Monday, September 22, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 152

Austin's going stag again this week
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: 152
Run Time: 1:25:37
Guest: None

Summary: Stone Cold is still in Georgia, and he tells you about his life while filming Redneck Island for about 37 minutes before answering listener emails. The question topics lean more toward wrestling than they did in Episode 150, but there’s also plenty of chatter about hitting the gym and personal motivation.

Quote of the week: “I want to say to you guys, before I leave, how much I appreciate you guys hitting the download button every single week. Some of ’em are winners, some of ’em ain’t so great, but nonetheless I’m giving you everything I got every time I fucking turn this recorder on and start recording. I’m just in a jam for time.”

Why you should listen: There’s some decent wrestling talk in this one, including reasoning behind Austin’s preference for heel work (which springs naturally from a question about his knee braces), thoughts on constructing face comebacks, he importance of selling and a passing reference to working in Japan. Outside those topics, Austin is his usual affable self, and given his time constraints, less prone to rambling than usual.

Why you should skip it: Rarely is a no-guest show a must listen, and this is no exception. Even the interesting topics are familiar territory for regular listeners, and the non-wrestling talk is typical Austin absurdity. If you don’t like the shtick, especially the uncensored variety, this one’s not for you.

Final thoughts: During the Attitude Era, I was never the biggest Steve Austin fan, largely because I never quite got into his foul-mouthed character, and I also thought the Stunner was a lame finisher. As such, I never quite got nostalgic for any of his return appearances. But somewhere early in the run of his podcast, I gained a much deeper appreciation for Austin, perhaps by understanding he likes wrestling as much as I always have.

While that was true in part to his interviews with legends like Ric Flair that illuminated as much about the host as his subject, I also have to give credit to the outright goofy episodes where Austin fired up a recorder, opened some emails and just started spilling words. It would be disingenuous for me to now pan episodes like this because he’s not pretending to be anything other than what he’s presented for nearly 18 months. That doesn’t mean everyone should listen to this particular show — heck, maybe no one should — but there’s something to be said for finding a voice and delivering content without fail, week after week.