Monday, September 8, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 214

The younger Daivari is Cabana's guest this week
Screen Grab via Heavy on Wrestling's YouTube
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Art of Wrestling
Episode: 214
Run Time: 1:03:32
Guest: Ariya Daivari

Summary: Cabana’s monologue is a look back at his month in Scotland plus a bit of discussion about the upcoming shows he’s promoting. His interview with Daivari, 25, focuses on the young performer growing up a wrestling fan while his older brother starred in the WWE, his introduction to the business, approach to his career and long-term goals.

Quote of the week: “I was fortunate enough that I had the Daivari last name, and all the promoters around the Midwest, they used Shawn… he opened the door for me, I’d like to think my work is what got me to come back over and over. … He opened so many doors for me, it’d be so stupid for me to be like, ‘Nope, did it all myself. It was all me.’ The Daivari last name helped a lot, and I’m forever grateful about that.”

Why you should listen: If you’ve been waiting for Cabana’s show to return to the format that made him famous, this is the episode for you. Daivari has wrestled in several different independent promotions, has his eyes on being the kind of performer whose work looks good on TV and is candid about his assets and shortcomings as well as his feelings about locker room attitudes and politics.

Why you should skip it: If you’ve never heard of the less famous Daivari and don’t care to, well, take a pass. Either he doesn’t have any heavy stories to tell or Cabana isn’t willing to push the interview in that direction (it’s probably the former). Either way it’s fair to say you can tell when he's is sitting down with someone he’s close with personally. It’s not a huge turnoff, but neither is this one of the greatest Art of Wrestling sessions.

Final thoughts: Now’s your chance to get in close to the ground floor on Ariya Daivari. Especially if you are inclined to find video of his work thus far, the interview will deepen your understanding, if not your appreciation, of what makes him tick. Mostly it’s refreshing to have Cabana get back to the one-on-one work that made his show an underground success story. But there’s no urgency, either, so feel free to save this one for when you have the time to listen.