WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: Edge and Christian Pod of Awesomeness w/ Mike Kanellis on his ROH run, finally making it to WWE, the wrestler who inspired him the most (Ep. 14)

Daniel Bryan interview

Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness Recap

Episode 14 with Mike Kanellis (Bennett) 

By: Jeff Indelicato


“For The Benefit of Those with No Time” (Top Stories)

  • E & C enjoyed the Money in the Bank show and were happy with both Carmella & Corbin’s victories.
  • It took Mike Kanellis 15 years to make it to the WWE. He believes the long road helped pave the way for his debut.
  • Mick Foley is the person who inspired him the most and made him want to be a professional wrestler.

“5 Second Pose of Timestamps”

0:00: Show Introduction/Money in the Bank thoughts
33:00: Interview with Mike Kanellis/early stages of career
1:08:00: Getting hired by Ring of Honor
1:14:00: Working with Lance Storm/singing Edge’s theme
1:33:00: Who inspired Mike?
1:44:00: Move to WWE
2:07:00: Wrap up & close

“You Think You Know Them” (Recap)

Opening Intros/Money in the Bank Thoughts 0:00-33:00

The boys open up the show with the usual banter. This past week, Edge, Beth, and Jim Ross participated in the annual food drive for Edge’s charity, Headlock on Hunger, which donates food to kids in need. They are up to about 8,000 pounds of food in donations and appreciate it. Speaking of good ol’ JR, he will be on the show soon. E & C are making plans to visit his show as well.

Talk then moves to Money in the Bank, which was this past week. Edge enjoyed the Women’s Ladder Match and thought it was solid and brutal. He gives special props to Tamina, and felt the match really highlighted everyone involved. E & C know there have been a lot of grumbling about the finish, but want the fans to think objectively. Christian thinks the major point of contention from the fans perspective is because it was billed as the first for the women and yet a man “won” the match. Edge feels there’s heat in that. It can be a good thing. He wants to see how it plays out because it could be something cool. He uses Carmella’s promo on Smackdown as an example, as he feels she knocked it out of the park. Christian agrees.

Moving on to Jinder. They are both still happy with the way his storyline is progressing and feel he’s continuing to learn. They also think the Singh Brothers are a great addition and are super proud of them as well. As far as the Main Event, Edge was thinking it would be either Sami or Corbin winning. He was satisfied with the result. Both feel that A.J. Styles and Nakamura don’t need the briefcase, while Corbin needed it the most. Edge predicts a victorious cash in for Corbin, which Christian feels is too broad. So, he throws out that Corbin cashes in at Survivor Series after Nakamura wins the World Title. But he just forgot about John Cena coming back, so maybe not. Honestly, he just wanted to get more specific than Edge.

Finally, Edge wants fans to know he appreciates them still asking for one more match, but due to his health, it can never happen. This leads to Christian singing, “That’s the Way it Is” by Celine Dion. After that wonderful performance, he feels they should go to a Dion concert together.  

We are then interrupted by the Steve Austin impersonator, who sings Mike Kanellis’ new theme song. That interview is next.

Interview with Mike Kanellis 33:00 – 2:07:00

E & C welcome their guest. They talk about how it’s been a long road for Mike to get to the WWE. Mike agrees and talks about how he had already been wrestling for 10 years before he made it to Ring of Honor. Kanellis actually started wrestling when he was still in high school. At 15, he knew what he wanted to do, and his parents supported him as long as he got a college education. They would drive him to shows so that he could train. They were always supportive of him. His passion ran so deep that he even missed some school events like prom in order to wrestle at shows. He doesn’t regret any of it. Edge feels that parental support goes a long way in helping you achieve your dreams.  

The discussion moves throughout his early days from training with Bob Evans and Steve Bradley, to moving to Louisville and working at OVW. Mike credits Steve for having a tremendous impact on his career. They note how underrated Bradley was. Mike was happy to see Kurt Angle mention Steve in his Hall of Fame speech.  

Mike wrestled for years and years, and it got to the point where he questioned if he could make it, as he had wrestled tryouts for the WWE & Impact but wasn’t really getting anywhere. From a personal perspective, he had graduated college with an Associate’s in Criminal Justice, but was working at a golf course and living at home. At the same time, his friends were getting married, having kids, buying houses, etc. While the people who ran the golf course were very supportive, the work was another issue. One of his tasks was to harvest cranberries, which is a miserable job. He admires the people who do it, but it is difficult labor, and it was this work that continued to fuel his determination to make it.

Finally, he received a call from his friend, Kevin Kelly. They had an honest conversation about his career. Kevin asked if he would ever want to work for Ring of Honor, which Kelly worked for. Initially, Mike was resistant, because at the time, it was a niche audience, and he didn’t wrestle like the others on the roster, which was more of a fast-paced type. He was slow and methodical, but that actually gave him the thought that maybe it could be different and help him stand out. He told Kevin he was interested and was offered the opportunity to attend their tryout camp. After showing up, he learned the company had planned on hiring him anyway, but wanted to see how he’d do in the camp. Christian bets that Mike was happy to stop harvesting cranberries, which leads to all three of them singing “Linger” by the Cranberries.

Speaking of singing themes, Edge seems to recall Mike singing his Alterbridge theme in the ring.  How did that happen? Well, he had been wrestling with ROH, and was starting to get more and more comfortable with who he was. He was setting up his opponent for the spear, and just decided to scream out Edge’s theme before executing the move. He figured it would just be a one-time thing, but the reaction was great, and it became something. It got to the point that fans started expecting it and would sing along.

One of those matches where he sang the theme was against Lance Storm, who had specifically requested to work with Kanellis. At the time, Mike didn’t feel he was standing out and was shocked that Storm wanted to work with him. Lance was so respectful, that it gave him a new level of confidence, which he feels really helped him in his career.  

With all of the years under his belt, did he feel that WWE wouldn’t happen? From his perspective, he was staying busy, making a living, and was happy. He felt he had done pretty well, but at the same time, he didn’t do everything. Therefore, he wouldn’t be completely comfortable until he made it to the big dance.

He is then asked who the wrestlers that inspired him were. Obviously, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin is at the top. He was entertained by everything he did, from the matches, to the segments. What he also appreciated was that Austin’s matches were more like a fight. The one that made him want to be a wrestler, however, was Mick Foley. In fact, he was in the building on the night when Mankind won his first title from The Rock. He had never heard a crowd louder than that. It was at this moment that Mike knew what he wanted to do.

We then move onto to the big debut with the WWE. How did it come about? He had just finished up the dates on his Impact contract and was tying up loose ends. He had been offered a new contract but didn’t know if he wanted to stay, as he still had the dream of making it to the WWE.

He reached out to Paul Heyman, who advised him to contact Triple H. Hunter was very nice, and said that he would have someone contact Mike. About a week later, he and Maria got the call from William Regal, with the opportunity to debut on the main roster. He takes a moment to compliment all of the guys he worked with down at Impact Wrestling, including Ethan Carter.

Back to the present, they signed at end of March and then waited until they were ready for the call up, which happened at Money in the Bank. When he got to the arena that day, he was relaxed and excited. He believes that everything happens for a reason, and that his long road to the company was the right thing to happen, which is why he felt ready at that moment. He is very excited to be there with his wife, and talks about how great it is to be able to travel with her.

Edge compliments Mike and reinforces how huge it is to immediately debut on the main roster, instead of being called up to debut in NXT. Kanellis knows it’s going to be tough and that he’s going to have to work hard to prove himself. All three know that getting to the company and staying there are two different things, but Edge knows that as long as he commits, he will be a success. He then closes out the interview by singing the Kanellis’ new entrance music. Mike appreciates everything and is looking forward to the future.

Close 2:07:00-2:09:00

E &C thank their guest again, and talk about how humble of a person he is. They congratulate him for his success and look forward to seeing more. They wrap up the show by encouraging everyone to follow the show on Twitter @EandCPod, email them at ecpodofawesomeness@gmail.com, and to call their Voicemail at 929-367-8204.

Jeff’s Take:  7 Kazoos out of 10

Good episode this week. Mike came across very likable and humble. It’s hard not to root for a guy who works hard and wants to prove himself. While still a good show, my only criticism might be that for a two hour episode, there wasn’t a lot of “meat” to the story. It was just a good, casual conversation about his career path and eventual debut. Still, already looking forward to seeing more though. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @the_Indel or send me an email at indelpw@gmail.com. See you next week!

About the Author

Jeff has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was knee high to a grasshopper (little kid), after coming across the Wrestling Challenge episode after WrestleMania 7, and has not looked back. His passion has led him to winning wrestling trivia contests in his city, and even won him his Senior Talent Show by dancing to Shawn Michaels theme song. When not annoying others with wrestling talk, he loves spending time with his family and friends, and focuses on his other passion: movies.  


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