The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Episode 307 – R.J. City
Release Date: June 30, 2016
Report by Chris Davidson
– R.J. City discusses combining wrestling and entertainment
– Colt Cabana recaps his recent Pride Week experience in Ireland
0:00 – Introduction
7:41 – Song of the week
11:41 – R.J. City interview
17:07 – R.J. City talks about breaking out as a wrestler
26:34 – R.J. City talks getting in to wrestling
34:36 – R.J. City talks acting
42:57 – R.J. City talks about drama school and the philosophy of wrestling
50:46 – R.J. City talks his future
1:00:24 – Colt wraps up the show
0:00 – Introduction – Colt opened the show joking that he’s a man with Irish pride, even though he’s Jewish. Colt plugged the Howl app for episodes older than six months. Colt talked up R.J. City as someone who is trying to break through in wrestling. Colt claimed Kevin Nash also thinks City is a star in the making. Colt talked about his recent travels in Ireland, and attending a rave during Pride Week. Colt joked about all his money losing value due to the “U.K. splitting” during his time there.
7:41 – Song of the week – The song of the week this week is “WrestleMania III” by Cheap Pop.
11:41 – R.J. City interview – Both men started the interview joking around about swallowing gum when they are finished with it. R.J. City told Colt he stole some of his spots when he was starting in wrestling, but compared it to being in a band. Colt also compared stealing spots to borrowing a comedian’s cadence when you start out, and thought it was weird to steal spots from someone who isn’t on TV. City talked about illegally downloading wrestling videos when he was a teenager, and that about half of them were Sid breaking his leg. Colt said he couldn’t watch that, or some other gruesome injuries that are often on wrestling compilation videos. City briefly talked about antiquing.
17:07 – R.J. City talks about breaking out as a wrestler – City aid he psyched himself out when he was about to do the interview with Colt because he saw Colt has had a lot of great guests, specifically singling out Scott Norton. Colt called City important because he is someone who no one knows, and Colt wants to use his platform to introduce him to a wider wrestling audience. Colt then asked if City thinks about not being able to break through in wrestling. They argued with Colt said that City had “it,” and Colt said that City is a good wrestler. Colt asked about the match City just had. City said that it was with two people he had never wrestled, and it was similar to kissing someone for the first time, where you have to figure out how to kiss them successfully. City lamented the lack of opportunity to make the match better in the future, since he won’t be in the same spot again, and briefly mentioned doing comedy shows when he isn’t wrestling. City said that when he was a kid, he saw wrestling and comedy, such as the Muppet Show, as the same thing, since they are both designed to please an audience. City credited his comedy for helping him cut promos in wrestling, and discussed the connection between comedy and wrestling. City talked about an improv game he plays while wrestling, where fans call out fake moves, such as the Canadian Lawnmower, and the wrestlers make it up on the spot.
26:34 – R.J. City talks getting in to wrestling – City said he first found a wrestling school while visiting his uncle at age 12. Colt was excited to hear that the trainer/promoter at the school was John Rambo. City credited his parents for letting him indulge his inner wrestling fan. City talked about doing old comedy routines as a child, and having his hobbies listed on his childhood hockey card as “wrestling/entertaining.” City circled back to seeing shows at Rambo’s school, and his distinct memories of seeing Dorian Deville (Luke Gallows), and being allowed to roll around in the ring like a child. City told a story of everyone getting into kayfabe when a stranger would come in, but they did not keep kayfabe for him. City started training in “grade 12” in Canada, when he turned 18, before milling around working the area.
34:36 – R.J. City talks acting – Colt asked about City’s appearance on a Nickelodeon show, “Splatalot,” which City clarified was co-produced by multiple channels aside from Nickelodeon. City called the show a kid’s version of “American Gladiators” where he gets to insult children. City got the job fresh out of college, around the same time he was cast in a movie called “Monster Brawl.” City talked about a few other movies, web series, and TV shows he has appeared on. City said that he got some bookings from “Splatalot,” but he often wasn’t marketed very well. City was given a “Gorilla Position” for season two where he was feeding lines to the other competitors. City talked about getting a dream role, and how rare that can be.
42:57 – R.J. City talks about drama school and the philosophy of wrestling – City went into his drama school, where he studied culture and entertainment, and wrote all of his papers on pro wrestling. City mentioned the lack of good academic study on wrestling, where most academics look down on wrestling. City asked Colt what exactly the “art of wrestling” is. Colt mentioned Roland Barthes writing on wrestling, and City commented that if a wrestling show is just people hitting each other, it is failing. Both men discussed the love of wrestling, and people bringing new fans to shows because of what they are doing.
City brought up the “Rock ‘n’ Wrestling” era, specifically Blondie and Andy Warhol being in to wrestling, and wondered how wrestling can get back to the point where it is accepted by culture at large. Colt brought up PWG, ICW in Scotland, and Lucha Va Voom as trendier outlets, but said there’s a difference between drawing 1,000 and 40,000 people to shows. City compared WWE to Starbucks, but said that Starbucks isn’t the only type of coffee, just like WWE isn’t the only type of wrestling. Colt asked if City had been told he looks like a WWE guy, which City believes is because he is good at playing to the camera and very entertainment oriented. Colt credited this to not having an “indy moveset,” but still telling a great story in the ring. Colt circled back to City not being able to break out on the indy scene. City called himself an “obscure fellow,” but said he can succeed if given the room to get what he needs to get to perform. City said he isn’t sure what he wants to do as far as wrestling and entertainment are concerned, but he may be able to combine his skills into something new.
50:46 – R.J. City talks his future – City brought up a movie he was in called “The Masked Saint” where he was able to bond with Roddy Piper. Piper gave him a lot of small bits of advice, and City realized that as long as he’s enjoying himself, he can keep moving on. City mentioned wanting to potentially do a TV show about wrestling, but some entertainment can only be done in a wrestling ring. Colt asked if there was anything else City covered in his head that he wants to mention. City said he hopes the episode is good, and talked about being into old comedians, including his current “Don Knotts kick.” Colt mentioned getting into comedy because “Saturday Night Live” would come on TV instead of “Saturday Night Main Event.” City briefly talked about “SCTV” before plugging his social media and signing off.
1:00:24 – Colt wraps up the show – Colt sang a little bit of “Luck be a Lady” and told listeners to remember they heard about City before he got big. Colt plugged his upcoming events, thanked his fans, R.J. City, his tech help and sponsors before signing off.
Score: 8.5 – I didn’t know RJ City before hearing this episode, and now I’m glad I’ve heard his story. While he didn’t get too in depth about his background, he was very fascinating to listen to. Many of Colt’s guests are very passionate, but don’t seem to have much of a life outside of wrestling. R.J. City is not one of these guests. The discussion of pre wrestling as an art form that dipped into the philosophy behind wrestling was great, and really helped differentiate this episode from other episodes with little-known wrestlers from around the world.