Wednesday, January 6, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 287

Austin recaps a classic match with Kurt Angle this episode
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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
Episode: 287 (Jan. 5, 2015)
Run Time: 1:36:07
Guest: None

Summary: We’re going to just call Ted Fowler the co-host at this point. Austin’s wife drops in a few times too. The open basically sets up part one: After a quick chat about the Broken Skull Challenge season premiere, Austin and Fowler provide running commentary to Austin’s Unforgiven 2001 title match against Kurt Angle. Then they spend about 45 minutes on a few other topics: winding down their time at the ranch, New Year’s resolutions regarding fitness and work, movies and plans to energize the podcast upon Austin’s return to Marina del Rey.

Quote of the week: Austin: “This is just a good point of the elbow right to the throat. You can’t see through that. He’s not gonna be singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” after an elbow like that to the throat. And that was one of my favorite moves, and you’ve gotta hit that thing dead on or you will devastate a guy, or blow everything and make it look like crap. I laid that thing in; I had the ability to pull that thing at the last second to protect a guy’s throat, but it damn sure really looks good.”

Why you should listen: This is only the third time Austin has provided commentary for one of his matches, and it was a good choice to tackle something outside his most popular encounters. Fowler actually adds a lot to this experiment as his well-timed questions nudge Austin to explain things he wouldn’t otherwise consider simply because he lacks the average fan’s perspective. And while it initially seemed extraneous, the second half was a welcome way to wrap up the 2015 Broken Skull Ranch season.

Why you should skip it: One of the reasons the second half seemed extraneous is all the references to what we’ll also get on Thursday’s Unleashed show, letting those who faithfully listen to both episodes each week know there will be another, more final “end of the year” recap. There’s not much here markedly different from any of the recent Fowler shows, except perhaps the attitude of relieved finality instead of obligation, ad I wouldn’t argue with anyone who said they’re past ready for a change in focus.

Final thoughts: If nothing else, skip ahead to 21:20 and listen to the match commentary. I’m not sure if other wrestlers do this on their podcasts, but they certainly should consider following Austin’s blueprint. He’s got a lot of good information about the match itself and wrestling in general, yet he’s not so full of himself as to be anything but honest. Gems like this are what keep me hitting the download button every Tuesday and Thursday, and the information he drops herein adds a layer of appreciation to his podcast output as a whole.