Friday, June 5, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat June 3

Extensive discussion of the Chamber on Cheap Heat
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: June 3, 2015
Run Time: 57:35
Guest: None

Summary: It’s another basic studio show for David Shoemaker, Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg. Topics are almost entirely limited to Sunday and Monday in the WWE Universe, including Kevin Owens’ big win over John Cena, Samoa Joe speculation, a quick rundown of (most of) the Elimination Chamber card, mostly spent revisiting the Dusty Finish, recalling some of the special promos from RAW, a look at the Lana-Rusev-Dolph Ziggler triangle, the resurgence of the Prime Time Players and a halfhearted look ahead to Money In The Bank.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “Sunday night was like the first annual F-U CM Punk Memorial Show. Everything that happened on that card, short of Lita running in and winning the Divas Title, seemed to be like a direct — I mean, obviously this is just overthinking it and it’s what fans talk about or whatever — whatever CM Punk was fighting for, he either succeeded or the movement succeeded because he sacrificed himself to it. It’s impossible to imagine Kevin Owens being in the place that he is, for one example, without CM Punk being gone. Without CM Punk having existed and having left.”

Why you should listen: Steve Austin and Jim Ross weren’t flexible enough in their scheduling to review Elimination Chamber like they do with other WWE supercards, so of the shows in my rotation, this comes the closest to breaking down current events. The glee regarding Owens and Joe is palpable, but so is Rosenberg’s rage about the (Chamber) cage, so if you’re up and down on the same topics as the guys, this episode most certainly validates your opinions. If you missed RAW, or need a refresher, there are audio drops from the show to give context to Cheap Heat listeners.

Why you should skip it: Again, if you’re out on current WWE, this episode has nothing to offer you. Likewise, if you’re not a fan of Owens, hated the finish to the Seth Rollins-Dean Ambrose match and went gaga for the Chamber encounters, you might be driven mad to be subjected to 60 minutes of opposing viewpoints. And though I didn’t fully expect it form Cheap Heat, it was disappointing to not get a review of the entire card, notably the tag team Chamber match, or a Bo Dallas-Neville reaction beyond a secondhand report of a nonfan thinking Dallas is chubby.

Final thoughts: Ideally Cheap Heat would do less just rehashing what happened and more unpacking of all the moving parts, offering rich historical context and deepening my appreciation for the current product. That’s a lot to ask of an in-the-moment podcast, and with Ross and Austin largely pre-taping this week I was hungry for anything related to Owens and Joe (Ross did mention Owens in his monologue). The audio drops are always welcome and again I really appreciate the Stat Guy’s contributions throughout and at the end of the show. Baby steps this week, but it does seem Cheap heat might slowly be finding itself anew.