Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 199

Austin talks turkey with Court Bauer for this week's clean episode
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: 199 (March 3, 2015)
Run Time: 1:24:41
Guest: Court Bauer (13:22)

Summary: Austin’s guest this week is former WWE writer and current MLW podcaster Court Bauer. They open by discussing the various shows under Bauer’s oversight and podcasting in general. Focusing on news of the day they discuss Roman Reigns, the Hall of Fame induction of Alundra Blayze, which leads to a sidebar on Sherri Martel, and all of the buzz surrounding Brock Lesnar. That, of course, leads into a discussion about Ronda Rousey. Austin asks Bauer about the writers’ perspective of the Road to WrestleMania, which gives Bauer reason to bring up his relationship with Gary Hart, and the guys do a little look ahead at the next few weeks building to the biggest show of the year.

Quote of the week: Bauer: “They’ve got a WWE Network, they’ve got to make some exclusive content, what if they had a camera, even if you had a shot of Brock leaving, pulling out of the parking lot last Monday, and then doing a special report follow-up, like, ‘Listen, this is breaking news: Brock Lesnar left Raw. He was scheduled to have a presence on the show, and he’s had an issue with Vince McMahon.’ And then you have Paul Heyman say something, really like an agent or lawyer would, ‘No comment, it’s a very sensitive issue, we’ll see how it plays out. No comment.’ And just have a 15-minute kind of almost SportsCenter breaking news segment on the Network on Tuesday or Wednesday. Because all these websites profited off of it, everyone profited off of it except for WWE it seems. So why not just shine a light on it and make it a Network exclusive?”

Why you should listen: Bauer and Austin have a good connection, and there’s more than a few times where Bauer effortlessly turns the tables and asks Austin questions to further the discussion without feeling like he’s dominating the show. The respect both men have for Blayze (whom they primarily refer to as Madusa) and Martel is welcome since they fully understand each woman’s varied contributions to the business. Bauer’s tale of crafting the Umaga character for his post-WrestleMania 22 debut is a nice touch.

Why you should skip it: I don’t listen to Bauer’s other work, so I have no idea if this is repetitive for his regular fans. Pretty much everything discussed is topical, so it wouldn’t be shocking to know he’s expressed the same thoughts in another forum. And there is a segment of wrestling fans who has a strong dislike for anything related to MMA. That’s not likely to be a large portion of Austin’s audience, and it’s far from the first time he’s talked about the world of UFC, but if that’s one of your turnoffs, be forewarned.

Final thoughts: This is almost like an idealized version of Cheap Heat — a weekly look at the state of WWE that actually lingers on the bases it aims to cover. It’s unfortunate the guys were recording on Monday night before either could watch Raw, as I would have enjoyed real thought about the Seth Rollins-Jon Stewart angle instead of pure speculation, but timing will always be an issue with Austin’s podcast schedule. In general, your decision to listen should be based on your feelings for Bauer — if you tend to enjoy what he offers, it’s likely this will be a quick, fun listen.