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The Usual Suspects

Talk n’ Shop #38 (3/21/15): Doc and Karl often talk about how their podcast is the worst in the world, which is patently untrue, but this is far from their best effort. There’s some OK talk about Doc’s upcoming indy show and paydays, but mostly it’s just silly voices and comedy that doesn’t quite work. THUMBS DOWN

MLW Radio #172 (3/22/15): Court and MSL open the show with an appropriately sober rundown of the Perro Aguayo situation, then segue into bringing in Jim Ross as the guest. Ross works much better here than he does on his own show, as the three spend a good chunk of the show discussing developmental and Ross’ philosophies and experiences with it. When they do talk current events (mainly the build to Wrestlemania), Ross can’t hammer home his usual tired points and comes across far more palatable than usual. THUMBS UP

Piper’s Pit #51 (3/23/15): Piper starts the show restating his idea that the television show COPS has contributed to the rise of animosity towards the police in America. He also confuses Mark Spitz for Michael Phelps (I’m guessing Spitz never showed up on TMZ for smoking pot). Then Jake “the Snake” Roberts joins the show to discuss sociopathic backstage shenanigans in the WWF. Jake goes off on the British Bulldogs for being bullies because they didn’t have the talent to be in the main events, and then segues into a story of feeding Matilda Ex-Lax. Charming. THUMBS DOWN

Steve Austin Show #205 (3/24/15): Steve first talks to his wife about all kinds of topics, although the parking situation at Trader Joe’s sadly isn’t one of them. Then Steve is joined by Court Bauer, who is rapidly becoming the new Ted Fowler. They discuss the Perro Aguayo Jr situation, do a lot of plugging for Jim Ross and Walemania, and finally preview Wrestlemania. Steve admits to not watching the product recently and continually refers to Cageside Seats for more information, so he’s not offering the best insight. Court is fine but with all the Wrestlemania content this week you can find a lot better audio out there. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Who’s Next with Goldberg #41(3/24/15): “NFL Hall of Fame Center Damonte Dawson (Pittsburgh Steelers) joins Goldberg for 50 minutes of serious man talk.” So says the show description. There’s some football talk, but quickly the two get into how lousy these darn kids are today, which makes for the usual taxing listen. There are also all these weird sound effects that insert themselves randomly into the show, most distractingly while Bill is discussing his recently deceased dog. THUMBS DOWN

Bauer & Pollock (3/24/15): An earlier show than usual due to the impending Wrestlemania, we get lengthy recaps of the death of Perro Aguayo Jr, the final build to Wrestlemania, the idea of Vince selling the company someday, the possibility of Triple H and Sting’s entrances at Mania, Bill Goldberg: Kickboxer (with Court saying Bill walked away from the deal, and the crazy opponents they had lined up for Alberto). There’s also a random but enjoyable recap of Wrestlemania IX. THUMBS UP

Talk is Jericho #128 (3/25/15): Jericho doubles up this week, as Dave Meltzer is on first to discuss the death of Perro Aguayo Jr. Then Cheech Marin joins the show to discuss his lengthy career. He gets into his youth, going to Canada to avoid the draft, meeting up with Tommy Chong and starting their act, the height of their movies and comedy albums, the duo’s breakup, voiceover work, Nash Bridges (sadly, Steve Austin’s appearances as Jake Cage aren’t touched on), and a lot more. I’m not a fan of Cheech and Chong by any means but this was a very amiable interview. <Meltzer’s interview starts at 12:13, Cheech’s interview starts at 38:21> THUMBS UP

The Ross Report #58 (3/25/15): Ken Shamrock joins Jim Ross to talk all manner of MMA and wrestling, including the science of bare knuckle boxing, training in wrestling under Buzz Sawyer and Nelson Royal, refereeing the Hart/Austin I Quit match, why he went back to MMA, CM Punk and Brock Lesnar’s potential in MMA, and his new security agency. I have to give JR credit; he tackled a lot of different topics with Shamrock, who proved to be an insightful guest. <Shamrock’s interview starts at 33:04> THUMBS UP

Human Podcast Machine #16 (3/25/15): Jim Ross makes a rare podcast appearance as he chats with Taz. They preview the upcoming Wrestlemania, but also discuss JR’s experiences at Wrestle Kingdom and plenty of other topics. There’s some good discussion here, but Ross is in super grump mode, constantly dumping on internet fans. And given the show is 2+ hours, it can be a bit of a slog at times. In positive news, Taz has actual ads now, and doesn’t just throw it to a break and immediately return to his show, so good for him. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Art of Wrestling #243 (3/26/15): Michael Tarver, the “lost” member of the Nexus, joins Colt. There surprisingly isn’t a lot about being on the first season of NXT or his time on the main roster. Instead, Tarver discusses his incident in AIW with Gregory Iron, his time in developmental, being homeless, his upbringing, and more. I always had Tarver pegged as a bit of a nutcase, but he comes across as a very thoughtful guy. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin – Unleashed #206 (3/26/15): Steve chats with his wife for an extended segment, then answers a bunch of listener questions centered around Wrestlemania, including why he wore a shirt at XV, working with Savio Vega, why he put over the Rock, favorite Wrestlemania moments, and more. Then Court Bauer returns (!) for another Wrestlemania preview (!!) and discussion of Brock’s re-signing with the WWE. The Q&A section is fun, the segments bookending it much less so. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Jim Cornette Experience #70 (3/26/15):Dr. Tom Pritchard joins Jim and Alice for a timely discussion of proper wrestling training. Not surprisingly, they’re not in favor of Bill DeMott’s harsher methods of training (although Cornette still has no qualms about slapping Santino Marella back in the day), but Dr. Tom makes the salient point that going out for drinks with trainees isn’t the best tactic either. Pritchard also reads and refutes excerpts from DeMott’s book. Jim and Alice’s intro was extra terrible this week, but the meat of the show is quite good. <Pritchard’s interview starts at 25:24> THUMBS UP

Talk is Jericho #129 (3/27/15): Daniel Bryan returns to the show to recount his recent return from the ring. We hear about his neck problems, how severe they were, calling Vince to talk about it, alternative methods of healing, and finally being able to return to the ring. They close out with thoughts on Roman Reins and a very thoughtful conversation about what it means to be a success in wrestling. Bryan rules, ‘nuff said. Egypt is also back to talk Wrestlemania. I give Jericho credit for dumping most of his lame comedy bits, but for some reason he keeps bringing Egypt back to give PPV predictions. This segment is actually notable as Jericho clears up his “fans who boo Roman Reins can go to hell” statement (Jericho claims he was misquoted, saying he was tired of fans complaining to him about Roman Reigns. <Bryan’s interview starts at 21:40> THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK