Awesome Truth: A Wrestling Book Club-logo

Awesome Truth: A Wrestling Book Club


Welcome to Awesome Truth, a wrestling book club in podcast form. Every episode, your hosts Steve Cimino and Walt Schwenk will dissect a classic piece of wrestling literature. Join them as they dive into the oft-seamy underbelly of professional wrestling's written word.

Welcome to Awesome Truth, a wrestling book club in podcast form. Every episode, your hosts Steve Cimino and Walt Schwenk will dissect a classic piece of wrestling literature. Join them as they dive into the oft-seamy underbelly of professional wrestling's written word.


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Welcome to Awesome Truth, a wrestling book club in podcast form. Every episode, your hosts Steve Cimino and Walt Schwenk will dissect a classic piece of wrestling literature. Join them as they dive into the oft-seamy underbelly of professional wrestling's written word.




Episode 119: Backstage at AEW Dark (w/ Leroy Patterson)

What's it like to try out for AEW? Indie wrestler Leroy Patterson knows all about it; the Freakshow Wrestling alum had a match on AEW Dark in December 2021 and recently came by the Awesome Truth studios to chat about this unique opportunity. What was it like to take on the Dark Order? How does it feel to pop Tony Khan during your debut? Join us for some unparalleled insights into the All Elite Wrestling backstage experience.


Episode 118: WWE Untold: Angle vs. HBK

We're kicking off 2022 by revisiting one of the greatest matches in WrestleMania history: Kurt Angle versus Shawn Michaels. The terrific WWE Untold series covered this beloved showdown a few years ago, so we watched both the doc and the match to see if it's worthy of such legendary status. Spoiler: it really is. Join us as we break down the backstory behind this classic Mania battle.


Episode 117: The Big Show Show Christmas Special

Well, it's the holidays! And to celebrate, we are revisiting the final episode of Paul Wight's The Big Show Show on Netflix, entitled "The Big Christmas." Did Big Show's sitcom end up on the naughty or the nice list? Is Show a true TV leading man? We've invited friend of the show (and Big Show expert) Matt Reis back on to determine if this Christmas special belongs in the pantheon of holiday classics.


Episode 116: MOX by Jon Moxley

The most anticipated wrestling book of 2021 is here! Our apologies to Drew McIntyre and the Young Bucks, but the tale of Jon Moxley is the one fans have been waiting to hear. From the Cincinnati indies to wrestling as Dean Ambrose in the Shield and finally finding peace in his career at AEW, this autobiography provides a truly unique look into what makes the deathmatch-loving wildman tick. And of course, there are enough Vince McMahon and Triple H anecdotes to satisfy even the hungriest...


Episode 115: Heels Season 1

A few months ago, Awesome Truth asked the eternal question, "Should you watch Heels on Starz?" Well, we did, and now we're back to talk all about season 1. What did we ultimately think about Stephen Amell as Jack Spade, Alexander Ludwig as Ace Spade, and the Duffy Wrestling League? Did we enjoy Chris Bauer's turn as the Ric Flair/Randy Savage mashup Wild Bill Hancock? And how does the final episode's "shocking" twist involving Crystal set things up for season 2 and beyond?


Episode 114: Rise of the Deadman, Undertaker's Graphic Novel

If there's ever been a WWE wrestler who deserves a graphic novel, it's the Undertaker. His complicated, undead backstory feels tailor-made for the comic book treatment. Unfortunately, Undertaker: Rise of the Deadman does not quite capture what made Mark Calaway so special. Why exactly does the Undertaker graphic novel stink so badly? Join us and find out!


Episode 113: Escape the Undertaker

It's our first watch-along! Join us as we hit play on Netflix and traverse through the Dead Man's mansion in an effort to Escape the Undertaker. Will Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods survive their attempt to swipe Taker's urn? Is this new WWE interactive adventure worth your 30 minutes? Get ready for Halloween the Awesome Truth way: by following us through this "New Day versus Mark Calaway" showdown.


Episode 112: An Interview with WWE Superstar Drew Gulak

Another WWE superstar has visited the Awesome Truth studios! We sat down with former Cruiserweight Champion and 24/7 Champion Drew Gulak to discuss his Philly roots, how he found his way into professional wrestling, and the wrestling literature that inspired him along the way.


Episode 111: The Plane Ride from Hell

It's the story Dark Side of the Ring was destined to tell: the Plane Ride from Hell. From Jim Ross to Rob Van Dam and (gulp) Tommy Dreamer, the Vice series has gathered a cavalcade of 2000s wrestling executives and talent to discuss this infamous flight. Did they do the story justice? What do we think about the post-ep uproar that engulfed Dreamer and Ric Flair? Join us as we dissect the retelling of one of WWE's most salacious tales.


Episode 110: Is Starz's Heels Worth Watching?

For the first time ever, you are listening to a live, in-person recording of Awesome Truth! To celebrate this momentous occasion, we decided to answer the question on everyone's lips: "Should I watch Heels on Starz?" The Stephen Amell show recently premiered on the premium network; is it worth hunting down a subscription? Does this Friday Night Lights-style wrestling drama have anything new to say?


Episode 109: The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling by David Shoemaker

Before The Ringer and The Masked Man Show, before becoming a WWE talking head, David Shoemaker was writing "Dead Wrestler of the Week" for Deadspin and telling tales of the many pro wrestlers who'd lost their lives. This week on Awesome Truth, we're revisiting those days and discussing The Squared Circle: Life, Death, and Professional Wrestling, the 2013 classic that covers pro wrestling's finest dead men (Undertaker not included).


Episode 108: Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions

"Stone Cold" Steve Austin's podcast-turned-TV show is streaming on Peacock and features top guests like AEW's Chris Jericho, Kevin Nash, and the Undertaker, but is it any good? Austin was one of the pioneers of wrestling podcasting, but is his interview style better suited to an audio format? Join us as we dissect Steve Austin's Broken Skull Sessions and ponder the future of wrestling nostalgia.


Episode 107: WWE's Most Wanted Treasures

A&E, long the home of hit show Storage Wars, has dipped their toe into the world of wrestling memorabilia with the weirdly titled WWE's Most Wanted Treasures. But instead of collectors going wild over Undertaker's urn and Ric Flair's robe, it's Triple H and Stephanie McMahon trying to collect lost items for the WWE archives. Is this type of wrestling-themed reality TV too little too late, or is it a hidden treasure of its own?


Episode 106: The Dark Side of Brian Pillman

Brian Pillman's story is so influential and consequential that it took Dark Side of the Ring two episodes to tell it fully. Well, we're topping them and making it three! Years after we read Crazy Like a Fox and talked to author Liam O'Rourke, we're discussing the recently aired two-part Pillman saga and reflecting on how magnetic it still is to watch the Loose Cannon perform.


Episode 105: The Ultimate Warrior

He was arguably the second-biggest star of the 1980s, and then it all came apart in spectacular fashion. The rise and fall of the Ultimate Warrior is a wrestling story for the ages, which is why it's not surprising that Vice's Dark Side of the Ring and A&E's Biography both recently covered it in detail. But is either documentary any good? Do we still need to be telling the Warrior's tale in 2021, or have wrestling fans digested it in full already? Join us as we dissect the life and times of...


Episode 104: A Chosen Destiny: My Story by Drew McIntyre

In roughly a dozen years, Drew McIntyre has gone from Scottish upstart to "The Chosen One" to 3MB to the indies to the WWE Championship. He's had a wild ride for a wrestler in his 30s, one very worthy of an autobiography despite being a superstar still in his prime. Join us as we discuss A Chosen Destiny: My Story, Drew's inspiring redemption tale that unflinchingly dissects the highs and lows of a modern pro wrestling career.


Episode 103: WWE 24: The Miz

WWE 24 is back with another installment, and it’s AWESOME. Awesome Truth finally talks about one-half of its namesake as we dive deep on all things Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. We discuss his origins in reality TV, his struggles to break into wrestling (specifically, the WWE locker room), and his most memorable moments since becoming a main roster mainstay. We’re looking to talk smack and ask the tough questions, like, “Is Miz a top-10 wrestler of the last decade?” “What are his greatest career...


Episode 102: WWE Untold: Two Dudes with Attitudes

If you were a teenage wrestling fan in the early '90s, you had to love Shawn Michaels and Diesel. Both men went onto bigger and better things, including D-Generation X and the nWo, but for a brief second there, nothing was cooler than HBK and Big Daddy Cool. So when your hosts -- who grew up with the New Generation -- heard about WWE Untold: Two Dudes with Attitudes, we cleared Awesome Truth's schedule accordingly. Join us as we discuss that fleeting but everlasting moment when the...


Episode 101: Austin 3:16: 316 Facts and Stories about Stone Cold Steve Austin

Awesome Truth is back to the written word, but we’re having a hard time labeling this episode’s entry as a book. On March 16, 2021, ECW Press published a unique piece of wrestling literature, all about Stone Cold Steve Austin’s life and career. Michael McAvennie’s Austin 3:16: 316 Facts and Stories about Stone Cold Steve Austin is exactly what it sounds like. But can it keep our interest for hundreds of pages? Are there actually 300-plus stone cold facts about Steve Austin? Join us as we use...


Episode 100: The Definitive Top 5 Wrestling Books

4 years. 100 episodes. 5 top wrestling books. Awesome Truth reaches a major podcasting milestone: 100 episodes! After years of reading books and recording pods, join us as we look back at them all and craft our definitive list of the top 5. We also give our hot takes on some of our least favorite entries into the book club. Want to know more about the books we picked? Go back into the Awesome Truth archives of 100+ episodes to get a full breakdown of each one!