Friday, January 9, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 232

Quiet Storm is Cabana's guest
Photo via ProFightDB
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: 232 (Jan. 8, 2015)
Run Time: 1:01:41
Guest: Quiet Storm (9:40)

Summary: This week, Colt Cabana sits down with a man who says he’s barely done any interviews over the course of his international career. Quiet Storm opens up about the Super 8 tournament, staying on the independent scene over the years, his heritage and childhood in Manhattan, training in Brooklyn, meeting Taka Michinoku and eventually ECW stars, his role as “Summer Santa,” acclimating to Japan and eventually becoming a full-time wrestler in that country for various promotions. At the end of the chat Storm mentions he invented the Canadian Destroyer.

Quote of the week: “I used to go every month to Madison Square Garden. Every month. Every time there was a show there, I would go. I would go with my mom. My grandma would never go. She loved it! To this day, like every time … she calls here and she would say, ‘I saw WWE the other day, and it wasn’t very good. … You’re better off in Japan.’ ”

Why you should listen: If he’s to be believed about his lack of media work, even devoted Quiet Storm fans have plenty to learn about his background and upbringing. Even those unfamiliar with his work should be compelled by the story of his youth, the way he and his mother followed wrestling together and how he got into the business. His story of gradually growing more familiar with Japan is interesting as well. He and Cabana have an easy chemistry, which makes this episode a breeze of a listen.

Why you should skip it: Storm isn’t exactly the most charismatic talker, and though his story is interesting there’s no specific high point of this episode, nor is there any significant drama in Storm’s life. There’s barely any talk of mainstream American promotions or wrestlers. There’s a few points where Cabana’s interviewing style is a little awkward (shifting the focus to himself or trying to make a joke his guest doesn’t get), but that could be chalked up to what ultimately is a cultural difference between host and guest.

Final thoughts: Your interest in this episode is directly proportional to the degree to which you care about under-the-radar performers. I’ll admit I’d never heard of Quiet Storm until iTunes began downloading this podcast, but I find chats like this as compelling as Cabana’s sit-downs with guys like Gangrel or Lance Storm, albeit for entirely different reasons. Folks with zero interest in Quiet Storm’s career can skip this without feeling they’ve missed anything, but I’d advise checking it out anyway to hear about the evolution of being a mixed-race New Yorker who came into wrestling fandom watching Papa Shango and the Ultimate Warrior and somehow ended up being a stalwart of the Japanese scene 20 years later. It’s by no means the best episode of this show, but it’s a solid hour worth the time of anyone with an open mind.