April 22, 2024

Pro Wrestling & Politics are More Similar Than You Think - Beyond the Scenes | The Daily Show

Published June 11, 2023, 10:20 p.m. by Naomi Charles

Just in time for WrestleMania, professional wrestling’s biggest event, we present an in-depth look at how wrestling and politics have more similarities than one might think. WWE Superstar LA Knight and Peter Rosenberg, host of the “Cheap Heat” podcast, join Roy Wood Jr. to break it all down. Nowadays, it's not enough for wrestlers and politicians to be themselves – they need to put on a show and connect with the crowd in order to win in the ring… or on the campaign trail.

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welcome welcome and welcome to beyond

the scenes the podcast that goes deeper

into topics and segments that originally

aired on The Daily Show this is what you

got to think this podcast is like if

this was a wrestling match The Daily

Show was the regular Main Event in the

cage and the the folding chair and the

table this podcast is a flying elbow

drop from Macho Man Randy Savage off the

top rope to win the belt at WrestleMania

4 a great ending to a classic match oh


and today I'm trying to module man we're

going to be talking about wrestling

professional wrestling Sports

entertainment just in time for pro

wrestling's biggest event WrestleMania

today we're diving into how the worlds

of wrestling and politics are more alike

than they may appear in wrestlers and

politicians can learn a few things from

one another about performance and

building a connection with their

audience now Ronnie chain uh Ronnie

James he did this topic on The Daily

Show a couple of years back he went down

the middle of America and Iowa and fly

over country and he talked to a wrestler

named the progressive liberal and

crafted a unique Dylan Persona by

bringing politics into the squared

Circle Miss Elizabeth wrote the clip

Democrats might know how to Rally their

base but when they reach out to Middle

America they say things like for Working

Families to get a share of that

Prosperity that they're creating we need

some serious enforcement of competition

laws you're boring it's no surprise last

election people in swing States went for

a guy who said things like who's gonna

pay for the wall


like to punch him in the face I'll tell

you Trump honed his trademark oratorical

style where else in professional


and if Democrats were going to fight

back they needed someone who could go

head to head with a WWE Hall of Famer

like Trump and in the heart of coal

country we found him shut your ignorant

Mouse cause a progressive liberal has


passed but even if the crowd hates him

the progressive liberal could teach

swing state Democrats some classic

wrestling techniques for getting voters

attention do you want to stick to Broad

brush stroke talking points right so

Middle America would rather learn about

politics through a mostly naked man than

by reading a book yeah

later in this episode we'll be joined by

WWE Superstar La Knight who'll break

down the World of Wrestling and how

politicians can take a few pointers from

the art of wrestling but first

my guess can I say friend I feel like I

feel like we've known each other long

enough to defend this friend of Jason

with I think we're absolutely if not

friend friended Jason if I saw you in a

fight I'd at least break it up I don't

know if I would help I need to know what

you did first to get punched in the face

he's a renowned radio DJ from the

Michael K show and Hot 97 Who's also the

host of the cheap heat podcast on the

ringer wrestling show from Spotify and

your Forever 24 7 Champion Peter

Rosenberg welcome to beyond the scenes I

am honored to be a part of a podcast

this professional really makes my

jabroni podcast looking a joke your

podcast is a good time man I've been on

a couple of them now I apologize in

advance for not wearing a shirt and tie

for your podcast but I'm trying to spiff

you up my look I look weird without my

Blaze I look like a McDonald's shift

manager once you roll up

once you roll up your dress sleeves oh

yeah no no you're a manager you're now

it's no longer it's no longer a

correspondent you got to drop some fries

well said Wilson drive through line

around the building

now let's just start with your love for

wrestling bro like what's the earliest

wrestling match or moment that you

remember like that got you hooked you

know and what is it about professional

wrestling that gets the fans so wrapped

up in it like I remember watching Monday

Night Raw as a child I'm 44 just for

perspective so I remember watching

Monday Night Raw and seeing the Ultimate

Warrior dude I was watching wrestling on

Saturday mornings WCW I watched glow I

did all of it but just take me back to

your origin story of falling in love

with the square circle so yeah my my

origin story is the same I'm almost the

same age as you I'm 43 and it was

Saturday mornings I can't pinpoint

exactly what it was like what the

feeling was but I do remember what story

line it was and and the one that really

truly hooked me was they were

simultaneous they were the bill to

WrestleMania three it was Hulk Hogan and

Andre the Giant and uh the

aforementioned Macho Man Randy Savage

and Ricky the Dragon Steamboat and those

two stories just drew me in man my my

level of passion for Ricky the steamboat

for Ricky the Dragon Steamboat getting

his Redemption on Macho Man after macho

man crushed his larynx with the with the

bell I I was just absolutely hooked from

that point on for me it was Ultimate

Warrior that was my guy and before I

understood the intricacies of the human

vascular system and I did not know that

you should not tie shoestrings

tourniquet levels tight on your arm and

then run around the house like I saw

Ultimate Warrior do the promos like a

little spaceship with the rocket view

Hulk Hogan you like all of that stuff

right yeah I didn't know that when a

yellow cut Ultimate Warrior would take

that [ __ ] off his arm and get blood back

to his fingers I kept that [ __ ] on my

arm for hours at a time like hand

noticeably numb

that was my thing bro my cousin voran

used to put us in the figure four leg

locks he would put us in the perfect

Plex and

the thing that I always loved about

wrestling also was that you know to a

weird degree from a you know it leaned

into stereotypes in the 80s but there

was still some degree of representation

no matter who you were you had a guy it

was at the height of the Cold War and

they still had Nikolai volkov stomping

through that [ __ ] screaming Russia you

hit the Iron Sheik to represent the

whole Middle East like that part of it I

really loved now you come from a

politically Active Family like does that

help you understand wrestling in a

unique way like to you what are the

similarities in this world and you know

what percentage of wrestling fans do you

think connect with politics on the same

wavelength you know I never think about

it being the same wavelength but there's

no way to to deny like some of the facts

you know when you talk about wrestling

there's good guys and bad guys obviously

in the case of politics you're good guys

and bad guys vary depending on your your

view of the world but there is always

someone I mean when you think about it

and I know we'll dive more into Trump

obviously later for his multiple layers

with regard to the subject but like when

you think about it for so many people uh

Trump is like this long-term bad guy who

lasts like it's almost like now if you

were to talk when you talk to

progressives it's almost like in a weird

way they don't want Trump to go away

because he is the guy to root against

and let's be honest descent is is almost

the same guy in so many ways but he's

not nearly as fun to root against like

he doesn't have a feeling character tied

up the way Donald Trump does for

progressives and so my biggest memory

about politics and the intersection with

politics and wrestling was when me and

my at the time very young cousin who was

working on Capitol Hill in his early 20s

when him and I got into a loud screaming

match about how I believed pro wrestling

was just as important as politics and he

he did not appreciate it now granted I

was trolling I was trolling and I I as a

rest man often find myself especially

back then more so than now often found

myself on the defensive because they

call it fake and they wouldn't yeah it's

the physical quality and yeah and and

just sort of with because of that

because the outcomes are predetermined

particularly you know not really not as

much today although it still happens but

really it used to be like just such an

easy way to put someone down was to

attack the fact that that wrestling was

was predetermined which of course has no

effect on how I viewed the art in fact I

prefer it I like and I heard recently

live drama yeah I heard it's no

different than your [ __ ] TV show that

you love and you tune in in prime time

every week for I don't mean to cut you

off but no no no

it's a stupid argument and it's

frustrating for anyone who's ever

enjoyed wrestling my thing always is I

I've always wanted to do this matter of

fact you have the platform to do it you

should I've always wanted to walk into a

movie theater like wearing wrestling

apparel and when it gets to the good

part of the movies turn around and yell

to everyone you know this is fake right

this is not a documentary this is fake

it's like I don't understand and I think

it goes back to time where people felt

like they were ripped off and cheated

like when the when people finally

realized that this art form which was

clearly not real then was in fact

predetermined I think many people felt

heartbroken and burned by it and angry

at it as a result and some other that is

left over to this day but yeah the

political part's always been it's always

been there and it's tied together in

many different ways whether directly or

indirectly but then to that point I

think that wrestling and politics do

have that similarity because I think a

lot of I think a lot of Voters possess

the same level of disappointment when

they think that their politician is wait

no you don't care about my issue but I

thought you cared about my issue why

would you do that to me that's not cool

and people are legitimately heartbroken

I think we're

wrestling and politics are also similar

is that

to me politics in America has changed


I I that guy is just like me like every

politician ran on I'm just like you they

show up to your town they wear your

stupid denim whatever you wear when you

go to work they show up at your job

wearing a stupid hard hat they eat the

shitty burger at the fair to show you

look I'm just like you but somehow it is

transformed into

I don't want to vote for the guy that's

just like me I want to vote for the guy

I want to be I wish I had his life I

wish I could be him and every wrestler

that we ever grew up our favorite

wrestlers were the ones we wanted to

imitate you wanted to be that person I

got four splinters in my hand trying to

[ __ ] be Hacksaw Jim Duggan because I

didn't understand the concept of you

don't grab just raw two by fours in a

back alley like that's pressed wood bro

you're gonna catch a disease through

your hand like what what wrestler do you

think would make a great politician

and I know Trump would be a good

wrestler I mean Trump has already

wrestled so that's all right I mean

let's be honest physically it was not

the most impressive performance we've

ever seen yes he has been involved in a


I dare you to go back and watch this

[ __ ] on his whole [ __ ] Arc

I dare you to go back and watch uh

Wrestlemania 23 when he has that match

and he attacks Vince McMahon I you have

never look close you have never seen a

human being throw punches that look like

this like he like hits sideways like a

little kid beating up his brother but

um honestly

it's it's it's so hard for me to think

of because there's so many people

obviously an incredible voice in pro

wrestling that would make a fantastic

politician is Paul Heyman um I don't

think there's any doubt about that and

uh not just saying this but in terms of

new Talent who you could really see

flipping on the politician button I got

to tell you la Knight would be perfect

completely capable of picking up that

mic and and rallying a base in in some

direction I'm gonna ask him about that

after the break what what about what

about the rock I don't like the fact

that they keep trying to pester the rock

into running it's like dude I got nine

more franchises to make I got 15 more

jumanji's to make I gotta we're doing

Fast and Furious

let's be real The Rock who I I love he

has his own TV show young Rock which is

by the way it's maybe the most

underrated show on television it is a

fantastic sort of traditional family

sitcom It's a Wonderful show and I love

it because it's all about pro wrestling

but he made the backdrop top of the show

that he was running for president so he

loves to toy with this idea yeah I think

for people as well and with Rocky you

never know whether he's just being a pro

wrestler and working everybody or if he

really does have aspirations uh it's

really hard to tell but I think that's

what makes him so effective and in a way

dangerous because he knows how to charm

people he knows how to engage the voters

like go watch footage of a politician

coming out when they've announced that

they're running for whatever the [ __ ]

off is and compare it to a wrestler

coming out the tunnel

same music you got some Van Halen Wicked

hi yeah and how

and Ninja into the fan people are going

ape [ __ ] crazy and the guitar is rocking

he's got a woman on his side kissing him

what what event let me ask you this

before we go to the break what event

would you say in politics

is the Wrestlemania of the political

world you know is it the conventions I

would say that the debates are

essentially you know the Mean Gene kind

of which I've also said that there

should be more [ __ ] talking in politics

I don't like the tactfulness in politics

if you're going to lean into the

entertainment factor in the

bombasticness that politics is getting

into don't run on a platform just

blatantly talk [ __ ] about your opponents

that's part of what I mean well listen I

mean there is a guy who's done that and

nobody did it back nobody nobody caught

back at them especially the Republicans

you remember how you remember how Jeb

Bush got handled yeah I mean he got

tossed around beat up nothing

um Marco Rubio got destroyed no comeback

whatsoever I mean and funny enough

ironically enough it's good old sleepy

Joe who came back the old man was the

only one who sort of stuck back and by

the way it worked it worked he punched

back a little bit yeah it's it's I would

say the final night of the convention in

some ways is like a wrestle Mania when

you accept your nomination for president

or whatever yeah but but in some ways

you're right man it's hard the last

couple of Elections the debates were

such must-see TV

yo I for real I watched the Hillary I

think the final Hillary Trump debate at

a big party at the 40 40 club in New

York like it was like a fight like you

were going to a fight

so you're right it's either the

convention or the debate I don't think

that if politicians were smart if

there's nothing else that they would be

able to borrow from the world of

wrestling it's just have energy I can't

tell you [ __ ] about Howard Dean's

platform but I can tell you that

[ __ ] had his dress shirt rolled

up and was like yeah

he looks like you right now he looked

like a McDonald's district man he looked

like the one that come in and check on

me and ask me why the deep frying at the

right temperature


you remember

for the rest of your life after the

break Peter and I are going to be joined

by WWE Superstar La night we're gonna

further discuss how wrestling and

politics are more alike than they appear

to be and how becoming a pro wrestler

can help some politicians get to that

next level we need to send all these

politicians down to Tampa to whatever

the hell the wrestling school is down

there they don't need to be performance

center yeah they need to go down there

this is beyond the scenes we'll be right


beyond the scenes with back politics

wrestling how much do they overlap a lot

is what we're discovering so far uh the

host of Chief Heap Peter Rosenberg has

been posted up with me but joining us

now is someone much stronger than Peter

much more charismatic than Pete I say

all this with respect to you Peter I

don't know what you think by the way

complete respect taken yeah you you have

to respect the the glisten in the

background of this gentleman for those

of you listening and not watching all I

see is championship belts just because

yeah camera lens and thank God he wore a

nice black leather jacket to dull some

of that glisten out there you can catch

them on Friday Night Smackdown on Fox La

Knight welcome to beyond the scenes how

you doing brother man I heard you called

Peter the uh forever 24 7 check let's

call me the forever million dollar

champion future WWE Champion yeah let me

talk to you you know what see and that

let's just start right there let's start

right there with the world of wrestling

promos for the people listening and not

watching he got all them built listening

on the wall in the background just every

single belt now if you lose a belt do

you have to like take that off the wall

and unframe it and then like how does

that work we'll talk about that later

I'll ask you the question I asked

Rosenberg off the top who was the

wrestler that got you into wrestling

just as a fan not necessarily as a

career choice yet but just when you were

eight and nine and jumping off your

dad's couch and he going stop dropping

off of my couch God damn it who were the

ones that got you inspired so I was

about uh I'm gonna say estimated about

three years old

and uh I had already been put to bed and

I snuck out back behind the couch

because wrestling was still on the TV

and I needed to see what was happening

and I poked my head around and Nikolai

volkov was talking all kinds of trash on

Hulk Hogan wow and I remember he had

that Russian hat at the time I'm three I

don't know what he's wearing it looks

like a big burnt marshmallow and I think

I yelled something like

be quiet marshmallow head I was a big

time Hulk a maniac I told him myself by

accident my parents were like what are

you doing here put me back to bed but I

yeah man I was Big Time Hawker Mania

from day one like how are wrestlers able

to come through the television and

connect with people I don't think people

really understand just how difficult

that is because

you're just talking you're not doing a

lot of moving around like those

interview segments to me or where you

fall in love with the rest of the

performance is one thing but yeah it

seems like now wrestlers have to be

multi multifaceted like it's one thing

to be athletic and strong like we could

argue that Andre the Giant did not come

through the screen in verbiage he came

through the screen in performance and

just being massive I would make the same

argument about the Undertaker you know

the next gen version of that to me was

the Undertaker who was just I'm moving

silent but when you hear that dong you

[ __ ] gonna be scared like in your

opinion like what is it that holds other

wrestlers back from being able to have

that gift can you learn that gift is

that something that's taught at when

you're at wrestling College that's the

that's how I'm trying to frame it old

wrestling College when you're at

wrestling College down here in Florida

before you get to the big time is there

a [ __ ] talking course

did you go to it do they put you on

stage at a black comedy club and go

attack the audience yeah

no it's it's it's funny because a lot of

the places you go they don't do any of

that like I started old school you find

a wrestling school and like you learn

the moves and stuff like that every

maybe three months we'd do a little bit

of promo stuff and that was it otherwise

it was just you develop your personality

on your own and that's why a lot of the

guys I think just develop moves and

never think like that isn't that uh what

I think the the second biggest fear of

people in general is death the first is

public speaking yep so for a lot of

people it's a tougher challenge to get

in and pick up the microphone than it is

to do a backflip or you know pick a dude

up or whatever so

um for me it was just that was always

the focus because those are the guys

that spoke to me like you said like like

for me if a guy couldn't talk if he

wasn't like

saying something that caught me but it's

not just the saying the stuff it's it's

the mannerisms it's the body language

all that stuff I wasn't getting that I

just wasn't feeling the same as the

other guys what are the keys in your

opinion to delivering

a good promo you know and by the way

you're he's a good person to ask I mean

this you are the you are the best new

promo in WWE right now thank you I

appreciate that I I I don't know that I

really like I never thought about it

step by step necessarily but I think it

just boils down to believing what you're


um and and there's also like a there's a

Charisma I guess that

you asked a second ago like can that be

learned and I know there's a bunch of

guys who I knew way back who were not

good talkers and and just avoided at all

costs actually I'm even gonna I'm gonna

use uh Sami Zayn as a great example he

like avoided it wasn't a very good

talker actually didn't want to talk

really and now he's like one of the best

in the business you put him in front of

a microphone in front of a camera and

it's it's electric the people love him

and so it can be learned if you can

unlock that in yourself but a lot of

guys are kind of I don't know if it's

there's a block there or what they can't

get in touch with that part but for me

man like you asked who who started it

for me it was Hogan but like as it went

through then you discover Flair you

discover the Austin Rock uh Jake The

Snake uh Roddy Piper like all these guys

who were just big verbose and and

everything that they said you're like

they believe every word they're saying

and there's not just like a Charisma as

far as like personality there's a

physical Charisma he said he can't move

around much but like even within that

space there's just body language and

there's movement where you're just like

this guy is he's legit and that's what I

always wanted to do Macho Macho Man's

another one Rosenberg do you remember

the Macho Man on YouTube I know if you

type in Macho Man sugar is sweet

and so the cream Rises to the and is a

big one yeah the way he would just enter

the frame Macho Man's thing was he would

very rarely be in frame when Mean Gene

started the top of the promo yeah yeah

normally it's a two shot and he just

goes okay [ __ ] what do you have

to say about the fight Macho Man will

come in the frame not even face the

camera sometimes not even face Mean Gene

orbit just just throw away just Macho

Man you talk about WrestleMania yeah I

thought so yeah you thought so but I

know so it's like why are you attacking

me and James

it was so great I I feel like some of

the key elements in Rosenberg you chime

in if you have some some ideas but I

feel like some of the key elements are

the tempo in which you speak and the

octaves like you talk about Ric Flair

Rick Flair was up here but then when he

would get into specificity I think

detail is a very important thing that is

overlooked when we're talking about

painting a picture like we're just

talking about like on some human

connection [ __ ] like when Hogan goes

these 34 inch python however widest

bicep was he would get into that level

of specificity about things that I think

also would help and I don't think

politicians do that because politicians

are so worried about saying the wrong

thing and they've got some nerdy nerd

Tech person right off camera going okay

that speech will get 14 more likes than

the last quote that you gave that scaled

well you need to make sure that the

voters know that you can where's La I'm

assuming that you just know what your

character is you know what the objective

is and from there on it's just a little

bit of improv and a little bit of who

you already are as a person one and two

as a character but how much thought goes

into the words before they come out your

mouth versus I would say a politician

okay so I've been doing this a very long

time but even before WWE and so one of

the big things I remember saying

at least a good 60 to 70 percent of the

time before I walk through the curtain

is I don't know what I'm about to say

when I go out there but we're about to

find out and it's because I have a road

map I know where I'm going I know how

I'm gonna start I know how I'm gonna

finish but in the middle

we're gonna weave a road and we're gonna

figure out where we go and hopefully

it's uh hopefully it gets us where we

need to go usually it does

um WWE slightly more structured but at

the same time it's like I do have the

freedom to again where it's like it's

it's I know where I'm going

maybe there's a key point or two but

otherwise hey we'll see what we get when

I come back you also you tapped into

something there Roy that I thought was

super interesting I haven't heard

Express like that and I think it makes a

lot of sense which is the Cadence at

Tempo and the voice changes because when

you think about the best of my favorites

La mentioned before Jake the snake is a

guy who would stay so low and then get

up and get big when you need to but then

come right back down Savage Savage did

that brilliantly Flair did it as well

and the only sort of political comp

because I think you're right most

politicians don't do that because their

thought is I want to seem even I want to

seem measured but when I think of the


orator of the of the modern era

not not exactly a politician but a

similar sort of energy I think of Dr


Dr King was a master in his speeches and

keeping you I'm gonna tell you a story

we're gonna stay low and then we're

gonna go and it'll get you all the way

back up he allowed his emotions to

dictate and I mean let's be honest he is

probably the most effective public

Communicator of the 20th century you

know and I it is interesting that he

shared that quality that's the key word

effective I was just going to say if

you're going to be an effective speaker

you can't be at one level the whole time

there's different levels that you got to

take people you got to bring them down

to bring them up if you're just up the

whole time

where do you go if you're down the whole

time okay well that was nice but never

got us anywhere it's like having a set

up to a joke and no punch line or just

telling all punchline and no setup like

you have to have the whole the whole

piece of the equation it's like when you

hear a lot of politicians speak at Big

rallies especially when it's a bit crowd

they all fall into the John F Kennedy

Cadence and Tempo School of public

speaking and we America will not stand

for that

right and I'm like if you're listening

to the words acoustically they're all

playing the same song Same BPM it's the

same y'all are all right it's like a

genre of music almost where everybody

has essentially the same producer La

when did you feel

a change in your career where you feel

like the fans were starting to connect

with you and was there something

different or anything different that you

feel like you were doing performatively

that got you to that place like oh I

need to do a little bit more of that and

then more fans will love me

you know I I'd say it was probably this

was early on in my career it was about

10 years ago uh and I was living in L.A

just working a little local promotions

and whatnot it was just like I felt a

freedom that I didn't feel when I

started in Ohio Ohio I just felt like

everybody was like breathing down my

neck and they were and criticized for

this that whatever and and that's fine

sometimes you need that stuff but when I

got to La there just felt like a freedom

of just like all right I can do my thing

these people like respect the fact that

I've like traveled around I've done

different things and whatnot and so

having that uh weight off my back I

guess gave me the ability to be a little

more free it was just kind of like going

out there and just letting me be me

and I've always said that like Mike I'm

basically like when I'm out there it's

the argumentative and the party version


so I'm super turned up but at the same

time I'm ready to you know tell you some

[ __ ] oh can I say that I don't know um

whatever the [ __ ] you want we on the

internet man oh yeah all right so uh but

so it's just like I'm ready to fire up

when I'm out there but at the same time

again you got to be measured while

you're out there so I don't know that I

can pinpoint anything particular but

there was like I'm gonna say probably

late 2011 I just had a mind shift like

like a mindset shift where it was like I

I I'm kind of letting things come to me

I need to go and start knocking some

doors knocking some doors down and make

opportunities happen rather than just oh

you know sometimes at some point

somebody will find me a discovery let's

flip it real quick Peter what are some

skills that politicians have that could

serve wrestlers will in the WWE like

there's a lot that wrestlers do that

politicians could be doing is there

anything that wrestlers could could

learn from politicians I I think uh I

would put like this uh serving your base

knowing who your base is and giving them

what they want I mean I'm sure Ellie

could speak to this more but sometimes

you know as people or guys and girls are

figuring out what their character is

over years I feel like they end up

trying to do things that are just not

them and I understand you want to push

boundaries and listen I'm sure there are

times politicians are like you know I

don't know how I feel about this issue

and who am I talking to Roy you know

every every politician does it all the

time I don't really believe in this but

this is what the base wants and I am

going to please the people who already

mess with me instead of trying to win

over people I'm not going to get and I

think sometimes wrestlers can learn from

the same thing if you know that you are

great at you know I'll hear the um I'll

hear the veterans talking all the time

Booker T who I Who sure I happen to be

wearing right now but loves to point

this out uh we'll be we'll be watching

the show after the kickoff show and

we'll see a big wrestler a physically

really large you know impressive guy try

to do these aerial moves that just don't

benefit him or the person that they're

wrestling and but you know book is like

God damn what the hell why he's acting

like he's 5'7 he's six foot eight you

know like

the fans and what the fans want from you

and Ellie I'm sure you know like a lot

of guys like yeah but I want to show

that I can do more but sometimes that's

for your ego and not for the audience

that's watching you just look corny

trying to

exactly you've got to save that stuff

for the right spots but but I I would

add an addendum to what you're saying is

is you want to appeal to your base but

you also want to just like politicians

you want to bring in the new voters you

want to bring in the new eyes and the

audience and and so but I don't think as

to what you're saying you need to do

some ridiculous [ __ ] like that where

it's just like I can I can do me and be

true to what I'm doing and what my

character would do and all that stuff

and still hopefully connect enough to

bring in people who aren't ordinarily

there and be like oh you know what I'm

kind of interested in what this guy's


do y'all think though you know and I

don't know how wrestling is after a

match or the week after where you do

like um a performance review or you talk

with the producers and they go okay

here's what we would have liked to done

better or worse or whatever but I know

politicians have a bunch of people in

their ear telling them right down to

what color [ __ ] tie to wear for this

particular event oh well today you're

talking to steel workers so we're just

gonna go with a sweater instead of a

Blazer you we need you to look more like

how important is public perception for

politicians and should they just start

letting go of that this idea that oh I'm

good and I need to be your regular

person because regular people are voting

for me

can they start letting go of that a

little bit and start listening to

themselves instead of listening to all

of these people who are trying to do

political science and in motion my God

after the last two election Cycles hell

yeah I think uh I think that whole Apple

cart's been upset at this point I mean I

heard you guys talking before I got in

here about uh you know how the

politicians try to be just like you but

it's like they do but like they don't

like they're almost they tried to be too

clean for so long like perfect like I I

do no wrong and then the second you know

somebody does the slightly hell that

Howard Dean went ah and that was enough

to get his ass out like like that was

that was it so like the littlest thing

would get people out whereas now it's

like since 2016 it's like you can say

anything and as long as you just own it

it seems like you're good but if you

cower to it then it's like well all

right well I'm out of here

um so it it's in a strange way it's

beneficial that they're not doing it but

at the same time it's come out in a

really poisonous way where it's now just

everybody is gloves off saying

ridiculous stuff uh so you don't know

what's what yeah like I really feel like

the shame monster has already proven

that it won't bite if you look it in the


and I think that the good politicians

have realized that oh the shame

monster's coming gotta run got it right

it's like no what's up yeah I did it

yeah I got eight babies on the way

anyway vote for me you're gonna vote for

me or not

there's nothing people can say I can

remember like 10 years ago just being

like you know like these politicians are

so Queen if somebody just came out and

they were they were themselves they'd

probably win and I didn't expect it to

go quite how it did but but

still I'm a gimmick yeah he just said

yeah he took pictures with McDonald's

like he didn't need to go to a school

and read to Elementary look at me I'm

eating Big Macs on a private jet you

know what yeah I want to be that because

what American wouldn't want to be on a

private jet with [ __ ] McDonald's

and that's what that's what wrestling I

think when you asked her earlier about

you know what was it about wrestling

that got me I really I'm a very

I I certainly wouldn't say I'm

non-combative because I am verbally

combative but I am certainly non-violent

I have no interest in any violence in

any way and the toughness of certain

Superstars the fact that they could

really I mean I had a period in my life

when I was an adult and I would still

before something be like a big meeting I

swear to God I would literally be

blasting Triple H's theme in the car to

like I'm picturing Triple H Glow In The

Water spit the water up in the air like

who like who that Triple H when he comes

out spits that water up in the air that

dude's not scared of anything on Earth

and I do think that's a real appeal of

superstars I get it that song's a jam I

listen to it in the gym

mix I'm spitting water on the floor

to that point about shame brother Knight

what do you do when you make a mistake

you know in the ring or at an event like

as a as a wrestler like how do wrestlers

recover from botches or mistakes on the

mic in the ring like Peter you're

talking about Booker T we've all seen

the hilarious video of him kind of sort

of almost saying the n-word because it

got so riled up like that's how black

people talk I'm coming for you guys sort

of he hit that he definitely hit it

I'm coming for you negro like he said

and then you can see on his face like

the ah [ __ ] I shouldn't have said that

how do you recover as a wrestler and

what tips would you give to politicians

who might be making gaps on the campaign

Trail it depends you know I I like to

say that I've never made any mistakes

but that'd be a damn lie uh but you just

you you got to look like you did them on

purpose I uh

there was one I did back in like 2017

where I was trying to do some double

bounce thing totally botched it but when

I landed I just kind of looked at the

audience like I meant to do that and

they just kind of showered me with you

know booze and all that stuff and now

Peter on the radio side the time that I

was in radio in Birmingham a much

different Market from New York City in

terms of the immediacy of reaction to

saying the wrong thing on the air

when you because when you're talking for

four hours straight

you can't script that and sooner or

later some [ __ ] gonna come out your

mouth that maybe you should have thought

about for a couple of extra songs before

you said it knock knock yes

is it a matter of waiting until you see

if there's outrage and then you own it

or do you just own the Gaff immediately

and like which road do you think

politicians should kind of deal with I'm

a big apologizer I admit that and I

didn't used to be as much and then I had

a few situations because thank God knock

on wood I've never had anything crazy I

I'm I'm well I like to believe I'm just

a good person so nothing that insane is

going to come out of my mouth now

context is everything we were to go back

to the way my show with Cipher sounds

was promoted 10 years ago where we were

really leaning into race stuff all the

time I've heard things we did that I'm

like that would not go today

um and that that goes for all of us

everyone on the show our whole

vernacular to me now sounds scary that

goes to be fair that goes for urban

radio as a genre oh yeah and it wasn't

just 95 to about Trayvon Martin yeah

exactly everything was a little was a

little different but for what those

times were I knew I was good at watching

what the line was like I understood and

didn't cross and now those the line has

changed and I try to push myself with

the line I'm not going to fight back

against that so like even when I have

something silly come up like uh a few

months ago I got dragged for about three

or four days because in an interview

with um Kelly Rowland I compared her to


I basically was like what's it like

being sort of you know second to Beyonce

I didn't frame it exactly like that but

it was close but no question yeah it was

it was clumsy it did not it's not my

favorite question of all time but at the

same time you know if I was talking to

La Knight and he was in the middle of a

a a story line with the Undertaker and

I'm like so what's it like being that

close to the Undertaker I imagine he'd

be like I get your question he's one of

the greatest of all time the point is I

got dragged for saying that it was a it

was the three-day never-ending beat down

on the grounds that you minimize Kelly

Rowland as a solo artist and everything

that she's done post Destiny's Child

correct oh correct

um and then of course there was extra

racial components thrown into it and

just like different things all of which

a lot of course a lot of me is going

this is absurd this is an absolute

ridiculous internet conversation to have

but my response was just I'm sorry like

if I really I said hey it was a clumsy

question I meant no disrespect by it and

I realized people are upset I didn't hit

you with the if I'm offended I'm sorry I

just said I'm sorry like people are

upset I'm sorry I I should what sucks

though is that there's a serious lack of

nuance and then even looking at your

energy in the interview leading up to

that question even if the question was

clumsy if the intention was genuine

we kind of got to give people a foul tip

and I think we also live in a society

now where everybody is putting on strike

too you're on strike two when you leave

the house with society

and I think that's part of the issue as

well but after the break we're going to

bring this conversation home and take a

look at Famous wrestling matches and

rivalries also we need to talk a little

bit about the music that is attached to

creating the Persona and what

politicians could learn about that

because we need to talk about these

musicians who go hey man don't you come

out to my [ __ ] no more I saw what you

did at the rally last night

it's beyond the scenes we'll be right


beyond the scenes were round and third

and headed for home we're talking about

wrestling and politics and how they

overlap before we get into one or two

other questions I had about the

comparisons and you know the

similarities and differences between

these two worlds WrestleMania is this

weekend so let's just get into your

favorite WrestleMania moment Peter I

want to start with you because I got a

two-parter for La night but Peter what's

your favorite WrestleMania moment I feel

like we already kind of talked about it

with Andre the Giant but if you have any

others yeah of course that WrestleMania

3 will forever be my WrestleMania I

don't think anything could ever surpass

it uh Hogan slamming Andre and then the

match between Steamboat and Savage

that's probably the biggest one but then

I'd say uh you go way later

um to Toronto Ontario uh WrestleMania

18. that moment when Hulk Hogan and The

Rock are just staring at each other and

the crowd a Canada may have the best

wrestling fans in all the world and and

B the fact that you get this this is

what makes wrestling the best this is

why wrestling crushes quote legit Sports

you're never getting Muhammad Ali versus

Mike Tyson it's just never it cannot

happen but you've got to see like the

faces of two generations that's a great

analogy like face off against each other

and and to watch the crowd and then to

see you know in La I'm sure this stands

out in your mind too the crowd

completely turned around in the match

and ended up cheering for Hulk Hogan who

had been a bad guy to that point but the

Nostalgia hit them so hard that they

said no I gotta root for Hulk Hogan that

to me is just an epic what do you think

modern day that's an epic moment I'm

just gonna see myself out because he

just stole my thunder

no I mean I was gonna say uh

WrestleMania 18 as well for the exact

same reasons the exact same things

because I mean

for me personally you're talking about

one of my childhood well definitely my

childhood favorite and one of my like

Teenage favorites like which like my

Mount Rushmore is Hogan Rock Austin


and so now you got two of those four in

a match and it was uh I mean again like

he said that crowd was insane they stood

there and had a Face-Off for probably a

good solid two three minutes and the

place just is erupting when they're

doing nothing and uh the first time that

like Hogan like shrugs him off on the on

the lock up and it's just you're seeing

the people at the crowd like we had this

one guy I remember like doing this and

they catch a shot of him doing it and

everything and it's it's so crazy that

you're like man I wish I was there so

that's a hundred percent like one of the

top ones that that really really

cemented like

[ __ ] I think I'm gonna do this and that

was exactly a year before one to the day

one year before I started wrestling trip

wow what is it like what is the energy

of that event in person like and what

does that mean like for you

and your journey like the only thing I

can compare it to in stand-up comedy

is the Apollo Theater

because there's such history within that

building and what it takes to get on

that state blah blah

like I know what that was like but I

know even that doesn't keep it just

to start at wrestling College I don't

know why I keep calling it college but

you know what I mean I like it I'm going

to start calling it that from now on

when you started at the Florida

Institute of wrestling

to go from it sounds so highbrow you

know splitting the Panda Express meal

with one of your with one of your

buddies to go from there to being in

that building what was that like and

what did that mean to you well Rumble is

my closest so far you're talking in the

Alamo Dome with you know about 50 000

people or whatever it was it felt like

Manny out there it did very much so and

and and I mean you're talking about and

you know everybody's got their own

struggles and story and stuff but I mean

a guy who's slept in my car a guy who's

you know slept on Friends floors for

months at a time and stuff like that

just trying to make this whole thing

happen over a long period of time

and to finally come to a moment like

that that is crazy it's it's like

humbling in a way but it also makes me

look back at that process like

[ __ ] it was all worth it and in a way

like almost I can look back at that in

like a weird like endearing way where

it's like

I can almost be like man those were damn

good times even though they were really

shitty times what will you all say

in the wrestling world are there any

political comparisons to like like give

me a famous political Feud or rivalry

that you think remind you of a famous

wrestling Feud like I don't

I don't know if I can be specific but I

would just say like the Democrats and

the Republicans themselves are like

WWE and WCW it's like you've got really

you've got passionate fans who want to

choose a side

but then there's like a big swath in the

middle who like they might lean one way

or the other but they're still switching

channels back and forth because they're

they're at least kind of interested in

what the other one's doing

and so like that reminds me so much of

just like the two political parties just

in general and also you know wrestling

is interesting in that it also has all

of these other outlets which would

essentially parallel independent and

third-party voting where people go no I

don't like either one of those yeah I

kind of like what's going on over here

how much thought do you put into the

music that you choose and how that moves

the audience and how that helps to build

your persona I'm probably an annoyance

in that uh in that field because I'm

like super on top of that

um uh I made my own music when I was uh

in the independence uh because I always

knew there was a specific sound that I

wanted how can I do this okay I like

this song but I wanted a couple beats

per minute faster uh I used to be a

drummer so like you know I can figure

out how to make a beat or you know get a

piano and create Some Loops and stuff

which I did back in 2018 so it's like

I'm on top of stuff I'm WWE they created

but I had some input like hey look this

is what I want this this that

they gave me one and I'm like hey can we

bring the drums up a little bit

um because you want like you can make an

awesome song that's great for a video

package but video package music ain't

gonna be the same as music where I'm

walking into a room about to fight

somebody and you know kick somebody's

ass I need some hard-hitting stuff when

I'm walking out there that just gets me

into his own

um and really that depends on what

you're doing the Undertaker for instance

you know we mentioned him earlier he's

coming out to basically funeral music so

that's a whole other different vibe

so it's like what fits yeah I mean think

about it has there ever been a a better

better case of like actually your theme

song and wrestling being political then

Hulk Hogan having real American I mean

that's that's wow that is not

unintentional I mean he by the way he

took that theme song was being used

previously before that and then they

said you know what let's give this to

Hulk Hogan and that real America that

leaning into the patriotism that's a

that's a big part of Hogan's character

and I thought it was really fascinating

and funny

um and impactful in some way granted I

chuckled when I would hear it but now

whenever I um hear the proud to be an

American whenever I I think Trump and

like you watched it

yeah he every rally and you know they'd

be waiting for him for like 10 minutes

it would just be playing over and over


I I just think YMCA that's the theme


it's so funny because like that so

obviously he is so not a typical like

proud American he's this business tycoon

from New York who the people who he's

speaking to should hate everything about

him but he throws on proud to be an

American and Etc it's a banger Clinton

had um don't stop thinking about

tomorrow which was like so perfect his

character was you know aren't they also

doing uh Van Halen right now or am I am

I imagining that maybe I'm just that

even just thinking of Crystal Pepsi I

don't know

all important things from that time

honestly they could stand to learn from

wrestlers because there are some

wrestlers man who I love and I realize

later A lot of it was their theme song

I'm like

if it came out to the river really nice

but it was that's good

entrance that's a big piece you hear

that Banger you're like yes I love this

guy I think all right okay all right

well I'll get you all out of here on

this this is we'll just call this a

rapid a rapid answer question here uh

out there in California a former actor

Ben Savage

is running for I think senate or is it a

house Yeah Boy Meets World right yeah

what's a better transference of skill


celebrity turned politician or celebrity

turned wrestler

oh man that's tough I I think

politicians just because

it depends on the celebrity though if

you're talking like a sports celebrity

or something now they've already got

like an athletic background something

like that

um because a lot of times when we

brought in you know sports figures

they're able to pick it up a little bit

just because of again that athletic

background but yeah Rodman did a couple

stints yeah but I mean like

if somebody's not used to getting beaten

up and banged up it can be a real

reality check so I almost feel like

being a celebrity going into politics

that's that's a lot maybe not easier

necessarily but probably a better fit

just because now it's like okay well I

can use this Charisma or this status or

whatever that I used before to get this

going to now appeal to these people they

know my face I'm familiar

I'll I'll make Ellie's a point for him I

work for WWE they will never use me in a

wrestling match ever it will never

happen you're not gonna you're not gonna

be the next Jonathan Coachman to come

out the booth yeah

I mean I'm a former 24 7 Champion but

I'm not going to get invited to be in

the Royal Rumble however if I were to

say like I'm running against Eric Adams

in the next New York Mayoral race I'm

not saying I'd win but having being

known in New York for that long I could

at least get myself into the

conversation I have no chance at

wrestling the ability that it takes is

impossible and to Ellie's Point that's

why you can have a Pat McAfee show up

and be effective and good you can have

Logan Paul show up and get a

WrestleMania match because these guys

are real athletes who can transfer it if

you don't have it in you though I

there's not much you can do well dude

you've done a really good job of leaving

a cultural footprint in New York City

and I think you'd be neck and neck with

Eric Adams until he pulls out that Kelly

Rowland Beyonce tape on your ass

that's all the time we have for today

thank you so much to Our Guest Peter

Rosenberg La Knight thank you we've

taken you beyond the scenes enjoy

WrestleMania boys take care everybody

thanks Roy good night foreign


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