Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
Release Date: December 21, 2017
Guest: Bobby Roode
Recap By: Matthew Wilkinson
- Bobby has no plan on retiring anytime soon.
- Roode began to lose his passion for wrestling during his final months at Impact Wrestling.
- Bobby Roode’s original theme song was not his current ‘Glorious’ one.
- When he does retire, Roode would like to work as a producer or with young talent.
- Sam didn’t like the execution of the Women’s Royal Rumble announcement.
- Sam thinks the XFL return is a terrible idea.
Bobby Roode Interview
Sam Roberts welcomed Bobby Roode to the podcast and mentioned that he is now full time with SmackDown Live, asking how it compares to what he was working on NXT. Bobby said when he started NXT had begun to grow, doing shows outside Florida and sometimes internationally, but it is nothing compared to what he does now.
Roode said since he got to SmackDown he has done three international tours and has only had one weekend off work. This is definitely the most consistent schedule that he has ever worked, but it is exactly what he wanted when he got into the business 19 years ago, so he is having a lot of fun.
Sam wondered how his body is holding up with the increase in work, and Roode said it’s actually easier working more as his body becomes used to it. The worst part for him is all the travel, whether it’s sitting in a car driving for hours or flights, that is head and shoulders worse than bumping.
Sam asked if it is hard at this stage to imagine himself getting any better and Bobby said that at this point in his career it’s all about the confidence. Being more confident in front of the fans and not necessarily getting better in the ring, but he thinks he can always be more confident. Because the guys that he is working with are a lot younger than him, having the confidence in his own ability is key.
Sam wondered if the key is now to focusing on him just having a good match and that’s what’s in his control. That’s it and that’s all you can control, Bobby said he has always gone through his career one day at a time. He obviously has to set goals and his have always been to have a championship or be the face of a brand because if you don’t have a goal there’s no sense in being here.
You never say no in this business, Bobby said he has been told that a million times and to him WWE was always the ultimate in sports entertainment, this is the place to be if you want to make a name for yourself. WWE is everything he thought it would be, to be around with the guys in the locker room and the guys in the production and stuff, it outweighs anything he has ever done.
Sam asked if he had guys who wondered what he was doing as he was making easy money and wasn’t even moving straight to the main roster. Roode said he thinks they kind of understood because the guys that he worked with in other companies saw the writing on the wall as well and he has 0 regrets in his career.
It came to a point where he was at a company for 12 years and felt like he achieved everything he could do there. It came to a point where he was going to work for six days and then go home for two months, which is not what he got in the business for.
Bobby said he was starting to lose the passion for the business so he got to the point in his career where he didn’t love it anymore and had to figure out if he still loved it.
Sam asked when he arrived in NXT and heard the song and found out he was going to do the robe thing; did he immediately know it was going to be a major success.
Bobby said it was kind of like a work in progress because when he came to NXT, he was given an opportunity to sit down with Triple H and give an idea of what he wanted to do and obviously he wanted to go back to wearing the robes as it was different.
Everyone associates the robe with Ric Flair but tons of guys wore them. Ric continued to wear them and nobody else did so it made him stand out when he did that in the past and he wanted to bring that back.
To be honest, he had a different theme song picked out. Triple H and Michael Hayes were there and he put headphones on and it was the “Glorious” song and it was so different that it could be really good or it could suck. Obviously it’s been brilliant.
Sam said after that whole NXT run was so successful, he would think beyond anybody’s expectations because you were the guy and NXT has really finicky fans. They will throw you out if they don’t like you.
Bobby thinks he came in at a really good time and timing is everything in this business.
Bobby mentioned how he got to work alongside Samoa Joe and they had a history, he was one of the reasons he came in to NXT.
Main Roster Push
Sam asked how he looked at his main roster push and whether he saw it as having the weight of carrying NXT off his back or a brand new start?
Bobby said it was like starting all over again, he was the rookie in the room. He had a lot of success with NXT but that means nothing up here and he had to come in and earn his spot.
He likes to think he was given a good opportunity off the bat, working with Dolph Ziggler straight away. It goes back to that confidence thing, you go out and you are used to working Full Sail and then you come here and work in front of 12- 15,000 people every Tuesday. You have to settle in and the transition itself has been great.
He knew that coming in the door, it’s a new ball game and a new audience, you go to a Takeover and it’s a rowdy crowd and then the next night it might not be that rowdy. A lot of times he might go to a town and they don’t know who he is for the first time. It’s like starting from scratch.
Sam said that Bobby doesn’t seem to believe he deserves to be in the title picture straight away and Roode agreed, saying it’s a different ball game. Maybe 20 years ago he would be like that, but being in SmackDown is special and after being with NXT for a year and a half he knows what it means to be here. He knows how hard people work down there and the ultimate goal is to be here so he doesn’t take anything for granted.
Sam wondered moving forward does he have any idea how many years he has left?
Bobby said that physically he feels great and mentally he does too, he is in his 40s but he feels brilliant so he is not going to put a time limit on that right now.
Roode said that’s the beauty of the business, you think about Hogan and Macho Man, they weren’t young guys, he doesn’t think it was an age thing, he thinks it’s just the experience that helps. Physically and mentally he feels great and he has the passion back and loves being part of SmackDown.
When the time comes, he would love to stay with the company and have a role within WWE and perhaps help some of the younger guys or pick up a producer’s role.
State Of Wrestling Royal Rumble
Let’s start with the Royal Rumble and for the Big Four shows WWE has lately been announcing the main events way in advance.
Normally you wouldn’t have this long for a Raw PPV, a long time to build, but the main event has been announced to nobody’s surprise that they are doing the triple threat match between Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and Kane.
It’s the easy thing to do if you just want a transition match from Brock Lesnar, which is a bit of a shame because there has been so many cool Lesnar matches in the past year, the Samoa Joe match, the A.J. Styles match, which was one of his best since he came back to WWE, maybe his best.
In this match we are all walking in knowing that Brock isn’t going to lose, and furthermore, it would seem like whilst Kane has been built as this monster, Brock will probably beat Kane meaning that Braun doesn’t have to get pinned. This way they can save Braun and Brock doesn’t have to lose the title.
With the rise of Kane happening at the same time with the fall of Finn Balor, he doesn’t know many fans who think Kane right now is more valuable that Balor.
Finn has been injured a couple of times and we don’t know, based on the style of wrestling he has done, how many years he has left, we could make up any excuses.
If you are talking about 2018 and a championship match, Finn Balor adds a lot more than Kane, but maybe you want to save him until a time when he could actually win.
Maybe this is just a hold over match that is done for WrestleMania, as you have to put Brock on the show as it’s a Big Four show so maybe this has to happen.
Sam would imagine this is the last run for Kane. He does imagine that Finn will be rebuilt and it’s cool to look like a beast on the way out, because we want to be left with the memory of Kane that is similar to the one we were introduced to him.
He is still amazing, the matches that he still has and the bumps he is still taking but when you are just talking about audience reaction, he no longer gets a crowd on fire.
All that said, this Brock Lesnar match becomes an exhibition to just see him. It’s also the same for Braun Strowman, they are just attractions that you can go see to beat people because they are so big.
Luckily, you will have a title match involving AJ Styles and we have two Royal Rumble matches which will help a lot.
Women’s Royal Rumble
Sam is excited about the women’s Royal Rumble, he thinks it’s a fabulous idea, we are in the right position for it.
Let’s talk about this, on Raw it is simply announced and Alexa Bliss is in the ring, there are websites that reported the women didn’t know it wasn’t going to be announced and the reactions did seem real, especially because Bliss was in the ring on Raw.
Then on SmackDown the implication was made heavily she would not be in the match and the winner would get the same shot at WrestleMania. That’s a good move.
It makes the women’s roster seem even bigger, as you don’t see the male champions and if you put them in it then it would make the roster smaller.
Rumor has it that this is going to be a 30 women Royal Rumble and it will be comprised as the entire Raw and SmackDown roster as well as NXT. Sam doesn’t think it would be considered a call-up.
Do you put Ember Moon in the match? Unless she is going to win do you put her in the match? Sam would put Kairi Sane in the match and would put Shayna Baszler in the match and they are both new to NXT and will be there for a while and need to be established as big stars.
Sam doesn’t know who else you would put in there, Peyton Royce and Billie Kay, maybe. He would imagine that those characters would make a main roster debut before long so this could be a good time to familiarize the fans with them.
The other thing that has come up is the idea of legends and he would imagine that would happen, they will use the same philosophy of the men’s.
Lita is someone who could appear, she is in amazing shape and is still part of the WWE, Michelle McCool maybe, Trish Stratus is a name that has been thrown around and it would be amazing.
It’s a good move for history but he did not like the execution of the announcement on Raw. Two weeks in a row Alexa Bliss has helped to fend off Absolution and he doesn’t think she should be doing that. Before they got there she was not well liked and there is no reason for us to believe that the rest of the roster now likes her just because of Absolution.
This week, Sam’s first thought was not only should Bliss not be out there, but Asuka shouldn’t be out there because he thinks she should be protected like a Hulk Hogan. She is Raw’s version of Charlotte Flair.
On SmackDown we are acknowledging she is queen of the show and that should be happening for Asuka, anytime she is on television it should be a big deal.
Stephanie comes out, they stop fighting, Sam doesn’t want to nit-pick and he didn’t love it but once the message came out he understood. When she announced the match, it was this great moment in history, he doesn’t mind her stepping out of the role of bad guy to announce it, he thought she was great.
What he doesn’t like is when an announcement gets made and everyone is friends, they are all just celebrating female empowerment.
If you have a ring with men in it and they have a problem with each other and you give them what they want, that scene historically doesn’t have them celebrating, they glare at each other. That’s what we see.
He would be okay if some people are excite. Alexa Bliss shouldn’t be excited, you’re telling me she wants to defend her title against someone who beats 29 other people, how are you supposed to beat them?
Absolution should still have had chips on their shoulders, you are so focused on the history that the bad guys can’t be bad guys, everyone is just celebrating and for Sam, it didn’t quite work.
SmackDown Live/Royal Rumble
On SmackDown Live we had no matches announced, A.J. Styles had said he was done with Jinder Mahal and the name Sami Zayn has come up as a WWE Championship contender.
Zayn as a bad guy has been incredible and he loves that idea actually. Sam doesn’t think we will see him in a WrestleMania main event this year, but if A.J. needs a title match for Royal Rumble, he doesn’t know that many people who would be better than Sami Zayn. Him becoming a bad guy should build you more matches, if you do this just to put Kevin Owens back in the title picture we are seeing matches we have done before.
The Shane and Daniel Bryan storyline is still going to be happening. His WrestleMania dream match is Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura, but he does think Zayn is the right guy to face him at the Royal Rumble.
If Sam was a betting man, whilst he wouldn’t put his money on Styles vs Nakamura at WrestleMania, he does believe we will see Daniel Bryan back in a WWE ring.
Clash of Champions was a big moment to see where we are going with this. The tension wasn’t brushed over, it was the main focus of one of the biggest matches on that show.
When Bryan shoved Shane, it made Sam think that in someway, shape or form they will wrestle a match. If you are not going to have him wrestle then you should be squashing any idea of him wrestling, because if he leaves, people will be even more excited.
As much as they don’t really want him to wrestle, they don’t want him to wrestle elsewhere even more. You have this storyline going on and the only possible outcome is some kind of physical confrontation, anything that isn’t physical is a let down. Sam believes whether it’s a singles match or some sort of tag match, we will see a match between Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon.
It’s possible someone will wrestle in his place but it’s such a disappointment, unless he can pull CM Punk out of his back pocket. He doesn’t know anyone who will not be disappointing.
In his mind, if you can get all the way to WrestleMania you could do something where he uses a proxy wrestler to face Shane at the Rumble and he has to step up and do it at ‘Mania.
If you have Bryan stand in the corner of someone at WrestleMania, the match is getting booed. If he said he is getting Kurt Angle then fans would be like “what!?”
How can Kurt Angle be cleared if Bryan is not, it would just be a reminder for an invisible reason that he is being kept from the fans.
Clash Of Champions
Speaking of Clash Of Champions, Sam thought it was a great PPV. The trend that WWE has been on this year is PPVs that are hyped up like No Mercy have kind of left people feeling a little bit flat, whereas PPVs that have been flat going in are the ones people leave happy.
The lower the expectation the higher the review. He doesn’t think it’s because of low expectations, but these shows on paper that aren’t the best have stories interjected in them.
Every match at Clash of Champions had a story behind it, including the pre-show match. They all had different directions where they were going.
The story of the tag match going in was Rusev Day, they were blowing the rood off the place, once the match was going on the new story became we forgot how good Chad Gable is in the ring. He was the MVP of that match, maybe of the whole PPV, because he was written off going into it and they were sitting and watching the tag match what happens, they remind you.
You talk about the US Title match, to Sam, it was a Bobby Roode story. He thinks it shocked a lot of people when he won the title and it shocked more people when he relinquished it. He doesn’t think he is going away, he might be off TV a little bit, he doesn’t think this is his moment to do his own Cody Rhodes.
If it was, they wouldn’t have put the title on him, so he thinks that his story is still being told. And technically, if you go to WWE’s website and see who the champion is, it still says Dolph Ziggler.
They told this story of Jinder taking out A.J. part by part, there go his legs, his ribs. Every time he would take out a body part, A.J. had a new move set.
All stuff like that is so cool and A.J. really shined. Sam also loved the inclusion of the Singh Brothers. A.J. is the only guy who is able to get past the interference and cleanly defeat Jinder. When you ask what’s next for him, Jinder should be the US champion and Bobby Roode should be chasing him because everyone would be comfortable with him in that space.
You have to comment on how much Jinder has improved and Sam thinks people would be comfortable with him as the US Champion, there is a lot of potential. All in all, we left Clash of Champions very optimistic about SmackDown.
Sam thinks Ring of Honor was great, the good was the matches, just about every match he enjoyed on the show. He loves having Dalton Castle, who he believes claimed on this podcast he was the co-host to this show, is a great thing.
He is great and has only gotten better, he first got over on the strength of the character on the jumpsuit and the boys and the sexual aspect, but since then he has become so much more than that character. Sam believes he is just as popular for his wrestling than his character.
Sam thinks he deserves to be champion based on his crowd appeal, his ring ability and the story he tells. Most important of all, he should be champion because a champion should be a Ring Of Honor guy.
There is a lot of controversy for the Young Bucks spot when they all missed the dropkicks in sync. They wrestle a style that lets you in on the joke as it is between the fans and them and in principle he is okay with everyone having a problem with it.
Cody Rhodes has specifically said he hates the inside stuff and the internet stuff, he doesn’t like pulling back the curtain, but he teams with the Yong Bucks.
It’s because they are the only group that could get away with it you have to take it into context. All that said, you get Cody, Marty Scurrl, and Young Bucks. They run a risk and ROH walks this line where they have these guys who can do whatever they want, there are shows that run the risk and have fallen over the edge of becoming the Bullet Club show.
WCW had a problem with this with NWO because they gave everything to them. ROH needs to make sure they don’t do that and putting the title on Dalton Castle does just that.
Here’s where ROH needs to improve a little bit: production value. Throughout the entire night Sam did not like the lighting, the camera angles, etc. He thought the commentary was good, but the show needs some serious direction in production value.
It’s not a matter of spending the money, because the equipment is great and Sam is sure it looks good live, but if you are doing a PPV and you don’t have national television, this is your one time when you get the nation’s attention and people are paying for it.
You need to watch a ROH PPV and feel like you are getting your money’s worth and he doesn’t see that right now.
Speaking of all that stuff, this week, the rumors started spreading that Vince McMahon might be bringing back the XFL.
WWE did comment on it and said that he is investing in something that is totally personally funded and he will look into other forms of entertainment. One of the things he can look at is football and Vince is looking at that.
Sam thinks Vince would be nuts to start a football league again but you have to love the idea that he won’t quit, the idea that he isn’t slowing down in WWE and he is actually going to launch a new company.
This was a, pardon the pun, glorious podcast, as always from Sam. The interview with Bobby Roode was a fun one, with Roode coming across really well, although it’s a shame it wasn’t a little longer to get more detail. The State of Wrestling really stood out this week, though, due to the varied topics that Sam discussed, meaning it covered a lot of ground.
Subjects Covered (With Timestamps)
00:00- Sponsor Ads
07:28- Bobby Roode Interview
16:40- Glorious Character
20:00- NXT Run
22:40- Main Roster Push
40:20-State Of Wrestling/Royal Rumble
47:54-Women’s Royal Rumble
1:00:32-SmackDown Live/Royal Rumble
1:10:22-Clash Of Champions
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