Veteran podcast host Conrad Thompson has teamed up with many in the pro wrestling industry to present podcasts including Jim Ross, Eric Bischoff and Bruce Prichard.
The Undertaker was also in talks to work with Thompson and the host discussed if he was surprised Taker agreed to do The Last Ride when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"No. I mean it's past due and it just took the realization that, 'Hey, we're going to tell a story of how this all came to be and put a bow on it.' By doing it in the way they did, everybody sort of got to understand and appreciate the man behind the character and what that sacrifice looks like," stated Thompson.
"Guys like you and I have always thought that's really the most fascinating piece of wrestling – not necessarily what was presented on screen, but what we get to see behind the scenes. And how that person put that character together and told those stories and the sacrifices that were required to get it across the goal line. I don't think anybody's ever going to be able to recreate the success and the career that Mark Calaway's had."
During The Last Ride, Undertaker addressed why he pulled out of last year's Starrcast convention which is presented by Thompson. Conrad discussed being pulled into the documentary via Starrcast.
"Well, it's unfortunate. I mean, I wish it wasn't even a part of the documentary," admitted Thompson. "He's done so much and had so many great moments throughout his history and I wish there was none of that in there. I'm not saying that I'm disappointed that they did it. I'm just saying if that was even remotely a controversial topic or a dark spot or whatever – I don't know what the circumstances were. We've always heard that that he got a long term, essentially lifetime deal with WWE as a result of that and I'm happy for him if that's the case. But I mean, he was going to get that either way. You know, I think that may have just been sort of the straw that broke the camel's back or maybe it was what brought attention to it.
"I mean, once upon a time we heard that the WWE accidentally forgot to renew The Rock's contract once he was in Hollywood. You just assume that that company can be so big at different times that maybe the left hand doesn't know what the right hand's doing. Once, unfortunately, Starrcast made a big splash with the announcement that we had the Undertaker, maybe that brought it to Vincent's attention. 'Oh, I've let this slip through. Let's remedy that.' He deserves it. If there's an elder statesman of WWE who deserves to be deferential with that level of respect, it's the Undertaker."
Thompson seems to be the go-to guy when someone wants to do a podcast and he was asked if there were any talks of Undertaker working with him on one.
"No, we talked about doing a stage show and the original idea was we would have Bruce host it because obviously Bruce is comfortable with Mark," stated Thompson. "Those two on stage telling old stories, I thought, would have just been tremendous because Bruce is a fantastic storyteller and obviously has a lot of history with Mark and they're great friends for decades now.
"So, it just felt like that would be a home run and that's what led me to go out and say, 'Hey, we're going to call this Dead Man Talking and let's trademark it.' And then of course everybody assumed, 'Oh, that must have been Conrad's doing a podcast with Undertaker and he's going to AEW.' No, none of that was ever even remotely discussed."
Thompson then pointed at that he has friends in both WWE and AEW and doesn't see that as a big deal. It's the same situation in his mortgage dealings as he has friends at other mortgage companies and Thompson is surprised by the number of questions he gets in his mailbag about mortgaging.
"So, I found myself just in the last month alone doing four separate sort of 'ask me anything' type deals," revealed Thompson. "And, believe it or not, we have gotten some questions about the mortgage stuff which I can't believe anybody's even remotely interested in. But I'm happy to share my insight."
WWE has its own podcast network featuring the likes of Corey Graves' After the Bell and The New Day's Feel the Power. Thompson was asked how their podcast network is holding up during the pandemic.
"You know, I don't know. I was asked that the other day. I mean, I hope they're doing well. I do think it is probably the worst time ever to do it because there was so much uncertainty once COVID hit that a lot of the advertising opportunities were sort of put on pause because nobody knew like, 'Hey, what's happening and what should we expect?' I would tend to think that maybe it hasn't been gangbusters because it feels like if it was WWE would have just loaded it up with more," said Thompson.
"We all loved the pair of cinematic matches we got at WrestleMania and in very much the 'WWE way'. Now we have a ton of cinematic matches and it just feels like it's the WWE way that, 'Oh, they like two? Let's give them 12!' But some of that could just be because of the world has changed. But I think Corey Graves is doing a phenomenal job. I really enjoy his stuff and it's presented well and it sounds great and it has great graphics and great guests. Obviously, the New Day pod is a horse of a different color, so to speak, but it is tremendous. I like that there's variety between the shows. It's not the same thing which sometimes it feels like my shows can be. So, I like they have two totally different formats and it's been a fun listen for me. I've enjoyed those."
You can follow Conrad on Twitter @HeyHeyItsConrad. Conrad's full interview aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.