The Art of Wrestling with Colt Cabana
Episode 310 – Luther Ward
Release Date: July 21, 2016
Report by Chris Davidson
– Luther Ward talks about his time in NXT, and bringing independent wrestling to Ireland
– Colt Cabana talks ROH and recent injuries
0:00 – Introduction
6:57 – Song of the week
10:00 – Luther Ward interview
15:48 – Luther Ward talks being a promoter
25:26 – Luther Ward talks going to WWE
35:20 – Luther Ward talks more about his WWE experience
44:45 – Luther Ward talks about life post-WWE
47:25 – Luther Ward talks about his promos
1:00:12 – Colt wraps up the show
1:03:20 – Easter Egg: Luther Ward promo
0:00 – Introduction – Colt opened the show noting that this is another “know your wrestling” episode of the podcast. Colt said he was happy to interview a representative of Ireland who is still living in Ireland. Colt mentioned Ward’s brief time in WWE Developmental, and brought up various “forgotten” wrestlers who came through WWE Developmental, including Scotty Goldman. Colt plugged his recent match for ROH against Jay Lethal, noting that he is proud of the match, but he is still in pain from the match. Colt ran down his recent string of injuries, and is thankful he has a massage chair at his apartment. Colt talked about Pat Buck’s bachelor party seeing Guns N’ Roses, where he re-aggravated his ankle. Colt was inspired by Axl Rose still performing at age 54.
6:57 – Song of the week – The song of the week this week is “Shine On, Golden Warrior” by .357 Lover.
10:00 – Luther Ward interview – Colt opened the interview praising his time in Ireland for Over the Top Wrestling. Luther Ward talked about the Irish wrestling scene, which has only been around for about 13 years. Ward said he was one of the first wrestlers in the Irish scene, alongside Sheamus and a few other guys. Ward discussed the different styles of wrestling that he was being taught, and credited Irish Whip Wrestling as the first indy promotion to run in Ireland. Colt asked about memorial shows, and told a brief story about meeting a fake Undertaker. Ward had wanted to be a promoter, but opened a school so they wouldn’t have to fly in a ring and all of the talent.
15:48 – Luther Ward talks being a promoter – Colt asked Ward about wanting to be a promoter at 16. Ward had always worked out, but only went to wrestling school because a lot of the other wrestlers were too young or weren’t good. Ward was going to wrestling shows when he was asked to help out as a promoter, and with developing a school to pad the card at shows. Colt remembered getting an invitation to train in Ireland, which Ward credited to the lack of polished wrestlers in Ireland at the time. Ward left Irish Whip and started his own company called American Wrestling Rampage that toured Europe with a lot of bigger name wrestlers, including Bret Hart. Ward talked about how wrestling was getting really hot in France for about three years, and he was able to get successful quickly. Ward said that he prefers promoting to wrestling, and talked about the differences between wrestlers who care and those who don’t. Ward tries to make sure his locker room knows they have to work hard or they won’t be successful.
25:26 – Luther Ward talks going to WWE – Colt pointed out that Ward isn’t the typical type of wrestler WWE looks at, comparing him to Sheamus. Once European shows started failing to make money, Ward and his girlfriend (Rachelle St. Clair) decided to try to make it to WWE. Once his girlfriend was signed, Ward worked for about a year to get signed by WWE, while continuing to travel around Europe plying his craft. Ward discussed lifting weights, which he said it typically when he gets injured, rather than in the ring. Ward told a story about going to the gym with Scott Steiner, which led to him talking about Steiner’s workout video. Ward talked about the various wrestlers he was in developmental with, and said that Steiner had calmed down a lot by the time he knew him. Colt asked about hard weight lifting, which Ward mentioned was done at the Performance Center. Colt noted that he’s not a weight lifter, and Ward noted that when he broke into wrestling, you were supposed to be, but that attitude is changing.
35:20 – Luther Ward talks more about his WWE experience – Colt mentioned that Ward didn’t have the best experience in WWE Developmental. Ward started talking about the difficulties in WWE training, but specifically moving from Ireland to America. Ward had to rehome his dog and got rid of all his possessions, aside from three suitcases he brought to America. Ward mentioned that he was a bit of a hoarder, and talked about the hoarding mentality. Ward believes he was so focused on being prepared for WWE, he didn’t take the time to prepare mentally for all the changes he would be facing. Ward mentioned his brother getting into MMA, which led to a segue about the trends of MMA and Affliction clothing. Colt asked if Ward got fired or quit WWE. Ward said that it depends how you look at it, but he never played the game that others did, and he got released. Ward noted that the worst part of getting released was potentially upsetting his family, but he was relieved to be gone from WWE. Ward talked about the tipping point, when he was getting heat for someone else being injured and not telling anyone until the match was about to take place. Ward cussed out management and was let go two days later.
44:45 – Luther Ward talks about life post-WWE – Colt asked what the plan was when he left WWE. Ward talked about the bump in indy bookings, and about spending some time seeing Florida and Disneyworld before he went home. Once Ward got back to Ireland, he had the idea of running a promotion for an 18+ audience. Colt talked about the rise in “adult” wrestling promotions that help older audiences get back into wrestling, and Ward plugged cheap beer at his shows.
47:25 – Luther Ward talks about his promos – Colt brought up Ward’s “amazing” promos, and compared them to promos that bare knuckle fighters put out. Ward said he cuts his promos in real way, which seems like he’s sending for his opponent to come fight him. Ward developed the promos in NXT, where Dusty Rhodes wanted him to develop them to their fullest potential. Ward said the Byron Saxton told him that Dusty didn’t know he was going to be fired, because Dusty had started to invest in Ward. Ward said that he was doing promos that were different from everyone else, which helped contribute to his success. Ward praised the wrestlers in the background of his promos for helping take his promos to another level. Ward discussed the current process of using YouTube to grow a wrestler’s fan base, even if they are never on TV or wrestling in the country. Colt said that his generation knew they needed to be on TV to be famous, but wrestlers now know that they need to be on the Internet to be famous. Ward touched on DVDs becoming obsolete, before plugging his social media, as well as Over the Top Wrestling’s social media, and ending the interview.
1:00:12 – Colt wraps up the show – Colt briefly plugged Over the Top’s upcoming events. Colt plugged his upcoming events, thanked his fans, Ethan Page, his tech help and sponsor. Colt teased a houseguest he will be having next.
1:03:20 – Easter Egg: Luther Ward promo – Colt played one of Luther Ward’s promos.
Score: 8.1 – Luther Ward was great to listen to. I hadn’t heard much about him, so it was very interesting to hear his story. I really enjoyed hearing the promotion side of things, and about bringing indy wrestling to Ireland. Ward’s didn’t have any crazy stories from his time in NXT, but he didn’t seem bitter or upset about his time there, even though it ended poorly. I would recommend this episode for anyone into indy wrestling or wresting around the world.