Monday, November 23, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 277

Alexander was one of many guests for this week's live AOW
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
If you're new, here's the rundown. We 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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Art Of Wrestling
Episode: 277 (Nov. 19, 2015)
Run Time: 1:13:46
Guests: Cedric Alexander (10:35); Josh Alexander (21:34); Ethan Page (28:10); Dick Justice (43:00); Colin Hunter (55:25)

Summary: Colt Cabana is live from the Knights of Columbus Hall in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, with a recently recorded live episode tied to an Alpha-1 Wrestling show. After some opening banter, he brings on Cedric Alexander, who discusses coming up in the Highspots environment and training with George South. Josh Alexander talks about retirement and his neck injuries before being joined by his tag team partner Ethan Page. After the live song of the week, “Supercop” Dick Justice, like page before him, recalls a border crossing challenge and then explains his character approach and professional background. The final guest is Colin Hunter of Kayfabe News, who talks about some of his favorite headlines, some unused ideas and his own journalism background.

Quote of the week: Page: “He was the product, I was selling the product. And that’s how I would get us everywhere. I would always be like, ‘Come on, Josh. Let’s go to this random show in the middle of nowhere. There’s gonna be 15 people here, but that’s 15 more Twitter followers, 15 more fans. If we get over in the small company in Chicago, we’ll get to the big company in Chicago. Then we’ll go to this town and do the same thing.’ I was always like, ‘Please, keep with me, keep with me.’ Then eventually he was on board and we started rising stock in our name. And then someone flew us out to California and then the rest was history.”

Why you should listen: This is a pretty decent effort by Cabana’s live podcast standards. It’s quite timely (recorded the day Nick Bockwinkel died) and lands nicely between lighthearted (so you don’t feel as if you’re cheated out of a deep dive with a guest who appears on the brink of a compelling interview) and playing for cheap laughs with broad, crude humor. Hunter probably doesn’t deserve a full episode, but like the comedians who appear during the Fringe shows, he fits here. Josh Alexander and Page are great together, and Cedric Alexander reminiscing about South was fantastic.

Why you should skip it: Very little about the Hunter segment struck me as worthwhile. If you like Kayfabe News you’ll enjoy revisiting the headlines, but it would have been far more interesting for Cabana to spend more time investigating either Hunter’s background or the site’s history. What we got is “Hey, remember these jokes? Those were funny.” Likewise, Justice was more or less glossed over. Neither segment was offensive or tasteless, but both would be fairly labeled inessential and certainly unsatisfying for people hoping to hear anything of substance from those particular guests.

Final thoughts: Both Alexanders (no relation) probably warrant their own full episodes. If that happens, Cabana did them right here by not spending too much time covering the parts of their lives that would make for a great solo chat. That said, if you start at the 10:35 mark and stop around minute 40, you’ll probably have a decent time with little downside.