Monday, January 12, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Eps. 183/184

A doubleshot of Austin podcast recaps
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: 183 (Jan. 6, 2015)
Run Time: 1:47:59
Guest: Jeff Williams

Summary: Stone Cold is at the Broken Skull Ranch for the holidays. His younger brother is in from Alaska and he brought his guitar. The bulk of the episode is Williams playing covers and originals, but there’s a little talk about music, learning instruments and some shared childhood experiences

Quote of the week: Austin: “When my dad used to have those come to Jesus meetings with us, we would get our ass whooped. And he’d hands us our ass. We got whipped by a belt. But that’s the way we were brought up. People are a little bit politically sensitive to that stuff now. But that’s how we was raised. The thing about it was dad used to cry after he had to whip Scott, me or Kevin. We were his kids and it hurt him to do it. But he had to, because we outgrew mom’s whoopings, so he had to.”

Why you should listen: You want to hear Austin’s little brother sing country music.

Why you should skip it: You don’t want to hear Austin’s little brother sing country music.

Final thoughts: I skipped through most of the songs. Williams isn’t a bad picker or singer, I just didn’t care. We’re not at “wrestling a fly” degrees of questionable content or anything, but there’s not much else to say about this episode. You most definitely know what you’re getting.

Show: Steve Austin Show Unleashed
Episode: 184 (Jan. 8, 2015)
Run Time: 1:14:44
Guest: None

Summary: Austin is flying solo this week and, after a bit of talk about Broken Skull Challenge, football and the Brian Pillman home invasion angle, reads a bunch of listener emails — more than one of which includes questions about extraneous noises during his podcast. He also covers ring gear, favorite theme songs, where else he could have worked after losing his WCW job, a famous guitar, working in War Games and battle royal matches, the Stunner, calling spots, other gimmicks he might have used, he word “brother,” working as a heel, some of his favorite vernacular and one more look at the match in which he took 10 German suplexes.

Quote of the week: “When you got 20 guys or better in that ring, it starts getting real crowded, real fast. And then you’ll have somebody wanna come in there and run a goddamn high spot in amongst all that bullshit, and it’s real easy to get hurt. The old gimmick of grabbing a guy and almost throwing him over the top rope, but holding him there forever and ever and ever and never being able to just explode and throw him over the top rope is ridiculous. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve done that a million times, and it’s ridiculous.”

Why you should listen: As listener email shows go, this might be Austin’s best. He explores a fair amount of new territory and moves quickly among topics, keeping up the energy and getting back to one of the reasons the podcast was so appealing when it debuted — because it showed how much Austin was a student and fan of wrestling, how seriously he took his career and how it could have derailed several times along the way. It’s hell on kayfabe, but I find a lot of it fascinating.

Why you should skip it: It’s not all fresh ground. Chances are good you’ve heard Austin talk about his trunks, using the Stunner, why he preferred working heel and especially (since it was within the last few shows) his thoughts about the 10-suplex match. And he also gets away from wrestling a few times, which I always feel is something of a lull. Nothing personal, but I’m not all that interested in who owns which Stevie Ray Vaughan guitar or what to keep in my trunk in case of emergency.

Final thoughts: It’s a mixed bag. Some of it’s great, some of it isn’t. For me it was a vast improvement over the Tuesday show, and it was certainly more interesting than Jim Ross talking with Dixie Carter. Obviously Austin can offer better shows, but as an optimist I’m going to choose to be satisfied he’s showing signs of improving the nature of his email shows. They make nice filler when he can’t land a guest, provided he takes the time to choose the right questions to answer.