Last week after Raw went off the air subscribers to the WWE Network were treated to an interview hosted by Chris Jericho with the new United States Champion and WWE veteran John Cena. This isn't the first podcast of it's kind to appear on the Network, with Stone Cold Steve Austin having previously hosted two live episodes of his podcast with the guests being Vince McMahon and Triple H respectively. That led me to start comparing the three podcasts and see how they differed in terms of content, what they offered, and overall which I thought was better.
When the Stone Cold podcast with Vince McMahon first came up the video featured Austin saying he would ask the hard hitting questions the fans want to hear. Jericho also made similar claims that he wouldn't pull any punches and would ask the questions the fans wanted answers to. So who came up with the goods? It was Jericho who asked the hard hitting questions. While Austin asked some questions I feel that there were maybe topics he didn't totally touch on that he could have pushed Triple H and Vince on further, with both men giving vague answers to some of the questions. Jericho didn't do that with Cena, he asked plenty of vital and hard hitting questions to Cena, which made his interview more of a standout. Had Jericho been asking the questions to Triple H and Vince McMahon, I think we would have had a very different feel to the three podcasts on the Network so far.
When you look at the way the two podcasts came across in terms of how they felt, quality of production, and overall presentation I felt that Jericho's podcast came across as if it had a more relaxed feel to it, whereas Austin was very much a professional and to the point set of interviews. Granted that could well have been down to the names he was interviewing but Austin's podcasts both felt like they were rushed at times so that all subjects could be covered, only for Austin to be given more time whereas I thought Jericho was composed and relaxed and there was never that feeling that Jericho was going to need more time. I didn't want either mans shows to end to be honest, but I really enjoyed the way Jericho and Cena interacted with one another during the interview.
Both Jericho and Austin made strong attempts to makes their guests look good, and there's no doubt everyone came out looking better off than when they went in. Of all three of the guests I actually think Cena came off looking the best because he answered all the questions honestly. While I'm not saying Vince and Triple H didn't there were some answers they gave that were very corporate and some that didn't really give a clear answer. What Cena did well was he took each question and gave an open answer to ever question, and did not hold back if Jericho probed him deeper for an answer. Without a doubt the best question that was answered was about Cena going heel during his original feud with The Rock, with Cena actually confirming he had recorded new theme music and got new ring gear in the event the WWE decided to turn him heel. For all the doubters that Cena doesn't want to turn he finally confirmed on this podcast he would be open to the idea but that it ultimately isn't up to him, and while Cena is doing great work with kids on WWE's behalf I think having him go heel would be the worst thing the company could do.
Both podcasts really helped give us as fans a unique glimpse into the business from the other side of the curtain and revealed things we were perhaps not all aware of. What I really felt came across in all three interviews over time was the camaraderie and bond that all these guys have. Jericho and Cena felt less like an interview and more like two old friends chewing the fat and discussing their careers. Austin and Triple H had a very similar feel, having worked each other during the Attitude Era you felt the bond they still had. Likewise the chemistry between Austin and McMahon was apparent during that podcast too, with two old friends reminiscing about their glory days. Again it's a case of hats off to Jericho and Cena here, because that one just had the feel of two old friends having a casual conversation and reliving memories together.
Let me be clear I have no problem with the Steve Austin podcasts. I felt both were very entertaining and informative, and were huge considering the guests and topics covered. However there was just that something about Live with Chris Jericho that gave it that special feel and made it standout for me. Jericho's relationship with Cena showed they clearly get on well behind the scenes and you could feel that both men were at ease with one another. I look forward to hopefully seeing Jericho do more interviews with some of WWE's top names on the Network over the next few years, and I feel this could become one of the Networks must watch features.