Daniels told me recently that Chris Jericho was someone that he's not worked with that he's hoping to. We drew the parallels between their longevity and durability as an easy story to tell in that regard, and Daniels seemed pretty optimistic that some sort of interaction could happen while he's a part of the Rock N' Rager at Sea. As far as that longevity goes, Daniels attributed that to him only employing things physically that he can do 100 percent whether he's 3 minutes into the match or 30 minutes into the match.
I had to ask him about his unforgettable match with AJ Styles and Samoa Joe at TNA Unbreakable 2005, which for a long time was the best match I'd ever seen. Daniels was pretty clear that he saw that as a real opportunity for TNA to open their eyes and called it the "promise of what TNA Wrestling could have been."
We spoke to several more MMA fighters about the possibility of them crossing over the the wrestling world:
Linton Vassell- Huge pro wrestling fan, and wants to make the move after his MMA career is over. Spoke highly of getting to see Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Even if it's a special appearance or a bodyguard spot, he wants to participate in pro wrestling. He'd take his "Swarm" name with him and says he'd use a rear naked choke or an ankle lock, and prefers to play the heel role.
James Vick- Would make the move after retirement for a "big money deal," but wouldn't take away from his fighting career in order to do it. For Vick it's all about financial opportunity. He was inspired by Shawn Michaels, who actually retweeted a photo of one of Vick's superkick-style kicks earlier this year.
Kajan Johnson- Says that pro wrestling would be fun, but it wouldn't align with his goals because it takes so much time and he's focused on Tristar Vancouver. The only way he could work a pro wrestling schedule is if it were limited. He was recently released by the UFC.
Gerald Harris- Known as the "Slam King," Cory Machado has actually reached out to him to possibly do pro wrestling related stuff in California. Harris actually wrestled Dolph Ziggler in college, and around the time Harris was in college in Cleveland, The Miz was around the area as well. He put over the athleticism and schedule involved and says he's scared of the injuries.
Diamante hasn't been seen in Impact Wrestling for several months, but is still highly regarded by those within the OGz-LAX feud. I recently talked to Homicide and Ortiz, and asked them who they would want as a female presence in their groups. Both immediately said Diamante, but admitted they weren't sure which side her loyalty would lean. They put over her toughness and grit and said that she's a perfect fit for the group.
Ortiz also said that Mercedes Martinez would be a good addition. The 37-year old has seen her profile increase over the last year because of her appearances on the WWE Mae Young Classic. She actually wrestled for TNA way back in 2003, but for whatever reason has never appeared in the company again, despite wrestling dozens of matches in Florida, and Impact/TNA having a load of Knockouts cards.
Kevin Owens & Elias
I think it goes without saying that WWE nor Owens & Elias were expecting the extended reaction they received in Seattle on Monday after taking a shot at the Seattle SuperSonics leaving. We're told the two got a nice reaction upon returning backstage as well, which isn't a big surprise. There was a lot of joking that next time WWE would come prepared for that reaction.
There was a WWE wrestler who contacted me last week asking if I had any insight to the actual amount of money WWE is being paid by Saudi Arabia and Australia. WWE has a few contracts expiring ahead of next October's new television deals kicking in, and several wrestlers are looking to increase their pay substantially. While there isn't nearly as much public outrage about heading to Saudi Arabia, there were still a couple of wrestlers that told Fightful that they remained uncomfortable making the trip for any number of reasons.
New Japan Pro Wrestling in the States was a bit different this time around from a media perspective. There was very little promotion or buzz leading into the event, specifically by the usually ultra-supportive AXS TV end of things. All previous shows have featured pre-show media calls -- honestly some of the best and smoothly run in wrestling -- and many featured talent interviews as well. AXS TV didn't show the event live, instead running X-Factor UK in favor of Fighting Spirit unleashed. Media weren't told of any pre-show access, and some were even referred to meet and greet ticket sales, which is very unusual.
From an execution standpoint, I'm told things went smoothly for the most part. Media were given access to the post-match pressers, as that's a New Japan handled thing anyway. NJPW's lack of promotion and media relations in the United States could be contributed in part to the departure of George Carroll earlier this year, who helped a lot in that regard. The only thing different from a post-match perspective was that last time around, everyone came in and took questions, but this time it was far fewer..
Raw & SD
The title of this week's episode of WWE Raw was "Dean's Dilemma," obviously titled after the choice Dean Ambrose is making between The Dogs Of War and The Shield. "Women Glow, Men Plunder" was the working title for WWE Smackdown Live.
Smackdown Live was originally supposed to end with a couple of graphics promoting Saturday's WWE Super Show-down event, and a live shot of two wrestlers backstage. No reason was given for the late pivot, but WWE has made an effort to make their production info significantly more secretive of late.