The podcast week in review, brought to you by Arctic Ease Cold Wraps.

They Said It…

  • “They’re just a bunch of dumbass kids.” – Roddy Piper on Juggalos
  • “It was blacker than a banker’s heart.” – Jim Cornette on TNA crowd shots

The Usual Suspects

Talk n’ Shop #29 (1/17/14): Something different, as they’re taping episodes at a bunch of U.S. indy shows. This one features “Wildcat” Chris Harris of all people, who is still wrestling, I guess. He goes over being under contract in the dying days of WCW, how he started with TNA, and the America’s Most Wanted Team with James Storm. The interview is short but fine, although I question if AMW really brought back tag team wrestling as claimed. Nothing about Braden Walker, outside of a comment about WWE being the worst run billion dollar company ever, although it sounds like they’re getting into it in Part 2. THUMBS UP

MLW Radio #162 (1/18/15): MSL is joined by Alex Greenfield and Kevin Sullivan, an odd pairing if there ever was one. The crux of the show is current events, and Sullivan does not have a good show. He continually asserts Hogan beat Vader for the WCW title in 1995, thinks the Punk leaving is a shoot, guesses that Punk/Brock will compete at Wrestlemania in a non-shoot shoot match, and wonders why Jon Jones failing for cocaine was OK but pot is not. An odd tangent about boxing closes out a skippable show. THUMBS DOWN

Piper’s Pit #42 (1/19/15): Jim Cornette is the guest this week. This did not seem promising when it showed up in my feed, but it’s not so bad. Nothing about the Russo shows is brought up, thankfully. The structure of the show is a bit weird, as Jim runs down a very brief history of his time in the business, and then in the second half they randomly take a fan’s phone call. Cornette, to his credit, plays off Piper very well, although Roddy barely knows anything about Cornette’s career. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Steve Austin Show #187 (1/20/15): Steve talks to his wife about all the headaches, hassles, and horseshit in his life, such as rats in their house and Steve trying to do a podcast with a psychic. “Diamond” Dallas Page then joins the show to talk, yup, DDP Yoga, as well as the Jake Roberts documentary debuting at Slamdance in Utah (no, not Sundance, the Slamdance Film Festival) and the upcoming DDP Yoga Performance center. There’s some wrestling talk at the end, but really nothing you haven’t heard before. THUMBS DOWN

Who’s Next With Goldberg #34 (1/20/15): MMA legend Royce Gracie joins Bill to talk about his famous family, the early days of UFC, the glory days of Pride, and more. Royce is an OK guest but you won’t learn a ton here. Bill, of course, prefers the old Pride style of MMA to modern day UFC. We really need to start a Kickstarter to get Bill a time machine, so he can properly enjoy MMA, football, and society. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #110 (1/21/15): Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo joins Jericho to discuss the band, but mostly to talk about his documentary on famed bassist Jaco Pastorius. Things pick up a bit when he talks about his audition for Metallica, and what it’s like to be in the band, but the interview is never as interesting as you hope. Jericho is also joined by the little kid who knows all the WWE theme songs, who gives a display of his prowess. It’s impressive and all, but how many hours of lousy WWE TV has this kid already watched in his short life? <Trujillo’s interview starts at 24:58> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Ross Report #49 (1/21/15): Lisa Marie Vachon aka Victoria aka Tara is JR’s guest. She talks about getting into wrestling, her time with WWE, her restaurant, and her less than satisfactory tenure in TNA. The TNA stuff is very interesting, as Vachon paints Dixie Carter as clueless (and drops a c-bomb) and TNA as a dysfunctional mess (go figure). JR drags the proceedings down a notch by being in super grump mode, dumping on both ingrate fans and wrestlers. Nothing about the Josh Matthews beef, but there’s always next week. <Varon’s interview starts at 36:32> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Bauer & Pollock (1/21/15): JoPo and CB run down the weeks news. Lots of Rumble talk (including some actual interesting booking ideas for Roman Reigns), Wrestlemania at AT&T Stadium, Alberto Del Rio’s future, Jim Ross vs. Josh Matthews, and lots of NJPW talk. Court drops some scoops, saying there’s zero percent chance of Rey in the Rumble, still no word on the Wrestle Kingdom buyrate, and that the recently promoted Lisa Lee might end up taking Kevin Dunn’s spot. Court’s hardcore Giants fandom should earn this a perpetual thumbs down, but I am nothing if not magnanimous. THUMBS UP

Art of Wrestling #234 (1/22/15): Matt Sydal joins the show. The crux of the episode is Matt’s experience in Peru and on the Amazon River taking mind altering drugs like Ayahuasca, which granted him super powers and restored his love for wrestling. Needless to say, this is one of the more offbeat episodes of the year. People only interested in wrestling (or straight edge types) might keep away, but it certainly held my attention. Matt also briefly gets into wrestling fandom and the mistakes he made that lead to his dismissal from WWE. THUMBS UP

Human Podcast Machine with Taz #3 (1/22/15): Matt Hardy is the guest for Taz’s third outing. Matt’s made the podcast rounds, but to Taz’s credit, he tries a different tact, as the theme of the show is promoters and if they ever put wrestlers in dangerous positions. Matt has an interesting perspective as a former promoter and someone who was in so many ladder matches. Taz also recounts the ECW invasion of the WWF Mind Games PPV and the ECW Raw at the Manhattan Center, in what remains the highlight of the program. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin – Unleashed #188 (1/22/15): Steve talks to his wife, takes some calls, chats with Teddy Fowler about whatever, and ends with some more calls. Some caller asks for a “hell yeah” for his recently deceased father. Callers are still unhappy with the WWE. Austin still hasn’t watched Wrestle Kingdom 9 (don’t even ask about NXT R Evolution). Remember when this was the best podcast out there? THUMBS DOWN

The Jim Cornette Experience #61 (1/22/15): There’s a long rant to start the show about the two R’s (Russo & Religion). Les Thatcher then joins the show for Part 2 of his interview. Again, the first part of the interview is interesting, detailing Les experimenting with personality profiles on TV as a way to get characters over. But again, the show falls into “get off my lawn” territory, detailing the endless problems with modern pro wrestling. <Thatcher’ interview starts at 39:28> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #111 (1/23/15): Lanny Poffo joins Jericho to discuss his brother Randy Savage finally going into the WWE Hall of Fame. They discuss Randy’s grudge over a Legend’s Battle Royal his father was not invited to, Randy’s vow that his whole family should go into the HOF and why Lanny went against his wishes, and why Hulk Hogan is the perfect man to induct his brother. They also get into Lanny’s career a bit and working with Mr. Perfect and Hulk Hogan, and he’s self deprecating about the whole thing (almost to a fault). Lanny can certainly take a while to get the point, but on the whole a very enjoyable episode. And yes, there’s some poetry too. <Poffo’s interview starts at 18:31> THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK