The world of wrestling is bright and vibrant… sometimes. And sometimes it’s dark and dingy. Most of the time it’s both. And the best wrestling podcasts bring that to light. Every day, a couple hours of audio are uploaded online that show wrestling from a perspective very few people have ever gotten to see it from before.
Conrad Thompson, mortgage broker and wrestling superfan, brings us the five best wrestling podcasts there are and the best there ever will be. Bringing on co-hosts like Vince McMahon’s right-hand man and “voice of wrestling” Jim Ross, Conrad brings us behind the scenes for some of the greatest moments in wrestling history. The fact that all of the hosts are also still super fans only shows how great wrestling can be.
#1 Something To Wrestle With Bruce Prichard
A lifelong fan meets a lifelong creative executive in Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard. Vince McMahon’s long time right-hand man, Bruce Prichard recalls and retells the story of WWE history. Bruce is keen to get a little creative with his stories, but cohost Conrad Thompson refuses to let him off the hook. Each episode is a deep dive into a moment or character in the story of the WWE, which allows a litany of new stories to unfold each week.
The Hosts: Having served intermittently with the WWE from the late 80s to the early oughts, Bruce Prichard is a verified expert on wrestling. He has been in the writer’s room for some of the most iconic moments in the history of the WWE, offering a new perspective on the rise of stars like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Conrad Thompson serves as a fan insert, grounding the show in a more objective perspective. His cool demeanor is often tested, bringing out the humor in the show.
The Format: Something to Wrestle has a simple format: they choose a topic and go through stories surrounding it. Conrad will usually refer to news stories and other retellings, and let Bruce fill in the gaps. Occasionally, Bruce will take more control, proactively deciding what stories to tell.
Why You Have to Listen: Highlights are collected in the series “Best of” shows, but there is an obvious standout. In an early episode on Dusty Rhodes, the hosts found themselves in a heated argument about whether the WWE’s choice to clad the aforementioned star in polka dots was a joke. When Bruce holds firm that it was not, it brings Conrad to a hilarious boiling point.
Listen to Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard
001: Dusty Rhodes
Arn is the podcast every wrestling fan needs to listen to. With one of the legends of the sport opening up for the first time in many years, it’s impossible to capture the richness of content in any Arn podcast review. Brought to you again by Conrad Thompson, this podcast is another in a series of fantastic podcasts.
The Hosts: Arn focuses on its titular host, Arn Anderson. Having been a household name in wrestling since the early 80s, any wrestling fan (and many non-wrestling fans) will recognize his name – and know that Arn is one of the most respected craftsmen in wrestling. Arn is seated across from Conrad Thompson, who brings hosting prowess and deep wrestling fandom. Conrad hosts a series of similar podcasts, including the Something to Wrestle Podcast.
The Guests: Arn does not feature guests, but does feature some crossover with other Conrad Thompson hosted podcasts, such as Bruce Prichard and Eric Bischoff. The fans are almost becoming a guest, as well, as the show hosts regular Q&As.
Why You Have to Listen: If you’ve ever enjoyed a wrestling match – or if you just love a good story, you have to listen to Arn. Arn Anderson is one of the greatest storytellers in sport and Conrad offers more than enough help. Whether it’s quotable punchlines, winding tales of the road, or heartwrenching stories of struggle, Arn offers myriad stories to enjoy.
Listen to: Arn
#3 What Happened When
Tony Schiavone was the voice of the Turner Network’s WCW from its boom to its bust. What Happened When is a collection of stories from that time, and an expert view on wrestling from the early 80s to the modern-day. If you enjoy wrestling or just a good laugh, this What Happened When podcast review is here to show you why you need to listen.
The Hosts: As mentioned previously, Tony Schiavone is best known for his time as the voice of World Championship Wrestling. Schiavone has also been a commentator for baseball and college football and is an expert and enthusiast of broadcasting and sports in general. What Happened When is facilitated by Conrad Thompson, who we covered in our Something to Wrestle podcast review.
The Guests: What Happened When does not feature guests, but does occasionally crossover with Conrad Thompson’s other podcasts like Arn.
Why You Have to Listen: What Happened When has a unique energy even amongst other wrestling podcasts. Schiavone brings self-effacing humor to the table (and that humor comes in spades). While intelligent and passionate, both hosts are able to see the sillier side of wrestling and every other part of life. Recurring jokes and segments such as “Tony Reads Rap” make this podcast a constant laugh, with some great insight found in-between giggles.
Listen to: What Happened When
#4 Grillin’ JR
“Good Ol'” Jim Ross – better known as JR – has one of the most recognizable voices of any broadcaster in America. Having been a commentator and backstage executive during the zenith of the WWE, the old country boy has plenty of stories to share on Grillin’ JR. Another in the laundry list of great Conrad Thompson pro wrestling podcasts, this is one of the most unique. Veteran, passionate energy is well articulated by the broadcasting great.
The Hosts: Conrad Thompson is the host of 5 wrestling podcasts, each with a legend of the business. Jim Ross was the fourth to climb aboard, and perhaps the biggest. The veritable voice of the USA Network covered WWE’s flagship Monday Night RAW for more than a decade and has a host of legendary calls in that time. Today, he sells BBQ sauce and works with the upstart AEW.
The Guests: Grillin’ JR doesn’t feature guests frequently, but often has conversations spanning the full gamut of Conrad Thompson podcasts, usually either complimenting Arn or taking potshots at Bruce Prichard from Something to Wrestle.
Why You Have to Listen: Jim Ross was an important on-screen figure, but it can be hard to recognize just how important he was behind the scenes. Having been in the wrestling business for more than 30 years, Jim Ross is able to recall stories from nearly every era. Add-in has an articulate, fascinating manner of speaking and expertise in running wrestling companies, and there’s a lot to dig up here. The frequent ramblings and off-color joking only add to the experience.
Listen to: Grillin’ JR
#5 83 Weeks
If you know anything about 90s television or even just the 90s, you’ll know something insane happened in the wrestling world: another company not only went toe-to-toe with the WWE, they beat them out for a time. That time was a period of 83 weeks, and Eric Bischoff was the man who led it. 83 Weeks is an ode to that time period and a dissection of one of the best business minds in wrestling.
The Hosts: Eric Bischoff is a loud and bombastic personality, fresh out of The Wolf of Wall Street or Glengarry Glenn Ross. A cocky but intelligent voice, every aspect of Bischoff’s story is brought to light here. Conrad Thompson offers a counterbalancing voice, not scared to confront Eric on any deceit. The two play off each other amazingly, creating gripping stories at every turn.
The Guests: Like the other Conrad Thompson podcasts, there are no guests here, but occasional crossovers with the other podcasts. Bischoff is quick to call out anything he doesn’t like from other voices. Conrad’s friends also make occasional appearances, usually as the butt of a joke.
Why You Have to Listen: Eric Bischoff is the man who beat Vince McMahon, and that’s only one accomplishment. Having worked in the TV industry for 40 years and wrestling for 30, Bischoff offers myriad stories from all over the world. His iconoclastic friends like Hulk Hogan only add to that. Beyond wrestling, Bischoff and Conrad (both successful businessmen) actually offer some fantastic advice in the business and finance realm. Bet you didn’t expect that.
Listen to: 83 Weeks
If you enjoy wrestling, you need to listen to these podcasts. If you don’t watch wrestling, you still might give it a shot. Some of the most hilarious, surreal, and touching stories in modern times are on display every week on these podcasts. Conrad Thompson has brought a lot of great content into this world, and now’s a great time to give it a listen.
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