Tuesday, January 12, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 288

Austin on another Ted Fowler-co-piloted episode of the podcast
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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation 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: 288
Run Time: 1:34:31
Guest: None

Summary: It’s the last show of the winter from the Broken Skull Ranch. Austin and Ted Fowler begin with a long, profanity-laced story about Austin dealing with a flat tire on his 1996 Suburban. After a break, they debate city life vs. country life, then revisit some of Ted’s online dating experiences. The guys share stories of getting sick, including a recent in-car bout for Austin’s wife. After Fowler asks Austin about how he deals with his fame, they check in again on Fowler’s New Year’s resolutions.

Quote of the week: “So I go into the Pilot truck stop, and I get me a hex wrench. You know it’s got the little multiple gimmick things, it’s a little thing about four inches long with different size gimmicks on it you fit in there, and you try to unscrew something. These little screws held on that center piece which I needed removed. Well, the motherfucker wasn’t long enough to remove the said little studs that held in the center piece. So since that center piece was plastic — you know, and me being close to a dollar — I just said ‘Fuck it, I’ll whack this motherfucker with this tire tool and knock it off, and then I’ll have access to those lug nuts which I so desperately need to get off this cocksucker so I can put the spare tire on and get on down to Three Rivers, get my tequila, get us a couple eggs, block of fuckin’ cheese for Teddy and come back home to mama!’ Nice chilling, relaxing day, right? Not so much.”

Why you should listen: Tip back a few stout margaritas and you’ll be in the perfect mindset for this rollicking conversation. It’s got a “last frat party of the spring semester” vibe with two well-lubricated pals who know they have to get back to the real world but won’t be cheated out of one more night of immature fun. The flat tire and carsickness stories are throwbacks to the early podcast days where Austin really lifted the curtain on his everyman personal life, and there’s do denying he’s got a very specific type of charisma required to make that type of tale telling broadly entertaining.

Why you should skip it: Sweet baby Jesus is this a blue podcast. I think I’d rather my kids accidentally hear some old wrestler drop a few f-bombs and fess up to painkiller abuse than run the risk they catch wind of Fowler’s predilection for the grooming habits of his lady friends. Beyond that, rural life, encounters with fans and Fowler’s 2016 goals are well-worn topics. We can probably chalk up the last one especially to how tipsy each guy was by that point of the show, likely forgetting — or simply not caring — they’d just covered the same ground a few days prior.

Final thoughts: When Austin’s podcast first burst on the scene, it was stuff like this — much more so than interviews with the likes of Kevin Nash and Jim Ross — that fueled the fan frenzy. It’s decidedly not for everyone, but a rich reminder of why so many people got so excited about the global icon and national treasure entering the podcast world. It’s also completely inessential in terms of learning things or considering wresting fandom in a new way, but for sheer entertainment, if you can get past the raunch, it’s a winner for sure.