So far as wrestling experience goes, Colt Cabana may have one of the most impressive CVs in the wrestling world. He is the undisputed king of the independent wrestling scene, not just in the UK but the world over. He was a podcast master before Stone Cold or JR picked up the mic. Meanwhile, his comedic offerings pre-date Mick Foley's solo efforts and have secured him a well-regarded slot at the internationally renowned Edinburgh Fringe festival. It is whilst at the Fringe that Colt Cabana kindly agreed to sit down with us for the interview that follows. If that doesn't sate your appetite, you can hear him weekly on his Art of Wrestling podcast via coltcabana.com. He is in Edinburgh until late August and will be doing two shows for ICW, tickets for which can be purchased here and 'Commentary on Bad Wrestling' shows which are available here.
You've had a series of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe festival including your 'commentary on bad wrestling' show with Brendon Burns which is in a theatre three times the size of last years. What's the draw of the fringe festival for you?
Well, I'd obviously heard of the fringe. I've been wrestling for so long but at heart, I'm a huge, huge comedy fan. I love comedy, I like the idea of alternative comedy, I love the idea of obscure comedy and if you watch my wrestling the last - I've been wrestling 15 years - but probably the last 7-10 years, it's almost turned into obscure comedy. I'd always heard about the Edinburgh Fringe festival and know it's the largest comedy fest in the world. I used to think to myself that when wrestling was done for me and I was a little older, that maybe I could go and take in some shows. Then when I got the opportunity with Brendon, who invited me over, I couldn't say no to it. Last year was a once in a lifetime bucket-list thing last year and then when I found we could do it every year afterwards it was amazing. This is now a part of my life and so I'm hoping and I assume that I'm a lifer now.
You were ahead of the curve with a wrestling podcast now everyone is following suit. Do you listen to others?
I don't listen to any other wrestling podcasts. I've been listening to podcasts religiously for about 5 years now and I subscribe to 20-30 podcasts that I listen to weekly. My favourites are comedy podcasts and informative ones. I started podcasting because I saw the value in it from those worlds, not from wrestling, I didn't take anything from the wrestling world. I started podcasting over 4 yrs ago and I knew what a difference it would make in the wrestling world and I knew they - meaning everybody, would be about 5 years behind. They beat me by a year, 4 years later they've all come out of the woodwork.
What's the best rib played by you or on you?
I think I'm telling this one right. Sheamus won the FCW championship, before it was NXT and he was so proud of that because he'd always wanted to be a champion. He left his title alone for a second and me and a couple of other guys, we clipped it to the very top of the arena. We tied the title up there and no-one told him where it was and he was furious, just absolutely furious. He'd just ask us "where's my belt, fella?" and we'd be giving hints like "look up buddy, things will be OK". It took a couple of hours but eventually he found it.
Would you care to comment on any of the recent WWE news - Del Rio being fired, the streak ending, Sting coming over.....?
You know, to be honest, I went to Japan and I had to take WWE off my DVR because I didn't want it to fill up. When I got back I didn't put it back on and I've lost a lot of interest in it since CM Punk quit. When that happened, WWE took away 2 job offers from me - I believe in direct correlation to him quitting. There was a plan to do commentary and we were also about to put on a show on YouTube together. When he quit, I believe the hatred for him extended to me. Either way - and not on a bitter cue but just because I thought I was going to work for them for the 7th time in my career and it was taken away for the 7th time - I lost a lot of passion in watching their product. I am a wrestling fan so I want to and do keep up to date but with Bryan being out and Cesaro's push being taken away a little bit and watching the same guys on top, it's hard for me to get into it.
When will we next see you in the UK and what are your future plans?
I plan on doing the fringe every year, that's my plan - I want to make it a thing every single year. I'd like to build the 'Commentary Over Bad Wrestling' show when I'm back in the US. I'm also desperate to go back to Ireland. Meanwhile Grado and I are the ICW tag-team champions and so it looks like I really have a home in Scotland and in ICW. My podcast is out every Thursday on coltcabana.com and I ship internationally from coltmerch.com. I've also got copies of my new movie at the fringe, 'The Wrestling Road Diaries 2', which I'm very proud of. It's a wrestling documentary, a sequel the likes of which has never been seen before. You know you look at my schedule and hear my podcast, I'm always somewhere and doing something and looking to further my career.
We leave Cabana at this point who is off to check his schedule, which as you may now appreciate, is jam-packed. It was a real honour to spend time with this funny, friendly and interesting showman. If Cabana's work ethic, professional pride and entrepreneurial spirit is rubbing off on others in the indepdent wrestling scene, its future is very bright.