Saturday 1/30 Torch Today – Big Events, Cena’s recovery continues, NXT as feeder for talent & coolness?, T.J. Perkins’s post-TNA move, Chikara was almost Impact Wrestling?, Social Outcast interviewed, Santana training Tough Enough’er, Godderz, Video – Mongolian Stomper remembered, more

By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor

TORCH TODAY – Saturday, January 30, 2016

– The Saturday Events Center: WWE’s main roster kicks off in Georgia & Tennessee with injuries galore. … NXT wraps a road tour in Detroit and home tour in Florida (Greg Parks will be live!). … TNA is in London with a Lockdown theme. … Chikara has a doubleheader in Philadelphia to kick off 2016. … PWS and Global Force Wrestling have a make-up date in New Jersey with Jeff Jarrett, Colt Cabana, Magnus, and Mickie James. … NEW will determine a new champion in the “Rumble Royal” following Matt Taven’s injury. … Metro Pro is in Kansas City. … ECWA is in New Jersey. (Full Event Info & More Shows) (TORCH READER ALERT: We’re looking for results sent to pwtorch@gmail.com)

Bo Dallas was on the interview circuit promoting this weekend’s WWE main roster shows in SEC country. Dallas talked about training with his brother (Bray Wyatt) in Developmental, being part of NXT’s “pivotal moments” when he and Neville were in the top program as the brand was breaking out, the formation of the Social Outcasts stable, and the influences on his character. (In-depth Q&A at AL.com) (Brief Interview at DJournal.com)

– WWE top star John Cena is back in the gym rehabbing his shoulder despite not being able to grab a weight bar to do his regular lifts.

– Not only will NXT be credited with providing the foundation of WWE’s main roster in the years to come, but it could be key to WWE becoming “cool” again. NXT’s link to music, especially through the hard rock music festivals that Triple H is passionate about, has reinforced NXT as a hip, acceptable wrestling show. AlternativeNation.net documented that connection between Hunter and Tool guitarist Adam Jones, who recently attended an NXT TV taping. Eventually, the musical influence that was a big part of the Attitude Era’s success will surface at the main level.

One NXT standout who has already surfaced on the main level is Kevin Owens, whose “Fight Owens Fight” t-shirt has the look of something not from the WWE corporate t-shirt machine to match Owens not having the body type or look of a typical WWE star. One picture of Owens’s t-shirt being displayed at AltPress.com captures how Owens’s persona represents the underground coming into more popularity, representing a counter-culture within pop culture. Eventually, another big “underground” star like Finn Balor will surface on the main roster. Outgoing New Japan star Shinsuke Nakamura has a similar vibe. Will the Balor Club come with them to re-create the sense of coolness from the NWO 20 years ago? It will be interesting to see how this plays out in 2016.

– Former TNA star T.J. Perkins (Puma/Manik) says he is interested in joining WWE’s NXT Developmental system or returning to Ring of Honor. This follows Perkins being cut from TNA via email during the current round of contract restructurings as part of TNA’s Pop TV move. (Interview with Ryan Rider of Main Event Radio)

– Ahead of CHIKARA’s doubleheader 2016 debut on Saturday, Mike Quackenbush shared the interesting story about CHIKARA almost being named “Impact Wrestling” two years before TNA came into existence.

“It’s strange to think about this now but we started talking about it in the Summer of 2000. This precedes the creation of NWA-TNA. We were talking about it and Tom (Carter a/k/a Reckless Youth) and I as well as Don Montoya who was one of our traveling mates,” Quackenbush said on the Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling podcast. “We (were) going to do it by training people in a certain kind of way, we want a more cosmopolitan style that involves all of these international things and we originally wanted to call it Impact Wrestling and for quite a while maybe about four or five months it was Impact Wrestling and then when the time came and we were going to put up a fairly small sum of money, I mean it was a significant in reality for guys in their 20s and well at that point Montoya bowed out. So then it became Tom and I and when Montoya bowed out we decided we are not going to keep this name because that was for the three of us so it needs to be something else.”

Santana Garrett, who competed for the SHINE Women’s Title Friday night at SHINE 32, is taking on the role of helping train a future TNA star. Santana has been working with former Tough Enough contestant Gabi (a/k/a Raquel in TNA) at the Team Vision Dojo/I Believe in Wrestling school in Orlando. Gabi is scheduled to make her TNA TV debut soon and is training to prepare for the career move.

– TNA star Jessie Godderz’s mainstream attention following a recent appearance on CBS’s “The Talk” extended to gossip publication STAR Magazine this week.

– Video of the Day: Southern States Wrestling Classics presented a video tribute to The Mongolian Stomper (a/k/a Archie Gouldie), who died last week in Tennessee. SSW’s Beau James also blogged on working with The Stomper at KingofKingSport.com.

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