Friday, March 25, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat March 24

Hogan's massive settlement is topic of 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: “Hogan’s Zeroes” (March 24, 2016)
Run Time: 1:06:19
Guest: None

Summary: Peter Rosenberg is in his home studio patching in calls from David Shoemaker in Brooklyn and Stat Guy Greg in Harlem. Fighting through distance and sound quality issues, they look at Monday night’s Undertaker/Shane McMahon video packages, talk about attending the Hall Of Fame induction, review the current WrestleMania build and revisit some of their prior WrestleMania weekend experiences. Shoemaker explains the Intercontinental Title ladder match and has kind words for the New Day. After quick hits on it being 15 years since end of World Championship Wrestling, Wyatt family injuries and hip-hop, Rosenberg talks about his friend attending a Lucha Underground taping. Then the guys start prepping for their trip Dallas, which leads to Greg’s Xavier Woods story from SummerSlam. The last segment is a lengthy look at the result of the Hulk Hogan-Gawker trial before Greg offers corrections.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “Every year at WrestleMania I feel like I’m obligated to say WrestleMania is not for us smarks. … WrestleMania’s for like the six-year-old kids who make their parents buy them T-shirts for Christmas. That’s who WrestleMania’s for. We can have SummerSlam, we can have NXT, we can have all the rest. So the fact that we’re getting Ambrose vs. Brock … you want to count Undertaker-Shane in a cell? I mean, I’m actually looking forward to the title match, but let’s not use this as another excuse to crap on Roman Reigns.”

Why you should listen: Greg’s excitement about the looming WrestleMania weekend is as endearing as his self-deprecating Woods encounter recollection. He and Shoemaker offer solid insight and context (as a lawyer and Deadspin writer, respectively) on the Gawker situation. The quick glimmer of Lucha Undergound praise is sorely overdue. And, uh, I think that’s it.

Why you should skip it: Somehow Shoemaker liked the New Day “You are garbage” bit from RAW, and somehow Rosenberg referenced the overt racism of the Fabulous Freebirds while totally accepting WWE’s strategy to have New Day induct the Birds into the WWEHOF because they’re basically doing the same shtick as a team (I’m paraphrasing this preposterous suggestion). Everything else is pretty much booty, too, since it amounts to little more than “Oh hey, did you see this happen on RAW? And then they did that other thing.”

Final thoughts: This repug effort is not maj. In truth, it is no better than Cheap Heat adjace. The show is at its worst when Rosenberg dominates the flow, and given the logistics of the three main players this week, it was simply unavoidable. I’m quite weary of the Hogan trial narrative, but I must say that was the only segment of the show worth hearing because it engendered legitimate, multi-faceted debate and also because it allowed the hosts to actually tap into the personal qualities that make them a compelling blend. But ultimately, the guys are affected by the same malaise afflicting most WWE fans these days; the WrestleMania build has stalled and it’s time to get to the damn show. For the Dallas-bound Cheap Heat crew, that’s a legitimate issue grounded in geography. I expect next week’s show(s) from the scene of the action to be essential listening. But y’all can save yourself the mental bandwidth by bailing on this one completely.