Friday, May 15, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat May 13, 2015

Bryan is a topic of discussion on a Rosenberg-less 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: May 13, 2015
Run Time: 1:18:36
Guest: Andrew Goldstein

Summary: Stat Guy Greg is back in the studio this week with David Shoemaker, but instead of co-host Peter Rosenberg, we’re treated to former WWE writer and podcast regular Andrew Goldstein. They discuss Daniel Bryan’s injury and future, the E:60 WWE special, the sudden growth in the tag team division and look ahead to Sunday’s Payback card with match-by-match predictions.

Quote of the week: Goldstein, on E:60’s WWE Behind the Curtain: “Basically those meetings would just devolve into the three brands arguing over who they want, and RAW eventually just getting them. That’s basically what those talent evaluation meetings were when I was there. But now, obviously, I looked around, I saw writers, I saw agents, you see Michael Cole, you see Renee Young, all the pieces of the WWE broadcast are sitting in that room … making these evaluations. It was really eye opening that they actually let cameras in there and they spoke freely about the long-term plans for these guys and the gimmick ideas.”

Why you should listen: No Rosenberg! OK, that’s a bit harsh, but if you’ve ever agreed with my suggestion to improve Cheat Heat by dropping the heel and making Goldstein the permanent co-host, you’ll enjoy 78 minutes of validation. Goldstein’s insight is especially welcome in regards to his ability to validate the ESPN special. Shoemaker leads an excellent long-view discussion on Daniel Bryan. His Grantland piece this week offers next to nothing in the way of a Payback preview, which makes that aspect of this episode fresh as could be.

Why you should skip it: The main reason to bail on this episode is if you’ve already given up on the current main roster WWE product. The Bryan conversation is depressing and it’s hard to get excited for the majority of the Payback card. I don’t think you need to have seen the E:60 special to appreciate that discussion, but you might be lost if you haven’t caught even a commercial or trailer. Also, there’s hardly and mention of the recently announced Elimination Chamber special in two weeks, and that might have added some contextual depth to the discussion, especially in regards to the tag team division.

Final thoughts: Regular Cheap Heat listeners know the drill — other podcasts review WWE pay-per-views and weigh in occasionally on significant RAW moments, but each week’s Cheap Heat is somewhere from slightly to completely focused on the most recent WWE shows. This week, although the WWE product isn’t spectacular, most of the time-insensitive shows in my rotation are flat duds, which helps Cheap Heat stand out among an ever-growing crowd.