St. Louis Pro Wrestling Has a Mouthpiece Again
The Return of Absolute Wrestling Radio
by Josh Ray
This summer was a bittersweet time for pro wrestling as it pertains to its presence on the radio airwaves. A radio show known as Absolute Wrestling Radio (AWR) joined another longstanding program on the radio, adding some independent pro wrestling flavor to the Pro Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) mix. The good times were short lived, however, when both programs were taken off the air toward the end of the summer.
Now the new kid on the block returns, as Mark Bland and Matt Krueger bring Absolute Wrestling Radio back to St. Louis on Sundays starting October 5, 2008 on Team 1380 AM. The show will air in the 2PM to 3PM time slot. Missouri Wrestling Revival will be hosting the podcast version of the show each and every week for those that live outside of Team 1380 AM’s listening area.
Late this past week, I was able to sit down with one of the hosts of Absolute Wrestling Radio, Mark Bland, and talk about what happened with AWR and what fans can expect in the future.
First of all, welcome back to the radio airwaves, Mark. What brought about AWR’s removal from radio in the first place?
(Mark laughs after hearing the question…)
You get off to the point quick. Fair question. Me and my co-host, Matt, originally had a deal with the radio station in regards to solidifying sponsors for the show. We had a few lined up, but then the economics of life, as if we haven’t heard enough about that recently, required those companies to pull out at the last minute. At that point we (AWR and the station) decided to pull off the air and revamp our game plan. Which brings us to our return on October 5th from 2 to 3 PM on Team 1380AM Radio.
How did you feel your first set of shows went?
The last couple of shows went really well, including the show with TNA star Eric Young. But that first month we felt really disjointed and all over the place. Then we realized that this is what our show is… it’s a fun run through the world of MMA and Pro Wrestling. We are all over the place to keep people on their toes. There is some definite direction in the planning of each show, but that disjointed feel makes us Absolute Wrestling Radio.
What finally got AWR back on the air?
Well, we added a new team member, not on-air, named Dan and he has been helping us solidify sponsors and opportunities. We also had a meeting with our guys at 1380 AM and explained the lack of any other shows currently doing our format of talk and that it was a good piece of entertainment to bring back to the ST. Louis airwaves. Team 1380 AM has had our back the entire time and we are very appreciative that we work with them on a weekly basis.
What can we expect for Sunday’s show?
The same old get in and grind it up discussions you had before. We want the local MMA/Pro-Wrestling fans to look at us as a place to get a little talk about their favorite pastimes. We want them to call in and be a part of the show, give us their opinions and tell us if they think we are full of BS. We only regulate the language used, other than that we are “no holds barred”. All of the Sundays will be just as good as the last, and there will be great interviews with their favorite fighters and wrestlers, up to date news on big happenings, and a chance to voice your opinion.
One thing we don’t really do is the weekly round up of everything that happened on the weekly shows. We tend to choose the bigger or more intriguing stories that come from WWE, UFC, and TNA, among others, and then talk about those. We might discuss the surge of Santino Marella becoming a bigger star as opposed to harping on the Chris Jericho/Shawn Michaels drama. You can get rundowns on what happened from the respective websites of the organizations, but you can only get varying viewpoints from our show. Thats what I think our main point is. Plus we will cover the local scene and try to get some recognition for those guys and gals as they attempt to climb the ladder to the top.
Do you have anything else lined up for future shows?
We are planning on some great give-aways for the fans and interviews with people such as Chuck Liddell, Evan Bourne, Ms. Chif, Awesome Kong, BJ Penn, Kurt Angle, Jeff Jarrett, and even Kimbo Slice if we can get him.
Is Matt Krueger still your on-air partner?
Matt is definitely my on-air partner. More people might know of me from my wrestling days ( or might not), but Matt is new and fresh. He has a great love for pro wrestling and an awesome ability to really ask the intriguing questions regarding current situations. Matt surprises me on a weekly basis and will hopefully do the same for the fans.
Can we still expect MMA and Indy pro wrestling topics in addition to info on WWE and TNA?
YES! That is and will always be a main focus. Our biggest problem is that the organizations don’t know we exist. We plug them on a weekly basis and they have never tuned in. Probably 60% of the organizations on the wrestling side still haven’t found us, and almost 80% of the MMA organizations haven’t found us either. We totally love dishing on the local scene and giving our two cents. One problem is that we are only two people and can’t get out to every show the way we would like, so we have to get a majority of our local info second hand. As we get more recognition that will change and we will be more “in the loop” than we have been. It’s all a day to day building process.
But that is why Missouri Wrestling Revival exists!
What message do you have for indy wrestling promoters in the area?
Get at us! Let us know what is going on and invite us to be your friend. We do a weekly run down of what is coming up each week regionally. So you are already getting free publicity, use it to your advantage. Let us know, call in a talk with us on the show. BUT, BUT, BUT… do not call in to just plug your show. That is why we do the rundown at the end of each show, so everyone gets a fair shot and listen. We have to keep to topic for a majority of the show and if we pose a question on Shane McMahon and you call into plug your company then you disrupt the flow of the show and it kills the topic.
It’s truly simple. You can make all of them happy some of the time and some happy all of the time, but not all happy all of the time. It just isn’t possible. Don’t get mad if you didn’t get plugged. It’s probably because you didn’t contact us or your show is a few weeks out and we tend to promote the ones coming up that week and weekend. Communication is necessary for us to be successful and help you to be also.
Is there anything else you would like to say for those out there as excited as I am about the return of AWR?
Make us your own. Use us to entertain you on Sundays. Help us discuss your favorite topic in the world of MMA and pro wrestling. We do this for the fans of the sport in St. Louis and those that listen to the podcasts online each week. This is your show to make successful or help fail. Either you can have a cool show to talk about what you want to talk about, or there can be NO show at all and nothing comes of it. We are doing A LOT more good being on the air and giving the local and regional promotions a voice than if we were not on the air and no one was talking them up.
So please, tell your friends and family about Absolute Wrestling Radio on Team 1380 AM from 2 to3 PM on Sundays. And we look forward to hearing from all the great MMA, Indy and Professional Wrestling fans in the St. Louis Area.
Mamma Juwanna Energy Juice.
(Mark points at an imaginary Mamma Juwanna bottle and smiles.)