Hey there, wrasslin’ marks! Full Gear is in the rearview, Survivor Series is on the horizon and CM PUNK IS BACK IN THE WWE… sort of.
With so much going on, it seemed like the perfect time to run down my top five wrestling podcasts to help you, the dozens (and dozens!) of Around the Loop readers make sense of it all.
This list is presented in the order they popped into my head, not in any kind of ranking system. My only criteria were that the pod had to have at least one new episode per week and be available across most platforms. Some of the pods discussed do contain language and subject matter that is not safe for work, so please listen responsibly!
1.) Talk is Jericho
Le Champion of AEW and Bubbly enthusiast Chris Jericho’s “pod of thunder and rock and roll” drops two episodes every week and covers a range of topics as diverse as the interests of the man himself. Whether it be band interviews, paranormal discussions or insider chats with fellow professional wrestlers, Jericho’s charm and personality make even topics that I’m not that interested in engaging. Since parting ways with WWE. Jericho has lost access to their talents as guests, which has been limiting, but it has also allowed him to expose AEW stars to a mainstream audience and generate interest in the promotion.
A world-traveled performer, Jericho records pods wherever he goes with all manner of guests in locations such as hotel rooms, backstage at concerts and on the deck of his Rock and Wrestling Rager at sea cruise ship.
While some interviews are a little ridiculous (he has flat earthers and Mandela effect “experts” on the show), he also has produced some truly touching tributes to lost friends such as Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. The Benoit episode in particular is hard to listen to as Jericho struggles to find a balance between the tragedy of Benoit’s final actions and his years of friendship with him that came before.
For a standout pick, the episode that features the first post-WWE interview with Jon Moxley is an explosive, revelatory and fascinating listen for anyone with an interest in the lives of professional wrestlers.
For sheer quantity of content and quality of banter, you can’t beat the beautiful, British lads of What Culture.
Something new drops from the group each and every day, sometimes multiple posts, covering everything new related, but also a healthy dose of analysis with previews, post shows, roundtables and more.
The rotating cast of hosts each have unique takes and provide fun insight that has the feel of you and your best wrestling buddy chopping it up over a cold beer except with a fabulous assortment of UK accents.
It is impossible to overstate just how much content is available from the What Culture office including YouTube videos, written articles and, of course, podcasts. Whether you agree with the hosts or not, there is at least one laugh out loud in public moment every week from them and their clear love of wrestling and appreciation for what they do always shines through.
As I no longer watch RAW or SmackDown, I would pick their reporting on both shows as my must listen choices of the week. Both shows are funny, insightful and the post-RAW pod features the “5 Star review, review” where the guys pick something “short, crap and wrestling-related” for a review based on the requests of their audience. These are typically something awful involving the very worst the sports entertainment has to offer and never, ever fail to leave me in stitches.
Whether you love him or find him a profane remnant of a forgotten age of wrestling, there is no denying that Jim Cornette is as “wrestling” a personality as you are ever to get.
The Experience pod, moreso than its sister pod, The Drive-Thru, can be counted on each week to provide two hours of classic stories, venom toward “indie-mudshow-cosplay-wrestling” and F-bombs. ALL the F-bombs.
Never one to shy away from controversy (imagine that, a wrestling guy garnering interest in himself through controversy), Cornette has lots to say about today’s product and the people involved with it. Most of it ranges from negative to hilarious, but all of his opinions are well thought through and come from the mind of a guy that has been in the business long enough to be taken seriously.
His ongoing feuds with “dick wrestler” Joey Ryan and other workers that have drawn his ire can be divisive, particularly if you don’t find the “penis-plex/dick-flip” to be anything other than silly fun, but Cornette is such a compelling personality that it’s impossible not to be drawn into the discussion.
Since the start of the Wednesday Night Wrestling wars, Cornette has devoted half of the experience to discussing his take on both AEW’s Dynamite and NXT. His fluster and disdain for all things indie makes his AEW analysis fairly harsh, but I find myself agreeing with him more often than not.
Of all the podcasts on this list, The Jim Cornette Experience is the very last one that you should listen to within earshot of literally anyone you know that is easily offended by profanity and over the top threats of violence toward people that in his mind are disrespectful toward the business that has been his life.
As the editor of the Pro Wrestling Torch for 30 years, Wade Keller is neck and neck with Dave Meltzer as being the most respected journalist in the game. So, when I really want to geek out hard to wrestling talk, Wade is my guy.
Dropping twice a week, though at an irregular schedule at the moment, the Keller pod is deep, critical analysis from Wade and a revolving cast of co-hosts.
I put the Keller pod on this as I really enjoy Wade’s work, but there a few knocks on his product that I would like to point out before you take him for a spin.
The ads… good lord, the ads. All pods have them, but as his pods are presented through a subscription service on his website, he really opens up the show to roughly cut in ads at every possible occasion. A two-hour podcast can contain as much as 30 or more minutes of ads, which is a lot of skipping around, especially if you just started Canadian winter as I did.
The second issue would be the co-hosts. Some are really good, while others are really, really bad. In the same way that What Culture feels like you and your buddy talking, the Keller pod can often sound like the kind of fans that make it hard to be a fan hashing it out. While the conversation is always layered and Wade does his best to keep it moving, some of the co-hosts just aren’t cut out for public speaking and it really shows.
One stand-out aspect of the Keller pod is that he has good relationships with multiple ex-WWE creative team members who make appearances to analyze the current product as well as share stories from their time working with Vince McMahon. These interviews, along with monthly stop ins from Jason Powell of Pro Wrestling BOOM, are the best that Keller has to offer for me. However, as background noise on a week when I want to listen to people dissect Roman Reigns segments for 40 minutes at a time, I usually have a place on my headphones for Wade Keller.
Although the podcast has lost some of its original sizzle since Bruce once again returned to the WWE fold, the firstborn of the Conrad Thompson podcast empire is still well worth the listen each and every week.
In each episode, host Conrad Thompson delves deep into a show or personality from wrestling’s past with Prichard, providing context and tales out of school that paint a vivid and fascinating picture of life within the WWE bubble.
The interplay between Thompson and Prichard is warm and easy to listen to, as the two have really developed into a well-oiled machine at this point and the cracking of beer cans can often be heard in the background of a conversation.
Something to Wrestle does not get into the current product for the most part, but Prichard’s roster of impressions bring life to past events while also highlighting some of the more colourful characters in the history of the business.
With a lengthy back catalogue of episodes to choose from, my favorites tend to be the character-focused episodes that deep dive into a particular person rather than episodes that cover specific PPV events or episodes of RAW. For absolute next level wrestling geek out marks, the 3 plus hour deep dive into Bob “Hardcore” Holly is one of my favorite episodes to date as it covers so much for a talent that never was the tippy-top guy.
Something to Wrestle is entertaining, informative and a peek behind the curtain of the world of pro wrestling.
It is also sponsored by Blue Chew as they will tell you and never, ever let you forget.
A few Honorable Mentions
If you dig or don’t dig those top five pics, here is a shortlist of other pods I check out, but don’t necessarily consider myself to be a regular listener of:
The Hall of Fame with Booker T – Who doesn’t want to Booker T talk about things?
The Tazz Show – Completed disassociated with the WWE, the Tazz show is a great listen with real, honest insight into all things wrestling.
The Steve Austin Show – If you can get past the fact that Steve Austin talks like Steve Austin in his real life, he is a great interviewer that regularly gets top talent guests to appear on his show.
Grillin’ JR – From the Conrad Thompson family of podcasts, Jim Ross is one of the best minds the business has ever seen, so listening to him engage with Thompson in his standard format is a fantastic listen.
Post Wrestling – I have only caught a few episodes of this pod, but I had to shout out some fellow Canucks and John Pollock and Wai Ting are a welcome, well-paced duo that provide analysis to current wrestling events.
So there you have it, fans. As if your wrestling plate wasn’t full enough, now you can add dessert!
Until Adam Cole can’t get a pop with “Bay-Bay”, I’ll see you marks around the loop.