By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
Dot Net reader Shawn Valentino attended the “Something to Wrestle With” live event in New Orleans, Louisiana during WrestleMania weekend and sent the following report.
The rise of wrestling podcasts has been a phenomenon in the past five years, and the king of all of these shows has been Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, Vince McMahon’s right-hand man for decades. Prichard is a tremendous storyteller, and his uncanny imitations of wrestling personalities are hilarious. His cohost, Conrad Thompson, is called the Podfather for his magic touch in creating hit podcasts. They have taken their show on the road, and they arrived in New Orleans on the Road to WrestleMania. Here are some live news and notes from the show.
1. The show took place live at The House of Blues in the heart of New Orleans, mere blocks from Wrestlecon so we knew there would be many surprise guests. There was a long line of people down the street, many of us going in and out of bars drinking Hurricanes before entering. Dave Silva, a producer of the show, took sweeping camera shots of the crowd.
Unfortunately, what we did not expect was so many fans in attendance. We knew it was sold out, but in actuality it was oversold as many of us could not see anything the entire three-hour show. It is a popular podcast, but next time hopefully they take the fans in attendance more into consideration and sell fewer tickets so everybody can see.
2. It was a rock concert atmosphere in the bar, and most of us were having drinks at the bar to add to the party atmosphere. The House was just blocks from Bourbon Street so it is likely that most came in buzzed.
3. The show started off horribly with Hornswoggle introducing the show. He made some lame attempts at humor but surprisingly there were no anonymous Raw General Manager jokes.
4. Thankfully the show picked up with a classic voice from WWF history, announcer Sean Mooney. It was a nostalgic experience seeing him talk about wrestling in front of the live crowd, and I would love to see him live.
5. Conrad and Bruce started the show in an ecstatic mood after the big announcement the night before at the Hall of Fame that their show would be airing on the WWE Network. Thompson addressed the fact that many fans accused them of selling out, and he proclaimed that they had sold out buildings all over the country. Prichard said that the show would remain exactly the same, and he made sure to mention that it was WWE that called them to be on the Network. He said he had asked the Network rep if they had actually listened to show because it is definitely uncensored and politically incorrect despite having obvious biases to Vince and the company.
5. Pat Patterson was the first surprise guest, and one of the highlights of the show was his rendition of the Frank Sinatra classic “My Way”. Amazingly, he has a good enough voice to make Sinatra proud.
6. Other guests included JBL, Eric Bischoff, Road Warrior Animal, Jeff Jarrett, and Hurricane Helms. Bischoff and Thompson introduced their new show, 83 Weeks, which is in reference to the streak of Nitros that beat Raw in the ratings.
7. There was some Q&A on wrestling history from the fans, but for most of the show, the tone was very light-hearted and resembled a comedic roast.
8. It was cool to see everyone onstage unfiltered and uncensored, and that gave the show an unpredictable quality that the current television wrestling product sorely lacks.
9. The show concluded with new Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett getting on stage and singing his old theme song with everyone on stage. The tune has been a recurring joke on the weekly podcast so it was a nice tribute to fans of the show.
10. Overall, it is a fun show, but I much prefer their podcast because it provides serious wrestling knowledge and great stories with some humor blended in. At the live shows, it is more like a standup comedy show with some stories and wrestling history blended in. I loved Jim Ross’ live show last year at Mania because it is an incredible look back at wrestling history with some quips and funny moments, but it was an overall stronger show. Speaking of Ross, Thompson mentioned that they had stolen his venue he had at WrestleMania 30 and sold it out.
I also found the show a little long pushing three hours, especially without having a seat and being unable to see. I recommend for their next live show, have some better seating accommodations for fans and take a less goofy tone. Despite my issues with the show, most of the people in attendance, including myself highly enjoyed it as we were treated to a star-studded spectacle of wrestling luminaries. If you are not a regular listener, I highly recommend checking out their podcast as well as their live show when it comes to your town.
By the way, check out our hilarious music video tribute to the show, Prichard, a parody of Michael Jackson’s Thriller starring Rich Twilling, formerly of Prowrestling.net, and former WWE Diva and TNA Knockout Shelly Martinez. Also be sure to subscribe to our weekly show, The Pro Wrestling Top 5, where we wrestling with topics from wrestling past.
Please follow me and send questions, comments and feedback on Twitter @WrestlingTop5 and subscribe to our show on Youtube.com/TheProWrestlingTop5
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell features Ricky Starks on his NWA run, doing enhancement work for WWE, leaving NOLA due to Hurricane Katrina, the January 24 NWA Hard Times PPV on FITE.TV, his relationship with Nick Aldis, and much more...