Roddy Piper passed away a week ago. I was usually pretty hard on his podcasts in this column, because often they could be tough listens. Piper tended to ramble, repeat the same corny lines, and his grasp of current wrestling events could be tenuous at best. But to his credit he had some very good shows, possessed a strong affection for his peers, and clearly loved his family dearly. RIP Hot Rod.
The podcast week in review, brought to you by Square Space (or our Amazon and WWE affiliate links).

They said it…

  • “I’m just glad to be back doing some live events, you know. It’s been such a long time since I actually had more than one live event in a row.” – Magnus, burying TNA
  • “Never knew he drank until he showed up sober.” – Mike Tenay on the Sandman

The Usual Suspects

The Jim Cornette Experience #87 (7/31/15): A live show from the Charlotte Fan Fest featuring Dr. Tom Pritchard as co-host, Tommy Young, Tommy Fulton, Les Thatcher, and Rip Rogers. Lots of classic stories are told, some of which you may have heard before, but they’re still funny so it’s OK. The whole thing goes almost two hours but never drags. Basically, it’s a Jim Cornette show with no Alice and focused mainly on old school wrestling. What more could you want? THUMBS UP

Talk n’ Shop #56 (8/1/15): Doc Gallows solo hosts this outing, talking with Global Force Wrestling’s Sonjay Dutt and Magnus as they drive home from a show. This doesn’t sound like the greatest of shows, but it’s actually a lot of fun. Magnus is lively and tosses some shade at TNA and an unnamed UK wrestler, and there’s a fun story about Kevin Nash and Bud Light Limes. A lot better show than I was expecting. THUMBS UP

MLW Radio Extra (8/1/15): A special bonus show discussing the career of Roddy Piper, likely because the flagship show was taped prior to his death. Historian Matt Farmer joins Court to run down Piper’s career, hitting on his stays in LA and Portland all the way to his biggest success in the WWF, with both men tossing in their personal experiences working with Piper. Farmer does a great job with history, and the show is thorough without being bogged down in minutiae. THUMBS UP

MLW Radio #189 (8/3/15): MSL is still MIA, so it’s Court and Konnan running down the news. Lots of talk about the fall of Hulk Hogan (and a funny story about WCW Sensitivity Training), a detailed account of Konnan attending PWG, meeting Hot Tub Wrestling Review guy, Alberto/Myzteziz beef, Amy Schumer, and some rebuttal to Disco Inferno’s recent comments. Konnan remains in a salty mood which makes for an enjoyable show. THUMBS UP

Human Podcast Machine #33 (8/3/15): Taz and Mike first offer their thoughts on Roddy Piper (including how Mike was responsible for the famous WCW Alcatraz promo). Then it’s time for another fantasy draft, this time of the top ten entrance themes in wrestling history. They blast through their lists, and not surprisingly there’s very little overlap. As always, everyone dumps on each other, and Mike Tenay laughing at his own jokes never gets old. Only complaint: Taz mentions “Voodoo Child” and doesn’t give Tenay crap for once calling it “Voodoo Chilli” on Nitro? THUMBS UP

Stone Cold Live on the WWE Network #3 (8/3/15): Paige is the guest for Austin’s return to the Network. She talks about growing up in wrestling, training at age 13, her WWE tryouts, some great stories about learning from Dusty Rhodes, toughness, the Diva Revolution, being a judge on Tough Enough, and more. I actually liked the interview quite a bit when it started, but it was dragging badly by the end. Paige comes off well, but Austin still hasn’t pulled off a slam dunk podcast on the Network. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Steve Austin Show #243 (8/4/15): Steve sits down with country singer Easton Corbin to talk about country music. That’s about it. I’d rather hear from Baron Corbin. The interview is short but never engaging. I know nothing of Easton or his music, but I’ve heard podcasts with other musicians I’m not familiar with and at least gotten something out them. Maybe if you’re a diehard EC fan you’ll like this but otherwise avoid. Austin surprisingly doesn’t mention Roddy Piper at all. THUMBS DOWN

The Ross Report #77 (8/5/15): JR opens with some thoughts on Roddy Piper before being joined by Al Snow. Boy, was I dreading this one, thinking it would be a grumpfest. But Snow opens by telling a funny story about trying to train with Ole and Gene Anderson, and some critiques of wrestling without sounding bitter. But then JR does his usual routine (Heels don’t cheat anymore? Check! Wrestlers need to work a hold? Check!) which as always knocks this one down a notch. Not as bad as feared, but not as great as it could have been either. <Snow’s interview starts at 23:03> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

WOOOOO ™Nation #14 (8/5/15) Ric has on Brian Knobbs and Gerry Brisco (not together sadly) to discuss the passing of Roddy Piper. Well, that’s the idea anyway, as the devolved into random tangents (such as Knobbs being left behind on a European tour). Still, there are a lot of Piper tales and Flair succeeded in making this show more of a celebration than a funeral. And Knobbs is just a force of nature, even steamrolling Flair at points. THUMBS UP

Talk is Jericho #164 (8/4/15): Jericho offers some thoughts on working with Roddy Piper, then welcomes Kofi Kingston, Big E, and Xavier Woods of the New Day. They talk about the formation of the group, the terrible names that were suggested (New Coat of Paint?), avoiding stereotypes, turning heel, and a lot more. Kofi also talks about getting busted for his fake accent, Xavier goes after his PHD, Big E reveals his preacher past, and everyone hates the idea of trick or treating at the mall. Just a super episode, funny with some genuine insight into being a successful act in the WWE. THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK

Art of Wrestling #262 (8/6/15): Truth Martini makes his return to the Art of Wrestling. The whole show is a story of Truth trying to get into Canada for an ROH show after being stopped at the border. The story is well told, and I suppose the moral of not letting anyone stand in your way is somewhat inspiring, but the premise that overcoming being kept out of a country because you had two DUI’s being prevented as some sort of grand triumph is fairly puzzling. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Steve Austin – Unleashed #242 (8/6/15): UFC fighter Daniel Cormier joins Steve. The first half of the show is wrestling talk, with chatter about Undertaker/Brock and John Cena’s busted nose. I really don’t understands the fascination with celebrities who are wrestling fans coming onto podcasts to talk wrestling, when their opinions are no more interesting than your average fans. Then we get down to MMA talk and things improve greatly (I was really into the explanation of why he lost to Jon Jones. Had he stuck with the MMA this would have been a stellar show. Alas. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Jim Cornette Experience #88 (8/6/15): The kicks off with a looooong open with lengthy diatribes on Vince Russo, anti-gay marriage types, Sandra Bland, airplanes, and leprosy. Then longtime wrestling historian and promoter Sheldon Goldberg joins the show. They briefly touch on Goldberg’s career, and then do a quick dive into Boston wrestling history, especially promoter Paul Bowser. This may have resonated with me more being a native of Massachusetts, but Alice stays out of the way and if you’re into history you’ll dig it. <Goldberg’s interview starts at 36:35> THUMBS UP

Taz Reaction Show #24 (8/6/15): I usually don’t bother with Taz reaction shows, but this one was different since it was fairly long (about an hour) and featured a guest (Mike Johnson from PWInsider). The gist of the show is Taz reacting to Dana White’s tweet about wrestling being fake. Most would either ignore it or find the statement dumb, but not Taz! He dedicates a whole show to dumping on Dana, bringing up the usual “If this is fake why do I hurt so much?” argument. I’m not saying Taz doesn’t have a right to his opinion, or that I necessarily disagree, but he does have the onus to put on a good show, which he did not do. THUMBS DOWN

Talk is Jericho #167 (8/7/15): Jericho chats with conspiracy theorist and host of Hi Greg Carlwood. Lots of topics covered here, including 9/11, the sinking of the Titanic, Prohibition, the moon landing, banking, assassinations, and a lot more. There are some out-there ideas, shockingly, but Carlwood keeps things moving at a brisk pace. I don’t know if I would listen to a weekly show about these topics, but as a one-off this was an enjoyable listen. <Carlwood’s interview starts at 16:43> THUMBS UP

Konnan’s Micro Mini Podcast #1 (8/7/15): This showed up in the MLW feed. Konnan shouts out some VIP subscribers and describes being backstage at a WWE event (Cesaro is a big Lucha Underground fan). It lasts five minutes. Eh, why not? THUMBS UP