SAM ROBERTS WRESTLING PODCAST – EPISODE #49
HOST: SAM ROBERTS
GUESTS: PAUL HEYMAN, COREY GRAVES
DATE: SEPTEMBER 9, 2015
DIRECT LINK TO STREAM OR DOWNLOAD EPISODE
Report by Mike Booble, podcast reporter
HOT TOPICS IN SHOW
- Roughly thirty minutes of questions covering topics from picking a Tough Enough winner to why Cesaro being paired with Paul Heyman last summer did not get over with the fans.
- Ref-gate. It’s the inability for seemingly any ref to be in position to count or the inability to even count to three and the NFL like coverup that is happening in WWE.
- Divas Revolution and the need for concrete storytelling not just throw away matches.
- The Intercontinental title, specifically Kevin Owens pursuing it, and how unlike seemingly everyone else, not doing so in order to return prestige to it, rather just to have it to improve his standing in the company.
SUBJECTS COVERED (with time stamps)
-Introduction – 0.00
-Celebrating recent birthday by buying a WWF branded winged eagle championship belt. – 0.40
-Discussion on his favorite belts of all time – 3.02
-Introduction to the Q&A – 5.35
-First question – 8.55
-Interview wrap-up – 33.40
-State Of Wrestling – 36.50
-”Interview” with Nikki Bella – 54.00
-Final segment State Of Wrestling – 55.45
- Sam said in order his favorite belts were; the winged eagle, smoking skull belt, Undisputed title, and the big gold WCW/NWA heavyweight title. Debated with himself if the belt was really the best belt or just the favorite of his childhood, the way music you like in high school is what you like the most.
- Heyman received most of the questions, ranging from his early days doing ringside photography and how he hustled that into a job in the business to how he dealt with angles he thought would work that ultimately did not. Talked about the evolution of some of the more recognizable ECW characters, specifically Sandman, Taz, Tommy Dreamer and Joey Styles. Said Styles at the time was the best announcer in the business, a distinction Corey Graves now has.
- Heyman was asked why he went after the talent he did, and Paul said it was because he wanted to acquire what they didn’t already have. He wanted to bring the Japanese style of Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Dean Malenko. The Lucha style of Rey Mysterio and Juventud Guerrera and the newer Japanese style years later of Tajiri and Super Crazy. Also tried hard to sign Frank Shamrock as an eventual world champ.
- Discussed why the pairing of Heyman and Cesaro did not work and Heyman said it was because Cesaro became the supporting player of a guy doing a promo about something else. Heyman said it hurt on screen the Cesaro character, but helped elevate him in the eyes of Vince McMahon behind the scene.
- Asked who the next “Paul Heyman Girl” should be, he said Ronda Rousey.
- Asked which managers don’t receive the recognition deserved, Heyman changed up by reiterating he’s an advocate not a manager so his job is different. He couldn’t do the job of a Lou Albano, Freddie Blassie, Grand Wizard or Bobby Hennan. But they couldn’t do what he does either.
- On the State of Wrestling, Sam talked about the ineptitude of the WWE officials, specifically the one involved in the Eva Marie match from NXT. Then Sam referenced the Sasha Banks/Paige match from Raw, where the ref only counted one set of shoulders, and refused to admonish Paige for blatant hair pulling, questioning the professionalism of the refs under WWE employ.
- Sam questioned what security was doing letting a fan walk along Seth Rollins during his entrance and why it took the ref to stop and escort the fan from ringside instead of security. Maybe illistrating the ref’s have too much on their plate to do an adequate job. If they can’t be trusted to count to three correctly, how can they help out in other areas?
- Called the upcoming Charlotte/Nikki Bella match the biggest Diva’s match in years. Compared the Diva’s division to Cesaro, in that they let them have matches but no storyline to sink their teeth in to. So along that line of thinking hoping Charlotte loses the title match and spends the foreseeable future chasing the title, giving the division a focused direction.
- Talked about the Ryback/Kevin Owens feud, and how Kevin Owens is one of those wrestlers that is better with a title around their waist. Talked about how Owens will be the first wrestler wanting to win the title not to return the prestige back to it, but to use it to get himself further in the company.
- Sam then had some interesting points about the history of the Intercontinental title. He called it a “roller coaster title.” One that has it’s ups and downs, and is not consistently prestigious. Talked about Ricky Steamboat winning the title and losing it fairly quickly. How the Honky Tonk Man used it as an ornament for a year. Ultimate Warrior can’t be considered a great IC champ since really all he did was run to the ring and beat up jobbers. Roberts said the title had it’s glory days during the early ’90’s with the likes of Mr. Perfect, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels and the British Bulldog holding the belt. But nothing really noteworthy since.
- Roberts had an interesting take on Nikki Bella approaching the record for consecutive days as champ. He referenced an interview he did with AJ Lee before Wrestlemania 29 where she talked about how this was still a dream come true to be in the WWE and be champ and marking out everyday to Stephanie McMahon, to a little under a year being fed up with wrestling and wanting out. He said that AJ would’ve played a pivotal role in the Divas Revolution but didn’t stick around long enough and that Nikki deserves to be the one in the record books with the longest title reign.
- There was a short “interview” by frequent guest host Katie Linendoll talking to Nikki Bella. It’s a gag that has been done recently and has some excellent Bella-word play.
- Finished off the State of Wrestling talking about the Sting/Seth Rollins segment. Roberts prefers the goofy Sting as opposed to the silent, brooding Sting, as a lot of audience members don’t get the Crow reference anyways.
- Podcast signed off just over one hour.
SCORE & REVIEW
(6.5) Some very entertaining back and forth between Paul Heyman and Sam Roberts during the Q&A, showcasing some of the history that is between them. A lot of the questions were intended to be “smark” questions but Heyman deflected them and kept the focus on Brock Lesnar facing The Undertaker leading up to Summerslam. Frequent listeners will recognize the passion Roberts has for the Divas division and the world of kayfabe. The podcast is tongue and cheek and is easily enjoyable if going in with that mindset.