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Awesome Truth: A Wrestling Book Club

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Episode 54: GLOW Season 3

What happens when a show about female pro wrestlers removes the wrestling? Unfortunately, this eternal question is answered on the latest season of GLOW. It's still a wonderful show, but less Zoya the Destroya, Liberty Belle, Machu Picchu and Welfare Queen means less enthusiasm from your best buds at Awesome Truth. Join us for our thoughts on the Gorgeous Ladies shifting to Las Vegas and where the Netflix hit can go from here.


Episode 53: Hobbs & Shaw

The Rock and Roman Reigns, together again for the first time since being booed mercilessly at the 2015 Royal Rumble: what could go wrong? Unfortunately, a whole lot; it turns out 135 minutes of Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham trading lame insults is not what the doctor ordered, and Reigns is nothing more than a glorified extra. Awesome Truth welcomes a special guest and Fast & Furious aficionado to break down exactly where Hobbs & Shaw went wrong.


Episode 52: Tag Team, the Roddy Piper and Jesse Ventura Cop Show

In 1991, Roddy Piper and Jesse Ventura could've been the biggest television stars in the world. Their pilot Tag Team had the kind of perfectly lame premise — pro wrestlers become cops — that might've cruised to the top of the ratings. Alas, ABC didn't pick up the show. But now, 28 years later, we're revisiting their first and only episode and dissecting whether Piper and Ventura really had a shot at fame.


Episode 51: Writing the Book on Indie Wrestling

No one has written a definitive book on indie wrestling, until now. We welcome back returning champion Keith Elliot Greenberg – who is currently in the middle of penning a deep tome on PWG, wXw, EVOLVE, and numerous other indie promotions – to discuss how his conversations with the Young Bucks, Hangman Page, Marty Scurll and other modern indie legends have contributed to this upcoming, much anticipated book.


Episode 50: The Best Interviews, From Ric Flair to NJPW

Conrad Thompson, Keith Elliot Greenberg, Liam O'Rourke, Chris Charlton: these are just a few of the terrific guests we've been blessed to have on Awesome Truth. To celebrate our 50th episode, we're revisiting our interviews with the best of them. Join us for classic insights into Ric Flair, Brian Pillman, and New Japan Pro Wrestling, and find out how we booked all these new friends to come on our show. It's a very special anniversary show, and the truth will set you free.


Episode 49: Viceland's Dark Side of the Ring

A documentary series on the seedy underbelly of pro wrestling, produced by famed truth-tellers Vice Media? This is what we've been clamoring for...except not at all. How could telling the stories of Bruiser Brody, the Von Erich family, the Fabulous Moolah, and 'Macho Man' Randy Savage go so wrong? We break down all six episodes of the Viceland series Dark Side of the Ring and try to figure out why this exciting idea ultimately flopped.


Episode 48: Holy Grail: The Search for WWE’s Most Infamous Lost Match

For years, a dark match between Bret Hart and Tom Magee was lost in the WWE archives. Now it has been found, just in time for the WWE Network to slap together a documentary and scoop Conrad Thompson's Starrcast event. Fortunately, the doc happens to be great. Join us as we offer a rare bit of praise for a WWE Network offering and ponder why Magee was considered a potential heir to the Hulk Hogan throne.


Episode 47: ECW One Night Stand 2005

ECW's true swan song is one of the best moments in modern wrestling history; inspired by John Lister's Turning the Tables: The Story of Extreme Championship Wrestling, we're about to revisit it. Join us for Awesome Truth's first event recap, where we dissect what made ECW special, praise Eric Bischoff and JBL for being the evening's perfect heels, and reward WWE for finally getting out of the way and letting a rival promotion have its moment in the sun.


Episode 46: Turning the Tables: The Story of Extreme Championship Wrestling

It's finally time to get extreme. Despite growing up outside of Philadelphia, Awesome Truth has yet to cover Extreme Championship Wrestling. To accompany us on this long-awaited deep dive into Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Sabu, Taz, and the rest of the legends who made ECW great, we welcome John Lister, author of Turning the Tables: The Story of Extreme Championship Wrestling, to discuss how a UK journalist came to write a detailed book on a Philly-based wrestling promotion.


Episode 45: WWE Chronicle: Charlotte Flair

Break out the pitchforks because we're heading back to the barren wasteland that is WWE Chronicle. You'd think a brief documentary on the WrestleMania 35 main event would be a nonstop thrill ride, but you'd be wrong. The New York crowd was hot for Becky Lynch, Ronda Rousey, and Chronicle subject Charlotte Flair, but this kayfabe-centric series just can't stop tripping over its own feet. Join us as we hate-watch another mess from the WWE Network and wonder if WWE is helping or hurting its...


Bonus Episode: John Oliver vs. WWE

When HBO's Last Week Tonight devotes an entire episode to WWE business practices, you know Awesome Truth will reassemble for a special bonus episode of their own. John Oliver took aim at WWE's wrestlers being labeled independent contractors and the internet lost its collective mind; we break down his detailed thoughts on the matter, Vince McMahon's extreme bouts of insanity, and whether All Elite Wrestling can (or even wants to) change how wrestling companies do business.


Episode 44: All Things NJPW with Chris Charlton

With WrestleMania weekend and the NJPW/ROH G1 Supercard show at Madison Square Garden right around the corner, there's no better time to talk New Japan Pro-Wrestling with author and historian Chris Charlton. He's written two books on Japanese wrestling, Lion's Pride and Eggshells, and he's here to discuss the history of the Tokyo Dome, comparisons between Vince McMahon and Antonio Inoki, and all the little details that make NJPW and Japanese wrestling so fascinating to fans around the globe.


Episode 43: WWE Breaking Ground

The WWE Network is awash in documentary content, but nothing gets in-depth quite like Breaking Ground. Covering NXT and the Performance Center in late 2015, you get a real glimpse into future superstars like Bayley, Baron Corbin, Tyler Breeze and Apollo Crews, plus cameos from William Regal, Sami Zayn, Scott Hall, and Triple H himself. But is it a true high-quality doc series or just the best of a subpar bunch? We break down all 10 episodes of the show we've dubbed B-Ground.


Episode 42: Fighting with My Family

For the first time in forever, there's a major motion picture in theaters and it's about WWE! The rise of former female phenom Paige has been adapted into a feature film called Fighting with My Family, and its 91% Rotten Tomatoes score means critics are weirdly onboard with a movie where Vince Vaughn says "NXT" and "belly to back suplex." What did we on Awesome Truth think? Join us for a recap of this Dwayne Johnson-produced crowd-pleaser.


Episode 41: Something to Wrestle with Conrad Thompson

He created three of the biggest wrestling podcasts in the world, and now he's here on Awesome Truth! Conrad Thompson, the host of Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff, and What Happened When with Tony Schiavone, joins us for a very special episode to discuss his favorite recent wrestling book, how he snagged a WWE Network show, and where his podcasts fit into the wrestling media landscape.


Episode 40: WWE 24 - WrestleMania: New Orleans

That's more like it, WWE Network. Though WrestleMania 34 wasn't the best show of all time, you could be tricked into thinking it was after this documentary. From Matt Hardy and Rusev roaming Bourbon Street to Shawn Michaels praising Ronda Rousey and Titus O'Neil tying Paul Heyman's tie, this is the kind of backstage pass that makes wrestling docs worthwhile. Unfortunately, it's also a reminder that 7 hours of WrestleMania is just way too many. Join us as we dissect the latest entry in the...


Episode 39: Lion's Pride: The Turbulent History of New Japan Pro Wrestling

New Japan Pro Wrestling is arguably the hottest wrestling promotion in the world, second only to WWE in worldwide success. But their ups and downs are legendary, and documented brilliantly in Chris Charlton's book on everything from Antonio Inoki to Kazuchika Okada. Though it was written in 2015, before the rise of Kenny Omega and the arrival of Chris Jericho, Lion's Pride offers a detailed look at what helped NJPW reach its current heights. Join us as we break down the land that helped...


Episode 38: WWE Chronicle: Becky Lynch

There's no love lost between Awesome Truth and WWE Network's Chronicle series, but a Becky Lynch episode has to turn everything around, right? Right?! "The Man" might be the hottest character in WWE, but this 'documentary' series from the Network seems beyond saving. We dissect WWE's 24-minute recap of Lynch's rehab from a Nia Jax punch and rant about their insistence on keeping kayfabe in the midst of a 'revealing' doc.


Bonus Episode: Let Me Tell You Something, Mean Gene

"Mean" Gene Okerlund died on January 2, 2019, but he'd already been granted eternal life in the hearts and minds of wrestling fans everywhere. There will never be another interviewer like Gene, beloved by all and perfect at telling the stories that make wrestling so great. To celebrate his remarkable life and career, we gathered to discuss all our favorite Okerlund interviews and analyze his legacy in the business.


Episode 37: Have a Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks

Mick Foley's first book changed the wrestling literature game. Before its release in 1999, wrestling books were mostly lame tales penned by ghostwriters, but Foley showed the world that stories about WCW, ECW, WWF, and life on the road could be well-written and entertaining while also selling like hotcakes. For our last episode of 2018, we sat down with this lengthy literary gem and revisited all the memories and matches that made Foley so very special.