The Spotlight On Wrestling Podcasts- Colt Cabana’s Art Of Wrestling Pt. 1

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!
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The Spotlight On Wrestling Podcasts- 4/13 to 4/17 

I’ve been listening to wrestling podcasts now for quite some time.  If you’re going to get into where it all started it was probably back in 2003 when I was in Orlando, Florida visiting my grandfather. My grandfather  had fallen ill and unfortunately passed away while we were in town visiting him for about a month.  During this period of time, I noticed a show on Orlando’s 740 the team called Between The Ropes which was a local weekly radio show dedicated to professional wrestling.  I immediately jumped on my computer and saw that BTR had a website and had a list of all of their past episodes.  I was instantly hooked! This was way before the days of podcasts and BTR was a great show. Hosts Fritz, Dickerman & Vito ( and sometimes D’Lo Brown) got me through a tough time. The show was a two hour long program that broke all the news of wrestling & mma. During the second hour they were usually an interview featuring WWE superstars, independent wrestlers or members of the wrestling media. BTR introduced me to a whole new side of the wrestling industry, it was no longer just about Raw & Smackdown, rather there was a whole community out there.   Of course, this probably doesn’t fully count as a podcast because it was a radio show but I do still enjoy much of BTR host, Brian Fritz’s stuff.  If we’re going strictly podcating, I’d say it started in 2010 when I first started listening to Colt Cabana’s Art of Wrestling.  I was seeing a girl who lived in Woodbridge, New Jersey and so I would travel from Queens, NY two to three times per week and spent four-six hours in the car each time. With Cabana always being one of my favorite wrestlers,  I instantly became hooked to his podcast because it really gave an inside perspective to the world of independent wrestling and the conversations were always so fun.  Over the past two years wrestling podcasts have exploded.  I never would have thought we’d hear from Chris Jericho & Stone Cold Steve Austin as podcast hosts each week. Wrestling podcasts continue to grow at such a clip it’s both exciting and intimidating.  With this column I’m going to point out three podcasts from last week that you should go out of your way to listen to and, if applicable, a podcast or two that you could skip this week. My goal here is not only to focus on the more known wrestling podcasts but also to maybe find a podcast or two for you that you may not know about. So, without any further ado, let’s get into three highlights from last week.

Highlights:
1)  In The Pit With Piper with Ronda Rousey- 4/13/2015-  Show of hands who knew Rowdy Roddy Piper had a podcast every week?  It’s ok if you didn’t as for whatever reason Roddy’s podcast hasn’t caught on as much as the other ones have, at least not right away.  Truth be told, Roddy’s podcast has really started to get better and this past week’s podcast was my favorite thus far.  Ronda Rousey is absolute pleasure to listen to and you can tell the mutual admiration that both Rowdy ones have for one another.  What I found interesting was that Piper actually gave the Rowdy moniker to Rousey.  The conversation also touches on Ronda’s future with the WWE which should provide some optimism to wrestling fans around the world.  A fun listen all around and you can find Roddy’s podcast every Monday at podcastone.com
2) The Ross Report with Shawn Michaels- 4/14/2015-  I know that Shawn has really made the podcast rounds lately as he promotes his new book and it gets to a point of how much you can listen to one guy but I really like his appearance on The Ross Report.  Ross was really in his element asking Shawn questions you don’t hear during every interview.  In particular, Ross gets into shawn’s in ring return while training talents prior to his return to the WWE as well as what plans would have been had Shawn stuck around post Wrestlemania 14.  Fun listen and the Ross Report can be found Tuesday evenings on podcastone.com
3) The Human Podcast Machine with Todd Grisham- 4/14/2015– If there’s one podcast I’m really enjoying, it’s The Human Podcast Machine with Taz.  Taz has such a knack for this podcasting world and makes for a great host.  His shows are always pretty light hearted and good for a laugh.  His episode with former WWE play by play man, and current ESPN anchor, Todd Grisham is actually one of his best.  Grisham may have come across on camera as a little bland but he’s actually got a great personality and hearing the two catch up was a pleasure to listen to.
Lowlights:
1) Talk Is Jericho with Team Tiger Awesome- 4/15/2015-  I usually love Chris’ show and I’m sure his interview with William Regal is great but Team Tiger Awesome didn’t do much for me.  If you’re thinking it’s because they aren’t wrestlers, that isn’t the case as I’ve enjoyed countless episodes of TIJ with his non wrestling guests, this one just seemed a little too much self promotion.  Jericho is the king of self promotion and does it so well that I got his book and new Fozzy record based on what I heard on TIJ!  That said I would have preferred this interview be a sub interview to go along with a bigger interview guest as I didn’t think over 90 minutes on Jericho’s new Comdedy Central gig was necessary.
That’s going to do it for this week, I’ll be back next Monday with my picks from this past week.  Until then, go out there and listen to some podcasts!