Episode Seventy-Five - The Shareef Don't Like It

 Just one example of Vince McMahon’s great history of Middle East relations.

Just one example of Vince McMahon’s great history of Middle East relations.

On the eve of the WWE Crown Jewel (aka Blood Money) special, I’m joined by Associated Press reporter Ashraf Khalil (@ashrafkhalil) to talk about a variety of issues related to the show. Among the various topics discussed, we talk about the history of xenophobia in pro wrestling, Middle East politics, the familial permutations of all the Samoans and other Pacific Islanders, late 1980s AWA, the socio-political demographics of wrestling fans and other diversions. We also actually talk about the show next week, how it will be booked and how much propaganda there will be compared to the first KSA show held earlier this year. Apologies if some of the facts are a little off. We recorded the show a few days after originally scheduled and I did not have all the prep work I had done earlier readily available. Also, this show was recorded with a new program, so there may not sound the same as part shows.

Also, there’s a brief obituary to Keiichiro Kimura, the Japanese animator who passed away recently. He was the animation director and character designer for the classic Tiger Mask cartoon, a favorite of longtime Japanese wrestling fans around the world.



Episode Seventy-Four - The Skeleton Dance

 Sharp Dressed Caveman. The Anniversary Main Event

Sharp Dressed Caveman. The Anniversary Main Event

The podcast is back from its summer holidays just in time to discuss a big week of lucha libre news and to help us digest it all, we welcome back Rob Viper (@robviper) to the show.

CMLL just announced the card for the Anniversary show in September and needless to say, many folks are not happy we are not getting a Rush vs LA Park main event. We go over the whole card and spend plenty of time discussing why it did not happen, who's to blame, who's spinning their version as to why the match is not happening this year and more.  There is the usual talk about CMLL booking philosophy and business management, as well as talking about all the big crowds this year, in Mexico CIty, but also in Puebla and Guadalajara. 

Rob also tells us about his recent trip to Mexico to see a bunch of shows, including the Negro Casas 40th Anniversary card a few weeks ago (see below), the Mexa Wresting and Pura Raza show, featuring (friend of the pod) Hechicero vs Christopher Daniels. 

We also discuss the recent passing of the legendary Villano III, including some match recommendations (including the famous WON Match of the Year vs Atlantis). For more on Villano III's career, make sure to read Fredo Esparza's obit at Luchaworld

Other topics include: the atmosphere at lucha shows compared to American/Canadian shows and online pals like Puma King (@pumakingoficial) and Zeuxis (@ZeuxisLucero) leaving CMLL and going independent and their upcoming big events in PWG and the Mae Young Classic, respectively. 

At the end, we also sneak in some summertime hockey chat, since John Tavares just had his first public skate as a member of Rob's Maple Leafs. 

Hopefully, health permitting, the pod will be back on a more regular basis going forward. We have a bunch of folks lined up for September. Card Subject to Change. 

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 Seventy-Two - Nueva Generacion de Energia

dinamita.jpg

Nueva Generacion Dinamita - Rocket Strapped by CMLL

     For the first podcast of 2018, we are happy to welcome back The Cubs Fan (@luchablog) to talk about the resurrected Tapatia Awards and a plethora of lucha libre news.

     We start with the  2017 Tapatia Awards and why Cubs decided to bring them back. We then discuss all the winners (a clean sweep for CMLL) and what that says about the year in lucha.

     Then, it a look at lucha news with no real rhyme nor reason, including: Fantasticamania, the upcoming Angel de Oro vs Cuatrero mascara match, the mega push of theaasa NGD, the Parejas tournament and who will face Volador and Ultimo Guerrero, the font office acchanges headed by Sofia Alanso and more. We also cover the new Arolucha promotion, US companies and booking indy luchadors and what will the future hold for Rey Misterio Jr? 

Note: It may be a few weeks before the new podcast. We are trying to line up some fun guests in the future. Thanks for Listening. 

 

Episode Seventy-One - Rock Me Salieri

 Pep and Jose, the prequel

Pep and Jose, the prequel

The podcast returns before the holiday season kicks in discussing the world of futbol and more with Ken Early (@kenearlys) from the Irish Times and the Second Captains podcast (@secondcaptains). 

We start with how Ireland is dealing with their elimination from the World Cup and what the future holds for coaches Martin O'Neill and Roy Keane. That segues into a discussion about why they and the Irish national team have such a poor relationship in recent years with Everton.

Then, it's onto a chat about the Champions League, which resumed with Match Day Five when this episode debuted. From there, we talk about two of Ken's favorite subjects: Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.  We examine the relationship between the two in Spain and now in the Premier League. To which historical rivals does Ken compare the two managers? And just how of The Special One's wrestling heel persona is a work?

Lastly, we talk about the Second Captains World Service podcast network, their move to becoming a paid subscription model earlier this year and the decision for Ken to a political podcast as one of their shows and the whole "stick to sports" opinion held by a segment of the sports fans around the world.

Note: The political chat starts around 34:30 and includes a number of current events.  If that's not your cup of tea, please feel free to give that section a pass. No offense taken.

You can join the Second Captains World Service at Patreon.  For US subscribers, it's (at current exchange rates) $5.35 a month for at least six podcasts a week. 

Episode Seventy - Here Come De Judge

 Will the Cubs be able to defend their World Series crown? 

Will the Cubs be able to defend their World Series crown? 

Just in time for playoff baseball,, we welcome back to the podcast the Managing Editor of Awful Announcing Joe Lucia (@joe_TOC).  We start with the news of the day, the resignation of Atlanta GM John Coppolella and which managed might get the pink slip this offseason.  We then give our picks for the American and National League Cy Young and MVP awards.  Then, it's a series-by-by-series breakdown of each round of the playoffs, culminating with who we each think will win the World Series. 

After that, it's some quick Premier League chat. As a Manchester City supporter, Joe is flying high at the moment, with his team top of the table when the podcast was recorded. Conversely, my Everton is under-performing and plenty of folks calling for the manager's head. We also give our thoughts on who may or may not end up in the relegation dogfight. 

Episode Sixty-Nine - When First We Practice to Deceive

 Martin Landau as Rollin Hand.

Martin Landau as Rollin Hand.

On the ever of Star Trek: Discovery debuting, we are pleased to be joined by John Champion (@dvdgeeks), co-host of the Mission Log Podcast, to talk Trek and more. 

We begin by going over the career of Martin Landau, who passed away in July 2017. Lots of Mission Impossible chat here, including some of his most memorable episodes and also some of his other guest star appearances as well as playing Bela Lugosi in Ed Wood. We also mention a number of connections between Mission Impossible and the 1960s Star Trek show, including the overlapping guest stars and address the rumor about Landau possibly being on the list of actors to play Mr. Spock.

This segues into our Trek talk, starting with Mission Log about to wrap up reviewing The Next Generation and moving on to the TNG movies and then Deep Space Nine. And we preview Star Trek: Discovery, starting next week on CBS before moving to CBS' streaming service.  What do we know so far based on the trailer and advanced information? John also lets us now how Mission Log is going to cover an on-going TV show. 

We end with a very nerdy chat about the 1967 Bond movie Casino Royale and why we both love it, despite being "a glorified mess." 

Mission Log Podcast (@missionlogpod), host by John and Ken Ray (@macosken) drops every Thursday wherever you get your podcasts. 

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-Seven - Campeones, Campeones

 Hot balls. The UEFA Champions League draw happened this week in Monaco.

Hot balls. The UEFA Champions League draw happened this week in Monaco.

With all sorts of news going on in the futbol word, we welcome ESPNFC journalist Gabriele Marcotti (@marcotti) to the show. We start with an analysis of the draws for the Champions League and Europa League, held this week in Monaco.  Which groups look the toughest and what are the prospects for the Premier League teams.  Then, we discuss the flurry of transfer activity this summer, including news just today that Ousmane Dembele is headed to Barcelona and Kylian Mbappe could be on the verge of joining Neymar at Paris St-Germain. That leads to a talk about PSG and Financial Fair Play, something Gab has written about over the last couple weeks.  We end the futbol talk with a look at Week Three in the Premier League, including the match at Stanford Bridge between Chelsea and Everton.

The rest of the show, we talk about how Gab became an ECW hardcore regular in the mid to late 1990s while a student at Penn.  What was his first trip to ECW Arena like? What angles does he remember seeing at the shows? Does he still keep up with the business in 2017?

We really want to thank Gab for his time, as the pod was recorded after he flew back this afternoon to London from Monaco. You can read Gab's work at ESPNFC.com, The Times (of London) [paywall] and you can hear him as the host of The Game podcast every Monday during the futbol season, on Soundcloud, iTunes, or most listening platforms.

Episode Sixty-Six - Islands in the Stream

 NBC's excellent EPL studio cast: host Rebecca Lowe, and analysts Kyle Martino, Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe. 

NBC's excellent EPL studio cast: host Rebecca Lowe, and analysts Kyle Martino, Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe. 

With some sports media news in the headlines, we are pleased to be joined again by Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) from Sports Illustrated.  We recorded on Operning Day for the English Premier League, so we chat about NBC's near-universal popular coverage as well as their paid app and whether people will purchase.  That seques into a discussion of The Athletic, the paid content sports writing site, their successes so far and would their model work in a city like New York. We talk about ESPN and how necessary they are for a fan whose favorite sports are undercovered (like hockey and soccer). We also discuss where ESPN fits in with Disney's new streaming strategy. We end with some brief wrestling chat, what Richard is enjoying with the current WWE product and being able to wrestling from around the world online. 

We are working lining up some guests to discuss the Premier League and the other European leagues starting up, but were not able to get them in time for today's podcast. Hopefully, they will be on the next episode. Thanks for listening. 

Episode Sixty-Five - El Gringo Enojado

 Love Machine Sam Adonis on his way to fight Blue Panther in Arena Mexico.

Love Machine Sam Adonis on his way to fight Blue Panther in Arena Mexico.

Sam Adonis (@realsamadonis) returns to the podcast to discuss his upcoming hair vs hair match against Blue Panther August 4th in Arena Mexico. 

We discuss the world-wide media attention he has gotten for his flag-waving American gimmick in Mexico and how that fits in with wrestling's history of xenophobic heels. We talk about the feud with Blue Panther and invoking the name and gimmick of the late Love Machine Art Barr and his feud 25 years ago in CMLL. We chat about his favorite opponents and partners over his year in Mexico, his upcoming trip to Japan and how things are going for his brother, WWE announcer Corey Graves. 

Sam is super busy these days, so we thank him very much for his time.

Also, a quick shout-out to former podcast guests Colleen Coover and Paul Tobin, for their third consecutive Eisner Award for Bandette. You can hear them discuss it on episode 24. Congratulations to all the winners, some of whom are tentatively planned as future guests.

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 Sixty-One - Masters of the World

 Parejas Increibles. Valeria Richards and Victor Von Doom. (c) 2017 Marvel Comics

Parejas Increibles. Valeria Richards and Victor Von Doom. (c) 2017 Marvel Comics

Todd Rowker (@rowkerthejoker) from The Longbox Heroes Podcast (@longboxheroes) returns to the show for a chat about a variety of subjects. First, we talk about the new season of Doctor Who, what has and has not worked so far and a brief discussion of the rest of the season. Some small spoiler talk but only things shown in the teaser trailer.  We then talk about the Gallifreybirds project Todd and Joe (@joesposto) are doing this year on Longbox Heroes After Dark, We go over why Todd chose each episode of Doctor Who so far for Joe to watch, as well as thoughts on the wrestling he has seen so far. Then, some chat about current comics, including the Batman/Flash cross-over "The Button", Hal Jordan and the Green Lantern Corps and another endorsement for Scooby Doo Team-Up. We briefly chat about some Marvel books, including thoughts after the deep dive re-read I did recently of Jonathan Hickman's run on Fantastic Four and FF. 

Also, as mentioned on the show, we will be setting up at the Powerbomb.TV Breaking the Barrier show on June 11 in Old Forge PA. Hopefully, there will be a new Odessa Steps Magazine debuting at the show. 

Episode Sixty - Dangerous Va-K-tion

Tim gets a handshake from Kawada, instead of a stretch plum. Photo courtsey Tim Livingston

Tim Livingston (@mrtimlivingston) joins the show to talk some basubaru and puroresu. First, we discuss his trip/vacation to South Korea and Japan, why he went and what he did while he was there. Plenty of talk about video games, baseball (in both countries) and pro wrestling, when Tim went to some famous venues and ate at some famous places. He even got to meet his favorite Japanese wrestler, Toshiaki Kawada. Then, we talk about his career in baseball, from working for the Dunedin Blue Jays to being the play-by-play voice of the Sonoma Stompers @sonomastompers). We chat about how he got the gig for his hometown nine, their progressive philosophies on and off the field, how Francis Ford Coppola fits in to the story and hanging out with "the Spaceman" Bill Lee.  

Tim did a write-up for Place to Be Nation. You can also catch Tim as the voice of Phoenix Pro Wrestling (@PPWPetaluma).

Episode Fifty-Nine - The Royal Flush Gang

 Would you trust Noh-Varr? From Royals 1 by Al Ewing and Johnboy Meyers.(C) Marvel Comics. 

Would you trust Noh-Varr? From Royals 1 by Al Ewing and Johnboy Meyers.(C) Marvel Comics. 

Today on the show, writer Al Ewing (@Al_Ewing) stops by for a wide-ranging chat about his work.  First, we discuss his current work at Marvel, including the recently-launched Inhumans book Royals, including the book's creation, it's outer space setting, the inclusion of Noh-Varr and more. We also chat about his other current books Ultimates and US Avengers, and their predecessors, New Avengers, Mighty Avengers and Contest of Champions. Lots of fun stuff for you here, including the joy of C-list villains, serious vs fun superhero books and we even discuss Iso-8, the MacGuffin Mineral that features throughout Marvel's comics and video games. 

Then, we chat about Doctor Who in a number of forms. We mention the "Doctor What" story in 2000AD done by Al and Brendan McCarthy, as well as the Matt Smith Era Doctor Who comics Al wrote for Titan.  We also discuss the current season (following the season premiere), Peter Capaldi's performance as the Doctor and more. 

Finally, we go on a bunch of tangents and have a long chat about UK and US television, everything from World of Sport to Gladiators to The Great British Bake Off to QI and lots more.  If you are a fan of British Comedy, there's a lot of it mentioned, including Whose Line Is It Anyway, Blackadder, The Young Ones, Dad's Army, Morecambe and Wise, Fry and Laurie, but no French and Saunders.

Note: Stephen Fry left QI after the "M" season in 2015. Sandi Toksvig became host with the "N" season in 2016. Alan Davies' "magician murder mystery show" is Jonathan Creek. 

You can get Al's comics from your local comics shop, Amazon or Comixology. You can get The El Sombra Trilogy  from Amazon. 

 Paste Pot Pete sketch by Phil Hester. 

Paste Pot Pete sketch by Phil Hester. 

 Kirby's Sandman costume. From Fantastic Four 61. (C) Marvel Comics.

Kirby's Sandman costume. From Fantastic Four 61. (C) Marvel Comics.

Episode Fifty-Eight - Di-no-mita

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. 

You can now watch the Black Terry /Negro Navarro vs Hechicero/Virus match on youtube

Episode Fifty-Seven - Antidiluvian Kings

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. 

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.