Monday, August 25, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 144

This match is discussed in great detail
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: 144
Run Time: 1:48:14
Guest: Mick Foley

Summary: In the second half of a two-part episode, Foley and Austin start by taking a quick look at Daniel Bryan and CM Punk before discussing the pros and cons of Dolph Ziggler. There is an extended discussion of Foley’s promo work, including the genesis of some of his more prominent speeches and how they chanced his approach to his career. There’s also talk about the Hell in a Cell match, an extended laugh riot where they remember humorous times in the ring and some very frank discussion about the physical effects of a career in wrestling.

Quote of the week: “Once that ability (for the body to give) was gone and my hands were cuffed behind my back and that first chair shot came and it hurt me down to my toes, then I realized this was a whole new level of pain. And my reaction to that shot was to fire up. It was this strange thing, it was a suspension of disbelief. I became that character in the worst possible scenario. I became Mankind, believing completely in the character with the Rock and a steel chair and my kids in the front row.”

Why you should listen: This is a much better show than the first part. Most every topic they address gets significant time, and it feels like Austin is able to get Foley to either explore material not discussed in his many books and appearances, or at least use their shared history to shed different light on familiar anecdotes. Fans of Beyond the Mat especially owe themselves a few moments to listen to Foley discuss his Royal Rumble 1999 match, his family’s reaction, and the comments he made as part of the documentary.

Why you should skip it: Maybe you’re sick of hearing “old guys,” regardless of credentials, weigh in on the stars of today and tomorrow. Maybe you are completely fed up with any recollections of the Attitude Era or vintage ECW. Maybe you hate Vince McMahon with the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns and you aren't in the mood to hear these guys agree that, deep down, he's a good guy. Maybe you expect to be blown away by these two icons having a three-hour sitdown interview, and in fairness, you’re not going to get that.

Final thoughts: If you have any affinity for Mick Foley, this show is worth a listen. It’s definitely more important than the first part from last week. Foley has such a way with words it doesn’t do him much justice for me to try to recap five-minute stories in a few sentences. If you’ve only got time for one show this week, I might still lean toward Kamala simply since he’s a far-less examined person, but almost every fan will enjoy this far more than Cheap Heat and Art of Wrestling combined.