The Spotlight On Shane McMahon on The Michael Kay Show

Shane McMahon just wrapped up an appearance on ESPN’s “The Michael Kay Show” with Michael Kay and Don La Greca.  Here are some highlights from the interview..

– Michael Kay said it best when he noted in the beginning of the piece how big of a deal it was for them to discuss wrestling but that this was such a big deal that he felt like they had to have Shane on.  I now that Peter Rosenberg is a big wrestling fan and that Don La Greca’s brother, Dave is a host of the Busted Open Wrestling radio show on sirius but this was reallly cool to hear Michael Kay talk about wrestling.

– The interview started off with Shane mentioning how humbling it was to get the ovation that he got when he appeared on Monday.  He mentioned how Monday was a night he will never forget and that when he thanked the crowd in Detroit during the commercial break, he didn’t know it was going to air (Referring to the footage WWE put up on youtube with him stating that “he had goosebumps on top of goosebumps and his nipples were hard).  He said that he was hoping the reaction would be good but wasn’t 100% sure and said the reaction blew him away.  He compared the feeling to that of a close sports game when the crowd goes nuts and it was surreal that the reaction was all directed towards him.

– From there Shane was asked about whether he feels added pressure because he is the boss’ son and if that played a part in why he took so many risks.  Shane mentioned that he had to pay a lot of dues growing up by helping to set up the ring and being a referee.  Shane  explained that he continued to take risks because he always assumed each match would be his last so he figured why not leave it all out there.  He told a funny story from when he was 8 years old, Mr. Fuji told him to try a dropkick off the top rope.  He went up to the top with a ton of enthusiasm and when he hit the mat, he grew an appreciation for how hard the mat was and an appreciation for the punishment the superstars take. Shane mentioned that he loved growing up in the business mentioning how impressive Wrestlemania 3 was and that during that show he walked to the top of the arena just to take it all in and hoped that this year they can top the crowd that Wrestlemania 3 did.

–  He explained how the primary driving force for  him to return was so that his sons would be able to see him perform.  He explained how he did not tell his kids that he would be returning and his wife recorded a private video of his sons reaction, which was also off the charts.

– Don La Greca than asked if there was any real tension between he and Vince McMahon to which mentioned that at times there has been animosity between the two but said that it’s to be expected when you’re in any family business.

– Shane explained that kayfabe is still important to him and so he wanted to keep his return a surprise so he kept it very close to the vest.  He did explain how hard it is this day in age where security cameras can pick up your appearance and the next thing you know the story breaks everyone.  Rosenberg made a good point about how he loves the Rock but that every time he returns he puts a picture of himself on instagram arriving in the city so it gives it away.

– In regards to Wrestlemania, Shane mentioned that he’s currently doing 3 a days and really improving his cardio.  He explained that he’s currently working with two different personal trainers which he started originally training for surfing with his kids.  Shane then confirmed that he is working out with MMA trainer Phil Nurse (Trainer of GSP, Rashaad Evans and Frankie Edgar), and learning more mui tai kickboxing to improve his overall conditioning.

– In regards to his future in WWE and whether this is a one time deal, Shane said that, as of right now, he’s just focusing on Wrestlemania and will see where the future takes him after.  He said that he’s excited to have a match with The Undertaker because they’ve been good friends for 25 years and used to travel together.  He said that he’s ready to give it his all and be in the best shape of his life so that the fans will get the match they expect and knows that the Undertaker will do the same

Overall, I felt that Shane came across really well on the show.  He also spoke a bit about his love of the Yankees and how he expects them to do pretty well with the best bulpen in the game.  It was surreal to see Shane on an ESPN radio show and seeing this getting the attention that it does deserve.  It was cool to see the footage replayed of Shane’s comeback on the yes network and the footage of Shane training hard.  Overall a good piece for a Friday evening.

As for Shane, he is now on twitter @ShaneMcMahon.  I’ll have a lot more about my thoughts on Shane and how I felt about his big return this past week over the weekend.

Traveling Insanity, Conor McGregor & Wrestlemania March- The Daily Spotlight for 2/25

Hello everyone and a very happy Thursday to each and every one of you.  It’s a very happy Thursday for me as I’m working just a few blocks away from where I live.  There is, to me, nothing better aside from being off altogether than working so close to home.  I get to sleep for, I kid you not, anywhere from an hour to 2 hours more when I work in Queens then when I work in Brooklyn.  Thus, I circle the day on my calendar and look forward to a day like today more than any other.  Even with heading to the city later this afternoon I can’t complain whatsoever.  Heading to the city is delightful for me as I hop on the LIRR and away I go, no I don’t care if the LIRR is relatively boushey.  Anyway, let’s get into the spotlight.

– One thing that has really zapped me throughout the week (and one of the reasons why I was in desperate need for a queens day) has been my lack of recovery from my vacation this week.  That’s right it is officially vacation season for me and this kicked off for me in a big way.  I was able to go visit some family on Valentines Day weekend (relax slappy I took the lovely lady out on Saturday and she came with me for the weekend) over in Hershey, Pennsylvania.  I then returned to work for two days in Brooklyn on Tuesday and Wednesday and then Wednesday night we took off for Toronto, Ontario, Canada.  Now I’m the type of guy who hates taking off work for an illness or just to recover from a trip because my agency doesn’t offer specific sick time.  Thus, we spent Wednesday night to Monday night at 10:30 when we arrived back in New York.  My girlfriend was able to take off until Tuesday but I was up at 5AM, worked two jobs and then hit the gym until the gym closed at midnight.  At 22 years old I would have been just dandy but I was beat up and struggling through all of Wednesday.  I was running on straight coffee just to get through the day and crashed hard a little after midnight last night (I rarely hit the hey before 2).  Thus, it was really good to get a few extra z’s last night.  One great thing about going away by the way was how I was able to pick up a lot of great video content for the site that you can expect to see in the coming weeks.

– I consider myself to be a pretty big baseball fan.  Aside from football and wrestling, baseball is my favorite sport and the only other sport in which I follow the league inside and out.  That said, I am not the same about baseball that I am about football in that when baseball ends, I’m good until about a month before baseball before I feel like I need to get fully invested.  I don’t care about when pitchers and catchers report and if I watch more than 1 spring training game, it’s probably more than usual.  The 175 games that emcompass the baseball season are good enough for me.  This isn’t to say that I’m not invested, I’m a nats fan and one of the reasons I subscribe to Sirius XM is to make sure I can listen to all of the games while in the car and I purchase the mlb package so I can watch all of the Nats games (and I love a good west coast game that starts at 10:35PM our time).  That said, it just isn’t baseball for me until football is long and gone. With football now gone, however, it is in fact time to get into baseball.  I’ve been going through all of the different rosters and have to be honest, it could be a very tough year coming up for my Nats.  I’m not sold on any other team in our division but the middle of our infield is really weak defensively and while I’m happy we went out and got Ben Revere (and more to the point dropped Drew Storen and actually got a return!), I can’t believe that the Nationals did very little to improve our rotation.  While, Bronson Arroyo is a gamer and a winner, he’s in his late thirties now and coming off Tommy John surgery.  That means we’re depending on Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark and Joe Ross which scares me.  Maybe instead of trying to stick it to the New York Mets (and more or less failing) this offseason, we should have been worrying about improving our rotation.  Could be a long season, hope I’m wrong.

– I’m pretty bummed that Rafael Dos Anjos got hurt and won’t be facing Conor Mcgregor on March 5th, but honestly I feel like Nate Diaz is a great replacement.  The press conference yesterday was a lot of fun and I think that you have the two perfect guys to prepare for a fight like this on such short notice.  Conor is an absolute must see attraction whenever he fights but it will be interesting to see if Diaz and Mcgregor will be the main event now since it won’t be a title fight and Tate-Holm will be.  Even though everyone assumes this will be a sure fire win for McGregor, I wouldn’t be too shocked to see Diaz put up a really good fight.  Diaz is a gritty fighter who has a big time reach advantage on McGregor and Mcgregor is going up in weight class so much and fighting at 170 so I wouldn’t put the house on Conor in this one.

– Last piece of business to take care of.  As many of you know WrestleMania is under six weeks away.  In the past I’ve been reminiscing on different Survivor Series events and Royal Rumble events of years past.  Well in the month of March, I’m going to take things to the next level and bring you a WrestleMania a day.   I’ll break down a different WrestleMania from my perspective as a fan.  It works out perfectly with 31 days of March and 31 Wrestlemanias.  I’ll break them down each event from my experiences (the biggest moments, the best matches) as a fan and then I’ll parallel each WrestleMania with what I remember most from each year of being a fan of WWE.  I’ll include everything from pictures to videos, if I have them, to everything in between.  I want to really intertwine this idea with the youtube channel and get that off the ground as well.  This will all lead you right up ro WrestleMania weekend in which I will be on hand live to get you the most comprehensive coverage that someone who attends the event with his girlfriend, for her birthday, can possibly give you.  It’s bound to be a lot of fun and I’m excited for it.

The Spotlight On Raw & Daniel Bryan’s Retirement Speech

Well last night’s episode of Monday Night Raw was, at least for me, all about the retirement of Daniel Bryan.  I felt that WWE did such a classy tribute to Bryan throughout the night and I couldn’t have been happier that I was able to watch this as it unfolded.  In many ways, I hate to say this, but it was reminiscent to the tribute episodes of Raw that WWE has done in the past when someone has passed away, it’s just that the subject was living and got to make a speech at the end.  You really got a feel throughout the day and up until the wee hours of the evening just how much Daniel Bryan meant to so many people in the wrestling community, whether it be fellow wrestlers, promoters or fans.  In many ways twitter last night was very therapeutic in that it felt like the whole wrestling community was going through the loss of Daniel Bryan’s wrestling career together.  Bryan meant a lot to me as a fan and I’m going to get into all of that later in the week but for right now I want to focus on last night’s show, some of the highlights of the show as a whole and what I thought about Daniel Bryan’s speech.  Let’s get right into it.

WWE recognizes their A+ Player- Triple H said it best on twitter yesterday when he said that Bryan was always an A+ player and WWE treated Bryan as so with the way they put together Raw last night.  Whether it was Stephanie McMahon allowing the fans to get all of their Daniel Bryan chants in during her promo or the very nice videos throughout the show, WWE did a very classy job handling all of this.  I also loved that they gave Bryan the end of the show to go out and talk for as long as he liked and kudos to USA for letting WWE have all of that extended overrun time as the show didn’t go off the air until close to 11:30.
Gratitude- If you would have told me that when I saw Daniel Bryan win the world title live at Wrestlemania 30 that less than 2 years later I would be watching his retirement speech, I would have never believe it.  It’s a real shame that this poor guy has gotten such bad luck right after he reached the pinnacle of his profession, after working so hard to do so.  That said, last night’s retirement speech one of the most emotional and my favorite segments in the history of Monday Night Raw.  Bryan spoke from the heart for over 30 minutes and took you with him on this emotional journey one last time, like he has throughout his entire career.  He made you laugh when he mentioned the elephant in the room being that he shaved his beard, he made you cry (that tipping point for me being the part about his father), and at the end of the day he made you feel that same sense of gratitude that he spoke about.  It was really a tremendous speech that I cannot recommend enough.  I couldn’t help but think, as I watched Bryan talk that for a guy who gets so much praise for what he’s done inside the ring (and rightfully so), Daniel Bryan is also an unbelievable promo who can evoke emotion and make you believe more than few others.  At the end of the day, while it’s heartbreaking to see Bryan have to give up what he loves to do, you have to take solace in the fact that this guy truly made it.  Other than Daniel Bryan, there are only three other legends that I can remember getting to do this type of speech, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels and Edge, that’s pretty good company for a guy that so many believed would never make it.  When you think about many of the greats who retired and didn’t get this chance, guys like Christain or even Steve Austin, it’s pretty great that Bryan got his just due.  In the end, it’s also important to realize how important it is that Bryan got out of the ring before he had more damage.  He seems genuinely happy and at peace with the fact that now he can focus on starting a family.  As I said yesterday, as big a fan of I am of Daniel Bryn the performer, I’m a bigger fan of the person.
The Sendoff- WWE was very smart to send everyone to the network for even more Daniel Bryan celebration.  We had our roku disconnected and scrambled to get everything plugged in so that we could see more.  While, I was hoping for the traditional parade of people from Bryan’s past coming out to pay respect, it was very classy for the entire roster to come out on the top of the stage and do a YES chant, lead by Vince McMahon of all people.  It was great to see just how much respect Bryan had by his peers, especially Vince McMahon who seemed genuinely proud of Bryan and embraced him with a warm hug.  It was also very cool of Daniel Bryan to walk around all of ringside being sure to slap fives with all of the fans, hugging many of them.  He was really soaking it all in, as were many of the fans who were seen crying (including one youngster who was inconsolable).
Closing Thoughts:
At the end of the day there were a few more things I really liked on Raw.  I thought Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens had another strong match, I thought the Dudleys got a much needed spark when they turned on the Usos and I really enjoyed the advancement of the tension between Dean Ambrose, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns heading into Fast Lane.  That said, this night was really all about the retirement of Daniel Bryan and if you’re a wrestling fan, to any extent, I urge you to take 30 minutes of your time to watch his speech.
That’s going to do it for now but I’ll be back real soon with coverage of Daniel Bryan’s appearance on Sportscenter as we say goodbye to one of the all time greats.

The Spotlight On The Week Ahead For WWE 2/8-2/14

Happy Monday everyone!  With the football season officially behind us and baseball season still a few months away, it’s time to shift our focus entirely on a whole different season, wrestlemania season of course!  With a little under 8 weeks away until the biggest Wrestlemania of all time, things are guaranteed to be kicked into high gear before too long.  With that said, let’s take a look at what lies in the week ahead for WWE.

Raw Comes To Yes Country-  WWE Monday Night Raw will emanate live from Seattle, Washington tonight.  As many of you know by now Daniel Bryan released a tweet earlier today confirming that due to medical issues he is going to be coming to Raw tonight in Seattle to announce his retirement from wrestling.  While it’s to see that Bryan is being forced to stop wrestling, something that he loves to do, it is in a way nice that he is being afforded to opportunity to speak in Seattle, just a short drive away from Bryan’s hometown of Aberdeen.  It was on an episode of Raw back in December of 2013 where the fans in Seattle, during a segment designed to showcase the importance of a title unification match between Randy Orton & John Cena, chanted Bryan’s name relentlessly.  This was something that Bryan credited with the birth of the yes movement on his DVD that was released just last year.  For those of you thinking that this is just storyline, ESPN’s Jonathan Coachman has since confirmed that this is not at all storyline and that Bryan would be appearing on Sportscenter tomorrow night to discuss his retirement further.  It should be an emotional Raw to say the least.
Time For Us To Ride Along Once Again- Following Monday Night Raw, the second episode of Ride Along will take place on the WWE Network.  This week’s episode will follow along both King Barrett & Sheamus as well as the trio of Renee Young, Summer Rae and R Truth.  I was able to check out the first episode featuring the New Day and Miz/Ziggler and thought it was actually a lot of fun.  The show doesn’t last more than 20 and is an easy watch.  It’s gives you that “fly on the wall” atmosphere as you watch the superstars on their traveling adventures.
A Beast Of A Smackdown-  Don’t forget about Smackdown.  WWE’s Thursday night program has really picked up some steam in recent weeks since coming over to the USA Network.  Smackdown has definitely been getting more of a focus recently and new lead play by play man Mauro Ranallo has been a welcome addition to the booth.  This week’s Smackdown should be no different as Brock Lesnar makes his first appearance on Smackdown since, I believe, the end of his first run in WWE back in 2004.  On top of that the rematch between Chris Jericho and AJ Styles, which has really been building over the next few weeks, is advertised for Smackdown.
Fourth Quarter Earnings Call- On top of all of this, there will be a fourth quarter earning call on Thursday morning with Vince McMahon and George Barrios.  I’m not sure that I will be able to sit in on the live call, which i did for quarter three, but I will have coverage on Thursday regardless. This particular call will cover the fourth quarter on 2015, basically from October thru December.  These calls are always interesting because it is usually a forum for McMahon to talk about a variety of upcoming business ventures for WWE, as well as the current state of the business.  This is also the chance for everyone to get updated on the current number of subscribers to the WWE network and plans for the network moving forward.
Closing Thoughts-
Obviously with the news breaking of Daniel Bryan officially announcing his retirement from WWE, this has shook the entire week for WWE and taken a much deserved focus.  I have a number of personal stories from either watching Daniel Bryan as a fan or the number of times I got to meet Bryan over the years that I will share when I feel the time is right.
Aside from all of that, this week WWE will released their annual DVD/ Blu Ray compilation focusing on the Best Matches and Moments from Raw and Smackdown tomorrow.  That blu Ray is always fun but obviously loses a little steam with all episodes of Raw and Smackdown now being up on the network.  Total Divas also continues tomorrow night and this season has actually been a lot of fun.  If you’re a fan of Daniel Bryan, you can follow along a lot of what he’s been going through by watching Total Divas.  If you do check that out let me know what you think.  Also as stated above, Daniel Bryan will be on Sportscenter tomorrow night with the coach.  It promises to be one hell of a week in WWE and we’ve got you covered from start to finish so keep it locked in to thedailyspotligh

The Spotlight On Daniel Bryan’s Retirement

Well the above tweet really says it all, Daniel Bryan has officially announced that he is retiring from in ring action.  Bryan (34) has been out of action since a smackdown taping last April 14th in which he suffered a concussion, shortly after winning the intercontinental title at Wrestlemania.  Bryan had been hoping to gain medical clearance from the official WWE doctor, Dr. Joseph Maroon but had been unable to do so, despite gaining medical clearance from the doctor who worked at last year’s Superbowl.

While it is no doubt heartbreaking to long time fans of Bryan’s work (and I’m at the top of that list), WWE has to be commended here for taking concussions so seriously.  Bryan has been a part of WWE since 2009 and went on to win the World Heavyweight Title in 2011 and winning the WWE world heavyweight championship on 3 separate occasions, the last of which was in grand fashion at Wrestlemania 30.  As big of a fan as I am of Bryan the in ring performer, i’m a bigger fan of Bryan the person and his health and well being have to come first.

This tweet was released a little over an hour ago and I’ve already received a number of text messages from friends asking if this is storyline.  I suppose it’s possible being as Bryan teased a retirement announcement prior to announcing his return to the Royal Rumble back in 2015.  That said, I’d be pretty surprised to see that this is a storyline and I beleive it’s pretty legitimate.  Raw emanates from Seattle, Washington tonight, just a short distance from Bryan’s hometown in Aberdeen.

We’ll have a definitive update as more information is released and full coverage of Raw as well.