The podcast week in review, brought to you by Topps (or seriously brought to you by our Amazon and WWEShop affiliate websites!).

They said it…

  • “My kids always came first. I love my kids. It was my kids, wrestling, and then wives were just somewhere else on the list. I think my boat was #3.” – Ric Flair
  • “I learned the best wrestling is what looks the realest.” – Bret Hart
  • “Have you heard about the new corduroy pillows? They’re making head lines.” – U-Gene Dinsmore

The Usual Suspects

Talk n’ Shop #48 (5/30/15): Part 2 of their road trip, this time driving back from the ROH show. There’s ostensibly a theme of everyone’s early days in training, and Doc Gallows quickly takes over with tales of being in the New Millennium Assassins (he was 18, his partner was 42), fighting grappling greats like the Southern Brawler, and his close relationship with King Kong Bundy. Some repetition from prior shows, but the stories are funny so it gets a pass. They also capture everyone taking a piss break, if that interests you. THUMBS UP

MLW Radio #182 (5/31/15): Court, Greeny, and MSL, not surprisingly, spend a good chunk of the show discussing the TNA/Destination America debacle, as well as the fallout for Ring of Honor and Global Force. They also touch on Elimination Chamber, a possible boom period for wrestling (which is an interesting discussion), Heyman on Austin’s podcast, Sunny’s Twitter adventures, NXT at a music festival, and more. Movie and video game talk closes out the show if that’s your thing. Cryptic Court also hints at something big for Lucha Underground, which I guess is a Unimas deal. Definitely a lively show. THUMBS UP

Human Podcast Machine Reaction #17 (6/1/15): I don’t usually cover Taz’s reactions shows, since they tend to be short and usually just Taz doing a monologue about Raw or a PPV. This one is different since it’s a lot longer than usual (over an hour), Producer Seth is onboard for some banter, and no other show did any dedicated Elimination Chamber coverage. Taz and Seth do a nice rundown of the event (I liked Taz’s point about Darren Young’s selling), and go off on some fun tangents about ECW. THUMBS UP

Piper’s Pit #60 (6/1/15): “Roddy Piper interviews The Godfather/Papa Shango.” That about covers it. Charles Wright is a engaging guest – he covers all his various gimmicks and has nothing but great things to say about his time in wrestling. Unfortunately, there are two problems – one is Earl Skakel, who I guess is a co-host from now on and just isn’t a very funny man. Second, Piper has a bad show, thinking “Iron” Mike Sharpe ran the Monster Factory and asking if Papa Shango showed up in the Attitude Era. Current events fair no better, as Piper also wonders if Samoa Joe came over to “Nexus” and hadn’t heard TNA wasn’t renewed by Destination America. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Stone Cold on the WWE Network (6/1/15): Steve Austin is back on the Network, chatting with Paul Heyman for an hour. They talk about the Dangerous Alliance, why Heyman doesn’t manage other people, the lost art of selling (those damn DDTs!), working for Vince McMahon Senior, mellowing out when you have kids, and a couple of insane road stories to close it out. They tease a match between Austin and Brock at the next Wrestlemania, which makes it extra noteworthy. Not Heyman’s best show with Austin, and there is some repetition from other outings, but this is by far the best WWE Network Podcast they’ve done. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin Show #225 (6/2/15): Part 2 with Sirius XM radio host Sam Roberts, which is actually part 1. They get into Roberts breaking into radio and his scintillating feud with Kevin Pollack, and then discuss Roberts’ fandom and thoughts on the current WWE product, as well as the Von Erichs, Randy Savage, and more. They spend a lot of time on Finn Balor looking at the ceiling. The radio stuff didn’t do a lot for me, and the wrestling talk really doesn’t offer any more than talking to your average hardcore fan. THUMBS DOWN

The Ross Report #67 (6/2/15): Bret “The Hitman” Hart joins the show for a lengthy discussion. He and Ross get into being a second generation star, CM Punk’s chances in the UFC, having the crowd turn on you, the Goldberg kick that ended his career, the Wrestlemania XIII match against Steve Austin, his WCW run, his dad, and the upcoming Owen DVD. The interview is thorough and Bret, as always, is honest if nothing else (poor Kevin Sullivan takes a beating once again). A fine show, but why does Ross think he’s some kind of master impressionist? I really don’t know why we’re continually subjected to his sub-Rich Little act. <Hart’ interview starts at 24:57> THUMBS UP

Talk is Jericho #148 (6/3/15): Jericho talks to hockey legend Bobby Hull, who sounds just like a Canadian version of Bryan Alvarez’s friend Craig. Lots of old time hockey talk about inventing the curved stick, Hull getting blackballed for joining WHA, winning the Stanley Cup, his son Bret, and playing against a young Wayne Gretsky. Like most of Jericho’s hockey shows, I thought this was OK, but diehard hockey fans will likely eat it up. <Hull’s interview at 16:37> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

WOOOOO ™Nation #5 (6/3/15) Hardcore Mick Foley (hey, that’s how they bill him) joins Ric for an hour of cordial chat. They talk about the Wrestlemania XX handicap match, Charlotte and the NXT women, Wife Swap, Ric getting Mick hired for WCW, working hardcore matches, and their former animosity and having friends in wrestling. Mick is always a fun guest, and I appreciate Ric getting all his old enemies on his show to make nice. THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK

Bauer & Pollock (6/3/15): B&P return, at least for this week, to recap a packed few weeks of wrestling news. Topics include: the packed Wednesday night landscape, Samoa Joe’s new full time deal with the WWE, the Paul Heyman podcast with Steve Austin on the Network, whether an Austin/Lesnar match could happen at Mania, Kevin Owens’ feud with John Cena, Wrestlemania 32, and a whole lot more. A welcome rundown of a newsworthy time in the industry. THUMBS UP

Art of Wrestling #253 (6/5/15): The first of two live shows from Wrestlecon, as we get multiple guests with Freight Train helping to moderate. Featuring Magnus (comes off surprisingly well), Marty DeRosa (doesn’t add much), Brian Myers (ditto), U-Gene Dinsmore (tells a bunch of corny jokes for some reason), and Tommy Dreamer (has a bunch of Balls Mahoney stories). While there are some highlights, it’s a fairly up and down show, and one of the weaker live efforts. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Steve Austin – Unleashed #226 (6/5/15): Oh God, Steve talks to CT Fletcher for an interminable amount of time. They talk about weightlifting, cars, pro wrestling, MMA, and more. And there’s a lot of swearing. A lot. No, A LOT. When you’re poaching guests from Bill Goldberg I just don’t even know anymore. THUMBS DOWN

The Jim Cornette Experience #80 (6/5/15): In an extended opening, Jim pays tribute to the late Tommy Rogers, and of course goes over the leaked Vince Russo e-mail that deemed Jim too out of date for TNA television. Then Kenny Bolin joins the show to tell a bizarre story about Damien Sandow meeting the cast of Hot Tub Time Machine 2, which somehow morphs into something about Colonel Sanders’ cane. The rare JCE where the intro trumps the second half. <Bolin’s interview starts at 38:59> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #149 (6/5/15): Chris talks to former ECW compatriot Axl Rotten. They discuss attending a KISS concert together in 1996, how Axl found his way into hardcore wrestling, the drugs that ruined his career, his current health problems and the fundraising efforts to pay his medical bills. Axl is honest about his career and the mistakes he made, and this is a sobering but solid show. <Rotten’ interview starts at 16:31> THUMBS UP

Human Podcast Machine #26 (6/5/15): Taz talks to an NXT Superstar. Is it Kevin Owens? Finn Balor? Sami Zayn? Nope, it’s Bull Dempsey. Actually, it does make sense given the two have a connection, as Dempsey went through Taz’s “finishing school” for wrestlers. Dempsey actually comes off quite well, talking about his experience training with Taz, what an average day at the training center is like, and the growth of the NXT brand. Even though the interview is fairly short, Dempsey comes off a lot better here than he has on TV. THUMBS UP