The world’s toughest men and women, at their most vulnerable.

Their stories of triumph. The leaders of The Hells Angels and the Navy Seals, the Crips street gang, and our nation’s most-under-fire police departments. These amazing individuals have risen to the very top of their world and crashed to the bottom spectacularly. From WWE Superstars and UFC legends, learn how they rose to the pinnacles of their chosen professions, to holocaust Survivors and former child Soldiers, transitioning from a “normal” life to the most horrific existence that life can bring. Their falls from grace, their descents to their respective rock bottoms. And… their climb back to the top. To LIFE. Talking Tough peels back the surface of these seemingly TOUGHEST of men and women, going deep to reveal the vulnerability beneath… the failures, the pain, the shame, and ultimately… the strength, the resilience, and the heart that enabled them to fight their way back. And to come out electrified on the other side of life. Equal parts entertainment and inspiration… and winner of “Best of Los Angeles'” “Most Inspirational Podcast,”… Rick Bassman’s Talking Tough!


Joey Trujillo is a true renaissance man.  Climbing his way up from the bottom through sheer grit and determination, Joey made his way to the top of the medical profession, all the while studying the law and earning his MBA. 

The busier he got in his career, the more he launched himself into one outrageous experience after another around the world, often with his longtime good friend and our Talking Tough host Rick Bassman.   And, as often and high as he rose to the top, he crashed to the bottom in just as dramatic fashion. Joey and Rick get together for a gloves-off candid conversation, about the highs and lows of life, taking responsibility, and being committed to the idea that one can always be better than ever before.

TALKING TOUGH EPISODE 3.7 – SPECIAL GUEST –  Mark “The Specimen” Kerr.

A no-holds-barred, nothing-held-back discussion between Rick and his one time client, Mark “The Specimen” Kerr. Rick and Mark peel back the curtain to reveal what it was like in the early days of MMA, from the UFC tournaments and Vale Tudo in Brazil, to the first Abu Dhabi submissions championships and the glory days of PRIDE in Japan. Mark, then considered the world’s dominant #1 Heavyweight, reveals what it was like to live at he top of the world, and then to spectacularly crash and burn, as chronicled in the now infamous HBO documentary “The Smashing Machine”.

Rick and Mark talk about how and why they each descended to his own rock bottom, and the personal responsibility they ultimately accepted in climbing out of the abyss. The longtime friends then celebrate Mark’s return to a fulfilling life, led by family and friends, including new pal Dwayne Johnson, who recently announced he’ll be playing Mark in his upcoming major dramatic feature. The Smashing Machine.

Please subscribe to Rick’s YouTube channel @rickbassman and follow on IG @rick_bassman

TALKING TOUGH EPISODE 3.6 – SPECIAL GUEST –  Randy “The Natural” Couture

From humble beginnings to superstardom, Randy “The Natural” Couture is one of mixed martial arts’ most-enduring legends, and a movie star.  Randy and Rick swap stories and perspectives about UFC 13, in which Randy made his MMA debut, and Rick was managing and cornering for Randy’s opponent Tony Halme (WWE’s Ludvig Borga).  Way above and beyond this, Randy openly shares his origin story, beginning with a single parent family, where he very demonstrably learned values and work ethic that would serve him well in later life.  From there, Rick and Randy move through The Natural’s journey into the world of sports (beginning with tennis and rollerskating!), to becoming a professional and a champion, a father, and ultimately, an actor, starring in major motion pictures.  Randy candidly explores the challenges he’s faced in life, including his marriages, and the times he’s found himself in dark places, and dispenses hard-won wisdom about mistakes made and lessons learned.  In the process, we get great advice from The Natural, on how we can all meet our challenges head on and ultimately, emerge victorious.

Check in with Randy at and follow on IG @xcnatch

Please subscribe to Rick’s YouTube channel @rickbassman and follow on IG @rick_bassman

Episode 6 – with Randy “The Natural” Couture & Talking Tough  Podcast

TALKING TOUGH EPISODE 3.5 – SPECIAL GUEST –  Marcus “Big Herc” Timmons

Marcus Timmons, otherwise known as Big Herc, is the embodiment of the hero’s journey.  Climbing back from the very bottom –which included an eight-year term in a federal penitentiary—Marcus is the first to take responsibility for his actions.  Making a firm decision to leave the past in the past, he consicentiously planned a path forward. 

The ingredients he cultivated on his journey, which included creating community, physical fitness, education, psychology and philosophy, and helping others, Marcus today is a complete comeback.  Amongst his many successful entrepreneurial endeavors, Marcus –as “Big Herc” is the host and producer of YouTube’s “Fresh Out,” with over half a million subscribers. 

Join Rick and Marcus –longtime friends and colleagues—for a deep dive into personal responsibility, motivation, and what it takes to come back from the abyss to one’s best ever


After 40+ years in the pro wrestling world, Al Snow is at the top of his game, and riding high as the central figure on smash hit Netflix show “Wrestlers.” Longtime colleagues –and formerly competitors—Al and Rick do a deep dive into what it takes to both as a pro wrestler, and as a promoter, and the amazing highs and terrible lows of each. More importantly, perhaps, the two old friends illustrate an analogy from pro wrestling to life and the human condition, and the trials and tribulations that we all live with on a daily basis.

Al, one of the greatest –and most articulate—minds in the wrestling business, shares his wisdom on how we can all stay true to ourselves and how we can consistently do our very best, both for ourselves and for others.

TALKING TOUGH EPISODE 3.3 – SPECIAL GUEST –  Marcus “Buff” Bagwell – October 25, 2023

Marcus “Buff” Bagwell is a man with a reputation; and oftentimes, not for the better.  In this episode, we peel back the layers to discover the man behind the myth.  From his rapid ascent to the top of the pro wrestling world and his consumption of all the spoils that came with the fame and fortune, to a precipitous crash to rock bottom.  In this episode of Talking Tough, Marcus doesn’t hold back.  Laying himself bare, we learn that the person once known as “The Stuff” is coming to terms with himself, living life on life’s terms, and in the process, becoming a champion of a human being.


Rick gets one-on-one time with one of his best friends, the iconic fighter and media personality known far and wide –and affectionately—as Butterbean.  The two good pals talk about Butterbean’s unlikely later-life comeback , from 500+ lbs., wheelchair-bound and severely depressed, to a lean, mean and incredibly fit and happy 300 lbs.  They discuss Diamond Dallas Page’s role in this remarkable transition and apply the lessons Bean learned under DDP’s tutelage that can apply to anybody facing big life challenges.  We then learn that… Bean is preparing to get back in the ring, and show what he says will be the best version ever of the fighter once known as “The king of the 4-rounders.” 

Rick and Bean discuss possible opponents, which ends with Bean sizing up his chances against Jake and Logan Paul, Mie Tyson, and calling out Vince McMahon and Dana White to book and promote a fight with Brock Lesnar.

TALKING TOUGH EPISODE 3.1 – SPECIAL GUEST – Lori Ice Fetrick –  September 27, 2023

On the official relaunch of TALKING TOUGH, Rick sits down with LORI “ICE” FETRICK, perhaps the most-enduring and best-known of the iconic AMERICAN GLADIATORS.  Rick and Lori start off exploring the explosive popularity of the Gladiators in the 80s, and their off-the-hook world tour, with Lori candidly telling us about the craziness behind-the-scenes.

The two longtime friends then do a deep dive on what it was like to experience such a meteoric rise to fame, fortune and adulation, and to have it all come crashing down quickly.  Thus begins a very open discussion on the us and downs of life, and doing our best with what we have at our disposal.

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