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Jon Alba Joins Conrad Thompson’s Growing Wrestling Podcast Network

Sports Illustrated
Sports Illustrated
 26 days ago

Former Orlando sports anchor Jon Alba is going all-in on wrestling.

Pro wrestling’s latest free agent has found a new home, as the multi-talented Jon Alba is taking his skills to Conrad Thompson’s AdFreeShows media network.

The move to Thompson’s growing wrestling empire is the perfect fit for Alba, who brings a well-defined background with his work as an on-air sports reporter.

“I always figured pro wrestling would be a side passion until Conrad reached out after WrestleMania ,” says Alba, who spent the past three years in Orlando at Spectrum News 13. “This is a leap of faith, but I’m really looking forward to bringing my skills to AdFreeShows and changing the way pro wrestling is covered.”

Alba is joining as an on-air personality, hosting content across multiple platforms. The new role will utilize the skill set he developed as a television anchor, and he plans to apply it in a way unique to pro wrestling, which is exactly what Thompson was seeking.

“We are always looking for ways to grow our podcast network and provide added value to our loyal subscribers at,” Thompson says. “My wheelhouse has always been the nostalgia of wrestling, but we felt like a missing piece of the puzzle is the covering of the current product. Alba, in his spare time, has become a trusted and reliable source covering pro wrestling. With his broadcast background and proven track record of professionalism, I can’t wait to see what he does with a full-time effort.”

The 28-year-old Alba, who won an Emmy Award in 2015 for his work as a producer at MLB Network, played an integral role in pro wrestling coverage during the pandemic. Stationed in Orlando, he incorporated diligent reporting about the industry into his sports broadcasts.

“For pro wrestling, Florida was the epicenter of it all,” Alba says. “I carved out a niche in my sports reporting beat, and the news had very tangible, real-life effects. We broke the news about Florida governor Ron DeSantis labeling pro wrestling as an essential business , which was the same day that Linda McMahon’s super PAC donated millions of dollars to the Florida GOP. And that was my goal, to make an impact as a sports journalist in the pro wrestling field.”

The ties between pro wrestling and Alba’s sports reporting run deep. Six years ago, when he was sports director in Maine for an ABC and Fox affiliate, he covered an event in Bangor where he introduced himself to current wrestling star Billy Gunn.

“We started talking, and Billy Gunn told me that I had a ‘very punchable face,’ ” Alba says. “He explained to me it was a good thing. He said, ‘People will pay to see you get punched in the face.’ And I said, ‘O.K., that’s something to think about.’ ”

A wrestling fan for more than two decades, Alba began to dip his toes in the New England wrestling scene, where he continues to grow with his home base of Limitless Wrestling. He has developed into one of the promotion’s most distinctive talents as a villain, overseeing a villainous faction while heralding his prestigious Emmy Award.

“My character blends the lines of reality,” Alba says. “Owen Hart had his Slammys, Kurt Angle had his gold medal, and I have my Emmy. We use my path as a way to garner some fan reaction. And human-interest storytelling has taught me the art of crafting a compelling story and saving the reveal for the precise moment, which translates perfectly into pro wrestling.”

Limitless celebrates six years of pro wrestling on Saturday at its Euphoria event, and owner Randy Carver is grateful Alba has invested so much of his time, effort and heart into the product.

“Jon has really grown to be an important fixture in Limitless Wrestling, especially over the past year,” Carver says. “He’s brought a professional presentation to the broadcast booth, fresh media connections for our roster to continue branching out, and even helped formulate the group Prestigious, which features Channing Thomas, Mac Daniels and BRG.

“Before their formation, they were not regular fixtures on our live events. They’ve created a special package in just a few months, and Alba is showing he’s a ‘Jon of all trades.’ Now he’s testing out a new element of his game this Saturday: wrestling.”

Alba is part of an eight-person tag at Euphoria , which affords him a perfect opportunity to put credibility behind Billy Gunn’s theory about that punchable face. He is wrestling in a grudge match pitting Prestigious against Davienne, Becca and the Sea Stars. A loss means Alba will be banned from Limitless for the rest of the year, while Davienne will be forced to join Prestigious if Alba’s contingent emerges victorious.

“I’m really proud of this story,” Alba says. “Mac Daniels has been making a name for himself on the New England indies. He was my personal trainer when I lived in Maine. He wanted to get involved in pro wrestling, and I connected him with Randy. So it was a natural fit to become his manager. We added to our group with ‘The Natural’ Channing Thomas, who [was part of the group of security guards that] walked Goldberg out to the ring at this year’s SummerSlam , and ‘The Victorious’ Brett Ryan Gosselin. They’re now staples of the New England scene.

“That’s what I want to do—use my skill set to help everyone around me and showcase a lot of different talent. The guys in my group are incredible, and we’re feuding with Davienne, who is one of the best in all the country. She has something that makes you connect authentically with her. And we’re also going against Becca, who has just been on an outrageous rise, and she is amazing in the ring, and [newest MLW signees] The Sea Stars, Ashley Vox and Delmi Emo, who are incredibly talented. This is going to reach a fever pitch at Euphoria .”

For Alba, the future is full of possibility. He wants to remain involved in independent wrestling, which has taught him the intricacies of the industry, as well as providing original, noteworthy coverage at the highest level for AdFreeShows, a brand that continues to grow.

“I’m so appreciative that people have taken interest and are following along,” says Alba. “And I’m grateful for the opportunity to change the way pro wrestling is covered.”

Justin Barrasso can be reached at . Follow him on Twitter @ JustinBarrasso .

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