Hello everyone and welcome to this week’s spotlight on wrestling podcasts. This week’s entry is going to be a 2 parter because it’s going to be This week’s spotlight is actually going to be two pronged. I’m going to get into the Kevin Owens interview from this past week’s Art of Wrestling tomorrow but first I wanted to get into a bit of my admiration for the Art Of Wrestling as this past week marked the 5 year anniversary of the show.
Over the past two years, wrestling podcasts have really exploded on the scene with the help of podcastone hosting weekly podcasts hosted by some of the all time greats in the wrestling industry. Everyone from Chris Jericho to Stone Cold Steve Austin, to Jim Ross to the late great Roddy Piper hosts their own show. I can say that I enjoy all of these podcasts to some extent as they usually provide us with a candid conversation with two personalities in the wrestling business while also giving us insight into the everyday life of these legends. Well, before any of there was ever a podastone, there was Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling.
I’ve always been a fan of Colt Cabana. Back in 2006, my friends started to beg me to join them for a Ring of Honor show and I decided to take them up on it. From the start of the show I noticed that there were some names I knew from local shows I used to attend in the northeast a few years earlier. Names like Low Ki, Xavier, Samoa Joe and the Briscoe Brothers were staples on this show and used to be a part of every independent show in the New York area post ECW era. From there, there were a host of unbelievably talented technical wrestlers from around the world that were doing things in the ring that I had never seen done before, Wrestlers like Bryan Danielson, Nigel McGuiness, Kenta and Takeshi Morishima were impressing the crowd throughout the night. That said, there was one wrestler in particular, however, who stood out to me over the others was Colt Cabana.
With his bright colors, his Barry Manilow theme song, and one of his signature moves (the flying asshole), Colt was able to differentiate himself from the rest of the Ring of Honor roster. With his blend of comedy and wrestling, Colt was able to carve out a unique niche on the, often too serious, ROH live events. The other thing about Colt was that aside from being hilarious, he was also really good in the ring. Before long, Colt caught the eye of WWE and was signed to a developmental deal in 2007. I went out of my way to see one of Colt’s final Ring of Honor shows and told him what an inspiration he was to me (an aspiring pro wrestler at the time). Colt was one of the nicest people I had met and I knew he was going to be a success in WWE.
Well for whatever reason this didn’t happen, Instead, Colt was given the character of Scotty Goldman who was a character with not much depth and after only a handful of matches, was released from his WWE contract. Just two years later, I was there live at the Hammerstein Ballroom to see Colt return to Ring of Honor at their 7 year anniversary show. While I was thrilled to see Colt back in Ring of Honor, as I’d get to see him every month, I was genuinely sad to see that Colt’s time in WWE ended so abruptly.
Fast forward to the beginning of 2011, I’m now dating a girl who lived in southern New Jersey which was an hour and a half away from where I lived in Queens, New York (this is without traffic, with traffic it was as much as 3 + hours away). Hell bent on making this relationship work, in spite of our distance, I would travel every weekend to New Jersey and, sometimes, as many as 3 other days per week. These drives were long, they were expensive, they were frustrating and (having such an old car with limited air conidtioning) the rides were also very hot. Now, I should point out that I’m not a big music guy while driving. I love music and go out of my way to discover new music of all varieties all the time, but as far as drving while listening to top 40 radio? That really isn’t for me. I much prefer to listen to sports talk or, of course, wrestling talk. At the time, I used to listen to a lot of the stuff on pwinsider and one day I saw that Mike Johnson had an interview up with Colt Cabana. Interested to hear what Colt was up to, i downloaded the show.
On this hour long interview, Colt spoke about this new project he had been working on for about 9 months called the Art of Wrestling Podcast. Immediately intrigued, I signed on to coltcabana.com
and started listening to all of the episodes. I was immediately hooked at Colt’s Do It Yourself podcast. It was truly remarkable insight into the world of independent wrestling as Colt would detail all of his adventures and also talk to a different personality each week. What I found so inspiring about the podcast was how positive Colt was. He would often talk about the happy bus, and discuss the importance of not getting down on yourself. Here was a guy who lost his dream job just a year earlier, after not really getting a fair shake, and rather then getting upset about it, Colt went continued to build his brand on his own. As for the guests, I started with the familiar names, guys like CM Punk and Curt Hawkins but I found Colt so enjoyable, that I started listening to all of his other episodes with guests I hadn’t heard of. The podcast became a great vehicle for independent wrestlers to promote themselves and for fans to understand the beauty of the independent wrestling world.
Before long, I went from being a Colt Cabana fan to an absolute fanatic. I started to proudly wear my Colt Cabana Jewish Star shirt everywhere, I listened to every podcast in the art of wrestling podcast archives while often singing along with Colt’s open (Live from the studio…apartment in Chicago, Illinois!). I even had a pretty good conversation with Daniel Bryan about Colt’s documentary, the wrestling road diaries, when I met Bryan at Wrestlemania axxess in 2011. I suddenly almost looked forward to my drive to New Jersey as it gave a reason to listen to some more of Colt, and sure seeing the girl at the end of the drive wasn’t so bad either. Of course, later in 2011, Colt Cabana’s podcast really blew up (I feel in 2011 it was all about CM Punk, Zack Ryder, and Colt Cabana) when CM Punk uttered those famous words of “Hey Colt Cabana, how ya doing?” during his famous pipe bomb promo. Colt’s podcast gained popularity once again late last year when CM Punk was his guest on the show on Thanksgiving day, his first appearance since leaving WWE. That particular podcast was so shocking that my current girlfriend and I spent all of Thanksgiving weekend listening to it.
So yes, it’s great to see so many different types of wrestling podcasts to listen to every week but for me the originator of the wrestling podcast and the man who launched this whole industry is Colt Cabana. Tomorrow, I will continue this look at Colt’s podcast by taking a look at his 5th anniversary special from last week, including a really eye opening interview with Kevin Owens that everyone should go out of your way to listen to. Until then, thankssss!