Tuesday, November 25, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat with Mike Tyson

Tyson was the guest this week
Photo Credit: WWE.com
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: Nov. 20, 2014
Run Time: 1:02:47
Guest: Mike Tyson (17:09)

Summary: David Shoemaker opens the show by discussing his Grantland interview with Seth Rollins, which leads into a bit of talk about the final episode of RAW before Survivor Series. Seemingly at random, Peter Rosenberg takes a phone call from Mike Tyson, and the guys interview him for about 15 minutes about his boxing career, wrestling fandom and future plans. After that chat they talk up the triple threat Intercontinental Title match from the Nov. 14 Smackdown, preview the Survivor Series card and tackle the Kayfabe question of the week.

Quote of the week: “I wasn’t prepared for (losing). You know, I watched films all my life, and I watched fighters better than myself lose. But the thing about losing — losing is a process, it’s a learning experience. In life, in school. But I came back, I came back and won. But the reality of it is, losing is preparing us for life. At the end of the day we’re going to lose. We’re going to lose our hair, we’re going to lose people that we love, our friends, our mothers. And then eventually we’re going to die. So at the end of the game we’re all losers. In the material world, we may win. But in the big sphere of this game, at the end, it’s over.”

Why you should listen: The Tyson interview is actually pretty great. He’s clearly a longtime, legitimate wrestling fan, and although it’s a little out there to consider him doing any serious work with the company right now, entertaining the notion is a fun diversion. Beyond that, the early discussion of Rollins and the heaps of praise for the Smackdown triple threat put lie to the notion the hosts only care about the main event scene of the only show in town.

Why you should skip it: Obviously anyone who doesn’t care for Mike Tyson should take a pass — his call is basically a lovefest. The show came out before Survivor Series, but it didn’t add much in terms of anticipation for the event, certainly nothing Shoemaker devotees hadn’t already ascertained from reading his preview.

Final thoughts: As Cheap Heat episodes go, this one falls on the positive side — or at least the less bad side. The Tyson interview sort of reset Rosenberg toward the more listener-friendly aspects of his personality, during and after, and most anything that gets the talk away from the current week of WWE TV is welcome. Obviously at this point the RAW recap and Survivor Series are outdated, but they were scarcely essential listening before the pay-per-view. Still, there’s decent stuff herein, so it’s not a bad listen, especially if your normal podcasts dry up a bit during a holiday week.