Monday, March 23, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat, March 18

Bauer warns that Heyman could be turning Lesnar face on this week's Cheap Heat
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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: March 18, 2015
Run Time: 45:57
Guest: Court Bauer

Summary: It’s a weird setup this week — David Shoemaker is at home in Brooklyn, Peter Rosenberg is getting ready to head to Austin, Texas, and Court Bauer calls in for the first third of the show to promote WaleMania and discuss Brock Lesnar and the WrestleMania 31 main event. When he’s done the hosts look back at RAW and ahead to the March 23 episode as well as the WrestleMania weekend itself. Then end with listener questions, including consideration of an alternate universe WrestleMania card.

Quote of the week: Bauer: “Paul Heyman cuts great promos, but they are turning him and Brock babyface, either by design or maybe not, but you have two anti-authority figures, they’re pretty much doing everything that you want to see them do, talking about taboo things like unifying the UFC and WWE title, walking out on Vince, showing up on UFC, and for the first time in a decade, you have an anti-authority babyface and the crowd seems to always love that.”

Why you should listen: If you need to get excited about WrestleMania, Shoemaker’s optimism ought to help light that fire. If that doesn’t work, perhaps Rosenberg and Bauer vouching for the excitement of the experience will move the needle (though perhaps that’s most relevant to those actually heading to the Bay Area later this week). Also it was not just brief but largely free of the wandering that often makes the show lag.

Why you should skip it: You can almost certainly get Bauer’s input from his own podcast and other outlets. Shoemaker’s Grantland writing will definitely be more impactful than his input here. Also, neither guy knows enough about Bill Simmons’ role for the go-home RAW, which is not surprising, but it’s worth noting for anyone hoping Cheat Heat might have a degree of insider knowledge based on the Grantland nameplate.

Final thoughts: One of the ways I get up for WrestleMania, even those with underwhelming prospects, is to soak up as much information and opinion as possible. As such, this show fit the bill for helping elevate my anticipation. But given how much else should be posted n the ensuing days (I suggest seeking out the two-hour International Object episode where Sawyer Paul revisits his trip to WrestleMania X8, played off Rich Thomas’ planned walk over to all the 31 festivities), this is almost surely a nonessential experience.