Monday, December 29, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 230

Foley making the rounds, this time with Colt Cabana
Photo Credit:
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: 230
Run Time: 1:05:41
Guest: Mick Foley (12:09)

Summary: Colt Cabana opens the show shooting the bull with CM Punk and Cliff Compton. Then he brings on return guest Mick Foley, a natural for the Christmas Day episode since the Hardcore Legend is making the media rounds promoting his Santa Claus-themed documentary. They start the talk with the Jolly Old Elf himself with a brief segue into hair and beard concerns. Cabana brings up his love of Beyond the Mat before asking Foley about his brief time working as 1980s WWF enhancement talent. Then they discuss Foley’s legendary time in Japan before addressing Foley’s concerns about a performance in Coventry, England, where he felt he didn’t do right by his fans. At the end, Foley plugs his ongoing projects.

Quote of the week: Foley on what Santa portrayers have in common with wrestlers: “And Tommy said, ‘It’s not all jolliness.’ He said, ‘You’ve got to understand, you know how competitive your business is, where you have hundreds’ — and really, when you look at the fringe guys, thousands — ‘of people all trying to put a unique stamp on their own character?’ He said, ‘Now imagine you’ve got thousands of people and they’re all trying to put their unique stamp on an iconic character, and most of them, or many of them, are convinced that they do it better than anyone.’ ”

Why you should listen: To get in the Christmas spirit! Actually, you should tune in because Cabana and Foley have solid chemistry, made possible because the latter respects people when his stature doesn’t demand he do so. Cabana understands and acknowledges it’s hard to cover uncharted territory with Foley, yet does a good job evoking both some lesser-discussed stories (the jobber stint) as well as getting Foley to open up about his professional insecurities, which many folks might assume long since departed.

Why you should skip it: Foley covered a lot of the exact same territory on the previous week’s Cheap Heat and during a recent Daily Show visit, not to mention anywhere else he might have pimped the Santa doc. He’s already appeared once on “Art Of Wrestling,” and that was a much more illuminating chat — certainly a deeper look at Foley the wrestler vs. Foley the showman.

Final thoughts: This was a great listen while I washed dishes and ran last-minute Christmas errands. After the fact it’s still solid, though anyone who devoured Foley on an unusually strong Cheap Heat would be forgiven for taking a pass here. I’d like to know which top wrestler with the perm the guys referenced as being a toupee-wearer, perhaps I’m just not hip enough on insider tales. All things considered, I’d certainly recommend the back half of the show as a fun listen, even long after the holidays.