Tony Condello. The two became the commentary team for Condello's wrestling shows in the early 1990s, and have continued working together since then. "We just sort of started hanging out and developed that chemistry and a friendship. We walked into the studio, put some stuff together with Tony, decided that, 'Hey, let's just try this out,' and the two of us just sort of meshed together from that first time we had a chance to call a match," Aiello recalls.

Both Aiello and Callis feel that the dynamic of having the "radio personality" and the "insider" is beneficial for the show. Aiello, for his part, feels that Callis's knowledge of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the business allows him to act in a fan's role, one which he enjoys. "I think that's the key, where I can be a fan and Don can be the insider, and hopefully I'm asking the right questions when people aren't calling in with the right questions or vice versa, and that's why I love the show," Aiello says. "I'll throw something out at Don, he can give us a behind-the-scenes look, and I think that's something that maybe the fans don't always get from just my opinion."

Callis believes that having Aiello on the show is integral to the show's success. Aiello has worked on NHB's host station, 92 CITI FM, for many years, and that experience keeps the show running as smoothly as it does, according to Callis. "Joe really has the hard job here in the sense that he has to keep the show together," Callis explains. "I can sit back and kind of turn off for a while, and then just answer questions. I can be a smart-ass if I feel like it; he has to be the straight guy, and has to deal with the callers. The times that I've had to do the show by myself, it's a lot of pressure when you're the guy asking the questions, not as much fun. So he's got the tough job."

NHB has had several guests appearances during its four years on the air, including Vince Russo, Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon and Chris Jericho. Callis remembers one guest in particular as being one of his favourites. "One of my favourite segments was I was at a TV (taping) in Florida, and had Paul Heyman (on the show)," he says. "I cornered him in a rental car, and I handed him the phone and I said, 'you're going on my radio show. You've been promising me for a month.' Paul sat there and answered questions for a half an hour about ECW and he was really frank. That was a really awesome interview."

Along with the interviews, the show thrives on being interactive with its listeners. Many of the fans of the show are the same people that visit Aiello's wrestling store, Jabroni's. Aiello says that it is the conversations with those fans where a lot of the discussion on the show emanates from. "I think a lot of it stems from conversations a lot of the times I'll have on the weekend at the store. Some guys will bring up a point, I'll just make a note of it," he says.

No Holds Barred Radio's fourth anniversary celebration takes place this Sunday, March 30, at The Beach nightclub (1792 Pembina Hwy.), and will feature special autograph guest Bad News Allen. Tickets for the event are available at Jabroni's Hardcore Wrestling Store. To listen to their show outside Winnipeg, visit Joe Aiello tries his hand at promoting
More on Cyrus

Jon Waldman is a freelance writer in Winnipeg. He can be emailed at jonathanwaldman@hotmail.com

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Winnipeg radio show celebrates anniversary
By JON WALDMAN - SLAM! Wrestling


Joe Aiello (left) and Don "Cyrus" Callis on the air.

As WrestleMania approaches and preparations start south of the border in Seattle for WWE's biggest extravaganza of the year, another party is shaping up in Winnipeg, as the city's only wrestling radio show gets ready to celebrate its fourth anniversary on the air.

The show, No Holds Barred Radio, has been a fixture for Winnipeg wrestling fans since it's debut on WrestleMania Sunday four years ago. NHB has become one of the most unique wrestling shows on the airwaves, thanks to the backgrounds of the two hosts: Joe Aiello, a dee-jay who has been an announcer, wrestling card promoter and wrestling store owner; and Don Callis, a former wrestler for ECW and the WWF, as well as a colour commentator, former booker and wrestling columnist with The Winnipeg Sun and Thunder Bay Chronicle Herald.

The partnership began several years ago, when both Aiello and Callis were working for local promoter Tony Condello. The two became the commentary team for Condello's wrestling shows in the early 1990s, and have continued working together since then. "We just sort of started hanging out and developed that chemistry and a friendship. We walked into the studio, put some stuff together with Tony, decided that, 'Hey, let's just try this out,' and the two of us just sort of meshed together from that first time we had a chance to call a match," Aiello recalls.

Both Aiello and Callis feel that the dynamic of having the "radio personality" and the "insider" is beneficial for the show. Aiello, for his part, feels that Callis's knowledge of the behind-the-scenes aspects of the business allows him to act in a fan's role, one which he enjoys. "I think that's the key, where I can be a fan and Don can be the insider, and hopefully I'm asking the right questions when people aren't calling in with the right questions or vice versa, and that's why I love the show," Aiello says. "I'll throw something out at Don, he can give us a behind-the-scenes look, and I think that's something that maybe the fans don't always get from just my opinion."

Callis believes that having Aiello on the show is integral to the show's success. Aiello has worked on NHB's host station, 92 CITI FM, for many years, and that experience keeps the show running as smoothly as it does, according to Callis. "Joe really has the hard job here in the sense that he has to keep the show together," Callis explains. "I can sit back and kind of turn off for a while, and then just answer questions. I can be a smart-ass if I feel like it; he has to be the straight guy, and has to deal with the callers. The times that I've had to do the show by myself, it's a lot of pressure when you're the guy asking the questions, not as much fun. So he's got the tough job."

NHB has had several guests appearances during its four years on the air, including Vince Russo, Maurice "Mad Dog" Vachon and Chris Jericho. Callis remembers one guest in particular as being one of his favourites. "One of my favourite segments was I was at a TV (taping) in Florida, and had Paul Heyman (on the show)," he says. "I cornered him in a rental car, and I handed him the phone and I said, 'you're going on my radio show. You've been promising me for a month.' Paul sat there and answered questions for a half an hour about ECW and he was really frank. That was a really awesome interview."

Along with the interviews, the show thrives on being interactive with its listeners. Many of the fans of the show are the same people that visit Aiello's wrestling store, Jabroni's. Aiello says that it is the conversations with those fans where a lot of the discussion on the show emanates from. "I think a lot of it stems from conversations a lot of the times I'll have on the weekend at the store. Some guys will bring up a point, I'll just make a note of it," he says.

No Holds Barred Radio's fourth anniversary celebration takes place this Sunday, March 30, at The Beach nightclub (1792 Pembina Hwy.), and will feature special autograph guest Bad News Allen. Tickets for the event are available at Jabroni's Hardcore Wrestling Store. To listen to their show outside Winnipeg, visit Joe Aiello tries his hand at promoting
More on Cyrus

Jon Waldman is a freelance writer in Winnipeg. He can be emailed at jonathanwaldman@hotmail.com