Friday, February 27, 2015

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

The Cheap Heat crew tackles #GiveDivasAChance
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: Feb. 25, 2015
Run Time: 54:17
Guest: Andrew Goldstein

Summary: Goldstein is in studio this week wit regular hosts Peter Rosenberg and David Shoemaker. The guys start by plugging their Radiolab appearance before moving quickly to the recent rumors surrounding WrestleMania 31 opponents Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, including fantasy booking an eight-man title tournament. They also talk about the #GiveDivasAChance movement and the lawsuit involving WWE’s doctor stemming from CM Punk’s appearance on Colt Cabana’s podcast. They try to find WWE’s analogue to oft-injured Chicago Bull Derek Rose before Goldstein delivers an impassioned defense of the Bushwhackers’ Hall of Fame credentials.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “We have no idea what’s happening. And I just want to say now that every single thing that we say from this point on is pure speculation and the wildest, most untrustworthy of rumors. None of us here know anything aside of what’s been spread around the Internet. So don’t take any of this, or take everything with all the grains of salt.”

Why you should listen: The show is tighter than usual this week. Aside from a diversion into discussion of the New York City hamburger scene, the three guys manage to give most topics sufficient attention. As unfounded as the rumors might be, it is the topic of the day in many circles, and they’re properly couched as potentially (heck, likely) baseless. Goldstein has done his homework on the Bushwhackers (nee Sheepherders) and makes several good points likely to be informative to the show’s general audience. Also, there’s hardly any overlap with Shoemaker’s Grantland writing for the week, and it’s nice to not have that redundancy.

Why you should skip it: There’s very little time spent looking backwards at Fast Lane, and even less time discussing much of anything current beyond the World Heavyweight Championship scene. The Divas discussion has promise, but almost as soon as AJ Lee’s name surfaces the talk shifts to the Punk lawsuit, ironically marginalizing women’s wrestling much the way WWE does on Raw. But primarily, the discussion of the Reigns rumor in particular could be considered in poor taste given how it appears to have no basis in fact.

Final thoughts: Rosenberg is more than tolerable this week, but Goldstein’s presence always gives occasion to wonder how much different Cheap Heat might be with just he and Shoemaker as hosts. The vitality of this episode rests squarely on your valuation of the Lesnar/Reigns backstage discussion. The last ten or so minutes on the Bushwhackers are the only thing I commend without reservation, though even that segment includes a few falsehoods and logical missteps, but I ended wishing they’d given that topic the bulk of the focus.