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Grapplin’ With Bobby Roode

by Mike Tenay / Los Angeles Kings

Bobby Roode currently performs for TNA – Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, which starts on Destination America the first week of January 2015.  The native of Canada currently works as that company’s World Heavyweight Champion.

Roode recently answered these questions for

Q: Can you talk about your love of hockey?

A: When it comes to sports, hockey is my number one favorite without question. Growing up in Canada, I played hockey from the time I was 3 years old. I played competitively until I was 20, so hockey has always been a part of my life. My kids play it now and I'm involved in that as well. I watch games all the time and keep up with the NHL standings, teams and players. Definitely hockey is my number one love when it comes to sports.

Q: Being Canadian, isn't it sort of a birthright to love hockey?

A: Absolutely. Every single Canadian in some way, shape or form is connected to the game of hockey. It's our national pastime. Every Saturday night everybody surrounds their TV with their family to watch Hockey Night In Canada. Ever since I was a kid watching it with my dad it has been a big part of my life.

Q: Seeing what Kings accomplished the last three years ... how impressive is it?

A: It's a dynasty. Such great teams. You have to immediately think of their coaching. Sutter is unbelievable. He's put together such a great team and the GM has done a great job. I remember watching LA when LA was nothing. When Gretzky got there, he made it such a huge market. The Kings have done so well, especially the last three years winning the two Cups. It's been great for hockey.

Q: Who is your favorite Kings player and why?

A: All time its Wayne Gretzky and Luc Robitaille. When I was 18-20 I was a defenseman, so present day you have to respect a guy like Muzzin who is such a big guy, a stay at home defenseman who doesn't do a lot of things flashy but does a great job on the back end. Doughty is unbelievable the way he moves the puck the way he does and quarterbacks the power play. Another great guy that comes to mind is Justin Williams. He's from Cobourg, Ontario about 30 minutes from where I grew up. He's such a clutch player, a big game player. So good up and down the wing.

Q: Are you a proponent of fighting in the NHL?

A: Absolutely. It's part of the game. I know you'll get an argument from a lot of people, but the way I look at it, it's been a part of the game. When it comes down to fighting it's a respect thing. I just don't see how you can take that out of the game. As far as I know, there's not as much fighting this year. I think it's slowed down a little bit. With fighting you can police the game a little better. The Tier 2 Junior A Leagues around here have taken fighting out completely. You fight and you get a game misconduct. So you have a lot of guys using the stick a lot more and getting away with it. Back in the day if you had your top player out there you would send your policeman out to send a message. I think you still need that in the game and I think it's entertaining.

Q: Hockey and wrestling are known for toughness. Who is toughest hockey player you have met or watched from afar?

A: I'm a big Detroit Red Wings fan, so obviously one of my favorite players of all time was Bob Probert. Back in the day he was a policeman for Yzerman and he was able to drop the mitts and get the job done. But he was also able to put the puck in the net. You can go out and fight, but also you need to be able to play the game. Probert was able to do that and he's definitely one of my all-time favorite tough guys.

Q: Who is toughest guy you have wrestled?

A: I've wrestled a lot of tough guys but I think hands down and pound for pound the toughest guy is probably Kurt Angle. Athletically and physically Kurt Angle has never been out of his prime. He can still go. He takes a beating and still comes back. So powerful and so athletic.

Q: Who on the TNA roster would make the worst hockey player?

A: No doubt about it, it's Robbie E. He's built like a swimmer. With his legs he wouldn't be able to skate at all. Not the most powerful looking legs, so his skating ability wouldn't be that great. Plus helmets are mandatory and I don't think he could put on a helmet. They would have to make a special helmet for him. It would take him 7 hours just to put the hockey equipment on. It would be a disaster, but I'd love to see it.

Q: Which knockout would be best ice skater or hockey player?

A: You have to think Canadians. Gail Kim and Angelina Love. I don't think Gail is much of a hockey fan as Angelina Love is. So when it comes to knowing the game and knowing the sport I think Angelina would be able to play.

Q: How much NHL do you get to watch on the road?

A: It's hard when you are on the road. Obviously our shows are in the evening when a lot of the games are on unless you are watching a West Coast game. It's not easy but if you are on the road with EY (Eric Young), he's got the IPad out with the NHL Network going. If you are on the road with him or in the locker room with him you can catch a lot of the games. But obviously the schedule doesn't work out all the time.

Q: Who is your favorite team?

A: My dad and my whole family are Toronto Maple Leafs fans because we are so close to Toronto. Watched every game every Saturday night. I grew up on them. But I'm from Peterborough, Ontario and we have the Peterborough Petes our hometown OHL team. Steve Yzerman was one of the biggest names to come through here playing his junior hockey here. Where I grew up, Steve's billet house when he played with the Petes was a block away from me. When I was a kid I would see Steve walking to the rink for practices and games. And I became a big Steve Yzerman fan. And when he went to the Detroit Red Wings and had an unbelievable career becoming one of the greatest NHL players of all time I became a Red Wings fan.

Q: Who are your favorite players today and why?

A: Obviously Sidney Crosby stands out. He's having a great season so far. He's come back from the concussions and problems in past. He's such a huge name for the game, the Penguins and the league. I love Tatar from Red Wings. Last month I went to Detroit to watch a game and he's a joy to watch. Obviously Datsyuk is awesome as well.

Las Vegas-based Mike Tenay is on twitter @RealMikeTenay.  A long-time contributor to the Kings, his full-time job has him serving as the Impact Wrestling announcer (which starts on Destination America the first week of January 2015).  Follow Roode on Twitter @REALBobbyRoode

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