The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Episode 305 – Kongo Kong
Release Date: June 9, 2016
Report by Chris Davidson
– Kongo Kong recaps his career and goes in depth on his “savage” gimmick.
– Colt Cabana talks recent appearances on ROH TV and at a birthday party, plugs new documentary.
0:00 – Introduction
7:18 – Song of the week
11:41 – Kongo Kong interview
14:37 – Kongo Kong talks his gimmick
23:47 – Kongo Kong talks growing up and staying out of trouble
30:42 – Kongo Kong talks about his early career
47:52 – Kongo Kong talks traveling and managers
57:18 – Colt wraps up the show
0:00 – Introduction – Colt opened the show with a story about going to a birthday party at the Create A Pro Wrestling Academy in New York for a 65-year-old man. Colt called birthday parties a part of running a wrestling school to help pay the bills, and said he would have loved having a party like that as a child. Colt segued into talking about his recent event in New York, and mentioned that he got more positive feedback on social media from that one show than from his appearance on ROH TV last week. Colt also mentioned recent appearances for Global Force Wrestling, including “strutting” in a tag team with Jeff Jarrett, and used this to bring up Kongo Kong. Colt said that Kong wanted to be called Steve, his real name, which is somewhat uncomfortable for Colt because being “Colt Cabana” is how he presents himself in all media and appearances. As a technical note, Colt mentioned that this episode was recorded before he got new microphones, and he has one more that he will probably release later in the summer when he puts out Wrestling Road Diaries 3, around September 1. Colt plugged Howl.fm as the new home for his archive beginning on June 22.
7:18 – Song of the week – The song of the week this week is “Kamala” by Cockamamie Jamie.
11:41 – Kongo Kong interview – Colt opened the interview asking if Kongo Kong gives a lot of interviews, to see if he tries to protect his gimmick. Kong said that he always tells people he’s not Kongo Kong when he’s not wearing paint; he’s Steve Wilson. Kong said he’s not the standard “savage” character, he just doesn’t speak, even though he can. Colt said he’s known Kong for 17 years but he’s finally started to get some success because of his painted face.
14:37 – Kongo Kong talks his gimmick – Colt asked when Kong started painting his face. Kong said that he painted his face when he started his career to mimic Demolition, but he stopped because his paint was ruining everyone else’s gear. Kong later found that acrylic paint stays dry without running other wrestler’s gear. Colt asked about the genesis of the Kongo Kong character. Kong mentioned that he was hesitant at first because it is a stereotypical “savage” character, but it paid well. Kong said he is separated from Kamala, Papa Shango, and similar characters in the past because of his in-ring work, a mix of Vader, Undertaker, Cactus Jack, and his own little twists. Kong, when he was wrestling as Osiris, switched from wearing a singlet to trunks, which made him look bigger, and helped him get booked with Juggalo Championship Wrestling. JCW is where he debuted as Kongo Kong. Kong still wrestles occasionally as Osiris when Kongo Kong is off. Colt called himself “body conscious” and asked if there was any hesitation when Kong switched to trunks. Kong said that trunks were easier to breathe in, and he got advice that everyone knows he’s big, so he shouldn’t hide it.
23:47 – Kongo Kong talks growing up and staying out of trouble – Colt said that, while he doesn’t want to ruin anything, Steve Wilson is a sweet guy and completely different from Kongo Kong. Kong talked about growing up in Michigan, and praised his mother for helping him grow up with morals. Kong credited his principal for investing in him and helping him avoid a life on the streets. Kong said he experiences things through other people, and can see what to avoid by seeing others mistakes. Colt asked if Kong has had any “lows” in his life that he’s had to rebound from. Kong mentioned a time in his life where he lost five people close to him in a six year span. Kong cited wrestling as an outlet that has helped him get out of tough times, and has kept him out of jail.
30:42 – Kongo Kong talks about his early career – Colt asked about Lake Shore Wrestling Organization, where he met Kong. Kong said that they were wrestling in a garage where they somehow wedged a 20 foot ring and put on public access shows. Kong started in Grand Rapids, Michigan with Pro Wrestling Worldwide, where he was declared ready to wrestle after two practices, knowing only how to lock up, a head lock, and a drop toe hold. During his first match, Kong’s opponent called for a spear and, being a football player, Kong hit him with a solid tackle that laid his opponent out. After Pre Wrestling Worldwide closed, he got a call to join LSWO. Colt and Kong joked about wrestling before the internet, and how the crappier wrestling schools had the best websites. Colt asked about Kong moving to Indiana. Kong stopped playing college football on a scholarship to start wrestling, because he didn’t love football and he was tired of being sore. Colt asked how Kong’s mom felt about him quitting school, and Kong said she was upset, but ultimately fine with it. Kong was able to actually get another football scholarship after three years off due to a coach who was very interested in him. Both men discussed teaching and coaching. Kong talked a bit about being a wrestler during the summers when he wasn’t playing football, and the karate dojo he wrestled in that had movie-theater seats put in to accommodate fans. Colt called shows in Indiana “weird Americana” shows.
47:52 – Kongo Kong talks traveling and managers – Colt asked about Insane Clown Posse shows giving Kong more exposure. Kong talked about all of the travel he has done outside of Indiana, across the U.S. and in Canada. Kong and Colt talked about a trip on a 19 passenger plane in New Mexico, where Kong barely fit on the plane and Colt threw up. Colt asked about Global Force, and about Kong always having a manager. Kong said that most promoters won’t bring in a manager, so he ends up with different people all the time. Kong said he would want Rodney Rush as his manager, over Colt’s suggestion of Jimmy Hart. Colt tried to spin Kong’s rotating door of managers as something that could help Kong get bookings if he is being managed by the promoter’s friend. Colt joked he’d be raffling off managerial duties if it was up to him. Kong said he hopes GFW pans out, but he’s been happy to see others, such as Colt and Jimmy Jacobs, succeed. Colt asked if he thought Kong’s success was because too many people are wrestling under their own name, and Kong said he was surprised the gimmick worked outside of Juggalo Championship Wrestling. Kong mentioned a fake savage that he lost a booking to, and Colt said that’s just how indy wrestling works: people see something popular and try to replicate it. Kong plugged his social media and wrestling gear operation, before Colt ended the interview.
57:18 – Colt wraps up the show – Colt briefly touched on the dichotomy of booing someone in the ring, but liking them as a person outside of the ring. Colt plugged his upcoming events, thanked his fans, Kongo Kong, his tech help and sponsors. Colt brought up his shower drain still clogging, and compared his shower drain to Homicide (the wrestler), before signing off.
Score: 6.8 – After a string of stellar episodes of the Art of Wrestling, this episode was a slight step down. Some of the audio issues that plagued past episodes were back, which didn’t help. Kongo Kong seemed like a normal guy, which certainly isn’t bad, but doesn’t make for the most engrossing podcast. It was interesting to hear his thoughts on the Kongo Kong gimmick, and his story takes a much different path from many of the other wrestlers Colt has on the show.