Counterfeit Pennies 2.28.03: Getting Acquainted with Wrestle Radio host Andy McIntyre
In the immortal words of Chef from South Park: “There’s a time and a place for everything, and it’s called college.”
Unfortunately, college doesn’t last more than four years (unless you’re Van Wilder or Jeremy Piven in PCU), and for me the end of college life meant I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite pet projects: Wrestle Radio, a free format, no holds barred pro wrestling call-in talk show that I started with some of my friends up in Binghamton, NY. The campus radio station, WHRW 90.5 FM, was the perfect place for such a show, because there were and still are no constraints regarding how any DJs could structure his or her own program.
Even though I was sad to leave Binghamton and “The H” behind, the cool part is that the show has matured into a polished entity that still manages to keep its original edge. I had the privilege recently of catching up with one of the original co-panelists and current host of Wrestle Radio: Andrew “Andy Mac” McIntyre.
Below is the exclusive 411 interview with Andy Mac, which covers a wide range of wrestling topics from the current states of Raw and SmackDown! to his own personal views on some of the industry’s all-time greats, such as Mr. Perfect, Hulk Hogan, and, of course, Marty Jannetty. Andy Mac also reveals how you can share your own thoughts with the Wrestle Radio crew each and every week.
THE ANDY MAC INTERVIEW
CB 411: I say we talk about something interesting here and I’ll post it as my column this week.
Andy Mac: The shitty state of Raw is always a fun topic.
CB 411: Okay let’s go for it Why is Raw so shitty? This is my official interview with you :-)
Andy Mac: Raw is so shitty because Triple H apparently has so much pull behind the scenes that the wrestlers have pretty much been convinced that there is no room for advancement, thus they half ass it every week. So the situation results in a show that looks good on paper, but with everyone not putting forth 100% it translates into boring, uninteresting television.
CB 411: Do you still feel the same way even with The Rock and Austin now back on Raw?
Andy Mac: It hasn’t had a chance to play out yet, but The Rock and Austin are entertaining every time out of the gate, so they won’t be affected by HHH’s bullshit. Those two, as much as I like them, in essence, make it worse for the Booker Ts, RVDs, Kanes, and Y2Js of the world. The top can only accommodate so many wrestlers, and I would almost rather see some of the newer faces as opposed to the top tier of the past two or three years remain the status quo.
CB 411: Well the argument could be made that top guys like The Rock and HBK are currently in line with the concept of putting others over to “create new stars” … For example, The Rock putting over Hurricane and Booker on Raw this week and HBK giving rubs to Jericho and Jeff Hardy … What do you think of those recent developments?
Andy Mac: I think its great and it is a testament to the talent of both workers. The Rock did in two hours what H has essentially refused two in four to five months at the top. The problem with that is that neither the Rock or HBK are long-term prospects, but it is certainly more than commendable that they are putting people over. It is what they should do given their limited time constraints
CB 411: Okay, let’s move onto something a little more close to home … tell me about Wrestle Radio and currently how you and your co-hosts are trying to mold the show … and how its grown over the past year
Andy Mac: Wrestle Radio has grown in leaps and bounds in both popularity and maturity since its inception almost two years ago. Besides the natural evolution and degree of comfort with the panelists, the fan base and format have so slightly changed. Wrestle Radio now functions essentially as a recap show in which we go through the week’s two main programs segment by segment with each panelist throwing in his two cents.
Andy Mac: The panel is also very diverse. Myself, the host, tends to present the most optimistic view on WWE’s product, consistently looking for the best in each and every segment and often giving the company the benefit of the doubt. Rob, a.k.a. “Craig T Nelson”, is a relative newcomer to the world of Sports Entertainment. He began watching in watching during the nWo, thus he saw the new “Golden Era” and is often disappointed that wrestling today doesn’t match up. The A-man is a long time fan and resident cynic, but his opinions are welcomed and the conflict makes for interesting radio. The last panelist, our resident luchador B. Tribe, has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of wrestling’s recent past and always has intriguing contributions.
Andy Mac: Also, the biggest change to WR however is that we have added the elements of sports entertainment to our show. We have begun a storyline involving myself trying to keep Tribe off of the show for his constant disagreement and it has made for interesting radio that gives the listeners a reason to tune in each and every week, aside from hearing just our wrestling commentaries.
CB 411: That sounds pretty cool to me, as well as like something you can only get on a free format radio station … Tell me, how important is the flexibility of being able to do what you want without having to answer to advertisers and program directors and sponsors?
Andy Mac: It makes things very easy; we don’t have total carte blanche, but very close. The only faction we really have to answer to is the FCC, and they stay off our backs for the most part. It is great that being a part of WHRW allows us to speak to a very specific market and that is the best part. It lets four huge rasslin’ fans talk about the “sport” they love for an hour a week, and it doesn’t get much better than that.
CB 411: Okay, back to the rasslin’ … You already offered up your less than stellar opinion on Raw, so tell me: What do you think of the present state of WWE’s other flagship show, SmackDown!?
Andy Mac: I think for the most part it is sports entertainment at its best every week. There is no one featured wrestler on the show and it seems that the superstars on the main event and the lower levels all get a chance to tell their respective stories.
CB 411: Some people think Paul Heyman has had a lot to do with molding SmackDown! in a way that is different, and even better, than the way Raw has been broached … Do you think his demotion to mere on-air talent will mean a change in SmackDown’s current formula?
Andy Mac: I don’t think so because enough groundwork is in place for a solid program. One of the people in place is a close friend and protÃƒÂ©gÃƒÂ© of Heyman’s; the other, Bruce Pritchard is a wrestling genius. I think they can keep the ball rolling the way it is and in addition I feel they have too much talent to not be very entertaining.
CB 411: Here’s my favorite part of all the interviews I do … Word Association: I will give you a wrestler or gimmick, and I want you to give me a short response.
Andy Mac: Fair enough.
CB 411: Hulk Hogan
Andy Mac: The best ever. I was, am and always will be a huge Hulkamaniac.
CB 411: Next one: Los Guerreros
Andy Mac: Fun and entertaining; faces doing heel stuff; I love it!
CB 411: Mr. Perfect
Andy Mac: A real tragedy, another personal favorite, I’ll miss him.
CB 411: WCW in its prime
Andy Mac: Great ideas through standing on the shoulders of others.
CB 411: Care to elaborate on that one?
Andy Mac: WCW’s best years weren’t as a result of homegrown talent. If it weren’t for Hogan or the nWo it never would have been able to compete with WWE on a large scale. As great as Sting and Flair were, those two together were no Hogan when it comes to attracting casual fans.
CB 411: Speaking of Flair and Sting, what comes to mind when you think of both of those legends that obviously have taken different paths since WCW folded.
Andy Mac: Flair is still great, and he is truly “The Man.” Sting was one of the best from the late 80s to the mid 90s but I feel his product dropped off a lot thereafter, whereas Hogan and Flair were still as good as ever.
CB 411: One more for you, Andy Mac, and then I’ll let you go … What comes to mind when you think of the legacy of one Marty Jannetty?
Andy Mac: I actually watched a Marty match the other day (his IC title win off Michaels). It just reminded me of what a revolutionary talent this man was, and how I wish he, more than any other, would get another shot in the WWE.
CB 411: Ha Did it make you hopeful that Marty would make a comeback when HBK made the plate glass window reference on Raw a couple weeks back?
Andy Mac: It did; I assumed of course that he won’t be, but it gave me a shred of hope.
CB 411: Well, Andy Mac, it’s been a pleasure catching up with you … and I am glad to see that I left Wrestle Radio in such capable hands … Tell everyone again when the current edition of Wrestle Radio airs and how they can tune in I’ll even put it in bold ;)
Andy Mac: Wrestle Radio pile drives your mind through the Spanish announcer’s table every week on Fridays from 6:00 – 7:00 pm EST. You can tune in at 90.5 FM in the Binghamton, NY area or listen live worldwide on the web at www.whrwfm.org. Listeners can call the show at (607) 777-2137 to chime in with their own thoughts on the wrestling industry.
CB 411: Hey, you guys still use my old slogan :-)
Andy Mac: Yeah, although it’s been ages since anyone has gone through the Spanish announcer’s table
CB 411: Haha true. Okay, I got a column to wrap up, and again I appreciate the time.
Andy Mac: No problem, Chris. Keep up the good work.
Aside from his weekly musings on 411Wrestling, Chris Biscuiti is a regular pop culture contributor to moodspins.com.