Friday, February 19, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat Feb. 17

The gang discusses Barrett's departure
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: “Wade, Wade, Don’t Tell Me” (Feb. 17, 2016)
Run Time: 1:01:36
Guest: None

Summary: It’s the usual crew of David Shoemaker, Peter Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg. The first segment relies heavily on last week’s episode, including a return trip to the Titus O’Neil suspension and revisiting the way Cheap Heat discussed the Westminster Dog Show. That somehow leads to thoughts on the weekend’s NBA dunk contest before Shoemaker brings it back to WWE by discussing the upcoming departures of Wade Barrett and Brie Bella. They kick around Michelle Beadle burying her hatchet with WWE then look ahead to Fast Lane by telling Rosenberg what happened on the RAW he hasn’t yet watched. Shoemaker quickly discusses the announced WWE Network cruiserweight series and tries to sell Rosenberg on Lucha Underground before Greg finally has some corrections.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “The announcers reacted really strangely to it to the point where it was clear that it was not scripted, which I guess is kinda cool, but, like, why are your announcers — and don’t complain, I’m not the guy who complains about announcers every week — why are your announcers so tightly scripted that when a match ends in a surprising way they literally don’t know what to do? Like they were basically just like, ‘Huh, that’s weird.’ As if, like, you know, some, like, the lights went off, or somebody’s pants fell down or something.”

Why you should listen: I suppose if you have to get ready for Fast Lane, this is as good a place to start as any, if only because WWE didn’t actually get around to booking the card until the middle of the week leading into the show. If you need to be sold on Lucha Underground, Shoemaker makes a solid pitch.

Why you should skip it: Rosenberg was at the Grammys Monday and still hadn’t seen RAW, which sort of explains why he’s only really able to discuss the same topics as last week, then spends the rest of his time prepping for the ESPN radio show he was going to do as soon as the podcast session ended. The show is completely unfocused and will add very little of value to anyone who’s been paying attention to WWE in the past two weeks.

Final thoughts: It’s an off week. Cheap Heat has those, and while they’re probably avoidable, the guys are clearly more committed to quantity over quality. Odds are that with Fast Lane and a RAW pointing straight at WrestleMania, next week’s episode will be firing on all cylinders. My main takeaway from this week is realizing I miss Shoemaker previewing big WWE cards for Grantland. Nothing you get in this hour of audio comes close to comparing in terms of depth, intelligence or value.