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Why It Ended with Robbie E

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Just listed to the first episode of this with Glacier. Quick listen and Ray Lloyd sounds like a good dude. Some interesting stories covering Ray's career before the Glacier gimmick and some behind the scenes stories of the Blood Runs Cold stuff. I think this is a good idea for a podcast and I'm looking forward to see what else comes out of it.

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  • 1 month later...

In theory, this could be one of my new favorite podcasts. In execution, I think it could still use a little work.


To be totally fair, I've only listened to a few episodes so far - and I've enjoyed most of them, for the most part. The shorter run time is a refreshing change of pace, to be sure. The guests and their stories have remained positive and more celebratory in nature than you might believe going in, which is nice. There isn't a lot of bitterness or resentment to be found here from anything I've heard.


Definitely looking forward to consuming more of these and getting all caught up. I love the project itself for its sheer potential, if nothing else. The hosts themselves? I could almost take 'em or leave 'em, although they'll occasionally bust out a quality talking point from time to time. I still feel like the line of questioning could use some tightening up and some follow through at various points.


But yeah. The conversations are light and easy listening. The main drawback is in the lack of deep dives or continued discussion on certain subjects at times when the conversation might call for it. But hopefully that improves over time. Here's hoping more people give this a shot.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Wow. That Justin Credible episode sure was... something.


It was almost legitimately uncomfortable to hear - sort of like getting stuck somewhere late at night and listening to someone you barely know ramble on about their bad luck and feel sorry for themselves. I don't know. It was just kind of a depressing conversation - the kind I would normally turn off a few minutes into it, but I was driving and just stuck with it.


For starters, Credible sounded tee totally hammered. He was slurring his words, making bizarre remarks about people & things, constantly putting himself down in hopes of scoring any kind of a compliment, etc. It was just awkward and uncomfortable all around.


It's even more unsettling for anyone who recently heard his appearance on the Austin podcast recently. He sounded clean, sober, and filled with a renewed sense of optimism. He mentioned being 90 days sober. He sounded humble & hopeful there.


Here? He's talking about how he fell off the wagon on Mania weekend. And he sounds increasingly trashed as the interview wears on.


I don't know where his head's at, but you get a good idea that he's not doing so well at the moment. It's a shame, too. Addiction & substance abuse is something that's very real and very close to home with me, so I love hearing stuff like Del Wilkes speaking about overcoming his issues - or Shane Douglas basically exiling himself for a cold turkey detox off Oxycontin - but this was basically the opposite end of that spectrum.


At one point, Credible literally breaks down crying and says, "I just want people to like me. That's all I've ever wanted..."


All things considered, it's among the strangest wrestling podcasts I've ever heard. I'm still not quite sure what I think of it overall. But my first, natural reaction is that I'm just left feeling really, really uncomfortable by it.

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  • 1 month later...

Incrrrredibly entertaining interview with Marty Jannetty on last week's episode.


The first half of the show is crazy fun, filled with great stories of Marty's early days. I haven't heard many of his shoot interviews, so a lot of this was new & fresh to me. So many fun stories - Shawn calling his mama & crying about his ring gear, the casino story with Curt Hennig, the "blade job" of Buddy Rose, etc. - were tremendous material for somebody who hasn't heard them anywhere before.


The run time is a little long (near the 3-hour mark), but don't let that deter you. It's breezy enough, mostly due to Marty's style of storytelling. It's a conversation that flies by - something like taking a seat on a bar stool next to a rambler. He's really talkative, but it's all told in a light-hearted way that keeps you dialed in and on the hook.


The Chuck Austin stuff is sad & disheartening from almost every angle, of course - but Marty can't help himself & even cracks off a couple of jokes throughout. He's such an upbeat and enthusiastic guy that he doesn't ever let the mood get too bogged down during the downswings. The story about Shawn crawfishing in court and then being presented with video evidence to the contrary was a hoot, too.


The interview *does* finally begin to drag a bit when they reach more familiar territory - the breakup of the Rockers, the IC Title exchange, etc. - but it's not enough to make this one a miss. Overall, the interview was a fucking blast. Glad I gave it a shot. Highly recommended if you catch some free time & care to hear some engaging, entertaining stuff from an all-around light-hearted, funny guy.

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  • 1 month later...

I have been downloading & supporting the show, but it's just been building up on the backburner for awhile. I don't expect anything to come close to the Jannetty episode anytime soon, as most of these are short shows (right at the one hour mark) and simply don't often aim for deep dives or anything. And that's fine. I just don't always make time or prioritize the shorter podcasts, although I do appreciate them for the sake of variety.

Anyway, I wanted something on while I grilled up some grub & did my usual meal prep earlier this week. I went with the Matt Morgan episode, mainly because he's a guy I honestly haven't ever gone out of my way to listen to on radio shows or interviews of any kind. The whole thing would basically sound like brand new material to me - and it did.

First of all, he just sounds like a genuinely good guy. I can't stress that enough. Not a single ounce of bitterness or resentment toward the business to be found here. And that's always refreshing when you can get it. Morgan seems absolutely happy with his life and especially his family. Gotta love that.

His backstory is a neat one, with him recalling every detail of the first big angle he saw of Andre getting his head shaved. I think most of us have a similar experience, seeing our first big segment or angle unfold like that.

The story of him networking and eventually just working out at the gym until he eventually (literally) bumped into Vince McMahon was also fun. Again, this isn't anything extraordinary, but it's all new to me. And it's not just the typical "attend wrestling school, enter developmental" route.

I love me some Jim Cornette wrestling talk like nobody else, but I literally groan or sigh everytime I have to hear him talk about what a surefire superstar Matt Morgan should have been. The guy just never seemed to put all the pieces together for whatever reason. And he rarely ever seemed to stand out as a big man or a giant. Booking always catered to it, which makes it even more of an indictment that he never seemed to work up to that style or standard in any tangible way.

Anyhow, Morgan speaks highly of Corny and vice versa. Both consider Morgan's push in OVW to be a major milestone in his career, so it's probably the closest he ever came to being in a protected spot. Considering what Cornette did for the likes of Leviathan, Morgan, Unabomb, etc., I wonder how Cornette stacks up overall in comparison to others when it comes to booking and promoting big guys. It certainly seems like one of his finer attributes.

The story of Johnny Ace approaching Morgan - and later Vince pitching the stuttering gimmick - was also a lot of fun. It's truly stupid shit, but I can absolutely buy that Vince thought it would get over on some strange level.

I totally forgot about that brief period where it looked like they wanted to push Morgan as the new Brock. Dude was even using the F5 and everything. I completely blanked on that at first. And then it just abruptly ended.

Apparently, the locker room talk that made its way to Morgan was that Big Show buried him to Vince and labeled him an "unsafe" worker at the time. Matt makes sure to clarify that the rumor could have been bullshit, but he *did* get the sense that Show was burying him behind his back.

His frustrations with the TNA creative process are pretty clearly presented. You can absolutely understand how that sort of work environment would drive someone - ANYone - crazy.

I guess I never realized Morgan was scheduled to return to WWE at the 2014 Royal Rumble. Really had no idea he was about to sign a new contract then.

Robbie E not knowing what a blueprint was cracked me up. In fact, there's a lot of basic real world stuff Robbie doesn't seem to have a clue about. Architects, whether an accountant was a real job, the meaning of the word "rotund", etc. have all left him stumped on some of the episodes I've heard. Either he's living the gimmick or really naive.

Like I said, this one doesn't touch the Jannetty episode or anything. But it was a decent little listen while I got other stuff done. The format of the show still leaves a little to be desired, but I do dig the premise. If they can land another guest like Marty - worth doing a deep dive and just letting them talk - then they could have another highly recommended episode on their hands again.

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I gave the Ryback episode a listen, since he's another guy I've never gone out of my way to hear in interviews or podcasts.

It was interesting to hear his side of the Punk stuff.

The details of that meeting with Stephanie, with his leg all busted up & bleeding from surgery, were pretty sick.

All the "Secret" talk is goofy & a bit out there to me, but I'm glad the guy seems to be in a positive place now. It's also clear he takes care in protecting his image & his presentation, which is a key trait of guys who want to be top stars (at least as a step in getting there & getting established).

I feel slightly bad for how much backlash he got back when he released the whole statement about pay structure. I remember thinking the same thing at the time, so I was glad to hear him expand on & clarify what he meant there. The guy was calling for the HUGE pay disparity to be shortened, because it's all scripted & you obviously can't have winners without the losers. I get what he meant.

I don't necessarily agree, of course. You've got stars and you've got the support staff. Pay will be dispersed accordingly. That's life. That's show business. But I also feel like the amount of heat he got for it in the first place was a little silly & unwarranted. He just thought he was standing up for the jobbers or whatever. His intentions were good - even if they were slightly out of touch or misguided.

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The episode with "Wildcat" Chris Harris is a total downer. I mean, I had an idea of what to expect going in, but Christ. Hearing his story makes me hate that mid-to-late 2000s bully culture in backstage WWE so much more.

And it's not even so much that he's bitter or resentful. The guy just sounds... Broken.

Between the locker room lawmen, the unspoken etiquette, and the tests they put new guys through - it sounds like such a toxic workplace for anyone that wasn't well connected or already established going in. It sounds like absolute hell for a guy just trying to get a shot.

Don't get me wrong. I feel like Harris was in over his head from the start, and maybe he was ill prepared for the opportunity. Ultimately, I don't think he would have lasted long before cracking under the pressure. And so the argument could be made for that as the purpose of the practice back then.

On the other hand, the class of newcomers back then didn't have the welcome mat rolled out for them in the same manner as the newcomers at the PC today. The difference is night & day. Whereas there's this great sense of care taken in signing & introducing performers today, those of Harris' particular time were deliberately tested to see how they'd react or if they'd last.

And, to be fair, Harris doesn't even deny that notion himself. In fact, he is sort of vague and unclear about just what was being done to him at times. You really get a sense of how cloudy and muddy the whole ordeal was for him.

The story of having his entire arsenal stripped away from him was about what you'd expect. And I honestly felt bad for the guy when he had to approach Umaga about the spinning side slam (and getting the sense that he couldn't use it anymore either).

By the time it reached the point where the only moves the guy felt like he had been granted "approval" to use was a clothesline and a crossbody block? You can't help but feel bad for the guy. Obviously I don't think he would've lost his job if he went out there and spiced it up with some stuff, but just the fact that he genuinely felt like he couldn't do ANYTHING other than what they specifically said he could? That speaks to the environment and pretty much sums up what you need to know.

But when he told the story about them fucking with the time of his match and stuff? That seems a little much. Of course it sounds like a way of seeing how he improvises, but it's also really unprofessional. They hammer home the importance of being TV performers and hitting time cues, but then they revert to relic practices like that to test a guy's merit. It's so strange.

Again, I don't necessarily believe Brayden Walker was destined for big things - or anything, to be honest. But there's no denying that there was a large, noticeable difference between Chris Harris and what we got with Brayden Walker. The guy was damaged goods by that point, and this interview with him offers some insight.

I don't have a list or anything, but I bet there are quite a few guys in a similar situation - guys who fell off or willingly walked away around this same point for similar reasons.

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Also didn't help him that turned up fat and out of shape either. Not denying the culture shock and backstage BS he went through but the fact he didn't even take himself seriously enough to look the part like he did in TNA must've put a target on his back.

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That's why I was sure to say I never really expected him to do much anyway, and the interview feels like it offers a lot of half-answers in that sense. They never *really* approach the issue of his weight gain - only initially stating that he looked like a star in TNA as part of AMW (which is true).

I mean, I guess it's sort of implied that he lost motivation (and possibly gained the weight) due to depression and basically being retrained on fundamentals, etc before being moved up. But, like I said, it's left really vague & things rarely ever slow down for further explanation due to the short format of the show.

As it stands, the interview is more fascinating as a glimpse into that backstage culture & atmosphere of the time.

Truth be told, it's sort of what I expected to hear from Muhammad Hassan - but he was almost entirely upbeat and positive about his experiences. The bullying and ribbing didn't seem to shake him much at all, which was surprising but cool.

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Today's meal prep was accompanied by the Simon Gotch episode. He's a guy I'd never bothered listening to before last week, and now I've heard a whole slew of his shoots and interviews.

I'd read and heard his attitude & demeanor compared to a certain Chicago native, but now I totally see it. He's got the same outspoken, abrasive personality as Punk - and he kind of carries himself with a certain sense of entitlement, similar to Punk (even before he ever broke big).

Anyway, it all makes for an engaging listen, for sure. Gotch pulls no punches & pretty much gives zero fucks. There's the usual fun stuff about Enzo being a clown and a joke thief. But he also has an interesting take on Baron Corbin that's worth hearing. Also dug his description of Daniel Bryan as the Gordon Ramsay of professional wrestling.

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There wasn't much to the D'Lo Brown episode. It was cool to hear him talk about being an avid NWA fan growing up & his first trip to Smoky Mountain with such limited experience under his belt. He seemed really appreciative of Cornette, which was also great.

The Droz incident was clearly traumatic for him as well, and he admits it took him awhile to regain his confidence after that.

The episode with Cherry (who I had completely forgotten about) was surprisingly worthwhile. It offers a really disheartening look back to the way women were treated in WWE around that time. To her credit, she doesn't sound bitter or resentful for the way she was body shamed or anything.

And it would be easy to come away feeling bad after hearing how she was referred to as "the rotund diva", but she has a way of reflecting on everything with a positive outlook. So it's not a total downer like the Chris Harris episode or downright awkward & depressing like the Justin Credible stuff.

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To the surprise of absolutely nobody, that Russo episode was terrible. Total trash. Avoid at all costs.

With that being said, I did come away with a couple of things I hadn't heard before. Apparently, Dixie Carter was obsessed with Wade Keller's reviews/opinions and would constantly parrot them in creative meetings.

Russo claims that Dixie's feedback was always comprised of two things - Wade's Torch, and "Okay, guys. What are we doing with Hernandez?"

So that cracked me up.

Russo somehow seems aware of how hated he is - and simultaneously oblivious to JUST HOW hated he is. It's baffling.

I also gave the Francine episode a shot, and it was surprisingly awesome. She seriously comes across like a genuinely good person. I knew very little about her actual background going in, so I was surprised to hear how she got involved with wrestling in the first place.

Francine's got great energy and this upbeat personality that really carries things through. She's got a few fun stories, including an encounter with Vince that is both bizarre & totally believable.

It's funny to hear how WWE downplays ever sweating TNA at any point, but Johnny Ace immediately informs Francine, "You can't work for TNA." when she's given her release. I'm not saying TNA was ever in a position to pose a big threat to them or anything, but I can buy that being a thing back around that 2006 period - when they'd seen Kurt, Christian, etc. head over there.

Anyway, it's a solid interview and worth checking out.

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During his interview, Buff Bagwell can be heard shouting for "Judy!"

At first, I'm thinking he can't be living at home with his mom. Then it turns out - nah. He's just talking to his wife.

His wife, Judy Bagwell. Mama's boy Buff actually went out & married a woman with the same name as his mother. Just... Wow.

Funny to hear how he got heat with Showtime for breaking kayfabe about their Gigolos show. But this episode was weak sauce overall. Not sure what I was expecting, but anything else besides crybaby Buff would've been nice. He was much better on Austin's pod a couple of years back.

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I've been meaning to mention, but those ads for legit sex toys are creepy as fuck. I mean, it's one thing to hear Conrad and old man Bischoff chop it up about Blue Chews and Eric's post-60s sex life. But I don't know. Robbie E reading off ads for pocket pussies is just six different shades of sleazy.

The Zach Gowen episode was crazy fun though. Zach seems like a super chill guy these days, and he's totally open & honest about what a dick he used to be. Hearing him talk about his time in the spotlight makes it REAL easy to understand how he got so much heat.

I thought it was beyond silly when Bruce Prichard mentioned they thought about turning him heel back in '03, but now I'm thinking they wanted to capture some of his real life persona on-screen. And, while still a stupid idea for logistical purposes, it doesn't sound quite as far-fetched as you'd think.

The story about Zach's firing is hilarious and absolutely worth hearing on its own. His response to Johnny Ace was priceless. John apparently told Zach they'd like him to relocate to OVW to train, until creative came up with a new direction for his character.

Zach proceeded to cut a promo - telling Johnny how that doesn't work for him. He'll stay home and train instead, and they can give him a call whenever they find something for him to do, brother.

Tremendous. Another solid show & recommended listening.

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The Jimmy Jacobs interview has some fun Vince stories from Jimmy's time as a writer there.

"What do you have, pal? A barber or a stylist? ... Either way, it's time to find a new one."

Tremendous. Apparently, Vince was too appalled and downright disgusted by Jimmy's look & fashion sense to pay attention to his pitches or ideas much. I could buy that.

Jacobs seems super proud of some of his work there, so good for him. And I dug the shit out of the Festival of Friendship and all, but that Roman/Cena buildup was awful & misguided on so many levels. Could've been one of those things that was out of his hands and delegated down to him though, so ya just never know how much of what to credit/blame these writers for anymore.

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Just happened to venture over here, thanks for these recaps.. some interesting tidbits in there. Chris Harris was a guy I always wanted to succeed and hated how his career ended up, huge fan of his TNA work. Shame to hear the Justin Credible one is how it is. Always liked Cherry. Also never knew about Matt Morgan potentially returning to WWE in 2014.

Apparently Credible is starting his own podcast next week.

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