Wednesday, February 3, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 295

Austin takes a look at this iconic night in the Monday Night Wars
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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: 295 (Feb. 2, 2016)
Run Time: 1:14:34
Guest: None

Summary: After a bit of introduction, including a look at the most recent episode of Broken Skull Challenge, Austin does a deep on a listener email by revisiting the January 4, 1999, Monday Night RAW WWF World Championship match between The Rock and Mick Foley. After setting up a lot of the elements he feels made the event so successful, Austin hits the play button and provides running commentary as the video plays.

Quote of the week: “Seemingly Mick’s gonna hit the sweet spot of that table in the center and go to the ground. Don’t get me wrong, man, when those tables break, you still got a man that weighs 270 pounds, and a guy working with him weighs 270 pounds, and they’re both fixing to come crashing through the cement. There’s a pad there on the cement, but you’re comin’ from, you know, a state of elevation and a downward driving force. Laws of physics and gravity and speed come into play here, right on to Mick Foley’s back and his body. This is a hellacious move and it’s a risky move, so if you just think it’s a Rock Bottom on a table, it is much more than that. Let’s hit the play button, we’ll see what happens. Boom!”

Why you should listen: Austin going deep on classic in-ring moments is, without fail, his most reliably successful approach to a single episode. But his earlier attempts have all incorporated one of his matches. This time, where he’s only involved in a run-in to set up the finish, brings a different context because he can explain the psychology and staging of all parties equally — and there are at least a dozen people involved by the time the show fades to black — which is a nice twist in that it picks a different part of Austin’s brain and sheds a kind light on many beloved performers.

Why you should skip it: If you can’t stand the Attitude Era or have utter contempt for anything associated with Michael Cole or The Rock, especially his tracksuit phase, take a pass. Other than that, if you enjoy Austin at all, you’ll most likely dig this session.

Final thoughts: I figuratively scratched my head twice: once when Austin told everyone how to find the clip on DailyMotion instead of the WWE Network, and once when he said he didn’t really recall the moment until he watch the video, which is utterly absurd given how many times it’s come up in listener questions over the last few years. Those oddities aside, I absolutely loved this breakdown. If you have time to watch the match beforehand (or with Austin) that most likely will enhance your appreciation, but as this is one of WWE’s most significant historic moments, chances are you’ve already got a fair amount tucked away in long-term memory.