Thursday, August 4, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Talk Is Jericho, Episode 270

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: 270
Run Time: 1:18:18
Guest: Broken Matt Hardy

Summary: Chris Jericho has been invited to an "undisclosed location" for a sit-down interview with everyone's favorite psychologically damaged wrestler, Broken Matt Hardy. Since the barrage of attention surrounding him after his Final Deletion of his brother Jeff (sorry, that's Brother Nero), Matt is in demand and Jericho is here to ask him how this all came to be. Matt explains that his brother betrayed him, and therefore needed to be deleted (it's more complex than that, but we don't need to get into the whole thing). He explains how they "documented" the Final Deletion, and that he still doesn't know how Jeff summoned the magic to become Willow, or how he put Senor Benjamin in the Willow costume. We also discover that since Matt became "broken," he now knows that he has lived many lives through the course of time, and he informs Jericho that he once knew his great-grandfather in a past life. Jericho's great-grandfather was a lumberjack.

Quote of the Week: Matt, regarding his new accent - "This is what the future of the English language looks like. This is what it sounds like. Whenever I woke up from the incident, I was in the hospital, and when I first realized that I had this broken condition, they took me to a mirror, and I looked at my hair, and there was a streak in it. It was a sharp streak, and it was because of the traumatic torture of the incident that Brother Nero put me through. And this is was just how I spoke. And I realized that it is the next generation, the next evolution of the great vowel shift that happened hundreds of years ago. This is the way everyone will be talking in the future."

Why you should listen: If you in any way enjoyed the Final Deletion and the absolute insanity going on there, you need to listen to this. Matt Hardy has wholly embraced the silliness of his character, and he is taking it to new heights previously unimagined. He confirms some of Jericho's statements with either "oui" or "si," and then explains that he is absorbing new languages. All of this is done with such a straight face by both Hardy and Jericho that I can't believe neither of them broke up laughing at any point (unless it was edited out, of course).

Why you should skip it: This episode should be avoided only if you can't stand this Broken Matt Hardy stuff and you think it's making a mockery of the wrestling business (in which case - hello, Jim Cornette, glad you could make it here to The Wrestling Blog!).

Final (DELETION) Thoughts: No matter what you might think of this whole storyline, one cannot accuse Matt Hardy of breaking kayfabe. He has so thoroughly embraced his character that he has tapped into an aspect of himself as a performer that no one ever knew was there, probably including himself. I mean, on its surface, the character is a mess. Broken Matt's logic is flawed, he's making things up that don't make any sense and his "accent" is looser than the Jnco jeans he wore in the late 90's. But the character is so far out there that he is creating genuine intrigue around a feud (and an entire company) that even three months ago wrestling fans had completely written off. I now actually want to see some TNA matches, and literally nothing they have done for the last few years has made me want to do that. I'm sure I'm not the only one in this situation. And the beauty is that all that needed to be done was for a company's creative team to let two weirdos go wherever their imaginations took them. We could all let ourselves get a little weird, and a little broken. Maybe success is just around the corner for us all, right behind the dilapidated boat.