Thursday, April 20, 2017

Podcast Deep Dive: Killing the Town with Storm and Cyrus, April 18

Kelly is on the Storm and Cyrus show this episode
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Show: Killing the Town with Storm and Cyrus
Episode: 4/18/17
Run Time: 1:23:11
Guest: Kevin Kelly

It's been a while since we've checked in with Lance Storm and Cyrus (now usually going by his real name: Don Callis), and not much has changed. Storm is still a genial, serious host who keeps things level-headed, and Cyrus likes to be the more opinionated guy and to talk shit on the Disco Inferno. This is a noble pursuit.

The first segment on this week's episode addresses the JBL/Mauro Ranallo situation, and more specifically, whether or not JBL has been a dick to either Storm or Cyrus. Since Cyrus briefly managed him during his short WWF run in 1997/98, he is able to tell a story. JBL was extremely nice to him while they worked together, and then after Cyrus was fired, JBL bragged to everyone in the locker room that he helped get him fired. What's strange about this story is that it doesn't prove JBL to be a bully, but really just a lying jackass who takes pleasure in the misfortune of others. Leave it to the dozens of former wrestlers and WWE employees who can confirm that JBL has been generally awful to them.

Storm may be an Old School guy, but he doesn't take that mentality with this. He says, "I don't know what the situation was, but it certainly has to change because there's Human Resources now. There wasn't in the 70's, 80's and even the 90's. Bullying, hazing, ribbing were all just a part of the business, but the business has evolved and has moved past that." It can't get much simpler. JBL is a dickhead dinosaur, and he either has to knock it off or pack his bags (which hopefully someone will take a dump in).

Storm and Cyrus bring on Kevin Kelly, current announcer for both Ring of Honor and the English broadcasts for New Japan Pro Wrestling that air on NJPW World, where he shares his duties with Cyrus. Aside from their discussions of Kelly guiding Cyrus through Japan and preventing him from getting lost, they spend the most time addressing one of the other big topics of the last two weeks: Katsuyori Shibata and the headbutt that might have ended his career.

Kelly and Cyrus were present for this match, and they even had to shuffle past Shibata as he lay on the floor just past the curtain, where he passed out right after the match. They said it did not appear to be a worked storyline, as it actually took the doctors a minute to get to him. No one thought it was that serious, even as he had just collapsed. It says something about how seriously NJPW takes injuries that the doctors weren't right there behind the curtain ready for him, even if he hadn't passed out.

Kelly agrees with most people that Shibata doesn't need to do such a violent move in order to show his greatness. He already can make magic, so a legitimately scary feat such as a headbutt will only put himself in danger. It will also put the opponent in danger, and as Kelly points out, that opponent in this case was Kazuchika Okada, the clear Top Guy in NJPW. They are putting a ton of money and promotion behind him, and Kelly says it makes no sense for them to put him at risk.

So as you see, Storm and Cyrus are still doing a show where they review the news of the week, and give some smart, useful takes. It's not the absolute greatest wrestling podcast you'll listen to all week, but it beats the hell out of most of them. And hey, if you want to hear a detailed review of an ECW episode from '99 when both Storm and Cyrus were there, they're still doing that. It's mostly them just being like, "Boy, ECW was crazy." And it was.