By Haydn Gleed, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)
It’s been well documented through my work on Prowrestling.net that I have the utmost respect for Colt Cabana and it’s not just limited to the quality matches that he has put on over his career. With all the talk over the last few weeks of Cody and The Young Bucks putting together “All In” and being the blueprint that other wrestlers should follow, I have been arguing that they have been following in Cabana’s footsteps of the true example of how a wrestler does not to be part of a corporate machine to have a successful pro wrestling career.
From being the original pro wrestler podcast host to the way he has continued to reinvent his brand and thinking outside of the box with his merchandise range and marketing, there’s no denying that for a wrestler who has very rarely been part of a major organization in his career, he has truly made himself a success through hard work.
If you don’t know what Colt Cabana has been going through over the last two weeks then you must have been living under a rock. Stemming back to the now infamous podcast back on Thanksgiving 2015 with CM Punk, he has been caught up in a defamation case brought forward by WWE physician Chris Amann relating to the most downloaded wrestling podcast of all time. Over the last two weeks, the case has been heard in court climaxing in a verdict that was delivered on Tuesday.
From a personal point of view, I’ve been following the trial through online reports partly because it could have had ramifications in terms of the way that I and colleagues write and podcast about wrestling but also because of what I felt was the injustice. A man who simply gave a friend a platform to tell his story was being put through hell to clear his name. The jury sided with Cabana and Punk.
During the trial, Cabana kept an audio diary of the events that unfolded in the court room along with his feelings on the case and released these audio clips on his Art of Wrestling podcast today. It is one of the most fascinating podcasts I’ve ever heard.
Gradually, as time is going on you hear the anguish and concern in the voice of Colt who wants to stay positive, but you can tell he is realizing that every day that goes by is a day closer to him potentially losing everything that he worked his entire life for. For a man who lives his life day to day with no pressure and doing the things that he finds fun as he confessed on this podcast, you can hear the normally upbeat Cabana wrestling with his mind and body to process what was happening while still trying to keep a positive frame of mind.
One aspect that tends to be overlooked in cases like this is the toll that a person goes through physically and mentally while dealing with the pressure. Colt described how he feels like he had flu symptoms yet also didn’t feel like he has a cold. Instead, he described how his body was fatigued and how his heartbeat became erratic at times. Anybody who has ever suffered with severe anxiety on a day to day basis can relate to this, but to hear how clearly concerned he was as someone suffering with these physical and mental ailments for the first time in real time is fascinating. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wish anxiety on anybody, but knowing that the story had a happy ending made the narration compulsive listening. I applaud Colt for allowing such an honest and personal account be released to show people the complexities and results of anxiety.
Naturally, being a real time audio journal of what is going on in the case, Colt explained what happened in court that day with details of how he saw the case progressing from his point of view. Colt explained from his lawyers point of view how his team saw how certain evidence was swaying the case and the tactics that lawyers were employing to try and turn the tide in their favor, and that is another wrinkle to the experiences he has faced.
What makes this podcast must hear is the rawness of what was said and experienced. In a world where pro wrestlers and pro wrestling are seen by uneducated people as being fake, this podcast is as real as it gets. Check it out at Soundcloud.com/coltcabana.
As always feel free to reach out to me to say hello, discuss this podcast or generally chat about wrestling. You can find me on twitter @haydngleed or via email firstname.lastname@example.org