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The Steve Austin Show w/PWTorch editor Wade Keller (Feb. 16, 2016)

The “Steve Austin Show” Podcast
Guest: Wade Keller of PWTorch
Release Date: February 16, 2016

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Recap by Corey Freedman

Top Newsworthy Items

– Austin and Wade break down the Daniel Bryan retirement segment. They both praise Bryan’s accomplishments and especially his ability to work any style of match.

– Both Austin and Wade thought Titus O’Neil acted inappropriately in grabbing Vince McMahon after the DB segment, but they agreed the suspension was way too harsh and should have been handled more privately.

– They also agree that the WWE should call an audible and have Dean Ambrose defeat Triple H at WM32 while having Roman Reigns turn heel.

– Austin and Wade give the WWE a C+ for their booking, so far, of A.J. Styles. They talk a lot about how they need to let him speak more and not shy away from giving him promo time because of his Southern accent.

– The two talk about a few potential opponents for The Undertaker at WM32, including Roman Reigns, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Kevin Owens.

Subjects Covered (w/timestamps)

0:00 – Sponsor Ads
2:15 – Introduction
8:40 – Sponsor Ads
10:10 – Wade Keller introduction
11:10 – Daniel Bryan
28:55 – In-ring product
41:45 – Wade’s information (PWTorch.com)
44:34 – Sponsor Ads
47:25 – Interview with Wade resumes
47:35 – Titus O’Neil situation
54:20 – Fastlane main event
1:01:30 – Taker at WM32
1:09:15 – A.J. Styles booking
1:17:05 – The Rock at WM32
1:20:00 – End of interview/sponsor ads
1:21:27 – Conclusion
1:28:54 – Show ends

Show Highlights

Introduction: Austin introduces Wade. He also says that he and Wade will talk about the Daniel Bryan retirement and the situation with Titus O’Neil. They will also discuss the Fastlane main event. Austin gives a shout-out to Emily from Louisiana who competed on the Broken Skull Challenge. Steve talks briefly about Redneck Island on CMT.

Wade Keller introduction: Austin introduces Wade. They discuss the weather in Minnesota.

Daniel Bryan: Steve brings up the Daniel Bryan retirement segment from last week. He notes that DB was never the best promo, but his work on Monday was excellent. Austin talks briefly about whether there is a concussion epidemic. He and Wade talk about how DB had a long career in the wrestling business, even though he was only in the WWE for a few years. Wade gives an example of bending a paper clip and compares it to the concussion situation (in that each time you bend it, it weakens and ends up beyond repair). Austin talks about how the final test DB took must have really driven home the point that he would be risking his long-term health if he got back in the ring.

Wade asks Austin to explain, as a fellow top-level performer, what made Daniel Bryan so special in the ring. Austin says that DB went out every night and knocked it out of the park. He could work any style of wrestling. He notes that DB always gives credit to William Regal for mentoring him. Austin describes DB by saying “badass work, tells a great story, sells his ass off, makes everything look good, goes through great sequences, great psychology, sells his ass off…he’s the real deal.” Wade also praises DB’s ability to work any style. He also praises Bryan’s ability to be entertaining outside of the ring. Wade also talks about Bryan’s work with Kane and The Shield as being central to helping him reach a level that WWE management might not have originally thought to place him in.

Wade also talks about the importance, historically, of people like Bryan and C.M. Punk being able to create a legacy in WWE after working for other companies and not being a typical WWE main-eventer. Austin talks about the difference between someone like Ric Flair and Daniel Bryan (namely that Flair had a standard match type, but Bryan changed things constantly). Wade praises Bryan’s retirement speech as being one of the best of all-time. They also talk about how Bryan was someone who truly lived his dream and was able to really enjoy it.

In-ring product: Austin brings up the WWE in ring product, namely to discuss the injury situation. He wonders if the WWE has painted themselves into a corner with their style causing so many injuries. Wade notes that, for example, the Bayley vs. Sasha Banks matches weren’t a high-risk style, so perhaps that isn’t exactly the problem. Austin jumps in to note that they are able to work a simpler, safer style because their characters are so over and the stories are so well developed. Wade brings up the Usos as an example of people without a story/emotions who have to rely on risky high spots to get the crowd interested in their matches. He says the WWE needs to be more in kayfabe mode when the show is on the air (i.e. the show needs to revolve around winning/losing to build stories).

Wade also brings up how often today’s talent is asked to give PPV quality matches as being a source of the injury troubles. Austin talks about how it is hard to get a concussion simply wrestling, but when you involve the high spots and ask talent to put on high quality matches too often, you raise the risk. Wade talks about how the crowds use the “this is awesome” chant at the wrong times. He says that should be reserved for truly goosebump-inducing moments, not just times when the talents briefly risk their lives. He and Austin bring up Jerry Lawler as an example of less is more. Austin asks the talent to sell more because that will help the audience believe in the match.

Titus O’Neil: Austin recaps what we know about the situation with Titus from the DB retirement segment on last week’s Raw. Wade thought Titus acted inappropriately but that this situation could have been solved with a stern conversation rather than a suspension (unless there is more to the story). Austin shoots down any notions that race had anything to do with this. They both agree that the suspension is too long, but they both also agree that Titus acted inappropriately and should have known better. They also talk about Vince’s age being a factor as grabbing a 70-year-old man is not the best decision. Wade says the main problem with this situation is how public WWE made this.

Fastlane main event: Austin recaps the segment with the main event participants from last week’s Raw (the contract signing). He praises the segment and specifically Stephanie’s work as a heel. Wade suggests they call an audible and have Dean Ambrose go against Triple H. He suggests they have Roman Reigns react poorly to Dean winning and that leading to him challenging he Undertaker. He says that everyone would be praising Reigns as a heel if they made the turn. Austin notes that Ambrose’s character is more well-rounded than Reigns. He also notes that on last week’s Raw, Ambrose and Lesnar both got pops while Reigns got a more mixed, possibly negative reaction. Wade says that Ambrose beating Hunter and Taker beating Reigns would have everyone leaving WM32 happy they spent their money. Wade talks about the problematic scenario where Reigns gets booed to end WM32 as the babyface and how that would reflect on Vince in front of so many sponsors/corporate people at the event.

Taker at WM32: They discuss potential opponents for The Undertaker. Austin says Braun Strowman is way too green to be the opponent (no disrespect to Strowman). Austin immediately shoots down the notion that Cena can be ready by WM32. He brings up the potential for re-injury if Cena rushes back too quickly. Wade agrees that Cena should not be working in this match if he has to rush back from an injury. Wade’s top three opponents for Taker are (1) Reigns, (2) Shinsuke Nakamura (they see it as a really good fit style and presentation-wise, and Austin actually calls it a “match made in heaven”), and (3) Kevin Owens. Wade says Owens is a more conventional pick because he can handle the feud on his own with the microphone and generate real heat.

A.J. Styles booking: Wade gives the booking of A.J. a C+. He appreciates that he is in the ring with Jericho but still feels like they haven’t done the best job with A.J. He points specifically to the fact that they won’t let A.J. talk seemingly out of fear of his Southern accent. Wade notes that they should have played up the fact that it was one of the biggest free agent signings ever more. They both advocate for A.J. being written as a human being who is reacting to obstacles/circumstances against him, not as the rookie joining the big leagues. Wade talks about how they give A.J. an inferiority complex right out the gate by keeping him off the mic.

Rock at WM32: Wade can’t see the Rock wrestling at the show, and he sees him more in a role supporting Roman. Austin brings up the potential of Reigns turning on The Rock at the end of the match.

Conclusion: Austin thanks Wade Keller for his time. He also recaps the discussion about the injury bug taking over the WWE. He also talks about the Broken Skull Challenge. He also thanks the listeners and sponsors of the show.

Score and Review

Score (10): This episode does not get a 10 because Wade runs this site. This show gets a 10 because it was 90 minutes of extremely entertaining and insightful wrestling discussion. We get some great insight from Austin on the Daniel Bryan retirement, and then he and Wade discuss several of the hottest topics in WWE today. There were no digressions from the important issues and the pair go in-depth on a variety of hot button issues. I would certainly call this a must listen for wrestling fans looking for commentary/insight on the current product. An all around excellent show as we have come to expect from the Austin/Keller pairing.

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