Thursday, August 6, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat, Aug. 4

The Cheap Heat crew discuss Roddy Piper among others
Photo Credit Pro Wrestling Illustrated, via
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: 8/4/15
Run Time: 1:03:26
Guest: none

Summary: Due to schedule constraints, this week the guys are recording immediately after RAW, on a less professional setup in Rosenberg's apartment. Roddy Piper obviously is the early area of focus, as all three guys mourn the loss of a legend. Shoemaker says no matter what Piper promo you pull up on YouTube, you will be hanging on every word. His acting ability is praised, as the guys agree he was different from all of his wrestling peers in that he had real nuance. Once they finish discussing Piper, Shoemaker comes to Rosenberg and Greg for help in understanding the Drake vs. Meek Mill situation, with an eventual tie-in back to the world of wrestling. They end with some talk about the events of this week's RAW, and Rosenberg's wife FaceTimes in to tell a funny story about wearing a Hulk Hogan shirt and getting called out by their apartment's black doorman.

Quote of the Week: Shoemaker - "Here's what's so amazing about Roddy Piper: He's the only wrestler in the history of wrestling for whom leaving wrestling to try to go make it in Hollywood was a babyface move. That's how much we associated ourselves with him. Anybody else goes to make a movie, we're just taught to boo that because they're leaving wrestling behind. (With Roddy), we were just like, 'Go for it. I want to see you succeed.'"

Why you should listen: Shoemaker made his name online with his "Dead Wrestler of the Week" column, where he beautifully and thoughtfully eulogized wrestlers who are no longer with us. There are few people in the world who I would trust more to put together enlightening comments about losing a person like Roddy Piper, and in this episode Shoemaker lives up to his expectations. He leads the guys through all the best intellectual points of discussion you can take in analyzing Piper's career, and the episode is a must-listen for anyone wanting to know why Piper was held in such high regard. Rosenberg is without his soundboard, so the episode has room to breathe and flow without being stopped dead in its tracks by hearing AJ Lee's music for the 80th unfunny time. Rosenberg's wife also has a great, short cameo at the end, and it would be cool to hear her occasionally pop up in the future with an anecdote about life with her husband.

Why you should skip it: I was really hoping to never know anything about that Drake vs. Meek Mill thing, but because Rosenberg is a hip-hop DJ he can't keep himself from talking about it at all times, so it inevitably comes up here on Cheap Heat. Even though they do loosely relate it to wrestling, there is way too much discussion about the intricate details of who said what and who won the beef, and we just don't care about that.

Final Thoughts: Aside from the wandering into the hip-hop world, this episode mostly stays on task and keeps it interesting. Somehow the guys always seem to excel in a more casual environment, as opposed to the studio setting. The Piper discussion is essential, and even the talk later in the episode about the current product is engaging. Shoemaker usually doesn't yell at wrestling fans, but he does in this one when he begs everyone to stop complaining about wrestlers getting "buried." A runner-up for Quote of the Week comes when Shoemaker says, "If everyone had their way, half the guys on the roster would be in the main event, and that's just not possible." It's this type of Real Talk that makes Cheap Heat the go-to podcast for fans who love the current product but aren't so jaded that they hate on every single thing happening all the time.