Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat April 1

Banks was part of the interview cavalcade on Cheap Heat
Photo Credit: WWE.com
If you’re new, here’s the rundown: We 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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we’re happy to do so.

Show: Cheap Heat
Episode: “Exile on Mania Street” (April 1, 2016)
Run Time: 2:01:15
Guests: New Day (1:25); AJ Styles (22:02); Samoa Joe (44:44); Sasha Banks (56:45); Bray Wyatt (1:13:40).

Summary: It’s radio row week at WrestleMania, and Peter Rosenberg, David Shoemaker and Stat Guy Greg are hauling in WWE stars for interviews. Interspersed is a bit of talk about the social aspects of WrestleMania week in Dallas, a drop in from Bryan Diperstein and predictions about what will happen at TakeOver and the main event itself.

Quote of the week: Banks: “People are buying tickets to come see the women perform, and I just think that speaks volumes about how far we’ve come. Even going to the stadium and seeing our picture front and center, in the middle, I was just like, this — this is crazy. I’m part of history right now. But that’s always been my dream, to change the definition of what it is to be a Diva, because growing up I didn’t have the role models, I looked at them like, ‘I don’t look nothing like them, I don’t want to be in Playboy, I don’t want to do lingerie matches, I want to be a wrestler.’ So that’s why I looked at Eddie Guerrero and I wanted to be the female version of him.”

Why you should listen: The Banks and Wyatt interviews are the best of the bunch, which is not to say the other segments are booty. Love or hate how Wyatt’s been used on television since hitting the main roster, he remains a deeply thoughtful performer, entrenched in the business willing to share everything from passion for the influence of Dusty Rhodes to a story about how he and Luke Harper nearly ran out of gas in nowhere, Louisiana — nearly all within the context of his character. The Styles and Joe chats trend toward predictability, but given the fact neither would get to discuss TNA in a corporate environment, this may as close as you’ll get to being able to hear some of those thoughts.

Why you should skip it: This particular episode was in need of a producer and editor. The social aspects and WrestleMania predictions are in line with what you’d expect from Cheap Heat, but they deserved their own, ordered segment instead of being tucked in between interviews with the remained tacked on to the end. When Rosenberg spends time explaining how he’s trying to simultaneously interview Bernie Sanders for his radio show, you wonder why anyone in charge left that stuff remain. Cut the crap, slot everything into segments and you’ve got a tighter, more enjoyable show.

Final thoughts: Perhaps I want too much from a free podcast. Obviously there was a desire to push the show as soon as possible to maximize the freshness factor. While I listened on my drive north to Milwaukee for WrestleMania, the interviews are still going to be great listens after the fact. I suggest hitting the time stamps for each interview and catching every word — the rest of the show can be discarded after the good stuff is devoured.