Well That Didn’t Work: Radio WWF

Radio WWF

Craig Wilson

It’s been a while since we’ve had a ‘Well That Didn’t Work‘ featured on this blog. Today seemed as good a time as any for it to make a return and after watching some 1993 WWF, it inspired a look at the short-lived Radio WWF.

The idea of Radio WWF was for a syndicated talk show of sorts. It was originally supposed to be Jim Ross along with Johnny Polo taking calls and chatting with wrestlers. The idea would see the show put over the WWF product but also to cast an insider look at the business, to a certain extent.

It was also decided that they would experiment by providing commentary on PPVs. In my younger days, my gran bought me Survivor Series 1993 and that was one of the events where Radio WWF was in operation. The other event was that year’s SummerSlam.

The WWF promoted it, but not to any great extent, on its TV product. While the PPV commentary was a poor idea, the insider account wasn’t and would later be picked up by the WWE when it launched the show ‘WWE Confidential’ some nine years later.

By all accounts, the radio show itself was quite interesting and Ross and Polo would even discuss inicidents taking place in other companies – such as the infamous scissors incident between Arn Anderson and Sycho Sid.

Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take all that long for Radio WWF to fizzle out due to not enough stations carrying it. Another thing that didn’t help was when JR was fired, Vince McMahon took over as host and played it like, well, Vince, with the humour going all, well, Vince, while the questions were screened and far less interesting.

Radio WWF did make a return in the late 90s although this time around it was an Armed Forces Network show aimed at US Forces around the world. The AFN wanted something for the multitude of wrestling fans in their ranks. It’s fair to say that the syndication and listening numbers would have been much better this time around, even if the content wasn’t as interesting.

You could argue that Radio WWF was ahead of its time as 1993 was still a bit early to fully pull back the curtain on the business. By the time Confidential was launched by the WWE in 2002, fans had become much, much wiser to the wrestling business thanks in no small part to the Attitude Era.

Nowadays, such a programme would likely be a podcast akin to the one that Renee Young hosted several years ago. With the strength of wrestling podcasts, thanks to the exploits of PW Torch, Chris Jericho, Stone Cold Steve Austin, JR and others, a show similar in style to the one launched by Radio WWF in 1993 would be a sure fire success.

Instead, Radio WWF is featured in the hallowed Hall of Shame that is WrestleCrap.

All the other ‘Well That Didn’t Work’ pieces can be found here.

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