The Spotlight On Sam Roberts Live From Caroline’s On Broadway

 This evening I attended a live recording of the Sam Roberts Show (yes with my eyes dilated so if you saw the guy at the event with sunglasses, that was yours truly).  The show was taped for tomorrow’s Sam Roberts Show on Sirius XM and so if you don’t want the show to be spoiled (though I won’t really go into too much detail) stop reading now.

The event itself was a lot of fun and lasted over two hours.  The show for the most part was focused on wrestling almost entirely with guests including Paul Heyman, Corey Graves and Katie Linendoll.  I’ve been a fan of Sam’s for a few years now, subscribing to his videos on YouTube and enjoying all of his interviews that he kicked off with his trademark “What’s The Haps?”.  I’ve touched on his wrestling podcast a couple of the times on the Spotlight On Wrestling Podcasts section of the site in the past and have continued to enjoy those as well.  This particular live show, however, was not the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast as much as it was a taping of Sam’s daily radio show on the Opie station of Sirius XM Radio.  Let’s get right into some of the highlights from the taping.

Highlights- 

Mike Cannon-  Comedian Mike Cannon came out for a standup routine to get the crowd warmed up and really got the crowd going.  He was hilarious and did such a great job that Sam invited Mike back up on stage to do his open with him.  The two continued to talk about Deez Nuts, which Sam has really been at the forefront of even before Deez Nuts became such a big overnight sensation.  They also discussed this insane Josh Duggar-Ashley Madison story with Cannon joking that most of the wrestling fans in attendance were probably wondering if Ashley Madison was a new NXT Diva.  Good stuff all around.


Katie Linendoll- Really good to see Today show correspondent, Katie Linendoll on hand for Sam’s live show.  She has been a great addition to Sam’s wrestling podcast and seems to be a true fan of the wrestling business with a good amount of knowledge.  You can tell that Katie was really excited for Summerslam weekend and i think she also did a great job in asking questions to Paul Heyman.

Corey Graves-  For those who don’t know, Graves and Roberts have developed quite the friendship over time and Graves has made multiple appearances on Roberts’ podcast.  What I like about Graves’ appearances is that they’re always a little different and it seems that Sam is able to get a little more in depth with each interview.  For an example, they explained that while Corey can’t wait for NXT in Brooklyn this weekend, part of him really misses being in the ring and he would have loved being in the ring on the show.  He explained that it’s a little weird for him to be in NXT right now because he was one of the members of that old guard for NXT with guys like Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt.  He explained that the time period for someone who first enters NXT to the time that they get to the main roster has really changed since he was competing in NXT. He explained that it used to be that you would come into NXT and then if you were good you would go through the system rather quickly and up to the main WWE roster and if you weren’t good you would get cut quickly.  Nowadays, however, with the invention of the performance center, guys are able to stay down in NXT for a long period of time provided that there is consistent improvement during that span.

Paul Heyman- The main event of the evening was Paul Heyman who came across fantastic on this show.  Paul started off by singing another rendition of “Glory Glory Brock Lesnar” which got everyone singing along.  He then asked one of the fans in the middle of Caroline’s to join him on stage so he can take her seat and proclaimed that he was sitting exactly where he belonged, in the Cesaro Section (a bunch of fans in the middle two tables had brought the Cesaro Section posters into Caroline’s and were holding them up throughout the show) which got a huge reaction.  When Sam asked Paul if there was another star that he wanted to align himself with if and when Brock Lesnar retires, he said all of NXT.  He equated it to if he would ever take over the Yankees back in 2010 the first two things he would have done would be to trade A-Rod and Derek Jeter for about five or six 21-24 year old players who could be the future of the team, which is what he would like to do with some of the NXT talents.

 

At this point Paul went on to mention that if he could draft one guy from NXT it would actually be Corey Graves.  He said that Corey is the best color commentator in all of wrestling because he succeeds in, not only getting one guy over, but in getting the entire NXT Roster over.  He said that Corey Graves is like WWE’s Joe Rogan but is so good that it’s only a matter of time before everyone starts saying that Joe Rogan is UFC’s Corey Graves.  From here Paul was asked about his plans in 1993 to try and take on Howard Stern by becoming a morning radio host.  Paul confirmed that their was in fact plans for him to become the morning guy for Hot 97 but people wondered how you could put a jewish guy on a hip hop radio station.  Of course, years later, Peter Rosenberg is now the morning host for Hot 97.

 

From here Sam wondered what happened when the Undertaker went to a UFC show years ago and if that was part of some plan.  Paul explained that their was no plan but that Brock Lesnar was really pissed because he felt that when he was finished with wrestling, he never had any interest in going back and wasn’t showing up at WWE events and sitting front row.  Whereas, here’s the Undertaker showing up sitting front row at a UFC fight, Brock felt that he had no right to do that. Paul also joked that Brock lost that fight due to diverticulitis which was a spell cast on him by the Undertaker.  When Paul was asked if he believes that he’s the greatest talker in the history of the business, he explained that you’ve never seen Paul Heyman hit a dropkick off the top rope because he knew he would never be able to do that better than anyone else, however, there was nothing that was holding him back from being the best talker in the business and so that is where he focused his energy.  He also added that one of the advantages he has is that he’s one of the few guys who is able to write all of his own promos.  The interview then ended with Paul handing out “Paul Heyman Guy” and “Paul Heyman Girl” shirts to members in the audience.

Q & A-  One of the things that i really enjoyed about this show was that Sam then opened up the room for questions for both Corey Graves and Paul Heyman.  This was great as both of them didn’t shy away from any of the questions that were asked of them, in particular Paul Heyman.  When Paul was asked about what he would do in ECW when different wrestlers would leave and if he ever considered a guy like Sakuraba, he explained that he was always looking for ways to do something different with ECW.  He mentioned how he was able to turn the Sandman from a beach bum to beer swelling hardcore legend and he was able to get the most out of guys like The Public Enemy.  He continued how when technical wrestlers like Benoit, Guerrero, and Malenko left ECW, he knew there was no way to replace them so he looked for something different by bringing in some of the high flyers like Tajiri and Super Crazy.  He added that at one point there was a big idea he had to bring in Frank Shamrock.  When Paul was asked about the success throughout his career, he attributed it to his ability to reinvent himself.  He explained that when he used to work for the NWA and he would walk down the streets of New York City people would ask him where his big phone was, then during the ECW days, people would chant ECW at him and now people chant “BBBBBRRRROOOOOOCCCCKKKKKKKK LLLLEEEEESSSSSNNNNAAAAAAARRRR” at him.

Probably the most interesting thing to come out of this show was when a fan asked Paul why it didn’t work out with Cesaro since he was such a fan of his work.  Paul explained that period of time as a catch-22 for Cesaro as he said that the original plan post Wrestlemania 30 was for both Brock and Paul to take time off.  However, once Brock broke the streak, WWE felt that Paul needed to remain on television so that he can continue to remind fans about Brock breaking the streak.  Thus, he chose to work with Cesaro so that he can stay on television and, on every single show, say that he was ” The one behind the one in 21-1…” and so on.  He explained that the problem was that this relegated Cesaro to a background player and in doing so, the hope of transferring some of Brock’s heat onto Cesaro didn’t really work out.  He added, however, that because Vince was so invested in what Paul was doing (with every intention of building to the inevitable rematch), this gave Vince the opportunity to notice Cesaro, who he claimed Vince had never really noticed as much of anything, prior to this program.  He also attributes these promos that he cut as the vehicle that lead to the rematch at Summerslam because it made Brock’s victory over The Undertaker a bigger deal than if Paul had been taken off television for an extended period of time and the streak being broken was never mentioned for months. He ended by saying that to him this rematch really is the match too big for Wrestlemania because they needed a main event focus and would get lost in the shuffle as a part of the big Wrestlemania card.

Closing Thoughts

Overall, there was so much more to this show and you should go out of your way to listen to the Sam Roberts Show tomorrow when it airs Sirius XM Radio on Opie 103 at 12PM EST.  It is a great way to get excited for Summerslam and NXT Takeover being that both Paul Heyman and Corey Graves are such big parts of those shows respectively.  In the end, this was one of the most enjoyable live radio shows/podcasts that I’ve attended. A great job by all of those involved.

That’s going to do it for me but tomorrow will begin our dailyspotlight rankings of all of the Summerslams in history and I’ll be back Saturday with coverage of the Live NXT Panel.  Until then thanks for reading and have a good night.

The Spotlight On Stone Cold Live!

Last month when I sat live at Wrestlemania, I looked at my girlfriend with a look of anticipation when a commercial came up previewing all of the new original programming planned for the WWE Network in the future.  On the list I was intrigued with such new ideas as Culture Shock with Corey Graves, Unfiltered with Renee Young and the return of WWE’s mini documentary series- “24”.  However, one thing that seemed to be missing from the schedule was Stone Cold Live- a live sit down podcast/ interview hosted by Stone Cold Steve Austin.  Austin’s first two interviews with Vince McMahon and Triple H were both two of my favorite original specials on the network and I was disappointed that it wasn’t included in the lineup.  Well, today WWE changed all of that when they released a press release welcoming Stone Cold Steve Austin back into the WWE family by announcing that his live special would be returning after all.  Not only would it be returning, but it appears that Austin has signed a contract to do a new monthly sit down interview series set to air immediately following Monday Night Raw.  Here are some highlights from that press release.

1) Stone Cold is Back-  Make no mistake, the biggest thing to come out of this show being green lit for the WWE Network is that Stone Cold Steve Austin is back in WWE.  Thankfully the two sides were able to work out some sort of deal and to do so way before Wrestlemania 32  which just so happens to be in Steve Austin’s backyard of Arlington, Texas.  What better way to get 100,000+ people to fill in Cowboys Stadium than by having one more, true retirement match for the Texas Rattlesnake.  I still have my doubts that it will ever happen but at least now we can all add a bit of hope for that dream match with Austin back in the WWE family.

2) Paul Heyman on June 1st- Leave it to WWE, just when you think they’ve given you all you can handle for new subscribers in May by adding an Elimination Chamber Pay Per View on May 31st, the final day of May, they hook you to stick around in June by putting the return episode of “Stone Cole Live!” the next night on June 1st!  The guest for that show?  The man behind the one in 22 and 1, Paul Heyman!  So now not only did WWE just give you the return of Steve Austin to WWE telelvision but also the on screen return of Paul Heyman, who hasn’t been seen since Brock Lesnar was suspended the night after Wrestlemania, quite the hook isn’t it?  Regardless of the content, it’s always fun whenever these two former Dangerous Alliance Alumni get together.

3) Future Guests–  One of the things I wondered about when I started hearing about all of these live interviews on the Network was, how they’d keep up with the A-list level stars to be guests for the shows.  Certainly the first four Vince McMahon, Triple H, John Cena, and Stephanie McMahon were as big as they got but at some point there would have to be some sort of drop off, no?  Well it doesn’t appear to be happening anytime soon as the first guest is Paul Heyman and in the future guests section of that press release, the three names listed were Hulk Hogan, Sting and The Undertaker.  That means that on future epsiodes of Stone Cold Live, being promoted is a candid one on on discussion between Stone Cold Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan, Sting’s return to WWE in any capacity isnce Wrestlemania (perhaps to announce a return match?) and the first interview with the Undertaker since, well at least a decade (aside from some DVD clips).

Closing Thoughts

In the end, the big take away from this press release that I got, aside from Steve austin returning to WWE in some capacity, is that WWE still seems to be making the WWE Network a priority.  They seem to want the fans to think “whoa four pay per views in four weeks” and then still give us more with the return of Stone Cold Live.  It’s indeed a great time to be a WWE fan and as good a time as any to be a WWE Network Subscriber, after all it is just $9.99!

Below you will find the complete press release for all of those interested…

“STONE COLD®” LIVE ON WWE® NETWORK

STAMFORD, Conn., May 18, 2015 – “Stone Cold” Steve Austin will host Stone Cold Podcast, Live!, a no-holds-barred, in-your-face monthly interview series beginning Monday, June 1 at 11 p.m. ET on the award-winning WWE Network, with special guest Paul Heyman.

Each month immediately following Monday Night Raw, which airs on USA Network, the WWE Hall of Famer will sit down with the biggest names in WWE including Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, Sting and other celebrities from the world of sports and entertainment for an exclusive interview on WWE Network.

“If you’re ready for the Stone Cold Podcast, give me a ‘Hell Yeah!’,” said “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.

Click here to see a clip from Austin’s interview with WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon from December, 2014, and click here to see a clip from his interview with WWE Executive Vice President, Talent, Live Events & Creative Paul “Triple H®” Levesque from February, 2015.

The hour-long series joins the slate of brand new original programming recently announced by WWE Network including, Too Hot For TV Presented by Jerry Springer, Swerved and WWE The List.

WWE Network, which launched on February 24, 2014, is the fastest-growing digital subscription service with more than 1.3 million subscribers as of March 30, 2015.  It is available in more than 175 countries, and was named Best Over-The-Top Content Service for 2015 at the Cynopsis Sports Media Awards.

Like other digital subscription services, such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, fans are able to sign up for WWE Network online by going to WWE.com and can watch WWE Network on their TVs through connected devices such as Sony PlayStation 3, Sony PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku streaming devices as well as Smart TVs including Sony and Samsung. WWE Network’s one-of-a-kind programming includes all 12 WWE pay-per-view events LIVE at no additional charge plus groundbreaking original series, reality shows, documentaries, classic matches, exclusive coverage of special events and more than 3,000 hours of video-on-demand programming.

For a complete listing of WWE Network availability by country and device, please click here.