Johnny Gargano Notes
- He says the old In Your House house is now a Taco Bell.
- Michael Hayes did not know about the Dok Hendrix portrait on In Your House until it happened.
- He found out he'd be in the 2019 Royal Rumble after the NXT Takeover the night before from Triple H
- He sent emails to NXT management outlining ideas when he found out he was turning heel.
In case you were wondering who some of the WWE zombies were, we've learned some of the identities. Many were WWE Performance Center wrestlers, including Joe Gacy, a former CZW star. Others included Daniel Vidot and Cal Bloom, son of Beverly Brothers' Wayne Bloom. We've heard that Jiro Kuroshio and Asher Hale may have been among them as well.
We spoke to Allysin Kay about her career and how things are working out for her. She's said that she spoke to multiple companies since leaving the NWA, and the nature of the pandemic was one of the reasons she ended up leaving the National Wrestling Alliance. She wanted to make money on the indies to supplement her income, and her deal didn't allow that at the time because of the UWN integration of NWA. She said that shortly after she announced she was a free agent, she heard from two major companies, one being AEW.
Kay said that she got good feedback from Dustin Rhodes after working Full Gear, and Tony Khan repeatedly told her that she did a good job, but that she has not had further negotiations with them at this point. She does, however, gauge interest in the promotion and says she talks to Serena Deeb regularly.
Chelsea Green injury
Chelsea Green noted last week that she'd had surgery to remove the plate in her arm from her first break years ago. We're told that the recovery time is only about six weeks, and she'll be healthy and cleared ahead of her free agency period on July 15 if all goes well. Her actual bone was swelling and rejecting the plate that was inserted during her original surgery. WWE had advised Green to keep the plate in, which actually made her more susceptible to the November 2020 arm break.
Jinder Mahal was back in action on Raw this week after appearing on Main Event last week. We're told that Jinder Mahal has been ready for a television return for months. One half of Indus Sher, Rinku Singh, joined him along with Dilser Shanky. We were told that the other half of Indus Sher, Saurav, was deemed not television ready.
Dave Meltzer reported that The Miz sustained a torn ACL this past weekend at WrestleMania Backlash. When we spoke with talent and staff Tuesday morning, they said that watching the monitors during the match, they could tell something was wrong, but didn't think it was as severe as a torn ACL and credited him for getting through the match. As seen on the show, there was a specific finish they were getting to, and Miz was applauded, figuratively, for making sure he got there despite serious injury. This is the first major injury of Miz's career
We noted this weekend that talent told us that they were under the impression that Don Callis would likely not be in a position of power any longer in IMPACT Wrestling, and he was removed as a VP from Anthem Sports & Entertainment's site. Fightful was informed that Callis was only at the first day of the recent IMPACT Wrestling tapings, and then wasn't seen again for the remaining three days. We're told that was also the case for Kenny Omega, and that IMPACT filmed the content they needed for Callis & Omega and both left the tapings.
In an update since the story aired, Fightful has confirmed that Don Callis is no longer an executive in any capacity with IMPACT Wrestling and Anthem Sports & Entertainment. Most talent that we've spoken to have said the move doesn't come as a surprise as Scott D'Amore has led things since pretty well the beginning
Drake Wuertz Heat
Drake Wuertz is gone from WWE, and the NXT roster were not short on words about his behavior.
In the wake of Drake Wuertz's backstage NXT county commission video and news that he wasn't allowed in the CWC for weeks, more people that had spoken about him off the record were more willing to go on the record. Several names at the Performance Center claim Drake has had "nuclear heat brought on by himself" for the better part of a year. This follows instances where WWE had to warn him about attending events without a mask and not being vaccinated, and several "attempts for political plays," we're told.
In regards to political plays, the roster was well aware that Drake Wuertz had been trying to position himself for certain roles within the company, and was willing to try to put heat on others to get there, and attempted to numerous times.
There were a couple of instances where we're told that minorities within NXT took exception to the way things were worded by Wuertz. One situation we've heard of involved EJ Nduka (Ezra Judge) almost feeling the need to get physical with Drake. There were numerous times when talent, specifically people of color, went to NXT higher ups about situations like this.
Last year's NXT In Your House gained Drake Wuertz significant heat after the show, as story of his behavior circulated. Triple H gave a speech in the middle of the Black Lives Matter movement, which saw him say (paraphrasing) that all people, races, genders, and religions were welcomed. We were told that when "religions" were mentioned, Wuertz's attitude immediately changed, and he aggressively gathered his belongings and left after the meeting, skipping a referee group picture. It should be noted that he did not leave the meeting in the middle of it as has been twisted in subsequent tellings of the story, he left immediately after.
In the months following, no fewer than ten wrestlers have told Fightful they didn't feel comfortable or safe around Wuertz. He was also known to have loudly criticized wrestlers for getting vaccinations or even simple flu shots.
Buzz for IMPACT Match
Fightful has heard a lot of buzz coming out of the most recent IMPACT tapings for an X-Division match that impressed many who watched it. We're told that an hour long X-Division Title match was filmed over that weekend, but weren't given the names of the participants.
Fightful has learned of names from this week's WWE male tryouts, headlined by John Skyler, Jason Cade, Wheeler Yuta, Alexander James and others.
Tyson Maddux- 34 years old. Were specifically told he has a fantastic dropkick. Worked AEW Dark, teaming with Shawn Dean
Ray Jaz- 25 years old, has worked in the Northeast, and appeared on multiple episodes of AEW Dark.
Tony Vega- 29 years old, 6'1", 210 pounds.
Idris Abraham- 29 year old cruiserweight. Worked the Global Battle Royal on WWE Raw in 2018 as The Sultan Of Shawarma, and a Main Event match against The Ascension in 2015. Has over a dozen IMPACT Wrestling appearances.
Rayo- 29 year old wrestler listed from Peru. Worked a dozen ROH/Future of Honor dates, including a couple of the NJPW/ROH shows. Also worked short EVOLVE matches.
Robert Fuchs- 29 years old, 6 feet tall, 210 pounds.
Nate Carter-34 years old, 6 feet tall, 265 pounds & David McCall- 34 years old, 6'2", 220- CZW regulars who have also worked Beyond as the tag team The REP. Wrested on GCW Fight Forever.
Brady Pierce- 29 years old, 6'4", 225. Wrestled on seven summer 2020 AEW Dark episodes, usually in tag team matches. Regularly works in the Georgia area.
Wheeler Yuta- 24 years old, and one of the higher profile invitees. Has been working ROH TV of late, and is a Beyond regular. Has also appeared in televised matches for MLW, and appeared for most high level indies such as CZW, GCW, AIW, EVOLVE, CHIKARA, and AAW.
Will Allday- 32 years old. Appeared in four AEW Dark matches in April. Has worked numerous UWN and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood shows. Actually won a match on WWE Raw against Curt Hawkins by DQ in June 2018.
David Ali- 32 Years old. Worked 11 AEW Dark matches between June 2020 and April 2021, mostly in tag team action. Also has some experience in WWN working Style Battle shows.
Ariel Levy- 36 years old Chilean wrestler who appeared on a couple of December 2020 episodes of AEW Dark.
Joshua Dawkins- 23 years old, Orlando based pro wrestler who has trained at D-Von Dudley's school.
EJ Risk//Eric James- 33 years old. Wrestled on AEW Dark in February, but probably most well known to WWE fans as Lana's first husband from the wedding with Bobby Lashley.
John Skyler- 33 years old. Has been all over TV for years, most recently working AEW Dark 14 times over the course of a year. Has appeared on WWE Raw, Smackdown, Main Event, NXT (six times), ROH and TNA in Total Nonstop Deletion. He's been participating in EC3's Free The Narrative series.
Patrick Scott- 24 years old, 6'2". Works the North Carolina scene a lot, appeared in episodes of NXT at just 19-20 years old, facing Kona Reeves and Heavy Machinery.
Alexander James- 29 years old, 6'2", 230 pounds. One of the more high profile names at the tryouts. Has worked a lot of WXW and CZW, in addition to Bloodsport and numerous indies as a successful, well traveled independent wrestler.
Romeo Quevedo- 33 years old, 6'1", 270. Has heavily worked the Florida scene for over a decade. Appeared on an episode of NXT in 2017 in a losing effort to the Authors of Pain.
Jason Cade- 30 years old. Will be familiar to WWE fans as he often is seen training with Natalya, as if him working TV on 205 Live, ROH, AEW Dark, Monday Night Raw, MLW, IMPACT, and EVOLVE wasn't enough.
Jake Logan- 27 year old wrestler trained by Dory Funk Jr. Performed on AEW Dark in April, and was a WWN regular in 2020 into 2021. The youngest NWA National Champion in history, winning it at only 23 years old.
There was another undisclosed name who was mistakenly also listed on the roster sheet as Jason Cade