Tuesday, July 28, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show, Ep. 240

Austin gabs with Keller this week again
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: The Steve Austin Show - Unleashed
Episode: 240
Run Time: 1:16:38
Guest: Wade Keller

Summary: There was a big rainstorm at the Broken Skull Ranch, pushing back production on Broken Skull Challenge, and due to some convoluted reasoning explained by Austin, this necessitated a change in his plans for this podcast and brought Wade Keller back to the show for the second consecutive episode. Because Keller’s last appearance saw him and Austin breaking down the Battleground results, all they can really talk about this time is the results of the 7/20/15 episode of RAW. They begin by discussing the apparent ending of Kevin Owens’s program with John Cena, with Keller lamenting that Owens didn’t even get to speak about his loss on Monday, but was just thrown into a 6-man tag. However, Keller is hopeful that Owens and Cesaro will have a good feud together. The other big discussion centered around the advancement of Undertaker and Lesnar’s feud, with talk of the pull-apart brawl that took up two segments. Austin and Keller are both skeptical as to where the feud will go from here, with unsureness as to who will win the Summerslam match, and who Undertaker will be fighting in his possible retirement match at WrestleMania 32.

Quote of the Week: “The thing about WWE booking is there are times as a fan where you look and you go, ‘This aspect of it doesn’t make any sense.’ But that doesn’t mean that Vince McMahon doesn’t know that also. He might go, ‘Ah fuck, I can’t make this make sense. I can’t see a path that makes sense to get there, but I need to get there so we’re just gonna have to plow through some traffic cones of logic, knock ‘em over on the way, because in the end it’s going to be worth it.’ And that’s, I think, what came next on RAW – let’s get people excited by having a pull-apart brawl to end all pull-apart brawls.”

Why you should listen: Keller is excellent at deep analysis of WWE’s booking and creative decisions, and along with his criticism, he offers great ideas. When they throw together a seemingly meaningless 6-man tag team main event for RAW, of course they should have the heel team do a pre-match promo where they describe their motivations for the match. Such a simple idea doesn’t even occur to us because we’ve been beaten over the head by WWE’s illogical format, but having Keller bounce around these ideas with Austin is fun and intellectually stimulating.

Why you should skip it: Keller was just on in the last episode, and it appears that this episode is very similar to the last, especially since there isn’t a whole lot of new material for them to discuss. They keep the discussion limited to what happened on RAW, but they only discuss Owens/Cena and Taker/Lesnar, with no mention of the two Divas matches or anything else. Given their limited subject matter, they could have expanded the discussion further. Also, Keller says a couple times that Lesnar has not been pinned since his return, but he’s been beaten by both Cena and Triple H, and it’s so upsetting when people conveniently ignore that unfortunate fact.

Final thoughts: Keller has such enthusiasm for this subject that it’s impossible to not listen intently as he breaks down current WWE booking, and given the somewhat up-in-the-air abandon in which WWE is operating right now, there is still fertile ground for these two guys to talk about. Austin feels a little underprepared for the interview, but he’s so talented that he can make chicken salad out of it. This episode is also worth listening to for a borderline pointless yet entertaining story about accidentally killing a locust while riding his motorcycle, which features Austin using the term “locust pussy.” He is the great poet of our lifetime.