Friday, January 22, 2016

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

It's Rumble chat time on 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 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 Odds Must Be Crazy” (Jan. 21, 2016)
Run Time: 1:09:38
Guest: None

Summary: After the customary small talk, Peter Rosenberg brings up the death of “Iron” Mike Sharpe. That somehow leads to a diversion into vintage wrestling T-shirts and an update on Sunny, but Rosenberg, David Shoemaker and Stat Guy Greg spend the rest of the show in a lengthy discussion previewing Sunday’s Royal Rumble. That segment includes speculation about what it would take to get The Rock back in the ring as well as guessing about what we might see at Fastlane and WrestleMania.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “The hype level of the Rumble, for some reason, gets greater and greater every year, despite the fact that the returns are more and more diminishing. We go out to bars — I think I’ve been out to public places at least three out of the four last years to watch it, and people are counting down from 10 as if the ghost of Bruno Sammartino — wait, he’s alive — as if a 25-year-old Hulk Hogan or CM Punk is gonna come out every single time the clock strikes one. And every time it’s like Heath Slater. The distance between Heath Slater and the most exciting person that’s gonna come in on Sunday is closer than the distance between that person and CM Punk, as far as just shock goes. And yet we’re all gearing ourself up to be blown away every time.”

Why you should listen: Opening (eventually) with Sharpe was a good choice given the remaining three quarters was spent on one topic. As expected, Shoemaker contextualizes Sharpe in a respectful manner. The Rumble preview is mostly on point — at least the fantasy booking (until the very end) largely keeps within the bounds of plausibility, and as such gives fans plenty of scenarios to consider, even if the most obvious outcome ends up occurring — and once you make it past the first few minutes of self-promotion, the guys remain abnormally on task.

Why you should skip it: There aren’t any outright spoilers, but if you want your Road to WrestleMania to be totally clear of speculation, it’s best to put Cheap Heat on the shelf straight away. Once Rosenberg starts scrolling through the wrestler theme song section of his playlist, you’ve passed the point of hearing anything valuable. And although they did give rise to decent discussion, the Rumble odds the guys used (source unclear) were whack. And you will desperately wish Shoemaker had posted an essay about Sharpe in addition to his verbal remarks.

Final thoughts: I don’t presume any of these guys are reading these write-ups, but on the slim chance they are, I repeat my favorite talking point of late; the fewer topics the better. So long as Rosenberg can keep his focus, the show is much better spending 45 minutes on the Rumble instead of trying to also cover the undercard, NXT, Lucha Underground, and so on. Just don’t pretend to be comprehensive and isteners will appreciate the attention to detail.