Friday, June 12, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat, June 10

The Demon is a subject of conversation 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: June 10, 2015
Run Time: 1:11:56
Guest: Kazeem Famuyide (1:34)

Summary: Peter Rosenberg and David Shoemaker are in studio — not with Stat Guy Greg, but social media magnate Kazeem Famuyide. After introducing the guest and hearing about Rosenberg’s recent London trip, the trio talk about Kevin Owens, which leads into a comparison of Finn Balor’s entrances to those of the Undertaker. There’s a discussion about how much of NXT history is considered to be in the WWE canon. After praise for Dean Ambrose and Uhaa Nation, the guys look ahead to Money In The Bank, but are sidetracked by talk of an old-school blooper reel and revisiting Paul Heyman’s June 1 appearance with Steve Austin on the WWE Network. At the end they take listener questions.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “This is bonkers. I get it, this is something people complain about, it’s OK to complain. But this is insane. This is not the first time this has happened in wrestling. I’m just talking about Austin. He’s absolutely wrong. This is like when people complain that words don’t mean — that literally doesn’t mean literally anymore. The language evolves. So does professional wrestling! Jim Londos’ finishing move was an armbar. Danno O’Mahony’s finish move was the Irish whip. Bruno effing Sammartino did the bear hug. That was his finishing move. Austin does the Lou Thesz press. Why? Because Lou Thesz finished matches with the Lou Thesz press. Austin does that halfway through. This is what happens in professional wrestling.”

Why you should listen: I’ve never heard of Famuyide, but he was a delightful addition to the booth. Certainly his WWE knowledge is on par with Rosenberg, and that’s being generous to The Heel. This was an NXT heavy episode (in a good way) and, while topical, was not bogged down in RAW minutiae as often is the case. The listener questions are well chosen, especially the one that leads the guys to discuss inward-looking smark-based vernacular.

Why you should skip it: This is not a proper preview for Sunday’s Money In The Bank show, nor was Shoemaker’s column this week. Given the fact this episode dropped nine days after the Austin-Heyman interview, you might well already have digested all the analysis you can stomach. And unless I missed it, I don’t believe there was an indication of where to find the outtakes they mentioned, which is a bummer because that really ought to be accessible to everyone.

Final thoughts: This was a really strong Cheap Heat, and not just because it helps wash away the taste of an all-time turd of a Ross Report. Rosenberg openly acknowledges the show’s lack of concerted format, but that admission (and subsequent decision not to preview any discussion topics) fairly establishes what listeners are in for — a WWE-only chat between three friends who really enjoy wrestling and each other’s company. You can do a lot worse in podcast world.