wrestling / News

Conrad Thompson Weighs in on WWE’s Podcast Network, Says The Wrestling Podcast Bubble Has Burst

August 26, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
WWE Podcast Network Image Credit: WWE

– Conrad Thompson spoke with Matt Koon’ on the latter’s Total Engagement show and discussed the announcement that WWE is launching a podcast network. WWE announced on Thursday that they would be teaming with Endeavor Audio to create its own podcast network with several shows focused on its wrestlers.

Of course, Thompson is no stranger to podcasts, being the co-host for Eric Bischoff’s 83 Weeks, Grilling JR, and Bruce Prichard’s Something to Wrestle. He and Prichard also appeared on the WWE Network in a video version of their podcast. You can see his thoughts on the news below, as well as the full podcast:

On if he was surprised by the announcement: “No, no. I mean, they’ve hinted at this a long time ago, you know. If you remember — gosh, maybe two years ago now, they sent out a survey saying, ‘Hey, what would you like to see on the Network? Would you be interested in more podcasts,’ and things like that. So I knew that that was sorta in their wheelhouse, and something they were looking at. And then of course they put Bruce and I on the Network. So I knew they were at least interested in it, and it continued to grow.”
On the business of wrestling podcasts: “The wrestling podcast bubble sort of burst a while back. And you know, once upon a time, people were boasting crazy numbers, and it turns out maybe a lot of those were fabricated. Not because they’re dishonest wrestling people — not to say that wrestling people are dishonest, I’m just saying they weren’t being dishonest. But the company that was providing those metrics, they were bogus. And once that sort of all collapsed, it didn’t just affect wrestling podcasts. It affected podcasts everywhere, and one company in particular was gutted. So there was sort of a run on the bank, and everybody went to Westwood One, thinking, ‘Oh, there’s money in them there hills.’ And slowly but surely, a lot of those shows have went belly-up. The golden era of, ‘Hey, you’re going to print money doing a wrestling podcast,’ that’s not reality. And the ones who have survived are the ones who are doing it either for the love of the game or are doing really, really big numbers. And there’s really nowhere in between.”

On WWE’s plans: “I think WWE is smart to be in this space. They can promote it through all of their social media, they can promote through their television, and obviously they’re gonna do — no matter what anybody thinks, they’re gonna do live podcasts at Axxess and thinks like that. That seems kind of familiar [to Starrcast and the like]. But yeah, I think it’s good that they’re doing it. And I knew they were planning to do something, and they sorta teased that they were gonna head this direction a few months ago, I think. There was like an investor symposium or something, and they mentioned that they were looking at the podcast space. I’m excited that they’re getting in it. And it’s going to be an interesting time in the podcast game. And most of all, I’m looking forward to beating all of their shows. So that’ll be good.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Total Engagement with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.