No VIP Lounge yet again this week, but it should be back next week. The podcast week in review, brought to you by Worx Switchdriver (but, no, seriously by Mack Weldon clothing. Use code “VOW” and get 20% off your next Mack Weldon purchase.)

They said it…

“I don’t know the book…and it doesn’t sound like a very good book.” – Bret Hart, literary critic, on the widely respected “Mad Dogs, Midgets, and Screwjobs”
“Lance is like, one of the most likeable guys in the industry.” – Konnan, talking about Lance Storm (?)
“It’s a Chris Schwartz…hurts like hell and looks like shit. King Kong Bundy’s entire career.” – Chris Jericho, relaying a Vince McMahon euphemism using Bundy’s real name (although his actual real name is Chris Pallies)

The Usual Suspects

Eastern Lariat (5/8/16): Dylan Harris is back for round 3, and he and Strigga kick off this week’s show talking recent All Japan and the company’s surprisingly strong roster. Then it’s a review of New Japan’s recent Dontaku show and a preview of the upcoming Best of the Super Juniors tour and Dominion show, and then they close it off with a look at some recent DDT. The usual good outing, and I hope the show sticks to its bi-weekly schedule, as avoiding weekly shows allows interesting topics to build up. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin Show #323 (5/10/16): Steve talks to “The Bone Collector” Michael Waddell, who hosts a hunting show or something. They talk about moonshine, hunting with celebrities like Dale Earnhardt, turkey calls, his goofy nickname, and other stuff. I tried on this one, I really did, but it did nothing to hook me and is interminably long. THUMBS DOWN

MLW Radio #226 (5/10/16): It’s part two of Meltzer May, sort of. The show kicks off with Konnan finally talking in-depth about his leaving AAA, his problems with the company, and the way Triple A has screwed with wrestlers (especially Hijo de Fantasma/King Cuerno). This is interesting, but Dave is pretty quiet throughout. Then Dave chimes is to talk about lucha, the possible Mania 34 location, and Connor McGregor, but then he leaves after about 15 minutes! Konnan and Court then wrap up discussing their placing on a top ten podcast list and memories of WING. There’s some good stuff here, but if you’re expecting a good chunk of Dave it’s nothing like last week. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Ross Report #117 (5/10/16): JR’s old colleague Jonathan Coachman stops by for a chat. The old days in the WWF and the XFL are discussed, as is his current job at ESPN. And that’s about it. I’ve really liked Coach in some of the other shows he’s appeared on, but here everything is so rah-rah and nothing of substance is said. The interview goes over an hour but it’s just a big zilch. <Coach’s interview starts at 24:40> THUMBS DOWN

The Sharpshooter Show (5/10/16): The show appears to have settled into a format of running down the news and then talking about one of Bret’s old matches. The former segment sees the group discuss the WWE’s recent firing spree with thoughts on the released wrestler’s prospects, and a history of midget wrestling and Bret’s memories of it. The match discussion is around Bret’s Royal Rumble 1993 bout with Razor Ramon, which segues into Bret dumping on Hulk Hogan. Nick vanishes for a while, but it doesn’t derail the show, and at just under an hour this one goes a perfect length. THUMBS UP

Talk is Jericho #244 (5/11/16): Comedian Nick Swardson is the guest this week. There’s talk of being part of Adam Sandler’s comedy entourage, being afraid of elevators, the infamous box office dud Bucky Larsen (and having Kurt Russell do a table read for it), his role on Reno 911, many failed Comedy Central pilots, and more. Hearing what it’s like to be a part of the Sandler machine is mildly interesting, but I don’t think I laughed once, which isn’t the optimal result for a show featuring a comedian. <Swardson’s interview starts at 6:22> THUMBS DOWN

Art of Wrestling #301 (5/12/16): The first of two live shows from WrestleMania weekend, Colt and co-host Marty DeRosa trot out Buff Bagwell (talking his old terrible entrance music and his Mom), Bill Apter (celebrity impressions), Matt Stryker (all sorts of stuff), Justin Roberts (getting yelled at by Vince), Court Bauer (working with Vince), and Steve Corino (Japan and baseball). A hit or miss show, as the Bagwell appearance is very amusing , whereas the Apter segment in particular is quite unfunny. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin – Unleashed #324 (5/12/16): The recently released Hornswoggle is here for an update. He takes Steve through growing up as a little person, his backyarder days, going from Target to working with the WWE, traveling with the Great Khali, working with Fit Finlay, his drug test failure (which he attributes to not being able to pee), being a dad, and life after the WWE. A very entertaining show, and to Steve’s credit, a very timely one as well. THUMBS UP

The Jim Cornette Experience #128 (5/12/16): Jim and Brian start off the show with an amazing tribute to Bill Wicks and his famous feud with Sputnik Monroe in Memphis. After that, it’s politics, Ryback’s economics, a rant on ho’s in wrestling (beyond embarrassing), and ranting at the wrestlers who responded to his rants last week, including taking a dump on Grizzly Redwood. Again, it’s Jim at his very best and worst. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #247 (5/13/16): Jericho’s 25th anniversary podcast was the best single episode of 2015. This outing is a sequel of sorts, as Chris welcomes Lenny St. Claire/Dr. Luther for another stroll down memory lane. There are lots of stories about Luther breaking into Stampede, getting into FMW, the Dr. Luther character, Atsuhsi Onita, moving to WAR, and endless stories of being on the road like trying to pickpocket Christopher Lloyd. It’s a long show but with a metric ton of great stories, and a worthy successor to Jericho’s 25th anniversary show. <Luther’s interview starts at 5:21>THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK

MSL & Sullivan Show (5/13/16): Kevin & MSL talk about traveling, Andre the Giant’s prowess with the ladies, Big Cass’ emergence and his ceiling, teasing the audience, and an impassioned discussion of current WWE booking (Sullivan gets pretty fired up here). Then it’s the first half of the 10/7/96 Nitro and an explanation of the hot potato tag titles situation, and a question about Teddy Long segues into a history of race in wrestling. The usual interesting and face paced show. THUMBS UP

Bauer & Pollock (5/4/16): After some Jurassic Park talk, B&P dive into the recent talent cuts (with a sidetrack into the legacy of the Brooklyn Brawler and the new ECW), Adam Rose’s legal problems, B&P are on Friday for the next few weeks, that maybe/maybe not WWE special in Hawaii, the Cruiserweight Classic, the many upcoming WWE returns, Chris Atkins in NXT and possible similarities with Bobby Lashley, the potential sale of UFC (oddly not mentioned until 34 minutes into the show) and whether WWE will ever be sold, the BOSJ, Akebono’s status, the Andre the Giant movie, Jimmy Yang, TNA returning to PPV, the end of the ROH PPV, and more. The show is going to be on Friday for the next few weeks, which actually works better as a wrap up of the wrestling week. THUMBS UP