Tuesday, May 31, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 303

The controversial Hart is Cabana's latest guest
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: 303 (May 26, 2016)
Run Time: 1:15:21
Guest: Teddy Hart (12:19)

Summary: After two weeks of live shows recorded six weeks prior, Colt Cabana is back offering a one-on-one interview with the notorious Teddy Hart. The wide-ranging conversation opens with Hart explaining the truth about his involvement in the escort service industry, his connections to various wrestlers in Calgary and some of the complex Hart family dynamics. They explore the tragic death of Hart’s young brother and his difficulty in school. He explains how his father’s view of pro wrestling influenced his own outlook, how he was involved in training up-and-coming Attitude Era stars and his own near-death experience. Discussion of his complicated WWE experience and a run-in with Kurt Angle are interrupted with Cabana educating Hart on stigma associated with the R-word. And then it all kind of ends as randomly as it began.

Quote of the week: “He goes, ‘It’s funny, I used to like watching you and your brother do your hair in the morning, and I always knew you were a pain in the ass and your brother was a nice person, little different personality types,’ he goes, ‘so it balanced it out. Having you up there alone and your brother gone is a fucking shame,’ he goes, ‘and I’m really upset that God did that to me.’ The type of thing that he almost said that he regretted that my brother died instead of me, and I could understand, I was a fucking pain in the ass.”

Why you should listen: Teddy Hart is one hell of a storyteller, the kind whose tales seem so utterly absurd they can’t be real until they reach a point where you’re convinced no person, regardless of substance influence, could be creative enough to fabricate any such details. I’m always down for insight into the peculiarities of the Hart family, but I was most intrigued by Hart’s own introspection and analysis about his behavior over the years, the way he viewed himself as circumstances changed and how he’s so oddly able to take a third-person look at his own actions, choices and motivations.

Why you should skip it: Alternate take, Teddy Hart is one hell of a bullshitter. Alternate alternate take: Even if he’s spitting 100 percent gospel truth here, it’s so weird and all over the freaking map as to leave the listener significantly more confused going out than coming in, which almost certainly was not the goal. Perhaps this is what you expect with Teddy Hart, but if you’re looking to actually learn anything about a guy with such an interesting story, I’m not entirely sure that’s possible.

Final thoughts: I strongly advocate listening to this episode if only so we can all experience the oddity together and perhaps, through discussion, figure out what was useful. It’s most definitely entertaining, and Cabana is right on the mark in assuming he needed to bounce back heavy after last week’s Dallas dud. Part of me feels like I could (and should) write another 400 words on this episode, but the rest of me realizes my words don’t come close to doing justice to the experience of hearing it all with your own ears.