Friday, January 29, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Jan. 27

Lots of talk about Triple H winning on this week's Cheap Heat
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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: Ryzin D’etre (Jan. 27, 2016)
Run Time: 1:10:41
Guest: None

Summary: It’s time for the guys to review the Royal Rumble. David Shoemaker makes the case for Triple H winning to be the only logical outcome, and neither Peter Rosenberg nor Stat Guy Greg disagree. They do quicker hits on the debut of AJ Styles, the current run of Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose’s changing physique, the Rumble rules, Brock Lesnar’s immediate future, why WWE won’t acknowledge TNA, the high points of the Rumble and the Charlotte-Becky Lynch-Sasha Banks dynamic. Then there’s a decent chunk dedicated to the Rock’s manic RAW appearance.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “I don’t begrudge anybody their opinion, but a lot of the arguments against him being champion are sort of just memes, right? I mean, it’s people saying, ‘Oh, Triple H always puts himself over,’ you know, like, ‘We don’t want a part-timer as champion.’ I mean, we can go one by one and deconstruct these things — and I guess you could disagree with this too, but Brock Lesnar being a part-timer elevated the championship over the past year more than anything else has done it in the past decade.”

Why you should listen: The guys do a solid job of supporting the current creative direction balanced against the inevitability of either narrative direction or injury-borne roster limitations. That said, they’re also fair in their criticism of the Rock’s RAW appearance and of the flat spots of the Rumble itself. On balance, this comes across as a much fairer analysis of the Rumble than what Jim Ross offered his show.

Why you should skip it: This is not a comprehensive show review — most of the undercard is overlooked, and there was very little mention of what transpired on RAW. More than a few listeners will sense the opinions expressed are far too favorable to WWE, and especially Triple H. And while Rosenberg does at least offer his personal justification, it’s might be tough to swallow what comes off as a dismissal of Becky Lynch.

Final thoughts: If you remove yourself from whether you agree or disagree with how the guys view the Rumble and WrestleMania outlook, this episode stands as a fairly strong effort. I don’t recall any significant diversions from the topic at hand, such that when Rosenberg announced he had to bail for another gig, I was actually a little bummed the conversation wasn’t going any longer. Like excellent written work, Cheap Heat can add appreciation and context to the experience of being a WWE fan. It’s nice to feel like that’s happening more often than not.