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.
** Ringsiders Wrestling conducted an interview with Tony Deppen and as the conversation rolled on, Deppen mentioned that being part of Violence Unlimited (Homicide, Brody King, Deppen & Chris Dickinson) in Ring of Honor (pre-Tony Khan) was probably the most fun he’s had in his career. Deppen was not signed to ROH, but shared that Brody King was willing to become a free agent and not renew his deal if the company did not sign Tony.
It was probably the most fun I’ve ever had wrestling and Homicide, we just spit-balled things, we did things the way we wanted to do it. Sadly, you know, Ring of Honor’s demise. I heard there was some rumors about doing that at New Japan, like or two events with it but, nobody’s really said anything to me other than the match that I had with Minoru Suzuki. I thought that was originally gonna be that date because somebody told me that and then randomly, they just put it on me. ‘Okay, it’s you and Minoru Suzuki.’ I was like, ‘Okay.’ So, but it would be nice to see — because we were gonna do so much more. Sadly that wasn’t the case and Brody is somebody who I have a lot of respect for because he’s always sticking his neck out for me. When I got to Ring of Honor, he made sure — he’s like, ‘Tony –’ I didn’t get signed but like, during the time when they’re still getting ready to sign people, he was like, I’m gonna make sure you get signed.’ He’s like, ‘Because if not, I’ll just tell them I’m not gonna renew my contract. It’s as simple as that.’
At GCW ‘You Wouldn’t Understand’, Deppen challenged Jon Moxley for the GCW World Championship. He discussed being a fan of Moxley’s pre-WWE and getting to see him wrestle in person. As far as their match goes, Deppen feels that the crowd wanted him to win solely because Moxley has had the belt for a long period of time. He explained why he thinks that title switch could have hurt him.
Well it was really cool because I remember going to Tournament of Death. I think it was 2009, Jon Moxley was in it and at the time I wasn’t a big fan of his. But my friends had never heard of him but he’s from death match wrestling. He’s like, ‘Who is this guy?’ I was like, ‘Jon Moxley.’ I was like, ‘Give him a few years.’ I’m like, ‘He’s probably gonna be the biggest star in wrestling, guarantee you that.’ Well I was right, you know? And then fast forward 13 years later, I’m wrestling a match with him which was insane to me because it’s somebody I grew up watching basically and he’s one of the top guys in wrestling currently so, the opportunity to learn from him was pretty surreal and the match was probably, honestly the most physical match I’ve ever had in my entire life… I have a nice black eye from it… I was still feeling it for about two days afterwards.
I feel like if I won that belt, it would have been a really good pop the crowd and then, maybe people wouldn’t have cared as much and I feel like that would, I don’t know, maybe hurt me a little bit? I think people wanted to see me win it just because Moxley’s had it for so long.
Elsewhere during their chat, Deppen recalled the time when JTG and the late Shad Gaspard pranked him after a match.
I do have a great Shad story because I wrestled him before. So me, Jimmy Lloyd wrestled him and JTG at a no-ring show out in California and throughout the entire time, Shad — they’re just throwing ideas out and I was like, ‘Yo bro, there’s no ring’ and they’re just like, ‘Oh yeah, completely forgot about that’ and then Shad’s like, ‘Tony, I’m gonna press slam you and then I’m gonna throw you into the crowd.’ I go, ‘Well what if nobody catches me?’ And he was like, ‘They will.’ I was like, ‘Okay, cool.’ So he starts gorilla pressing me and he gets ready to throw me towards fans and I’m screaming, ‘Somebody catch me’ and everybody parts like the Red Sea except for this one guy. He throws me into the guy, the guy’s looking at me and then right before I hit the guy, the guy ducks and I just hit the ground and then the one part, at the end, him and JTG came in the back and we’re like… they dropped me on my head and I go, ‘Motherf*cker,’ and they come in the back, they’re like, ‘Yo, did I hear you say the n-word out there?’ I go, ‘What are you talking about?’ They’re like, ‘No, no, you said it.’ I go, ‘What are you — never, I would never say that’ and I’m scared sh*tless and these guys look at me like, ‘Dude, we’re just f*cking with you. You should have seen your face.’ ‘Why would you f*cking do that!?’ I was like, ‘That’s not even funny.’ They’re huge individuals.
I was just like, what the hell? But, and then after that, Shad would always message me. Like when I had my son, he messaged me, congratulated me. He was just a really good person, down to earth. It was sad what happened, that one, he did pass away and then two, because he was saving his son.
** This past February, Nick Gage signed a contract with Game Changer Wrestling. That is the first contract that the promotion has ever offered and GCW owner Brett Lauderdale discussed signing Gage while on the PWPonderings Podcast. He said it was done to protect Gage and allow him to take care of his body at this stage of his career.
Well there was a lot that went into that decision income of sorts and everything he’s done before has warranted what he’s now getting. But, a lot of — signing Nick to a contract was as much — was not as much to benefit GCW as it was to benefit and protect him and make it so that at this point in his career, he doesn’t have to go and wrestle every weekend and put his body on the line and put himself at risk. This was as much to help us as it was to help him and that’s the best way I can say it at this point.
Gage last wrestled for GCW at Joey Janela’s Spring Break 6. Lauderdale said Gage is not currently booked to compete for GCW and does not know when he’ll wrestle for the promotion again. Lauderdale added that there’s no set timetable or reason to rush that either.
It’s hard to say . Right now, he has zero matches scheduled and I don’t know when his next match will be if there ever will be another one to be honest with you. Again, I don’t want that be to taken the wrong way. I’m not saying that he’s retired or anything but what I’m saying is, you know, unless there’s a reason for him to wrestle, then I don’t know that he’s going to. He is very beaten up and he’s — 20 years of doing this will leave you beat up and… it will make it difficult for you to continue doing this so, you know, I don’t know when he’ll wrestle again. It doesn’t mean he’ll never wrestle again. I just don’t know when and there’s no rush so we’ll see what happens.
** Moose has reached the 10-year mark as a pro wrestler. He told the ‘Alliance Pro Wrestling Network’ podcast that he can see himself wrestling for maybe seven more years.
I mean, I’m definitely not one of those guys that’s gonna wrestle ‘till his 50s. I can tell you that for sure. So, I mean, maybe — I don’t know. Just to throw a number out there, maybe seven more years.
One name that Moose thinks IMPACT Wrestling should look into bringing in is A.J. Francis f.k.a. Top Dolla. He feels that Francis would be a good hand for IMPACT.
I know a guy that I played — a good friend of mine and somebody I know, A.J. Francis. I know that he was a former NFL player also. He spent some time with WWE or NXT or whatever brand he was in. I know he’s very talented and not only in the ring but with a mic and maybe that’s a guy that IMPACT could look into getting and it doesn’t have to be an opponent for me. It’s just somebody that I know would be a good hand and I think he’s available right now. I mean, like I said, I don’t keep — I don’t look at Twitter to see who got released and who’s available but, just on the top of my head of a guy that I know that might still be out there and is definitely talented is A.J. Francis is definitely the first name that comes to head, and like I said, he might be signed somewhere but if he’s not, I believe IMPACT should take a look at him because he’s definitely a good hand.
** At AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door, Orange Cassidy challenged Will Ospreay for the IWGP U.S. Heavyweight Title. Rocky Romero told Denise Salcedo during their chat that Cassidy was initially hesitant about doing the match. After it was over, Cassidy told Romero it was one of his favorites.
For sure the match that I think stole the show easily was Orange Cassidy versus Will Ospreay. The funny thing is, here is another example of the fans being like, ‘Oh, you could have done anything else with Will Ospreay.’ This was Tony’s idea to do Cassidy and Ospreay. I saw the potential in it because I was like, oh, that’s so money because that’s a dream match that maybe you wouldn’t think of right off the bat but it’s a for sure dream … Because everybody kinda forgets that Cassidy is such a great wrestler because he has such a fantastic gimmick… So you have two great wrestlers… So yeah, I thought that was gonna kick butt and it exceeded my expectations because it really stole the show. The funny thing is, even going into it, Orange Cassidy was like, ‘I am not sure.’ He was a little tentative like, ‘Maybe that’s not a great match for me.’ I was like, ‘Dude, this is gonna be awesome.’ We actually talked about it after, he was like, ‘Dude, that was one of my favorite matches of all-time, that I’ve ever done.’ He was like, ‘I can’t believe I was tentative.’ I was like, ‘If you’re not tentative and you care about what you do, then you really don’t care. So you gotta feel that way as a performer.’ But I think for the most part Tony and I knew it was gonna be a home run.
Romero dove into his role in helping piece Forbidden Door together. Rocky had to make sure both sides were able to cater to their respective fanbases while blending everything together smoothly.
I just went back and forth between AEW and New Japan and tried to be sensible and try to be the one to communicate what the ideas were but also sentiment and overall what the show needed. Whether it be, we need more of this or we need more of this and let’s not forget about American fans or Japanese fans. We need to cater to them this way. Kinda really trying to break that down, so that both sides could understand two completely different ways of doing business. The AEW model is obviously a traditional American TV model whereas New Japan is more of a Japanese tour based model so it’s very different, the way they booked shows and do things. So I had to explain that on both sides.
** Episode #156 of the True Geordie podcast featured Shawn Michaels as a guest. He touched on the growth of he and Bret Hart’s association over the years and Michaels said he would not trade what he and Bret have established present day for anything.
Yeah, we have that we did and you know, Bret and I have — again, even being asked about it all the time, everyone does now. They joke about having to ask about that incident but, he and I are forever linked in that respect and again, you go through sort of a full circle with that to where, I don’t know, upfront, you enjoy it and then you hate it and then you enjoy it again, then you understand it, then you have peace with it and it’s just quite the evolution of learning process but I wouldn’t trade where Bret and I are at now for anything in the world and they are — it’s always very pleasant when we run across each other now and again, I’m always flattered, I mean it’s amazing. He’ll remember me and my wife’s anniversary and stuff like that and text me and even on my birthday and stuff like that and so, it’s just fantastic to be where we’re at now with one another.
Michaels is aware that Ric Flair is making a return to in-ring competition. He wants Flair to be happy and healthy and said if he can do that, Flair has his support.
Well so, I guess one good thing about my schedule, I’ve been so busy. I just know of him doing that and so look, those of us that know The Naitch are always, I don’t know, kind of tickled. It’s never over for The Naitch and so, and look, that’s one of the things that makes him who he is. We want Ric — I want Ric to be happy and if getting in the ring one more time, again, especially if Ric knows if he can do it or not, Ric knows if he’s healthy enough and if it’s something that brings him joy, brings him contentment, I wish him the best. Obviously, always want him to be careful, but I think when it comes to being in that ring, that might be where he’s most comfortable and that’s where he finds the most amount of joy and if that’s the case and he can do it and stay healthy and happy, I’m always gonna support him in that.
** MuscleManMalcolm pushed out his chat with JD Drake. Drake has been working with AEW on a consistent basis and was asked about his position in the company. He feels the powers that be may have a different vision of him as a wrestler than he does, but he’s okay with that. Drake said if his role is to make everyone look good, he’ll embrace it and added that there are higher ups in AEW who will vouch that he can hang with anyone on the roster.
I should be wherever they think I should be. I know what kind of wrestler I am. They have a different vision, which is fine, which is fine… I was trained by probably the best enhancement talent to ever walk God’s green earth. In my opinion, George South made everybody he ever stepped foot in the ring with look ten times better than they were. Well maybe except for Ric Flair. But he made Ric Flair look like 10 million dollars when he was in the ring with him. He was the guy when people walked in, back in the Jim Crockett days, they would look at him and say, I’m wrestling you tonight, I’m working with you tonight. I love being that guy. I love being the guy that people walk in and they know that they can look at and point at and they say, ‘You know what? I want to get in the ring with you tonight because one, I know it’s gonna be good. Two, I know you’re gonna push me to my potential and three, I wanna push you to yours.’ So, listen, if that’s where I’m at the rest of my life, that’s where I’m at. Do I know that I can do more? Absolutely. Do I know that I can hang with anybody in the company? Yes, 100 percent, and there’s people there that’ll tell you that I can. Not just people, but people in higher standings than people that are well respected in the professional wrestling community. But, I’m gonna let them say it. I’m gonna let them say it. I’m not gonna put their names out there, anything like that. If they wanna come forth and say it, they can.
Together, JD Drake and Anthony Henry are known as The WorkHorsemen. Drake said before they started tagging, he and Anthony legitimately did not like one another and thought negatively of the other. They became cordial and eventual friends after ending up at the same sports bar/restaurant and admitting that there was tension between them.
From the day that me and Anthony , we got done, we went to Ale House in Augusta, Georgia and ironically enough, Anthony and I were sat across the table from each other and I looked up at him and I said, ‘Hey man, I don’t like you.’ He said, ‘Feeling’s mutual.’ I said, ‘I think we might need to change that if we’re going to be in locker rooms together.’ He said, ‘Yeah, I guess’ and we had a little conversation that night and then we became associates and we would speak every now and then but when we started the tagging and running the roads together, chemistry from day one.
Further speaking about Anthony Henry, JD Drake said he would like to see him in AEW almost more than he wants himself to be there. Drake said no one works harder or deserves it more than Henry.
I feel like myself and Anthony Henry as a tag team, we’re extremely slept on, and if given the opportunity, we’ll shut some people up and open some eyes.
just about more than I wanna see myself there. He deserves it. Absolutely deserves it. Nobody works harder. Nobody works harder.
JD is a former WWN Champion of EVOLVE. At the 10th Anniversary Show that aired on the WWE Network, he went one-on-one with current United States Champion Theory. Tommaso Ciampa was the agent for their match, but he let them plan the match how they saw fit.
He Network and like, it’s just… to me, that was the highest level of trust ever. Also, when your agent is Tommaso Ciampa and he walks up and says, ‘Hey, let me know what y’all got and I’m gonna tell Gabe I called it’ and walks off and you call the match and then when he comes back, you tell him. He literally goes to Gabe and says, ‘This is what they’ve got.’ So, we had all kinds of creative freedom and I had a chip on my shoulder because everybody was like, ‘What’s this fat white guy? He doesn’t deserve to have this kind of position, this kind of booking or anything like that… There’s no way he can be that good’ so I had a huge chip on my shoulder. I had people to prove wrong and I did. I still am.
Earlier in the conversation, JD touched on how he’s been treated in locker rooms on the independents since he started working with AEW consistently.
Well it’s weird, but yes . I’m the same guy I’ve always been, I feel like. But I guess people think that since I’ve got a little bit of TV time and a little notoriety now that they put me on a pedestal or they treat me some sort of way and some people are intimidated and scared to come up and talk to me. Never that, come up and talk to me, ask me questions. If you want me to watch your match and I’m able to, come up and ask me, I will do my best to and if I don’t watch it that night, send it to me. I’ll watch it and tell you what I saw. But, since being with AEW, it’s like, there’s been guys that wouldn’t talk to me to save their life that now go out of their way to reach out and talk. You know who you are. There’s also been guys that were talking to me all the time that now they feel like, well he’s this big star, he don’t have time for me, yadda, yadda. You know who you are. Both ends of the spectrum get on my nerves, they do. If I wasn’t good enough to talk to you before I got there, why am I good enough now?
** G4 and WWE are presenting the ‘ARENA’ series that Xavier Woods is co-hosting. He spoke to ‘Bleeding Cool’ and was asked about the possibility of wrestlers outside of WWE appearing on the program and here’s what he had to say:
So it’s funny because I hear people talk about things like that , and I’m like, man! We knocked that door down a long time ago! What are they talking about? They feel like, oh, they opened it, but bro, we kicked that thing open! I was there, it was great.
It was so sick! Again, what we did at that event, having people from different worlds, come to E3, playing Street Fighter with a huge audience. They said that’s the largest public audience they’ve ever had on the E3 floor. They almost shut us down. But that’s kind of the vision that I want. I want everybody to have a space that is essentially a neutral ground where we can do things like this because they’re fun. People want to see them. Why keep things from people? Let’s just enjoy life and have a good time. So I’m not saying that will never happen, but I will say that the reason I created UpUpDownDown and one of the reasons that I’m so incredibly happy that I’m at G4 is because I see G4 as a space where anything can happen. More than what someone thinks can happen, can always happen. So it’s a never say never situation. But we will do battle again at some point in time, because that is a rivalry that will literally never die. He is my arch nemesis and he always will be.
** While speaking to Ryan Satin on the ‘Out of Character’ podcast, Shayna Baszler referred to KAIRI as one of her ‘wrestling soulmates’ because of the chemistry they have in the ring.
I would have to say — I mean, I default to KAIRI because I feel like there’s certain wrestling soulmates that people have and I feel like she’s one of mine. We had some epic times. She… I wish people could understand that the Joshi girls are so tough that they want me to put that on, like, put it on them and to me, that makes it fun.
** The Battleground Podcast has an interview with Trent Beretta and he touched on the Roppongi Vice reunion run that he and Rocky Romero have been able to have in AEW.
No, I didn’t … I honestly thought when we kind of split, I think it was 2017, Rocky sent me off to the heavyweight division in New Japan. I thought we’d be done. I thought maybe we’d do a kind of indie reunion one day but, doing it in AEW has been awesome. So no, it’s been very cool.
** All Elite Wrestling referee Rick Knox was interviewed by Lucha Libre Online. He spoke about his enjoyment of doing independent shows on the weekends. He feels it is looser on the indies, adding that in AEW, referees are under more scrutiny as far as what they can and cannot do when it comes to timing.
It’s fun to come back and be able to do the independents back here and home in southern California again. We have a little more freedom on the independent shows where at AEW, a lot of time restrictions with television and pay-per-views. We’re under a lot more scrutiny on what we can do and what we can’t do as far as the timing of stuff so it’s a lot more comfortable to be able to come back and do independents where we don’t have such strict time shortages and things where we really have to maintain order out there. Kind of let our hair down so to speak and have fun on the independents and that’s why I like to be able to come back and do it on the weekends.
** With WWE’s Money in the Bank Premium Live Event taking place on 7/2, ESPN’s Mike Coppinger wrote an extensive story about the first Money in the Bank Ladder match that took place at WrestleMania 21. He interviewed some of the participants in the match and Michael Hayes, who was the producer. Hayes feels that due to the Money in the Bank concept being Jericho’s idea, it prevented him from winning the match.
Hayes: I tried to at least give Edge what I thought were the positives of being in that match. And obviously Edge winning — it may have played a role in his final decision. Jericho, he probably might have been a front-runner to take it all, but the fact that it was his idea, I think negated that from happening.
Shelton Benjamin spoke about the innovation of the match and the success of it. He and Hayes joked about there not being many Punjabi Prison matches.
Benjamin: It was a new concept back then. It was an experiment being played out in front of the audience. So, we could have gone out there and had one of the worst matches in WWE history and they never bring it back. Or we could have gone out there and done exactly what we did, create something new and 15, 20 years, the match is still going on. When was the last time you saw a Punjabi Prison match?
Hayes: There’s a reason for that. Let’s pray and hope we don’t see anymore.
When Glenn ‘Kane’ Jacobs found out he was going to be a part of the match, he was not thrilled. He initially thought he would not fit with the rest of the competitors.
Kane: At first I wasn’t thrilled to be part of this frankly, because I was like, I’m just gonna go out there and kind of be the sore thumb. But I got built up as the biggest threat in the match because Kane is able to pretty much dominate and physically chokeslam everybody. So once I got over my initial, ‘Oh man, what can I do off of a ladder?’ And realized all the tools that we had and where I was being positioned, I think that the way that it was built, Kane would’ve been the betting favorite to win the match. So that, of course, sold me on it.
Accompanying Christian Cage to the ring was Tyson Tomko. Benjamin feels Tomko deserves more credit for his role in that match for taking the bumps he did and playing a key role.
Benjamin: People forget there was actually a silent seventh participant because Travis Tomko, who was Christian’s bodyguard at the time, was involved in that match, and it kills me that people mention the guys officially in the match, but if you go back and watch, Tomko took a lot of bumps, and he did a lot in that match. So I think that he needs to be given the credit.
He put Christian on his shoulders and started climbing the ladder with him. That was a huge moment for him. And that was a huge moment for the match.
** On the Best Rivals Podcast, WWE’s Shotzi looked back on her match at EVOLVE 10th Anniversary against Brandi Lauren. During that bout, Shotzi dove through a stack of chairs. She had trouble moving around the next day and had to wrestle.
My character likes that. No, I actually don’t . That sucked. But, my character is Evel Knievel and I am a method actor so I had to go through. I had to go through a pile of chairs.
I just dived into a pile of chairs, and then Gabe was supposed to wrestle.
** Prior to the premiere of G4 and WWE’s ‘ARENA’ show, Xavier Woods made the media rounds and one of the outlets he was interviewed by was Comicbook.com. He told the publication that multiple versions of ‘ARENA’ had been in the works since he started UpUpDownDown.
Multiple versions of this have been in the works since I started UpUpDownDown. I’ve always felt that there is a similar resonance in the wrestling space if you’re a fan, and the gaming space if you’re a fan. I feel like we all had to fight through certain things, through like our senior years of high school, or through being a junior, and, ‘Oh, you still watch wrestling?’ or, ‘Oh, you still play video games?’ And then when you get on the other side, those nerds went through the same exact fight and now we’re adult nerds, and all the stuff is, lo and behold, popular now. I just really enjoy holding up a mirror to the fans so they can see it’s pretty much the same kind of vibe, and so I want wrestling fans and video game fans to mash together because then we can become the biggest fandom of fans and pretty much just take everything over, and then everything will be wrestling and video games no matter where you are. I’ve wanted to do something like this for a very long time, and obviously from UpUpDownDown, having the storylines and the rivalries and the Championships and all the crazy back and forths with everybody, it’s something that’s really been at the forefront of my mind. So to be able to do it now with ARENA at G4, it’s like a dream come true, honestly, because now we are at the point where we have a full set. We have guests coming in. There are people running cameras, and there’s CO2 going off. There’s music. It’s way more pizazz than I ever thought there would be. It’s a full-blown TV show, so it’s really cool to be able to be a part of it and be able to do it at G4.
** There is a feature story on Sports Illustrated’s website about the late Rocky Johnson having five more children that all connected with one another to discover that Johnson is their father, per DNA evidence.
** WWE’s Carmella was a guest on Thrillist’s ‘Ride With Me’ series:
** Alpha Japan Promotion is hosting a charity event on September 10th in Tako, Chiba, Japan. Pro wrestling will be part of the festivities to help fight against bullying and support refugees and displaced persons from Ukraine who were affected by the war with Russia. Masato Tanaka is scheduled to compete against Great Sasuke at the event.
** At TERMINUS’ 7/21 show, Konosuke Takeshita is taking on ROH World Champion Jonathan Gresham.
** Bleacher Report published an article that includes comments from Sonny Kiss, Anthony Bowens, Nyla Rose, Aubrey Edwards and Mercedes Martinez discussing Pride month, dealing with negativity and more topics were covered.
** Karl Anderson made the announcement that the Talk’n Shop podcast with himself, Rocky Romero and Doc Gallows is going on hiatus.
** New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s recap of the Forbidden Door pay-per-view:
** Episode one of WWE x G4 ‘ARENA’:
** Bryan Keith reached one full year as New Texas Pro Champion.
** SEScoops has an interview on their YouTube channel with IMPACT Knockouts World Champion Jordynne Grace.
** Good Karma Wrestling welcomed Jeff Cobb onto the show.
** While backstage at Monday Night Raw, Steve Fall of the ‘Ten Count’ podcast caught up with Damian Priest.
** A story on ‘The Southern Illinoisan’ about the Stride Wrestling School in Cartersville, Illinois.
** June 30th birthdays: Terry Funk, Alicia Fox, Cody Rhodes.
** Joey G. of Wrestling Headlines has an interview with G.L.O.W. original Roxy Astor.
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.