The column is truncated due to Christmas travels. This is also the last column of 2016, but there will be an article in the Cubed Circle Year in Review issues on the year in Podcasts. See you in 2017.

The podcast week in review, brought to you by Great Clips.

They Said It…

  • “What me and Shelton do to each other accidentally in a match and then laugh about afterwards, most people call felonious assault.” – MVP
  • “Hunter has told me directly: ‘We never want another marquee name here in the WWE…Legit told me, we’re never going to have another John Cena.’” – Ryback

The Usual Suspects

Something to Wrestle With #20 (12/16/16): The 1997 Royal Rumble wins the poll this week. You get to hear about everything, from the decision to run a huge stadium, negotiating with Triple H, thoughts on all the matches, fallout from the show, and most interestingly, what goes into putting a Rumble together. A lengthy show that’s worth it, my only complaint is the “dump on Meltzer” schtick was in overdrive, humorous because without Conrad reading copious notes from the Observer there wouldn’t be much of a show. THUMBS UP

The Ric Flair Show #24 (12/16/16): The show was delayed a few days due to Flair’s 30 for 30, so this episode is a bit different, as there is only the interview and none of the other usual segments (no How To Be The Man or Listener Voicemail). Instead, the show is just an interview with Brian Knobbs and Jerry Saggs, the Nasty Boys. They tells stories largely about Curt Hennig’s ribs, fighting with Scott Hall, and fighting with Ken Shamrock. The Nasties are pretty boisterous and there’s a lot of talking over each other, but the stories are good and it’s a fun show. THUMBS UP

Deep Blue Something #10 (11/12/18/16): Mike and Bryce are back for another chitchat, this time discussing gear mishaps, the recent season finale in Chicago (and the Drew Gulak farewell match), other podcasts they enjoy, the time Mike sang for Barbara Walters, and the origins of the Tex-Arkana TV title (and where the ICW/ICWA came from).  The usual comforting listen. THUMBS UP

VIP Lounge (12/18/16): Shelton Benjamin is back and joins Alex and MVP for a very varied discussion that touches on the recent story where high school students used their own special batter in home ec, shady people in wrestling, the one bump Alex has taken in his life, what it’s like to wrestle Shibata (spoiler: he hits hard), and the time MVP got into a fight with Brian Kendrick over a salad. It’s a show where they don’t hit big  topics, but rather a continuing series of smaller ones. Some aren’t that interesting, but the wrestling conversation is on point. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Conversation with the Big Guy #17 (12/19/16): The title promises “The Ankle Situation Part 2” but for a while we get to hear about Pat’s jock itch and the time Ryback thought he had an STD (don’t worry ladies, it was just Ecoli!). Once we get the (ample) nonsense out of the way, we get to hear about Ryback’s lawsuit against the doctor who screwed up his surgery, how he was pressured to drop it, and then when he did it sent his career in the toilet. Some really interesting stuff once you get through the first half. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Card is Going To Change #24 (12/19/16): The Matt Riddle show, as the gang breaks down that whole situation. The basically counter all of Riddle’s claims, explaining he seemed happy when working there and wondering if he was being fed complaints from outside parties. It’s too bad this couldn’t be the episode last week, as I feel everyone has already moved on. But John and Chandler do come across well (no fiery insults here), and this is an interesting episode. THUMBS UP

The Steve Austin Show #387 (12/20/16): More from Ted Fowler and he and Steve’s misadventures at the Broken Skull Ranch.  Steve gets a flat tire! Steve gets stung by a yellowjacket! Ted sees a snake! Steve has a new toothbrush! A useful show to punish your kids if their being obnoxious in the car while traveling for Christmas. THUMBS DOWN

Killing the Town #9 (12/20/16): Lance and Cyrus review Total Nonstop Deletion and discuss the role of comedy in wrestling. Then they run down the top matches of Roadblock: End of the Line and welcome Dr. Luther back to discuss more ribs. Then it’s another ECW review featuring the debut of the future Jazz and the magic of Sid. Nothing on Disco Inferno, so I guess that storyline is over for now, or at least on hold. [Dr. Luther’s interview starts at 35:54] THUMBS UP

MLW Radio #258 (12/20/16): Alex Greenfield sits in the guest host seat this week. After some talk of Rogue One (no real spoilers, but skip the first 10 minutes or so if you don’t want to hear about it), they dive into the value of titles, WWE’s European tournament, Total Nonstop Deletion, Roadblock: End of the Line and Raw. Not Alex’s finest hour, as he either discussed the topics on a writer’s room or he hasn’t watched the material in question, but I liked the discussion of the possibilities of WWE worldwide offices. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

The Ross Report #149 (12/20/16): JR welcomes old compatriot Jim Cornette for a discussion on the state of wrestling and the world. Cornette basically plays all of his Greatest Hits (Trump stinks! The Revival is great! It was better when crowds believed it was real! He doesn’t like the Broken Matt Hardy stuff!). Jim even recycles some jokes line by line. It’s like the usual Cornette show – some good, some bad – but if you regularly listen to Jim’s show there’s zero new here. [Cornette’s interview starts at 28:03] THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Talk is Jericho #310 (12/21/16): Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich finally sits down to talk to Chris. They talk about the creative process, Cliff Burton and what he brought to the band, playing their back catalogue live, and a lot more. Ulrich comes off like a normal guy, and they part at the end where he discusses obscure British metal with palpable glee is the easy highlight of the show. [Ulrich’s interview starts at 5:25] THUMBS UP

Bischoff on Wrestling #22 (12/21/16): The show kicks off with a “surprise” appearance from Eric’s son Garett to talk about being Eric’s kid and his current job working in Firearms Technology at the Sonoran Desert Institute (also a show sponsor). Al Snow later joins the show to talk about his early days in the business, wrestling Bruiser Brody in AWA, training with Ole Anderson, Avatar, and where the head gimmick came from. The Snow interview is actually solid, but the rest of the show is fairly bland. [Bischoff’s interview starts at 3:58, Snow’s interview starts at 36:00] THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Art of Wrestling #329 (12/22/16): As a holiday treat, Colt presents one of his Pro Wrestling Fringe shows on the AoW feed. If you’re unaware, these are short looks at a singular topic, produced in an NPR-esque style. This one features David Bixenspan and focuses on Sputnik Monroe and his efforts to desegregate wrestling shows. The show itself is quite short (about 20 minutes) but interesting and produced in a style no other wrestling podcasts are. THUMBS UP

The Steve Austin Show – Unleashed! #386 (12/22/16): Almost two hours of Q&A with Teddy Fowler. Two hours! They cover a lot, including conspiracies (Steve doesn’t believe we landed on the moon!), hunting tips, Teddy’s tips for picking up the ladies, and more. Thankfully there’s some wrestling content like Steve’s thoughts on a final match and memories of “Bullet” Bob Armstrong. Eh, it’s Christmas, I won’t totally bag this one. THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

Jim Cornette Experience #160 (12/22/16): Jim and Brian have a long discussion of how shows used to be put together before they’re joined by Kenny Bolin. Bolin gives us a health update and another lengthy tale of someone who tried to scam him with a free Cadillac. Not Bolin’s best appearance, but I did laugh out loud at him screaming “BULLSHIT” in regards to Bruce Prichard’s download numbers gave me a hearty laugh. [Bolin’s interview starts at 51:05] THUMBS IN THE MIDDLE

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

New Japan Purocast (12/19/16): Damon and Colin wrap up 2016 with reviews of the Road to Wrestle Kingdom shows and a preview of Wrestle Kingdom 11.

BritWres Roundtable (12/19/16): Oli and Arn present the second annual edition of the European Wrestling year end awards.

Lucha of the Hidden Temple (12/20/16): Miles and Chris review the 12/14 edition of Lucha Underground and the debut of Luchasaurus!

Shake Them Ropes #188 (12/22/16): Rob and Jeff review Roadblock: End of the Line, talk the WWE leading to Royal Rumble, and review CM Punk vs. John Cena from Money in the Bank.

Voices of Wrestling (12/22/16): Joe and Rich celebare the Christmas season by reviewing WWE Roadblock: End of the Line, previewing Dragon Gate The Final Gate 2016 and answering listener questions