WWE | Pro Wrestling

Looking At The Premiere Pro Wrestling Podcasts

I had a busy couple weeks and I truly realized it when I looked at my phone and realized how far behind I was on my wrestling podcasts.

I first heard about podcasting back in 2007, when my college offered a 1-hour podcasting mini-course. I was unsure as to how this would become something relevant and thus I dismissed it. With hindsight having perfect vision, I now realize that I really missed out on an awesome opportunity, especially as I started my own podcast last fall.

I learned of Colt Cabana around the same time I knew of all the “indie stars” of the early aughts. I knew about Bryan Danielson, Low Ki, Spanky, etc in 2001 after hearing about their success in the ECWA Super 8. Then 2003 was when I discovered the next set through Ring of Honor, people like Paul London, CM Punk, and the aforementioned Cabana.

I became aware of Colt Cabana’s podcast sometime probably about four years ago. I read a column in Pro Wrestling Illustrated that took a look at it. At that point, I had already gone through the ups and down of being a Cabana fan. I knew that he was a talented “funny guy” in ROH and that his success there didn’t translate that well to WWE.

And then I found out that Cabana was doing a podcast. I didn’t immediately jump into listening to it, but I caught bits here and there. Then, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin started a relationship with Podcast One and I instantly became a fan. Austin built up his following and Chris Jericho followed suit. Jim Ross jumped on the bandwagon and apparently “Rowdy” Roddy Piper will soon be getting his own show.

There are other wrestling podcasts, hosted by personalities from the business or journalists. I’ve listened to those. Not a huge fan. With that said, here are a few thoughts on the the premier wrestling podcasts, for those on the fence about jumping in and finally listening.

The Art of Wrestling – Colt Cabana started it and continues to help shape the wrestler-podcast genre. Cabana has flirted with the “big time” but for the most part has settled into his role of being the top indie star in the nation. Live from the studio… apartment, Cabana talks about what’s going on in the wrestling world and brings on a guest. Cabana has conversations with his guests, and they go places you wouldn’t expect. The recent Buff Bagwell episode is especially deep, with Bagwell opening up about his past drug abuse. An interview with the Miz was notable for Cabana pointing out that once the interview started he watched Mike transform into the Miz and wanted him to come out of character.

The Steve Austin Show – With two versions of his show, a family-friendly version and one for the adults, Austin tries to grab both audiences. Really, the only difference is one show says things like “son of a buck” and the other doesn’t. Austin has really surprised me with how well he turned into an interviewer. It would have been easy for Austin to coast through this, but he’s not “Stone Cold” here. Austin takes notes and tries to keep a format. Although, he has thrown that format aside and said he and his guest would “call it in the ring.” Austin announced recently that Undertaker agreed to be on his podcast. That was before his injury at WrestleMania XXX, so we’ll see what happens with that.

Talk Is JerichoChris Jericho has been one of my favorite wrestlers since I first saw him in WCW and then went back and learned of his globe-trotting prior stints. With that said, though, it took me a while to warm up to his podcast. And, I think that was because Jericho was trying to find his identity. He got more experience and became a better interviewer. Some of his humor is a little sophomoric, but I’m sure some people like hearing Jericho pretend to interview John Oates’ mustache. Y2J stays true to his wrestling roots, but he expands out to the mainstream more than the other podcasts, with recent guests including Howie Mandell, Eli Roth, and Maria Menounos.

The Ross Report – Good Ol’ JR jumped into the podcast ring after his WWE tenure was over. Jim Ross is relatively new to the podcasting game, but he is obviously not new to using his voice to tell stories. JR is still getting the hang of this new world, which he has mentioned several times in the early episodes. The only real turnoff for me is JR’s faux enthusiasm when doing the commercials. I think he’s going for the same vibe as his popular “Skittles” plugs from a decade ago, but it doesn’t quite hit the mark. Still, JR has had a HOF-worthy lineup of guest so far, with Austin, Mick Foley, Trish Stratus, Lita, DDP, and Jake Roberts all stopping by. I have no doubt that the greatest announcer of all time will only get better and better as a podcast personality.

If you like getting into the heads of brilliant people, check these out. Don’t limit yourselves to just these four. There are so many different options out there for any type of wrestling fan. Get listening. And, also, I appreciate you guys listening to me. As Colt Cabana would say, thanksssssssss.

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