Thursday, April 14, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: The Sharpshooter Show, April 5

More from Hart's (center) show
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: The Sharpshooter Show
Episode: April 5, 2016
Run Time: 1:20:29
Guest: none

Summary: Bret Hart and his co-host Nick Hausman have so much to talk about today that they don't even bring on a guest. Joined by his two sons, Blade and Dallas, Bret breaks down what he saw at WrestleMania 32. He was disappointed by almost all of it, especially finding fault in the Intercontinental Championship ladder match and Hell in a Cell match. Bret bemoans the "phoniness" of WWE's product these days. However, he was quite impressed by NXT Takeover: Dallas because NXT allows their talent to actually go out and wrestle and make it look realistic. Blade and Dallas share a younger, less negative perspective on the happenings.

Quote of the Week: Bret, on WrestleMania 32 - "I would say real wrestling is almost virtually dead. The Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Bret Hart kind of real wrestling, that one match that brings realism and credibility, where you watch it and there are no props, or air guns, or fire, sledgehammers - it's just two guys telling a story with their body? I didn't see any of that anywhere on the card. It was absent, it was left off."

Why you should listen: As dry as he can be, Bret Hart is a bizarrely funny person. Not funny in the traditional sense where he tells good jokes and makes humorous observations, but more in the way that he has very little filter over the fact that he thinks much of what happens on our planet is bullshit. This lack of a filter means that his take on WrestleMania 32 is free of any sugarcoating. He hated a large majority of it, and he explains his hatred in ways that actually make sense. Fans of NXT will be pleased to hear how much Bret loved Takeover: Dallas, as any NXT devotee will probably agree that Takeover was way more fun than Mania.

I'd also like to put in a good word for the advertising jingle that promotes Blade Hart's Sharpshooter Funding. This thing sounds like it was recorded for radio in 1986, and I can't tell if they know how funny it sounds, but either way, it is a treat and a half. It's almost worth listening to the whole show just for that (they play it twice, completely unnecessarily).

Why you should skip it: Perhaps you got your personal overload of complaining from internet wrestling fans over the last two weeks, and you don't want to hear the negative stuff anymore. If so, this show certainly isn't for you. Bret Hart has a dismal view of WWE's product and he sees no way it's going to get better. Even when his sons try to point out some positives, he mostly just shoots them down. It might make one sad to hear Bret sound so sad about wrestling.

Final Thoughts: I returned to this show after only a month partially because I love Bret Hart so much, but also because I wanted to see if the Sharpshooter Show had evolved into something more than I expected it to be. It is still a very young show and might still need time to grow, because its main flaws are still there: Bret sounds tired and ragged, Nick Hausman is a good-natured but irritating co-host, and the general tone of the show is, "Boy, wrestling sure was better back in 1994 (surely not having anything to do with the fact that I, Bret Hart, was the champion." Also, they are still promoting that godforsaken seafood restaurant in Baltimore, and NO ONE is going to eat there because of this podcast, you guys. Stop it.

But I can't dismiss the Sharpshooter Show as the irrelevant ramblings of a disgruntled former employee. Whereas others are ill-informed and venomous in their critiques, Bret is a legend who really does know what makes for good pro wrestling. He's right that Shane McMahon is not a believable wrestler, and he's right that Charlotte is an underdeveloped talent who shouldn't be the champion. When he tells you why WWE ladder matches have become ridiculous and phony, his reasons for saying this are largely irrefutable. But when he says this stuff, he also shows how painfully serious he is about pro wrestling as a whole, and I just don't know if that attitude has a place in WWE in 2016. I suppose it could, but if it doesn't right now, will it help us in any way if we let it make us depressed?