Justin Barrasso
Wednesday October 12th, 2016

SI.com’s Wrestling Week in Review is published every Wednesday and provides beneath the surface coverage of the business of pro wrestling.

This issue contains an interview with Enzo Amore and Big Cass, The Nitro Files with Eric Bischoff, Five Questions with William Shatner, the Wrestlers’ Tribune with New Japan’s Tetsuya Naito, and the Top Ten with Ring of Honor’s Cheeseburger.

Getting to Know Enzo & Cass

Courtesy of WWE

SI.com spoke with Enzo Amore and Big Cass, and the pair discussed musical influences, football coaching schemes, and the NBA.

Enzo Amore and Big Cass have quickly transformed into one of WWE’s most popular acts since their debut on Raw the night after WrestleMania 32.

Amore is 29-year-old Eric Arndt, and Cass, William Morrissey, just turned 30 this past August. Both hail from the Tri-state area—Amore from Hackensack, New Jersey, and Cass from Queens, New York. The pair was willing to share some personal, revealing information about themselves and some of their interests outside the wrestling ring.

When asked by a reporter which Biggie Smalls album was more meaningful, Life After Death or Ready to Die, Amore and Cass openly debated the work of the Notorious B.I.G.

“Can we plead the fifth?” asked Cass.

Amore, who grew up only thirteen miles away from legendary singer Frank Sinatra’s hometown of Hoboken, is very passionate about music.

“Ready to Die,” said Amore. “Final answer.”

Both Cass and Amore shared some of their musical influences.

“I’m into classic rock,” said Cass. “Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel.”

Amore then explained his taste in music is similar to his promos in the ring, as he tends to be all over the place yet overflowing with passion.

“Music and the WWE go hand-in-hand,” said Amore. “I’ve been heavily, heavily tuned into the DJ Khaled album, Major Key, which has some major, major plays on it, up and down the line.

“One of my favorite rappers of all time, if not my favorite rapper of all time, is Nas. I’m looking forward to hearing his new album, and I’m a huge Jay Z fan. In terms of the spectrum of music in his catalog, he is as good as anyone in hip-hop. In the history of hip-hop, he may be the G.O.A.T.—that depends on if you like Hulk Hogan or Shawn Michaels. Everyone’s got their own flavor, but these days, I’m listening to a little of everybody.”

Although the pair started off white-hot they have collided with recent road blocks, wrestling in dregs of the tag team division against the likes of the Shining Stars and Goldust & R-Truth. Yet Enzo and Cass are still among the most popular wrestlers in all of WWE.

“We are forever indebted to the fans,” said Amore. “Real recognizes real, and we’re the realest guys in the room.”

Amore played college football as a linebacker and safety at Salisbury University in Maryland, graduating with a degree in journalism. Before wrestling, he worked as a manager for Hooters in New Jersey, as well as picked up work as a DJ and piano mover.

Cass played college basketball at New York University, which was an incredible feat considering he was cut from his high school team at Archbishop Malloy in Queens as a freshman, sophomore, and junior. Cass had a tenacious work ethic, and he graduated from NYU with a degree in economics/pre-business before starting a ticket brokerage company with friends while training to become a pro wrestler.

Asked to choose between Kevin McHale, Tim Duncan, or Hakeem Olajuwon as the best post player in history, Cass went with a different, more powerful option.

“He may have not had finesse or that fluid motion to him, but Shaquille O’Neal was unstoppable,” said Cass. “If you gave him the ball in the low post, he was scoring, one way or another. He was the most unstoppable force I’ve ever seen in the NBA.”

Cass was interrupted by Amore, who tagged into the discussion to correct his partner.

“You guys want to talk about post game?” asked Amore. “Then you should definitely make sure you get your eyes on the clip of me posting up on Big Cass at The Cage in Manhattan. Dropped a dime on him.”

Cass immediately denied the allegation.

“He tried to put it in,” said Cass, “but I sent that thing to the moon, bro.”

Amore revealed that when he leaves professional wrestling he will be coaching high school football back in Jersey, and he already knows his game plan for offense.

“When I was in high school, we ran a Wing T, but that was old school,” said Amore. “If I were a coach, I would run a spread option, let the quarterback read the D-end, and either give it or go. I’d have a running back out into the flat or a halfback or a wide receiver to keep a pass option in there, and read the D-end. If the D-end goes down the line, I’d take it as a quarterback. If the linebacker steps up, you dump it over his head. That’s what I would do, that’s a bread and butter offense.”

As for his defense, Amore plans on coaching similar to how he wrestles.

“Keep the speed on the field,” said Amore. “Maybe use that stack, that West Virginia D. You typically don’t have too many big guys in high school football, so to flood the line with big guys, you’re normally putting a softie out there. That’s where that term comes from—I played some football with some guys who were S-A-W-F-T soft, and we let ‘em know. That’s why we keep the speed and the tough guys on the field, like myself.”

As Enzo and Cass continue their pursuit of the WWE tag team titles, Amore encouraged fans to stay connected with their journey on social media.

“Is there an option online where I can converse live with the fans?” asked Amore. “Kofi Kingston is a big sneakerhead like me, and I love wearing Jordans. I wear different sneakers every Monday—Champs Sports, how you doin’?—and I’d like to know what fans are thinking and what they want to see.”

News of the Week

Social media response has replaced buy rates as WWE’s barometer of success. 

Moving the “main event” triple threat match between world champ AJ Styles, John Cena, and Dean Ambrose to the opening bout of No Mercy reinforced WWE’s growing reliance on social media, particularly Twitter.

Network subscriptions changed the pay per view model, as WWE no longer equates PPV buy rates with success. The new model, which was reaffirmed this past Sunday, is entirely based off social media.

WWE made a bold decision opening No Mercy with its world title match. The presidential debate, which started an hour after No Mercy, broke a Twitter record with more than 17 million related tweets. WWE desperately needed a social media presence, so, for the first time in company history, WWE opened a pay per view with a world title match. And it was to save face on social media.

Social media coverage represents a massive piece of WWE’s successes. Management constantly sends out memos to talent regarding information to tweet, and the company ties social media hits into its marketing, especially with advertising and television deals.

As for the opening match, AJ Styles retained his world championship after pinning John Cena following a chair shot to Cena’s back—where was the ensuing Styles Clash—but the match ultimately highlighted the way social media is affecting the way WWE is producing its product.

In other news…

• Celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Survivor Series with 5-on-5 elimination matches between Raw and Smackdown is a fitting tribute to one of WWE’s original four pay per views, as well as a logical tie-in to the brands once again colliding at the Royal Rumble. The inaugural 1987 Survivor Series was a power play from Vince McMahon, as the show directly opposed the NWA’s Starrcade. McMahon gave cable companies an ultimatum: if they aired Starrcade, they would not be allowed to air WrestleMania IV that following March. Survivor Series nearly doubled Starrcade’s PPV buy rate.

• I have had a sour taste in my mouth over the direction of the IC title ever since WrestleMania. The decision to take the belt off of Zack Ryder less than twenty-four hours after his emotional win was extremely short-sighted, but The Miz and Ziggler have put together a tremendously compelling program over the past month​ and the best IC title feud in recent memory.

• The WWE returns to the Alamodome for the first time in twenty years this January for the 2017 Royal Rumble. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin won the ‘97 Rumble – which saw the “Texas Rattlesnake” sneak back into the ring for a victory after officials missed his elimination earlier in the match. A year earlier, however, Austin actually accidentally eliminated himself from the Rumble.

• Cody Rhodes’ promo this past week on TNA Impact Wrestling was more evidence that he could have been repackaged as a main eventer in WWE. Rhodes can work, is vastly improved on the mic, and has a naturally compelling backstory as the son of the late, great Dusty Rhodes. WWE is in dire need of credible babyfaces, and Rhodes would fit in perfectly to the Raw world title picture against Kevin Owens or on Smackdown with AJ Styles. TNA will be making a massive mistake if they don’t find a way – even short-term – to put the world title on Rhodes.

• Speaking of world champions, Eddie Edwards—who Kevin Owens explained is the greatest wrestler in the world not currently employed by WWEis the new world champion in TNA. Considering that I anticipated TNA building up the angle of Bobby Lashley being an unstoppable world champ, I am curious to see which direction TNA moves in with Edwards as champ.

• Continuing with the theme of world champions, 16-time world champion “Nature Boy” Ric Flair will be joining Sports Illustrated tomorrow for an interview discussing parallels between his own career with the path of his daughter, Charlotte, as well as his connection with the people who have followed his career with such passion and dedication. The story will post tomorrow afternoon on SI.com.

Extra Mustard
Week in Wrestling: Charlotte on the future of women’s wrestling; Five questions with Edge

• Originality will forever be linked to Philadelphia. Philly was the capital of the United States until 1800 and served as an integral part of the Revolutionary War. ECW was born in Philadelphia, which revolutionized the business of professional wrestling, and I just had the chance to watch Chikaraanother Philly product, this past Saturday. Chikara has made its name off a family-friendly product, and, fittingly, has ECW alum Joey Styles doing their commentary. Styles has promised to serve as the voice of the Chikara video game.

• Brock Lesnar and Bill Goldberg are expected to have a rematch of their WrestleMania 20 encounter this November at the Survivor Series. Their ‘Mania match is among the all-time worsts. The crowd at Madison Square Garden immediately turned on the match, as they were both leaving the company and the only pop came after special guest referee “Stone Cold” Steve Austin delivered stunners to both after the match. The match will need plenty of buildup from Paul Heyman and some nostalgic squash matches for Goldberg in order for it to work.

• Daniel Bryan remains passionate with causes outside of wrestling, and he just released a video in support of a Massachusetts ballot measure to protect farm animals from animal cruelty.

• New Japan Pro Wrestling’s King of Pro Wrestling took place this past weekend, and we are still on pace for a Kazuchika Okada-Kenny Omega main event for the IWGP heavyweight title this Janaury 4 at Wrestle Kingdom 11. The Week in Wrestling will reveal an inside look at New Japan with an interview with top booker Gedo next Wednesday.

The Nitro Files: Eric Bischoff on Eddie Guerrero

J. Shearer/WireImage

The Nitro Files with Eric Bischoff will delve into a moment from WCW’s Monday Nitro. Bischoff, who was the president of WCW during the company’s most successful years, hosts his weekly Bischoff on Wrestling” podcast, as well as delivers a “Controversial Video of the Week” with 120 Sports’ Nick Hausman, and plans on proving every week in the Nitro Files that the “truth is out there.”

Eddie Guerrero would have celebrated his 49th birthday this past Sunday. Tragically, as a result of acute heart failure, Guerrero died in 2005 at the age of only 38.

Guerrero is largely known for his runs in ECW and main event status in WWE, but he sowed the seeds of his brilliance in WCW.

“It was late 1995 when Eddie came over to WCW, and he came with Dean Malenko and Chris Benoit,” said Bischoff. “Eddie, Dean, and Chris were all very active at the time in New Japan Pro Wrestling. They were spending quite a bit of time over there and were an integral part of the New Japan storyline.”

WCW and New Japan Pro Wrestling engaged in a talent exchange business deal in 1995, which led to Bischoff’s decision to sign Guerrero, Malenko, and Benoit.

“I had been doing a lot of business with New Japan, spending a lot of time there nurturing and managing the talent exchange relationship and also studying. I wanted to know what worked in Japan, why the audiences were different, why storylines worked one way in Japan but didn’t work quite the same way in the U.S., so I was really trying to analyze the broader global market.

“In the course of doing that, I was exposed to Eddie, Dean, and Chris. They were such an important part of their schedule that it was important to New Japan that I had Eddie, Dean, and Chris under a domestic U.S. contract – that way, New Japan could control who they worked for in Japan, and I could do the same thing domestically in the United States and North America. That was why I brought Eddie, Dean, and Chris in from a business point of view.”

Bischoff also understood that Guerrero, Malenko, and Benoit would bring an international style of wrestling to WCW.

“From an artistic point of view, I brought them in because they perfectly epitomized the kind of cruiserweight, fast-paced, hard-hitting, athletic style of wrestling that I was simultaneously trying to introduce to the Nitro format,” explained Bischoff. “We knew we needed international talent and talent that was different from the animated, 350-pound, 6’6” guys and the style of wrestling they presented. So it was a perfect storm of opportunity between the New Japan relationship and Eddie, Chris, and Dean presenting a unique skillset, athleticism, and us needing something really unique for Nitro.”

Bischoff recalled his very first meeting with Guerrero, Malenko, and Benoit, noting that Guerrero was the toughest to persuade.

“I remember the first meeting, when Chris, Eddie, and Dean came into my office in Atlanta,” recalled Bischoff. “They were hesitant. They didn’t know me. Nitro was still on the verge of launching, and they didn’t know me personally. They were quiet, they were reserved, and of the three, Eddie was the hardest one to convince. I don’t want to say he was cynical, but he was tough. He was very reserved.

“Over a period of time, Eddie proved to be one of the most passionate performers on the roster. Up until the day he passed away, he was just such a passionate performer, so naturally, he and I would engage. Sometimes it was fun and it was collaborative, and other times it was intense. There were moments when it was really intense, but overall, the longer I knew Eddie, the more I respected him, and I would like to think that the more he got to know me, the more he respected me. I’ll have to wait to find that out.”

The pact of friendship between Guerrero, Malenko, and Benoit was the stuff of legend in wrestling, though that has likely been compromised by Benoit’s murder-suicide. More than their wrestling, which helped revolutionize the entire industry, Bischoff recalls the unique nature of their friendship.

“It’s fair to say Eddie, Dean, and Chris Benoit were brothers,” said Bischoff. “They were closer than most brothers I’ve ever met. They were beyond friends, they were family. They had each other’s back all the time, twenty-four seven. They were almost inseparable, and that’s one thing I remember about them.

“All the things that have happened—between Eddie’s passing, the sad situation with Chris Benoit and his family—I’m sure that’s been very hard on guys like Dean Malenko, who is still here with us to this day. I’ve never talked to Dean about it, not sure I ever would even if I had the opportunity, but they were extremely close. What people saw on camera, or what people have read about their friendship, only scratched the surface.”

Exclusive Lucha Underground clip

Lucha Underground, which is available on iTunes, continues its third season tonight on El Rey Network at 8pm ET.

The Wrestlers’ Tribune: Tetsuya Naito

Courtesy of New Japan

Tetsuya Naito is finally one of the major stars of New Japan Pro Wrestling. Similar to the booking plight of Roman Reigns, Naito was championed by New Japan as a babyface but the crowd never invested in his character. Naito turned heel during his time in Mexico and joined Los Ingobernables, which he brought to New Japan as Los Ingobernables de Japon.

Naito, who is the current IWGP Intercontinental champion, is now the top seller—ahead of Okada, Bullet Club, and Tanahashi—of all New Japan merchandise. Through a translator, Naito explained his wrestling philosophy and feelings toward Shinsuke Nakamura, WWE, and New Japan Pro Wrestling.



That means relax.

Knowing how to stay relaxed is key.

I stayed relaxed when Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles left New Japan Pro Wrestling and went to WWE. I stay relaxed whenever I hear Tanahashi speak about how he’s a better champion than me, and I stay relaxed—for now—that Okada is the IWGP heavyweight champion and I am not.

I know how to relax, but I never forget.

I am grateful that people are excited to see me wrestle, but I never forget when people hated me. That is something I will never forget.

In 2009, I was wrestling in Mexico. The crowd in Mexico, which is full of heels, thought all Asians had little eyes. The fans at the arena would scream, ‘Open your eyes!’ at me.

That is why I open my eyes wide—to mock that crowd.

My eyes are open wide now for another reason. I could see the way the crowd treated me then, but I can also see all the success I am having now. I hope the people who insulted me see it, too.

People ask me if I would be excited to wrestle in WWE and have matches with Brock Lesnar and John Cena.

The answer is never. I will never be in WWE.

I am the leader of Los Ingobernables de Japon. Nakamura is training at NXT. No one trained me. Qhen I was in the New Japan dojo, I trained myself. Many people, including Nakamura, left New Japan Pro Wrestling this year. I always wanted to be a wrestler in New Japan Pro Wrestling. That’s why I trained to become a pro wrestler. This is the best wrestling in the world, and I am honored to forever be associated with New Japan.

It is Nakamura’s life, and it is his right if he wants to leave. And it is not that I don’t care about Nakamura, but I don’t care. That is his life. My life is in New Japan. Before, when he was still here, it was all about Nakamura, Tanahashi, and Okada in New Japan.

When Nakamura left, I was excited. I am now the biggest star in New Japan, so I would like to say thank you to Nakamura for leaving.

People also ask me if I love having great wrestling matches, but people need to understand that I have never entered a wrestling ring hoping to have a great match. I enter through those ropes to win.

I remember my G1 Climax match with Kenny Omega—I remember that match very well. That was a very good match, but again, that is not why I wrestle. I don’t wrestle to have good matches. I wrestle to win. I am still very upset with Kenny Omega. I should be the G1 winner and have the main event at Wrestle Kingdom.

Instead, I am IWGP Intercontinental champion. I started wrestling to become IWGP heavyweight champion. I never said I ever wanted to be Intercontinental champion. I am very popular, worldwide, so that is why the Intercontinental belt wants to be around my waist. That’s why this belt follows me. Every time I throw the belt away in the air, it always finds its way back to me.

I have also been asked if I am afraid of Tanahashi. Someone asked me to compare myself to him. Comparing Tanahashi to Naito is like comparing a pig to a steak. The belt knows this, and if it comes down to a decision between myself and Tanahashi, the belt will always chose me.

I am a better IWGP champion than Okada. The IWGP heavyweight belt will eventually follow me.


If you don’t already, you will soon find out exactly what that means.

~ Tetsuya Naito

Champ or Chump


Who is the best WWE champion of the millennium?

Top 10 with Cheeseburger

Courtesy of Cheeseburger

There’s no need to turn to Yelp when looking for the right cheeseburger. In this edition of “The Weekly Top Ten,” Ring of Honor’s Cheeseburger dishes on his favorite burgers. Per his wishes, this list will cover the top five cheeseburgers in the world, as well five “dishonorable mentions.”

The loveable Ring of Honor star’s affinity for cheeseburgers predates his career in wrestling, but he was given the name “Cheeseburger” in an ironic twist.

“I didn’t pick the name ‘Cheeseburger’ for myself,” explained Cheeseburger. “I was so skinny when I started training in 2010. Rhett Titus saw me one day and said, ‘Oh man, that boy needs to eat a cheeseburger,’ and the name just stuck from there.”

Cheeseburger’s cheeseburger ratings are based off taste, fries, price, and, of course, cheese.

“I need cheese,” noted Cheeseburger. “All of my sandwiches, and all my burgers, aren’t complete without cheese.”

Cheeseburger’s Top Cheeseburgers

5.) Burgatory

Absolutely delicious. It’s a fancy burger restaurant in Pittsburgh.

4.) Whataburger

Cheeseburgers are bigger in Texas.

3.) Fatburger

This might only be a local chain in Las Vegas and LA. I found it on The Strip. It’s a little more pricey, but the cheeseburgers are worth it.

2.) Steak ‘n Shake

I put bacon on my cheeseburger at Steak ‘n Shake, which I love.

1.) In-N-Out Burger

You can have burgers at a place like McDonald’s all the time, but not In-N-Out Burger. Their burgers are so rare and special.

Dishonorable Mention: Cheeseburger’s Bottom Five

5.) McDonald’s

They’re everywhere. There is nothing special about it. A friend asked me to go to the McDonald’s in Tokyo before the Korakuen Hall show last January for nuggets, so I will say that the Tokyo McDonald’s is very fancy. Everything they serve in Tokyo looks just like the pictures, it’s crazy.

4.) Buffalo Wild Wings

I actually like Buffalo Wild Wings, but the bun is way smaller than the patty. You need to have a proper bun-to-patty ratio, and they fail in this department.

3.) Sonic

Sonic is very bland. If I’m ever eating there, I go with hot dogs and a milkshake because their hamburgers are so bland. They have no taste.

2.) Five Guys

I detest Five Guys. It’s too expensive, and it doesn’t taste nearly good enough for the high prices. When you want a burger, people always forget to judge the fries, but you can’t have the burger without the fries. Five Guys is also one of the few fast food places where I’ve got sick from their meal from multiple different locations. Their Cajun seasoning for the fries just doesn’t sit right with me.

1.) Burger King

I will never eat at a Burger King – they’ll never have it my way. Everything has a weird after-taste, so I’m taking a stand – no more Burger King.

Cheeseburger revealed that, if he could have a burger with anyone – dead or alive – in pro wrestling, it would be William Regal.

“I’d love to pick William Regal’s brain over a meal,” said Cheeseburger, whose next career goal is to wrestle in England. “Regal doesn’t seem like a cheap date, so we’d go to Burgatory in Pittsburgh because it is such a fancy place.”

Despite a busy schedule with Ring of Honor, Cheeseburger is willing to make time to be a spokesman for any of his top burger restaurants.

“I’m willing to contemplate offers if the price is right,” said Cheeseburger, who would also consider representing one of his least favorite spots. “It’s true, everybody’s got a price.”

Following a burger for dinner, Cheeseburger paraphrased former British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli when he noted that the feeling in his stomach was not indigestion, but rather gratitude.

“I want to thank everyone for the support,” said Cheeseburger. “Keep following this journey, there is a lot more to come. I’d say ‘getcha popcorn ready,’ but it’s more like fire up the grill.”

Five Questions with… William Shatner

Courtesy of WWE

William Shatner is no stranger to the world of professional wrestling, as he first appeared on Monday Night Raw in January of 1995. The accomplished actor is known for his Priceline commercials, but he is also a television legend for his role as Captain James T. Kirk on Star Trek. Shatner, who is now 85, remains as active as ever with his Shatner’s World” tour, a second season of “Better Late Than Never” picked up by NBC, and a new book entitled “Zero-G”. He connected with SI.com to discuss his two-decade connection with WWE.

SI.com: Would Vince McMahon have fit in on Star Trek’s Starship Enterprise?

Shatner: Vince McMahon would have been great on the Enterprise. We talk every so often, and he had a writer that I knew and cared about and I’d worked with. That writer has since died, but he was responsible for a lot of the best plot lines. McMahon has created a form of entertainment that is very amusing, and it is both antiquated and brand new.

SI.com: What was your original connection to Vince McMahon and WWE?

Shatner: I had written, produced, and directed TekWar, which was a detective story from the future. One of the publicists said, ‘I can get you on WWE out of Texas, and they’re on the hour before TekWar goes on and it will be great publicity and a great intro. So I went down there and tossed Jerry Lawler out of the ring. Thank God he jumped as high as he could with only a little assistance from me, and out of the ring he went. I had the best time with the entire wrestling world. Since then, I’ve loved coming back. I introduced Jerry Lawler at the Hall of Fame, and got booed. The people didn’t want to see a Hollywood fake in there, they wanted to see a real person. But I’ve had the best time with them, and they want me to come back and do a number of projects, and I’m looking for the time to do it.

SI.com: The “William Shatner Sings Superstar Entrance Theme Songs” is iconic in the world of wrestling. How did that come together? Did you have a personal favorite among the entrance songs to sing?

Shatner: Someone from WWE asked me to do it, but it was one of those things where sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn’t. It turned out to be great fun. My favorite song was John Cena’s. He is a guy I know, and since Lawler is retired now, Cena is my favorite wrestler, even though he’s more of an actor now.

SI.com: Which is more iconic: Star Trek or Star Wars? And were you ever approached for a role in Star Wars?

Shatner: I understand the question and why someone would ask it. Star Wars is operatic and grand and wonderful, and filled with legend. And Star Trek, being the essence of great science fiction is dealing with the human story and imagining what the human condition will be like in a period of time from now. I have a new book, “Zero-G,” which takes a look at the FBI fifty years from now and law enforcement in space. There is a doomsday machine that gets out of hand and strange happenings in laboratories orbiting the Earth, and it’s great science fiction, which is mythological and seeking to explain the unexplainable: time travel, little green men, warping speed. All these things, which are practically impossible, but theoretically possible, are the meat for the science fiction in Star Trek, which is different than the legendary, large way of portraying it in Star Wars.

Regarding a role in Star Wars, no, they never asked me. If they did, maybe I’d put on a beard and do something.

SI.com: Are you still in awe of the popularity of the original Star Trek? And what was your inspiration for the “Shatner’s World” tour?

Shatner: The first Star Trek episode was exhibited in 1966, and it’s gone on continuously ever since. After the last segment, nobody expected it to go on like it has. They burned the set, they burned the ship because they didn’t want to pay for it in storage. It’s a phenomenon, but your career is the career you deserve. That’s your journey, and now I’m thrilled to bring my joy-of-life one-man show to different venues. I love to perform this show, and my connection with the people is very meaningful to me.

I realized I was traveling a lot with this tour when I realized I knew all the names of the TSA guards at the airport as they’d pat me down. I’ve been doing my one-man show, and I’ve been flying to one place, renting a car, and then driving to all of my other stops. It’s like I’m a garage band or a minstrel: arrive at the venue in time for a sound check, then do my performance. It’s also a challenge on stage—I get an immediate response from the audience, one I work very hard to garner. There is such joy in doing a tour—this is right out of how it used to be on the Orpheum Circuit. I’m thrilled to bring this joy-of-life show to the people.

Tweet of the Week

Somewhere, in an alternate universe, CM Punk is on Raw as WWE champion and the Chicago Cubs just finished the season last in the National League Central.

Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.

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