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PODCAST RECAP AND REVIEW: E&C Pod of Awesomeness with Tommy Dreamer and Hurricane Helms on how technology has changed wrestling, protecting gimmicks in the modern age, how WWE kept Edge’s 2010 Royal Rumble return a secret

Daniel Bryan interview

Edge & Christian’s Pod of Awesomeness Recap

Release Date: January 4, 2017

By: Jeff Indelicato

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

“For The Benefit of Those with No Time” (Top Stories)

  • Tommy Dreamer feels that ECW led the way in terms of embracing the internet by promoting the shows in chat rooms and message boards.
  • The boys discuss how instead of promoting yourself on social media/YouTube, all you had was a VHS tape with highlights.
  • The positives on the internet is that it helps promote shows and get wrestlers (like Daniel Bryan & Zack Ryder) over.
  • The negatives on the internet is that it potentially ruins surprise stories, and can take away the mystique of a wrestler’s character.

“5 Second Pose of Timestamps”

0:00: Show Introduction
13:15: Tommy Dreamer’s Tales from the Indies
23:50: How Technology has changed the Wrestling Business
50:00: The Pros and Cons of Social Media
1:18:00: The WWE Network
1:33:00: Wrap up and Close

“You Think You Know Them” (Recap)

Show Introduction 0:00-13:15

We kick off the first show of 2018 with dead air. Edge is waiting for Christian to say something and the Bird Man finally speaks up. They both had a good holiday and are ready to get back in the swing of things.

They quickly put over Beth Phoenix, who was recently announced as a commentator in the upcoming WWE Mixed Match Challenge, which will be broadcast on Facebook. Edge notes that she is looking forward to it and that it’s something that will be good and exciting for her.

Edge then takes an opportunity to read an email from a fan who suffers from a severe case of depression and anxiety. The fan was writing to thank the show for being able to keep him calm during moments of the day and take his mind off of his troubles. Both E & C are honored to help their fans get through tough times even just for a little bit and try to put smiles on people’s faces. They let him know that he is not alone and offer words of encouragement.  

Tommy Dreamer’s Tales from the Indies 13:15-23:50

Tommy feels that he may be gaining a little too much weight, as he was recently wrestling in a match and the Under Armour shirt that he wears under his gear rolled up, thus, exposing his love handles. Christian lets him know that they do have Spanx for men but Tommy isn’t willing to go that far yet. They then talk about his productive schedule in 2017, which saw him complete 183 shows this year.  

Dreamer then tells a humorous story with regards to a recent match that he wrestled in at a VFW Hall. As he was taking a bodyslam, he felt some dandruff-like flakes fall on him. He wasn’t sure what it was, but continued on. A little while later, he went to the second rope to throw some punches at his opponent and, again, the flakes fell on him. It was at that moment that he realized that his elbow was hitting the ceiling of the hall, which had been causing the flakes to fall!

Tommy is getting ready for another productive year, which will include a recently announced 5 city tour of Australia later this summer. The boys thank him and ask if he’d like to stay on while they talk about technological changes with Hurricane Helms, to which he obliges.

How Technology has changed the Wrestling Business 23:50-1:33:00

We then begin our main event chat with the Hurricane now joining the call. E & C felt that he & Tommy would be good to have as guests, considering that Helms was initially at the forefront of using social media to engage with fans, while Tommy is an actual promoter.  

Tommy begins the discussion by talking about how in his opinion, ECW helped lead the way in terms of using the internet to promote wrestling by using chat rooms and message boards. Over time, other companies, including WWE would begin to take notice and use the internet to varying degrees. Edge notes how WWE initially stays behind on the trend in order to determine if it will be a success or not. But once they do embrace something, it leads to large exposure and deals with businesses, such as Facebook & YouTube.

They go back to the old days and how wrestlers didn’t have the ability to just send a YouTube link of a match/highlights or use Twitter to promote themselves. All you had was a VHS tape that you hoped people would watch and use to take notice. If you wanted to know the backstage scoop, or results from different companies, you’d have to call a hotline, or wait for the latest issue of a magazine, which usually only came out monthly. In Canada, Edge didn’t get NWA television, so he literally had to wait a month to month to find out what was happening and discover who was the World Champion.

Speaking of those magazines, Christian remembers getting those as a kid, and believing that anyone who was featured in them was a star. Tommy brings up a funny point at how back in the day, there was a section dedicated to fans who were looking for pen pals and would list their favorite wrestler and address. As a fan of wrestling magazines back in the day, I completely forgot about that. Boy have times changed.

We then move on to get everyone’s take on how social media has affected the wrestling industry. For Dreamer, it has been a positive in that guys like Zack Ryder were able to use it to get over. As a promoter, he has a new avenue of advertising his shows, and more people are seeing them because of social media. With that said, he actually has some social media business to do right now with the fans, so he has to sign off.

Helms takes over the conversation and talks about how due to exposure, it’s difficult to hide things now. It’s definitely easier to get into the business, as you have so many ways of entering the industry. In fact, if you are a wrestler trying to make it, you have the ability to go viral over just one spot, video, etc. Because of that, the competition has escalated with regards to making it to the top companies. He remembers trying to network at shows and make a connection. Back in the day, if you didn’t get into one of the big companies, like WWE, WCW, or ECW, you couldn’t make it, but now the internet has helped the independent scene become more popular and marketable. They use the Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes as examples of wrestlers who have had great success outside of WWE.

With all of that said, wrestlers having social media accounts takes away some of the mystique of their characters. Helms mentions some of them make posts to show the public who they really are on the inside and it takes away from the character. Edge remembers a talent meeting that the WWE held a few years ago telling the superstars to open Twitter accounts and fighting it. He prided himself on being a heel, and blurring the lines between his character and real life. Helms says that there can be a way to do both, as when he was a face, he’d be fan friendly, but when he was a heel, he’d make arrogant posts, or not respond to fans. He believes that wrestlers give away too much sometimes, and makes note of how great a person Titus O’Neill is in real life, and due to his posts, he could never hate him on TV.

Christian admits that he doesn’t have a personal Facebook page, and remembers at one point getting a message that the WWE had created a Twitter page and email address for him. He called them and wanted it removed as he liked to keep his private life separate. Eventually both he and Edge have since joined Twitter, but back then, it was different. Helms adds that in the beginning, most people weren’t grasping what it was, and what to do with it, which made them hesitant. Edge agrees, and feels there should be classes now in the industry educating wrestlers on how to be professional on the site. If you say something silly, you’re not really thinking, and it’s out there forever, so you have to be careful.

Edge poses the question to the group if they think that the wrestling fans now have a voice that is listened to. Helms definitely believes that they do, using Daniel Bryan and the Yes Movement as an example. He felt that, beginning with his quick loss to Sheamus at WrestleMania 28, the internet embraced him, and weren’t going to go away until he achieved the success that they were expecting. They also use NXT as another example of the fans wanting something different and how that brand has grown exponentially. The internet and social media has allowed more voices, and critics, to be heard more than ever before. Based on the argument, it could be good and bad.

One big con as it relates to the internet is that there are spoilers everywhere. This applies to not only wrestling, but entertainment storylines and announcements. Helms uses Brock Lesnar’s return to UFC as an example, where it was supposed to be announced during a UFC PPV as a reward for the paying audience fbut was spoiled by an internet reporter prior to the official announcement. Yes, the reporter was just doing his job, but it ruined the surprise.

Edge tells the story of his return at the Royal Rumble in 2010 and the lengths the company went to keep his appearance secret. This included: Flying him in the night before, registering him at a hotel under a fake name, picking him up in a blacked out SUV, hiding him in a trailer, and then putting him in a druid costume to walk him backstage. It’s funny to think that this was already 8 years ago. I am one who doesn’t like spoilers either, and enjoys being surprised. It’s one thing to read about it, and another to actually experience it, in my opinion. With that said on how difficult it is, they all give praise to Chris Jericho, who is continuing to surprise fans, including his recent NJPW appearance. It all comes down to keeping your circle tight and not telling too many people.

 

Edge moves the topic on to the creation of the WWE Network. It has changed the industry with regards to how fans are able to watch shows & PPV’s. While he thinks it’s amazing for the fans, The Hurricane does feel that the wrestlers should be compensated for the network, since the company is using the wrestlers catalog to sell subscriptions. With that said, the network also gives new life to their careers, as Edge mentions that he now has fans that were born after he retired because of how easy it is to access his career. It also gives opportunities to showcase the wrestlers outside of the ring, and show a different side of them, per the original shows. This leads into a further discussion as it relates to on demand programming in general, and how it takes away from television ratings, because you can always just go back and watch something.  

The boys start to wrap up the discussion, and talk about how with anything there’s going to be positives and negatives. They close out by discussing the pains of traveling back in the day, and how you didn’t have the luxury of a GPS, or know in seconds whether a hotel was at full capacity or not.

Wrap up & Close 1:33:00-1:36:00

The boys thank their guests for joining them today. They acknowledge that this was just their viewpoints on the topic and how no one is right or wrong. Thinking in more detail, there were older generations who experienced their own technological changes, and didn’t even have a VHS tape to make for promoters, so it’s always something that will evolve.

You can follow the show on Twitter @EandCPod, E-Mail them at ecpodofawesomeness@gmail.com, and call their Voicemail at 929-367-8204.

Jeff’s Take:  7 Kazoos out of 10

Not too bad of an episode. The main conversation started slow and then started to pick up. This has been a topic that E & C have been teasing for months now, so I would have expected to see more stories and examples besides just generic observations. Things like Edge’s Rumble return were great, so I would have liked to get a traveling story or something with regards to that. The Hurricane was also a good guest to have, since he was one that would add a little more substance, and was one of the first to actually embrace this technology. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @the_Indel or send me an email at indelpw@gmail.com. See you next week!

About the Author

Jeff has been a fan of professional wrestling since he was knee high to a grasshopper (little kid), after coming across the Wrestling Challenge episode after WrestleMania 7, and has not looked back. His passion has led him to winning wrestling trivia contests in his city, and even won him his Senior Talent Show by dancing to Shawn Michaels theme song. When not annoying others with wrestling talk, he loves spending time with his family and friends, and focuses on his other passion: movies.  

 

1 Comment on PODCAST RECAP AND REVIEW: E&C Pod of Awesomeness with Tommy Dreamer and Hurricane Helms on how technology has changed wrestling, protecting gimmicks in the modern age, how WWE kept Edge’s 2010 Royal Rumble return a secret

  1. The magazine in question that had the pen pals section was Wrestling World. I had acouple articles printed in their mat this and that section, and one guy posted looking for a pen pal actually lived on the other side of a building complex I was living in in New Hampshire, so handing him an advance copy of the mag was a great way to meet him. 🙂

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