Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast:
Episode: 130 – Gallows and Anderson
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Duration: 91 mins.
Report By: Rock Manor
- Gallows and Anderson are the architects behind WWE’s Southpaw Regional Wrestling show with Gallows’ character Sex/Tex Ferguson as an inspiration.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin is a big fan of Southpaw Regional Wrestling.
- WWE made $4 million in merchandise sales over WrestleMania 33 weekend and the WrestleMania 33 set cost $5 million.
- Sam is still shocked about Jinder Mahal becoming the number one contender for the WWE Championship and headliner for the 2017 Backlash pay-per-view.
- Braun Strowman is a babyface and will most likely be the top babyface for the Raw brand.
- Sam guarantees Daniel Bryan will be wrestling again in the Tokyo Dome against Kazuchika Okada.
00:00: Opening Plug
08:49: Gallows and Anderson Interview
25:40: Post-Interview Comments
33:19: Mid-Show Plug
37:13: State of Wrestling
1:29:39: Closing Plug
THE WHOLE F’N SHOW:
00:00 – Opening Plugs
01:00 – Introduction
Sam discusses last week’s guest, Bray Wyatt, and how he would like to interview Bray now to see his take on the outcome of his WrestleMania 33 match with Randy Orton. He wonders if the images of worms and insects shown on the mat surface during the match were Bray’s ideas, but Sam says Randy’s lack of reaction after the first one made it ineffective.
Sam loves finding WWE Superstars who were WWE fans while growing up. For an example, he mentions Tommy Dreamer who recounted seeing Bob Backlund at the West Chester County Center. Sam relates to these Superstars for obvious reasons. He says that’s why this week’s guests, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson, connect with so many wrestling fans. Both Gallows and Anderson are huge regional wrestling fans who are now WWE Superstars. Gallows and Anderson are throwbacks to the wrestling territory days. He says they were like kids in a candy store hanging out with the likes of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express during WrestleMania weekend.
Sam conducted this interview with Gallows and Anderson at WrestleMania 33 Axxess from within the Elimination Chamber display.
08:49 – Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast Interview
[Rock Note: Since this interview consists of a lot of crisscross banter rather than an one-on-one conversation, the following transcript will be in summarization form with Gallows and Anderson as a collective entity.]
Sam, Gallows and Anderson banter about the Elimination Chamber structure where they are conducting the interview. Gallows and Anderson said they hung out with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express the previous night.
They also make the joke about Vince McMahon not realizing that Gallows used to be Festus. Whenever they are in the Gorilla Position and see McMahon in the corner looking up at them, they wonder if he’s finally realizing who Gallows used to be.
Sam asks if they were pumped to learn they were becoming the Raw Tag Team Champions. Gallows and Anderson said people thought it was weird because their match was on the Royal Rumble Kickoff show. They said the crowd was great and the match was fun and since they became the tag team champions they had no complaints. When compared to SummerSlam last year when they were dressed up as doctors holding Big E’s balls and ended up being the comedy skit with Jon Stewart after the stellar match between A.J. Styles and John Cena, they’d take the Kickoff show any day.
Sam asks how much Gallows and Anderson were involved with creating WWE’s Southpaw Regional Wrestling show. They said they were approached about the show within a month of their arrival in WWE. They thought the show was right up their alley except it had to be without scripts and mostly improvised. Once they worked out that deal, they went to Milwaukee where they shot the series in a cold warehouse filled with cars. They said once they started filming the second episode, they really started to have fun with it.
Gallows and Anderson said Stone Cold Steve Austin called them to let them know he was a big fan of the show. Austin told them “I’ve been watching that Southpaw s**t and it is a hoot. I’m having a good time over here.” Austin then sent them text pictures of the deer he recently caught.
Sam brings up Gallows’ character Sex Ferguson and asked why the character changed his name to Tex Ferguson on Southpaw Regional Wrestling. Gallows says everyone on Twitter is giving him heat for changing the character’s name. He said the name change was his call. He knew if he was ever to have the character to appear in the WWE during the PG era, he’d have to change the name and the character a bit first. The Sex Ferguson character is not PG. Gallows rationalizes that the character himself, Sex Ferguson, changed his name to Tex so he could get a run in WWE. [Rock Note: Is the WWE still in the PG Era? I think the WWE may have moved away from it within the past year or two].
Sam asks if they are worried about the final product of Southpaw Regional Wrestling since they don’t have full control. Gallows and Anderson said they never had full control. They didn’t even know there were other characters in the show like John Cena’s Lance Catamaran or Fandango’s Chet Chetterfield until they saw the final product. Both say they enjoyed the characters and found them hilarious. They say Fandango (Johnny Curtis) is actually a very funny guy. They also really enjoyed Tyler Breeze’s role in the show with his “stupid mustache” and the sea creature. They do not know who played the sea creature. They knew the final product of Southpaw Regional Wrestling would end up being good because it didn’t have scripts. Improvisation works best for this type of show.
Sam wonders how they feel going into WrestleMania with a ladder match to defend their titles [Rock Note: This interview was before WrestleMania 33]. Sam adds that he thinks making the tag title match a ladder match gives it more meaning and mixes things up with the teams of Gallows and Anderson, Cesaro and Sheamus, Enzo and Big Cass. They talk about how the tag team title bouts of past WrestleManias were more notable when they were ladder matches with Dudley Boyz, Edge and Christian, and the Hardy Boyz. [Rock Note: Little did they know the ladder match was set up because Matt and Jeff Hardy would be returning for this match.] Sam asks if they are ready to hurt themselves. Gallows and Anderson say there is always a chance of hurting themselves, but they will go insane for this match. Their adrenaline will be high.
Anderson talks about how great it’s been for them in the past couple of years. He mentions the Bullet Club with A.J. Styles in 2014, doing eight Tokyo Domes in a row and now they are going to their first WrestleMania.
Sam asks what happens next for Gallows and Anderson. He also notes Finn Bálor is coming back. Gallows and Anderson said Finn is healed and ready to go. Then they switch to Big Show and say they love to hear the stories from Big Show. They talk about brotherhood within the industry much like wrestlers did in the old days. They say they met great brothers in the WWE and put over the entire WWE locker room.
25:40 – Sam Roberts Post-Interview
Sam muses about how entrenched Luke Gallows is with his character Sex/Tex Ferguson to the point that Gallows had the character rationalize changing his name to move “up north.” Sam recommends everyone see Gallows in the Colt Cabana documentary (The Wrestling Road Diaries) .
Sam discusses some figures for WrestleMania 33. WWE made $4 million dollars in merchandise from WrestleMania 33 weekend. The WrestleMania 33 set, which Sam says the set was the most impressive he’s ever seen, cost $5 million to create. One of Sam’s greatest memories from that weekend was walking up the 80-yard ramp from the ring to the entrance. He said the Gorilla Position was up one floor from the entrance. You had to take an elevator to and from the Gorilla Position – that’s how massive it was. It took them two weeks to build. Sam says it was a worthwhile investment. He loves WWE’s philosophy of spending money to make money. He says many companies, particularly when they go public and need to make most profit for their shareholders, do not spend money to make money. But WWE does and it’s because they have a long-term outlook for success.
33:19 Mid-Show Plug
37:13 Sam Roberts State of Wrestling
Jindar Mahal. Mahal was the biggest story of the week. Sam says this was a guy who was an enhancement talent and, in his opinion, was traded to Smackdown Live in exchange for Curt Hawkins. Just last week on this podcast, Sam said Mahal would probably tag with Sin Cara, maybe win the tag championships before dropping them and then face one another. Never did he think one week later Jinder Mahal would be the number one contender for the WWE Championship and be headlining a WWE pay per view.
Sam’s reaction: “What? Are you kidding me?!” “You talk about an RKO out of nowhere?!”
Some people loved it, some people hated it. Sam isn’t ready to say anything bad about it at this time. He’s prepared to make Jindar Mahal the Superstar of the Millennium. He doesn’t see anything wrong with taking guys who were nowhere near the WWE Championship and then boosted towards it later down the road. It makes the product feel fresh. We get new matches. It shakes things up. However, Sam said, it generally takes more than one match to go from enhancement talent to main eventer for the WWE Championship. Generally there is more done to add a little bit of credibility before making such a move. Sam thinks that maybe WWE just wanted to shock the world with this move.
Sam likes the new heel Bollywood Boyz helping Mahal. They also remind him of the Edgeheads Curt Hawkins and Zach Ryder with Edge. He says the Bollywood Boys are now known as the Jindarheads. [Rock Note: Correction. They’re now known as the Singh Brothers].
Sam notices the trend of heels on Smackdown Live. They all speak multiple languages: Kevin Owens, Jinder Mahal…. He said Baron Corbin will show up next week speaking Italian just to prove he’s a bad guy. Jokingly, he says that’s why T.J. Perkins spoke Dutch on Raw so he will definitely be a heel. Sam mockingly says, “We speak only one language here: American! In Trump’s America, if you speak more than one language now, you are a villain!”
The Colons. Sam thinks their place on Smackdown Live turned out to be a good move for them. He believes The Colons is much better than their Shining Stars gimmick on Raw. Plus they beat American Alpha which was huge for them.
Jindar Mahal, Part 2. Sam says when many people think of Orton vs. Mahal, they think of R-Truth vs. John Cena. Sam enjoyed R-Truth’s heel run during that time and thought he played a good ’80s style bad guy. He thought it was odd for a main event status, but didn’t mind it. He says Orton vs. Mahal could be a throwback to that or it could end up being something bigger. He says there are 4-5 weeks until Backlash where they could do many things for Mahal during that time. Typically it would have been used to build credibility for Mahal before winning a number one contender’s match. Instead it’s the other way around. Mahal is now number one contender and the next 4-5 weeks will need to demonstrate why he’s the number one contender. Sam sees Smackdown Live as the brand of “let’s try new stuff.”
Sam says he can’t say Mahal won’t be the next WWE Champion. It could possibly happen. The storylines are getting ethnocentric and that could be a reflection of the times with Trump and Brexit and so on. [Rock Note: Sam may have missed the reports about WWE’s expansion in India. WWE is very popular in India and they make huge profits from that region. They just hired a new GM for their India operations. Reports are claiming Jinder Mahal’s rise is part of that market expansion.]
Sam says this move with Jindar Mahal leaves him excited but also apprehensive. He’s excited because it’s a new story. He’s apprehensive because he was under the assumption that Jindar Mahal was an impressive looking enhancement guy. Sam says we’ll see how it all turns out. He hopes it succeeds. He says it’s a fine line to walk for Smackdown Live. They could make stars out of those who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance on Raw. But Smackdown Live could also become the show with the B players and misfits. This also runs the risk of making the United States Championship more prestigious than the WWE Championship and that should be avoided.
Kevin Owens. Sam puts over the new Kevin Owens on Smackdown Live. He loves the open challenge concept being brought back. Except Kevin Owens is facing jobbers. Can Gary Gandy be another James Ellsworth? No because James Ellsworth took the jobber role at the right time and then eventually became so annoying that no future jobbers (for the time being) can get over like James Ellsworth. [Rock Note: It’s like the 1-2-3- Kid. James Ellsworth is lightning in a bottle. It happens once every 20-some years where a jobber becomes an unexpected hero and then transitions to Superstar.] Sam recommends a new Kevin Owens t-shirt. Put Owens face with an American flag and have “The new face of America” written upon it.
Baron Corbin. Corbin had a great match with A.J. Styles this past week. WWE is high on Baron Corbin and Sam says it’s a no-brainer and not a surprise. Corbin believes his character. His promos are getting better. He in ring work improved. He’s really stepped up his game. Baron Corbin is part of the future.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. With Bray Wyatt on Raw, Sam believes Harper will be just fine since he’s changed as a character and has an individual identity. Sam doesn’t feel the same for Rowan. Rowan has not moved on from his original gimmick. Sam suggests a full makeover for Rowan – a new character overall. He believes Rowan has potential but needs a new gimmick or new character.
Matt Hardy. Sam mentions a lot of talk about the undecided Broken Matt Hardy character. It’s clear the WWE is waiting to do the Broken character for legal reasons. They are trying to figure out how to use it. That’s why we currently see a mixture of Hardy characters in one right now. We see a little bit of Broken, a bit of Version 1, and some of the old school Matt Hardy mixed into one. Sam says a decision will need to be made soon or the Hardy Boyz will become stale soon.
The Miz and Dean Ambrose. The Miz is blurring the lines between shoot and work in his promos and it’s really working well on Raw. It adds something more to their feud on Raw than what they had on Smackdown Live. Sam notes that many people think Vince McMahon is out of touch or does not understand his audience anymore. Sam thinks this is not the case when generally speaking. Vince knows a huge portion of the audience knows what he’s selling and doesn’t like what he’s trying to sell them and this is reflected in the Miz vs. Ambrose angle. Everything Miz said to Dean Ambrose was the internet’s idea of what they believe Vince McMahon thinks a WWE Superstar should be and everything that’s wrong with it. Miz is what McMahon would say as interpreted by the internet wrestling community. The Miz is sports entertainment with the good looks, the physique, the character, the soap opera, while Dean Ambrose is playing the “wrassler,” the technician, the traditional territory wrestler. Vince McMahon is aware enough that he’s taking his own philosophy to one of his number one bad guys – the Miz. Has Vince McMahon done things that are out of touch? Yes. The builds to both WrestleMania 30 and 31 were two prime examples. But is Vince McMahon generally out of touch? Not in Sam’s opinion. And the Miz and Dean Ambrose feud on Raw proves it.
Braun Strowman. His post-WrestleMania push was the right call with the right timing. Big Show and Strowman breaking the ring on Raw was a homage to past ring breaks. It was an effective way to end Raw. However, WWE have run the risk of making Strowman the biggest babyface of the Raw brand while trying to build him up to get Roman Reigns over down the road. Sam says Strowman’s getting more TV time where he’s becoming the number one face on Raw. He’s an unstoppable force that is well liked. It could work that Braun Strowman becomes the number one babyface of the Raw brand because he is organically turning into a good guy. Sometimes these things happen naturally rather than planned. As of today, Sam says it makes more sense to have Strowman defeat Lesnar for the title than it does to have Reigns defeat him. Strowman should defeat Reigns at Payback. Then after the match, Reigns needs to destroy Strowman as a heel (which will probably be cheered). Sam would have Lesnar vs. Strowman at SummerSlam with Strowman going over and winning the Universal Championship. Then have Bálor vs. Strowman with Bálor going over and getting his Universal Championship back at WrestleMania 34.
Daniel Bryan. Someone tweeted Daniel Bryan’s last match from two years ago with John Cena as his partner vs. Cesaro and Tyson Kidd. Daniel Bryan commented on the tweet posting “who would have thought two years ago this was my last match in a WWE ring.” Sam says Daniel Bryan does not want to keep hosting Talking Smack. Sam believes he’s hosting the show to get the dates off of his current contract. Once Daniel Bryan’s contract is up, Sam believes we will see Daniel Bryan wrestling in the Toyko Dome vs. Kazuchika Okada in a few years. He’ll never wrestle a full-time schedule again, but he will wrestle again. Sam says to mark his words.
1:29:39: Closing Plug
6/10. While I appreciate the natural good-natured conversation between Sam and Gallows/Anderson, the interview was very disjointed, unfocused and sometimes hard to follow. It doesn’t fit well with a podcast interview but may work better through visuals. If you want to hear about the Southpaw Regional Wrestling show, then this interview is worth your time. If you want to hear about Gallows and Anderson, there are plenty of other interviews you can listen to with those details – just not this one.
In regards to Jinder Mahal, I thought his post-match interview was full of heel heat. It was very effective and could be the start of something bigger like Sam points out. As long as it isn’t X-Pac heat, that is. It will be interesting to see where Smackdown Live goes with this new development and with Baron Corbin’s future. I still think all roads lead to A.J. Styles on the blue brand.
Sam is right on the mark about Braun Strowman. This is one of those special moments in professional wrestling where we get to witness something organic and natural rather than scripted and forced. It takes us back to the time when Stone Cold and Bret Hart had face/heel turns within the same night or when Daniel Bryan’s popularity would not be denied. It doesn’t happen a lot but when it does, it deserves our attention.
ABOUT ROCK MANOR
Rock Manor has been a professional wrestling fan since 1987 and has a special interest in its rich history. He is the producer of Manor House: The Podcast, a collection of dark stories presented with a full audio drama production. Bestselling horror author Brian Keene says “It’s like Tales From The Crypt. It’s really fu@king cool.” You can listen to the podcast on iTunes, YouTube, Stitcher Radio and other podcast platforms. Rock Manor has also been a featured performer on podcasts such as The NoSleep Podcast, Pseudopod, Tales To Terrify, and StarshipSofa. Visit https://www.manorhouseshow.com/ for more details.
Also, check out last week’s recap of Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast with Bray Wyatt.