Fightful Wrestling Weekly 4/8: WrestleMania, Kofi Kingston, LJN, Piledrivers, More

Josh Prohibition

It was really cool to have a conversation with a guy who was one of my first favorite indie wrestlers in Josh Prohibition. I came to know him from the Backyard Wrestling game, which he says brought pros and cons. There was a stigma attached to he and Matt Cross, but also helped step up their bookings as a result of the increased profile. He remembered the press tour for the video game fondly, as he got paid well and taken care of, and didn't have to risk his body that much to do it. This was quite the contrast from the production of the cover, which they had to eventually photoshop together because there wasn't much of a safe way to take a photo of Matt Cross putting Prohibition through a table. He understands that he and Cross are forever linked together due to the game.

WWE SmackDown Viewership Climbs Back Above 2 Million Following 5/7/21 Episode

Working as a school teacher, Prohibition also serves as a trainer in Cleveland, which is one of the hottest areas for pro wrestling prospects over the last 15 years. He spoke of the crossover, saying that teaching helps him a lot as a trainer, and being a wrestler helps him a lot as a teacher. He credits the cold atmosphere of Cleveland and the mental patience you have to have as a Cleveland sports fan and resident as a reason why the area has such a high success rate with wrestlers.

WWE Notes

- Based on those I spoke to, many seemed happy with the way the promo work had been going on episodes of Raw specifically of late. One member of the WWE staff said that the different pacing of things helps out, and the lack of a crowd eliminates a distraction or crowd reaction, and has let some of the talent focus more than usual.

- The word backstage after the Raw tapings was that the spot with Montez Ford resulted because he was supposed to be tripped. Austin Theory attempted to make the save but couldn't get up in time. The match continued, so they didn't end up doing another take. Ford was said to have been fine after the spot.

- Theory was received well among the few that were in attendance at the Performance Center we're told, but a decision hasn't been made as to whether or not he'll be on the Raw roster full time. That was the same line of thinking applied to Angel Garza at first.


- As seen this week and reported on Fightful Select, All Elite Wrestling changed their method and actually taped some content ahead of time.

- As of last Tuesday, travel was still being arranged for several AEW talent to get to the location of Dynamite. The week prior, several members of the roster from New York and California couldn't make it in to the show. Most wrestlers from New York, California, and North Carolina weren't able to make the trip to AEW this week.

NWA-Joe Exotic

I reached out to the NWA to see if they had any dealings with Joe Exotic. He helped run an NWA territory that was active when Dave Lagana and Billy Corgan purchased the company in 2017. He continued to promote, but not under the NWA banner. Lagana told me that he didn't have any personal dealings with Exotic that he could remember, but Tim Storm had, which prompted the Youtube video they released last week.


Rey Mysterio and Andrade began prominently utilizing Canadian Destroyer piledrivers in their matches in 2019 after years of no piledrivers outside of the occasional Tombstone. It was banned for well over a decade, but has been given some wiggle room in recent months.

Still, not everyone gets off so lightly. Fightful were told that months back when Matt Riddle and Damian Priest did a Canadian Destroyer on an NXT live event, they were told not to do it again, and especially not without clearance.

In March, the Usos used an expanded, second rope version of the Canadian Destroyer. This led to Fightful reaching out in an effort to find out why the rules have been relaxed so much in the last year. While we didn't get an answer on that, we were told that Kevin Owens has made an effort to pitch the Package Piledriver as his finish "quite often," but the idea never makes it to Vince McMahon.


Jimmy Van spoke to Bill Stanhope about LJN action figures, and he seemed to indicate that video games could have been a reason.

- LJN had started to plan out the next line at the time they lost their license, which were the ones that eventually ended up at Grand Toys.

- Gorilla Monsoon specifically requested a figure, which is why they ended up making one.

- Color variants happened because people just ended up thinking they were supposed to be painted a different color.

- Corp. Kirshner's figure had a full beard because they couldn't do stubble, the clear beard was because that didn't look right, and finally they put stubble on.

- Junkyard Dog's chain was just made out of whatever color plastic was at that particular factory.

- Sgt. Slaughter put together a better deal elsewhere, and was scrapped from the series 1.

Kofi Kingston

I had a great conversation with Kofi Kingston about some of his past WrestleMania seasons. We spoke about Vince McMahon once making a snide joking remark, and Chris Jericho telling Kofi he had to try and go fight Vince. Kofi did, in order to not lose respect, and Vince McMahon shot a double leg takedown. Kofi applied a whizzer and stopped it, and joked about it being on a plane and saying the ref would not have awarded Vince McMahon two points. He was very gracious of the opportunities Vince McMahon has given him and the variety of different situations he's been afforded over the past decade-plus.

When asking him about hosting in the past, Kofi was honored to be in the same breath as other major names that had that role. It was one that not a lot of talent get to be in, and decided to take advantage of the opportunity.

We closed by touching on his friendship with CM Punk. Obviously it was a close on before Punk left, but Kofi said they didn't keep in touch once Punk left. However, he's happy Punk is back on Fox and got to explore doing something he cared about and wants him to keep doing well. He spoke of the bond they built being in the business and on the road together so much.

WrestleMania Notes

- There was a list of banned terms provided to some affiliated sponsors for social media this weekend.

- The pre-show match commentary on Saturday was done in post-production.

- Despite the risk of those who committed the infractions losing their jobs, many WWE sources said they were surprised no spoilers of any kind made their way out

- The "outside the box" element a WWE source reported to us weeks ago was the Boneyard Match, in case you couldn't tell. Several WWE sources seemed universally happy how it came off when we spoke to them.

WWE Taping Schedule

Fightful has learned WWE is planning to tape more content at the end of this week. As of Monday night, WWE had informed many talent that they plan to mass tape several upcoming shows.

As far as we've heard the tentative plan is to film three episodes of Smackdown, three episodes of WWE Raw, and multiple episodes of NXT starting this Friday, and going through the following Thursday. We've heard the idea of some episodes being live has been tossed around but isn't a certainty.

It should be noted that given the evolving nature of society, this is hardly a guarantee. Fightful has reached out to WWE for comment on the matter and will update if we hear back

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