Thursday, May 12, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, 5/11/16

Carter stops by the Roberts show to gab about TNA and other things
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
Episode: 5/11/16
Run Time: 2:00:41
Guest: Ethan Carter III, Katie Linendoll

Summary: EC3 stops in for a fully formed interview with Sam Roberts. This was taped the morning before he crashed the EVOLVE show and created some headlines, so unfortunately that incident is not discussed. The two do talk about EC3's beginnings as Derrick Bateman on the reality show version of NXT, where he says he really learned how to do improvisation in front of a live crowd. He touches on his time before that in the local indie promotions around his hometown of Cleveland. Roberts then asks about his recent turn as a babyface, which EC3 says came about partially as a way to leave something in the tank and not exhaust his mojo, something he compares to Jerry Seinfeld's desire to end Seinfeld a little early. After the interview, Roberts brings on frequent guest Katie Linendoll to talk about current happenings in wrestling.

Quote of the Week: EC3 on Samoa Joe leaving TNA - "Joe was the best guy to pave that way because he went over there and did considerably a great job and maybe people in WWE didn't think that some of the guys who made it in TNA were WWE material. But he just went in there and destroyed. He had something to prove and he had a vendetta, he had his angst and he was fired up. I think it's a great thing for wrestling because A. It makes him look great, it makes WWE look great, it makes NXT look great, and it makes us look great because we've had him. It kinda sucks that we lost out on him at the moment, but if the change hadn't happened, would it be great? Probably not."

Why you should listen: As someone who doesn't watch TNA (I know, crazy, right?) and knows next to nothing about EC3, this was a decent introduction to who he is. He seems like a funny guy who doesn't try overly hard to be funny. When he recalls the indie wrestlers he grew up going to see, he knows exactly why it's hilarious that "Prince Juggalo" was one of the top guys, along with Richard Weed and Lick Zee Sacks. It's also strangely heartwarming to hear one of TNA's employees sound so optimistic about wrestling inside of what I understand to be a literal garbage dumpster that has been set on fire.

Why you should skip it: Because I don't watch TNA, I still know almost nothing about the EC3 character and what he has done. It's mentioned that he feuded with Bully Ray, but I don't have any idea of what happened in their story. Roberts could dig a little deeper on certain details like that, particularly if he's trying to convince someone like me to check out what the hell is going on over there on the POP Network or whatever.

Final Thoughts: Sam Roberts is at his best when analyzing something like WWE's upcoming show in Hawaii they just announced, complete with a dream match of John Cena vs. Shinsuke Nakamura. When he thinks about whether or not they're blowing their load with such a stacked card for what amounts to a house show, his reasoning is measured and thoughtful, rather than drawing on the outrage you see too often from others. He is not a know-it-all fan, and thank god for that. My only problem with Roberts is that he comes dangerously close to sounding like a shill for WWE, such as when he says that you could "maybe" make the case that Damien Sandow was misused by WWE. Maybe? Please. Roberts's insight could have really made the discussion about Sandow quite lively, but he played it too safe. When WWE deserves to get shamed, they need to be buried under a shamepile that could crush a thousand Vince McMahons.