Welcome back to another AskCVV episode where Chris answers your burning questions from Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. We got some great questions about wrestling, movies, content creation and everything in between on this one. If you have one that you want answered next month, don’t forget to send it in using the hashtag #AskCVV!
Quote I’m thinking about:“If you know the way broadly you will see it in everything.” – Miyamoto Musashi
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Does Randy Orton show up at Survivor Series?
“Starting out hot here! The big questions. I think the answer is probably yes. And look, the thing with Randy Orton showing up is very different from CM Punk showing up. Randy Orton’s return is imminent. Like it’s happening at some point in time. So I think that probably it happens at Survivor Series but if it doesn’t happen at Survivor Series, I feel like it happens on the Raw after Survivor Series. But I don’t think that we end 2023 Without Randy Orton back in WWE, but yeah, so Randy Orton is coming back. It’s just a question of when it’s not a question of if he’s coming back, it’s a question of when he’s coming back. Survivor Series feels like it makes a lot of sense. And then it builds up to something like a match, maybe Royal Rumble. I feel like that’s what we’re gonna see here. CM Punk on the flip side, I know you didn’t ask about CM Punk, but there have been a lot of people asking about CM Punk. And the last Ask CVV we did a question about CM Punk and I went into a whole deep dive there about that whole situation. So if you want the full answer on that one, go check out the last Ask CVV which was like four-ish weeks ago. But I think that everything seems to be lining up to have CM Punk back at Survivor Series. I mean, it’s in Chicago, Survivor Series. It just feels like a lot of things make sense there. I won’t be surprised if he shows up. And at the same time, I won’t be surprised if he doesn’t show up. But I think what I would be most surprised by is the fact that we’re even having this conversation right now. I mean, when he walked out of WWE nine years ago in 2014, it felt like he had completely left pro wrestling in general. So when he returned to wrestling in AEW, that was a huge shock. And that is arguably one of the biggest returns in all of pro wrestling. I recently did a social media video where I was like, What’s the biggest return in pro wrestling? Is it Triple H returning after the quad surgery, that massive reaction at Madison Square Garden? Was it John Cena coming back from the pec injury and the huge reaction that he got there? Was it CM Punk? And I think that I mean, CM Punk was such a big return because you didn’t think it was going to happen. Whereas the other two that I just listed off there, Triple H and John Cena, you knew they were coming back kind of like this Randy Orton situation like you know, he’s coming back. It’s just a matter of when. With CM Punk, I feel like his life could go on completely fine for the rest of his existence if he never returns to wrestling. And I think that he’d be okay with that. And that’s what makes that whole CM Punk situation so interesting because him coming back creates a whole other storyline here, but him not coming back, I feel like also makes a tonne of sense. So all of this is to say, Survivor Series certainly seems to line up for a probable return from Randy Orton. And also, everything seems to line up here than the hints that WWE has been placing. I think we could see CM Punk there as well. But we’ll see. I will be in Chicago for Survivor Series. So if you happen to be there, it’d be awesome to be able to say hello to you.”
Who do you think is the new AEW signing?
“This is what’s really interesting. So this episode is going to come out on Friday, we’re going to have the answer the next day. So if you’re listening to this, after the signing has been announced, just know that this was the speculation that we’re talking about here. Of course, this came from Tony Khan, tweeting that AEW has agreed to terms with one of the world’s best wrestlers, a pro who is known and respected by virtually every AEW van. They’ll come to LA to sign their contract this Saturday, November 18, on Pay Per View at AEW Full Gear. There has been so much speculation here as to who is this going to be and the three names that keep popping up here are Will Ospreay, Mercedes Mone and Dolph Ziggler. And I think we need to scratch Dolph Ziggler off that list. I don’t know why people are bringing his name up here. His contract will not be up until December. This is that’s what happens when you get released from WWE. You have 90 days where they continue to pay you and then your contract is done. And then you’re free to go wherever you want. So I’m not sure. I understand why people are saying is Dolph Ziggler especially when they’re saying one of the world’s best wrestlers, a pro who is well-known and respected by virtually every AEW fan. Yes, of course, that sounds like Nick Nemeth/Dolph Ziggler. But he’s out of the question here not possible with the terms of the contract and the release that he had. And that goes for everybody else who was released at that same time, they’ve got the exact same situation here. So I think that that leaves us to Will Ospreay and Mercedes Mone. Will Ospreay has been very vocal about the fact that his contract with New Japan is not up until February, there could be some sort of situation here. Tony has a great relationship, it seems with New Japan. So it could be some sort of situation here where his contract got bought out from New Japan, or they have some sort of working agreement here. So I guess that’s possible. But Mercedes Mone seems like the most likely person here. So that’s who I’m going to put my money on. I could be completely wrong here. Maybe it’s not even one of those three names. But we will find out. And I’m sure that there’s gonna be a lot of people listening to this episode, who have already found out. So that’s where we’re at here, as of Friday, November 17. Anything can happen, you know, between now and Full Gear, but that’s where we’re at here.”
Do you remember the first time that you were ever publicly quoted in the same sheets that you once read as a kid?
“That’s a really good one. And yes, I do remember it. I remember the interview very specifically. It was the interview I did with The Miz. Right before he threw out the first pitch before the Cleveland Indians game in 2011. So we’re going way back here, quick interview. It’s up on my YouTube channel if you want to go check it out. But we talked for, I don’t know, maybe four minutes. But he said something, right before we really got into the questions where I was like, Oh, I was just at WrestleMania 27. And he was like, Oh, I don’t remember it I was concussed, and that ended up making headlines. I didn’t even put two and two together when we were having the conversation, that that was a big headline that would be coming out of that. He also said during that, and this was during the CM Punk pipe bomb time. He said that that storyline was as interesting as what was going on in the Attitude Era at that time. I knew that that was an important thing. I knew that that was a big statement, that also ended up making headlines. And I was so unaware of this. I had been posting interviews on my YouTube channel at that point for, I don’t know, a few months. And most of those interviews were some of the celebrity interviews that I’ve done. I’ve done some interviews at WrestleMania 27. That year. So you’ll see an interview with Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler from Atlanta that year. There’s also an interview with Quentin Tarantino and Oprah on there. So we’re going way, way, way back here. So I didn’t have a lot of subscribers on my channel, I think I put that interview up. And I had a few 100 views. I woke up the next morning, and it had 6,000 views. So I know that that’s not viral. But that was a big step up for any videos that I’d ever put up. And then I went to bed. And then the next day, it had 36,000 views. And I was like, Oh, something is up here. And I started going into analytics and YouTube. And realising that some of the quotes from that interview were getting picked up on some of the dirt sheets. It was being spread everywhere on Reddit, and I was like, Oh, wow, that’s a thing. And because I worked in media because I worked in broadcasting and was familiar with how this worked. I was like, Well, next time I do an interview, and something newsworthy comes out of this, I’m going to take that quote. And I’m going to let the websites know about this. And that, honestly, that was a little thing that I did that nobody else was doing. And we’re talking 12 years ago now, nobody else was doing that. And my interviews were getting picked up so much more as a result, a tiny little thing like a tiny little sentence from a 10 or 15 or 20-minute interview, I would send that sentence or that quote over to the dirt sheets over to the websites, and they would all get picked up. So that was something that I feel like more people should have been doing at that time. And I saw real whitespace. So to answer your your question, that was the interview that first got picked up. And that’s when a light bulb went off in my head and I went, Oh, these websites are starving for content. So if I can make it as easy as possible, I can type this out, almost like a press release. I Chris Van Vliet spoke with so and so at such and such event. They talked about this topic, this topic and this topic, a link to the full interview is here. And some of the most interesting quotes are below. That’s literally the framework of the email that I would send out and still do send out if I’m being completely honest. And that was I think a real game changer for my YouTube channel, then, and it has continued to be a big game changer for the YouTube channel as well.”
I love the episode that you recorded with your wife Rachel last year, will you be doing another one again this year?
“That was one of my favourite episodes that I did last year. It was the last episode that we uploaded of the year. And it was my wife and I and I had this great year we had actually just got married like a week before we recorded that. And it was also like a way to introduce Rachel to the audience. I think a lot of people have heard about her or maybe seen a photo but like Who is she? What’s she really about? What’s her whole story here? So that episode served two purposes. It was one, to introduce Rachel to you, you know, obviously a hugely important part of my life. And you’re also a very huge, important part of my life. So I wanted to kind of put those two worlds together like, hey, this person meet this person, there you go. And the other thing was kind of served as a time capsule for that slice of life at that exact moment in time. And that is honestly an episode that I will go back and listen to, to just remember where we were because, at that time, we had just got married. We had bought a house about six months before that. She was pregnant at the time. So a lot has changed and evolved since then. So my goal here, my plan, is for this to be an episode that we do every single year. So it’s gonna be the last episode we have every single year. And we did that one. While we were up in the mountains of Ottawa, California we had this beautiful cabin that we were in. And we’re just sharing this moment together. So we’re going to Lake Arrowhead in December, and the plan is the same, to bring out the microphones, hit record, and do another episode. So keep an eye out for that in the next six weeks, like the end of the year. It’s crazy to think there are only six weeks left in the year. I don’t know about you, but 2023 has flown by.”
How was The Iron Claw?
“So I was so grateful to be able to see The Iron Claw last week at the world premiere in Dallas. That was so cool. I was in the theatre, watching it with the cast and the filmmakers. It was really cool. I can’t give you a full review yet. Reviews are embargoed until the week of the movie release comes out here in the US on December 22. So we can’t give you a full review at that point in time I can give you a reaction. I’m allowed to give you a reaction. And I will say this is the best representation of in-ring wrestling that I’ve ever seen in a movie. So the actual in-ring work that you see, like Chavo Guerrero just did amazing, amazing work here. You’d never know that Zac Efron only trained for I think it was seven weeks to do what he did, he looks like a veteran in there. The story is, I mean, if you know the story of the Von Erichs, this is going to come as no surprise. It’s heart-wrenching and very emotional at times. And we’ll be able to give you a full review in a month. But right around the episode or right around the release of the movie. I’m also gonna have Chavo Guerrero, back on the show to just talk about The Iron Claw. And also all the work that he’s doing with wrestling in Hollywood. Like Chavo is the guy when it comes to wrestling in Hollywood. So if there is a scene in a movie or a TV show, that involves pro wrestling, Chavo is the guy they call now. So it’s not just The Iron Claw. It’s also Young Rock and Wow and Glow. Like he’s the guy. And it’s amazing the sense of realism that he brings to this, especially if you’re a wrestling fan, I think that The Iron Claw is gonna be perceived very differently if you’re not a wrestling fan, like I think everybody’s obviously aware of wrestling, but if you’re not in the weeds, like as a huge wrestling fan, I think you’re gonna view it differently. And I’m not saying it’s gonna be better or worse. It’s just you’re gonna view it differently because there’s a lot of inside baseball in there. There’s a lot of like, they are speaking the language of wrestling. They’re talking about heat and going over and it’s not really explained there. So as wrestling fans for us, it’s kind of like a hey, not know what they made here. Hey, I get that reference.”
Does Trish Stratus actually smell like a unicorn fart? Or is that just some sicko fantasy?
“So Trish Stratus was at the world premiere that we were at in Dallas for The Iron Claw and I was so grateful to be able to do an interview with her there. I told her during the interview you smell fantastic because she does I don’t know what perfume it is that she uses. I highly doubt the perfume is called unicorn fart. But she smells great. And she is great. She is personable, kind, funny and Canadian and I love it. So quick story here. I’m on the red carpet. This is how red carpets work. They give you a printout of all of the people that are planning to attend the red carpet and there’s like they call it a tip sheet. And there’s a headshot of the person and then their name so you know exactly who they are when they come onto the red carpet so you can prepare a little bit. Her name and her photo was not on this tip sheet and there were four pages of different people who were supposed to be coming and did. Her name was on there. So right when the red carpet opened up, and they started taking photos, she was on the red carpet. I looked down and I’m like, is that Trish Stratus? And I’m like asking around like, Guys, I think that’s Trish Stratus? And they’re like, oh, I don’t know, is it? And sure enough, it’s Trish Stratus. She walks onto the red carpet, takes the photos for the photographers like, the professional photos that you’ll see on all the websites now. And then she leaves the red carpet. I’m like, oh, no, like she is not coming around. She’s not doing interviews. And then I see her behind the red carpet area. And she’s like, just taking some photos with some of the other cast members. And some of the other people like, just photos like on their iPhone. And I’m like, oh, no, I don’t think she’s doing interviews. And she walked by me and I’m like, Hey, Trish, could we at least take a photo? She’s like, of course. So we get to chatting. And I’m like, Are you gonna go back on the red carpet? She’s like, well, I already took the photos. I said could we do a quick interview? And she’s like, well, let me see if I can. She had to ask for permission. And she came back and she’s like, yep, we can do it. And that’s the interview that you see on my YouTube channel. She was so kind and gracious to be able to share, like five minutes with us. And, I’m working on getting her on the show for a longer sit-down, hopefully, an hour-long interview. So we can just talk about her incredible career. And we are both from almost the exact same area, just outside of Toronto, the Greater Toronto Area. There’s a lot of there’s a lot of synchronicities here. There’s a lot of similarities. So I would just love to be able to spend some time with her and it’s in the works. So just remember this conversation that we’re having right now. And remember this when you see the episode in hopefully a month or two, or three or something like that.”
What is your honest opinion of Logan Paul?
“Like I’ve said it many times, he has surpassed everybody’s expectations as a pro wrestler. And I feel like he has, I think he’s now graduated past the idea that he’s just a celebrity wrestler in there. I think people forget, like, I think that there’s this like, mentality when it comes to quote unquote, celebrity wrestlers that everybody just like lumps them into the same category as David Arquette. We all know the story of David Arquette and him winning the WCW Championship and like how people feel about that even 25 years later now. But I think that Stephen Amell came in and really changed that. And Steven Amell crawled so that people like Bad Bunny could walk and Bad Bunny, by no means is just walking here. He’s crushing it, but I’m saying is like, he broke the mould. So then other people like Logan Paul, like Pat McAfee could take this and just completely run. So you can have your criticisms of Logan Paul, and whatever you think about the videos that he’s posted or the person that you believe that he might be from what you see on social media because I doubt you’ve actually met him. But of all the criticisms that you might have, the least of which can be his wrestling ability. Like he looks like a veteran in there, he looks like a guy who’s been wrestling for 10 years, and he’s had eight matches, not just eight WWE matches, he’s had eight matches, total. That’s it, not eight Indy matches, not eight tag team matches, eight matches. That’s it. And each one of them has been great. And each one of them has also been that much better than the last one. So now he’s the United States Champion. And he’s doing with the United States Title, what he did and is also continuing to do with Prime, where it’s just like, it becomes part of his brand. He’s bringing it everywhere he goes, he’s incorporating it into all the posts that he’s doing. He’s doing interviews on major networks while wearing the title like, this is not just a hobby for him. And I feel like that’s what people thought for a long time. They just thought that this was something he was doing on the side because he thought it was cool. It is very clear that he’s taking this super seriously. And, again, whether you love him, or you hate him, he’s bringing a lot of eyeballs to pro wrestling in general. And I think that that needs to be applauded.”
What’s your honest opinion of Seth Rollins?
“So good, so good. And I think he’s gonna go down as one of the greatest and it’s amazing that when you talk about like these three matches, like, if Will Ospreay goes to WWE. It’s gotta be a match with Seth Rollins. It’s amazing. Like when Cody comes back to WWE, it’s gotta be a match with Seth Rollins, like, he’s kind of in that spot right now where not only is his character work amazing, but he’s one of those people who is going to have a great match with absolutely anybody that he’s in the ring with. And I know this really hasn’t been teased or talked about, but I feel like we’re gonna see Randy Orton and Seth Rollins work on a match together. At some point soon when Randy Orton comes back. And those are two guys that everybody just heaps preys on when it comes to like, how good they are in the ring, how good they make everybody else look. So you know, he put those two guys together, that’s just going to be absolute magic. Seth Rollins still clearly has many, many years left, but he’s already doing such great work and the way that he’s reinvented himself. Every new reincarnation of Seth Rollins feels like it’s just that much better than the last one. So yeah. Big Seth Rollins guy. I haven’t done an interview with him said like 10 years, something like that. Yeah, that was 10 years. Yeah, go back. It’s on YouTube. It’s fine. It’s brief. It’s 10 or 15 minutes. Well, I would love to have him back on the show again sometime soon to talk about everything that’s happened between that and now.”
I know you always talk about The Rock versus Hogan being your favourite match. But do you have another match that stands up there as one of your all-time favourites?
“I think for me, of course, Rock Hogan. It’s not just my favourite match. It’s also The Miz’s favourite match and Cody Rhodes’ favourite match. It’s the match that I would show to anybody who’s never watched a wrestling match before in their life. Because just that crowd reaction is so good. That match tells such a great story. And of course, you know, I’ve told you this story a million times. I was there, you know, my first ever WrestleMania I’m the same age as Wrestlemania. So it’s WrestleMania 18. I was 18 Blah, blah, blah. The other match that is super rewatchable for me. And perhaps my favourite in-ring match in terms of just the actual wrestling that happens is Christopher Daniels versus AJ Styles versus Samoa Joe Unbreakable 2005. That match I think made me rethink what’s possible in a wrestling ring. Like that match. I already knew TNA was great. I was already a TNA fan. I saw that match. And I went, Oh, well. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody quite do this stuff before. And that’s a match that here we are almost 20 years later. That stands the test of time. That’s a match I go back and watch often. And if for whatever reason you’ve never seen that match from TNA. I invite you to go watch that at some point today or this week or this weekend. So, so good. And it also really shows you how great AJ Styles was back then, how great Samoa Joe was back then, how great Christopher Daniels was back then, and how much better they’ve gotten since then. So you know, I’m a big TNA fan. You know how excited I am. If you listen to the last Ask CVV about TNA coming back and that being the brand again. And this was one of the matches that I think was like the real like taking the flag and planting it down and going. This is what TNA is all about.”
What would be the base of how to start being a creator?
“And this is gonna sound so simple perhaps maybe overly simplified, but you just got to start. I think that there are too many people who get into the idea of this analysis by paralysis, they overthink the idea of like, well, it needs to be perfect. It needs to be this, it needs to be that. No, it just needs to be done and I know it’s never done, right? Perfection is the enemy of progress. I love that quote. And it’s something I come back to all the time. But I just think you need to put your first video out, your first podcast out, your first piece of art, whatever it happens to be. And then you’ll put out your next one, it’ll be better than your last one. And then you’ll put out your next one after that. And it’ll be better than the one before. And you’ll just keep building on that. So I think the most important thing you can do is, is just start and also get around other like-minded people who are doing the same thing as you and facing the same problems that you have. That’s the whole reason I started fulltimecreator.co. It’s a brilliant mastermind, where we’ve got a whole bunch of people who are like-minded doing the same thing and chasing after the same goals. And me and my buddy, Travis Chappell, who have been there, and we’ve done it, we’ve made a tonne of mistakes, were the ones heading this up, and you can learn directly from us pick our brain about everything. I mean, we really serve as your mentor for this. So if you’re a creator at any point along your journey, I feel like you’d be foolish to not jump in Full-Time Creator. And really expedite your process here. Like instead of trying to figure this out on your own and making a tonne of mistakes, why not jumpstart your progress here and skip ahead a few months or a few years by really tapping into the knowledge that we have here. So fulltimecreator.co I talk about it almost on every episode, because I’m actually blown away that more people who are in the creative creator space or call themselves creators haven’t joined in here. So if you’re listening to this, and that sounds like you, and you’ve thought about it, go visit the website fulltimecreator.co And check it out. It’s $1. To start, you can spend two weeks with us for $1. And what do you have to lose? $1 You haven’t $1 to lose. So I’d love to see you in there.”
Do you think that too much posting can almost be as bad as not posting enough?
“I don’t think so at all. And I think that when it comes down to metrics, look, I’ve 300,000 followers on Instagram. And my posts get, I don’t know, a few 1000 likes, you know, a few, maybe 10, 20 50,000 interactions are like impressions. So I’m well aware that there’s a big portion of my audience that is not seeing these posts. So if you follow me on Instagram, or Facebook, or YouTube or Twitter, or TikTok, for that matter, you know that I post a lot. And that’s kind of our MO is just like, take all the posting and just throw it out there. So I’m posting five to 10 pieces of content a day. And I’m well aware that most of my audience is not going to see all those posts. And I think that that’s the fear here. I think that the fear for some people is like, Oh, you’re gonna get so annoyed by all the posts that I make out there. And the honest to God’s truth is, most people aren’t going to see all those posts. So if you post three times on Instagram, the majority of your audience is only going to see maybe one of them, maybe two of them, because that’s the way the algorithm is set up. So my whole thing is to just keep putting content out. And again, it does not need to be perfect. It just needs to be telling a story of some sort does not need to be perfect because it will never be perfect. And if you’re striving for perfection, you will never post anything because it will never quite be perfect.”
Had you stuck with wrestling, what did your definition of success/I’ve made it look like to you?
I don’t know if I thought that far ahead. I really, I really don’t. I was doing the backyard wrestling thing for two years, I guess maybe a little bit over two years when I was in high school. And then I trained and I’ve told the story many times but I trained in Toronto at Squared Circle, had kind of a fork in the road moment where summer was coming to an end and I had needed to decide was I going to put all my effort into wrestling school and continue with that, or is it gonna put all my effort into school school, which was starting back up in September. And I was like, You know what, I’m gonna get my degree and I’m going to continue with school and wrestling will always be there, which it has been so grateful for that. I don’t think I’d really thought ahead. But you got to remember here, I was going to wrestling school in 2003. I went to wrestling school in 2003. So at that time, like, as a kid from Ontario, Canada, there were not a lot of other people I could look to to go, oh, that’s the way it’s done. Of course, there were the anomalies, Edge, Christian, and Trish Stratus, being like the main ones you could think of, but in that like group of people at that time, there were just a few that went on to do anything whether that was in Impact Wrestling, or WWE. And off the top of my head here, they were Shawn Spears, who got signed, I believe in like 2006 or 07 in WWE. There was Eric Young, who of course, had a great career in Impact and WWE, Tyson Dukes, who did some stuff for WWE and Impact Wrestling, but there wasn’t like a tonne of people, not like it is now the Indies at that time weren’t what they are now. And I just didn’t see. And again, I didn’t fully complete my wrestling school training. But there really wasn’t a trail blazed. There really wasn’t this roadmap of like, really crushing it in Canada being able to go to WWE tryouts and them offering you a visa because you had to obviously go work in a different country, that roadmap didn’t really exist. And the Indies weren’t what they are now, and really didn’t become what they are now till really to like the mid-2010s. Like the Indies really didn’t start becoming this huge thing til I guess a little bit later on. But The Bucks and Cody, like really started to do something there with getting people noticed, and getting a lot of eyeballs on indie companies, but it just didn’t exist at that time. So I would think that if I trained in 2003, it would be an indie debut in 2004 ish. And of course, the goal would be to get signed. And at that point, it would be Impact or WWE, that would have been the goal for me. But it just didn’t feel like that roadmap was out there. And I say it all the time. Sometimes the best things in life are the things that don’t happen. And that’s how I feel like my entire life has gone. I’m 40 years old right now. Like when I get out of bed in the morning, my neck doesn’t hurt my back doesn’t hurt my knees, and my elbows, and shoulders don’t hurt. And a lot of my friends who are the same age as me, who have been wrestling for the last 20 years. They can’t say the same. So I’m never one of those people who lives in regret. I’m never one of those people that looks back and goes Oh, what if what if this happened? Or what if that happened? Not at all. So I can’t say that I really gave it that much thought. But I will say this. If Chris Sharp were to have been what I would have wanted him to be I don’t even know where I was going with that all I was just trying to say the name Chris Sharp. That was my wrestling character. I hadn’t even given it a lot of thought of like, I knew what I didn’t backyard wrestling, which didn’t really make a lot of sense in terms of the psychology of wrestling. What would I have done as an indie wrestler? I have no idea. I don’t know. I feel like I would have been like a black trunks and black boots guy. But I didn’t really put a lot of thought into that.”
When you have an off day creating content. What do you do to get over that slump?
“That’s a great question. These look, these are all great questions. And they really are. I think for me, the thing is creating content is now my job. And Brendan Schaub, when I had him on the show a few months ago, he put it in the best possible verbiage and terminology that I thought about it that way, but I had never found a way to vocalise it. He’s basically saying, like, when I worked for ESPN, or CBS Sports, or whatever it happened to be, I had to show up to work in the same way that you have to show up to your job, whether you’re feeling it or you’re not, you show up, and you give your best for that day. And that’s how I feel about content creation. Like, no matter what, we’re gonna have an episode on Tuesday, and we’re gonna have an episode on Thursday. And then every few weeks, we’re going to have an episode like this on a Friday for Ask CVV but it’s like, whether you’re feeling it or you’re not. It’s just like you’re going to work. And it’s not like you can just like boom, turn it on and like automatically, like, be creative. You can just flick a switch and like the creative switch has been turned on. But I feel like you kind of always get the creative juices flowing, whether they’re flowing a lot or they’re just kind of dripping out, creative juices are there. But I think the biggest shift for me was being accountable to my audience. And as the audience continued to grow, I wanted to be accountable to them. And when I say accountable, what I mean is, I am going to show up every Tuesday, and every Thursday, I’m going to put out an episode. And in me showing up every Tuesday and Thursday, I will hope that you will also start to show up every Tuesday and Thursday. And it’s become like a job again, back to that quote earlier, Perfection is the enemy of progress. It doesn’t need to be perfect. And I think that that’s a big thing here is like, the episode doesn’t need to be, if we’re talking about a podcast, it doesn’t need to be like, perfectly edited with the best content ever. It just, you know, you got to put it out there, you got to show up in the same way that if you’ve got a job a nine to five, and you’re working Monday to Friday, you’ve got to show up Monday, and you’ve got to show up again Tuesday, and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday. You know, that’s just how it works. So that’s it for me. And yeah, some days you’re not feeling it as much. I don’t think I’ve I certainly haven’t talked about this actually, one of the things that really is its take it’s difficult to do is putting the ads together that you see on the YouTube channel. Because when I have the conversations, when we record the actual episodes, those are easy. I do all the research. We turn on either the camera, whether we’re in person, or the Zoom conversation, if we’re doing you know, one of the rare virtual ones that we’re doing. Those are you know, it’s kind of just like, Okay, let’s hit record, boom, an hour later, we’ve got it. With the ad reads that we’re doing. It’s like, okay, there are so many things about this product or service that I love. What’s the best way to tell my audience in the most succinct way possible whilst also telling them to go to the website? I find that to be difficult. How can I find a new way to be passionate about this thing, because these are all products that I use? These are all the things that take extra effort, but it’s all part of the job”
How did you find the balance between an interview being enough like a conversation while also being strongly focused on the interviewee?
“That has truly been one of the toughest balances ever. Because when I started out, I was a news reporter. And when I was a news reporter for Checks TV in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. You’re trying to extract facts out of people, you’re trying to get sound bites out of people, so that you can start to tell a story. So a lot of what you’re doing when you’re a news reporter is you’re asking the who, what, when, why, how questions. So who did the thing? When did they do the thing? Perhaps why did they do thing? And if this is some sort of event, where are we I would also often start those interviews with so where are we right now? Because I was not only the reporter, I was also the that was cameraman and the editor and the producer. And you know, the news of order, you have all these different hats that you’re wearing when you’re at a small station, which also made me appreciate all of the many various jobs that exist in broadcasting. So to go from that, the who, what, where, why, how type of interviews that we were doing for the news station to the next job I had, which was being an entertainment reporter slash TV host on MTV2 Canada. And you’re interviewing celebrities and musicians and my first interview with Bobby Lashley. You’re doing all those kinds of interviews. They start to evolve from like, okay, we’re telling a story here to like we’re promoting something or trying to like dig in deep on an album or a movie or whatever it happens to be. I think it was just the doing it. To me, it was doing it there day in, day out, that helped me to get better at it. And also watching people who are masterful at this, like you would watch a Howard Stern interview, and it never felt like an interview. And another name that you probably don’t hear a lot, but he’s a huge name in Canada is George Stroumboulopoulos. He had a show called The Hour on CBC. And he was so good. Go check out some of his interviews with Chris Jericho, or there’s tonnes of interviews. But George Stroumboulopoulos, the hour with the show was called, he was so good at just making these sound like conversations. So I would watch these people, I would study the greats. And I would just try to pick out moments of like, Oh, look how he transitioned from this point to this point. Oprah is also really good at that, Barbara Walters, so good at that, like we’re talking goat-level here. And we just study those people. And I would go, Oh, wow. Because at that point in my life, a year or two into my career, I would rule I would cringe if someone saw my full uncut interview that was at that point 10 or 15 minutes long and be like, oh, man, because I’m clearly just going. Here’s one question, then here’s another question, then here’s another question. And it really took me a while. It took me many years of honing this and working on it. And I would test myself, I remember working in Toronto, would have been three, or four years into my career. And I remember going into interviews like, with like, no notes, I would just like I would have some general knowledge about a person. And I would know about their album, book or movie that was coming out. And I would know a lot of like, general knowledge about them. And I would just go in and I would test myself like, Can I have a great six-minute conversation with this person live on TV without a safety net? And that was a real test. And I think that this platform of having a podcast has benefited me so much to be able to have even better conversations because you’re not restricted by a time limit of like a four-minute celebrity interview or a 10-minute radio segment. It’s like you hit record and you say to the guests, oh, this might be 45 minutes, it might be an hour and sometimes an hour and a half later, the episode ends. So I think that just the format of an open-ended conversation has helped so much. And I also a long time ago, stop thinking about them as interviews and just started thinking about them as conversations. If you bump into someone at the grocery store, what’s the conversation? How does it flow? You’re not thinking question answer, question answer. You’re just flowing with the conversation. So that was that’s been a that was a real test. But I look I constantly think that I’m working on this all the time. It’s it’s a work in progress all the time with every single episode that we put out.”
What is it like to have a birthday on the same day as Kane’s favourites and a famous storyline?
“So yeah, my birthday is May 19. Remember, that was the big storyline with Kane because See No Evil came out on May 19. And it’s funny anytime I bring up my birthday, and I brought it up a lot last year because that was the goal date for when I was going to be in the best shape of my life by my 40th birthday. So I kept saying May 19, May 19, May 19. And people were like, don’t say that date. If Kane hears you say that day. I want to do an interview with Kane just to let him know, like, Hey, thanks for like making my birthday. Like a thing. Like thanks for putting it on the map. And a side note, I think, See No Evil might be the best WWE Studios film, certainly of that era, but maybe in the entire library. Like I think some of them were just a little. I don’t know. They were direct-to-DVD, or direct-to-home video. For a reason. I feel like See No Evil was a legit horror movie with some pretty great performances and a fantastic script. I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s an unpopular opinion or not. But See No Evil is great.”