Exclusive Review: Paul Heyman and Corey Graves on Live Sam Roberts’ Show

Shut Up, Sam

My girlfriend, Shelly Shenoy, my friend Dan Wiener and myself kicked off SummerSlam weekend at the world famous comedy club, Caroline’s on Broadway, for a live recording of the Sam Roberts’ Show with guests Corey Graves and the incomparable Paul Heyman.

I found out about the (free!) event because I’m a listener of Roberts’ weekly SAM ROBERTS WRESTLING PODCAST (which I highly recommend.)

The show airs at 12 PM Friday on the Opie Channel on Sirius XM. Without giving too much away, here’s an overview and highlights from the show:

The live portion of the show began with comic, Mike Cannon, who had the challenging task of entertaining a group of hardcore wrestling fans (or as he affectionately and more accurately labelled us, “wrestling nerds”) at 2 pm on a Thursday afternoon. He succeeded in getting over as a babyface and set a nice tone for the show that followed.

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After Cannon’s set, the recording began. Sam came out to a nice pop and invited Cannon to sit in as they discussed current events, covering some non-wrestling topics in their discussion. (Apparently, SummerSlam isn’t the only newsworthy event happening globally this week. Who knew?)

Next Sam brought out frequent SAM ROBERTS WRESTLING PODCAST guest, Katie Linendoll. She sat in for the remainder of the show and asked some of the better questions of the afternoon. She definitely enhanced the feel of the show and you’ve got to respect a woman who not only knows who IRS and Tatanka are but cites them as her favorite wrestlers of all time.

Graves came out after that and he carried himself really well. I can see why the WWE wanted to keep him on board once he had to retire. He came off as very relatable, articulate and confident. He was self deprecating about his in-ring ability while he was a wrestler. As someone who has been nXt since its inception, it was interesting to hear Graves’ take on how the brand has exploded. When asked if the brand’s success is bittersweet since he can no longer compete in-ring, he admitted that it is a bit “heartbreaking.”

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Finally, it was time for the main event of the afternoon–Paul Heyman! Mr. Heyman did not disappoint. Here are some highlights from the Heyman portion of the show:

  • Heyman’s rousing take on the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” (check it out here)
  • The first two tables in front of the stage had signs that said, “Cesaro Section.” Early on during his appearance, Heyman declared “I belong in the Cesaro section.” (Click to see)
  • Heyman talked about nearly hosting a morning radio show on New York’s Hot 97 to take on Howard Stern. (“I’d have mopped the floor with Howard Stern.”)
  • When asked about Dana White using the dreaded “f” word in relation to wrestling, Heyman responded, “who cares what Dana White thinks about what we do.”
  • On finding out the finish to the Taker/ Lesnar Wrestlemania match in which the streak ended someone asked during the audience Q&A portion of the show if they were concerned about how Taker would take the decision to end the streak. Heyman responded, “work or shoot, the finish is the same.”
  • When asked who his choice to become a  “Paul Heyman Girl,” he named Ronda Rousey.

The entire event was extremely well run. I was concerned because I was bringing my girlfriend with me and, although she has become a fan by virtue of dating me, I knew this would be more of a hardcore/ IWC-type fan event. My fears were all for naught. Roberts did an excellent job of succinctly explaining references that might be a bit too inside for a more casual fan. The crowd was excited to be there but was exceptionally well behaved. At no point, did I have to apologize to my girlfriend on behalf of my fellow wrestling fans. Paul Heyman completely won her over. He went from her seeing him as, in her words, “the guy that yells everything he says,” to being, “absolutely riveting. He’s Bill Clinton charismatic.” She has been describing herself as a Paul Heyman girl since we left.

If you get a chance, be sure to check out this edition of SAM ROBERTS’ SHOW on SiriusXM.

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