Friday, September 19, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art of Wrestling Ep. 216

Eddie Kingston among the throng on Cabana's podcast 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: 216
Run Time: 56:22
Guests: John Thorne (at 6:45), Eddie Kingston (13:23), Colin Delaney (24:08) Johnny Gargano (36:40) and Cliff Compton (49:40) — with brief appearances from Rhyno and Tyson Dux in the cold open.

Summary: Cabana is live in Cleveland this week as part of his appearance at an Absolute Intense Wrestling show. He starts by chatting with AIW owner Thorne before moving into a series of brief wrestler interviews. As indicated on Twitter and in the show open, the audio quality is not up to Cabana’s usual standards, but it’s sufficient for almost any listener.

Quote of the week:

Cabana: “Any wrestling talk to even this out here?”

Kingston: “Are we supposed to talk about wrestling?”

Why you should listen: If you like small talk, you’re in luck. Delaney has a few good stories, and Gargano has some good background info on AIW. Compton’s spot is brief enough to where he doesn’t get a chance to be insufferable. It’s a breezy chat with all the guests and no one tries too hard to be funny, which makes the laughs genuine.

Why you should skip it: With the exception of Thorne, each of these guys has been on Art of Wrestling at least once — Delaney on episode 9, Kingston on 87, Gargano on 132 and Compton famously on 18 and 59, as well as a few others. You’d be much better served going back and listening to those shows since there’s nothing fresh on this episode, save for a middling road story here and there.

Final thoughts: As Cabana's live shows go, this was somewhat more enjoyable than the four August episodes from Scotland. But as usual, certain guests can’t drop their guard in front of a studio audience the way they do in one-on-one backstage or off-site sitdowns with him. It makes sense to release these shows in order to keep up with the weekly schedule, and there’s certainly nothing on this hour worth releasing as an extra to paying customers. But unless you’re heavy into the AIW scene, you’ll miss nothing if you skip this week’s show.