Originally published at Samoa Joe discusses ROH Hall of Fame, thinks Homicide should've been in 2022 class
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.
** Samoa Joe is one of the inductees of Ring of Honor’s 2022 Hall of Fame class. During his appearance on Busted Open Radio, he spoke about the accolade and agrees with the names that are being inducted alongside him, but he does feel that Homicide should’ve been included in the class.
I liked it all , that they enjoyed and I’m very, very happy with the decisions that they made. As for my fellow inductees, I agree with all of them 120 percent. All of them were there in the company’s infancy and really held Ring of Honor together through some tough times and really helped it flourish. I think the only snub that I’m concerned with, that you know, it’s something I’m not overly critical with — you can only put in so many people — is Homicide. Really, when you talk about the early days of Ring of Honor, guys who held that locker room together, guys who were consistently put upon to main event and if I wasn’t champion or put upon to spice things up and be a workhorse, Homicide was one of those guys. So I mean, other than that, I think it was a great first class and I look forward to seeing Homicide in the second class forthcoming.
When asked who he’d like to share the ring with in AEW, Joe stated that he’s worked with most of the talent on the roster but does have interest in mixing it up with Powerhouse Hobbs and Jon Moxley.
Obviously I know tons of guys over there Moxley. I think Jon’s a guy who I’d love to be in a program with at some point wherever it may be so, and I mean those are kind of the two guys that stick out off the top of my head. Everybody else, I’ve kind of worked with. I mean obviously I would love to be back in the ring with them again so I mean, those are kind of the ones that I haven’t worked with that kind of stick out in my mind.
As far as Joe’s future goes, he has been training and is not signed with anyone. He said he’s been busy with personal projects and that has taken up most of his time and he’s now getting back to pro wrestling. While speaking about that, he talked about the NXT 2.0 talents who he thinks are going to be key pieces for WWE going into the future.
Since my departure from WWE, I’ve really been kind of consumed with outside work, outside of the wrestling industry, lot of cool voiceover stuff, some other things so, been busy with that. As far as my future here, you know, I mean I kind of started my road back to the ring in NXT. That road never really stopped, just kept training and actually it’s funny, being in the P.C. at the time with a lot of the young talent, working with guys that are now — and by the way, I want to put over a few NXT talent here because I think The Creed Brothers (Julius & Brutus Creed) are going to be amazing, I think Solo Sikoa, he definitely — he has the family behind him. I think he’s gonna be another amazing cat. You know, I can go on and on. I think the world of a lot of the NXT 2.0 to work with him a little bit more before he’s gonna make his eventual rise to the top because once again, it’s in the genes and he knows what’s up. But, for my future, we’re training, we’re ready and I honestly — I’m not on paper with anybody anywhere, we haven’t signed anything. We’re just kind of exploring our options and I’m taking a little time personally just to be with the family and sure-up some things home-side, and yeah, we’ll see what the coming months hold. Hopefully it’ll be positive. I legitimately don’t have answer for you. I’m not really engaged or anything like that with anybody or really exploring that. Like I said, I’ve been subsumed with my other work which has been nice and we’re now getting back to the pro wrestling and seeing where we go from here.
POST Wrestling’s John Pollock reported that Vince McMahon’s appearance on The Pat McAfee Show is to set up a program between the two going into WrestleMania 38. Joe gave his thoughts on that and mentioned that initially, he did not think he would like Pat McAfee, but that quickly changed when they met.
My thoughts ? He does his best to keep himself in shape. I don’t know if that’s — that’s a tough — that’s a tough load to bear coming up Mania time but, you know, I can see some Austin Theory involvement and it’ll be interesting to say the least and yeah, I’m good with Pat being involved.
** Episode 30 of the Café de Rene podcast featured Rodney Mack. In late 2021, Mack wrestled several matches for the National Wrestling Alliance and said it looks like he’ll be taking on more dates with the organization.
Well actually, now she’s with NWA. She’s an agent in the NWA. I just — yes, I did a little deal with them a couple months ago and looks like I’ll be going back with them as well.
During the conversation, Mack recounted he and Shane ‘Hurricane’ Helms’ verbal altercation that led to the two throwing punches. Rodney said that present day, they are close friends but here’s his recount of how the situation unfolded and escalated:
Well, if I remember correctly, it all happened before the match. You know, we were going over the match and I think it started about he .
But needless to say, after that happened man, me and him are — we tight. We cool. We good man.
When Mack was first brought onto the main roster, he was under the impression that he and John Cena would be forming a tag team called ‘The Untouchables’. He was then told by Paul Heyman that he was going to be paired with Teddy Long.
I was on SmackDown first. Cena and I were going to go into a tag called ‘The Untouchables’. Yeah, and then got a call from Paul E I think it was and told me that they were looking at me to bring me over because the deal with D’Lo Brown and Teddy Long wasn’t right, wasn’t going well so they were about done with that or whatever.
I thought we were gonna be working together, really man. I believed in that so, me and D’Lo were talking about getting sh*t together and what we’re gonna do and this and that and then we got there and it’s like, ‘Oh f*ck.’
** The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast caught up with former WWE talent Ezekiel Jackson for an interview. Jackson is a former Intercontinental Champion and he lost his title to Cody Rhodes on the SmackDown that aired before SummerSlam 2011. Jackson thought he and Cody were going to have their match at SummerSlam and he did not find out he was losing the title until Rhodes informed him at the show.
Because in the past, the I.C. Championship had meant once you drop that, it’s like you know, we saw it with Shawn . I’m like, ‘Cool. We’ll probably make it to SummerSlam. I’ll get my SummerSlam match with Cody and whatever which way, I’m ready for whatever.’ To lose the title the SmackDown before SummerSlam was really weird. I was like, ‘God damn, really? Couldn’t even get a SummerSlam match?’ I showed up and I didn’t even know I was losing the title that night. I just found out from Cody just like, ‘Oh, so you’re dropping the title.’ I was like, ‘… oh, okay,’ you know what I mean? But again, they were building Cody. I thought, ‘Okay, cool. Maybe I’m going on this level. I’m ready to move on’ and it just fell off.
While Ezekiel’s pec injury was healing, he suffered a rotator cuff injury. If he had not checked in with the doctors when he did, he was told that he may not have been able to use his left arm again. He did not wrestle until an Axxess show in 2013. He had a feeling that his time with the company was coming to an end.
I was just backstage, doing Superstars and then they had me doing NXT, dancing with The Great Khali and we did a bunch of dark matches and stuff like that and then it just got to that point where after the pec injury had healed somewhat, but the rotator cuff was doing all the work so I ended up popping that rotator cuff in a match in Vancouver and after I realized that, you know, I suggested something for Royal Rumble and then I see Mania season coming up, I was like, ‘Cool, we could do this.’ Then that switched. I just was like — I was in so much pain. I couldn’t sit without holding this arm up, my left arm. I would sit like this to hold this arm up and I just had went and had it checked out and like this — ‘If you didn’t come in now, you’d probably never be able to use this arm again.’ So I went in, had the surgery and basically that was it for my WWE career. I sat at home for almost — that was 2012, my contract went until 2014 and they never brought me back. They brought me up to Mania in New York … and yeah, that was it. I stayed home and started figuring, ‘Okay, life may be changing soon’ and that’s when we moved from Georgia to L.A. so that my family could get back into acting, just in case.
His last sanctioned match was in 2015 for wXw in Germany. He wants to get back in the ring again but added that it cannot be a small ordeal.
There’s still some stuff I would love to do . I’m always in shape. You know, I’m a bit bigger now than I was when I was in the WWE. When I was there, I was about 285. Now, I’m 330. I… there’s a few things I would love to do, be real. I still get that itch every so often but it’s not going to be anything small. I’m not just — sorry, I can’t.
I’m okay with where I am , but that itch is always there that I may want to scratch.
The last ECW World Champion in WWE was Ezekiel. He defeated Christian Cage to win the belt. Jackson was not aware that he was winning the title until two hours before show time.
Two hours maybe Regal and it worked out really well.
For a portion of Ezekiel’s WWE run, he was a part of The Corre with Wade Barrett, Heath and PJ Black. He said he did not do much in-ring work with The Corre because he was dealing with a torn pec. Six months prior to that injury, he had undergone surgery for a torn quad. He was mostly used as non-physical heavy.
So I was on SmackDown. For a couple of weeks, I was just backstage. After ‘Bragging Rights’, I was like, ‘Okay. Where do we go from here?’ Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. Then we’re in Alabama and they were like, ‘Okay, we’re doing this tonight’ — Birmingham going into that summer. But you know, to come back from a torn quad and then in February, I tear my pec, I’m like, ‘Holy crap.’ So a string of bad days kicked in and — but we, you know, thankfully they were willing to just let me do — go at my pace. The doctors were checking in on me, made sure I was good and once I was able to start back lifting through that side of the chest then it’s like okay, we can go now.
He recounted working in wXw with then-World Champion, the late Karsten Beck. There was some miscommunication between them and Jackson dove into how things unfolded:
I did a match in wXw in Germany and after the match I said — I was like man, it was such a fun match because the kid I was working with, you know, I worked their champion the night before and he I got a phone call. I was working with Bill Behrens at the time, ‘Hey Zeke, did you?’ I guess that’s what they heard and the Twitter ran with it and I’m like, ‘Eh..’
When he was moved to the WWE ECW brand in 2009, Jackson was not personally informed of the move and found out about it online. He talked about the philosophy he learned in WWE which is that talents should want to be in that upper echelon because they will be aware of what their plans are.
I found out online that I was going to ECW. I think I was home — we were separated for a couple of months and then that’s when I found out I was gonna be in ECW, then I focused on my training and… it’s disheartening when you’ve been on TV consistently, you know? We started in July, I think it was July. I debuted in North Carolina and I’m doing this stuff and we got it, then we’re doing the tag team stuff versus Primo and Carlito and then nothing for a while so it was very disheartening, like dang, did I do something? Did he do something? You know what I mean? And… but I… I took it with a stride. I was like, ‘Okay, what’s next?’ Let me be in the best shape, be ready for whatever, keep sending — submit some ideas, whatever sticks, hopefully something sticks and that’s how it is.
Yeah, it was… man, you deal with a gigantic business and most of the decisions, they are business-related and you know, I’m sure there’s a lot of guys that know exactly, you know, the week before — I was told this, this is the easiest way to explain it: You wanna be within that top echelon of guys where it’s ten, probably eight-to-ten-to-twelve guys that knows their whole programming until the next pay-per-view. Most of the guys are just showing up and hoping to get on TV, hoping to have a match and you don’t wanna be one of those guys because again, one week you’re on TV, one week you’re off and like, ‘Dang. The fans don’t really know who I am’ or they don’t remember me because they haven’t seen me in three weeks, you know what I mean? So it puts a lot of — a mental challenge and you have to just go with it. So not being told, I already understood that it’s just a part of the business. I’m on ECW, good. I’m still on TV, let’s figure this out, let’s go and that was just the way I approached it like, I’m ready for whatever.
Early in the interview, he discussed breaking into the business and attempting to find his way onto independent shows. He recalled being told that he was too big to wrestle the talents at a show in Connecticut.
Yeah, a lot of people assumed that because I was a big guy , I came through UPW and it was a back door. I didn’t — like I said, I didn’t do an independent show because I honestly didn’t know. I did not know how to get on shows, I didn’t know how to — I assumed the guys I was working with at the time would have introduced me to different promoters but it never happened. I was supposed to go — I think one time we drove to Connecticut on a Sunday to wrestle those two guys and they’re like, ‘You guys are too big to wrestle our guys.’
** Drew Gulak was a guest on ‘Casual Conversations with The Classic’. Before Bryan Danielson departed WWE for AEW, he worked with Gulak on TV on multiple occasions. Gulak’s first time being in the ring with Bryan was when Bryan was training for his in-ring return at WrestleMania 34.
I mean we — I don’t know if he and then he became the General Manager for a little bit and we — I don’t know. We would just talk backstage about things and you know, we never really, ‘Oh! Man, we should wrestle one day’ but it was just like we had a common interest in all of that so, we would talk about that and all the stuff he’s interested in or I’m interested in and we would share it, you know, just kind of stories and stuff. A fun story that I’m going to share is the day before he wrestled at WrestleMania, I believe — what was the match? It was him and Shane McMahon versus Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. So the day before, he was getting ready for that match, he had never been in the ring since he was injured. He asked me to come down to the practice ring and train with him for an hour or two hours. That’s the first time I actually got in the ring with him. But it’s just kind of really cool that later, we’d get to be this kind of team on TV and he had the concept of me being his trainer which is the flipside of what you would expect, him being more experienced. So, yeah, that’s a really fun little full circle moment. Getting to work with him was awesome. He’s a great wrestler and I wish we could do it again, you know?
** That Hashtag Show pushed out their interview with JONAH to promote NJPW STRONG. JONAH shared that prior to him signing with WWE, there were conversations about him traveling to Japan to work with the company after their tour of Australia in 2018.
I was able to do a little bit of work with New Japan before signing to WWE. I actually did their tour they did in Australia and there was always, you know, right before signing with WWE, there was talks of me actually going to New Japan and doing more there but I had actually been signed with WWE so, it’s been cool to be able to actually have that opportunity to work with New Japan STRONG and eventually once the borders and everything work well, I’ll be able to actually go to Japan and work for New Japan over there.
** Chris Van Vliet conducted an interview with Carmella and Corey Graves as the first several episodes of their reality series were rolled out. Graves was asked if he misses being in the ring and stated that he misses certain aspects of it. He’s always wanted to become associated with WWE’s Intercontinental Title but added that he thinks he’ll leave a bigger footprint as a commentator than he would have as a wrestler.
I miss certain aspects of it, but I have actually grown to love doing commentary. There is a part of me that will never go away as a wrestler, I have dedicated 15 years of my life, traveled the world and had a taste of some success as a competitor. It took a long time with a lot of internal work and reflection to get to this point where I have now embraced my role and realized that this is my role now. I may not be able to go down as one of the great Intercontinental Champions in history, which was always the goal, but now I look at how broad my work has reached and how it still lives on in video packages. These moments along with other ridiculous things I say ends up on t-shirts on other superstars. I actually think that in a weird way, I am leaving a bigger footprint as a commentator than I probably would have as a competitor. But I definitely miss it at times.
** The latest guest on Josh Shernoff’s FITE In Focus series was Chris Jericho. He heaped praise onto the AEW roster and spoke highly of Sammy Guevara, Jade Cargill, Keith Lee, Malakai Black, Anna Jay, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs and more talents. Jericho thinks Anna and Jade’s potential is through the roof and added that he does not get how Malakai was let go from WWE. He then said that Keith Lee only recognizes about ten percent of how good he truly is.
My track record is pretty good. Like I said, Eddie Kingston is already a big star but he’s only scratching the surface. I think MJF, when he finally turns babyface for real is going to be one of the biggest in history. I think Daniel Garcia, I think 2point0 (Matt Lee & Jeff Parker), I think all three of those is amazing and Jungle Boy’s amazing but they still haven’t even scratched the surface, Sammy Guevara hasn’t even scratched the surface. So there’s a lot; Dante Martin, Darius Martin when he comes back. There’s so many guys; Will Hobbs and Ricky Starks, these guys all are future main eventers and I’m rarely wrong when I make these predictions because I can always spot a main event guy. Malakai Black, the moment he came in, I was like, ‘How did they ever let this guy go? He’s got it all’ and once again, we’re just kind of starting back in. Keith Lee, I don’t think Keith Lee realizes ten percent of how good he is at this point in time because no one’s ever helped him and no one’s ever told him. He’s just gone out there on his own and done his thing and people cheered and he thought that was over. That’s not over. He has so much — ‘potential’s’ such as a bourgeois word, a bougie word but he’s got so much inside of him that we haven’t seen yet, let me put it that way. So it’s fun for me to see these guys and girls come in and go, ‘Oh my gosh.’ There’s something here that you know is just going to blow the roof off when these people are — Anna Jay… Jade, Jade Cargill. How good are Anna and Jade and I think they both have had like 25 matches each? Now imagine how much better they’re gonna be when they hit 100 matches and hit 100 promos. They don’t even know anything about promos just yet. They think they do but wait until they really figure it out. They’re gonna be two of the greatest — possibly ever — women’s wrestlers. So you can see them come in and that’s one thing I’ve loved about AEW from the start is everybody was so untapped, raw talent that I was like, ‘Oh my gosh. When we, me, get my hands on them –’ and now you bring in Daniel Bryan and CM Punk and these other guys with years and years and years of experience, it’s just gonna be a pleasure to watch them all grow and if you think the company’s big now, wait until some of these guys hit as megastars and then it’s a completely different ballgame.
At AEW Revolution, Jericho is set to go one-on-one with Eddie Kingston. Their match was made official after their confrontation segment on Dynamite. Chris feels that he could’ve either turned the crowd against him or turned them in his favor during that segment.
I can turn people at the drop of a dime. I mean you saw MJF do that promo with Eddie Kingston, with two or three more sentences far left or far right, I could’ve turned the whole crowd heel on me. That’s a good thing. That’s what wrestling’s all about is the story and the characters, not the matches and the moves.
Looking back on the empty arena run of AEW, Jericho mentioned that everyone felt bad for the younger talents because they couldn’t work in front of fans. He jokingly said forget the young talent and that he felt bad for himself because he was accustomed to working in front of big crowds for decades and that came to a halt.
What we did do is something nobody could’ve predicted. Nobody knew what a lockdown was. I remember, you know, when we first heard of it, it was the two-week flat and a curve and then it like, you know, a month, two months, three months, four and we’re like, ‘Oh my gosh. What’s the hell going on?’ And we had to, you know, hit the ground running. ‘What do we do?’ We had four — I remember that’s how I started commentating was in Atlanta at QT Marshall’s wrestling school. We converted it into an ipso facto television studio and filmed 26 matches in one day, because after that, at midnight, the whole state was locked down as was Florida and we’re like, ‘What are we gonna do? We got four weeks here.’ Actually, I think Tony original plan was to have six, but after four, then we were allowed to go back to Jacksonville with no crowd. Now, people say, when we started that, ‘Oh, I feel so bad for the young guys working in front of no crowds.’ I was like, ‘Screw the young guys. I feel bad for me.’ I’ve been working in front of thousands of people a night for the last 25 years. These guys are used to wrestling in front of 50 people. It’s okay for them.
** Big E sat down with Sports Guys Talking Wrestling and coming off of his WWE Title loss, E returned to SmackDown and was paired back up with The New Day. He shared his thoughts about being back with Kofi Kingston and King Xavier Woods:
Yeah, you know, the nice thing is we had his WWE Title run a couple years ago, I had mine this past year but man, those guys are always — those are the brothers. That’s family and the opportunity for us to get back, to be together is something that I treasure. That’s… I don’t think in our industry, in an industry that is, you know, in many ways very selfish, you know, it’s about promoting yourself, it’s about getting yourself over but the fact that I was able to find a group of men with Kofi and with Woods, who we just clicked immediately and the fact that man, we’re over seven years in, almost eight years into this run and we’re still going so, we’re extremely blessed and I’m thankful for those two.
** After wrapping up a one-year run with WWE, Killer Kross is now back on the free agent market. He told Inside The Ropes’ Gary Cassidy that he does not regret going along with any of the decisions that were made concerning his time in WWE. He views his departure as a “blessing in disguise” and aside from the last bit of it, he liked his run in the company.
I have zero regrets about any decisions that I committed to, and this is just the feeling that I’m telling you and this is something I’ve had since I was a kid, I think everybody has it.
Sometimes we lose the ability to interpret what that feeling is really telling us versus maybe being afraid of what it’s telling us or what we want it to tell us.
But I am positive – in such a way where I am not sure how to explain it that no matter what course I chose, it was going to lead to me no longer being with the company. It’s just a feeling that I have.
It’s unfortunate, but I also think respectfully, this was a blessing in disguise. And I, although the last little bit was super unusual, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with the company and I’m glad people got to see me and I’m going to take the ball now and I’m going to run as far as I can with it.
Woods is doing great. He’s on the mend. He didn’t need surgery but he had tore a muscle in his calf. I don’t remember exactly which muscle it is, but, it’s getting better and he’s doing well. We actually saw him at the Royal Rumble. He was doing some UpUpDownDown stuff so we got to lay eyes on him and he’s doing great. He’s in great spirits, he’s looking forward to being back, he’s doing his thing over there on G4tv, just hosting video game stuff like he was meant to do so, he’s no doubt keeping busy but hopefully we see him back in the ring sooner than later.
** On May 31st at Korakuen Hall, Kim Duk (Tiger Toguchi) is scheduled to have his final pro wrestling match. He does not have any specific requests when it comes to who is involved in his final match, but he wants to make it worthy of his retirement by “calling out some old friends.”
** A story about head coach Mary Scheer leading her gymnastics team to the WIAA State Tournaments. Mary is the aunt of Adam Scheer f.k.a. Braun Strowman.
** NJPW 50th Anniversary Event Results (3/1/22) Nippon Budokan
– House Of Torture (EVIL, SHO & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Ryohei Oiwa, Tiger Mask & YOH
– BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) def. Taichi, TAKA Michinoku & Minoru Tanaka
– STRONGHEARTS (CIMA, El Lindaman & T-Hawk) def. Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
– United Empire (Aaron Henare, Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay) def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Kosei Fujita & Yuji Nagata
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) def. Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Shiro Koshinaka
– Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI def. Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi
– Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada & Tatsumi Fujinami def. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. & Yoshiaki Fujiwara
** IMPACT Knockouts Champion Mickie James and World Champion Moose guest appeared on WDRB Louisville.
** Bleav in Pro Wrestling’s SP3 chatted with MLW World Heavyweight Champion Alex Hammerstone.
** Big E turned 36-years-old on March 1st. NXT 2.0’s Edris Enofe is celebrating his birthday today as well.
** Paul Ellering and Earl Hebner will be present at the Classic Plastics Toy & Comic Expo in Parkersburg, West Virginia on March 5th.
** To promote his upcoming comedy show, Dylan Postl (Hornswoggle) spoke to CIProud.com.
** Mickie James co-hosted Busted Open Radio with Dave LaGreca and Tommy Dreamer.
** Independent talent Kenn Vazion was profiled by Spectrum News 1.
** First Coast News welcomed WWE’s Dana Brooke onto their show.
** The latest Canvas 2 Canvas episode focuses on Ronda Rousey.
** Corey Graves and Carmella continued to make the media rounds and chatted with Sports Illustrated.
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.