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Colt Cabana’s “Art of Wrestling” #280 – Jimmy Valiant Interview (Dec. 10, 2015)

The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Episode 280 – Jimmy Valiant
Release Date: December 10, 2015

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Report by Chris Davidson

Hot Topics

– Jimmy Valiant talks in-depth about his 50 years in wrestling

– Joey Ryan talks about his recent viral video

– Colt Cabana talks about his upcoming “Wrestling Road Diaries” DVD

Timestamps

0:00 – Introduction
10:30 – Song of the week
12:18 – Jimmy Valiant Interview
23:32 – Jimmy Valiant talks territories and entrance music
33:20 – Jimmy Valiant talks being a worker
42:53 – Jimmy Valiant talks early wrestling and comedy in wrestling
58:34 – Colt wraps up the show

Episode Summary

0:00 – Introduction – Colt opened the show talking about how guest “Boogie Woogie Man” Jimmy Valiant was brought in to follow the theme of “funny equals money” in wrestling. Colt reflected on filming the “Wrestling Road Diaries” with Grado and Kikutaro over the last week. Joey Ryan joined Colt so that Colt could talk to his penis, after the video that went viral this week of Joey Ryan’s penis toss. Ryan talked about all the media outlets that covered his video and the positive response he has gotten.

8:53 – Song of the week – The song of the week this week is “The Ballad of Handsome Jimmy” sung by Jimmy Hart.

12:18 – Jimmy Valiant Interview – Colt opened the interview asking Jimmy Valiant if he was tech savvy. Valiant said that he is old school and doesn’t have a cell phone or do anything online, but his wife organizes and types out his message replies. Valiant joked that he was skeptical of microwaves when they came out, and since his wife takes care of him, he doesn’t see a need to be online. Colt asked about Valiant’s tattoos, including his wrestling boots on his feet, to which Valiant said he’s been wrestling a long time and he wants to go out with his boots on. Valiant talked about being trimmed down and maintaining his weight. Valiant brought up a handful of wrestlers the same age as he is, staying healthy, and stretching to stay fit. Valiant briefly talked about the Memphis territory and being salaried for Jerry Lawler, but ultimately went to work with Jim Crockett until he sold to Ted Turner in the 1980s.

23:32 – Jimmy Valiant talks territories and entrance music – Valiant said that when Turner took over, he started wrestling on the independent circuit. Valiant talked about all the different territories he wrestled in the 1970s, including WWF. Valiant went into detail of his time in “New York” and all the various wrestlers he worked with. Valiant said that reinventing himself was one of the ways he stayed fresh, and he said that he was one of the first people to use entrance music. Valiant mentioned Gorgeous George as the inspiration to come out to entrance music, because he came out to music on TV. Valiant was the first person to use entrance music in Madison Square Garden, and went he went back to the Southern territories, everyone else was using entrance music. Valiant talked about making himself stand out by kissing fans and saying that every city he was wrestling in was his hometown during taped promos.

33:20 – Jimmy Valiant talks being a worker – Colt asked if they wrestled the same match over and over on the territories, which Valiant said they did. Colt asked if this was a struggle creatively. Valiant said that when he’s hired, he does whatever the boss wants. Valiant told a story from his time in Memphis when Jerry Lawler told him what to do for a TV taping and the guy he was supposed to wrestle tried to change the booking. Lawler asked how long he had been planning the match, because Lawler had been thinking about it for a solid week, and that’s what they were doing. Valiant said that when his boss wants him to say something, he hits their point first before adlibbing so that he can be entertaining, but also get the job done. Valiant talked about being charismatic and how a lot of wrestling is natural talent or physicality, and getting people to the arena is more important that being the best worker around. Valiant said that his style is created from the styles of a lot of different wrestlers. Valiant brought up Mohammed Ali and Mike Tyson as learning a lot from different styles to be the people they are.

42:53 – Jimmy Valiant talks early wrestling and comedy in wrestling – Valiant wrestled with Dick the Bruiser and talked to Colt about how being a heel prepared him for anytime someone said something negative to him as a baby face. Valiant said that when he was a heel, anytime he’d have a car it would get keyed. Valiant plugged his book and his wrestling camp. Colt brought up comedy in wrestling and asked if Valiant looked at what he did as comedy, or just entertainment. Valiant looks at his wrestling as pure entertainment, regardless of how he entertains, and talked about paying dues. Valiant said he’s been wrestling for 51 years and doesn’t plan on stopping, since wrestling is the only job he’s ever known.

Valiant went into his early training in Hammond, Indiana and some of his early experiences. Valiant joked that he might not remember who he wrestled last night, but he’ll always remember his first match. Colt asked about Valiant’s music that he sang. Valiant said he can’t sing at all and they recorded those songs one line at a time, so he could sing them in his interview voice. Valiant said that he sold a lot of records with Jerry Lawler and Colt joked that he had the original merch table. Valiant plugged his book, and his wife’s wrestling sewing company and Colt ended the interview.

58:34 – Colt wraps up the show – Colt brought up one of his early matches where Valiant was the referred. Colt plugged his website and upcoming events, thanked his fans, Valiant, Joey Ryan, and his sponsors, and signed off.

OVERALL SCORE & REVIEW

Score: 7.0: This episode of the Art of Wrestling was exactly how I pictured an interview with Jimmy Valiant. Valiant was funny, charming, and sincere in every word he said. Valiant didn’t tell as many stories as I would have liked, but he covered a lot of his prime, especially his time in Memphis. Colt seemed to be very happy to have Valiant on the podcast, and it was a good way to promote his new “Wrestling Road Diaries” without having Grado or Kikutaro on the podcast. Valiant has a tendency to ramble, and near the end he seemed excited to be able to talk about his book, but overall this was another great episode for fans of old school wrestling.

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