Thursday, June 2, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Talk Is Jericho, Episode 250

Flair visits the Jericho show 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: 250
Run Time: 1:23:58
Guest: Ric Flair

Summary: Chris Jericho has never had Ric Flair on his podcast, so before a WWE show in Kansas City they hang backstage and get out the mics. Jericho's stated goal is to not have Flair talk about all the topics he usually hits in interviews, so they have a free-floating conversation that almost entirely avoids anything related to his time with the Crocketts, the Horsemen, or WWE. Flair admits that the only city where he hated to work was Kansas City, as the promoter there gave terrible payouts. The best payouts came in St. Louis from Sam Muchnick, who produced Wrestling at the Chase, at times one of the highest rated TV shows in the city. They also go into Flair's time in Japan, where many of their top stars borderline refused to sell for him or anyone else. A couple good Harley Race stories are also told.

Quote of the Week: "Everybody wanted to prove how tough they were. It's a whole different era than now. I can't think of one guy over there (WWE) that would enjoy that timeframe. Nick Nemeth (Dolph Ziggler) might like it. It didn't go on every day, but if a guy thought he was tough, someone always wanted to try him out."

Why you should listen: It's quite admirable of Jericho that he's consciously aware of the podcast lockjam in which wrestling currently finds itself, where so many wrestlers have been on so many shows and have told almost all of their stories. Instead of something like a retelling of his trilogy with Ricky Steamboat, Flair mostly gives details that will be new to people with even a fair knowledge of his history. I didn't know that he learned much of his own ring psychology from Wahoo McDaniel, or that he had a small hand in training Genichiro Tenryu and Tatsumi Fujinami.

Why you should skip it: The comfortable part about most wrestling podcasts is that wrestlers tell the stories they know how to tell, so they're quite long and well-developed. Flair's stories here are somewhat developed, but the conversation is so jumpy and scattered that it's occasionally hard to remember what era or place they're talking about. They don't stick to one specific timeframe, so it's a bit disorienting.

Final Thoughts: WOOOOO! Nation with Ric Flair has not released an episode for two months, so it seems like that show might not be happening anymore. Listeners looking for their dose of Ric Flair talking about anything he wants will do well to check this out. Really, if you're wondering what it would be like to get drunk at a bar with Flair and have him talk at you for an hour, this is as close to it as you will get. Though he might be much more of a lecherous fiend at the bar, this interview does find Flair getting real and filthy, like when he talks about a little person wrestler having a 12-inch penis. Flair also does a shockingly good Harley Race impression, and he delights in how much laughter it gets from Jericho. Because he can't go in the ring anymore, Flair is only left with his other priceless gift: his talking. Won't you let him share his gift with you?