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WWE NETWORK: PICK OF THE WEEK
Pick of the Week: Stone Cold Podcast with Vince McMahon
Originally Aired: December 1, 2014
By Ryan Tailor, PWTorch Specialist
December 2014, saw the very first Stone Cold Podcast broadcast live on the WWE Network, with arguably the biggest name in the company as his guest, the WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
If you haven’t seen the show before, the Stone Cold Podcast is, in essence, a sit-down interview with a different WWE-related guest each episode, where Steve Austin will offer his own unique interview style, coupled with an often hard-hitting or direct line of questioning.
Although the show is not strictly billed as a “shoot” style of interview (after all this is for the WWE Network), Austin’s heavy-handedness and intense conversational flow gives his interviews an edge that is not often seen on typical WWE programming. Much like his own bi-weekly audio podcast “The Steve Austin Show,” Austin, no matter who the guest is, remains true to himself and calls it as he sees it. Not one to shy away from a tough or controversial subject, there are several moments during this episode where it’s clear Vince McMahon wasn’t expecting certain things to be brought up, or at least not as directly as Austin does.
Despite how much TV time he has racked up over the years as the character of “Mr. McMahon,” Vince the person doesn’t look entirely comfortable during the interview with Austin. Perhaps this was due to a slight nervousness of where the direction of their conversation could lead them, the pressure of being interviewed live, or maybe he just didn’t want to be there, who knows! As a viewer at home, you feel like Steve Austin is asking the kind of questions that you would ask Vince yourself, if you were conducting the interview that day in 2014. Hot topics of the time include; his standing with C.M. Punk, motivations behind the shock upset of The Undertaker’s streak, and why certain WWE wrestlers (such as Cesaro) haven’t been able to elevate themselves to main event status.
At over an hour long, the show allows for a broad amount of issues to be discussed and its refreshing to see that the focus of this WWE show, is just a one-on-one conversation between two very charismatic and interesting individuals. The producers behind the show could have easily over-cluttered this simple format with television “bells and whistles,” but instead they demonstrate confidence and faith in “The Texas Rattlesnake’s” hosting abilities and allow him to lead the show as he sees fit.
Another enjoyable element to this particular episode is observing some of the chemistry that McMahon and Austin share, and have shared, for so many years on and off screen. By having Steve Austin lead this interview over a WWE company man like Michael Cole, for example, you get to feel the mutual respect, history, and admiration that they both feel for one another, as well as the authentic realism and grit that “Stone Cold” brings to the table. It’s probably also fair to say you wouldn’t get the real Vince McMahon (or as close to real as this incarnation of Vince is) if it were a full-time WWE employee conducting the interview. Could Vince McMahon have gone a little more in-depth on some of the more taboo issues? Sure. But he’s not going to knowingly bury himself or his company on live TV to make the show more buzz-worthy.
Aside from the in-ring action, it’s shows like this on the WWE Network that, for me, add real value to their online services. To hear an hour-long live interview between two of the biggest names in the history of professional wrestling is always going to be worthy of a watch, regardless of the actual topics raised. Though he’s retired from in-ring competition, a show like this gives the opportunity for WWE fans to connect once again with the “The Texas Rattlesnake,” and although there are no “Stunners” in sight in this show, Austin still manages to entertain the masses with what brought him to the dance in the first place. Charisma, passion, and the undying love for pro wrestling.
If you enjoyed the show, and want to hear more of Steve Austin’s opinions on professional wrestling and more, go check out the “The Steve Austin Show” podcast – Available to stream on most popular podcast apps and websites. PWTorch editor Wade Keller is scheduled to be Austin’s guest to discuss the Royal Rumble on Tuesday’s show this week.
You can also listen to his most recent appearance last Thursday on the PWTorch Livecast with Wade Keller HERE.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: WWE NETWORK PICK OF THE WEEK: Watching back WWE’s UK Championship Tournament after attending it in person