Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast – Episode 160
Release Date: November 16, 2017
Guest: Daniel Bryan
Recap By: Matthew Wilkinson
- Daniel doesn’t want his daughter all over social media and TV.
- Daniel believes there is an 85% chance he will wrestle again.
- Of that 85%, he thinks there is a 20% chance he will wrestle in WWE.
- WWE is the company he would most like to wrestle for again.
- Sam thinks A.J. Styles could beat Brock Lesnar.
- Sam believes James Ellsworth made the most of his run.
Interview with Daniel Bryan- Birdie
Sam welcomes Daniel Bryan and mentions that he’s got a New Jersey Devils top on with his first name on the back. They joke about it being his real name, yet his fictional second name.
Daniel mentioned he wished they would have put Birdie on the back of it as she would’ve had her first jersey. Sam said it’s amazing that when you get cool free stuff the first thing you think about is trying to figure out how to relate it to the kid because that’s all that matters. Bryan said he loves that and that people always send them things addressed to Birdie, rather than him or Brie Bella.
Social Media and Birdie
Sam asked what they are doing with Birdie in regards to social media and the fame that comes with being the daughter of two people as famous as Bryan and Brie. Daniel tried from the very beginning to protect Birdie from social media. Brie just says the people deserve to see the Bird on T.V. or Instagram.
According to her it’s not just our baby, as they’ve come along with them on this journey and they deserve to see Birdie. Bryan said he rolls his eyes and said he fought it for a little bit and then Brie just posted pictures anyway and as a husband, and other husbands know, that you never win. People would only have known he didn’t want the images on social media if they allowed that on the reality show. But before the reality show was being filmed, Brie had already put a photo on social media so it didn’t matter anyway.
Daniel doesn’t want that life for her, he didn’t grow up thinking he had to be cute, she is just trying to figure out how to eat an avocado.
Sam said that Bryan always said he would decide after having Birdie whether he would still decide to wrestle. Bryan said when he sees Birdie he wants her to be able to pursue her dream and he wants to help them. He still feels like he can wrestle and the tests say it’s possible. He gets the feeling someone is telling him he can’t live his dream and he wouldn’t want that for Birdie. He would tell her to go for her dreams if someone was telling her not to.
In 2013, his last full-time year in wrestling he did 227 matches and that’s probably why Bryan needed neck surgery in 2014. But, he has no ambition ever of doing that many wrestling matches ever again in a year and actually, he would probably be more interested in doing 50-100 matches a year.
Sam feels like wrestling four matches would make them very high profile. Bryan could make money and have them be impactful. Daniel agreed, but said the interesting thing is he doesn’t know if he would be artistically satisfied with just four. It would be interesting to see what number would satisfy him as far as a creative outlet, but he actually doesn’t want to spend much time away from home.
Bryan believes that is why Jerry Lawler had the best career ever, as he spent all those years in Memphis and the Memphis territory was small, size wise, meaning he could do a show and be home that night.
If Daniel is 100% honest, his number one preference is to be cleared by WWE, the other stuff is only if WWE doesn’t clear him. He likes to give things in percentages, and realistic percentages. So, he thinks there’s an 85% chance that he will wrestle again. Of that 85%, Daniel believes that the percentage of him wrestling in WWE again is probably on the lower end of 20% just because there’s a lot of stuff in the way. Not even health stuff ,but more corporate stuff because they are a billion-dollar company and if something were to happen, it’s a liability issue.
Daniel did want to stress that Vince McMahon is not holding him back. He’s had conversations with very high-level people in WWE and they would love nothing more than for him to wrestle.
Sam added that the fact WWE are always using him makes it obvious they would like to have him wrestle. Bryan agreed and said that it’s more of an issue with lawyers than anybody else, so he is sticking with a 20% chance he will come back.
State of Wrestling – James Ellsworth Release
Sam welcomed everyone to the State of Wrestling and said that he is currently going live on Facebook Live, something he will be doing all the time from now on.
It’s only fair to start things with James Ellsworth’s release, which came as a bit of a surprise. The man that taught us that anybody with two fists can put up a fight, or whatever that phrase was, is no longer a WWE Superstar There is nothing negative that you can say about Ellsworth, honestly people were annoyed by him, which is okay because he was a bad guy. But this is a guy you want to talk about capitalizing on an opportunity, he shouldn’t have been able to do any of this. He got the buzz that he did was a couple of things: number one, it was the return of enhancement talent. He showed up one night for a match with Braun Strowman when the build for him was just starting. Ellsworth shows up as Strowman’s very first opponent in the era that we know of him now.
Everyone got such a kick out of not only what he looked like and the fact enhancement talent was back, somebody had to acknowledge that this guy was being talked about. The other thing that made it possible, he got signed to SmackDown at a time when it was trying things. When it first became its own brand, one of the things that separated it was they were doing things outside of the box. This era was when Heath Slater and Rhyno were a legit top tag team, people were excited about these guys ,and people felt that way about Ellsworth. For a while he was a good guy underdog.
Then, he becomes a bad guy. He really did make an impact. He goes on and solidifies Carmella as a bad guy, that’s what really stamped her as a bad guy. He became such an effective bad guy that you became annoyed at him, so you were annoyed at Carmella for hanging out with him.
He was the superstar responsible at the controversial ending of the first ever women’s Money in the Bank match. Sam thinks this will go down for a long time, because people were so pissed when Ellsworth climbed up the ladder and gave the briefcase to Carmella.
He kind of went out the exact way he should have gone out, on the bottom. He got beat by Becky Lynch on Smackdown ,and throughout the European tour the women were beating him up. That was his purpose from the start.
You can’t be mad at people who make it when they aren’t supposed to make it. They are us, you and me. It could be you. If nobody who wasn’t supposed to make it, made it, then none of us would have a shot. That’s the way to look at James Ellsworth and the career he has had so far.
Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn
Sam next wanted to talk about Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens. Right after the show got posted last week, the rumor mills went wild as it said they had been sent home from the WWE European tour. It’s still unclear what happened, the only information posted was that they didn’t let New Day get the heat in their segment last week.
But if you turn on this week on SmackDown they were acting in the same fan favorite way that New Day acts, unless they changed course, so Sam was unsure. He thinks it’s suspicious they aren’t on Survivor Series at all, but they weren’t hidden on SmackDown, so Sam doesn’t think there is a tremendous punishment.
He did note that Kevin Owens went from one of the biggest player on Smackdown with him main eventing Hell in a Cell to now not being on the card at all.
Sam didn’t think Charlotte would become champion because Survivor Series was jumbled up so much last week with A.J. Styles winning the title, and then Triple H being added to the Survivor Series team, and the Tag Team Championship changing hands too. With all that said, if you look at the card today vs. three weeks ago, this is the show that you want.
A.J. vs Lesnar is a much bigger match. This is a big four PPV match and it put Survivor Series in the SummerSlam ball park. It’s a dream match that Sam can’t wait to see. There is a very real possibility that A.J. beats Brock Lesnar.
If you have Lesnar lose to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania this year, you have two options. A) being Lesnar wants a rematch with A.J., but that being said, it’s a matter of time until Styles is on Raw. If he beat Lesnar in a non-title match, wouldn’t he be someone who deserves a title match against Roman Reigns?
You’ve now got The Bar vs. The Usos. This could go either way, it has the potential to steal the show. Sheamus and Cesaro are just about as good as anyone has ever been.
You have Miz vs Baron Corbin, which is the only match that has maintained. It’s the only match that hasn’t been changed up. That’s a good thing, as Sam said he is not interested in Miz vs. Sin Cara at the moment. They are two of the best bad guys in the company and they’ve done quite a good job in creating the idea there is real animosity between them.
The Women’s Championship match. Natalya is out, Charlotte is in. Sam thought it was okay to have Charlotte continue to wait before being champion, but that said there, has never been a doubt in my mind that Charlotte was the number one wrestler on SmackDown?
Your big money match is Charlotte vs. Asuka. To get there, you may have to get towards more of an inter-promotional match, maybe at WrestleMania.
Sam was shocked Charlotte won the championship but it made sense. It was a special moment, but to make that drastic of a change, at this moment in time, Charlotte vs. Alexa Bliss is about the biggest women’s match you could have.
It has been made official that the final member of the women’s team will be announced at Survivor Series. You have to believe that Paige is going to be on Smackdown’s women’s team, otherwise why wouldn’t you put Nattie in?
In terms of making your biggest impact, you have to believe Paige will be on the show, which will explain why all the rumor mills were saying she would be on Raw this week.
(I’m more interested in Paige going to SmackDown, because if she is the sole survivor of the women’s team, then she can call out the champion. It sucks for Nattie, but in terms of making it the biggest show possible that’s how you do it.)
Absentees For Survivor Series-
There are some people who are conspicuous by their absence on the show, specifically on the Smackdown side but on the Raw side too.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. Sam doesn’t think they will be on the show. If they are, it will be to beat up Shane McMahon. But everybody who isn’t on the show could come out and interfere, right?
Shane is going to be a bad guy. Sam doesn’t think the rivalry with Shane/Owens is going to continue because Daniel Bryan came out and said there needs to be more cohesiveness.
Sam first said Jinder Mahal would probably interfere in the A.J./Brock match, because in Sam’s mind he thinks he will be the champion for the India tour. That said, we found out Triple H is wrestling Mahal on the tour, so you absolutely don’t need to put the championship on him.
You have the opportunity to have a Triple H match and a WWE Championship match. When he heard this, Sam thought to himself he isn’t winning the championship back then and A.J. might be in this in the long haul.
There was a big tease, in Italy, between Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, the championship was laid down in the ring with them looking at each other and the fans chanting “WrestleMania.” That combined with the fact HHH is paired up with Mahal makes Sam think he wont interfere in the match with A.J. so we may not see Mahal at Survivor Series.
Kane will make his presence known, and that is how you eliminate Braun Strowman from Survivor Series match, he’s going to murder Strowman in some way shape or form.
Watching Raw, you could say that is how they write off Kane. If that’s the end of him then okay, but Sam doesn’t see that happening because you have invested so much in Kane in the last month. You don’t have Finn Balor be beaten by Kane just to have him slammed through the ring to make Braun look good going into Survivor Series. There is no way that story is over.
Whoever wins the championship match, the opposite roster will win the elimination match. But logic has been flawed before.
Sam announces he is going to be on the Survivor Series Kick-Off show and will also be on the panel for NXT TakeOver War Games. This is something he has been excited about for a long time.
Sam grew up watching WWE. Even during the Monday Night Wars, it was watch Raw and tape Nitro, but he is still really excited because when he was a kid he always loved multiple ring things.
The problem with the extra rings is that you have an empty ring while someone is performing in another. It ends up looking like the Performance Center. However, he is really psyched to watch the double cage match, and thinks they will do a really great job.
Number one, they want to keep NXT going on this build. On NXT TV, he doesn’t think Adam Cole and his group have been the dominant force they looked like they were going to be. TakeOver War Games is the time for them to prove it, because he doesn’t blame Roddy Strong for not wanting to join them since they haven’t dismantled Sanity for instance. This is the moment that they have to prove their dominance, as they are smaller guys than anybody in the match. They must show why they are a group to be feared.
Of course, you’ve got the NXT Championship match with Drew McIntyre and Andrade Almas. Sam’s been a big fan of what Andrade has been doing. The story that was being told when Almas lost to a debuting Aleister Black was that he was partying and hanging out with girls and losing matches. This story has been told since the start of the year. We get to November and you can believe he has gotten to this point with Zelina Vega being the perfect counter balance.
Sam doesn’t think Almas will win the championship ,but it’s great that he is in this position. You’ve got your fatal four way for the vacated NXT Women’s Championship. All four of these women are awesome, Ember Moon is second only to Asuka and she now has to step up.
Kairi Sane is amazing, Peyton Royce, you talk about somebody that NXT has built, she didn’t come with a ton of experience and she follows that model of Charlotte or Bayley. We need more of the Rusev’s of the world, that come in and are built by NXT and Sam thinks Royce is one of those people.
Nikki Cross isn’t like anybody else on the roster. Nobody else has this sort of ability, she scares people. It feels predictable to say that this is Ember Moon’s match, but in terms of storytelling he doesn’t see how it’s not.
Aleister Black vs. The Velveteen Dream is a solid undercard match that has been built up. Sam is looking forward to it.
Kassisus Ohno vs. Lars Sullivan. Sam is never going to be upset about an Ohno match, but he likes that Sullivan is getting shot. He’s got an amazing look so it will be interesting to see if he has the talent.
It was another strong podcast this week that did suffer a little from a shorter interview, but the fact the interview was as good as it was in such a short period of time really helped. There was a lot to cover in State of Wrestling heading into a big week, so it made sense to make that section longer. Sam delivered some good details on all the major topics heading into Survivor Series.
Subjects Covered (With Timestamps)
12:30-Interview with Daniel Bryan (Birdie)
13:40- Social Media and Birdie
16:46- Wrestling Again
30:01- State of Wrestling (James Ellsworth Release)
46:04- Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn
48:36- Survivor Series
1:02:11-Absentees For Survivor Series
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