Friday, June 10, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat June 8

Turtle from Entourage is the guest on Cheap Heat, inexplicably
Photo Credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images
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: Jerry and The Greatest (June 8, 2016)
Run Time: 1:06:10
Guest: Jerry Ferrara (1:11)

Summary: Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg are on the phone with actor Jerry Ferrara. After a quick hit on Ferrara’s Entourage run, the guys touch on Brock Lesnar’s upcoming UFC fight, the status of Jimmy Snuka’s trial and even more briefly mention the death of Muhammad Ali. They spend a solid half hour trying to make sense of RAW, which leads to a look ahead to the brand split. After quickly catching up on Ferrara’s career, Greg and Rosenberg double back to Ali, playing relevant sound clips and adding their own thoughts.

Quote of the week: Rosenberg: “I, to Summer Jam this year, wore this Ali jacket, right? And it was dope. Like, when I was thinking about what I should wear to Summer Jam, I was like, ‘Oh, I forgot, I have the Ali Adidas jacket in my, uh, closet, I’ve had it for years, I got it cleaned recently, it looks brand new. Imma rock that.’ Story behind this jacket is I was given this jacket like eight or nine years ago, and my brother gave it to me for Hanukkah one year, and the deal was his, he got it from a friend who was a costume designer on ‘Entourage,’ and the jacket was originally for, but not worn by, exactly, Jerry Ferrara.”

Why you should listen: There are a few bright spots. Greg’s thoughts about John Cena being a cooler who might dim the New Day’s bright light are well presented. The late-1970s Ali sound bite with a Vince McMahon lead-in is wonderful, as is the clip of (the late and great in his own right) Roddy Piper reflecting on The Greatest.

Why you should skip it: The theme song hasn’t fully faded out before Rosenberg begins crowing about iTunes reviews that (inexplicably) favored last week’s Cheap Heat over the Ringer show David Shoemaker released around the same time. Having Rosenberg and Turtle on the same show for 40 minutes is a near toxic blend of weaselly self infatuation that only abates to allow for undue mutual admiration. The decision to spend three times as long dabbling at RAW thoughts as they did the much more compelling Lesnar news is confounding. And not that you need your wrestling podcast to deliver your Muhammad Ali tributes, but man, I really do wish the guys would have whole-assed at least one of the show’s three segments.

Final thoughts: Which is worse for Cheap Heat — its main host or its slavish dedication to talk about RAW as much as possible? The answer to that perpetual question, for this week at least, is the latter. That’s not to absolve Rosenberg of any of the consequences of his inadequacies, which are significant (and, of course, it would be fair to assign him the full blame for the format as well as the execution), but this week, at least, it seemed like there was a decent show that had a chance to escape if only there had been some sort of voice offering guidance beyond “open mouth, say things.” Better luck next week, I guess, but as per usual, don’t get your hopes up.