Wednesday, October 15, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 159

Austin answers listener calls
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
Episode: 159
Run Time: 1:11:34
Guest: None

Summary: Stone Cold takes calls and answers questions. Among other topics, he talks about some of his worst matches, breaks down some of the current storytelling and character development surrounding the Shield triumvirate as well as Cesaro, why he didn’t work with Hulk Hogan or Goldberg, a nonsequential arc covering his 1997 SummerSlam encounter with Owen Hart, the effect Survivor Series 1997 had on his character’s future with WWF and then the WrestleMania XIV main event, addresses (again) the comeback rumors, talks up Brock Lesnar and ends with a somewhat random chat about the country music scene.

Quote of the week: “I’m really, really happy now with the schedule that I’m keeping. I just got finished shooting 30 days of Redneck Island. I’ve got six more days off before rolling right into production on Broken Skull Challenge. I’m going to have about two months where I go down to South Texas for deer season and manage my deer herd, and then I’ve got a project on the down low that I can’t talk about that we’re going to roll into around February. So I don’t see that I have time in my schedule or the desire to climb back in the ring and start taking bumps again.”

Why you should listen: Especially compared to many recent episodes, this is a fast-paced show with hardly any wasted time. Austin works in about a dozen callers, most keep the chit-chat to a minimum and let Stone Cold do his thing. Some of the territory is familiar to those who’ve never missed a second of the first 158 episodes, but this is a decent primer for newcomers. And the brief conversations with his fans help humanize Austin in a way different from his self-deprecating stories, which usually involve bathroom humor.

Why you should skip it: A few callers don’t understand the way call-in shows work (this is a question-and-answer session, not a conversation), and that gets annoying. You might not find Austin’s diversions into the Cleveland sports scene and country music endearing. You’ve definitely heard the Austin-Owen-Foley popcorn story a time or two, and this is not his best retelling of that incident.

Final thoughts: I much preferred this show to an episode where Austin responds to listener emails. Simply having the caller’s voice and energy breaks up the monotony, even if the tradeoff is a bit of audible hero worship. I’m definitely interested in how Thursday’s episode pans out — Austin has already recorded himself watching his WrestleMania X-7 main event against the Rock, cutting in his commentary while occasionally excerpting some of the play by play and color work from Jim Ross and Paul Heyman. For both types of show Austin needs access to the Podcast One studio technology, so there’s a chance the next several weeks (when he’s on location and later at the ranch) could be just as spotty as his recent Georgia work. So I guess let’s enjoy this week while we have it and hope for the best going forward.