Some necessary context: A couple of years and a couple of jobs ago, my bosses at a website wanted my co-workers and I to make more videos, as bosses are wont to do. We, the bloggers, were immensely skeptical about this—and were correct to be so, given that the pivot to video never works and that cascading waves of auto-playing ads in front of our on-screen work contributed to the site's eventual demise. But some of us did it anyway, and we'd travel to a studio every once in a while to chill out in front of some cameras and riff and try to make ourselves laugh.
It's impossible for me to really divorce those videos from their eventual role in the collapse of a place I liked a lot. But the actual product, in a testament to the very good video pros we had, was pretty decent! And somehow, an ongoing series called Let's Remember Some Guys where I made jokes at David Roth's expense while we opened packs of '80s baseball cards together became, like, the kind of thing that a subset of our audience really enjoyed.
Roth and I are both Defector co-owners now, and even better than that, our site is celebrating our first year of publishing blogs this week. It felt like a perfect time to go "Dave Magadan Mode," so in our little office, with not only Endy Chavez but also Kelsey's book God Spare The Girls in the background, we took apart a pack of 1988 Score cards, speed-read our way through the many paragraphs of information on the back, and traveled to an era when the sets were so huge that even a Guy like Juan Castillo got his chance to shine.
The Return Of The Guys premiered last night on the Defector birthday live stream, and you can watch it in full here:
But that's not all! In addition to staff interviews and tangents about how wrestler names aren't what they used to be, the stream also had some very special guests. First, James Austin Johnson, the hilarious comedian and scary-good Trump impersonator, said hey.