Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat, March 6

Ryback talks candidly with the Cheap Heat crew
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: March 6, 2015
Run Time: 30:53
Guest: Ryback

Summary: Peter Rosenberg opens the show this week to report the conventional episode recorded earlier in the week was lost to technology. Instead, he offers a radio interview he conducted with Ryback. It opens with a look ahead to WrestleMania and a discussion about the ups and downs of Ryback’s WWE career. They chat about people with whom he has and hopes to cross paths with: Curtis Axel, Roman Reigns, John Cena, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar and Daniel Bryan. Rosenberg asks about Ryback’s creative gear and stories about his eating prowess. At the end Ryback talks about his relationship and a few key meetings with Vince McMahon.

Quote of the week: Ryback, on Punk: “I have no hatred for the man, and I wish him the best. I think he’s always, I will say, I’ve always given him credit that he’s a guy, he was never like a Body Guy, or anything like that, and he was told no from day one, he wasn’t going to be anything. But I feel like he’s hard-headed like me, and that he’s stubborn. When he sets his mind to something he goes and does it. And I think he’s gonna go over to UFC and I think he’s gonna train really hard and do his absolute best, and I wish him the best in all that because hopefully he does come back and then we could have some big-money matchups.”

Why you should listen: To hear both Ryback and Rosenberg be markedly different from the characters we encounter on RAW and Cheap Heat. This isn’t the first time Ryback has given an interview that should help him connect better with the snark-prone fan, but it’s a standout effort regardless. It was really great to hear of his fondness for Bryan, and he manages to be both (justifiably) defensive and modest. Rosenberg is on point, displaying a clear knowledge of his subject matter without trying to prove his fan credibility.

Why you should skip it: This episode was taped March 2 to promote that night’s RAW in New Jersey, but was released March 6 in this format, a decided departure from the conventions of Cheap Heat. There wasn’t much of anything in the means of time-sensitive material, but it was widely available online before March 6, and there’s nothing here that adds to what fans might have heard from the radio of a YouTube clip. As to the content, if you’re familiar at all with Ryback’s up-and-down WWE career, there’s a good chance you could sketch out about 95 percent of this talk.

Final thoughts: Just because something might not be brand new does not make it uninteresting. Ryback offered little in the way of revealing information, but delivered in this package it was at least interesting. Cheap Heat fans who have never encountered Rosenberg’s work outside of the podcast should most definitely give a listen, if only to understand why someone at Grantland thought he’d be a good co-host with David Shoemaker. You can skip this episode and not worry about what you miss, but it’s a quick, enjoyable chat you’ll likely enjoy having set aside a few moments to digest.