Friday, June 24, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Cheap Heat June 22

Ambrose's rise to the top is chronicled 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: “Dean’s Jeans” (June 22, 2016)
Run Time: 57:34
Guest: None

Summary: The show opens with Peter Rosenberg, who recorded a quick explanation noting the main conversation was recorded before news of the Roman Reigns suspension surfaced. Then we get to his talk with Stat Guy Greg, breaking down Money In The Bank and Monday’s RAW, taking a bit of a diversion to discuss the problems with WWE’s commentary team structure and Jerry Lawler’s suspension. They kick around plans for a mock brand draft and Greg has a few corrections.

Quote of the week: Rosenberg “The hot and cold they have with that division, and who they’re into and not into, I mean, you know — in Vince McMahon’s big toy chest, you know, he’s not as interested in his girl toys. He’s never as, like, committed to making them — to setting a scene well. And for some reason, like, their superpowers run out with him very well. When you’re picturing Vince the kid playing in his toy box, with all his different toys, the girls have limited time before he’s like, ‘Meh!’ and just throws it over his head and starts looking for another one. And then every once in a while dig around and find someone in the bottom and he’s like, ‘Oh, I have this still? OK!’ That’s when we’ll see Naomi pop up. That’s what happened with Paige it looks like.”

Why you should listen: Unlike most weeks, this episode is tightly focused. It’s almost 100 percent talking about the news of the day (well, the pre-Reigns day), and the diversions into the announcing crew are in keeping with the overall discussion and relevant in regards to the upcoming brand split. And while folks might cringe to see Cheap Heat daring to address the Lawler suspension, it should be noted Rosenberg exercises uncharacteristic restraint and, more importantly, Greg’s shoot job as a practicing attorney gives him the authority for the comments he does make and the wisdom to know where to draw the line.

Why you should skip it: Just because Rosenberg is focused doesn’t mean he’s particularly insightful. He might think his high opinion of Rusev is some sort of hot take, but it comes off as a guy just now coming around to (or at least getting around to spouting) conventional wisdom. Neither guy says anything rude or offensive, they just don’t bring anything unique in looking back at a pretty eventful WWE week. If you’re read your usual recappers and listened to the Ringer show already, this is going to feel like little more than a retread.

Final thoughts: The guys owed their audience a straightforward episode, and they delivered. A few more like this and we’ll remember Cheap Heat can indeed remain relevant, though likely not essential. In some cases, such as pleas to take the women’s division more seriously, it matters less that the guys have fresh opinions than it does the chance they can use their considerable platform to amplify an often overlooked refrain. That’s why we, in many ways, need Cheap Heat to aspire to its potential.