Wednesday, September 30, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 259

Page is back for the second part of his interview with Austin
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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: 259 (Sept. 29, 2015)
Run Time: 1:12:09
Guest: Diamond Dallas Page, part two (15:00)

Summary: Austin is still at DDP Yoga headquarters in Smyrna, GA. This part of the conversation starts with some thoughts on accountability before Page begins to discuss his relationship with Jake Roberts and the documentary he produced about Roberts’ recovery. Telling that story takes Page back to his days running a popular bar in Florida in the mid-1980s and how Roberts helped draw Page back into the world of wrestling. He explains becoming DDP, connecting with the AWA in Las Vegas, transitioning to Florida to learn from Dusty Rhodes and how it was Rhodes who shepherded him through WCW until such time as Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff took notice.

Quote of the week: “There was a ledger pad right there… and I wrote ‘I will be the World Champion in five years or less.’ And it was four years, four months and 14 days. That was a defining moment, man. When I talked to Dusty about that, I knew right there — I always tell people ‘Just don’t think it, ink it.’ Write it down. It makes it so much more powerful. Give yourself a time limit. It gives you a destiny. And if you don’t quite hit it, I’ll guarantee you’re sort of close.’ ”

Why you should listen: This episode is a great complement to last week’s part one, focusing far less on the yoga empire and much more on Page’s own wrestling career, but in that light it still largely eschews his most prominent roles. As such, it’s possible many listeners will come away feeling as if they’ve seen Page in a new light, or at least developed a better understanding of the many factors that contributed both to the late-90s superstar run and current iteration as a self-help fitness guru.

Why you should skip it: Some of this was brand new to Austin, but that’s just because he didn’t listen to Page’s appearance on Art Of Wrestling. It’s been so long since that appearance I can’t quickly determine on which podcast he better told this portion of his life story, but anyone who recalls Page’s interview with Colt Cabana will have at least some sense of déjà vu.

Final thoughts: This was by no means a bad or uninteresting podcast, but between the AOW memories and the comparison to a more interesting part one, it’s safe to drop 259 off the “essential” list. Credit to Austin and Page for not lingering too much on the Roberts movie — the film speaks for itself, as did Roberts’ own appearance with Austin — but if there’s a weakness in Austin’s hosting game it’s his willingness to let a guest control the narrative. Page is, by his own admission, scatterbrained, and the episode would have benefitted from Austin interjecting or seeking clarification on a few occasions to keep things from getting confusing. A petty rap, sure, but there’s a reason some episodes are great and others merely suffice.