Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 237

Deaner is Cabana's most recent guest
Photo Credit: Lee South/Impact
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: 237 (Feb. 11, 2015)
Run Time: 1:15:28
Guest: Cody Deaner (11:53)

Summary: Colt Cabana’s guest this week is the hirsute Cody Deaner, late of TNA television, and they spend a good chunk of the start of their talk discussing fans who associate him with Daniel Bryan on account of their beards, as well as knockoff gimmicks both guys have seen on the independent circuit. Deaner discusses his carnival background and tells stories about working with older stars such as Tito Santana. They explore the origins of Deaner’s TNA character in his own trailer park upbringing, as well as how he got into wrestling school. Then they look at his post-TNA reinvention and day job as well as share stories about crazy gigs, career goals and the future of their own careers and pro wrestling in general.

Quote of the week: “I did a three-hour, steel cage battle royal where we were all blindfolded… this match was funded by the Canadian government. It was an artistic grant. This was at an art festival. … It was downtown Toronto in a subway station, we set up the ring. And it was packed. Like 600 people that didn’t leave for the entire three hours. I swear to God.”

Why you should listen: Cabana stresses his show is meant to be a conversation instead of an interview, and his chat with Deaner is a fine example of how the show can reveal truths about the host 237 episodes in without coming across like when Jim Ross simply shifts the focus away from a guest to his own views. I’ll cop to having no foreknowledge of Deaner, but I found him an interesting guy — especially when discussing his real-world day job, something few (if any) of Cabana’s guests are still pursuing.

Why you should skip it: Outside of Santana and Sgt. Slaughter, and maybe one other in the same class, there’s hardly a single name dropped you’ll recognize from WWE television. To some folks that’s a turnoff. It seemed Cabana could have done a bit more to probe Deaner on his childhood, as the experience seemed interesting. His preference, though, is to chuckle at what he doesn’t understand and move forward in the discussion.

Final thoughts: I’m struggling to fairly rate this one as my listening was broken in half with a gap in between of about three days. Obviously the experience is improved by listening in one continuous session. Further, I tend to enjoy Cabana’s shows even more when I don’t know the guest’s work at all because it feels like I’m learning the entire time. I’d urge folks to check out these sessions instead of just waiting for a familiar name on the guest list, but you can’t account for someone else’s taste.