For many years wrestling has been my “secret” love. I’ve been a fan going back as far as I can remember. I fell in love with the over the top characters more than the great matches. While I didn’t particularly hide my enjoyment of it but not really talked about it a lot either. One of the reasons for that if I’m honest is that I don’t like a lot of wrestling fans.
To me fans are often the “Smarky” stereotypes you see. Almost always negative about the product, prefer to get themselves over than watch the matches (I HATE BEACH BALLS), and just general dicks.
I knew all wrestling fans weren’t like that, but most of the ones I’d encountered in queues for WWE events had been. At the start of 2017 the wife and I went to the WWE UK tournament, and after that discovered this whole world of UK Indie wrestling we’d never realised was about – companies like Fight Club Pro, Lucha Forever and Progress and realised that there were some really good decent funny fans out there. Just before we attended Wrestlemania I started listening to a podcast I’d discovered hosted by one of the three owners of Progress Wrestling called Tuesday Night Jaw.
Jim Smallman is the host on the Distraction Pieces Network Podcast which features a blend of different episodes – from Jims Q&As, top ten lists, indepth interviews with some of the biggest characters in the UK wrestling scene today and my favourite – pay per view recap roundtables. One of the biggest things that I’d say about the show though is it tries to focus on the positive rather than the negative – the opposite to pretty much anything else I read online about wrestling.
As someone who is new to the British Indie scene the interviews have given me a bit of background to some of the people behind the character. The first time I saw Flash Morgan I wasn’t overly sold on him, but listening to the interview with him made me look into his old matches and story. Trent Sevens interview is also a great listen – from the origins of his name to his past in sales it gives you a real insight into him and developed him into one of my favourite guys on the indie scene. Zack Gibson, James Drake, Jack Gallagher and even William Regal are all great episodes that don’t focus on just the obvious questions – Zack Gibsons storys of touring in China are brilliant.
The list episodes usually see Jim breakdown (either on his own or with friends) the top 10 matches for a particular PPV. He usually throws some rules in to make it more difficult (no wrestler can be featured more than once, no more than one match from a PPV etc). A particular highlight for me is the May 16th episode – The Top Ten Wrestling Matches of All Time Special with Chris Brooker and Matthew Richards. Without spoiling the results, Matts favourite match of all time is for pretty emotional reasons and moved me to make a donation to a charity he mentions.
The last typical sets of episodes are the round tables. When I started listening to the podcast I’d started making my way through mainly the episodes that were interviews or top 10s. I saw someone mention it in a Progress Fan group on Facebook say that the old round tables weren’t worth listening to so I asked if that was right. One person replied…
Well Jim, you were completely wrong.
The round-table episodes have become some of my absolute favourite episodes.
Whether its Pip mentioning how he’s really fucking famous, Matt making a reference to a old Japanese match which I make a mental note to look up then forget about 5 minutes later, Chris blatantly not paying attention as he’s thought of another wrestler based pun, or Jim saying for the 100th time that people shouldn’t cheer a heelbut should boo with a smile on their face – these episodes are 4 people sat round a table talking about wrestling in a positive way. Listening to the old episodes has been great to hear what they got right, what they got wrong and just make me smile while listening.
They have changed my opinion on wrestling fans. I want them to all be my friends so I can sit round and chat about wrestling with them, and Tuesday Night Jaw lets me a be a part of that whether it be on my drive to work or drive home. Yes some episodes go on for longer than the PPVs themselves but they’re a great listen.
So overall I heartily recommend Tuesday Night Jaw, whether you’re a fan of the indie scene or just someone who watches WWE. Just be warned that if you binge it like me you will end up inadvertently singing along with Scroobius Pips intro every week.
Please note I’m not completely up-to-date so a lot of these are older episodes. I’d also recommend any of Jims Q+A sessions, though I can’t remember the content to definitely say they’re a great episode
May 16th 2017: The Top Ten Wrestling Matches of All Time Special with Chris Brooker and Matthew Richards
May 9th 2017: TNJ Meets Travis Banks
April 18th 2017: TNJ Meets Flash Morgan Webster
November 21st 2016 – The TNJ Guide to Wrestling Video Games
October 25th 2016 – TNJ Meets Trent Seven
September 6th 2016 – TNJ Meets Zack Gibson
July 19th 2016 – TNJ Meets the Legendary William Regal
May 9th 2016 – TNJ Meets “The Extraordinary Gentleman” Jack Gallagher
Since listening to Tuesday Night Jaw I’ve started following more and more wrestling fans on twitter. If you can obey Progress’ Golden Rule then give me a follow – @TaffMaster https://twitter.com/TaffMaster