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By Mike Johnson on 2020-05-23 10:00:00


When do you think WWE starts touring again?

I think they start touring when Vince McMahon believes it's safe for his company to do so.  That's really the best answer I can give you.  I do believe and this is just my gut, that touring will consist of Raw and Smackdown and perhaps a few non-televised live events a month, but I bet WWE pulls back on touring of secondary markets that were really losses on the book.

Whatever happened to John Arezzi? I loved listening to his wrestling insider radio show back in the day in NYC.

John is actually still going strong.  He has an podcast he streams featuring vintage and new content and is very active on Facebook as well.  He and Greg Oliver have worked on a book about John's career that will be released next year.  When he disappeared from wrestling, he moved to Nashville (where he still resides) and worked in the country music world.  I've known John since I was in High School and he was never anything but a class act and I am glad to see him active again in pro wrestling.   

How long before Tony Khan becomes a character on his own show?

I really, really don't see that happening.  I think if anything Khan is smart to remain behind the scenes.  The booker should never be on TV.   The person running the business end of things should be negotiating the deals, not playing a character.  Vince McMahon didn't do it until WWF's back was against the wall and he had no choice.  AEW is nowhere near that position.

Have you ever considered writing a book on wrestling?  I don't understand why you don't have a book deal after reading your Undertaker reviews.  An ECW book perhaps?

Of course I've considered it.  I have a few ideas on things I'd like to write about - both in wrestling and non-wrestling subjects but there are three major obstacles in my way.  One, this website is a monster that is always needing to be fed.  I can't just concentrate on a book at the expense of the readers here by not chasing stories and even worse, by not doing audios and interviews for Elite subscribers. That isn't fair to anyone who has invested their money in subscribing here.  Two, my gut feeling, if I am being honest, there's no guarantee that the things I want to write about are things others would want to read.   I REALLY don't think anyone wants a book about ECW in 2020.   Three, the amount of money a book makes is really small compared to the amount of work being put into it and again, it's a matter of balacing the workload vs. the reward.    As far as a book deal, no one has ever offered me one.  It's not something I have pursued in a decade at least and I don't have an agent chasing things down.  We are a mom and pop shop here and I focus on that.  Any outside project that has ever come my way - hosting at Starrcast, Legends of Extreme on the Highspots Wrestling Network, etc. are all things that came to me.    I am far more likely to work on producing more streaming projects or another film festival before anything else.

What's your thoughts on Hana Kimura's passing?  She was one of my favorites and it meant so much to me to see her work the Tokyo Dome in January.  I am sitting here just numb and sad.  I can't imagine that this is real and keep checking websites hoping it's going to end up being a misunderstanding or a bad translation of a story.  It's just awful.

It's a needless tragedy.  I know all signs are that she was heavily hurt and depressed by social media reaction towards her.   Her death didn't have to happen and certainly, a bunch of a-holes hiding on social media shouldn't be the mitigating factor in whether someone wants to live or die,   If social media is hurting someone so badly, they need to pull themselves off it immediately.  There's no cowardice in that.  Make the accounts private, sign off and let them sit there.  If someone is being an a-hole towards you, block them immediately.  Don't mute them, because if you do, they are still tweeting at you, which means you are giving them the chance to speak to whoever else is reading your tweets and they certainly don't deserve that power.  No one, celebrity or not, should ever sign off on allowing that garbage in their world.  I wish Kimura had just done that instead.  

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say Kimura's death will change STARDOM forever.  She was earmarked to be one of their biggest stars going forward and now, this changed the trajectory of the promotion forever.  But, all of that is meaningless compared to the death of someone who was not only passionate and loved being in pro wrestling but was very much beloved by everyone she came into contact with.   I don't know what the law is in Japan regarding cyber-bullying but if there are legitimate charges to be brought against someone, I hope that happens.  There may be other factors that came into play here, as it's still a developing story, but the core essense of all of this is someone who was unanimously loved by everyone she came into contact has passed away, needlessly, at way too young an age.

We all love pro wrestling, but this is a situation that is far more serious and far more important than pro wrestling.  It's a 22 year old woman who had her entire life ahead of her and felt things were so bad, she didn't want to carry on.  Throw wrestling out of the equation, that's a tragedy for anyone in any walk of life.  Kimura's death is an absolute shame and I can only hope that her death inspires someone else having personal issues to realize that there is support for them and that things can get better.   I hope anyone who is in that position seeks help immediately and I am saddened Kimura didn't.  My condolences to everyone who loved her.  There's nothing that can be said to mitigate the grief here.  It's horrible.

If you are feeling suicidal, please ask for help. In the United States, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

What are your thoughts on Tammy Sytch taking bookings again, given you reported the most in-depth coverage of her legal issues?

I have zero issue with it personally.  She paid her debt to society and if she's in a healthier place (which all accounts are that is the case), then she has every right to work and make money for herself.  If her past issues stay in the past, that's a victory for her and she deserves every chance to move forward and beyond them.  I sincerely hope that happens for her, today, next week, next year and for the rest of her life.  Matt Hardy has shown the world that you can come out of the worst part of your personal life and make a better life for yourself.  There is zero reason Tammy Sytch can't choose to do the same.

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