We welcome lucha libre promoter Dhani Ledesma (@luchamemes) to the podcast to talk about his career and upcoming shows. We talk about how he started in lucha and the various companies he worked for until his current promotion Lucha Memes. We discuss his working relationship with CMLL, how it began and how he hopes itwill grow in the future. We also discuss booking foreign talent for shows, matches that did not come off as planned and ones he hopes to put together in the future. If you are familiar with our stuff, you know we talk about some of our favorite luchadors on these upcoming shows, including Puma (@pumaking), Tiger *@yosoutiger), Virus (@virus_cmll) and friend of the magazine, Hechicero (@_ReyHechicero). We discuss his thoughts on making his shows available on-line. We will update the pod next week once the video plans for Sunday's matches after the shows this weekend.
Doctor Lucha Steve Sims (@Drluchakr) returns to the show to preview the upcoming CMLL Dos Leyandas show and the match it is honoring, the 2000 Wrestling Observer Match of the Year, the Atlantis vs Villano III mascara contra mascara match. We discuss the build-up for the match, the match itself (watch before listening if you haven't see it already) and the aftermatch. We talk about this year's show, the potentially-horrendous main event, the rest of the card, who was not booked on the show (hint: if you last name is Casas, you) and what may happen to set the stage for this year's Anniversary show. We also talk about some of the other current lucha news, including the AAA exodus, luchadors in Impact Wrestling, what's the deal with the Crash and how long will Psycho Clown stay in AAA, the future for Lucha Underground and could LU change its generic influences and still be successful?
51: 43 - For the back half of the show, we switch topics and talk Steve's annual trip(s) to spring training and the upcoming baseball season. We mention his first trip this season to Arizona, who has he seen so far, what's Cubs mania like already,futures bets for the season to come, the proposed rules changes and the like.
If you want more on the Atlantis vs Villano III feud, I would encourage you to check out the upcoming Luchaworld Lucha Classica podcast done by recent guest Alfredo Esparza (@therealfredo) and Vandal Drummond (@vandaldrummond) on the match.
Wrestling Observer Live's Mike Sempervive (@sempervive) joins the pod to talk about the recent deaths of Ivan Koloff and George Steele. We discuss Ivan's historic win over Bruno Sammartino for the WWWF title, his part in Ole Anderson's turn on Dusty Rhodes in 1980 and a long review of Ivan in Mid-Atlantic, from teaming with Don Kernodle to teaming with Nikita Koloff and Khrusher Khrushchev. We also mention some of his other career highlights, including the infamous "Russian Flag Burial" of Cowboy Bill Watts (my second favorite angle). We then discuss the passing of George "the Animal" Steele and his evolution or is that devolution from title contender to lovable "missing link" and his role in the Savage/Steamboat feud. There is also brief talk about the passing of Bruiser Bob Sweetan.
(1:00) - At the hour mark, we do some hockey talk. Mike talks about the playoff changes for the Rangers and the cataclysmic system for the Red Wings. We discuss the upcoming trade deadline, ways to improve it (many ideas borrowed from friend of the pod @jeffmarek), the success or lack thereof this year of the World Cup, ESPN's relationship to hockey and the NHl and more.
The podcast remembers Chavo Guerrero Senior (Salvador Guerrero) who passed away at the age of 68. Chavo was the son of Gori Guerrero, brother of Hector, Mando and Eddy Guerrero and father of Chavo Guerrero Jr. Our condolences to his friends and family.
Magazine contributor Matt discusses Chavo's long career wrestling in Houston for Paul Boesch, including his singles feuds and matches teaming with Hector. We mention their feud with the Fabulous Ones, amongst others. Lots of footage of Chavo in Houston can be seen on the NWA on demand streaming service. We also talk about some of matches available on the service, including a just-posted NWA title match from 1977 between Terry Funk and Harley Race. We also have a brief chat about new comics we are enjoying, including US Avengers and Ultimates 2 by Al Ewing.
Then, we have an exerpt from Winter Palace episode 7 with Vandal Drummond (@vandaldrummond). At the time, we discussed the passing of Roddy Piper and Vandal seeing him live in LA in the late 1970s and part of our discussion was about Piper's feud with a young Chavo.
We did not have a change to get someone on to talk about Chavo's career in Japan or his time as NWA Junior Heavyweight champion. We hope to try and get a guest to discuss that on an upcoming episode of the podcast.
Below are a smattering of Chavo's work that can be found on youtube.
Luchaworld's Alfredo Esparza (@therealfredo) returns to the pod to talk about all the recent news in lucha libre. We discuss the just-announced return date for Lucha Underground and their long-awaited arrival on Netflix. We also talk about the wrestlers who left AAA, notably Pentagon Jr., now known as Penta el 0M, how their decision might effect their bookings in the US and Mexico. Then we discuss what's going on with the Crash promotion and can they become the number three lucha company. Of course, we talk about CMLL, their head-scratching booking, what's coming up for Dos Leyandas, all the multi-generational trios, as always, the greatness of Negro Casas, Fantasticamania 2017, CMLL talent working indy shows and more. We mentioned the recent Lucha Memes show and learned after recording the VOD (including Rush vs Raymond Rowe) will be available probably by the time you download this podcast. Fredo also discussed the new Luchaworld podcasts available on podbean, including the first episode of Lucha Classics with Vandal Drummond (@vandaldrummond), discussing 1930s lucha in El Paso, luchadors in WCW and Vandal's favorite promotion, Titanes en el Ring from Argentina. Fredo is also the co-host of the Lucha Talk pod on the MLW network.
Film scholar (as well as one of my film professors at IU) James Naremore joins the pod to talk Orson Welles and Shakespeare. We discuss the Criterion Chimes at Midnight, for which Jim did the commentary. We talk about its creation, Welles' love of Falstaff and various aspects of the movie's production. We then talk about the new DVD/Blu-Ray release of Welles' Macbeth, the different versions of the film and which is vastly superior. We also mention the famous "Voodoo Macbeth" put on by Welles in Harlem in 1046 (see youtube clip below). We also talk about Welles' Othello and the unfinished Merchant of Venice and how some pieces of the film are now available. We conclude with talking about the contrasts of film stock vs digital in film schools and in film preservation.
Most of Jim's books, including a new edition of The Magic World of Orson Welles, are still in print, as well as the Criterion edition Chimes of Midnight and Olive Films edition Macbeth are available from Amazon, Barnes and Noble or your local print/video store.
Writer Matt Fraction joins the podcast to talk baseball and comics. We discuss the Cubs World Series win, growing up a Cubs fan, the future of Cubs fandom, becoming a soccer fan in Portland, and the 1985 Bears. Turning to comics, we discuss Casanova, his long-running Image book. We talk about the 1960s spy influences, Howard Chaykin and American Flagg, metatextual references in the series, working on the series with Gabriel Ba (@gabirel_ba) and Fabio Moon (@fabiomoon) and more. Then we talk about ODY-C, his gender-flipping space opera retelling of the Odyssey. We discuss its creation, working with artist Christian Ward (@cjwardart) and more. We end with discussing potential upcoming TV work for Matt and Kelly Sue DeConnick (@kellysue), pitfalls of comics adaptations on the big/small screen, Iron Fist, Hawkeye, the gone-but-not-forgotten Fantastic Four twitter and being off social media. You can get the Mllkfed Criminal Masterminds newletter at milkfed.us. Special thanks to Kit Cox for all her help in arranging the interview.
The podcast returns from holiday/health hiatus for a look at the year in comics for 2016. We're joined in separate segments by (01:33) Joe Sposto (@joesposto) from Longbox Heroes, (40:22) magazine contributor Matt D and (1:11:20) Al Kennedy (@housetoastonish) from House To Astonish. There's chat about DC Rebirth, Civil War 2, the Inhumans' failed babyface push and other news from the past year. Then, it's lots of recommendations about what our favorite books and creators were from the past year. There are so many quality books now, things are bound to be forgotten, so apologies to those we should have mentioned during the show and did not. We still love your work, even if our collective memories are like a new kind of Swiss cheese,
Some of the books we did remember to mention include: The Vision by Tom King, Gabriel H Walta and Jordie Bellaire, Batman by King and multiple artists, Detective Comics by James Tynion IV and multiple artists, Wonder Woman by Greg Rucka, Nicola Scott and Liam Sharp, Moon Knight by Jeff Lemire and multiple artists, The Fix by Nick Spencer and Steve Lieber, Future Quest by Jeff Parker, Doc Shaner, Steve Rude and other artists, the Batman 66 books by multiple creators, Kaijumax by Zander Cannon, The Black Monday Murders by Jonathan Hickman and Tomm Coker, Southern Bastards by Jason Aaron and Jason Latour, Doctor Strange by Aaron and Chris Bachalo, the Thor books by Aaron and multiple artists, Giant Days by John Allison and multiple artists, Limbo by Dan Watters and Caspar Wijngaard, Another Castle by Andrew Wheeler and Paulina Ganucheau and plenty of other great books that you should check out to see if they are for you. It's a great time to be a comics reader, if you tastes run to action-oriented fare, indy slices of life or (hopefully) both.
We also said goodbye to two amazing books this year that ended after 50 and 60 issues: The Sixth Gun by Collen Bunn and Brian Hurtt and Chew by John Layman and Rob Guillory, respectively.
Also, I wanted to give a shout-out to some great collections that came out this year: The return of Blue Monday by Chynna Clugston-Flores, IDW's Artist Edition for the DC War books (featuring Kirby, Kubert, Kanigher and people whose last name didn't start with K) and the Master of Kung Fu omnibuses, books I never thought I would ever see collected.
There's some brief chat throughout the podcast about non-comics stuff, because we just can't stick to one topic for a whole show. We talk Marvel Puzzle Quest with Joe (our alliance leader), NXT wrestling with Matt and Chikara with Al.
Author and academician Jess Nevins (@jessnevins) joins the podcast for big episode fifty. We talk the art of annotating comics, starting with Kingdom Come and most notably The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill. We also discuss how his research methods have changed since the start of the internet age in the mid 1990s to the present. We also chat about current comics include the works of Ed Brubaker(@brubaker) and Sean Phillips (@seanpphillips), Bandette by Paul Tobin (@paultobin) and Colleen Coover (@colleencoover), the new Moon Knight book and Black Hammer by Jeff Lemire (@jefflemire) and various artists, Vision and Batman, both written by Tom King (@tomkingtk), Scarlet Witch by James Robinson jamesdrobinson) and various artists, and other books. We conclude by telling some stories about role playing Golden Age heroes while we both in grad school at Bowling Green. You can find information about Jess' books available in print and digitally at jessnevins.com.
Egyptian-based journalist and Chicago native Ashraf Khalil (@ashrafkhalil) joins the show to talk Cubbies and the world of popular culture. First, we talk about what it was like to experience the Cubs World Series win while halfway around the world. We also discuss how Cubs fans will be viewed now that they are no longer "lovable losers." Then, we talk about watching American sports abroad, sports podcasts include those by Dan LeBatard and Tony Kornheiser, watching or not watching the NFL in 2016 and more. Then, we talk pro wrestling, WWE getting mainstream coverage, watching the network vs youtube, American wrestling versus lucha watching habits and reminiscing about old school grappling. Next, we talk current comics, what Ash is reading (Chew, Sex Criminals, Revival) and what he should check out next (Vision, Lazarus, Southern Bastards, The Black Monday Murders, Casanova, The Goddamned). We end with a look at how the Presidential Election is seen in the Middle East and Red vs Blue dynamics across the country.
Note: We apologize for the podcast hiatus. Health issues of the ENT variety made doing a show problematic. Hopefully, things will be back to a more regular schedule soon. We tried to edit out any extraneous coughing and other issues, but some may have slipped through. Thank you for your patience.
It's the start of the baseball playoffs and we're joined by The Cubs Fan (@luchablog) to talk lucha libre. Oh, and baseball. We start by getting the latest on the Alberto situation, Zeuxis' tryout at the WWE Performance Center, the Volador Jr vs Barbaro Cavernario matches, including what might happen this week, Dragon Lee in ROH, the luchadors going to ROH for the trios tournament, the Hechicero vs Guerrero Maya Jr lightning match, and more news. Then, we talk about the trip to Mexico Cubs and @robviper took in September, including best matches and travelling from Mexico City to Tijuana to see The Crash show. We end by talking playoff baseball (we recorded during Toronto's game one mauling of Texas), what is Cubs' confidence/worry level, playing the Giants in the NLDS, Madison Bumgarner, the Dodgers vs Nationals series and more. Be sure to check out the Luchablog for the latest news and thecubsfan youtube channel for all the matches not otherwise available.
We welcome back Vandal Drummond (@vandaldrummond) from the Luchaworld podcast for a variety of subjects. We talk the Reyes de Aire match between Barbaro Cavernario and Volador Jr and its polarizing finish, what they have left for the rematch and Cavernario's main event future. We also talk about the recent CMLL legends show and how not all 50-+ year old wrestlers are like Negro Casas and Negro Navarro. Next, Vandal explains how he acquired some of the infamous Monsul's Powder, made famous by an angle with John Tolos and Freddie Blassie in 1971. We discuss other blinding angles and, based on the Last Battle of Atlanta footage, the importance of context when watching a match from the past cold. Then we discuss the European vacation Vandal and his wife took this summer, including being in London right after Brexit and Paris right after the Nice attack following Euro 2016. He also mentions what city (home to a former podcast guest and friend of the show) they loved so much they inquired about retiring there. We end with talk of the next Luchaworld podcast with Alfredo Esparza (@therealfredo) and some of the other shows Vandal has done recently, including the 605 Superpodcast (@605pod).
Todd Rowker (@rowkerthejoker) from the Longbox Heroes podcast (@longboxheroes) joins the show for our big valentine to Tom Baker and classic Doctor Who. We talk about Todd's rewatch of the series from the beginning, currently up to Tom Baker's first series. We discuss our favorite episodes from his tenure as the Doctor, watching episodically vs entire serial, the longevity of many of the actors and more. We also talk about issue 501 of Doctor Who Magazine, which featured a giant six-part interview with Baker, covering all facets of his time in the role, as well as his appearance as the Curator in The Day of the Doctor (see below). We discuss seeing elderly talent at conventions, be it entertainers or comics creators.
(33:05) - That seques into our discussion of current comics, including the Batman Family of books at DC (Batman, Detective, All-Star Batman), with dscussion of plot points from the current storylines. We also recommend Old Man Logan, All-New Wolverine, Mockingbird and The Vision from Marvel and the Black Monday Murders and Chew from Image.
Wrestling Observer Live's Mike Sempervive (@sempervive) returns to the pod for some old school rasslin' talk. We start with the WWE Network unveiling the thought-lost footage of the Battle of Atlanta between Tommy Rich and Mad Dog Buzz Sawyer. We talk about the match's historical context, does it hold up to 2016 eyes and how does it compare to the Magnum TA vs Tully Blanchard Starrcade 85 cage match. We talk about the history of Georgia Championship Wrestling both before and after that feud, including the legendary Ole Anderson heel turn on Dusty Rhodes (see below). We discuss all the wrestling content now available, including the WWE Network, the NWA On Demand Service, New Japan World, CMLL's streaming options and all the classic footage uploaded by folks like Kris Zellner (@kriszellner) and @Monsoon_Classic, to name just a few. We also talk about the current WWE scene, will HHH's success with NXT and the Cruiserweight Classic translate to the main roster, how will mainstream fans treat guys like Jack Gallagher and TJ Perkins and more. We wrap up with a brief chat about the just-starting World Cup of Hockey. Can anyone beat Canada? Will the Young Guns make it to the semi-finals? We taped the show during the North America vs Finland match.
Veteran comics creator Phil Hester (@philhester) joins the show to talk about his recent health issues, the 399kirbys project for the Hero Initiative (@heroinitiative), the upcoming Aftershock book Shipwreck drawn by Phil and written by Warren Ellis (@warrenellis), his current Image series Mythic, now in TPB, drawn by John McCrea (@mccreaman), the giant omnibus collection of The Wretch coming (likely) in 2017, working with Ande Parks (@andeparks) on Green Arrow with Kevin Smith (@thatkevinsmith) and Brad Meltzer (@bradmeltzer), working on Swamp Thing with Grant Morrison (@grant morrisoan) and Mark Millar (@mrmarkmillar), giving us the art for the cover for Odessa Steps Magazine issue 3 featuring the Holy Terror, how his book Firebreather with Andy Kuhn (@andykuhn) went from an Image comic to a Cartoon Network feature and more.
At the end of the show, a brief tribute to the recently deceased Steven Hill, Harry Fujiwara (aka Mr. Fuji) and the legendary Gene Wilder. Condolences to their ffriends and family.
With Blue Monday finally back in print, we are thrilled to have Chynna Clugston Flores (@chynnasyndrome) on the podcast to talk about the series being reprinted at Image with colors by Jordie Bellaire (@whoajordie), the timetable for reprints and new material, the return of Scooter Girl, writing the Gotham Academy/Lumberjanes cross-over book, working on DC kids books including the Mad Mod issue of Teen Titans Go, MTV Classics, use of music in Blue Monday, the cyclical nature of fads and culture, silent movies and more.
Following that, we have a short list of podcast recommendations, including Monday Night Braw (@mondaynightbraw), Between the Sheets and Exile on Badstreet by Kris Zellner (@kriszellner) and David Bixenspan @davidbix), european football podcasts from the Guardian, the Times (of London), Second Captains (@secondcaptains) from the Irish Times,The Men in Blazers (@meninblazers), Talksport's European Football Show, the Jonah Keri Podcast (@jonahkeri) and the Sports Illustrated Media Podcast hosted by RIchard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch)
It's a celebration of Ichiro's 3000th hit, tempered by the passing on the day of recording of longtime ESPN anchor John Saunders. On the podcast today are Joe Lucia (@Joe_TOC) from Awful Announcing and The Comeback and former ESPN producer Gus Ramsey (@GusRamsey)'
Joe talks about John Saunders (1:29), Ichiro's 3000 hits and his amazing MLB season (5:07), the rash of retiring players this week (15:33), the August 1 trade deadline (21:26), the Aaron Sanchez soap opera in Toronto (22:42), rooting for bad teams (26:46), NBC's Rio Olympics coverage (33:08) and televising internationl futbol in the US (37:45).
Gus discusses John Saunders (48:34), Ichiro (53:00), retiring players (58:10), the Dan and Kieth years on Sportscenter (1:01:06), Sports Night and other depictions of newsrooms in TV and Film (1:05:29), working on the WWE Network's Edge and Christian Show (1:12:24), the state of current WWE (1:26:50), his new Talent Coach service for broadcasters (1:31:31) and the new Madden and other video games (1:39:15).
Longbox Heroes podcast co-host Leonard F Chikarason (@LFChikarason) is back to talk about the latest goings-on in popular culture. We talk San Diego Comic-Con news (4:00), which leads to a discussion of comic book movies, our preferences and Trekkies vs Trekkers. We discuss new comics (23:15) we are enjoying including Batman by Tom King (@TomKIngTK) and David Finch and Detective Comics by James Tynion IV (@JamestheFourth), the Archie line of books including Archie by Mark Waid and Veronica Fish, Betty and Veronica by Adam Hughes,, Jughead by Chip Zdsrsky, Afterlife with Archie and Chilling Adventures of Sabrina by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Francesco Francovilla and Robert Hack, Blue Monday by Chynna Clugston-Flores, the FIx by Nick Spenser and Steve Lieber (including a great story about Lieber) and Future Quest by former podcast guest Jeff Parker (@jeffparker), Doc Shaner @DocShaner), Jordie Bellaire (@whoajordie) and Steve Rude (@steverudeart) We move on to luchadors working in the US (34:05), including for the two promotions where Leonard does commentary: AIW Wrestling (@aiwrestling) in Cleveland and Chikara Pro (@chikarapro). We discuss the popularity of Pentagon Jr at an AIW show earlier this year and luchadors working at King of Trios Labor Day weekend. We close with a deep dive on Marvel Puzzle Quest (39:41), some upcoming characters and strategies we employ when playing the game. Also, behind the scenes news about Longbox Heroes schedule (58:48).
1:04:03 - The show ends with a brief remembrance following the passing of MAD Magazine artist Jack Davis and Cul-de-Sac cartoonist RIchard Thompson. I recommend Mark Evanier;s obituary for Davis. I would also expect that Tom Spurgeon of the Comics Reporter will have a thorough obit for Thompson in the coming days.
Lucha Week concludes with a mega-length podcast with Dr. Lucha Steve Sims (@drluchajr). On the lucha front, we talk about La Mascara and the CMLL Anniversary show, the Rush vs L.A. Park feud, Sexi Star unmasking, breaking news as we recorded of Pentagon Jr. winning the AAW title in Chicago, WWE's interest in adding more luchadors to their roster, just what do they want, La Sombra/Andrade Almas in NXT, the viewer demographics of Lucha Underground, luchadors working in the US vs Mexico and more. On the non-lucha front, we talk about content delivery models in the future, a la care programming, baseball's draconian blackout rules, the All-Star Game (54:15) and Comic-Con (1:14:30) being held in Steve's hometown of San Diego, traveling to Tijuana in 2016 vs years past, being a genre fan in 2016 and not supporting all TV shows and movies out of loyalty, new TV shows vs old TV shows, change kits in European futbol and much more.
Lucha Week continues as we are joined by CMLL wrestler Sam Adonis (@samelias89) to talk about coming to Mexico, working in CMLL, the CMLL Grand Prix ippv, his almost-immediate rivalry with Shocker, his favorite opponents so far, the fluidity of opponents in CMLL, atmosphere at lucha shows, lucha vs British wrestling, great British wrestlers not yet known in the US including James Mason, the Knight family (of WWE's Paige fame), being trained by his brother (Corey Graves, formerly known as Sterling James Keenan) fliers and bases in wrestling and more. We were lucky to catch up with Sam on the same day he was main eventing Arena Mexico.