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WRITTEN PODCAST RECAP: X-Pac 1,2,360 w/ Jeff Cobb on the unsung heroes of Lucha Underground, the ramifications of punching through glass in a match, whether he’d ever go to WWE (Ep. 39)

X-Pac 1,2,360

Guest: Jeff Cobb

Release Date: May 31, 2017

Recap by: Christopher Gaspare

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Top Newsworthy Items

-Next Get High Watch Wrestling show is June 21.

-Cobb’s ring style is influenced by Taz and Kurt Angle.

-Jeff Cobb would “entertain” an offer from WWE but is focused on getting to Japan.

Timestamps

00:00: Show introduction and crew discusses Get High Watch Wrestling 2
13:28: The group discusses Smackdown’s women’s roster and the highlights of Raw and Smackdown
38:58: Sponsor Ad
39:28: Jeff Cobb talks about getting started in the business
48:21: Cobb explains problems with wearing a mask and the origin of his moveset
1:00:29: Cobb talks WrestleMania weekend and staying in shape during his career
1:06:39: Cobb discusses punching through glass on Lucha and tells who the Lucha unsung heroes are
1:13:33: Cobb discusses shoot wrestling style, Matt Riddle, and Kurt Angle
1:26:03: Cobb and X-Pac discuss planning out matches and Cobb offers up his favorite opponents
1:33:05: Cobb lists his career goals and the possibility of WWE in his future

Show Highlights

Show introduction and crew discusses Get High Watch Wrestling 2

X-Pac is joined this week by Jimbo, Bill Hanstock from Uproxx.com again, and Jonny Loquasto. TK Trinidad was involved in a car accident this past week but was not injured. Best wishes to her and hopefully she is well. This past Friday was Get High Watch Wrestling 2. They played some brief clips from the show with Ron Funches telling jokes and X-Pac talking about Lula. The next show will be on June 21st and will be GLOW-themed to coincide with the Kenji Johan Netflix series release. They discussed the show briefly and how, unfortunately, the show won’t feature the characters that were in the original GLOW and how everybody had a crush on a different GLOW wrestler. X-Pac said that GLOW was important to the current product as WWE uses some of the “campy comedy” and the backstage segments that were popularized there. They wrapped up by discussing which comedians they might get for the show and the possibility of finding a female comedian.

The group discusses Smackdown’s women’s roster and the highlights of Raw and Smackdown

The group discussed the women’s Money in the Bank match announced this past week. The possibility of adding another woman to the match, particularly Lana, was raised, and X-Pac said he thinks wrestling is “not the right thing for her,” and he’s told her so. However, she’s been training for years going back to the FCW days and has a “great work ethic,” according to X-Pac, so she wants to make a go of it. Jimbo expressed his disappointment in WWE parting ways with Eva Marie who he says was also “passionate about wrestling” and was great a drawing heat. They predicted who would win the Money in the Bank match, and the candidates were Charlotte, Natalya, and Carmella. They moved onto general conversation about Smackdown and questioned the decision to have A.J. Styles lose in his hometown and how the trope is becoming overused. The Breezango segments were praised, and X-Pac said they reminded him of “Fuji Vice for 2017.” However, he doesn’t see them winning the titles unless it is for a week in a feel-good moment. The Hardys match with Sheamus and Cesaro is discussed briefly before the conversation turned to Anthem and Matt Hardy’s feud over the Broken gimmick again. X-Pac said he understood why Matt wanted to fight for this despite understanding the legalities. Finally, they discussed how unfortunate Tommaso Ciampa’s injury is. Loquasto explained the different types of ACL injuries, but it is unclear how severe the ACL tear is right now.

Jeff Cobb talks about getting started in the business  

Jeff Cobb had a deep love of wrestling and said Hulk Hogan got him into wrestling like he did many others. He was born in Hawaii. After some family financial struggles, the family moved into his maternal grandmother’s house in Guam. X-Pac mentioned that he wrestled there was, and Cobb said he was at the show. Cobb started his amateur career when he was a freshman in high school because he thought amateur wrestling was professional wrestling – he didn’t know the difference. He had invested a lot of money in buying the shoes though and stuck with it; he would later go on to represent Guam in amateur wrestling in the 2004 Olympics and be a flagbearer for the country. He was trained in professional wrestling by Oliver John in Sacramento. He wrestled in Hawaii but knew he wouldn’t get noticed there and started wrestling more on the mainland. PWG is where his recognition really started, he claimed. Even though he’s been on Lucha Underground as Matanza, many people still don’t know it’s him under the mask.

Cobb explains problems with wearing a mask and the origin of his moveset

Cobb was initially bummed about wrestling under a mask but has become more comfortable with it. He does say it’s very hot and hard to breathe under the mask especially because the Temple is already hot as is. X-Pac complimented Cobb on his suplexes saying that they can come from anywhere and seem to “break the laws of physics.” Cobb credits his love of suplexes to Taz and Kurt Angle because he always loved the “low center of gravity guys.” He couldn’t explain how he comes up with all the different variations of suplexes he performs but credits his ability to do so on his “farmer’s strength.” When he tries to explain to other wrestlers who have never seen his style and they don’t understand, he simply tells them, “Just relax. I’ll take care of you.” He initially started with a shooting star press from the top rope as his finisher, but a friend used to use the reverse-spin scoop powerslam but didn’t want to do it anymore, so Cobb asked if he could use it. It eventually became his finisher, Tour of the Islands. He was told Erick Rowan used something similar to the move on Smackdown recently, and Cobb didn’t mind: “Every move is a variation of another move, so I don’t take it personally.” He didn’t think his strength would be enough to execute the move on Keith Lee, but his adrenaline kicked in to help. He said wrestling Keith Lee was an interesting experience though because he wasn’t used to getting tossed around the ring, but even though he got “a little scared,” it was still “super fun.”

Cobb talks Wrestlemania weekend and staying in shape during his career

Cobb was asked about Wrestlemania weekend. He said he wanted the “full exposure” to the weekend, so he didn’t overload himself with bookings and only took five. Four of them were in the hotel he was staying at, which he enjoyed because he could be in his hotel room showering within ten minutes. He was also asked about his physical conditioning when getting into wrestling and how it has changed. He was in the best shape of his life coming out of college, so the physical transition was easy for him, but the psychology of wrestling was what was hard. He has gained 60 or 70 pounds over the years, which he “blames” WWE for because he was told they wanted him heavier, so he started to do more weight lifting and less cardio. He is happy not to have to worry about cutting weight anymore though. When he was in high school, he and his friends used to wear garbage bags and run to sweat and cut weight. He’s glad now that they have stricter rules for high school students and hydration tests that keep them safer.

Cobb discusses punching through glass on Lucha and tells who the Lucha unsung heroes are

Cobb was asked about putting his hand through a glass window, which Cobb jokingly referred to as “Goldberging” himself, during a Death Match with Dragon Azteca Jr. Cobb admitted it was a mistake and joked that it worked in the Karate Kid so he figured it would work there. They did offer him gimmicked glass, but he refused. The match had to be stopped, and they reshoot the match two weeks later after he was cleared. He avoided any tendons with the cut, so the injury was not as severe as Goldberg’s. He was then asked if there were any unsung heroes at Lucha Underground, and he talked about the production team, specifically the costume crew. X-Pac mentioned that it was one of the great pieces of advice that Curt Hennig gave him early in his career was to get to know the production team “because they help make you a star” and are never given recognition. In terms of his costuming, the production team initially showed him an outfit that consisted of the Matanza mask with cargo pants and a singlet, similar he said to Braun Strowman’s outfit, and he didn’t like it, which ended up them creating what he wears now.

Cobb discusses shoot wrestling style, Matt Riddle, and Kurt Angle

When asked about Matt Riddle, his one-word answer is “natural.” He said that Riddle picked up the business quick and he is amazed by “how fast he’s excelled.” He likes wrestling Riddle because of the “realistic style” of matches they have, and Riddle is comfortable with calling 95% of the match in the ring which he appreciates. He would wrestle Riddle every day if he could. X-Pac complimented their chemistry, and Cobb said that he and Riddle are best friends, but he’s “super cool” and they have the same goal. He was close to wrestling Kurt Angle in 2015 before an injury took him out then again this year before Angle signed with WWE. He had really looked forward to wrestling Kurt since he was a legend. Cobb said that Angle is “one of the few things I enjoy on Raw.” The conversation turned back around to wrestling a shoot style again, and his recent match against former UFC star Josh Barnett is brought up. Cobb said that Barnett “just gets it” and he’s been fairly successful so far wrestling in places like New Japan where Cobb would “love to go one day.” Cobb said he loves wrestling a shoot style, but not many can do it. He trains often with Timothy Thatcher and JR Kratos and practices the style with them. He also mentioned that Riddle taught him a dozen submission moves, but because he doesn’t use them, he only remembers one. When asked how he feels needs more exposure in the business, Cobb said there are a lot of UK wrestlers but didn’t offer specifics. In America, he mentioned JR Kratos, who WWE has been looking at for a couple years, and Keith Lee. X-Pac said he likes Lee a lot and recently talked to him backstage, giving him advice on improving his punches.  

Cobb and X-Pac discuss planning out matches and Cobb offers up his favorite opponents

X-Pac asked Cobb if he preferred calling the match in the ring or planning them out ahead of time. Cobb said he’s “good either way.” However, he doesn’t like to work the same match over again, even though he’s done it, and likes to work based off the fan reaction, so he prefers to call the match in the ring. He still often uses “bullet points” in the match, but if the fans don’t care, he likes the freedom to change on the fly. He wanted to call his first Lucha Underground match in the ring, but Chavo Guerrero explained to him that it is television and they can’t let them call the entire match in the ring because they need to pick up moves on specific camera angles, so Cobb has been learning all of that part of the business. When asked about his best Lucha Underground matches and who he likes working with, he mentioned Mil Muertes because he likes his “physical style.” He also mentioned Willie Mack, Cage, and Ricochet. He says someone “can’t have a bad match with him.” He also said that it was “an honor” to wrestle Rey Mysterio Jr. and “he’s so good at what he does.” He does less in the ring now than he used to, but said that everything he does matters and that sometimes less is more. X-Pac mentioned again that there’s a style you used to get over and a style you use when you are over.

Cobb lists his career goals and the possibility of WWE in his future

Cobb said his goals right now are to work in Japan. He thinks his “style would work” plus some have compared him to Gary Albright although he joked that he’s shorter than Albright and couldn’t pull off a mullet. If WWE came to him, he “wouldn’t rule out” working for them and would “entertain” the offer. Cobb is happy with his earnings right now as he is usually wrestling three shows a week on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. He isn’t working his second job as a security guard at a high school, so he has more time for working out and sleeping when he wants, which he feels his body appreciates. He is having the “time of [his] life traveling.” He will wrestle Rey Mysterio Jr. at a charity show this weekend in the main event.

Score and Review (8/10)

The interview this week was informative and provided an interesting look at a young up-and-comer on the independent scene, Jeff Cobb. X-Pac and Jimbo deserve a lot of credit for making this interview work with persistent follow-up questions as Cobb was in the habit of giving brief, politic, and sometimes vague answers to questions. Their interviewing though seemed to make Cobb more comfortable and turned the interview around to get some great conversation about calling matches in the ring, shoot wrestling, and his moveset. The free-flowing discussion of the past week’s events on Raw and Smackdown was a much more interesting listen than the usual predetermined news segments, although having a four people – X-Pac, Jimbo, and two guests – muddled the conversation a little.

About Chris

Chris Gaspare is a teacher from Maryland who has been watching wrestling since 1989 when he saw his first WCW Saturday Night episode and quickly rented as many NWA and WWF VHS tapes he could find in local stores. He also attended Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and early ECW shows in Philadelphia, which really kicked his fandom into high gear. He lapsed in the mid-2000s, but returned to the wrestling fold a few years ago.

For more, check out last week’s recap of X-Pac 1,2,360.

 

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