The Latest Episodes of INSIGHT with Chris Van Vliet
April 28, 2023

AskCVV #5 - Do I Like The New World Heavyweight Championship?, Toughest Interview, Advice For My Younger Self

AskCVV #5 - Do I Like The New World Heavyweight Championship?, Toughest Interview, Advice For My Younger Self

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Here we go again with another edition of #AskCVV! Chris Van Vliet answers questions that were submitted on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube from Insight listeners just like you and you sent in some GREAT ones this time around. 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 some of the questions from this month:


What was your initial reaction to the unveiling of the brand new WWE World Heavyweight Championship? 

“I gotta be honest, I think it looks amazing. It's a perfect mix for me of that old school design, a throwback to the classic big gold with a new spin on it. So I love it. And I think that, I hate to say it, but I think the WWE has dropped the ball with a lot of their belts. I mean, I think that four years ago, almost to the day, actually four years ago, everyone kind of laughed and giggled when Mick Foley unveiled the 24/7 championship. And obviously, they have done away with that now, but I saw this belt and I went, Yes. And that's actually a championship that I would want to purchase. And it's been a long time since I've wanted to add another belt to my collection. I know we're not supposed to call them belts, right Vince McMahon, but I'll call it a belt, belt, title, championship. All the same thing, right? You know what I'm talking about. But I understand, I understand where he's coming from. I understand when Vince says it's not a belt, because a belt is what's used to hold your pants up. It's a title. It is a championship and it's prestigious. But I love the look of this. My only problem here, it's not to do with the design of the belt at all. But here's what my problem is, whenever the big gold or the WWE World Heavyweight Championship comes back into the picture. For me, it's never the world title being the number one being the top prize. The WWE Championship, or the two titles that Roman has right now, that will always be looked at by fans as like the main prize. And then unfortunately, I think that the World Heavyweight Championship ends up being this secondary belt, the secondary championship, and I just think that it's unfortunate. Like there's a lot of superstars and I'm sure that some names pop into your head right now that have won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but haven't ever become the WWE Champion. So it's like okay, they were so close, but they got the world title, but they didn't get the WWE Championship. So my issue here is whoever holds the two belts, and I'm hoping, at some point soon, that those two belts hopefully soon become just one belt. But whoever has those championships right now, it's Roman Reigns, and it has been Roman Reigns for like, almost three years now. Whoever holds those belts or that championship, or championships, but whoever has that title is like the main person. And then I just, it's so unfortunate to me that the World Heavyweight Champion becomes like one tier down from that. So that's my only issue with this whole thing. And I know the WWE wants us to believe that they're both in the same tier, but they're not. And fans will never look at it that way. Fans will always be like, oh, yeah, that's cool that he won the World title, but that's only the World Heavyweight Championship. And it's also kind of unfortunate, because that championship comes from this, you know, incredible history. Think of all the names that have won that championship, and it just kind of sucks that in 2023, that that title gets introduced. And it's like, it's not, it's not thetitle. So that's my issue with it. I think that the design is beautiful. The meaning behind it, though, I just, I just feel like it's a little bit lacking. And I hope I'm wrong, I hope I'm wrong. But it just seems to me that whoever is fighting for the main titles are the main focus, you feel where I’m coming from here. but the championship itself, I think they nailed it. I think they did such a good job here.”

Who would win in a shoot James Bond or Jason Bourne? Not the actors, just the characters?

“I mean, I think we gotta we got a lot of questions we gotta ask here, like which version of Bond? Because I feel like the Daniel Craig version of Bond would annihilate all of the other versions of Bond. But I think if it were really to come down to it, if we've got Jason Bourne, who was Matt Damon, I guess, in most of the movies, except for that one, you know, I'm talking about where it was Jeremy Renner. If I think if it's a fight here, a one-on-one fight. It goes to Jason Bourne easily. Like James Bond, he's innovative, he's obviously great at convincing people and an incredible conversationalist. But Jason Bourne is like a government killing machine. Like, I don't think that anyone could top that. So I'm going with Jason Bourne here. I love those movies. I think that Matt Damon absolutely nailed that role. And he's one of those actors that played that role so well that you can't even like picture it being played in that version, without giving too much away here. You can't imagine being played in that version by anybody else. I mean, this really isn't a spoiler alert, but I guess we find out that there's more than one Jason Bourne, right? That Jason Bourne is just like an identity given to these types of people. Okay, all I'm saying. So, I'm going to Jason Bourne here.”

Since Cody will probably win the World Championship, who do you think will be the guy to dethrone Roman? 

“Well, I actually disagree here. I still think that Cody is going to finish the story with Roman Reigns. I think that Roman gets dethroned by Cody. I don't know when that happens, but it sure seems to me like WWE is lining up that somebody else will be winning the World Championship. And I think that if this were to take a left turn and veer off into a different direction, and Cody won the World Championship, I think it just kind of, you know, springboarding off of what I was saying earlier. I really think that this would take away from that whole chase that Cody has been on. So I still think that it's Cody, who dethrones Roman Reigns. Maybe that's a SummerSlam thing, maybe I don't know. It's crazy. Maybe it's not till WrestleMania 40 Next year in Philly, but I think that the next person to hold the WWE Championship, that the two titles that Roman has, that will be Cody Rhodes.” 

What's your favorite place that you've ever visited?

“I've been so fortunate to be able to travel to a lot of different places. So I'll give you, I'll give you two, I'll give you two. But there's a lot. And there's a lot of places that I haven't been to yet. And there's a lot of honorable mentions here. So if I don't list where you live, right, if I don't list your favorite destination, it doesn't mean that I don't love it. Like I love Australia. Love it. But I need to go back there. I haven’t been to Australia for over 10 years, so that would definitely be a place I need to revisit. But I think number one for me is Hawaii, there's something so magical about Hawaii, like from the second you get off the plane, and by the way, like the closest American city to Hawaii, the closest mainland American city to Hawaii is Los Angeles or like that's a relatively in quotes quick flight because it's like five and a half hours. So it's five and a half hours into the middle of the Pacific Ocean. And then you get off the plane. And there's just something about being there. The energy there, like the people are so kind they talk about the aloha spirit that people are so kind there. And it's just a beautiful place with beautiful scenery and so lush. So Hawaii is great, I've had so many beautiful memories there. I was most recently there last year with, she was just my girlfriend at the time before we were even engaged, and now we're married. But I went with Rachel, we just had an amazing time, the time it was there before that was when I was interviewing The Rock, Kevin Hart and Jack Black for a little movie called Jumanji. So that was another great memory there. But there's just something about Hawaii. And all the islands have a bit of a different feel there. I love Maui. I love Kawaii and obviously spent a lot of time in Oahu because that's where Honolulu is. I just love Hawaii. So Hawaii is number one and then Paris is such a special place. And there's something about the sun, which is the river there and seeing the Eiffel Tower light up. And the food and the people and the wine and the atmosphere. I need to go back to Paris, that is high on my list of places I want to go back to. But then there's like the dream list of like where have you not been that you want to go to? Iceland is really high on that list. I've never been to Japan. And before the world shut down. Will Osprey invited me to go to Wrestle Kingdom with him. Obviously Wrestle Kingdom didn't happen that year because the world shut down. But I was so ready to take him up on that invitation because I've never been to Japan and I would love to do that. So there's a few destinations. I of course love London, and before the world shut down I was in London, three, four or five times a year doing different interviews and different movies. I kind of mentioned this. But yeah, part of my real job as an entertainment reporter is not just interviewing celebrities, but going to see movies early. I'm a movie critic, I vote on the Critics Choice Awards. I'm part of the Critics Choice association. So as I'm recording this right now, as soon as this is done, I'm going to drive into Burbank, that it's just outside of Los Angeles. And I'm going to a screening of Guardians of the Galaxy three. So I get to see the movie like two weeks before it comes out. And I'm super stoked about that. So when I'm allowed to talk about it, I can let you know what I think about it. I think right now there's an embargo that you can't, you know, give your thoughts or your reaction or your review on it. But all of that is to say that I would love to go back to London to do some more interviews there.” 

Favorite thing about any indie that you don't get at big WWE and AEW shows? 

“I would say the biggest thing is the interaction that you get with the wrestlers. Like they are right there. A you know, bad seat and putting that in quotations at an indie show is like the fourth row. So you're right there, you can hear everything that is going on in the ring, you can smell the sweat. I know that's probably not an attractive thing, but you feel like you're part of the show. And then during intermission, and then before the show and after the show, you've got a chance to interact with all of the superstars on the card, all of the wrestlers that are working that show and I think that that's what's really cool about it, they're accessible. And that's not to say that they're not accessible at a WWE show or an AEW show but you've got to be sitting like first or second row for them to even have a chance to like, you know, give you a high five as they walked by. And to do like an autograph signing or meet and greet, that's a completely different event. So I think that what you don't get at those bigger shows that you do get in your shows, is just a real community feeling there. You feel like you and however many other people are in the crowd, whether that's a few 100 or 1000 people, you feel like you're part of something special that's happening that night. I would equate it to like going to see your favorite band at an intimate venue or going to see your favorite comedian at the local Comedy Store improv, whatever it happens to be. And you're seeing them with, you know, 100, 200, 300 other people, rather than going to see them on an arena with 5000 or 10,000, or sometimes even 20,000 people. So I just think there's something special about that atmosphere.”

Does the wrestling you watch change depending on who you're interviewing? 

“I would say the wrestling that I watch on a regular basis doesn't really change. But if I'm interviewing someone, likeI’ll give you an example, I recently did an interview with Bubba Ray Dudley, Billy Ray, whatever you want to call him. So I was like, man, some of his best stuff was in WWE, obviously, was in ECW, he's now doing stuff with IMPACT and NWA. So I'm watchingIMPACT and NWA now. But I was like, Man, I want to go back and watch some of like his best moments, like his greatest hits. So it's more of like a diving back into the archives. And seeing like, man, what are the moments that everybody talks about with that person? And you might have noticed with the videos that I've been putting out on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube shorts, Tik Tok. I'm trying to like dig into, like, what are the moments everybody talks about what that person like Dolph Ziggler is a great example. So fortunate to be able to sit down with him for the 16th time for the interview that we did recently. And one of my favorite moments with Dolph is his Money in the Bank cash-in on Alberto Del Rio. And I went back and I rewatched, the moment I felt all of the things that I felt when I watched that for the first time, so that was a really cool thing. So I would say that the day to day week to week stuff that I watch doesn't really change that much. But I love to go back and brush up on the best moments, and I don't want to miss anything there.”

What's the toughest interview that you ever had to do? 

“Man the one that pops into my mind here is I was covering the red carpet for a movie called The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. Which is probably not a movie that, you know, you really know of. It's a deep cut. But the reason that this movie is so important is because it was the last movie that Heath Ledger filmed before he passed away. So I was covering the red carpet for this. And you know, obviously, one of the biggest things that you want to talk to the cast about was like, what was it like when you found out that he had passed away? What were your memories like working with him? So that was really difficult phrasing those questions and look, red carpet is a bit like a party. Like it's a premiere, it's a celebration of like, all of our hard work is going to be shown to everybody for the first time here. This is exciting. And for this thing to be looming over it, of the death of the star of this movie, in fact, he passed away during the filming of this movie, and they got other actors to play his role in the film. They did a really good job with that, but like, this is a big party juxtaposed with like, while we're celebrating the performances in this movie, and we're paying tribute to Heath Ledger, you know, we're also remembering that he's not with us anymore. So I remember talking to Verne Troyer may Verne Troyer Rest in peace, and he's in that movie and I was like asking him about his like, favorite memories of Heath Ledger and where he was when he found out that he had passed away. So yeah, that was a difficult one. And that's a while ago. So I'm actually pulling this up. Yeah, that movie came out in 2009 But Heath Ledger was the star of that movie when he passed away. His role was played by Johnny Depp and Colin Farrell and Jude Law. So, you know, three incredibly talented actors filling the shoes of the incredibly talented Heath Ledger who was taken away from us far, far too soon. So that was a tough one. But a great film and yeah, just a really, really interesting situation. I feel like I learned a lot from that, from that experience there. So yeah, that's a really good question. Thank you for that.” 

How did you know that she was the one, and that you were ready to propose?

“Well, Rachel is so special. My wife, Rachel, is so special, and she's just the greatest person that I've ever met. And I know it's gonna sound cliche. And I know that before I met Rachel, and people would say this. I was like, Man, that sounds real nice and you roll your eyes. But honestly, when you know, you know. And I know, that's super cliche, but seriously, when you know, you know. And when I met Rachel, and we met on our first date, and if you go back and listen to the podcast that we did, the last episode of last year, we talked about this, we met at a rooftop in Huntington Beach. It was supposed to be for like a drink and just like a first date, and like, meet each other. And it ended up turning into like us spending like five hours together and the conversation just flowed, and like, I just felt like this is someone that I had known my whole life. And, yeah, just everything about it just felt so right. And I've never questioned anything about it since the second I met her. Actually, I don't even know if I've talked about this, but even before the moment I met her, I was like, trying to look for a parking spot in this huge garage. And I was getting a little bit lost, I've never been to this place before and I felt terrible, because I was running a little bit late. And I I pride myself on always being on time and always being like super respectful of people's time. And I was running a little bit late. And I was like, Hey, I'm just finding the parking, I'm heading over there, I'll be there soon. And I was walking out of the parking garage and I saw her from a distance. I was like on level two, and she was on the ground floor. And I saw her from a distance and I just went wow! Wow, she's amazing. So she took my breath away before I even met her, and then I did meet her and she's the best. And as I stand here right now and record this, because I'm standing right now, in my closet, because the acoustics are really good in here. As I stand here, right now, we're about a month away from our daughter being born. And I'm just so excited to see Rachel as a mom, I feel like she was put on this earth to be a mom. And I'm so excited about that. So that is my long way of saying I am a lucky, lucky man to have such an incredible wife and incredible partner, and incredible mother to our daughter. So super exciting.”

What's a regional thing that you've tried everywhere that you've lived and it's just not for you? 

“Man, as you know, I've lived in a lot of different places. So I'm from Pickering, Ontario, Canada, went to university in Waterloo, Ontario, so you know, an hour and a half ish west of Pickering. And then after that lived in Toronto, Vancouver, Cleveland, Miami bought a house in Fort Lauderdale. I lived in Cincinnati, Los Angeles, and now we live in Orange County. So I've lived in a lot of different places. And I will tell you the regional thing that I tried that I was like, I don't know what are you guys talking about here. And I know I'm gonna get a lot of angry people because of this. But Skyline chilli in Cincinnati, it's just not for me. It is just not for me. It's not even chilli, it's like spaghetti sauce, and they serve it with a tonne of spaghetti. Then they put on this soupy sauce. It's not chilli and then they give you about 73 pounds of cheese on top of that. So it's a lot, and I was just like I was expecting chilli like I was expecting like the chilli you get in a bowl and you eat on a cold day and that was not what this was. So the Skyline Chilli, and look, this is the thing, people in that area love it, swear by it and eat it all the time. I tried it twice and I was just like this is not for me. I'm so sorry, I was expecting something different. And even though I was expecting something different this did not deliver. So I apologise for not enjoying it but Skyline chilli. It's not for me. And I'm gonna get a lot of hate from this. But I'm just saying, that's it. Skyline chilli, not for me.” 

Will you ever move to New York City? 

“That's such an interesting question. Because I just talked about all the places that I've lived. And I feel like for me, I went from Cleveland, to Miami, Cleveland to South Florida. And I was like, and I moved in December. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I'm never gonna have to see winter ever again. I'm never gonna have to shovel snow ever again, I'm never gonna have to deal with icy roads ever again. I spent five years in South Florida and love the weather. I love palm trees, there's something about being around palm trees. It's just, it's a nice reminder that the weather is nice. You know where I live right now. It's like, quote unquote, cold when it's 50 degrees Fahrenheit, which is like, I don't know, do the math real quick, like 10 Celsius. I don't even know if that's correct. I should probably look that up. Because we've got all the world's information in front of us. Let's see 50 degrees Fahrenheit to Celsius it is 10 Oh my god. It's exactly 10. Wow. What a guess! Wow! That's better than a guess, that is just knowledge right there. So all of that is to say that I don't really want to live somewhere this cold again. And I know that after I left Florida, I lived in Cincinnati for nine months well technically lived in Northern Kentucky. It didn't snow at all that winter. So the entire winter whenever, there's like a few flurries, but it didn't snow that entire winter. And then I moved to Los Angeles and Southern California. And I'm like, Man, I just don't know if I could ever escape. Like I don't know if I'd ever want to escape the beautiful warm weather. But why this is interesting, is because Rachel is from New Jersey. She's from Sussex County, New Jersey, for anybody who's familiar with the area. And that's relatively speaking, close ish to Manhattan, like maybe an hour or so away, you know, give or take. So it's like, alright, I don't know, I don't know what the next like steps are for us. I don't know if I've ever like said this publicly. But I love living in California. I just think that there are some other things like, you know, when we’ve got to a small child, that will be our responsibility in a month. I think there's some, you know, priorities change. And her family is in that area, in the New Jersey area. My family is not far away, like a six hour drive from there in Canada. And it's like, it might be nice to be a little bit closer to family. But that's the trade off, right? It's the trade off of yes, we're closer to family, and yes, you can get a lot more house for your dollars, a lot more bang for your buck. But it's like what about the weather? Man, what about that weather? I don't know. So the answer to your question is maybe, maybe.” 

What advice would your 40 year old self give to your 30 year old self? 

“What am I now three weeks away from my 40th birthday? Also three weeks away from the big goal. You know, I want to be in the best shape of my life by my 40th birthday and we are definitely, we're dialling it in. We're dialling it in, all the abs are back, and it's just a matter now of dialling this in even more so big shout out to AJ Sims, my nutritionist who I've been working with. We've been working real hard on this. He's @Cementfactory on Instagram. If you want to check him out. He's done the transformations for a lot of your favorite wrestlers like Apollo Crews and Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, EC3, Rockstar Spud. So all of this is leading up to the 40th Birthday Bash of my life, going to be a father right around that time, May 21 is the due date, it’s coming up. So excited, so excited. The advice that my 40 year old self would give to my 30 year old self is just have patience. I feel like especially in my 20’s and definitely when I was 30 you want stuff to happen right now. And the advice I would give is, have patience. And it's interesting that sometimes things don't work out the way you thought they were supposed to work out. And then you realise a year or 2 or 5 or 10 later and you go, Oh, wow, hmm, that happened to allow for this to happen now. So I would just say be patient. And what's really interesting about that, and you know me, you know that I say vague goals, get vague results, specific goals, get specific results. But let's say your goal is you want 10,000 followers on Instagram, this is a very arbitrary example. And you're at 5,000. So like, oh my gosh, I want to double my followers, huge, that’d be amazing. Once you get to, like 9,600 followers, it now becomes inevitable that you're gonna get to 10,000. And you're like, oh, wow, 10,000 doesn't seem that exciting anymore and you move the goalposts. And I find that really interesting that the goal you've set is an achievable goal. 10,000. But you know, in the next 12 months, whatever happens to be 10,000 in six months, and then you get close, and you go, Oh, yeah, I'm gonna do that. So the goal is no longer 10,000, it's 15,000 or 20,000. And I'm just saying that, like, patience. Maybe set a bigger goal. Two words that Tyler Perry told me that I'll never forget, was dream bigger. Stop setting such low goals for yourself, dream bigger, and like shoot for something that's bigger than what you think could ever be possible. So that is the advice that I would give myself.”