Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/01/13/post-news-update-tiger-ruas-in-talks-in-njpw/
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.
** The All Real Wrestling Podcast has an interview with Tiger Ruas, the former ‘Arturo Ruas’ and he shared that he’s been having conversations with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and he’s negotiating with other companies as well.
Yes, I am actually talking to New Japan, and talking to another company soon like IMPACT too and it’s just talk for now. I wanna be, as I said, in the mix and I believe those companies, they have the top athletes. IMPACT, New Japan, MLW and I know that those companies, they have in their tops, the best athletes and I want to be one of them so, I am a free agent, I am negotiating with the companies. I’m talking to them and I’m just waiting to soon enough and one of them, signed.
This past October, Ruas was a part of the AEW Dark tapings at Universal Studios. He teamed with Cezar Bononi at a Dark taping the month prior to that. Ruas hopes to be signed by AEW.
I believe that I deserve to be part of the top-level athletes in pro wrestling because I am one of the best too so AEW’s the place. I came there, I did my match with Cezar was amazing so, I just wanna be there to be contributing with the pro wrestling business and with the company, that’s it. It’s simple and I’m wishing now to be signed with AEW. It’s like that’s my main goal now.
While discussing his time with the NXT brand, Ruas described the environment as “stressful” at times. He explained why he felt that way:
We had that thing where, okay, if the guy was on TV, he’s going to be on main roster soon. But that started changing because some guys started to get called up and they never have been on TV so, we had that mentality to break and NXT was like already a real stressful environment. Like always getting pushed and most of your matches never get enough. Everything — exactly like Performance Center. People try to make you the best of you so when you have that call-up, most of the time, the guys used to take a deep breath like, ‘Ah, finally made it,’ you know? ‘I don’t have to keep pushing myself so hard now. Now, I made it so I can just enjoy the ride and keep evolving of course but like, I made it.’
To get more in-ring reps, Tiger Ruas along with multiple NXT talents began working for Gabe Sapolsky in EVOLVE. It was Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque who informed Ruas that he would be working with EVOLVE. Ruas shared that he began to get comfortable in the ring as he got more reps in.
So for me, EVOLVE came at that moment when I was asking for more and Triple H came to me and said, ‘Hey, Arturo, I think it’s going to be good for you if you go to EVOLVE and we start to build you more. That’s going to be a good way for people to see your style, start to get more familiar with you and you are going to feel it more. So I want you to be just you. Go there and have fun’ and that was my talk with Triple H and it started to happen and every show I used to do, I used to feel so much more comfortable and more like, being myself and then everything changed, so everything started to change, I started to get more opportunities in WWE until I got drafted and everything else happened.
After being released from WWE in June 2021, Ruas’ second match was against Josh Barnett at Bloodsport 7. He expressed that it was an honor for him to mix it up with Barnett. Ruas recalled speaking to William Regal while they were together in WWE and Regal telling him that he’ll make it to Bloodsport one day.
When I moved to . I was like, ‘Man, I have to be there’ but of course, WWE never allowed me to be there and William Regal used to tell me, ‘Hey, this show, one day you’re going to be there, you’re going to kill it’ and when I left WWE, the one thing I knew, I said, ‘Now, I will wrestle when I want, where I want with who I want’ and the first target was Bloodsport. I said, ‘If I’m going to wrestle, my first after WWE has to be on a Bloodsport’ and it came and Josh Barnett is an amazing fighter, I always liked him as a fighter. It’s funny that he used to go to Brazil to train with Marco Ruas’ team. At that time, I used to train with (unable to make out name). It was like a big massive honor in lucha libre. Lucha libre and Jiu-Jitsu, it’s like a grappling and I remember I used to see him training there and he was a friend of my brother so, life is too crazy but put me together with him again and we had that amazing match at Bloodsport 7. If you didn’t watch it, just go watch it, Bloodsport 7 and it was so much fun man.
One of the highlight moments from Tiger Ruas’ run in EVOLVE was his program with Anthony Henry. He recounted having another match in EVOLVE and finally feeling like he was being seen by Paul Levesque.
EVOLVE, I had a lot of fans that saw me on EVOLVE. They send me messages saying that they miss it and what you said about moments, it’s funny because EVOLVE, I remember a lot of good moments there when I had my matches, my feud with Anthony Henry. That was amazing moments where like when we did that match, No Holds Barred, beat each other all over the venue and that was one of the biggest moments of my career and I understand like, ‘Yeah, I can make it’ because people like me, people are behind me, they understand my style. It’s funny, when I did my match with (unable to make out name), I remember, as I said, we live in so much pressure that when I left the match and it was like a huge one because I faced a big name and I came out of the match and I kind of bend my knees down and I was like crying and thanking to be able to provide me that opportunity to showcase myself, not just for the fans but for the company itself and that was one of the matches when Triple H came to me and said, ‘Hey, good job.’ So, and I knew that I was being seen. They were watching me and many good moments.
** 18-year veteran Colin Delaney was a guest on ‘A Pro Wrestling Podcast with Matt & Friends’. Delaney touched on his match with Wardlow at AEW New Year’s Smash. He came out of the match banged up and his shoulder has been popping out ever since.
I feel okay . These beatings were easier to take when I was in my 20s. They are a bit more difficult when I’m in my 30s… I’ve got some KT Tape on right now because my shoulder — since — literally since that night, my shoulder has just been popping out. I don’t know why, so, I don’t know what that is but, so yeah, I’m still — I’m still a little banged up from it honestly.
The quick powerbombs, the chair shot. Getting hit with a chair never, never gets easier so, I don’t know. I just came out of that thing and I was like, ‘I hurt everywhere. This hurts.’
Colin was signed to WWE to be a part of their ECW brand. He inked a three-year deal the company but believes that John Laurinaitis never wanted to hire him. Colin was released eight months into his deal.
I think that, essentially, Johnny Ace didn’t want to hire me in the first place. I think he thought that I would just kind of do my thing and then it would be done and I would go home and it would be over with but it kept going and it kept going well. So eventually they kind of had to sign me. They already put me on TV and featured me four weeks in a row, five weeks in a row before they signed me. So they kind of backed themselves into a corner in signing me and then, it was just one of those deals where back then, they would just release big clumps of people and I guess I was low man on the totem pole, you know? I don’t — like I said, I don’t think Johnny wanted to sign me in the first place so, when it came time to release people, my name was probably pretty high on his list of guys to get rid of.
Several years ago, when Delaney did extra work for WWE on 205 Live, he thought the company was going to offer him another contract. It never materialized but if the offer was presented and the circumstances were right for him, he would accept.
A couple years ago, I did some stuff for them . The end game of all this and working so hard and staying around and trying to do it is because I love it and also to be able to, you know, provide a life for myself and my family through wrestling, through the thing that I love, you know? So, to say that you wouldn’t do it, mhm, I don’t know. It depends on the — yeah, if you’re walking into a — knowing it was a bad situation for you personally, yeah, you don’t do it but that’s anything in life.
In 2017, Colin was a part of a showcase match for The Bludgeon Brothers (Jon Huber & Erick Redbeard). He said initially, WWE did not want to acknowledge who he was on-screen, but once the match was over, they wanted to talk to him about his return to the company.
It was so weird because I was there the week before. I went to Raw and SmackDown to, you know, show my face and do extra work and see if something would come of it and they put me against The Bludgeon Brothers and they weren’t going to acknowledge who I was which I thought was very bizarre because I did work for the company for about a year and was like a, you know, a contracted wrestler with them so the fact that they were essentially not gonna even reference who I was or that I was ever employed seemed strange to me and then after the match went well, they came over and they were like, ‘Oh hey, we wanna talk to you about how you’re back’ and blah, blah, blah, blah and I was like, ‘Oh, okay. Cool’ and then they called me and brought me back for the next week to do the thing with KENTA and that’s where the but yeah, I just thought it was so interesting. They were like, no, mhm, we’ll just have you go out there and get beat up and we won’t really mention it.
It’s so interesting because yeah, they were like, ‘Yeah, no, we’re not gonna mention it or reference it’ but then, other things would happen and they’d be like, ‘No, no, no. That’s Colin Delaney. People will recognize him’ and it’s like, ‘Well right. People will recognize.’ Even if they don’t recognize me, they’ll recognize the name. So I don’t know how you can just gloss over it and act like it’s not happening. That seems bizarre.
At one point during the conversation, Delaney recalled being told in WWE that he was unrecognizable without his gear on, which is why he would be in his ring gear for his non-in-ring segments in WWE.
At one point, it’s so funny because at the time, there was nothing else that looked like me, especially not on WWE. But at a point, WWE, when they would do segments with me, even if it was just a backstage thing, they would make me get in full gear because they told me I was unrecognizable when I wasn’t in my gear and I always thought that was the craziest thing. Like, there’s a ton of other 5’9, 150-pound kids running around here backstage, right? Like, ‘Mhm… that’s it.’ I think I’m the most recognizable. I think half the rest of the roster, you know, is unrecognizable without their gear. Me? I’m the only 150-pound kid you got.
Delaney reflected on his experiences working with AEW. He recounted when Tony Khan approached him and expressed how much he enjoyed Colin’s work on WWE ECW.
It’s cool, it’s cool. I like being there . You know, every time I’m there, I feel like I’m part of the team and I’m part of the crew so, Tony Khan is super, super cool. He’s just like a big wrestling fan. First time I met him, I remember him coming up to me and being like, ‘Oh my God, I was such a big fan of your stuff on ECW’ and I was like, ‘This is crazy.’ This guy, he owns this company, you know? Vince McMahon isn’t walking through the locker room telling anybody that he knows who they are and likes their stuff, you know? So the fact that this guy is just a big wrestling fan and knows what’s going on and knows who people are is super awesome to see and be around and you know, he’s got this energy that makes everyone hyped up. It’s definitely different.
Colin is often credited for being the creator of the ‘sliding German suplex’. The likes of Trent, John Morrison and Shinsuke Nakamura have done the move and Colin recalled Trent and Nakamura crediting him publicly for the creation of the move.
So, it Ishimori or someone asked him where he got it and he said Ishimori and someone told him I invented it so he tweeted at me and was like, ‘Respect.’ So, it’s kind of cool getting recognized as the one who invented a move because everything’s been done in wrestling and I like to try and take things and make it my own. I don’t like — I’m not big on doing things that I see other people do. I like to try and make everything my own to a degree so, yeah. To have created a move that other people seem to really enjoy is cool, it’s cool.
** ProSieben MAXX went live on Instagram with Queen Zelina. She reflected on winning the Queen’s Crown tournament at Crown Jewel and the ovation she and Doudrop received from their colleagues after the match. Zelina said Vince McMahon told her that she was already the queen, but now it’s official.
So, the second that I actually sat on the throne and put the crown on to say, ‘You were always the queen, but now it’s official.’ It felt like the perfect storybook ending. It was just amazing and there’s no real words to describe how happy I was but also in disbelief because it felt — I was like, ‘Is this real? Is this real? We sure this is real? Because I don’t know.’ I’m like, ‘I don’t think so.’ I’m like, ‘Is the crown real?’ And even now, I’m upgrading some things with the crown and I’m upgrading some things with the cape so like I said, there’s gonna be a lot of new things happening this year.
From 2017 to 2020, Zelina was the on-screen manager of Andrade El Idolo. She is not ruling out the opportunity to be manager again.
I loved being a manager. I absolutely love — and not to say that my days of a manager is over, but I feel that with me, I like wear different hats. I like to be able to do different things because if we really , what other female in WWE do you know that is Hall of Fame worthy manager and a wrestler at the same time? And a history-maker and the queen of all of WWE? There’s just me, so, I mean not a lot of other girls can say that. They’re not the queen, they’re not, you know what I mean? So they haven’t been a Hall of Fame-worthy manager either so, really it’s just that I like to have my hands in everything…
As of this writing, Zelina is one-half of the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions alongside Carmella. If Zelina had to choose an opponent to share the ring with at this year’s WrestleMania, it would be Rhea Ripley with a title on the line.
I think Rhea Ripley . Rhea Ripley, and I say that because, I mean in my dream scenario, I’m the queen and a tag champion and the Raw Women’s Champion and I’m defending all of that against Rhea and I win. That’s of course what I want to happen. But, if it really was a scenario where I get to pick a dream opponent for the WWE Raw Women’s Championship or the SmackDown Women’s Championship, it would be against Rhea Ripley for sure because I feel that her and I have a chemistry like — I’ve only felt that kind of chemistry with Asuka, so to feel that with Rhea is really great and I feel that her and I have just scratched the surface of what we could actually do. So I feel that Rhea and I would have just a complete banger. That would just be the coolest thing.
** Sports Illustrated’s ‘This Week in Wrestling’ column features an interview with Keiji Muto. He explained why he decided to sign a two-year deal with Pro Wrestling NOAH in February 2021.
I joined and made a full-time contract with Pro Wrestling NOAH in February 2021. The reason why I made this decision is because I felt positivity for the future of this promotion. NOAH has captivating content, a streaming platform and an environment that makes me want to perform here. The pandemic made everything difficult around the whole world. Especially in such circumstances, I am hoping the fans, not only in Japan but the fans around the world, can watch me doing my best. I know NOAH can make it possible.
** ‘Jofo In The Ring’ has an interview with IMPACT Wrestling creative writer Jimmy Jacobs. Jacobs looked back on his time writing for WWE and expressed that Vince McMahon established a bad creative environment. He feels writers should be able to make mistakes and offer ideas that might not always hit without the boss berating them about said idea.
If you’re in a creative process, you have to be allowed to say dumb things. It’s so stupid. It’s such a bad — you know, Vince is great at a lot of things. He has such a bad creative process there. You know, he says he wants people who think outside the box or whatever but look, in a creative environment — this is why I appreciate IMPACT Wrestling because I can fail there, I’m allowed to. I’m allowed to have bad ideas there. I’m allowed to say whatever it is that I — you know, whether you’re brainstorming or you go, ‘We gotta try this.’ It’s like you gotta be able to go for it. You can’t censor yourself in the creative process. It’s okay to say dumb things and somebody says, ‘No, I don’t wanna do that.’ That’s fine, no problem. But to create an environment where people are scared to say something out of fear of the boss going, ‘God, this guy doesn’t get it. Oh God, what are you talking about? Why would you do that?’ And be berated for your idea, well then it’s not worth it to put out a bad idea or an idea that could be good, an idea that could be game changing and that’s the environment Vince has there.
Jacobs has spoken at length about the creation of ‘The List of Jericho’ and collaborating with Jericho on that iteration of his character. Jacobs added that initially, he pitched for Jericho’s list to be a crumbled-up piece of paper that Jericho kept in his pocket. It was Jericho who decided that the list should be on a clipboard.
I went to Chris in Memphis and I pitched him this whole thing and I go, ‘Yeah, you can have this list. You can take pictures of people at the airport and be like this person cut in front of me in line,’ you know? ‘Now you’re on the list or whatever. You can make this-this whole thing’ and he goes, ‘So you’re talking about doing this not just tonight, but doing this moving forward?’ I go, ‘Yeah man. Like having this be your thing and then calling it The List of Jericho like The Gift of Jericho’ because he had just started doing The Gift of Jericho. Now this is The List of Jericho and I had pitched it as a — like a crumbled up piece of paper he kept in his tights and he pulls it out like, ‘You know what?… You’re on the list.’ But Chris was like, ‘No, this needs to be a visible thing and I want to be able to hit people with it’ and so he came up with that and he came up with the, ‘You just made The List’ and the whole cadence of, ‘You know what happens? You know what happens when you make fun of Chris Jericho’s best friends? Huh? You know what happens?’ He’s great man, Chris is great and that was an awesome thing that came together.
When Jacobs took the position of WWE writer, he was of the mindset that he was done with the in-ring performance of wrestling. He did not miss being in the ring while he was there.
No, no . When I went to write for WWE, I was done wrestling. It was — I was done. I was freaking done. I thought I would probably never do it again. Well of course those are bold words for any pro wrestler to say. What I missed about it when I got to WWE was you know, there’s a certain change, right? So as a performer, the buck stops with you. It doesn’t matter what anybody says beforehand, what anybody thinks something should look like, what anybody else wants you to do. The buck stops with you. You’re the one that goes in there and makes the decisions creatively to perform how you’re gonna perform and as a writer and producer, it was a bit like, yeah, you prep the guy the best you can but then you kick ‘em out of the gate and hope the horse finishes the race and I missed that aspect of it because there were certain performers that I worked with that just, you know — everybody there was great but some guys aren’t promos, they’re not good promos. There was plenty of times where I produced somebody and just went, ‘Why aren’t I out there? Can you just like tag me in? I’ll do the promo and then you go and do the rest of it?’ But, I didn’t miss being a wrestler and I didn’t miss performing per say, for the first two years and change that I was there.
** Ringsiders Wrestling welcomed A.J. Francis, formerly known as Hit Row’s ‘Top Dolla’ onto their show. All members of the Hit Row group were released from WWE in November. Francis feels that the door to return to WWE is never fully closed.
I am grateful man. I am very happy with what I have now because obviously, things didn’t work out in WWE how any of us planned but, that door’s, A, not ever closed and B, at the same time, now, you know, I did a TV show while I was there and I was doing television before I got there so like, now I have even more opportunities to keep doing that so, I have a lot of things that I have planned that I can’t really talk about but, there is definitely good vibes coming from my side for sure.
Francis collaborated with Isaiah ‘Swerve’ Scott on a music-related project and they’ll be releasing a video in the coming months.
Me and Swerve just shot a new music video that’s gonna be the coolest video either one of us have ever done. It’s like a Reservoir Dogs theme. So, it’s like our take on Reservoir Dogs and like, it’s pretty cool man. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever shot before and I think the people are gonna like it. If you go to Swerve’s social media, he posted a video of him riding out the side of a car like The Joker. So that’s like one of the scenes from the video so, can’t wait for you guys to see that one. That’ll be coming out within the next two months for sure.
** Former WCW talent Glacier was interviewed by Sportskeeda. He told the site that he’s working on getting back into the ring. The 57-year-old had his hip replaced in April 2021. He’s aware that his in-ring days are counted but he feels he has a few years left in him.
You know, for me, my in-ring career is slowing down. As I say to a lot of people, this business will beat you up, physically, mentally, and emotionally too, but I just went through my second. I had my first hip replacement back in December 2014. I just had my right hip replaced in surgery in April. So, I’m still slowly getting to where I was. I am nowhere close to 100%. So, I’m working my way back in the ring. But yeah, I think I’ve got maybe a couple more years of in-ring activity in me before I finally decide to maybe walk-off in the shadows as far as my in-ring career.
** The Culture State podcast brought Tony Schiavone onto their show. Tony commented on HOOK and his rise in AEW. Tony feels that in order for HOOK to fully get over the hump, he’ll need to show his verbal skills on top of what he’s already shown.
The reason they became so famous, not only because they could wrestle but because they could talk and I’ve said this over and over again: We’ve got, right now with us, Taz’s son HOOK, who’s become a big star. Yes, in two matches. He’ll have a — we’re recording this on a Friday. He’ll have his third match coming up on Rampage. So, but for him to get over that hump, he’s gotta be able to talk. You have to be able to talk and that’s why The Horsemen were so tremendous.
** AEW’s John Silver appeared on Brandon F. Walker’s ‘Rasslin show and spoke about his on-chemistry with Adam Cole.
He’s a really nice guy so it’s kind of easy with him. Yeah, it’s a little frustrating just kind of one of those things, you talk to someone, it’s just there.
** The latest guest on AEW Unrestricted is Leyla Hirsch. She talked to Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone about her time in STARDOM and adapting to the in-ring psychology in Japan. Hirsch said the late Hana Kimura was welcoming and helpful to her.
It was such a different learning experience from wrestling here told me, ‘You know, would you like to be part of Cyber Squad?’ I was like, ‘Of course.’ I’m like, ‘This badass team. I fit perfectly in here,’ you know?
Leyla recounted when she was bitten by the proverbial pro wrestling bug. She asked her mother what it would take for her to become a wrestler and her mom responded with, “Start wrestling”.
So, the match that I remember is R-Truth versus Mike Knox. That was the match that I remember. I just remember, you know, literally R-Truth doing the R-Truth stuff, you know, displaying the dancing, you know? Just awesome, and I just also remember the ring, the audience, the whole setup. I kid you not, that moment was like, ‘Okay. This is what I wanna do.’ I had no idea what it was and I remember going downstairs to my mom and I said, ‘Hey mom, what does it take to be a professional wrestler?’ And she said, ‘Start wrestling.’ That’s literally how it all happened. Just that one night, my friend showing me wrestling. Somehow, I got hooked to it and in my heart, I was just like, ‘Wow, this is what I wanna do. I don’t know how I’m gonna do it, how I’m gonna get there, but I’m gonna do it.’ Crazy.
** At the NJPW versus NOAH event, El Desperado and DOUKI defeated YO-HEY and NOSAWA Rongai. Desperado told the press that he would like to see an NJPW-NOAH joint-show once a year or once every six months.
It was simply fun. Only the people who come and watch the matches know what’s going on, but I think the NOAH fans saw some great things about New Japan, and the New Japan fans saw some cool things about NOAH. I’d like to see the event held even if it’s limited to once a year or once every six months. If we interact all the time, it will be boring.
** January 13th is the birthday of the late Shad Gaspard.
** The Bella Twins (Nikki & Brie Bella) watched the Divas Championship Battle Royal from WrestleMania 30:
** IMPACT World Champion Moose was a guest on the Alliance Pro Wrestling Network podcast.
** Shakiel Mahjouri published the written version of his interview with Malakai Black onto the CBS Sports website.
** TJP vs. Matt Cross is official for MLW’s Blood & Thunder show on January 21st.
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.