Monday, November 17, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Nov. 13

Savage/Warrior is one of the topics of discussion this week
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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: Nov. 13, 2014
Run Time: 1:03:38
Guest: None

Summary: In a unusually scattershot conversation, Shoemaker and Rosenberg look ahead to Survivor Series, hit a few key moments from RAW, take a quick look at the premiere episode of Lucha Underground and end by previewing the list of the 100 greatest matches available on WWE Network. There’s a few diversions (notably one about suits and dress shirts and another about Bill Cosby), but that’s the gist.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker, on Lucha Underground: “What they’ve gotten right, more than anything else that everybody else has gotten wrong, is that they’ve found a way to match WWE’s production quality without making it look like a ripoff of WWE. You don’t feel like you’re watching a crappy, low-rent show when you’re watching it. It looks beautiful.”

Why you should listen: Cheap Heat regularly relies far too heavily on discussing the current RAW episode, and that’s most certainly not the case here. And even in a week when both hosts are involved with a WWE project, they look beyond the mainstream to dabble in Lucha Underground, a good entry point for fans who have no knowledge of this new venture. The last chunk of the show includes a few minutes focusing on the Randy Savage-Ultimate Warrior career match at WrestleMania VII, and both guys bring decent insight to the discussion.

Why you should skip it: There’s plenty of good reasons to take a pass. The nonwrestling talk is either utterly useless (why does ring around the collar happen so fast?) or completely inappropriate for the arena (Bill Cosby rape allegations, everybody!) to say nothing of some pretty tasteless Chris Benoit “humor” from Rosenberg that defies all reason. In regards to the wrestling topics, With Spandex is a far better resource for Lucha Underground reviews, the WWE 100 discussion reveals little beyond what any average fan can glean from exploring the list on their own and there’s not enough known about the Survivor Series card at this point to warrant the attention given on this episode.

Final thoughts: I’m kind of at a loss here. This episode certainly veered off in directions I wasn’t expecting. I can’t recommend it as essential listening because it really doesn’t add any knowledge or depth to my understanding and appreciation of current events, but at the same time I feel it deserves a wide audience just because it’s such a different version of what had become a formulaic (trending toward stale) podcast. Maybe I just want other folks to have a listen and give me their input, because I can’t with any real certainty explain my own response upon first listen. Anything that gets the talk away from a simple bit-by-bit rehash of RAW is a notable change, but not all of those changes are welcome or refreshing. That said, I’m already interested to see if next week’s episode is a continued branching out or a safe return to form.