Friday, March 3, 2017

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Art Of Wrestling Ep. 340

Drake is Cabana's guest this week
Photo via Huffington Post
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: 340 (March 2, 2017)
Run Time: 1:04:01
Guest: Eli Drake (11:10)

Summary: Colt Cabana’s guest this week is Impact Wrestling star Eli Drake. They open getting into the literal art of wrestling, looking at the way crowds have evolved and considering broadening acceptance of the form. They also talk about dalliances in acting before Drake revisits his brief time in WWE developmental. Dialing back further Drake discusses why college didn’t work out for him and the important lessons he learned from the convicts he worked with as a dishwasher. That leads into his early training days, developing a personality and character — which went as far back as high school — then recalling how he butchered his first WWE opportunity, which led to making his way to California. At the end Drake talks a bit about his current role in TNA.

Quote of the week: “There’s no second takes, you’re doing it live … I love the idea that we can go out there night after night and do, essentially, a different show, every night, we don’t get to rehearse it, we don’t get to choreograph it — which everybody thinks — and I’m amazed that it’s not looked at on a higher level of artistry. It’s so unique.”

Why you should listen: Cabana’s stanning for improve comedy notwithstanding, it was nice to once again hear legitimate discussion about wrestling as an art form. And Drake’s tales about learning prison weightlifting techniques were pretty amusing.

Why you should skip it: Aside from that, it was pretty flat. Drake’s not a bad guy, he’s just not especially interesting, nor is his career in any way remarkable. I kept waiting and waiting for the hook of this episode to arrive, only to realize it probably peaked three or four minutes into the interview.

Final thoughts: I’m not going to tell you not to listen to this episode, but I will caution that it’s a lot like eating leftovers that don’t reheat particularly well. Sure, you’ve accomplished the act of taking in lunch, and it’s not entirely without sustenance. But within a half hour you’ll probably have forgotten anything about the experience and be looking forward to the next meal.