The podcast week in review, brought to you by Movement Watches (or our Amazon and WWEShop affiliate links).
They said it…
- “I think Donald Trump is a great character and a great guy.” – Bret Hart (although he doesn’t think Trump should be president)
- “Like I haven’t done that before. You forget I worked for TNA for a year and a half.” – Ric Flair, after Michael Hayes told him he had to work a date for free hot dogs and green beer.
- “I used to watch that European uppercut, and I’d say ‘God he does that great,’ until the first time I actually took it, and I’m saying ‘Now I know why it looks so darn good.” – Dean Malenko, on wrestling Dork Funk Jr.
The Usual Suspects
Wooooo!™ Nation #42 (2/26/16): “Mr. Wonderful” Paul Orndorff talks to Ric and Conrad. It’s a short interview, but they cover the big topics: getting into wrestling, working the WrestleMania I main event, the monstrous feud with Hogan, memories of Roddy Piper, his backstage fight with Vader, his bout with cancer and subsequent recovery, and a lot more. Orndorff doesn’t sound the best and his memory isn’t the sharpest, but Flair does a good job keeping things moving, and this is a solid outing. THUMBS UP
Eastern Lariat (2/27/16): VOW’s very own Bryan Rose is the co-host this week to help Strigga navigate the world of Japanese pro wrestling. The show starts with a very interesting discussion of how both men got into puro and a breakdown of the recent New Japan Young Lions show. But then the show takes a strange detour into the WWE’s booking of Roman Reigns heading to WrestleMania. I don’t disagree with any of the points, but I can hear that talk on a million other podcasts. Hopefully the show returns to discussing random Japanese indie groups next time. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
VIP Lounge (2/28/16): Alex is laid up this week, so Court pinch hits for him (since we don’t get a chance to hear his opinions often enough, I guess). I was ready to hate this, but the two actually have some really solid discussions about race in America and fatherhood (which I don’t believe MVP has ever addressed before). There’s some pro wrestling talk too, about a match between MVP and Shelton Benjamin at a house show that popped Ricky Steamboat. There’s some UFC discussion I didn’t care much for, but the rest of the show overachieved so much I’m giving it a passing grade. THUMBS UP
Steve Austin Show #303 (3/1/16): Vince Russo is back for part one of a two-parter. They talk about the state of Raw, Lucha Underground, Shane McMahon’s return, and more. Take a drink anytime someone says “Attitude Era” (or don’t, you’ll have alcohol poisoning by the end of the episode). Russo makes some good points (like about the need for vignettes), but it’s nothing you haven’t heard on a thousand other shows. And the whole interview is really short (factoring in commercials, it’s under 40 minutes) and it doesn’t amount to much. THUMBS DOWN
The Sharpshooter Show #1 (3/1/16): Bret “The Hitman” Hart joins the podcast fray, as part of the Wrestlezone Radio network. The show is split in two halves: the first half is Bret’s thoughts on the current WWE, which is decent enough, especially when he calls out Chris Jericho for audibly calling spots in the ring. Co-host Nick Hausman also asks for Bret’s thoughts on Peyton Manning and the presidential election, which is fairly baffling. Then Bret’s son Blade joins the show to talk about the famous Iron Man match from WrestleMania XII, and you get Bret’s insight into the build and actual match. The show closes with a mailbag and update on Bret’s health. Not a bad first effort; I hope they concentrate more on older wrestling on future wrestling. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
The Ross Report #107 (3/1/16): Maria Kanellis and Mike Bennett are the guests this week. I’m guessing this was taped last December, as they talk about leaving Ring of Honor but nothing about TNA. They talk about being a couple in wrestling, the decision to leave ROH, Maria’s fame in Japan, Maria breaking in through the Diva Search, Maria working with Donald Trump on the Apprentice, and the time Maria spent a night in jail due to having brass knuckles. In case you can’t tell, Bennett doesn’t add a ton. The interview is OK but a bit dry at points. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
Talk is Jericho #226 (3/2/16): Edge & Christian sit down with fellow Canuck Chris Jericho. They talk about acting together on Haven, their new WWE Network show, life after wrestling, and their breakout ladder match. Their discussion of what goes into their show is infinitely more interesting than the show itself. The show is a lot of fun as all three have great chemistry, and the undisputed highlight is Christian talking about failed wrestler Burt the Hurt, which was some of the funnier audio I’ve heard in a while. THUMBS UP
MLW Radio #216 (3/2/16): Ed Ferrera joins Court and eventually Konnan (for the second week in a row he doesn’t show up until halfway into the episode). There’s talk of Full Sail University (where Ed teaches) and of course wrestling talk, which is centered on WrestleMania and in particular Shane’s role (Ed has experience working with Shane and hints at not liking him personally, but doesn’t elaborate). Unfortunately, there’s a lot of talk of television, video games, and old comic book ads that just feel like filler. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
Wooooo!™ Nation #42 (3/2/16): Conrad and Ric had promised another audio commentary for his next show, covering the WrestleMania VIII match against Randy Savage. Instead, they scuttle that in favor of having brand new WWE Hall of Fame member Michael Hayes on instead. What follows is a very relaxed conversation about his career, what the Freebirds meant, what it means to go into the Hall, his backstage work (including agenting several of Flair’s matches) and more. It’s a fast and loose show, and Hayes’ genuine appreciation for being inducted to the Hall is quite endearing. THUMBS UP
Bauer & Pollock (3/2/16): B&P return to run down the following: the status of Dada 5000, the Freebirds going into the WWE HOF, the Shane/Undertaker match and its place at WrestleMania, the upcoming Roadblock special, TNA seeking investors, Rick Ross & Wale buying a promotion, the New Japan Cup, and more. Not the busiest week, so we get some extended discussions at the beginning of the show. And apparently next week is a call in show? That’ll be…something. THUMBS UP
Art of Wrestling #291 (3/3/16): Former WCW & ECW WRESTLER Tony Mamaluke joins Colt. He talks about cold calling Dean Malenko and getting trained, getting into WCW almost by accident, getting pummeled at the Power Plant, and his run in the final days of ECW. If you like stories about WCW incompetence, this is the show for you – Mamaluke has lots of tales about miscommunication and general idiocy while working where the big boys play. In actuality, the whole show is quite interesting and funny, and greatly exceeded my expectations. THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK
Steve Austin – Unleashed #304 (3/3/16): Paul Lazenby is here to promote his new book “When We Were Bouncers” a collection of stories about, well, bouncing. He and Steve talk about the art of bouncing, different techniques, how the occupation has changed over the years, plus a bit about acting at the end. This one never truly grabbed me, and I don’t know why – you would think a show about keeping the peace in a club should be a grand slam, but this one never gets to that level. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
The Jim Cornette Experience #118 (3/3/16): Jim and Brian discuss Jim’s Spring Fling tour, Conor McGregor/Nate Diaz, Eddie Einhorn’s passing (actually a great historical discussion), and Donald Trump before welcoming Kenny Bolin to the show. Bolin’s initial reaction to Jim having yet another new co-host is amusing, but the episode quickly devolves into a shouting match that’s not much fun. <Bolin’s interview starts at 34:00> THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
Talk is Jericho #227 (3/4/16): Dean Malenko returns to TiJ for a solo appearance. Fans hoping for tales of WCW or being an agent in the WWE will be disappointed, as the show is all about Malenko’s early days in the business. We hear about growing up with a famous heel father, how he got into the business, working in All Japan for Giant Baba, and the move he made to New Japan. Lots of good stories and Dean’s famous wit shines through. This would be the best show of the week most weeks. Jericho’s daughters also have a brief segment talking about their new Youtube show. THUMBS UP
MSL & Sullivan Show #23 (3/4/16): There’s a brief intro segment where a preview of Roadblock transitions into a history of storytelling. Then it’s into the Wayback Machine for the first half of Fall Brawl ’96, which includes a digression on the possible recovery benefits of steroids. The usual mailbag segment closes out the show, including a rant on the state of current WWE booking. The usual good show. THUMBS UP
Eastern Lariat (3/4/16): A special episode in lieu of the death of Hayabusa, Strigga is joined by Bret (who posts as BAHU on a myriad of wrestling boards). Bret runs an English language FMW site, so there is really no better guest. They talk about Hayabusa becoming a star in FMW, the style he helped innovate, and his tragic accident and life afterwards. The show almost doubles as a history of FMW, and if you fondly remember Hayabusa or don’t know much about him, the show is a must listen. THUMBS UP