Monday, September 21, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 268

Magnus is Cabana's guest this week
Photo Credit: Lee South/
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: 268 (Sept. 17, 2015)
Run Time: 1:13:31
Guest: Magnus (11:32)

Summary: Colt Cabana sits down with former TNA Champion Magnus. After a little nutrition discussion, Magnus talks about his hometown, family and childhood before getting into how he developed as a wrestler. They chat about the idea of self awareness and self worth, in and out of the business, before Magnus explains what he learned from working with the Knight family. Magnus further details the building blocks of his career and the role Gladiators played in his success, and they end by considering the future of Global Force Wrestling.

Quote of the week: “I started to watch NXT, and then started to see what they were doing with bringing in who we all know in the industry regarded as some of the very best from all these different places. … I watched, I’m happy to say it, Fergal — Finn B├ílor — wrestle Neville… — Fuck. They blew me away. I just went, like, ‘Shit, man.’ I watched it and went, ‘I can’t fucking, I couldn’t follow that. No way.’ ”

Why you should listen: This felt like a vintage AOW for some reason — just two peers talking about life. Cabana learns a few things about England, Magnus offers himself honestly and along the way gives some insight about the life of the wrestler. He politely torches the TNA management structure yet doesn’t seem to ignite a single bridge. The highlight comes near the end where, after defending his career and acknowledging the role “Gladiators” played in his wrestling success, he admits to having the show placed on a different front, revealing personal growth and instilling faith that not everyone in pro wrestling locker rooms is a jackass.

Why you should skip it: Episode 268 certainly falls under “strong but not spectacular,” as Magnus is an articulate guest with an interesting story, but he’s also similar to a lot of other moderately successful wrestlers in their late 20s. Cabana does a decent job drawing form Magnus the things that do set him apart, but I’m already struggling to recall a memorable anecdote.

Final thoughts: In a week with an especially limp Cheap Heat and a juicy fart of a Ross Report, and still on the heels of a month’s worth of live shows, I don’t want to come across as too critical of this AOW. I quite enjoyed it, finding the interview a pleasant diversion from the modern wrestling news scene and a rare chance for me to hear the letters “TNA” and “GFW” without the usual attendant consternation. But Cabana has and will produce better episodes, so there’s no need to drop everything else just to get this one coursing through your earbuds.