Friday, July 17, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat July 15

John Cena is put on trial in this week's 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: July 15, 2015
Run Time: 1:14:56
Guest: None

Summary: Peter Rosenberg, David Shoemaker and Stat Guy Greg are in studio. They come out firing revisiting the arrival of NXT superstars on RAW and hit a few other points from Monday’s show. After diversions into wrestling shirts (again), the impact of wrestling fandom on romantic relationships and musings about who might have videos of 1980s wrestlers on the road, agent Bryan Diperstein calls in to discuss the upcoming Cheap Heat TriviaSlam. Getting back to RAW they look at the triple threat match and why “John Cena is a horrible person,” (per Shoemaker), discuss the Vince McMahon memo to announcers and take listener questions before giving Battleground predictions and hearing Greg’s corrections.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker, on why so many foreigners are trying to win the WWE United States Championship: “On the one hand, it’s just a belt. I mean, It’s arguably the No. 2 belt in the company right now, so anybody should want a piece of it. Ironically, if anybody won the belt, it would immediately become like the No. 3 belt in the company. It becomes less valuable when you take it away from John Cena. There’s some sort of Pyrrhic victory thing going on here if somebody else won. But, there’s also the long tradition of foreigners wanting the U.S. belt just so that they can use it to just thumb their nose at America.”

Why you should listen: The debate over the scripting of the NXT invasion segment is pretty interesting, the triple threat gets its due and Shoemaker does an excellent takedown of Cena (the character). The diversions this week are actually still fairly interesting and topical, and it’s the first time I’ve heard the Owen Hart-Ultimate Warrior rib story at a time I really needed to laugh. If you’re a wrestling stat nerd the idea of writing trivia questions is mildly inspiring. And Rosenberg seems to be getting his sound board fetish under control.

Why you should skip it: Not all the diversions are welcome. The RAW review is too narrow, the Battleground predictions are a rushed afterthought (and, though it’s not Cheap Heat’s fault, not fully relevant given timing of the Ryback injury and Undertaker rumors) and the listener questions aren’t spectacular. Diperstein’s call makes the show even more insider baseball than usual.

Final thoughts: Steve Austin and Jim Ross no longer follow week-to-week WWE TV. Cheap Heat has carried that ball fairly well, but drops it here, at least in regards to looking ahead to Battleground. While that’s probably more a function of how weak the card seems to be, it’s still frustrating to see Cheap Heat lose a bit of grip on its niche hold. It’s likely Shoemaker’s Grantland piece this week picks up that slack. All that said, if you’re a fan who doesn’t need a deep dive on Battleground predictions, this is a pretty nice little episode, at least the stuff on either side of the phone call. Chances are most folks will enjoy this listen.