February 10th, 1989 is an important date in professional wrestling history as that is the date that Vince McMahon, in testimony to the New Jersey State Senate, admitted that professional wrestling was not a sport but was in fact sports entertainment. The term they used in the wrestling business, kayfabe, giving the audience the illusion that what you were seeing was real and not staged, was officially dead.
That did not mean the death of the industry. In fact, it opened the flood gates for many other promotions to set up shop. Most importantly, it allowed the superstars themselves to finally tell fans stories of what happened back stage.
With the rise of podcasts, wrestling fans have plenty of shows to choose from, whether it be analysis of the current state of wrestling or stories of life behind the scenes. There is something for everyone. The following are some of my favorites that I recommend but by no means do they represent everything out there. They are the tip of the iceberg.
The Ross Report with Jim Ross
Jim Ross, for my money, is the greatest wrestling play by play guy in history. His voice has elevated some of the greatest matches ever, from Ric Flair vs Sting at Clash of the Champions 1, Shawn Michaels vs Steve Austin at Wrestlemania 14, and my all time favorite match, Steve Austin vs The Rock at Wrestlemania 17. The show features Ross commenting on the current state of the wrestling business. It also features interviews with legendary figures in the industry as well as analysis from folks like the great Wade Keller from Pro Wrestling Torch and Jason Powell from Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Ross is one hell of an interviewer and will definitely give you reason to think about why certain decisions are made in the business.
The Sheet Podcast
From Ryan Satin, editor in chief of Pro Wrestling Sheet, comes The Sheet Podcast. The show is an abridged version of their Dash Radio show, which you can listen to by downloading the Dash Radio app. Pro Wrestling Sheet is one hell of a site. For the longest time, sites would post whatever information about wrestling that came their way without fact checking the information they had. Ryan, thanks to his time at TMZ, has set a standard of making sure that the information you see on the site is legit. While the site stays away from talking about story line rumors, the podcast talks about the current state of wrestling in a fun manner. Ryan and his friends, Elijah Bates, Jamie Iovine, and the lover of bananas, Kevin Silva, are entertaining as hell. Definitely check out the podcast.
The Jim Cornette Experience
Jim Cornette is one of the greatest managers in wrestling history. And boy is he opinionated. He has an opinion on everything and whether you like it or not, he is entertaining as hell. I like his podcast especially because when he talks about the way the wrestling business should be, I find myself agreeing with him more often than not. While I do disagree with him on certain performers like The Young Bucks, the Ring of Honor Tag Team Champions, he at least is able to give you reasons why he doesn’t like them. You don’t always get that from people giving their opinions on the wrestling business. They just state they hate something. Give his podcast a listen.
Court Bauer and Mister Saint Laurent are the pioneers of wrestling podcasts. Court is a former WWE writer. While he no longer works for the company, he still has many contacts in the business. The show examines the current state of wrestling and whether it be stories of happenings in the WWE, TNA, Lucha Underground, you’re going to get a lot of great stories on this podcast as well as some exclusive information, such as the news of seasons one and two of Lucha Underground premiering on Netflix later this month.
Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard
This podcast will be the closest anyone will get to hearing what a Vince McMahon director’s commentary of the history of the WWE would sound like. Long time wrestling fans will remember Bruce as the legendary Brother Love, host of The Brother Love Show, an interview segment on WWE programming in the late 80’s. The stories he has told on the show, whether it be stories of Ravishing Rick Rude, Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig, or what happened behind the scenes during the Montreal Screw Job at Survivor Series 1997, Bruce and his co-host Conrad Thompson, have you on the edge of your seat for each episode. What I appreciate most is Conrad Thompson putting Bruce on the hot seat. I get the feeling that Bruce stills wants to maintain some of the illusion the wrestling business has to offer. While he has no reason to protect a company who is not paying him a dime, he certainly loves the WWE and what they’ve done for the business and his life so I get the sense he omits some truth at times. I’m not saying he lies. I’m saying he omits truth. And Conrad is brilliant at forcing that truth out of him. The podcast can go long but not once have I ever gotten bored listening. This is the best wrestling podcast about the history of the business ever.