Monday, November 16, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 276

Snitsky may not have done "it," but he was on the Colt Cabana podcast
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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: 276 (Nov. 11, 2015)
Run Time: 1:03:07
Guest: Snitsky (10:25)

Summary: In an interview recorded a few months ago, Colt Cabana talks to his former WWE contemporary Snistky about having a lighthearted approach to wrestling, being the one going over in enhancement matches and the true-life origins of the foot fetish aspect of Snitsky’s character — that leads to talk about meeting his wife and his high school, college and professional football career, including his relationship with Andy Reid at Missouri. He explains training to wrestle with the Samoans and Dory Funk, a memorably awful Greyhound bus experience, his relationship with Court Bauer and a 28-day world tour as a rookie playing “The Patriot.” Turning serious near the end, Snitsky talks about his WW/ECW run, feeling like a “bench player” and being dismissed, life post-WWE, his competitive nature and the importance of giving back.

Quote of the week: “All the reports I got I was doing great, everything was great. So I’m still at a loss as to why I got released. I still haven’t been told the real reason. Because it’s not the economy. I was the only guy that got released. It’s either shit or get off the pot. I’m not just gonna sit around, you know what I mean? Take it or leave it, I’m not gonna pull any punches. If you want me here, great. If you don’t, that’s great too. I don’t want to be here just to be here. That’s the point. I didn’t bust my ass all those years to get to WWE to sit and watch the show backstage.”

Why you should listen: It’s delightful to hear Snitsky’s many attempts to subvert the natural order of the show with a sense of humor less raunchy but more awkward than Cabana’s. And although it’s a strong departure from the silliness of the first half, the second part — in which a now-serious Snitsky speaks frankly about how his “use me or lose me” attitude cost him his WWE job — is solid in its own right.

Why you should skip it: The flip side to Snitsky joking his way through the first big chunk is a disjointed interview that sheds little light on the man beyond just as absurdist approach to talking with Cabana. The back half runs the risk of landing with some as little more than a bitter guy claiming creative didn’t use him well, blended with a little career counseling from Cabana delivering the “it’s OK if you’re a square peg to WWE’s round hole mentality” reassurance.

Final thoughts: I missed a good deal (all?) of the Snitsky era, so perhaps I am off-base when I report this episode came across as a revealing look at a good person behind one of WWE’s sideshow gimmicks. Unlike the “recently gone from WWE” interviews, such as those with the guys who played Mason Ryan, Jinder Mahal, Evan Bourne or Curt Hawkins, Snitksky’s unique personality mixed with his time away and added life perspective bring a much needed freshness to this category of guest. Although, let it be said Cabana’s weaknesses as an interviewer and self editor are on display. He clearly comes in with a “we’ll talk for about an hour and get what we get” approach as opposed to either mapping out a strategy in advance or having a better feel for the direction his guest would go and forcing that into something more useful. As he always implies, this is entertainment, not journalism. Fair. But there are times when a guest gives enough glimpses of being compelling that the listener wants for a more journalistic approach.