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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.
 
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After two weeks of AEW Dynamite, NXT on USA, and Friday Night SmackDown, where does the WWE vs AEW war stand? Did WWE's new flagship show change with the move to Fox, or is it more of the same from Vince McMahon and company? And will 5-star Young Bucks matches and unique Chris Jericho promos make a dent in WWE's dominance? Join us as we leave t ...…
 
Jim Cornette and graphic novels don't seem like they go together, which made reading Jim Cornette Presents: Behind the Curtain – Real Pro Wrestling Stories an intriguing endeavor. Why did Cornette decide to tell a series of loosely related wrestling stories in a comic book format, ranging from Ric Flair's plane crash to the Montreal Screwjob? A ...…
 
Kofi Kingston's remarkable win at WrestleMania 35 was the feel-good moment of the wrestling decade; to commemorate the occasion, the WWE Network has produced what might be their finest documentary. It's the latest installment in the WWE 24 series, and it follows the WWE Champion as he visits his home country of Ghana after vanquishing Daniel Br ...…
 
ECW legend Sabu has penned his autobiography, and it's as extreme as you'd expect. From a childhood story about getting shot in the face to all his in-ring and extracurricular antics as arguably the biggest star of Paul Heyman's Extreme Championship Wrestling, Sabu's tales are as crazy as they get. Join us as we dissect the dirty life and times ...…
 
What happens when a show about female pro wrestlers removes the wrestling? Unfortunately, this eternal question is answered on the latest season of GLOW. It's still a wonderful show, but less Zoya the Destroya, Liberty Belle, Machu Picchu and Welfare Queen means less enthusiasm from your best buds at Awesome Truth. Join us for our thoughts on t ...…
 
The Rock and Roman Reigns, together again for the first time since being booed mercilessly at the 2015 Royal Rumble: what could go wrong? Unfortunately, a whole lot; it turns out 135 minutes of Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham trading lame insults is not what the doctor ordered, and Reigns is nothing more than a glorified extra. Awesome Truth w ...…
 
In 1991, Roddy Piper and Jesse Ventura could've been the biggest television stars in the world. Their pilot Tag Team had the kind of perfectly lame premise — pro wrestlers become cops — that might've cruised to the top of the ratings. Alas, ABC didn't pick up the show. But now, 28 years later, we're revisiting their first and only episode and d ...…
 
No one has written a definitive book on indie wrestling, until now. We welcome back returning champion Keith Elliot Greenberg – who is currently in the middle of penning a deep tome on PWG, wXw, EVOLVE, and numerous other indie promotions – to discuss how his conversations with the Young Bucks, Hangman Page, Marty Scurll and other modern indie ...…
 
Conrad Thompson, Keith Elliot Greenberg, Liam O'Rourke, Chris Charlton: these are just a few of the terrific guests we've been blessed to have on Awesome Truth. To celebrate our 50th episode, we're revisiting our interviews with the best of them. Join us for classic insights into Ric Flair, Brian Pillman, and New Japan Pro Wrestling, and find o ...…
 
A documentary series on the seedy underbelly of pro wrestling, produced by famed truth-tellers Vice Media? This is what we've been clamoring for...except not at all. How could telling the stories of Bruiser Brody, the Von Erich family, the Fabulous Moolah, and 'Macho Man' Randy Savage go so wrong? We break down all six episodes of the Viceland ...…
 
For years, a dark match between Bret Hart and Tom Magee was lost in the WWE archives. Now it has been found, just in time for the WWE Network to slap together a documentary and scoop Conrad Thompson's Starrcast event. Fortunately, the doc happens to be great. Join us as we offer a rare bit of praise for a WWE Network offering and ponder why Mag ...…
 
ECW's true swan song is one of the best moments in modern wrestling history; inspired by John Lister's Turning the Tables: The Story of Extreme Championship Wrestling, we're about to revisit it. Join us for Awesome Truth's first event recap, where we dissect what made ECW special, praise Eric Bischoff and JBL for being the evening's perfect hee ...…
 
It's finally time to get extreme. Despite growing up outside of Philadelphia, Awesome Truth has yet to cover Extreme Championship Wrestling. To accompany us on this long-awaited deep dive into Paul Heyman, Tommy Dreamer, Raven, Sabu, Taz, and the rest of the legends who made ECW great, we welcome John Lister, author of Turning the Tables: The S ...…
 
Break out the pitchforks because we're heading back to the barren wasteland that is WWE Chronicle. You'd think a brief documentary on the WrestleMania 35 main event would be a nonstop thrill ride, but you'd be wrong. The New York crowd was hot for Becky Lynch, Ronda Rousey, and Chronicle subject Charlotte Flair, but this kayfabe-centric series ...…
 
When HBO's Last Week Tonight devotes an entire episode to WWE business practices, you know Awesome Truth will reassemble for a special bonus episode of their own. John Oliver took aim at WWE's wrestlers being labeled independent contractors and the internet lost its collective mind; we break down his detailed thoughts on the matter, Vince McMah ...…
 
With WrestleMania weekend and the NJPW/ROH G1 Supercard show at Madison Square Garden right around the corner, there's no better time to talk New Japan Pro-Wrestling with author and historian Chris Charlton. He's written two books on Japanese wrestling, Lion's Pride and Eggshells, and he's here to discuss the history of the Tokyo Dome, comparis ...…
 
The WWE Network is awash in documentary content, but nothing gets in-depth quite like Breaking Ground. Covering NXT and the Performance Center in late 2015, you get a real glimpse into future superstars like Bayley, Baron Corbin, Tyler Breeze and Apollo Crews, plus cameos from William Regal, Sami Zayn, Scott Hall, and Triple H himself. But is i ...…
 
For the first time in forever, there's a major motion picture in theaters and it's about WWE! The rise of former female phenom Paige has been adapted into a feature film called Fighting with My Family, and its 91% Rotten Tomatoes score means critics are weirdly onboard with a movie where Vince Vaughn says "NXT" and "belly to back suplex." What ...…
 
He created three of the biggest wrestling podcasts in the world, and now he's here on Awesome Truth! Conrad Thompson, the host of Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, 83 Weeks with Eric Bischoff, and What Happened When with Tony Schiavone, joins us for a very special episode to discuss his favorite recent wrestling book, how he snagged a W ...…
 
That's more like it, WWE Network. Though WrestleMania 34 wasn't the best show of all time, you could be tricked into thinking it was after this documentary. From Matt Hardy and Rusev roaming Bourbon Street to Shawn Michaels praising Ronda Rousey and Titus O'Neil tying Paul Heyman's tie, this is the kind of backstage pass that makes wrestling do ...…
 
New Japan Pro Wrestling is arguably the hottest wrestling promotion in the world, second only to WWE in worldwide success. But their ups and downs are legendary, and documented brilliantly in Chris Charlton's book on everything from Antonio Inoki to Kazuchika Okada. Though it was written in 2015, before the rise of Kenny Omega and the arrival o ...…
 
There's no love lost between Awesome Truth and WWE Network's Chronicle series, but a Becky Lynch episode has to turn everything around, right? Right?! "The Man" might be the hottest character in WWE, but this 'documentary' series from the Network seems beyond saving. We dissect WWE's 24-minute recap of Lynch's rehab from a Nia Jax punch and ran ...…
 
"Mean" Gene Okerlund died on January 2, 2019, but he'd already been granted eternal life in the hearts and minds of wrestling fans everywhere. There will never be another interviewer like Gene, beloved by all and perfect at telling the stories that make wrestling so great. To celebrate his remarkable life and career, we gathered to discuss all ...…
 
Mick Foley's first book changed the wrestling literature game. Before its release in 1999, wrestling books were mostly lame tales penned by ghostwriters, but Foley showed the world that stories about WCW, ECW, WWF, and life on the road could be well-written and entertaining while also selling like hotcakes. For our last episode of 2018, we sat ...…
 
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 Hea ...…
 
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 s ...…
 
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? ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 an ...…
 
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 WC ...…
 
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 whil ...…
 
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 b ...…
 
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 controve ...…
 
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 crea ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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'? ...…
 
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 Ha ...…
 
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 effort ...…
 
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 mo ...…
 
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 p ...…
 
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 brutall ...…
 
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 f ...…
 
"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 conversati ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 Rumbl ...…
 
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 ...…
 
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 chose ...…
 
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 men ...…
 
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