Wednesday, August 19, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have to: Steve Austin Show Ep. 247

Sean Waltman is Austin's guest for this episode
Photo Credit:
If you're new, here's the rundown: I 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 better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show
Episode: 247 (Aug. 18, 2015)
Run Time: 1:31:52
Guest: Sean Waltman (3:40)

Summary: After a quick chat about wild animals, Stone Cold and Waltman chat about the latter’s current wrestling schedule, the evolution of his ring philosophy and creation of the 1-2-3 Kid character. They reminisce about serious head and neck injuries, which leads into talk about Waltman working with Scott Hall and the modern health climate inside the WWE. After a breakdown of ring design, Austin asks Waltman about his work with Kane, Tori and Vampiro, then gets him to run down some various “bests” of all time. Austin also asks Waltman about wrestling while on meth and gets his opinion on AJ Styles before another look at ring philosophy. He ends by telling his guest the story of his future wife’s knowledge of wrestling being limited to a student who liked to throw DX crotch chops.

Quote of the week: On recovering from a meth addiction: “It was very tough, and it took several years of falling every once in a while and, you know, beating myself up, and then going a while without … man, I’d set myself up. Sometimes … I’d end up in a place where somebody would have something like that. I think it was just subconsciously just hating myself, and just self-destruct mode — the dark side of me was just really prevailing, I guess, for lack of a better term.”

Why you should listen: Waltman is a great podcast guest. He’s a lifelong wrestling fan dating back to the late 1970s who was a wide range of interesting experiences, to put it mildly. As noted at the outset, one of Waltman’s intentions in a return appearance was to prove he could successfully guest on the family friendly version, and anyone who intentionally skipped his Unleashed visit will appreciate his ability to keep it clean here. Of course, the drug talk is a little rough, but Waltman traffics in blunt force honesty, which is one of the reasons I found this interview compelling.

Why you should skip it: That raw honesty is a double-edged sword, and some segments might be too much for certain listeners. Also, anyone expecting the latest dirt on Chyna will be sorely disappointed, as her name passes neither man’s lips. There’s not a good deal of order to much of the conversation, which might frustrate those looking for a comprehensive conversations. And while much of the ground covered is fresh, hearing Waltman again revisit the 1-2-3 Kid era is by now quite tiresome.

Final thoughts: Austin does a fine job making this episode distinct from his earlier Waltman chat, and it also stands apart from Waltman’s Art Of Wrestling appearance. I’ve got my own feelings about the ridiculous notion of “X-Pac heat,” but hopefully most people can look past his Attitude Era incarnation to appreciate what Waltman offers in terms of context and perspective here in mid-2015. If nothing else, it’s always good to hear Austin really dig in to a talk with someone he considers a peer and friend.