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

They said it…

  • “You know what they say: controversy creates cash.” “Not for you it doesn’t.”—Colt Cabana and Jack Evans
  • “I found out that every time I show up for rehearsal, the singer is there now.” – Jerry Only on the benefits of becoming the lead singer of his band

The Usual Suspects

WOOOO™ Nation #39 (1/29/16): Country star and former frontman of Hootie and & Blowfish, Darius Rucker joins Ric and Conrad. Rucker is a big wrestling fan and shares his memories of Mid-Atlantic wrestling from back in the day, which does allow Ric to add some fun anecdotes. The conversation is pleasant enough, but I never get the fascination with having celebrities who happen to be wrestling fans on podcasts, as the end result is no different from chatting with any longtime fan. There is a bit about Rucker’s country career if that floats your boat. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Eastern Lariat (1/30/16): Strigga is back and he’s joined this time by Voices of Wrestling’s own Case Lowe. Not surprisingly, the deep dive this week focuses on Dragon Gate, their history of the promotion and the company’s upcoming big shows. They also touch on Fantasticamania (even though Case isn’t the biggest lucha fan) and some joshi news. Strigga always does an admirable job working with a new co-host every show. THUMBS UP

VIP Lounge (1/31/16): Not guest this week, so it’s just MVP and Alex shooting the breeze. There is some wrestling talk to be had, as Alex gushes over Lucha Underground and MVP talks about Rikidozan’s influence on Japanese wrestling. These are easily the best segments of the show. But to get there you have to wade through the usual political discussion, as well as a State of the Podcast segment, where they discuss the origins of the show and their plans for the future, which is about as interesting as it sounds. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Steve Austin Show #295 (2/2/16): A reader sent in a question about the pop Steve got during the famous Rock/Mankind match on the 1/4/99 Raw, so Steve takes the opportunity to do a full audio commentary on the match. Steve actually directs listeners to Daily Motion (was his network not working?). It doesn’t function as well as usual, since (a) Steve wasn’t an actual participant in the match, so it’s just an outsider’s view, and (b) he pauses frequently, which upsets the flow. Still, it’s fun to hear Steve marking out so much. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Ross Report #103 (2/2/16): “Cowboy” James Storm is the guest this week. Quite a hot guest, no? Well, no, as the interview was recorded in December before Storm decided to return to TNA, so none of that is touched upon. JR also repeatedly steers the conversation towards the usual tired commentary (wrestlers bump too big, the death of the territories has harmed wrestling, etc.). But Storm has had an interesting life in wrestling, coming on at the tail end of WCW and being in TNA since day 1, and his stories of going to the Performance Center are worth hearing. <Storm’s interview starts at 25:00> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #216 (2/3/15): Phil Campbell of Motorhead joins Y2J. Not surprisingly, the show is dedicated to eulogizing the late Lemmy, with lots of fun stories and insights. Campbell also talks about how he got into the band, a funny story about a prank played on Heaven and Hell, and whether he’ll be playing any Motorhead songs in the future. Thankfully, a very lively show and not a somber affair. <Campbell’s interview starts at 18:49> THUMBS UP

MLW Radio #211 (2/3/16/16): A noteworthy show, as Konnan reveals he’s no longer booking for AAA and has transitioned to an agent role. He also talks shit on some wresters who recently left AAA (Jarochita & Argos) and how the Mexican government had a role in splitting up Alberto Del Rio and Zeb Coulter. There’s also some talk about AJ Styles, working with crappy promoters, and Rey Mysterio’s possible return to the WWE. Konnan is really fired up during this show, which makes for an entertaining listen. THUMBS UP

Bauer & Pollock (2/3/16/16): Tons of news this week, including Nike possibly taking legal action against the WWE (which I haven’t really heard elsewhere), Shinsuke Nakamura’s arrival in America, Brock Lesnar’s recent portrayal, Sunny’s new video, Ryback’s new look, Konnan no longer booking Triple A, Ring of Honor’s Global Wars show, and a lengthy mailbag to close out the show. They pack a lot into 72 minutes and the show flies by. THUMBS UP

Art of Wrestling #286 (2/4/16): Colt’s old ROH roster mate Jack Evans makes his debut. He talks about how he found his way to Mexico, why it suits him so much better than Japan, smuggling drugs for Teddy Hart right after meeting him (!), how he got into wrestling and his high flying style, maturing as an adult, wrestling in Triple A and his problems with management, and more. Jack comes off exactly as you would expect, which is nothing but a positive. Colt also (badly) attempts to imitate Bryan Alvarez at one point, which is worth hearing. THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK

Steve Austin – Unleashed #296 (2/4/16): Jerry Only of the Misfits is back for part 2. He talks about taking over vocal duties for his band, interacting with fans, avoiding drugs, the band’s legacy, the makeup, how David Bowie got him making music, the famous skull logo, protecting their trademarks, how to write music, the different meanings of punk, starting a record company, how much longer he’ll keep going, and more. Zero wrestling talk, but the music stories are all entertaining and it’s definitely a worthwhile listen. THUMBS UP

The Jim Cornette Experience #114 (2/4/16): Jim got a lot of headlines for last week’s rant about Lucha Underground, so he doubles down and brings in Kenny Bolin to rehash the subject (Bolin’s on for the whole show). They continue their objections to the product, target Marco Corleone specifically, and pretty much go on about how terrible wrestling is. Jim also goes off on rap for some reason, but we do learn Bolin likes Macklemore. This show is pretty much the equivalent of getting yelled at for an hour. Cornette is back on the 6:05 Podcast this week in a much more palatable appearance. THUMBS DOWN

Talk is Jericho #219 (2/5/16): AJ Styles is here to discuss his debut in the Royal Rumble, keeping it quiet, wrestling in Japan, the Bullet Club phenomenon, his decision to leave, early impressions of the locker room, sitting down with Vince McMahon, what made him decide to try the WWE, skipping NXT, and more. There’s a lot of great stuff about Japan, including some insight about his G1 match with Tanahashi and what made it so great. <Styles’ interview starts at 3:35>THUMBS UP

MSL & Sullivan Show #18 (2/5/16): MSL and KS kick off the show by discussing Bret Hart’s recent cancer diagnosis, and Sullivan’s original plan for Bret at Starrcade. Then it’s off to the first hour of the September 2nd, 199 Nitro, including more than you could ever want to know about Buddy Valentino. The usual lengthy mailbag closes out another entertaining show. THUMBS UP

WOOOO™ Nation #40 (2/5/16): ROH champion Jay Lethal talks to Ric and Conrad. As you could expect, Lethal’s impressions of Randy Savage and Flair himself come up a lot. They discuss how those impressions became part of his TNA character, being the ROH champion, wrestling in Japan, wrestling Flair, the ineptitude of TNA, Sting going in the HOF, and a lot more. A pretty ramshackle interview; nothing even approaching chronology, but a lot of fun nonetheless. THUMBS UP