Wednesday, December 17, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 177

Da Meltz is Austin's guest this week
Photo via @ObserverQuotes
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: 177
Run Time: 1:37:51
Guest: Dave Meltzer (13:54)

Summary: After explaining why he couldn’t deliver an interview with Ivan Koloff, Austin dials up dirtsheet superstar Dave Meltzer. They talk about CM Punk joining UFC and spend several minutes breaking down the MMA scene before taking a final look at Punk’s prospects. After the break, the guys look at scripted promos in light of Roman Reigns’ flubtatstic showing at TLC. They also look at the rest of that pay-per-view, where Dolph Ziggler goes from here, WWE Network and the difficulty of grabbing the brass ring. The Match of the Week is Koloff vs. Ricky Morton in a Russian chain match

Quote of the week: Meltzer on better ways to use the WWE Network: “I would do a video package on RAW tonight (of NXT R-Evolution). It’s two minutes. They’ve got three hours. They can afford the two minutes. Go in there, show what you missed, show the angles, show the guys, and just go, ‘This is what you get every Thursday night on the Network. You’re getting a whole other promotion, with young hungry guys, some of whom you’re going to see in the future, and this is the future of our company.’ Don’t pretend they don’t exist on RAW. On occasion, bring them up to RAW. They did the thing with frickin’ Ric Flair’s daughter on RAW last week — it was the stupidest thing. … I could not come up with a stupider scenario … If you had told me, ‘Dave, I want you to ruin her debut,’ I probably would have done exactly what they did.”

Why you should listen: Going where he wouldn’t on Episode 176, Austin finally opens up a bit about the contradiction of Vince McMahon demanding his up-and-coming stars grab the proverbial brass ring and the widely-known creative culture wherein performers are expected to stick to a script as closely as possible or risk being shown the door. He and Meltzer adequately break down the conceptual problems with TLC while taking time to acknowledge the performers they feel excelled given the limitations beyond their control. Further, Meltzer is (rightly) very high on NXT, and there’s not nearly enough of that praise in the podcasts on my subscription list.

Why you should skip it: Holy balls was that a lot of MMA talk. For anyone who, like me, knows less about MMA than he does about soccer (and that’s not saying much), you’re best to just skip the first 50 minutes or so. I assume both guys have the experience to offer the commentary they do, but I’d actually rather hear Stone Cold shoot the breeze with Ted Fowler. As for the wrestling talk, some folks may to prefer TLC just didn’t happen. If you don’t want to relive that brutal show, there’s not much left to enjoy on this episode.

Final thoughts: Look, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who loved TLC. Austin and Meltzer were more willing to defend the booking of the Cena-Rollins match than most folks I’ve encountered, but at least they defend their stance with logic. UFC doesn’t move my needle an inch, and even as pro-Punk as I tend to be I don’t have much of an appetite to see or consider him in that setting. But you know what you’re getting in this show, and the more I listen to Meltzer the more I appreciate his specific relationship with Austin. I’m holding out hope the pair will one day take on an NXT show. I’d like to think Austin could nudge some of his devoted fans into giving the product a fair shake.