Originally published at Summer Rae: "We got paid little to nothing for Total Divas"
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** Danielle Moinet, the former “Summer Rae” in WWE joined the TWC Show for an extensive chat. While a part of WWE, Moinet was a cast member on the E! show Total Divas. She says the cast was paid little to nothing for that show.
I would be open to reality , if it was done a certain way and I think the Total Divas got a lot of slack and Total Divas got a lot of — oh my gosh, the pushback we got backstage from the boys, from a lot of guys that would come into that shot so we would just have to delete the scene because they knew E! couldn’t post that certain wrestler and they would just come stand in our scene and we’re like, ‘Now we gotta go film that again’ and they’re just being dicks, they knew that. So they were like, ‘Watch, I’m gonna go mess this up’ and I’m like, ‘I have to go put a match on. Can you not. I’m working here’ and mind you, we got paid nothing for that show. Like little to nothing so it’s not like you’re taking away my paycheck. I just have to finish my obligation. But now looking back, that show was so transcending.
She was released from WWE in the Fall of 2017. She would be open to returning to the company as a part of the broadcast team.
I would be super open to like any kind of broadcasting positions, hosting positions. When I lived in New York, a lot of people take the train to Connecticut for stuff. I think it would be cool to have an on-camera woman that has been in the locker room, that has done that kind of stuff so, it’s an amazing company. They’re always growing. I still talk to K.P. who’s our publicist, who does our PR for WWE. She’s great so yeah. I’m never too busy.
Moinet detailed her relationship with Vince McMahon while she was an active talent. She says she loved Vince and that was reciprocated. Whenever there was an issue or she felt like she wanted to depart the company, she would go talk to him.
Oh, Vince loved me. I love Vince. I would walk my butt straight into Vince’s office all the time. Vince did not scare me at all. Actually, when I had — I mean he’s scary.
But it’s like, mind you, you have to be respectful. I would never just walk in his office. I would knock and then I would wait for hours and hours and hours but, if I was ever having an issue or when I was thinking of leaving, I went and talked to him. I remember it was by the border in Texas so not San Antonio but it was one of the smaller towns we have TV in because I remember it was like literally the cops were waiting at the border so I can’t remember where we were and I remember I had talks with him for that too because I was like I respect him and, ‘I respect you and I wanna tell you where my head is at with this injury’ and he — even when I — I did try to quit but pay but like, it was crazy.
She recalled her first time being backstage at a main roster show when she came up from NXT. Moinet received “death stares” from the female roster members at the time.
And I remember I gave it I think was back there, Barbie. I never call her Kelly. That’s so weird I just called her that, and so of course they stared at me.
Moinet’s last time in the ring for a sanctioned match was in 2019. She spoke about the injuries beginning to tally up on her body and she was ultimately diagnosed with thoracic outlet syndrome. She also has a bone spur on a vertebrae in her neck.
So it never happened like, ‘Ow!’ Nothing just happened. It was from time over time so, I have two things: I have a bone spur on a vertebrae in my neck, I’m pretty sure it’s C4. I can’t remember. So from that, I think it’s just the over and over from bumping. Like you tuck your chin but you don’t tuck your chin. I mean you try to tuck your chin and so it’s like here, here, here but like a lot of old people live with bone spurs. That’s a thing but I have thoracic outlet syndrome. So your thoracic is kind of like — so most people don’t know this but this is your first rib , so like all above a girl’s boobs and y’all’s pecs.
At one point during the pandemic, Danielle did contract COVID-19.
You had to get outside during quarantine. When I had COVID which I don’t think I’ve publicly said but when I had COVID, I remember being like, ‘Oh my gosh, I need sunlight.’ I was like, ‘I have to go outside with my mask on, with gloves on,’ I didn’t touch anything but I’m like far away from people.
Diving back into her run with WWE, she said there was a tentative plan in place for her to be called up to the main roster during her first year in developmental. She was going to be paired with Aron Stevens, the former “Damien Sandow” who she eventually ended up working with years later.
So I was like a year-and-a-half in developmental. I almost got called up six months before with Damien Sandow Jericho so it was like a full year but I wasn’t ready at all. I mean I wasn’t even ready when I got called up, in my opinion.
** Teddy Long chatted with Gerald Brisco and John Bradshaw Layfield on their ‘Stories with Brisco and Bradshaw’ show. Teddy was candid about the racist remarks that Four Horsemen member Ole Anderson would say and Teddy shared the following story:
You talk about Thunderbolt Patterson and you know me, I’m just gonna be straight up and tell you the truth. Well you know, a lot of people thought that Thunderbolt Patterson, by him being the Black guy, he would kind of stand up for the Black wrestlers. Well, that wasn’t true. He didn’t care about us either. He was all about himself because one night, one day that we had a meeting, it was me, Thunderbolt Patterson and Ole Anderson and Ole was the grand wizard. He would call you the n-word even if he knew your name. He didn’t give a sh*t. So the next thing we did, we went and had this meeting so Ole says to Thunderbolt, he says, ‘Hey Thunderbolt, how many n*ggers you think we need on the card?’ And Thunderbolt looked over at him and looked at me and he told Ole, he said, ‘Well boss, I’m gonna be the only n*gger on the card.’ That’s true story.
Teddy Long has been open in the past about he and Ric Flair’s run-ins with one another and there being tension there. Teddy says Ric never liked him and recalled Gary Hart giving him a blade to defend himself from Flair. Hart allegedly told Teddy that if Flair continued to mess with him then cut Flair’s throat.
He just didn’t like me period. You know what? And I can tell you a true story and Gary Hart, God rest his soul, Gary Hart looked out for me. Gary Hart knew how he, how Flair hated me and Gary Hart made me a blade. This is my right hand to God, I have no reason to lie. He made a blade for me and he gave it to me and he said to me, he said, ‘If he keeps on bothering you, you take this blade and you cut his Goddamn throat.’ Those were the words out of his mouth from Gary Hart.
Long had a lengthy run as General Manager of SmackDown. He said he didn’t find out he was going to be in that position until five minutes before showtime and by the time he was told, Vince McMahon was already in the ring to make the announcement.
Well, my favorite one made me General Manager of SmackDown. I didn’t know anything about it. They kayfabed me, they didn’t tell me nothing until five minutes before we got ready to walk out and one of the writers came up to me and he says, ‘You know you’re gonna be General Manager tonight.’ I said, ‘No, I didn’t know that. Nobody told me’ and by this time, Vince is out there and he’s waiting on me and I walk out and then he did that for me. That was a memorable moment.
Elsewhere during the interview, Teddy spoke about his time with Ron Simmons and Butch Reed. Promoter Jim Barnett told Teddy that the only reason Simmons and Reed got the tag titles is because the NAACP called and questioned him about the lack of Black champions.
And I never will forget, Mr. Barnett told us one time, Mr. Barnett came to me and told me this, he said, ‘Teddy Long, the only reason that we put the tag team belts on you guys is because the NAACP kept calling, wanting to know why we didn’t have any Black tag team champions.’ Now that’s a true story. That’s how we ended up getting the belt. Now Mr. Barnett told me that.
** W. Morrissey (CazXL) made his IMPACT Wrestling debut at the Rebellion pay-per-view and was a part of the company’s recent TV tapings. He spoke to Darren Paltrowitz about his return and said he had to keep it under wraps for a week.
Man, definitely a week or so . I think news broke maybe the morning of and I don’t know how that happened but, yeah, I kept it a secret. I worked a show the night before in Dallas that I was supposed to be on and then just took an early flight Sunday morning into Nashville but yeah, it was definitely a secretive thing and I thought that-that played off well on-camera and I think that it added to the moment for me and for the fans and for everybody involved.
During the gap period that he was out of wrestling, he considered returning to school for his master’s degree in social work. He added that one day he woke up and just wanted to give wrestling another go.
Man I had no idea what I was gonna do with my life at a certain point, especially when I was earlier in recovery. I thought about going back to school for social work and I’m really passionate about the recovery field so I wanted to help other people that suffer with addiction and mental health disorders. So that was one option was going back to get a master’s degree in social work which can kind of branch off into anything. Never thought about going back to medical school. I’m not doing that but the wrestling, it’s just one morning I woke up and realized, ‘Man, wrestling, it makes me happy, I’m passionate about it. Why not pursue it? Why be scared to even try?’ So I said I gotta give this my best shot.
** The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling Podcast put out their 500th episode and guest appearing on that show was Kurt Angle and Eric Bischoff. When Angle was first brought back to WWE, he was hoping it would be as an in-ring talent and thought he would get a title run out of it.
Yes and no . If they would’ve started me out wrestling when I returned, I was ready. I was wrestling consistently. Even when I took a year off, I went on the indie circuit and kept myself busy, kept myself in shape because I knew WWE was gonna call on me and so yeah, I was a little disappointed. I thought that, you know, being a top talent like I was, I thought that I would get a possible title run and I didn’t come anywhere close to that.
As the conversation went on, Angle explained why he considers Vince McMahon to be the best wrestler and here’s his explanation:
What you see on TV with Vince isn’t the real Vince. He likes to ham it up a bit and you know, that’s his thing. He’s the best wrestler in history. In other words, when he wrestles, everybody watches. He does these looks with his eyes when he’s going crazy and he’s mad.
Transitioning over to the Eric Bischoff interview, he feels that if AEW wanted to truly start a TV war with WWE, they would have to move their Dynamite program to Monday or Friday night.
When one says, ‘How do you turn WWE upside down? How do you compete with WWE?’ That’s a different conversation. Now, you’re assuming that-that’s the goal of the network that AEW is on. You’re assuming that’s the growth strategy and the business plan for AEW and if it is, my advice would be, f*ck, just go for the throat. Quit dancing around. You want a war? Attack ‘em on their home front, which is Monday night or Friday night. Go after their A show. Don’t go after their C show. That doesn’t mean anything. Go after their A show and produce a better show than them and win the majority of the audience.
** Conrad Thompson recorded an interview with Ric Flair and the two dove into a number of subjects. Mark Carrano’s departure from WWE was brought up and Flair says he tried to contact Carrano several times but has not heard back. Flair added that it’s hard for him to believe Carrano was malicious.
I’m gonna tell you the truth, I’ve reached out to him three different times and haven’t heard a word back. So I basically have no comment. I don’t know what to say, and, you know, I can’t from the bottom of my heart believe that he was ever malicious. Who knows? Sometimes, the job just gets too tough for too long.
Flair once filed a trademark for ‘The Man’ while Becky Lynch was in the middle of run which culminated with her headlining WrestleMania. Flair had a feeling that he lost the respect of Roman Reigns because of that situation.
I was concerned that I had lost the respect of Roman Reigns because when that whole Man thing went upside down and all that, had to file the trademark and whatever transpired, means nothing now. I think people — and I walked right up to him. I said, ‘Can I have a minute of your time?’ And I said, ‘Hey, it means a lot to me,’ because you want the kids to look forward to you coming. Not, ‘Man, here he comes again.’ Does that make sense? Especially when you have a daughter who’s at the most elite position she could be in, or son, either way, you know what I mean? You just don’t want to be that person.
Looking back on his run in WCW, Flair feels that Eric Bischoff and Vince Russo killed his legacy and he had not gone back to WWF/E, that would have remained the case.
It’s funny, the next day I got a call from Jim Ross. He was obviously on a car phone. He said, ‘You ready to go to work?’ And I said, ‘Yeah man’ and then I never heard from him for a year. Not quite a year but not ‘till November, right? Or September. Happiest day of my life. Without that day — I just told Ariel Bischoff had killed my legacy. You’ll never convince me. I cannot think of one thing they did for me that sent me into the Hall Of Fame for WWE, can you?
Bad Bunny and Ric Flair established a relationship over the past several years. Flair shared that Bad Bunny is going to be a part of his ‘Most Wanted Treasures’ episode on A&E.
Yeah, he in that will be on. It’s gonna air Father’s Day so, yeah. So we’ll get a chance to watch that together somehow but, he’s in that and he was nice enough to take the time out of his schedule. Kind of the story of how we met and everything which is strange enough at WrestleMania, at Raw Reunion. But it was great, we’ve been friends ever since and you know he had me at the Latin awards, remember a couple years ago? I had just gotten out of the hospital like six months prior to that so, but he’s just a great guy and is a guy that I think climbed that ladder and reached a level of success that — those are the ones that you really have a lot of time for because they don’t forget you, you know what I mean?
** Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports chatted with Shawn Michaels. While discussing current talents on the NXT roster, Michaels stated that Johnny Gargano is a better well-rounded wrestler than he ever was.
But then you have guys like a Johnny Gargano who to me I think in the ring is far more — he can do more, more well-rounded than I ever was. But he has the mentality that he’s gonna go out there — if Johnny’s on the show, your work is gonna be cut out for you. It’s just that simple, and he’s not gonna give you any breathing room.
** Kevin Eck welcomed Chris Dickinson onto the ROHStrong Podcast. Prior to his 2021 return to Ring of Honor, Dickinson did compete for ROH on one occasion in 2015. He was never brought back to the company and believes that stems from his match with Kimber Lee at a Beyond Wrestling show. Dickinson and Kimber exchanged protected chair shots to the head and Dickinson gave her a “Razor’s Edge” that from certain camera angles, appeared as though she hit her head on the bottom turnbuckle.
Well I’d say in one respect, it hurt with Ring of Honor I think and I never got a real answer from whoever. I just heard from, you know, people talking or whatever about someone in the ROH office at the time was so appalled by it that they made sure I was never, ever brought back and this was right after I made my debut, and I wanted to work with Ring of Honor. I was trying to get my foot in the door there and that — the way I was made to believe is Anniversary Show, you know what I’m saying? Do I understand why though? Yeah, of course, absolutely. But now you’ve gotta examine it. The only way it’s being seen — well the only way it was seen at the time is taken completely out of context, which is usually how everything works these days. Something is taken completely out of context and then all these ideas and opinions are built on it and then it turns into a big mess. Me and Kimber Lee had an impromptu match, where we were both in like street clothes and whatever and the match started, we worked to the finish. Now someone took a video on their phone of the finish and the way that the camera angle looked, it looked wild. She has long blonde hair at the time and it looks like her head hits the bottom turnbuckle. But realistically, it was just her hair. She was very far from it and she landed completely flat.
In my older age and we’re talking about kayfabe. I mentioned I hate the word kayfabe because I . Excuse me, I care and I hate having to give this stuff up but for the sake of this show, you wanted to talk about it, I’ll talk about it. She landed completely flat, she was fine. Everything about all of that, everything we did that day was fine. We walked away from that day not thinking anything of it. It was just like another day, you know what I mean? And then later on that night on the way home, Ortiz from Proud and Powerful, we were in the van together and he was like, ‘Yo man, you seeing Facebook right now? You gotta go on there’ or whatever. ‘You gotta see that video. Everybody’s talking about it’ and I was like, ‘Oh no.’ Then I saw the effects of a viral video or whatever. So yeah, it looked crazy and it came off as just wild, kind of crazy indie show thing where guy beats up girl or whatever. Yeah sure, but that wasn’t the case at all. It was a whole match that led into that moment. It wasn’t like I just went in there with a girl, did the chair, because they were all crazy about the chair shot too. What they don’t see is she hits me over the head with a chair first before that, but you could see she puts her hands up, it was a plastic chair. It was all safe and all rehearsed and well-thought-out. The finish happened and yeah, the finish looked wild. But from that phone angle of the viral video, it looked like extra wild. So, yeah, I took a lot of heat for that. Do I regret it in a way? Yeah, there was a lot of times where I said, ‘God, why did this happen? I hate this,’ whatever but thinking about where intergender wrestling is now, it’s like if somebody did that now, they’d just be like, ‘Oh that was great.’ This is what I love, the hypocrisy in everything. If something like that happened now because now it’s so widely accepted now. See, think about the people that would come to my defense then, that weren’t around then. People would be all about it, they’d love it. They’d defend me up and down.
Dickinson believes his return to ROH was in the works for a short period of time. He never thought he’d be a part of Ring of Honor again.
I believe it was in the works for a short time. I wouldn’t say ‘a while’. I was surprised, yes. I never thought I’d work with Ring of Honor ever again honestly, and I’ll never say never but you know, I was surprised, yeah. For sure.
He then dove into his time as a part of the NJPW Strong program. Dickinson spoke highly of Rocky Romero who is key in putting the shows together.
I can’t say enough good things about Rocky especially. You know, the pieces that he’s putting in place and like I said, that’s another guy that just has so much experience, so much worldly experience, someone that I watched. Like I said, someone like a Homicide, someone like a Jay Lethal or someone that I watched when I was developing, growing up as a teenager so, yeah. These are the guys who I wanna be around, I wanna work with, I wanna work for. We got a wrestling guy running a wrestling show. That’s how it should be, and I want to be able to learn as much as I can from somebody like that.
** While speaking with ET Canada, Asuka opened up about an experience with racism that she had at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic:
Only one experience with racism. So it was about the time when COVID-19 started spreading. In America, I was at the airport. A woman came towards me. When she noticed me, she covered her mouth with her hand and ran away from me. I was shocked, so it never happened before COVID-19. Oh my gosh, I didn’t understand, but yeah, I was shocked.
Back in 2006, Asuka stepped away from the ring due to an issue that had to do with inflammation in her kidneys. She said it was her mother who encouraged her to get back in the ring.
Yes, I had a problem. But, I wanna — I wanna entertain a lot of people. It’s my goal so, yeah, then my mother told me, ‘You have to fight again,’ so I did.
** DS Shin of Ring The Belle sat down with former WWE talent Cherry, who was the manager of Deuce and Domino. Cherry was last in WWE in 2008 but she is hoping to one day get the call for the women’s Royal Rumble match.
Hopefully one day, I’ll get that invite to that Royal Rumble and you know, because it’s always exciting whether it’s the guys or the girls to see someone new. They’re on the edge of their seats waiting for a surprise appearance.
When she was let go from the company, it took her by surprise. She admitted that she was heartbroken by it but the likes of Beth Phoenix, Natalya and Lisa Marie Varon stayed in contact with her following the release.
No just like all of my friends gave me a lot of support and regardless of whether I’m there or not, they’ve always been very supportive and that’s what matters is having good people in your life so…
Cherry has not been that involved in wrestling since her departure from WWE. She shared that her absence is due to her convincing herself that no one wanted to see her, seeing as how she had been out of the business for quite some time.
I was kind of hurt a little bit. I kind of needed to really process being let go. I would do a few things and bless the fans’ hearts but some of them had some really kind of hurtful things to say. Not meaningfully, they’re just like, ‘We like a big blonde girl’ and it just kind of made me like — it kind of made me sit back a little bit and kind of hurt my feelings a little bit and I know that they didn’t mean it in that way, but it really — processing it, being let go and then these people are saying things and you really just have to shut the outside world out sometimes because people just wanna get a rise out of you. But I needed to just step away and refocus on myself and get myself right and process it and get okay with it. So that’s kind of what I did and I just stepped away for quite some time. I needed to figure out where I wanted to go, what I wanted to do so I did, you know, stayed low profile and then before I knew it, I just talked myself into the fact that I — maybe no one didn’t wanna see me, you know? Because it’d been so long so what’s the draw in Cherry anymore? Because I was from there. I was signed in ‘06 to ‘08 so it was a lot of me getting in my own head and being my own enemy I guess. That’s kind of when I started to feel a little bit better, the boys were okay with doing it and then I got some people like, ‘We wanna see you’ and I was like, ‘You do?’ So it built my confidence a little bit better so it’s just when you’re let go and you’re in that arena and you’re with something that you love so much and then you just really have to process losing it and realizing everything happens for a reason. I got to a point and the fans really tried to build my confidence back up and it’s like I do matter and I talk to the fans on Twitter a lot and I have a lot of the fans that really reach out to me. They’re so kind and it’s like wow, I did make an impact. I talked myself into the fact thinking I didn’t and then to really kind of hear words from the people that really enjoyed what we did really kind of was like, ‘Aw, I wanna be there for those people now’ so…
** Drew McIntyre welcomed Stone Cold Steve Austin onto the season two premiere of his Drew & A show on Peacock/WWE Network. Austin spoke about the competitive relationship between he and The Rock. Austin said he would regularly check the merchandise numbers to see who was ahead between the two.
And we worked heel/baby but all of a sudden when you have both guys and they’re both babies and they’re both super over, and then they’re still working together, it was highly competitive and it was no backstabbing, no politics, no around the horn stuff. It was like just straight up relationship man. Me and The Rock had a lot of respect for each other and when I saw him start coming up, I was like, ‘Okay, this guy’s gonna do something here’ and because I was that guy that always checked the merchandise, I said, ‘Jimmy , how’d we do?’ ‘Still number one Steven. Still number one.’ I always checked that merch when Rock got hot but I loved watching what he was doing and experimenting and raising that eyebrow, talking about himself in the third person and he came on strong.
** Per PWInsider, SHIMMER’s Allison Danger and former WCW and WWE talent Dave Taylor are guest coaching at the Performance Center in Orlando this week.
** Vladimir Kozlov was the voice of the Russian-language commentary team for IMPACT Wrestling’s Rebellion pay-per-view. The wrestler turned stunt producer and actor recently chatted with Ringsiders Wrestling and answered the question of if he would make a return to the ring:
It’s possible, it’s possible because wrestling is getting bigger right now in the Russian market. It’s extremely huge. So, that’s why I just done first Russian-language pay-per-view for IMPACT Rebellion, because I was talking about my distribution for my movie and the same company, European-based. It’s like become like a actual stunt producer. I don’t wanna give up this part. It’s not easy either.
Kozlov talked about the idea of competing against Brock Lesnar in MMA. He said he would have to put 100 percent focus into that and put his acting/stunt work career to the side.
I’m telling you this one, when I was in New York, I had interview for FOX Sports and it was a question if I had an opportunity specific fight because he’s a big guy and he’s very powerful and he is in good shape too. So you have to give up all your production, you have to give up all your acting career, you need to just concentrate. But it can be interesting, I like challenges.
** Sean “X-Pac” Waltman brought MLW CEO Court Bauer onto his ‘Pro Wrestling 4 Life’ podcast. Bauer, a former WWE creative team member told the story of when one of his fellow writers did not know what “heat” was and how Dusty Rhodes reacted to that revelation.
It’s a really weird thing because when I was on the WWE creative team, we’re sitting there one day and Dusty Rhodes, we’re just kind of going through the next week of TV and Dusty sits back and looks at DiBiase just gives the eyebrow up and he’s like, ‘For real?’ The concept of heat, if you don’t know what it is and how to get it, I mean that is the bloodline of this business is like getting heat. You gotta be able to get heat.
** Taylor Wilde returned to IMPACT Wrestling at the company’s Rebellion pay-per-view in April. She documented the road to her return on her Wilde On podcast and shared that she was supposed to be at the TV tapings in January but work visa issues arose.
It’s been a major bummer because Toronto went back to a phase one, 28-day, stay-at-home order so I have not been wrestling for over a month and there’s been two different issues with my work visa which has been very frustrating as I was supposed to return to TV in January and it is now February and I really don’t know what’s going on at this point. But, I haven’t been sulking. I have been using this time to be productive. I’ve really been making connections at WWE and I’ve had the opportunity to interview all the up-and-coming NXT women which has been absolutely incredible. It’s also given me the time to really reflect on what it is that I want out of professional wrestling and what it is I want to give. So, I’ve been doing a lot of brainstorming about what company would aid me best in all my dreams and aspirations so, this downtime hasn’t been a bad thing. It’s been frustrating because I’ve been ready to go for a year. But after ten years of retirement, I couldn’t have chose a worse time to want to come back to professional wrestling other than a global pandemic.
In preparation for her return, Wilde began to watch Io Shirai matches. She said an ultimate goal of hers is to wrestle Shirai.
I’ve been binging the sh*t out of NXT because I just got an Android Box and I can. I saw a few YouTube matches, just portions of matches of Io Shirai and I was in love. She is an incredible athlete, an incredible wrestler absent of gender. She is just amazing. But I’m watching these full matches and oh my God, I wanna be like Io Shirai when I grow up and I would — she’s definitely my dream opponent, but I don’t know if I have it in me. But that is my ultimate goal, to have a match against Io Shirai.
** Teddy Long and Maven were guests on D-Von Dudley’s Table Talk podcast. Teddy spoke about his collaborations with Vince McMahon in WWE. He said McMahon made him feel comfortable to pitch ideas when himself, Vince and Undertaker were putting together the story of Undertaker kidnapping Teddy.
The thing I did with Undertaker where he kidnapped me and all that, that was a Vince McMahon idea and one day that got me really good that let me gonna do basically but what he wanted me to do but he wanted me to add some of my stuff in there, you know, to make this be real. So I learned a lot with Vince. I certainly really appreciate him. He really helped me with my career.
** Bianca Belair was a part of Sportico’s Women + Sports panel and she gave her take on what it will take for women in WWE to reach the mainstream like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and John Cena have.
I think that we’re here now. You know, the fact that Sasha Banks and I, we just main evented at WrestleMania on the grandest stage of them all. WrestleMania, it’s the biggest that you could possibly get as mainstream. We were in Raymond James Stadium, same stadium that the Super Bowl happened in. We had 25,000 fans for the first time — we haven’t had our fans and we finally got to have our fans and we’re on the grandest stage of them all and before we had the ThunderDome, we were able to have virtual fans but we were able to get our fans back inside the same stadium that the Super Bowl was in so, we — we’re doing that now, we’re mainstream and I just have to keep pushing the message that women, we always show up and we always show out and we just need those opportunities, because once you give us opportunities, we prove ourselves right because we know what we’re capable of and we’re capable of being mainstream and pulling in those numbers and pulling in those eyes to watch us and you know, I feel like we’re already there when it comes to mainstream. We just have to continue doing what we’re doing and continue to get those opportunities because people want to see us.
** Asuka received the COVID-19 vaccine.
** IMPACT Wrestling’s Rohit Raju guest appeared on the Front Row Material podcast. Rohit compared how his on-screen character in IMPACT is presented now versus several years ago. He feels that he was once a comedy-type character and that led him to using the “Hakim Zane” name on the independents because his value could have went down from losing on IMPACT programming.
They can come back and lose whatever matches, how many matches and people will still get behind the brand. If you don’t have that following yet and you’re losing right off the bat, no one cares about you. You’re not gonna be making as much money. You’re not gonna be in demand because there is no value to your name. That’s what Rohit was. Rohit was a comedy act at first, I was losing all the time and people were like, ‘Losses don’t matter.’ Ah, losses do matter when no one on the indies wants to book Rohit Raju because there is no value to Rohit Raju so that’s why I had to do Hakim Zane.
Raju is currently involved in a storyline with Jake Something. He shared that he pitched to work with Jake because the two were floating around in the midst of AEW and IMPACT crossover.
There is something brewing right now with IMPACT with myself and Jake Something that I asked for, because I knew that we were just kind of bouncing around, we weren’t the focal point, you know? The whole AEW thing, the IMPACT/AEW thing is the focal point so we’re not really, I guess you could say they’re not worried about us so I’m like, ‘Well hell, we’re just bouncing around. We have history, deep history. Is there any way we could do something? Do a program?’ And they said yes so now we’re building a program. Not only our we building a program, it’s outside of IMPACT as in we’re not just talking Cousin Jake and Rohit Raju. They’re actually letting us peel the wall back a little bit and talk about how we’ve known each other before professional wrestling which is really cool. So there’s story there, there’s history there that I hope people pay attention to because we already have great chemistry in the ring. We tell a good story in the ring together and now that we’re actually applying it to national TV and with our input, makes me feel really good.
** Luis Fernandez-Gil (Dario Cueto) was brought in to kick off the Azteca Underground era of MLW. CEO Court Bauer talked to Sports Illustrated and said Fernandez-Gil’s signing was a priority and he will be with MLW long-term.
He was a priority for us, and Luis signed a long-term deal with the company. He’s an incredibly talented, accomplished actor, so he was very important. I was involved in a very limited capacity in Lucha Underground. I started as the AAA president of their American division for a period of time, so I was in that orbit, as was Konnan, who really was involved in every phase of Lucha Underground early on. It’s kind of like returning to a recent chapter of our careers. I wasn’t involved in the creative side, but to work with Luis again is phenomenal.
** One-half of the IMPACT Knockouts Tag Team Champions Rachael Ellering did an interview with Cultaholic. She gave her take on how IMPACT Wrestling has navigated the COVID-19 pandemic and kept their events safe for the performers.
I think IMPACT has handled it beautifully. I think, first and foremost, the company looked at it and they wanted to take care of the people behind the show. At the end of the day, we all have families and we’re all individuals outside of being performers. I think IMPACT putting that first, making sure everyone is okay and being taken care of, that makes all the difference in the world.
That little bit of care and little bit of empathy, that goes a long way. I think that was the first piece of building this big puzzle that is pandemic wrestling in IMPACT.
Having Skyway Studios available, and have that closed set, and embracing it…it’s difficult for everybody and every company has had troubles. But at the end of the day, I think IMPACT has just embraced it and made the most of it and found ways to take advantage of it.
A lot of things with Susan, for example, you wouldn’t be able to do with full crowds there. It is just a very cool part of the show that they got to add in because of the pandemic. They have taken advantage of it in the best way they can.
** Ricky Starks was the latest guest on Renee Paquette’s Oral Sessions podcast. Starks talked about the only lengthy conversation he had with NWA President Billy Corgan while a part of the organization. Starks said Corgan often stayed to himself.
It’s very interesting , I’ll tell you that. Billy is a very interesting person just because he doesn’t really talk to you. The only time he ever talked to me, it was like we were tearing down after a show and I was at the merch table and he came over and talked to me and I’ll never forget, he goes, ‘You know, you’re kinda like me in a way. You’re an asshole, but, people like you. People like us because we’re assholes and we’re funny’ and he like told this story of how he basically called out this girl at a show of his, but his delivery of it was so funny that the crowd laughed. They didn’t question it. So that was the only time we ever had like an in-depth conversation where he was like, ‘Yeah, you’re like me. You’re an asshole but you’re funny and I think we’re gonna go far.’
** The Wrestling Perspective Podcast welcomed Josh Alexander onto the show. He was asked if he feels that he’s ‘made it’ in terms of the success in his career. He shared that he was recently told by colleagues that his career is taking off but as for Josh, he does not feel he has ‘made it’.
I am happy regardless of where I wrestle as long as I can wrestle. Like if there were crowds in Canada on the independents and I was just wrestling there, I’d be happy. I was super happy doing that but, no it does not feel like I’ve made it yet. After this last set of tapings and some other stuff, I got pulled aside by some people in the locker room. They were like, ‘It really feels like your career is just starting to get momentum. Like you’re really starting to pick up steam for the first time’ and I was just like, ‘Yeah. I completely agree’ so like as far as making it, my inner child would say I made it but for what I want and my goals now that, you know, I’ve evolved over my career, I definitely haven’t made it but I think I’m getting there.
** While speaking to Wide World of Sports, Damian Priest recalled the first conversation he had with Bad Bunny in the ring. One of the first things Bad Bunny mentioned was that he did not want to disrespect any wrestler.
He put in the work. People don’t see that side, so they don’t know. They figure he’s just a celebrity, he’s going to get that spot, whatever. But he didn’t take it that way, he took pride in what he did. He wanted to make sure that he represented himself, his fanbase and his culture in a positive way. He didn’t want to disrespect anybody, which was the first question he asked. He was getting in the ring, and the first thing he asked was, ‘Hey when I get in the ring, is there anything or anyway – I don’t want to disrespect anybody.’ I told him, ‘If that’s the first thing you’re going to say, you will be OK.’
** NXT’s Scarlett turned 30-years old on 5/13.
** When asked by USA Today if he’s looking forward to another Guardians of the Galaxy film, Dave Bautista said he’s looking forward to being around his fellow castmates but getting into the makeup and full body paint for “Drax” is traumatizing.
Well, I’m looking forward to being back with my friends. I like the camaraderie. I’m in a weird place with Drax because I’ve played Drax so many times, I’m on cruise control. I love the character, but getting in the makeup, it’s just a nightmare. I couldn’t explain how awful it is. I hate to sound like one of those high-maintenance actors, but it’s just traumatizing. Once I’m in it and I’m on set with my friends and making this character come to life and interacting with these characters that I love so much as a fan, it’s all fun and joy. Throughout the years, maybe because I’ve gotten older and more sensitive to it, (the makeup’s) become more unbearable, but the one thing I’m just looking forward is closing out this journey of Drax.
** ‘The Quint’ sat down with Dave Bautista for an interview.
** Evan T. Mack, co-host of WWE’s The Bump was a guest on Teasy’s Table on the Swerve City Podcast YouTube channel.
** Looper has an article about wrestlers that have appeared in horror films.
** San Francisco 49ers Tight End George Kittle joined Charlotte Wilder and Mark Titus on ‘The People’s Sports’ Podcast.
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.