WWE provided Fightful access in the form of the media junket and comped tickets to NXT Takeover and Summerslam. SMASH Wrestling provided access to their shows at the Midtown Event Theater
I was able to speak to WWE Champion Kofi Kingston, complete with his printed pancake sweatsuit, which he told me come from the kind of sites that have those obnoxious targeted Facebook ads. Because it's a part of New Day's gimmick, they're able to get away with it as a part of the dress code. Thus far, Kofi says nobody has reached out about a clothing sponsorship, but they're open to listening if one is interested.
When talking about Randy Orton, he said that the two didn't have much of a relationship backstage at any point, it was just another person he had a match with. Kofi was frank about the fact that Randy Orton didn't want him in the position that he was headed for ten years ago.
He remembered almost falling off of Orton's stock car back during their original feud, and he had been told that the thing was practically indestructible. That wasn't the case as he found out, when things tore up much easier than anticipated. However, he almost slipped in the paint he put all over the car, which he said made his career flash in front of his eyes, and even gave him Shockmaster vibes. Everything ended up well in the end.
Becky Lynch and I discussed one of our interactions on Twitter this year, where she stepped out of character in the middle of her WrestleMania push to encourage a young fan who had designed a website in class to describe how much Lynch inspired her. When I asked Lynch about walking that line, she said she'll gladly put over people that support her, and chew the heads off of detractors along the way.
As far as hurting feelings on social media, she said that if people don't understand what she's trying to do, and don't want main events and money they can go back to brushing each other's hair backstage telling each other how great they are and how happy they are to just be there. She hammered this point home, as the conflict business is fueled by such, and so is the money associated.
We discussed her time off of wrestling, and she said that it was difficult for her to watch while she wasn't competing because she saw a lot of friends she came up with making it big. Ronda Rousey, who is also taking time off, is still in the sights of Becky Lynch, as the latter wants a one-on-one match with her.
The subject of MMA was also broached, with her putting over SBG Ireland and John Kavanagh, saying that she tries to go visit and train any time that she's in Ireland. Lynch noted that though Rousey claimed her armbar wasn't effective, we saw it utilized in an MMA fight just a couple of weeks later, which effectively debunked that claim.
I talked to Blue Meanie about the process of bringing in guest members and such for the Blue World Order, and he seemed truly humbled that people still remember and want to talk to him and wear the merchandise, and really enjoys going to convention shows and gatherings.
Outside of honorary members to help sell t-shirts, Meanie couldn't remember a time when a member was slated to join the faction, but didn't. However, there was a time when Joe C. was supposed to be "mini meanie" and it fell through.
I spoke to Matt Striker recently in a convention setting, which he told me that he's really been enjoying, even though he seems to enjoy being home more. He sounded very proud of the unity that a big pro wrestling event brought.
He elaborated the process of moving from wrestler to announcer, and put over the fact that he was able to learn from Kevin Dunn, Vince McMahon, William Regal, Triple H, Arn Anderson, Dean Malenko and others, calling it the "Harvard of pro wrestling." He said that initially he thought he got into a sport, and later realized that he got into a business.
That business for him continues as he is a regular on the seminar circuit. He said the most important question he poses when doing them is "why?" Whether it be wrestlers doing moves, or having moves done to them, he sees it as integral. He also shouted out Rob Van Dam and Jerry Lynn for tackling mental health and depression in recent panels, and circled that back around to the "why?"
- We're told ROH has about 40 filmed matches for Future of Honor from the relationship with Monster Factory Danny Cage that still haven't aired. We've not been told how that will unfold.
- In regards to the talent WWE was contacting while under Major League Wrestling contract last year during WrestleMania weekend, we were told that ironically Shane Strickland was among them. He signed with WWE this year.
- Alicia Fox was said to be in rough shape this past weekend.
Angelina Love Enhancement Stories
ROH Star Angelina Love was a woman of few words in our latest edition of Enhancement Stories. She had some early matches against Trinity in TNA, but could only remember one of them, and could barely even remember that. She remembered driving down from Toronto to Nashville often with Traci Brooks, Kizarny and Eric Young hoping to get booked on the shows.
One vivid memory to her were the struggles of the tight ropes in a six sided ring, which she says was an uphill battle for a lot of women. In addition, working in the six sided ring caused differences as it relates to cameras, too. She did speak rather positively about her experience going over the match with Trinity, but didn't recall any feedback after the dark match, only the opportunity and leaving the territory for her WWE developmental deal shortly after.