Tuesday, March 1, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 302

Austin gabs with Court Bauer
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: “Monday Night Gold,” Ep. 302 (Feb. 25, 2016)
Run Time: 1:24:05
Guest: Court Bauer (10:56)

Summary: After a bit of small talk about the weather, boating and a bull shark, Austin and MLW’s Court Bauer talk about the Fast Lane main event and the Feb. 22 RAW, specifically the 30-minute opening segment and the later interaction with Paul Heyman, Brock Lesnar and Dean Ambrose. In conclusion, they wind the two topics together by considering match placement at WrestleMania 32.

Quote of the week: “You had that strong segment one, and it’s a big moment: Big moment in the McMahon family and big moment in the WWE mythology. And back in the day, WWE would thread a storyline through a show and it was great back in the day because it would keep you tuned in, it was episodic, you wanted to see this was — how everyone was gonna react, the fallout and everything. I didn’t feel WWE reflected that in the Shane McMahon shocking return on Monday night. You didn’t see the boys backstage buzzing about it. You didn’t see — you could have done some cool shots in the hallway … Renee Young should have been hounding The Authority for a follow-up interview. Even if she got no comment, just to see Vince a little, you know, unraveled by it or whatever, just to see how Vince, by saying nothing, could say a lot.”

Why you should listen: The focus here is quite narrow, but it focuses on the two hottest WWE stories heading into WrestleMania, and if you’re the type of fan who is — somewhat like Austin — just dropping back in to get hyped for the Showcase of the Immortals, then you definitely want to tune in as a complement to Monday’s RAW, unquestionably one of the most memorable in recent history.

Why you should skip it: Neither Austin nor Bauer are blindingly optimistic — both back up their opinions with plenty of logic, borne of experience — but it is fair to question the value in hearing an hour of praise heaped on top of something almost universally loved. Again, there is evidence that helps interested fans appreciate why they loved what they loved, but it’s layered in between thick swaths of superficial glee that doesn’t necessarily add anything of value aside from confirmation.

Final thoughts: Credit to Austin for following up his Fast Lane review show of Feb. 23 with a fresh episode two days later reacting to what happened on RAW. Beyond that, he and Bauer did a far better job than Cheap Heat in covering the night’s two biggest stories. That said, if you already know where you stand on the Shane return and the Lesnar-Ambrose feud, you either don’t need to hear these guys sell them or won’t be able to bear the love. It’s a fun chat, sure, but calling it essential would be too strong.