No Tiki Bar or Eastern Lariat this week. Tuesday Night Jaw apparently had an amazing episode with Zack Gibson, but I couldn’t listen before deadline. If it’s great I’ll include it this week.

They Said It…

  • “You give me Dick Cheney, a waterboard, and 1 hour, and I’ll have him [Dick Cheney] confess to the Sharon Tate murders.” – Jesse Ventura on the effectiveness of waterboarding
  • “I would rather watch a bar and pranties match then watch a good women’s professional wrestling match.” – Disco Inferno
  • “It didn’t bother me because he wasn’t the Nature Boy.” – Ric Flair on if he was upset Buddy Landel also used the “Nature Boy” moniker

The Usual Suspects

VIP Lounge (9/4/16): Shelton Benjamin makes his return to the program. He goes into detail about his aborted return to the WWE, which is the most noteworthy part of the show. But the rest of the show is about clowns, Suicide Squad, and putting over Mark Henry. No, seriously, everyone talks about how great Mark Henry is for so long I had to check and make sure he didn’t die. A mixed bag of a show. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Card is Going To Change #12 (9/5/16): Training is the theme of this episode, as head trainer Johnny Gargano makes a guest appearance to discuss the AIW Training School. You get to hear about all the weirdoes who sign up, poor training locales, and training mishaps. I was almost in tears during the tale of Gary “The King” Baller, who ate a calzone before class and paid the price. I went back and listened to this one again, which hardly ever happens. THUMBS UP & CO-BEST OF THE WEEK

Conversation with the Big Guy #2 (9/5/16): Ryback and Pat frame this episode as something of an origin story, with tales of both their time in Ohio Valley Wrestling. You get to hear about the training, Ryback getting cut, and working outside jobs to make ends meet. It’s not nearly as interesting as the first show (which is admittedly a high bar to clear), but decent enough and I found Pat’s stories of being an “expendable” more intriguing than Ryback’s tale. But the tale of starting fights as bouncers to kill boredom doesn’t paint either man in a good light. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Steve Austin Show #357 (9/6/16): Steve and Wade review the NXT TakeOver Brooklyn show. Yes, two and a half weeks after it happened. It’s not like the show is bad, but who really needs a review of the show 17 days after the fact? It’s not like either one offer any hot or even lukewarm takes. Like I said, a decent listen, but who needs it? THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

MLW Radio #243 (9/6/16): Dave Meltzer talks to MSL about all the news in wrestling, including Dave’s jackness, BOLA, a Paige update, CM Punk fighting this weekend and his potential falling out with Colt Cabana, the future of Alberto Del Rio, Bill Goldberg’s possible return at Mania, and more. Kevin Sullivan then shows up to discuss the booking of the Raw title in a segment that feels like padding. Still, you get 40 minutes of Big Dave outside of his usual environment, and he and MSL make a solid team. THUMBS UP

The Ross Report #133 (9/6/16): Another two-fer this week, as first Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Dan Murphy talks about the magazine’s annual PWI 500 issue. Then we hear from Tommy Dreamer, basically talking his House of Hardcore promotion and thoughts on modern wrestling. The trials and tribulations of running an independent wrestling promotion makes for decent enough audio, but Tommy really has a knack for storytelling that isn’t utilized here. Ross also put over the success of BOLA, which is funny because if he ever watched one of their shows he would vomit with rage. [Murphy’s interview starts at 2:08, Dreamer’s interview starts at 29:44] THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #278 (9/7/16): Jesse “The Body” Ventura makes his third appearance on the show. Zero wrestling talk ensues, as three main topics are broached: the 2016 presidential election, Jesse’s lawsuit against the family of American Sniper Chris Kyle, and the legalization of marijuana. This is basically an hour long Jesse monologue with Jericho chipping in a few sentences here and there. Jesse is full of it to one degree or another but he remains a very entertaining guest. [Ventura’s interview starts at 6:40] THUMBS UP

Bischoff on Wrestling #7 (9/7/16): Part 2 with the Hulkster, with the crux of the discussion being about John Cena potentially turning heel and tying in Hogan’s famous turn in 1996. They treat this like some kind of hot button issue, but it seems to me most fans have accepted it isn’t going to happen. There’s also some current events talk, which is always pedestrian. [Hogan’s interview starts at 23:01] THUMBS DOWN

Ric Flair Show #9 (9/7/16): Ric and Conrad talk to Road Warrior Animal about the good old days. Animal talks about Ole Anderson being responsible for the Warrior’s career, teaming and turning on Dusty Rhodes, other wrestlers who wear face paint, negotiating with Vince McMahon, and a lot more. A very fun show; Animal clearly has an affinity for Flair and he brings a ton of energy to the show. [Animal’s interview starts at 16:48] THUMBS UP

Keepin’ it 100 #10 (9/8/16): This show contains the following: Juvie singing a song in a baffling segment, Vince Russo yelling at Disco Inferno, Shane Helms discussing women’s wrestling, some football chatter between Konnan and Disco, and KG talks about going to BOLA. The Juvie and Russo segments are no good, but I actually thought the discussion of BOLA’s impact on the greater wrestling landscape was very interesting. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Art of Wrestling #317 (9/8/16): Ring of Honor star Hanson makes his first appearance on AoW. He talks about the crazy New England independent scene, trying to get into the WWE as a bigger guy, his dad being a literal clown, Kofi Kingston’s early days, reinventing himself as Hanson, quitting his day job, and more. I was surprised how much I liked this – Hanson is an affable fellow with some great stories. My favorite AoW in a while. THUMBS UP

The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed! #358 (9/8/16): Missy Hyatt talks to Steve about her entire career, from breaking in, working for Fritz Von Erich and Bill Watts, the ill fated “Missy’s Manor,” getting canned from WCW, and life after wrestling. Missy remains a national treasure and Steve is extra engaged during the parts about working in Texas. THUMBS UP

Jim Cornette Experience #144 (9/8/16): After discussing the Last Battle of Atlanta, Jim and Brian welcome “Dirty” Dutch Mantell. Dutch has lots of stories about bookings, riots in Puerto Rico, working in TNA and creating the Knockouts division, his WWE run with Jack Swagger, and a crazy Randy Savage story from Memphis (the same one from his obit in the Observer). Mantell has great stories and this show flies by. [Mantell’s interview starts at 28:00] THUMBS UP

Talk is Jericho #281 (9/9/16): Jericho’s BFF Kevin Owens makes his return to TiJ. The whole focus of the show is on Owen’s whirlwind last 15 months, getting called up and ultimately winning the Universal title. There are a bunch of funny anecdotes about talking with Vince and working with Sami Zayn, and Owens and Jericho of course have natural chemistry together. I couldn’t decide if this or AIW’s show was the best, so I ultimately didn’t. [Owens’ interview starts at 4:42] THUMBS UP & CO- BEST OF THE WEEK

MSL & Sullivan Show (9/9/16): The usual format sees MSL and Kevin discuss Scott Hall’s recent headlines, Seth Petruzelli’s future in wrestling, and great talkers from the past. Then it’s a mailbag about booking World War III and the psychology of escaping the cage and a review of the 12/2/96 Nitro and more on Glacier and the legend of Joe Gomez. Good times. [The Nitro review starts at 47:37] THUMBS UP

Deep Blue Something #4a (9/9/16): A live show from King of Trios weekend, Mike and Bryce are joined by Stewart Brookes of the New Generation podcast to talk about Kiryoku Pro, the Bret Hart vs. Owen Hart feud, and having Joey Styles come in for color commentary. A fine show for a live outing and nicely succinct at a half hour. THUMBS UP

Something to Wrestle With #6 (9/9/16): The Brawl For All gets the nod for this episode. We get to hear about how the concept came together, putting the fights together, a rundown of all the matches and fighters, and the fallout. You get to hear about names like Droz and Steve Blackman, who (as Conrad points out) probably won’t come up in future discussions. This one is different from the usual as Bruce is vehemently against the Brawl For All concept.  THUMBS UP

Not enough podcasts for you? Here’s what the Voices of Wrestling team put out this week:

New Japan Purocast (9/6/16): Colin and Damon preview the upcoming 3 big Destruction shows and discuss Ring of Honor’s recent Field of Honor show.

K&P (9/6/16): K&P discuss the various Colin Kapernick protests and the dearth of young good quarterbacks in the NFL

Shake Them Ropes #171 (9/7/16): Rob and Jeff preview Backlash, offer thoughts on BOLA, and review the famous Razor Ramon vs. Shawn Michaels Ladder Match from WrestleMania X

Voices of Wrestling (9/9/16): The flagship sees Joe and Rich talk the rise of the Super Indies, Evolve’s big weekend, the Cruiserweight Classic, and New Japan’s Destruction tour.