Originally published at NJPW's Aaron Henare out of action with neck injury, disc was out of place
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.
** NJPW’s Aaron Henare was last in action during the Wrestling Dontaku tour in early May. He recently appeared on the New Zealand-based talk show ‘Te Ao Toa’ and shared that he’s dealing with a neck injury.
Right now, I’ve been going back and forth for like the last five years but this time was my neck. The guy jumped off the rope and landed right on my head and I almost got paralyzed but, luckily we do some neck exercises as you can see in wrestling so…
Henare added that he continued to wrestle throughout the tour. He initially thought his neck was sprained until he got an MRI and saw a disc out of place.
Yeah, a part of pro wrestling is that if you’ve got a tour, you can’t just have one match and then go away, because it’s always someone underneath you waiting to take your spot, but I didn’t even know because we do so much conditioning I’m like, ‘Oh, it’s just a sprained neck or something. I’ll get back’ and then I took an MRI and the disc was out. I was like, ‘Oh, doc, I think I’m injured.’
** Highspots Wrestling Network hosted a virtual signing with Bo Dallas. (Dallas’ comments about his broken neck injury from several years ago can be read here). After 13 years in the WWE, Dallas was let go from the company in April. Throughout his time there, his favorite match was against PAC, the former ‘Neville’ from NXT TakeOver: ArRIVAL. Dallas is looking forward to wrestling PAC again.
I would have to say NXT ArRIVAL against Adrian Neville or PAC. Just the circumstances leading into that, it was the first live pay-per-view put on WWE Network and PAC is one of my — is probably hands down my favorite person to work in the world. Great friends, chemistry. There’s no better than working with him and I’m looking forward to getting back in the ring with him for sure but I’d say ArRIVAL against Adrian Neville was my favorite match.
Before he joined WWE in 2008, Dallas planned to begin his pro wrestling career in Japan and was set on doing so.
A couple weeks later, I talked to John Laurinaitis and I flew out to Indianapolis to — they were doing a WWE pay-per-view in Indianapolis and I met with Laurinaitis and I wasn’t planning on getting signed. I was actually planning — I was telling them earlier that I was planning on going to Japan. I wanted to go to Japan. Yeah, that’s where I wanted to start and I was planning on going there for six months and I was gonna stay there and I was looking forward to it. Obviously, I was looking more forward to getting signed to WWE but then, I didn’t think that was a route that was gonna present itself and by the end of that night at the pay-per-view, Laurinaitis told me he was willing to sign me for a contract and ‘I’ll take it’.
While reflecting on his days in FCW, he said he and Bray Wyatt wanted to use their real last names which is Rotunda. Dallas said WWE was in a period when they were trying to stray away from lineage names.
In the time where me and Windham , we all wanted to use our names and there was — it wasn’t working and we pitched that, we wanted to use ‘Windham’ because at the time, we were fighting for this and trying to find our names. Me and my brother were tagging in FCW and it just didn’t happen and… we both went down different roads. I took Dallas and he took something else.
** 2.0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker) joined Chris Jericho’s Talk Is Jericho podcast. The former Ever-Rise recounted their days doing extra work for WWE before being signed. Jeff Parker discussed he and Matt getting the run-around from WWE management about bringing them in more often. He recalled Canyon Ceman saying they were going to be called for the second Cruiserweight Classic.
Parker: tryout goes really, really well. This was at the time they had just done the first Cruiserweight Classic, so, Canyon Ceman pulls us aside, he goes, ‘Look, we love you guys a lot’ but there’s this one line, he goes, ‘There’s only so many under six-foot tall white guys I can have on the roster right now.’ I’m like, ‘How can you argue with that?’ I’m under six-foot and I’m white so, sure. But he goes, ‘We’re gonna be doing season two of the Cruiserweight Classic so we’ll use you guys for that.’ Awesome, great. Opportunity, great. Go home and wait for an email, never comes. Six weeks, two months go by, one comes up, ‘Okay, we might use you for the Dusty Classic.’ We’re a tag team, tag team tournament, heck yeah! Never hear anything back. So this goes on for a year, year-and-a-bit.
On the April 30th Raw in 2018, Parker and Lee had a match against AOP (Akam & Rezar). They detailed how excited Vince McMahon was about their pre-match promo and Parker also shared what led to him initially thinking that he was only going to be signed by WWE and not Matt Lee.
Parker: So, we’re like we’re gonna go with this and now it turns out, they go, ‘Okay, so we’re gonna move the promo from ringside to Gorilla and we’re gonna do it live and then you’re gonna have an entrance.’
Lee: Have an entrance? What is happening?
Parker: Extra, getting squashed, what more — it’s the trio, right? It’s the Holy Trinity, that’s great. But the nerves that come with that. So, it starts to get time for it and now we start moving to Gorilla and now, the thing is, in Gorilla, we’re about ten feet away, there’s Vince sitting at his table and now I gotta do a live promo in our hometown in front of Vince.
Lee: In front of the world too, right?
Parker: So we do the thing, Charly knows something happened.
Lee: Like, ‘What was said? What happened in there?’ I know something happened, so he fills me in. I was like, ‘Wow, okay.’
Parker: But immediately after I tell him, we go, ‘Now we gotta figure out how we both get there.’
Lee: We gotta make this work, you know? So I guess a couple days go by and I just email Canyon Ceman and told him what’s what, you know? And he goes, ‘We’ll get you in’ because they were gonna bring Jeff down for a tryout and I told him the situation, he goes, ‘Oh, you come too. Absolutely, you come too.’
Elsewhere during the conversation, Chris Jericho said when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit in 2020, he offered to have the Blood & Guts match take place in his backyard.
Jericho: It’s funny, we’re actually sitting in my backyard right now and when the lockdown started and at one point, we were still thinking about maybe doing Blood & Guts last year and there was no where to do it. I was like, ‘Why don’t we do it in my backyard and do kind of one of those Inoki-Saito island deathmatch things? There’s plenty of room here.’
** Chris Van Vliet welcomed Ariya Daivari onto his podcast. Daivari was let go from WWE in June and when he received his termination papers, he initially thought the company was trying to trademark his name when he read some of the fine print but it was just a formality.
Oh yeah get screwed over or something by giving my name away.
On the topic of possibly returning to WWE, Ariya is giving himself a five-year window for that to happen.
I think so are great examples. Obviously, they’re very large men, so they have that advantage but seeing them leave WWE and let’s be honest, they were kind of at the bottom of the barrel when they left WWE and to go out there, get in great shape, reinvent themselves and then come back and have the success that they’ve had, it’s awesome to see. You know, Shelton Benjamin, The Hardy Boyz. Obviously these are all guys who are big stars but they were guys who I thought when they left WWE, I was like, ‘Ah, that’s probably it for them,’ because they’ve done everything they can do, they’re a little older now, probably not gonna come back and now to see they’ve come back and they’ve all done extraordinary work, I don’t think the door for WWE is completely closed. It might just be, right now, they’re just kind of reshuffling things and figuring things out like the whole world is doing right now.
** The Dynamite Download podcast welcomed QT Marshall onto the show. QT helps book extra talent for AEW and he explained why the company’s Dark and Dark: Elevation shows run as long as they do.
I know what it’s like to be at TV and not wrestle. Luckily I have the behind-the-scenes where I’m busy and stuff but, I can’t imagine going to TV and just sitting around all day and doing nothing. You know, which is why we try to get away from that which is why sometimes Dark is 25 matches long. We want everyone to work. It is what it is. We want you to wrestle. This is your dream and the happier you are, the better you’re going to do for us and the better the fans are gonna be and everyone wins.
On-screen, QT is the head of The Factory that consists of Nick Comoroto, Aaron Solo and Anthony Ogogo. He detailed how the group came to be and how he and Tony Khan drew inspiration from The Nexus when coming up with the idea for The Factory.
So, a lot of it was — you know, basically, let’s put it this way: Tony Solo was somebody we were high on. We just didn’t know what to do with him, and I don’t have to teach him. Now, he did invest in himself and he flew himself here to Atlanta for a whole month, he lived in an Airbnb and he trained every night and we worked on promos and he was somebody — he wanted it, you know what I mean? And it was like, you can’t — at the end of the day, after you see that much… persistence, you’re like, you know what? Throw him a bone, let’s see what he can do and I don’t have to worry about him getting in the ring and not being able to perform. He knows how to wrestle. We just had to make people care about him in the right or wrong way so that was kind of — I remember Tony mentioning him and I said, ‘Well I didn’t train him’ and then he said, ‘Well, yeah you did. You’ve known him for a month, you did. So, maybe you’re the key to success. Maybe they come to you and you’re the one that opens the door for em’ and blah, blah, blah, blah and I said, ‘I love that idea. How do you think we go about it?’ And obviously things worked out the way they did.
** Dayton 24/7 Now conducted an interview with Carmella. She stated that she is game for a move to the Raw brand to get a fresh start. Carmella has been a part of SmackDown since 2016.
You talk about a Draft, I would love it if there’s a Draft. I would love to go to Raw. I feel like I’ve been on SmackDown from the very beginning, since 2016, I was the last Draft pick. I was drafted to SmackDown. I feel like I’ve kind of done everything I could on SmackDown, although we do have new women in the locker room which is nice and I think a lot of times, you know, when you have a couple new women, it changes the landscape of the division. I would love to work with some of these new women and kick their butts so, I’ve worked with Bianca . I’m kind of ready to try something new. Like I said, as much as I would love to be champion, I would love to switch things up a little bit and have a fresh, new opponent.
** Juventud Guerrera told Wrestling Inc. that he will be on a future episode of Talk Is Jericho.
** Ariel Helwani hosted the premiere episode of The Ringer Wrestling Show and he brought Natalya on as a guest. Natalya has been with WWE since 2007 and she discussed if she feels underappreciated for her work over the years. She admitted that she does want to be appreciated more but knows many people want that.
I just feel like all of us, especially in the last year-and-a-half working through this pandemic, but we’ve all — nobody really understands what we do unless you do it. This career that I have, I love it, I’m extremely passionate about it but it’s really hard and only a handful of people in the world can do it, especially before the pandemic, we were trying 300 days a year. We were working all over the globe and we don’t have — we go year around so it’s like — you have to be — I’ve had one injury in WWE in the last 13 years which is like impeccable and that was just this recent situation that happened so I’ve been super lucky and super grateful that I haven’t had anything else happen to me but it also comes down to skill. It’s because I train with my family in The Dungeon, it’s because I learned from my uncles, it’s because I had incredible coaches. I’ve had incredible mentors in WWE that have helped me be who I am and I do feel like we all need a little bit more appreciation sometimes. I think that’s something really greatly lacking in the industry is sometimes it’s okay to say, ‘Hey, this person is doing a really good job.’ I think we all get to be too cynical sometimes where we’re like, ‘This person could be better’ or, ‘Why didn’t you do it this way?’ Or I think — I feel, yeah, sometimes I do wanna feel more appreciated but I feel like that’s kind of an overall statement for so many of us.
Natalya is currently out of action after undergoing ankle surgery. She previously stated that she expects to be back in a month to a few weeks. Although she will only be out for a short period of time, she is devastated about missing SummerSlam.
I was devastated about not being able to participate in SummerSlam because SummerSlam for me is like my favorite — it’s the most pivotal pay-per-view for the Hart family if you really think about it. Like Bret Hart versus The British Bulldog, SummerSlam 1992. You think about — Bret had an incredible match with Mr. Perfect, I can’t remember what year that was, 1991? And then I had a really pivotal match in my career at SummerSlam against Becky Lynch in 2019 and we opened the show and it was just incredible. I won my first Women’s Championship at SummerSlam in 2017 at the Barclays Center so it’s a very pivotal event for me and obviously my family. But, now that we’re finally champions, Tamina and I, it’s been a journey for us to win those championships and I was so crushed after the injury because I was like I knew we wouldn’t be able to be in SummerSlam and of course now, we have fans. It’s gonna be a huge show and it’s a big deal. It’s a big deal for me, especially knowing how important it is to be a champion in WWE but at the same time, I just count my blessings and go, ‘I’m so grateful that I didn’t blow out my Achilles. I’m so grateful that I didn’t blow out my ACL.’ You look at somebody like Conor McGregor, all he did was step back on his foot and his leg was snapped, and that’s a long recovery for — that’s a long recovery so I am bummed out that I’m not in SummerSlam but also just so, so grateful that it wasn’t worse because it can always be worse.
Recently added to the SummerSlam card was a match between Eva Marie and Alexa Bliss. Natalya gave her take on the match and is aware that it will be more entertainment opposed to in-ring work.
I think with Alexa , knowing that SummerSlam is gonna be bigger than WrestleMania this year, especially with having so many fans in attendance. It’ll be cool to see what they do with Lilly, if Lilly will be involved.
** Bully Ray and Dave LaGreca welcomed Samoa Joe onto Busted Open Radio. Joe dove into the evolution of NXT and how the product has changed and shifted over the years and continues to do so. Here is what he had to say in full:
And I think that evolution’s gonna continue. NXT’s always kind of been the impetus for kind of experiment and change and doing things differently in WWE and I think a lot of that change and a lot of that has kind of reverberated to the SmackDown and Raw brands and I don’t think it’s gonna be anything different in the future. It’s always gonna be in a state of chaotic flux, it’s always gonna be in a state of change just by nature of what it is. You know, we’re finding new and brand new talent, introducing these people to the world and in order to do that, you have to keep mixing up the pot and it makes a lot of fans a little bit uneasy, but at the same time, it’s exciting to get on the ground floor and see somebody become a star in front of your eyes and that’s happened so many times in NXT. I’ve been witness to it and it’s just kind of a wonderful thing and I think it’s just the major appeal to a lot of the WWE universe is that they get to be here and see somebody like Finn Balor happen, somebody like Bayley happen, something like Sasha Banks or Charlotte happen. They’re so popular with the universe now because, you know, they grew up with them here, starting in NXT.
** WALTER was the focus of an international media call to promote NXT TakeOver 36. He was asked about being eliminated first in the 2019 men’s Survivor Series match. He said he harbors no ill feelings regarding his exit from the match and doesn’t think it hurt him.
First of all, I said it before, I’m a basic wrestling guy. I like a one-on-one, I like a tag match or a six-man tag. But, I really don’t like three ways and especially don’t like three ways when it’s like a team of five on each side. That’s first of all. Those circumstances aren’t very enjoyable for me. In regards of the match, it was what it was but I think it was — people still talk about it so it’s still memorable. Also the reactions I got from the main roster audience, even though I was in front of them the first time, were very positive in my direction and that stayed in the heads of a lot of people so, I don’t think it hurt me at all because it didn’t change me or didn’t change who I am. I also — I don’t know. I wasn’t bitter about anything like that. I watched Survivor Series as a kid many, many times and if I never make it back, at least I wrestled Survivor Series once so that’s something to be happy about a little bit. But no, at the end of the day, it’s — it is what it is and there are no ill feelings towards it.
** Spotify is now the exclusive home for WWE podcasts after the two parties inked a deal. The Ringer is going to launch an audio network as a part of the multi-year audio content partnership. There are going to be live chat room sessions following WWE events. New podcasts that are joining the network are ‘MackMania’ hosted by Evan Mack of WWE The Bump along with a narrative series hosted by Bill Simmons.
** Anthony Greene joined Thomas Santell on the ‘Left My Wallet’ show. Greene is back in the swing of things on the independents after being let go from WWE. He feels that his first match back on the indies was better than anything he has done in his career thus far.
So going into the day, I was like super calm. Not that I didn’t care but it was like very stress-free and then it was like once I was downstairs in the locker room, putting on my gear, it was, ‘Mhm, alright. Like, it’s go time’ and I felt like I had a lot that I needed to prove. I don’t know if it was to myself or I don’t think anyone — no one upstairs knew, no fan knew that I was on the show . I was completely unannounced, but I felt like I had a lot to prove to myself and to pro wrestling and then right before I went out, there’s actually a video, I haven’t shared it yet but Ace Romero filmed the moment behind the curtain right before I went out and right then and there as I’m walking up the stairs, I knew it was go time and hence all the butterflies are fluttering in my stomach and it was like the most insane feeling and I feel like I’ve heard it before where it sounds like bitter wrestler like, ‘Ah, beats anything I’ve ever done in WWE’ or whatever. But it’s like a feeling, it’s like euphoric where when I did go through the curtain, it was better than anything that I’ve ever done in my career, ever. I thought my peak up until that point was signing my WWE contract and going through that curtain that night, nearly bursting into tears I think tops everything I’ve ever done.
The show host, Thomas Santell worked for WWE in the early 2000s. He recalled John Laurinaitis threatening he and another talent’s jobs because they weren’t being assertive enough in their matches.
I got pinned by Tiny The Terrible. I got pinned by Tiny The Terrible. That was in Cleveland. Viscera and Tiny The Terrible and I got pinned and I remember going to a — it was in Cleveland. I remember going into a stairwell and calling the aforementioned Johnny Idol and I go, ‘Dude, did you see that?’ He’s like, ‘Yeah. That wasn’t good’ and I was like, ‘Dude, I’m seriously thinking about quitting’ and I was like, ‘But dude you can’t do that!’ When I was just like, you know, we got things turned around for — hang around another six months or so but, yeah, that was oof.
** During episode 25 of the MC! True Long Island Story Podcast, Matt Cardona said he purposely wore white clothing for his GCW World Title match against Nick Gage. Cardona was expecting to only get a few “trickles of blood” on his clothing for the visual.
I knew I was gonna bleed, I knew there was gonna be a lot so of course, I strategically wore some white. I’m like, ‘Oh, it’ll be cool to have a couple trickles of blood.’ I did not realize that my white shirt would turn red. Not a couple drops, it was completely red. You could not find any white on the shirt, so much so that we have re-released the shirt in red because people thought it was originally in red.
** During his chat with ‘Metro’, Seth Rollins was asked if he drew inspiration from the on-screen Bray Wyatt character to implement into his own. Rollins said he did not because he and Wyatt’s characters are vastly different but added that he misses Bray.
Bray Wyatt – God, I miss him. But I wouldn’t say that I drew much inspiration from him. He was way out there with the stuff he wanted to do character-wise – and it worked for him. For me, not so much. That’s not really where I sit when it comes to characters in wrestling, but it worked well for him.
** While speaking to Sports Illustrated, Jay White commented on Chris Bey being added to Bullet Club.
Chris Bey has endless potential. He’s young and hungry and not afraid to get his hands dirty.
** Bleacher Report conducted an interview with Goldberg ahead of his WWE Title match at SummerSlam. He was asked about the idea of his son Gage following in his footsteps. Goldberg said he’ll support Gage in whatever he decides to do professionally.
I don’t steer him off any path. If the kid has an idea of something he wants to do, I’m going to be a parent that fully supports that. I have to arm him with information that he has to know when making a decision like that, but he’s a baseball player, he’s a football player. I’m going to push him in the direction I see fit based upon past experience and if he wants to follow in my footsteps on the football field or in the ring, I can do nothing but support him. I would not deter him from anything he put his mind to and was passionate about. I think the kid’s going to be a success at whatever he does. As long as he’s using the applications he’s been using over the last year and a half, I think the sky’s the limit for him in whatever he chooses to do.
Big E is currently in possession of the Money In The Bank contract. Goldberg gave his take on how Big E could play a role in the outcome of he and Lashley’s match at SummerSlam.
I’d love nothing more than to get into the ring with Big E. There’s so many reasons why I’d want for that to happen, but I’m not worried about him right now. I’m worried about Bobby Lashley. Period. End of story. If there’s another chapter to that story and he shows his face or does whatever, then I’ll deal with it, but right now, my sights are completely set on Lashley.
** According to PWInsider, Molly Holly is now working as a producer for WWE on a full-time basis. She was previously on a trial run with the company.
** Rey Horus was the most recent guest on the ROHStrong Podcast. He recounted taking on the name ‘El Hijo de Rey Misterio’ early in his career which was given to him by Rey Mysterio Jr.’s uncle. Horus appreciates the period of time he wrestled under that name, but wanted to carve out his own legacy.
I actually started only as ‘Horus’. Yeah, that was my first name, Horus. I wrestled like two years and-a-half with that name and in 2011 I think, Rey the ‘Rey’ to ‘Horus’ and from 2014 to now, it’s been a journey but I think I’ve been making a name for myself in the wrestling business, you know?
** The A Show on RNC Radio welcomed Bianca Belair on as a guest. Belair said she is hoping to share the ring with both Beth Phoenix and NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez one day.
I always say especially if it’s a legend, Beth Phoenix. I always wanted to have a match with Beth Phoenix and I’ve never had a match with Raquel , not even in NXT. I was tagging with her or against her but a singles match with Raquel would be really cool.
** Deonna Purrazzo was a guest on Nashville SportsRadio and expressed that she would like to have a match with Mickie James. Purrazzo is defending the Knockouts Title at NWA EmPower, which is being produced by Mickie.
Yeah, I’d like to put her in her place, absolutely. You know what? She is a legend, she has carved a path on her own and for women like me to be as successful as we are, for women’s wrestling to be as successful as it is. But you know what? Respect has to go both ways. I respect the hell out of Mickie, but Mickie needs to respect the hell out of me too.
** Heath Miller appeared on The AJ Awesome Show and discussed some of his favorite crowds to perform in front of. He mentioned the O2 Arena in London and received some unique chants from those in attendance.
Philly, Chicago, hardcore fans. I like the fans that don’t go along with the flow. I like the fans where they’re like, ‘Hey, I either like you, so I’m gonna cheer for you or I don’t like you, even if you’re a good guy, I’m not going to cheer for you.’ That’s Chicago, L.A., the O2 Arena, MSG, those fans are the fans that are like, ‘Hey, we respect your wrestling. We don’t care about the character you have.’ That right there to me, those are my favorite arenas. The ones that was when they started loving me. You know, they’re like, ‘Oh, he’s entertaining, he can work, he’s good’ and then they just started liking me ever since so, I don’t know man. There’s crowds, whenever they tell the truth, you can either get butthurt or you can go with it, you know?
** MJF is returning to Northeast Wrestling on October 2nd.
** Drew McIntyre and Sheamus sat down to look back at their match in FCW and their match at Fastlane 2021.
** DJ Valentino Khan is going to perform at SummerSlam in Las Vegas.
** Jeff Jarrett talked to ESPN and ranked the top ten wrestlers who played pro football.
** Jim Ross joined Jonathan Hood’s ‘Tuesday Wrestling Tuesday’ show.
** Dominic DeAngelo conducted an interview with E.J. Nduka on behalf of MLW.com.
** Will Ospreay’s new theme song:
** Rey and Dominik Mysterio appeared on CBS 8 to chat SummerSlam.
** Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque and Stephanie McMahon gave Barstool Sports’ Robbie Fox and Brandon Walker a tour of WWE’s warehouse.
** ‘Metro’ pushed out their interview with Darby Allin.
** The newest edition of Hiroshi Tanahashi’s Ace’s HIGH series is up on NJPW1972.com.
** Darren Paltrowitz has an interview with Preston ’10’ Vance.
** Below is a six-man Ladder match from Reality of Wrestling’s ‘Summer of Champions’ show:
** Vicente Beltran partook in an international media call with Charlotte Flair.
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.