Episode Seventy-Three - Castle (Pay) Walls

 The dear, departed National. Is The Athletic its spiritual successor? 

The dear, departed National. Is The Athletic its spiritual successor? 

The podcast returns after a medically-related hiatus to a jam-packed sports calendar. To help discuss it, we are very honored to have on the show Stephen Brunt from Sportsnet and the Fan 590 in Toronto.

First, we discuss Stephen's return to co-host Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown, the genesis of his return, sharing the co-host chair with former pod guest Richard Deitsch and more. That segues into a discussion about sports journalism in 2018, the pay model of things like The Athletic and Second Captains, sportswriters moving to TV and and radio, the late, lamented National Sports Daily and what demographics will pay for content, sports or otherwise. 

Then, we talk about a variety of sports topics, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Maple Leafs struggles vs the Bruins, playoff predictions, the CONCACAF Champions League final between Toronto FC and Chivas de Guadalajara, the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, Arsene Wenger leaving Arsenal, the recent HBO documentary on Andre the Giant, the passing of Bruno Sammartino and more. 

You can hear Stephen on Prime Time Sports (when he is the co-host) 5-7 PM weekdays on the Fan 590 and read him on Sportsnet.ca. You can also get his books on Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Muhammad Ali and more at Amazon and the other usual places they are sold. 

Episode Sixty-Eight - Red Fog at Night

 The scheduled card for the CMLL Anniversary show. But will the main event happen as planned?

The scheduled card for the CMLL Anniversary show. But will the main event happen as planned?

The CMLL Anniversary show is next week, so Dr Lucha Steve Sims (@drluchajr) returns to the show to discuss it.  We talk about Niebja Roja's injury and what that might been to the scheduled main event. We also discuss Diamante Azul possibly being off the show, despite still be on the poster released today.  We discuss the lackluster go-home show Friday night and speculate about the winner of the mask match between Princess Sugheit and Zeuxis. We also discuss the usual head scratching of CMLL booking, can Micro-Man win Rookie of the Year? and some of the other news in lucha, such as Dr. Wagner Jr's mask loss at Triplemania this year. (Note: zero discussion of the lady boxer/wrestler most everyone has been talking about the last week or so). 

Then, we ask Steve just what is up with his LA Dodgers, from potential record breakers to a team that can't buy a win lately. Was getting Yu Darvish a mistake? Will the Diamondbacks catch them for the division title? 

We end with a look ahead to the first season of Sreve's new hometown hockey team, the Vegas Golden Knights. How successful can a hockey team be in Sin City, where will attendance come from and can they establish a foothold before the Raiders come to town

You can hear Steve weekly on Wrestling Observer Radio and is a regular guest on Luchaword's Lucha Classica podcasts. 

Episode Sixty-Four - The Mad Titan

 From the Death of Captain Marvel. (c) 2017 Marvel Comics.

From the Death of Captain Marvel. (c) 2017 Marvel Comics.

Just in time for San Diego Comic-Con, an over-stuffed episode about comics, movies, TV and video games. We welcome Craig from the Puzzle Warriors 3 podcast (@PuzzleWarriors3) to talk all that and more.

We start by going over what got Craig back into comics after a couple decades, what we are both enjoying right and looking forward to coming out soon. Plenty of good recommendations here. Also, why does Craig love Dazzler so mych?

From there, we talk about the just completed season of Doctor Who and what we could happen in the Xmas Special as well as thoughts on the new creative team and cast.

And lots of Marvel Puzzle Quest talk, including why he, Ian and Craig started the show, thoughts of some of the more powerful characters in the game, balancing PVE, PVP and DDQ, how much fun the special events have been of late and chat about the special plants for their 100th episode in two weeks time. 

Lots of random stuff at the end, including wrestling and hockey talk. We never got around to all the old TV show and cartoon talk that was on the docket, so hopefully Craig will be back in a future episode.

Note: We had a brief addition to the show for a mention of the passing of George A. Romero and Martlin Landau. As a huge Mission Impossible fan, I am working on lining up a special guest to talk about Landau's career. 

 

 

 

Episode Sixty-Three - Es Un Asunto de Familia

 Puma King with his copy of issue six at Break the Barrier 2017.

Puma King with his copy of issue six at Break the Barrier 2017.

If you missed the news a couple weeks ago, issue six of the magazine is now out. It debuted at the Break the Barrier show in Old Forge PA, where Puma and his dad Felino wrestled Guerrero Maya Jr and Skayde. That match was the basis for our cover (by Kcidis) and cover story bios by The Cubs Fan (@luchablog).

To talk about his article in the magazine, we were joined on the pod by Dr. Lucha Steve Sims. We discussed his article on the Alvarado Family (Los Brazos, Maximo, La Mascara), their history and how that related to what happened to Ultimo Guerrero's car, the guys who were and were not fired over the incident and all the things that connect to the incident. We also discuss some of the other big families in lucha right now: The Munoz Family (Rush, Dragon Lee, Mistico and Pierroth), the Ibarra Family (LA Park, Volador Jr, Super Parka), the Panthers (Blue Panther Sr and Jr, The Panther) and of course, the Casas Family (Negro Casas, Felino, Puma, TIger, Dallys, Canelo), There's also other lucha talk, including why hasn't there been any legal action over the vandalism, the usual head scratching involving CMLL booking and talk about the next project coming to the website, a look back at what Rob Viper called CMLL's best tournament ever, the 2014 En Busca De Un Idolo tournament, which involved people like Hechicero, Barbaro Cavernario, Dragon Lee, Cachorro/The Panther and Sobernao Jr.  

After that, we talk about Matt's article on Gino Hernandez's time working in Houston for Pail Boesch. We talk about his matches there, both as a single and a tag team with Tully Blanchard. Unfortunately, Matt was unable to be on the podcast to discuss his article. But if you want to see many of the matches he wrote about and we discussed, you can see them on the NWA Streaming Service (at least as of this writing). 

Then there is a whole mish-mash of subjects, from what wrestling we could watch in the mid-1980s to watching wrestling in college (Steve in Chapel Hill in the 70s, me in Bloomington in the 80s) to a bunch of other stuff. 

For more information on the magazine, check out its page here on the website. 

Episode Sixty-Two - Los Persuasores!

 RIP Sir Roger Moore

RIP Sir Roger Moore

To talk about a wild time in the world of lucha libre, we welcome back to the show Rob BIhari (@robviper). We start off by discussing the circumstances that led CMLL to fire Maximo, La Mascara and Bobby Villa. We go over the facts as we know them and where things go from here for those wrestlers, Super Porky, Psycho Clown and others.  We also discuss the history of micros in wrestling, from their start as a drawing act, through Antonio Pena reviving the concept in AAA in the 1990s to the recent matches involving Micro Man, Gallito, Mije and magazine/podcast favorite Zacarias.  We also mention the return of Lucha Underground and some indy lucha Rob recommends.  Then we discuss powerbomb.tv's Break the Barrier show June 11 in Old Forge PA, which both of us will be attending. We are planning to debut the next issue of Odessa Steps Magazine at the show (details soon). We go over some of the luchadors working the show, as well as hoping to see more lucha talent wrestling in the US.

(51:20) Then, we have some Stanley Cup playoff chat, including Who will Win Game 7 between Pittsburgh and Ottawa, how we both are rooting for Nashville in the Final, the PK Subban story, playoff parity, the World Championships, Mitch Marner's soclal media, the usual love for past pod guests Jeff Marek and Grey Wyshynski and more.

(1:15:30) To close the show, a brief memorial to Sir Roger Moore, who passed away earlier this week. Some chat about his work, well-known and some not as much: the Bond movies, The Saint, The Persuaders, ffolkes, spoofing his image in The Cannonball Run and on the Muppet Show and more. 

Episode Fifty-Six - Ursa Major

 Ivan, Nikita and Don Kernodle.

Ivan, Nikita and Don Kernodle.

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. 

Episode Forty-Five - Georgia on My Mind

 Did the Battle of Atlanta ruin Tommy RIch's career?

Did the Battle of Atlanta ruin Tommy RIch's career?

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. 

Episode Thirty - Olde Tyme Hockey

 Blackjack Mulligan and Ric Flair in the Crockett territory.   

Blackjack Mulligan and Ric Flair in the Crockett territory.

 

Jeff Marek (@jeffmarek) from Sportsnet and the #MvsW podcast returns to talk Stanley Cup playoffs with a break-down of each first-round series, (17:42) the passing of legendary Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider, (26:00) a quick look at the junior hockey playoffs and Memorial Cup preview and (27:50) the passing of Blackjack Mulligan, patriarch of the Windham Family, who Jeff saw in the 1970s in Toronto.. 

Episode Eighteen - The Author Theory 1

 Hopeless Savages Break (C) 2015 Jen Van Meter

Hopeless Savages Break (C) 2015 Jen Van Meter

1:20 - Comics writer Jen Van Meter (@hopelessjen) discusses her @Onipress graphic novel Hopeless Savages Break. We talks about working with artists Meredith McClaren (@inquitousFish) and Christine Norrie (@christinenorrie) on the new book, past volumes of the series drawn by Norrie, Chynna Clugston Flores (@chynnasyndrome) and Bryan Lee O'Malley (@radiomaru), future stories, (9:56) her @ValiantComics series drawn by Roberto de la Torre The Death-Defying Doctor Mirage and (14:00) writing the Injustice Gang back in 2006 in JSA Classified. (17:00) We also talk about the MLS championship won last week by the Portland Timbers & the crazy plays in the match, (24:45) the Timbers being featured in Greg Rucka's (@ruckawriter) Stumptown and (28:10) life as a comics pro living in Portland.

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30:55 - Yahoo Sports hockey editor of the Puck Daddy blog and the co-host of Marek vs Wyshynski podcast Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) discusses his new book Take Your Eye Off the Puck, its origin and contents, including chapters on fancy stats and cutting edge technology. (43:09) We also talk the current NHL Season, the hot start by Dallas, the slow start by Pittsburgh and Anaheim and Detroit post-Mike Babcock. Then we talk nerd culture, featuring (47:16) the just-finished season of Doctor Who, (57:19) binge TV watching and spoiler culture, (1:01:15) the resurrected MST3K and (1:07:15) new comics, including Saga, Batman and the new Marvel Star Wars books

Episode Thirteen - Two Minutes for Murder

maerek.jpg

1:04 - The return of Jeff Marek (@jeffmarek) from Hockey Night in Canada and the #MvsW podcast who talks Live Audio Wrestling, helping Trish Stratus (@trishstratuscom) get into the WWF, the new NHL season, 3 on 3 in OT, prospects for the Maple Leafs and Red Wings, rookie seasons for Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel, will expansion to Las Vegas and/or Quebec City happen, the MvsW podcast, the start of the major junior season, Blue Jays fever and more.  

29:42 - And a brief look at some popular culture news, including the start of Doctor Who season 9, the new Doctor Who spin-off Class, CMLL Anniversary fallout, Los Ingobernables t-shirts for sale at lucha shop dot com, Waid/Samnee move to Black Widow, the conclusion of Zander Cannon's (@zander_cannon) first arc of Kaijumax, Hechicero (@_reyhechicero) poses with new Odessa Steps Magazine, Podcast Day shout-outs and more.

Episode Nine - To Catch a Shadow

1:04 - Rob Viper (@RobViper) discusses his recent trip to Mexico to see Lucha Libre. We talk about AAA Triplemania, Rey Misterio vs Myzteziz, the upcoming CMLL Anniversary show, the finals of En Busca de un Idolo, Cara Lucha (@caralucha), Chilanga Mask, the great Black Terry Jr (@Blackterry), the long history between Odessa Steps Magazine, El Doctor Alquimia (@doctoralquimia)  and Highspots (@highspots), the fabulous Jeff Marek (@jeffmarek) [listen to episode 3], the Toronto Blue Jays, the Toronto Maple Leafs, getting The Cubs Fan (@luchablog) to Mexico in September, the Luchaworld pod with Fredo Esparza (@therealfredo) and Vandal Drummond.

48:06 - Matt D discusses the Bayley phenomenon (@itsBayleyWWE) and appealing to a non-traditional wrestling demographic, NXT Takeover in Brooklyn this Saturday, the Ant-Man movie, Lazarus by Greg Rucka (@ruckawriter) [listen to episode 2] and MIchael Lark (@MichaelLark66), Weird World by Jason Aaron (@Jason Aaron) and Mike Del Mundo (@deadlymike) and more En Busca de un Idolo talk.

Episode Three - A Confederacy of Dustys

On this solemn occassion, we are joined by a variety of guests to talk mainly about the passing last week of the American Dream, Dusty Rhodes.  

Special Guest Star - Jeff Marek of Sportsnet and the Marek vs Wyshynski podcast. Jeff talks about wrestling in Toronto in the 1970s and 1980s and some thoughts on Dusty.  We also talk about the Stanley Cup Final (before game 5) and the upcoming NHL Draft.

Special Guest Star - Mike Sempervive from Wrestling Observer Live. Mike talks about the history of Dusty, watching wrestling in the 1980s in Washington DC. We also talk about the Stanley Cup Final (after game 5). Mike also wrote an apprectiation for Mid-South Wresting in the first issue of the Russian Flag Burial Magazine.

Guest Star - Staff contributor Matt D returns to talk about Dusty and Dustin Rhodes.  Matt is writing a career retrospective of Dustin in the Russian Flag Burial magazine. Part one covers his debut and career up until becoming Goldust.