Monday, September 26, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 319

King talks wrestling and exotic dancing on AOW this week
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: 319 (Sept. 22, 2016)
Run Time: 1:02:13
Guest: Kenny King (9:24)

Summary: Colt Cabana’s guest this week is current Ring of Honor and former TNA wrestler Kenny King. The conversation starts with reflections on the difficulty of maintain personal relationships. That bleeds into King’s childhood and his family’s move to Orlando. King explains how he got into the family business of selling time-shares, than recounts his college football career and how he landed on season two of Tough Enough. That leads to King reflecting on the influence of Nick Bockwinkel, his earliest days in the business and taking an opportunity to work a Thailand tour. He then tells Cabana about how the arrival of his daughter affected his outlook before Cabana asks about King’s experience as a Chippendale’s dancer. Wrapping up includes quick thoughts about the excitement of working in various arenas and in front of large crowds.

Quote of the week: “I was really more thinking about, ‘Well shit, now I have to get another job to support wrestling.’ Because I’m not gonna stop wrestling. What else do I have to do now so that, uh, you know, there’s a kid now, there’s all sorts of shit. Diapers cost lots and lots of money, so that was more the thing. I don’t think quitting wrestling was ever, was ever, as a matter of fact, my daughter was at one of the dumbest matches I’ve ever — I was in FIP Cage of Pain, I still bear the scars from like light tubes and barbed wire and shit like that. She was, she was like six months old.”

Why you should listen: King’s got a fairly interesting story — or several, depending on how you count. He was a successful businessman who chose the hard road of pro wrestling. He’s the veteran performer who still hears from fans about his days on a reality show. He’s the single dad with a weird job and a heavy concern about the type of adult his child will become. Also he was a Chippendale’s dancer.

Why you should skip it: This is one of those Cabana interviews where two wrestlers barely mention any actual wrestling. It’s not just that the conversation looks more at King’s life than his career, it’s that even when they do talk about wrestling, it rarely goes beyond the name of promotions or peers or mentors. That doesn’t completely disqualify the episode from being entertaining, but, you know, it just seems to be a bit off.

Final thoughts: Cabana doesn’t exactly have his fastball here. I did enjoy King, though perhaps that’s attributable to being a father and a person who has worked in a few different fields because passion doesn’t always pay the bills. But while the Chippendale’s discussion ultimately redeems itself with King’s ability to describe his approach as it relates to performance art, Cabana needlessly lets it hang over the bulk of the interview. Furthermore, I still don’t have much of a clue about King as a wrestler despite now being intimately familiar with his overall biography. I’m not quite sure what I expected going in, but neither do I really understand how I feel coming out.