Colt Cabana’s “Art of Wrestling” #293 w/guest Big Damo (Mar. 17, 2016)

The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Episode 293 – Damo
March 17, 2016


Report by Chris Davidson

Hot Topics

– Damo talks Insane Championship Wrestling and his career

– Colt Cabana announces he is returning to Edinburgh Fringe Festival; he might tour Ireland this summer


0:00 – Introduction
6:19 – Song of the Week
8:24 – Damo Interview
19:03 – Damo talks sports and early life
27:26 – Damo talks wrestling in Ireland
37:54 – Damo talks wrestling training and ICW
47:59 – Damo talks physical appearance
55:33 – Damo talks the future
1:05:11 – Colt wraps up the show


0:00 – Introduction – Colt opened the show joking about he doesn’t know his industry very well, since he doesn’t remember the name of Wade Barrett and Alberto Del Rio’s stable (The League of Nations). Colt introduced Damo as the Insane Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Champion, and talked about how ICW is huge in Scotland. Colt announced he will be going to Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival again this year, and some upcoming comedy shows. Colt reminisced about a recent show where he began to think about where he’s come from and his future. Colt joked that the dream is to wrestle in front of 100 people in Kokomo, Indiana on his 44th birthday. Colt said Damo is someone who he believes would do well in America, and he hopes to get him over to America.

6:19 – Song of the Week – The song of the week this week is “Champion Kings” by Kielen King.

8:24 – Damo Interview – Colt and Damo opened the interview talking about where they’re from. Damo said that 30 miles in Ireland is a long drive, even though in America that is a short drive. Damo went in-depth to Ireland’s travel issues based on roads that aren’t laid out very well. Colt segued into Irish wrestling, which is a relatively recently developed scene. Damo talked about The Troubles in Ireland (the Northern Ireland Conflict) that kept any wrestling scene from sprouting up during the late 20th Century and had all the great Irish wrestlers going elsewhere to train. Damo singled out Kung Fu as a wrestler from Ireland who had to go elsewhere, and had an easy gimmick to rip off. Colt joked Kung Fu was the original Doink, and they discussed ripping off gimmicks. Damo went in depth on other Irish wrestlers and tours that came to Ireland in the past. Damo brought up the political violence in Ireland’s past as the main reason many people never toured Ireland.

19:03 – Damo talks sports and early life – Damo began to tell a story the first time he ever met someone who wasn’t white, when he was 12. Damo got distracted and discussed the Gaelic Games and a lot of sports that are played in Ireland, including playing basketball in school. Damo circled back to meeting a person of color at 12, pointing out how isolated the country can be, now that he has met all sorts of people because of wrestling. Colt compared this to being a Jewish kid going to a college where it seemed no one had met a Jewish person. Damo talked about growing up with Protestants and Catholics both stereotyping each other.

27:26 – Damo talks wrestling in Ireland – Colt asked about FWA and Damo talked about the types of wrestling that started happening in Ireland in the early 2000s. Damo discussed the Irish wrestling scene that has sprung up in the last 15 years or so, and the struggles they had alongside the rest of the country. Damo left to Scotland for training, and six months later Fergal Devitt opened his school in Ireland. Colt joked that there was no wrestling for a long time, then six months after Damo left, the best wrestler in the world showed up. Damo went to college in Scotland for three years while wrestling, and he talked about the issues with schooling and employment in the U.S. and in Europe. Damo joked that it took him a long time to get where he is, and Colt pointed out how everyone does a lot of things that don’t make sense in hindsight.

37:54 – Damo talks wrestling training and ICW – Damo started training at 19 and his friends called him a “nightmare” because he trained like he was going into soccer. Damo asked Colt if he had similar experiences since he had a background in football, where he was the most athletic person at the start of training. Damo talked about the other schools in Scotland, despite the lack of a busy scene in area. Colt asked if the other promoters in the area are “salty” because ICW has “turned Scotland around”. Damo credited other promoters for drawing 400-500 fans or more, but don’t put on the same level of show as ICW. Damo was very diplomatic because he likes the other promoters and sometimes works for them. Colt compared ICW to ROH in 2004 because they have something special and are trying to preserve it. Damo credited the crowd for making the shows as great as they are, and noted that the roster has evolved a lot during ICW’s run.

47:59 – Damo talks physical appearance – Colt asked Damo if he made a choice to get bigger, since he’s now “Big Damo.” Damo credit his change in size to doing less cardio and more weight training, putting on 8 stone (about 112 pounds). After the weight gain, Damo was called “the Beast of Belfast” by Billy Kirkwood, and started growing out his hair to fit the character. Damo likes being a bigger guy because he can still do athletic moves in the ring, which can surprise audiences. Damo said the changes have worked for him, and spoke with Colt about looking at past matches and not liking what you see. Colt said as long as they age, they’re going to think their older stuff isn’t as good, causing Damo to reference Liam Neeson as someone who changed his career style as he got older. Colt mentioned that he has never seen “Schindler’s List,” causing Damo to joke that it took a North Irish Catholic to teach a Jewish boy on “Schindler’s List.”

55:33 – Damo talks the future – Damo said that they keep evolving in the ring, and that he had someone want to watch a wrestling show from six years ago, but he can’t at this point. Colt started wrapping up, and Damo talked about making a full-time living wrestling for the last six years. Damo mentioned his upcoming tour to America, his first ever. Damo seemed pleased with the success of the current wrestling scene in Scotland. Damo said this year is looking to be a good year for him, in terms of booking, and he’s having to turn promoters down because of his schedule. Damo asked Colt if he could have imagined a scene growing up 10 years ago, and Colt credited the fans and business people behind it for making wrestling fun to attend. Colt credited the nostalgia of ’80s wrestling, but in a pub with friends, as why wrestling is having a boom. Damo spoke about the Internet making it much easier to access videos from anywhere, making it “an insane time to be a wrestling fan.” Colt and Damo joked about what the future will hold. Damo plugged his Twitter and Facebook, and Colt ended the interview.

1:05:11 – Colt wraps up the show – Colt thanked Damo and said he hopes to wrestle a few shows in Ireland in June. Colt plugged his website, social media, and upcoming events, then thanked Damo, his tech help and sponsors. Colt said he was able to get his shower drain to start working and mentioned that he has also started brushing his teeth in the shower before signing off.


7.0: This episode of the Art of Wrestling was not quite as structured as a lot of other episodes, but it was still a good listen. Colt kept going back to asking Damo about the wrestling scene in Ireland and Scotland, and Damo was very knowledgeable about the current scene, as well as the history. As an American listener, it is always fun to hear about how wrestling is presented across the globe. There were some more minor audio issues this week, which damper the listening experience, but Colt seems to be trying to keep his guests on mic, and it can’t be easy recording podcasts from hotel rooms and locker rooms. This was another solid entry into the Art of Wrestling’s catalog.

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