Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 141

Bill Dundee taking it to Jerry Lawler in the halcyon days of Memphis 'rasslin.
Screen Grab Credit:
Welcome to the first I Listen So You Don’t Have To. Basically, I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Here goes nothing.

Show: Steve Austin Show
Episode: 141
Run Time: 1:43:16
Guest: “Superstar” Bill Dundee

Summary: Most fans of a certain age are at least familiar with Dundee’s legendary feud with Jerry “The King” Lawler, but if you weren’t watching his run in Memphis as it unfolded, you likely don’t fully grasp the context that helped make his greatest moments part of wrestling lore. Lots of stories about Memphis in the 1970s and early 1980s, including many names the modern fan may not recognize or appreciate.

Quote of the week: “You want to buy your family nice things, but you have to be gone every day to do it. You can’t be home and make money too, not in our business anyway.” — Dundee

Why you should listen: It’s been a while since Austin told some fresh stories about his earliest days in the ring, and more importantly, Dundee is one of the lesser-known greats for a variety of reasons. This episode is tailor-made for those who want to know more about the nuts and bolts of in-ring work. Plus, there’s a good bit about the infamous concession stand brawl in Tupelo, MS. And the guy is still working at age 71, don’t you owe him at least 90 minutes of your day?

Why you should skip it: If you like to listen to podcasts at 1.5x or 2x, this could be a challenge. Between Dundee’s Australian accent and the quality of his audio connection, a 1x listen might be essential if you want to process every word. Also, Dundee isn’t the most succinct storyteller, and if you’ve already seen Memphis Heat, it’s likely this podcast won’t break any new ground. If you’re only interested in contemporary stuff, stay far away, unless you want to mine for the nugget where the diminutive Dundee expresses an appreciation for Daniel Bryan.

Final thoughts: Austin seems to be getting away from the Jim Ross method of rambling for 20 or 30 minutes at the start of each show. After the ads (which I skip) and a brief plug for his current TV project, the interview starts about six minutes into the recording. Austin tends to be at his best when he really knows the career of his interview subject, which he certainly does in regard to Dundee. However, as he’s more a student of Dundee’s than a contemporary, this episode lacks some of the revealing aspects that made Austin’s shows with guys like Kevin Nash and Scott Hall such standouts.