Interview: Jay Hunter of OSW Review

On a fateful day just a few short years ago, I decided to create new channel on YouTube. While looking over my channel page, one of the related channels that intrigued me. Apprehensively, I clicked on this channel titled “OSW Review” and proceeded to watch the first video that caught my eye. It may have taken a few episodes for me to make heads or tails of these three Irish gents, but by the time I came across “Rubbish” Ronnie Garbage, I was hooked.

The boys of OSW Review, from left, V1, Jay Hunter and OOC.

Hosted by Jay Hunter, Steve (OOC) and the other Steve (V1), OSW Review is an old-school wrestling review video podcast. Originally focusing on pay-per-views from the Hulkamania era, it has since branched out to include the Attitude Era, ECW, WCW, current WWE and even movies.

Known for their unique sense of humor, the boys of OSW Review have coined many a phrase over the course of their 50+ episode run. Most notably, “What Bar is He?” is a regular segment on OSW Review in which Jay, OOC and V1 take turns comparing a wrestler’s outfit to the wrapper of a candy bar (or almost any other commercial product). Born from comparing Virgil to a Nogger ice cream bar, OSW also produces a yearly award show in which wrestlers that appeared on that year’s run of reviews are put into categories with a chance to win a prestigious Golden Nogger Award.

Being huge fans of the show, another big part of OSW Review is America’s longest-running animated program, The Simpsons. From the opening introduction to every episode, to the frequent referenced quotes to the “splicey-splicey” of clips from the series, The Simpsons is almost as big a part of OSW as the subject that they are reviewing.

In recent months, OSW Review has continued to exponentially rise in popularity, and with the recent opening of a Patreon page, Jay and the boys plan to produce episodes of the show more frequently thanks to overwhelming support from the fan base.

In the midst of this exciting time for the series, I had the chance to speak with Jay Hunter and get his thoughts on where OSW Review came from and where it is headed.

I’ve discovered that you still use Paint Shop Pro 7 for photo editing. What has made you stick with it and is it true that we are both awesome for still using an old classic program all these years later?

Ha! We’re like D’lo and Mark Henry! PSP7 does everything I need it to, and I know where everything is. I have Photoshop too as artists I’m working with use something not made in the Attitude Era!

Growing up, did any of you guys have aspirations of being a part of the wrestling business. Have any of you ever gone through training?

For a long time my dream job was being part of WWE/TNA creative, until hearing horrific tales from writers about how toxic the environment is! We’ve done some wrestling training (wrestlers are insanely fit) and after taking a few bad bumps, I decided it’s not for me. Instead we got drunk and wrestled in a bouncy castle. Super serial. Fun fact, Jay Hunter has never jobbed to Mr. OOC.

What first inspired you to create OSW Review and did you have any trouble getting the guys on board?

Our inspirations were selfish, really! OSW is the show I wanted to watch but wasn’t around, so why not make it! Irish voices talking wrestling was rare, I wanted video to watch along, my favourite podcast (Review-a-Wai) did random reviews, so we’ll go chronological. In general, wrestling podcasts were quite straight-laced; OSW is what it’s like hanging around us – having a laugh, chatting wrestling and throwing in outdated Simpsons & videogame references. Kinda shocked that people want to listen to us talk bollocks for 90+ minutes, it’s awesome! The Steves are my best friends, very easy-going and up for anything.

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How did the idea for the “What Bar?” segment come about and what is your favorite one so far?

I was at Steve (V1)’s place for a B-B-B-Q (the extra B is for BYOBB) and he had sweets laid out on the kitchen table. He picked up a luminous green and purple Bruiser Bar and said it was the Macho Man! I laughed and said we have to bring it up next time we’re recording. I love Macho Man at WrestleMania VIII being a packet of Superkings cigarettes! Shout-out to Shane Douglas as Black Gold Premium Dog Food Performance Blend.

We share some of the same boys from back in the day (namely Test and Steve Blackman). I was curious to know if you had any other boys that had to leave the stable once they got too good such as a Christian? Is it a sad thing or are you happy to see a boy graduate?

It’s bittersweet seeing a boy become a man. Like Shmi Skywalker telling her son Anakin “don’t look back before you go”. Yes, an Episode I reference.

With the use of video game music and intros in your episodes of OSW Review, it’s obvious that you’re not only a big wrestling fan, but a fan of video games. What is your favorite wrestling video game of all-time? Also, what is your favorite video game in general?

The arcade games were amazing, but 2003’s Smackdown! Here Comes The Pain is my favourite. Yuke’s knocked it out of the park with that one, and WWE games in general try to build on it’s foundations. Still haven’t sorted the commentary out – THE STATE of it! My favourite game of all time is The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past for the SNES. I used to play it every summer for a long time, along with Street Fighter 2 and Shadowrun. Just everything about ALTTP is incredible: the music, the puzzles, the dungeon layout, the extras – it’s tremendously creative, rewarding, clever and fun. The Total Package, if you will.

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One of the first times I remember almost falling out of my seat laughing while watching OSW Review was the “What Bar?” segment where you guys said that Virgil was a Nogger. With it sounding almost like something that Booker T would call Hulk Hogan, did you guys ever catch any heat over that?

Died when V1 said that! No, our audience is well-adjusted with a similar sense of humour. Anyone that sees the episode (Ep 25 “This Tuesday in Texas”) knows there’s absolutely no ill-will or venom or anything like that. Threading the line is what makes it funny IMO. Our tagline could be “OSW Review: Sounds racist but isn’t”

What episode of OSW Review are you most proud of from an editing perspective. Also, which was the most fun to record?

Ha ha ha! Thank you for asking about editing. Either WrestleMania IX or Halloween Havoc ‘95. Both took well over 100 hours to complete and just wouldn’t get done. Both were one-offs (our only ‘New Generation’ episode and a Christmas special) so there was so much to pack in. Both have a ton of backstory (when the show goes into ‘storytime’ mode, which I love).

I’m very proud of our newest episode, Fall Brawl ‘95; it has the brand new “Zojack Yesman” intro (which took easily more than 100 hours from all involved) and the show’s splicey has more than both of the above episodes put together! I love how the Top 10 Imposter Wrestlers turned out, hopefully you guys dig it!

Recording-wise, This Tuesday In Texas and The Room were so much fun! Both shorter episodes so the pressure was off getting through everything I needed to. The Room was 2 hours of non-stop kayfabe & shoot tearing the film apart (Lisa!).

Last I heard, you’re the only one of the three that still watches the current WWE product. What is it about the company that you still find enjoyable?

I asked the lads for an update: OOC watches a one-hour roundup of RAW on Saturdays (he says it’s still way too long, where’s WWE Experience?!) and V1 catches NXT and RAW, how about that!

The best thing WWE have done is hire the best talent from around the globe. It’s nothing short of INCREDIBLE who they have on their books. Using their non “slave names” (as Big Show referred to his WWE moniker) we have Styles, Nakamura, Joe, Devitt, Roode, Steen, Generico and KENTA under their umbrella. Not to mention Cesaro, Rollins, Ambrose, Asuka, Bayley and the rest. It’s mental that with the CWC we’re seeing Kota Ibushi in a WWE ring — almost all of the above would’ve never been given a chance before Punk & Bryan came along and changed WWE’s mindset. Wowzers.

Do you think WWE is heading in the right direction?

Short answer yes with an ‘if’, long answer no with a ‘but’.

Good things: High workrate athletic contests. Roster. Access to historical footage.

Bad things: Poorly utilised roster. Average promo, character and storyline quality.

The death blow is that WWE is the definition of quantity over quality. Too much average/missable content. Between pre-shows, posts shows, more PPVs and over-runs, suddenly I’m listening to a podcast about it and skipping the event itself! WWE need to focus on making people care about their characters, through killer promos and engaging storylines. I’d take a Randy Savage promo over a Seth Rollins match. That said, it’s amazing to see Finn Bálor on RAW. Sheamus came out to our National Anthem in July. Every week there’s a few great things to hold on to. Just not 5 hours’ worth!

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Congratulations on Nogger University! Your Patreon campaign has the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?

Ooh, a tough question but a fair one. (ha ha!) Cheers. I’ve always shied away from crowdfunding, but last year my free time started getting very limited – like 4 episodes a year limited! That’s not good enough for our fans or us, so we decided to roll the dice and ask for help. Pressing ‘post’ on the ad was the most terrifying thing I’ve done (scarier than going up on stage to introduce Scott Steiner for ITR in Belfast!) Turns out fans are happy to support us to keep doing what we do best. It’s a massive boost and tremendously motivating. Now instead of taking ~3 months on an episode we’ll be getting new ones out every 4-6 weeks! YAHHH BAYBAY! This is my dream gig!

I know you don’t usually decide on the next saga to review while in the midst of another one, but what are some eras of wrestling that you would like to cover with OSW Review at some point in the future?

No spoilers, ha! Hulk’s feuds with Shawn and Orton in the mid-2000s would be a lot of fun. At some point we’ll have to cover TNA. Pre-Russo, Russo, Post-Russo, it’s all gold. Changing companies and time-frames really freshens things up for us, and hopefully you too!

One last question: Are you ready to enter hell?
*stares at you, walks off*

Gary Liebler

My name is Gary and I am the founder of ADuelGet.com. Since 2001, I have been creating websites, graphics, games, videos, podcasts and more on the internet. Most people know me from my ADuelGet! YouTube channel or Pro Wrestling Nexus.

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