In following up on the interview that I had with Conrad Thompson recently I talked to him about the possibility of him having an ECW program, which finally came to fruition. He mentioned that Joel Gertner seemed interested in doing it, and hoped to have Gertner set up with some kind of show, whether it's with him or not and listed Jojo from Keepin' it 100 as a possible host. Gertner announced this week that he'd be starting a podcast as a "Conrad Presentation." He also pointed out Paul Heyman and Joey Styles as the "white whales" that he'd like to do a podcast with in the future. Bully Ray and Tommy Dreamer were also brought up as potential co-hosts.
I asked Conrad who he thought needed to have a podcast, even in a saturated market, and he responded with the same name that Bruce Prichard did -- Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett was present for much of TNA's run through the 2000's, and of course has experience in WWF and WCW, as well as regionally. He would later specify that anything he did in the podcast space like that would have to happen after his other shows, a wedding and Starrcast.
He also told me that he had over 30 pages of notes for his Bret Hart episode of the 83 Weeks podcast with Eric Bischoff, and had to essentially eliminate them after Bischoff threw a wrench into his plans early by denying much of what Hart had claimed.
In a follow up from the interview with Cyrus Fees, we also spoke about his time with Global Force Wrestling and talked about his work with Chael Sonnen and the heavy delays in the episodes of Amped finally seeing broadcast. He said that it was a frustrating wait for two years before the shows aired, and that he was unable to do anything with GFW's run-ins with Impact because he had another announcing gig that prevented him from doing so. Jeff Jarrett was instrumental in getting Cyrus work with Starrcast last week, as Jarrett was heavily involved in the event as well.
Fightful was able to speak to Matt and Nick Jackson the week of All In, which wasn't that smooth for Nick Jackson. He came into Chicago incredibly ill, and didn't think that he was going to make media obligations initially. Being The Elite was delayed, but fortunately, he was able to take medication and was well enough to make all of his commitments.
We also asked about their contract situation, and they were quick to admit that they have plenty of options. They know their leverage as well, saying that no wrestlers over the last two decades have had the amount of leverage they do heading into a contract year. Matt told us that no matter where it is that they end up, this will be the year that they get paid.
Cody was one of the few big names outside of WWE that Fightful hadn't interviewed before last week, and that changed ahead of the event. I was particularly curious about All In landing on WGN for their first hour in the middle of the Ring Of Honor - Tribune Media - Sinclair Broadcast situation. Cody said that if they were an actual promotion instead of just three guys, this would have been a difficult deal to pull off.
He also said that he'd like to keep All Incoming and All Us in production after the event, even if it's under a different name and put over Dave Lagana for his production abilities. NWA had contacted Cody Rhodes before Lagana and Billy Corgan took over, but he got the feeling that was just the easy thing to do, and now was the right time to run the storyline.
It's not a secret now that the Marty Scurll vs. Kazuchika Okada match went well over time and left the show in a bind. The event was already running a little behind and they'd canceled the planned post-match press conferences as it was. Fightful.com told there was some heat on Scurll for going so over time -- to the tune of well over ten minutes, but that the situation would blow over by the end of the weekend. Overall, despite that issue, the attitude was said to have been positive after the show, even though it was very hectic the last half hour.
All In had producers backstage to help with the matches, and familiar faces that helped out with putting the show together. BJ Whitmer was among the names working backstage, and Cody even had a quick turnaround to help direct the show. Joey Mercury was also planned to be backstage.
We're told that many wrestlers who were on the show earlier came out to take in the finish of the event, commonly referred to as a "curtain sellout."
Many WWE wrestlers -- especially NXT talent -- were particularly open about watching the show. A large portion of the WWE roster was overseas and couldn't take it in, but all that I spoke to understood the magnitude of the event, and the positive effect it has on the industry.
I will have more on All in during the coming weeks as I speak to more people who were at the show.
RAW & SD
This week's WWE Monday Night Raw went under heavy re-writes all throughout Monday, including well into Monday night that had many people scrambling.. The episode was titled "Monster Squad," a reference to Braun Strowman's new stable with Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler & Drew McIntyre. WWE Smackdown Live's title was "Double Date," which is a nod to the Brie Bella, Daniel Bryan, Miz, Maryse angle that ran throughout the night, and saw Zelina and Andrade 'Cien' Almas attack.
Titus O'Neil is headed to Atlanta next Tuesday to train alongside Diamond Dallas Page. DDP has motivated several members of the NXT roster in particular to adopt implementing Yoga since he appeared at the Performance Center earlier this year.