AEW: Dustin Rhodes on AEW Women’s Division Issues, Anthony Ogogo on Mental Health Struggles, Deonna Purrazzo

As noted before, Becky Lynch recently criticized AEW over their poor handling of their Women’s division compared to WWE’s efforts in recent years.

A recent episode of Thunder Rosa’s Taco Vlog had Dustin Rhodes as the guest. One of the topics discussed included Rhodes’ thoughts about WWE doing a better job building up their Women’s division than AEW and him wanting to help improve AEW’s own division.

“You girls, there are a lot of people that do reach out to me here and want help and knowledge, but from day one, it started with Britt and Bea Priestley, they had a hell of a match. We started hiring more girls, I was diving in with them, and I started having training sessions just because I wanted to. i wanted the women’s division to get somewhere other than where it was at. WWE has done a good job at that, but I want to see AEW do that. It’s not because I don’t like the guys. I truly see the desire in you ladies and how you want to make it to that next step. That means a lot to me because I like the challenge to get you guys there, in any way possible. I want to lead you there because I care. A lot of people may think that’s weird, but I truly do. I found a calling and I love to train with you girls, talk to you, mentor you, listen to your problems, hug you if you’re crying. It means a lot to me.

Some more than others, like you, you’re all working hard and you all deserve a chance. That’s important for women today. We’re always talking equality. I think it’s important. Now we have a match on Dynamite and Rampage every single week. Slowly but surely. There have been lots of main events. There have been steps forward. I appreciate that as a fan of women’s wrestling. I can sit and watch men wrestle all day long, but if it’s a women’s match, I want to see what they do, pick it apart, and fix it if it’s fixable. I’m very protective of the group. Even when we were practicing during the pandemic, someone yelled at and it was, ‘I can’t believe they did that to you, I was so mad.’ I’m like, ‘it’s okay, it’s fine,’ but y’all were taking up for me and that makes me feel good and makes me feel like I’m doing something worthwhile.”

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Anthony Ogogo Comments on Past Mental Health Struggles & His Wife Saving His Life

United Kingdom-based PA Media held a recent interview with Anthony Ogogo. One of the topics discussed included Ogogo revealing his past struggles with mental health issues and almost taking his own life in December of 2019 if it was not for his wife being there for him.

“I’d like to think I was half-articulate but I can’t start to articulate the feelings that I felt.

I retired on March, 11 2019, I remember it like the back of my hand, my last fight was basically three years before – October 2016 – and there was no conceivable way that I was thinking I’ve walked to the ring as a 27-year-old, as a baby, entering my prime, for the last time.

I spent £100,000 on surgeries in America, that was everything I earned in boxing, and much more beside. I sold my car, remortgaged my house to pay for surgery that didn’t work.

Then I had an injection in my eye, it was a Botox injection to weaken the muscle to try to bring the eye to a better position – it missed the intended muscle and permanently paralyzed the nerve in my left eye.

I gave my life to boxing and I had nothing to show for it other than bad vision; no money, no belts and no titles.

I lost my career, I lost my passion, lost my livelihood and I’ve had to sit and watch people who have half of my ability grow and become world champions and multimillionaires.

No exaggeration. I was generally suicidal and there’s one night in my life, it was December 2019, if my wife wasn’t home that day, I probably would have ended my life that night because I was beyond the brink but thankfully my wife and I were able to address my life.

She literally saved my life – that was my ground zero and I’ve built up from that.”

Ogogo also gave his thoughts about AEW’s plans to eventually run an event in the United Kingdom in the future.

“100 percent, I can’t wait. I think we do a stellar job. I can’t wait to take it to the UK and get cheered for once! I always get booed over here. I want to be the first English world champion, to be the first Black world champion in AEW. But firstly, for me, when I started doing this, I wanted to have fun in my life again and I’m really having fun, I’m really loving life.”

Deonna Purrazzo Comments on Unsure Future of “Forbidden Door” Appearances in AEW & ROH

This past Wednesday’s episode of AEW Dynamite featured the announcement of a ROH Women’s World Championship match between Mercedes Martinez (interim) and Deonna Purrazzo (current) for next week’s Dynamite show.

PWInsider held a recent interview with Purrazzo and one of the topics discussed included Purrazzo being unsure if her “Forbidden Door” appearance for AEW will extend beyond next week’s AEW Dynamite show.

“I’m excited. Nervous. I don’t know how many people will be in the building in Baltimore or what the capacity is, but it will probably be the biggest crowd I’ve ever wrestled in front of, possibly. To have my first match in AEW as a championship match, for the Ring of Honor Women’s Championship, is incredible. Over the last year and a half, there’s been so much talk about what the women’s crossover would be between AEW and IMPACT, and we haven’t really seen anything. To be that first woman to get through Tony’s forbidden door is everything I wanted. Alongside Britt, and people at IMPACT were very vocal about it, this is what we wanted. We wanted to be part of this. I don’t know if it will extend further than me and Mercedes next week, but we’re seeing a taste of it and that’s exciting for all of women’s wrestling.”