So a couple of weeks ago on the Marking Out w/Marc & Dee Podcast, I tasked myself with writing up a blog explaining the origins of this show I’ve created and writing about my aspirations and goals for it. So without any further adieu, away we go…
As I told my cousin at this past December’s Kick Christmas Party, I’m gonna let ya in on a little secret that not a lot of people know about me, and that’s the fact that I’m a really big wrestling fan. I know, I know…HUGE shocking news, right? All kidding aside, I’m approaching 25 years in my wrestling fandom.
My Wrestling Fandom
I first started watching wrestling as a kid on Sunday mornings after coming home from church. I’d usually find Wrestling Challenge on FOX 5 around noon. I eagerly watched each week to find out more and more about the guys I loved watching each week. My early favorites were Lex Luger, the all-American hero, & Razor Ramon, a Cuban dude who was “Oozing Machismo” as the announcers would tell us each week. Later on, I’d be clued into watching Monday Night Raw on the USA Network, Superstars on Saturday mornings on FOX 5 and All-American Wrestling on the USA Network on Sundays as well. I’d also stumble across a wrestling show on a Thursday night on TBS called Clash of Champions that featured a whole bunch of other guys I had never seen before on WWF tv. I’d later learn that this show was WCW, another wrestling promotion separate from WWF and they have their own titles they battle for, different tv announcers, the whole 9 yards.
I can remember watching my first Royal Rumble Pay Per View over at my friend’s house…the one in which (my guy at the time) Lex Luger and Bret Hart both tumbled over the top rope to the outside to simultaneously win and lose the match together. My parents let me get WrestleMania X that year which eminated from New York’s Madison Square Garden and I had my friend Rich over to watch it that Sunday afternoon.
Since then, I’ve witnessed the rest of the “New WWF Generation”, the Attitude Era in which all the rules of what was acceptable to air on tv were pushed to the extreme so to speak and Professional Wrestling enjoyed arguably, it’s greatest success in ages. After the Monday Night Wars between WCW Monday Nitro and WWE’s Monday Night Raw concluded, leaving WWE as the one major company still going, the business took a turn and all of the near 10 million viewers on any given Monday Night for the two shows dwindled to somewhere around the neighborhood of 3-4 million viewers.
All along the way, I’ve met many people who either were long-time wrestling fans or decided to start watching when things got interesting during the Monday Night Wars. I also started subscribing to PWInsider.com and listening to their audio shows daily. Their audio shows basically evolved from the old 1-900 wrestling hotlines to where the guys on the site (Dave Scherer, Mike Johnson and the rest of their crew of insiders with sources inside the business) would inform us of all the goings on backstage at wrestling shows and where storylines were headed. Along with their news hotlines, they also would put together mailbag shows where members (like myself) would write in our questions for them to answer “on the air”. From there, other shows were formed for one reason or another.
One of these such shows that was formed was called “The Elites Speak” — elites being the term that PWInsider gives their subscriber base — was a show done by a couple of friends who are fans of wrestling, with no actual connection to the wrestling business other than the fact that they’ve been watching for a number of years and enjoy talking about wrestling on a semi-regular basis. Immediately, I was interested in getting in on the fun!
So I contacted one of the guys from the show and offered to throw my hat in the ring so to speak, but they weren’t really interested in making it a 3-man show, so I was out. As I continued being a fan of wrestling and a fan of the site, I noticed another few member-run shows popping up. One of which was Yes and No Radio with TJ Parsons and Ty Roberts. TJ would later switch out his co-host to being Phillip Byrd and eventually have Scott Tison sit in to cover for Phillip on a few shows. Somewhere during this time period, TJ reached out to a couple of the other personalities that did recordings on PWInsider: Andru Edwards and “Pastor J” Jonathan Conrad to record a show together called The Hounds of Audio. After a little while, it became apparent to me that it wasn’t always easy for the three of them to always get together to record a show as sometimes it would only be two of them or they would switch in and out during a single recording. So I thought maybe THIS was my way in! So I contacted TJ and shared my idea with him of me being an alternate to fill in should someone not be able to make it. He ran it by the other two guys and boom, I was in!
It wasn’t exactly immediate that they had a use for me, so I just waited for the call to eventually come…and just over a month later, TJ needed me for a Hounds of Audio recording since Andru couldn’t make it. So I sat in and recorded my first show for PWInsider, and while it certainly wasn’t my best as I had never done such a thing before, it got my juices flowing. Unfortunately, that was about it for me on Hounds of Audio as that show has really just faded off into obscurity. However, when Phillip decided he wasn’t really into wrestling so much anymore and wasn’t interested in continuing on with Yes and No Radio, TJ had the brainstorm of putting me and Scott together and making Yes and No Radio a 3-man show.
My first show with them ran a lot smoother as I had already experienced recording once prior and was a bit more ready to go this time around. Once my first couple of audio shows went up on PWInsider, I was real psyched, I never thought I’d see my name appear on that website as a contributor…even today, I still get a kick out of it.
So remember how I said that over the years, I’ve picked up a number of friends I talk wrestling with on a semi-regular basis? Well way back in 1999, a group of friends and I put together a message board on Yahoo called Wrestling Fans Anonymous. We posted there each week all kinds of dumb stuff like pay per view picks, our thoughts on various shows and such. After just over a year or so, our interest in that message board waned and it sat there, dormant for a number of years. Until my friend Matt decided to go check if it was still there and to look back on some of our silly stuff from years past. It was actually still there because it was the victim of a number of spam messages advertising all sorts of questionable stuff. So Matt decided to start posting in it again, which in turn got Rich to start posting in it again. This gave me the idea of creating a Facebook Group called WrestlingFansAnonymous since I realized I had all these various people I would talk wrestling with on an individual basis, so I created the Facebook Group and invited everyone in.
Marking Out Podcast
One of the people I invited into the group was Danielle Mizrachi, a former coworker from the mortgage business who I hadn’t lost contact with since leaving the business. After I had started recording and contributing on PWInsider, she asked me what that was all about…so I brought her up to speed with what it all was. She was immediately interested and wanted in. So I told her since I was so new to it, I couldn’t just introduce her immediately, that I needed to get some footing before posing anything to the site owner.
Eventually I did email the site owner, Dave Scherer about an idea for a show I had in which we would have a female voice (something fairly unique when it comes to talking about professional wrestling) with her perspective, views and opinions. So I pitched my idea and got shot down, being told that he felt that there was enough content on the site currently from elite members and that he didn’t want another show that wasn’t from one of his paid staff. Understandable…it’s his site, so who am I to argue?
So I had to come up with a Plan B. At one point during a Hounds of Audio show, Andru Edwards had said something about making that show a podcast available outside of PWInsider by using his SoundCloud account. Since I had never heard of SoundCloud, I decided to investigate and found out what it was and started my own account. Now, I had a place to upload my audio files when Danielle and I decided to start recording, but I needed a way to distribute it.
Early on, I started linking to each show via this blog site and started sharing the individual posts all around on Facebook and Twitter, but I knew that wouldn’t really account for a lot of exposure. So I found out about another distributor called Stitcher. Stitcher.com was a terrific site, real easy to set up using the RSS feed that was generated by my SoundCloud account and without much work, I had a new distributor for my podcast that also offered apps for both IOS (Apple) and Android devices.
I still wanted to get the show onto Itunes since that’s where a good 90% of people who listen to podcasts go for their content, but in reading their specs and requirements for being hosted on Itunes, my head started to hurt as while all this stuff was real new to me, I felt like I was reading Chinese when trying to figure out what they needed me to do. So I said to myself that I’d come back to it another time. A couple of months later, I finally came back to it. I managed to figure it out and within a day or so, we were on Itunes!
Evolution Of The Show
I’ve since had a few other personalities on my show to spice things up a bit and am gaining a larger audience every passing week when I log into my SoundCloud account to look at the statistics. It’s been an interesting ride so far and I look forward to where it eventually takes me as I continue to record both Yes and No Radio for PWInsider with TJ & Scott and my own podcast, Marking Out w/Marc and Dee.
I just recently changed the name of the feed the podcast is sent out on to make it more easily searchable on Itunes, so if you’re interested in subscribing and having it automatically delivered to your Itunes program each week, search for Marking Out Podcast. When the search comes back, it will first list individual episodes including those terms then below, in the Podcasts section it should be listed.
I know this has been a long journey to get to the end of this, I hope you enjoyed this if you’ve made it to the end.
Thanks for reading and listening!