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Episode 26: Crazy Like a Fox: The Definitive Chronicle of Brian Pillman 20 Years Later

There's more to the story of Brian Pillman than you think you know. In Crazy Like A Fox, Liam O'Rourke's detailed retelling of Pillman's life, we find out how the Loose Cannon went from Cincinnati Bengal to pro wrestler to extremely tragic cautionary tale. There's plenty of Eric Bischoff and Vince McMahon to go around, not to mention some Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin. We do a deep dive into O'Rourke's journalistic book, examining Pillman's genius for the business, Bischoff's long-standing...


Episode 25: The Hardys: Woken

Matt and Jeff Hardy went from devoted jobbers to tag team champions, and then it all came tumbling down. But now the Hardys are back in WWE, with Jeff still putting on high-quality matches and Matt bringing the Woken Universe to life. In The Hardys: Woken, this latest episode in the WWE 24 series offers a surprisingly unflinching look at Matt's meltdowns, Jeff's disaster of a match against Sting in TNA, and their return via the Broken Universe. Is it the best "documentary" the WWE Network...


Episode 24: NXT: The Future is Now

For the last five years, NXT has been the home of arguably the best wrestling on the planet, beloved by indie enthusiast and WWE Network subscriber alike. But did we really need a whole book on how WWE's developmental system came to be? Your best buds at Awesome Truth welcome special guest Matt Reis to the podcast to discuss NXT: The Future is Now, a Triple H-loving look at the rise of the black-and-yellow brand. Why does WWE misuse stars like Sami Zayn and Bayley after they've proven...


Episode 23: Bruno, the Bruno Sammartino Documentary

Bruno Sammartino, one of the most beloved and successful pro wrestlers of all time, died in April of 2018. In response, WWE released a documentary recapping his life, which you can find on the WWE Network. Is this Bruno retrospective worth a watch, or just the extended version of a four-minute video package that they've labeled a 'documentary'? On the latest episode of Awesome Truth, we revisit Bruno's life through the WWE lens and examine how pro wrestling in the 1960s and 1970s got us to...


Episode 22: Eric Bischoff's Controversy Creates Cash

Eric Bischoff's new podcast 83 Weeks has been a smashing success, which means it's time for Awesome Truth to capitalize on Bischoff-mania and discuss his book Controversy Creates Cash. Eric pulls no punches in revisiting what led to the death of WCW, but can we really trust his memories? Are his assessments of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Bret Hart honest or self-serving? We debate WCW's demise and Eric's role in the downfall, along with wondering what role Vince McMahon would've played in a...


Episode 21: Raw 25

The latest documentary in WWE Network's WWE 24 series offers up never-before-seen footage of Monday Night Raw's 25th anniversary, a classic WWE celebration that featured Steve Austin, Vince McMahon, Chris Jericho, The Undertaker, and a cavalcade of (briefly) returning stars. But it also highlighted how lazy WWE can get with its nostalgia efforts. And why is a documentary about the show better than the show itself? Open the Network and search "WWE 24" because it's about to get Raw on...


Episode 20: The New Day's Book of Booty

The New Day are no longer just the longest-reigning tag champions in WWE history; they're also authors. Their big, bright, beautiful Book of Booty sums the trio up perfectly; it also highlights how they've been used (and misused) since becoming stars in 2015, including zero WrestleMania wins. Is their ceiling "tag team champions" or is there more that WWE can do with Big E, Kofi Kingston, and Xavier Woods? We probe into those big questions while also laughing at Xavier's video game...


Bonus Episode: Andre the Giant

We interrupt your regularly scheduled podcasting to present a special bonus episode on HBO's Andre the Giant documentary. Produced by Bill Simmons and WWE, it's a detailed look at the life of André Roussimoff, one of the biggest (pun intended) wrestlers of all time. Featuring Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and a bevy of other bombastic personalities, it's a huge mainstream moment for pro wrestling. But is it any good? Or does being so closely tied to WWE limit how far it can probe...


Episode 19: The Mania of WrestleMania

Happy WrestleMania week! We're celebrating by discussing a hidden WWE documentary: The Mania of WrestleMania. This behind-the-scenes look at WrestleMania XIX gets deep into the personal lives of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock, Kurt Angle, and Brock Lesnar as they prepare for main-event matches at The Showcase of the Immortals. It's brutally honest about Austin's impending retirement and Angle's neck injury, not to mention the aftermath of Lesnar's botched shooting star press. This...


Episode 18: Wrestling for My Life by Shawn Michaels

Many people consider Shawn Michaels the best worker in the history of pro wrestling; some will go as far as to say "the greatest wrestler of all time." One of those superfans is an Awesome Truth cohost! His second book, Wrestling for My Life, covers not only Shawn's WWE comeback but his belief in Jesus Christ. How does the Heartbreak Kid link faith and wrestling? And what's it like to read the Showstopper's recaps of classic matches like his WrestleMania showdowns with Chris Jericho and...


Episode 17: Listen, You Pencil Neck Geeks by "Classy" Freddie Blassie

"Classy" Freddie Blassie holds a unique place in wrestling history as one of the most despised and beloved personalities of all time. It was a no-brainer for Awesome Truth to tackle his autobiography, especially since it was cowritten by our friend Keith Elliot Greenberg. After a brief introduction, Keith returns to the podcast for a conversation on Blassie's in-ring career, his memorable moments as a manager, and what it was like to interview Vince McMahon. This is an episode that even...


Episode 16: Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan Present No Holds Barred

In 1989, Vince McMahon and Hulk Hogan had a dream: Bring the World Wrestling Federation to the silver screen. What we got was No Holds Barred, a remarkable mess of a movie that's barely about pro wrestling. Rather than return to the written word, the Awesome Truth boys watched Rip take on Zeus for the very first time. In the process, they found out why McMahon's WWE Studios decided to focus on direct-to-video, and why Hogan never starred in a hit.


Episode 15: The True Story of the Royal Rumble

The Royal Rumble is one of the most wonderful events on the pro wrestling calendar, and with good reason: you can't help but anticipate what Vince McMahon and WWE will do next. Hot on the heels of the 2018 Royal Rumble, the Awesome Truth boys use this WWE documentary to revisit the history of this legendary match and relive their favorite Rumble moments, from Stone Cold Steve Austin and Ric Flair to CM Punk and Shinsuke Nakamura.


Episode 14: No Is a Four-Letter Word and Jericho at WK12

Do any wrestling stars, even the great Chris Jericho, need to have authored four books? Jericho's latest tome is the first we're covering on Awesome Truth; luckily for us, Y2J makes No Is a Four-Letter Word into a motivational self-help book, as opposed to another recap of his time in and out of the ring. And given that Walt and Steve just got back from Tokyo for Wrestle Kingdom 12 and Alpha vs Omega, there's no better time to examine the creative genius of Jericho.


Episode 13: WWE 365: Kevin Owens

WWE has taken another step into the documentary business, as its recent retrospective on Kevin Owens did excellent numbers on the WWE Network. But what does it mean to watch a WWE documentary? Is it an additional chance for Vince McMahon and Triple H to work us, or are we actually getting a peek behind the curtain? And why was Kevin Owens chosen for this particular opportunity? Rather than break down a book, we opened up the Network and finished out 2017 with a bang. It's time for The...


Episode 12: Crazy Is My Superpower

AJ Mendez Brooks, known in WWE as AJ Lee, truly changed the face of women's wrestling. She also went through childhood hardships and emotional trauma that would've crippled many others. In her memoir, Crazy Is My Superpower, AJ talks not only about her time in pro wrestling—and her marriage to CM Punk—but how she overcame her struggles with mental illness. This week on Awesome Truth, we pore over the brief career and remarkable life of AJ Lee.


Episode 11: Nature Boy, the Ric Flair 30 for 30

By now, almost everyone has seen ESPN's new 30 for 30 on Ric Flair, entitled Nature Boy. But how did director Rory Karpf do in capturing the unique magic of Flair, not to mention the peaks and valleys of being a pro wrestler? Our wrestling book club moves beyond the written word for the second time to examine the rare sports documentary to probe professional wrestling; this week, we're talking Ric, Charlotte, the NWA, WCW, WWE, Vince McMahon, Triple H, and everything else Flair.


Episode 10: Batista Unleashed

When Dave Bautista released his autobiography in 2007, he couldn't have realized that by 2017 he'd be starring in some of the biggest movies in the world. Yet here we are, with "The Animal" now more widely known as Drax the Destroyer. Before Dave was a movie star, however, he was a pro wrestler trying to make it in Vince McMahon's "ruthless aggression" era of WWE. On this episode of Awesome Truth, we examine an autobiography that came out a bit too early: the story of Batista's upbringing,...


Episode 9: WrestleCrap: The Very Worst of Pro Wrestling

We try to celebrate the best of the best here on Awesome Truth, but sometimes you have to embrace the crap. Lucky for us, there's a book fully dedicated to all the garbage pro wrestling has offered us over the years. WrestleCrap has been a staple of pro wrestling since the internet came to be, documenting the worst offenses of WWF, WCW, Vince McMahon, and Eric Bischoff, but does its short, snarky style lend itself to book form? On today's episode, we get out our shovels and start digging...


Episode 8: Hollywood Hulk Hogan

If anyone would use his name for the title of his autobiography, it's Hollywood Hulk Hogan. The biggest icon in pro wrestling likely has more great stories than anyone, but the Hulk Hogan mythos too often gets in the way of the truth. On the latest episode of Awesome Truth, we try to separate Hulk fact from Hogan fiction as we delve into the life of Terry Bollea, the man who put professional wrestling (and, to hear him tell it, Vince McMahon) on his back and carried sports entertainment to...