Ring of Honor star Colt Cabana recently sat down with James Contrino of The Void to discuss pro-wrestling, comedy, and being the ultimate underdog his entire life. Some highlights include:
Colt on figuring out his character: "I remember specifically wrestling AJ Styles on a show. AJ at the time, probably 2004 or 2005, was known as one of the greatest, most amazing wrestlers. His nickname was the Phenomenal. We got the biggest reaction on the card, because I watched the whole card. The biggest reaction was when I tripped AJ, he fell, and the crowd laughed. That was a big day in my career. I realized, maybe I was trying to be someone I’m not? Maybe I can try to be something else that is just as successful?"
Colt on the Scotty Goldman character: "I’m allowed to make fun of [my time in the WWE], but I get mad when other people do, which is another thing all its own. If anyone ever says the name Scotty Goldman to me, I want to beat the living shit out of them [...] I was supposed to be Colt Cabana when I came to the WWE, in name at least. Who knows, it could have been a writer giving me a paper-bag and saying, “this is your sense of humor,” and then making me cut a promo on the Great Khali. I’m sure it would have all ended up the same. I know this wasn’t your question, but it’s almost like things came out that way; that this is what it evolved to. For me to overcome all of that, the way I have, it wouldn’t have worked if I wasn’t so awful in WWE. People expected so much and so little came from it. Nobody blamed me, which is the fun part of it. None of the fans blamed me. They saw what happened. A lot of people gave me sympathy."
On his last dark match with WWE, and still not being in the WWE: "Yeah, it was a dark match, or I guess you could call it a try-out match. It just helps fuel my story of being an underdog, do-it-yourself, nobody wants him, outcast of wrestling. I’m proud of being the next generation’s Abdullah the Butcher or Bruiser Brody, but not a hardcore psychopath, just the complete opposite. I did the match, everybody loved me, but for some reason, I don’t know what it is, the management doesn’t want me on their team – which is okay, because I love what I’m doing. But, there’s always this little part of me that was upset how Scotty Goldman turned out and really wants to right this wrong. Maybe I feel like this next one would go better than the first one came out, but it probably wouldn’t. I mean, I’m a kid who grew up watching the WWF, knowing that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life. As much success as I’m having with all these other projects, I’m still fighting to get there, I guess."
Colt on his new relationship with Jamie Kennedy: "Jamie Kennedy and I have come together. We’ve put together a deal to work with each other to distribute wrestling related movies and projects. It’s all based on the success of the Wrestling Road Diaries, the movie I made, and to see if there’s a market outside of WWE. Jamie is a very smart businessman. He’s an out-of-the-box thinker, which is why he’s so successful with his projects; you know, like, the Jamie Kennedy [Experiment], and his movies [...] It’s basically two out-of-the-box thinkers coming together, and he has the reach to a lot of people that I don’t have the reach to. It’s the same thing, as I would have done in WWE, but WWE doesn’t want me. [...] I told Jamie Kennedy that some of the guys on Raw every week have 30 or 40,000 Twitter followers and they’re on TV every week, but I have almost double them despite never being on TV. I am simply a guy who lost four shitty matches on WWE television. It says something, I don’t know what it is, but it says something."
On Comedians Being Bigger Influences than Wrestlers: "These guys are huge influences on me, the comedians, more than wrestlers. I really shape my career path through comedians rather than wrestlers. I don’t know why I do it, but I’m drawn to it. Marc Maron is a guy who started a podcast and has documented on his podcast that the comedy community shunned him. He couldn’t sell out any place, he wasn’t getting booked anywhere, and now he’s one of the bigger acts on the comedy circuit. Which is the same with Louis CK and his model of the $5 comedy special. Like I said, Eddie Pepitone, with his YouTube show influencing mine, and the Sklar Brothers who had a show called Cheap Seats, which is essentially Five Dollar Wrestling."
James Contrino is a writer for The Void (http://www.the-void.co.uk) and a co-host on the popular wrestling podcast Breaking Kayfabe (@BreakingKayfabe). Follow James @jmcontrino and The Void @thevoidwebsite.