John Pollock / September 10, 2012 - 11:07am
This week marks three years that Wai Ting and I have been torturing our VCRs with some of the most god-awful professional wrestling tapes in order to produce our weekly Review-A-Wai podcast.
The show was not some grand plan we hatched in September of 2009, but rather a way to work Wai back into The LAW after some shuffling of studios, leaving him as our odd “Asian man out".
We tried out a concept in 2008 called “Ask-A-Wai", featuring Wai and I documenting our weekly activities that strayed about as far from wrestling as we could. That show eventually evolved into an outside podcast unto its own before it was forced to "bite the dust".
So we return to September of 2009, and with our second attempt at a digital addition to The LAW (an easy way I thought, to create incentive for live listeners to also download the show for bonus content), Wai added the stipulation that it have an attachment to pro wrestling of some sort, and thus Review-A-Wai was born.
We were not re-inventing the wheel by reviewing old shows. We felt that the benefit of hindsight, combined with our unique views, historical knowledge of pro wrestling, and the back catalogue of LAW interviews would combine to paint a pretty definitive picture of a past event.
In that time since, we have benefited greatly from some of wrestling’s bigger blunders (I’m looking at you – "Heroes of Wrestling", "Women of Wrestling", anything earmarked "WCW" post-1999) to naturally write comedy for us come review time.
After 155 reviews (give or take – you can figure it out the final tally), some have been great and some have been painful, but above all else, its been the listenership we have developed and cultivated that has been our favourite part of the show.
The podcast phenomenon is hard to ignore anymore in 2012, and it has certainly become something our network of shows has found its niche in.
By no means do I classify myself as some forward thinker, but it struck years back that while we had a juggernaut of a show in The LAW, listeners would have to wait a full week for their next fill. I wanted to give people a reason to return on a regular basis. Fortunately, listenership demand has continued to match the supply of shows we have built over the past few years.
In my opinion, the key to success of any podcast, radio, or television show comes down to the personalities attached. I think we’ve been lucky that Dan Lovranski, Jason Agnew, Wai Ting and myself all bring extremely different viewpoints and ideas to the table, making for compelling discussions and hopefully, an entertaining product at the end of the day.
I don’t know where the future of podcasting will be, but it feels in-sync with the "on-demand" culture that has spread over the past five-years. The days of appointment listening/viewing are over as the power from broadcaster to listener/viewer has shifted rapidly.
Are there too many podcasts out there? I don’t know – are there too many books? Too many bands? Too many television shows?
I think the successful ones will be the ones that know their audience and have the ability to connect with them. When I hear from someone via Twitter or e-mail that they feel they know me from simply listening to our shows, I take that as a huge compliment. It’s the most engaged relationship you can cultivate in media; when you find the right podcast with the right personality; when someone is willing to put you in their ears for a period of time and tune out the world to hear your opinion – I’ll take that any day over someone flipping on a television show while they open their laptop and surf the net.
I’ve had a lot of fun doing this show every week with Wai, and based on our review material for this week – we refuse to take our show too seriously.
If you’ve checked out our show, thank you. If not, then I must sound like the most self-indulgent prick by now.
Review-A-Wai drops every Wednesday morning at www.liveaudiowrestling.com and subscribe to ‘Live Audio Wrestling’ on iTunes.