I started adding episode numbers, which seemed like a prudent thing to do. The podcast week in review, brought to you by Smart Mouth Mouthwash.

They Said It…

  • “The Japanese product for me is hard to get into, because all it is, with the Japanese guys, is the wrestling.” – Disco Inferno
  • “He was trying to hook me up with his daughter. He wanted me to come over and have dinner at the house, with Kathy Gagne, he wanted me to see his daughter. And Kathy had this awesome, crazy great body, but her face looked just like Greg.” –Hulk Hogan

The Usual Suspects

Talk n’ Shop #27 (1/3/14): They don’t have material for new episodes, so they dust off part 2 with NOAH’s Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls (part one was way back in episode #9 back in August). Rocky basically apologizes for the episode before it airs, but it’s not that bad. Doc Gallows shows up and basically takes over the episode, continually plugging a month’s old indy show he promoted, which just makes the whole thing funnier. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

MLW Radio #161 (1/4/15): Disco Inferno and Alex Greenfield join MSL to discuss groups like New Japan and AAA making their way to the United States. Most of the attention for this episode will revolve around Disco’s negative thoughts on Japanese wrestling. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinions, but playing turd in the punchbowl the day after the critically acclaimed Wrestle Kingdom 9 makes for curious listening. Much better is the discussion of the viability of AAA and NJPW in the U.S., as well as the story of Disco’s one match in Toryumon. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Piper’s Pit #40 (1/5/15): Vince Russo talks to Piper for almost two hours. I was DREADING this when it came up in my feed, but honestly, it’s not awful. It’s basically Russo telling his life story as you’ve heard on a million other podcasts. Piper, to his credit, does challenge Russo on his answers, including grilling Russo on how he treated Piper when he first got to WCW (an incident that seemingly haunts Roddy, because he won’t let it go). But a large chunk of time is spent on Owen Hart’s death, which allows Russo to tell the same story seemingly word-for-word. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

MLW Extra (1/5/15): MLW drops a bonus free show as Court Bauer talks to Jeff Jarrett, Alex Greenfield, and Bobby Fish about their relative experiences with Wrestle Kingdom IX. You don’t get a lot of great info (other than Court dropping an attendance figure of 36K), but if you’re not sick of Dome show coverage, it’s a decent enough victory lap. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Steve Austin Show #183 (1/6/15): Continuing last week’s Unleashed show, Steve sits down with his brother Jeff. Jeff has his guitar and essentially plays a whole concert for Steve, mixing covers and originals. This does not sound good in theory, and I cannot think of a reason for this show to exist, but Jeff is a talented musician and I didn’t mind it honestly (I also listened at 1.5x speed, so mileage may vary at normal levels). Steve and Jeff also reminisce about their childhoods, but I don’t know how you don’t get into what it’s like being the brother of one of the biggest wrestling stars ever. Far from a must listen, but a pleasant enough show. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Who’s Next With Goldberg #32 (1/6/15): Bill talks to former Buffalo Bills QB Jim Kelley. Kelly’s reprises his battle with cancer in a nice segment, but then joins in on Bill’s “these kids today!” rant, which drags things down a bit. Bill really has a problem with Johnny Manziel. The podcast in total goes a hair under 30 minutes. Far be it from me to complain about the short length of a podcast, but couldn’t Bill tack on some fan mail at the end? THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #106 (1/7/15): Hulk Hogan is the guest this week, brother. He and Chris sit down and cover a lot of topics, centering on Hogan’s early career, getting his leg broken by Hiro Matsuda, how he got the Rocky III role, working in the AWA and moving on to WWF. I’m sure there were misremembered facts and exaggerations, but nothing terribly offensive. You rarely hear Hogan in such a relaxed environment, and the interview is a lot of fun. Jericho’s friend Speewee also joins Chris to talk about an elaborate prank in an OK segment. <Hogan’s interview starts at 33:23> THUMBS UP

The Ross Report #47 (1/7/15): Jim talks to TNA President Dixie Carter about her company’s move to Destination America. The whole interview is cordial, with Dixie painting moving to Friday Nights on a network with lesser clearance as a huge upgrade over Spike TV, because Destination America is “behind TNA.” Ross does ask if Vince Russo is coming back (not at this time), but doesn’t follow up if the company is doing away with PPV’s. The interview set off my B.S. alarm way more than Hogan’s interview, and nothing interesting is said. Ross talks about the Dome show in the vaguest of terms, and his comments were likely recorded last week. <Carter’s interview starts at 24:38> THUMBS DOWN

Human Podcast Machine with Taz #1 (1/7/15): Taz has a podcast now with CBS Radio, because why not? Edge is the first guest, and while it starts slow, it picks up with Edge talking honestly about the current state of WWE, life after wrestling, and his acting career. Edge is a top tier podcast guest and this is one of his lesser appearances, but it’s Taz’s first episode. Best of all is Taz’s monologue detailing the night he debuted in the WWF and the fallout from it. Not sure if I can follow this every week, but it’s a pretty good debut and we’ll see where it goes. THUMBS UP

Bauer & Pollock (1/7/15): A lot of news to run down, including Jon Jones’ drug test failure, TNA’s brave new world on Destination America, and an extended segment on New Japan, from Wrestle Kingdom IX to the Dash show to the group’s possibilities going forward. Court closes out the show with a moving tribute to Tim Arson, the former ECW Zombie who recently passes away. THUMBS UP

Art of Wrestling #232 (1/8/15): Quiet Storm is Colt’s guest this week. If you don’t know who that is, he was a minor name on the East Coast indy scene in the early 2000’s that has since moved to Japan to wrestle full time. That story of making your way in a foreign country is interesting to me, but as a diehard Osaka Pro fan this is right in my wheelhouse. If you don’t care about indy wrestling or Japan, you likely won’t get much out of it, but everyone should hear about the Summer Santa gimmick. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin – Unleashed (1/8/15): Stone Cold reads a bunch of listener questions. He indicates it’ll be pro wrestling-centric, but there are lots of off topic questions about football, car supplies, and Stevie Ray Vaughn. Still, there’s some good discussion about wrestling gear, calling matches, and Austin’s thoughts on War Games. Steve also randomly reads a question in a Forrest Gump voice in one of the stranger podcasting moments in a while. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Jim Cornette Experience #59 (1/8/15): In a looooong intro, Jim and Alice decry Vince Russo’s appearance on Piper’s podcast (of course) and run down the NJPW Dome show, making them podcast #10,000 to weigh in. Then Danny Davis (The Nightmare, not the ref) joins the show to talk about his training, some fun stories about his career, and the current OVW. The show itself is fine on its own merits, but the training story is largely recycled from the Art of Wrestling. But make sure you hear the story about Stu Hart’s delight at potentially stretching someone. <Davis’ interview starts at 41:50> THUMBS UP

Talk is Jericho #107 (1/9/15): Part 2 with the Hulkster, dude. They move into Hogan’s peak years, with recaps of Wrestlemania I & III, moving on to WCW, turning heel, making amends with Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior, and a lot more. Hogan is quite the impressionist, I have to say. I’m sure there’s a good chunk of BS here, but Hogan is so earnest and self-effacing you don’t mind. <Hogan’s interview starts at 29:54> THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK