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

They Said It…

“I know accidents happen, but don’t let them happen, you have to stop them from happening.” – Bret Hart on Seth Rollins injuring John Cena

“I was the third most powerful Jew in wrestling for at least a dozen years…behind maybe Donna Goldsmith, the…I think she was, you know, the head CFO or something…and Howard Finkel.” – Brian Gerwirtz

“He got me started, he taught me basic stuff. And… yeah, I had a place to wrestle for 2 years, nobody ended up dead, so we were good.” – Kongo Kong on his trainer Joe Ortega

Brand New

The Card is Going To Change: Co-Owners of Absolute Intense Wrestling, Chandler Biggins and John Thorne, start a new audio venture about what it’s like to run a high end independent group. The premiere episode focuses on this year’s JLIT tournament, the logistics of negotiating with wrestlers (including haggling with Paul Roma), and whether fans even like tournaments these days. It’s a loose and fun show, with great stories like Homicide trying to give Hornswoggle a shoot Cop Killer at the After Party.

The Usual Suspects

The Tiki Bar #1 (6/4/16): MLW launches yet another podcast, with Bullet Club member Tama Tonga going solo. For the premier episode he sits down with his dad Haku and best friend Fireman Matt (his mom also makes an appearance). Not a ton of wrestling content on the show (outside of revealing the significance of the Tama Tonga name), as Haku gets into the history of Tonga and growing up there. Haku is super cool and it’s great to hear from him, but Tama is a bit too fidgety and giggly as a host. It’s still early, but those hoping for an instant replacement for Talk n’ Shop will be disappointed. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Eastern Lariat (6/4/16): Dylan is now officially the full time co-host of the show, and he’s got the MLW profile to prove it. He and Strigga focus on two main topics: NOAH’s recent Great Voyage in Osaka show with 2 big title changes, and the New Japan Best of the Super Juniors, focusing on booking, performances, and best matches. The usual fine rundown of all things Japan, but if this and the Tiki Lounge are both bi-weekly, I’m not sure why MLW is running them on the same day and not rotating Saturdays. THUMBS UP

VIP Lounge (6/5/16): MMA and wrestling veteran Josh Barnett joins MVP and Alex for a discussion. They don’t go at all into his time in the octagon or the ring; instead the show is a discussion on style and realness in wrestling. And I do mean discussion, as there is disagreement throughout the conversation. The whole thing is much more productive than the usual shouting into an echo chamber on Twitter. Those of you who loved Josh’s brief appearance on Wrestling Observer Radio a few weeks back will eat this up. THUMBS UP

Steve Austin Show #331 (6/7/16): “Cowboy” Johnny Mantell makes his second straight appearance. Steve Austin kicks off the show by asking him about THE MATCH, because certainly we need Johnny Mantell’s thoughts on the matter (spoiler: he didn’t like it). The back half is much better, as Mantell goes into stories of traveling with Andre the Giant, tag teams, control in a match, and seeing a UFO. Head right to the great stories. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

MLW Radio #230 (6/7/16): Konnan is late again blah blah blah. MSL and Court open the show talking about the big Brock Lesnar and CM Punk fights coming up in UFC. K-Dawg shows up and they all get into the recent AAA World Cup (Konnan’s glee at any AAA misfortune is really something), the passing of Kimbo Slice, and the 20th anniversary of Kevin Nash powerbombing Eric Bischoff. They also go over the winner of the Stooge of the Year in a thankfully short segment (the winner was Disco Inferno, which I hope doesn’t set up any kind of audio feud). THUMBS UP

Bret Hart Radio #3 (6/7/16): Bret opens the show by responding to Seth Rollins’ comments about Bret’s criticism, basically doubling down and calling Seth reckless and a crybaby, which is endlessly entertaining. Then Jake Roberts shows up for a brief (16 minute) interview talking about his new documentary and time in the ring. And that’s it. Still not a fan of the new shortened format with brief interviews. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Ross Report #121 (6/7/16): Former WWE writer and current co-executive producer for Lucha Underground Chris DeJoseph. They talk about Lucha Underground’s style, pushing female talent, WWE potentially poaching talent, and a lot more. No real insight or anything we haven’t heard before, although he does note there will be a short break between LU’s second and third seasons. They also touch on DeJoseph’s time in the WWE and the Big Dick Johnson character. A pleasant enough conversation, but not a lot of new information. [DeJoseph’s interview starts at 19:11] THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #254 (6/8/16): Former longtime WWE head writer Brian Gerwirtz makes his podcast debut with Jericho. They talk about how he got the writing gig through MTV, having heat and getting taken to Wrestler’s Court (a long and amazing story), the guest host era of Raw, babysitting Mike Tyson, how the Rock got him hired and his role in the Rock’s production crew, the Piper’s Pit segment that got him in trouble, and a lot more. I wasn’t sure about this one when it popped up in my feed, but it’s full of funny stories and plays as a history of the company from the late 90’s into the 00’s. [Gerwirtz’s interview starts at 4:11] THUMBS UP & BEST OF THE WEEK

Art of Wrestling #305 (6/9/16): Independent wrestler Kongo Kong is the guest, although not in character (and I can’t decide of that’s good or bad). He and Colt talk about growing up and staying out of trouble, his college football days and dropping it for wrestling, how he got the Kongo Kong gimmick and his thoughts about portraying a character like that, training styles, finally making waves after years on the independents, and a lot more. You may not have heard of Kong if you don’t follow the indies, but he has an interesting story and this show is well worth your time. THUMBS UP

The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed! #332 (6/9/16): Weirdly, Steve does another show centered around Evel Knievel (he talked to an Evel memorabilia collector on episode #279), this time talking to Evel’s son Robbie. They talk about growing up, his dad becoming famous overnight, following his dad into the family business, he and his father’s vices, the physics and logistics of making a big jump, his father’s most famous stunts, injuries, money, and more. I wasn’t looking forward to this one, but it’s fun and I guess it’s hard to do a boring show about jumping motorcycles. THUMBS UP

Jim Cornette Experience #132 (6/9/16): No guest this week, and Jim is sick so we get a rant about the United States healthcare system. Jim also watches the infamous Hardy contract signing skit, the Rebel/Shelly Martinez match, and Zandig’s latest stunt, which mostly predicable results (he didn’t hate the women’s match as much as most). The show ends with Jim’s thoughts on Muhammad Ali as a resident of Louisville, and the whole segment is must listen. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #255 (6/10/16): Jericho says his friend Speewee’s prior brief appearance on the show got such great reviews he’s bringing him on for his own episode. As best I can tell, his last appearance was the Hulk Hogan shows, which were about 18 months ago, so I don’t know what the holdup was. He talks about being an extra on Fargo, his new band (and we get to hear one of his songs in full), weird sex stuff growing up, almost drowning, and more. Jericho and Speewee break down giggling at one point, but you feel like these are inside jokes you’re not a part of. [Speewee’s interview starts at 9:11] THUMBS DOWN

MSL & Sullivan Show (6/10/16): Aside from a brief discussion on heat in wrestling, this is all mailbag all the time. Lots of topics, including Kevin’s “pet” angles (and a great story of blinding Dusty Rhodes’ sister in storyline), long travel and the Great American Bash 1988 tour, Buddy Landel (with Sullivan confirming that Buddy was going to win the NWA title) even more about the booking of Roman Reigns, whether Mike Awesome was held down by politics, and a lot more. A lot of varied and interesting topics; you won’t even notice the lack of a Nitro review. THUMBS UP

Bret Hart Radio #4 (6/10/16): Bret spends a lot of reminisicing about Muhammed Ali, including a really great story about meeting Ali after Bret had his stroke. Jake Roberts then joins for part 2 of a short interview and talks about working Randy Savage, Andre the Giant farting on him, living with Bret while they worked Stampede, and some more. There’s some overtalking, but it’s still an enjoyable segment. Bret also dumps on Lebron James, so I guess this was taped before Game 3 of the NBA Finals. Whoops. Still, this is Bret’s best show since moving to the new format. THUMBS UP

Bauer & Pollock (6/10/16): B&P start their show out with the big Brock/Hunt fight being signed by UFC, Gawker’s bankruptcy, TNA Slammiversary, NXT Takeover & the changing face of NXT, the Best of the Super Juniors, UFC 202, Money in the Bank, draft prospects, and the Brian Gerwirtz interview on Talk is Jericho. The Friday release date pays off as it allowed them to cover topics like Gawker and NXT, and not the news that has already been discussed on 100 other shows. THUMBS UP