Monday, May 18, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 250

Disco Inferno is one of Cabana's better guests
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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: 250 (May 13, 2015)
Run Time: 1:10:24
Guest: Disco Inferno (10:50)

Summary: Late-era WCW mainstay Disco Inferno joins Colt Cabana for a milestone episode. They open by discussing road food before Disco tells a lengthy story about a house party gone wrong. He explains why he wasn’t smart with his WCW money before talking about his training days, the early influence of Raven and his youth sports background. The last portion is all about his entry to WCW, career success and the promotion’s slow death.

Quote of the week: “When I first started in WCW, they started hiring Eddie, Rey Mysterio, Benoit, and you’re watching them work, and go, ‘Wow. These guys are like really — what are they doing in there?’ It’s opening people’s eyes. … I was just a gimmick guy. But I could take all their stuff. It was a good dynamic, you know? I had a gimmick the fans would boo and these guys would bounce me around all over the place.”

Why you should listen: There have been a lot of podcasts discussing what went wrong in WCW, but few (that I can recall) from the perspective of someone like Inferno, who had zero WWE experience before or after. His tale of the guys in the back watching RAW during Nitro and realizing they’d lost the war was illuminating. And if you can’t stand the WCW stuff, the good news is that’s only the last half of the interview. The first portion is a great introduction to the person behind an iconic character often unfairly dismissed for being exactly how it was always intended.

Why you should skip it: Anyone excited for something special on account of this being episode 250 will be disappointed. Disco Inferno is a great guest, but this is for all practical purposes just a regular installment.

Final thoughts: Cabana frequently points out he’s recording conversations, not conducting interviews. But he’s really on point in this episode, finding ways to clarify or enhance his guest’s points without interrupting the flow of the conversation or putting words in Disco Inferno’s mouth. Neither does he come off as a former fan fawning over a Monday night hero. My favorite AOW offerings are those where I end the episode with a deeper appreciation for the guest’s career, and that’s certainly the case here. Not to sell it as the greatest ever — it’s more of a “really good” than “can’t miss” — but it certainly exceeded expectations and is most definitely entertaining.