Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show, Ep. 153

Austin recounts a tale where his wife nearly died this episode
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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: 153
Run Time: 1:23:46
Guest: Kristin Austin

Summary: Steve is still on location in Georgia, but now his wife Kristin has joined him for a visit. They talk quite a bit about her arrival and how she almost drowned in the lake by taking a wrong step off the pier. Eventually Austin answers a few reader emails, the conversation turns to wresting at 54:47, with talk about calling matches in the ring, future guests, Steve’s relationship with Bob Holly, Joe Rogan’s thoughts on professional wrestling, Brock Lesnar’s booking in 2014 including the Night of Champions main event, Sheamus vs. Cesaro, and the void Roman Reigns’ injury creates before ending with the Match of the Week, Harley Race vs. Ric Flair at Starrcade 1983.

Quote of the week: Regarding the end of Cena-Lesnar at Night of Champions: “It wasn’t one of those things that totally turned me off or totally bummed me out, but they were having a damn good match. It could have been a frog’s hair better, and it would have been great to see how it unfolded had they been given another 10 to 12 minutes, what the finish would have been. But also, given that 10 or 12 minutes, (there) needed to be some more movement and action. You can only pound a guy so much before enough is enough.… I’m not talking about crazy, high-risk maneuvers, I’m just talking about putting some exclamation points into a match that was filled with commas and periods.”

Why you should listen: OK, the part where Kristin fell in the lake was actually something of a harrowing tale. If you skip straight to the wrestling talk, it’s nice to have it fairly well condensed in the final half hour rather than scattered throughout as usually happens with his Q&A shows. Cesaro fans will be interested in hearing Austin’s take on the Swiss superman, and unlike Jim Ross, Austin seems to be able to review the current product without his praise or criticism swinging too far in either direction.

Why you should skip it: There’s really not much new information or insight. If you’re looking for a deep breakdown of Night of Champions in podcast form, you certainly have better options, and I’m including what I assume will be a decent Cheap Heat later this week. Also, Austin has no interest in stoking a fire regarding Rogan, so don’t look for any hot takes.

Final thoughts: The beauty of podcasts is not having to listen to the full show, or at all. Austin is great at discussing the current WWE product without coming off as a cranky veteran, and he seems to be not only a fan of the show but also genuinely interested in seeing younger performers follow the trail he blazed. It’s always better to hear Austin’s frank discussion of what actually happened on camera than Ross’ conjecture about what should be done differently going forward, and Austin delivers his takes without a hint of self-righteousness. This is probably his best “no guest” show in recent weeks (no offense to his wife), but that’s not a high bar to clear. Certainly the last half hour is entertaining and relevant, if nothing else.