In today’s modern era of commercial free entertainment, podcasts have become all the rage. Through popular networks like Podcast One, Westwood One, and MLW, millions of podcasts are downloaded for free each day and each week. These podcasts have a wide range of topics, including stories from the territory days on podcasts such a Dinner with the King, starring Jerry Lawler or Down and Dirty with Dutch Mantel. WCW and Jim Crockett promotions have stories covered by the likes of Jim Cornette and Tony Schiavone on What Happened When. These stories help people remember their childhoods and what it was like when wrestling was more “real”. They go back to a time when kayfabe mattered more, and wasn’t quickly ruined by spoilers and dirt sheets.
Podcasts similar to Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard have become extremely popular as well. As a two-time podcast of the year, (via Sports Illustrated and The Academy of Podcasters) they go back in time to tell stories of this writer’s childhood, such as the Mega Powers and the Attitude Era. These podcasts are informative and mix humor with rumors and innuendo in reference to various alleged backstage (and real life) incidents. With Bruce’s lengthy history in the business, they are able to cover topics that the general public may not have been aware of at the time. Podcasts like Something To Wrestle cover wrestling from the 1970’s to the mid-2000’s, and can run anywhere from 75 minutes to as long as 5 hours for a single episode.
As these podcasts grow in popularity with mainstream audiences, they’re finding success on the advertising front too. Podcasts have brought on larger advertisers such as Geico, Mattress Firm, Amazon, and Dunkin’ Donuts. In some cases, they’ve had expanded partnerships with specific wrestling merchandisers as well, such as Pro Wrestling Tees and Leather By Dan, a custom belt maker. Aside from the partnerships with independent wrestling merchandisers, several podcasts shed light in on the current and future of the major and independent wrestling scenes such as Colt Cabana’s The Art of Wrestling or Stone Cold Steve Austin’s The Steve Austin Show. Podcasts like Talk Is Jericho may go in-depth with current WWE talent like Kevin Owens and Sasha Banks to discuss the trials and tribulations of their careers, but are also expansive enough to showcase guests in the larger world of pop culture and entertainment.
Just like all radio and television content, podcasts do range in quality and length. While the wrestling podcast medium is largely free and accessible to all consumers, that model is slowly changing as well. The success of wrestling podcasts has helped set them on their way to following other business models, which includes models similar to other streaming mediums like Netflix that charge a minimum monthly fee. Wrestling podcasts are becoming moneymakers in 2018, and will hopefully continue to expand for years to come.