The podcast week in review, brought to you by Casper Mattresses (or our Amazon and WWE affiliate links).

They said it…

  • “I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, so I’ll make no comments regarding TNA.” – MVP
  • “Because the whole world knows the world is wide.”– Bill Apter, relaying what Vince McMahon Senior told him when Apter asked why they were changing the WWWF to the WWF
  • “Conrad, if Ric continues to be one of your best friends you will slowly go down on the wealth chart.” – Michael Hayes to Ric Flair’s co-host Conrad.

The Usual Suspects

Talk n’ Shop #64 (9/26/15): Part 2 with MVP. Karl again tries to get MVP to talk about being in jail, which never ends up happening. That’s OK, as we’ve heard that story in plenty of other places. We do get interesting stories of MVP nearly throwing down with Bill Demott and a long (and serious) discussion of MVP’s relationship with Chris Benoit and his theory as to what happened. It’s a heavier than usual episode of the show, and also a much better outing than last week. THUMBS UP

The VIP Lounge #2 (9/27/15): Curiously, this show took over the usual MLW Radio Sunday night timeslot. Number two gets off to a bad start as MVP and Alex chastise listeners who don’t like Alice and didn’t listen to the show because she was on it (as if avoiding a new project from a radio personality you don’t like is somehow anything other than perfectly reasonable). The movies and politics talk again don’t amount to much, but the stories all three tell about growing up are actually fairly interesting and heartfelt. They also trimmed the running time, which makes the episode a step up from last week. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Steve Austin Show #257 (9/22/15): Part 2 with Diamond Dallas Page. The good news is that the interview is very wrestling-centric, as he talks about how he got into wrestling, meeting Jake Roberts in a bar, talking his way into the AWA, the impact Dusty Rhodes had on his career, transitioning to the ring, his climb to the main event, and more. The good news: the wrestling stories are very entertaining. The bad news: DDP has told them all before, on Steve’s podcast no less. So if you’re new to Austin’s show you’ll enjoy this, but if you’re a longtime listener you’ve heard all this before. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Ross Report #85 (9/29/15): TNA World Champion Ethan Carter III is JR’s guest this week. Carter talks about his tenure in WWE developmental, his run on NXT, moving to TNA, working with Kurt Angle, being a heel, TNA’s future, Bound for Glory, and a lot more. Not a good show – Carter doesn’t say much and Ross just steamrolls the whole interview to hammer home his usual points (there aren’t rules to break anymore, guys work too fast, no one sells anymore). Infuriating. <ECIIl’s interview starts at 19:12> THUMBS DOWN

WOOOOO ™Nation #22 (9/29/15) Michael “P.S.” Hayes is the guest this week. He, Ric, and Conrad talk about the good old days, working in Kansas City, using entrance music, the genius of Jerry Lawler, Hayes’ promo style, hating being a babyface, working the Von Erichs and how hot that was, the formation of the Freebirds, and a lot more. Hayes’ story of the true formation of the Freebirds is one of the more surprisingly touching things I’ve heard lately. A very ramshackle interview with little use for chronology, it’s still a lot of fun. THUMBS UP

Talk is Jericho #182 (9/30/15): Legendary wrestling writer Bill Apter is the guest this week. He talks to Chris about the “Apter mags,” coming up with the wrestler rankings, his upcoming book, getting Andy Kaufman into wrestling, getting spat on by Randy Savage, having Fritz Von Erich want to kill him, getting banned by Vince McMahon, apartment wrestling, his theory about Chris Benoit (oh boy), his backyard wrestling days, breaking his ribs wrestling Shawn Michaels, who got the best reactions, helping Herb Abrams and Taz get into wrestling, the territories dying, his endless wrestling impressions (which put Jim Ross to shame), the memory test, Bill raps(!), and more. Conspiracy theories aside, awesome show filled with great stories. <Apter’s interview starts at 16:24> THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK

Bauer & Pollock (9/30/15): B&P with their usual mid-week rundown of the news, including WWE keeping SummerSlam in Brooklyn, what the Rock and Steve Austin will be up to at WrestleMania, the upcoming MSG special on the Network, a look back at TNA and UFC debuting on Spike TV, AAA returns to iPPV, the status of Jon Jones, and more. It’s a fine listen, although bereft of any real breaking news, unless you count the fact there likely won’t be a Walemania 2. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Art of Wrestling #269 (10/1/15): Taz joins the show this week. As per usual with Colt, he focuses on Taz’s early struggles in the business. They go over training with Johnny Rodz, the Kid Krush gimmick, working on the railroad, wrestling full time with ECW, his neck injury, moving to WWF, transitioning to commentary and radio, and more. If you’re a regular listener to Taz’s audio output you won’t learn a lot that’s new, but he comes off as very likeable, and you can tell Colt has a great respect for Taz’s longevity in the business. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin – Unleashed #260 (10/1/15): Steve talks to Chris Carey and Nathan Mowery. If you’re wondering who in the blue hell they are, they worked on DDP’s documentary of Jake Roberts. They talk about how they got into film production, how they hooked up with DDP, working with Jake and Scott Hall, the reaction to the final product, and more. This was a monumentally boring show – even when they talk about setting themselves on fire it was as dull as dishwater. THUMBS DOWN

The Jim Cornette Experience #96 (10/1/15): This one was looking pretty grim for a while, as there’s no guest and opening topics include coal mining, Scott Walker, Kim Davis, Planned Parenthood, and it ends with Jim reading an entire article about how conservatives are ruining Earth. But then Jim turns his attention to Kenny King (who mentioned Jim in a recent interview) and goes through the whole rigmarole of King winning the ROH tag titles and walking out on the company despite having a deal. It’s an epic 23 minute rant that saves the episode. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #183 (10/2/15): A double dose of rock, as up first is Brian Slagel, the founder and CEO of Metal Force Records. Slagel talks about Cliff Burton on the 29th anniversary of his death, including how Slagel hooked up Burton with the rest of Metallica, the metal scene in the early 80’s, Cliff’s death, and how Slagel got Jason Newsted into the band. I actually enjoyed Slagel a lot and wouldn’t mind having him back. Up next is Justin Hawkins of the Darkness to talk about his band’s new album, the state of the music industry, critics, touring with Lady Gaga, changing the name of his band, and more. Hawkins’ section is decent, but probably not as interesting as you would expect. <Slagel’s interview at 6:16, Hawkins’ interview starts at 36:23>THUMBS UP

MSL & Kevin Sullivan #1 (10/2/15): MSL and Kevin are back with an expanded (and free) show at MLW. The show is split in two – the first is MSL and Kevin discussing a variety of current topics, including NXT and how the WWE can position itself in the upcoming years, Jimmy Snuka’s demons, Hornswoggle flunking a wellness test, the Divas Revolution, and booking non-title matches. The back half of the show is a rundown of the 7/8/96 Nitro, which includes a very interesting discussion of the difference in working styles between Arn Anderson and Ric Flair. A fun but brief mailbag closes out a solid debut show. THUMBS UP