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.


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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.




145: Roman and Rock Get Booed Out of Philly: The Royal Rumble Watch-Along

The 2015 Royal Rumble is also known as "the night everyone turned on Roman Reigns," as Philadelphia fans booed the Big Dog (and his cousin The Rock) with a passion and kickstarted years of WWE crowds being mixed at best toward Reigns. Your two Awesome Truth hosts were in attendance that night, jeering like crazy as beloved wrestlers like Daniel Bryan were tossed aside for Roman's babyface push to the top. With the 2023 Royal Rumble right around the corner, join us as we revisit this classic...


144: Roddy Piper's Finest Role: John Carpenter's They Live

Back in 1988, famed director John Carpenter and WWE Hall of Famer Roddy Piper came together for what became a true cult classic: They Live. From South Park parodies to eBaum's World soundboards, the pop culture impact of Piper's performance in They Live was far greater than anyone could've anticipated. For our first episode of 2023, we popped on this 94-minute gem and discussed the acting career of one of pro wrestling's top thespians.


143: The Nine Lives of Vince McMahon

When you hear that Vice is releasing a new Vince McMahon documentary, mere months after the chairman retired from WWE amid allegations of sexual misconduct and hush money payments, it's only natural to get excited. So imagine our surprise when it turned out to be cobbled-together clips from old Dark Side of the Ring episodes mixed with several minutes of new Dave Meltzer and Vince Russo interviews. Why did Vice rush this out, trick its audience, and perhaps salt its reputation as a...


142: Creating the Arn Anderson Comic Book (w/ Arn Anderson and Dirk Manning)

Arn Anderson in graphic novel form? That's right; "The Enforcer" himself, the WWE Hall of Famer and original member of the Four Horsemen, is coming to the world of comic books. To promote Arn Anderson: My Life as the Enforcer, which is collecting pledges on Kickstarter through mid-December, we welcome Arn himself and friend of the show Dirk Manning to discuss the Arn comic, how they've condensed four decades of wrestling into a few hundred pages, and what it was like to see the business...


141: The nWo Slams a Cage Door on Ric Flair's Head: The WarGames Watch-Along

With Triple H finally achieving his dream of integrating WarGames into the WWE main roster, Awesome Truth is taking a trip back to the '90s and revisiting one of our favorite iterations of the double cage match! Join us as we watch along with Fall Brawl 1997, specifically the main event WarGames match pitting the nWo’s insufferable team of Kevin Nash, Syxx, Konnan, and Buff Bagwell against The Four Horsemen’s Ric Flair, Chris Benoit, Steve "Mongo" McMichael, and Curt Hennig. I sure hope Mr....


140: Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies

What would happen if "The Franchise" Shane Douglas, Rowdy Roddy Piper, and Hacksaw Jim Duggan squared off against the undead? The 2013 feature film Pro Wrestlers vs Zombies answers that very question and also throws Kurt Angle and Matt Hardy in there as a bonus. Join us as we discuss this very low-budget Troma picture, released at the height of the zombie craze, and dissect the performances of all your favorite aging grapplers.


139: Follow the Buzzards: Pro Wrestling in the Age of COVID-19

Back in March 2020, the world basically paused as we assessed how to handle the COVID-19 pandemic. All that remained? Televised professional wrestling. In Follow the Buzzards, best friend of the show Keith Elliot Greenberg recaps the battles that accompanied the coronavirus, in politics, society, and the squared circle. He visited outdoor indie shows and went backstage at WrestleMania 37, all to bring us this story of how wrestling can survive -- and even thrive -- in the craziest of...


138: Wrestling With the Pandemic (w/ Keith Elliot Greenberg)

To celebrate this month’s release of Follow the Buzzards: Pro Wrestling in the Age of COVID-19, Awesome Truth invites author and close friend Keith Elliot Greenberg back on the show! Keith discusses how and why he started chronicling this particular topic in book form as well as sharing his favorite memories as a writer and a fan during wrestling’s COVID-19 era. For more, buy Follow the Buzzards: Pro Wrestling in the Age of COVID-19 wherever books are sold.


137: WWE's This Is Awesome Is Not Quite Awesome

"This is awesome" is a chant most wrestling fans know well, whether it's screamed along with a great match, a classic promo, or an epic staredown. But on Peacock's new WWE show, This Is Awesome, it's reduced to a watered-down cliché applied to a countdown clip show. Join as we return to what was once the WWE Network and assess their assessment of the most "awesome" SummerSlam moments and wrestler entrances.


136: There's Just One Problem... by Former WWE Writer Brian Gewirtz

Brian Gewirtz, former WWE head writer and current exec at Dwayne Johnson's Seven Bucks Productions, has given us a serious contender for best wrestling book of 2022. In his new autobiography, There's Just One Problem...: True Tales from the Former, One-Time, 7th Most Powerful Person in WWE, Gewirtz provides a uniquely personal perspective into the backstage world of WWE. Join us as we discuss Brian's many creative battles with Vince McMahon, his relationship with The Rock, and what it...


135: Pro Wrestling in The Players' Tribune: Eddie Kingston, Sting, and More

For a while now, The Players' Tribune has been helping athletes speak directly to fans via first-person articles that highlight the ups and downs on the road to fame and glory. This includes professional wrestlers; stars like Sting, Eddie Kingston, Jade Cargill, and even the wife of Brodie Lee/Jon Huber have shared their powerful stories. This week, we are revisiting many of The Players' Tribune's wrestling articles and assessing this unique, succinct way for wrestlers (mostly of the AEW...


134: Booker T's A&E Biography

Booker T's story is tailor-made for A&E's Biography series: A Black man from Houston who went from empty pockets to the heights of professional wrestling. He's also someone who hasn't been covered to death on the WWE Network or the podcast circuit, which meant when it was time for Awesome Truth to pick an episode from A&E's big batch of wrestling content, the choice was easy. Join us as we discuss Harlem Heat's place in the tag team pantheon, the joys of Booker's theme song, and where he...


133: British Bulldogs Biographer Steven Bell Talks Dynamite and Davey

Last month, Awesome Truth read and reviewed one of our favorite new wrestling biographies: Dynamite and Davey: The Explosive Lives of the British Bulldogs. Joining us for this episode is the book's author, Steven Bell! We talk about what compelled Steven to chronicle these two larger-than-life British wrestling legends and write about Dynamite and Davey from such a unique perspective, both as wrestlers and people. We also talk about the Bulldogs' finest moments in the ring, including Davey's...


Bonus: WWE After Vince McMahon

Here are six words we thought we'd never get to say: Vince McMahon has retired from WWE. As we await details on the various crimes that finally drove the chairman from pro wrestling, we couldn't help but wonder what legacy McMahon leaves behind. Is his company in good shape? What will creative be like with Paul "Triple H" Levesque now in charge? Is World Wrestling Entertainment about to evolve and reach new heights, or is everyone fine with a lukewarm product and the hundreds of millions in...


132: Dynamite and Davey: The Explosive Lives of the British Bulldogs

Most wrestling fans think they know the story of Tom "Dynamite Kid" Billington and Davey Boy Smith: Two young guns from the United Kingdom who saved Stampede Wrestling and became the British Bulldogs, a tag team that surged in the early WrestleMania era and then crumbled, leaving Dynamite in a wheelchair and Davey with a up-and-down singles run until his untimely death at age 39. But in Dynamite and Davey, the excellent new biography by Steven Bell, you find out just what made these two so...


131: Lex Luger Slams Yokozuna on a Battleship: The July 4th Watch-Along

On July 5, 1993, Monday Night Raw began with a truly memorable segment: Yokozuna challenging the United States of America to a bodyslam competition. Yoko stood on the USS Intrepid, parked in New York Harbor, and dared all comers to slam him. Numerous NBA, NFL, and WWF stars failed, including the "Macho Man" Randy Savage; only a stars-and-stripes-clad Lex Luger succeeded. To celebrate Independence Day in the year 2022, we're opening up Peacock and revisiting this slam heard round the world.


130: A History of Wrestling Injuries, from Austin and Edge to Cody Rhodes

In the aftermath of Cody Rhodes' legendary peformance at Hell in a Cell, your pals at Awesome Truth got to thinking: How have injuries altered the wrestling landscape? What would pro wrestling be like without broken legs, busted necks, and eardrum-rupturing returns? Join us as we discuss the American Nightmare's torn pec, CM Punk's shattered foot, and the other injuries -- past and present -- that changed the course of wrestling history.


129: Is Sasha Banks WWE Evil?

In recent weeks, Sasha Banks has been at the center of controversy. A recent episode of Peacock’s WWE Evil explores her history as a person, performer and character, but does art imitate life with Sasha’s suspension for walking out on Raw? Through the lens of this new docuseries — produced & narrated by John Cena — Awesome Truth dissects The Boss’s decorated past and debates whether her recent actions were justified.


128: William Regal's Walking a Golden Mile

From his days as Lord Steven Regal in WCW to his tenure as the beloved commissioner of NXT, William Regal has been a constant in modern pro wrestling. But what makes this beloved Englishman tick? If you aren't aware of his death-defying struggles with drug addiction, 2005's Walking a Golden Mile is the book for you. Join us as we examine Regal's endless appeal and debate whether a healthy Real Man's Man could've made it big in Attitude Era WWE.


127: Better Than You: The CM Punk vs MJF Feud

When the CM Punk/MJF feud ended at AEW Revolution with a vicious and bloody dog collar match, you knew there was an outside chance it would be recapped on Outside Interefence. The YouTube channel known for its brilliant recap of the Kenny Omega/Hangman Adam Page feud is back to dissect every nook and cranny of Phil Brooks versus Maxwell Jacob Friedman, and we're here to break down the breakdown! Join us as we discuss Punk's AEW run thus far and debate whether MJF is already the best heel in...