Monday, August 10, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show, Ep. 244

Cormier stops by the Austin show this week
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: 244
Run Time: 1:40:32
Guest: Daniel Cormier

Summary: Austin takes a trip to the American Kickboxing Academy and talks to its owner, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier. Cormier is a lifelong fan of pro wrestling, so he and Austin spend quite a bit of time on that subject. Cormier prefers wrestlers like Sheamus and Randy Orton who spend most of their time brawling hard. He also is very excited to see the upcoming match with Lesnar and the Undertaker. Cormier is close with CM Punk, so he provides an update on Punk's training regimen for his first fight in the UFC. From there, Austin and Cormier discuss the intricacies of UFC matches, such as the requirement of good cardio conditioning, and a fighting strategy like covering your opponent's mouth and nose in order to cut off his oxygen. They discuss the merits of fighters like Ronda Rousey and Jon Jones. Cormier ends with some hype for his upcoming fight with Alexander Gustafsson.

Quote of the Week: Cormier on how to fight Ronda Rousey - "You're a caged animal. You're a frightened animal, because of who Ronda is and what Ronda represents. If you don't go after her, she's going to come after you. So it's like, what do you do? Are you going to be the prey, or are you going to be the predator?"

Why you should listen: Given Dana White's recent comments about the fakeness of pro wrestling, it's refreshing to hear a UFC fighter treat the WWE product with the same seriousness and respect with which he would discuss his own sport. Austin and Cormier's dialogue on current storylines and future booking goes above and beyond a beginner's level and should be entertaining for many pro wrestling fans. For those who are UFC fans, Cormier obviously has a lot of knowledge and experience in the cage, so he is able to meet Austin at his level and actually teach Austin a few things. Austin and Cormier have great respect for each other, and it comes through in the enthusiasm of this interview.

Why you should skip it: If you're like me and you're a pro wrestling fan who knows almost nothing about the UFC, it might be wise to sit this one out, as the bulk of the episode leans toward that sport. Austin and Cormier don't give much background information about anything they're talking about, so not knowing anything about the actual details of Jon Jones and his problems makes it difficult to feel involved in the conversation. From an audio standpoint, the episode suffers greatly due to Cormier's microphone not picking up his voice very well. It sounds like Cormier is on the other side of the gym, shouting at Austin.

Final Thoughts: I was prepared to be bored to tears by the UFC discussion, but I was able to maintain at least some interest. Cormier is a naturally-gifted talker and could probably be engaging on any topic. He admits that fighting in the UFC is a barbaric racket (seriously, hearing about cutting off a guy's oxygen makes me squirm), but he's convincing in his argument that the fighters have to train as hard as athletes in any other sport. Still, it's weird to hear Austin be such a rabid fan of the UFC. It feels like he's cheating on us pro wrestling fans, especially when he doesn't fully take Dana White to task for his lunkheaded comments on wrestling. Maybe someday Austin will cut a vicious promo on that guy, but for now, we wait until the end of Austin's torrid love affair with Mixed Martial Arts.