Last week, The Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling welcomed WWE Superstar, Zack Ryder. "The Long Island Iced Z" joins us to discuss his podcast, "The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast". Co-hosted with his WWE Universe tag team partner and friend Curt Hawkins, Ryder chats all about the aspects of his wrestling figure obsession and how he and Hawkins crossed over their success from the WWE to the podcasting world by creating a loyal following of fellow figure fanatics that tune in to hear stories of figure purchases as well as some behind the scenes and never before released information on the growing world of wrestling figures. The full episode can be downloaded at this link.
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Concept behind launching his Major Wrestling Figure Podcast with Curt Hawkins:
"Hawkins and I are die hard wrestling fans, die hard wrestling figure fans and I had been pitching to him the idea and the concept of the podcast for at least a year or so before we actually started and I think I just annoyed him enough that he just gave in. Last year we watched Summer Slam at his house and afterwards we borrowed someone's equipment (actually Colt Cabana's original equipment) and we did a little pilot and a year later here we are."
What got him hooked on doing a weekly podcast:
"To start, I knew I was interested in podcasts and basically I listen to podcasts but like you said there are so many wrestlers who have podcasts and so many wrestling podcasts are out there so I just didn't want to have a wrestling podcast, I wanted it to be something special and something unique and Hawkins and I are just BS'ing about figures anyway for hours a day so I figured why not turn that into a podcast and let's see if there are any other figure collectors out there and of course there are."
Breaking the stigma about wrestling figure collecting:
"100%. Especially when I was in college and I was 18, 19, 20 and going into a Toys R' Us and buying toys and I would always ask for a gift receipt and pretend it was a gift for somebody else and when Hawkins and I got signed to WWE we were so young and the guys on the roster were these grown men like JBL and Hardcore Holly and Undertaker and they didn't grow up in a time where they were playing with wrestling figures so we were the first of our generation. Now everyone is playing video games and everyone collects something and now it is way more accepted but there is no way ten years ago I could say to Hardcore Holly do you want to be a guest on The Major Wrestling Figure Podcast? They'd kick me out of the locker room."
What figure line got him into collecting:
"It was LJN figures. I was super young and I don't remember and people ask me all the time I don't remember the first match I watched, I don't remember the first figure I had all I remember is my whole childhood since I was basically a baby involved wrestling and being obsessed with wrestling and the wrestling figures. I still have all my childhood LJN's and if you look at them they are all beat up, I was playing with them and I was even biting the fingers off them. But those things were indestructible"
Old fans re-buying figures they had as a kid after selling them or losing them:
"I'm guilty of it too. I'd sell something and re-buy it and sell it and re-buy it and I've done it so many times where now I tell myself when in doubt do not sell and just store it and hold on to it. But I'm guilty of selling stuff as well and then regretting it and buying it again and selling it and buying it back again. It is an addiction. They do call me the Michael Jordan of wrestling figure collecting and it started off with the toys that I played with as a kid. As I got older and I stopped playing with them I had to go back and re-buy the LJN figures because mine were all chewed up and I had to re-buy the Hasbros and even the Jakks because they were all scuffed up. Once I turned 18 and started going to wrestling school I became more of an adult collector at that point."
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