Monday, May 4, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 248

Holly is one of Cabana's featured guests this week
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: 248 (April 29. 2015)
Run Time: 1:03:47
Guest: Steve Lynskey (9:00); Bob Holly (17:00); Harry Smith (41:09)

Summary: Colt Cabana brings us a live show this week, recorded at a recent convention in Cardiff, the capital of Wales. With his first guest, famed referee Lynskey, Cabana discusses British refereeing legend Max Ward and how Lynksey himself came to be an arbiter. Holly talks about racing and being a car guy, his reputation for being stiff to the point of abusive, how Sid Vicious saved his WWF career, the evolution of his many characters as well as his current approach to wrestling and social media. The final guest, in a return appearance, is Smith, who opens by talking about training with the notorious Satoru Sayama, his visits with Dynamite Kid, stories about his father, Davey Boy Smith and how he’s finding himself now in New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Quote of the week: Holly, on his reputation: “I play a character on TV, OK, and people forget that. And they way I look at it, I must be doing a pretty damn good job of making my character believable. You know, I must, because if the things that are said about me on the Internet were true, do you really think, now use your head here, think about this, do you really think Vince (McMahon) would’ve kept me around for 15 years? Honestly. You know, who would put up with somebody that was that bad for 15 years? Nobody would want to work with me. First of all, I’d get my ass handed to me in the locker room every single day I’d walk in if that was the case, and it wasn’t the case.”

Cabana: “You’re real riled up right now, I’m kind of scared.”

Why you should listen: As Cabana’s live shows go, this is rock solid. There are no audio problems and nothing that makes it seem the in-person crowd is getting a visual or interactive experience superior to the at-home listener. Cabana draws from Holly in 20 minutes a far more interesting interview than Holly’s full-form phone call with Jim Ross, and Cabana knows just what questions to draw from Smith new (if old) stories that will make no one upset about him being a repeat panelist. Also there’s a young girl in the audience, so Cabana largely eschews the raunchy attempts at humor that tend to mar his live shows.

Why you should skip it: My biggest beef was how quickly Cabana seemed to move on from Lynskey. I don’t know a thing about the guy, but I’m much more interested in hearing stories from a British referee than another recounting of how Bob Holly came to be on Al Snow’s J.O.B. Squad. And you’ll always have to accept Cabana’s live shows as simply being a bit less than his conventional podcasts because he can’t fight his natural urge to play for the crowd. He’s just better at hosting when he allows the conversation to flow organically.

Final thoughts: This one’s a mixed bag. Don’t run away just because it’s a live show — it’s really far stronger an outing than most he’s put forth in this category. But even so, it’s not really anything special. The guests are okay and the topics decent enough, but there’s generally not much to be learned or anything that’s overwhelmingly entertaining. It’s just kind of there to be listened to and forgotten quickly after.