Monday, August 31, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat SummerSlam Recap

SummerSlam is on the docket this week 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: Aug. 27, 2015
Run Time: 1:11:58
Guest: None

Summary: David Shoemaker, Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg are basking in he afterglow of Brooklyn’s SummerSlam weekend. After about 16 minutes of discussing the social aspects — celebrity softball, the WWE 2K16 party and Rosenberg’s “beef” with Sam Roberts — the guys talk about the actual wrestling. They focus primarily on the Sahsa Banks/Bayley match, the Brooklyn crowd, the weird endings to SummerSlam’s biggest matches, the developments on RAW and how staging all three shows in the same arena might have affected the way each was received.

Quote of the week: Rosenberg: “People stayed in the arena. People just sat in their seats in disbelief that that was the end of SummerSlam. They were sitting there booing. … They are not going to pull off a big enough payoff to make having the Barclays crowd after SummerSlam sitting there booing worthwhile.”

Why you should listen: Almost always when you hear a podcast review of a WWE supercard, you’re getting an analysis of the TV broadcast. Fans should have known this Cheap Heat would be different, and the hosts certainly deliver on the promise by rehashing the weekend from their perspectives. They’re appropriately grateful for their access, fairly critical of the creative missteps along the way and yet also able to appreciate the need to offer a little bit of actual analysis separate from the fan afterglow.

Why you should skip it: The only thing less exciting than hearing about the social aspects of SummerSlam weekend is hearing them relayed through the scope of Rosenberg’s ego-centrism. While there are flashes of big-picture criticism and commentary, it’s certainly fleeting, and we’re going to have to wait for next week’s episode (or Shoemaker’s written work) to actually get a sense for how the guys feel about the earliest stages of the Road to WrestleMania.

Final thoughts: After the futility of Jim Ross’ show, I was looking forward to this one for a bit more complete take on this major weekend, but that’s going to have to wait until Steve Austin sits down with Wade Keller. I spend enough time listening to these guys I was plenty interested in their personal reactions to the weekend, and I partly wish they’d just gone all in with that aspect and taken even more time to cool off before actually attempting to process the plot development and ring performances. So much happened in such a short period there was no way to cover it all, but if you go into the episode with your expectations calibrated you should at least be entertained. Informed and educated were never really the goal of this installment.

Also: On Aug. 28 the guys released their inaugural TriviaSlam episode featuring guests Andrew Goldstein, Zach Linder and Bryan Diperstein. That doesn’t deserve a full ILSYDHT, but suffice it to say I was entertained, educated, stumped more than once and delighted to hear one of my submitted questions used (and answered correctly, although I suspect it was a lucky guess).