Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 255

The WWE Network podcast with Edge and Christian is replayed 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: 255 (Sept. 15, 2015)
Run Time: 1:29:52
Guest: Edge and Christian (17:20)

Summary: After a brief intro, this is the audio from Austin’s most recent live WWE Network podcast, recorded after a recent RAW in Baltimore. Edge and Christian talk about their families and life after wrestling, their childhood friendship, the “Don’t Look At Me” game they play with Austin, try to name a few of each other’s favorite things, share thoughts about the current tag team scene, recall the famous TLC matches, early character development, Gangrel’s influence, personal accolades and the WWE Hall of Fame, Michael “P.S.” Hayes and the Freebirds, wrestlers’ court, Vince McMahon calling Edge to break the news about the end of his career, the origins of Austin’s “What?!?”, a harrowing ice road story and ended with some big-picture reflection.

Quote of the week: Christian: “There’s a real risk in (TLC matches) becoming a spectacle, where it’s just a car crash. And after the first couple, we tried to figure out how to insert psychology and make them tell a story and make sense of why and when we were doing certain things and try to get more mileage out of them that way rather than just doing things for the sake of throwing them out there.”

Edge: “It was always going to be a tornado in a trailer park, just because by its very nature, that’s what it is, and you have to bring that, because that’s what people are expecting after the first one.”

Why you should listen: It’s tough to do a regular write-up for these episodes. The main reason you’d listen is if you don’t have WWE Network access, because chances are most folks who do have already tuned in. Aside from the obvious, the three guys have fantastic chemistry with each other, cover a whole bunch of ground — from Edge and Christian’s meeting at age 6 to the daughters they had six weeks apart — and are in no way overly nostalgic or unreasonably proud of their own accomplishments.

Why you should skip it: It wasn’t a dealbreaker for me, but I imagine this was far more enjoyable in video form. Again, aside from that obvious note, this is not an especially meaty interview on the lines of Austin’s interviews with various McMahon family members. Edge and Christian have the distinct vibe of recent graduates coming back to have a good time on homecoming weekend, and Austin is more than willing to play to that tendency. And for once, I don’t think there was enough Mick Foley talk.

Final thoughts: This episode is quite entertaining, it just lacks the emotional depth of what Austin might be able to elicit in a one-in-one chat with either guy away from the cameras. It’s not hard to argue that even folks who don’t listen to every Austin show should place the Network specials in the “must consume” category. But thus far, his earlier efforts in that vein were much more significant.