WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast (Ep. 158)
Release Date: November 2, 2017
Guest: Big Cass and Wade Keller
Recap by: Matthew Wilkinson
- Big Cass is training with John Cena’s trainer.
- Big Cass believes he will return after WrestleMania 34.
- Sam and Wade think Emma will do well on the independent scene.
- Wade hated Braun Strowman’s garbage truck return.
- Wade is slightly more onboard with the Smackdown vs. Raw storyline after more story.
- Sam thinks a double turn is coming with Shane/KO and Sami Zayn.
Sam kicks us off saying this is going to be a busy podcast and apologizes that the interview is much shorter than usual, but he has brought in Wade Keller for the State of Wrestling to make up for that.
Big Cass Interview
Sam kicks off the podcast, which is backstage at an autograph signing and jokes with Big Cass that there are flowers in the room for him. Cass said they are for Alexa Bliss, who he thinks everyone is really there to see, claiming that people just want to chew the fat with him before showering Bliss with gifts.
Sam asks what he has been doing with his time while he’s been injured, after being on the road every day and now being stuck at home. Cass just bought a new house with Carmella and is pretty much rehabbing every day, two times a day, as well as training with John Cena’s trainer to come back better than ever.
He is also learning Spanish, which he said he learned in college so he is just brushing up, something that Sam thinks the company will be very happy about given its global reach.
Both men discussed video games, which has been taking up plenty of Cass’ time. He is enjoying playing Madden and WWE 2K18 from time to time.
Sam asked if he watches WWE while he is out injured or if it’s too much for him. Cass said that he told himself he wouldn’t watch it, but he finds himself tuning in every week as he is still a fan.
He has visions for his return and said they are all stored in his head. He has a few people he wants to make an impact with when he returns.
Sam wanted to know what it was like in Cass’s head when the injury took place. He knew the moment he hit the floor, as he heard it pop and couldn’t put weight on it when he stood up. He felt it was the worst possible time, as he had just beaten Big Show and was rocking and rolling with his new gimmick. He simply felt it was a huge setback. He was very angry and very emotional, but that’s who he is as a person. He always wanted to do this and to be finally doing it on his own, he just got emotional and that is who Big Cass is, especially in that situation.
Cass’s goal is to come back bigger and stronger. He wants to simply make an impact, especially as a singles wrestler.
Sam pointed out that he isn’t missing TV time as he is on Total Divas now. He wondered if he is ready for that relationship to become so public. Cass signed up for it, so he is happy for it to be out there, although it was very weird for him to have cameras around him in real life all the time.
Cass said he was in better spirits than just after the injury. He is right on schedule for his return, which can be expected shortly after WrestleMania.
State of Wrestling – WWE Releases
Sam Roberts welcomes everyone to the State of Wrestling and, in particular, Wade Keller, who is one of his favorite people in wrestling.
They kicked off the chat discussing the recent WWE releases. Wade joked that Bob Backlund would be searching WWE.com to check if he was still employed as his icon is on the roster.
Darren Young and Summer Rae were unfortunate, but not really a surprise given their lack of TV time. Wade agreed as he had to go on Wikipedia just to see the last time she worked, with the Dolph Ziggler storyline being that time.
One superstar that was a surprise was Emma, for a few reasons, one being that she was really good, and the other being that she was being used and looked strong against Asuka.
Wade said he didn’t understand why Asuka didn’t just destroy her if WWE knew she was being released. Asuka isn’t going to do solid promos so her work will come from dominant victories, which is why the jobber matches were good in his opinion.
Sam’s favorite version of Emma was the one who popped bubbles. He thought the awkwardness made up for any sloppiness in her work at times, maybe it was a last-minute decision.
Wade asked around, as somebody suggested Nia Jax took time off and perhaps it had something to do with her return, but he had somebody who would know deny that claim. He thinks she has good name value and will be able to put together a good living if she carries on wrestling.
Sam added that there is another world outside of WWE right now, but people have tweeted him saying there isn’t much for women. That could be because there hasn’t been a woman to make it happen yet, in a similar way to how Cody Rhodes did. If Emma is strategic about it then she could be the one to do it as she has a fan base.
Wade discussed how Shimmer has some big shows coming and that the Mae Young Classic has given TV exposure to a lot of women, which can boost a poster. Perhaps she can do what Drew McIntyre did and regain WWE’s attention.
Sam wondered if all the returns on Raw were because of the releases. Wade didn’t think that was the case and was simply just the right time for them to come back this time.
Wade thought Braun’s return was stupid and very amateur, as the camera shot in the limo highlighted it wasn’t taped live and they did it just to get a facial shot from Miz. Sam questioned if WWE are doing this to make it is easier for little kids to now cheer for Braun Strowman? It’s been clear to us for months that he is the classic monster good guy, but to get kids to cheer for him when he was scary can be harder.
Wade said if they are aiming for that audience then they will chase it instead of the 18-40 year-old one. The situation could have been done better and people must pay more attention to detail in his opinion.
Instead of saying he has been in the truck for eight days, why not have him be the driver as it’s logical that someone would have let him out backstage. It doesn’t need to be so slapstick.
Sam thinks it is important that 25 years ago, Raw was built on the concept of being uncut and uncensored and now that isn’t happening with what they are currently putting out.
Wade was critical of the under-siege segment and Sam wanted his opinion on whether he has warmed to the story at all. Wade thinks that whether it was always planned or an effort to close some loopholes, there have been some efforts made to create more of a believable sense that there is pride in the brand so he is happier.
However, there is still a notion that Shane McMahon, who is complaining about what Kane did to Daniel Bryan, doesn’t have moral high ground. He orchestrated an attack, which would normally be a heel tactic and they gang attacked people.
He talked to Dolph Ziggler on Twitter about why characters were fighting together despite being in a storyline against each other. His reason was they were professional and only fought in the ring. But that isn’t a reason for babyfaces to act like thugs and attack a man in a headset, it just doesn’t make sense.
Sam added there should have been a dissenting opinion, having one of the roster’s top babyfaces go against Shane and have them in the team, adding tension to the match
Wade adds that all of this stuff works easier with simple narrative being told. It goes all the way to Tuesday night, you have Corey Graves who is against a heel for going too far, but then later on he is onboard with something.
This is an issue that happened with JBL as well. This makes Wade think it is coming from the very top, but he thinks it should be better.
Sam mentioned how Smackdown has become famous for taking guys who you would think are a write-off and turning them into something for the better or the worse. He brought up Sin Cara’s recent booking as an example.
Wade said that this is why he loves NXT, because they do all this stuff well with a narrative structure. Andrade Almas with Zelina Vega being the perfect example.
People who knew his body of work said they need to change it, they need a reason for fans to believe it and if it’s a good story they will buy into it. With Andrade, he was partying too much and wasn’t taking anything seriously but they had him link up with Vega.
Sam said that is the key, giving an actual reason for the build up as they knew it was going to happen. But they waited a month to build his partying character as a reason for the defeats.
Wade said this could have happened with the under siege, using Corey Graves who is on both shows. Have him make subtle comments on each show and start mentioning things to build up the idea of tension.
Sam states that is what Daniel Bryan did when Renee Young showed up on Raw. Because in his wrestling head, he goes regardless of if there is a PPV coming up, the idea is that we are competing brands.
Survivor Series Teams
Sam asked what Wade thinks of the Survivor Series teams and said Smackdown’s is strong as the big stars don’t have titles.
You would think Finn Balor would be added, but given that he has been beaten up by Kane so much, do you put Kane in the match? Wade doesn’t believe you can have Kane and Braun in the same team as they couldn’t co-exist, unless that is a storyline they want and a way for Smackdown to potentially win.
Wade didn’t think Shane’s captain announcement went over well with the live crowd and perhaps his team should have elected him captain.
Sam said who knows where this is going with Shane, because what he did was a heel tactic so perhaps a double switch is coming with him and KO and Sami. They could tell the exact story he has in his previous two singles matches except this time the talent would be right about their complaints against him as a GM.
Wade agrees and thinks the turns could easily work, especially since Sami hasn’t really done many actions that need to be justified in a fan’s mind.
This was a really great episode, all down to the engaging conversation between Wade and Sam in the State of Wrestling. The interview was short and sweet but it did provide an update on Big Cass, although I wish he would have touched on Enzo’s situation with a lot of the chat being non-wrestling related. Thankfully, State of Wrestling was superb and both men bounced off each other really well with an interesting conversation that flowed.
Subjects Covered (with timestamps)
00:00- Sponsor Ads
07:35- Big Cass Interview
08:46- His Injury
11:30- Watching WWE
12:30- The Injury
18:25- End of Interview
22:39-State of Wrestling- WWE Releases
1:06:28-Sin Cara’s Push
1:10:30- Survivor Series Teams
About the Writer
Matthew Wilkinson is from Bradford, England. He’s been a fan since the late 90’s with the Attitude Era and was then heavily invested again through the rise of CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. He can be found on Twitter at @MC_Wilkinson1