Kefin Mahon has brought his charm to the world of podcasting and succeeded with a variety of shows. Cinema Swirl features Kefin and his pal, Sam Chaplin, who watch classic films together and engage in discussion. How2Wrestling is described as “an educational yet silly podcast about the wonderfully weird world of wrestling entertainment” where Kefin explains this phenomenon his girlfriend, Jo Graham, who has not watched wrestling before. The Smackdown Crawl (available for Patreon backers) highlights the start of Smackdown where Kefin and fellow AE Pod personality, Adam Bibilo, amuse themselves with the good, bad and the ugly of the blue brand. And then there’s the main event of the evening…the beloved Attitude Era Podcast featuring Kefin Mahon joined as always by his cohorts, comrades and colleagues: Adam Bibilo and “unquestionably the baddest man on the planet” Billy Keable. From “the grunt of the night” to Kefin’s signature impressions, it’s no wonder why in a world of wrestling discussion podcasts, they’re the cream of the crop.
It’s been a fun ride thus far with season one covering Wrestlemania XIV to Wrestlemania X-Seven, season two covering The Rock’s big return from Wrestlemania 27 to Wrestlemania 29 and now we’ve gotten to season three where the three gents cover the controversial Invasion angle from 2001. Now that a couple of episodes have already aired, I checked in with Kefin as we discussed what influenced the decision to cover the invasion, as well as what lies ahead for this big season.
What was the planning for season three like in regards to deciding on which era to cover? Was it initially set in stone that you were going to cover the Invasion or were there other potential options that you may use down the road?
Last year, after we had finished “The Attitude Era” proper, i.e. we got up to WrestleMania X7, I sat down and wrote a very long list of all the things I wanted to review with Adam and Billy. The first post AE “season” we did flowed very naturally from where we left off, as it dealt with The Rock’s return and a lot of the wrestling that was going on when I first met the guys and we first started podcasting. I knew the Invasion was coming up, and I knew it was something we wanted to do, I guess I put another season in between for piece of mind, to make sure we can survive outside of our normal comfort zone of 98-01! After this season wraps, there’s more of a range of options, some of the things I want us to cover are downright horribly shite, so I guess we’ll be guided by how badly we’re affected by the Invasion!
How did you feel about the quality of programming in June of 2001 despite the absence of Rock, Triple H and Chris Benoit?
I think what immediately stands out with this very strange, very unique point in WWE’s time is that they are really, really flying by the seat of their pants. People getting pushed, de-pushed, lots of injuries and the overreliance on certain workhorses are all very apparent. But what confounds all of this is that even with very questionable direction and storytelling, the personalities in the WWF are so over, and established so well, that we end up with very enjoyable TV. And much like when Austin was gone in 2000, it shows how good the company was at compensating for any given star not being there. You don’t miss Rock, HHH or Benoit because you’ve got Kurt, Austin and Undertaker. And Billy Gunn’s there too.
What are some factors in determining important shows to cover throughout the season outside of PPVs as well as the eclectic bonus episodes from the first season?
First I go through all the PPVs that are in the ‘main’ timeline, I also try and find anything that I know was from around that time and then we go from there! I am helped massively by Adam and Billy, who are always on the lookout. Without spoiling anything, I think the bonus episodes this season will be among the most ridiculous we’ve ever done.
Is there a show you regret not covering during season one or two that may have been pivotal to either era?
Nope! I had planned on doing more stuff from “The Summer of Punk” but realised after our MITB episode that we’d probably already said everything we were gonna say about it. I’m always worried about repeating ourselves or reviewing a show where we have nothing new to say. That being said, I regret not being able to make fun of Kevin Nash’s feud with Punk and HHH.
Which matches from the Invasion era are you most excited to rewatch and cover as we get to those episodes?
Definitely all of Austin and Kurt’s matches! I think in retrospect, they may be some of Austin’s best. Coupled with Heyman/JR on commentary, I can’t wait to review them!
How has the response been for Smackdown Crawl? What have been some of your favorite moments from the early days of the blue brand?
It’s been amazing! I very quickly decided “Let’s do all of Smackdown” when I first realised no-one else had done it, and I suspected it was a treasure trove of unfinished angles, seldom seen mid carders and promos for Howard Finkel. We have not been disappointed. Y2J slowly getting on the roster’s nerves has been a highlight, as has seeing the likes of the Dudleyz cut their WWF teeth.
What was it like for you personally to have the AE Podcast’s very first live show recently? Did you ever think that this would happen?
It was something I always hoped would happen, but also assumed wouldn’t go the way I planned or it would be a total nightmare to arrange. In the end, it went incredibly and being on stage in such a nice venue and meeting all the lovely members of the Gla-Gegh community was very heart warming! It was definitely a highlight of my podcasting career!
The first ever live edition of the Attitude Era Podcast on September 9th at Kings Place in London.
Which programming from the past would you personally love to see added to the WWE Network?
What are some specialty DVDs that you would like to see WWE release within the next couple of years?
The rise and fall of physical media.
If you could be in the audience for one wrestling event from history alongside Billy and Adam, which event would it be?
Wrestlemania 3: I reckon between the 3 of us we could get an accurate headcount and put long standing rumours about the attendance to rest.
What would you like to say to the listeners who are along for the ride this season?
I’m sorry, but if we’re gonna have to watch Kronik wrestle, then you will too.
Billy Keable (left), Kefin Mahon (center) and Adam Bibilo (right)