Jim Cornette is recovering from the NWA Legends Fan Fest, so no show this week. No Bauer & Pollock either, but that show may not be long for this column for scheduling reasons.
Nothing really blew me away for best of the week.
They Said It…
- “If Brock hurts me I’m calling his mom because I know her.” – Shelton Benjamin on a possible match with former tag partner Brock Lesnar
- “So Joe Hendry, his plan is to go into the WWE…and his two backup plans are rock star and Olympian.” – Brendon Burns
- “I used to love how Mongo [McMichael] would just lay on the trainer’s table, okay, and fall asleep every night. And…you had to go get checked somewhere else because he was on the trainer’s table, or they would tell him to please get off the training table and he would go lay in the shower. And then someone would go to wake him up to go over the match, and you know Arn’s dry wit, he’d go ‘Leave him alone, he’d fuck it up anyways.’” – Konnan
The Usual Suspects
Jim Cornette Experience #140 (8/5/16): A live show from the NWA Legends Fan Fest, featuring Jim, Bobby Fulton, Tom Pritchard, and Sunny answering audience questions. You get some good stories (like how a goof promo ended up getting the Heavenly Bodies booked in the WWE) but a lot of duds as well, as Fulton is a master of telling a story that just stops out of nowhere. Some diamonds here, but as the show goes two hours you’ll have to do some digging to hear them. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
The Tiki Bar #7 (8/6/16): A bit of a scattershot show, as Tama and Fale head to a steakhouse, talk about the toll the G1 has taken, and catch up with Juice Robinson briefly. Juice talks about chance he took in leaving NXT to come to New Japan, his experiences as a young boy and working the roster, and the progress he’s made. I wish we heard more from Juice; his experience is unique if nothing else. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
VIP Lounge (8/7/16): It’s Taz! The former Human Suplex Machine joins MVP and Alex for a lengthy chat. Things start off rough as Taz and MVP talk internet trolls. But things perk up with stories of Taz working in Japan and the independent scene of the early 1990’s, along with Taz’s later forays into announcing and podcasting. The pettiness of independent wrestling never ceases to amaze and amuse me. Wasn’t sure about this one, but it’s a good listen. THUMBS UP
Eastern Lariat #25 & #26 (8/6/16 & 8/8/16): Two shows in two days, Strigga and Dylan continue their trek through the G1, covering days 11-15. But that’s not all, as they also talk about Dramatic Dream Team, All Japan, NOAH, Stardom, HEAT UP, and a lot more. Not only are the extra shows appreciated, but credit for not neglecting the other Japanese federations during G1 season. THUMBS UP
The Card is Going To Change #10 (8/8/16): A bit of a change, as John and Chandler are joined by Aaron Bauer to pay tribute to the departed JT Lightning and his influence on the Cleveland wrestling scene. This is probably the least immediate of these shows, as I don’t know how familiar the average listener will be with JT. But the obvious affection everyone has for the man is touching, and Aaron’s story about Tommy Rich rifling for food at a hotel is pretty hilarious. THUMBS UP
Steve Austin on the WWE Network (8/8/16): Dean Ambrose is the latest guest on Austin’s Network Pod. They discuss everything you would expect: Dean’s adolescence, getting into wrestling, getting hired by the WWE, the Shield, and his ascent to the WWE title. But there’s a weird disconnect between Austin and Ambrose, like Ambrose is a nut Austin just can’t crack. It makes for an interview equal parts intriguing and award. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
Steve Austin Show #349 (8/9/16): Braun Strowman makes a surprising podcast debut with Steve. They basically talk about two topics – Braun’s strongman days and his wrestling career. The strongman stuff did zip for me as I don’t care about techniques or calorie intake, but the wrestling stuff is a lot better, especially talking starting from scratch and what it’s like to travel when you’re 6’8. Braun comes off as a nice lad. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
MLW Radio #239 (8/9/16): MSL and Court chew the fat for a few minutes, then they’re joined by Steve Austin to talk about the Bill Watts days of WCW, crowd lighting, authority figures, the state of creative, the Shield, Finn Balor, winning the TV title from Bobby Eaton, being a heel, restrictions wrestlers face these days, and more. It’s an OK discussion, and I appreciate some more esoteric topics being brought up, but Austin’s thoughts on the current product aren’t anything you don’t hear twice a week on his own show. There was a part two, but only for VIP subscribers. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
The Ross Report #130 (8/9/16): Double the guests this week, as first Shelton Benjamin talks to JR about his torn rotator cuff that derailed his return to the WWE. Then Ross is joined by Ricochet to talk about his high flying style, Lucha Underground, New Japan, wearing a mask, and his future in wrestling. The Ricochet portion is OK, but by the end it feels like Ross is delivering a monologue instead of actually interviewing Ricochet. [Benjamin’s interview starts at 1:44, Richochet’s interview starts at 29:33] THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
Deep Blue Something #3 (8/9/16): Mike and Bryce talk the Olympics, the recent Chikara Hour of Power live special, the Joshi Mania tour they ran five years back, Summerslam memories, working with Lex Luger, and a lot more. The longest show they’ve done (over an hour) but also the best, striking the right balance between interesting backstage stories and unbridled fandom of wrestling. THUMBS UP
Talk is Jericho #272 (8/10/16): Stuck Mojo members (and Jericho’s bandmates in Fozzy) Rich Ward and Frank Fontsere are here to talk about the band’s new album. I know nothing of Stuck Mojo other than the time I saw their video on Nitro, but for a while the interview is really good, focusing on a young band coming up and the craziness of touring with Pantera. But the whole interview goes too long (the whole show is nearly two hours) and I lost interest by the end as they talked about finding a new lead singer. [Ward and Fontsere’s interview starts at 10:05] THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
Bischoff on Wrestling #3 (8/10/16): Eric and Nick talk about Joey Styles getting canned by the WWE, Dean Ambrose’s interview on the WWE Network, a potential John Cena heel turn, factions and stables, the New Day, squash matches, and Connor McGregor. Then it’s part two for Magnus as he talks about getting a break against Sting and a lot about wrestling business metrics. It’s a surprisingly boring segment after I enjoyed last week’s part one. Eric also defends his decision to take the masks off of Juventud Guerrera and Rey Mysterio. The whole show is a bit of a snooze. [Magnus’ interview starts at 36:30] THUMBS DOWN
Ric Flair Show #6 (8/10/16): Ric and Conrad talk seemingly endlessly about the Conor McGregor controversy before bringing on fellow MLW stablemate Bruce Pritchard. They talk about topics like Dick Murdoch, the Austin/Jarrett dynamic in WWE, and a potential late 80’s jump to the WWF for Flair. It’s a fine segment, but too short at under half an hour. And the weird “How to be The Man” promos where Ric tells you how to pick up women over Sade’s “Smother Operator” are…odd. [Pritchard’s interview starts at 14:21] THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
Art of Wrestling #312 (8/11/16): It’s August, so that means it’s time for the Edingborough Fringe Festival, which in turn means the return of live shows. The first outing sees Colt joined by John Hastings, Chris Gethard, Joe Hendry, and Brendon Burns. So 3 comedians and 1 wrestler in Hendry, although wrestling is touched upon throughout. Your usual mixed bag live show, although I would like Hendry to make a return at some point. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed! #350 (8/11/16): Sean Waltman makes a return to the show. He and Steve mainly discuss Sean’s relationship with Chyna (with minor odd segues into Roman Reigns’ drug failure and that video of Triple H stopping a fan attack), including the famous One Night in Chyna video, drugs, working for New Japan, and why she belongs in the Hall of Fame. It’s a humanizing look at someone people only associate with scandals and infamy. THUMBS UP
Keepin’ it 100 #6 (8/11/16): Konnan, Kevin, and Disco are first joined by Juventud Guerrera to talk juicy things, then Kevin Kleinrock to discuss the TripleMania show and the heavy Lucha Underground feel of the show. Then Big Hoodoo plays a sample of his new song before Eric Bischoff talks to Konnan for the first time in 15 years. They talk about WCW and the time Eric challenged Vince to a fight (interesting) and politics (less so). Rey Mysterio then shows up for 5 minutes to chitchat and Shane Helms wraps things up with talk about the Connor McGregor controversy and the recent NWA Legends Fanfest. Again all of this is in little over an hour, and it’s a bit too chaotic for a full recommendation. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE
Talk is Jericho #273 (8/12/16): Jericho is joined by a returning Eli Roth and brother Gabe (who doesn’t say much) for a symposium on 80’s teen sex movies. Lots of talk of Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Porky’s, Zapped, Screwballs, and more. Roth draws in a lot of obscure film knowledge, like the role Italian cinema played in influencing these films, and this hit me from a nostalgia point. Younger may not get a lot out of it (and may be stunned at what movies used to do), but I enjoyed the show a lot. [The Roth’s interview starts at 5:21] THUMBS UP
MSL & Sullivan Show (8/12/16): No Nitro review this week, as instead Kevin and MSL dive into the Connor McGregor controversy, taking the side that the wrestlers who have responded are being outworked. There’s also a lengthy mailbag segment where they discuss the WWE’s lack of success with vignettes, the booking of Brock Lesnar, and whether independent wrestlers should learn scripted promos. While there is some content on older wrestling, a good chunk of the show is interesting takes on modern wrestling. THUMBS UP
Something to Wrestle With #2 (8/12/16): Bruce and Conrad quickly run over some current events before heading to the main event – a breakdown of the yearlong Mega Powers explode angle. The break down the genesis of the angle and plot its advancement, with some tangents into Koko B Ware, Jesse Venture, WrestleMania V, and a hilarious burial of Terry Taylor). Credit to Conrad, he’s not afraid to challenge Bruce and bring up controversial topics. THUMBS UP
Not enough podcasts for you? Here’s what the Voices of Wrestling team put out this week:
New Japan Purocast #52 (8/8/16): Had enough of the G1? TOO BAD. Colin and Damon review the 8/6 and 8/7 shows and give predictions for the finals.
K&P #24 (8/9/16): Jon and Rich break down the Hall of Fame candidacy of Ichiro Suzuki, the end of A-Rod, and the Summer Olympics.
Shake Then Ropes #167 (8/10/16): Rob and Jeff are joined by Afterbuzz TV’s Christian Rosenberg to talk the current state of WWE, and review the 1992 Royal Rumble that Sid didn’t win.
Voices of Wrestling (8/12/16): Rich and Joe are back together after 3 weeks to talk the final days of the G1, Ryback, Damien Sandow, the crazy Summerslam weekend, and the box office clout of Tom Cruise.
BritWres Roundtable (8/12/16): Robin and Oli preview RevPro Uprising and talk a lot of the smaller promotions across the UK.