Written by Mark Henely

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A look at podcasts from 6/11-6/17

1. Art of Wrestling – EP 306 – Jimmy Havoc

Jimmy Havoc is a British Wrestler who specializes in hardcore matches, while host, Colt Cabana, is an American who wants no part in having light tube broken over his back and barbed wire cutting his skin. Havoc relishes in it though (and even argues that hardcore wrestling is less painful than regular wrestling) and Cabana does his best to get to the bottom of what could make a nice, normal guy like Havoc put himself through broken glass and ironing boards. It’s a compelling conversation with an unforgettable part where Havoc discusses having lemon juice squeezed into his cuts during a match (i.e. the most painful thing he has ever put himself through in a match) and how he wishes he had just faked the spot instead of using real lemon juice. It’s gross stuff, but worth a listen.

2. Talk is Jericho – EP256 Aaron Stevens aka Damien Sandow

Damien Sandow’s post-firing publicity tour has brought him to Jericho’s podcast where he discusses all of the highs and lows throughout his WWE career. Throughout it all, he maintains that he tried to always perform at his best, even when he was forced to perform lame gimmicks (such as dressing up as Magneto to confront Hugh Jackman). This isn’t a classic, must-listen episode of Talk is Jericho, but it does remind us, as fans, what made Damien Sandow so engaging and why it is sad that he is no longer with WWE.

3. The Steve Austin Show – EP333 Vince Russo

As a regular follower of The Steve Austin Show, I can’t help but feel that Austin has run out of ideas. He has to fill two 1 hour plus shows per week and, while he sometimes comes out with incredible content, there is a lot of filler now. This week’s Vince Russo podcast is very much filler. It’s not that Russo is a bad guest, but with five episodes a week of his own podcasts and many previous appearances on Austin’s podcast, there is no shortage of Vince Russo. Russo is a compelling speaker and his conversation with Austin about Summerslam ’98 is really great, but nothing in this episode is must-listen material.
The interview with Russo also abruptly ends with Russo mid-rant. Strange. The rant must have ended in a bad spot if Austin couldn’t let Russo finish.

4. The Ross Report – EP122 – Kenny Omega

This week, Jim Ross talks to Kenny Omega from the Bullet Club. Ross seems interested in Omega and they have a decent conversation. Omega famously wrestled a 9 year old girl once and, surprisingly, Ross (who famously hates men vs. women matches) maintained his composure and didn’t froth at the mouth when Omega told the story.

5. Talk is Jericho – EP257 – Chad Smith

Chad Smith, the drummer from Red Hot Chili Peppers, has had an impressive career that has seen him play the Super Bowl, record with Johnny Cash, and play a drum off against Will Ferrell. Smith is a charming guy and a decent guest. His stories are fun an this makes for a fun, if inessential, show.

6. The Steve Austin Show Unleashed! – EP334 Retired Navy SEAL Jocko Willink

Jocko Willink is a Navy Seal turned corporate public speaker that Steve Austin truly admires. As a man who played the baddest man on the planet on TV for years, Austin always gives it up for the real men who put their lives on the line and did some real tough shit. This episode is good for people who are into stories about the military, but might be boring for wrestling fans who just want to hear wrestling talk.

7. The Taz Show – 6/14/2016 Raw Talk, LOD? Dream Match? Trending!

(Written by Guest Contributor: Richard Dweck)
The trouble with the Taz show is that, Taz (unfortunately like many older people not just wrestlers), does not understand that podcasting is not radio. He does not get that he can get his sponsors and commercials out of the way at the start of the show (the way Pete Holmes on You Made it Weird and Marc Maron on WTF do it) because it breaks up the flow of the show when ads permeate the product. Also, listner calls are not enjoyable at all. His show is all over the place with an overuse of sound effects and a severe lack of wrestling talk. At one point, he brings up the valid point that there is only thirty minutes of in ring action on Monday Night Raw, but it ends up being ironic because there is only thirty minutes of wrestling talk on his podcast. He spends most of the time talking bouncing between lacrosse and football.
He had some good points about the NXT crowds and hearing him give advice to commentators leaves listeners with one thing: Taz’s show may be obnoxious and all over the place but the man is veteran in the business and knows the business like the back of his hand. Unfortunately I had to use my hand a lot to skip through the boring parts to find the good stuff. It you are a Taz fan you probably love the show but it is not a sit down and relax type of listen if you are not.
Founded in September 2009, The Pop Break is a digital pop culture magazine that covers film, music, television, video games, books and comics books and professional wrestling.