Friday, November 13, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Nov. 11

Reigns in the WWE Tournament is a topic on the return of Cheap Heat
Photo Credit:
If you're new, here's the rundown; we 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 our regular rotations that we feel best fit the category of hit or miss. If we can save other folks some time, we're happy to do so.

Show: Cheap Heat
Episode: A Career-Threatening Episode (Nov. 11, 2015)
Run Time: 52:39
Guest: None

Summary: Grantland may be gone, but after a week off Cheap Heat is back. Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg open the show before David Shoemaker’s “dramatic return.” They talk about the Seth Rollins injury and how Rosenberg’s Gary Hart book —which led to a tangent about the von Erichs and WCCW — as well as the WWE Title tournament, fans’ kayfabe responses to Rollins, how to handle Roman Reigns in the near future and trying to determine the point of MexAmerica, which leads into a signature non sequitur segment. At the end, the guys get back to business trying to figure out the point of the Wyatt Family/Brothers Of Destruction segment.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “As far as I know, the podcast lives on.”

Why you should listen: Is it possible to be nostalgic about a weekly podcast that’s been gone for all of one week? Podcast addicts had to be happy to once again get their Cheap Heat fix. And while there’s nothing revolutionary herein with respect to the biggest story in WWE at the moment, it’s refreshing to hear Shoemaker’s take if only because he never strays too far from practicality, and that’s exactly what’s needed in a situation where absurd (though amusing) theories are everywhere.

Why you should skip it: Is it possible for a weekly podcast to develop severe ring rust after skipping a single episode? I routinely rag on Cheap Heat for lacking an editorial direction beyond “Open mouth, say things,” but wow is this one short on substance. I still don’t quite understand why the guys opted not to catch up on Smackdown spoilers. And there is hardly any discussion of the Grantland snafu outside of Shoemaker recalling the way he reacted to the onslaught of tweets and emails on or about Oct. 30.

Final thoughts: This one gets a pass on quality — but that also means listeners can pass. Going forward, it will be quite interesting to see if ESPN absorbs Shoemaker’s work, which seems only natural because of its increasing WWE ties, or if eventually he’s cut loose as being more of a pop culture voice. With any of the Grantland leftovers still contributing to ESPN, I find myself wondering how they’ll fare under new editors, but that fear seems misplaced with respect to Cheap Heat given how obvious it is they’re long had little guidance between instructions for how to press record. Still, it’s good to have them back. At its best, Cheap Heat is essential listening. Here’s hoping the best becomes business as usual.