Originally published at Raven planning to undergo second knee replacement surgery, shoulder replacement in 2023
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.
** In early April, Raven shared that he underwent knee replacement surgery. While chatting with SOUNDSPHERE, he said he’ll be having his other knee replaced once the surgically repaired one heals and in 2023, he’ll be getting a shoulder replaced.
I got one of my knees replaced so I’ve been rehabbing that and I’m gonna get the other knee replaced soon as I’m done rehabbing the first knee and then next year, I’m gonna get the — I already had one of my shoulders replaced. I’m gonna get the other shoulder replaced.
Raven expressed that for a long period of time, he felt his wrestling career was not a success because he did not win the world title in WWE. He said it took speaking to a psychologist for him to get out of that mindset.
It would’ve been if I would have made it to the top of WWE McMahon, long story and so I never really got what I felt was the push I deserved in that company and… so no, I didn’t get to do everything I wanted, but what I did do, I felt the work I did in ECW will stand up against anybody’s work any time, anywhere, ever. Whether it’s work rate, whether it’s matches, whether it’s storyline, storyline especially.
You know, I had to spend time on a psychologist’s couch to be happy, to accept the fact that my career was incredibly successful but I felt like it wasn’t a success because I didn’t get the WWF Title, you know what I mean? Because I wasn’t used on — I didn’t need the title but being used on top in WWE but… if anybody else had came to me and said, ‘I’ve had this career’ and it was the same career that I had, I would have said, man, what are you — that’s so stupid. Why are you not satisfied? You should be more than satisfied. But I held myself to a higher standard, you know, to a much higher standard than I held everybody else and I felt like, you know, even though when I got in the business, I thought if I tried it and I’m not successful, I won’t be a failure because I tried. That’s all that matters is to try. To me, that’s all that matters but, then I hold myself to a different standard which I — after spending time on a psychologist’s couch, I learned not to hold myself to a different standard because what it — it’s just arrogant to be honest. It’s just pretentious and arrogant to hold yourself to a higher standard but it’s easy to fall into that trap though. It’s just hard to get out of it.
** Rob Van Dam returned to the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast for an extensive interview about his career in wrestling. RVD shared that he was able to negotiate a Favored Nations clause into his ECW contract which meant he was getting equal contractual treatment such as billing and accommodations. If a wrestler came into ECW and made more than RVD, his pay would rise to match or go above that price.
You know, I like to say that I would consider anything had to step it up then and then offer me something to compete with that. So that’s what happened. Paul said, ‘I don’t want you to go to WCW and what can I do to get you to stay here?’ And of course, amongst other things, that also included a decent guarantee and I had Favored Nations in ECW. A lot of people don’t know that. But I don’t think I’ve even said that publicly but I did and that was one of the many things along with my preference to really want to stay in ECW. I didn’t want to sell out and become a character and just, you know, be a puppet for someone else’s imagination. That wasn’t appealing to me.
Which at the time, we were bringing Sid Vicious in and I was thinking, hey, you know, this protection might be a factor here pretty soon. What are we paying that guy? But yeah, that’s what it is and it was contract negotiations, you know? I had a guarantee, whether it was annual and then broken down or whatever, I knew what I was gonna get every two weeks or whatever when we got our check. I think it was every two weeks and I was getting that so even when some of the money wasn’t coming in and the other guys had checks that were bouncing, I wasn’t getting some of the money. I never got the pay-per-view bonuses, the revenue, I never got any royalties for the action figures or t-shirts but, even though I wasn’t getting that, I was still getting a guarantee that was comparable to what WCW was offering me so I wasn’t complaining, although I was digging a bigger and bigger hole by letting the royalties build up and eventually, that did become a problem that I couldn’t get around.
I can’t actually remember the exact way , you know? It was just something talked about in negotiations. You negotiate the contract, it’s like, hey man, I gotta have my — Paul would pay for our flights. He had someone that would book flights for people but they would book them hours before their flight. It was crazy. You’ve probably heard stories about that. I would make my own flights and just tell them, ‘Hey, it was 500 bucks’ and he’d reimburse me. Sabu, who had the Winnebago, he would drive in and then Paul would give him the money for a plane ticket but Sabu would keep it and drive in. We all had our own deals, you know? I gotta have my hotel taken care of or whatever. It was negotiation tactics. I don’t think I had an agent at that time… Maybe I did though, I don’t know. I had an agent in 2001 when I worked my first deal out with WWE but I think that was the very first time I brought him into wrestling. He was supposed to be a Hollywood dude and I brought him in as a buffer and regretted it later with WWE because it was nothing he could do for me. I was there face-to-face every day with these guys and he’s — yeah. But anyway, I really don’t know exactly how it came up. Somebody offered it or asked for it and it was agreed upon.
In 2021, RVD was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He stated that he was surprised by the honor and is also surprised that WWE does not contact him more often to collaborate. He later suggested that his nature and choosing to keep to himself is possibly a reason why WWE does not reach out to him more.
No , or even forward with my own plans and ideas about, ‘Dude! This could be great. I was thinking I could work with this guy and we could do this and this.’ I don’t even want it that much. That’s not me, that’s not the way my brain works.
This weekend, Rob Van Dam will be in action at CyberFight Festival in Saitama, Japan. He spoke about his upcoming appearance and reflected on the work he did with All Japan Pro Wrestling in the 1990s.
And then I go to Japan. I have a match, June 12th for NOAH and I’m really stoked for that. This will be my first time going back to Japan in — well quite a while. I guess since maybe a WWE run in 2014.
Yeah, and you know, for me, just my connection, the whole story, I mean, Japan gets taken out of my biography a lot of times. It just does but, it’s really where I learned a lot and from ‘93 to ‘97, I wrestled for All Japan, Mr. Baba died and then Mrs. Baba took over and a lot of the boys didn’t get along with Mrs. Baba. Our top Japanese dude, Misawa left, started NOAH, competition and then here it is now, what? Well 20 — holy sh*t, 25 years later. Now I’m going back and I’ll be wrestling for NOAH for the first time.
In the early 2000s, RVD was cast in ‘Black Mask 2: City of Masks’ which was a movie filmed in Thailand. He worked with the late Tommy Lister Jr. (Zeus/Deebo) and recounted their run-ins and back and forth conversations.
Yeah everything was gonna go and he was like, ‘You let them know! You can’t let them get away with that’ and he fired me up so I’m like, ‘Hey! What the f*ck!?’ You know? And then right away, I was like, that’s not me. Like wait a minute, that’s him and I gotta control my own reactions to what happened and to what — the way that he’s acting.
At the time, I was thinking, man this guy’s an asshole. I even wanted to fight him at one time, you know? Because we had some words. I was talking about wrestling in ECW and this is 2001. If you remember, I was at an intersection where I could have gone anywhere I wanted. WWE wanted me, WCW wanted me. I wanted ECW to survive so I wouldn’t have to go there. Well I guess Tiny thought that I was bragging and full of sh*t and bullsh*tting but I was just stating the way it was and he reacted in a way, he said, ‘I don’t know nothing about no ECW! All I know is that when Hulk Hogan walks in the room, men get down on their knees! Grown men! On their knees when Hulk Hogan walks into the room! That’s all I know!’ And I was like, he’s trying to offend me I think but I don’t disagree, Hulk Hogan’s the man, I get that but it wasn’t until one of the guys told me later, they thought I was full of sh*t until they saw me on TV and they were like, oh my God, he is the whole f*cking show. Like why would I lie and bullsh*t? But a lot of people would I guess. I wouldn’t, but a lot of other people would so, you know, I went from thinking like, man, this guy’s been a pain in the ass, the worst negative energy on the set. Let’s get him out of here to now, now seeing a bigger picture, I look at it like, he had his own experience there, couldn’t wait to get off the movie. He left after five days and you know, he was probably promised a hell of a lot more than what was delivered.
** Prior to Edge being removed from The Judgment Day on the 6/6 WWE Raw, Damian Priest was interviewed by TV Insider. Other names that were suggested for the group were ‘The Saints of Fate’ and ‘Grand Jury’.
We had a few ideas. Edge refers to many of them in his promos because we liked all the names. The Judgment seemed like what we are doing, which is judging. Grand Jury was one of them. The Saints of Fate; but ultimately, The Judgment Day felt right. It also used to be a pay-per-view, so it’s a throwback as well. We liked it a lot. I’m glad it worked out.
If there is anyone from NXT 2.0 that Priest could add to The Judgment Day, he would pick Legado Del Fantasma’s Santos Escobar.
If I had to pick anyone from NXT, the first person I would pick is Santos . I’ve always been a fan of his stuff. Just carries himself so well. Great in the ring, well-spoken. When you look at him, the guy doesn’t look like a random person. He looks like a star.
Priest went on to speak about being able to express himself on the microphone more often. He feels more comfortable as a part of The Judgment Day than he has at any point since joining the Raw roster.
The best stories are when they come from reality. I was frustrated. I was doing what I was asked to do. I was this overly babyface good guy coming out smiling, happy, saying all the right things. It just didn’t click. I was doing everything everyone wanted me to do. That was real. It still wasn’t there unless I was saving one of the fan favorites. That’s when I was getting cheered. There is part of that which is real, and I use. I’m doing all this for me and with people that I admire and that I’m friends with. I’m more comfortable now than I’ve been since joining the Raw roster.
** Episode 400 of Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling podcast featured an interview with New Japan Pro-Wrestling commentator Kevin Kelly. As Kelly was speaking about how he got started with the WWF/E, he brought up that the company’s Executive Vice President of TV, Kevin Dunn, was never too fond of him and added that Dunn did not want to hire him.
And that was a big issue for them wanted to step away from doing announcing every week. So they had a big casting call, brought a bunch of people in and we’re gonna find the replacement announcer.
One at a time . I saw an attractive young lady sitting. She had already done her audition. She was waiting for the car to take her back and then I went upstairs to get makeup and…
I have no idea why they picked me, but they did and it was a three person committee that was in charge of the search. So it was Bruce Prichard, a woman named Lisa Wolfe who at the time was a Head of H.R. and Kevin Dunn, and I got picked 2-1 and Kevin Dunn was the lone dissenting vote. way after the fact… Why does he hate me? He never liked me, and then I found out. So, okay. So after the first year, he didn’t want me around anymore. I only had a one-year contract, I had moved my family to Connecticut and all on a one-year contract thinking, they’re gonna love me. It’s not gonna be a problem.
In 1994, Kelly considered stepping away from wrestling. His significant other was pregnant at the time and he felt that his venture into wrestling was not working out. After having those thoughts, Kelly ended up getting an audition with WCW which led to other opportunities coming about.
Yeah, ‘94 and the music guy on the show is doing body shots off a woman in the ring. I’m like, this is not what I got into wrestling for. This isn’t Gordon Solie. I’m like, ‘I’m done.’ So we went out to eat, couple nights later I’m talking about it and two days later I got a call. I got an audition with WCW.
Early in his career, Kevin worked for Eddie Mansfield’s IWF promotion. While Kevin was working for Ring of Honor, he recalled Mansfield contacting him and asking if he could put a word in for him to become the booker for ROH.
When we called me out of the blue and he wanted to be the booker of Ring of Honor. He wanted me to get him in. I was like, ‘Oh, okay. Well, they already have a booker and he’s doing a pretty good job. But I’ll certainly throw your name in the hat’ and whatever.
** Gerald Brisco and John Bradshaw Layfield welcomed Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James onto their ‘Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw’ show. James opened up about his relationship with Vince McMahon and being grateful to McMahon for taking care of him through the high and low points of his life. He recounted McMahon embracing him when he felt he was questioning his sobriety while working in creative and that meant a lot to James.
Road Dogg: Well look, that’s what — people always talk about, ‘This is real to me.’ He . He then re-employed us for ten years and paid me good and gave me life experiences the likes that I’ll never see again and so, what am I to be mad about? Who am I supposed to be mad at? Because I can’t keep up with him? Because I can’t outwork the superhuman worker? You know what I mean? The man is a machine and he works and works and works and I personally couldn’t keep up with him and that’s on me, that ain’t on him.
A lot of people and I would say a lot, a lot of people never experienced that in their life . That man gave me that experience. I don’t know at what point I’m supposed to be angry because he’s the big bad wolf to everybody else, you know what I mean? That ain’t the way he is to me and that’s never the way I’ve seen him. Oh, I’ve seen him after I got screwed up and got fired and was still on drugs and wasn’t thinking straight and blamed him for everything. I get that because I was — my mind was altered. Once I got sober and started thinking, you know, straight with open eyes and a clear mind, holy mackerel, you change your perspective and go, this man, everything I have in my life especially from a monetary standpoint, he gave me. I don’t know. You cannot like him if you want to.
Yes, he does . When I went in there and told him I’m — look, I was eight years sober I think at the time and we were running hard, it was Mania season, I’d been writing for like two or three years now and so, it was stressful and I went and I said, ‘Look, I need a one-on-one with you. I need to talk.’ We talked, I said, ‘I’m worried about my sobriety.’ He got up from behind the table, hugged me, ‘Brian, anything you need, you gotta talk to me, we gotta communicate.’ This is the dude that all the people on the internet say is the devil, you know what I mean? Embracing me and telling me, ‘Anything you need, I will give you’ and he means that, and he would do that and so, I don’t know. I just got a different take than some people.
He told me, sitting on that same plane .
Road Dogg expressed in the past that he always wanted to try color commentary in WWE. He shared that he’d be open to doing some of the Premium Live Event Kickoff panels as well.
Road Dogg: I would love to do that but I… it’s a different challenge, you know? It’s something that I haven’t done. Like I’d love to do color commentary.
There was a point during the chat when R-Truth became the topic of conversation. James spoke highly of Truth but recalled once questioning Vince McMahon about the decision to have The Miz and Truth close SmackDown. McMahon told James to wait until the final product is done and James ended up enjoying what occurred.
Road Dogg: But he .’
Before getting into pro wrestling, James served in the military. He mentioned that when WWE went over to Iraq and Afghanistan, they suggested that it might not be a good idea for him to go.
Road Dogg: No, they . I don’t know if that’s — if something else — I don’t know what happened, I don’t know why that decision was made but I said, ‘Yes, I’d love to go’ and they said, ‘No, you can’t’ and so I was like, ‘Okay…’
As they were sharing stories from their full-time in-ring careers, JBL recalled working out the structure for a tag match with himself and Barry Windham versus Los Boricuas. The agent said whoever the crowd takes to as babyfaces will be the babyfaces of the match, so Windham suggested he and Bradshaw go out first and then he started high fiving the fans.
JBL: One time, he . By the time they come to the ring, they’re getting booed. That worked, we’re going over.
** Going into NWA Alwayz Ready, Matt Cardona guest appeared on NBC Sports’ ‘Ten Count’ podcast. He reflected on his change of persona since his release from WWE and Cardona stated that prior to his exit, he had been trying to drop his old character.
Even in WWE, I was slowly trying to change myself. Drop the woo, woo, woo, drop the headband and glasses long, long time ago. But you know, I don’t write the show so if I’m trying to portray something that doesn’t necessarily come across, if I’m doing something but nobody sees it or you know, if I’m in this match that’s five minutes and I don’t get to talk, I don’t get to do anything, you don’t know what my personality is, you don’t know what I’m trying to get across. So with this new freedom, okay, I’m the boss now. I’m the big boss man, you know what I’m saying? I’m Vince Mc-Broski and I’m gonna be the self-chosen one. I’m gonna put myself on the top of the ladder, top of the mountain. That’s what I did and I totally — I don’t even want to say ‘reinvented myself’ because this is who I am but I think that people finally saw who I am and it was a slow burn, you know?
‘Alwayz Ready’ is Cardona’s signature catchphrase and he shared his thoughts about the pay-per-view being named after him. He said he did not ask the NWA to name their event that and they just realized he’s currently the face of the brand and it’s an honor for him.
There’s not a lot of guys who have had a pay-per-view named after them. The Rock had ‘Rock Bottom’, Shawn Michaels was on the poster for D-Generation X, I guess that’s kind of about him. I can’t think of another one, so I’m in good company; Shawn Michaels, The Rock, Matt Cardona… Was that . Okay, still, Undertaker, Matt Cardona, The Rock and Shawn Michaels. That’s a Mount Rushmore right there. It feels great, feels awesome. Listen, I am not a politicker. I didn’t knock on Billy Corgan’s door and say, ‘Hey, I got this great idea. Let’s name it Alwayz Ready.’ They realized I am the face of the company, I am making waves here. As soon as I came to NWA, I said I’m here for one thing and that’s to be the best, that’s to be the champion and it’s working, right? And it’s pissing a lot of people off and I understand that because listen, I talk — people think I’m disrespecting NWA when I say it’s old and dated and boring. I don’t disrespect NWA, I respect NWA; the history, the legacy, everything, I’m the champion. People thought I was gonna make a spinner belt, put a purple strap, no, I respect that title. Nick Aldis, by the way, did change the title. He added a U.K., England plate. I would never add a New York plate, I would never disrespect the title like that because I want NWA to succeed, I want it to grow, I wanna take it to the next level and I feel like I’m doing that so it’s definitely an honor to have ‘Alwayz Ready’ named after me.
** The latest guest on Ryan Satin’s Out of Character podcast is Raquel Rodriguez. She stated that when she came into WWE, one of her biggest struggles was getting herself to stop smiling as she was trying to portray a serious character on-screen.
Right now, there’s a really good amount of my real true self
Rodriguez credited Scott Garland (Scotty 2 Hotty) for her development as a wrestler. She said he helped both her and Rhea Ripley add the entertainment aspect of wrestling to their respective skill sets.
I got to work with Scotty 2 Hotty and Scotty is a huge entertainer and he really brought out something in both Rhea and I. We’ve said it multiple times, he brought something out in us that we were missing and that was the entertainment part and he helped us with our movement in the ring and the aspects of our characters and stuff like that. It was really, really insightful to be in his class and to be able to work with him and with some of the athletes that were in there as well.
** At LAX Fan Fest 2022, Koffin Radio caught up with Peter Avalon. He discussed the ‘Norv Fernum’ character from his time in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling and stated that it was initially supposed to be a one-off that ended up lasting for several years.
There was this role for ‘The Librarian’ and The Young Bucks and Cody , when they were told about it, initially were like, oh, Peter Avalon is the perfect person to get this silly idea over because I am the king of that sh*t. When TNA needed to get EC3 over, they invented this ‘Norv Fernum’ character that was only supposed to be a one-off thing and I ended up making a thing for six months and then two years later, still a thing, that I’m still EC3’s top feud, Norv Fernum. So it’s like, I know what the f*ck I’m doing, you know? That’s just more of the same.
Avalon’s longtime tag partner Ray Rosas competed at an AEW Dark taping on 6/3. Avalon expressed that he’s proud of Rosas and he attempted attempted to get their ‘PPRay’ team going in AEW.
He killed it, he killed it on AEW. I’m very happy for him. We were trying to get PPRay going at AEW, but the cards didn’t align for us so maybe in the future.
** HOUSE of TORTURE (EVIL, SHO, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo) are scheduled for GLEAT’s July 1st show. They’ll be taking on T-Hawk, Issei Onitsuka, Shigehiro Irie and a mystery partner.
** There is going to be a training seminar at the New Japan L.A. Dojo on June 24th with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Katsuyori Shibata hosting.
** At MLW Battle Riot IV, Bandido is challenging Hammerstone for the MLW World Heavyweight Championship.
** The written version of FOX News Digital’s interview with Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs is up on their site.
** Yuji Nagata is guest appearing on episode ten of the anime series ‘Togane! Festival Club’. The show is based in Nagata’s hometown.
** Inside The Ropes pushed out their interview with Mia Yim.
** In the main event of CyberFight Festival, Go Shiozaki is defending the GHC Heavyweight Title against Satoshi Kojima. Shiozaki spoke to Yahoo! Japan to promote the match.
** Ahead of challenging for the NWA World Women’s Title at ‘Alwayz Ready’, KiLynn King spoke to WrestleZone.
** June 7th birthdays: Kayla Braxton, Mick Foley.
** NWA World Women’s Champion Kamille appeared on Busted Open Radio.
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.