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Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard

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That first year or so was the best. Bruce was still guarded about opening up, but he was having fun with the voices - and we all sort of got to watch them find their niche within the topics. The Macho episode, the Jarrett profile, the steroid trial, the Vader and Pillman spotlights all immediately spring to mind.

I also enjoyed the Bob Holly and Beefcake(!) shows, although I know interest may vary there.

I don't know. Bruce's show has mostly just felt like a retread a lot lately. We've all touched on it before, but really - the fact that Conrad keeps selecting the same subjects from the same time period over & over again doesn't do them any favors whatsoever.

With all that being said, I endured the SummerSlam 99 episode as background noise. I thought I'd be done with the show after that Jericho abomination, but sometimes I just put on whatever comes up in my rotation. So there we were.

Anyway, yeah. You nailed it. There was really nothing new to be found. I also noticed the saltiness whenever Conrad mentioned JR, but you already touched on that.

The other interesting thing I heard was when Bruce actually agreed(!) with Austin's idea that a match with Billy Gunn was a dead end. It was an ice cold issue. It was, as Bruce said, "just a match for the sake of a match."

Funnily enough, that's how I perceive every WWE card these days. All up and down the card, it's just matches for the sake of matches.

So we can get to more rematches.

But I digress. The SummerSlam 2004 show was fairly decent. I think it helps that those shows don't feel quite as overexposed, although we're getting there.

The 04 series wasn't doing anything for me up until Mania XX. Everything since has been at least worth listening to.

It does bug me a bit that Bruce feels the need to pretend Eddie was acting perfectly okay, even after everyone from Konnan and Rey to Chavo and Jericho have openly discussed Eddie's manic depression and anxiety issues on podcasts elsewhere. For years.

I understand it's a touchy subject with Bruce, and the dude is always going to defend his friends to the end - Eddie, Booker, Taker, Layfield, etc. But yeah. I'd really like to hear JR sink his teeth into something like Eddie's struggles with his insecurity and whatnot.

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Do people actually enjoy Prichard's constant shitting on the dirt sheets? I don't necessarily have an issue with him pushing back on reports and commentary from those publications, but Bruce seems incapable of straying from the same few responses to pretty much anything that came from Meltzer or Keller:

1) "If it'd happened in the Tokyo Dome..."

2) "Rumor and innuendo"

3) "Yeah, because they were there."

4) "Says the guy who has never promoted/booked a company/match in his life."

It's such lazy and uninspired nonsense. And if it's so horrific, then maybe Conrad should quit lifting 90 percent of his "research" from those two sources. It's one thing to pick a news item from one of them and ask Bruce about it, though we can't expect a good-faith response from Bruce anyway. But there's no need to cite Dave or Wade's thoughts on matches from the show Bruce and Conrad are covering. It's just more lazy setups from Conrad to get Bruce riled up. 

And not that Bruce has a lot of credibility to me when it comes to pushing back on the dirt sheets for the reasons stated above, but he really loses me when he can't even concede on actual facts reported from those guys. In the Summerslam 89 watch-along, Conrad talks about how Wade reports that the Bobby Heenan show on PTW is doing lousy ratings and Bruce hems and haws about that, even though the poor ratings cannot be disputed. It's even more tiring now that Conrad has all but given up on challenging Bruce in these instances.

I dunno, it's just really tiring and can really affect me enjoyment of any given episode. I don't care for the watch-along episodes anyway, but I love SS 89, so I went in really wanting to enjoy this week's episode. But all that really stuck with me is how fixated Bruce is on Meltzer and Keller. 

Elsewhere, the show was pretty bland, as it seems like we've heard most of the stories told during it in previous episodes. 

Looks like they're heading back to 1997 and 1999 in the coming weeks, which is going to feel like more retread since it seems like they've covered 97-99 from virtually every angle through both the PPV-centric episodes and the superstar profile shows.

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The show knows its audience--people who love to rag on Dave.  It's why his Twitter trolls feel the need to mention Bruce, Conrad, and Bischoff in the tweet whenever they respond to one of Dave's tweets by trolling him.  Look at the typical responses to any of Dave's tweets.  At least one of the responses is going to have someone responding and @'ing Bruce, Conrad's, or Bischoff's Twitters, sometimes all three, as if they want them to respond and troll Dave more.  This is the audience Conrad earned, he knows where his bread is buttered at this point.

The constant dirt sheet whining is what turned me off on the show entirely.

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There was a decent topic on Wreddit about this topic. All three podcasts have become very generic and samey for sure.

 

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Pretty much sums it up. Conrad's podcasts have jumped the shark a while ago for me. I have loved Schiavone's debut and the good first tier of Brucies, I really enjoyed a bunch of Bischoff's in-between the rants-o-rama and JR's was fun for a few weeks. And he's gonna do yet another one ? I'd be interested to see how the numbers of downloads have evolved for all these podcasts over the last two years.

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Meh. I agree with a lot of what's been said, but I still enjoy the occasional show here & there. JR's is the best of the bunch right now, for sure.

Several months back, Eric had a hot streak going with his podcast. It's truly been awhile since Bruce's was anything great, although I admit I've dug some of the 2004 stuff this year.

The podcasts are free. They cost nothing. They're harmless background noise during the course of my week - whether it be for a gym session, my commute, or just general chores. I'm not mad at them when they don't offer insightful or extraordinary content each & every single episode.

Of course we can still criticize and analyze them. That's part of the fun in being a fan. But come on. They're not changing the landscape of the fan base or anything. Trolls have always existed. Wrestling fans have always been an obnoxious swarm of pests. They didn't spring up because of Bruce or Conrad.

At the end of the day, I'm a lifelong wrestling fan - but, in 2019, I'd honestly prefer to listen to these podcasts about old wrestling than watch anything from 2019. I'd certainly say they hold at least the same level of consistency. But that's just me.

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Tapped out before they even got to the PPV portion. More Meltzer bashing, more talking about attendance/ratings in late summer 1997 (spoiler: not tremendously different than when they covered it in the Summerslam 97 and Canadian Stampede episodes), and a pretty tasteless Kamala "impression" during the Blue Chew spot. Too much to handle, especially when we're getting such a sanitized version of Bruce these days. Just boring.

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You're right though. These shows are so uninteresting and bland. They keep retreading the same terrain over & over. 97, 98, and 99 has been done to death. Even the 89 episode felt like that. I swear to God, I don't ever again need to hear Conrad lazily regurgitate the same "clever" line about Arn looking 40 years old since birth.

That's really the.Conrad shows in a nutshell right now. They feel like snippets and "best of" clips cobbled together. The same stuff keeps being read & repeated.

The 2004 shows have felt slightly fresher and new, because at least they're something different. Everything else is meh.

It's hard to complain too much when the content is free, but it's also very easy to step away and take a month or two off from listening to any of them.

Right now, I've dropped Eric's show and only occasionally try to catch up on these. The JR show is the only one I actively wait for week to week, and even that can be hit or miss.

Conrad's formula has become a little too repetitive in general. And his topic selections are too samey across the board. I can see how that makes it easier for guys like Bruce and Eric with their schedules, but woof.

It's essentially the audio equivalent of watching today's NXT to me. The stuff you're going to see this week is going to look and sound exactly like the stuff from last week. It's very paint by numbers. Instead of superkicks and thigh slaps & apron bumps, you're just getting a bunch of Meltzer bashing and results reading. That's all.

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Part of it too is that I'm just completely uninterested in hearing any more about the Monday Night Wars. Think of it this way: College classes started up again recently. A lot of the incoming class of freshmen weren't even alive while the MNW was going on. I enjoy history, so my point isn't that we should stop examining things just because they've been done with for a while. It's just that we've been poring over the MNW in earnest since probably 2004 and I just don't see much compelling discussion left for those of us who both lived through it and have stayed in tune with the dialogue about it since it ended.

I know feeling that way makes me a bit of an outlier among the podcast's fan base, so I get why Conrad and Bruce keep revisiting it. I just don't think we need a two-to-three hour podcast surrounding every PPV from that era, especially when the show has become so formulaic and tired. I could probably be open to coverage of these shows if Bruce could give the Meltzer shit a rest, Conrad could stop focusing on the same handful of talking points (i.e. I don't ever want to hear about attendance and buy rates year over year again).

I'm not sure what I even really expect at this point. I guess it's just that I preferred the more unstructured format of the earlier episodes before the template became reading from the supposedly awful dirt sheets and match results of a superstar's entire WWF run.

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Can anyone explain to me how it’s humanly possible for someone to have done podcasts with Flair, JR, Bruce Pritchard, Tony Schiavone etc and still to have learned so little about wrestling outside of WWE and WCW?

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It just comes down to a lack of curiosity, I would imagine. Conrad is one of those fans who has his favorite era and isn't too interested in delving any deeper into other eras or territories. The Houston episode was one of the stronger shows they did, but I recall Conrad not hiding at all how much he didn't want to do that topic, both when it came to polling and when the show finally got done as some sort of a bonus episode deal.

Just seems ridiculous when you consider that Bruce was around for that stuff, so why not, as a wrestling fan would you be so against covering it? Especially when a lot of the characters from Houston aren't alien to the scope of anyone who watched WWF/NWA in the 80s and early 90s.

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I remember Conrad doing a watchalong of Rumble 1990 with Schiavone. He moaned about the Valentine-Garvin match. He said if he'd paid for the ppv and these two non stars appeared he'd be pissed.

 

He's a fucking moron.

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Conrad has picked his lane and stayed in it.

You can be a wrestling fan without feeling this burning desire to organize a list of your top 100 GWE or argue the merits of Funk versus Flair versus Lawler versus Hansen or whatever.

I'm not saying one is superior to the other. But that's fandom. Not all movie fans are art-house critics. It happens.

With that being said, yeah. Of course there are times where I roll my eyes at something he says. Conrad has a very antiquated Scott Keith outlook on a lot of things.

But there are also times when he offers up an opinion - and you can tell he doesn't really quite know how to express why he likes something or what it is he's trying to say. And I find that fascinating, because it's part of the fun I have in watching wrestling with more casual fans. You can practically see the cogs turning, and they're digging something for all the same reasons as you - even if they can't quite explain why.

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44 minutes ago, SomethingSavage said:

You can be a wrestling fan without feeling this burning desire to organize a list of your top 100 GWE or argue the merits of Funk versus Flair versus Lawler versus Hansen or whatever.

I'm not saying one is superior to the other. But that's fandom. Not all movie fans are art-house critics. It happens.

Agreed. And considering some GWE analytical obsessive type have a pretty narrow way to look at things themselves (not pointing the finger at anyone in particular, it's just a fact), it's not only patronizing, it's also ridiculous.

And yeah, in 1990 in WWF, Valentine vs Garvin was totally a JTTS vs JTTS match, which is the perfect definition of non-star match.

That Conrad has a pretty mainstreamy taste is nothing new. How any time can we hear "X is one of the most underrated guy" and think "What ? He's been a consensus greatest worker forever now."

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I wasn't really thinking about being a fan in that sort of way, but rather his apparent inability to appreciate the old territories. Wouldn't be an issue if he was just some guy, but every Conrad podcast I've ever heard has a ton of wasted opportunities.

 

Someone like Dragon King Karl would be much better placed in most of those spots.

 

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2 hours ago, JerryvonKramer said:

I wasn't really thinking about being a fan in that sort of way, but rather his apparent inability to appreciate the old territories. Wouldn't be an issue if he was just some guy, but every Conrad podcast I've ever heard has a ton of wasted opportunities.

 

Someone like Dragon King Karl would be much better placed in most of those spots.

 

But Dragon King Karl would bore everyone to tears. 

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He's not too popular around here these days but Brian Last does terrific interviews. I'd love to see him get the opportunities that Conrad does. 

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On 9/11/2019 at 8:29 AM, El-P said:

Agreed. And considering some GWE analytical obsessive type have a pretty narrow way to look at things themselves (not pointing the finger at anyone in particular, it's just a fact), it's not only patronizing, it's also ridiculous.

And yeah, in 1990 in WWF, Valentine vs Garvin was totally a JTTS vs JTTS match, which is the perfect definition of non-star match.

That Conrad has a pretty mainstreamy taste is nothing new

The GWE project lost me pretty early on. I had planned on participating and was all onboard until I read through a thread wherein a bunch of people were talking about whether voters should be "unqualified" based on not seeing "enough" lucha, puro, joshi, World of Sport, etc.

Gross. Thanks but no thanks. I knew then & there the project wasn't for me. I'm a lifelong fan who loves lists, but I'm also a whole grown-ass man who doesn't require anyone to tell me when I've seen enough of anything.

On no plane of existence would I need the same group of people who proclaimed Sasha Banks the best wrestler on the planet to decide if I'm qualified to submit a ballot.

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The IYH 3 episode was pretty good, but I'm biased because 1995 is a relatively overlooked year in the show's history. I was at the show, so I was a bit miffed that Conrad, who seems fixated on gate numbers and match results never even mentioned the location of the show. Relatively few tangents this week, too, which helped. I got a legit kick out of Bruce justifying the Jean Pierre/Bret Hart jacket angle because it had gotten over in Houston in the 70s. 

But it's back to 1997 AGAIN next week, though it sounds like it'll be the last bit they can mine from that year. 

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I think my favorite quote from the show's entirety (from what I have heard at least) is when talking about how brave TNA was for going head-to-head on Monday nights, that "he respects the balls". It's actually him repeating what Conrad says first, but the exchange is like something out of Seinfeld

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On 9/30/2019 at 12:52 PM, flyonthewall2983 said:

Hearing good things on Twitter about the Yokozuna episode

It is. It's been a long long time since I have enjoyed (and hell, even listened at this point) an episode of Brucie's podcast, but this one was a return to form. I suppose the topic was refreshing for Bruce and it's quite an interesting one. The ending is kinda depressing though, with Yoko going through his weight issues until his death. But yeah, even if you have thrown the towel a long time ago, like me, give this one a listen.

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I haven't listened to the one that came out today yet, but the past two weeks (Halloween Havoc '98, which Conrad thought would be fun to shit on for some reason, and the Fabulous Moolah) may be the new low point of the show for me. The Moolah episode in particular was maybe the worst episode he's ever done. Both guys seemed tired (guessing this was released right before the fiasco that was the Saudi Arabia trip), Bruce wasn't there for most of Moolah's 80's Rock 'n' Wrestling heyday so he had little to add there, so most of the show was devoted to her Attitude Era shenanigans with Mae Young, when there was not nearly enough meat on that bone to devote a full episode. And of course, at the end was Bruce trying to cover up all of the Moolah shady stuff and pass her off as a sweet old grandmother. Everything that is bad about current Something to Wrestle was in full display here, even moreso than on the Halloween Havoc episode that Bruce and Conrad were shitting on.

To be honest, this show has become a total "noise while I do other things" podcast for me. Every week, while I am meal prepping for the week and then cleaning up afterwards, that's when I listen to this show. It's not out of the rotation for me completely yet, like Cornette now is (I don't care about Jim Cornette's opinion of current wrestling), but I can see this show turning into a "only if I think the subject is interesting" show for me soon.

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It sounded like Conrad was going to call an audible after the HH watch-along and scrap the plans for The Wrestling Classic watch-along. I love the era, so I was disappointed to hear that, but holy god, they should've. Just an absolute chore to get through. The format has never worked well for Conrad and Bruce, but this might be the best example of that yet. I don't actually watch the show they're watching when I listen to these, so there were several instances where I had no idea what was going on because they weren't talking about anything related to the show. 

Plenty of talk about Blue Chew, Manscape, bidets, and Conrad's house, though. Probably the only interesting bit I took from the show was how Paul Boesch felt Ivan Putski ruined his charm with the Houston audience when he returned from New York having all but abandoned the look and promo style of pre-shredded Putski.

Just an absolutely brutal show.

 

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