Wrestling talk shows have a long history in the business, going back more than 30 years.
Are they legitimate talk shows along the lines of, say, The Tonight Show? Of course not, although some in wrestling have tried to emulate that format. These are brief interview segments - some as short as a minute or two - that have aired on wrestling programs, live events and even pay-per-views.These have been used as a tool to elevate talent, introduce new characters and further big angles; sometimes, they're even used to kick off a brand new storyline.
For our purposes, a Wrestling Talk Show is a segment that has a proper name (e.g. Miz TV) and is hosted by a wrestler or wrestling personality in the middle of a wrestling television show. Exclusions would include self-contained programming (e.g. TNT, Talking Smack, Prime Time Wrestling, The Bobby Heenan Show, WWE Backstage); pre-taped interview segments used to hype upcoming live events (e.g. Face to Face); and the nameless, generic interview segments that Mean Gene Okerlund and others conducted on elevated platforms or similar sets.
And even with those segments excluded, we still have lots of segments to choose from. In counting down the Top 50 Wrestling Talk Shows, Wrestling Merchandise and Memories looked at the following criteria:
Were the talk shows prominent parts of a wrestling show?
Were they around for a significant portion of time?
How many historically memorable segments happened on the show?
If you'd like to be a part of this conversation, Tweet us at @canadianbulldog using the hashtag #Top50, or leave a comment below.
Ready? Here we go!
In 1983, WWF Magazine was known as Victory Magazine, and the publication's editor-in-chief was Robert DeBord. To help promote the fledging publication, DeBord held a weekly interview segment called Victory Corner on WWF's syndicated programming.
Larry Z's Legends
This was another talk show segment featuring Larry Zbyszko, this time in WCW circa 1991. Larry Z's Legends was shown on syndicated programming as in-ring interviews, with The Living Legend often getting some choice insults in against WCW babyfaces.
Under The Covers With Sunny
In the mid-1990s, WWE Hall of Famer Tammy "Sunny" Sytch briefly had a talk show segment on some of WWF's syndicated programs called Under The Covers With Sunny. The show ended shortly after it began.
Playing Fair With Jonny
In the early 2000s, Jon Dalton acheived a degree of success on the reality show Survivor under the heel persona of Jonny Fairplay. By 2002, he was also a character on NWA-TNA's Wednesday night PPVs and briefly hosted the talk show Playing Fair With Jonny.
Buddy Jack's Bar Stool
WWE Hall of Famer Buddy "Jack" Roberts was a founding member of The Fabulous Freebirds, and in 1987, he had a backstage talk show segment called Buddy Jack's Bar Stool. The interview segment aired briefly in Texas' Wild West Wrestling.
Kevin Sullivan was a top heel for many years, but by the early 1990s, he was mostly known as a manager and talker. Accordingly, WCW gave him the bar-themed Sullivan's Saloon for a short period on their syndicated programming. There, Sullivan slung suds for the likes of The Freebirds, Z-Man and others.
Al Madril was a staple of Portland wrestling in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and used his talk show Fiesta Garden to enhance his heel persona. Sometimes masked and sometimes not, Madril would use the platform to insult babyfaces such as Jesse Barr and Brian Adams (a/k/a Crush).
Lava Lamp Lounge
In 2000, former ECW Champion Mike Awesome had been transformed into That 70's Guy, wearing polyester jumpsuits and doing disco dance moves. The Lava Lamp Lounge was WCW's short-lived attempt to flesh out his character.
The Louisville Slugger
Jim Cornette has always shown to be an excellent talker. In 1990, WCW gave him a backstage segment called The Louisville Slugger, which benefited from Cornette's gift of gab, even if the generic blue-screen background came across as amateurish.
In 2008, TNA featured a talk show that was filmed in high definition called Karen's Angle. It was hosted by Kurt Angle's then-wife Karen Angle (now Karen Jarrett) and featured interviews with characters ranging from Abyss to The Beautiful People.
The Love Shack
In 1998, the WWF was about to overtake WCW in the ratings war, and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley was at the heart of that with his newly-turned heel character Dude Love. The Love Shack was a little old place where The Dude could talk trash about his rivals.
Matt Striker's Classroom
WWE's 2006 relaunch of ECW included a talk show segment from former schoolteacher Matt Striker, who played off his previous career to bring fans into his Classroom each week, taunting ECW originals such as Tommy Dreamer and The Sandman and supporting the heels.
WWE Hall of Famer Buddy Rogers, had retired from the ring in 1982, when he began hosting his own talk show on WWWF programming. The most famous segment happened when he convinced a heel Superfly Jimmy Snuka to split up from his manager Captain Lou Albano.
The Abraham Washington Show
Another talk show from WWECW was The Abraham Washington Show, a spoof of late-night talk shows complete with leather couches and a sidekick in WWE Hall of Famer Tony Atlas, who was constantly laughing out loud.
In the summer of 1986, WWE Hall of Famer Magnificent Muraco was asked to substitute for Jesse The Body Ventura while he was filming a movie. Known as Magnificent Moments, the talk show was on Ventura's Body Shop set, and was used to further Rowdy Roddy Piper's return.
A Moment Of Bliss
Alexa Bliss began hosting A Moment Of Bliss on Raw in early 2019 while she was recovering from an injury. Along with co-host Nikki Cross, the program has gone from furthering Bliss's storylines to telling much larger WWE stories.
The VIP Lounge
In 2007, MVP was given his own talk show segment on SmackDown, initially established after the star was diagnosed with a heart condition. The VIP Lounge set included a bouncer and a club-like atmosphere, and later resurfaced upon MVP's 2020 WWE return.
In 2004, Carlito was the personification of Cool (it was even part of his ring name), and SmackDown gave him a beach-themed set called Carlito's Cabana to interview guests. Always chewing on an apple and ready to insult the company's babyfaces, the segment ran weekly until Carlito was drafted to Raw.
The Snake Pit
In 1986, WWE Hall of Famer Jake "The Snake" Roberts was a heel who was slowly turning face, so the company gave him The Snake Pit to develop his persona. The most famous segment was when The Honky Tonk Man walloped Roberts over the head with a guitar.
The Flower Shop
"Adorable" Adrian Adonis began transforming from biker dude to cross-dressier in 1985, and The Flower Shop was his extension of that persona. Surrounded by flowers and bright colors, The Flower Shop led to feuds with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Rowdy Roddy Piper.
The Funeral Parlor
WWE Hall of Famer Paul Bearer was given a talk show segment known as The Funeral Parlor shortly after his 1991 debut in the WWF. Adorned by caskets, urns and creepy music, Bearer once had The Undertaker attack The Ultimate Warrior, locking him in an "airtight" casket.
The Dirt Sheet
What began as an exclusive segment for WWE.com in 2008 morphed into a very well-received talk show segment for then-ECW stars The Miz and John Morrison. Heaping insults on other members of the WWE in both backstage and in-ring segments, The Dirt Sheet was a talk show that broke all the rules.
The King's Court
In 1994, WWE Hall of Famer Jerry "The King" Lawler was given a regal set on Raw to talk down to his disloyal subjects, opponents and allies alike. Lawler once insulted musician Tiny Tim on The King's Court and during an in-ring episode, got into an altercation where actor William Shatner gave Lawler a monkey flip.
The Body Shop
The pioneer of modern wrestling talk show segment, WWE Hall of Famer Jesse The Body Ventura hosted The Body Shop, a segment that run from late-1985 until early-1988. With a gym-like setting, Ventura was able to "tell it like it is" to a who's who of early WrestleMania stars, including Hulk Hogan and Junkyard Dog.
The Highlight Reel
Chris Jericho was given a talk show in 2004 called The Highlight Reel to enhance his reputation as one of the best interviews in the business. Including the obscenely expensive Jeritron 5000, The Highlight Reel hosted many classic WWE moments, including John Cena being drafted to Raw and an attack on Shawn Michaels.
In This Corner With Larry Zbyszko
WWE Hall of Famer Larry Zbyszko was one of the most hated heels in the dying years of the AWA, and he often used his legendary mouth to sound off against babyfaces. In 1985, he was given his own talk show segment to do so.
In the early 1990s, Bruce Prichard returned to WWF programming as Reo Rodgers, a cowboy-like character that was apparently created to spoof Dusty Rhodes. Reo's Roundup only lasted a few segments -- including one featuring the return of Shawn Michaels -- before it was dropped.
The Rose Garden
Although most wrestling fans remember "Playboy" Buddy Rose as the cartoonish character behind the Blow Away Diet, he was actually a top heel for many years in Portland. Rose was also a great talker, and was given a talk show called The Rose Garden during the late 1980s.
PWI Scouting Report
Pro Wrestling Illustrated is one of the most influential wrestling publications in history and in the mid 1980s, it had a strong relationship with Jim Crockett Promotions. Reporter Bill Apter hosted a segment on JCP programming known as PWI Scouting Report, interviewing top NWA stars.
Jive Talkin' With Disco Inferno
During the early days of NWA-TNA, when the company aired on weekly pay-per-views, Disco Inferno hosted a talk show segment in which he interviewed some of the promotion's wilder characters such as The Dupps and an unmasked Shark Boy.
In the mid-1980s, WWE Hall of Famer Blackjack Mulligan returned to the WWF as a babyface and hosted Blackjack's BBQ, a wild west-themed talk show. On one memorable episode, Mulligan insulted Bobby Heenan, Ken Patera and Big John Studd and began being beaten up until Andre The Giant made the save.
Cafe de Rene
In 2004, La Resistance member Rene Dupree struck out on his own as a heel singles wrestler. He quickly development his own talk show, Cafe de Rene. The show had an elaborate set, including a table for two, a French poodle, an accordion player and even the French flag. Unfortunately, the show didn't last.
In 1989, WWE Hall of Famer Terry Funk had used a backstage interview segment in WCW. On Funk's Grill, he confronted babyfaces such as Brian Pillman and The Steiner Brothers, while helping out heels such as Cactus Jack and Gary Hart.
Down and Dirty With Dutch
Speaking of excellent talkers.... Dutch Mantel has always proven to be a great mouthpiece in wrestling. In 1994, the future Zeb Colter hosted a weekly talk show on Smoky Mountain Wrestling.
The Street Corner
"Exotic" Adrian Street was a Welsh wrestling veteran who had a sexually-ambiguous punk rock gimmick. Along with his manager Miss Linda, Street hosted a talk show segment known as The Street Corner in the mid 1980s during his stay in the Continental territory.
The Diamond Mine
Long before he was officially a yoga guru or even a professional wrestler, WWE Hall of Famer Diamond Dallas Page hosted a talk show segment called The Diamond Mine in WCW circa 1992, often featuring DDP's beloved Diamond Dolls.
Missy Hyatt was pegged in 1987 (by Vince McMahon, no less) to become Rowdy Roddy Piper's replacement as a talk show host. Hyatt interviewed a half-dozen superstars on segments that, for whatever reason, never aired on WWF television but are available on YouTube.
The Firefly Fun House
Some may argue that Bray Wyatt's Firefly Fun House isn't a wrestling talk show, given his only regular guests are puppets. However, the show has a staple of WWE programming since 2019 and is frequently used to advance storylines of Wyatt and his Fiend alter-ego.
In 1998, WCW was preparing for a feud with Tonight Show host Jay Leno. As a result, Eric Bischoff replicated Leno's Tonight Show exact set and had NBC staff fax him the previous night's monologue so that Bischoff could mock the talk show host with his nWo Nightcap segment.
The Peep Show
When Christian was drafted to SmackDown in 2006, he was given his own talk show segment called The Peep Show. While not as compelling as his partner Edge's show, The Peep Show still had a variety of quick wit and verbal insults, keeping fans entertained.
The Danger Zone
Ladies and gentlemen, his name is Paul Heyman.... but back when he was Paul E. Dangerously, he used his gift of gab to host a backstage talk show segment called The Danger Zone in WCW (and later, briefly in ECW).
The Heartbreak Hotel
In 1994, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels slowed down his wrestling schedule and was given The Heartbreak Hotel talk show segment on Raw, a sleazy motel type set adorned with hearts, in which his bodyguard Diesel often stood by menacingly.
The Ambrose Asylum
While The Ambrose Asylum was very short-lived (especially for ending up so high on this list), Dean Ambrose was brilliant in his understated and unorthodox interview style. The most memorable segment was the final one, when Chris Jericho destroyed the set's beloved houseplant Mitch.
The Kevin Owens Show
The Kevin Owens Show began in 2017 on Monday Night Raw. While the talk show set itself is quite minimal, Owens made up for that, using his unique wit and low-key sense of humor to verbally spar with virtually everyone on the WWE roster.
The Barber Shop
After WWE Hall of Famer Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake was injured in a in 1990, the WWF gave him The Barber Shop segment. The most famous episode was when The Rockers broke up, and Shawn Michaels tossed Marty Jannetty through the "plate glass window."
The Cutting Edge
In 2005, WWE Hall of Famer Edge was sidelined with an injury and began The Cutting Edge as a talk show. The most infamous segment happened after The Rated R Superstar won his first WWE Championship, hosting an in-ring Live Sex Celebration with Lita.
A Flair For The Gold
When WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair jumped to WCW from the WWF in 1993, he sat out his non-compete clause by hosting A Flair For The Gold. The elaborate set saw the introduction of his maid (now wife) Fifi, a reunion of The Four Horsemen and the incident where The Shockmaster destroyed the set's wall.
Shortly after The Miz arrived on SmackDown in 2006, he began hosting his Miz TV talk show segment, which featured The Awesome One talking about his favorite subject - himself. Miz TV still airs on WWE programming from time to time many years later and have included John Morrison and Maryse as co-hosts.
The Brother Love Show
I..... loooooove...... yewwwww! Any wrestling fan in 1988 remembers those opening words from Brother Love, the red-faced preacher-like heel character who terrorized WWF airwaves for the next four years. Among his major accomplishments were helping Big Boss Man and Earthquake attack Hulk Hogan.
The most famous and influential wrestling talk show of all time is Piper's Pit, the forum for WWE Hall of Famer "Rowdy" Roddy Piper to work his magic on the microphone. Adorned by framed photos of Hot Rod himself, Piper's Pit ran from 1985 to 1987 (and appearing off an on until his passing in 2015). It fueled dozens of classic moments, including confrontations with Superfly Jimmy Snuka, Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant and many, many more.