Monday, January 4, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 283

Piper is part of the AOW's "Best of" episode
Photo Credit:
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: 283 (Dec. 31, 2015)
Run Time: 53:23
Guest: Clip Show

Summary: Colt Cabana is flying solo this week. He opens with a monologue taking stock of his year in wrestling, spending a good chunk focusing on his close affiliation with Pro Wrestling NOAH, and looking ahead to the projects in store for 2016. He then plays clips of some of his favorite 2015 episodes: James Mason (Ep. 257), Scott Norton (247), Dennis Stamp (240), PJ Black (255), Graham Clark (265), ending with the two 2015 guests who also died this year, Buddy Landel (238) and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper (245).

Quote of the week: “I guess if we look back at 2015, I sporadically did have weird talks with TNA, and I was actually going to do Lucha Underground’s big show when Vampiro was wrestling, they wanted me to commentate, but I was actually touring Japan, I wasn’t able to do that. And those are the kind of places where you have home promotions, or television, or something where you could build yourself. And I think it’s cool that, you know, for me, it was this Japanese company and this program with Chris Hero that I was able to do that.”

Why you should listen: Two types of people should hit play. One is more obvious, the folks who somehow missed most of the guests featured in the clips and need little snippets to nudge them toward paging through the back catalog. The second is counterintuitive, but it’s the listeners who’ve heard every second of Art Of Wrestling in 2015, because this show is almost a gift to them. Cabana discusses his past and future projects with a little less obfuscation than usual, and the well-chosen clips help foster a welcome (because it’s not overdone) sense of short-term nostalgia.

Why you should skip it: There is a class of Art Of Wrestling listeners who tolerate Cabana in order to hear directly from the guests he brings to the show. Those folks will want to leave this one laying, as the introspection runs strong from A to Z. And while I did just write the episode is a welcome trip down memory lane for hardcore listeners, it’s also safe to just shut it off once the first clip starts because, after all, you’ve heard it all before.

Final thoughts: I bet Cabana could put together another “best of” show with almost entirely different guests (you can’t fault him for giving the hammer to Landel and Piper) with the likes of Vader, Goldberg, Thrasher, Kevin Sullivan, Disco Inferno, Jeff Jarrett, Jim Duggan, Taz, or Bob Holly — or gone a completely different direction with Quiet Storm, Flash Flanagan, Tommy End, or Cheerleader Melissa. I have the benefit of easy access to my write-ups of all these interviews in case I want a memory jolt, but for typical listeners this actually is decent fan service, considering how many other podcasts simply didn’t release an episode. That said, some folks are out on clip shows, period, but hopefully at least you now have an idea if these memories are worth your time.