Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Ringer Ep. 6

The events that led to this were topics of discussion
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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: Ringer Wrestling Podcast
Episode: 6 (June 21, 2016)
Run Time: 1:20:12
Guest: Steve Kazee, Angelina Burnett

Summary: David Shoemaker has both a return guest in Steve Kazee (episode two) and a fresh face, TV writer Angelina Burnett, who has gotten deep into WWE starting with WrestleMania 31. The conversation, naturally, opens on the final act of Sunday’s Money In The Bank show. Then they go through the entire card, weighing in on each match, participant and outcome, and also touch on some of the high points from RAW.

Quote of the week: Kazee: “That’s what I always say about being an understudy. It’s like, don’t do it more than twice, otherwise you’re going to always be the understudy because you’re reliable, you come in — I did two understudies on Broadway and I thought, ‘Well, that’s it, not doing this anymore.’ Cause when you’re that good, like, you’re utilized for that thing. It’s like, ‘Oh, we need a midcard guy? Dolph Ziggler’s your guy. He always performs, 150 percent. Put him in there.’ You know? Then they’re like, ‘Well, what about for the main event?’ ‘Eh, let’s just keep him in the midcard.’ You know?”

Why you should listen: Kazee and Shoemaker continue to be a great fit, and Money In The Bank certainly provides a lot of fodder. Burnett’s insights as an experienced writer who is a late arriver to WWE are welcome (notably the recollection of the absolute confusion surrounding the Seth Rollins’ WrestleMania cash-in), but in the context of the episode she’s not at all treated like some girl fan just trying to show credentials. Any distinction in her role on the panel is attributable to Kazee’s earlier appearance making the chemistry with he and Shoemaker more natural. Either one or both can come back any time as far as I’m concerned.

Why you should skip it: Everyone who recorded a podcast this week did so some time before the Roman Reigns suspension news broke, so each episode is instantly dated. Further, as good as the chemistry is between the three folks, they do spend 80 solid minutes talking about, more or less, only one topic, and that will come off as excessive to some folks. It’s not a bad conversation by any means, but noticeably absent is Shoemaker’s gambit of painting current WWE events through a past happening. Especially with Burnett’s unique background, it would have been fun to spend some time considering Dean Ambrose’s title win through the lens of at least one other cash-in moment. Also, the ring bells that in earlier shows seemed to designate a topic shift have come to sound more like accidental audio drops, as they really don’t have any affect on the direction of the conversation.

Final thoughts: If you’ve enjoyed Shoemaker’s Ringer show thus far, you’ll definitely dig this one. If you’re not paying attention to current WWE, you probably don’t listen to this show anyway, but you most certainly won’t need to check out this episode. It would be a pretty suitable fill in for anyone who wants to get up to speed on Money In The Bank without actually watching the show. Still, any criticisms I’ve leveled are to be taken lightly, as this remains, in its youth, an elite wrestling podcast in terms of the usefulness of the panelists, timeliness, production values and respect for audience.