Editor's Note: Better late than never, they say. I'd interviewed ROH star Colt Cabana last year ahead of the release of his Wrestling Road Diaries 3 DVD release. After going through two transcribers, I decided to do it myself, only to have the audio file of the interview corrupted. Fortunately, I was able to salvage it weeks later, have it transcribed (thanks, Alex) and will have several pieces of content from the host of the Art of Wrestling Podcast, and one of the most popular independent wrestlers on the scene.
Fightful: This one really seems to focus on comedy … how different is this one from the others or is it?
Colt: “So the underlying theme will always be like, “Hey this is independent wrestling that not many people are aware of; you’ve seen documentaries of the stars and how they do WrestleMania weekend, well this is how it really works on the scene” so that theme is always the same. But in order to change it up, there always has to be kind of different themes, so this one is a dissection of comedy in wrestling. The first one was kind of like “Here’s how the indies work,” the second one was like “Here’s how the indies work when you come back from the WWE, and you have to learn how to be an independent wrestler again” and this one is “how comedy wrestling works,” and yeah, I flew over two of the biggest stars in the world of comedy wrestling, and then we mixed them up in the Midwest … I don’t know of anything that’s ever really dissected it like this before and given you kind of an inside look of comedy and wrestling, I think people just think it’s like a crutch that wrestlers use if they don’t know how to wrestle, and I think you really learn that it’s an unbelievable skill and art in order to make people laugh while within the context of professional wrestling.”
Was the filming process any different this time than the previous two, because the first one was in like 2009 and technology’s come a little bit further since then, did that affect you at all?
“So Jack was the guy who was our cameraman and edited it together. He’s the filmographer for Fallout Boy and other bands, so he’s really up to date with all of that stuff. And in terms of technology … Sonjay was watching it the other day and he was like “this one looks so much crisper and you can tell the HD and you can tell he has better equipment” so from that stand point, yeah. From filming, the first one was (shot in) ten days and the movie was 2 hours and 40 minutes. I realized that we don’t need that much movie, so this one was just shot over a long weekend, just like the second one was.”
Daniel Bryan went from “Wrestling Road Diaries” straight to WWE, Luke Gallows ended up in WWE, what do you think the chances are Grado just blows you off, says “no Wrestling Road Diaries 4 for me, I’m WWE bound”, Colt?
"I love how you don’t even give Kikutaro a chance! He’s moving over to America!"
So which do you think is more likely?
"I don’t know. I hope all of them get to do everything that they wanna do, I hope they get to live their dreams. You know, in the movie, Grado calls Dean Malenko a “C-nt” in the nicest way. It’s a Scottish thing. And so I hope he gets that dream of walking by Dean Malenko, the C-Word. I think that’s one of his dreams, so I hope that happens for him."
Are you planning on doing any more of these? You’ve been able to make them all different so far; there’s a different underlying story in all three. Do you plan on doing a fourth one and if so, will it continue to have a different storyline to it?
“Yeah, I think it’s going to be an ongoing series, I hope, forever. … I’ve toyed with the idea of, Marty and I we do a comedy show around the US. An idea I’ve had is documenting that tour. Also, I’ve thought about doing just an audio Wrestling Road Diaries, which I think would be really different. Obviously that’s kind of my bread and butter is the audio and I’ve gotten really good at doing it, so that’s a thing I’ve thought about, too. And also doing one overseas I think would be the other option. I’d love to do one in Japan, or I’d love to do one in the U.K., either Edinburgh during the festivals that I do, or there’s a thing called “the camp scene” that many people don’t know about in England where you go to these little holiday camps and you wrestle in front of people that are staying there for a week that can’t afford to go to like Spain or Greece. So there’s a lot of interesting stuff out there, where it would still be the idea of “here’s what independent wrestlers do” but also “here’s this other weird thing that no one’s kind of dissected.”
Speaking of your audio work, have you ever been approached to like do Satellite radio or anything like that? I’m surprised that you’re not already doing that.
“No, no one’s ever approached me for any of that stuff. I have some friends over at WBZ in Chicago and there was some hopes that maybe somebody would wanna do something with me over there, but it’s nothing I’ve reached out to. I’m obviously so crazy busy, but that’d probably be something I’d like to do, kind of some more like NPR type stuff or public radio type stuff I thought would be really fun. In the early years of the podcast, an ESPN affiliate hit me up … they just wanted to play my podcast on ESPN radio, but the deal was so weird it just didn’t seem like the right fit for me, which is kind of interesting, and gives you a little inside look that there’s like NO money in radio, so I think podcasting was kind of the right fit, the right time for me and maybe one day hopefully that’s something I can kind of venture into. I’d like to. It’s something I’d like to venture into.”
No end in sight for the podcast, I would imagine?
“As long as I’m still around wrestling and still around the guys and able to take my recorder around the country and around the world, there’s no reason not to do it. And also, the podcast, it saved my life, saved my career. It’s made the quote un quote “success story” that I’ve become, and I owe everything to the medium, I love the medium. I mean, wrestling’s my true passion, but this is like an extension of it. “