Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 252

More SummerSlam talk with Austin and Keller
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
Episode: 252
Run Time: 1:42:40
Guest: Wade Keller, part two (3:20)

Summary: Austin is back on the phone with Wade Keller. After discussing Keller’s mom’s new dog, the Performance Center shooting and gun violence and championship belt design, they get back to SummerSlam (around 10:41). While covering the last four matches on the card, they take sidetracks into RAW booking, John Cena’s role in the company, the state of women’s wrestling and the way certain moves are used and valued in 2015. The Match of the Week is the Sasha Banks-Bayley NXT Women’s Title Match, which Austin and Keller will review next week.

Quote of the week: “In that sense it was fine — burst of energy, eliminate three of them, settle the match down a little bit, go to a traditional three-on-three, Freebirds-Von Erichs format and get heat on the babyface — so I didn’t have a problem with it, it just, in the end, it felt like the crowd wasn’t really having it, in part because of what you led with, Steve, which is in contrast to that amazing one-on-one match with Bayley and Sasha the night before, this kind of felt like the type of women’s wrestling that fans have kind of grown to think is beneath the talent in the ring.”

Why you should listen: Wanna get psyched up for Lesnar-Undertaker III at WrestleMania 32? Or feel better about the long-term prospects of Kevin Owens and Cesaro? Austin manages to blend both a corporate-friendly background with the sense of frustration fans often express about the direction of their favorite performers or stories, and hearing it from a man of his stature makes some — me, at least — feel like we’re not alone in wondering about creative decisions.

Why you should skip it: My biggest complaint is having to wait a week to get Austin’s full feelings on NXT TakeOver. Beyond that, surely some people will take issue with both guys for what can be perceived as nitpicking. And given the fact it took two long episodes to cover just SummerSlam, it’s fair to ask if fans wouldn’t just be better served by watching SummerSlam a second time.

Final thoughts: I can’t get enough of this stuff. In fact, Austin and Keller breaking down high-profile WWE shows is just about enough to keep me invested in the week-to-week product on its own. But I realize others have no interest in dwelling at this length on a show from a few weeks ago. It’s certainly not a must listen episode. Fortunately, it’s blatantly obvious what you’ll get from this episode, so it’s a pretty easy choice whether or not to listen.