Tuesday, June 9, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 226

Austin's talking bodybuilding this week
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: 226 (June 4, 2015)
Run Time: 1:43:36
Guest: CT Fletcher (16:05)

Summary: Austin drove up to Long Beach to visit weightlifter and motivational YouTube figure CT Fletcher. After giving a quick background, Fletcher opens up about his childhood, including his wrestling fandom, his mother’s positive influence, how his health problems forced him to change his approach to life and got him into serious weightlifting and his YouTube persona, the difficulty of pro wrestling, his incredibly father and how that affected his own parenting. The guys shared their love of cussing before talking about Fletcher’s gym before getting into more stories of Fletcher’s troubled childhood. Then they talk cars, and again about cussing. And a little more about wrestling.

Quote of the week: “People always looking for a fuckin’ easy way out, man. They want the easiest thing, five-minute abs, five-minute whatever. Man, you see a motherfucker with some great abs, he did not do that shit in five minutes. And if he say he did, he a motherfuckin’ liar. And I said so.”

Why you should listen: Anyone already listening to Austin’s show and devotedly following CT Fletcher is probably delighted to hear this intersection of foul-mouthed gym rats. If you’ve got no foreknowledge of Fletcher but are open minded to Austin moving outside his familiar subjects, Fletcher does appear to have an interesting, intense background and a respect for how hard it is to subject one’s body to a career in pro wrestling.

Why you should skip it: Who the hell is CT Fletcher? That was my prevailing thought before, during and a good while after listening to this episode. I’m no prude, but a warning the vulgarity here is like a Spinal Tap amp — turned up to 11. Also, outside of a vaguely referenced film about his life, there appears to be no context for Fletcher’s appearance. He’s just a guy people said Austin should have on the show, and Austin didn’t really prepare for the chat. The resulting product is something of a cluster.

Final thoughts: I respect Austin’s insistence he won’t be pigeonholed into talking only about wrestling. Some of his non-wrestling guests provide fascinating podcasts. Fletcher, for my taste, is not one of them. I’d much rather have heard a breakdown of Elimination Chamber, even if Austin was the only one talking. Between this and Colt Cabana’s live episode, Thursday was lousy for wrestling podcasts, and I’d like my three hours back.