Friday, December 4, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 279

Scorpio appears on the Art of Wrestling
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: 279 (Dec. 3, 2015)
Run Time: 1:00:45
Guest: 2 Cold Scorpio

Summary: Colt Cabana sits down with a personal hero. The chat begins with Scorpio discussing his transition out of wrestling and reflecting on his time working security. They get into his personal background and the origin of his aerial arsenal, and Scorpio explains how he ended up in the Mile High Wrestling Association. There’s a bit of chatter about some of Scorpio’s real-world jobs and a bit about his marijuana affinity, then a lengthy discussion about the influence of Vader, Scorpio’s time in Japan, how Chris Benoit helped him understand shooting and Scorpio’s pre-WCW globetrotting. Cabana brings up the iconic music video, and Scorpio talks about what he learned in ECW, his meeting with Vince McMahon and the way he embraced the Flash Funk character. They end with a look at Scorpio’s personal and professional plans.

Quote of the week: “I had always learned from the Steiner Brothers, they used to come to Japan a lot, me being a young boy, Ron Simmons… I never forget them always saying WWF is not for everybody, but I truly believe everybody, once in their lifetime, have to experience the different business side of the business, ’cause the WWF has always been more business sided than it was in WCW, ECW or even over in Japan. … And they was not bullshittin’. They know how to take the wrestling, the fun right out of wrestling. I mean the shit that we love to do, you go to WWF, you will hate that you love to do that shit, the shit that we love to do — wrestle. You still got to give it a shot ’cause you never know.”

Why you should listen: This is Scorpio’s first appearance on any podcast. His stories about Japan don’t come across as unique, but he tells them with distinctive flair. Scorpio has a generally positive yet pragmatic worldview, which allows him to be heard as someone who appreciates his innate skill as well as the good fortune of influence and circumstance that allowed him to succeed. I’ll admit I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I left feeling far more endeared to Scorpio than at the outset, and isn’t that somewhat the point?

Why you should skip it: This one does take a while to get into a groove, surely a result of Scorpio’s lack of familiarity with the medium. Cabana is sufficiently awkward at points — not enough to turn off most folks, but anyone predisposed to bristle at his faults will find a few on prominent display herein: the topics are narrow in light of the guest’s background, too much time is spent in some areas and too little in others and bad jokes are made at the expense of conversation flow.

Final thoughts: For my money, there was far too little time spent on the more interesting parts of Scorpio’s lengthy career, but Cabana’s not an interviewer, he’s a pal with a microphone, and so we end up with a lot of color more so than substance. It’s good for getting to know Scorpio’s demeanor, just not much of his philosophy and biography. If you calibrate your expectations, chances are you’ll enjoy the hour. Hopefully Scorpio lands a spot on Steve Austin’s Unleashed show — that has the potential to be a blockbuster.