Friday, May 6, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat May 4

Jim Ross guests on Cheap Heat this week
Photo Credit:
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: May 4, 2016
Run Time: 1:10:47
Guest: Kaz (0:53); Jim Ross (17:48)

Summary: Kaz is in studio with Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg, and they spend 15 minutes going over Ryback’s Tumblr post before talking about WWE releasing Rich Brennan and Kyle Edwards. Jim Ross drops in for a quick phone call on the same topics. After Ross leaves, the guys consider Hulk Hogan’s new lawsuit then look back on Payback and RAW, spending large chunks on Enzo Amore’s injury, the women’s division and the Roman Reigns/AJ Styles story.

Quote of the week: Ross: “It’s a theatrical presentation as you well know. Winners and losers are important in the storytelling, but I’ve never, I’ve never — if had, if I paid a pay-per-view, and I paid, you know, tons of them over all the years, all that discretionary monies, I don’t recall ever paying the winner of a match more than I paid the loser. I have — if the loser happened to be a bigger star, then it’s quite possible that the loser made more money than the winner in that situation.”

Why you should listen: I know nothing about Kaz except that he makes a fantastic cohost. Unlike the recent run of celebrity interviews, Kaz largely fills the void left when David Shoemaker jumped to The Ringer. While lacking Shoemaker’s research background, Kaz is even more so Rosenberg’s equal on the microphone, which relegates Greg back to third banana. Ultimately, when Kaz (and Greg) speak, Cheap Heat speaks for the intelligent WWE fan, which is a nice addition to the weekly landscape.

Why you should skip it: It’s still Rosenberg’s show, which means if he wants to gloss over a topic — like lengthy portions of Payback or RAW cards — then it’s just going to get overlooked. There was little use in speculating about Ryback for 15 minutes and then letting Ross settle the issue in about 90 seconds, and I will never understand Rosenberg’s methodology in determining which parts of the WWE week are worthy of his attention.

Final thoughts: This is the episode most like classic Cheap Heat since Rosenberg left right after WrestleMania. Small sample size, sure, and all bets are off (again) depending on next week’s guest (or lack thereof). If you want a great Payback review, listen to Steve Austin’s Tuesday show. If you want Ross’ deep thoughts on Ryback, he’ll be able to dig much deeper on his own show next week. But if you want to feel like visiting an old friend, this might be the last decent Cheap Heat for the foreseeable future.