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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: X-Pac 1,2,360 w/ Flash Morgan Webster on why it’s tough to be a babyface in this era, how wrestling became popular in the United Kingdom, would he be in WWE if he hadn’t been injured? (Ep. 64)

X-Pac 1-2-360 Episode 64

Guest: Flash Morgan Webster

Release Date: November 29th, 2017

Recap by: Sean McGraw

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Recap:

After a week off for Thanksgiving, the podcast returns with Flash Morgan Webster joining X-Pac, Denise Salcedo, Bill Hanstock, and TK Trinidad.  X-Pac just got back from the World Series Wrestling tour in Australia. They are a first class operation and X-Pac was well taken care of. X-Pac was at the show where Austin Aries cut his promo that went viral about the ring being bad. The promoter rented the ring from a local guy in Brisbane and the guy dropped the ball. The ring was in bad shape and had holes in it. In one of the matches on the tour a “Suck It” spot came up and TK asked if people recognize X-Pac on the street and yell “Suck It” at him. He jokingly replies that they sometimes yell it at him even if they don’t recognize him.

News:

Cody Rhodes is bringing a new wrestling event into town:

Cody and The Bucks are planning to self-finance a 10,000 seat event in 2018. Cody’s dream match is against Daniel Bryan for the main event. Everybody agreed that New Japan could have run a much bigger venue for their G1 Special. Cody and The Bucks aren’t leaving it up to NJPW to book the event, they’ll do it themselves. Pac says that a lot of people talk a lot of s**t in the business but don’t put up their own money so they are going to do it and shut up the naysayers. They won’t do an event around a big WWE event – like part of WrestleMania weekend – it wouldn’t be a wise way to do it. They should do it in a highly populated market. The Cow Palace in San Francisco would be a good venue. It would have been a good venue for the G1 Special. They are wise to bet on themselves. Pac thinks they’ll achieve the goal even without Daniel Bryan. He likes the wrestlers becoming the promoters. Who’s going to do a better job promoting your event than you are?

Former NXT Champ suffers injury at show

Drew McIntyre is rehabbing a bicep injury that was sustained at TakeOver: War Games. He’s hoping to be ready to come back by WrestleMania – six months away. The way that he hurt his arm is the same way that Pac partially tore his bicep on his first night in Australia. Pac hopes that this doesn’t knock Drew off his trajectory since it was appearing as though WWE was getting ready to move him to the main roster soon. Pac feels really bad for Drew because he was firing on all cylinders.

Interview with Flash Morgan Webster

X-Pac starts off the interview by praising Flash for his work at PWG: Battle of Los Angeles this year. It means a lot to Flash since he’s been a fan of Pac for a long time. Flash was nervous since he’s been watching and been a fan of PWG for years. To be in that room in front of those fans was nerve racking. After the match, William Regal was giving Webster some pointers and told him that these people (The PWG Audience) really like you. Pac says that’s not an easy thing to do nowadays when the crowd doesn’t necessarily know you.

Webster says the thing to do these days is to be the “cool heel” or the “badass” babyface and he was always drawn to the babyface that had a lot of fire and would sell a lot like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Eddie Guerrero. That’s not too popular to do these days, but that’s what he does and why he feels that people get drawn in to his matches. Pac says it is popular but guys just don’t like to do it. Guys don’t understand what an advantage it is to be able to sell and sell properly.

Pac asks Flash about the “Mod” character (I had no idea what this was so I had to look it up myself.  It’s a music and fashion culture that started in the UK. Picture the band Oasis when thinking about it.) It was a way to stand out. His Mom had brought him up on Mod music and he adapted it to his wrestling persona – “a rock star coming through the curtain, but also so stereotypical British that you can’t ignore where I’m from.” Pac made the mistake of referring to it as punk to William Regal and was quickly corrected and told to go watch Quadrophenia right away. He did. Bill wants to know if Mod is still part of British culture. It’s not a big part, but because of the popularity of acts like The Beatles and Oasis, people recognize it. It makes Webster approachable for fans while he’s in the ring.

Pac asks Webster if when coming up with the character, he envisioned it as a face or a heel. When coming up with a character it’s always easier to be a heel. He was speaking with Pete Dunne recently and Pete had said that there are no faces and heels anymore. There are just characters and situations. Thinking about that helped a lot. When you know the character itself, you’ll know how they react in different situations. (I had never really thought about it like this before. It makes a lot more sense since people in general are more complex than just “good” or “bad”). Pac doesn’t necessarily disagree, but he thinks there still are heels and faces. You don’t need it though. People can pick who they like just as long as they care about both competitors.

Pac says that it’s really hard for a performer to be presented as a babyface right away since people don’t like to be told who or what to like these days. Either put them out there and let the people decide if they like them or present them as a heel.  Webster says it’s scary when people reject you. If you go out there and try to get people to like you and they don’t, you feel you’ve done your job wrong. That can be hard to take.

TK asks about the documentary featuring Webster Road Back to Malice – are there any plans for more since it left off with him injured and on his way to making a comeback.?It was never a plan to make it – it just happened along the way. The injury drove the narrative from being a short piece to a full documentary. Being injured is hard because of a lack of connection to the fans. Having this documentary was helpful because it was something that he could show to the fans about what was going on during the time away. He would like to do another one but right now there are no plans.

X-Pac asks if Webster would be in WWE right now if he hadn’t gotten injured in his match with Zack Sabre Jr. There are no certainties in wrestling. He likes to think that if he was healthy when WWE UK came about he would be someone that they would have considered for the UK tournament. Nobody from WWE has approached him about a contract then? He’s had tryouts since, but WWE doesn’t know what they’re doing with the UK division yet. He thinks once they figure out what’s going on with it that more people will have jobs. Pac says he would be just fine if he never went there. Webster agrees. While he would like to go to WWE at some point, there are a lot of opportunities in places like Japan and Mexico where his brand would do well. Committing to the gimmick 100% and doing the little things like showing up dressed up as opposed to jeans and a t-shirt gives you an edge over everyone else. It also lends you a sense of credibility and authenticity.

What got the British Wrestling going? Webster just loves wrestling. That’s all they wanted to do and they kept striving. It comes from their passion. The fans came to see them because of seeing how much the performers love what they are doing. If you are getting into the business for money, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons. If you’re passionate the money will find you. X-Pac agrees because that’s how it happened to him.

X-Pac loves the camaraderie that the British wrestlers have nowadays as opposed to the business being so cutthroat in the past. Webster attributes that to the fact because the British scene was so dead. All of the wrestlers on the scene now had to forge together to bring it back to life. The only thing they were getting out of it was friendship at first because they weren’t making money. They continued to work strongly together when then they started to draw more fans.

The internet is one of the key contributors the British wrestling scene coming back. The first wrestler to break the mainstream and bring attention to the British scene was Grado. X-Pac says that he is the Dusty Rhodes of the UK. Webster agrees. Pac asks Webster who he would compare himself to as far as the UK Scene goes. He would like to compare himself to Eddie (Guerrero) but he doesn’t know – it’s a tough question.

Denise asks what it was like training on mats. It was brutal. Some of the mats were wafer thin, but he just wanted to wrestle. Doing it has caused more damage to his body than being in an actual ring and has probably taken a couple of years off of his career. The new trainees now don’t know how good they have it. It took him months of training before even stepping foot in a ring. They had to be shown how to run the ropes before a show started because they’d never been in a ring before. X-Pac doesn’t disagree with that way of training. He had to master all of the moves before he could even come close to touching the ropes.

X-Pac asks if he Webster did what he did and build himself a ring and try to figure stuff out on his own before being trained. He did. It wasn’t until he got training that he learned how to become a professional wrestler. Everyone can do the moves; it’s the stuff in-between the moves that makes someone a wrestler. X-Pac chimes in saying that he’s always said the magic is what happens between the moves. Webster says you need the mannerisms in-between that make you the character that people pretend to be on the playground.

Even though WWE doesn’t know what they are doing with the UK brand, are they still interested in bringing British people into NXT, etc.? Webster says he thinks they are still interested in doing a UK show. Seeing the Dunne vs. Bate match from TakeOver shows the potential of a UK show – but logistically it could be hard to pull off. It could be really costly to do regular shows there because they would have to bring over a whole team. Or they would have to let go of the reins and let someone over there produce the show – which would be very scary for them. If they see the potential, they’ll need to pick up some more guys because they don’t have too many under contract at the moment.

Webster’s podcast Wrestling Friends really came about from his being injured. It was a way to not be forgotten about. He admits that when it first started it was a complete rip of Colt Cabana’s. Over the last year it’s found its own identity. It’s Webster sitting down with a person that he’s become friends with in wrestling. He says he’s not the host but the facilitator of the conversation. He lets his guest take it wherever they want to take it.

X-Pac closes out the conversation by complimenting the way Flash does things. He says that the way Flash is doing things and conducting himself are good decisions. He hopes he keeps his head on straight because the sky is the limit. X-Pac is a BIG fan. Flash is flattered by the kind words because he is such a fan of X-Pac since he was a kid.

The show wraps up with X-Pac saying that he hopes that everybody had a Happy Thanksgiving and he’ll see us next week.

Rating: 8/10

I really enjoyed this episode. I admittedly don’t know too much about the UK wrestling scene and I don’t know all that much about PWG – which would be the main ways to know who Flash Morgan Webster is. Going into this episode I thought it might be a bit of a drag because I had no idea who this person was and was I even going to be interested to find out? I was happy to find out that Flash is a really interesting person in the world of professional wrestling. Hearing his story of passion for the business, how he came up with his gimmick, and providing a narrative for the rise of popularity in the UK scene was all fascinating to me. This episode makes me want to go watch his documentary and definitely see his match with Zack Sabre Jr. I am going to be on the lookout for Flash to pop up in places in the future and I’ll be interested to see how he develops.

Timestamps:

00:00 – 23:09 Intros and News Discussion
25:08 – 1:12:22 Interview with Flash Morgan Webster
1:12:23 – 1:13:53 Show wrap up

About Sean:

Sean is a media professional from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sean’s earliest memory of wrestling is seeing Kane on WWF television in 1998. Sean watched primarily WWF in the Attitude Era and dropped off just before the initial brand split. Seeing recap promos of the Undertaker building up to WrestleMania 20, he became hooked and has been an avid fan ever since. Sean’s wrestling preferences currently lean more towards NJPW/ROH/NXT but he remains a fan of it all. In his spare time Sean enjoys cooking, baking, and going to the gym.  You can follow Sean via Twitter @stmcgraw and Instagram @stmcgraw09.

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