Friday, August 15, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show, Ep. 142

Foley didn't need his finery to guest on the Steve Austin Show
Photo Credit:
If you're new, here's the rundown: 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.

Show: Steve Austin Show (Unleashed)
Episode: 142
Run Time: 1:28:42
Guest: Mick Foley (part one)

Summary: Austin starts with an amusing (I guess?) story about an unexpectedly adventurous boat outing, but the good stuff with Foley begins at 14:31. The interview rambles a bit, spanning from Foley’s teenage years on Long Island and to the Dean Ambrose feud that never happened. There’s not much in the way of sequence, however. Highlights include the boys talking about paydays and confronting Jim Ross when the checks seemed a little light, Foley’s interactions with Drew McIntyre, concussions and regret.

Quote of the week: Regarding Foley’s favorite character to play — “We, collectively, and I’m talking about WWE, talking about Vince, specifically in one case Hunter, did a great job of creating the differentiation in people’s minds. To some people, they say, ‘Forget about the Cell match. My favorite moment is when you did the promo when you transformed from Mankind to Cactus Jack.’ Keeping in mind that all I was doing was removing one shirt to reveal another. … It wouldn’t have been dead, but greatly reduced, had Hunter just laughed and given that, ‘You’re the same guy with a different shirt.’ He didn’t go that route. He put it over like he was seeing a ghost, a larger-than-life superhero. I’m getting goosebumps talking about it. It was one of those great moments, like a do-or-die moment, this guy either means something or he doesn’t.”

Why you should listen: Foley is an in-studio guest, which dramatically improves not just the audio fidelity but also Austin’s interaction and interview skills — and he derives an extra boost based on their shared history. Their chemistry together continues today. If you’re a regular listener of the “What A Maneuver” podcast (and why wouldn’t you be?) you will appreciate Foley’s thoughts on the 1997 interviews with Ross that cemented his legacy as one of the cornerstones of the Attitude Era.

Why you should skip it: Foley is perhaps the most honestly examined personality in modern pro wrestling, much of which comes via his own word and pen. As such, any serious Foley fan is unlikely to learn anything new. The scattershot nature of the conversation makes it difficult for either man to go deep on any of the various subjects addressed.

Final thoughts: I can’t get enough Mick Foley. Many will argue he’s overexposed (both himself and “this business”), but I find him an endlessly fascinating human. Since there’s a part two coming up on next week’s show, I’ll reserve judgment on whether his time with Austin was worthwhile for fans. But if you’re only making time for one show this week, and especially if you can listen at 2x, this is a fun time.