I spoke to Glenn Gilbertti, also known as Disco Inferno recently. Some of you may not know that Gilbertti was a longtime member of TNA's creative team and told me that he actually pitched a storyline of an "invisible man" that wouldn't actually exist, but that a wrestler would convince another wrestler that it did exist. That one never made it to air.
He also told me that his Starrcast appearance was pulled late as he took a couple of Double or Nothing weekend bookings that complicated the ability to schedule a planned Keepin It 100 podcast. With Shane Helms in WWE now, it's difficult to make the podcast happen with the same cast as previously constructed.
Fightful was able to speak to MMA coach Josh Rafferty recently, who opened up about his work with Chris Jericho. Jericho's decision to work with an MMA coach ahead of his AEW debut surprised some, but isn't that out of the ordinary. Rafferty has trained numerous WWE stars.
Rafferty pointed to Ivelisse and several other female pro wrestlers as people he thought could successfully make a move over to pro wrestling. He also mentioned that he would be open to working a future edition of Josh Barnett's Bloodsport, as he think that style would fit him better than some of the pro wrestling out there today.
Fightful learned recently that ROH standout Jonathan Gresham has been working without a contract since late April. We'd heard throughout the month that Gresham was expected to re-sign, but it hasn't happened as of yet for whatever reason. Gresham trains wrestlers at the ROH Dojo, and has been in Japan over the last several weeks participating in the Best of the Super Juniors. He's expected to have interest from most high profile companies if he doesn't end up heading back to Ring of Honor.
I had the (kind of) pleasure of interviewing MJF, which featured things like him unplugging my microphone, and stopping to catch the attention of an AEW fan, only to stare at him and say "fuck you." There was also an MGM security guard who had a promo cut on him for kicking us out of a deserted lobby area where we had originally filmed. He kicked me out of his hotel room during the interview because I asked if he stole Stokely Hathaway's CD player.
The best material of the day probably happened off camera. After we got kicked out of the MGM lobby, and he unknowingly cut my microphone, MJF graciously offered to allow me to do the interview in his hotel room. What followed was an honest to god Chris Jericho/Ralphus situation that included MJF getting lost in the MGM, to the point to where we went to the wrong hotel room altogether. Fortunately, I still have the camera audio from the interview, which will be posted.
I got into Las Vegas Thursday, and got to meet a lot of great people at the show. Among the interviews we got for Fightful include Shane Helms, Dean Malenko, Killer Kross, MJF, Alicia Atout, Joey Janela, Mance Warner, Sean Waltman, Barbi Hayden, Jimmy Havoc, Kip Sabian, Matt Striker, Jungle Boy, Nick Gage, Dustin Thomas, TJP, Justin Roberts, Ace Romero and others. Most of them will have video attached to them.
The only negativity I experienced the entire trip was one unnamed wrestler rejecting an interview -- which is fine -- who then was audibly talking trash about the media off camera when we interviewed the person next to them. Brian Pillman Jr, to his credit, spoke to the person right after saying it, and was actually defending us as the interview was happening.
Double or Nothing
I saw a nice moment backstage where Cody Rhodes congratulated and spoke over the event with an excited Leva Bates. There was a kind of funny situation ahead of Double or Nothing, where a major wrestler on the show who didn't recognize me approached another wrestler I was visiting with and preceded to spoil a major finish on the Double or Nothing card.
We also did scrums following Double or Nothing, which was an interesting setup. There were about three acts in a room at any given time, with each one doing anywhere from 1-3 scrums during the period. This is a major positive, as every outlet won't have the same exact content across the board.
We broke the news ahead of Double or Nothing that All Out would be announced imminently, get that Fightful Select subscription, friends. I feel a need to provide disclosure as well, as at least some media (myself among them) were provided with a copy of Cody's children's book upon checking in at the arena.
I was sat in a designated media section for the actual Double or Nothing show, with the likes of Ryan Satin, David Bixenspan, and several others. Overall, the venue was very easy to navigate and tourist friendly, as is the case with most things in Las Vegas
I met Christopher Daniels at Starrcast as well, who was the subject of last week's Making A Finisher feature. He told me that the Angel's Wings actually started as a transition move, but became his regular finisher along with the BME. He put over AJ Styles and Jay Lethal as the guys who took the move the best, and said it was a surreal situation having the tides turned and taking it himself. As far as losing control, he only remembers dropping his grip one time.
You may notice that Daniels' version of the move looks a lot smoother, and he has a theory -- it's the spin. Mandy Rose, Tommaso Ciampa and others seem to go straight up and down with the move, whereas he adds another layer by spinning his opponent. He pointed to his rule to do things in minute three that he can also physically do in minute 30 of a match as a key part of his move always looking good, and not getting injured or botching very often.