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Awesome Truth: A Wrestling Book Club

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Episode 36: The Marine 6: Close Quarters

Awesome Truth is going to the movies! Or, more accurately, renting one through a streaming service. We invited a very special guest from the In Reel Deep Podcast to discuss the latest entry in The Marine franchise, starring Mike "The Miz" Mizanin, Shawn Michaels, and "The Man" Becky Lynch. Was it worth our $4 and 85 minutes? And how do "The Heartbreak Kid" and Lynch fare on the somewhat-silver screen? Find out as we foray into the world of Hollywood glitz and glamour.


Episode 35: Slobberknocker: My Life in Wrestling by Jim Ross

Anyone who grew up on the Attitude Era knows Good Ol' JR, but there's more to Jim Ross than being the voice of WWF/WWE. He was a fixture in Mid-South Wrestling, Crockett Promotions, and WCW, all of which he outlines in his 2017 autobiography Slobberknocker. Though Ross ends this tale at WrestleMania XV, there are still plenty of Vince McMahon stories and crazy wrestling anecdotes to keep you coming back for more. Join us as we break down JR's first, and likely not last, book.


Episode 34: Living on a Razor's Edge: The Scott Hall Story

From starring as Razor Ramon to co-founding the nWo, very few wrestlers have a more legendary resume than Scott Hall. But he also has one of the most unique and depressing tales in pro wrestling history, a story the WWE captures perfectly in this 80-minute documentary. What drove Scott Hall down such a dark hole, and how did he climb out of it? And what made him arguably the best wrestler never to win a world title? It's time to revisit one of the all-time greats.


Episode 33: The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling

From Frank Gotch and Ed "Strangler" Lewis to Giant Baba, El Santo, and Vince McMahon's modern-day WWE, the history of pro wrestling is colorful, detailed, and always fascinating. So it makes a surprising amount of sense that The Comic Book Story of Professional Wrestling would be the best way to tell the story of the squared circle. Co-creators Aubrey Sitterson and Chris Moreno join us to discuss melding the worlds of comics and wrestling literature, including how they condensed years of...


Episode 32: NITRO Part II: The Life and Death of WCW

One episode about NITRO: The Incredible Rise and Inevitable Collapse of Ted Turner's WCW just wasn't enough! After talking to Guy Evans and reading his 590-page WCW retrospective, we're back to discuss what made World Championship Wrestling special and what ultimately killed it. Do we blame Eric Bischoff? Vince Russo? WCW Thunder? Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash? And what was the company's ultimate achievement? Strap yourselves in for one more memory-fueled visit to Atlanta.


Episode 31: NITRO: The Incredible Rise and Inevitable Collapse of Ted Turner's WCW

The pro wrestling world can't stop talking about NITRO: The Incredible Rise and Inevitable Collapse of Ted Turner's WCW, Guy Evans's 590-page magnum opus that covers all things World Championship Wrestling. And because we are the best wrestling literature podcast there is, we've brought Guy himself on to discuss what killed WCW, his favorite WCW wrestlers, and how it feels to receive rare praise from Eric Bischoff.


Episode 30: WWE Chronicle: Samoa Joe

For our 30th episode, we're returning to the world of WWE Network documentaries via this inside look at Samoa Joe. Joe has defied expectations and become a WWE star after years of toiling in ROH and TNA; does this doc capture what makes Joe a special talent and terrific heel, or is it another example of WWE telling its version of the story while toying with breaking kayfabe? And what makes WWE Chronicle different than WWE 24 and WWE 365? As always, we continue to ask all the tough questions...


Episode 29: Brutus Beefcake: Struttin' and Cuttin'

The WWF in the 1980s had its fair share of crazy characters: Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper, and the subject of today's podcast, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake. To provide even more insight into Beefcake's autobiography, Struttin' and Cuttin', we've brought on coauthor Kenny Casanova to share Brutus stories both from the book and beyond. We talk about Beefcake's relationship with Hulk Hogan, his shining moments at WrestleMania III and SummerSlam 1989, and his legacy as one of...


Episode 28: Beyond the Book: Liam O'Rourke on Brian Pillman

You've heard us praise Crazy Like A Fox: The Definitive Chronicle of Brian Pillman 20 Years Later; now hear more Pillman stories directly from the author. The wonderful Liam O'Rourke joins us to tell some wild and crazy Brian Pillman tales that didn't make the book; he also shares his thoughts on Vince McMahon, the recent Eric Bischoff controversy, WWE's role as custodian of wrestling history, and Pillman's legacy as both wrestler and innovator.


Episode 27: GLOW Season 2

The first season of GLOW might've been Netflix's best; now Liberty Belle, Welfare Queen, Zoya the Destroyer, and the rest of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling are back for a second season. As such, we're breaking down the Mother of All Matches, cameos from Chavo Guerrero Jr. and Carlito, and everything else pro wrestling from this show. The creators may not watch modern day WWE but they sure know how to critique bad storytelling, which today's wrestling has in spades.


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 Awesome...


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 rankings...


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 might...


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 the...