This edition of Wrestling Podmass: The Week in Pro Wrestling Podcasts is brought to you by Recovery Max (or our Amazon and WWE affiliate links).

They said it…

  • “I lived in the basement of the wrestling coach’s house, and this guy, literally all he ate was noodles and red wine.” – Brock Lesnar, on his state college days
  • “I really don’t like people.” – Brock Lesnar
  • “The NFL was an escape goat for me.” – Brock Lesnar
  • “I gotta feed the Jew. He’s gotta eat.” – Brock Lesnar on having Paul Heyman cut his promos.

The Usual Suspects

Talk n’ Shop #66 (10/10/15): Matt Taven joins the good brothers ostensibly to discuss the time he crushed George “The Animal” Steele with a dive during an indy show. That’s the idea anyway, as he keeps getting cut off, and the first half is borderline unlistenable and the closest the podcast has come to anti-comedy. When Taven finally gets around to telling the story (and especially the aftermath of being known as the wrestler who almost killed George Steele), it’s extremely entertaining. Tough out (or skip) the first part to get to the story. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The VIP Lounge #5 (10/18/15): MVP, Alice, and Alex are back to run down a wide variety of topics, including the Democratic presidential debate, Alex’s new movie The Sand, adapting books into movies, The Dark Tower series, bedtimes, watching ECW in prison, Alex getting his with a shillelagh by Fit Finley, and more. Some OK discussion and the abbreviated length (the episode clocks in at under an hour) keep this one from wearing out its welcome. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Stone Cold Life on the WWE Network #6 (10/19/15): Stone Cold sits down with Brock Lesnar. First off, there’s no tension and zero tease of a match between the two. Instead, they talk about the chip on Brock’s shoulder, growing up on a farm, hunting, trucks, guns, food, booze, music, his college days, moving from amateur to pro wrestling, training, moving to the main roster, working with the Rock, the shooting star press at Wrestlemania XIX, quitting after Mania XX, getting sued by the WWE, transitioning to fighting, getting into UFC, his bout with diverticulitis, his thoughts on Stone Cold walking out, returning to the WWE, promos, breaking the streak, and more. There are some funny stories, but the first 15 minutes is basically worthless, and Brock dodges the most intriguing question (about the lawsuit). A decent enough listen, but not nearly as interesting as I imagine people hoped. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Eastern Lariat #1 (10/19/15): Something a little different, as STRIGGA (from Purolove) and Rob Reid (from this very site) debut a new show on the MLW feed focusing on Japanese pro wrestling. They do a detailed recap of NJPW’s King of Pro Wrestling, which is fine but at this point I was a little burnt out on hearing about that show at this point. Thankfully there’s some good talk of NOAH and Dragon Gate to pick things up. The show is going to vacillate between being free and VIP, so it won’t be covered regularly (it’s also probably a little unfair since Rob works for VOW), but this was a fine show to listen to. And if you’re an accent-phile, this is the show for you! THUMBS UP

Steve Austin Show #265 (10/20/15): Steve goes solo, and basically tells the story about how he got into the business. He talks about playing high school and college football, dropping out to work on the docks, going to Chris Adams’ wrestling school, his first match with Frogman LeBlanc, transitioning to wrestling full time, winning the PWI Rookie of the Year, and moving on to WCW. If any of this sounds familiar, it should: if you’ve listened to Steve’s podcast for any length of time, you’ll have heard all of these stories before. The stories themselves are fine, just don’t expect to come away with a lot of new info. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Ross Report #88 (10/20/15): A double header this week, as first up is PWI’s Dan Murphy to talk about the PWI 500, how they formulate it, and a breakdown of the top 20. It’s a weird segment, as they talk about kayfabe achievements contributing to placement, but Bad News Barrett is right there at #20. Then we get to legendary announcer Lance Russell, who talks about working with Gordon Solie, prep before calling a match, doing ads during matches, calling matches with the Freebirds, their appearance in Man on the Moon, Andy Kaufman, the business’ perception of Memphis, and more. Russell is a national treasure, but the interview is just too short, clocking in at around 37 minutes. <Murphy’s interview starts at 20:00, Russell’s starts at 55:26> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

WOOOOO ™Nation #25 (10/20/15) Former World Class referee David Manning stops by to tell some tales with Ric and Conrad. Just amazing story after story, including partying with Flair in Minnesota, almost barroom brawling with Harley Race, his amateur wrestling days, hooking up with Fritz Von Erich and getting into refereeing, telling Blackjack Mulligan to lay it in, gambling, and going to Israel, prank calling Ric, hunting with Dusty Rhodes and a ton more. Things then get serious as he tells the firsthand stories of all the Von Erich tragedies. Equal parts hysterical and harrowing; this is possibly Flair’s best show. THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK

Talk is Jericho #186 (10/21/15): Y2J talks to Gary Cherone of Extreme and formerly Van Halen. He talks about the 25th anniversary of the band’s biggest album Pornograffitti, “More Than Words” and the reputation it gave the band, playing at Wembley Stadium, and his new band Hurtsmile. He also gets into his brief stint as the lead singer of Van Halen, how he got the gig, writing with Eddie, set lists for concerts, and the public’s perception of him. The VH stuff is pretty interesting, and Cherone has an honest look at his tenure, but when he and Jericho analyze old Extreme albums from a quarter century ago it gets a little silly. <Cherone’s interview starts at 17:30> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Bauer & Pollock (10/21/15): B&P return to discuss baseball, Hall of Fame fallout, WWE on ESPN, Raw rating woes, Mystic 2.0 in CMLL, where TNA might end up, speculation on Randy Orton and Luke Harper’s whereabouts, Ronda Rousey as Ms. Marvel, CM Punk’s injury, and more. The discussion is fine this week, but the attempts at humor are lamer than usual and really take the show down. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Art of Wrestling #273 (10/22/15): Colt’s best buddy Bob Holly is the guest this week. They talk about Bob’s supposed bad reputation and how he overcame it, a lengthy discussion on the truth about steroids, watching Portland wrestling, how he broke into the business, brutal training with Bob Sweetan, wrestling in Memphis and Smokey Mountain, and more. Colt focuses more on Bob’s early struggles, not surprisingly, so nothing really on his time in the WWF. And although Bob has made the rounds on other podcasts and there is some repetition, there’s enough new stuff to make this a worthwhile listen. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin – Unleashed #266 (10/22/15): This is just the Brock interview that aired on the Network, with an added intro where Steve details his adventures on Raw that Monday (and the revelation that he didn’t know he was going to be on Raw until that morning). And even though it’s Unleashed, the bleeps are still intact. If you watched it on the Network, you don’t need to listen to this. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Jim Cornette Experience #99 (10/22/15): No guest this week, which about says it all. But if it doesn’t, Jim and Alice discuss the Bubba the Love Sponge payola scandal, even more about the ring rate/feminism scandal, literal dark matches at Bluegrass Championship Wrestling, Jim’s new Louisville wrestling book, the Democratic debates, the Louisville recruiting scandal, and Lamar Odom. Hopefully things pick up for the show’s 100th episode next week. THUMBS DOWN

Talk is Jericho #189 (10/23/15): Jericho sits down with Doug Mortman & Dave LeGreca from Sirius XM’s Busted Open radio. They talk about how their show came about, thoughts on the current wrestling landscape in WWE, NXT, & TNA, co-hosting JR’s last appearance in Brooklyn, a little heavy metal, dream guests for their show, and more. The duo have a nice rapport with Jericho, but the interview was taped a while back (seemingly right after Summerslam), which takes away from its immediacy. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

MSL & Sullivan Show #4 (10/23/15): MSL & Kevin Sullivan are back to run down all the recent news, including the Undertaker’s return (and his back hair), the previous generation being presented as superior, the merch record at MSG being broken (and not by wrestling), and Global Force Wrestling. Then they return to the second hour of the July 22nd Nitro, talking the omnipresence of Jimmy Hart, Psicosis’ work ethic, and working with Mongo. They close with a fun mailbag segment including a discussion of throwing fireballs, Sting’s HOF candidacy, and training women. THUMBS UP