Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Jan. 27

Cheap Heat is RUMBLE TALK this week
Photo Credit:
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: Jan. 27, 2015
Run Time: 1:10:11
Guest: None

Summary: The East Coast snowstorm kept Peter Rosenberg and David Shoemaker from meeting in person to record, but it couldn’t keep them from breaking down the Royal Rumble, a blizzard-affected Raw and starting to look ahead to WrestleMania. Rosenberg was at the Rumble in person, while Shoemaker attended Lucha Underground tapings in Los Angeles, so each shared a bit about those experiences.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “I understand if you’re unhappy with the direction, with the booking, but the answer to every question is not ‘Put Daniel Bryan over’ because that’s just as bad as WWE for thinking the answer to every question is to put Cena over. Daniel Bryan is a wonderful guy, he should be in the top of the card all the time, but there’s never been a period of great success in WWE or in any wrestling company where one guy was just on top to the exclusion of everybody else with the possible exception of, you know, Ric Flair’s run.”

Why you should listen: To hear the guys articulate the nuanced position that although the actual structure of the Rumble endgame was deeply flawed, that doesn’t correlate to a Reigns match ruining WrestleMania. They have abundant praise for the triple threat match and try (with moderate success) to walk the fine line of understanding fan grievances while also attempting to be pragmatic about some recent and future WWE creative choices. Further, I saltue the guys for digging into the Rumble itself beyond just Reigns’ win, looking at a lot of the different entrants and moments.

Why you should skip it: You’ll hear this a lot from me this week, but if you have Rumble fatigue simply from Twitter or message boards, podcasts like this won’t help. It appears Rosenberg didn’t watch Raw (or very much of it, anyway), so instead of analysis you mostly get Shoemaker explaining what happened. And though it probably goes without saying, if you’re seeing red about the Reigns elevation, this podcast is just going to fuel the fire. Don’t do that to yourself.

Final thoughts: I’m trying to keep an open mind about the Road to WrestleMania, and even if I didn’t agree with everything the guys said (some could argue it bordered on being apologetic) I at least appreciated hearing another viewpoint from a cooler head given several hours to process Sunday’s show. The guys actually are more in WWE’s corner than Steve Austin was during his Tuesday interview with Wade Keller, and surely Jim Ross’ conversation with Mark Madden will bring a unique approach. The important parts of all these shows is when experienced people explain how WWE’s choices work and how the way a particular story build is constructed affects fan perception. We all saw what happened on TV, but many of us need help unpacking the final product into its constructive elements.