Steve Austin Show (Clean)
Host: “Stone Cold” Steve Austin
Guest: Former World Class announcer Marc Lowrance
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Recap by Corey Freedman
Top Newsworthy Items
– Steve’s guest was Marc Lowrance, former WCCW announcer. They discuss Marc’s upbringing, his introduction to the world of pro wrestling, and his thoughts on many talents such as the Von Erichs, The Fabulous Freebirds, Ric Flair, and Gary Hart.
– Lowrance called the cage match between Kerry Von Erich and Ric Flair where The Freebirds turned on Von Erich the highlight of his career.
Subjects Covered (w/ Timestamps)
0:00 – DDP Yoga Ad
2:15 – Introduction/Steve’s Trip to Dallas
14:25 – Sponsor Ad
17:25 – Austin introduces his guest, Marc Lowrance, to discuss his career beginnings
25:30 – First impressions of Fritz Von Erich
30:40 – Thoughts on Ric Flair
31:10 – General broadcasting discussion
41:35 – Sportatorium
45:15 – Discussion about kayfabe
46:20 – Sponsor Ad
47:42 – Fabulous Freebirds/Von Erichs
52:50 – Relationship with talent/Talent drug use
1:06:36 – Von Erichs
1:10:32 – Kerry Von Erich winning NWA Title from Flair in 1984
1:12:10 – Von Erichs vs Fabulous Freebirds 7/4/1993
1:14:45 – Staying out of trouble
1:21:15 – Learning from the wrestling industry
1:23:35 – Random final discussions
1:29:05 – Sponsor Ad
1:29:47 – Conclusion
Introduction: Steve starts by talking about taking a trip to the NASCAR race this past Sunday in Texas. He continues by telling a story about walking home from the gym because he couldn’t get a taxi. Next, he tells some tales of horror from the airport during his trip. Austin and his wife Kristen discuss a couple of pocket knife stories with airport security. Steve then mentions that his beer, Broken Skull IPA, will soon be launching at the El Segundo Brewing Company. Finally, Austin mentions TMZ waiting for him at the airport to discuss Bill Goldberg claiming Austin didn’t drink most of the beer he poured on himself in the ring. Austin, obviously, refutes this claim.
Marc Lowrance Intro: At 56, Lowrance says he is enjoying this stage of life and feels great. The two briefly discuss Lowrance’s childhood and his introduction into broadcasting via hockey announcing. Lowrance talks about working hockey games and eventually being put in contact with Fritz Von Erich to do PA work. He talks about initially having a three week engagement to work for Fritz, but that his secretary eventually sought him out to do more work. Lowrance says he was drawn to broadcasting/speaking because he was a smaller guy and it was a career where he could feel confident.
Fritz Von Erich: Lowrance says that Fritz was very kind and accepting of him, and that he had general codes of conduct as it related to the announcers and showing them respect. Fritz believed that if the wrestlers showed respect/reverence towards the announcers, then so would the fans. Lowrance talks briefly about Gary Hart having a great mind for the business and that he was a great teacher because he was very patient. He goes on to say that Fritz Von Erich taught him to work on having facial expressions that matched his words/reactions because he was coming off as too stoic in his early work.
Ric Flair: Lowrance describes Flair as a “prince” with psychological gifts. He compares Flair to a politician with the way he would compliment people working for the various promotions.
General broadcasting discussion: Austin asks who Lowrance listened to/tried to learn from in his early announcing days. Lowrance says that they didn’t have cable television so his options were limited. He did listen a lot to Bill Mercer because he was sitting next to him while he did TV. Lowrance says that there wasn’t any competition between the two. Mercer was older and had his responsibilities, and did not concern himself with the smaller stuff Lowrance was doing. Austin asks if there were people in his ear while broadcasting. Lowrance says that they wore headsets but that very little was said because the production budget was so low. He says that when there was production notes in his ear, it didn’t really bother him because he was eased into that slowly. Austin asks if Lowrance had a relationship with Mickey Grant, and Lowrance says they were not close as he was not viewed as a major player by the network. Austin asks if Lowrance preferred working alone or with partners. Lowrance says that doing the work alone had its challenges (e.g. balancing color commentary, psychology, doing future promotions, etc.) but that he enjoyed/got used to being a one-man guy. Lowrance talks about enjoying the work on camera and in front of large audiences, but that he is a very shy person when it comes to one-on-one interactions.
Sportatorium: Lowrance talks about the place being a dump, but when it filled with people it developed an electricity. He says it had “natural atmosphere.”
Kayfabe: Austin asks if Lowrance understood kayfabe from the beginning or if it was something he learned slowly. Lowrance says he understood the exhibitional nature of the business.
Fabulous Freebirds: Lowrance talks about how they had three complementary personalities and skillsets. He also talks about how great a frontman Michael Hayes was. Austin asks about the cage match in which The Freebirds turn on Kerry Von Erich. Lowrance calls that night the highlight of his career.
Relationship w/ talent: Lowrance talks about having little outside relationships with the talent. He would only really interact with them in the studio or at the arena. He and Austin talk a bit about some of the drug use during the time period. This leads to a discussion of David Von Erich and his battles with drug use. They also talk about Gino Hernandez. Lowrance says Gino was one of a few occasions where he wanted to reach out in a friendly manner to help some of the talent. He wonders whether his friendship would have even made a difference, but he seems to regret not making the attempt. Austin and Lowrance then discuss Mike Von Erich. They talk briefly about the pressure of living up to family standards. Lowrance discusses his “great” relationship with Bruiser Brody. Austin tells a story about Bronko Lubich and Skandor Akbar and asks Lowrance about his relationship with the two.
Von Erichs: Lowrance says that David could have been the business mind behind the promotion had things been different. He also talks about Kerry having an incredible body/athleticism. They then talked about Kerry losing his foot. Lowrance then discusses Chris Von Erich and his dealing with not being able to live up to the standards of his family.
Kerry Von Erich-Flair: Lowrance talks about how this was on a certain network so Bill Mercer was not going to cover this event, he was. He looked at it as a chance to put large emphasis on Kerry winning the title in conjunction with the memorial for his brother David. Lowrance saw great spiritual meaning in those two events together.
Von Erichs-Freebirds 1983: Austin bring up this match as it will be his match of the week. He talks about how hot the crowd was throughout this match, and he asks Lowrance if he could feel the same emotions as the performers once the show was over. Lowrance talks about how easy it was to lead people during the high years, but later in his career he had to push more as he couldn’t manufacture what happened in the ring.
Staying out of trouble: Austin asks how Lowrance was able to stay out of trouble given the industry he was in. Lowrance says that part of it was the reverence towards the announcers that he discussed earlier. He talks about not really having any issues within the industry until he was also pastoring at a church and it began to create a conflict.
Learning from the industry: Lowrance talks about learning how to communicate, relate, listen, and love from the wrestling industry. He goes on to discuss the loss of the territory system. Lowrance believes that if a company came along and tried to replicate some of the early wrestling days (good production value, staying in kayfabe, promising young wrestlers, etc) that there would be a future there. Austin doesn’t believe you can bring kayfabe back, but he does believe you can present it in a realistic fashion.
Random final discussions: Lowrance talks about most of his hobbies mostly relating to his church work, but he has always been interested in trains and has a close relationship with his two sons. He also talks about not watching any of the current product and he knows none of the current talent. Lowrance says he does not have a favorite moment in his career.
Conclusion: Austin’s match of the week is The Fabulous Freebirds vs The Von Erichs on July 4, 1983. Austin points out that the crowd for this match was “on fire.”
Score and Review
Score (8.5/10): This is my first episode reviewing the Steve Austin Show, but I am a long-time listener. Having grown up in the early ’90s, much of the topics for discussion on this show were fairly foreign to me, but that did not stop this show from being entertaining. Austin did a great job of bringing up a variety of topics for Lowrance to discuss, and I thought Lowrance gave interesting/honest answers. I am sure the two could have talked for much longer, but I thought for just one hour they covered a ton of topics/people for Lowrance to provide insight on. For anyone that grew up with WCCW and its stars, I think this episode would be quite entertaining and would provide some nice insight into what it was like to announce it all. Even if you are not completely familiar with WCCW like myself, this interview has two people with invaluable experience in the industry shining a light on many topics that still have relevance even when applied to the business today.