Friday, April 17, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat April 14

Reigns is a topic on Cheap Heat 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: April 14, 2015
Run Time: 57:00
Guest: None

Summary: David Shoemaker and Peter Rosenberg are in studio again this week, and though they’re easily distracted (Grantland! Justin Bieber! Daredevil!) they manage to fins some time to talk about wrestling, almost exclusively based on this week’s RAW with a look ahead to Extreme Rules. Topics include Fandango, Seth Rollins and Randy Orton, the Divas division, Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan, Neville and Roman Reigns.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker, discussing the return of Fandango’s original theme: “(Alberto) Del Rio was a terrible babyface. But we all loved him so much, and it wasn’t quite clicking, but the turn makes you excited for what might come next. But more importantly, it makes you excited for when he turns heel again. You need the break.”

Why you should listen: At this point, Cheap Heat is a handy resource if you skipped/skimmed RAW. In fact, Shoemaker briefly makes the case the show is more easily enjoyed (tolerated?) when watched off a recording. This episode does at least as good a job building excitement for Extreme Rules as WWE television itself.

Why you should skip it: Hoo boy, this one is all over the place. Rosenberg explains the reason he’s a bit scatterbrained, but even so, the random diversions are pretty frustrating. There’s no rule that says the show has to last an hour just because they book an hour of studio time. If you are watching RAW, you won’t be gleaning any insight from the guys’ discussion. It’s not outwardly bad, but it’s entirely skippable.

Final thoughts: It’s not a new criticism, but Cheap Heat still doesn’t quite know what it wants to be, or if the hosts have made a conscious decision, they don’t have the beast means of communicating that vision. Absent the production value, it’s not clear what about this hour elevates it above any other podcast or YouTube show built around two 30-something white guys reacting to three hours of Raw. The frustrating thing here is knowing the potential for greatness exists.