Monday, November 30, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Nov. 25

Sheamus and his cash-in are topics for this Cheap Heat
Photo Credit: WWE.com
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 many wrestling podcasts out there, of course, but this feature largely hews to the regular rotation 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: “Fool Me Once, Sheamus On You” (Nov. 25, 2015)
Run Time: 1:02:41
Guest: None

Summary: Peter Rosenberg and David Shoemaker get the ball rolling before Stat Guy Greg reaches the Hot 97 studio. Most of the episode revolves around Survivor Series, which leads to talk about the Money In The Bank contrivance, RAW, WWE Network shows, the Cesaro injury, naming the inaugural MVP Of The Week (Stardust, Roman Reigns and Alberto Del Rio get votes) and World Class Championship Wrestling’s Christmas Day supercards. They end the show by leaving a birthday voicemail for Rosenberg’s wife.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “There’s no way to be really shocked by the guy with the Money In The Bank briefcase cashing in at the end of the pay-per-view, right? Unless it’s Seth Rollins at WrestleMania, they’re never that surprising. Like, you get into the moment, it’s like being excited every time somebody enters the Royal Rumble. … At any night, Triple H can come down and make a new Championship match after a match. So it’s just this unnecessary level of overt storytelling, like, just kind of boring storytelling. And almost every time the cash in is gonna happen, at least from now on, it’s not gonna be exciting. It’s not fun. It always seems forced. And it seems like desperation on their part. Like unnecessary.”

Why you should listen: The guys do a fairly good job of looking at the main event of Survivor Series in the micro of the moment and the macro of what the future can and should hold for the Money In The Bank plot device. The quick hits on RAW interspersed throughout the show are useful for illuminating what might otherwise be forgotten moments (the Mark Henry-Neville handshake and the Stardust-Titus O’Neill encounter) and there is promise in a new weekly feature giving the show a dose of needed structure.

Why you should skip it: The guys gloss over huge chunks of the PPV, and Rosenberg hadn’t watched RAW before the recording session, so a lot of time is spent either remembering what happened Sunday or recapping Monday for a guy who ostensibly should know at least as much about the ongoing plot as his audience.

Final thoughts: This is the first wrestling podcast I listened to after a week spent largely away from my usual technology. While at first I was happy to get recalibrated somewhat to the ongoing WWE cycle, I quickly remembered how little use I have for Cheap Heat when Rosenberg hasn’t bothered to watch all the relevant action before recording. Shoemaker and Greg tried their best to carry the episode, but it’s clear this was hurried into production on a holiday week schedule. With as little time as was given for the bulk of the card, I wish they hadn’t bothered mentioning the Paige-Charlotte or Dolph Ziggler-Tyler Breeze matches at all. Giving them lip service instead of fair critique seems even more disrespectful than ignoring them outright, especially when time was spent lamenting the onslaught of injuries and wondering who might capture the audience’s attention.