Friday, December 5, 2014

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Dec. 2

The new stable is the extent of the RAW talk 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: Dec. 2, 2014
Run Time: 1:02:51
Guest: None

Summary: Rosenberg and Shoemaker are alone this week and spend the bulk of the hour analyzing CM Punk’s appearance on Colt Cabana’s Art Of Wrestling podcast, peppered with reaction to Vince McMahon’s live visit to Steve Austin’s podcast on the WWE Network. There is a brief bit of talk about RAW (pretty much just the New Day debut) and a few listener questions to round out the show. Also random playing of Ric Flair and Randy Savage promo clips.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker on the New Day: “On an intellectual level, I treasure the sort of uncertainty of literally not knowing what they’re doing, because I’m really split down the middle between this is a straight-up play to the kids, this is sort of like an Usos thing, kids are going to love — I mean this is like the holy trinity of black John Cenas for a young audience. Or they’re just totally doing the Rocky Maivia thing on purpose and they’re just going to toy with us for a couple months and then this is going to be the greatest heel faction of their generation. Obviously that’s overstating it, but I just don’t know what they’re doing, and I kind of love that.”

Why you should listen: This is a great show for people who like podcasts that break down other podcasts. Not to be curt, but the choice is pretty clear — if you want to think more about what Punk and McMahon (and to a lesser extent Austin) said in the last week, dive in. Seriously. Rosenberg actually brings himself to the table this week instead of his character (he doesn’t drop his first “adjace” until two-thirds of the way through, and when he does it actually makes sense) and in some odd way the Flair and Savage cuts work well with the overall vibe.

Why you should skip it: Punk fatigue. Again, not to be curt, but the choice remains clear — if you’re tired of hearing about what CM Punk said, stay far away. I found the discussion interesting as the guys tried to examine both sides (wrestler and promotion) without clearly aligning with one or the other, but I also wouldn’t consider it essential listening as part of the overall Punk story. His appearance with Cabana was so detailed there really weren’t any gaps to be plugged.

Final thoughts: Much like the guys in this episode, I’m not trying to come out as overly praiseworthy or critical. I did enjoy the podcast, but it’s totally reasonable for folks to be ready to tap out after nearly five total hours of Punk and McMahon on podcasts in the last eight days. They had an obligation to talk about the news of the day, and this show might actually be best suited for someone who didn’t have time to listen to the source material. If you still want to be guided through processing everything you heard, by all means this is a great resource. But if you’re ready to move on, it’s OK to leave this one on the shelf.