Tuesday, September 30, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Sept. 25

Cheap Heat discusses Night of Champions in the latest episode
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. 25, 2014
Run Time: 1:04:12
Guest: None

Summary: The guys rehash Night of Champions and the subsequent RAW, then look ahead to Hell in a Cell and discuss WWE’s options if Brock Lesnar indeed will not be on the next major show and in light of Roman Reigns’ injury. They also respond to some listener emails and discuss what names WWE might assign them if they ever signed with the company.

Quote of the week: Rosenberg, on Orton vs. Jericho at Night of Champions: “Sometimes you just have good wrestling matches. Sometimes the story, people don’t realize this, but they should. They pretend to know wrestling, but they don’t. Sometimes the story is just a match, that’s the story. How does the story get told within the match? People say that, but they don’t really know what it means. Watch how these guys go back and forth. It’s fun to know that guys like Jericho and Orton probably talked for like nine seconds before that match, and then go out and just watch them work and I think it’s pretty sweet to see that.”

Why you should listen: Though Jim Ross’ interview with Dave Meltzer was a more timely and certainly more thorough analysis of Night of Champions, they recorded before RAW. The Cheap Heat hosts had the advantage of being able to discuss Lesnar’s rumored break from Hell in a Cell, and they also did a better job breaking down the Reigns injury than any other show. Beyond that, I’ve been saying for weeks the guest-free Cheap Heats are best when there’s a major card to review, and this episode rises above recent entries.

Why you should skip it: Dean Ambrose fans need to stay away — Shoemaker’s enthusiasm does not overcome Rosenberg’s (at best) cautious optimism in this regard. As usual, Shoemaker made his main points in writing a few days before the podcast posted, and the written word again trumps the spoken. The question-and-answer session at the end again is nonessential, unless you want to ponder the idea of a Daniel Bryan heel run.

Final thoughts: Credit where it’s due — the guys talked more about the Divas division and the Henry-Rusev story than could be expected given the last several weeks, but it wasn’t just a matter of airtime, they delivered fair analysis respectful of the performers. I’d still like to hear more NXT discussion, but of the shows I listen to, this is the first to get a real crack at breaking down the Lesnar/Reigns conundrums. Rosenberg’s act is always grating, but sometimes his pragmatic view of WWE’s narrative choices in regards to making money (vs. making a certain segment of fans happy) is a necessary perspective for those who can’t readily comprehend the viewpoint.