Friday, October 2, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Sept. 30

Big E and Mark Henry were both topics of discussion on Cheap Heat this week
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: The Lowest-Rated Episode (Sept. 30, 2015)
Run Time: 1:04:14
Guest: None

Summary: Peter Rosenberg, David Shoemaker and Stat Guy Greg are in studio to revisit a RAW episode that pulled record low ratings. That includes discussion about Big E’s dancing, the NXT panel, wrestler entrance mechanics, the rebirth of the Dudley Boys, SummerSlam’s extended run in Brooklyn, a look ahead to the Madison Square Garden Network special, Mark Henry’s losing streak, WWE’s corporate motivation, the RAW main event and Emma’s new YouTube cooking show.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “It’s impossible to compare ratings to the Monday Night Wars era, or any other time in the past because everything gets less ratings than it used to. Right? I mean, there’s just too many channels, too many things to do that are, you know, off the air — you can be streaming stuff, you can whatever. I mean, there’s a million things you can do with your time.”

Why you should listen: The most useful portion is the rundown of Saturday night’s MSG card. Rosenberg, a veteran of such shows, actually does a pretty good job selling the “gotta be there” vibe these events still warrant. His personal insight into the mindset of 2015 Mark Henry is valuable as well. Shoemaker’s deep and justified appreciation for Big E is always welcome, and, well, I really enjoy Greg’s contributions in general.

Why you should skip it: Almost any talk of ratings or corporate profits makes me want to throw things, and this chat is no different. And again, talking about such an inconsequential RAW only underscores the air of compulsion that pervades most Cheap Heat episodes. Every time I think the show has found itself, I realize those episodes are the exception, not the rule.

Final thoughts: If this were an hour on the NXT panel, the future of SummerSlam and an MSG show preview, it would be golden. Instead, those aspects take up about 15 minutes and the rest of the time is more or less filler. Part of the problems is the hosts being willing to let a boring RAW lead to a boring podcast instead of committing to excellence in spite of what WWE presents. Much like WWE, Cheap Heat is easily in danger of being uninteresting to all but its core audience.