Friday, March 4, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat March 2

A major topic of discussion for Cheap Heat this week
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: “No Shane, No Gain” (March 2, 2016)
Run Time: 1:05:37
Guest: None

Summary: Peter Rosenberg opens the show predicting a middling RAW will lead to a substandard Cheap Heat. He and Stat Guy Greg explain to David Shoemaker the way WWE’s social media revealed all the RAW surprises throughout the day, then they discuss the novelty of interjecting Roadblock between Fast Lane and WrestleMania and rumors of WWE making its shows more edgy. After a brief review of listener ideas for fixing the Wyatt Family, the guys talk about the Sasha Banks-Becky Lynch match and the women’s division. An ESPN ad drops in the middle, after which Rosenberg revisits his Shane McMahon radio interview. Somehow discussion of Big Wheels leads to a phone call to Rosenberg’s mom, then the topic shifts abruptly to Manny Pacquiao’s bigotry and the presidential election. Somehow they’re able to regain focus long enough to rebook the Chris Jericho-AJ Styles tag team, then Greg does corrections and it all falls apart again before the end.

Quote of the week:
Shoemaker: “They were telling a great story in the ring. The reason the sunset flip ended in a double pin is because … Becky had head-butted Sasha all those times, right? So then she does the sunset flip, and she’s, like, basically concussed and can’t put it into a pin, they both just, like, hit the ring and then go out.”

Rosenberg: “That’s actually funny that you say that, because I, literally as a viewer, was like, ‘Why is she laying down?’ ”

Shoemaker: “Yeah, it’s ’cause she got head-butted over and over again right before that happened. If you were just listening to the announcers, you would never know. And the thing is, as a wrestling fan just watching it, you don’t necessarily know. You need the announcers to tell you, ‘This is the move that’s mattering.’ You know? ‘This is what’s gonna play into the finish.’ ”
Why you should listen: Can you master this? Start the show at 18:55 for the Banks-Lynch talk. Use the skip button to get through the commercial. As soon as the phone call with Mama Rosenberg ends, fast forward all the way to 58:16 and over the next 2:30 realize the guys are completely on point when it comes to a better way to form Team Y2AJ. Then delete the file from your listening device and never think of it again.

Why you should skip it: All the other stuff I just saved you from hearing. The episode description warns of a “battle royale of digressions,” but at least they have the decency to isolate them to a prolonged segment instead of Rosenberg acting like he’s there to talk wrestling but being distracted by bright lights and mild breezes. But even while the first chunk focuses on current WWE events, the dialogue doesn’t rise above the average fan discussion or news board post.

Final thoughts: Rosenberg is right when he proclaims the podcast’s quality is directly linked to the preceding RAW, but in this case I think he was overly negative, focusing on what RAW didn’t do (feature top stars, have a logical Undertaker segment) instead of what it did (let Ambrose take control, put the women in a prime position). Nobody seemed to want to go to the mat for any of his own arguments, and as a result most everything seemed lukewarm. Compared to Steve Austin interviewing Vince Russo, this Cheap Heat is audio gold. But ultimately it’s about 20 or 25 good minutes snuck in between 40 minutes of wheel spinning.