Podcasts, Show Notes, Wrestling

8: ‘Wrestling Is Stupid’ With Romeo Moran

It’s Romeo Moran week!

I’m super grateful that Ro joined me on the show this week, fresh off his tell-all episode on The Wrestling Wrestling Podcast. He said that he just realized how hard it was to be a guest on a podcast because it came with a lot of pressure, but I think his experience as a podcaster automatically makes him a great guest—generous, honest, and unafraid to be pushed and to push back.

I had wanted to talk about how wrestling is stupid on this podcast for a while now, and I thought Ro—with his dual identities as a wrestling journalist and an actual, legitimate wrestler—was the perfect person to talk to so I can get my bad feelings off my chest. But our conversation actually energized me and kind of dislodged me from the more cynical ways I’ve been looking at it.

Wrestling is stupid. But it’s also pretty awesome. And with people like Romeo in it, its future is probably brighter than I think it is.

Production Notes

  • This is the first time I recorded my introduction immediately after the interview, so this is the most similar my voice has sounded between two segments. Sorry. Nerdy audio note.
  • Discord truly is my favorite voice call app for podcast recording. I barely had to trim the our conversation at all. It also helps that Ro is an experienced podcaster who knows what makes a great guest. That said, every guest I’ve ever had has been great!
  • I’m lucky that it’s a holiday today (Friday, August 21) so that I could do this show this week. But man, it’s getting tough, what with the school year starting and all. I’m thinking I maybe have a couple more of these left in me this season.

Show Notes

This is for the wrestling fan, whatever that means.

Special guest Romeo Moran is the wrestler formerly known as SANDATA, the Editor-in-Chief of SmarkHenry.com, and still actually one half of the current Philippine Wrestling Revolution (PWR) Tag Team Champions, despite having recently left the promotion . We explored the experience of wrestling (pun intended) with his identities as a wrestler, a fan, a journalist, and a human being, and we inspect the narratives of the recent fallout across the Philippine wrestling industry. Plus, we argue about whether or not wrestling is evil!



0:00 — Opening theme
0:27 — Introduction
6:20 — The unmasking experience
18:48 — Getting into wrestling
28:27 — Wrestling and identity
37:45 — “Doers” and “Non-Doers”
49:59 — The state of Philippine wrestling
1:04:39 — What is the dream now?
1:09:22 — Putting ourselves over
1:17:07 — Outro
1:18:20 — “I’m a T-Rex!”


Discussion: Commentary and Commercial Breaks

K Sawyer Paul, responding to my response to his response to Matt Saye:

That’s only a problem if you listen to commentary, and it’s subjective. If you don’t like Michael Cole, then this exacerbates the issue. But if you have no problem with Cole (he’s been employed long enough to suggest some people quite like him) then this doesn’t hold ground.

The commentary being a (or greatly adding to the) problem isn’t necessarily due to Cole being Cole; it’s because the announcing itself is very rarely commentary on the wrestling match (the technical aspect, the in-ring narrative, or the illusion of competition), but on tangential matters outside the ring. The pre-break spiel directly pertains to the in-ring action, so shifting from Lauranaitis is a better GM to Will Kofi keep his momentum? We’ll find out when Raw rolls on makes the commercial break all the more jarring.

I must admit that Jim Ross was guilty of the same thing back in the days when they were transitioning from play-by-play commentary to the current “WWE storytelling” announcing style.

Sawyer continues:

…with other scripted TV shows, we’re not actually missing any of the content when they go to commercial. With wrestling matches, we, the TV audience, is actually being robbed of part of the match.

You can suggest that not much happens during the break, that we’re actually saved from watching rest holds or whatever. But to a wrestling fan, the kind of person who likes the technical aspects of the art, we don’t care if we’re missing something bad or good; the fact that a piece of the match is missing is grating.

He goes on to suggest that it would be best to avoid cutting content altogether whenever possible, such as on taped shows like SmackDown. I totally agree. No one believes that show is live, anyway.

I would theorize that WWE believes that full, uninterrupted matches should only be seen by paying audiences, whether at a live show, a pay-per-view showing, or on a DVD set. But many matches featured on sets that were originally shown on free TV still don’t include the section of the match cut by a commercial break.

I guess all we’re left with is that WWE just doesn’t “get” wrestling fans, or Vince McMahon personally likes screwing with them. Both of which aren’t new theories at all, but each has as much weight as any wrestling-related theory I’ve ever heard.