Monday, October 20, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat w/Chris Jericho

Jericho joined the boys this past episode
Photo Credit:
If you're new, here's the rundown: I listen to a handful of wrestling podcasts each week. Too many, probably, though certainly not all of them. In the interest of saving you time — in case you have the restraint to skip certain episodes — the plan is to give the bare bones of a given show and let you decide if it’s worth investing the time to hear the whole thing. There are better wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but these are the ones in my regular rotation that I feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If I can save other folks some time, I'm happy to do so.

Show: Cheap Heat
Episode: Oct. 16, 2014
Run Time: 1:16:17
Guest: Chris Jericho

Summary: The show opens with a 50-minute in-studio interview with Chris Jericho, who is promoting his most recent book. Jericho explains juggling his Fozzy obligations with WWE opportunities, his working relationship with Vince McMahon, his early days in both WWF and WCW, the feud with Shawn Michaels that ultimately elevated his career, his desire to keep being one of the guys, CM Punk’s departure and Jericho’s approach to life as an “entertainer.” After Jericho leaves, Shoemaker and Rosenberg take a look at this week’s RAW and discuss Rosenberg’s upcoming trip to Japan.

Quote of the week: On his months-long story with Shawn Michaels: “We just kept rolling with this thing and it really was catching steam and people were really getting into it because I was such an asshole and he was such a good babyface, it was the perfect mix. And plus we cared, we had creative minds, we had imagination, we had experience, we had reputation, we had the ear of the boss, who knew that we had ideas that he could trust, so it’s one of those things I don’t know if it will ever happen again because it was just this perfect mix. When I punched his wife in the face for real, that’s what took it from another feud to a legendary story that people thought was real.”

Why you should listen: As the hosts note after he leaves, Jericho is somewhat above the rules in regards to being able to discuss openly certain backstage stories and names without repercussion. He’s had a hall of fame career and has stories about nearly any big name you can envision, and though 50 minutes is only scratching the surface, the hosts do a decent job of trying to cover a lot of ground while also letting certain topics breathe enough to satisfy the listeners’ curiosity.

Why you should skip it: Can you handle Jericho comparing himself to George Harrison (in contrast to the Rock and Steve Austin as Lennon and McCartney)? No bones about it, Chris Jericho is a huge fan of Chris Jericho. While Rosenberg’s heel act is muted this week, there’s no shortage of Y2J’s worldview. One Jericho leaves the studio, feel free to move on to another activity. The guys seem to feel obligated to discuss RAW each week, though they rarely have much to add to the discourse given their show drops three days later.

Final thoughts: If you’re not a Talk Is Jericho listener and haven’t read his books (I don’t and haven’t) a lot of this will be uncharted territory. Jericho is a lot like Steve Austin and Mick Foley in terms of his longevity and the number of people he’s worked with over the years, but with the benefit of being in WCW near the start of the nWo era and also actively working on WWE shows as recently as a few weeks ago. I’d really like to know what Shoemaker could do in a two-hour sitdown with Jericho, especially if Jericho could fully break himself out of promotional mode, but this episode was about as close to the best-case scenario for the mix of the three personalities and the setting. Cheap Heat haters might not be moved off their platform, and the same could be said for anyone experiencing Jericho fatigue. But go in with an open mind and it’s pretty solid.