Monday, November 9, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 270

Part two of the Bagwell interview is here
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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 — Unleashed!
Episode: 270 (Nov. 5, 2015)
Run Time: 1:10:42
Guest: Marcus “Buff” Bagwell, part two (5:05)

Summary: It’s part two of Austin’s sitdown interview with his former colleague. Bagwell talks about the distinction between himself and “Buff,” his upcoming shoulder surgery, the importance and difficulty of getting off of pain medication. He talks at length about the famous injury he suffered in a match with the Steiner Brothers and how sleep apnea affected his addiction and attempts at rehab. That leads to discussion of his connection to Lex Luger, through bodybuilding and drugs, as well as the influence of the notorious Dr. Astin, the death of a close friend and the car accident that set him on the road to permanent recovery. To wrap up, Bagwell hit on the influence of his wife, his current wrestling work and his career plans.

Quote of the week: “I started getting DUIs. And I started, like, I would have the amount of Somas I used to take, I could take those one day and be fine, and the next day I’d fall in my food. On the exact same amount of Somas. So I couldn’t control no more. In rehab, they call that the invisible line. I had crossed the invisible line, to where it wasn’t fun to party no more. It was mandatory. I was now hooked to where I was having to take pills to function, to keep going, to keep moving, but I was already doing that already with sleep apnea. So I literally have already gone to five rehabs in my life, but I’ve only gone to one with my sleep machine, and after that I came home completely off drugs and doing the best I’ve ever done in my life, which is now.

Why you should listen: Did you dig part one of this chat? This here is a worthy complement. Bagwell actually makes some decent point about the way sleep apnea affects a body, and the extra complications it brings an addict. His explanations of the complexities of trying to keep in shape while abusing drugs, as well as the mechanics of trying to function in society, are as interesting as they are eye-opening.

Why you should skip it: If you’re planning to watch Bagwell’s documentary, you probably can take a pass on the podcast. Austin by no means presses Bagwell on anything, which means you’re getting just about as much unfiltered opinion/recollection as you would in a Bagwell-produced shoot video.

Final thoughts: If you listen to enough wrestler interviews, you start to be able to slot them into categories. This episode falls squarely in the “former addict” heading. But compared to Austin’s Del Wilkes interview, Bagwell is a much more compelling subject. Even so, part one of the interview is probably superior, given you could probably guess how most of this one goes. Certainly I’d say you have to listen to part one before part two, because in the first half Bagwell offers essential context for how he views his own personality and lot in life — such that it makes some of his remarks and tone in part two at least understandable, if not fully accepted.