LaToya Ferguson writes for The AV Club and Paste Magazine as well as The Guardian, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, IndieWire, and more. She regularly covers professional wrestling in a variety of outlets online and was also a part of The Story of Wrestling podcast with Alasdair Wilkins and Kyle Fowle.
Alasdair takes another sidestep out of the usual discussion to explore how wrestling compares with other kinds of collaborative performance like improv and Dungeons and Dragons. And who better to do that with his own Dungeon Master? Gideon Bautista is a writer, actor, wrestling fan, and longtime D&D player, and he joins Alasdair to discuss how putting together a campaign is like booking a wrestling show. Is playing Dungeons and Dragons like being a wrestler, or is it like being an audience member, liable to take over the show at any point? All that plus plenty of love for WWE's newest Hall of Fame inductee, Dave "The Animal" Batista, or Hollywood star Dave Bautista, if you prefer. Is he the most talented actor to ever come out of a wrestling ring? Gideon explains how his fellow Bautista made use of classic Meisner technique in his famous promo on the road to this year's WrestleMania, which Shakespeare character the Animal most reminds him of, and how his 2009 heel turn on Rey Mysterio is absolutely chilling. It's a fun, free-ranging conversation about the mechanics of acting and storytelling in wrestling, so come listen!
Alasdair is back in the podcast studio this week joined by Rob Blatt, the "management representative" for the Queens-based promotion House of Glory Wrestling and senior referee for Dropkick Depression in New Jersey. That's right, we got a worker on the podcast! Rob details how he got into both wrestling and wrassling as a kid, including his dad's Valentine's Day present (!?) of tickets for the whole family to go see Flair vs. Piper in Nassau Coliseum. We discuss what led him to make the leap that probably more than a few wrestling fans have contemplated by actually going to wrestling school, albeit to become a despicable heel manager... and how he ended up having his first ever match with Homicide. Then we interrupt all that pleasantness to discuss Rob's hot take about All Elite Wrestling, which is that it's one big problem is, well, Kenny Omega. As hot takes go, it's calm, well-considered, and lets us dig into something AEW, which we're both basically in love with, could stand to improve on. Be sure to learn more about both upcoming shows Rob is taking part in by checking out @HOGwrestling for House of Glory and @OperationDD for Dropkick Depression!
The team reunites this week, as Kyle rejoins Alasdair for a look back at a fun week in wrestling. Uh, except Survivor Series. We didn't get to that. But my goodness, is there still a ton to talk about! We look at the two explosive WarGames matches from the latest NXT TakeOver, then segue to a look at the latest episode of Dynamite. Are we all ready for Nick Jackson, singles star? Does Darby Allin have a ceiling? Why do we hate MJF so damn much? All that plus an extended look at how AEW is slowly building up its women's division, even as that remains the area where Dynamite is still the farthest behind what WWE is doing...
For the first official episode of the podcast's bold new era, Alasdair is joined in by Luis Paez-Pumar, late of Deadspin, a good website. We were planning on really only talking about AEW and Full Gear, but then C.M. Punk had to... well, not technically rejoin WWE, but do the next closest thing. Also, AEW head Tony Khan may not be stepping into the ring anytime soon, but he's proved himself quite happy to hit some serious moves on Twitter, and this simply must be addressed. Then we do look at what worked and what didn't about AEW's first pay-per-view now that Dynamite is up and running. (Spoiler alert: Emi Sakura, please listen to this. Scorpio Sky... maybe less so.) Be sure to check out what Luis and all his former colleagues are up to by following @UnDeadspin on Twitter!
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