Tuesday, February 17, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 194

Rosenberg's Bret Hart anecdote was a big part of his podcast this week with Austin
Photo Credit: WWE.com
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: 194 (Feb. 12, 2015)
Run Time: 1:23:04
Guest: Peter Rosenberg part two (17:10)

Summary: This is the continuation of the in-person interview from episode 193. This half focuses pretty much entirely on wrestling, including the opening segment where Rosenberg rehashes his issues with wrestlers who lack the radio skills to record professional podcasts. They talk about live event experiences, memorabilia, the Montreal Screwjob and the greatness of Randy Savage and Bret Hart. Austin asks Rosenberg about the origin of Cheap Heat and they talk about the most recent Royal Rumble, which leads into Rosenberg asking Austin about his relationship with the Rock and his experience recording his recent podcast episode with Triple H.

Quote of the week: Rosenberg, on turning to a hero after a death in his family: “I said, ‘Bret, I don’t know you that well, but I don’t know who else to ask about this, someone who would understand the situation better with everything you went through.’ And I told him all about Spencer. And Bret sat on the phone with me for 45 minutes talking about Owen, and talking about just losing people. He talked to me about losing Macho Man that week. And just about death and moving forward. The guy owes me nothing in life. He never owed me a thing. In fact, he’s given me so much. But the guy just sat on the phone with me, just sat there and heard me out and consoled me. To have someone who you admire so much professionally and find out how real a guy they are in real life was a tremendous experience. I’ve never gotten to tell the story before, and I think wrestling fans should know that about Bret, that that’s the kind of guy he is.”

Why you should listen: If episode 193 was a turnoff — and that’s understandable, given the topics covered — this is the antidote. If you’ve never heard Cheap Heat, this might not be the most fair representation of Rosenberg, as he showed hardly any of his self-imposed “heel” persona. Also if you don’t listen to his podcast, every topic Rosenberg addresses will be fresh, but even regular listeners to that show will find enough new material to make this a worthwhile listen.

Why you should skip it: There are times when the guest becomes the interviewer, which is bound to happen when the guest has the more honed hosting skills. Some folks have had enough with any talk of Montreal (and Austin offers nothing he hasn’t said a dozen times or more), but that’s only a blip. Likewise I could have done without the Rumble talk, and it’s obvious Rosenberg hadn’t heard any of Austin’s many takes on the Roman Reigns situation.

Final thoughts: I liked this way more than I thought I would. That’s either a testament to Austin’s skill as a host, Rosenberg’s ability to (mostly) allow himself to be a guest and not play his part or some combination of the two. Again, please don’t listen to this and then plan to check out that delightful Rosenberg fellow on Cheap Heat, because he hasn’t yet figured out how to maximize his talents on his own show. I’m still not convinced this needed to be a two-part episode, but I get the impression if Austin is rolling tape with a guest it’s all going to make air at some point. At the end of the day it’s free entertainment, so few of these critiques should be read as hardcore complaints.