talked about not wanting to eliminate Dolph Ziggler.
“So I knew that I would probably get a good response, but I also was smart enough to know like if I would’ve came out as Nash or nWo, but as soon as that horn — because I knew they were gonna play my old Barrett. We went back and forth and as soon as I walked into the locker room, I said, ‘I want Barrett to eliminate me,’ because that’s what you do. You do business. I wanted to come in here, I wanted to have an angle with somebody in there and then be eliminated to elevate them. But Sheamus beat me down so bad that by the time I was eliminated, I was just glad to get the f*ck out of there.”
** Former WWE talent Tyler Reks has made a gender transition, as she revealed to Extra TV. Reks, former full name Gabe Tuft will now be known as Gabbi.
** Kacy Catanzaro returned to NXT in January of 2020 after being away for seven months. At the time, it was reported by Casey Michael of Squared Circle Sirens that Catanzaro was dealing with a back injury. Catanzaro recently spoke with Daily DDT and talked about that time off.
“I came in and felt like, ‘I don’t know if I belong here. I don’t know if I’m going to be welcomed here. I don’t know if I’m going to be good enough.’ All those doubts, all those worries. I feel like for a while, I let that put me in a box where I was supposed to be in this corner of this box and only do this and only say that and I’m going to do that and that’s what’s going to happen. That just didn’t work. It didn’t work for me in the ring, it didn’t work for me mentally, it didn’t work for my well being. When I came back and showed this is me now and I’m not going to be this scared person in the corner and I’m going to show what I have, it was crazy that people loved it. Now I get to be myself.
is crucial for athletes and especially in this business. Our bodies and our minds are so important to what we do and sometimes those don’t line up and at that point I was recovering from an injury that I had and recovering from that injury really gave me that time to work on my mindset. ‘When I am here, how can I improve on myself and my well being and me as a person here in order to be the best wrestler I can possibly be out there?’ That time off and rehab with my injury really allowed me to figure out that, ‘Wow, when I’m cleared and ready to get back in the ring, what do I want to be? I get to choose this.’ It cleared my mind and made me come back with such a better mental aspect of it that allowed me to make myself better in the ring.”
** Kevin Owens appeared on 95.3 WDAE to speak about WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium. Owens reflected on his experiences in the ring since the pandemic began last March to how things are now with the ThunderDome set-up and ultimately having fans at WrestleMania.
“Yeah you know, it’s been such a rollercoaster from learning that WrestleMania was going to be moved from Raymond James Stadium to the WWE Performance Center and was gonna be held in front of nobody. I remember that announcement being pretty shocking, just because at the time, even though what was happening all around the world, you just couldn’t fathom WrestleMania not having an audience, a live audience and now we went through all these different stages of we wrestled at the Performance Center which is a very small building compared to what we’re used to doing and in front of no one as well, and then they developed this ThunderDome which was taking place at the Amway Center and now it’s Tropicana Field in Tampa and it’s basically a virtual crowd that we have where people are watching at home and they can see themselves in the background on their screen, these giant panels. It’s been — obviously I’m saying it but everyone from any walks of life but I’m sure Callum would say the same, it’s been such a crazy time for every industry. To know that we’ll have fans in the stadium at WrestleMania this year, that we were able to do it in Tampa and just kind of put things back the way that they were supposed to be as much as we could anyway, that’s great that we’ll still be able to get that accomplished and give Tampa the WrestleMania they deserve.”
** ‘Metro’ ran their interview with Matt Cardona and he stated that he is not in IMPACT Wrestling to pass the torch to the next crop of up and coming talents.
“I would love to give back – but this is the thing. Yeah, I’m 35, I’ve been doing this for 18 years but I’m not coming to IMPACT to pass the torch to these young kids. I’m not – I’m here to do my own thing. I’ve been waiting for this opportunity for so long! I have my own music, it’s my music that I got designed for me, created for me – to come out to that! I’m wearing what I wanna wear, doing what I wanna do, I’m saying what I wanna say. This is my time and this IMPACT’s time. I think it’s a perfect storm!”
** The latest installment of Arn Anderson’s podcast was a Q&A session. Arn opened up about being let go from WWE in early 2019 and stated that he was happy to be off the road.
“I got the call and hung up the phone maybe three minutes before she the look I had. I know inwardly, I was doing jumping jacks with a half twist and she said, ‘What’s wrong?’ I said, ‘I just got canned,’ and she went, ‘What?’ I said yes, and she said, ‘Well are you ok?’ I said, ‘Never better’ and it was literally like 500 pounds had just been lifted off my shoulder, and I looked at her and said, I pointed over towards the couch and I said, ‘I will be sitting right there this coming Monday,’ and we started talking more about it and what had occurred and ramifications and all that and man I just felt, I felt great. Usually in our business, I would’ve looked at that as humiliation and one of those things, ‘What are we gonna do?’ And, ‘How are we gonna get by? Oh my God.’ At that point in time, there weren’t that many places still to wrestle. AEW had only been started a small, short amount of time and it was like it was a panic mode situation or should’ve been but I was absolutely thrilled because we’d prepared for this. It’s like we live beneath our means and we had taken care of our money and done all the right things that you’re supposed to do headed towards retirement. This was just one of those things that was unexpected but man, I welcomed. I was ready.”
During a period of Arn’s in-ring career, he put his signature spinebuster to the side and started using a DDT. He said that switch came about because the executives at TNT wanted something fresh and new from the WCW product.
“They were always after me, the Turner people. You would get a person in a position, whether you would bring a new booker or a new boss that was his boss, that was the Turner representative in the company and they were always looking for new and fresh and they would look at me and, ‘God, there’s that old pair of house shoes that’s still here. He’s comfortable, everybody’s comfortable when they put him on but man he’s been here a long time’ and they were constantly looking for change out of me and there was instances of, ‘Hey, you need to switch up your costuming. Hey, you need to switch up this’ and I don’t think people understood, at that time, I’m pretty sure nobody came up to Bret Hart, said, ‘Hey Bret, been here a long time. You been here too long. We need to get you out of here’ and let that be the only reason. That just didn’t stick with me. If you could perform and you knew what you were doing, every company needed some of those guys. It was stability, it was — and so I think it was probably one of those situations where they were looking for some change so I said okay, I’ll steal Jake DDT. I can pull that off, just to give them something different and give it a different look and whether or not it worked or not, who knows?”
** Chicago Tribune ran a story about the Warrior Wrestling promotion and spoke with promotion owner Steve Tortorello. He stated that Warrior Wrestling is coming back in the summer of this year.
** Ring of Honor talent Cheeseburger announced that as of next week, he’ll no longer be donning the name “Cheeseburger” and he’ll be known as “World Famous CB”.
** Session Moth Martina guest appeared on the ROHStrong podcast. Martina has been in Ireland since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and has not been able to compete for Ring of Honor. She stated that if the opportunity presented itself, she would consider a move to North America.
“I’m very open to it. I’m very open to it. I think especially after this year as well, it’s like you don’t want to be away from this, you know what I mean? I made a commitment to wanna come to Ring of Honor so I guess it’s just kinda waiting to see what happens really. Like if the world goes back to normal and the schedule is there to make it worth moving, I will move, 100 percent. 100 percent. I don’t know where I’d move to yet though. That would be the exciting thing and that’s the thing, I kinda have a bit of hope again for the future where it’s like you don’t know what’s in store when things get back to normal. The fact that I could move to the States is amazing, do you know what I mean? I remember as a kid, I’d never been to America before and I always idealized it from watching it in movies and you know you’d see all that kind of stuff and it was always somewhere I wanted to go and I always just thought, ‘Oh, I’ll never go. I’ll never actually even save up and go on a holiday. I just know myself, I won’t,’ and then I’ve been there for wrestling a fair few times now so it’s pretty great. So the idea that I could get to live there based on wrestling again, I don’t wanna say no to the opportunity.”
** Giant Baba Memorial Show Results (2/4/21) Korakuen Hall
– Jinsei Shinzaki, Mitsuya Nagai & Tomoaki Honma def. Alejandro, Andy Wu & Osamu Nishimura
– Atsushi Onita, Great Kojika, Masanobu Fuchi & Shiro Koshinaka def. Tiger Mask II (Kotaro Suzuki), Arashi, Takao Omori & Tsuyoshi Kikuchi
– BUSHI def. Atsuki Aoyagi
– Yuji Nagata & Yuma Aoyagi def. Hikaru Sato & Minoru Suzuki
– Keiji Muto, Satoshi Kojima & Suwama def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Kaz Hayashi & Masayuki Kono
** RiverBender.com published a story about Reginald, Carmella’s sommelier.
** Chris Van Vliet caught up with WWE producer TJ Wilson. Through this pandemic era of wrestling, TJ feels that he has put together some of his best work as producer.
“I can hit the ropes, I can springboard, that’s okay. Probably landing on a springboard, even spring boarding and landing on my feet is probably not great for my neck. But bumping is the thing that stops me. I can do — I train these guys and it’s so fun to be in the ring, it’s literally like lit such a fire. That and — man, I don’t know, it’s crazy. This pandemic caused some of my best work as a producer for some reason. I don’t know why and days with double tapings but, it’s all lit this fire in me so I can kind of like chain wrestle a little bit with these guys and dabble in a couple things but when it comes to the actual, it’s almost like — now I know how these — minus the money, I know how these actors feel because I do the scene and then when it comes to the bump, it’s like, ‘Ha, stuntman, I need you in here.’ I need a stuntman now.”
As their conversation rolled on, TJ shared that because of Bayley bringing it up, he asked WWE Executive Kevin Dunn to pipe crowd noise into the ThunderDome to help the wrestlers in their matches.
“The first day at Amway was like, ‘Yeah, it’s no problem’ and then so they pump it in and I feel it helps — I think it helps at a lot, at least it kinda helps you have a chance of losing yourself in it and let it go and obviously, if you sit and think, ‘It’s not real noise.’ Like the audience is real people, just virtually. If you psych yourself out, I’m sure it’s probably easy to really psych yourself out in this environment.
I like to think that I definitely have my pulse on the talent and I ask them questions, and Bayley, she’s the one who told me. The first ThunderDome was a SmackDown so then that was a Friday, the following Monday is when — so two days later, I just ask Kevin if we could pipe in the noise, I think it would help. So Bayley brought it to my attention and I asked a lot of people, and they all kinda said the same that they thought noise would help them so…”
** Eric Bischoff dove into the WCW tenure of Harlem Heat (Booker T & Stevie Ray) for the latest installment of the 83 Weeks podcast. One of the topics covered was Booker T’s accidental slip-up during a promo when he said the n-word. Bischoff stated that he nor anyone else in a high-ranking position was upset at Booker and most understood it was a mistake.
“Time kind of froze. I mean everything just stopped. I didn’t know how to react. I was shocked, and not ‘angry’ shocked. I mean I was literally just like everything in my brain stopped working. It just stopped.
I don’t know what I was thinking. I was shocked. I don’t know how else to describe it. How do you describe ‘shocked’? No it wasn’t intentional, he knew it wasn’t intentional, I knew it wasn’t intentional, everybody knew it wasn’t intentional and here’s where — and again, it’s a cultural thing and the only — I don’t wanna sound like I’m making excuses for Booker here, not that he needs me or anybody else to make an excuse. He knew what he did was wrong the instant he said it, and he regretted it the instant he said it so there’s no excuse necessary but, times even then were different than they are now and I think when you grow up in a certain environment when you’re hanging, talking with friends and people you hang out with and there’s no cameras on and you’re joking around or something, you’ll say things that you wouldn’t on television and I don’t know, I never talked to Booker about it. We never sat down over a beer and discussed it but I’m guessing it was just one of those, almost a subconscious attempt at humor that backfired instantly. I don’t know. But it was regrettable but like I said, Booker and Stevie , we’re talking a lot about Booker but Booker and Stevie were both consummate professionals. Everybody knew it, they had a ton of respect from everybody associated with WCW, as well as the fans. So nobody took it as, ‘Oh my God, I can’t believe he’d go there.’ It wasn’t that, it was a mistake.”
Bischoff went on to speak highly of the ‘Best of’ series that Booker had with Chris Benoit in WCW. Years later, WWE did a best of series with Benoit and Booker but Bischoff feels that the original stamped Booker in as a top level performer.
“I think that best-of-7 that Booker T had with Chris Benoit nailed his legacy. It took him out of the — it took Booker T out of the category of being, ‘He’s a great wrestler, he was a great entertainer, he’s a great performer’ to being one of the best of the best. That was an amazing series, and if anybody had any doubt about whether or not Booker T deserved the accolades or the respect, and Stevie, now Stevie wasn’t in that match but it didn’t matter. It carried over. That credibility carried over to the team. That best-of-7 series was special, and I remember going into that, it started off, ‘Well, let’s do a 2-out-of-3.’ We went, ‘Wow, well that was really good. Can we do 3-out-of-5? Would that be insane? Let’s try it. Woah! That was even better than 2-out-of-3. Can we go best-of-7?’ Everybody, I’m talking about the people in the back, the creative part of the business that weren’t involved in the match, they were more excited about it and turned on by it than the audience was. I mean everybody was shocked at that and how good that was and I’m really glad you brought that up, thank you.”
** Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated caught up with Kazuchika Okada for an interview. Okada feels that Tetsuya Naito had an unlucky run as IWGP Heavyweight Champion recently with the majority of his run taking place through the pandemic.
“Naito was unlucky. Right after he became the first IWGP double champion, the pandemic hit the world and he couldn’t defend his titles like he wanted. It was a difficult time for him to show the fans this model champion he was aiming to be.”
** The subject of the latest Grilling JR podcast was the career of Ron Simmons. Before diving into Ron’s 20-plus year run in wrestling, Jim Ross said there is interest in turning his ‘Under The Black Hat’ book into a film or a TV series.
“The other thing I was gonna mention to the folks listening is — and watching is we’ve had a tremendous amount of interest and movement, especially in the last, I don’t know, 60 days on making Under The Black Hat into a film, or like a TV special thing like on SHOWTIME or whatever and it’s not a done deal. I’m not jinxing it because I’ll believe it when I see it, so I told my agent, the illustrious Barry Bloom the other day, I said, ‘Great story Barry. I’m excited about it but show me the money and let’s sign something, then I’ll get excited.’ But there’s a lot of people that are very interested in turning that Under The Black Hat into a film, or something along those lines. It’s brand new territory for me so I don’t know how any of that process actually works but I know that I’m happy that there’s interest in it, and then you start thinking about all these fantasy things like who would play Jan? How will they cast these things? But there’s very positive influence on that deal so I’m hoping that will work out well and then if that hits and it goes into production, then that would give me the motivation to write a third book.”
On the subject of Ron Simmons, Jim Ross spoke about the Nation of Domination. Ross admitted that he was not fond of the group being about race but he was happy to see each individual get an opportunity to shine.
“Even though I’m not big on — as I already mentioned, I’m gonna sound hypocritical here. The Nation of Domination was all about race. I didn’t like that aspect of it. But, I did like the fact that some deserving dudes were getting an opportunity to become stars and that theory worked, because this one kid that has done pretty good since then named Dwayne Johnson, The Rock was in the Nation of Domination. But it gave guys — it extended their careers. Look at Godfather…”
** Booker T talked about Bad Bunny’s musical performance at the Royal Rumble:
** Trish Adora and Tony Deppen are scheduled to compete in a 60 minute Iron Man match for Beyond Wrestling.
** Scheduled for next week’s NXT UK is a Street Fight between The Hunt (Wild Boar & Primate) vs. Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews. Sha Samuels will be a guest on Supernova Sessions with Noam Dar.
** Ring of Honor’s match of 2020 was awarded to Jay Lethal vs. Tracy Williams from the ROH Pure Title tournament.
** Mickie James vs. Tessa Blanchard.
** Joey G of WrestlingHeadlines.com caught up with IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champion Tasha Steelz. Competing in the now-complete Knockouts Tag Title tournament was Jazz. Tasha spoke about the influence Jazz has had over her career.
“I was getting excited to think that either we would be facing Havok and Nevaeh in the finals or Jordynne and Jazz. I was like, ‘Oh man if we’re facing Jazz and Jordynne in the finals this is going to be like facing a close relative.’ Seriously I’ve looked up to Jazz for so, so long and I’ve watched her for so long. A couple of girls I used to be in the locker room with used to call me baby Jazz, and I would take that as a high compliment because I just love this woman. Just her being there…she just…you could pick her brain about anything and everything and she gives you so much history of the stuff she’s been through and stuff you can just learn in the future. She’s got a little retirement tour coming up and I told her, ‘You can come stop by the hard knocks of Steelz and we can go.’ I don’t know if I’ll be victorious but I’m going to try.”
** Complex ran their interview with Rey Mysterio. Rey talked about his influence on the wrestling business and on the locker room that he’s currently in. He said he takes all the humbleness from talents as a sign of respect but he also tries to not walk around as if he owns the place.
“I think they try to contain themselves but I take that as a huge compliment. For some reason it doesn’t hit me or I don’t walk around like, I am the sh*t or I think that I did this, I did that. Just peers coming up to me, it humbles me, and it makes me realize how much this has changed and how cool it is to now work with young talent that grew up watching at some point.”
** Bianca Belair joined Ian Beckles and Jay Recher on 95.3 WDAE.
** Rob Van Dam was a guest on the Not About Wrestling show.
** Asuka uploaded the following video to her YouTube channel:
** NJPW ring announcer Makoto Abe did a detailed interview with NJPW1972.com.
** Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake) heaped praise onto Pete Dunne during their interview with Daily Star.
** IMPACT World Champion Rich Swann joined the Wrestling Perspective podcast.
** Ring of Honor’s Kellyanne wrote a piece for ROHWrestling.com.
** talkSPORT ran a highlight from their portion of an international media call with Bianca Belair.
** A new episode of Battle of the Brands is live on the UpUpDownDown YouTube channel.
** Aaron Solow and Santana have birthdays today.
** Dave LaGreca of Busted Open Radio interviewed Tully Blanchard.
** Episode 5 of Warrior Wrestling’s greatest matches:
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.