Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 215

Austin and Keller break down Extreme Rules in its entirety
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: 215 (April 28, 2015)
Run Time: 1:53:33
Guest: Wade Keller (4:30)

Summary: Austin gets right down to brass tacks this dropping the conventional opening segment in favor of getting right on the phone with Keller to break down Extreme Rules. They do speak briefly about a Ring of Honor show Keller attended, and the show review gets derailed quickly for the guys to share their thoughts about Daniel Bryan. Eventually, a match-by-match breakdown ensues with extended thoughts on nearly every performer. There’s a brief bit for Keller to plug his work at the end.

Quote of the week: “People are just gonna laugh at this concept, but plan a Smackdown main event four weeks ahead of time. OK, pause for laughter. But build it up for four weeks so that when it happens, that people are like, ‘This is a match that’s been four weeks in the making, Cesaro and Kidd finally have New Day cornered, they finally get the championship match.’ Build up to it for an hour, hour and 15 minutes and then put it out there with 40 minutes left in the show. And give us that Bockwinkel heading AWA ESPN treatment when you dedicate almost an hour of the show to it. …You got 52 weeks to fill, it’s freaking Smackdown. Just experiment once in a while.”

Why you should listen: This is almost certainly Austin’s best pay-per-view review episode. They explore not just the matches but the ongoing status of nearly everyone involved. Austin is a great blend of a guy who doesn’t live and die with the week-to-week narrative with someone sharp enough to understand things even ardent fans might overlook because they haven’t been a WWE performer. The praise for the tag title match is heartwarming to anyone who thought it was the highlight of Extreme Rules, and the criticisms are both fair and thoroughly explained — a far cry from what most other podcasts in my rotation can promise.

Why you should skip it: I don’t listen to Keller’s show or read his writing, but I imagine a lot of the opinions he shared with Austin are available elsewhere. If you are in denial about Bryan, you’ll for sure want to skip straight to the Neville praise. Beyond that, or for the obvious warning to listeners who are entirely uninterested in current WWE offerings, it’s hard to find much to dislike here.

Final thoughts: Episodes like this deepen my appreciation for Steve Austin the wrestling personality and increase my enjoyment of WWE’s main product. Highly recommended.