Friday, February 13, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Feb. 11

Ready for more Rollins chat? Because Cheap Heat has it 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: Feb. 11, 2015
Run Time: 44:00
Guest: None

Summary: David Shoemaker is in studio with a weary Peter Rosenberg, who is back from Los Angeles for the Grammy Awards and an in-person podcast session with Steve Austin. After briefly giving the reactions they expect to have to the NXT supershow, the guys give drive-by thoughts to RAW, including the Seth Rollins scandal, the Daniel Bryan/Roman Reigns arc and Rikishi’s Hall of Fame credentials. Then they answer listener questions, which prompts talk about live event memories and Toji Yamamoto. Rosenberg ends with quick reflections on the Austin experience.

Quote of the week: Rosenberg: “I figured out something about Austin. … I love Hulk Hogan, and I love Steve Austin, right? But I realized this when I was talking about how excited I was, the night before… I said the reason I’m more excited about doing Austin’s podcast is Hulk Hogan is always working. Steve Austin is never working. Yet they both were amazing at what they did, but one’s always working, and Austin never had to do anything. I thought that was more profound than you’re giving me credit for.”

Why you should listen: It’s short, that’s a plus. The Yamamoto story is pretty legendary, and well told by Shoemaker. Aside from Colt Cabana’s brief reflections, I don’t recall hearing another guest of Austin’s podcast dish about the experience, and given Rosenberg’s expertise, it’s definitely worth hearing his take, though I actually would have liked a bit more. Also, if you’re not going to listen to Rosenberg on Austin’s show, the live event conversation here won’t be redundant.

Why you should skip it: If you’re consciously avoiding Rollins picture leak discussion, take a big fat pass on this episode. Cheap Heat is always weakened in weeks where Rosenberg hasn’t seen the shows in full, as is the case here. An NXT preview would have been far superior to what actually made the air. The Rikishi discussion lacked the contextual appreciation of his entire career, which is Shoemaker’s job to deliver. And with this being recorded between the release of Rosenberg’s Austin show appearances, Shoemaker was tied trying to ask questions about an interview he’d only heard in part.

Final thoughts: The new release time of Cheap Heat puts the guys in a no-win situation regarding NXT. Most fans wouldn’t hear a preview until after the wrestling event, but by next week it may be too late for a proper recap. Likewise, Shoemaker is recording with knowledge of Thursday Smackdown spoilers and an aversion to discussing those events. My biggest knock on Cheap Heat continues to be that it’s not quite sure what show it wants to be. There are moments of brilliance nearly every week, but no rhyme or reason to when, where, why or how they might surface.