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Awesome Truth: A Wrestling Book Club
34 minutes | 13 days ago
Episode 86: Meeting the Undertaker
Welcome to 30 Days of the Deadman, whatever that means. Though The Last Ride came out mere months ago, it's been 30 years since The Undertaker's debut at Survivor Series 1990, which means the WWE Network is once again awash in Mark Calaway content. Fortunately, this one is a good one: wrestlers remembering the first time they met The Phenom. Join us as we analyze what The Rock, Batista, Edge, and (sigh) Baron Corbin had to say about their initial Taker interactions.
55 minutes | a month ago
Episode 85: Undisputed: How to Become the World Champion in 1,372 Easy Steps by Chris Jericho
It's a little weird to say, but this Chris Jericho autobiography from 2011 might be the best Vince McMahon book ever written. The shockingly honest Y2J dissects his Raw is Jericho debut, his uncomfortable first few years in WWE, and most importantly, his day-to-day interactions with the oft-manipulative Mr. McMahon. Plus, there are Fozzy and Hollywood stories! Nine years later, it holds up as one of the most insightful and intriguing wrestling books ever written.
40 minutes | a month ago
Episode 84: You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Many wrestling fans think David Arquette winning the WCW championship killed the business, and the man himself doesn't agree. That's why the Hollywood actor decided to return to pro wrestling the right way, a journey documented in the 2020 documentary You Cannot Kill David Arquette. But is this really a doc? And who wants or needs a stylized, overproduced chronicling of the David Arquette story?
41 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 83: Shamrock: The World's Most Dangerous Man (w/ Jonathan Snowden)
Ken Shamrock is a UFC Hall of Famer and a star from the early days of WWE's Attitude Era; he's also one of the few wrestlers to fall out with Vince McMahon so thoroughly that he's never, ever returned to the company. We sit down with Jonathan Snowden, acclaimed author of a new Shamrock biography, to discuss Ken's thoughts on pro wrestling and to dissect what makes the World's Most Dangerous Man tick.
47 minutes | 2 months ago
Episode 82: Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution (w/ Keith Elliot Greenberg)
The rise of AEW and the rebirth of indie wrestling have changed the game for WWE and beyond, and the first great chronicle of this new world order has emerged: Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution by Keith Elliot Greenberg. We welcome Keith back to the show yet again to discuss the Young Bucks, Kevin Steen, Pro Wrestling Tees, PWG, and everything else over the last two decades that's given indie wrestling new life.
23 minutes | 2 months ago
Bonus Episode: Ben Giroux of The Big Show Show
We've booked our first star of the small screen! Ben Giroux, also known as Coach Fener on Netflix's The Big Show Show, joins us to discuss acting alongside The Big Show himself, Paul Wight. Sadly, their show was canceled right after we recorded this interview, but that doesn't mean we can't all enjoy his stories of going toe to toe with Show on set for four glorious episodes.
47 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 81: The Big Show Show
Just because Netflix canceled The Big Show Show moments before we recorded this episode doesn't mean we abandoned our plans to talk Paul Wight's sitcom debut! It's not every day that a WWE superstar gets a starring role on TV, and surprisingly enough, Big Show proves up to the task. To talk about Show's fake family, I needed my family; my brother Chris and friend of the show Matt both stop by to break down Big Show's performing chops, Roman Reigns' handshake, and pro wrestler acting prowess on the big and little screens.
44 minutes | 3 months ago
Episode 80: Ted DiBiase's The Price of Fame
As the "Million Dollar Man" and beyond, Ted DiBiase is one of pro wrestling's all-time greats. But like almost every star from the 1980s, DiBiase had his demons. His son, former WWE superstar Ted DiBiase Jr., decided to dissect those demons in the 2017 film The Price of Fame. It's a decent little conceit for a wrestling documentary, but does it hold up for 95 minutes? And does it even attempt to unpack the complications that come from being a second- or third-generation wrestler, operating almost entirely in your father's shadow? Join us and find out.
37 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 79: Beyond the Mat
Once upon a time, Vince McMahon gave a director named Barry Blaustein full access to the WWF locker room. Paul Heyman, Terry Funk and Jake Roberts all signed up as well. Almost 21 years later, it's amazing that Beyond the Mat even exists, but it does. Why did all these wrestling luminaries provide the cowriter of Coming to America with so much access? Did this documentary convince Vince to close ranks and start producing all those WWE-branded docs? Join us as we revisit this remarkable pro wrestling time capsule.
48 minutes | 4 months ago
Episode 78: The Resurrection of Jake the Snake
No pro wrestler has battled his "demons" quite like Jake "The Snake" Roberts. His recovery from years of drug and alcohol abuse was documented in 2015's The Resurrection of Jake the Snake, in which Diamond Dallas Page famously adopts Jake and Scott Hall while nursing them back to health. To break down this instant-classic wrestling doc, we've invited our friend Dr. Chris on to discuss the power of friendship and also the insidiousness of using a redemption story to promote DDP's yoga brand.
55 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 77: Undertaker: The Last Ride
For years, Mark Calaway fully lived the Undertaker gimmick. Now, he's finally speaking out as himself, a decision highlighted in great detail throughout WWE Network's Undertaker: The Last Ride. Though it's become one of the network's highest profile documentaries, how entertaining is it to watch Calaway lament all his recent injuries and subpar WrestleMania performances? Do we actually learn anything about the man behind the Deadman? Is it a fitting send-off (temporary or otherwise) for the Undertaker character? We answer all the big questions about this five-part limited series.
42 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 76: The Final Days of Owen Hart
The second season of Vice's Dark Side of the Ring ends with a gut punch: the story of Owen Hart. Instead of telling the sanitized WWE version, we get an intimate look at Owen the father and husband as much as Owen the wrestler. To help us dissect what the highest flying Hart meant to us, we've brought on a special guest: a childhood friend who had us over for Over the Edge 1999, the night Owen lost his life.
52 minutes | 5 months ago
Episode 75: Ring of Hell: The Story of Chris Benoit and the Fall of the Pro Wrestling Industry
We present to you the holy grail of wresting literature: Matthew Randazzo's Ring of Hell. More than just the story of Chris Benoit, it's the story of modern pro wrestling: WCW, WWE, ECW, New Japan, Stampede, Bret and Owen Hart, Kevin Nash, Vince McMahon, Eddie Guerrero. All of these promotions and people shaped Benoit in some capacity, as concussions destroyed his brain and steroids kept him functional enough to destroy the rest of his body and soul. Randazzo somehow captures all of this and more in 330 pages; join us as we discuss how he accomplished this herculean task.
47 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 74: Benoit
We've finally made it to the Chris Benoit story. It's the most fascinating and horrifying tale in pro wrestling history, one so shocking and tragic that Vice's Dark Side of the Ring gave it a two-part episode. They brought out the big guns here: Chris Jericho, Dean Malenko, Chavo and Vickie Guerrero, even Benoit's son David. Does the episode redeem Dark Side's shaky reputation in our eyes? Do they capture the twists and turns that make Benoit's atrocious saga so unique? Join us and find out.
51 minutes | 6 months ago
Episode 73: New Jack: Memoir of a Pro Wrestling Extremist
If you ever doubted that New Jack was one of the wildest men to step into the squared circle, his new autobiography and recent episode of Dark Side of the Ring should clear those doubts right up. He does not give a f*ck, and his insane stories stand out in a wrestling business full of wild tales. Join us as we discuss the life and legacy of this ECW legend who literally tried to kill several people in the ring.
36 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 72: A Future WWE: The FCW Story
Another good WWE Network documentary? It's true. This one uses a ton of archival footage to revisit Florida Championship Wrestling, the developmental promotion that brought us Seth Rollins, Big E, Drew McIntyre, and the dearly departed Heath Slater. Join us as we break down WWE's look back at the weird little semi-indie that ended up spawning NXT.
45 minutes | 7 months ago
Episode 71: Edge: The Second Mountain
Edge's return at the 2020 Royal Rumble was one of the greatest moments in wrestling history, and now the WWE 24 series is showing us how it all went down. From 2011 through the present day, this documentary is a detailed look at how Adam Copeland accepted his post-wrestling life and then received an unexpected second chance in the ring. Join us we discuss WWE's wonderful use of backstage footage, Edge's legacy in wrestling and, of course, "Metalingus" by Alter Bridge.
61 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 70: WWE Ruthless Aggression
The Ruthless Aggression era produced some of WWE's brightest modern stars: Brock Lesnar, John Cena, Batista, and Randy Orton. So it shouldn't be any surprise that the WWE Network docuseries on pro wrestling post-Attitude Era shines the most when it revisits those four during their rise to glory. Join us we break down the first five episodes of WWE Ruthless Aggression, one of the best series the Network has produced.
43 minutes | 8 months ago
Episode 69: Wrestling with the Devil by Lex Luger
For almost two decades, Lex Luger was one of the biggest legends and stars in professional wrestling. But like many, his demons caught up with him and his post-wrestling years were a pill-fueled nightmare. Is his autobiography — featuring a few great stories about Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair — required reading? Or does the born-again Christian pull too many punches when describing the mistakes that almost ruined his life?
48 minutes | 9 months ago
Episode 68: WWE Day Of: Royal Rumble 2020
The 2020 Royal Rumble was one of the best in years, as Edge returned and WWE finally pulled the trigger on new babyface star Drew McIntyre. And the Network documentary on the show is just as good; it's chock full of all the backstage footage that we beg WWE to put out for every big event. Join as we discuss the Rated R Superstar's beloved reappearance, along with the Drew Mac push, MVP's return, and the sadly disappointing women's Rumble.
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