Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 307

Austin gabs Roadblock with Keller this episode
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: 307 (March 15, 2016)
Run Time: 1:33:47
Guest: Wade Keller (7:46)

Summary: Before Austin leaves the Broken Skull Ranch at the end of a brief spring cleaning visit, he calls Wade Keller to discuss Roadblock, but first they take a quick look ahead to WrestleMania 32 and the prospects of a sellout. The guys cover each match of Saturday night’s card and explain why they liked the show as a whole, though also giving reasons for the segments that didn’t come off so well.

Quote of the week: “I think it’s bigger than Vince McMahon anticipated. … In a way it’s a testament to an old-school way of promoting wrestling that works, and I don’t know that it hasn’t ruffled some feathers at the corporate headquarters in terms of, you know, egos being bruised about, ‘We know our way is the only way, that we’re standing tall, we’re the only ones here, we’re the only ones left standing and making any kind of money and employing anybody with any kind of good income.’ And then you have NXT come along, this little promotion that’s given some money to develop talent, but a completely separate booking crew and production crew and philosophy, and it’s based on what, Steve, you and I grew up watching. … There’s so many things about NXT that have worked, and just likeable, earnest characters like Bayley and Sami Zayn where you feel good watching wrestling ’cause the babyfaces seem like good people who you’re rooting for and want to see win.”

Why you should listen: A good chunk of wrestling writers and podcasters — those on my radar at least —seem willing to overlook or downplay Roadblock in comparison to the regular monthly supershows. Austin and Keller have none of that, holding the same critical light to Saturday’s show as they did the Royal Rumble and Fast Lane. In something of a role reversal, Austin comes off as the slightly harsher of the two, though both men overall showed great appreciation for the effort and execution of a wrestling-heavy Network special.

Why you should skip it: Roadblock wasn’t for everyone, and if you’re among those who found it superfluous, you’ll probably want to take a pass on this one.

Final thoughts: I strongly recommend anyone paying attention to the current WWE stories give this episode a listen. I think the guys did a great job explaining why Roadblock worked as a show conceptually, even though it had its low moments and also nothing technically happened. They’re incredibly high on the Dean Ambrose/Triple H match, and illustrate well what it means for Ambrose and what it portends for Roman Reigns. Austin’s lack of exposure to The Revival is endearing because it’s contextualized with deep respect. It’s possible some would call him out as being a company cheerleader at a crucial time, but more likely he’s just a longtime wrestling fan who’s getting sucked into the excitement of the build to a WrestleMania in his back yard.