Thursday, April 26, 2012

LAW (Live Audio Wrestling) [Weekly Podcast]
The Good
I recall first stumbling across the LAW in 2000 when I was really clamoring for more free online content.  Back in those days, it was Jeff Marek and Dan "The Mouth" Lovransky.  At that time, they were covering three companies in the US and had pretty well open access to everyone.  They also had an amazing archive of interviews and Dave Meltzer making regular appearances.  If you fast forward a few years, the LAW had dramatically changed in a number of ways.  "The Mouth" was now joined by Jason Agnew, the landscape of pro-wrestling was in the gutter and there once impressive archive was no more.  Fast forward another few years, John Pollock was playing a more active on-air roll, they were affiliated with the Fight Network and were expanding the LAW brand significantly.  In 2012, they're on TSN Radio and have a firmly established product complete with regular segments, callers and the like.  I honestly only listened to the LAW sporadically between 2007 and 2010 as I tended to opt for other audio options, but was pleasantly surprised when I picked back up per recommendation.  I think for a single weekly show that gives a nice package of "news, opinion and interviews," the LAW really delivers, furthermore it is very nicely produced and has a level of energy and quality that other podcasts do not.
The Bad
I fell out of listening to the LAW for a reason.  If one is listening to several podcasts during the week, you can only hear reviews of Raw, pay-per-views and such so many times.  The show needs to offer more and for a time, I didn't feel like the LAW did that.  I enjoyed aspects of the show, but felt much of it was tedious and uninteresting.  The quality of calls, because they are such a part of the show, really determines its overall quality and I've never thought these are worth it.  The "Title Bout Trivia" segment is more often than not painful.  The interviews are usually very good, but if they are largely edited down and a full version is available on their website, then I'll opt out.  There are many times when I simply stop after "Wrestling Observer Extra."  I can also understand people not caring for the hosts as can be the case with any show.  I'm not sure when this trend began, but Jason Agnew tends to be curt (sometimes downright mean) with callers to the point that I almost wonder why they have that part.  It gives the show such a negative element.  The shows without him are not much different in quality and avoid that bad taste.  If you don't like your callers - don't have them.  Most of the regulars offer little in the way of fresh perspectives or worthwhile commentary, so it seems like a lose-lose situation.  The LAW offers a lot of substance for those who are not heavy consumers of pro-wrestling podcasts and great style, but this Canadian offering might be an acquired taste for some - brother!
The Rating: ****