No Talk n’ Shop this week (or ever again?).

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

They said it…

  • “Blood looks good on me.” – Steve Austin
  • “If that’s bad humor and you didn’t laugh, oh, I’m sorry. Go watch some Kierkegaard or something like that.” – Chris Jericho, telling us to somehow watch a 19th century philosopher

The Usual Suspects

Eastern Lariat (1/2/16): Strigga is joined by Chris Carpenter (a writer for Purolove, not the former MLB pitcher) for a rundown of all things Japan. They talk about the Weekly Pro awards, preview New Japan’s January 4th show, and run down recent big shows from NOAH and Dragon Gate. But the highlight of the show is a deep dive into the Joshi scene, a topic rarely covered on other shows. Carpenter makes a fine guest, but his audio is mixed too low, which makes the outing a challenging listen at points. Still, the show goes by quickly despite going nearly two hours. THUMBS UP

VIP Lounge (1/3/16): Seems worth a revisit to the show, since (a) Alice isn’t there anymore, and (b) podcast all-star Edge is the guest this week. He talks about acting, Haven, fight scenes in movies, TLC bumps, fatherhood, whether moose exist, Edge’s new WWE Network show, Star Wars, Sylvester Stallone, and much more. It’s almost impossible to have a bad show with Edge, although be warned a decent chunk isn’t wrestling related. However, it really comes across like three friends just kicking back and having a fun conversation. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin Show #287 (1/5/16): I take a week off and miss two Ted Fowler shows, and then come back to…a Ted Fowler show. The good news is Steve returns to the audio commentaries, this time for his match against Kurt Angle at Unforgiven 2001. Fowler sits in, but he doesn’t really detract from the proceedings. After that, they gab about fitness and Leonardo DiCaprio’s new movie in a pointless segment. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

MLW Radio #208 (1/5/16): Chris Hero is here to talk to Konnan and Court. They talk about the differences in ROH bookers, his philosophy towards putting people over, Skyade and wrestling in Mexico, Dusty Rhodes, Teddy Hart and H2 Wrestling, using the moniker Wifebeater, the Gold Bond Mafia, Chikara, the PWG explosion, his little book of wrestling, Walemania, Kaiju Big Battle, and a lot more. Hero is always a good interview, and the interview dives into a lot of wrestling nerd topics. The only downside is Konnan continuing to beat jokes like the Yeti and Dave Meltzer looking like Dexter into the ground. THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK

The Ross Report #99 (1/5/16): MMA reporter Ariel Helwani joins JR this week. The MMA part may chase some fans away, but a lot of the show is about pro wrestling and how it ties into MMA. They get into Ariel’s fandom (including being at Survivor Series 1997), how he got into MMA reporting, being involved in the Undertaker/Brock incident after a UFC show, CM Punk’s future in the sport, Ronda Roussey’s prospects, Conor McGregor, Jon Jones, Bruce Buffer, Dana White vs. Vince McMahon, and more. I appreciate making sure the show had a good amount of pro wrestling, although the interview runs overlong at 90 minutes. <Helwani’s interview starts at 14:30> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #210 (1/6/15): William Shatner returns to the show. Most of the conversation is about Shatner’s new documentary The Ride, about his motorcycle ride from Chicago to Los Angeles, with topics spinning out like the evolutionary instincts of horses (really). There’s a heavy segment at the end where they discuss the passing of Leonard Nimoy where they tie it into the deaths of Benoit and Eddie Guerrero. This is all decent enough, but how do you have Shatner on and not dig into old Hollywood stories? Jericho also explains his return to the WWE, and as usual comes off remarkably thin skinned in regards to people not caring for his brand of comedy. <Shatner’s interview starts at 15:21> William Shatner THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Bauer & Pollock (1/6/15): Not surprisingly, since Court broke the story, the main focus of this week’s episode is the likely New Japan exodus to the WWE. Court drops some scoops that AJ is done with the company, the plans are for anyone to go to the main roster and not NXT, and more jumps are being talked about. They also touch on TNA’s ratings, the Rock returning to WrestleMania, and Ronda Rousey hosting SNL. A noteworthy show. THUMBS UP

Art of Wrestling #284 (1/7/16): Squire Dave Taylor is the guest this week. A lot of the show is about Taylor’s time in the British scene, so if you don’t know names like Les Kellet a lot of it may go over your head. He also touches on being in WCW, wrestling in the World War III match (and stiffing Hulk Hogan), and telling a funny story about wrestling Sting. I find British wrestling fascinating, so this was up my alley, but if you’re not in tune with the scene it may not be your bag. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin – Unleashed #288 (1/7/16): Ted Fowler is on YET ANOTHER show. ARGHHHHHHH. Steve tells an interminable story about changing a tire. You get to hear about Teddy’s adventures on Plenty of Fish. The back half of the show largely concerns vomiting. They call this the best worst podcast ever. They’re half right. Can we do one of those online petitions to reduce the number of shows to 1 a week? THUMBS DOWN

The Jim Cornette Experience #110 (1/7/16): Kevin Sullivan is on the show, if you can’t get enough of Kevin and MSL. It’s not about specific stories, but more of a discussion of how the business is being presented in 2016. It’s pleasant enough but not overly memorable. The intro is actually interesting this week, as Jim refutes Vince Russo’s story (concerning Jim pulling a gun on a motorist) and Alice Radley’s claims that she wasn’t being paid for her services. Sullivan’s interview starts at 34:16>THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

WOOOOO!™ Nation #36 (1/7/2016): Charlotte joins her dad and Conrad on the show. The show is ostensibly a Q&A and they talk about growing up the daughter of Ric Flair, how she got into wrestling, working the main roster, and more. There are some interesting bits about being a Diva, but a lot of the show isn’t very interesting. WOOOOO Nation works best when it’s Ric Flair swapping crazy stories with his old wrestling buddies, and that’s not the case here. THUMBS DOWN

Indyriffic (1/7/16): Matt and Jaims chat with longtime independent manager and Shimmer mastermind Dave Prazak. They start the show with a discussion on Jeff Katz and the free pass he’s gotten from wrestling (with Prazak throwing some shade at the VIP Lounge for not digging into the topic when Katz was on their show). It then moves onto the more biographical aspect, covering Prazak’s time as an independent manager and commentator, the formation of Shimmer, and the strides women’s wrestling has made. Prazak is a great guest and this isn’t a show to be missed. THUMBS UP

Talk is Jericho #205 (1/8/16): Longtime British wrestler and NXT trainer Robbie Brookside joins Jericho. You get more talk about the British scene, breaking in, wrestling in Germany, ribs (including a great story about wrestling licenses), WCW, transitioning to training, and a lot more. There are some great stories here and I found it a bit more accessible than the Taylor interview, in case you can only pick one British wrestler to listen to. THUMBS UP

MSL & Sullivan Show #15 (1/8/16): MSL and KS talk about the significance of John Cena’s injury, Chris Jericho’s diminishing returns, Goldberg, Vince & Stephanie abusing employees, and the #SocialOutcasts. Then we move onto the undercard of the August 19th, 1996 Nitro and close out with the mailbag covering topics like wrestler body language and Randy Savage nearly killing Bill Apter. The usual fun show, but there was ten minutes of silence between the introduction song and when the show starts, which will hopefully be fixed soon. THUMBS UP