Originally published at Scorpio Sky on Black performers being described as just "great athletes"
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** While speaking with Chris Van Vliet, Scorpio Sky gave his take on the “great athlete” label that is put on Black performers in pro wrestling and other sports and entertainment fields. He views it as a compliment but added that he’s far more than a great athlete. As an example, he mentioned that if Hangman Adam Page were to be praised, he would be credited with having a multitude of different abilities and assets.
I will say this, one thing I do want to get into about that is — it’s slightly controversial. They tend to describe Black performers in sports as great athletes, right? And I don’t take that as an insult. I believe that is a very, very — it’s a great compliment, but, that’s not all we are and sometimes it gets to be — I read tweets and from time to time, I’ll read tweets and I’ll read things people write and I don’t wanna just be known as a great athlete. Everyone knows I’m a great athlete but I’m also a great wrestler, I’m a great performer and I’m one of the best. It’s just one of those things like you know, you don’t look — when they write about Adam Page, it’s like, ‘Oh, he’s got a lot of charisma, he’s so good.’ It’s never just, ‘Oh, he’s a great athlete’ and so that’s just something — that’s a narrative that I want to call attention to and start changing. We are more than athletes. You know, like LeBron that as a t-shirt, ‘More Than An Athlete.’ We’re more than athletes and again, I just wanna call attention to that.
I don’t want to go on a rant about it but we do get put into this box in the sense of sometimes, especially if you’re a Black male performer, if you aren’t a rapper or some type of street guy as your character, a lot of fans or maybe even people in the business just think that you don’t have any character or charisma and so, there’s nothing could be more ridiculous than that and it’s just — it’s old thinking that they want to put us in this box that they’re used to seeing and they’re comfortable with and I don’t even think it’s intentional but it’s just, again, what they’re used to seeing and so it’s all about change, calling awareness to that and changing it.
Sky has been paired with Ethan Page on-screen for two months. Scorpio felt he needed to depart S.C.U. because if he didn’t, he would always be known as the third guy in the group.
Well you know, that was part of why I embraced the opportunity to step away from SCU and be a singles guy and I told Frankie that I’ve become a much better performer from the time I first linked up to them to today. They have taken me to that next level and I still, you know, whether it’s on-camera or not, S.C.U. is always gonna be a thing behind the scenes. But again, it’s time for me to create my own legacy.
** NWA owner Billy Corgan and AEW’s Sammy Guevara were both guests on Busted Open Radio. During Corgan’s portion of the show, he said he has pitched the idea to Tony Khan of Nick Aldis appearing on AEW programming. Corgan thinks the match to go with is Cody Rhodes versus Aldis.
I’ve pitched it to Tony versus Cody Rhodes for a third time. I mean, that is an epic, epic matchup waiting to happen. I saw it happen twice in front of my own eyes and when you combine Cody with the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship and that history, I’m sorry, I saw a look on Cody’s face that I’ve only seen when he was fighting for that title, because you can’t tell me that history does not mean something to him. I mean, his father’s nickname is tattooed across his chest for a reason and when your dad’s Dusty Rhodes, I mean, I’m sorry. I get goosebumps just talking about the dang thing, so I hope we see Cody and Nick down the road at some point because that to me, it’s just like, it’s just waiting. It’s just waiting.
The recent WWE releases came up and Corgan spoke about several of the talents. He thinks Braun Strowman would be a good addition to the NWA and also heaped praise onto Lana and Ruby Riott.
Well, Braun Strowman. No , you’re a big guy. There aren’t that many big guys that have that level of ability, so you think how do you let a guy like that out the door? I don’t mean to be critical, I’m not making the business decisions but I don’t know how you let a guy like that out the door. Ruby Riott I think has a very, very bright future. Lana, holy cow, how do you let her go? I mean I’ve seen Lana in person, just behind the scenes, a truly beautiful woman. I mean marketable to the nines, has worked very, very hard as best as I can see both what’s in public and what I know behind the scenes to really improve. I don’t know how you let her go. I don’t understand it but again, I’m not making those decisions and whatever their reasons, there’s obviously a lot of speculation, but when you looked at this list you thought, ‘Oh man, this is pretty wild,’ especially when things are heating up between AEW and WWE at least in the public’s mind. Maybe WWE doesn’t feel that way. There’s a lot of difference there in terms of the business but in terms of the public’s mind, you got a little bit of a rivalry going on. AEW obviously has some momentum. I think to dump key talents like that on the market at this time seems like a very, very odd decision.
Busted Open kicked off with Sammy Guevara who scored the win for The Inner Circle at Double Or Nothing. Guevara says it was his idea to have half the Stadium Stampede match taped and then close it out live.
So, yeah, it was my idea to have the match go from the cinematic to end it into the live crowd and they actually went with it.
I was surprised too. Tony came up to me and they were like, ‘That was a really good idea’ and I figured other guys came up to ‘em and told them that idea but apparently no else did and they gave me credit for it so, that was pretty cool.
** The DeSoto Times-Tribune published a story about Bruno Lauer (Harvey Wippleman) running for local office in Walls, Mississippi. Lauer is still employed by WWE as an event coordinator.
** Trevor Murdoch is challenging Nick Aldis for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship at NWA’s ‘When Our Shadows Fall’ pay-per-view on June 6th. Murdoch appeared on Keepin It 100 with Konnan and said prior to him joining the NWA, he was about to retire from in-ring competition.
I was doing spot show independents. The last couple years that Harley . When I won the world tag titles the first time, the first place I went was back to the school and let all the guys see the tag title and touch it and I wanted them to know that this is — like you can do this, because knowing where I come from, you can do this. WLW, that’s my home, it’s my place and when Harley passed away, I had kind of just — to me, that was like the end of an era for me. It was the end of, ‘Maybe it’s time for me to close the doors on my wrestling career’ because no pun intended but I’m a round peg in a square world and it’s — I don’t look like everybody else so I knew my opportunities on a bigger scale, probably not many at all. When I was at the funeral, that’s when Nick Aldis and Dave Lagana cornered me and kind of asked me what I was doing and I told them I was on my way out and they said, ‘Why?’ And I just gave them the same explanation and they said, ‘You need to come down to Atlanta and just do one Powerrr taping. Just do one. We’ll have you produce. Don’t worry about wrestling. We’ll have you produce’ and I came down for the one show and the first thing they ask me was, ‘Did you bring your gear?’ Yeah I did.
** Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, Lana, Murphy, Ruby Riott and Santana Garrett were released from WWE on 6/2. D-Von Dudley was the focus of a Q&A on his Table Talk podcast and gave his thoughts on the recent releases.
Yeah, I was kind of shocked at some of the names. I wish nothing but the best to Aleister , so I got nothing but love for them, it was a pleasure working with Braun, it was a pleasure working with Murphy, Ruby, I never got to work with Santana. I got to work with Murphy on 205 Live and Aleister. Not goodbyes, just see ya later. We’ll see each other down the road again. That I can promise.
D-Von currently works as a producer for WWE but if another pro wrestling company wanted his services, he said he would listen to the offer.
Well, I would weigh my options. Vince their victories, absolutely.
There was a docu-series/show pitch that D-Von made to the writers at WWE. His idea had to do with documenting individuals that have left WWE or tag teams that have gone their separate ways.
And one day, you might see WWE — I pitched this idea to some of the writers because you know, you got certain shows like VH1 or MTV or REELZ TV where they do like the breaking of the bands and things like that, when you explain the breaking of certain tag teams or people that left the company. I think that would be a great thing to do, something like that because you know, again, we definitely interested in and want to know more about.
** Ted DiBiase Jr. last wrestled a match in 2017 and while speaking to WrestleZone, he reflected on his last run in wrestling and said he’d be open to getting back into the business.
I was an employee, I was there to do my job, and I’m not saying that in a way that like, ‘Oh, nobody did anything for me.’ Was I angry? Yeah at times, because I wanted it. I’m hungry, I’m a hard-ass worker, and I was like, ‘Teach me.’ And so again that’s what we want to do for guys now, but I wish I could have had more of a chance there. I’m not trolling, I’m just saying, I wouldn’t be opposed to going back one more time. I miss it so much. I don’t see that happening at all. But just doing this alone and seeing my dad back on TV and how much fun and is having conversations, it’s been like, oh man, it’s creeping back in. It’s just, once it’s in you, it’s in you.
DiBiase Jr. doesn’t think he capitalized on the opportunity he had while in WWE. He feels that he did everything he could to distance himself from his father’s on-screen persona, but now he is more than proud to be the son of the Million Dollar Man.
Until that point, I had done all I could to distance myself from being ‘the Million Dollar Man’s son’, which now I’m so proud to be, but I needed to know that I could do it , right. So it was hard for me to own but I could tell you right now, that would be a different story today. And there would be more pride and more understanding, with time comes maturity and there’s a lot of things I would have done different, looking back hindsight. But yeah, I could see a positive. The positive is, I know what I did wrong. I didn’t make it my own. And what you have to learn is, you gotta learn how to control the controllables. But with the un-controllables, you gotta learn how to respond to those.
It was like me trying to become something, or me pushing something away or almost trying to have this inner tug of war with myself. I didn’t want the fans to associate that with me. I wanted them to see me be Ted DiBiase Jr., Theodore Marvin DiBiase Jr. The positive is, once we realize the weaknesses in our life, we can begin to fix them and you turn them into strengths. You do as much as you can to improve on weaknesses but you operate in your strength zone and own what you got.
** Prior to AEW’s Double Or Nothing pay-per-view, Anthony Ogogo chatted with Wrestling Inc. and he told the site that he is on a developmental deal with AEW. Ogogo did lose to Cody Rhodes at the event.
I’m not even on a tier. I took a pay cut to do this. That’s how much I wanted to do this. I took a massive pay cut to do this. I’m on a developmental contract. I might be their first developmental wrestler. As it happened, I just developed a hell of a lot quicker than anyone thought I’d develop. The development is over on Sunday when I pin Cody to the mat, 1-2-3. Actually, I’m not going to pin him. I’m going to spark him out. I’m going to knock his block off. When he’s rendered unconscious, that’s when my development ends.
** Charlotte Flair guest appeared on Mark Andrews’ show on BBC Radio. Flair explained why she feels she is still finding her identity in pro wrestling:
I think I’m still trying to find it . I try to ignore the criticism online, because when I first started at FCW before it was even like full-blown NXT, they were like, ‘You can’t chop, you can’t woo, you can’t do the Figure-Four, you can’t do anything like your dad.’ Well then when I wrestled Natalya for the NXT Women’s Championship, they give me new music and my dad’s music is in the music. I was like, ‘Is this April Fools day? Is this a rib? What’s going on?’
So when I’m a bad guy — I don’t even know what I am anymore. I thought the strutting was more of an arrogant to use so it’s like I pick and choose depending on who I’m facing when I’m gonna do certain things but like, everyone chops so why can’t I chop? Why do people be like, ‘She’s just Ric Flair’s –’ everyone chops and you think of Ric Flair so I don’t understand the big deal. It’s not my fault that my dad’s Ric Flair. I’m sorry.
Flair has had over ten separate title wins in WWE. Her first championship run on the main roster was with the Divas Title that she beat Nikki Bella for. Charlotte said she was not ready for that and thinks for a period of time, the title was making her instead of vice versa.
If I have to break it down, WrestleMania 32 was a big deal for me because when I first won the Divas Championship from Nikki Bella, I felt like when I held that title up I wasn’t ready. I used to watch her walk down the aisle and be like, ‘Woah, she’s a star.’ Yes, wrestling-wise, I was prepared but I still was missing — I had so much more to grow and when I held up that Divas Championship, I just was — the title doesn’t make you, you make the title, but the title was making me, and then when I won at WrestleMania 32 and I held up the title, I was like, ‘You’re damn right I’m the Women’s Champion.’ I felt ready so that’s what made that match. Obviously being with Becky but then when I wrestled Asuka, the moment was more everyone knew how good Asuka was, so it was a moment for me to show what I could do on the grandest stage. Not that people didn’t think I was gifted, but that was like a real opportunity to be like, ‘Okay, I’m ready for Asuka, literally.’
** Sports Illustrated’s Justin Barrasso caught up with Konnan for an interview. With AAA’s Triplemania show taking place on August 14th, Konnan explained that because of AAA’s ongoing lawsuit with Lucha Libre FMV, the Triplemania event might not be broadcast to viewers in the United States.
We’ve got so much attention for this show from the United States, but AAA is going through litigation and may not be able to show it here. We’re so proud to have this match, this dream match, and it’s a match that will live up to the expectations. Plus, we’ll have Deonna Purrazzo and Faby Apache in a title vs. title match, and our most popular wrestler, Psycho Clown, putting his mask on the line against Rey Escorpión, which is a feud that has been building over three years. I’m hoping, between now and August, something changes and this card will be seen in the United States.
** During the latest Talk’n Shop podcast, Rocky Romero provided further insight into people who attend New Japan Pro-Wrestling shows remaining silent during the pandemic. It was relayed to Rocky that initially, fans being silent was requested but that is longer in place and the fans have opted to keep quiet to prevent any spreading of the virus.
So I was told — this is what I heard and I don’t know, maybe somebody can find out but, I heard this wasn’t — like in the beginning, it was rule of, ‘Please don’t yell and scream’ and stuff like that just to not spread COVID. But then, I don’t think that they forced anybody to but then the fans chose to keep it that way so that they can continue to enjoy wrestling and then not — they just want to be responsible because they didn’t want to lose their wrestling. Every Friday night, New Japan Strong has been kicking ass. I mean there’s no crowd right now. I think soon, soon…
** Women’s Health published an article that was written by Sonya Deville. She wrote about her story of coming out as lesbian and here’s an excerpt from the piece:
After coming out in such a public way, I was nervous and had all these mixed emotions: confusion, fear, excitement. To be honest, I thought being open about my sexuality was going to hinder my chances of making a name for myself in WWE. I didn’t know how the world and the WWE universe were going to perceive me, and I assumed it would impact me negatively. Luckily, and fortunately, it ended up being the opposite. I received nothing but love and support from the company and fans, both of which made it clear that my sexuality wouldn’t interfere with my WWE career.
** Mickie James chatted with Tommy Dreamer and Dave LaGreca on Busted Open Radio. James was asked what’s next for her in pro wrestling and she became emotional while explaining why she is slightly heartbroken about wrestling at the moment.
I have such a — I’m so nervous because I really — I don’t know what to do. I do know that I am personally working on something. I’m working on my own little project thing and we’ll see what happens there. Obviously I have Legacy supps and stuff and I’m taking appearances and bookings but I really — when I talked to you Tommy and I was like I just — I don’t even know how I feel. I’m so heartbroken in a sense, you know? I’m not gonna cry. But I am, I’m a bit heartbroken in the business because it’s a bit disappointing. That’s all.
Tommy Dreamer went on to recall a conversation he had with Scott D’Amore recently about giving enhancement talent entrances. He brought up how D’Amore did enhancement work and how it would’ve made him feel to get an entrance.
One of my biggest disagreements, I liked — everybody matters. Honestly, I just had this discussion with Scott D’Amore about giving a wrestler an entrance and I was just like, ‘Hey man, does this matter?’ Blah, blah, blah and he’s like, ‘Mhm.’ I go, ‘Scott, let me ask you something. You were a guy who was an enhancement talent. How would it have made you feel if you got an entrance?’ He goes, ‘It meant the world to me.’ He goes, ‘Give this person an entrance’ and right then and there, I was able to change something, because I said this across the board, I understand you wanna push new guys, I understand you and if those people aren’t — but everybody has value.
** JOFO in the RING welcomed Jazz onto to the show and during the conversation, she talked about where Ivelisse currently is in wrestling. Jazz says Ivelisse has too much talent to be putting herself in the situations that she has been in.
You know what? I used to really, really love Ivelisse but what I’ve seen and what I’ve been told is you know, sometimes there’s just an attitude and with working with some of the girls and it’s like, you hear it one time, you go, ‘Eh.’ You hear it twice, you go, ‘Well damn, maybe’ and you hear it a third time, you go, ‘Well hold on now, could everybody be lying?’ But you know, I wish everyone well. I want every woman to be successful in this business. Ivelisse has too much talent to be putting herself in situations that she pretty much, as we used to say, writing a check that her ass can’t cash. You also gotta understand that when you’re in this industry and you’re trying to work with a top company, sometimes you have to be quiet and just let sh*t just settle on its own but when you get on social media and start burning people and burning bridges, that’s a big no-no. You never burn a bridge but you know, we’ll see what happens.
In 2006, Jazz made a run-in at an ECW house show and attacked Kelly Kelly. There were some people backstage who were not happy because Jazz got a positive reaction when she attacked Kelly.
That was for the ECW deal and I ran out there, they had Kelly Kelly in a damn two-piece bikini, wanting me to run in and smash her but get upset because I got a pop. I’m like, ‘What you expect?’ I mean, it’s ECW crowd, me doing a run-in on Kelly Kelly in a f*cking two-piece. Yeah they wanted me to smash her because that’s what I did in ECW, you know? So, I don’t know man. They really didn’t know what to do with me. They told me they couldn’t come up with anything for me. That’s what I was told.
Jazz’s first WWE Women’s Title run began in 2002. She suffered a tear in her ACL during that reign. She ended up dropping the title due to injury. She wrestled with that injury for one month because she did not want to lose her spot.
Yeah, because I was champ at the time long as you’re taking that time to improve and make yourself better, sometimes that little rest is all worth it.
** Coming out of WrestleMania 37, WWE transitioned back to their ThunderDome setup. Drew McIntyre appeared on the ‘Rasslin with Brandon F. Walker podcast and gave his thoughts on if it was difficult going back to the ThunderDome after being in front of live fans.
Yes and no. I had mentally prepared myself that this is a treat and it is WrestleMania, it is special, we do have this many fans here during this time we’re living in right now so this is special, but we’re gonna keep doing the things we need to do during these times also. We are gonna go back to the ThunderDome which is incredible in itself. We still have the fans there virtually, we hear them over the speakers and visually for the fans at home, it looks fantastic. We did pyro you could never do with live fans because you’d set them on fire. So it is still really cool but I did mentally prepare myself that, ‘Okay, that’s cool, we got a treat this night. It’s Christmas this night and the next day, we go back to business and then when the time is right, we’re getting closer to that time we’ll be back on the road and the fans will be like that every single night’ and I won’t take any show for granted — not that I did — ever again with live fans.
** Cultaholic conducted an interview with Trevor Murdoch. He shared the story of when Paul “Triple H” Levesque asked he and Lance Cade to watch over his match at a house show to be on the lookout for Brian “Road Dogg” James and Billy Gunn who were not with WWE at the time. Word began to spread that Gunn and James might show up to the event and ambush Levesque. Murdoch and Cade were instructed to rush to the ring if they saw Billy Gunn and Road Dogg.
There was a time period when there was a lot of animosity between Hunter and Road Dogg and Billy Gunn. We were in a town wrestling, doing a house show, but it so happened to be the same town that Road Dogg and Billy were doing an autograph signing in, which seemed suspicious in of itself. It got through the grapevine and got to Hunter that Road Dogg and Billy Gunn were going to come to the house show, and when Hunter went in for the main event they were going to hit the ring and beat his ass. The problem with that is, as soon as those guys came through the crowd, people would have popped because they’d have thought it was part of the show. As soon as they saw those guys climb over the railing and begin kicking the sh*t out of Hunter, they would have thought it was part of the show so nobody would have done anything. Hunter would have just been by himself trying to fight off two guys, and people would have thought: ‘Oh look, this is so cool!’ Lance and I had a reputation in the locker room where, if you’ve seen one, the other one wasn’t that far behind. Cade and I were tight and there were a couple of times we got into a couple of fights, because one guy got into a fight and the other one had come in. So Hunter tracks me down and goes: ‘Where’s that partner of yours? I need to talk to you both’. We’re expecting some kind of grand advice about our match but he goes: ‘Are you two watching my match tonight?’ We’re young guys so we’re telling him of course we’re watching his match, we watch him every night. And he goes: ‘Yeah quit with this’ and then explains to us the situation and what he’d heard, that Billy and Road Dogg were going to jump into the ring and beat him up. He goes: ‘I want you guys at the curtain and I want you watching my whole match. The minute you see those guys, you hit that f**king ring, and you proceed to start kicking their f**king ass.’ This was very serious. He was very adamant, and we know this is coming from the very top. So Lance and I told Hunter, ‘Of course’. So Hunter walks off and me and Lance look at each other and we’re like, ‘Are we about to fight Billy Gunn and Road Dogg?’ Thankfully, those guys didn’t show up, because we’d have had to go out there.
** Booker T and Sharmell Huffman were welcomed onto the True AF Podcast. Booker and Sharmell run the Reality of Wrestling promotion in Texas. Sharmell shared that they were recently contacted about a potential distribution deal for the promotion’s library.
I just had an email the other day. Somebody contacted me wanting to know how much we had in our library because they were interested in doing a distribution deal with us so, the word is out.
Former Reality of Wrestling trainee A.Q.A., who is now known as “Zayda Ramier” in WWE is still a regular in Booker T’s Zoom training classes. Booker spoke highly of Ramier for being willing to show up to class despite getting signed.
One of my students, she just made her debut on WWE just last week and they call her Zayda and the week before, I had film study, I do ‘em Thursday nights and she’s in Florida with the WWE and on film study, she’s on film study with me on Zoom and I’m like, she’s still preparing and I’m like, you know, don’t wanna leave the nest and in a major company already, you know? So that’s what it’s about. It’s about — and then I question her for being in the film study and wanting to stay at home. ‘No, of course not’ and she just wanted to know exactly the little things, ‘What do I need to know?’ And it’s awesome to be able to have that kind of relationship with our kids.
** The first guest on The Turnbuckle Sessions was Nick Aldis. While speaking about Mickie James’ release from WWE, Aldis says he will always be grateful to the company and the McMahon family for providing Mickie with a good living for many years. Aldis joked that they also provided for “Aldis enterprises”.
From a purely personal standpoint, you know, no matter what people may think about different things that get said or different things that happen, I will, as a man always be very grateful to Vince McMahon and the McMahons and the WWE, you know, company, for providing a good living for my wife for so many years and in turn, providing a significant revenue stream for Aldis enterprises so you know, it is what it is.
** NWA World Women’s Champion Serena Deeb talked to Jim Varsallone of the Miami Herald. She discussed Britt Baker’s title win at Double Or Nothing and the growth of AEW’s women’s division. Deeb feels that the division is inching closer to being the top women’s division in the world.
Well, congratulations to Britt Baker. It is — it’s been a long time coming for her and she has really stepped her game up. I mean, she is all-around one of the best female performers in the whole business and I know it was really — it was a big night for her, a huge accomplishment and I think the AEW women’s division, I mean it’s been the — it’s been the subject of so much conversation over the years. AEW is still a relatively young company that is just doing incredible things. Three shows, about to add a fourth, I mean it’s incredible and Tony Khan is an incredible businessman and his heart is so, so into the pro wrestling business and always been and it’s really fun to work for somebody like that-that’s so passionate and has so much energy about it and I think the women’s division is — I venture to say becoming the top women’s division in the whole world. I think there are a lot of talented women, there are a lot of young women that have so much potential and very bright careers ahead of them. Red Velvet, Leyla Hirsch. There are — it’s amazing to see it blossoming in the way that it is and I’m proud to be a part of it. I think that as the company develops, the women’s division is going to continue growing and evolving and I think there are very big things ahead.
** Lucha Libre Online conducted an interview with Zach Gowen. He was brought into the WWE fold by being paired with Roddy Piper and Terry Bollea in his debut. Gowen pitched to the creative team that he was interested in being introduced similar to how Sean Waltman did as the 1-2-3 Kid. Gowen was under the impression that-that was the plan.
I was so blown away because the storyline that I presented to WWE the week before with the writers was, ‘Hey, I wanna come in kind of under the radar, right, a low profile where we acknowledge the fact that I have one leg but we don’t really kind of — we don’t make it a big deal. It’s more about the wrestling’ and to replicate an angle like the 1-2-3 Kid did back in 1994, 0r 1993 when he lost every week and he got a little bit closer and one week, he pinned Razor Ramon and that was just — a star was born so to speak. That was what I understood the angle was going to be, yet I show up to the arena and Bruce Prichard pulls me aside and says, ‘Listen Zach, you’re gonna debut tonight. However, it’s gonna be with Hulk Hogan, it’s gonna be with Roddy Piper and we’re gonna put you in an angle with Vince McMahon,’ the CEO of WWE, and so at that point you just say, ‘F*ck it, let’s do it man.’
** Stephanie Chase has an interview with WWE’s Adam Pearce. Pearce was one of several names that trained Bad Bunny on the lead-up to his in-ring debut at WrestleMania 37. Pearce said Bad Bunny endured what every newcomer to the Performance Center would go through in terms of training.
I approached — it’s funny and people will hear this and probably not believe it. I took the same approach with Bad Bunny that I’ve taken with every single newbie that’s come into the Performance Center whether they had experience or not. You have to dip your toe in the water, you have to get a sense of what tier athletic ability and passion is before you really delve into what we do. It just so happened that Bad Bunny loves what we do, loves it and you knew it instantly. There was a passion beyond, ‘I’m a fan that watches Raw or SmackDown.’ He loves what we do and has for a long time so, I never heard the word ‘no’ come out of his mouth and we put him through every single pace that we put anybody else through and I pride myself on that. Yes, it’s Bad Bunny. Yes, he’s a worldwide superstar. Yes, he’s a Grammy-award winner. Yes, he’s a celebrity and yes, he did every single thing that every other trainee whether we knew who they were or not did and he should take a lot of pride in that because I do.
** Fred Rosser will be a part of the forthcoming WWE documentary about The Nexus. He spoke to WrestleZone about the early stages of his run in WWE and being involved in the original NXT. Rosser wishes that he could be a part of the current version of NXT and feels he could hang with the talent on the roster.
My boy Heath Slater, he said it the best; ‘We ain’t young punk kids anymore, we grown-ass men!’ And he’s right. At the time that the Nexus caused havoc, I wasn’t comfortable with myself at all. I mentioned it on the Nexus documentary, the original season of NXT I was on was like a game show and I hated it. I hated it, hated it, hated it, hated it, and that’s how I said it on the documentary—I hated it. It was like a game show and if I wanted to do ‘American Gladiators’ or ‘American Ninja Warrior’ I would have done that. But what NXT is today, it’s incredible and I wish I could come back to NXT and work their style currently. I could hang with them, definitely, but when we did the Nexus, I wasn’t comfortable with myself.
** ‘Metro’ pushed out their interview with Jon Moxley. He recounted the mindset that he, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns had when they were brought into the mix of Raw and SmackDown from NXT. Moxley says they were focused on sticking together and had the ‘us against the world’ mentality.
When we’re sitting down in FCW like, ‘f**k these motherf***ers on Raw! We’re better than all these dudes, we can hang with all these dudes! We’re gonna come in and fucking blow their asses away.’ It was a more hostile environment back then, so we stuck together. ‘F**k these motherf***ers! They don’t like us? F**k ’em!’ We weren’t there to make friends. Very quickly, people started wanting to work with us because we were having good-ass matches. All of a sudden, all the top guys were wanting to get in six-mans with us because we were having good matches, and we’d make them look good! Me and Seth would bump our asses off for these dudes, you know? It’s just indicative of – we were right. We turned out to be everything we said we were gonna be and we weren’t full of it.
** Part two of Yuji Nagata’s chat with NJPW1972.com is live on the site. Nagata further reflected on his IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Title match against Jon Moxley on Dynamite and said it was fulfilling, although it was shorter than what he would’ve liked.
Right. And in the end, there weren’t any cheap tricks, we just crashed into one another head on. It was a shorter match than I would’ve liked maybe, but it was definitely a fulfilling experience.
Nagata recounted the backstage environments in both AEW and at the NJPW Strong tapings. He explained how the atmospheres are different and shared that Young Lion, Kevin Knight approached him with tears of joy in his eyes because he was excited to meet Nagata.
I think so, yeah . Everyone came up to say hello to me. There was one kid, with tears in his eyes even, telling me my match with Kurt Angle was his favorite… Kevin Knight! A lot of people were coming up and saying stuff like that.
** Renee Paquette welcomed Powerhouse Hobbs onto her Oral Sessions podcast. Hobbs recounted the promo he did during his WWE tryout that received a fair amount of praise. In the promo, Hobbs spoke about his brother who passed away.
When I did my promo, I forget who yelled it out, but someone yelled out, ‘Now that’s a promo.’ I didn’t want to give a wrestling promo about, ‘I’m gonna see you next week’ and blah, blah, blah, this and that, ‘I’m coming for you.’ I told a real life story. I told the story about my brother and that was supposed to be my partner in this thing and unfortunately things happen and he didn’t make it but, from what I was told, when you could give a promo, you give a real feeling and pull the people in. It’s all about emotion, so that’s what I did.
** The ‘NICE DAY TOUR’ hosted by Mick Foley is stopping through Davenport, Iowa. Tickets are now on-sale.
** Kid Lykos I and Kid Lykos II spoke to Inside The Ropes for an extensive interview. Kid Lykos I came out of retirement in December of 2020 and he discussed what it was like coming back to wrestling and then the pandemic coming into play.
For me, it was an odd one because I wasn’t sure if I was gonna be able to come back or anything. Obviously, I had to retire because I had to have major surgery on my shoulder. Once I knew and a bunch of other people just to try and get some ring fitness.
The thing that was the most difficult was the pandemic because, with physiotherapy, they discharged everyone who wasn’t in the hospital and stuck in just trying to work on my recovery myself. But once I got in the ring regularly and started rolling, it was just flying off to the races.
** Inside The Ropes pushed out their chat with Dylan Postl (Hornswoggle). Postl wrestled Orange Cassidy in Beyond Wrestling and while they were putting the match together, Postl did not understand Cassidy’s character but when they got in the ring, it all made sense.
So I’m not going to jump on the bandwagon, but Orange Cassidy, but I had the match with him, it’s on YouTube for Beyond Wrestling. I didn’t get the shtick when he was explaining it to me and then he was telling me more about it. And I was like, ‘Oh, OK.’ And then we had the match, like the first thing out of the gate, I was like, ‘Holy shit, this is the greatest thing ever.’ like, ‘I love him,’ and I feel with him, there’s — it’s so black and white with him, like if you’re a fan or not, no middle ground. And that’s unfortunate. But I love him so much. I get such a kick out of him. Everything he does, literally everything he does is just entertaining to me. It’s funny to me and people want to tear it apart. ‘It gives away the business or I don’t care.’ You know, giving away the business is when Beyond The Mat came out. The business has been given away for years. I don’t care.
** That Hashtag Show sat down with Simon Grimm for an interview at Bloodsport during WrestleMania week.
** Daniel Gannon, ring announcer for OTT in Ireland announced that he is departing the promotion.
** Esquire Middle East caught up with WWE’s Mansoor for an exclusive interview. He told the publication that Mustafa Ali is one of those dream matchups for him. The two had a segment on the most recent episode of Raw.
A dream match for me has always been with Mustafa Ali. He was always somebody who reached out to me and was generous and kind from the first day I showed up. I think a program with him would be really amazing. It would be too easy to just say: ‘Hey we’re both Muslims, let’s shake hands and have a match’ but that only works for one night. The skill is about how you can take that and stretch a storyline out to last a month or two and then make people care about it enough to watch it on pay-per-view. That said, the goal of any WWE Superstar is to have a title.
** TMZ caught up with Alexa Bliss and spoke to her thoughts about the passing of her pet pig, Larry Steve.
** A John Cena promo from his days in Ultimate Pro Wrestling:
** Chelsea Green spoke to ‘Metro’ and recalled Matt Cardona’s match against Ace Austin at IMPACT Wrestling’s Rebellion event. There was a point during the match when Cardona appeared to have hurt his knee again and Chelsea became worried in that moment.
He was on Rebellion and I was watching, and with the knee things, I sit there and I get really nervous. You don’t know what’s what! It’s scary but I know that no matter what, we’re gonna be fine. Unless he falls off a massive ladder or something like that, I know that he’s trained to do this and I’m trained to do this. So, we’re gonna be OK. A broken arm – OK, we’re fine. It’s six weeks, we’re fine!
** Carlito will be wrestling for the ‘Outlaw Wrestling Organization’ on June 5th.
** The ‘Daily American’ has a story up about the late Joe Laurinaitis, also known as Road Warrior Animal. He would regularly be a part of the Rolling Thunder Motor Cruise in Jerome, Pennsylvania. Laurinaitis passed away in 2020 so at this year’s event, money will be raised to help Laurinaitis’ wife Kim with medical bills. Paul Ellering will also be appearing at the event.
** AEW’s Red Velvet, Jade Cargill and The Blade have birthdays today.
** A story about a wrestling academy being opened in Wigan, England. The school is affiliated with TNT Extreme Wrestling.
** Brooklyn Brawler is making an appearance at the 9 Planets Comics and Collectables store in Dearborne Heights, Michigan.
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.