Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 225

Austin's back with Sam Roberts this 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: 225 (June 2, 2015)
Run Time: 1:34:31
Guest: Sam Roberts (15:50)

Summary: Steve Austin recently invited Sam Roberts to 316 Gimmick St. This is the interview that was recorded before the one released as Episode 224, so there is a lot of talk about Roberts’ broadcasting career, which began at Syracuse University and as an Opie and Anthony intern. He also talks about his wrestling fandom, including how he discovered and came to love World Class Championship Wrestling. There was a bit of discussion about current WWE, including a focus on the women of NXT, Finn Balor and Roman Reigns, and Roberts had a few chances to plug his new Sirius radio broadcast.

Quote of the week: “I’m just not an overly critical person of pro wrestling. And I’ve been called out on it. You know, some people prefer the more critical thing because it’s more honest or real or whatever it is. But I know that for me, if I started being critical of what was on TV regularly, if I started really being harsh on it — ‘Here’s what they need to do, they’re so stupid over there, Vince doesn’t know what he’s doing’ — I’d just be doing that to pacify a portion of the audience, that’s not how I feel. I don’t sit there watching pretending to know Vince’s job, and I wouldn’t want Vince telling me what I should be doing on my radio show.”

Why you should listen: This interview definitely provides helpful context for Episode 224, in that listeners unfamiliar with Roberts will gain a full appreciation for his background, both professionally and as a wrestling fan. It’s great to hear Austin light up in a sense because it’s clear he respects Roberts as a fan and is more than willing to just talk wrestling. It’s the fantasy of the kind of back-and-forth conversation any of us might have with Stone Cold some day. Roberts clearly listens to Austin’s podcast and has a feel for his general mood, and there’s just a lot of good banter.

Why you should skip it: Unfortunately, the conversation doesn’t much rise above the level of banter. While it’s always good to hear tastemakers rave about NXT, the conversation here is fairly surface level, and any depths plumbed (such as Balor’s body paint) are familiar territory for Austin followers. Anyone predisposed to dislike Roberts should take a pass, as there’s nothing here that would endear him beyond his regular personality. Further, this was recorded well before Elimination Chamber, so there’s no mention of that show, nor a hint it might be addressed Thursday.

Final thoughts: With WWE running major shows seemingly every other weekend, as well as an upcoming road trip for another reality show, it’s tough for Austin to keep up with the regular Wade Keller review routine. This is a serviceable break. As with Thursday’s show, this interview breezes along. You’ll learn next to nothing, and might not be led into considering any new opinions, but as far as two guys bonding over a shared love of past and present pro wrestling, this delivers on the promise.