Tuesday, November 17, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 272

Austin talks to Wade Keller this episode of UNLEASHED
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you're new, here's the rundown. We 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 our regular rotations that we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we're happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show — Unleashed!
Episode: 272 (Nov. 12, 2015)
Run Time: 1:16:38
Guest: Wade Keller (14:40)

Summary: Steve Austin is on the horn with Wade Keller of The Torch for a “state of the union” on the current condition of WWE. They start with the biggest story, the Seth Rollins injury, before moving on to Alberto del Rio’s return, if Cesaro will finally get the chance to shine, handling the immediate future of Roman Reigns, the current ratings scene and how WrestleMania 32 might look. There is a little look ahead to the Ronda Rousey fight and Keller ends by stressing the importance of informed criticism from someone like Austin.

Quote of the week: “The guy that he beat, John Cena, they don’t want to talk about. Because they don’t want fans thinking, ‘Oh yeah, where is he?’ So they’ve just decided not to talk about him. And I think that hurts del Rio, because they did create a storyline for del Rio where he could gloat about taking the US Title in Cena. I mean, it’s almost in passing. It shifted immediately to it’s like he’s been around for four months, or he showed up and the didn’t beat Cena. They’re not kind of owning what he did. He ended one of the greatest US Title reigns ever.”

Why you should listen: This is a pretty good run through the top WWE stories of the day. The agenda is what a good episode of Cheap Heat might resemble, except Austin and Keller are much more able to stay on task than Peter Rosenberg. Content wise it’s not all that different from what Austin might cover if he requested listener emails or took calls, but Keller’s presence (and perhaps his time limitations) bring a brisk pace that yields delightful conciseness.

Why you should skip it: Aside from the comfort in knowing Austin is a staunch member of the Cesaro Section, and perhaps his strongest assertion yet you won’t see Austin in the ring any time soon, if ever, there’s not a good deal of substance here. That’s no knock on Austin’s opinions — I tend to agree with most, and Keller is completely right about the importance of Austin speaking his mind — it’s just that anyone who regularly listens to either guy will be able to predict both halves of the conversation.

Final thoughts: In the context of what else has been released in the last few weeks across the wrestling podcast spectrum, this is nothing special. But in light of what Austin has offered over more than two and a half years, it’s a good indicator of how much the show has improved in conceit and execution. Again, I don’t know anything about Keller aside from what I hear on Austin’s show, but in that capacity I certainly don’t mind having him appear once a month.