POST NEWS UPDATE: Willow Nightingale reflects on AEW TV debut, talks ROH, 2019 neck injury

Originally published at Willow Nightingale reflects on AEW TV debut, talks ROH, 2019 neck injury

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.

** During the 4/8 episode of AEW Rampage, the crowd in attendance showed a great deal of support for Willow Nightingale as she took on Red Velvet in an Owen Hart Foundation Tournament qualifying match. Willow talked to Complex’s Unsanctioned show about the crowd reaction for her AEW TV debut.

Wow. So, I had done shows, you know? All over Massachusetts and Maine and Connecticut. I’ve done so many shows in that area and really grew to be who I am now so to have that fan base be the one I get to have that opportunity in front of is just like the perfect storm for a debut TV match really. I think when it was done, I was — it was a great sigh of relief because I was so anxious as much as I was excited. I was just like, this is crazy. This isn’t real life, this is surreal. So being able to be like, wow, it’s done, I actually did that was like… I don’t know. I got back to the hotel that night and I was still like, this isn’t my life.

Prior to Ring of Honor announcing their hiatus in 2021, Willow had been working dates for the company. She shared that the week of the aforementioned announcement was when she was planning to tell the higher-ups that she wanted to make ROH her home.

I never signed anything with Ring of Honor. I was working for them and I really loved working there and I wanted to make that my home and just as I was kind of putting my big girl pants on and I was like, I’m gonna approach them and let them know what I think and that I wanna work here, that same week, they released everybody from their contracts. I was like, oh, forget that. I guess that’s not happening . But, it was like a very cool time to be a part of it. Cary Silkin, who had previously been the owner of Ring of Honor, actually spoke to me at Final Battle and he was like, ‘You know, we’ve had a lot of great women come through Ring of Honor and work for us but never before did we actually have a women’s division like this. Never did we really have a stacked roster of women’s wrestlers who have been putting on matches like you guys have over the past year or so’ and I was like, ‘You’re right.’ That’s why I always think it’s so perfect, the time that it finally happened for me, that I started working there. I was like, wow. It was a goal for me for so long and I wanted to be there but, you know, when the time finally came, it was just right.

Back in 2019, Nightingale suffered a broken neck. She recounted her thoughts immediately following the injury, the aftermath of the surgery and doubting herself when she returned to in-ring competition.

It was… okay, so obviously there’s a bunch of different emotions that are kind of going through you at a time like this . I can pinpoint the moment that I know for a fact, like, ‘Oh, that’s not good. This is something I’m gonna have to check on later’ but I didn’t think that it was a broken neck. Honestly, I thought if anything, I had suffered a concussion which is still not good. We definitely wanna avoid that happening. But I didn’t think that it was a broken neck and that had always been my mother’s biggest fear. She was always like, ‘You know, I’m just afraid you’re gonna break your neck one day’ and that was always the example she’d throw out there when it came to her and I having conversations about my wrestling career. So, when I went to get it checked out and everything and I ultimately found out that it was a broken neck, I was like, oh man, my mom is gonna be so mad! And she was with me but still, I was like, oh no, this justifies all of her fears and I’m very much a person who’s like, I will try to lighten the mood when everybody else is going through a really rough time. So for me, when it initially happened, it was like I was sitting in a hospital, everybody came to visit me and everybody would have tears in their eyes and be like, ‘Oh! It’s gonna be okay’ and I was just sitting there smiling like, ‘Yeah, of course it is. It’s gonna be great guys. No matter what, it’s gonna be fine.’ So it was like this very weird trying to truck through for everyone else and I don’t really think it was into a week after everything had happened; the surgery and all, that it really sunk in that I was like, oh wow, okay. I’m not gonna be wrestling for a very long time if I even do get to wrestle again, because it seems at first like it wouldn’t be possible and then my doctor was like, ‘No, you’ll be fine. I’ve done this to people who’ve gone on to play in the Super Bowl’ and I was like, ‘Oh! Well you’re telling me it’s that good’ but really, a lot of it came down to how well I would heal so there was a waiting period to really determine how practical it would be, and then, I think when I first came back from that, everything just felt off. Like I was very convinced I was not a good wrestler when I first came back, because you work so hard to get this momentum and you reach a certain level and when you have to pause, you think, oh, I’m gonna come back and I’m gonna be at this same level but that’s just not the case, even though you get like a month or so of training in before you really make your return match, it’s not the same. So it’s a little disheartening to have to try and work all that up again and try to reach that level and surpass it, but ultimately, I had a good support system.

** The GHC Heavyweight Title was vacated after Kazuyuki Fujita tested positive for COVID-19. Fujita informed the media in Japan about how he is doing after contracting the virus. He said he’s calm but has lost his voice and is having trouble eating.

I’m calm now, but I’m a man with a strong sense of responsibility. I have no voice and I can’t go through food. On top of that, because I …

** Vickie Guerrero welcomed Anthony Carelli a.k.a. Santino Marella onto her podcast. Carelli and Guerrero talked about just missing one another while Carelli was backstage at AEW in Jacksonville, Florida. Carelli spoke about his experience backstage and seeing friends he had not seen in years. AEW’s most recent Jacksonville show was on March 2nd.

Carelli: That night in Jacksonville was very special for me and I just wanted to come out and check out the atmosphere. I haven’t heard one bad thing about the AEW energy and the company so I just wanted to check it out. My daughter’s Punk, just kept going on and on and on; Trent Beretta. Honestly, it was so many people.

Carelli is interested in expanding his commentary résumé and has done work with Destiny Wrestling in Canada and IMPACT Wrestling. On the AEW front, he’d be open to pursuing that once his daughter becomes more established in WWE.

Carelli: I’m kind of working out where it’s gonna be Schiavone, they’re not gonna be there forever so I would come over in the future when I’m more polished.

Vickie went on to share how Anthony influenced her to pursue ventures and passions outside of wrestling. Guerrero said she gave WWE a year’s notice that she was leaving the company before departing in 2014.

Guerrero: You know, I was in WWE until 2014. I remember hanging out with Melina and you , I was at this point, I was like, man, I need something else to fall back on because I was in WWE for ten years and my kids were older and I was like, there’s more to life that I wanna do and that’s when I went back to school and you were one of the very few people, you and Mickie James, I saw her doing school in the locker room and when I saw you building this, I’m like, okay, because I gave them a year notice I was gonna leave because I was General Manager and that was like my door, like okay, I’m ready to put my notice in. Now I really have to go and push myself.

Back in 2009, Carelli was eliminated from the Royal Rumble match in 1.9 seconds. He recounted proposing the idea to Dean Malenko who was the agent for the match. Carelli was already aware that his time in the match would be short so he wanted to turn a quick spot into something people would remember.

Carelli: It was one of the Royal Rumbles and Dean Malenko was the agent and he goes, ‘Okay, you’re coming out number –’ whatever, 17. He goes, ‘It’s gonna be pretty quick. It’s gonna be in and out basically’ and I said, ‘Well, can I ask you a question? Can I try and break the record?’ And he’s like, ‘Okay. I have to get confirmation on that but I’ll ask,’ and then, you know, an hour later, he comes back and he goes, ‘We’re good. You can try and break the record’ and I was like, okay, wicked and that is when I obviously broke the record. But, I took a… potentially a negative — again, just a in and out, nothing spot and I turned it into a record that still stands and I made lemons out of lemonade and that’s, like you said, the right people — whatever you’re given, you give a thousand percent and sometimes it may be just a — you know, maybe time got cut and you have a three minute match but you do something that people remember forever.

** It has been a full year since W. Morrissey made his IMPACT Wrestling debut at Rebellion 2021. He talked to Renée Paquette on The Sessions podcast about his time in IMPACT so far and expressed that he is loving it there.

Morrissey: IMPACT’s been great. The crew there is awesome, the writing team’s f*cking awesome, you know, Robert and Jimmy Jacobs and I really like it there and I, you know, now that I’m sober and have a good head on my shoulders, I feel like I’m doing the best work of my career. I feel like I’m getting better and better each time I’m out there and I feel like that potential that I talked about, I’m slowly reaching for it because I feel myself getting more confident, I feel myself getting better and even when I watch my stuff back, I am getting better so, it’s been a really good experience in IMPACT. It’s really awesome there. Everybody’s cool. I think it was the perfect place for me to come back into wrestling and to a television show was IMPACT and I’m loving it there and it’s given me an opportunity to grow and kind of pitch ideas for myself and try to work together with them and try to become my best self there.

Morrissey and Paquette dove into a story involving Morrissey and nZo being talked to by an upset Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque for singing a Frank Sinatra song live at SummerSlam 2016. Morrissey said they were not allowed to sing music or imitate things that are copyrighted. He said the mood completely changed when he and nZo got to the backstage area and Renee shared a similar experience she had in WWE.

Morrissey: When you get to WWE messed up a few times. I could think of one time when we really messed up. We went off-script in SummerSlam in Brooklyn and sang, I think a Frank Sinatra song and you can’t sing or imitate things that are copyrighted and that was a stern talking to. It was Hunter, he was furious. But we didn’t know. We didn’t know those sorts of things. It’s just like everything is amplified and it’s so much bigger and the magnitude of things you do and the consequences of things you do are way bigger and that’s something maybe in the moment that back then I didn’t realize but, you’re on live television. If you mess up or do something that could cause the company, that’s on you. It’s way — I don’t know. It’s way bigger, it comes with a lot more money and a lot more glory and whatever you wanna call it but, you have to watch yourself a lot more.

Paquette: I remember I did something like that on one of the Kickoff panels. I sang a couple bars of a song and they were like, ‘Stop doing that’ and I was like, ‘Oh sh*t. I had no idea.’ I don’t know the rules and regulations of how many bars of a song you can sing. I had no idea.

Morrissey: If you go back and watch that SummerSlam, I think it was 2016, they had to cut it but, that was something we weren’t told in NXT and we did it and we thought, like, yeah! It’s New York. We crushed it man! F*ck yeah and that was on the fly and everybody was with it and then we got to the back and it was like, ‘You, you, come here.’ I was like, oh f*ck.

You know how it is when you don’t realize you did something wrong? We came back, ‘Jericho, thank you. Kevin, f*ck yeah’ and we immediately like, we’re so happy and then we turn around and the mood just completely changes, drops and then you start thinking, f*ck, what did we do? What did we do? What did we do? We must’ve f*cked up and yeah, so that was a big one. That was a huge — and in NXT, might have been able to do that or get away with it because when we went to different towns on the road in NXT, you know, I sang ‘Sherry’ in Asbury Park, New Jersey. We were doing stuff like that all over when we… So that was cool so we were kind of doing that with NXT and then we thought like, when we did it on the main roster, like yeah! It was awesome. No, because there’s a lot of consequences to what you just did.

While Morrissey was working through his personal issues in WWE, he credited Samoa Joe for being there for him. He also said Brian ‘Road Dogg’ James, Michael Hayes and John Laurinaitis attempted to help him but he had given up on himself.

Morrissey: Samoa Joe. I was riding with him… yeah, solid f*cking dude. He was f*cking great for me. He was a guy that I could be myself around because at that time, being myself, I didn’t like who I was so he would help me and he would try his damn best to get me on course and get me in the right mindset and at that point in time, no one was getting through. Like I said, I was just a different person. Even behind the scenes, there are a lot of people that tried to help me; Michael Hayes and John Laurinaitis. I remember a meeting I had with them and Road Dogg. They were trying to help me. Wasn’t like I wasn’t hearing it, it was just I had given up, I don’t know what it was. Just checked out and it’s a shame, you know? I made those mistakes, I have to own them, wouldn’t make them again, probably wouldn’t have made them a few months prior to when I did make them but, what can I do? I made those mistakes and now I gotta keep moving forward with what I’ve been given, the hand I’ve been dealt and I feel like I’m doing really good with what I — situation I’ve been put in.

As far as what Morrissey is looking to do in the future, he wants to wrestle on NJPW STRONG and work with the likes of Will Ospreay and Jon Moxley. He was a part of a film titled ‘Who’s Afraid’ that is releasing this year and he looks back fondly on that experience.

Morrissey: Yeah, I kind of wanna work as much as possible right now. I have my obligation to IMPACT and do as many independents. I’d really like to work with New Japan STRONG and they are in the United States. Jon like to work with them. I’d like to work with Will Ospreay, Jon obviously. I’ve only been able to work with him one time. Yeah, I just wanna work as much as possible and keep improving, get as good as I f*cking can be to make myself the hottest commodity I can be and on the other end of things, I filmed a movie back in December, a horror movie. That’s gonna be coming out soon called Who’s Afraid. So it’s kind of just getting my feet wet in that industry. It’s a very small-budget film and kind of just seeing what it’s about, trying to learn as much as possible and that was a really good experience because that sh*t’s awesome. I always had a passion for the acting aspect of wrestling and this is just acting, no bumps and it’s not live so, you know, you f*ck something up, do it again. I’m glad I did that movie because that kind of definitely set my sights to also be interested in doing movies or film or shows or whatever.

** Scheduled for the 5/4 AEW Dynamite is Interim ROH Women’s World Champion Mercedes Martinez taking on ROH Women’s World Champion Deonna Purrazzo to determine an undisputed champion. AEW Unrestricted released their interview with Mercedes and she discussed her title win at Supercard of Honor and said the opportunity came out of nowhere.

I think it just came out of nowhere to be honest . I think the Ring of Honor — and if anyone knows my history with Ring of Honor, I was with them for a short period of time back in 2006-ish and they didn’t really have a women’s division. It was kind of like you go in, you wrestle, we were the attraction match. At that time, women’s wrestling wasn’t as big as it is now so it was kind of just finding your mold in every company that you could do. So it wasn’t like there was a title or anything. We were just wrestling just to be on this big company that was just getting started, it was getting its loop found and it was something big for a lot of female wrestlers to be a part of. Eventually, we parted ways and I did my own thing and Ring of Honor kept going but still, there wasn’t this women’s division. So for it to come back around in the last year-and-a-half and really take its own and really do a women’s division, for me to be a champion and even if it’s an interim title because I look at it as an interim title is kind of like a chance to kind of show your worth. I know Deonna Purrazzo is the official champion for Ring of Honor and for them to say, hey, interim title, maybe it’s not a real title but to me it is, it really is. It’s kind of like a callback is the way I look at it. For them to say, hey, here’s the chance to win a title. Yes, Deonna wasn’t available but we still wanna give you the chance to hold this title and level up this division when there wasn’t a division back when I worked for Ring of Honor is something that I take personal, it’s something that hits to the core in my heart because I work for them and for a company that didn’t have something and now that they do and now for me to hold that title now in my career, it’s something that I take really to the heart. It really is so I’m just hoping that I can do it justice.

Her opponent at Supercard of Honor was Willow Nightingale. Mercedes spoke highly of Willow and her personality. She stated that it’s hard not to smile while in the ring with Nightingale.

Oh, I love Willow . I met Willow a couple of years ago and through our indies and stuff and I actually wrestled her back in 2018 for SHIMMER. She was very excited, very nervous, she was still a baby — as I like to say — in her career but I think going into this Ring of Honor match, she was really focused, really determined, really came into her own. Any time I wrestle anybody, I always just let them know, ‘Hey, do what you need to do to shine. This is your chance to outshine me or we’re really gonna have that chemistry and we’re really gonna put on a great match.’ So Willow’s one — if anyone’s seen Willow, she’s so out there, she’s so bubbly, she’s so energetic. I wish I had a quarter of what she has. It’s like she smiles for days man. But she is one that she learned this business from the ground up. She came in at a time when women’s wrestling was just at its peak and she’s still leveling up her game and doing it her way, the way that she feels comfortable doing it. No one’s telling her, hey, be this, be that. She’s being true to herself and I think that’s what I love about Willow so much is that she really is just a bubbly person outside the ring and she brings that personality in the ring and when you clash with someone like me, it’s hard not to smile in the match when you’re wrestling her. It really is.

Mercedes went on to speak about some of the names that have impacted her career such as Angel Orsini. They once had a 65-plus-minute Iron Woman match on the independents. Martinez feels that Angel does not get the credit she deserves.

You know what? I give credit to Angel Orsini and let’s backtrack for her just a minute. I think Angel Orsini, I think people don’t give her credit. If you look back at her career, she was part of ECW as ‘Prodigette’ and Jason Knight brought her into our training facility, into the company that he was running at that time and that’s really how I met her and it was almost like a mold, like hey, this is someone who’s done the thing, who’s really rugged, really gritty and has her own way of doing things in the ring. This is how we need you to be because this is really who you are, you just have to find it. Same thing with Jazz when Jazz came in. Jazz has been very instrumental in my career just like Angel Orsini. W.S.U. is the company that we worked for. I think it was maybe 70 minutes, 71 minutes probably matches in female wrestling history.

** After Tyson Fury defeated Dillian Whyte, he told reporters during the post-fight scrum to not rule out the possibility of him competing for WWE again. WalesOnline caught up with Drew McIntyre to chat WWE’s stadium show in Cardiff. McIntyre believes he can get a great match out of Fury if they were to go one-on-one.

You’ve got to go with the belts . Having the chance to win it in front of fans, it would be the perfect situation to face Roman on home soil and win it back. That would be pretty fricking cool. But, failing that, if Tyson wants to box me, I’ll take him down and he’ll be wailing around on his back like a turtle.

** Ahead of his match against Mike Knox at NWA PowerrrTrip 2, Harry Smith joined the Battleground Podcast to talk about his stint with the NWA so far and his relationship with Billy Corgan.

There’s been a really great resurgence with the new NWA that’s come about and Billy Corgan has been a longtime friend of mine and a friend of my cousin Natalya. So, I got to work with Billy when I first left WWE and in 2012 with his promotion ‘Resistance’ up in Chicago. So I was his first world heavyweight champion at the time, defeating Kevin Steen Sheik in a three-way so I was doing that until I started going full-time with New Japan Pro-Wrestling and then I had to, you know, relinquish the title but the storyline was that I sent it back in like a UPS box, you know, because I had turned heel and Raven was my manager at the time… so, that relationship with Billy has been for quite some time and it’s been a very good and long one. I really respect Billy, what he’s doing with the NWA. So far, he’s been running it very well and he really appreciates and respects the old school style of wrestling and you know, it’s great to see he’s brought that about and him bringing me in was a really good thing and watching my matches back, it’s been — looks like I’m a good fit for there.

Smith is a former multi-time NWA World and IWGP Tag Team Champion with Lance Archer. He reflected on their time as ‘Killer Elite Squad’ and commented on the idea of them reuniting.

We had a lot of great chemistry as a tag team. We were like a big monster, heel tag team over in Japan. So, whether or not that’s gonna reemerge or not, I’m not exactly sure. But, if it does or if it organically happens, that would be — might be really good. I’ve seen him do some really good stuff on AEW.

** Former 5-time TNA World Tag Team Champions Beer Money, Inc. (James Storm & Robert Roode) were the focus of referee Brian Hebner’s Refin’ It Up podcast. Storm guest appeared on the episode to chat Beer Money’s run and Brian being the official for some of their matches. Storm said he and Roode made a great deal of money for TNA and wonders what they could’ve made for WWE.

Storm: But it’s one of those things, I always say — and I’ll tell everybody. I was like, we made TNA so much money being Beer Money. I couldn’t imagine how much, especially with the WWE machine, just that name alone could make the WWE.

Looking back at the tag division in IMPACT Wrestling at the time, Storm feels that they took tag team wrestling to a new level and recalled singles talents being hesitant to follow the tag matches.

Storm: The British Invasion, Motor City Machine Guns, you know, even The Young Bucks were there and Jay Lethal that was there as well as a tag team, and it was just — at that time, it was just so much fun and you know, I remember the guys that were on top in the singles division going, ‘There’s no way we can follow the tag teams guys because they’re killing it’ and like you said, at that point in time, tag team wrestling, we made tag team wrestling the highest that I’ve seen in a long time.

Beer Money had a best-of-five series with Motor City Machine Guns (Chris Sabin & Alex Shelley). Storm said he received some pushback from the powers that be for wanting to know the stipulation for each match in the series. He said they were focused on taking it one match at a time, but Storm wanted to make sure that Roode, Shelley, Sabin and himself did not give everything away in one match.

Storm: I remember — I forgot who it was exactly in the office that came to us and was like, ‘Hey, we wanna do a best-of-five series’ always say with TV wrestling, you can always tell the difference between guys that have been on TV and guys that are doing indies because there’s always a TV speed and there’s an indie speed and I notice that now when I do indies.

Brian Hebner chimed in and said other referees gladly handed him the opportunity to referee the Beer Money versus M.C.M.G. matches because of how detailed they were. Hebner expressed that a referee who was not experienced enough would not have been able to handle those matches.

Hebner: No, no, no was not like that with them and this is not a beat, or nothing against them. They had two heat spots. They may have a false tag, they may have a blind tag, they may have this and that, the distraction here, this, this, this. A lot for a referee to remember because these guys really knew how to, like Storm said earlier, perform and give that front row what they wanted to see which was entertainment, good wrestling and some great falsies and all these other things I mean so, I was a nervous guy when I worked with them and I became comfortable because I worked with them so many times but I’m just telling you, this was not just something you wanna throw some guy who’s green or halfway green or maybe even dark green.

** To promote the start of the 2022 PFL season, the organization’s ring announcer Lilian Garcia spoke to John Eric Poli for an interview. Garcia discussed her friendship with Becky Lynch and recounted having conversations with Lynch during which Lynch expressed that she was happy for Charlotte Flair’s success but knew she could be on that same level.

I am so happy for Becky . You know, I was lucky enough to have a close relationship with Becky. In fact, she came — she was wanting to live in California and at the time, I was living in Marina del Rey and she was like, ‘I don’t know where to live’ and I said, ‘Well look, I’m living in this apartment. I can show you the complex. It’s beautiful, it’s great.’ She came over and she looked, she goes, ‘This is exactly where I wanna live.’ So she moved in the apartment right across from me so we got to hang out and talk and I just remember her fire. I remember her saying, ‘I know I can do this. I know that I can be at the caliber.’ She was really thinking — she was riding with Charlotte Flair and Charlotte was just getting everything and she goes, ‘It’s wonderful she’s getting everything but I know that I can do it too’ and you could just hear or feel and see her wheels turning of how do I do this? How do I do this? How do I do this? And then one day, it just clicked and it just was her and magic and it happened and I’m just — I’m so grateful because for her, she really worked hard for it. She really earned that and that’s what I love to see is when superstars work really hard and then they earn it and get it.

Garcia has sung the National Anthem over ten times at the NFL’s New York Jets home games. She confirmed that she’ll sing the Anthem at a Jets home game this upcoming season.

Well because of COVID, I didn’t really do any WWE event where I sang the National Anthem and gave me his card. He was right at the front door and he gave me his card — front row, excuse me — front row and he gave me his card. He’s like, ‘You gotta… you gotta contact me. I gotta get you to sing for the Jets’ and that propelled. From the Jets, I did the Dolphins and I did Green Bay Packers and I’ve done NBA and I’m looking to get back more into doing that as well because the National Anthem for me is very special as an army brat and there’s something, I don’t know. There’s something that I’ve been able to touch hearts with it. That’s what people have said to me so, that’s why I sing, that’s why I perform so, I’m ready to do more and I’ve been also doing it at PFL so that’s cool.

** Among those in attendance for ZERO1’s press conference about the Shinjiro Otani benefit show was former two-time All Japan Women’s Champion Lioness Asuka. She expressed her thoughts about Otani’s injury and feels wrestling should be taken in the direction of fans’ enjoyment rather than leaning into the ‘extremes’ that some fans may want.

I am retired, but in my opinion, I think it is time for the athletes to take a second look at pro wrestling. I also believe that accidents are inevitable, but I think that the definition of a ‘professional’ is to bring those accidents down to near zero. I think that is what practice is for, and that is what we do in the name of being a professional. I think it is time for us to take our wrestling in the direction that our customers can enjoy it, rather than providing the extremes that fans are looking for. I think that is what Otani is teaching us. This may be a selfish opinion, but I hope the will think about it. Some people tend to view today’s pro wrestling, with its diversified offenses and defenses, as ‘radicalized.’ Whenever a fighter such as Otani suffers a serious injury, a debate ensues, and it is likely that many more voices will be raised in the future.

** Sports Illustrated’s ‘This Week in Wrestling’ column included an interview with Bill Eadie a.k.a. ‘Ax’ of the tag team Demolition. Eadie commented on Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler competing against each other on the 4/27 AEW Dynamite and it reminded him of when he and Barry Darsow (Smash) were the first two entrants in the 1989 Royal Rumble. Eadie said it was Pat Patterson’s idea for them to be in those spots.

That was Pat Patterson’s idea . I still remember when we were in the ring together. We had some time before the next wrestler came out, and we couldn’t just stand there, so we went at each other. Then Andre came. Both of us laugh now about how that was probably the first and only time we were looking forward to Andre getting in the ring.

** The 2022 New Japan Road tour kicks off June 16th and ends July 5th. Five shows during that tour are taking place at Korakuen Hall.

** Naoki Sugabayashi, Chairman of New Japan Pro-Wrestling, updated his blog about the upcoming Wrestling Dontaku show on May 1st.

** pushed out the latest edition of their interview series with Young Lions. Kosei Fujita was the most recent to be profiled and he reflected on being able to represent New Japan at the joint show with NOAH in January.

I had said in my backstage comments that I wanted to be involved; I don’t know whether that’s what put things into action, but either way I was so happy to get that chance. I would have been much happier if I’d have won…

As far as what Fujita wants to achieve in NJPW, he hopes to be a heavyweight wrestler and also wants in on the Best of the Super Juniors tournament.

I know I’m still on the small side, but I want to be a heavyweight. At the same time, I want the chance to be in Best of the Super Jr. as well- and even though everyone will say that a Young Lion can’t do it, I’d be looking to win and get myself out there as much as possible. So I’ll put that out there, even though the BoSJ lineup isn’t announced yet.

** Shingo Takagi is scheduled to compete at Jumbo Tsuruta 23rd Memorial show on May 31st. All Japan’s Yuma Aoyagi and Ryosei Aoyagi are taking on Takagi and a mystery partner. Takagi said his partner is from his hometown of Chuo, Yamanashi, Japan.

** CoventryLive’s story about Adam Bryniarski (Adam Windsor) who passed away on April 21st. Bryniarski was born in Coventry, England.

** Sean Ross Sapp’s sit-down interview with Matt Hardy:

** NJPW ‘Golden Fight Series’ Results (4/28/22) Yamaguchi / KDDI Restoration Hall, Attendance: 762
– Ryusuke Taguchi def. Akio Fujita
– Master Wato def. Yuto Nakajima
– Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI def. Tiger Mask, Tomoaki Honman & Togi Makabe
– DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr. & El Desperado def. Gedo, Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale & Taiji Ishimori
– Shingo Takagi & BUSHI def. Taichi & TAKA Michinoku
– House of Torture (EVIL, SHO, Dick Togo & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Jado, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
– YOH & Kazuchika Okada def. Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito

** Dave LaGreca and Mark Henry invited William Regal onto ‘The Master’s Class’ show on Busted Open Radio.

** AAW Women’s Champion Skye Blue is returning to the promotion for their ‘Never Say Die’ show on 4/29. Blue has not wrestled for AAW since December 2021.

** Connor Casey of chatted with Drew McIntyre.

** While D’Lo Brown was in the U.K. to promote IMPACT Wrestling, he was interviewed by Daily Star.

** Sportskeeda caught up with Mike Bennett.

** April 28th birthdays: Michael Oku (The OJMO), Drew Gulak.

** Highlights from The HitMakerZ (AJ Francis & Tehuti Miles) versus Clay Jacobs and Boom Hayden at MCW ‘Spring Fever’:

** IMPACT Wrestling uploaded a ‘Best of Deonna Purrazzo’ video to YouTube.

** Parts one and two of Kyoko Hamaguchi’s chat with NJPW’s Great-O-Khan.

** Ahead of DEFY Wrestling April 30th event, DEFY Tag Team Champion Gurv Sihra of The Bollywood Boyz spoke to Wrestling Inc.

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.