Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Talk is Cheap

Miz TV
Monday Night Raw
Photo by
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents

On the September 17th episode of Raw, the WWE introduced us to another "talk show" segment.  This time it's the Miz getting a chance to show off his mic skills.  Miz TV featured SmackDown! general manager Booker T, but of course the show was interrupted by Ryback, who now appears to be in line for an Intercontinental tittle shot against the Miz.

A couple of questions arise.  Is Miz TV going to be a regular feature? Or was this something to introduce Ryback as a challenger to the Miz?  Regardless of the answer, the segment had me thinking back to years ago when I felt this concept was much better served.

Jimmy Snuka in the Pit
I think few people would argue that Piper's Pit is the pinnacle of all wrestling talk shows.  Roddy Piper was without a doubt the best talker in the business at that point and his pit segments account for many of my childhood wrestling memories.  From Jimmy Snuka getting smashed with the coconut to the Haiti Kid getting shaved to the destruction of the Flower Shop, Piper's Pit set a standard that will never be duplicated as far as I'm concerned.

Besides having a great host, a wrestling talk show needs a good set.  Piper's Pit was great.  I liked the set up for shows that followed like the Flower Shop with Adrian Adonis, the Body Shop with Jesse Ventura, and the Funeral Parlor with Paul Bearer.  Now with the Highlight Reel, Miz TV, and The VIP Lounge done in the middle of the ring, it takes something away from the segment.  I guess it's because all (or most) of the wrestling's promos are cut in the middle of the ring.  These shows are then shot in the ring, which to me makes it feel less special.

Back then wrestling had a lot less promos so when there was a segment featuring a couple of guys going at it verbally it meant something.  Or maybe I'm looking at the past through rose colored glasses.

Old School with Gaylor Stephens
Cheap plug alert: I'm glad to see All American Pro Wrestling do the talk show concept too.  Appropriately enough, it's called "Old School" and airs on AAPW All Access.  Host Gaylord Stephens is honestly one of the best guys on the mic.  I find this show more entertaining than past shows the WWE put out like The Barbershop with Brutus Beefcake or The Snake Pit with Jake Roberts.  Check out Old School sometime.  You won't be disappointed.

What are your thoughts on wrestling talk shows?  Have they lost their luster?  Am I being too critical?  Weigh in here or on Facebook or Twitter.

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