2.11. The Meaning of Independence

2.11. The Meaning of Independence

In this episode: Stefan and Drew take their destiny into their own hands.

WWE is the biggest American wrestling promotion, but it isn't the only one. In a post-WCW world, the independent wrestling scene has flourished, reaching audiences via digital distribution and differentiating themselves from the big dog. But what does it mean to be an independent promotion - or wrestler - in 2018, and is the industry's history of consolidation doomed to repeat itself?

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2.10. Promo Day

2.10. Promo Day

In this episode: Stefan and Drew talk.

There comes a moment in any wrestling story where the performers will take the time to stop and speak directly to the audience. This fourth-wall breaking tradition has its roots in traditional sports interviews, but over the last half century has evolved into a staple of the medium. In this episode, we explore the past, present, and future of the promo, analyze what separates a good talker from a bad talker, and discuss some of our personal favorites on the mic.

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2.9. Smarten Up At The Movies: "The Wrestler" (2008) with Special Guest Dr. Derek Long

2.9. Smarten Up At The Movies: "The Wrestler" (2008) with Special Guest Dr. Derek Long

In this episode: RAM JAM! RAM JAM! RAM JAM!

It's one of the most important representations of wrestling in mainstream culture of the last twenty years, but is 2008's Darren Aranofsky film The Wrestler really a "wrestling picture"? It's a question too big for Stefan and Drew to answer even in our tag-team configuration, so in this special Trios Edition podcast, we invite Dr. Derek Long, Assistant Professor of Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign and secret uncredited creator of Smarten Up, to join us in breaking down Mickey Rourke's big comeback.

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2.8. The Royal Rumble

In this episode: Buzzer. Pause. Music.

The Royal Rumble is WWE's crowning achievement in the world of gimmick matches. Brilliant in its simplicity yet endlessly flexible, it is a unique stage upon which to tell stories. The Rumble is in many ways the perfect introduction to what WWE is at any given moment in time. This time around, we explore what makes the Rumble unique, the kinds of stories that it can tell, its significance in the WWE calendar, and what separates a great Rumble from a bad one. With the 2018 edition airing on Sunday, January 28, consider this your introduction to one of wrestling's greatest treats.

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