Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 149

Bodybuilder, wrestler, SoCal original
Photo via
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
Episode: 149
Run Time: 1:32:31
Guest: Ric Drasin

Summary: After Austin’s opening monologue on the peculiarities of air travel (how unique!), he does an in-person interview with Ric Drasin, a legendary California bodybuilder who was the 1965 NWA Rookie of the Year after training for a pro wrestling career with none other than Mae Young. Drasin hosts a popular YouTube show, has worked with some of the greatest names in the business, and knows a whole heck of a lot about steroids.

Quote of the week: Drasin, on acting and wrestling: “When was the last time you ever heard Clint Eastwood scream a line? I watched him last night. It’s just in the face. It’s in the eyes. You don’t have to scream a line to make your point. Just a look sometimes will do. And It’s the same thing in the ring sometimes as far as I’m concerned. You don’t have to go crazy, and you don’t have to scream at the audience and call them dirty names. That’s the worst heat. That’s cheap heat, it’s not necessary.”

Why you should listen: Drasin is unique among Austin’s guests. Not in his old school lineage, but in his California background. Even an hour on his training sessions with Mae Young would be a great show, but it’s a rare treat to get first-person accounting of the Southern California circuit when so many other wrestlers and personalities talk about working the southern territories. There’s also plenty of good discussion about the world of bodybuilding and specifically Drasin’s history with Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Why you should skip it: You’re not interested in the chemical cocktails that power some of the world’s most impressive physiques. You don’t care about wrestlers whose greatest moments are either in black and white or lost to history altogether. You’ve already heard the story about Austin telling Ray Traylor to watch for the clothesline and punching him in the nose instead. You don’t find small talk all that interesting regardless of the people doing the talking.

Final thoughts: If you’re unfamiliar with Drasin, this is a great entry point. He’s an affable subject, and in no way projects the crusty old vet vibe you might expect from someone who’s been wrestling since the mid-60s. As usual, Austin doesn’t do a deep dive on any one aspect of his subject’s background, but it’s easy to tell how much better he is at in-person interviews compared to his recent phone calls with Bill Dundee and Kamala. Hopefully he and Drasin can sit down again to really focus on the latter's in-ring career. When they guys talk about the intricacies of working a match, it’s easy to see how much insight both can provide into what it takes to put on a good show.