Lilian Garcia's Chasing Glory podcast has become one of the best ways to get to know the people behind the larger than life characters we see every week in the ring in WWE, and that isn't changing anytime soon. In fact, the podcast is getting even bigger, as Chasing Glory is now part of the WWE Network family, and the best part is that it's available as part of WWE Network's free content tier, so anyone can dive right in and start catching up on past episodes. ComicBook.com had the chance to speak to Garcia all about the new deal with WWE Network and how it came to be, memorable superstar moments, and even some Christmas talk before all is said and done.
Garcia has been building Chasing Glory since 2016, and now she gets to bring it to another big audience, and we wanted to know how it all came about.
"Yeah, well, since 2016, getting these amazing stories from the superstars and just their journey, them sharing their struggles and how they overcame it, and then the reaction from the fans and the 7 million downloads, it was like, 'Wow, this is so great.' And it wasn't lost on me, just the impact that the show has been making and the appreciation that I have for the fans to even spread it around to other people and let them know about the show," Garcia said. "But I ran it for so long and then in May, I decided to take a break for my own mental health. With COVID, quarantine, protests. It just got so heavy that my husband and I went to the beach and we took some time off and even moved during that time. We moved studios which felt good, and we were planning on coming back for the fall and having a season premiere and then I got an email from the WWE asking me if we would consider putting the show on their network, as they absolutely love the show."
"They love the fact that the show is on video," Garcia said. "As soon as we hit our hundredth episode we went on video. It was just a perfect scenario, and I think it's great because I've always made Chasing Glory accessible for everyone to be able to get it and to get it for free. That really was alluring to me."
Having the show be free to fans was one of the big hooks for Garcia. "That was the thing that really spoke to me. Being on the WWE network is great because it just makes the show that much more impactful and that so many more people are going to see it. This is a show that has been so special because of what's being shared. The fact that like, even my first guest Braun Strowman talked about, 'Hey, mental health should be talked about more and in a time like this right now, we need to be speaking about some of the hard times that we're going through and how we're getting through it so that nobody out there can feel alone.' That was definitely important to me, that people understand that we're all in this together."
Garcia has had plenty of memorable moments and exchanges since she started the show, though she's still always surprised by something she learns about each guest, even if she's worked with them extensively over the years.
"Well, I think that's almost in every episode, especially with the superstars that I worked with for so many years," Garcia said. "After hearing their journey I look at them, especially after the interview, and I'm going, how the heck did I not know this? I've been working with you and living with you basically, you know what I mean? We spent so much time on the road together, 300 plus days a year and I didn't know any of the struggles that you've gone through. Been with you for 10 years and I'm now just finding out this. I think that's what's been so special and it's really great when I see a superstar again after we've done this interview, there's like this bond that we have. That they've just been so open and vulnerable and I try to do the same on my end."
That's why she wanted to interview Braun Strowman, as a recent episode of Chronicle shed some light on parts of his journey that she was unaware of previously.
"With Braun, what was really great was watching the Chronicle on the network and his story," Garcia said. When I was watching that, I was like, 'Oh, I want an opportunity to dive in deeper with this.' And so when the WWE presented this, I was like, all right, I want Braun Stroman as my first guest because I just watched this Chronicle and I have to get some of those questions answered and that's what happened. Sohe revealed even more and even says 'this is something I've never said before' and then he goes into it. He really lets us in and I say there's so much courage when these superstars do that, that I see them as even bigger superstars. I see them as heroes of just letting us in into all of that in order to help people around the world."
One of the most pleasant surprises involves her guests on the show, as many superstars come on the show thanks to what they hear from other stars.
"I think they've definitely talked to each other and a lot of them have watched each other's episodes and that's what's been really cool," Garcia said. "When they come up to me and they're like, 'Wow, okay. So I just saw your story on such and such and I've been working with him for 10 years and I didn't know this about him. And so that was really cool that you were able to enlighten me and as his coworker, I can now have a whole new perspective on him.' Now, how cool is that? If we knew more details about our coworkers, I think that we would understand each other better. Why we do things, less judgment. We need less judgment in the world."
"When they come on the show, they know, 'Hey, this is real talk, this isn't about your character. This isn't about your favorite mask.' There's definitely platforms for that, and that will get addressed somewhere else. This is about you, the human and your challenges and your journey and your achievements. So let's dive in."
Garcia has already interviewed so many, both from the world of wrestling and from many places outside of it, though there are many others she hopes to talk to in the future.
"I have a long list. Hopefully, this will be on the network for a really long time, and hey, if it's not on the network don't worry. I mean, we always keep Chasing Glory alive," Garcia said. "This has been a labor of love since day one. You said it, I have close to 150 episodes now, and it's just been so gratifying to hear all these stories. I can't put one as more special than the other because it's something different that I keep hearing from each one of them and the different learning that I get to also apply to my own life. Yeah, sure, there's some people on the list though that I would love to talk to, but it runs the gamut. It runs from, I've never done a story on Roman Reigns. I had never done a story on Ronda Rousey."
"Look, somebody that I would love to get that has completely nothing to do with wrestling is Pat Benatar because she really influenced the way that I sing," Garcia said. "I just God, I love her voice. I went to see her not long ago. She's still got it. I would love to get her story. I read her book. I think that's what's so beautiful about Chasing Glory. Everyone has a story. Every single body has a different path, a different journey, and it is just unique to that person and that's what makes it so intriguing."
Garcia walked away from her job in WWE and created her own platform, and making that type of leap can be a scary thing, though sometimes you still need to take that leap.
"Well, I definitely say if you're going to play big in this world, you got to just dive into the deep end," Garcia said. "You have to, you have to take chances. You can't stay safe. There's people that they won't move forward because of fear and my whole thing with fear is the F-E-A-R is fake energy always robbing. There's fear that's appropriate when you're running for your life, but most of the fear that people applied to their life is just fear of doing something that they really want to do. I always feel like it's more fearful to live a life that isn't fully lived. I decided a long time ago, I'm going to fully live my life and I'm going to do the things that I absolutely love and if I fall flat on my face, I fall flat on my face, but guess what? I can get back up again."
Garcia remembers being fearful of her original audition with WWE, and it was actually her agent that advised her to go for it.
"We're usually a whole lot stronger than we think," Garcia said. "Throughout the years, listening to all these interviews and then applying it to myself, I'm really all about just go for it and just try it. Just like the audition that I had at WWE, where I almost didn't even go and my agent was the one that said, you've got to try it. You just never know. That's why I want to use those words and pass it along to somebody else because look at what it opened up for me. That's why I say stay open people. Stay open and dive in."
Speaking of WWE, many fans are wanting WWE to announce another Evolution pay-per-view. Some of the best matches and storylines going in WWE center around the Women's Division, and you can definitely count Garcia among those hoping a sequel happens, though she can't pick just one matchup she wants to see most from it.
"Oh my gosh. I think every match is special, come on. I can't choose one match," Garcia said. "I'll tell you why. I have worked firsthand with so many of them and I see how hard each and every one really works to be there and to make an impact. I think that's what made Evolution the original pay-per-view so special. It was because every match was unbelievable. The heart and the soul that every match had. I don't think anybody to sit there on a pay-per-view and go, 'That was the best one.' No, they all had their special flair and special heart."
Now, this is me after all, so I had to ask about the holidays, specifically which one she preferred between Halloween and Christmas, and despite experiencing loss during the joyous season, she celebrates it in even bigger fashion.
"Hands down Christmas," Garcia said. "Absolutely. I am a Christmas fanatic, and now I'm going to tell you something that could sound sad, dark, whatever, but I have to tell you this because there are many people out there that might be going through this right now. My dad passed away in 2016 when I formed the podcast. He passed away on Christmas day and it could be the worst day for me, but I chose that moment to say, you know what? Now I'm going to celebrate Christmas even bigger. Let me tell you something I'm ready for Christmas even in August."
"I feel his presence more and so I want to mention that on purpose because there's a lot of people out there that have lost loved ones during the holiday, and whether it's Halloween or Christmas or Easter or whatever the holiday, they then make a choice not to celebrate it. And I say, change your perspective. Celebrate it even bigger. That person on the other side is going to be like, 'yes, that's the way, all right. Now you get to celebrate it even bigger and make a bigger memory of me'. So Christmas for me is hands down that time to celebrate even bigger."0comments
You can catch new episodes of Chasing Glory on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify, Spreaker, and more every week or you can watch them on the WWE Network with new episodes every Monday, and to find out more you can head to the official website right here.
Let us know who you want Garcia to talk to next in the comments and as always feel free to talk all things WWE with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!