Colt Cabana: The Wrestler who Met his Match

Colt Cabana tells us how he learned everything he knows in comedy and self-sufficiency – by watching the very worst of wrestling

Feature by James McColl | 29 Jul 2016
  • Colt Brendon

Colt Cabana is the king of DIY.

The professional wrestler has carved out a unique career, reinventing himself away from a huge corporation such as WWE. Instead he has found success on the indie wrestling scene, as well as with his podcast The Art of Wrestling, his comedy web shows Creative Has Nothing For You, Worst Promo Ever and his live shows – in which he and his guests commentate on bad wrestling.

“The DIY world has helped me live my dream," he says, "and it’s definitely been my mantra. I made the decision to make myself my own boss and the only person who could fire me is me – and I don’t plan on making that decision anytime soon."

This year, he returns with late show Brendon Burns and Colt Cabana Do Comedy and Commentary to Bad Wrestling Matches!, something that Cabana doesn’t take for granted. The Fringe, he says, "was something that I always wanted to go to as a spectator and I couldn’t believe that Brendon was going to allow me to be a part of it.

"We did the show four years ago and I think he thought it was going to be a one-off, but I had so much fun and I loved being a part of it – so much I keep on coming back.” He adds: “I mean, it’s not like I have to prepare for it; I’ve literally been preparing for it my whole life, watching bad wrestling. A lot of it's just improvised, it’s just us goofing off. Brendon likes to call it a lounge show, so it’s kind of us just hanging out, watching bad wrestling.”

For Cabana, however, the Fringe isn’t just about his own show. You can clearly hear his passion and love for the festival as he discusses it: “I’ll see as many shows as I can. I get really inspired when I go, seeing the other shows, seeing other people perform... It helps me as a performer so I try to see as many shows as I can.”

Cabana is a regular in the UK and is quick to reference old British wrestlers as both his wrestling and comedic influences. "I have such an affinity with the UK," he says. "Guys like Les Kellett and Catweazle... they were natural comedians and it was a lot of the physicality, the face pulling and also the psychology... a lot of people don’t know how much psychology there is because there’s such a science behind making people laugh. I really love that aspect of it."

What is most alluring about Cabana is his refusal to conform to being one thing. He is a wrestler, comedian, performer and artist – what's most striking about that is his ability to be all of these things at the same time. "The crossover between comedy and wrestling is something that I’ve based my career on. I feel I’ve found a really nice niche. For so long it was only the wrestling, and now you see wrestlers on television shows, reality shows... Wrestlers have YouTube channels about video games, it’s really expanding.

"I know who I am and what I am and what I represent. I love doing comedy and I love being the wrestling guy in comedy. I love inter-splicing myself into shows as the wrestler.”

Brendon Burns and Colt Cabana Do Comedy and Commentary to Bad Wrestling Matches!, Pleasance Dome (Jack), 3-28 Aug (not 15), 10.45pm, £6-10