Friday, January 6, 2017

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 332

Fish is Cabana's guest 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: 332 (Jan. 5, 2017)
Run Time: 1:06:52
Guest: Bobby Fish (11:41)

Summary: Colt Cabana’s first guest of 2017 is Ring of Honor star Bobby Fish. They talk a lot about Fish getting started late in wrestling and linger a bit on his crossroads moment. The guys bond over their college football experience, then Fish talks about his family, childhood wrestling fandom and watching shows with his dad. Fish then his explains his stunted training experience in Southern California, then revisits how he got serious about pro wrestling after moving back to upstate New York. Fish remembers his early matches and feeling like he didn’t fit on the independent scene, then spends a lot of time explaining the importance of his extensive work in Japan.

Quote of the week: “If somebody said to you when you first started, ‘Hey listen, your break’s not gonna come until 35,’ yeah, that might’ve been enough to deter you and say, ‘You know, I’m not doing this wrestling thing. Let’s find something else.’ Yeah. Certainly. And right now as I si t here, man, I’m making a living. I pay all of my bills for both of my kids, you know, I help their mother out as I give her child support, I pay my own blah blah blah, and it’s all through wrestling. And if you told me that 10 years ago, that would be the case and that I wouldn’t have a contract with WWE and was still able to do that, I’d of told you you’re out of your fucking mind. So it’s pretty cool to be sitting here in this position right now, and it’s not lost on me. You know? Not at all.”

Why you should listen: Aside from ROH or NJPW devotees, Fish’s story appeals to two kinds of fans: those who believe a wrestler can have a successful career outside WWE and those who want to trust in the value of hard work and perseverance. He’s got a positive attitude, is well spoken and, well, let’s just say I’m a sucker for guys who watched hours and hours of wrestling with a beloved family member before going on to become a star in their own right.

Why you should skip it: Fish does indeed seem to be a great guy, but this one ultimately felt a little flat. There’s nothing really wrong or obnoxious, but Fish doesn’t really go into any psychological depth. He just kind of tells the story of his — in the context of pro wrestling — fairly average life and ends with a smile. He’s a nice person, but at the end of the hour it’s not clear we’ve actually learned anything or been moved to feel.

Final thoughts: Definitely feel free to take a pass if you, like me, are insanely behind on your podcast listening thanks to busy holiday schedules. This interview certainly flies by and would make a decent soundtrack to just about anything, but if you go out of your way to make time to listen, chances are you’ll wish you’d given something else a higher priority.