Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 357

Austin and Keller talk about Brooklyn II
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show
Episode: 357 (Sept. 6, 2016)
Run Time: 1:29:34
Guest: Wade Keller (4:48)

Monday, September 26, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 319

King talks wrestling and exotic dancing on AOW this week
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Art Of Wrestling
Episode: 319 (Sept. 22, 2016)
Run Time: 1:02:13
Guest: Kenny King (9:24)

Friday, September 23, 2016

NXT In 60 Seconds

They signed Cedric! (clap clap clapclapclap)
Photo Credit:WWE.com
Samoa Joe: Apparently I injured your King so bad he's going to be out for six to twelve weeks.  REGAL!  Big X.  My hands.  NOW.
Regal: No.  I'm going to fix this.  I don't know how yet, but I'm going to fix this.
Joe: Better get used to these, then. shoves Nakamura's medical report into Regal's chest and storms off

Podcast Deep Dive: Masked Man vs. Cheap Heat

Lynch was a guest on the Cheap Heat show which was that one's major plus this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
There’s a part of me who thinks it’s wholly unfair to listen to David Shoemaker’s Masked Man Show on The Ringer network and continually weigh it against his former show, ESPN’s Cheap Heat. And perhaps if I walked away from Cheap Heat, I’d be able to approached Shoemaker’s new audio home free of any hang-ups. But, completist that I am, I still listen to every second of Cheap Heat, and that makes it impossible to ignore the comparison.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Social Justice Wrestling: Randy "Kneel" Orton

Orton's "patriotism" is as hollow as his military service
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you haven’t been paying attention this month, sports fans outraged due to protests of the National Anthem in effort to raise awareness and discuss racial inequality in America. This movement was initially started by Colin Kaepernick, quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, but has been coopted by several other players in the NFL, women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe, Baltimore Orioles centerfielder Adam Jones, and countless boys and girls in our public school system. Fans and other players have argued that even though we have First Amendment rights that allow us to protest and speak up against our government, those don’t or shouldn’t extend to moments like the National Anthem because of patriotism. Even school boards throughout the country have started to enact legislation to prevent students from protesting the anthem, because nothing says democracy like forcing children to declare undying love for a country that doesn’t love them.

Podcast Deep Dive: Talk Is Jericho, Ep, 283

From local talent to podcast guest with Jericho
Photo Credit: WWE.com
Show: Talk Is Jericho
Episode: 283
Run Time: 1:10:11
Guest: James Ellsworth

On the first brand-split episode of RAW back in July, scary monster Braun Strowman faced "a local competitor" in one of the first legitimate squash matches the show had seen in quite some time. And even more strangely, that local competitor got a brief in-ring interview in which he looked utterly terrified, yet still declared his belief that "any man with two hands has a fighting chance."

Learning To Live With Smackdown

Ambrose gets the rarest win of them all; a clean pin on regular TV over Cena
Photo Credit: WWE.com
This week on Smackdown I'm learning to live with:

Iffy Dialogue Being Delivered Well
Neither Alexa Bliss nor Becky Lynch had anything new to say during the start-of-show contract signing, but I still liked it because they're both capable of delivering the usual spiel without sounding like they're just reciting lines. Lynch especially manages to make every “I worked hard and I will continue to work hard!” promo sound passionate and compelling. She really makes me believe that the Women's Title isn't just a prop; it MEANS something and she'll do anything to hold onto it. Bliss had a tougher row to hoe because whoever writes for the women can't seem to pry themselves away from the same catty cadence for every heel. Bliss' material could just as easily have been for Charlotte or Natalya, particularly with the whole “born to be a champion” thing. Differentiate between these women, please! Still, though, I'm glad the the Smackdown women's division is still being portrayed as competitive and important and that Lynch and Bliss are the ones heading it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 318

Cedric Alexander opened up about his early days in the biz to Cabana this week
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Art Of Wrestling
Episode: 318 (Sept. 15, 2016)
Run Time: 1:04:55
Guest: Cedric Alexander (11:02)

Friday, September 16, 2016

Twitter Request Line, Vol. 168

I have things to say about Calhoun and 39 other wrestlers
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
Normally, I open Twitter up for questions that I answer here on The Wrestling Blog. This week, I shook it up a little bit. Instead, I asked Twitter to give me the name of a current wrestler that I may write a paragraph about them. The paragraph may be explicitly about that wrestler, or it may be a commentary based on something that wrestler is involved in, be it directly or more conceptually. This week's TweetBag is sure to be a hoot.

"That Ol' Juke Joint" Lucas Calhoun submitted by @GemCityGent - Getting past the initial disconnect of placing a modern-day homage to Honky Tonk Man being in Chikara's rebel outsider group last year, the switch from Volgar to Juke Joint has fit Calhoun super well. Not only does it fit within Chikara's aesthetic like the long, slender piece fits in a Tetris slot, but he is reminiscent of Honky Tonk Man, wrestling's classic Elvis impersonator and Lucha Underground guest star. Honky might conjure up angst because he kinda sucked, but the thing about Calhoun is that at least so far, he's shown that he's just as good to belong on a Chikara roster that gets overlooked at times in terms of its in-ring prowess.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Masked Man Show Ep. 10

Rhodes is one of many topics on this week's Masked Man show
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Masked Man Show
Episode: 10 (Sept. 14, 2016)
Run Time: 58:20
Guest: Dan St. Germain, Sam Donsky (co-hosts)

NXT In 60 Seconds

Coming soon to a hospital bed near you (Photo Credit: WWE.com)
Samoa Joe: ...you know, I thought about who I am and what I've become in the past year chasing then holding the NXT World Championship...
Shinsuke Nakamura: Nice to see the old Joe back, man.  Rematch granted!
Joe: AND I'M GOING TO DO ALL THOSE THINGS AND WORSE THIS IS THE OLD JOE YOU SPAZMATIC TITLE SNATCHER! URANAGE INTO THE STAIRS! JOE OUT!
Tom Phillips: [quiet Owen voice]
Corey Graves: [quiet Owen voice]
Internet: [the Rock rolling his eyes at Faarooq mid-promo dot gif]

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Steve Austin Show Ep. 355

The Revival appeared on the Austin show
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Steve Austin Show
Episode: 355
Run Time: 1:29:14
Guest: The Revival (1:35)

Learning to Live With Smackdown

Cena butting to the front of the line like he obnoxiously always does
Photo Credit: WWE.com
This week on Smackdown I'm learning to live with:

Narrowing Down My Biggest Gripe With WWE
That's right, I figured it out, and it's all thanks to John Cena, who made his unwelcome return this week. WWE is obsessed with creating “moments” that they can endlessly call back to. The problem is that those moments end up frozen in time with no consequences and therefore no real meaning. Case in point, Cena lost his match at SummerSlam to AJ Styles. It was a hell of a match (wrestler John Cena is usually welcome; wrestling character John Cena is the dirt worst), and Styles won completely clean. Cena was visibly shaken and left his “never give up” armband in the ring. That was a great moment... and it meant absolutely nothing on this episode of Smackdown. Cena just waltzed back into the ring, demanded a shot at the title, and got it because he's John Cena. Never mind that his confidence should be shaken. Never mind that he LOST his last big match and has done nothing to earn another one. Nothing really matters. This is the exact same thing I've been banging on about with Dolph Ziggler. Fine, this is a fantasy wrestling world where everything's made up and the points don't matter, but SOMETHING has got to matter or why should we even watch? Even a fictional universe has to have something holding it together. I know that John Cena versus Dean Ambrose versus AJ Styles is probably going to be a great match, but I want more. I want some fucking consistency.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Vanilla Midget Report, Vol. 1, Final Issue - The Running Diary

FOR ALL THE TOSTITOS
Screen Grab Credit: WWE.com
So, I've been slacking the last couple of weeks and didn't get out the final two quarterfinal episodes for the Cruiserweight Classic. To recap, all the matches were good, Noam Dar actually looked like a real boy and not some fucked up marionette, Mauro Ranallo dropped a shit-ton of names, and once again, TJ Perkins felled one of my sentimental favorites from the indie scene on his way to reclaim wrestling for men everywhere from... uh, other men? Maybe all of his opponents have low T? I don't know. Anyway. this week's two hour finale is big enough, important enough, that I will be running it down RUNNING DIARY STYLE! I've never done this before for anything, so prepare for the worst, and if you're a German sitting down for dinner, also prepare for the wurst. Aww yeah. I have a 20 ounce cup of Dunkin' Donuts coffee, a steady Network stream (for now), and a thirst to see how this tournament's gonna play out. Readers, let us all get lit.

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Squared Circle Pit Ep. 11

Sapolsky is this week's Squared Circle Pit guest
If you’re new, here’s the rundown. We listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Squared Circle Pit
Episode: 11
Run Time: 53:49
Guest: Gabe Sapolsky