Friday, April 8, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 296

Young is the guest on this week's 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: 296 (April 7, 2016)
Run Time: 1:03:13
Guest: Silas Young (11:13)

Summary: Colt Cabana was in Canada when he sat down with fellow Midwesterner Silas Young. After a quick chat about marijuana and various tours, including the infamous Darkchild, Young explains his false start with WWE. The guys, who are the same age, wax about aging in the business, and Young explains how he tried to discern good trainers and seize the right career opportunities. The conversation turns to Young’s father, the subject of his most successful character. Winding down, the guys talk about how the market for their work is evolving, the ups and downs of counseling younger wrestlers and the challenges and rewards of parenting.

Quote of the week: “I just felt like, you know what, if you’re gonna do this, like, just do it, you know? Go out, get booked anywhere you can, make the drives — and I also thought, like, ‘What are you gonna do? You gonna sit home on the weekend and go out to the same bar everybody goes to every weekend?’ You know what I mean? And I love my family, but like at the same, like, I’m the type of person that — like I feel that we all have an ability or a gift or a desire to do something with your life, and I felt like that’s my desire to do this, so if you really want to do it, don’t sit here and complain about ‘Oh, it’s too long of a drive’ or this or that, because then you’re gonna be like 45 some day and go, ‘Damn, you know what, I wish I woulda tooken these opportunities that I got.’ So now I’m real big on like, if I get an opportunity, I’m gonna take it and seize the moment. And sometimes being married it’s, gets you in a little hot water at home. But, you know, I need to do it. I need to do it for myself.”

Why you should listen: Because Northern Wisconsin accents are your jam. All right, the content is better than its vessel, but listening to Young speak words is a pretty pleasant experience. I appreciate his tale of being a guy who had a few runs at maybe getting a shine and then ran the risk of sinking to obscurity before taking stock of himself, doubling down before it got too late and now is realizing a degree of success. In their mid-30s and 14-year veterans, he and Cabana are clearly middle age by wrestler standards, but neither comes across as bitter in any way — just well traveled and wise in a way that benefits people who appreciate the dedication to craft outside what plays out on the biggest stage.

Why you should skip it: There are some lingering audio issues that intermittently affect Young’s microphone, which will be obnoxious to some (but not impossible to overcome for those with functioning headphones). Also, this is one of those episodes where Cabana lives up to his “I am not an interviewer” disclaimer, and as such the best parts are little nuggets here and there that have to be mined out for maximum enjoyment.

Final thoughts: After listening to this episode, I want to have a beer with Silas Young. I guess I’d also like to get to know more about his in-ring career, but mostly he just seems like a good hang and I can use more of that in my life. And this was a fantastic palate cleanser after all the WrestleMania analysis of late. It won’t stand up among the greatest episodes, but they don’t have to do that to be worth a bit of your time.