Thursday, October 20, 2016

Podcast Deep Dive: Squared Circle Pit Ep. 13

Fisher and the SCP lads talked about how Flair was still cool in the face of authority
Photo Credit:
Show: Squared Circle Pit
Episode: 13
Run Time: 1:01:12
Guest: George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher

If you've seen Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (and if you haven't, then what's your deal), then you might remember that scene when Ace goes into the death metal concert and bops around. The band playing in that scene is Cannibal Corpse, the innovators of disgusting album covers and song titles like "Puncture Wound Massacre," "Blood Drenched Execution" and "Stabbed in the Throat." Keeping that cheery subject matter in mind, it should be no surprise that Cannibal Corpse frontman George "Corpsegrinder" Fisher also gets down with the somewhat less gory violence of pro wrestling.

Squared Circle Pit host Rob Pasbani says this is might be his favorite episode of his show yet, and that might be because unlike in other episodes when he dealt with slightly less verbose guests who seemed a little guarded about their fandom, Fisher talks a mile a minute and doesn't need much prodding to wax poetic about his days going to wrestling shows in the late '70s at the old Baltimore Civic Center. He saw Bob Backlund before he even won his first WWWF Championship. He saw Andre the Giant when Andre could actually throw a dropkick and move around the ring with some speed.

Fisher says that Ric Flair is the greatest pro wrestler of all time, and if you don't agree with him, then you're just wrong. He's obviously being hyperbolic when he says this, but he does bring up a good point about Flair's cool factor that also takes a swipe at current WWE storytelling. Whenever authority figures like the Crocketts showed up and tried to boss Flair around, he responded with calmness and swagger. He didn't cower to the supposed bosses. Yet these days on RAW, Stephanie McMahon shows up and belittles anyone on the roster who happens to be standing in front of her, regardless of their character's alignment or status. They might do well to have more characters who literally don't care about what she or Foley have to say (OR THEY COULD JUST STOP BEING SLAVISHLY DEVOTED TO THE CONCEPT OF AUTHORITY FIGURES ON THE SHOW BUT HEY I'M GETTING OFF TRACK).

Fisher still tries to find time to watch WWE and keep up with new wrestlers. Enzo Amore and Big Cass are his favorites, probably because he is a Northeastern guy, and I'm assuming that all people from the Northeast talk like gamooks and eat cheesesteaks and root for unlikable football teams (excluding our fearless and dignified editor TH, of course). Touring for large chunks of the year prevents Fisher from being able to watch RAW every week, as he says he has at least two months worth of episodes to catch up on. Pasbani offers up excellent advice and tells him to not do that and just watch the PPVs. We could all do ourselves a favor by learning that lesson.

In conclusion, I wanted to go back to that earlier part about Fisher's childhood. Can you even imagine being in a smoky arena in the late '70s, in a sea of rabid wrestling fans who have likely never even heard of the term "kayfabe?" What would that be like to sit with fans who don't boo a guy simply because they heard from a bunch of cool people that that's what they're supposed to do? That must have been so intoxicatingly fun. Seeing little Bob Backlund scamper around the ring and pull out a win to the delight of thousands of people? Ugh, take me back to those days and far away from the days of "That Belt Sucks." I want to watch pro wrestling again without being so informed and toxic. The only toxicity I want in my body is some '70s Pall Mall secondhand smoke and a bottle of Schlitz.