Friday, April 24, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat April 23

Rosenberg comments on the Mike Tyson RAWs while Shoemaker is hung up
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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 23, 2015
Run Time: 1:02:42
Guest: None

Summary: Try to follow along here: Peter Rosenberg is on the road for a funeral, but he has a laptop. David Shoemaker is in his Brooklyn apartment. The guys are both recording and streaming live to YouTube, which allows for some interaction with listeners via Twitter. They mostly talk about RAW (including Daniel Bryan, Dean Ambrose, the Divas, John Cena and Rusev) and look ahead to Extreme Rules (ending with a full rundown of the card and predictions). About halfway through the show Shoemaker’s connection freezes, so Rosenberg vamps for about 11 minutes, talking about his reflections of watching the 1998 RAW episodes in chronological order. The rest of the show is recorded with Rosenberg holding his phone near his computer microphone so Shoemaker can sort of contribute.

Quote of the week: Rosenberg: “Oh no. Delicious Dave? Delicious Dave! Delicious Dave you’re frozen. Oh no! The question is, ladies and gentlemen, is it just Delicious Dave who’s frozen? Or is the entire podcast frozen right now? This is the adventure of doing this live. And how do I even get him out of here? Let’s see. I’m gonna try to eject Shoemaker. OK, he’s gone. And I’m gonna try to get him back right now. Let’s see. Delicious David Shoemaker, I’m going to invite him right now. And I was so excited about what he was going to say next! You never know what random WWE storyling he was going to be shilling for and tell you was amazing.”

Why you should listen: Morbid curiosity.

Why you should skip it: Aside from the technical issues, which is putting it mildly, this episode is a mess. It’s ostensibly a pay-per-view preview but it masquerades as a muddling RAW recap, but it’s fair to give plenty of blame to WWE, which followed up a surprisingly entertaining WrestleMania with a month of confusing decisions. Further, anyone who regularly listens to the What A Maneuver”podcast — and if you’re not, you should be — will question Rosenberg’s lavish praise for Attitude Era RAW composition, especially given the WAM boys are right now covering the Mike Tyson story, which is at the crux of Rosenberg’s argument.

Final thoughts: Shoemaker makes a good point at the open at how nearly everyone of interest at WrestleMania is out of the mix for Extreme Rules, but he also wrote about that at length for Grantland this week, and that’s a much better medium for the message. It might seem unfair to criticize this episode of a free podcast when the hosts are clearly just trying to produce something for their audience, but if they don’t have anything to say well, what’s the point of the exercise? Weekly shows are fantastic, especially since the WWE product is nothing if not consistently new televised material, but Rosenberg and Shoemaker still lack a clear creative direction for their podcast.