Wednesday, October 28, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 267

Austin interviews the Big Guy 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: 267 (Oct. 27, 2015)
Run Time: 1:30:05
Guest: Ryback (17:16)

Summary: Sunday afternoon, before his Intercontinental Title match against champ Kevin Owens, Steve Austin sat down with Ryback. Amidst a lot of talk about sports, nutrition, fitness and motivation, Ryback discusses his stop-and-start WWE career, how he studies tape, his relationship with Vince McMahon and other WWE colleagues, his childhood fandom, Rybaxel, the road life, managing his money and his routines before and after matches as well as diet.

Quote of the week: “By the way, I did hear one of your podcasts with Wade Keller where he said he thought the boat had passed on me being in the main event, and you actually stuck up for me, which I appreciate. He is clueless, if that’s what he thinks. And he has no idea what this business is about, because I haven’t even gotten started yet. And I have another 15 years in me. And I truly am, I believe I am the guy that’s gonna be No. 1. So Wade, you’re wrong.”

Why you should listen: Say this for Ryback: He’s incredibly authentic. There’s something loveable about imagining him getting tired in his home gym, then looking at the pictures of the WWE legends he idolizes and pushing through another set. He is remarkably self assured and without coming off as cocky (perhaps because he knows he always has more to prove) and is somehow both the essence of the meathead character he portrays and a complete contrast who listens to audio books about asset management and makes personal goal charts. He’s just weirdly fascinating, and Austin is great at drawing out the best of Ryback’s personality.

Why you should skip it: Austin acknowledged wanting to interview Ryback after hearing The Big Guy on Peter Rosenberg’s radio show. Problem is, anyone who listened to that chat has an incredibly good grasp on this conversation. Yet although this talk was at least twice as long, it seems the WWE influence means there wasn’t a breath of the allegations CM Punk levied against Ryback in his infamous Art Of Wrestling appearance. Ryback did mention Punk’s name as his main event opponent, but no more. Also, a few s-bombs slipped through, so if you only listen Tuesdays due to the “family friendly” label, earmuffs.

Final thoughts: Austin seems reinvigorated as a podcast host, seeking out in-person interviews with relevant personalities. I can’t recall the last time he responded to emails, and his most recent monologue show was pretty darn practical. I wish he hadn’t mentioned he was unable to interview Arn Anderson, and there are times during the Ryback chat where I wish Austin would just tell more stories about all the folks he saw hanging out in catering, but it’s all worthwhile to get another taste of what feels like the original approach that helped Austin’s podcast catch fire in the first place.