Monday, September 15, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art of Wrestling Ep. 215

Cherry Bomb is Cabana's guest this week
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
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: 215 (Sept. 11, 2014)
Run Time: 59:27
Guest: Cherry Bomb

Summary: Cabana’s guest this week is Canadian wrestler Cherry Bomb. They discuss Bomb’s entry into the world of wrestling fandom in the early 1990s and how she came back to wrestling at the tail end of the Attitude Era. That bleeds into a discussion of how she became a wrestler herself, from her earliest days training in Toronto to trips to Japan and a few dalliances with WWE. The talk ends with a focus on her current career and long-term goals as well as a spot of chatter about her personal life.

Quote of the week: “I think if you have the determination, I think you can get better. I will say it took me years and years to have confidence. It took me years and years to feel like I was even good. Like years. But it definitely was a really big struggle for me. And it’s so funny, because I listen to your podcast, and I hear other wrestlers talking about they’ve watched it, so they knew what a suplex was, knew what an armdrag was. It’s funny, because I watched wrestling for so long, but I never looked at it, I never broke it down move for move.”

Why you should listen: If you came to love wrestling because a beloved family member brought you into the fold, and especially if that person is gone, you’ll appreciate Bomb’s personal story. It’s nice to hear a young wrestler be so frank about her big-picture ambitions while also being candid about her insecurities as a performer — and being sincere in both regards. Plus, she’s a wrestler who happens to be a woman. She doesn’t beat you over the head with fan bona fides, she just has them. And she is expertly aware of the difference between a woman on a wrestling program and an actual wrestler. Not enough fans grasp this distinction still today.

Why you should skip it: If you only tune in to Cabana’s show when there’s a guest with serious name recognition, take a pass this week. It might be a while, if ever, before Cherry Bomb is on your regular wrestling fan radar. Also, don’t expect to have your heart torn in pieces or to think deep thoughts about being a young independent wrestler. The episode description calls it a “relaxing nice talk,” and while that’s wholly accurate, it might not be complimentary.

Final thoughts: Oftentimes Art Of Wrestling is an introduction to up-and-coming performers many fans might not otherwise consider, and for those who still put stock in Colt’s influence, there is something of a star-making effect to such episodes. If nothing else, it helps the WWE-centric fan (raises hand) become more aware about the world beyond RAW and NXT. It’s actually refreshing to not hear a bunch of talk about backstage WWE (of any era), and that makes this week’s show a nice change of pace from the other major podcasts.