Sam Roberts recently caused a bit of controversy when he openly criticized NXT Superstar Bianca Belair. Roberts appeared on the NXT Takeover: Phoenix panel, where he commented on Belair’s impending match against Shayna Baszler for the NXT Women’s Championship.
Sam was very critical of Belair, suggesting that she didn’t deserve the title shot against Baszler. Many WWE fans believed that Roberts was perhaps instructed to stir things up on the pre-show, but judging from his recent interview with Booker T, that may not be the case.
“I told the truth. Everybody before the show is saying ‘just be Sam, give your opinion, be Sam, give your opinion.’ And I’m like, okay, I don’t know exactly how this message is going to come across, but I think you could tell-anybody watching the Takeover pre-show, could tell-it’s not like those words were crafted ahead of time. It was just like, let me just say what I feel right now. This is what you asked for.”
Roberts then commented on whether or not he, or perhaps his character, was turning heel for TV.
“I don’t know if I’m a natural heel.
I didn’t say she wasn’t talented. I didn’t say that one day Bianca Belair is not going to possibly be the NXT champion. I said not tonight. And then we get to Takeover and the match happens and everybody’s like, oh do you take that back, cuz she had a good match? And I said, is she the champion? No.”
It seems a bit unclear if Roberts is indeed being honest about whether or not he was serious. He claims that he wasn’t directed but it’s hard to believe that WWE would allow him to make such comments about a talent unless he had indeed been given the green light to do so.