Thursday, June 30, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Ringer Ep. 7

Punk's UFC debut is subject of conversation
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: Ringer Wrestling Podcast
Episode: Seven (June 28, 2016)
Run Time: 1:07:20
Guest: Joel Solomon

Summary: David Shoemaker welcomes to the studio his colleague Joel Solomon, a writer for Bill Simmons’ Any Given Wednesday. They open with a long look at the Roman Reigns’ suspension. That eventually leads to a bit of RAW talk, which bleeds into draft projections. Somehow that becomes a conversation about which WWE stars are dating each other and outside celebrities. Shoemaker asks about the upcoming UFC bouts for Brock Lesnar and CM Punk, then they work toward the close by going back to other events from RAW.

Quote of the week: Solomon: “This is my problem with it. You have AJ Styles who (is) finally in the WWE, he’s more over than anyone in the company — unanimously with kids, with parents, across the board, and when Cena comes back, ‘You know what? Let’s turn this guy heel.’ And that just still really bothers me, and I’ve never gotten over it.”

Why you should listen: Last week’s show (and post-Money In The Bank column) were finished before the Reigns news dropped, so although fans have had a week to chew over the fallout, this is Shoemaker’s first chance to go on the record at length with his insight. Outside of that, fans who enjoyed most of this week’s RAW, or those looking forward to UFC 200 and 203, probably will enjoy having their opinions validated in this format.

Why you should skip it: Perhaps it was unavoidable, but there seemed to be a heavy sense of staleness. In part we can blame the recording cycle relative to the Reigns news, and also it’s fair to wonder how much there is to talk about in a period where WWE is obviously spinning its wheels until things change at Battleground and the subsequent brand extension draft. If you watched RAW closely or listened to last week’s podcast, there’s not much here that will feel fresh to your ears.

Final thoughts: Solomon seems like a decent enough co-host, but the interplay with Shoemaker for some reason seemed more stilted than we’ve experienced with other Ringer guests over the last several weeks. That could be because Solomon didn’t have deep enough thoughts that warranted prolonged commentary, or it could be because Shoemaker felt he needed to assert more control over the flow of conversation. Either way, the end result is something of a flat outing. But ultimately, in a period of WWE stasis, podcasts about WWE must aim high to reach a level of essential listening, and Shoemaker makes no such attempt this week.