Wednesday, January 18, 2017

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 395

Austin talks to a prominent wrestling school teacher this week
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: 395 (Jan. 17, 2017)
Run Time: 1:25:48
Guest: Danny Cage (14:02)

Summary: Steve Austin’s guest this week is Monster Factory proprietor Danny Cage. After a very quick look at Cage’s personal background he explains how he got into the business of being a pro wrestling trainer, including how he developed and evaluates his his training regimen, what types of students he has and wants, the mechanics of studying a match with a group of trainees and the importance of focusing on all aspects of development. Austin asks about promo class and character development, then the guys talk about the importance of fundamentals. At the end, Cage explains how he forged a loose relationship with WWE and what he expects going forward.

Quote of the week: “My biggest addiction to wrestling — you know, besides that buzz and that euphoria you get during and after a show, but like — sitting back and seeing, like, the memories you’re creating for people. I just remember growing up and loving wrestling … Everything was wrestling. So, knowing and looking through that curtain and seeing parents, you know, and the father and the son out there watching it, and the whole family there, and they’re telling me how much they love wrestling. And, you know, people getting married and having babies, people proposing marriage in our ring and stuff, we’re like part of their DNA. And I think that’s a real cool part about wrestling, man.”

Why you should listen: Cage is a no-nonsense talker who seems to really appreciate both the fortune of being able to pursue a passion as a career as well as the reality that not every aspiring pro will get to headline WrestleMania. Austin’s questions draw out good insight about the process, and the lengthy closing tale about trying to establish professional connections in Orlando is illustrative about a side of the WWE that, for me, at least, always holds a degree of interest.

Why you should skip it: This is by no means essential listening. It’s a quick, compact chat, but Cage doesn’t have much to say about wrestling or training that hasn’t already been said in plenty of other forums. There are times where it wades into “these kids today” territory, and ultimately something that probably should come across as a free commercial for Cage’s school ends up falling short of that goal.

Final thoughts: One of the things Austin’s show has done for me over the years is given a deeper appreciation of not just what wrestlers of different generations endured on their way to the grandest stages, but the oftentimes capricious nature of success in the game — not just on the individual level but entire movements and promotions. Thinking about how the people I see on TV ended up in that position, and balanced against the few I’ve been lucky to see in person on smaller stages, helps my evolution as a fan. Not everyone wants to think about the performer as well as the performance, and there’s definitely a case to be made that you can only walk this road so often before all the sights and sounds become familiar. But still, Austin deserves points for pursing a broad range of guests. While this isn’t a mandatory episode, it’s a solid brick in the wall he’s building as a podcast host. If you’ve got the time, you’ll find a good chunk of it worthwhile.