Deonna Purrazzo II
Deonna and Chelsea Green had no idea if they were being called up in December, and weren't told anything before their Raw appearances. They weren't provided any details for weeks after the matches as well, which left Deonna in limbo because she wanted to either leave NXT or work on WWE Raw. She was brought to Raw a couple of times and weren't told anything.
Deonna isn't ready to sign anyone right out of the gate, and wants to feel out the landscape of pro wrestling before jumping in, and that the WWE process may have tainted her in that regard. She admittedly hasn't paid attention to the indies as a whole, instead of focusing on places she was familiar with and liked. Deonna is close friends with Madison Rayne, and believes she would help her get into IMPACT Wrestling. The things that Tessa Blanchard and Taya have been able to do leaves her more open to working there.
Deonna Purrazzo said that she tried to negotiate a contract with ROH before WWE, but they were only interested in giving a standard across the board pay at the time. She e-mailed higher ups in ROH about the popularity of Women of Honor Youtube, trying to establish credibility for the Women of Honor title by having the champion travel the world. She considers Women of Honor at that point of time a vanity project, but tried hard to get women a meaningful spot on the card. Deonna thinks the company could have done better creatively for women if they couldn't financially, but liked how things were looking for the ill-fated women's tournament ROH planned in 2020.
Deonna had to wait out her ROH deal before signing with WWE, and admitted that they were fearful of it being contract tampering. She said in mid-June 2018 she told WWE she had to know the contract terms or else she wasn't going to come to Florida. WWE didn't want to give her those terms based on the possibility of tampering, and she picked her battles when it came to being on All In.
I also spoke to Andrade for an interview a while back that probably won't see the light of day as there were some big language barrier issues. I have a lot of respect for him coming out and doing a full media row of dozens of interviews in a second language that he's working to learn. It's no surprise that Charlotte has been helping him out a bit in that regard. He asked Vince McMahon what he could do to improve his position, and was told to learn English, so he has been.
Andrade spoke of the tradition and history of the mask, and wears a necklace with his old mask on it. He says that his character ripped the mask of Rey Mysterio off because he wanted something to end Mysterio with. He was personally angry when he lost his own mask, so from a character standpoint, he wanted that to happen to Mysterio.
Andrade specified that WWE was always his dream, and the style, cameras and personality have been the adjustments to life there.
Everyone tells us that Cain Velasquez was very well received by people in the locker room, and he seemed more interested in "being one of the guys," than Goldberg or Brock Lesnar. His contract was set to run until Fall of 2022.
Internally, Jinder Mahal's return date was originally listed as January 2020, before being moved up to November 2019. It's worth noting that in the past, Tommaso Ciampa has outright told us there's a lack of communication between wrestlers and the people who run those lists internally in WWE.
We had a huge interview with RJ City that just dropped. He said that he was pulled from his WrestleCade dates because David Arquette pulled out and they were a package deal. He joked that Arquette has "fuck you" money, but he doesn't, so Arquette is actually fucking him. There have also been indie promoters who have tried to get Mario Cantone to be RJ's manager, but the money is nowhere near where it needed to be.
There was a lot more than met the eye with the Revival leaving WWE. Originally Scott Dawson's deal was set to expire in April, and Dash's was up in June. However, they were going to add significant time to Dawson's (now Harwood) contract that extended him out beyond where Wilder (now Wheeler) was. WWE gave The Revival an out if the duo signed over a number of trademarks that Wheeler and Harwood spent their own money to acquire. The release was finalized shortly before the announcement was made publicly, but both sides had actually been working on it for quite a while.
I had a great talk with Justin Credible about leaving WWF and joining ECW. Credible was spinning his wheels as Aldo Montoya and not going much of anywhere. Credible knew the Aldo Montoya gimmick sucked and he could contribute much more. He had the chance to join WCW because he knew Scott Hall and Kevin Nash there, and they'd been rocking with the NWO for almost a year at that point. When Credible asked for his WWF release, Vince McMahon outright said no, and that he didn't want WCW to pick him up. Instead, Vince offered to send him to USWA to learn to work as a heel. When ECW did some work with USWA, Chris Candido helped get him a job with ECW, and Vince signed the contract over to Paul Heyman.
Credible says Vince McMahon was always accessible to him across his three runs. He was intimidated by Vince and joked that he thought McMahon would kill him for asking for his release to go to WCW. A "land of opportunity" speech was recalled, and apparently that was commonplace then. Credible hammered home that Jim Ross or Vince McMahon were always available when he needed them. Credible thinks that Vince McMahon is very fair, but admitted he's a nut and expects as much out of his performers as he does himself.
We closed by speaking about WWECW, which he thought should have been closer to what NXT is today.
ECW and WCW legend Mikey Whipwreck spoke to me about his ECW and WCW days, saying that Perry Saturn called him up and helped him get into WCW. The fact that WCW wanted him seemed to surprise him, but he was willing to go because ECW was having issues with bounced checks and he was feeling beat up. He says Virgil went to Hulk Hogan and buried Mikey and Billy Kidman for having a balls to the wall match right before he and Stevie Ray had their match in the "battle for the NWO Black and White," and it pissed the wrong people off.
He appeared at Joey Janela's Spring Break in New Orleans after he was contacted by Janela or Danny Demanto. He didn't know what a Clusterfuck was, but was familiar with MJF through Curt Hawkins and felt comfortable enough with him to pitch doing the Frankensteiner spot. He's had to pass up doing that spot in other bookings, and says usually he'll only wrestle for Greektown Wrestling in Toronto.
Whipwreck also put over Ember Moon's Eclipse, and said John Cena's Stunner was not good.