Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 301

Austin talks with Wade Keller to run down Fast Lane
Photo Credit:
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: 301 (Feb. 23, 2016)
Run Time: 1:43:26
Guest: Wade Keller (8:46)

Summary: Austin once again dials up Wade Keller, of the Pro Wrestling Torch, to break down Sunday’s Fast Lane. Austin opens with trying to unpack fans complaints about a lack of selling, then they gauge the overall reaction to the show before going match by match through the card, giving each segment a decent amount of attention and speculating a bit about how WrestleMania might shape up over the next six weeks.

Quote of the week: “It derailed the show. I thought, Steve, part of me thought they’re trying to intentionally be awful for 20 minutes, including the next match, so that fans would be excited to see Roman Reigns and not boo him. Like, they had to pad what happened with AJ and Jericho with a bunch of bad, lowbrow comedy so that when Reigns came out the crowd was just like, ‘Oh good, a match, let’s cheer.’ I mean, I don’t know, I thought it — it almost felt like there was a babyface turn from New Day in there, but I was so mad at how long and bad the humor was and how out of place the League of Nations felt, I didn’t get anything out of it other than I thought that it just angered two-thirds of the fan base.”

Why you should listen: As usual, Austin and Keller are fair in their criticisms — taking pains to point out when their issue is with a creative decision as opposed to a performance error, as well as acknowledging when a certain moment could be revealed to be logical down the road and yet calling out those for which no defense is available. Although Austin missed the preshow, he deserves credit for fairly breaking down the entirety of the three-hour card and genuinely evaluating a vast majority of the performers. Also, it was delightful to hear speculation — especially Keller’s — about the Legacy of Excellence Award recorded before Monday night’s big reveal.

Why you should skip it: Definitely skip if you’re a nostalgia-only fan with no interest in current WWE, and probably also take a pass if you don’t have any interest in hearing anything positive about Fast Lane. Whereas I found since speculation about a RAW I’d already seen endearing, other folks might have no interest in any discussion that’s already arguably expired. And whereas other Austin-Keller shows also include broader “state of the business” talk, there’s none of that here — you’ll have to go back to last week’s show or wait until he guests again between now and WrestleMania.

Final thoughts: Sometimes it’s handy when a podcast episode makes this feature largely irrelevant. You absolutely know what you’re getting based on the guest and description. I happen to find these episodes fuel my fan fire, even when the WWE product isn’t stellar (is it ever?), so I consider them can’t miss. You might feel differently. And that’s OK, right?