Thursday, April 21, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Talk is Jericho, Ep. 237

The Freebirds are Jericho's guest this week
Photo Credit:
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Talk is Jericho
Episode: 237
Run Time: 1:12:53
Guest: Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin

Summary: Apparently recorded a day or so before the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony, this episode sees Jericho interview the still-living Fabulous Freebirds, Michael Hayes and Jimmy Garvin. Very early on, they point out that while Garvin might have seemed like a tacked-on afterthought to the Freebirds, he actually was considered a fourth member of the group for a very long time, and actually lived in a house with the guys. This means that Garvin has just as many stories as Hayes does about the crazy hijinx they used to get involved in, though those stories mostly have to do with Terry Gordy and Buddy Roberts. They do touch on the Freebirds' failed WWF run, which can be partially chalked up to Hayes falling asleep in a meeting with Vince McMahon. Jericho then asks them to reflect on what it means for them to finally be inducted into WWE's Hall of Fame.

Quote of the Week: Hayes, on using "Freebird" as their entrance music - "That song always spoke to me. It was my favorite song. And it spoke to me in a way that...we're all Freebirds. And because we're free enough to have our own identity, free enough to have whatever drives us to do what we do, to be our motivation, we don't have to be clones. And what makes you tick doesn't make me tick, and it doesn't have to, and we can both tick at the same time, in the same zone, in the same world."

Why you should listen: As much of an egomaniac as he may be, Michael Hayes really did deserve this Hall of Fame recognition for his work as one of the best heels of his era, and Jimmy Garvin... well, he was alright. So it's nice to hear these guys feel almost relieved in a way to not have the lack of recognition weighing on their shoulders. This comfort allows for a free-wheeling talk with Jericho where they mostly just tell stories about stuff that happened outside of the ring. The one area of analysis about pro wrestling comes when Hayes says that wrestlers today aren't as close to each other because they're not as dependent on each other for their salaries, which is an interesting point that might not be cause for lamenting, but it's thought-provoking nonetheless.

Why you should skip it: I'm positive that Jericho could have steered the discussion more toward the Freebirds' feud with the von Erichs, and all the nuances that made that such an attraction for so many years. Or really, he could have made an effort to talk wrestling at all, but he just didn't. He kind of just lets Hayes and Garvin tell old road stories to their hearts' desires, and while that's fun, not everyone wants to hear old dudes talk about how hard they used to party.

Final Thoughts: I inherently mistrust most of the things Michael Hayes says. He just seems like a worker who never learned how to stop working. When I realized what this episode was going to be, I thought, "Oh great, he's going to tell a bunch of stories that are maybe 40% true." But even if that is the case, these stories are too awesome to dismiss. He talks about how on The Freebirds' first night living in a new house that many legendary wrestlers had already lived in, Terry Gordy destroyed all the furniture and threw it in the fireplace, for no reason. Buddy Roberts pranked everyone he knew by urinating all over them, and one time when Gordy and Hayes retaliated and peed all over Roberts, he responded by refusing to change his urine-soaked clothes for two days. I just can't make myself care if these stories are exaggerated or totally invented. Pro wrestlers sacrificed their lives for years and years to enrich our souls, and if they want to make their insane lives seem even more insane with fluffed-up details, I think they've earned that right.