Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast with Ryback (Sept.17, 2015)

DATE: SEPT. 17, 2015


Report by Mike Booble, reporter


  • Interview from Wrestlemania 29 Radio Row with Ryback, relevant because it tied into Ryback talking about the book “The Secret” which Kevin Owens recently brought up and how the book influenced and in Ryback’s words, “changed my life.”
  • State of Wrestling covered WWE rumor mill, specifically who may or may not be returning, and how this affects long term growth vs. short term impact.
  • Diva’s Revolution. Discusses the lack of focus on central story lines, calling it faction warfare.
  • TNA and it’s business outlook, specifically the lack of home grown talent being pushed, illustrated by the names included in their Hall of Fame.


-Introduction -0.00

-Interview Intro -2.02

-Ryback Interview -5.50

-Interview Recap -22.30

-Sate Of Wrestling with Katie Linendoll -25.10

-Sign Off -1:02.02

  • Roberts talked about being familiar with the book before the interview took place. He agreed with a lot of it, but took exception to the part where it talks about loosing weight. Disagreed that in order to lose weight, all you have to do is “think skinny.”
  • Roberts said he was taken aback when the subject came up during the interview. This positive, deep thinking side of Ryback had never been presented on TV before.
  • Roberts said the storyline might not come off as relevant as it would’ve been a couple years ago when the book had more popularity. Now it just seems like a writer trying to cash in on an aspect of someone’s life that came up two and a half years ago.
  • When Ryback sat down, Roberts mentioned he had an intimidating aura about him. Rybacks voice is a little scratchy during the interview, a combination of doing Radio Row very early in the morning and screaming “Feed Me More” 5x a week.
  • Roberts mentioned when he debuted on TV he was the non-descript big guy who didn’t do a whole lot but left really quickly do to injury.
  • Ryback described the injury, saying he broke his foot in three different places in a tag match against The Hart Dynasty. He said his boots were made incorrectly for his feet so he didn’t have the correct balance. Broke it taking a dropkick and finished the match. As he finished the match, the leg kept breaking farther and farther upwards, with every step he took, like an icicle.
  • Ryback said the initial doctor who performed the surgery botched the operation when he inserted a metal rod through all the nerves in his foot and that he lost function in his foot. After a third surgery to remove the metal rod, he was told by three different doctors he would never wrestle again.
  • Ryback said he stayed positive, started meditating and just made himself think over and over that he would come back from the injury, which is when he got into the book “The Secret.”
  • Roberts asked if he thought meditating actually helped the healing process and Ryback said absolutely. It/s why he wasn’t nervous entering his match with Mark Henry because he now had the ability to control his thoughts. Ryback calls himself a “mental machine” and recognizes the difference in perception from his physical appearance to his personality off TV.
  • Roberts said Ryback should be a motivational speaker and that he would be more affective than the weaselly guys who usually do it because of his intimidating presence. Ryback agreed and said he would like to start doing that while wrestling.
  • Ryback mentioned wanting to be a WWE lifer, even if that means doing movies or whatever. He grew up a fan since he was 5, his favorite wrestlers being Razor Ramon, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels. He thought Razor was one of the coolest characters that has ever been in the company.
  • Roberts asked what motivated him to be the size he is. He said he was always bigger than everybody and a better athlete. He was always picked first for everything but really didn’t get into weights until he was a freshman in high school, when he gained 35lbs his first year.
  • Roberts asked if Vince was a fan of Ryback like he’s heard and Ryback said yes. He said he has a great relationship with Vince, HHH and Stephanie and unlike a lot of guys doesn’t bother them with a lot of small problems. He only approaches them when he has something that he’s truly passionate about.
  • Rybcack told a story about going into the office and telling Vince and HHH he was ready to be the guy and he was ready to help “this company” when Vince corrected him and said “our company” insinuating Ryback belongs. He talked about having the Ryback character in developmental, more of a Terminator version than the one he currently uses, but Dusty Rhodes wanted him to do a little more of a goofy character and that’s where Skip Sheffield came from. He said Vince told him at a house show that he wouldn’t be doing this character long and he will make him millions of dollars just by being himself.
  • Ryback talked about the “Feed Me More” chants and how they started because he used to move is arms to collect the energy in the arena and everyone thought he looked stupid. did and article early in the Ryback run comparing him to 5 different wrestlers, one being Goldberg. So when the Goldberg chants started, they wanted to control the audience, and came up with “Feed Me More.”
  • Finished the interview talking about the botched “Shell Shock” on Albert on an episode of Raw. He said they performed the spot the week before on Smackdown with no issue. He was deathly sick that day and didn’t dip his head low enough like he has to with bigger guys and lost his balance. He said when he got Mark Henry up at Wrestlemania 29 it would be his “Wrestlemania Moment” that would be replayed for years to come.
  • On the State of Wrestling, they referenced the “interview” with Nikki Bella from last week’s episode and Sam and Katie had some fun keeping the feud between Nikki and Katie alive.
  • A lot of discussion about potential returns of former WWE starts, specifically Kurt Angle and Jeff Hardy. Roberts mentioned TNA might not have the financial flexibility to resign the likes of Angle and Hardy and that may be a good thing so they can focus on home grown talent instead of guys who had their best runs in another company.
  • Roberts said Angle would be better utilized as a spot opponent whereas Hardy would be used best as a full time returnee.
  • Roberts and Linendoll reflected on Angle leaving WWE and how Roberts saw his last match at an ECW house show against RVD.
  • They debated the long term vs short term advantages of bringing in returning stars as opposed to following advice they gave TNA earlier and focusing on home grown talent, like Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Tyler Breeze. Roberts said there is no reason with a focused push Rollins couldn’t be as big a deal as Angle, Hardy or Michaels.
  • Linendoll thinks a lot of the WWE audience will be more excited to see a Jeff Hardy return rather than Kurt Angle.
  • Roberts recalled talking before Sting’s Wrestlemania match that the worst  thing that could happen was Sting looking like the fat kid in a swimming pool and wrestling in a t-shirt. And being very disappointed that it happened on Raw, but did say it may have happened because they day to day plans change frequently and they may not have know he was going to wrestle until that day.
  • Went back to the point about spending ½ the time on returning starts and 2x the amount of time on home grown talent so a world title match featuring Rollins and another full time wrestler would be as big a deal as this one featuring Sting.
  • Transitioned into a discussion of the Diva’s division and reiterated the point from last week’s show that they need one central feud and not just faction warfare.
  • Roberts and Linendoll had a brief discussion about the rise and fall of Kevin Owens’ booking over the summer. They compared it to Bray Wyatt who had a similar hot start single feud with John Cena, but once Cena went over they went back down to “tier 2.”
  • Finished the SOW by discussing the TNA Hall of Fame, tying to the bulk of the podcast with the news Earl Hebnar is the newest inductee. They concluded the only people that should be in the HOF are AJ Styles and Jeff Jarrett since those are the only two who’s accomplishments to warrant their induction happened in TNA and not elsewhere.


7 out of 10: The interview section is not as interesting as last week’s, but following Paul Heyman rarely is. The highlight of the episode, as with most, is the back and forth between the two co-hosts. Roberts and Linendoll have a chemistry that leads to conversations one would have with friends in front of a TV debating WrestleMania finishes. Sam as an interviewer is different than your typical Q&A late night talk show. It’s very conversation driven and makes any interview he does an easy listen. A lot of good points made about home grown talent by both, although there were too many Nikki Bella impressions that came across as a little distracting.


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