jim florentine

Jim Florentine is the sort of entertainer that five people may know from five different places. In the early 2000s, he was the voice behind Special Ed and other characters on the Comedy Central hit Crank Yankers. From 2008 through 2015, he was one of the hosts of the VH1 Classic series That Metal Show, which led to work on Ozzy Osbourne’s Sirius/XM channel. Prior to the aforementioned Crank Yankers, his prank phone calls were popular on The Howard Stern Show as part of the Terrorizing Telemarketers series. He is also an accomplished stand-up comic, podcaster, actor (e.g. Louie, Inside Amy Schumer, Californication) and had a critically-acclaimed one-man show called I’m Your Savior.

The most recent episode of Jim’s podcast, Comedy Metal Midgets, is titled “Pro Wrestling.” The episode begins with Jim talking about his long-standing history with wrestling. As discussed in I’m Your Savior, his wrestling fandom peaked in his teenage years as he regularly attended WWWF and WWF shows in the Tri-State Area. He saw many of the all-time greats live and collected photos and action figures. A combination of learning that wrestling was fixed, developing new hobbies as a teenager, and dealing with a predator that targeted underage fans led him out of that fandom.

Fast-forwarding a few decades, Jim is the father of a seven-year-old son and was coincidentally in Florida around Wrestlemania 33 this year. He and some relatives decided to attend Camping World Stadium without being fans of the current product. Jim’s review of the event and overall experience start around 40 minutes into this not-safe-for-work podcast episode. Ultimately, in attending for the sake of entertainment and having the analytical eyes of a writer, Jim had a refreshing take on what wrestling looks like to an outsider in 2017. Here were some of his observations paraphrased:

– Under The Ring – Wrestlemania is a “27-camera shoot,” where everything is supposed to look professional and state-of-the-art. So why are there spare items left under the ring? Wouldn’t they have checked to make sure that everything was in its right place before going live?

– Selling Injuries – We see talent limping, selling injuries before, during and after a match. Somehow that same injured talent is able to jump off the top rope, and then goes back to selling the injury. Presumably this one was aimed at the Seth Rollins match with Triple H.

– Referee Bumps – The referee gets knocked out in multiple matches. Why isn’t there a second referee readily-available since this is a regular occurrence within the WWE?

– Kick-Outs – Almost every time a pin is attempted, the person kicks out at the two count. Why don’t people kick out at one or even before one has been counted?

All four of those points involve the suspension of disbelief, yes, but Jim does make some points about WWE creative without even trying. We see a lot of repetition in WWE’s storytelling that goes against logic. Furthermore, for better and for worse — one example of the “better” being that today’s WWE roster is much more athletic than it was decades ago — today’s wrestling has very little to do with the wrestling from decades ago aside from it being in a ring, including a referee and have pre-determined results.

In terms of the attendees of Wrestlemania 33 — who he observed to be largely in their 30s with unkempt beards and poor dietary habits — Jim noticed a lot of the fans to be filming the fireworks on their smartphones during the events. What is so special about fireworks, he asks? When are they going to watch those fireworks back? Do they really look better on a phone than in-person or on the official event broadcast?

But beardos aside, Jim did find Wrestlemania to be entertaining, even if he seemed to enjoy the event more than his son.