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Let Marc Maron Introduce You To The World Of Professional Wrestling

By Andrew Sanford | TV | February 10, 2023 |

By Andrew Sanford | TV | February 10, 2023 |


I have tremendous respect for professional wrestling. It is pure show business. The wrestlers are incredible athletes, gifted storytellers, and, occasionally, great actors! Though that is honestly more of a rarity. Wrestling is big and flashy and trashy and fun. It rarely gets the respect it deserves. Then, along comes Marc Maron to treat pro wrestling the way it should be treated, with an open mind.

Recently, Maron immersed himself in the world of All Elite Wrestling. For those unfamiliar, All Elite Wrestling (or AEW) is currently the biggest competitor to the WWE (formerly WWF). They are WWE’s first legitimate competition in almost 20 years. Marc secured interviews with some of their biggest stars (MJF, Chris Jericho, Eddie Kingston, Colt Cabana), their owner (Tony Khan), and even a referee (Bryce Remsberg)! What follows is an enlightening look at this over-the-top entertainment.

With Chris Jericho, you get an honest look at the business from a 30-year veteran. Chris is not shy about going over what works and what doesn’t work. He highlights how wrestling is more than just what goes on in the ring. It is just as much chair shots as it is singing and dancing (something Jericho brought to the profession quite recently). It is an interview that, twenty years ago, wouldn’t have been possible (more on that in a moment).

The interviews with MJF and Eddie Kingston are more “traditional.” Both wrestlers lean into the kayfabe nature of things. They pretend they are their onscreen characters and that their feuds are real. Kingston blurs the line. His character is natural and rooted in who he is as a person. MJF, as Maron points out, is very kind off-mic. When the recording starts, MJF turns into a prick. He’s one of the best wrestlers working now. One of those rare wrestlers who is also a gifted actor, and it shows.

I found the referee interview to be particularly fascinating. Remsberg discusses how much improv is involved in his job and how he keeps the wrestlers on track. There’s a part his height plays that I never thought about. He also reveals that he books flights and hotels for wrestlers! A multi-million dollar company and a referee is in charge of travel accommodations.

That brings me to one of the more awkward (I felt) interviews. Tony Khan is the son of billionaire Shahid Khan. Because of that, Tony works for his dad’s NFL team (the Jacksonville Jaguars) and owns AEW. If I had billions of dollars, I’d try to make my son’s dreams come true. Tony is clearly a fan! He’s just also a rich suit. That comes through in his interview several times.

It felt like Marc’s producer, Brendan McDonald, had to step in more for that one. What is so wonderful about the other interviews is that Maron starts to relate. Not just the entertainment side but the hustle side. With Khan, he’s just talking to the “money guy,” and it feels different.

Either way, the episode is an incredible introduction to pro wrestling for any skeptic. It may not make you clamor for another ladder match, but it may help you see pro wrestling for what it is: art.

Listen to the full podcast here (or wherever you get your podcasts).