Friday, June 26, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat June 24

Lots of Landel talk this week on Cheap Heat
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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 24, 2015
Run Time: 1:02:34
Guest: None

Summary: It’s another regular studio show for Peter Rosenberg, David Shoemaker and Stat Guy Greg. The open is a callback to last week’s episode regarding Brock Lesnar’s F5 and Marc Mero’s TKO, vis-à-vis their mutual wife, Sable. They also discuss a bit of this week’s RAW, react to the “Tough Enough” launch and rehash Shoemaker’s Grantland column about which pro athletes would fit well in WWE. They sort of discuss the weekend’s big Ring of Honor shows and Shoemaker informs Rosenberg of the severity of Tyson Kidd’s injury. They explain why it’s difficult for performers to maintain lines between real life and their wrestling character and end by remembering the recently deceased “Nature Boy” Buddy Landel.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “This is really important to point out. Buddy Landel did idolize Ric Flair, and said that a number of times, but he was just wrestling as Buddy (Landel), he went to Puerto Rico I think and they just said, ‘Oh, you like Ric Flair? We’ll make you a Nature Boy.’ But Ric Flair didn’t invent the Nature Boy, Buddy Rogers didn’t invent the Nature Boy. It’s an archetype. It’s like an evil Russian. … Well-developed guys with bleached hair — short hair, but already bleached hair, they were just known as nature boys. That wasn’t their nickname in the ring, that was just the sort of wrestler that they were playing.”

Why you should listen: The Landel stuff is great, obviously, as Shoemaker excels in wrestling history and contextualizing/eulogizing almost extemporaneously. I’m not following Tough Enough, but I appreciated how the conversation was about the construction and presentation of the show as opposed to a simple rundown of the events. And Stat Guy Greg is on point in the open when he expediently buries the people who take time to angrily tweet about the subtle F5/TKO distinctions.

Why you should skip it: The RAW discussion is a mixture of disjointed and incomplete. It’s unclear whey they brought up the ROH shows if neither host paid any attention. The tangents into the occasional uselessness of the Internet and the merits of Billy Joel might be interesting in a completely different context. And good God does Rosenberg need to stop playing AJ Lee’s theme song every time Greg tries to make a point.

Final thoughts: There’s 20 mostly nonsequential minutes of great audio in a 62-minute episode. If you have the time and tenacity to dig through for the good stuff, you’ll be educated and entertained. It’d just be nice if we didn’t have so much chaff. This is a problem that probably could be addressed with better show planning, but after all this time, Cheap Heat has shown its listeners what it’s going to be, and this is pretty much a textbook example.