Podcast Review: The Pinfall Podcast

Pictured are Liz and Marc of The Pinfall Podcast discussing WWE NXT this week.

Allegedly, I’ve started a new podcast, and allegedly, I think it’s great. That podcast is The Pinfall Podcast, which is a pro wrestling-focused podcast that covers the aftermath of WWE Monday Night Raw, WWE NXT on Wednesday, Friday Night SmackDown, and pay-per-views on Saturdays and/or Sundays, if there are any. The format is to start with a roundup of the latest wrestling news, then do a deep dive into the show being recapped, and then finish off with “Bests of the Night”: Promo, Fighter, and Fight. (Also, I love how they call wrestlers/wrestling matches fighters and fights; I’m not sure I’ve seen anyone do that before and it’s a neat change-up.)

Most shows range between 90 minutes and up to three hours. I know there are some people who prefer shorter podcasts, but wrestling or otherwise, I prefer my podcasts long; it gives you something to sink your teeth into, helps with a long commute (or in my case, I listen to the Monday show on Tuesday at work) and helps to get a better deep dive into a subject.

The podcast is co-hosted by Liz and Marc, and started about two months ago during the pandemic. Each night, about 15 minutes after the wrestling show ends, they go live on Twitch, and then the next day, the show can be re-watched on YouTube here. Their podcast is the first one I’ve watched through Twitch. I even had to start a Twitch account to be able to follow along. My friend Mike found them, and sent me the link.

And to be honest, I was hooked right away for one primary reason: Earnestness. Liz and Marc, I believe, only started watching wrestling in the last half-decade-ish — which blows my mind because I guess I forget that WWE is still bringing in new fans, and it’s not only old Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Era (also known as the Golden Era) or Attitude Era fans that are watching — and there’s such an earnestness to the way they cover the wrestling shows.

As with a lot of fandoms, wrestling fandom is not immune to two threads that can make listening to other fans tedious: arrogance and unbearable cynicism. I listen to five other wrestling podcasts that cover the current WWE and AEW products and one that covers the history of WWE. To be fair, only one of those I maintain on a weekly basis; the others I dip in and out of. While I enjoy different elements of those podcasts, and I appreciate the passion they can bring to their respective shows, there’s not that same sort of earnestness (and there’s certainly some of that arrogance I mentioned). Maybe some of that has to do with Liz and Marc being relatively new to the product? I don’t know, but it works for me.

That isn’t to say Liz and Marc don’t get exasperated with the product or take funny shots at it — most weeks, they seem to not like Smackdown as much — but that blend of earnestness with funny shots works for me.

But also, the Twitch element brings a lot to the podcast. Every podcast I listen to is typically during my commute or when I’m cleaning, so it’s audio-only, but with Twitch, there’s video and an interactive chat element. I can comment in real time to what they are saying. That makes it far more fun than a typical wrestling podcast. To use wrestling parlance, it’s fun to try to make Marc or Liz pop with a comment or insight.

Liz and Marc are also funny on camera; Liz has hilarious reaction faces, and Marc is great at the deadpan face when Liz says something silly or that he disagrees with. They also have the stuff that makes any podcast organically fun to listen to: derailing from the main topic, bits they have (like “allegedly” I started this post with; or Marc’s R-Truth recitation, “to the MOOON!”, Marc’s gimmick of being contrarian to the chat, and Liz’s “anywho” after she’s trailed off on a thought cracks me up), and the razzing of each other. Plus, the CAT.

Along with the earnestness, there’s also another reason I’ve come to see the podcast as appointment viewing (at least on Wednesdays and Fridays, mostly; Monday usually isn’t possible because of work on Tuesday): It’s gotten me back into watching weekly wrestling!

Since 2012, when I started working at my college newspaper, I fell out of watching Raw because I had to deal with the paper during the show. And then Smackdown fell by the wayside, too. I became a, catch-bits-and-pieces-on-YouTube-and-watch-the-PPVs guy, and before I knew it, that’s basically been my strategy for the last eight years. Then, in the last few years, I also supplemented the bits-and-pieces with recaps from the wrestling podcasts I listened to.

But thanks to the The Pinfall Podcast, I started actually watching Raw, NXT and SmackDown again in full to be able to better understand what Liz and Marc would be discussing, and it’s been great! I don’t love everything from the week-to-week shows, but I’m a geek for professional wrestling, and it doesn’t take much to sucker me in. Or to use another bit of wrestling parlance, I’m a total mark. I’ve been watching since I was a little kid in 1994, and I like to think despite that, I’ve maintained that wide-eyed mark ability without getting jaded or cynical. Again, earnestness. It’s a welcome trait.

It’s also been enjoyable to watch Liz and Marc’s arc over the last month, as I think they became more comfortable with the podcast, its format, and organically developing those aforementioned shticks and whatnot.

In short, The Pinfall Podcast has become a new favorite podcast of mine because it’s earnest, hilarious, interactive, and has helped get me back into watching weekly professional wrestling. I didn’t expect that I would stick with it this long, either, to be honest. When Mike sent me the link, I thought I’d watch for a few minutes and dip back out. Instead, I ended up watching for the full 90 minutes or whatever it was, and here I am a month later still getting a kick out of it.

I’m genuinely appreciative of finding new and fun content, and I’m of the corny mindset that if I like someone’s content, I should tell them (and if applicable, pay them). So here’s this blog post. I’m not looking for anything in return out of it, and they certainly didn’t ask me to write this.

To steal from Liz, anywho, if you’re also looking for a new wrestling recap show that’s a bit different in format and style from others you’ve heard, then you can’t go wrong with this one. If you’re not into wrestling, then I don’t know why you read this far, but thank you for your lending your eyeballs!

Also! Marc is apparently into horror movies, which is awesome, as that’s another one of my mark zones, and he was raising money on Indiegogo for a horror short film that he is looking to expand into a feature film (I think, apologies if that’s incorrect) called At Midnight. I think the campaign is closed now, but you can see the short film here.

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