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Not About Wrestling

Not About Wrestling

By Not About Wrestling

The only interview show that features the biggest names in professional wrestling that's not actually about professional wrestling.

Hosted by Chris Illuminati.
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Episode 46: "The Badstreet Beauty" Miranda Gordy

Not About WrestlingAug 03, 2021

Episode 46: "The Badstreet Beauty" Miranda Gordy

Episode 46: "The Badstreet Beauty" Miranda Gordy

Our guest this week is a second-generation wrestler and current SWE Women’s TV Champion - “The Badstreet Beauty,” Miranda Gordy.

Miranda is the daughter of wrestling legend, Terry “Bam Bam” Gordy. 

In this episode, Miranda talks about growing up with her dad, living on “Badstreet” as a kid - she actually grew up on a farm - getting into the business later in life, her father’s legacy, and its effect on her career and the best state fair foods. 

Plus, we play fantasy booker and assemble a modern-day Freebirds stable and talk about which women’s wrestlers would be worthy enough to walk down Badstreet.  

Aug 03, 202139:19
Episode 45: Danny Limelight

Episode 45: Danny Limelight

Our guest on the show this week is Danny Limelight. 

Danny truly is a jack-of-all-trades and not just in the wrestling business. 

A Marine Veteran and former drill instructor, Danny served our country for 10 years and made over three hundred and fifty Marines.

After his military service concluded, Danny turned his attention to wrestling, writing, and acting. 

He's worked for WWE, All Elite Wrestling, Impact Wrestling, Championship Wrestling From Hollywood, and AAA, Danny now wrestles for New Japan Pro Wrestling and Major League Wrestling.

Danny made his acting debut in 2019 and wrote and starred in the film, Joe Riv. 

In this episode, Danny talks about his time in the military, breaking into wrestling, and writing and directing a movie IN ONE DAY. We're also joined about his friends who helped with the film and the film's director, Mico Saad.  

Ladies and gentlemen, now entering the podcast, originally hailing from Brooklyn, NY...this is Danny Limelight. 

Jul 19, 202101:21:23
Episode 44: Sami Callihan

Episode 44: Sami Callihan


This week, a mini-episode with "The Draw" of IMPACT WRESTLING, Sami Callihan. 

Calling himself "the real reason fans tune in" to IMPACT, the former World Champion will square off against Kenny Omega at Slammiversary 2021 on July 17th with the IMPACT belt once again on the line.  

In this interview, Callihan discusses how much fun he had putting Omega through a table during their contract signing, the inspiration behind his many different looks over the years, other wrestlers "borrowing" his moves, and the one place he's recognized the most frequently. 

Plus, Steph returns from a weeklong vacation and immediately has internet issues and the hosts have so much wrestling to talk about they don't know where to begin. So, Chris complains about soccer.

It's good to be back.

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast, hailing from Dayton, Ohio...this is Sami Callihan. 

Jul 13, 202132:50
Episode 43: Hal Haney

Episode 43: Hal Haney

On this week’s show, we’re talking to artist, cartoonist, and father, Hal Haney.

If you’re a fan of wrestling and pop culture, you’ve probably seen Hal’s drawings online. There are so many things to love about Hal’s artwork but we’re sure you’ll love his pieces even more when you hear Hal’s story.

He’s a self-taught artist who just started drawing for fun and to make a little extra money while raising his young daughter. Hal’s work got passed around social media and the next thing Hal knew, he went from part-time doodler to full-time artist, drawing commission pieces for famous clients.

In this interview, Hal discusses falling ass-backward into a full-time gig, the inspiration behind some of his most iconic work, his advice to young artists or anyone looking to start their own business, befriending “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Austin helping him use a sleep apnea machine, and customers getting a little too particular about their drawings.

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast from Asheville, North Carolina, this is Hal Haney.

Jun 29, 202101:10:57
Episode 42: Tony Schiavone & Dirk Manning

Episode 42: Tony Schiavone & Dirk Manning

This week, we're talking to a legendary voice in the world of professional wrestling, Tony Schiavone, and writer and comic creator, Dirk Manning. 

The dynamic duo joined us to talk about "Butts In Seats: The Tony Schiavone Story", Tony's forthcoming graphic novel about his life and career in professional wrestling. 

Launched in March 2021 on Kickstarter, the original goal for "Butts In Seats" was to raise $20K to bring the graphic novel to life. That initial goal was crushed in a matter of days. The project has raised over $135K so far. 

In this interview, Tony and Dirk discuss the origin story of their partnership, working together via Zoom because of Covid restrictions, the original sketches and ideas for the comic, and working with different artists on each chapter. 

Plus, Tony tells us what it's like being back in front of live crowds, working with the gift that keeps on giving, Taz, and which AEW star was slightly miffed by the original cover art for the comic. 

Ladies and gentlemen, now entering the podcast, this is Tony Schiavone and Dirk Manning. 

Jun 21, 202101:12:34
Episode 41: James Ellsworth

Episode 41: James Ellsworth

James Ellsworth’s rise to WWE stardom was 14 long years in the making. 

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Ellsworth trained under Axl Rotten and made a living on the independent wrestling scene under the ring name "Pretty" Jimmy Dream. 

He worked for various promotions over the years - usually in a tag team with Adam Ugly - and made stops in  American Combat Wrestling, Big Time Wrestling, First State Championship Wrestling and CZW. 

Ellsworth made random appearances in the WWE over the years, typically whenever the company ran shows in Maryland or Pennsylvania, usually just filling in as an extra or working as one of Adam Rose’s “Rosebuds.” 

One night in 2016, fate stepped in and turned Ellsworth into a household name thanks to a brief promo before getting squashed by Braun Strowman on Raw. Ellsworth’s story about how he found himself on national television involves Arn Anderson and his ability to throw a punch. 

Ellsworth putting over Strowman lead to meeting Vince McMahon, getting signed with the company, and being thrust into a program with AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose. 

In this interview, Ellsworth talks about his days on the indie circuit, training with an ECW original, getting his shot with the WWE, his run with Carmella, “winning” the women’s Money in the Bank match, and the possibility of being called back to work for the company at any moment.  

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast, hailing from Glen Burnie, Maryland…this is James Ellsworth. 

Jun 14, 202101:28:05
Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: Dynamite Kid
Jun 11, 202153:47
Episode 40: Justin Schlegel

Episode 40: Justin Schlegel

Our guest on the show this week is comedian and radio show host, Justin Schlegel. 

Justin is the co-host of Baltimore's number one morning show, the Justin, Scott & Spiegel Morning Show on 98 Rock, and part of Die Laughing Productions popular murder mysteries. A lifelong wrestling fan, Justin also wrestles for Maryland Championship Wrestling (MCW) as King Ryan McBride's royal advisor.

In this episode, the threesome discusses Justin’s audition with AEW for an on-camera role, his training, the possibility of a WWE sale to Peacock, do a quick ranking of the hottest women in the WWE right now, and the influx of wrestling documentaries.

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast hailing from Waldorf, Maryland, this is Justin Schlegel. 

***Support for Not About Wrestling is brought to you by MANSCAPED. Use the code NOTABOUTWRESTLING20 at checkout and get 20% and free shipping***

Jun 07, 202101:17:31
Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: In the Shadow of Grizzly Smith

Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: In the Shadow of Grizzly Smith

Welcome to episode 5 of “Not About Dark Side of the Ring” - a  humorous weekly review & recap of "Dark Side of the Ring" on Vice.

This week, Chris, Don and Steph try to make sense of the horrific family dynamic of the Smith family, led by patriarch and all-around awful human, Grizzly Smith.

Even though Grizzly passed away over ten years ago, his memory still haunts his children - WWE Hall of Famer Jake Roberts, Sam Houston, and former WWE Women’s Champion Rockin’ Robin. The kids talk about dad’s constant mind games, manipulation, and constant incest of family members and random kids he picked up in his travels. 

The episode also dives into the tragic story of the siblings' half-sister, Jo Lynn, who was abducted in 1979 and never seen again. 

In this recap, the gang talks about the demented family dynamic, wonders how Grizzly was able to convince so many families to let him take their daughters on cross-country travels, wishes more airtime was given to the chief of police of Tatum, Texas, and discusses how the family still not talking today. 

***Support for Not About Wrestling is brought to you by MANSCAPED. Use the code NOTABOUTWRESTLING20 at checkout and get 20% and free shipping***

Jun 04, 202152:02
Episode 39: Rocky Romero

Episode 39: Rocky Romero

This week, we are absolutely pumped to talk to the amazing Rocky Romero. 

Rocky is a NJPW star and 1/3 of the self-proclaimed “Worst Podcast In The World” - Talk'n Shop - along with Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson. 

Rocky has wrestled for over two decades, debuting back in 1997 after being trained by Antonio Inoki at the NJPW Dojo in Los Angeles. 

Rocky’s career has taken him through promotions in Southern California, Mexico, and most notably, NJPW and Ring Of Honor. 

In NJPW, Rocky worked under the hood as the fourth incarnation of Black Tiger, eventually defeating  Tiger Mask for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. He’s a former three-time ROH World Tag Team Champion and a record eight-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion.

When he’s not wrestling, Rocky stays busy by keeping Anderson and Gallows from going off the rails on their popular podcast and winning the Talk 'N Shop A Mania 24/7 Championship and Lucha Death Matches.

In this episode, we talk to Rocky about living in a world that suddenly maskless again, how NJPW was always his ultimate goal, the differences between working in Japan and the United States, the success of the podcast and the family created on Zoom calls during the pandemic, and their upcoming live show at Jimmy’s Famous Seafood on Sunday, June 13th. 

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast, hailing originally from Havana, Cuba, this is Rocky Romero. 

***Support for Not About Wrestling is brought to you by MANSCAPED. Use the code NOTABOUTWRESTLING20 at checkout and get 20% and FREE shipping***

Jun 01, 202101:23:51
Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: Ultimate Warrior

Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: Ultimate Warrior

Welcome to episode 4 of “Not About Dark Side of the Ring” - a  humorous weekly review & recap of "Dark Side of the Ring" on Vice.

This week, Steph, Chris, and Don discuss the legacy of The Ultimate Warrior. The episode dove into Warrior breaking into the business, his lack of ability in the ring, how charisma carried him straight to the WWF Heavyweight Championship and his sad passing just days after being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

The crew discusses their fandom for the Ultimate Warrior growing up, his insane promos, how over the Warrior was with audiences, and the way most of his offensive YouTube rants and blogs have been wiped from the internet. 

The gang also discusses the differences in the A&E and Vice documentaries that dropped on the same week. Coincidence? Nah. More like, destrucity 

***Support for Not About Wrestling is brought to you by MANSCAPED. Use the code NOTABOUTWRESTLING20 at checkout and get 20% and free shipping***

May 28, 202158:02
Episode 38: Tim Disbrow, Director of "Card Subject To Change"

Episode 38: Tim Disbrow, Director of "Card Subject To Change"

Our guest on the show this week is director and producer, Tim Disbrow. 

A New Jersey native, Disbrow’s work includes feature-length and short subject documentaries, narrative short films, non-scripted television and branded content. He's done several wrestling-focused films and shows over the years, including the 2010 release "Card Subject To Change." 

"Card Subject To Change" takes fans deep inside the world of professional wrestling's independent circuit. This compelling film follows several wrestlers as they make their way through the local VFW halls, high school gyms and Elks' lodges grinding it out to make it to the big time. A few of the performers featured include Kevin Sullivan, Trent Acid, Rhett Titus, Sabu, Kamala and Necro Butcher. 

The film is celebrating a new extended edition on Amazon. 

Disbrow talked to us about making the film, cutting his teeth as both a wrestler and referee, having complete access to the backstage area, meeting wrestlers before they hit it big and some who were past their heyday, and the grind of the professional wrestling life. 

And of course, we talk about Tim directing a side project with the Ultimate Warrior and some stories that every wrestling fan needs to hear. 

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast and hailing from Flemington, New Jersey...this is Tim Disbrow. 

***Support for Not About Wrestling is brought to you by
MANSCAPED. Use the code NOTABOUTWRESTLING20 at checkout and get 20% and free shipping***

May 24, 202101:07:46
Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: Collision In Korea

Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: Collision In Korea

Welcome to episode 3 of “Not About Dark Side of the Ring” - a humorous weekly review & recap of "Dark Side of the Ring" on Vice.

This week, Steph, Chris, and Don discuss "Collision in Korea." 

The professional wrestling event - officially known as the Pyongyang International Sports and Culture Festival for Peace - was jointly produced by NJPW and WCW and featured 15 matches over two evenings in 1995. 

The second day of the event still holds the record for the largest ever attendance for a wrestling event, with a claimed audience of 190,000, many of whom were forced to be in attendance or get shot (allegedly) by government officials. 

The NAW crew discusses the massive event, Eric Bischoff's need to beat Vince McMahon at this own game, the fact that the event really only benefitted one person, the Muhammad Ali magic hour, what cassette tape might have been in Scott Norton's confiscated Walkman, 2 Cold Scorpio's homemade weapon, and the fact that Chris Benoit talked someone out of murder. 

May 21, 202151:22
Episode 37: Kenny Casanova

Episode 37: Kenny Casanova

Kenny Casanova has done just about everything in wrestling. He’s performed inside the squared circle, done ring announcing, promoted, created original theme music, provided color-commentary and managed some of the biggest names in professional wrestling.

Casanova helped guide the careers of names like King Kong Bundy, Luke Harper, Damien Sandow, and Nikolai Volkoff.

His current job is ghostwriter, penning the biographies of countless wrestling stars including Kamala, Brutus Beefcake, Danny Davis, Sabu and Big Van Vader.

Casanova opened up about his time training, working under the hood as Kim Chee, helping raise funds for Kamala, and the two year process of working with Big Van Vader on a book.

Ladies and gentleman, entering the podcast, hailing from Troy, New York, this is Kenny Casanova.

May 17, 202101:10:52
Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: Nick Gage

Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: Nick Gage

Welcome to episode 2 of “Not About Dark Side of the Ring” - a humorous weekly review & recap of "Dark Side of the Ring" on Vice.

This week, Steph, Chris, and Don Povia of Transition Sports & Entertainment discuss episode 2 of the show which focuses on Nick Gage. 

Nick Gage is the self-proclaimed "king of deathmatch wrestling," but his road to the top includes a six-year prison sentence for robbing a bank, extensive drug use, personal tragedies, and stabbing David Arquette in the neck. 

The trio talks about the appeal of the deathmatch, the lack of backstory in this week's episode, Nick's troubled past, and willingness to die for wrestling. The crew also discusses the lighter moments of the show like Jon Moxley's soundbites, Gage's last meal before prison being a Whopper, and the laying out matches that involve pizza cutters. 

Plus, Steph gives the final total of the number of times she had to cover her eyes during the episode. 

May 14, 202152:52
Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: Brian Pillman

Not About Dark Side Of The Ring: Brian Pillman

Welcome to the debut episode of “Not About Dark Side of the Ring” - a humorous weekly review and recap of Dark Side of the Ring on Vice. 

This week, Steph, Chris, and special co-host Don Povia of Transition Sports & Entertainment discuss the season 3 premiere focused on the “Flyin” Brian Pillman. 

Chris and Don relive their love of Pillman as kids and his evolution into the “Loose Cannon” in ECW. 

The crew talks about Pillman’s training in the Hart Dungeon and Stew Hart stretching people for hours, the insanity of Kim Wood, the shocking moment when Brian’s widow - Melanie - first appears on screen, Jim Cornette calling Brian “gorgeous”, and the benefits of reading the dictionary

Plus, the gang debates whether Kim Wood was the architect of Pillman’s Andy Kaufman-esqe performance and Don falling into a Kim Wood rabbit hole on Google while doing research for the show. 

May 07, 202101:04:53
Episode 36: Evan Husney, Co-Creator of "Dark Side of the Ring"

Episode 36: Evan Husney, Co-Creator of "Dark Side of the Ring"

This week, we're joined by Evan Husney, co-creator of the popular and controversial "Dark Side of the Ring" series on Vice. 

Evan discussing the upcoming season - premiering this week - with the two-part episode on Brian Pillman. The producer and director of "Dark Side" talks about the process behind picking show topics and setting up interviews, Covid changing the way the show was filmed, and traveling with his production team in a van to record the interviews.

Evan shares what it's like to cover sensitive topics such as drugs, addiction, and abuse with famous wrestlers and their families. Evan also shares the episode that will get anyone hooked on the show this season and the one episode this season that Vice felt went a little too far.   

Plus, Chris and Stephanie announce a new addition to the Not About Wrestling lineup. 

May 03, 202146:42
Episode 35: Roy Lucier

Episode 35: Roy Lucier

Roy Lucier is a collector of not just old wrestling tapes and Lucha Libre figures but of memories.

During our interview, he held up numerous stacks of DVDs, all containing legendary wrestling moments from the last thirty years or more. All of those shows were converted off VHS tapes, Lucier’s original way to get matches into the hands of fans, collectors, and even professional wrestlers.

Roy tries to make all of that content available to the public on his ten YouTube channels. Yes, ten!

Each channel is devoted to a specific company - none of which are named WWE. There’s a Houston Wrestling Channel, a AAA channel, a channel devoted to events matches held at the Olympic Auditorium, and even an All Japan Women’s channel.

Lucier explains, “I gave each promotion their own channel, so if one channel gets taken down for copyright reasons, the other stuff still stays online and available.”

Besides the hours of content on burned to disc, Roy has memories of his own burned into his brain. Amazing moments with wrestlers, fans, and friends from the past 30 years of fandom.

Like the time a friend called and asked if he wanted to swing by and hang out with an up-and-coming wrestler named Chris Jericho or meeting NJPW legend Antonio Inoki for the first time.

In this show, we talk to Roy about his early days of tape trading and recording territory shows thanks to his parent's giant satellite dish, attending hundreds of Lucha shows in his home state of California, collecting rare Lucha figures, and befriending some of the biggest names in the wrestling business.

Apr 26, 202101:24:57
Episode 34: The NBA in WCW with author Pete Croatto

Episode 34: The NBA in WCW with author Pete Croatto

On this week’s show, we take a deep dive into the year 1998 to discuss Karl Malone and Dennis Rodman’s involvement in Bash at the Beach ’98. 

At the time, Malone and Rodman were arguably two of the biggest stars in the NBA and were slugging it out on the court in the most-watched NBA Finals to date. 

WCW was in a clash of its own, fighting with the WWE for eyeballs every Monday night. 

The NBA and WCW working together is not a surprise - especially given the connection with Turner Sports - but the idea that two marquee stars would step foot in a wrestling ring and risk potential injury.

We’re joined by author Peter Croatto. Croatto, the author of From Hang Time To Primetime, is the perfect third man in the booth. His book discusses the rise of the NBA from a sport to a billion-dollar global entertainment (and sports) business. 

In this episode, we talk about polar opposites that are Malone and Rodman, the strings pulled to get these two players involved with WCW, Rodman skipping practice DURING THE NBA PLAYOFFS to go do a promo on Nitro, the incident between Malone and Rodman on the court that led to impressive pay-per-view buys for the wrestling company and why something like this will never, ever happen again.

Apr 19, 202101:32:54
Episode 33: "Piledriver: The Wrestling Album II" with Rob Naylor

Episode 33: "Piledriver: The Wrestling Album II" with Rob Naylor

On this week's show, we discuss the musical legacy of Piledriver: The Wrestling Album II. 

Hot on the heels of the surprising success of the original Wrestling Album in 1985, the WWF released this 10 song album in September 1987. In addition to the album, a VHS videotape version was also issued in 1987 by Coliseum Video. This VHS featured music videos for 8 of the songs from the album.

Chris and Stephanie are joined by former WWE and NXT creative assistant Rob Naylor to do a deep dive into the album. Naylor, a Pennsylvania native, and lifelong wrestling fan, was there for the inception of NXT and worked closely with wrestling legend "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes. The two worked so closely together, Dusty even occasionally shared his lunch. 

Unfortunately, time constraints prevented the trio from reviewing all 10 songs (thank god) but we were able to cover the four of the more well-known songs of the LP - Piledriver, Stand Back, Jive Soul Bro, and the melodic dumpster fire, Girls In Cars. 

And we'd like to apologize from the start for getting Girls In Cars stuck in your head for the next week. 

Apr 12, 202101:21:03
Episode 32: Wrestling With Romance with Tara Clark

Episode 32: Wrestling With Romance with Tara Clark

This week's show is all about romance and wrestling and why wrestling promotions think fans give a crap. 

Chris is joined by author and social media star, Tara Clark (@modernmomprobs). Tara runs a hilarious Instagram account chronicling her struggles with being a parent and her new book - "Modern Mom Probs: A Survival Guide for 21st Century Mothers" - hits shelves at the end of April. 

Tara is a lifelong wrestling fan. She was hooked the day she first set eyes on the lovely Miss Elizabeth. She's watched the WWE ever since and admits that "90% of her social media feeds are wrestling news websites." 

In this episode, Tara and Chris discuss the original storyline between Miss Elizabeth and "Macho Man" Randy Savage and how wrestling got romance right the first time and failed just about every time after. They also revisit the recent Lashley and Lana storyline, discuss exactly who these romance angles are made to attract, and talk about real-life wrestling couples and how putting those romances typically leads to failed relationships.

Tara shares her experiences being in the Thunderdome audience numerous times over the last year and how the WWE forcing fans to cheer and boo performers might have soured her young son on wrestling. 

Plus, Steph shows up to explain why she missed the show. It's a valid reason.  

Apr 05, 202101:34:11
Episode 31: Nikita Koloff

Episode 31: Nikita Koloff

"The Russian Nightmare," Nikita Koloff, was one of the biggest heels in professional wrestling in the mid-1980s. 

A member of both the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and the National Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame, Nikita's feud with Magnum TA is legendary, culminating with their classic best of seven series. 

After a horrific accident forced Magnum into retirement, Koloff abruptly turned babyface to partner with former adversary Dusty Rhodes in his feud against the Four Horsemen. 

Koloff continued wrestling until the early 90s. After retiring, the Minnesota native became a born-again Christian and now runs a ministry.  Along with former WCW star Lex Luger, Koloff runs ManCamp - a five-day immersive experience to help bring men closer to God. 

In his interview, Nikita discusses growing up in Minnesota (and not Russia), getting ribbed by Curt Hennig in high school, Ivan Koloff teaching him basic moves right before his first match, people still believing he's Russian, and auditioning for the role of Ivan Drago for Rocky IV. 

Ladies and gentlemen, now entering the podcast from Minneapolis, Minnesota, this is Nikita Koloff. 

Mar 29, 202101:38:57
Episode 30: Eric Gargiulo

Episode 30: Eric Gargiulo

On this week's show, we're joined by wrestling announcer, commentator, radio show host, and writer, Eric Gargiulo. 

Gargiulo is best known for his time as ring announcer for ECW and announcer and commentator for Combat Zone Wrestling. He’s also the host of the longest running wrestling radio show - Pro Wrestling Radio - ever on terrestrial radio. The show ran from 1999 until 2009.

Long before podcasts, Gargiulo was able to sit down with some of the biggest names in professional wrestling including Steve Austin, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart, Edge, Dusty Rhodes, Bruno Sammartino, Chris Jericho, and "Superstar" Billy Graham. 

Gargiulo helped innovate the professional wrestling shoot interview concept and began hosting shoot interviews for RF Video and wrote and edited the questions for the WWE Pop Trivia Quiz Deck in 2019.

In this episode, Gargiulo discusses his early training to wrestle, being a tape trader and working ECW shows, launching his radio show and befriending Bruno Sammartino, getting thrown into the ring at a show because no one else was around to handle the job, following around Paul Heyman during ECW shows and some of the conversations he overheard, and asking Howard Finkel to announce the bridal party at his wedding.  

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast from Queens, New York, this is Eric Gargiulo. 

Mar 22, 202101:33:16
Episode 29: Chris Van Vliet

Episode 29: Chris Van Vliet

This week on "Not About Wrestling", our guest is interviewer, podcast host, and 4-time Emmy winner, Chris Van Vliet.

Chris Van Vliet looks like an overnight success when in reality, the Canada-born host has been working in entertainment for over 15 years. An interview with actresses Leslie Mann and Dakota Johnson - in which both women spent the majority of the interview hitting on Van Vliet - went viral, instantly making him a recognizable face on TV and online.

Van Vliet frequently talks to some of the biggest professional wrestlers in the world on his show - "Insight With Chris Van Vliet" - and on his popular YouTube channel.

In this episode, Chris is the one answering the questions, about his life, job, and aspirations, once being named Cosmo magazine's "Bachelor of the Year", his stint in backyard wrestling, and getting his chest destroyed by 20 chops from professional wrestlers in training.

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast, from Pickering, Ontario, Canada...this is Chris Van Vliet.

Mar 15, 202101:21:37
Episode 28: A Look Back At "The Bobby Heenan Show"

Episode 28: A Look Back At "The Bobby Heenan Show"

On a very special episode of "Not About Wrestling", Chris and Stephanie take a trip back to 1989 to revisit a failed idea that might have been way ahead of its time.

The best way to describe “The Bobby Heenan Show” would be to take parts of “The Larry Sanders Show” and “The Howard Stern Show” and mix them together with David Letterman’s “Stupid Human Tricks” segments. All of the guests on the show - and their talents - were real and most were probably unaware that they’d be made fun of by Bobby Heenan on broadcast television. 

The show only lasted four episodes and was canceled for several reasons.

In this episode,  Steph and Chris discuss the four classic episodes - all of which are available on the WWE Network - and have a good laugh about the elderly stripper, the porn star, the cringy mother and daughter comedy team, and the sheer brilliance that was “The Bobby Heenan Show.” 

Mar 08, 202157:12
Episode 27: Sean Oliver of Kayfabe Commentaries

Episode 27: Sean Oliver of Kayfabe Commentaries

This week on Not About Wrestling, we’re joined by author, actor, and wrestling shoot interview host, Sean Oliver.
During Sean’s introduction, Chris jokes that he’s the “godfather of the wrestling shoot interview” but it’s hard to argue the title. In fact, Sean’s production company and wrestling shoot interviews were a huge influence on Chris starting this very podcast.
For close to a decade, Sean has sat down with some of the biggest names in professional wrestling for wrestling interviews that were ahead of their time.
In our interview, Sean recalls the original concept behind Kayfabe Commentaries, his very first interview with Kevin Sullivan, interviewing wrestling legend Gary Hart the day before his death, having Jake Roberts walk out of an interview before it even began, and how Sean’s kind gesture to Buff Bagwell resulted in the wrestler threatening to knock Sean’s teeth out the next time the two crossed paths.
Plus, Stephanie and Chris discuss the awful music at the gym, Steph lies about how she’s actually feeling, and the official dog of Not About Wrestling, Kopi, joins the show with a perfectly timed wacky horn.
Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast, from West New York, New Jersey, this is Sean Oliver.
Mar 01, 202101:12:38
Episode 26: Scorpio Sky & James Willems

Episode 26: Scorpio Sky & James Willems

Our guests on the show this week are All Elite Wrestling’s Scorpio Sky and Funhaus creator James Willems. Sky and James are the hosts of "Wrestling With The Week", a podcast dedicated to wrestling, pop culture, sports, music, movies, and more.

In this episode, Sky and James talk about the idea behind the show, people screwing up James's last name, how to recover from not knowing a person's name, becoming friends on the show, being obsessed with different parts of pop culture, and how Sky has still never seen any Star Wars movies. 

Plus Stephanie and Chris talk about how out of touch Vince McMahon probably is and how Michael Bolton needs to make wrestling theme songs. 

Feb 23, 202101:16:58
Episode 25: Rhett Titus

Episode 25: Rhett Titus

Our guest today on the 47th most popular wrestling podcast on iTunes is Ring of Honor star, Rhett Titus.

After graduating from the ROH Dojo, Titus debuted in Ring of Honor in 2006. He teamed with Kenny King to form "The All Night Express" in 2009 and captured the ROH World Tag Team Titles in 2012. Titus later left Ring of Honor in 2013 but returned in 2015 to reunite with his former "All Night Express" partner.

In this episode, Rhett discusses working in the ROH bubble, being a strict vegan, winning a costume contest dressed up at Doink the Clown, our shared state of New Jersey, going to ECW shows at a far too young age, and accidentally seeing a wrestler's dong when he was a kid.

Plus, Chris and Stephanie talk about Rocky Johnson's brain, library books, and Chris' weird habit of emptying the trash on his computer way, WAY too often.

Ladies and gentlemen, now entering the podcast, from Long Beach Island, New Jersey...this is Rhett Titus.

Feb 15, 202101:11:23
Episode 24: Rey Mysterio

Episode 24: Rey Mysterio

My guest on “Not About Wrestling this week is future WWE Hall of Famer, Rey Mysterio.

Rey Mysterio is arguably the greatest cruiserweight in pro wrestling history. He made his American wrestling debut in ECW in 1995 before jumping over to WCW and helped make the cruiserweight matches one of the must-watch segments of the "Monday Night Wars."

In this interview recorded prior to the 2021 Royal Rumble, Rey talks about facing adversaries three times his size, winning the Royal Rumble in 2006 by hiding for most of the match, training and wrestling with his son, Dominick, and the one thing he'd like to accomplish before hanging up his wrestling boots.

Ladies and gentlemen, now entering the podcast, hailing from Chula Vista, California, this is Rey Mysterio. 

Feb 08, 202132:53
Episode 23: Rob Van Dam

Episode 23: Rob Van Dam

My guest on the show this week is “Mr. Monday Night” and “The Whole F’n Show,” Rob Van Dam. 

Rob Van Dam has won a total of 21 championships in his career and he’s the only wrestler in history to hold the WWE Championship, the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, and the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. 

Rob and I talk about his weird life growing up in a haunted house, his first experience smoking weed, his knowledge of all things mafia, scary head injuries, and his new line of RVD CBD products.

And in true RVD style, the wrestling legend and CBD entrepreneur casually rolls a joint while we’re talking about his life and career. 

Ladies and gentlemen, now entering the podcast, hailing from Battle Creek, Michigan, this is Rob Van Dam. 

Feb 01, 202101:15:15
Episode 22: Dan Barry

Episode 22: Dan Barry

My guest on the show today is comedian, wrestler, and adopted son of Ireland, Dan Barry. THE Dan Barry.

Dan has wrestled for a slew of different indie promotions including the New York Wrestling Connection, Combat Zone Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, and the House of Hardcore. He's also the good half of Team Tremendous.

In this interview, Dan and I discuss making jokes at funerals, flat Earthers, people trying to put themselves over in the middle of a tragedy, getting cast on the reality show Holy Foley and training Mick's daughter, and what the WWE did wrong with that show.

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast, hailing from Merrick, New York...this is THE Dan Barry.

Jan 25, 202101:05:45
Episode 21: Jamie Hemmings of Slam Wrestling

Episode 21: Jamie Hemmings of Slam Wrestling

My guest on the show today is the self-proclaimed "Queen of the Book Nerds," the incredibly engaging Jamie Hemmings.

Encouraged to watch and write about wrestling by her neighbor and mentor, Bob Leonard, a famous Canadian professional wrestling promoter, photographer, and author, Jamie went to college to earn a degree in Journalism and once dressed up as Ric Flair to give a presentation.

Jamie's love of writing and wrestling led to a position with Slam Wrestling where she's worked since 2005. Her most recent position being the lead Book Editor for the popular wrestling website.

In this interview, Jamie and I discuss her love of wrestling as a kid, her attraction to Miss Elizabeth, how wrestling writing has changed over the last fifteen years, the rise of female wrestlers, and her not-so-secret love of The Honky Tonk Man.

Jan 18, 202101:05:25
Episode 20: Deonna Purrazzo
Jan 15, 202147:55
Episode 19: Joel Gertner

Episode 19: Joel Gertner

My guest today is former ECW announcer, commentator, manager, and the "Quintessential Studmuffin,"  Joel Gertner. 

As a rabid ECW fan, I don’t remember the company without Joel Gertner. He joined ECW in 1995 - at the age of 20 - to work as a part-time ring announcer and official timekeeper. Eventually, Gertner transitioned to being the heel announcer and bounced around from performer to performer until finally hooking up with The Dudley Boyz. 

Gertner saw the highs and lows of the hardcore revolution first hand. He was the color commentator when the company signed their TNN television deal and was one of the last employees left when the company folded in 2001.

In this interview, Joel and I discuss his early addictions to TV game shows, why he dropped out of Cornell to join ECW, being an absolute heat magnet on the mic, his filthy limericks, and the night he lost his signature neck brace and voice right in the middle of an introduction. 

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast, hailing from Brooklyn, New York…this is Joel Gertner

Jan 12, 202101:05:15
Episode 18: Nick Aldis

Episode 18: Nick Aldis

Welcome to season two of Not About Wrestling! 

This year kicks off NWA World's Heavyweight Champion, Nick Aldis. 

During this discussion, Aldis and I covered a vast array of topics including bodybuilding and fitness, life on other planets, the NWA world’s heavyweight belt, his HEAT with Planet Fitness, making moments in the wrestling ring, and the future of the business. 

Ladies and gentleman, entering the podcast, hailing from King's Lynn, England…this is Nick Aldis. 

Jan 04, 202101:19:50
Episode 17: Best Of Season One

Episode 17: Best Of Season One

Relive some of the best, funniest, and most inspiring moments of season one of Not About Wrestling. 

Jan 03, 202101:13:09
Episode 16: Tom Green

Episode 16: Tom Green

This week, I’m talking to Tom Green. No, not that Tom Green. 

This Tom Green is a former wrestling promoter. Green started booking shows at the insanely young age of 18 and he got into the business in an incredibly odd way. 

Green’s friend somehow stumbled upon the home phone number of former New Japan and WCW star, Scott Norton. So they called Norton and asked if he wanted to be on a wrestling show that didn’t exist yet. Norton said yes. Suddenly, the duo were wrestling promoters. 

Fight Sports Midwest lasted only a few shows the cards included incredible talent who dominate professional wrestling cards today. Names like Tyler Black (Seth Rollins), Eddie Kingston, Samoa Joe, Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro), and Austin Aries to name a few.

In this episode, Green discusses his early love of wrestling, the amount of work that went into booking those Fight Sports Midwest cards, the mistakes he made and the lessons learned, and how getting into the wrestling business is pretty damn easy but surviving in the business is a whole other story. 

Ladies and gentleman, entering the podcast, hailing from Lafayette, Indiana, this is Tom Green. 

Dec 21, 202001:09:22
Episode 15: PCO

Episode 15: PCO

The career resurgence of Pierre Carl Ouellet - now christened PCO in Ring of Honor - has been nothing short of remarkable.

Longtime wrestling fans will remember Ouellet from his run in the WWF as one-half of the tag team, The Quebecers. Along with partner Jacques Rougeau, the Quebecers captured the WWF Tag Team Championship on three different occasions.

After a six-year run on the indie circuit, PCO retired from the ring in 2011...or so he thought at the time.

Ouellet gave wrestling one last shot in 2016, being reborn in YouTube videos that caught fire with the online wrestling community.

Pierre Carl Ouellet was dead. PCO - or Perfect Creation One - came to life. 

As PCO prepares for his ROH World Tag Team Title shot with partner Mark Briscoe at Final Battle, the 53-year-old veteran sat down to talk about his early days in the business, losing his vision in a pellet gun accident as a kid, raising a young daughter in the world of wrestling, his various runs with the WWE, squashing his beef with Kevin Nash, and why stealing Bret Hart's jacket is still a great kickoff to a feud.

Ladies and gentlemen, entering the podcast, hailing from St. Catharine, Quebec, this is PCO.

Dec 18, 202001:14:38
Episode 14: Danhausen

Episode 14: Danhausen

This week on the Not About Wrestling podcast, my guest is Ring of Honor star, Danhausen.

Donovan Danhausen got his start in the Michigan indies, working at a local wrestling school while training. Donovan bounced around to different indie scenes and the character of Danhausen slowly emerged along the way.

This interview is unlike any of the others I’ve done. It’s broken into two parts.

In part one, I talk to Danhausen the performer and we cover incredibly important topics like Cheeto’s Mac and Cheese, bowling, Walmart, his favorite curse words, and the best places to buy teeth.

In part two of the interview, I talk to Donovan Danhausen, the creator of the Danhausen about his evolution in both character and makeup, the origins of the character, thinking up new ideas, and where Donovan sees the character going in the next few years.

Ladies and gentleman, entering the podcast, hailing from someplace far away, this is Danhausen.

Dec 14, 202001:01:44
Episode 13: Ian Douglass

Episode 13: Ian Douglass

This week, I’m talking to prolific writer, former on-air reporter, and admitted “overrated athlete,” Ian Douglass.

Douglass is a journalist and co-author of three wrestling biographies. His first book, The Realest Guy in the Room: The Life and Times of Dan Severn, chronicles the life and career of former UFC and WWE star, Dan "The Beast" Severn.

Douglass released his next two books in 2019. Brute Power chronicles the life and career of former professional wrestler Bugsy McGraw and Life is Short and So Am I, the autobiography of dwarf wrestler and entertainer Dylan "Hornswoggle" Postl.

Dec 10, 202001:14:08
Episode 12: Shane Taylor

Episode 12: Shane Taylor

This week, I’m talking to Ring of Honor star, Shane Taylor.

Taylor is known for his violent demeanor and survive-at-all-costs mentality. Since his 2016 debut with Ring of Honor, the 6' 1", 350-pound has positioned himself as the "problem solver" on the roster and "the baddest of all time."

Taylor is completely open and honest about his intentions in the sport of professional wrestling. From the start of the interview, Taylor made it known that every time he steps in the ring, he wants to prove the haters and doubters wrong.

Dec 04, 202001:02:18
Episode 11: Oliver Bateman

Episode 11: Oliver Bateman

This week, I’m talking to journalist, lawyer, historian, and strength athlete, Oliver Bateman.

Oliver has produced content for a wide range of publications, including VICE, Vox, and The Atlantic, as well as wrestling-focused content for The Ringer.

When he’s not covering professional wrestling, Oliver is the co-host of the popular political podcast, “What’s Left?”

In this episode, Oliver and I discuss his early days as a wrestling fan, how he got involved in bodybuilding and powerlifting at a young age, the recent issues with wrestlers threatening to unionize, and his work on a cultural study about the hyper-real male bodies of the 20th century and their effects on the average guy.

Nov 28, 202059:35
BONUS: Tribute To The Undertaker

BONUS: Tribute To The Undertaker

On this bonus episode of the show, writer Kenny Herzog returns to discuss all things Undertaker. 

We take a look back at his early days in wrestling, his WWE debut, the fact that he's supposed to be dead, the character making a scary impression on my life at a young age, the different phases of The Undertaker, and whether Survivor Series 2020 will actually be his "last ride" with the company.

Nov 20, 202055:11
Episode #10: Keith Elliot Greenberg

Episode #10: Keith Elliot Greenberg

Keith Elliot Greenberg is a writer and TV producer, and New York Times bestselling author. He’s co-authored biographies on some of the biggest names in wrestling history, including Ric Flair, Superstar Billy Graham, and Classy Freddie Blassie. 

His latest book -  Too Sweet: Inside the Indie Wrestling Revolution - is out now. 

Keith and I discuss growing up a wrestling fan in the Bronx, his early love of the sport thanks to a family who planned vacations around seeing live wrestling, breaking into wrestling writing for newspapers and WWF magazine, working with Freddie Blassie and Billy Graham on their autobiographies, his experience with Ric Flair and some regrets he has about their time together, and the future of indie wrestling after Covid. 

Nov 19, 202052:18
Episode 9: Ken Anderson

Episode 9: Ken Anderson

In this episode of “Not About Wrestling“, I’m talking to wrestler, trainer, actor, and the man with the perfect pipes, Ken Anderson. 

Most fans will recognize Ken from his run in the WWE as Mr. Kennedy but Anderson has worked for several major wrestling promotions over the last two decades.

During this incredibly personal discussion, Ken and I talk about his love of performing at an early age, bringing humor to wrestling promos, reconnecting with his father and family after years apart, and learning a new skill because of the Covid-19 shutdown.

Nov 02, 202059:52
Episode 8: Kenny Herzog

Episode 8: Kenny Herzog

In this episode, Chris talks to writer and lifelong wrestling fan Kenny Herzog. 

Kenny Herzog is currently the Digital Content Director at Entrepreneur Media but he’s written about professional wrestling for countless outlets including Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, Vulture, and The Ringer. He’s also the host of his own podcast, Outside Interference with Kenny Herzog on MLW Radio.

Kenny and Chris talk about his writing background and extensive coverage of all things wrestling. They also discuss their unsuccessful attempts to avoid spoilers, some of the popular conspiracy theories in professional wrestling, and the future of the sport after the pandemic ends. 

Oct 25, 202052:23
Episode 7: Dalton Castle

Episode 7: Dalton Castle

On the show today, I’m talking to Ring of Honor star, Dalton Castle.

The self-proclaimed peacock is a former Ring of Honor world champion and world six-man champion. 

Dalton and I talk about his love of professional wrestling at an early age, not being allowed to watch wrestling in his house, a traumatizing karaoke moment in the family barn, traveling, video rental stores, and one of his favorite tag team partners ever - the Honky Tonk Man.

Plus, there’s an accident somewhere in Dalton’s house and the drama is TENSE. 

And now, entering the ring, hailing from Rochester, NY, this is Dalton Castle. 

Oct 07, 202047:01
Episode 6: Shaul Guerrero

Episode 6: Shaul Guerrero

On the show today, I’m talking to Shaul Guerrero. A member of the legendary Guerrero family, Shaul has done just about everything in the business. She’s wrestled for FCW, WWE, NXT, and served as ring announcer for the AEW Women's Tag Team Cup Tournament. 

When she’s not performing in the ring, she’s working with the burlesque dance group, the Vaudettes. 

In this episode, Shaul and I discuss growing up as the daughter of two legends in the business, Eddie and Vicki Guerrero, how she transitions back and forth from wrestler to ring announcer, her dabbling in witchcraft, love of animals, and competitive rivalry with her husband on their Twitch channels. 

And now, entering the ring, hailing from Chicago, Illinois, this is Shaul Guerrero. 

Sep 29, 202047:46
Episode 5: Scorpio Sky

Episode 5: Scorpio Sky

This week, Chris talks to AEW star Scorpio Sky. Sky has appeared in just about major wrestling company in the world. 

A member of SoCal Uncensored, Sky is also an accomplished mixed martial artist and appeared in several TV shows and even a Super Bowl commercial.

In this episode, Sky and I discuss his second love besides wrestling, the Los Angeles Lakers, the fact he’s never seen any Star Wars films, his dislike of cereal, and the random facts on his Wikipedia page.

Sep 22, 202036:49
Episode 4: MJF

Episode 4: MJF

In this episode, MJF joins Not About Wrestling to discuss dating apps, the only holiday that matters, his distaste for the Yacht Rock music genre, his thoughts on why social distancing rules should stay in effect forever, and why AEW will be much better off with him as world champion.

Entering the ring, hailing from Plainview, Long Island -- it’s MJF. 

Sep 03, 202037:58