Colt Cabana’s “Art of Wrestling” – former TNA wrestler Johnny Devine interview (Mar. 24, 2016)

The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Episode 294 – Johnny Devine
Release Date: March 24, 2016


Report by Chris Davidson

Hot Topics

– Johnny Devine talks getting into wrestling in the Great White North
– Johnny Devine recounts getting stabbed in 2004
– Colt Cabana gives his thoughts on recent road gifts


0:00 – Introduction
7:50 – Song of the Week
10:50 – Johnny Devine Interview
16:12 – Devine talks making a new territory
21:16 – Devine talks training and early life
33:27 – Devine talks traveling and breaking through
46:30 – Devine talks Team Canada in TNA
48:19 – Devine talks getting stabbed
59:20 – Devine talks the future
1:02:49 – Colt wraps up the show


0:00 – Introduction – Colt opened the show apologizing for his strained voice, as he has been producing podcasts for and it’s starting to affect his voice. Colt brought up Johnny Devine for helping him recently while he toured Calgary. Colt talked highly of Devine, saying that they are in the same “bracket,” having both been around a while. Colt said he was feeling better this week because he has been busy on the road. Colt brought up his recent shows in Pittsburgh because he received free Chipotle coupons, and joked that he wants to meet someone from Subway to give him Subway coupons. Colt then brought up Jared Fogle’s recent issues in prison, since he met Fogle years ago. Colt applauded the IWC promotion for having a video screen at their events so that new fans can see the wrestler’s names during the match. Colt briefly talked about his shows this past weekend, including how he enjoys playing Officer Colt Cabana, and teased the upcoming Wrestling Road Diaries 3.

7:50 – Song of the Week – The song of the week this week is “Montreal Screwjob” by The B+ Players.

10:50 – Johnny Devine Interview – Johnny Devine opened the interview saying he’s become old hat at radio interviews, and he’s trying not to pop his “p’s.” Devine went to college for broadcasting at an older age and discussed getting in to broadcasting as a wrestler. Devine praised Colt for his improv abilities in the ring, and brought up meeting with casting directors who are skeptical of hiring wrestlers. Devine noted that as a wrestler, he is a segment producer, a fight choreographer, a live performer who doesn’t need rehearsals, and Colt brought up Bret Hart and Stone Cold as being one-take actors once they got into acting. Devine called The Rock a master at this, as he could just raise one eyebrow to get the crowd excited.

16:12 – Devine talks making a new territory – Colt asked if Devine was trying to get out of wrestling when he went to broadcasting school. Devine wasn’t happy with the business, so he wanted to get his degree that he skipped over while in the military, which could help prolong his career. Colt asked if he felt it was worth getting a degree, since many promotions give jobs to their friends. Devine said he is working with good people to put together the first true territory since Vince McMahon bought them all. Devine went into his plan for putting together his territory, although he was understandably vague when discussing the specifics. Devine also discussed the expectations that are on new wrestlers when they come out of certain training schools.

21:16 – Devine talks training and early life – Devine trained for six years in Stu Hart’s legendary dungeon in Calgary in the late 1990s. Devine discussed how Stampede Wrestling was declining at the time, and talked about many of the wrestlers in Calgary at the time. Devine brought up Sabu as someone who helped draw a crowd, but overall they were having trouble with the business. Devine delved into his love of wrestling as a child and promoting his first show at 19 at his high school. Devine got brief training how to bump from a man named Tulip who brought the ring, and the show drew 400 people to support the school. Devine compared the Hart’s in Canada to the Von Erichs in Texas, and mentioned Owen Hart and the British Bulldogs as his favorite wrestlers growing up. Colt asked how Devine was able to break out of the promotion, instead of getting stuck. Devine said he was willing to sacrifice to get out, and referred to Calgary as “geographically castrated” because of the long distances between cities and shows. Devine was critical of his early shows, because he didn’t have a lot of training help and shows would be the same types of matches over and over. Colt asked who came to the Dungeon and Devine referred to it as a freak show because all types of people would show up to train and receive gimmicks from Bruce Hart.

33:27 – Devine talks traveling and breaking through – Devine discussed traveling all over Canada to network and work on getting out of Calgary. Devine brought up traveling to the northernmost point in Canada on the continent, and mentioning that he swam in the Arctic Ocean. Devine joked with Colt about the stories and experiences that can be had on Canadian tours. At some point, the Hart’s brought in Scott D’Amore, who hit it off with Devine. Devine mentioned sacrifice again in the context of sacrificing smaller pay days for bigger ones. Devine injured his arm and was told he would never be able to use it again, but he rehabbed to be able to wrestle again. D’Amore contacted Devine about some new shows in Ontario and Devine flew himself there to perform. Devine knew he needed to perform well and make whoever he was wrestling look good, but was worried because he was the one outsider at the shows. Devine enjoyed working with new wrestlers and mixing styles.

46:30 – Devine talks Team Canada in TNA – Colt asked if Devine ever worked with Bobby Roode and Eric Young before, but Devine did not meet them until he went to TNA. Devine discussed teaming with Roode, Young, and Petey Williams in TNA. Devine claimed credit on the “TN-Eh!” t-shirt that they sold for Team Canada, and brought up using a hockey stick as a weapon to get heat.

48:19 – Devine talks getting stabbed – Colt brought up Devine’s stomach scar, and asked him to tell the story behind it. Before he could get into it, Colt got distracted when Devine used the phrase “Bob’s your uncle” and they discussed how Canadian that phrase is. Devine got into a fight with four men who were harassing a girl he was with, and eventually he got stabbed. Devine went into some of his other scars, because he has been fighting people his whole life. Devine was afraid he killed one of his attackers, and talked in depth about what led to him getting stabbed prior to fleeing from the cops. Devine realized in the car that he had been stabbed multiple times very deeply while they rushed to the hospital. Devine had to have his gall bladder and a foot of his lower intestine removed, his bladder and stomach sewn up, and almost died on the operating table. Devine was worried he was going to lose his push in TNA, and ended up getting heat with WWE because they ran an angle with John Cena where he was stabbed, and Devine pretended to be Cena on some independent shows. Devine regrets returning to the ring after only three months, but he made a lot of “poor life decisions” when he was younger.

59:20 – Devine talks the future – Colt recapped Devine’s career, and Devine added that with age and experience, he has learned that as an artist, he has to be free to perform his art. Devine said he will perform with his body until he no longer can, then he will perform with his mind, so he is currently using his body to set up better roles for his mind in the future. Devine mentioned he does personal training, and plugged his social media and email before Colt ended the interview.

1:02:49 – Colt wraps up the show – Colt thanked Devine and said he always loves hearing about the Hart house, ever since “Wrestling with Shadows”. Colt plugged his website, social media, and upcoming events, then thanked Devine, his tech help and sponsors. Colt plugged and teased three new episodes of his show coming soon.


Score: 6.5 – Johnny Devine and Colt Cabana were able to make this week’s episode of the Art of Wresting another breezy interview that didn’t drag on and was fun to listen to. Devine’s story of getting stabbed had a lot of colorful moments, where he has told the story a lot but clearly enjoys telling people about it. Aside from that, hearing Devine’s reverence for Canadian wrestling, and the struggles he had breaking in were fun to hear. Devine’s broadcast acumen shone through, as this episode didn’t have any weird audio issues that have popped up here and there in recent weeks. Devine didn’t go in depth on his time in TNA, which is how I was familiar with him, but overall it was still interesting to learn about his back-story, and I would recommend this episode to anyone with an interest in Canadian wrestling.

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