Tuesday, March 8, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 304

Austin talks stunts with this episode's guest
Photo via Daily Mail UK
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: 304 (March 3, 2016)
Run Time: 1:23:41
Guest: Paul Lazenby (16:50)

Summary: Austin is on the phone with his former guest — and personal stunt double —Paul “The Mauler” Lazenby, to discuss his new book When We Were Bouncers. Lazenby traces the origin of his book and then opens up about the highs and lows of his own bouncing career. After a lengthy tangent on another former Austin guest, Bas Rutten, Lazenby gets back to his own bouncing stories and some of his favorite tales from the book. They end by discussing Lazenby’s film career, the movies they worked on together and upcoming projects.

Quote of the week: “A good bouncer is — basically has a conditioning called hyper vigilance, where you’re constantly, aggressively assessing your circumstances and surroundings. And that bleeds out in your personal life. You know, when you go out on a date with your girl, you don’t know if some dude you threw out of a club last week that you don’t remember his face, you might bump into him at the movie theater. So anytime you go into a room that’s full of people, whether you’re at a party or anything, you’re looking, ‘Where’s the exits?’ You know? ‘Who’s doing what?’ And it’s a very tiring, exhausting way to live. So when you’re young and, you know, you got a nuclear reactor burning in your chest and unlimited energy and you’re all aggressive and full of piss and vinegar, that’s one thing, it’s kind of fun. But it does get old, and it does have a shelf life, does get to a point where enough is enough.”

Why you should listen: There’s now a good sample size of Austin podcasts you can classify as “nonwrestling guest.” And although Lazenby does have some pro wrestling connections, this interview doesn’t broach the subject. So if we’re gauging Lazenby against guests like Broken Skull Challenge contestants, beer snobs, knife makers and so on, he actually ranks fairly high on the scale. The guys have great chemistry, the book serves as a focal point to give the interview direction and some of the stories are pretty amusing.

Why you should skip it: This certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Stories about bar bouncing, no matter how well told, simply don’t have broad appeal. While Austin can be a good interviewer, his ability seems to diminish in proportion to his familiarity with the guest — as in, the better he knows a guy, the more likely he is to fawn and chuckle rather than ask decent questions that move things along. As such, the parts of this episode that add context to Lazenby’s background and approach to his book are fleeting when compared to the amount of times Austin essentially remembers a chapter he liked and asks Lazenby to basically summarize. And, given the subject matter, this was surprisingly PG for an Unleashed episode, if that’s the sort of thing that matters to you.

Final thoughts: I liked this episode. It wasn’t great, but it was a good way to pass the time while I did dishes. Sometimes you don’t need much more than that. And sometimes you can skip a week and not miss a single thing. Sometimes the same episode is both, and that’s what we have here.