ESPN host Jonathan Coachman hosted a special edition of “Off The Top Rope” that aired on ESPN last night. He interviewed Shane McMahon backstage after Monday’s WWE Raw from Brooklyn, NY.

You can see the interview here and below is the transcribed interview, many thanks to the folks at Wrestling.Inc for transcribing:

Shane said he was sore after delivering the big elbow drop to The Undertaker. Coach asked how he can top what he did on RAW and Shane said anything can happen. He’s excited and nervous to be in Hell In a Cell. He said it’s a whole different atmosphere when you’re in with The Undertaker, who he calls the measuring stick of the business. Shane says Taker has carried the business on his back and he’s intimidating. Shane said he’s going to let it rip on Sunday. He’s known for putting his body on the line, especially when the stakes are high, and he will do that. Shane said he’s going to give everything he possibly can in the match.

Coach asked what sticks out in Shane’s mind from everything he’s done and he talked about how he originally thought he would have just one match but that evolved and escalated to where he’s at today. Coach asked what’s inside of Shane that makes him want to go where he has to go on Sunday and do it for the fans. Shane said it’s just his drive, he’s always wanted to do more and always had a competitive nature. Shane said he goes into every physical activity he does with the mindset that he’s going to push it until he can’t push it any further. Coach asked about Shane’s three sons having the chance to watch him on Sunday and he said it’s emotional. Shane said that’s his main reason for doing this. He said the experience of him performing in front of 100,000 fans at WrestleMania is bigger than any give he can give them, so he’s very excited about doing it.

Regarding Shane’s return to the company on RAW several weeks back, Shane said he was speechless. He still gets goosebumps thinking about it. Shane called the reaction and the sustained reaction humbling. He wanted to soak up all the energy and he did, he was blown away. Shane said he’s not articulate enough to describe the feeling. He’s been in the business his whole life and never felt or heard something like that. Shane said the emotions got him and he was crying that night. Coach brought up the training videos we’ve seen and Shane talked about the different coaches he’s been working with to prepare for The Undertaker.

In regards to his future after Sunday’s match, Shane said he doesn’t know but he thinks he will walk out on Monday night in control of RAW.



Divas Division Returning To The Women’s Division?

PWInsider Elite reported yesterday that the WWE will be replacing the current Divas division and replacing it with the Women’s division. To add credence to the story, officials have commissioned a new title belt to replace the current butterfly Divas title. The design is similar to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship but on a white leather strap and smaller in size.

These changes are set to be announced this coming Monday’s post-WrestleMania Raw from Dallas, Tx.

If this comes to pass, then the winner of this Sunday’s Triple Threat match between Charlotte, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch at WrestleMania 32 could very well be the last Divas champion ever.


Dean Ambrose Interview  – “I’m Constantly Hurt”

WWE Superstar Dean Ambrose spoke with FOX Sports yesterday to promote his Street Fight at WrestleMania 32 against The Beast Incarnate, Brock Lesnar. Subjects covered were the expectation of the match, his current well being, being compared to past legends, and more. The full interview can be found here but below are some highlights:

FS: You have such a physical style in the ring and you put your body through a lot. We’ve seen a lot of injuries lately with Seth Rollins and John Cena, so how have you kept your body together? How have you been able to stay active and stay upright while a lot of people are falling by the wayside around you?

DA: A lot of that just taking care of yourself and training properly. I keep myself flexible, I just compete at my normal body weight. I’m trying to carry around an extra 30 pounds, a lot of injury-prone musculature. I keep my body in its most prime, healthy state and also I’ve just been lucky.

On the other hand, I’m also constantly hurt. I’ve been hurt for 10 years. It’s not like I’m not constantly dealing with a litany of injuries that I have myself. If it’s not one thing, it’s another thing but I’ve just been able to keep rolling. I’ve not had anything catastrophic happen to me. It’s a funny thing because it’s always like the crazy freak things. It’s not like ‘Oh he got hurt when he jumped off the top of the cage.’ It’s like ‘He got hurt stepping into the ring’ or ‘popped his shoulder out giving a high five’. It’s the little things you can’t plan for. It’s not anything that ever enters my mind.

FS: Going into WrestleMania there are a lot of eyeballs on you, and a lot of expectations and excitement around you going into the match. Do you feel that anticipation growing? And when you hear people say the future of the company lies in your hands, how do you feel about that, especially going into an event as big as this one?

DA: I feel like the present of the company lies in guys like our hands. The guys who are in the business every single day, guys like myself, Roman Reigns, Dolph Ziggler, whoever it is, guys who are out there busting our asses every night, putting smiles on faces and putting our bodies on the line. Guys like myself and Roman Reigns, we take an ownership like these shows are our shows every night.

We feel like this company is our company. As far as WrestleMania, there’s a lot of extra excitement, there’s so much white noise and people always say stuff. I’m just worried about what I’m doing and going out there and putting on the best match that’s in front of me. When you’re going in there with Brock Lesnar, you can’t have anything else on your mind. I think that’s why I’ve been so successful is that I’m not worrying about anything. I don’t really care what anybody thinks, I don’t care what anybody else’s opinion is, I don’t care what anybody else is doing. I just go out there and do what I do and see where the chips fall. And here we are and I’m fighting Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.

FS: You don’t get into this business without being a fan, so when you hear comparisons for your style to famous wrestlers from the past — and then you have guys like Terry Funk and Mick Foley talking to you going into a match like this — do you allow yourself a moment to enjoy this and revel in the fact that you are being compared to guys like that?

DA: It’s funny how comparisons go and everybody gets comparisons to everybody else, and I don’t try to pattern myself from anybody else. But I’m huge fan of the business and I’m an old-school guy so to be able to go off the cuff with Mick Foley, who shows up and wants to be a part of something. Then a guy like Terry Funk who comes all the way to Philadelphia from Amarillo cause he wants to be a part of something. It was really cool with Terry Funk because I think a lot of the old-school guys get a kick out of me and they see what pro wrestling used to be. For him to come all the way to Philadelphia and do that bit and when he walks in and sees WWE and how it is today, he’s probably thinking ‘What is all this crap?’.

To have an old-school, outlaw, cowboy professional wrestler, who is Terry Funk 24/7, the real deal, to have him in the room and the red light goes on and boom, he’s on, he’s Terry Funk. I was like ‘That’s how it’s done!’ After having a conversation with him, an old-school guy like that, that makes me know I’m on the right track and I’ve done things my way. It makes me feel good.


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WWE Global Cruiserweight Series Dates Revealed

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week reported that the new WWE Global Cruiserweight Series is currently scheduled to start airing Wednesday nights on the WWE Network beginning July 13th at 9 p.m. EST, right after NXT airs.

The tournament will feature 32 participants, and the whole tournament is expected to be filmed from June 20th through to the 24th at Full Sail University in Orlando, the home of NXT itself.  The tapings would likely see two episodes taped per night, and the finals of the series would air on WWE Network on September 14th. It was noted that the idea for the tournament series is to make it an annual event.

The qualifying matches are expected to be taped but might not air in full on WWE Network programming, much like how some of the early rounds of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic were only shown as highlights. As of writing, the WWE production teams won’t be involved with the recording of the qualifiers, with the individual promotions that are hosting the qualifiers providing the footage.
Three promotions have been announced as qualifying match hosts so far, EVOLVE Wrestling, Progress Wrestling and Revolution Pro Wrestling. More are to be announced in the coming weeks.

In Other News

*Vince McMahon took to Twitter yesterday and posted the following tweet about possibly breaking the WrestleMania attendance record:

As many of you know, Vince has always inflated the attendance figure for WrestleMania 3. Could WrestleMania legitimately beat that record? Quite possibly, as at least 85,000 tickets have been sold for the event already. You can guarantee though, that Uncle Vince will add a few thousand on top of the attendance figure this Sunday anyway.


*Finn Balor appeared on the Another Wrestling Podcast recently to promote NXT TakeOver: Dallas. He spoke about if he gets nervous before events of this magnitude, will his Demon persona be at Takeover and many more. Here is the full interview but below are some highlights from the ten minute conversation:

– Asked if he is nervous in preparation for TakeOver this Friday, Finn replied that he has butterflies in preparation for NXT TakeOver: Dallas. He thinks something would be wrong if there weren’t any, and it’s that way for the whole roster.

– With facing Samoa Joe for his NXT Championship for the second time in four months, is he ready for another strong challenge. Finn said that any time you’re in the ring with Samoa Joe it’s a test. He talks about how they’re both world traveled, and calls Samoa Joe pushes him out of his comfort zone, which is what he wants.

– When asked if his Demon persona will make an appearance this Friday, Finn replied by saying he won’t say whether he’s going to be Finn or the Demon at NXT TakeOver: Dallas. He says that he takes inspiration from everywhere.


*Above is a promo video to hype (like you need to be hyped any more that you are) the NXT Women’s Championship match at tomorrow night’s NXT Takeover: Dallas. As always it’s a fantastically put together video, with some interview comments from WWE Divas Champion Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Dana Brooke and Emma to help sell the match even more.
Talking of NXT, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter revealed this week that the next NXT TakeOver event will be held back at Full Sail University on June 8th.


Read Our Stuff

*Mike Holland is back with match five of his March To WrestleMania. It’s the turn of Chris Jericho and AJ Styles to go under Mike’s microscope. Click here to read his thoughts.

*Even though John is in Dallas as we speak, he still found time to post his Takeover and WrestleMania predictions. They’re right here if you want to see who he thinks will be winners and losers of this weekend.


Last Orders

Well that brings me to the end of a very busy and packed news update. I’m sure tomorrow will be even busier, with NXT Takeover: Dallas being the main center of attention, and quite possibly a few tidbits of WrestleMania news too.

I’ll be back tomorrow with the news update and some fun things to do over the WrestleMania weekend.

So until tomorrow, sayonara!