Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’

The ‘King Of Rock & Roll’ is indirectly responsible for one of pro wrestling’s most iconic poses.

Shawn Michaels recently told Sports Illustrated that Elvis Presley inspired the wide-legged muscle pose that he performed countless times in WWE rings. Elvis didn’t flex both biceps the way HBK did, but he did stand in a power stance and make himself the centre of attention on-stage.

A young Shawn loved that, and he decided to make it part of his act when he went solo. He’d noticed that Presley would command attention and bask in the spotlight towards the end of his concerts. That’s something else Michaels changed – he flipped the King’s performance on its head and gestured before and after his biggest matches.

It didn’t take long for wrestling fans to associate the pose with Shawn, but few knew that he’d actually lifted it from Elvis. Remarkably, Michaels also asked ring announcers to tell fans that he’d “left the building” before main events too.

That little add-on kept him in everyone’s minds, and was another sneaky little trick that he’d picked up from Presley.

Over the last few days, Britt Baker has seemingly been everywhere talking about the matches she would love to have. One involved a singles match with AJ Lee. Another involved a mixed tag team match between Baker and boyfriend Adam Cole against Lee and her husband, AEW World Champion CM Punk. And then there’s Paige, the former WWE star who is more than open to tangling with Baker in the ring someday.

In an interview with Sportskeeda, Baker was asked whether AEW could be the right landing spot for Paige now that she’s on the free agent market.

“I think AEW could be the right place for anybody, really,” Baker said. “We have such a good platform, we have such good coaches, we have the best fans in the world.”

Baker then proceeded to gush about Paige and the influence the former WWE Divas Champion had on her career.

“I’m a huge fan of Paige,” Baker said. “I love her, I love her mom, I wrestled her mom before, actually. She’s such an inspirational female. That girl has gone through it all, and she’s still, pardon my swearing, but she’s such a bad bitch. She has such a ‘let everything roll off your back’ energy. You can’t get to her. She holds her head high.

“Her in a wrestling ring again, if I’m not in the match, I want to be at ringside watching it, because she was one of my favorites to watch. Her energy, when she would come out and skip, do the sideways skip to the ring, it made me so excited. I used to play her entrance music in my car. I’m a huge Paige fan.”

One of AEW’s latest recruits, Paige VanZant, joined Renee Paquette & Miesha Tate on SiriusXM’s Throwing Down with Renee & Miesha to discuss her current pro wrestling training.

Paige did reveal that while she is picking things up fairly quickly inside the squared circle during her training, it will be her work on the microphone that will be the most challenging.

“Yeah, that is gonna be, honestly, the hardest part is learning to work the microphone, learning to work the room on the microphone, learning to speak in public,” Paige explained. “I feel like I’ve always done well speaking in public, but all the questions are about me, and it’s pretty easy to just talk about yourself, but in this instance, it’s going out there, and you have to like – I’m going to be calling people out, I’m gonna be talking to other female wrestlers. It’s making it in the entertainment industry as well, but at the same time, I do know luckily I’m going in there I’m still Paige VanZant.”

In preparation for her eventual in-ring AEW debut, Paige has been watching some other athletes who have transitioned into the world of pro wrestling such as Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler.

“You know, I’ve been trying to get some ideas and some new moves to use,” VanZant said. “I’ve been watching everybody. I’ve been watching Ronda. I’ve been watching Shayna for a long time, she’s been wrestling forever. I’ve been watching everybody in WWE and in AEW. I still go to all of the AEW shows, and I just watch in the back and get a sense of what I’ll be doing, just to make sure I’m good at it. So I feel like the more involved I am the more I’ll pick up just from watching.”

One key component that Paige VanZant has noticed that is different between UFC and AEW, is the energy that the fans provide at each show.

“You know in the back, I notice that at the shows, it’s definitely a – there’s a lot of similarities,” Paige said. “I mean at the end of the day everybody’s coming for your job. Everybody’s trying to come and come at you. Everybody’s competition, it doesn’t matter who you are. It honestly feels like the same world.

“The one biggest difference though – I love MMA fans, I love UFC fans, I know there’s a lot of diehards but when you’re in the audience at a pro wrestling show the energy is shocking. The love and support, whenever a pro wrestler walks out, the entire audience is singing their song, they know the song by heart. They have the banners. The love, just the energy from the fans. I don’t know if they’ll love me or not. Doesn’t matter. I just know they’re going to give me a ton of energy no matter what.”

AEW’s Powerhouse Hobbs was a recent guest on Insight with Chris Van Vliet where he spoke about Harlem Heat.

Hobbs made it clear that the WCW tag team was his favorite growing up and felt it was a good situation that they looked like him.

“Those were my dudes growing up, man. I just, just wish I would’ve had a matching durag, you know, to come out with, you know? But those were my guys growing up,” he said. “Like just the intimidation factor, how, you know they talked the same talk of jive that my grandparents talked, you know, it’s going to be all neckbone and sucka, you know? My grandparents said that stuff to a T. So those were my dudes growing up. Plus they look like me. That was, that was a good thing.”

Powerhouse Hobbs also admitted that at one point he thought that he would end up working with WWE, reflecting on the mixed messages that come with that.

“I did at one time,” he said. “But then it got to the point where it was like, ‘okay, they’re just bringing you in to do like, enhancement stuff. Okay, cool’. And then you have people, you know, that are actually on the roster and they’re like, ‘hey, when are they going to give you a shot?’ Like, you know? So, and you just, let alone guys that actually worked there said to me, that let me know I could go and I had talent.”

Powerhouse Hobbs also reflected on Tony Khan deciding to switch up his name and admitted he feels like he’s paying homage to former talents.

“Tony looked at me and was like, ‘Powerhouse.’ I was like, ‘alright, let’s go,’” he stated. “I thought he might’ve saw some of my clips in the gym, but I don’t know where he got it from and I’m loving it and it’s one of those things like, you look at ‘Hacksaw’ Butch Reed. People call him Hacksaw and I’m like, ‘okay’. And I know for a fact Burch Reed was a fan of mine.

“I’ve talked to his son and you know, I’m like, ‘okay, I’m up there with Butch Reed, like Powerhouse, Hacksaw’. Even like ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan. They call him Hacksaw. Like, anybody with those like, strong names, like, you know, it’s my way of kind of, carrying on and paying homage to them.”

AEW’s Leyla Hirsch recently caught up with AEW Unrestricted podcast. She reflected on finding out she’d been signed by the company via Twitter. However, Leyla also spoke about how much seeing her graphic on social media meant to her.

“Yeah, I found out on Twitter. It’s funny because once I got there, this might seem silly, but my next goal was to have that graphic posted because to me that meant the world. It’s like, ‘okay, this is legit actually, this is really happening.’ So, when Tony Khan announced to me, that I was officially signed, I was like shaking. I was like, ‘wow. I actually did this,’” she said. “In a short amount of time as well, it was awesome.

“It was so nice to see someone like me could make it to this stage, could have this graphic, it meant the world to me. It was like, ‘alright, everything I have done up until this point has been worth it.’ I actually still get chills from it, so that’s awesome. They were so proud of me, especially my mom, because she’s supported me since day one.”

Leyla Hirsch was born in Russia and grew up in an orphanage. She reflected on what that experience was like for her, with the routine that they had at the time. However, she also admitted that being adopted changed her life.

“Russia, I was in an orphanage, it is just so different from here,” she said. “They have like a whole system for us, we had a whole routine when we would eat, go out, go to bed, they were very strict. You had some people that were nice, some people that weren’t the nicest. The one thing that I loved about Russia was food. I love Russian food, I love it.

“But it was tough, if you got in trouble you had to kind of pay for it, you know. I wasn’t the best kid, I got in trouble a little bit, because I loved to fight. Sometimes that would cost me. I would say it was a great experience, but also not such a great experience, but I feel like I’ve learned so much. Being adopted has changed my whole life.”

Leyla Hirsch also spoke about what inspires her as a professional wrestler. She revealed her time in amateur wrestling was key, but she also watched former UFC stars, Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler.

“I would say amateur wrestling,” Hirsch revealed. “I honestly feel if I didn’t do amateur wrestling, I wouldn’t be this type of wrestler. Also, training at CZW, I wasn’t going to be a girl that put on a lot of makeup. I wanted people to believe in everything that I did in the ring.

“And then I studied a lot of Kurt Angle, Tazz, even like UFC I watched. Ronda Rousey, Shayna Baszler, so to me it’s inspiring seeing people like them because they’re different. When I wrestle I don’t go off my looks, that’s not my goal.”

Smackdown Superstar Aliyah recently sat down with Denise Salcedo to discuss her excitement heading into her first Royal Rumble match and what she expects.

“Oh my goodness, it feels incredible. Because growing up, I used to watch Lita, I used to watch Mickie James, I used to watch the Bellas,” she said. “You know what I mean? So it’s just so cool. Then, on one hand, I get to see all these legends, and then, on the other hand, I look to my right and I’ll see Liv Morgan, whose been my best friend forever. I’m just so excited, it’s going to be a great time and I’m ready to go in there and kick ass and win.”

Aliyah also dished on why the Royal Rumble is special to her and her favorite thing about the event.

“It’s going a crazy amazing dynamic, my favorite part about the Rumble is just not knowing who is going to come out next,” she stated. “There’s still a bunch of people that haven’t even been announced, so just the surprise within that I am so excited for. That’s always been my favorite part.”

Aliyah’s focus also extends beyond this year’s Royal Rumble. The SmackDown discussed her goals for 2022 and hopes to become the first-ever Arab female superstar to perform in the Middle East.

“We’re heading to Saudi for Elimination Chamber, and no matches have really been announced. It would be an honor to be the first-ever Arab female superstar to perform in the Middle East. That’s always been a huge goal of mine.”

During the interview in an effort to get to know Aliyah better, she was asked details on who inspired her wrestling character and ring gear.

“Trish Stratus, Mickie James, a little bit of Dolly Parton. Earlier on when I started getting newer gear when I first saw the first season of Euphoria I was obsessed with that show. So I kind of pulled, there’s this character named Maddy, I kind of pulled a bunch of things from her.”

Seth Rollins spoke with Josh Martinez recently where he looked back to the past. The former Shield member revealed what one match got him stuck on wrestling as a fan, starting his love for the business. For him, that took place at WrestleMania 6.null

“I would say Hulk Hogan vs. Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 6. That’s probably the one for me that got me like stuck, stuck. I was a fan a little bit before that, but that was the one,” Seth Rollins said. “I have the image of the video cassette tape burned into my brain of WrestleMania 6. So, that would be the one where I was like, ‘yeah, this is it for me.’”

WWE is set for a special live event in New York on December 26. Because of that, Seth Rollins spoke about his memories there. He recalled three of the greatest moments from his career that took place in New York which included WWE and Ring Of Honor.

“There’s a few obviously that come to mine. Maybe we will go chronologically here, in reverse,” Seth stated. “The Edge match at the Garden the last time we were there was a really special one to me. I mean, I know it was a somber ending. But it was a really fun atmosphere and a cool opportunity to have. We don’t do television tapings there that often anymore, so that was really, really fun for us.null

“Then you go back to Barclays and The Shield’s first match against Team Hell No and Ryback, which was pretty special for all of us, and got our careers in the mainstream kicked off in the right way. Then winning the Ring Of Honor World Championship in the Hammerstein Ballroom was about as special as it gets,” he said. “I think that one might have been actually the Manhattan Center to be honest when I won it. But either way, those are three off the top of my head that are defining moments of my career.”

On the latest episode of the Throwing Down Poodcast with Renee Paquette and Miesha Tate, current AEW Women’s Champion Britt Baker detailed certain WWE stars that inspired her. Fans may be surprised to learn that Baker credits the “Four Horsewomen of WWE” – Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Bayley – as inspirations to lace up the boots.

“When I first started training, when I was like, ‘Hey, this is something I want to do while I’m in dental school,’ what really motivated me was when I saw the Sasha, Bayley, Becky, Charlotte matches that were happening on NXT at the time. Which is crazy because now we’re all like, quote-unquote competing against each other,” Baker noted. “But those are my idols, those are the girls that I enjoyed watching, and I think with women’s wrestling, the thing that I find is a trend that the most successful women are the ones that have the utmost confidence in themselves, and who they are, and that character.

“One way or another, if you’re a good guy or a bad guy and you just own it and you bring that ‘bad bitch’ vibe energy one way or another, I think those girls, to me, those girls are the ones that I want to watch.”

Baker also hopes that she will someday see her real life friends and fellow pro wrestlers, Chelsea Green and Impact Women’s Champion Deonna Purrazzo , in the same ring as her. She vows that one day in the future, it will come together in some capacity.

“Between me, Chelsea, and Deonna, in some way or another, the three of us – one combination with this and that will be in one ring together,” Baker said. “I don’t know when, where, how, but I can promise you that will eventually happen. And Chelsea is very admirable right now because she is just taking every opportunity and then some to prove herself, prove her name and show she means business. She’s here to wrestle and she looks good doing it too, and she’s not afraid to show that which I, again, am a fan of those ‘bad bitch’ vibes.

“But Chelsea, she got into NXT right after All In so she never really did get the opportunity to go do the Ring of Honors and all the different promotions. So now, she’s getting her feet wet in all of them and getting that experience, and she’s loving it. She’s very vocal about that and I think it’s awesome because she’s cementing her name in professional wrestling even more. And the world is her oyster, she’s going to continue taking the world by storm. I think we’re going to see a lot of really cool things from her in the next year or so. Of course if she wants to get in the ring with me then so be it, but buckle up, child because you haven’t wrestled the D.M.D. You wrestled Britt Baker back in the day but not this chick.”

New SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch was reportedly inspired by WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns to turn heel.

As we’ve noted, Lynch reportedly asked to be booked as a heel now that she’s back in action for WWE. It’s been reported that Lynch is now set to be the top heel of the blue brand women’s division. She made her surprise return at WWE SummerSlam on Saturday and defeated Bianca Belair in just 26 seconds to win the title, as the replacement for Sasha Banks, who is not cleared to compete.

In an update, people within WWE have reportedly said Lynch was inspired by top heel Reigns, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

It was noted how Lynch became the most popular wrestler in the company and the hottest female Superstar the company has ever seen the last time she tried to go heel. It was also speculated that this could be some sort of personal challenge for The Man as the move doesn’t make much sense from a business standpoint as a truly-loved babyface talent is very rare, and hard to replace.

Lynch is expected to feud with Belair, at least for the rematch. You can click here for a backstage report on the status of Belair’s push.

Lynch will make her return to WWE SmackDown during tonight’s episode, her first blue brand appearance since the October 4, 2019 episode.

Allie, a.k.a. The Bunny, was on a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast with Aubrey Edwards and Tony Schiavone. Allie revealed which Impact Wrestling star she would want to team up or feud with.

“It would be a dream come true to work alongside Rosemary again, as a partner. It would also be a dream come true to feud with her again because my all time favorite matches, my all time favorite feud in my entire career has been Rosemary,” Allie expressed. “She’s amazing, and she’s one of the best friends. Selfishly, if I could drag her here, I would and put her right next to me, and then maybe we’d also fight.

Allie’s final run in Impact Wrestling was with Rosemary as the two were feuding against Su Yung. While taking fan questions, Allie was asked who her dream opponent is.

“Trish Stratus, 100%,” Allie stated. “She was the inspiration for me to start wrestling, seeing her, and she’s a Toronto gal just like me. I would love it.”

Allie was also asked what her favorite moment in Impact Wrestling was.

“Hands down, the wedding. That was one of the coolest experiences in my entire life,” Allie said. “Not only being able to stand with Jesse, with The Blade and watch him kick ass but every single person in that segment knocked it out of the park, and I don’t think that TV can really translate how loud the Impact Zone was.

“That’s the loudest I had ever heard. People were losing their shit. It was so cool, and I feel like it’s so important for me to say this because I don’t feel like she gets the credit she deserves, but Madison Rayne wrote that segment. She wrote and produced that segment. She trusted all of us to bring her story to life, and honestly, that was one of the coolest, most awesome moments of my entire career.”