A truncated version of the column will be out next Wednesday, so poor Rich doesn’t have to spend his Christmas in front of a computer. No Podmass the next week after, either, as my son is on school vacation and I will be spending the week playing Legos rather than listening to Jim Ross’ impersonations. I will have a Podcast Year in Review article for the Cubed Circle Newsletter, so be on the lookout for that.

No Bauer & Pollock this week. MLW Radio kept promising part 2 of their Christmas show, but it hasn’t surfaced as of deadline time. Should it come out, I’ll lump it into next week’s column.

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

They said it…

  • “I’m surprised I’ve lived this long. I’m happy I did.” – Steve Austin
  • “Let me sum this up for you, son. You may have some kind of a degree in writing from a school of some kind of standing, and you potentially may have credits or accomplishments in some way in the field of writing or elsewhere that I do not have on my resume nor do understand. But for you to try and tell me, anything about the wrestling business, getting guys over, or selling tickets is ridiculous. And the idea that just because they hired you as an interchangeable staff of putzes to hold Stephanie McMahon’s teacup and Triple H’s in your mouth for a period of time, the idea that somehow, it would somehow tickle my taint to actually get to work an angle with you, chumlee, means you either need to get back on your medications or you need to start taking some. Because you don’t have issues, boys, you got subscriptions. So you need to shut the up when adults are talking.” – Jim Cornette cuts a promo on Alex Greenfield
  • “When you have four guys that have to wear shirts that can’t be your top babyface group.” – MSL


6:05 Superpodcast #4: The 6:05 Superpodcast with David Bixenspan and Brian Last has been a great listen for fans of classic wrestling. The two are joined by their first guest, James E. Cornette, for a talk of a myriad of topics, including Tiger Mask, Smokey Mountain, wrestling lingo, Dennis Coraluzzo, and more. But the highlight of the show is Jim’s description of the early days of tape trading, when VCR’s were new technology and people tried calling different cities on the phone to pick up their cable signals (!). Cornette rarely comes across as engaging as he does here, and you’re reminded why he once had a fervent following. It’s just a shame Bix or Last can’t slide into the co-host role on Cornette’s own show.

The Usual Suspects

Talk n’ Shop #76 (12/12/15): Something completely different, as it’s just Karl and no one else. Anderson monologues on the hassles of putting out a podcast, and takes us through the grueling schedule of traveling home to Cincinnati from Japan, which does not sound fun. A bit of a bummer of a show, truthfully, although the story of Matt Taven trying to get a sword back to the States provides some much needed laughs. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Indyriffic (12/13/15): A usual MLW Radio VIP show popped up in the free feed this week. After some brief banter between hosts Matt Farmer and Jaims Van Der Beek, they welcome independent wrestler Kerry Awful. Awful talks about the current independent scene, his breakout at the FIP six-man tournament, and how wrestling saved his life. I knew very little of Awful before the interview (I’ve heard the name and that’s about it), but this was a breezy interview that kept my interest. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin on the WWE Network (12/13/15): Steve sits down with Shawn Michaels at the Broken Skull Ranch. The interview actually starts off quite interestingly, as Shawn details his son’s desire to join the military, and his conflicted thoughts on the matter. Then they move to wrestling and cover a lot of topics you’ve heard about a million times already: Ric Flair, Montreal, the damn Clique, differences between Hunter and Vince, using the superkick as a finisher, Pat Patterson, and his crazy days in Degeneration X. A perfectly serviceable and genial conversation, but don’t count on learning anything new. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Steve Austin Show #281 (12/15/15): Steve talks to his best (only?) friend Wade Keller about the TLC PPV. They do a lengthy rundown (nearly 90 minutes) of the show, their favorite matches, possible directions for the company, and a lot more. I always enjoy their banter, and Steve’s critiques are quite interesting. However, and while this is no fault of their own, the show is already outdated, as Roman Reigns winning the WWE title renders their discussion of his future direction rather moot. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Ross Report #96 (12/15/15): JR thankfully dumps the usual lengthy intro, and gets right into recapping TLC with guest Vince Russo, although they largely eschew the match by match format. They talk about Roman’s turnaround, why his family didn’t help him out, Bray Wyatt, network promos during matches, the opening ladder match, Rusev, Kevin Owens body issues, Dean Ambrose’s lack of material, Charlotte’s Flair problem, and more. They also run down some rapid fire topics, like the lost art of announcing, WrestleMania 32, and Lucha Underground. Vince isn’t terrible on this show and actually makes some salient points at times, but again this was recorded before Roman’s big title win, so the discussion feels incomplete. <Russo’s interview starts at 8:43> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #202 (12/16/15): Former WWE superstar and E-book author JTG joins Jericho. They talk a lot of stories from the book, including the publishing process, where the JTG name came from, getting called up and quickly fired, his tag partner Shad getting into trouble, his weird idea for a muppet character for himself, staying on the roster for so long, finally getting released, his new social media endeavor, and more. If you’ve read JTG’s book (and you should, especially for $1.99) you will have heard a lot of these stories already, but the stories are fun and this is a good listen. <JTG’s interview starts at 4:18> THUMBS UP

WOOOOO!™ Nation #32 (12/16/2015): Ric and Conrad call up Jeff Hardy for a chat. They talk about Jeff’s recent injury, how his recovery is going, whether he’ll return to the WWE, the high risk style he pioneered, starting as a WWE job guy, and more. It’s a decent enough conversation, but Flair is at his best when conversing with his peers, so this show is OK but nothing more. Flair also claims Calisto got suplexed through a ladder at TLC, rather than being the one performing the move, which amuses me for some reason. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Art of Wrestling #281 (12/17/15): The monster Abyss in the guest this week. Abyss was just a guest on Jim Ross’ show, but Colt plays off of that asking about the fallout from Abyss revealing he passed on a chance to wrestle the Undertaker at WrestleMania. The rest of the show, not surprisingly, focuses on Abyss’ early days in the business, including growing up as a big kid, walking away from a six figure salary for wrestling, and the odd jobs he took in his lean years (including working a call center for DNA testing!). Even if you listened to the Ross show, don’t pass on this one – it’s a different and very interesting show. THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK

Steve Austin – Unleashed #282 (12/17/15): Ted Fowler is back? We went months without having to hear him, now he’s on two Unleashed shows in a row? They talk about hunting, his wife’s car breaking down, bad drivers, Ted’s dating life, Trader Joe’s parking lot, blue laws, annoying shoppers at the grocery store, Starbucks lingo, losing iPhones, and more. This could easily have just been a repeat from any of their prior shows. Wretched. THUMBS DOWN

The Jim Cornette Experience #107 (12/17/15): A noteworthy episode to start, as Jim reveals that Alice has quit the show and MSL is filling in for him now (Alice had released a short audio resignation letter that was bonkers and has since been deleted). This is an upgrade to start, as MSL (a) watches the current product, and (b) knows more about past wrestling than Alice, and they have a good discussion about recent WWE booking and Mauro Ranallo’s move to the WWE. But Jim spends the back half of the show addressing Muslims again, and while MSL tries to drag to back to wrestling at points, it’s no use and it drags the show down. Jim does cut a satisfying promo on Alex Greenfield that’s worth hearing. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #205 (12/18/15): The hosts of That Metal Show on VH1, Eddie Trunk, Don Jamieson, and Jim Florentine, join Chris to rock out. They talk about how the show came together, favorite guests, folks who refuse to come on, interviewing Axl Rose, dream guests, and more. This one didn’t do anything for me – I don’t watch the show but I listen to the music they discuss, and the stories just aren’t that great and I lost interest pretty quickly. THUMBS DOWN

MSL & Sullivan Show #12 (12/18/15): MSL and the Devil talk about the role of SmackDown, babyfaces wearing shirts, scripted promos, and possible booking of Roman Reigns. They then recap the 8/12/96 Nitro (touching on heat between Stevie Ray and Booker T, which was news to me) and close it out with a lengthy mailbag with such topics including thoughts on Ole Anderson as a booker and the time Steve McMichael beat Bill Goldberg. The usual good mix of older wrestling and current events. THUMBS UP