Hello and welcome, everyone. You've landed on Planet Kayfabe spinning in the NoDQ Galaxy. Now that the pleasantries are out of the way, if you read any of my passing remarks, opinions or jokes and find them offensive or dare I say insensitive, leave a comment below or hit up my Twitter and let your fluffy little snowflake asses fall in a flurry whirlwind of e-outrage until your stubby little sausage fingers deep fry in a greasy sweat because the more hits this gets the better and even YOU the sensitive social justice knight in shining armor can play a part in Planet Kayfabe becoming even bigger, so don't think you're not welcome here just as you're welcome to follow me on Twitter and find plenty more to bitch about there.
Ah... Now that that's been addressed, those of you who are in the dark. Don't worry. You're still top talent babyfaces in my book. As I say at the end of every Planet Kayfabe, I appreciate you reading all these and I also appreciate the WWE Network...
Score one for shoehorned segues, this week the WWE Network debuted a new show starring Corey Graves. It's been well over a year since WWE nixed the Stone Cold Podcast and since then they've had a few interview style shows or shows that were supposed to come off as shoots that didn't quite hit the mark. Jericho was a bit soft. Legends with JBL was nothing more than one corporate mouthpiece washing the company's balls for an 45 minutes with a little bit of an interview. Bring it to the Table was nothing more than 3 corporate mouthpieces washing the company's balls for 30 minutes with a little bit of an interview. Would this be different? Or will the so-called "Savior of Misbehavior" be nothing more than a tattooed poser who falls in line with the rest of Vinny's sardines.
The subject of the first episode is -- who else? Roman Reigns. Graves right off the top says he will ask the tough questions and acknowledges the WWE fans' thirst for real answers (remember that.) The first question addresses a recent issue: Roman Reigns' time off due to illness. Roman addresses the difficulties of being sick with the mumps and also the adjustment from constantly being on the go to being stuck in a hospital. He then talks about how nice it was to be with his family blah blah blah. Whatever. Okay, a little bit of a softball to start, but not a bad question at all. It's not like his illness was going to be discussed on TV so there ya go. Mumps. It sucked for him.
Graves segues into talking about Roman's replacements, Kurt Angle and Triple H, while he was ill. He joked that only top guys can replace him. Ha. Okay, what else you got, Corey...
With a smile and a glimmer in his eye the oh-so-rebellious and proud individual, Corey Graves asks, "What's it feel like to be back with Rollins and Ambrose?"
Gee... I wonder how Roman is going to respond to that up-and-inside fastball. I don't know if he's gonna touch that one! Roman boldly answers by responding by saying being back with The Shield feels like old times and puts them over as a group of top guys and says it's really good to be back with them.
Phew... I was sweating on the edge of my seat anticipating that response. Good one, Corey! You're really getting digging deep and feeling your oats there. I hope you don't get heat for this.
Now we are in the middle of the program and I'll give you one guess what he's asked next. If you're thinking of an original question that Reigns hasn't been asked in every interview he's done, while I admire your optimistic spirit, you're wrong. He's asked about his often mixed crowd reactions, however he's asked in the most WWE-friendly way ever. Instead of saying "in big towns and major events you're often drowning in boos. How does that make you feel when you and the company are trying to position you as the top hero?" he says "sometimes you're the most loved guy in the crowd" (ha.) "sometimes you're booed out of the building, how does that make you feel?"
I'm sure the astute fan can script Roman's answer the same way some producer probably did here. He's fine with it as long as they're making noise instead of being quiet, he's cool with it. A fine answer. He also added "as long as they're still filling arenas" ...yeah gotta work on that one, though. He also tries to compare fans booing him to how fans chant "you suck" at Kurt Angle as a term of endearment while they all truly respect him... Bit of a stretch there, Big Dog.
Roman claims to have a "thick skin" to the mass criticisms, but give me a break. I don't hate the guy, but that is such bullshit. How many times have we seen this guy bitch about "smarks" in interviews or on Twitter? I'll tell you what, a hell of a lot more than I ever heard his predecessor, John Cena, did which seems like never despite getting a similar treatment.
Click this link from NoDQ this past summer - http://nodq.com/news/499389556.shtml
Roman spent time just this past f***ing June responding to people on twitter who have less than 80 followers calling them "dumb ass marks". This wasn't when he was a young rookie getting shit from a few fans. This was SIX MONTHS AGO! He's "the guy". He's a former world champion. He's main evented Wrestlemania and countless other shows. He's beaten The Undertaker at Wrestlemania by this point and he's still spending time on Twitter replying to what he calls "dumb ass marks". Well... those dumb ass marks still got one over on you, Roman. Thick skin, my ass. At times he's been about as thin as a loose scrotum.
Graves asked about his feud with Cena.
Roman put over Cena's work. Next.
Graves asked about "potentially" retiring The Undertaker.
Roman said it was an emotional roller coaster of emotions. Touching.
It was also interesting that they both used the word "potentially" before saying "retiring The Undertaker" which tells me right now WWE is still holding out hope that he wrestles one more time. I'm sure some fans would be fine if Undertaker wrestled into his 80's, but I thought last year was a fine storybook ending.
Corey begins his next question by saying "POINT BLANK!" Oh? Point blank? Usually that means a tough, blunt question is coming your way.
"Is Roman Reigns WWE's top guy right now?"
Oh, f*** off!!!
Roman humbly puts himself over, thus effectively making everyone signed to WWE during Roman Reigns' time putting over Roman Reigns. The centerpiece of his response and the one that made most buzz online was when he said he's not only the best in-ring performer in WWE right now, but the best in the entire world. Look, I can't get too worked up about that response. I expect him to say that. I don't agree with him being the best performer in the world. I won't ever be a fan who chants "you can't wrestle" at him, but best in the world? Way to stay humble and strive to be better. Nope, Roman's the best. He'll even tell you himself. The only thing that made me roll my eyes there was I'd like to hear something more like "every day I'm going to work to prove to the fans that I'm the best" instead of something like, "well, I think I'm the best, if you don't keep hating." because that's how it came off.
The final question from our host is the most cliche final question in the history of interviews: "so, what's next for Roman Reigns?"
Who cares. What the f*** do you think is next? Ugh... Let's go home, shall we?
There's my thoughts on the debut episode of Straight To The Source starring Corey Graves. It was a 15 minute interview, so it wasn't even that long but in the end it felt like a waste of 15 minutes. Not one fan watching this learned anything new. He's happy to be with his Shield brothers. He respects John Cena. He respects Undertaker. He loves his family. Yeah? No shit! Some "hard hitting" questions you promised us, Graves for this debut episode. "Gee, Roman what's it like to be back with The Shield" Yeah, I was totally expecting Roman to respond to that fastball with "I hate that I have to turn off my singles spotlight for a moment to carry these two guys." but what do you know? He's happy to work with his friends again that he came up on the main roster with. I'm shocked!
Since the end of the Stone Cold podcast, WWE has done a few shows like this that I mentioned in the open and all of them come off as corporate friendly puff pieces that cover no new ground and present no interesting questions and equally as boring and politically correct responses and this was no different. There are old episodes of the Stone Cold podcast that I've gone back and watched multiple times because they were still exciting the second time around and each time I felt like I learned something new. Did this show that promised tough questions tell you anything new? I bet you could have scripted Roman's responses yourself. Steve Austin's show was honest, bold and it felt real because it was real. This guy had Vince McMahon himself on the hot seat and GRILLED him about putting Randy 'Macho Man' Savage into the WWE Hall of Fame until he got a direct response. However, WWE didn't want "real" anymore and just like their cable shows, everything had to be micro-managed and controlled, so in return we get these boring fake interviews disguised as "shoots". Other WWE Network shows like Table For 3, Ride Along and Story Time are more honest and interesting than this bullshit.
I just love how WWE portrays Corey Graves as this edgy, no-nonsense guy that isn't afraid to make things awkward. Not afraid to be bold and ask the tough questions. Comfortable in his own skin and routine to him is going against the norm. When in WWE's reality he is just your typical WWE host only instead of a crew cut and glasses he has tattoos, piercings and a ridiculous Justin Bieber pompadour. His outward appearance is just a different coat of paint over what is just another typical WWE voice box there to run down the typical talking points and be a good little soldier like the rest of them. Seriously, watch this and put a stupid neck tattoo on JBL and tell me if this show would have been any different. It wouldn't have.
Alright, I've just about had enough so I'm sure you have, too. Thanks for reading this edition of Planet Kayfabe. I'm glad you could join me. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think about Straight To The Source. The next episode will feature Enzo Amore. Maybe there will be some sparks then or... ya know Corey will just give him a smiling hand job for 15 minutes like he did with The Big Dog here.
Okay, see you next time follow me on Twitter @PlanetKayfabe. I'm Paul Matthews for NoDQ.com Enjoy the rest of your week!