Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 357

Austin and Keller talk about Brooklyn II
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
Episode: 357 (Sept. 6, 2016)
Run Time: 1:29:34
Guest: Wade Keller (4:48)

Summary: When Steve Austin called Wade Keller, of the Pro Wrestling Torch, to review SummerSlam, Keller urged Austin to watch the NXT Brooklyn show from the night before. Austin finally got around to watching TakeOver, and he felt compelled to place another call to Keller. Aside from reviewing each match, the guys also discussed the way NXT is lit and staged, the importance of the commentary team and excellent referee work and why Brooklyn has been so crucial for NXT.

Quote of the week: Austin: “With the announcers doing what they’re doing, with the guys and gals doing what they’re doing, within the framework of the NXT umbrella, I love it and I’m a fan. I always want to be a fan. I don’t want to come across as a grizzled veteran when I’m voicing my opinion. When I get a chance to talk about these people doing what they do, doing what I got a chance to do for 13, 14 years, it’s just a highlight of my day. So swig of beer to everyone down there at NXT under that WWE umbrella. Wade, I appreciate it.”

Keller: “Steve, I was excited when you said you wanted to talk about this show, I think things move too quickly in this world, and two weeks should not be too long of a time to go back and look at a show this good.”

Why you should listen: These guys are always a great pairing. But in this specific instance, here are some high points:
  • Austin invoking his Ringmaster phase in wondering if No Way Jose is a similar “foot in the door.”
  • Keller seeking Austin’s opinion on the long-term utility of Ember Moon’s diving corkscrew stunner.
  • Legitimate critical analysis of the show’s legendary entrances by Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura, and why the less memorable introductions of Asuka and Samoa Joe were no less significant to the overall storytelling.
  • Fawning over the new spin on the old-school authenticity of the tag team title match.
  • Wrestlers who lost their match but exited the show elevated as performers.
Why you should skip it: Only if you have zero interest in NXT. And frankly, if you have time to listen to this podcast, you should find 30 extra minutes and watch TakeOver instead.

Final thoughts: Why it took me three weeks to listen to a podcast recorded two weeks after one of my favorite shows of the year is a topic for another day, but in a way I’m glad I did because the distance only underscores the quality of NXT’s supercards. That I had so much fun revisiting the show this far removed — remember, a LOT has happened in the WWE world in the last five weeks — just speaks to the timeless quality of great wrestling moments, and NXT in Brooklyn two years running has absolutely delivered on that promise. And even though podcasts often are outdated shortly after posting, this conversation has no expiration date. If you love NXT, I’d suggest this is a strong supplement to the fan experience.