Episode 40: August 12, 2017

http://alasdairwilkins.com/storyofwrestling/Story.Of.Wrestling.08.12.17.mp3

We kick off with a couple announcements! Alasdair is looking to enlist some of you lovely wrestling fans to help predict the event of SummerSlam for Inverse, while Kyle is getting back in the WWE reviewing game at Real Sport 101! We’ve got all the details on both of those at the top of the episode. Next up, Kyle was in the building for SmackDown Live, and we discuss the rare thrill of being live in the building for Mahal-Orton IV. We also discuss some Wyatt Family members and what kinds of stories would best bring out their characters. Finally we run down the card for Progress Wrestling’s New York show this Saturday night (which, incidentally, we recorded before the late-breaking news that Pete Dunne is out of action for the show).

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Episode 39: August 5, 2017

We take a quick look at the state of the SummerSlam card after an exciting SmackDown, wondering just what the future holds for new number one contender Shinsuke Nakamura. (We’re really feeling the Baron Corbin cash-in, but maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves.) But the real focus of today’s episode is a look back at two recent classic matches, both of which involve your pal and mine, the Big Dog himself, Mr. Roman Reigns. First up, we look at the contemporary match that cemented Alasdair as a fan forever, Reigns vs. A.J. Styles at Extreme Rules 2017. Then Kyle tries to show Alasdair just why he can’t give up on Bray Wyatt with the Elimination Chamber 2014 six-man tag between the Shield and the Wyatt Family. It’s very, very good… but Alasdair might just mark for Luke Harper anyway.

Episode 39: August 5, 2017

We take a quick look at the state of the SummerSlam card after an exciting SmackDown, wondering just what the future holds for new number one contender Shinsuke Nakamura. (We’re really feeling the Baron Corbin cash-in, but maybe we’re getting ahead of ourselves.) But the real focus of today’s episode is a look back at two recent classic matches, both of which involve your pal and mine, the Big Dog himself, Mr. Roman Reigns. First up, we look at the contemporary match that cemented Alasdair as a fan forever, Reigns vs. A.J. Styles at Extreme Rules 2017. Then Kyle tries to show Alasdair just why he can’t give up on Bray Wyatt with the Elimination Chamber 2014 six-man tag between the Shield and the Wyatt Family. It’s very, very good… but Alasdair might just mark for Luke Harper anyway.

Episode 38: July 29, 2017

Kyle returns for a late-night recording, which is always way crazier and sillier (and, yeah, probably better) than our morning recordings. Battleground was very mean and rude to all of us, but then SmackDown Live went ahead and completely redeemed itself. Alasdair tries to discuss this without just being a shameless A.J. Styles mark, but, come on… you know he’s not going to manage it. We also take a bit of time to recognize the beefy majesty of Raw’s contribution to the SummerSlam main event. It’s just… so damn beautiful. We also consider what the worst pay-per-views have been since we started watching, which leads us down a weird, Battleground 2013-related rabbit hole.

Episode 37: July 22, 2017

Kyle is on vacation this week, but Alasdair decides that’s no reason not to talk wrestling, especially when the deeply strange Battleground pay-per-view is tomorrow. So he’s joined by Jim (@MrDeCoyote), fan of the podcast, reactor from the Fine Brothers web series, and creator of his own YouTube series “The Theory of Wrestling.” He recently cut a promo in which he gave WWE an intervention for its reliance on xenophobic tropes, which the Cena-Rusev and Orton-Mahal angles are just marinated in. Alasdair and Jim analyze why WWE loves this kind of story so much and why some wrestlers are able to be interesting despite it (Kevin Owens!) while others aren’t (sigh… Jinder). All that plus some general thoughts on Battleground, where legit the most intriguing thing might be who on earth could be behind the Breezango attacks. For lack of a better option, we’re rooting for the Club.

Episode 36: July 15, 2017

http://alasdairwilkins.com/storyofwrestling/Story.Of.Wrestling.07.14.17.mp3

Great Balls of Fire was a really great pay-per-view, and Alasdair and Kyle are here to discuss it. We’re mostly focusing on the fire that is the (hopefully continuing) Brock and Joe feud, which we’re very ready to have include Roman Reigns and Braun Strowman as well. Could SummerSlam give us the beefiest fatal four-way of all time with those competitors? Please, tell us it’s possible. We also consider the latest iteration of Reigns’s ever curious characterization, and talk up the 30-minute iron man match between the Hardyz and Sheamus and Cesaro. Then Alasdair toasts his last week at the A.V. Club (but don’t worry, he’s not going anywhere as far as the podcast is concerned) by talking about how incredible AJ Styles is. You know, the way he always does.

Episode 35: July 8, 2017

http://alasdairwilkins.com/storyofwrestling/Story.Of.Wrestling.07.07.17.mp3

We offer our preview of Sunday’s big pay-per-view Great Balls of Fire, which we’re just stupidly excited about. Damn near every match on the card looks super fun, as long as you don’t ask us to say much about Seth Rollins vs. Bray Wyatt. (We still do, because we’re gluttons for punishment.) But mostly we look at the beefiest of all main events, as Brock Lesnar and Samoa Joe look to pay off their white-hot build with a seriously badass match, while Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns run it back one more time in an Ambulance Match. Also, we realize there’s literally nobody left for Sheamus and Cesaro to feud with, unless you’re really into Heath Slater and Rhyno. Which we are, but still. Also, Alasdair marks for Emma, as he is wont to do.