Wednesday, June 15, 2016

I Listen So You Don't Have To: Ringer Wrestling Podcast Ep. 5

Dan and Dave don't run the decathlon, but they do run down Money in the Bank
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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: 5 (June 14, 2016)
Run Time: 1:13:16
Guest: Dan St. Germain

Summary: David Shoemaker brings back his week one co-host, comedian Dan St. Germain, who launches right into thoughts on the 2010 Money In The Bank show and ways WWE fumbled the Nexus story. The guys shift over to RAW, using Kane’s appearance as a springboard to look at past general manager type characters. After speculating about how the brand split will affect which shows get the most fan attention, they dive deep on last week’s NXT TakeOver. The last segment is looking ahead to Sunday’s Money In The Bank, which again includes a look back at some previous shows and ladder matches.

Quote of the week: Shoemaker: “The cage match felt so much more intimate and immediate and vital. It felt like, like a 1989 NWA cage match in a certain way, you know? But maybe that was just the setting, it was the film, I don’t know, but that match just felt so much, just — I’ve talked five million times about the Freebirds and the von Erichs … that famous Kerry von Erich-Ric Flair cage match … it looks like the Zapruder film, you know, it’s just like, the camera’s like 45 yards away and it’s grainy as hell, and whatever, and that’s part of why it looks so real. Because it’s like, ‘Man, someone’s getting murdered, I think in the background, I can’t quite tell.’ ”

Why you should listen: Shoemaker is doing a few things right every week, using RAW as a launching pad to broader discussion instead of getting bogged down in weekly minutiae, tying current events to past shows, watching said past shows to add context and flavor and — new this episode — treating NXT as importantly as any main roster output. St. Germain proves his first visit wasn’t a fluke and remains a great cohost, adding just as much insight and information as Shoemaker.

Why you should skip it: One of the downsides of St. Germain’s repeat appearance, or perhaps it’s Shoemaker feeling more comfortable as the show’s guiding force, was a few Cheap Heat-esque tangents that threaten to derail the flow of an otherwise smooth run. In one instance, St. Germain mentions he watches old WWE while doing cardio work, and that somehow ends up with stories of late night bar food and takeout pizza. It’s amusing and in no way self-laudatory, but the net result is a 60-minute podcast presented in a 75-minute package.

Final thoughts: If this week’s Cheap Heat glosses over TakeOver to spend 30 minutes breaking down the RAW open, you’ll know the podcast war is over and Shoemaker wears the undisputed crown. This episode proves the Ringer show (formal name coming next week) is going to be suited for a certain type of wrestling fan, and that fan is likely to find him or herself increasingly put off from podcasts that overlook what is good to discuss what is popular.