Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 278

Roode talks to Cabana this week
Photo Credit: Lee South/ImpactWrestling.com
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: 278 (Nov. 26, 2015)
Run Time: 1:04:24
Guest: Bobby Roode (10:44)

Summary: Colt Cabana sits down with former TNA World Champion Bobby Roode. They open with Roode’s resistance to using social media, hit on the idea longevity, especially with TNA, then go over his series of WWE dark matches. Cabana switches gears to Roode’s personal background, watching Maple Leaf Wrestling as a kid and the career paths that never seemed to fit. He explains training with Sean Morley and especially Shane Sewell, the importance of Jim Kenner inviting him into the 2002 ECWA Super 8 tournament and how he got started in TNA, as well as some of the ups and downs of his (so far) 12-year run with the company. Roode also has some good words about the steady influence of Jeff Jarrett.

Quote of the week: “They didn’t hate me, but they kinda like — they knew. They saw me, right? Every week, it felt like I was there every week. … It’s funny, the excuse I always got from John Laurinaitis was, ‘We have nothing for you, and you’re too good for developmental. So, you know, go get over somewhere else and come back and see us.’ So I went and then got over somewhere else, and, you know, I just haven’t left.”

Why you should listen: This is a much more condensed, concise interview than Roode’s April appearance on The Ross Report. And while I had to crosscheck my notes from that show to confirm, it seems Cabana takes Roode on a much different path than Jim Ross. Roode’s experiences with WWE are in no way unique, but he’s well spoken and justifiably proud of his career and his choices, without an air of smugness.

Why you should skip it: In a word, boredom. Roode is remarkably low key — that’s either his personality or he’s uneasy with Cabana. There’s a reason Cabana insists his show is simply a recorded conversation between friends. When he’s tasked with conducting an actual interview, he noticeably struggles to move things along, and his lack of preparation is evident. Roode’s not a bad guest by any means, and it isn’t a horrible show or anything, it’s just not one of Cabana’s best, and it seems fans had a right to expect more from a guest of Roode’s caliber.

Final thoughts: This is a conversation between peers (they’re not overly friendly, but certainly contemporaries) instead of an old dude vetting a guy who really doesn’t need to answer to his host. So in that regard it trumps Roode with Ross. And it’s certainly better than another live panel show. But whether or not Roode and Cabana have any real life chemistry — they may well not — there’s hardly a shred of it here. It’s a shame, but Roode fans still probably will enjoy the chat regardless.