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NEW JAPAN IN TIMES SQUARE, THE ONE NXT STAR I'D CALL UP ASAP, CHANGES TO WWE TALENT FREEDOM AND MORE

By Mike Johnson on 2022-08-20 10:00:00

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I listened to the Karrion Kross and Scarlett episode of WWE's After the Bell podcast and it seemed like it was a much more honest, deeper conversation than we are used to having on WWE's interview shows and less of promotional hype.  Some of the discussion of their frustrations in their careers was very moving.  Was this a one-time thing?

I don't believe it is.  You used the word deeper but I think a proper term may be to say that they were allowed more "freedom."  The impression many in the company have been given is that under the new regime, things will be a lot easier for everyone to be themselves and speak more.  It's absolutely a reflection of the post-Vince McMahon era.  I don't think it will be a one-time thing but more the start of how WWE will approach such media moving forward.  It's absolutely in line with the Triple H NXT calls and things of that nature.

You mentioning They Live sparked a memory.  I seem to remember a Gorgeous George movie with Roddy Piper.  Am I crazy?

You aren't but it wasn't a Gorgeous George movie.  Piper had a very small role in the Henry Winkler film The One and Only, where Winkler was a down and out actor who turned to professional wrestling:

What happened to Taylor Wilde in Impact Wrestling?

Taylor Wilde noted on her podcast that she is still under contract to the company, so she could be back anytime.  

I saw New Japan is running in Times Square at a new venue.  Where did that place come from?

Nowhere.  That venue, now known as the Palladium Times Square, has been officially open since 2005 and was a movie theater prior to its current use as a concert venue.  I've seen lots of music acts there, including Bon Jovi and The Go-Gos over the years.  This would be the first time anyone has attempted to use the venue for professional wrestling.  My guess is they will use the stage for entrances and put the ring in the center of the venue, which is rectangular shaped.  That's pretty much the only way they could have the show "in the round" so to speak, surrounded by the audience in all directions.

Who's the one NXT act you hope WWE calls up now?

Roderick Strong.  If anyone could add to the overall quality of in-ring wrestling on Raw or Smackdown, it's Strong, who is very much the modern day equivalent of an Arn Anderson in that he adds credibility to everyone he is around inside the ring bell to bell.

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