AskCVV #2 – Royal Rumble Thoughts, Nicest Celebrity, Workout Routine, Book Recommendations

We’re back for another edition of #AskCVV! Chris Van Vliet answers questions that were submitted on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube from Insight listeners just like you. This is a monthly tradition so if you have a question that you’d like answered in the next edition, just send it with the hashtag #AskCVV. Here is a look at the questions from this month:

What were your reactions to Sami Zayn turning on The Bloodline and your thoughts on Cody Rhodes winning the men’s Royal Rumble match?

So, I mean, the long term storytelling of The Bloodline and Sami Zayn was so good. And we were all expecting this moment to happen, but it was just a matter of when is this moment gonna happen? And the moment that Sami Zayn hit Roman Reigns in the back with that chair, and that pop from the crowd, I don’t know the last time I heard a crowd that loud. But I think that that moment there said it all. Now it’s gonna be very interesting where things go from here. Does this storyline play out until just Elimination Chamber? Does this storyline play out until WrestleMania? Because I think that would make a lot of sense. Does it play out to Sami Zayn dethroning Roman Reigns and ending his historic run as WWE Champion. So it’d be really, really interesting to see what they do with this, but they caught lightning in a bottle here. And Sami Zayn is the most entertaining thing in all of pro-wrestling right now. And that is not a slight to any other company, I’m just saying that Sami Zayn has taken what’s been put in front of him and just taken that ball and absolutely run with it. And every time he comes on the screen, you just can’t look away. So very interested to see what happens here, and I hope that it sets up Sami versus Roman and not Sammy versus The Usos, but you know something might happen with the Usos, too. But I hope that this is Sami versus Roman and it becomes exactly what everybody is looking for there. 

The second part of this question, what do you think of Cody Rhodes winning the men’s Royal Rumble match?

I mean, that kind of ties into what we were just talking about here. Because is it going to be Sammy and Roman at WrestleMania, or is it going to be Cody and Roman at WrestleMania? And you can make a real strong case for Cody Rhodes dethroning the head of the table, dethroning Roman Reigns and becoming that champion. I mean, the story has like, it has babyface written all over it. For Cody Rhodes to do what his father, the late great Dusty Rhodes was not able to do and win the WWE Championship and win it on the grandest stage of them all, WrestleMania here in Los Angeles. So I think that we all went into the Royal Rumble, kind of knowing who is going to win the men’s Royal Rumble and the women’s Royal Rumble. I actually put a poll out on Twitter and I put it out on YouTube as well. And it seemed pretty unanimous that people were like, Yeah, Cody Rhodes is going to win the men’s rumble, Rhea Ripley is going to win the women’s rumble. I just would have, I mean, Cody coming out at number 30 was cool. But Cody coming out at number 30, if he was unannounced, I think would have been a lot cooler. I think we all kind of assumed that Cody was going to be in the Royal Rumble. I don’t feel like WWE needed to tell people that he was going to be in the match. That would have been a, I mean it was a cool moment for him to have his entrance and then obviously go on to win the match. But I think it would have been a nice surprise if he just showed up unannounced and we went Cody’s back. But it was a great moment. And that was a really solid pay-per-view from top to bottom bottom. I was thoroughly entertained. And Cody winning was a great moment. Also, I was a little surprised, maybe you were too, that they kicked off the show with the men’s Royal Rumble match. But man, they hit the ground running. They hit the ground running hard with that. And I thought it was a great way to start the show. Sami and The Bloodline with Kevin Owens, there was a great way to end the show, so top to bottom. Really, really enjoyed the show.

I saw you and your wife are having a baby. Congrats, by the way. Is it a boy or a girl? And when is the due date? 

Well thank you! I’m so excited! I get like, get all giddy when I start talking about our little baby girl. Yeah, so it’s a baby girl, we had a gender reveal party I guess about two months ago, my parents flew down, they were in town for it. We had a bunch of friends and family here at our house for it. And my wife, Rachel and I are just so excited. So we got a baby girl, we’re looking at some names right now. But the due date is May 21, and let me tell you, if you are a parent yourself, you know how fast this goes. If you’re not a parent, or you are soon to be a parent one day, let me tell you this. I feel like Rachel just told me the other day that she was having a baby, which is obviously not true, it is you know, several months ago, she’s now six months pregnant. But it’s just been like just flying by. And I’m trying to take in every moment possible right now. Between me and Rachel and just me and Rachel and the baby. And just getting ready for this, and just taking this all in because it’s flying by, but we’re so excited!

Do you ever think you’ll get the chance to interview Vince McMahon before WWE gets sold?

That is a great question. And I think that if I’m going to be open and honest with all of these questions and answers here, I’m going to have to say probably not. I’d like to be hopeful, and I am hopeful, I’m eternally optimistic. But I would have to think that Vince McMahon is not doing any more interviews with anybody for the next, [for the] rest of his life. I would think, you know, everything that went down with him and WWE and the public filings and everything that happened there, I don’t think is something they would want a chance coming up in an interview. And a lot of you guys asked like who is your dream interview and I’ve said many times that Vince McMahon is like the great white whale that I’d like to have an interview with. And not because I want to talk to him specifically about building WWF and it becoming WWE and you know, becoming what we all watch now. But I’m just genuinely curious about Vince McMahon the man, like what makes him tick? What does his morning routine look like? I’ve joked about this all the time, like, does Vince McMahon eat pizza? If so, like, what toppings does Vince like on his pizza? I just want to know, all these things because he seems kinda like the Wizard of Oz. You know, and that curtain, that proverbial curtain, so rarely gets pulled back on Vince’s life. So I’ll keep being optimistic about it. But I genuinely think that there will not be any more Vince McMahon interviews. The one he did with Pat McAfee was brilliant, and we saw a little bit of the human that Vince McMahon is, but I think that most wrestling fans just know Vince McMahon as the you’re fired guy and all the memes, so many memes. That’s the great thing about Vince McMahon, there’s a meme for everything, and a gif for everything. So I think that a lot of fans, you know, know that version of Vince McMahon, but they don’t know who Vince McMahon the person is. And I would love to be able to see that. And we saw, like I said, we saw a little bit of it in that Pat McAfee interview. But I’d love to see a little bit more. So I appreciate the question, but yeah, just don’t think it’s gonna happen.

Who are some of the nicest people that you’ve ever interviewed? 

That’s a tough one, because I’ve interviewed a lot of great people. We’re talking actors and athletes and directors and comedians, of course, wrestlers, entrepreneurs. And I generally get the feeling that when a cameras there, and a microphone is in front of your face, like this one is right now for me, that people are, you know, a little bit more aware of their actions and a little bit more aware of the fact that oh, this is gonna be seen forever, because everything lives on forever on the internet. But I’ll never forget the first time that I interviewed Henry Cavill. And he did something that I’ve never seen before, from really anybody, but especially not somebody at his level. And when you do these junket interviews, they call them, when you do these celebrity interviews, you go to a hotel, with a whole bunch of other journalists. And then the celebrities sit there, the actors, directors, they sit there in the room, and every handful of minutes, a new journalist comes in, a new reporter comes in, and then they get to have their interview. I’d never seen this before, he would greet each person at the door of the room that he was in, and then he would walk you to your seat. And then he would wait till you sat down before he sat down. And it’s like, wow, like, and this wasn’t something that he was putting on. This is just genuinely who Henry Cavill is. And the fact that we were able to see just so much of a British gentleman that he is, that one really stood out for me. He’s a very kind man, but those type of manners are something that I just, you know, certainly didn’t expect, but something I’ve never seen before. So that’s one, for sure. That really, really stood out for me. And of course, there’s so many other interviews that I’ve loved, and we’ll get to, actually that’s another question we’ve got coming up here in a little bit. But that’s a moment that I’ll never forget. Of course, John Cena has been very, very kind to me. And before, I’ve interviewed him four times. But before the one I did with him at WrestleMania 35 in New York, he was just really nice. We were texting back and forth to like, set up the situation. I’ve told this story before, but it’s such a fun story that I was texting him like, I’ll see you there one o’clock, great. We met at this private gym in Manhattan, and I came up the elevator, and I’m looking all around and I can’t find him, and he can’t find me. So I texted him and I said yeah, I’m here. And he writes me back and says, I can’t see you and I’m not trying to be funny. And I was like, wow, John Cena just hit me with the you can see me joke, so good! So he’s uh, he’s always been a fun one to interview and I’m really hoping that we do another interview this year. 

Drop the workout routine!

You guys might have seen that in December. I put it out there into the world. And this is I feel very strongly about goals and putting them out in the world and keeping yourself accountable for them. But I put out into the world that I wanted to be in the best shape of my life by my 40th birthday, which is May 19th of this year. And I’ve been working out pretty hard. I’ve also been eating just a silly amount of food right now. I’m so sick of eating Chicken and rice and eggs and ground beef, I’ve been eating so much. So much protein shakes. I’ve gained, I think that was six weeks ago that I started this. I’ve already gained like 17 pounds in the last six weeks, and the plan is to get as big as I can, and then to shred down cut down from there. So Jonathan, the workout routine has been pretty simple. It’s been like, your generic push, pull type of thing, right? So chest and triceps, that’s your push, back and biceps, that’s your pull. Shoulders, and traps, that’s another day, and then legs. And right now I’m not doing any cardio because I’m just trying to gain as much weight as possible builds as much mass as I can. I’m almost at 200 pounds right now, and I haven’t been 200 pounds ever in my life. So it’s gonna be really interesting to see what happens when I hit 200. And then I think maybe I could get to 210. Oh, that’d be like, that would be me gaining 30 pounds in a few months. So we’ll see. Then the goal from there is to shred down to cut down though that weight. So it’s been five to six days in the gym. Although as I’m recording this right now, I ran a Spartan Race yesterday. And that was, man, there’s so much fun, but they push you, they push you a lot. And if you’re not familiar with what a Spartan Race is, it’s like an obstacle course race. So you’re running and then you’re doing things like climbing over things like climbing over walls, climbing, climbing up cargo nets, rope climb. There’s a part where we were carrying like an atlas ball, which weighed a lot, and crawling under barbed wire, dunking into like mud. So it was very fun, like a Tough Mudder if you’ve ever seen a Tough Mudder. So I ran the Spartan Race yesterday and took a lot out of it. But still woke up this morning at 5:30 and went to the gym. And my trainer Rocky has really been putting me through it. So shout out to Rocky, he’s @rocky.era, on Instagram, go give him a follow. He is a monster, he is a beast, and he has been really, really pushing me. So really excited to see how the progress goes with all of this. 

Who’s been your favourite guest on the podcast? 

I’ve talked a lot about how much I enjoy having a conversation with The Rock. And they always say you shouldn’t meet your heroes. But if your hero is Dwayne Johnson, you should 100% meet your hero because he is so kind and funny and nice and self aware, and he makes the moment really special for you. So you’ve probably heard me say something like that before. So The Rock is always going to be on that list. But I’ll give you a few other ones that I was just shockingly surprised by, or not surprised, but like, I knew it was going to be a good interview. But then it starts and you get going and you go wow, this is just a great conversation. And one of those is Jay Lethal. I have such a tremendous respect for what Jay Lethal has done in Ring of Honor and what he’s doing in AEW, so so entertaining Impact Wrestling. Of course, he has the greatest segment in the history of Impact Wrestling with Ric Flair. And he’s so so talented. But from the second that Zoom window opened, and we began, not even began the interview, just began talking, it was like we were best friends. It was like we were long lost best friends, reconnecting after not seeing each other for years. And if you haven’t listened to it, or if you haven’t listened to it recently, I encourage you to go back and just give it a listen because it’s just so fun. So that was one where I knew would be good, but then it ended I went man, that was amazing. Freddie Prinze Jr, was another one. And I’ve been fortunate to have him on the show twice now, once over Zoom, and most recently, we did that one in person. And he’s the best storyteller, he has so many great stories from growing up with people like Muhammad Ali and Chuck Norris, and so many legendary characters from Hollywood. And the way he tells stories and the way he sucks you in to the story and makes you want to hear more, it’s so good. And the fact that he worked for WWE on two separate occasions, means he has a really different outlook on pro-wrestling and a different outlook on just the product that you see on television. So FPJ will always be up there and I mean, it How could you not love I Know What You Did Last Summer? How could you not love Summer Catch even though he joked that only eight people saw Summer Catch? Well, I was one of those eight people Freddie Prinze Jr. So good. So I would love to have Freddie on the show. I don’t know. It’d be great to have him on every few weeks, maybe every few months? Would you guys get sick, if I did that with him every few months? I hope not. And I’ll give you one more. One more of my favourite guests on the podcast was Jim Johnston, because he doesn’t do a lot of interviews at all. He’s the legendary music director from WWE. And he’s the guy who created The Undertaker’s theme, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Triple H, the My Time, the one two is this on? That theme to D-Generation X. Mick Foley, like, all the legendary themes are the brainchild of Jim Johnston and being able to just get into his mindset and figure out his creative process for this. And what does it look like behind the scenes when he’s told about a new character and has to turn around an entrance theme and 12 hours or 24 hours? It was fascinating to be able to hear all about that. So that’s three episodes there that if you haven’t listened to them, or you haven’t heard them in a while, I would really really encourage you to go listen to Jay Lethal Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jim Johnston, because they were some of my favourite favourite interviews and just great people.

I know you interview a lot of actors, and you’re also a member of the Critics Choice Association. What is one underrated movie that everyone needs to see? 

How much time do you have here? I will always talk about Back to the Future, because that’s my favourite movie of all time. And if you haven’t seen that, and I get that there’s a whole generation of people who haven’t seen that movie, but that movie is pure magic. Back to the Future is pure magic, from the soundtrack, to the story, to the comedic elements of that. And I mentioned this many times before, but that movie reminds us that moments in life matter and that moments are important. And that something in your life that you feel like is supposed to go one way and ends up going another may actually be leading you to something better down the road. And Back to the Future talks about that all the time. But I don’t think that’s really a good answer to this question because it’s not an underrated movie at all. Back to the Future is perfectly rated, it is not underrated. But I’ll give you one that I think is underrated. And it’s The Prestige. Christopher Nolan is, in my opinion, the best director is working right now. And there’s a lot of great directors working right now. And that is not a slight at Jim Cameron or Quentin Tarantino or Steven Spielberg or David Fincher. But Christopher Nolan does something so special in his films, and The Prestige, I think is one of Christopher Nolan’s most underrated movies, and just an underrated movie in general. Phenomenal performances in that by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman and well, the whole cast, really. So if you haven’t seen The Prestige, I would encourage you to check out The Prestige at some point this week or this weekend. And then send me a tweet and be like man, you were right CVV, The Prestige, so good, so good!

Do you have any great book recommendations? 

I have several book recommendations. I’ll narrow down to just a few here. I think one book that everybody should read. And it’s a pretty quick, pretty easy read is The Four Agreements. And that book talks about how if you can make these four agreements with yourself, and you can live up to these every single day, week, month, and so on, then you can live a pretty great life. And these are simple things to do. But they are also simultaneously very difficult things to do. So the Four Agreements are, be impeccable with your word, don’t take anything personally, don’t make assumptions, always do your best. Sounds really simple, right? But I feel like in life, we always find ourselves not being able to do one of those things or two of those things. So that’s a constant reminder for me of those four agreements that are just always there. Can you really not take anything personally? Can you really not make assumptions? Are you always doing your best? Are you being impeccable with your word? So I like to remind myself of that a lot. The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F by Mark Manson is another great read. And it reminds us that in life, you don’t have to give an F, you don’t have to care about everything. But the things that you do care about, it’s very important to care a lot about those things. And the book reminds us of just, it’s a really great reminder, and a really great guide to living a healthier and more productive life a mentally healthier life. So that’s a book I’ve read several times, and would definitely recommend that to anybody who’s never checked it out. And one more is Atomic Habits by James Clear has such a good book here with Atomic Habits. And there’s a lot of little things in this book that really rings true to me every single day. He talks about habit loops, and I’m sure even if you don’t know what that means, you probably have some habit loops in your own life. It’s the idea of like, when this thing happens, then this thing happens. So you know, a really simple example might be like, when I wake up, I brush my teeth, or before I go to bed, I brush my teeth, and it’s still the loop of the habits that you do, like, the bedtime routine or the morning routine. But habit loops can also be really bad. You know, we all know people who say well I don’t smoke unless I’m drinking, and then you get into this habit loop of like, when this thing happens, then that thing happens. So the idea in Atomic Habits is like these small changes that you do every single day, help you to become the type of person that you want to be. So instead of saying, like, I want to lose 40 pounds, he will frame it as I want to be the type of person who prioritises health. So instead of just working towards a goal that happens to be three months or six months away, you’re working towards a lifestyle that ends up changing the whole way that you do everything. So instead of just like running to the finish line, and then you know, sitting back on the couch and eating Cheetos again, you’re developing healthy habits in that particular example, that make you the type of person that would do those things. So there you go, three books, The Four Agreements, The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F, and Atomic Habits.

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