Friday, May 20, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 302

Brian Cage does his best Scott Steiner on this live ep of the AOW
Photo Credit: Mikey Nolan
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: 302 (May 19, 2016)
Run Time: 1:05:23
Guests: Marty DeRosa (5:16); Lanny Poffo (10:43); Lance Archer (22:40); Kevin Gill (33:38); Bobby Fulton (43:06); Brian Cage (54:54)

Summary: It’s another episode recorded live in Dallas on WrestleMania weekend. After Colt Cabana and DeRosa work through some crowd interaction, Poffo takes the stage to discuss his positive outlook on life, love of poetry, his late brother and also the current state of his penis. He also shills his book. Archer focuses on working in Japan and tells stories about TAKA Michinoku, Harry Smith and a wild night out. Gill recalls a memorable Juggalo Championship Wrestling Show and stumps for JCW in general, then tells a crazy Bob Backlund story. Fulton starts by recalling his time in Japan with Andre the Giant, Stan Hansen and others before Cabana asks him to revisit the forming of The Fantastics and DeRosa inquires about the team’s theme music. Cage does his Scott Steiner impression, discusses playing He-Man and raves about his Lucha Underground experience, which ties in to what it’s like for him to work in Mexico.

Quote of the week: Poffo: “We [Randy Savage and I] used to wrestle during commercials of television. We were two kids watching TV, and then he would wrestle me during the commercials, and always win. So my mom said, ‘You be careful, Lanny’s gonna get bigger than you, and then some day you won’t be able to beat him.’ Well I did get bigger than him when he was in baseball and I was already in wrestling, but I never, never, never could beat him.”

Why you should listen: Cage’s Steiner impression is borderline unbelievable. Fulton is gracious and remains a decent storyteller. Gill’s not much to listen to, but the Backlund story is sort of nuts. You might say the same for Archer’s tale of carousing overseas. Poffo is about what you’d expect, so if you’re properly calibrated, it might be just fine.

Why you should skip it: Compared to last week’s live panel show from the same weekend, this is something of a tire fire. The comedy bit with the audience isn’t funny. No one needed to hear about Poffo’s erectile dysfunction, and that’s if you can get past how out of place he seems otherwise. Archer’s story doesn’t play all that well with the live crowd. Gill adds almost nothing, unless you really needed someone to stand up for the Juggalos. Cage’s appearance is more or less wasted by being jammed in at the end.

Final thoughts: Overall, it's a hard pass. The bright spots are not worth slogging through the rest. All you’ll be left with is a reminder of how poorly live shows can play six weeks later with the audio-only feed — especially when Cabana isn’t up to par on his hosting game.