During a recent interview on “Insight with Chris Van Vliet,” Colt Cabana talked about how he got to All Elite Wrestling after working for Ring Of Honor:
“I was with Ring of Honor. There were some things politically happening just in general. I got to the point with Ring of Honor where I was like, I think my time is done. They were really focusing me on being a commentator. I still felt I had good wrestling years left. I felt I was just going there, not to collect a check, because I love working with Ian. Ian Riccaboni is so good. I don’t know if he gets the credit he deserves. He’s amazing. I have a great respect for commentators like Ian, like Kevin Kelly, like Excalibur, and Tom Phillips is another one who I did a tryout with in 2013, who can retain the information.
I felt that I was just going there to go there. I liked commentating, but I wanted to wrestle. I made the decision and I told the powers to be. At the same time, I got a really good spot with New Japan. This is when me and Yano started kicking off. I said, ‘I think I’m going to focus more on New Japan and the independents.’ I told the Bucks, ‘Hey, here’s my situation. I’m out there. If it’s something you want, I’m there. If it’s not, no big deal. I’m just letting you know that I’m free and I’m roaming around.’ The Bucks went right to Tony and they all had a meeting. They were like, ‘Yea, of course. You’re a lot of the reason why a lot of this is happening. We want you on board. However we can use you, we want to use you.’
I knew right away that I was not there to be the Jon Moxley of the promotion, but Matt Jackson said something like, ‘We just want your brain around.’ So, they’ve used me in the aspect of a wrestler. I’m also a coach/producer there. I help with AEW Dark. We have great coaches. We have these coaches who have been around for years in different systems, but I think it’s important that this was all built around The Bucks, Kenny, Cody, and Hangman, that era of independent wrestling, something that I’ve been around for so long. To have a mind from that era to help with the wrestlers, and obviously, I’m not near a Dean Malenko, an Arn Anderson, or a Billy Gunn. I don’t have their experiences, but I do have the experiences that they don’t have of the grind on the independent scene, and that kind of new, modern style of wrestling.
Doing that, and being around, and helping young wrestlers, and being a player within The Dark Order, just being around, it’s been great. Matt said, ‘We want you around. It’s important.’ I feel it’s important to be around, and when I’m around it feels important. I’m with my friends. We’re making art. I help within this art. I can help young wrestlers, and also I can help old wrestlers who might not understand this new era of wrestling. I think it’s important that AEW keeps to the new era. Kenny Omega is our champion at the time that this is going out. It’s important to represent this era of professional wrestling. I think that’s important, and I think we’re doing a great job. I hadn’t signed a contract since the WWE one where I signed for 50% less than I was making in my whole career. Then I signed a contract. A month later, the world shuts down and independent wrestling stops. What a sign that was, if it was a sign. I don’t believe in a higher power, but if I did, he, she, them, they, were helping me out.”
Cabana talked about much more during the interview including his time with WWE and his new podcast. Click below to check out the full interview.
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Chris Van Vliet with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription. Also, be sure to subscribe to “Insight with Chris Van Vliet” on your mobile device by clicking here if you have an iOS device or here on your Android device.