We hope everybody is having a nice holiday period, and perhaps you’ve even filled an idle hour with one of our podcasts from the last year. If so, we thank you very much. Our “flashback” article on Friday looking at the 15 Women of Wrestling Podcasts we’ve produced during the last twelve months resulted in a big download spike on the site – but of course, the Women of Wrestling Podcast really only just scratches the surface of the audio output on the site.
We more than doubled our audio content this year with our supporting shows – “Fight Like A Girl” (one on one shorter interviews), “My Name Is” (Lee meets new talent) and Angelus Layne‘s “Layne’s Brain”. There’s a lot of good stuff here – so again, we’d invite you to revisit some of your favourites, or catch up on some of those shows that passed you by the first time.
Fight Like A Girl was originally conceived as shorter interviews with a closer focus on specific things (rather than the usual ‘career overview’ you get on the WOW Podcast), and looking back over the year of FLAGs, we can see that focus remains, but the show has become more experimental in some ways. Originally a website exclusive show, we felt that there was just too much good stuff on these shows to not give them the biggest possible audience by adding them to our iTunes podcast feed.
Some episodes of Fight Like A Girl even featured former Podcast guests returning to update us on their world at that particular time. Almost an entire year ago, in our first FLAG of the year, we spoke to Madison Eagles about her return from injury. In fact, with the time difference, we ended up speaking to her on the very morning she was getting ready to make her return. Leah Von Dutch had a very quick turnaround from WOW Podcast to FLAG guest, checking in with us again after her first (of two) European tours this year. Speaking of tours, Alpha Female joined us just after her extended tour of Japan earlier in the year to talk about the trip which saw her win the Wonder of Stardom title from Nanae Takahashi. Similarly, Nikki Storm updated us on her return following her tour of Japan also, a tour where she successfully defended her EVE Title. Courtney Rush joined us ahead of Femmes Fatales XII in Montreal in June to discuss her then-upcoming match with Cheerleader Melissa and the promise of her first European booking through Bellatrix.
While it’s always great to reconnect with some of our former guests, I think it’s fair to say that some of our absolute favourite editions of FLAG this year have been with those people we’ve not (yet) done the full Podcast experience with. Our highest recommendations to check out in this category include Barbi Hayden, reflecting on her impressive debut for WSU in August and her year to date; Longtime NWA World Women’s Champion Kacee Carlisle talking how she uses promos and social media; Santana Garrett on working multiple promotions, wearing the headband of power and riding in taxis for the first time ever; one of 2013’s most improved wrestlers Melanie Cruise and one of 2013’s most promising talents Heidi Lovelace, both talking their respective evolutions as a performer (Melanie | Heidi).
We’ve also had a chance to catch up with some other up and comers – Mia Svensson was looking for your vote in the TNA Gutcheck earlier in the year; Penelope was getting the word out about Bellatrix 5; Trina Michaels was hyping up WrestleMania weekend for DG:USA & FIP; Crazy Mary Dobson was reflecting on her trip to Scotland and her deathmatch experiences, and we talked to both halves of The Owens Twins – Kasey & Leah – about ICW:FF and Japan.
We’ve also had a number of non wrestlers on FLAG this year – ranging from Montreal wrestling expert Pat Laprade talking about his “Mad Dogs, Midgets & Screwjobs” book , Priya Sharma talking about her hopes for crowd funding for the proposed “Breathe It” documentary, Kevin Harvey introducing his “School of Everything Else” (before spinning that idea off into his own highly recommended podcast series), WSU‘s Drew Cordeiro ahead of their Blood And Thunder iPPV in October dropping hints about new WSU co-ownership, ICW:FF‘s Mikey Whiplash reflecting on a job well done after Fierce Females’ fantastic show back in May, and Team Recovery‘s Sarah Robertson, taking a look at eating disorders in the wake of a couple of WWE developmental women suffering from disorders.
Angelus Layne, as noted in Stew’s 2013 memories yesterday, had a bizarre journey this year, from FLAG guest to returning FLAG guest to podcast host in her own right – and her appearances this year are all worthy of hearing if you haven’t already – from her first appearance ahead of her trip to ACW for Queen of Queens this year, to her return four months later to discuss a scary diagnosis of Post Concussion Syndrome, to the first two episodes of her own Layne’s Brain Podcast (Episode 1 | Episode 2) – Angelus has been opening up her heart on this website in a way that I don’t believe anybody ever has before.
But while the Fight Like A Girl shows – and Layne’s Brain – are all available on our feeds on iTunes and Stitcher Radio, we’ve retained our “My Name Is” shows as a website exclusive.
We started off the year talking to Jewells Malone as she made her way home from a gym session, and among the topics discussed was how she got into wrestling because of her father – and dads were regularly mentioned in other interviews. For example, Chasity Taylor discussed how she and her father promoted shows together; Jordynne Grace said even though she was a second generation wrestler, she’s not doing it to honour her dad, and Nadia Sapphire revealed that her father knows nothing of what she does as he would not approve.
Most of the interviewees who came to us asking for some interview time to promote themselves were from British shores. From England, we had two Violets. First up was Violet Vendetta, who discussed going from being primarily a manager to stepping between the ropes, while Violet O’Hara talked about whether being well below 5 feet tall bothered her. Fellow Englishwoman Miss Louise Jane talked to us ahead of competing in the Miss GB pageant, and about how she’s taking her time when it comes to a wrestling career. North of the border, Scots Fiona Fraser explains how she started training just six weeks after starting to watch wrestling, and Debbie Sharpe talked about how she is doing her best to keep her feet on the ground – metaphorically, at least. While not in Britain, Ireland’s Katey Harvey is pretty close by, and talked about whether karate and kickboxing skills have helped in her development.
Rounding off our interviews are two names who may not be as fresh-faced as the others, but still have grand ambitions. Ruthless Lala explained how she wasn’t keen on women wrestlers who weren’t willing to get stuck in, and Germany’s Lady Lory discussed how hurt she was by accusations that she was on drugs during her career.
So that’s it. We’ve looked back at the year in WOW Podcasts, we’ve had personal reflections on 2013 from both myself and Lee, and now we’ve recapped the rest of our audio content… and, well… we’ve had enough of this nostalgia stuff now. Onwards and upwards to 2014… which will form the basis of tomorrow’s Ringbelles Roundup. Join us again then.
— Stew Allen