Wednesday, December 23, 2015

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Dec. 21

Owens comes up as a topic of discussion
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 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: “The Gift of the MAJies” (Dec. 21, 2015)
Run Time: 1:03:16
Guest: None

Summary: It’s the penultimate show of the year for David Shoemaker, Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg. They open with a look back at NXT’s London special, focusing on the brand’s pace, the lively crowd and a few of the key matches, at least until Rosenberg gets distracted by something on his phone, then decides to talk about hanging in Vegas with Mike Tyson. That leads into a discussion of the panel’s holiday plans, which opens up some jokes about wrestler hometowns. The main event is reviewing the inaugural MAJies, but not before a callback to last week’s episode. The awards lead to conversations about Seth Rollins, Axelmania, racist Hulk Hogan, the Rusev-Lana story, Kevin Owens and the year’s best Championship matches. At the end, Greg says who won the fan voting for the show’s awards.

Quote of the week: Rosenberg: “All right, any corrections? Cause you guys are getting boring as shit. And I say that with all due respect. We finished the awards, and now we’re just meandering.”

Why you should listen: Those with an insatiable desire to hear how the Cheap Heat crew views the high points of the WWE’s 2015 will be mostly satisfied. If you paid any attention to the MAJies on Twitter, there’s some resolution. And if you’re a fan of hate listening, here’s Peter Rosenberg.

Why you should skip it: This episode is almost an complete waste of time. Shoemaker and Greg get in a few minutes of decent NXT conversation before Rosenberg, who only read results, grows weary and switches the topic to the shiny thing that caught his attention. The best analysis is arguably about the Rusev/Lana story, which of course has been vivisected everywhere weeks ago. How are they still talking about Hulk Hogan? The awards seemed like they could rise above contrivance based on the Twitter listener interaction, except that portion got shunted to a brief moment near the end where Rosenberg was distracted enough to let Greg read the results.

Final thoughts: Shoemaker should write more. Or he and Greg should do the show on their own and check with Rosenberg once or twice a month for a topical rant. Because when Cheap Heat is constructed like this — with the host who sucks the most attention being the one least prepared or interested in the exercise — it’s a waste of everyone’s time. It’s a shame, too, because both NXT and the 2015 year in review deserved better. At least there are plenty of other outlets offering such coverage.