Sam Roberts Wrestling Show
Release Date: February 8, 2018
Guest: Renee Young
Recap by: Matthew Wilkinson
- Renee Young has some show ideas
- Young was sad when Talking Smack was taken away
- Renee originally wanted to get into comedy
- Sam thinks that Elias is the future of WWE
- Sam thinks Daniel Bryan will wrestle again in WWE
- Sam is worried ROH is doing Omega v Rhodes at the wrong time
Subjects Covered (with timestamps)
06:02-Renee Young Interview/Instagram Change
12:00-Relationship With Dean Ambrose
16:30-Growing Up A Fan
52:10-Dean Ambrose’s Goals
1:23:00-State Of Wrestling/ WWE Network
1:30:00-Daniel Bryan/Shane McMahon
1:43:15-Corey Graves & Booker T
1:50:00-Alexa Bliss & Kurt Angle
Renee Young Interview- Instagram Change
Sam welcomes Renee to the podcast this week and she immediately asks why Sam is called Sam Bran Muffins by people. Because Sam’s co-host Jim Norton, his managers name is Johnathan Bransteen and it annoys him a lot so when they are in LA he shouts Johnny Bran Muffins at him and now he started doing that to Sam, there is nothing to it.
Sam mentions there is no branding where they are recording and this brings Renee to speak about how she changed her Instagram to her real name which kicked up a storm with fans.
It’s not a big deal, a lot of people get married and still keep their name for work. When they got married people did think John’s name was Moxley, but it isn’t.
Renee had been thinking about it before honestly, and literally did it in two seconds and thought it would ruffle some feathers but she is in the clear.
Relationship With Dean Ambrose
Sam asked if it is strange because most of her audience is a wrestling audience because even before she was in WWE the people know the stuff she was doing on The Score.
So, when you are in this relationship and then you get married and it becomes public and he is one of the biggest wrestlers in the world, this audience is now obsessed with this relationship.
Women love relationships. It’s funny having people care about it. Renee talks to everybody about everything, and doesn’t consider herself a private person but Dean is the polar opposite so its finding that balance.
Obviously, they were doing Total Divas and that was kind of an odd thing for them to try to make him not be Dean Ambrose, but it’s interesting having people care. Parts feel like it’s not bad but you get protective.
Sam mentions that when it’s good, it’s good but when you are in a fight or someone says something nasty, it’s like this relationship actually means a lot to me.
Totally, 100%. Renee has had people say some really horrible things about her character as a person and it’s just insanity. It’s a slippery slope, it’s odd.
John is never on social media and if she moans about someone being mean to her on the internet he tells her to just get off it. But she can’t do that because she is a personality and doesn’t know how to wrestle.
Growing Up A Fan
Sam asked how big of a wrestling fan Renee was before WWE, there are a lot of girls now who realize this is a big medium and a lot of girls that learn about wresting specifically so they can be a host.
Young said what makes things difficult about that, our audience will tear you down. The history of WWE is so important to the fans, if you are going to misstep on things they will call you out.
There will be some slip ups here and there, did Renee grow up watching everything, no. But she did watch it as a kid, her dad was working at the Skydome in Toronto so she got to some events and met people like The Rock and Chyna.
It really was that larger than life moment. Renee fell off for a little bit and then started working in sports and her boss said they were doing a wrestling show and they wanted her to host it so she submerged herself.
There’s a difference between wanting to host it and your boss telling you.
Renee said essentially yes, she feels like she is good at pulling some s**t off at times. She got into sports because she wanted to do comedy, she felt this immense pressure to be successful.
Renee needed the sports to pay the bills. In Toronto there isn’t a ton of places to go for a regular TV job, but there was sport and it wasn’t too serious there was comedic bits so she wanted to go there and it led me to do doing a WWE show.
Sam asked if she was sending tapes to WWE or were they aware of her. Renee said they became aware of her because The Score had rights to use all of WWE’s stuff so they did work directly with WWE.
The very first thing she did when she came to WWE was a vintage collection with Gene Okerland and it would air after that, it was her one time in WWE with her real name. Renee got brought in for WWE and was wrapping up her time with The Score and wanted to do things in the States. She went to audition with ESPN for SportsNation and it all went really well so she thought okay, that’s where she is going and then that wasn’t the move.
That was on a Monday and by Friday WWE wanted to fly her down for an audition. She had a really bad audition, it wasn’t awful but Renee didn’t think she would get it.
Renee did her audition with Matt Striker and she just did color commentary. She was totally a fish out of water but then they handed her a battery and they were like sell this. She also did an after show thing and that’s where her skills began to shine.
When she started with WWE Renee really had no idea what her job was going to be. Coming in and doing backstage interviews and learning about what it’s like working for the company rather than watching it.
Sam mentioned that she has to have more confidence than she used to have.
Renee doesn’t know when because she feels like she got off to a rocky start doing the pre-shows so she thinks trying to figure out the way the production works as they would hand her these sheets and would have no idea.
Renee said that working in NXT helped as there was a little more room for error. Doing Talking Smack was one of those times where she felt really comfortable.
She likes being in those situations where she can be a little bit more of herself and can get her personality in there a little bit.
Sam mentioned when Talking Smack went away that must have been a huge blow?
It was, she was really upset to lose Talking Smack, also working with Bryan was great. It was an unknown thing for her, he is super talented and having him in that host role, who knew how great that would be?
He was such a great co-host and had that ‘I don’t give a shit attitude’ which made it so much better, when he went off the rails she was all for that.
Having people make their own spotlights and take the situation and spin it was great for them. Even on Raw 25, Miz walks out and stares down Bryan, it all stems from Talking Smack.
She hopes it can come back at some point. There is more kick off shows and Renee would love Unfiltered to come back, she has a couple of ideas for things but she will keep that secret.
They are things she could have done either way but she likes the idea of doing it with WWE, she likes doing shows barebones.
Sam asked how she feels about pitching and selling herself.
Renee hates schmoozing, she is not in peoples’ face enough to do it, it seems bad to her. If someone is in her face selling themselves to her she is like get out for a little bit.
She needs someone else to go in and do it for her. She had to do a pitch for a show idea that she came up with and was in a boardroom and people were coming in. At one point they were like “are you going to host or someone else?” Renee was like “whatever you think.” She needs to work on getting better at it.
Renee can smell a bad person from a mile away. She is not willing to compromise, and has a very strong moral compass.
There is no self-awareness and she is so self-aware, she see’s people going after what they want and letting themselves be known.
The more Renee branches out outside WWE and take some meetings, you see many people and it’s very bizarre. She would never be willing to compromise who she is to get a job.
Dean Ambrose’s Goals
Sam wondered how the chemistry in her relationship work. He strikes him as someone who just wants to live in the desert and run on mountains.
Yes, he wants to just ride his bike in the mountains. He has aspirations of wanting to do things. He essentially is the person of who he is, their dynamic is much different but he is a lovely man, he is great.
Renee always feel very lucky she gets to see this certain side of him, he keeps to himself and marches to the beat of his own drum.
There are times they will be talking about something and he has such a different way of thinking about things, but that is just how his brain works.
Everyone else was trying to get her attention maybe and he was trying to keep it cool. People were like “how did you get together?” but he was subtle about it.
He would just call her to talk, it wasn’t a long window until they were like, alright. She showed up for the first time to hang out and Seth was there and was like “Hey Canada.”
Renee remembers him calling her on her birthday and he said he would come visit and the next morning she was like “no you can’t come.”
Then they met on neutral territory when she was in NXT, it was very cute. They stayed up and talked till 4 in the morning and was like, someone has to make a move here or we are going to be best friends.
Sam asked if Renee has had any specific memorable moments in her WWE career.
Tonight, in the ring with Shinsuke Nakamura was a really cool moment. She had one with Ric Flair in Virginia but being in the ring with Shinsuke, they got the result they wanted, he is an outstanding human being and help announce that WrestleMania match, those are cool moments.
She had one too, it was the Raw after Byran won the title being in the ring with him and everyone is going ballistic.
State of Wrestling –WWE Network
Before we get into the top five stories that make up this week’s top five stories, there is an honorable mention to the new content that is on the WWE Network.
It was updated with a couple of dozen Coliseum videos, for Sam, the later stuff that is 1990 and beyond are his favorite things but there is some cool stuff that you may not have seen.
When he was a kid Sam lived in England and they would do these specials, they did one at the Royal Albert Hall and did a special that they aired on British television and he knows that because he was a tape trader then and would tape everything.
He recorded this on a VHS tape and got to America and had to convert it onto a US tape and it is now available on the WWE Network.
You have to scan through them, they have Smack Em Wack Em, it had the Bret Hart vs. Ric Flair title match.
They would put these out once a month on video and a lot of these matches would never be on TV because that was jobber matches to ramp up towards a PPV.
When they did TV tapings they would have dark matches that were main event matches and since it was lit for TV they would release it on their home video company.
A lot of these matches are not well known, you had to get the video to see it and Sam think it’s one of the best additions since it started. It’s exactly what you would want from the WWE Network. If you are a fan of WWF in the early 90’s you’ll be lost in these things for hours.
Daniel Bryan/ Shane McMahon
Story number five happened on SmackDown Live and is the confrontation between Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan and is one that has been an ongoing story that has featured on here many times.
When Shane and Bryan are going back and forth and Shane draws direct and specific attention to the fact that he wants to wrestle again.
He says we know you want to wrestle again, he doesn’t understand the storytelling that’s going on, the moment he says that, Daniel Bryan was starting to develop bad guy heat in the last couple of weeks.
At the start it was obvious that Bryan was being fair but in the last weeks it was like he was favoring them and then this week Shane acknowledges that and Bryan is back to being beloved.
Sam can’t for the life of him understand how this ends any way other than Daniel Bryan wrestles again.
Why would you allow the crowd to get this excited unless you have them wrestle at WrestleMania. Triple H has recently said Bryan wasn’t cleared and he also said the day before at the Rumble that Ronda Rousey had not signed a deal.
We aren’t the doctors, we aren’t in those meetings, based on the stories being told he believes Bryan will wrestle again.
If you don’t have him wrestle and you have him be represented by Kevin or Sami, the heat will go to Shane and the other guys.
People will be pissed that Bryan isn’t wrestling. We know Daniel Bryan wants to wrestle again, so why isn’t he?
Sam thinks he is going to wrestle again, he will wrestle Shane at ‘Mania and come back to an irregular schedule and SmackDown this week made him feel that way even more.
Speaking of what was going on this week and that story is what happened on Raw with Elias and the people who want to walk with Elias.
Sam saw more comments this week on Twitter saying they weren’t on the bandwagon and they didn’t understand why. He looks like he is in incredible shape, he can wrestle matches, he is the man.
At this point more than Sam wants John Cena vs Undertaker at Mania he wants Cena vs. Elias. Having him wrestle and lose to Elias.
He wouldn’t be surprised if this is the WrestleMania that John Cena loses, based on what he has been doing with WWE since he lost to Roman Reigns is putting a lot of people over and not having a position of heightened status, he isn’t in the main event scene right now.
When he came back it was this huge deal, Sam never takes it for granted that he is on a show but the last two weeks he has been on Raw without any big deal, it is taken for granted that he is in the Elimination Chamber.
It should be a major deal that he wants to go to WrestleMania and he should be positioned as a guy that is unbeatable, it’s weird that we aren’t reminded at least right now.
He is the right opponent for Elias and the people are behind him, as Sam looks around at who people are really behind in WWE.
The new stars that have been made, it’s not who you think it would be. There are these guys, such as A..J Styles, but the experiment we tried to do with Roman Reigns which is take a guy and follow the Cena model, train him and create a WWE Superstar.
It happened with John Cena and The Rock, Roman is a WWE Superstar but the boos are so much. If you look, you have The Miz, Braun Strowman, and Elias.
Sam doesn’t think any of us would have picked those three names but they are WWE’s home-grown superstars.
In terms of home grown, they could potentially be main eventing WrestleMania for the next 5 to 10 years. Maybe your next John Cena lies somewhere in that mix of people.
Nobody can say anything bad about Miz anymore, Strowman is an experiment is one that has worked better than any in recent times, he has maintained his ability to be a giant star.
Now you have Elias who anybody with eyes and ears can see that this guy is the next big superstar. It’s cool and in the case of all three, nothing was guaranteed.
At no point in the rise of them we fans feel like we have something to do with this, we don’t feel like they were chosen for us. If WWE took a step back there could be home grown talent that are available.
If you allow people to take advantage of opportunities you will realize there is something special there. The Miz is the present, Strowman is the future and Elias is right below him.
It is a recipe for something special and if you want to concentrate on home grown talent, on the women’s side, Charlotte is one of the greatest home-grown talents of all time.
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville have a ton of upside, but in terms of the men’s side those are the three guys. The Miz has been in WWE since 2004, you are talking about a 14-year run.
He reportedly just signed a new four-year contract, The Miz is there and if you look at his ability he is bar none, he makes people care and almost nobody is doing that.
The Miz made people care about his last WrestleMania match, he made people care about the Intercontinental Title, he is maybe the most valuable.
He is doing the greatest work of his life, the brand split benefitted him better than anybody else, he started to prosper. He is amazing.
Corey Graves & Booker T
In terms of battles, story number three is about the battle between Corey Graves and Booker T. Booker is doing his radio show, let’s start at the beginning.
He was surprised when he found out that The Coach was doing Raw, and is a little bit torn because Corey Graves is a friend and has been for a long time, Booker T happens to be one of Sam’s favorite people in WWE to interact with, on and off the air.
He talked to him on Sunday and everything was cool, on Monday it is announced and part of him wondered if Booker was going to be upset about that or if he would be happy to spend more time with family and things.
This week he goes on his radio show and says that Corey is the reason he isn’t working on Raw anymore. Booker T blamed Corey for him being moved and then said that if he saw him on the street he would ‘beat that ass’.
Then Corey was on Raw, he took a shot on Twitter and he took a shot at Booker T on Raw too. Is it a total work?
Sam doesn’t think it is, because it isn’t going anywhere. Is it a shoot, does Booker really want to fight Corey? Sam doesn’t think that’s the case either, it’s two guys busting each other’s balls and watch the people go crazy about it, it’s wrestling, we should love the drama.
There should be more of a line blurred about what is real and what is fake, people should be taking more shots online.
Alexa Bliss & Kurt Angle
The number two story this week, Alexa Bliss and Kurt Angle on Monday Night Raw, what a weird segment that was. No favors are being done for Kurt Angle on Monday Night raw right now, he is not a serious authority figure.
We get to the place where he fires Braun Strowman, Steph makes him re-hire him and there is no fallout. It makes it tough to take the on-screen GM seriously at that point, but on Raw that has been the M.O., to make the gm appear that they shouldn’t be taken seriously.
It was such an odd choice to have Alexa make a solid argument that Brock doesn’t have to do this, but the women do, are you sexist? Keep in mind, WWE has enforced this message about equality and empowering women, Hell in a Cell, Royal Rumble, Money in the Bank, everything is equal.
All this stuff and Alexa points something out that is true, Kurt Angle responded that she hasn’t defended the title since October which Alexa’s character is right again, it makes Angle look bad.
In terms of character, the GM should be booking matches, it isn’t up to the champion to find matches, they defend the title. It isn’t her responsibility to defend the title unless they are told too, it’s embarrassing for the gm for not making matches.
Alexa was playing the bad guy but she was right and Angle was wrong. You should be able to understand the bad guys motives but they should never be more right than the good guy, which is why when you said do you want to see this match and he fan reaction is totally mixed.
It was very oddly done and doesn’t make sense with WWE’s narrative and if you are following WWE’s logic you don’t want to see her defend the title, she is right, she has the odds against her for no reason.
It’s not making Angle look good, why bring in these legends to make it look like they have no power?
Finally, the number one story of the week. This story broke right after the podcast broke last week, Ring Of Honor announcing that ROH Supercard, the show that will compete with NXT Takeover New Orleans will be headlined by Cody Rhodes vs. Kenny Omega.
They are pulling out all the stops, they did the same thing for Survivor Series weekend. In that scenario WWE decided to do a NXT house show, this one, ROH knew that Takeover was happening.
They are headlining with maybe the biggest match that ROH will have all year. It makes me feel bad for Dalton Castle, the headliner is Rhodes vs. Omega but they are pulling out all the stops.
It will be interesting to see how NXT reacts to that, I still think NXT will be fine because the Takeover shows are incredible.
But it is interesting that ROH is competing with all they have right now and put on this match, it feels like they are rushing to this match.
Sam would have expected the seeds to be planted but to be drawn all the way out. He thought this was a New Japan property that was going to be stretched to New Japan Wrestle Kingdom.
Sam wonders how New Japan feels about that but its apparent they want to go after NXT’s numbers and competition is a good thing.
It could have headlined ALL IN, it doesn’t mean NXT is in trouble but Sam doesn’t know that ROH has pulled out all the stops to this extent before.
ROH can have December and do their big show, but WrestleMania weekend is WWE’s. Regardless of what happens on Saturday, on Monday morning everyone will be talking about WrestleMania.
Last year they had a Hardy Boys match, a huge deal, one night later they show up at WrestleMania and people forget that they even worked in ROH.
It’s going to be tough with a Takeover but nobody competes with WrestleMania so Sam would have saved that for a Final Battle or an ALL IN show. That is the worry about this match, it’s a piggyback show with ROH piggybacking onto WWE stuff.
Another excellent podcast this week as Sam continues his strong run in 2018. Renee Young is someone that you don’t see on too many podcasts which makes her interesting to listen to as you likely haven’t heard a lot of the things she is discussing, the pair had a great, funny conversation which was very easy to listen to.
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