Powell's Blog: Steve Austin talks tampons, The Rock is holding out for a Hero
By Jason Powell
-If you're not listening to Steve Austin's podcast, you are really missing out. Austin is 20 shows into his run and he's already interviewed Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Terry Funk, Jim Ross, Lance Storm, Kurt Angle, Trish Stratus, and UFC star Chael Sonnen.
The wrestling themed shows are excellent. Austin could phone it in because, well, he's Steve Austin, but he is clearly doing some prep work and covering as many bases as he can in the roughly one-hour interviews (there are some longer two-part interviews).
Austin told Michaels that he wasn't going to ask him the same old questions that everyone else asks. Even when he does, he gets a better answer than most interviewers because he's Austin and the guests respect him enough to deliver more than the same old repetitive responses they've given a million times.
Don't make the mistake of blowing off the non-wrestling interviews. There's a reason Austin was such a great promo. He may not be cutting promos on Mr. McMahon or The Rock, but his recent "promo" on buying tampons for his wife was just one example of hilarious schtick that left me laughing out loud. The Steve Austin Show is an absolute must listen for pro wrestling fans. Check it out at Podcastone.com.
-The Rock's new reality show "The Hero" got off to a solid start with 1.5 million viewers last week. I was not among that initial viewer count, but I finally checked out the show on DVR. My biggest concern going in was that a show called "The Hero" would have too many nice guys and not the necessary Jonny Fairplay or Omarosa reality show villain.
None of the contestants has firmly established themselves as the true villain of the show, but there are already a few candidates. In fact, the leading candidate right now seems to be another pro wrestler, Shaun Ricker. The newly signed WWE developmental wrestler is highly skeptical of everyone around him and I could see that leading to him becoming a villain on the show.
Let's face it, his pro wrestling background is enough to make one assume that he realizes the value of a good heel. Being a villain on "The Hero" may not be sound strategy when it comes to winning the overall competition, but it can definitely help the person stand out and become one of the real stars of the show. If you've watched enough reality television, you probably remember the name of the villains from the series better than you do the actual winners. What was the name of the lady that won Fairplay's season of Survivor? Beats me.
The Rock comes off very well in the series. The contestants are in awe of him, yet he came across very likable while he helped one of the contestants as she was battling her fear of heights. Rock is never afraid to flash the big smile into the camera and he plays the role of tough guy host well, yet also knows when to tone it down.
The most impressive thing about the show were the initial challenges. The contestants were swinging from the top of a skyscraper, and then racing to the outside peak of the building. The real heroes of "The Hero" appear to be the stunt coordinators. You have to assume the contestants are safely harnessed in, but someone had to go up there and set up all of that equipment for them. Damn.
Rock has his hands full with a lot of bickering contestants. He had to interject a few times with a "Guy, guys..." in hopes of getting them to calm down. Heroes down bicker! Well, maybe Tony Stark does, but he's witting and comical, not catty or just downright annoying. That said, it was only episode one and I'm sure some of the contestants who came off poorly in the premiere will be eliminated or will ultimately win me over.
I'm not a big reality television fan (bring back Joe Schmo for another round, Spike TV) and I never would have given this a chance had The Rock not been involved. However, the premiere of "The Hero" was entertaining enough that I set the DVR to record it again tonight when the show airs on TNA at 7:00 p.m. CT. If there's not a big drop off in quality in week two, it might even earn the ol' "record all first-run episodes" distinction.
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