Published on April 25th, 2017 | by Greg Phillips8
12 Must-Subscribe Wrestling Podcasts
From Wrestlers to Lifelong Fans, It’s the Golden Age of Podcasting
If you’re a professional wrestling fan with an Internet connection, odds are you’re aware of the current boom in wrestling-themed podcasts. From legends of the squared circle to active wrestlers to former writers and even mainstream journalists, it seems everyone under the sun has an outlet to air their opinions on the industry.
Years ago, insider newsletters and videotaped “shoot interviews” with former stars were the only ways fans could learn about the behind-the-scenes wheeling and dealing that went on in the business. Today, with so many podcasts (many of them free), it’s easier than ever to hear about the backstage grudges, trials and tribulations that wrestling’s biggest stars have endured.
Likewise, it’s never been easier for fans to hear other perspectives and learn about other styles of wrestling. Whether you’re a fan of World Wrestling Entertainment, New Japan Pro Wrestling, the vast array of independent promotions around the world or even defunct promotions such as World Championship Wrestling or Extreme Championship Wrestling, there’s a podcast out there that caters to your interests.
Still, with such a glut of options, it can be difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff. In the following pages, we’ll list some options, in no particular order, that are guaranteed to deliver a return on your time investment.
The Steve Austin Show
Coming your way twice a week from 3:16 Gimmick Street, this prominent podcast paved the path followed by countless legendary wrestlers, some of whom have endured and others of whom failed in their endeavors. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin drops a family-friendly episode every Tuesday, featuring a combination of interviews with a variety of guests and Austin’s own down-home stories about his life.
If your ears aren’t sensitive, the real attraction comes with Austin’s “Unleashed” podcast on Thursdays, though. Free from censorship, Austin unloads on everything from “P.E.D.-using rats” to Urban Dictionary entries. And, of course, there are the interviews, where Austin and his guests chat freely and pepper the show with an array of colorful language.
The secret weapon of this podcast, which can be found via Podcast One on iTunes and a variety of other outlets, is Austin’s unparalleled knowledge of nuance inside the squared circle. Austin’s episodes breaking down his classic battles with The Rock and Kurt Angle are among the best wrestling podcasts ever recorded.
Talk is Jericho
When it comes to interviews, nobody in the world of wrestling podcasts does it better than WWE superstar Chris Jericho. The multi-talented entertainer has shockingly proven to be just as adept at conducting interviews as he has been at wrestling and entertaining. Despite a busy wrestling and music touring schedule, Jericho has never missed an episode, dropping new shows twice a week.
Jericho’s show stands out for its custom theme song (performed by Jericho himself), its remarkable consistency, a loose and humorous style and, as mentioned, the best interviews you’ll find in the business. Somehow, Jericho always manages to coax his guests into letting their guards down and talking as if they’re in a bar with a friend rather than on a podcast being broadcast to millions.
And it’s not just wrestlers who get featured. Jericho also interviews actors, comedians, musicians and other entertainers. Standout interview subjects include Metallica’s Lars Ulrich and comedian Dana Carvey. Regardless the guest, Jericho always produces an entertaining show.
The Ross Report
The voice of a generation of wrestling fans, “Good Ol’ JR” Jim Ross brings his folksy stylings to Podcast One weekly, interviewing a multitude of guests and providing sharp, incisive analysis of the industry. Ross, who has been wrestling’s foremost play-by-play announcer for most of his 40-plus years in the business, also had a lengthy run as head of WWE’s talent relations, along with behind-the-scenes roles in WCW and Mid-South Wrestling, giving him more respect and credibility than just about any other pro wrestling insider.
Despite his years of success within the field, Ross considers himself a fan first and foremost, and that comes through in his weekly broadcasts. A regular highlight is his “What’s On My Mind” segment, in which he runs through the week’s news and notes, giving his own (sometimes attitudinal) takes on the matters. Even when critical of aspects of the genre, his love shines through. And, along the way, listeners get to meet a special array of guests via his impersonations of legendary figures like Terry Funk and Jim Barnett. Some might say this is the most entertaining podcast out there.
Place to Be Nation
For the better part of a decade, longtime wrestling fans Scott Criscuolo and JT Rozzero have lent their insights and humor to this podcast, which focuses on a different individual event with each iteration. The guys have gone through the extensive history of WWE pay-per-view events and specials, throwing in little-known bits of insider knowledge, interviews with industry veterans such as Kevin Kelly, and an assortment of impressions and characters along the way.
In addition to the main Place to Be Podcast, Place to Be Nation is the home to a family of the best wrestling podcasts around: Survey Says, a monthly look back at World Championship Wrestling; Clotheslines and Headlines, an examination of the biggest news in the world of wrestling on a promotion-by-promotion basis; and The Main Event, an in-depth look at the state of WWE, just to name a few.
Wrestling Observer Radio
The only paid podcast on this list, Wrestling Observer Radio can seem like a steep deal at first. But when you consider that a subscription ($9.99 per month on the low end) also includes access to the Wrestling Observer via F4WOnline, it suddenly doesn’t seem like such a bad deal. Hosted by Bryan Alvarez, the real draw of WOR is the presence of Dave Meltzer, the single most respected wrestling journalist in the history of the business.
Alvarez and Meltzer delve into all the biggest news stories of the week, often dropping bombshells that haven’t even been mentioned in Meltzer’s terrific newsletter, the Wrestling Observer. There are also plenty of hot takes to go around, as the highly opinionated Alvarez and Meltzer give their thoughts on the state of pro wrestling around the globe. Whether they’re delving into a controversial subject like the recent WWE bullying scandal or simply analyzing a major event like WrestleMania or NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom, Alvarez and Meltzer provide more bang for your buck than any other paid podcast.
What Happened When
It took him a while to get in the game, but frequent Jim Ross guest and legendary wrestling announcer Tony Schiavone now has his own weekly podcast alongside host Conrad Thompson. Thompson, a successful mortgage advisor who started his podcasting career with “Nature Boy” Ric Flair’s short-lived show, does a great job captaining the ship and leading Schiavone through conversations about WCW, Jim Crockett Promotions and the Monday Night Wars.
While it took him a few episodes to get acclimated, Schiavone has found his groove as an unexpectedly frank (and vulgar!) commentator on events and happenings from years ago. Not for a family audience, What Happened When is at its best when Schiavone lets loose on the wacky world that often was World Championship Wrestling. The best episode to date featured Schiavone recollecting Halloween Havoc 1992 and, finally, providing play-by-play commentary for the main event in real-time. The results were hilarious, with Schiavone having a field day taking apart the logistics behind a “coal miner’s glove match.”
This is one of the youngest podcasts on the list, but it also has the most room to grow into one of the best. It’s off to a great start.
Bischoff on Wrestling
Few figures in modern wrestling history are as polarizing and controversial as former WCW President Eric Bischoff. For years, Bischoff kept his thoughts on the current state of wrestling largely quiet as he focused on other ventures. Now, his weekly podcast illuminates his views on the wrestling world, with Eric running through a list of prominent news stories and engaging in a free-form conversational interview with guests that include friends and colleagues from his WCW and WWE days along with up-and-coming independent wrestling stars and business observers.
Unlike many of his contemporaries, Bischoff takes a keen interest in the business side of pro wrestling, shedding new light and perspective on aspects that are often overlooked by fans. While fans understandably focus on the storylines and performers they see on screen every week, Bischoff delves into some of the outside factors that can affect the booking and writing of a weekly wrestling show. It’s often enlightening, sometimes blunt, but always intriguing.
The Art of Wrestling
Pro wrestling is an art form. And so, it could be argued, so is wrestling podcasting. And the godfather of wrestling podcasts is none other than longtime independent wrestling star Colt Cabana. Perhaps best known as the real-life friend of CM Punk, Cabana carved out a niche for himself on the indies a decade ago with a blend of athleticism and comedy that stood out from the largely self-serious indie scene at the time.
It’s that humor that carries through on his podcast, but he also shows his intelligence by, as the show’s title indicates, delving into the art of pro wrestling. With hundreds of guests (his podcast is likely the longest-running of any wrestler’s), his show has displayed just about every philosophy and vision of the sport imaginable. Cabana never makes his guests feel too uncomfortable, and it’s that laid-back atmosphere that produces some of his best shows, such as his now-infamous recording with CM Punk after the latter’s WWE departure.
Killing the Town
Veteran wrestler and trainer Lance Storm joins former wrestler, NJPW commentator and longtime WWE and ECW personality Don “Cyrus” Callis to discuss the ins and outs of pro wrestling on this show, which is available for free on Podcast One as part of the Jericho Network. Callis and Storm’s dry senses of humor may not be for everyone, but their knowledge of the in-ring aspects of pro wrestling certainly will be.
Storm has an uncanny ability to break down the technical side of wrestling and may just change your mind about who the good, bad and great workers in the business are. Callis has great stories from his days on the road, and the two aren’t afraid to antagonize one another at a moment’s notice. Also amusing is their continued on-air feud with fellow Jericho Network podcaster Glenn “Disco Inferno” Gilbertti.
Tapped Out Wrestling Network
Hey, these guys had Pro Wrestling Stories writer Bobby Mathews as a guest on their show, so they HAVE to get a plug, right? Well, it’s not just that. Their show is pretty good, too. Hosts Myron and Nick come at the business from the standpoint of fans who want to mark out over what they’re seeing in the ring and on the shows. It’s a unique viewpoint in an arena that’s sort of glutted by the ex-wrestler podcast market. In addition to their regular podcast, they also host a weekly 30-minute show directly following RAW, a sort of post-mortem on the good, bad, and ugly that was presented each week. That’s a fun bit of additional work that can leave readers laughing or shaking their heads. Either way, it’s entertaining.
Presented by ESPN, Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg explore the crazy world of professional wrestling in their show that’s been going strong since 2013. The two give their unique take on the current happenings in and out the ring, incorporating their own lingo along the way. With a host of guests from the likes of New Day, Stephanie McMahon, Roman Reigns and Goldberg, there is enough here to keep you coming back from more. Even with David Shoemaker off the show, it’s still pretty “MAJ” and one of the best wrestling podcasts out there.
Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard
Bruce Prichard has worn many hats in pro wrestling: wrestler, manager, on-air personality, producer, talent relations head, writer, booker and everything in between. Now he can add podcaster to those achievements, as he and Conrad Thompson weave interesting and often hilarious tales about Prichard’s years in the business. From the “Golden Age” of Hulkamania through the Attitude Era, Ruthless Aggression and even Total Nonstop Action, Prichard doesn’t hold back his recollections about the biggest stars and figures in modern wrestling history.
Prichard also unleashes some of his favorite impersonations, including a Vince McMahon impression that has to be heard.
While this list isn’t exhaustive, it is a great starting point for making any ear buds happy. If you have any wrestling podcasts suggestions that were not included in this piece, leave it in the comment section below saying why others should give it a listen. You never know, your words may end up in our ‘Suggestions from our Readers’ section on the next page!
And finally, if you’re into comics, check out my weekly comic book podcast alongside my longtime friend Nick Duke. While it isn’t actually focused on pro wrestling, any wrestling fan should give it a try, because it’s littered with references to our first love. And, after all, there are plenty of similarities between the four-color world of superheroes and the spandex world of pro wrestling.
Suggestions from Our Readers
True to our word, here are wrestling podcast suggestions sent in by you, the readers! If something didn’t make the list, send us an email at email@example.com with your suggestion and saying a few words about the show, and we’ll add it below!
The Taz Show
Submitted by reader: James Bolton
The Taz Show is an online radio show first and foremost, but streams as an Audio-On-Demand/Podcast after it airs. With Taz showing his real-life personality while pulling back the curtain on many ins and outs of the pro-wrestling industry, The Taz Show is as insightful as it is down right hilarious. Listen continuously and before long, you’ll feel like part of the family; taking on Taz’s vernacular and wit while joining in to berate his co-host, Dennis “The Lumberjack” Jones. Callers immediately develop a longstanding rapport with the team. This show is loads of fun for any wrestling fan.
Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast
Submitted by reader: James Bolton
Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast is crystal clear about its mission statement; a wrestling podcast, by a wrestling fan, for wrestling fans. This makes it very unique. Sam doesn’t claim to be an expert, he’s just a loyal fan of WWE that loves talking to wrestlers and about wrestling. His interviews are a fun and informative, while his weekly “State of Wrestling” segments are a great way to mediate thoughts and opinions about the previous week in pro-wrestling.
Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness
Submitted by reader: Jørn Andersen
Hosted by Edge and Christian, Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness is a great podcast well worth your time. Goldberg, Shane McMahon, The Revival, Young Bucks and more have appeared. But there’s even more. Tommy Dreamer appears with ‘Tales from the Indies’ talking about indy wrestling stories. Edge and Christian share never-before-heard stories (find out when Edge’s shirt was stolen) and listeners get to call in to ask questions. This is a podcast seriously worth your time. Best of all, it’s free!
The Masked Man Show
Submitted by reader: Andrew Segal
The Masked Man Show is brought to you every Wednesday by The Ringer and Bill Simmons, hosted by David Shoemaker aka “The Masked Man,” author of “The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Pro Wrestling,” co-hosted by Bleacher Report’s Bill Schilling, and joined at times by the likes of actor Steve Kazee, comedian Dan St. Germain, and the Lucas Bros. Each week they deliver to humanoids wrestling’s current events, breakdown Raw and Smackdown Live, book the future of WWE, and apologize to Dean Ambrose.
Vince Russo’s The Brand
Submitted by reader: Jayson Allan
Vince Russo’s The Brand podcast is one the most underappreciated podcasts in wrestling today. As a 50 plus-year-old former writer living in the midwest, Russo’s way of getting personal with guests is bringing the best out of them. He’s a crazy ex-New Yorker which makes for an interesting view on life- you never know what the hell you’re going to get! While not always being politically correct, he pulls on listener’s emotions – the good, the bad, and even the sad. He opens himself up about family dealings with his wife and kids, and we even get to know his Seinfeld doppelganger dad, Jim. Everything is an open book when it comes to Vince’s life. This is the Attitude Era of podcasts and a great source of entertainment and an escape when days get tough.
While we’re at it, be sure not to miss these great wrestling podcasts:
The Jim Cornette Experience, The Lapsed Fan, Booking the Territory, Solomonster Sounds Off, The Raven Effect, The Attitude Era Podcast, PWTorch Livecast, Wrestling Soup, Don Tony And Kevin Castle Show, 6:05 Superpodcast, The Gerweck Report, RBR: Weekly Wrestling Talk, Going in Raw, Suplex City Limits