Mark Haskins was recently interviewed by Fightful, and will be a big part of the UK's representation of Wrestling for years to come. He tells me that he started talking with Ring of Honor last August when he was a part of the UK tour, and went on to sign on the dotted line back in January, even though he claimed to have multiple deals on the table that were exciting. He spoke well of the Lifeblood stable, and what it's meant to his career, saying that ROH was also something he's always wanted to be a part of, even going as far as saying that he hopes the company launches a UK branch.
This isn't Haskins' first U.S. exposure, as he's also been a part of PWG in the past. Haskins recalled seeing Ronda Rousey outside of a show and grabbing a picture with her, then joked that she took his rolling Death Valley Driver spot.
We also spoke briefly about his TNA run, saying that his best advice in relation to that is to not be afraid to say no.
Havoc told Fightful's Andrew Thompson that while he was happy to compete for an AEW Title shot at Double Or Nothing, he was more excited to punch MJF in the face for being a prick. He did say that he wanted to work with the likes of Hangman Page, however. He told us that you can expect a lot less blood and cursing from Jimmy Havoc in the future, which breaks his heart, but he's excited for it considering that he never imagined being in a role like this.
Havoc also seemed very proud of his accolade as longest reigning PROGRESS Champion.
Andrew Thompson of Fightful interviewed AEW star Jungle Boy, who was a part of the company's Casino Battle Royal, and spoke about the prospects of facing both Jericho and Omega, which didn't end up happening, but he was excited for. He spoke highly of his time in PWG, saying that his first show there was his "I made it" feeling, and PWG was something to dream about. He was able to wrestle one of his best friends in Jake Atlas at the show, and put over working with Puma King as well.
Jungle Boy said that AEW's formation is a great opportunity for growth for many in wrestling as established indie stars are moving on to full time roles. This helps open up the cards for newer talents, which Jungle Boy thinks will help establish a whole new generation of indie talents. He closed by speaking about the support he's received from strangers and friends alike following the untimely passing of his father.
There were many within WWE surprised that The Undertaker was back so soon after Super Showdown. He had a signing in Niagara Falls shortly after and had a tough time getting around, so the promoters tried what they could to keep him immobile. He was paid $20,000 for the hour, and they ended up paying him for an extra 45 minutes to help accommodate demand.
I mentioned on a Fightful Select Q&A Show last week that the last I'd heard, The Revival hadn't re-signed with WWE. Some incorrectly ran with this as a second-hand report, claiming that I'd said they rejected WWE's latest offer. If they did, I don't know about it, and I didn't report as such. I was just told that as of that point, Revival hadn't signed the deals they were offered.
Beer City Bruiser
I had a really good interview with Ring of Honor's Beer City Bruiser, both to promote some upcoming shows, and to lock him in for an upcoming edition of Enhancement Stories.
Bruiser spoke about his partnerships in Ring of Honor with Brian Milonas and Silas Young, mentioning that he didn't really know Brian much before the two had a match in ROH against one another, and a few months later they were paired. BCB spoke highly of Brian, noting that they gel well together and Milonas has become one of his best friends along the way. His partnership with Silas Young was completely opposite, as they've known each other for years and live pretty close to each other. Bruiser said that he and Silas only tagged once on the indies, but then fit together well in ROH.
We broached the subject of WWE rumors. BCB was linked to WWE last year, and he told me that they had conversations at an NXT event for him to come in as a wrestler, not a coach or player-coach. Bruiser told ROH about the process of what was going on, and liked their offer better from a freedom, money and scheduling standpoint, citing his tag team with Brian Milonas as something that helped keep him in ROH, too.
Talent involved in the 24/7 angle at Drake Maverick's wedding were told last week that they'd be filming at it, though we're told there was some confusion over who would serve as the referee. The filming was supposed to be short, but went much longer than expected. Drake Maverick was said to be in the favor of management big time for the idea of getting content filmed at his wedding.
Fightful reached out to WWE about the change to wrestling during commercial breaks, the accusations of the ESPY Award bearing their name being paid, and the length of Mojo Rawley' contract, and didn't hear back from them.
WWE writer Ryan Alpert departed the company, as he announced in an Instagram post. In asking around, I was told that writing departures happen all the time, so it won't make that big of an impact, but that Alpert was very smart and "amazingly talented." By all indications it seemed like he was well liked in WWE.
We're hearing really good things about Big Cass and his recovery. He took on Jon Moxley recently and was in much improved shape. We're told he's been living in Delaware, focusing on his physical and mental health, and filmed some content for DDP recently tackling the issues of depression he's faced.
Unanimously, across genders, roles, and positions in the company were very surprised by the news this week, and hadn't even heard of it coming.
The first reaction was a longtime WWE wrestler wondering aloud why Triple H wasn't set for one of the roles, and another saying that was some of the immediate chatter that they had heard. Another wrestler compared it to Shane McMahon wanting to improve his spot in the company but being bypassed, but we should note, this was simply discussion and chatter about why Triple H wasn't moved into the role, without much to add to it.
There was some pessimism to the announcement as well. One wrestler said that "Vince is still in charge, so that's all you really need to know," while another told us that the move couldn't possibly be worse than how things have went lately.