By Andrea Nene
He’s doesn’t look like your average wrestling fan.
He’s not wearing a wife-beater shirt, he doesn’t have hockey hair, and his eyes aren’t crossed. Instead, Jason Agney, a fourth-year RTA student, is wearing a leopard-print shirt and black, patent leather rockabilly shoes.
The 22-year-old technical director and audio engineer for Live Audio Wrestling on Talk 640 has been a sports entertainment fan since his childhood, when Hulk-a-mania flourished and Super Saturday cartoon characters included Andre the Giant, the Junkyard Dog and Captain Lou Albano. His love for wrestling remained constant, even though the sports entertainment industry changed.
That’s why he listened to the LAW on the FAN 590 last year — to get all the dirt on the big three: the World Wrestling Foundation, World Championship Wrestling and Extreme Championship Wrestling. The show’s in-depth interviews, wrestling news and behind-the-scenes dirt impressed Agnew so much, he wanted to work there so he sent an e-mail to LAW co-host Jeff Marek. Agnew wanted to work on the LAW.
Last fall, he became the show’s “man behind the glass” — the technical producer.
“We try to give the fans something they can’t see on television,” Agnew says of the live-to-air, 30-minute show. “We don’t interview the Rock — we interview Dwayne Johnson, the guy who plays the Rock.”
In these interviews, most wrestlers break from their TV personas to talk about where they grew up, where they trained and how they got into the business.
“Everyone we’ve interviewed is pretty down to dearth,” Agnew says.
But not “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Agney adds. He will only do interviews in character.
The shows have changed since Savage left the WWF to wrestle for the less popular WCW (also known as wheelchair wrestling). The average wrestling show delves into soap opera-style storylines where men and women battle for the championship belt in matches involving ladders, tables and chairs.
In the 1980s, it was rare for women to be involved in the matches as anything other than a valet or a manager.
Now, women such as Chyna (billed as the ninth wonder of the world) and Lita wrestle alongside their male counterparts.
One current WWF beauty actually got her start at Live Audio Wrestling.
“Although they won’t admit it,” Agnew says, “the WWF found Trish Status on our show first.”
Status, who was a York University student, started hosting the show at the same time Agnew became technical producer.
“Trish was on for three or four months last year and — as you can see — one of us has become extremely successful,” says Agnew.
“She doesn’t know what she’s missing.”
— The LAW can be heard before hockey games on Saturdays at 5 p.m. and Sundays at 11 p.m. on Talk 640 or on the Web at www.liveaudiowrestling.com