A Mark’s Eye View is a weekly look at some of the things that made me a huge fan of professional wrestling.
Sometimes, lapsed fans get a bad name. They are seen as mini Jim Cornettes who are unable to adapt to the times. Others accuse them of being stuck in the past or of basing everything on rose-tinted nostalgia. For their part, fans of old school wrestling have a bad habit of doing themselves more harm than good. There can be too much negativity around “movez” while less attention is paid to just enjoying the show. After all, the whole reason we became fans to begin with was because it was so damn fun.
This brings me to Joe Pedicino. Not many will be familiar with the “Round Mound of Sound”, even among longtime fans. Those who do recognize the name probably associate him with the Global Wrestling Federation. The GWF is certainly an interesting footnote in wrestling history, but Pedicino left a much more important mark on the sport.
Pedicino’s recent passing is a reminder of simpler times. Along with Gordon Solie, Pedicino hosted “Pro Wrestling This Week”, a popular segment on Superstars of Wrestling. The show was an eight-hour block of wrestling from around the world — a one stop shop for all your pro graps news. This was a wrestling fan’s wet dream from 1986-1992.
For a modern fan, an eight hour show about pro wrestling may not seem like that big of a deal. Why would it be in a world where there is a WWE Network delivering new content 24/7? Plus, is there really enough wrestling for a weekly eight hour show? There was back then. ‘PWTW’ covered news from the AWA, NWA, and WWF. Pedicino and Solie also talked about Japan, Puerto Rico, and many regional promotions. This was the kind of stuff I would only hear about in the Apter mags. The show has also been suggested as a template for the WWE Network and as a way to cover independent promotions on the internet.
Pedicino would deliver the news with the professionalism of a journalist and the enthusiasm of a fan. We weren’t being talked down to by some know-it-all; Pedicino was just another fan who had a little more access. He seemed genuinely excited by what he was reporting and never allowed a hint of cynicism to enter his voice. Pedicino’s sheer joy in talking about wrestling is sorely missed in today’s world.
Classic content is not hard to come by these days — it’s great that we can turn on the WWE Network and find loads of it instantly, and the fact that Amazon has so much Memphis stuff is amazing. And if all else fails, there is always YouTube where you can find some awesome Georgia content. While it is nice to be able to find seemingly every wrestling match ever recorded, it also lacks the charm of learning things that Pedicino’s show provided.
Discovering new things about professional wrestling is just not as fun as it used to be. When Joe Pedicino would report the latest news from around the world, it was cool and exciting. Today, it is a chance for people to needlessly apologize for their favorites while belittling other people’s opinions about fake fighting. Pedicino was way ahead of his time and a reminder of simpler and better times.
Next week: Whats in a name?
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