Between The Ropes is dedicated to covering the entertaining world of professional wrestling and mixed martial arts. The website features commentary, insight and opinions along with interviews with the stars of today and yesterday.
The website spawned from the Between The Ropes radio show which debuted on August 25, 1998 on Sports Radio 740 The Game in Orlando, FL. It was the original idea of Brian Fritz who was able to convince station program director Marc Daniels to put the show on the air. Fritz was joined by fellow wrestling enthusiast Brian Dickerman as his co-host along with good friend Randy Myers who produced the show. The trio were on the air late Tuesday nights talking about the latest in wrestling.
Over the next year, the show quickly grew in popularity not only locally in Orlando but throughout North America with the show streaming online. More and more guests starting appearing on the show, especially wrestlers from WWE, WCW and ECW. Plus, the show moved to Thursdays nights and expanded to two hours from 10p.m. – 12a.m. ET.
As the show gained more recognition, it was able to land bigger guests. Both “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and The Rock were interviewed on the show within two weeks of squaring off against one another in the main event of WrestleMania XV.
Another big break for Between The Ropes came on July 20, 1999 when Chris Jericho called in to the show and joined in for an hour, giving his first interview since leaving WCW when he became the hottest free agent in the wrestling business although it was widely known he was jumping to the WWF. That interview was picked up on many wrestling websites and newsletters and took the show to another level.
In 2000, the show would see a few more changes as Myers left the show to pursue other interests. It would also move again to a more permanent home of Wednesday night from the 10p.m. – 12a.m ET timeslot where it would remain for the next eight years.
The show continued to grow and had a worldwide audience with callers regularly joining in from across the globe including countries such as Canada, Australia, United Kingdom and Japan on a regular basis. The official website — BetweenTheRopes.com — was also launched where show archives were kept, allowing people that could not listen to the show live to listen to it at their convenience.
Later that year, Myers left the show but Fritz and Dickerman moved forward. One of the biggest events they ever did was an advance screening of the Barry Blaustein directed wrestling documentary “Beyond the Mat” in March 2000 at a local movie theater. Immediately after the screening, Fritz and Dickerman raced back to the studio to host the show and had interviews with both Blaustein and the legendary Terry Funk who was featured in the movie.
Over the year, Between The Ropes has had the biggest names in wrestling as guests on the show including Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Vince McMahon, Steve Austin, The Rock, Randy Savage, Mick Foley, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Rob Van Dam, CM Punk, Dusty Rhodes, Eddie Guerrero, Ricky Steamboat, Tully Blanchard, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar, Bill Goldberg and many others all giving out-of-character, no holds barred interviews.
In 2002, Fritz and Dickerman welcomed a new co-host to the show in wrestler Vito DeNucci (Larry Brannon). A few years later, the show expanded to also discuss mixed martial arts on a regular basis and was able to land interviews with big MMA stars including Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Georges St. Pierre, Tito Ortiz, Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, Matt Hughes, Diego Sanchez, Forrest Griffin and others.
In July 2006, Fritz along with friend Chris Murray co-authored the book “Between The Ropes: Wrestling’s Greatest Triumphs and Failures” which was published by ECW Press. The book discussed the last decade of the wrestling business and included quotes from wrestlers who had come on the show to talk first-hand about their experiences and share first-hand knowledge of situations.
In March 2008, the show switched stations as Fritz jumped to ESPN 1080 in Orlando. Both Dickerman and DeNucci continued with the show in its new day and time of 6:00-8:00p ET on Tuesdays. Later that year, Dickerman was forced to leave due to management concerns with 1080 and 740 being rival stations and he was still an employee with Clear Channel Orlando which owned 740.
Now, it was down to Fritz and Vito who then found another co-host, former WWE superstar D’Lo Brown who lived locally in Orlando. He stayed on as a co-host until the following year when he took a job with TNA Wrestling.
In November 2010, Fritz jumped back to 740 with its new tagline The Game and brought Between The Ropes with him. However, DeNucci had just moved to south Florida and Dickerman was not able to come back to the show due to his schedule. After a short time, it was decided that Between The Ropes would be better off as an online entity and Fritz began ramping up coverage on the Between The Ropes website and doing podcasts with DeNucci and Dickerman occasionally joining him over the next year.
Brian Fritz is the owner and primary writer for Between The Ropes. He is the original founder of the Between The Ropes radio show which debuted in August 1998. During that time, Fritz has also covered wrestling and/or MMA for The Orlando Sentinel and AOL FanHouse. You can email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @BrianFritz.
Michael Wiseman is the content director of the website. He is a pro wrestling enthusiast, MMA fan, and all-around geek. When not blogging, he likes to catch up on TV shows or dig in to the latest tech news. You can follow him on Twitter @therealwiseman