Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat, Sept. 18

The Grantland gang discusses this RAW, among other things
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: Sept. 18, 2014
Run Time: 1:08:12
Guest: None

Summary: The guys start with a little out-of-the-ring talk, such as the future of the WWE tape library and McMahon family appearances in mainstream media, then get into current events by breaking down the Sept. 15 RAW, which bleeds into a Night of Champions preview. There’s some chatter about the “Monday Night Wars” series on the WWE Network as well. They end the show by reading and responding to listener emails.

Quote of the week: Regarding Night of Champions.
Shoemaker: “It’s a stacked card. Like, just looking at it on paper, probably my favorite card of the year so far. I mean, as far as potential goes, I’m excited about it.”

Rosenberg: “If you’re ignoring some of the RAWs we’ve had to suffer through, yes.”

Shoemaker: “The setup has been pretty lousy for a lot of (matches).”
Why you should listen: If you can’t get enough WWE talk heading into Night of Champions, this is the show for you. Shoemaker self identifies as the WWE’s No. 1 defender, so if you’re an optimist about a weak RAW and PPV build in general, some of what they have to say will encourage your fan viewpoint. There’s a lot of chatter about Cena’s heel turn, and also the Montreal Screwjob makes an appearance. If you’re in the rare breed who hasn’t worked through either of those topics to the point of exhaustion, prepare for further mental stimulation.

Why you should skip it: If you don’t like hearing Rosenberg call people peckerhead, you’ll want to stay away from this episode. Beyond that, without a guest or a pay-per-view, Cheap Heat tends to be only as interesting as the RAW that precedes it. This week’s was a dud (though the guys praise it at the beginning, they later determine it was a tough watch), and the podcast follows. You’d think they could have instead showered praise on NXT TakeOver, but it warranted barely a passing mention until a reader question, at which point the guys gave quick praise for the show itself but mostly discussed why NXT can’t or shouldn’t be RAW And despite Shoemaker’s enthusiasm for the Night of Champions card, the preview of the card elicits little excitement.

Final thoughts: Chances are good your feelings about Night of Champions and the last month of Raw episodes are firmly established, and this week’s Cheap Heat won’t do anything to sway you in another direction. As usual, Shoemaker’s take is much more compelling in written form on Grantland. Listening to the show at normal speed gives the impression the guys are recording more out of obligation than excitement about the narrative, and it’s really disappointing the way they overlooked a fantastic NXT show, especially given their platform and the ability to generate interest for the best thing WWE is producing these days.