Cheap Heat from Grantland Sports (Sept. 10)


SEPTEMBER 10, 2015

By Corey Freedman, podcast reporter


The hosts discuss how important “celebrity fans” have been to the WWE’s rise in mainstream acceptance recently. Specifically, they note how the Jon Stewart angles make the show seem less real, but that his involvement has many more potential upsides.

All three hosts agree that they are excited to see Sting wrestle at N.O.C. but that they have been less than thrilled with the feud thus far. While they trust Sting’s in-ring abilities, they believe their match will rely very heavily on Seth Rollins’ interest in making Sting look amazing.

All three hosts agree that they have no reaction to Baron Corbin, if he is indeed the partner for Reigns/Ambrose. They don’t speak negatively about Corbin, but they have little interest. All three also agree that the best choice for their partner is Samoa Joe. They note that he has more widespread popularity and that his style fits perfectly with Reigns/Ambrose for a match against the Wyatt Family.

SUBJECTS DISCUSSED (with time stamps)

0:00 – Introduction (brief musings on blading and kayfabe)

5:25 – Reaction to Jimmy Snuka being charged with murder

11:45 – Discussion of WWE’s rising popularity

15:35 – Brief discussion of El Torito’s break up with Los Matadores

17:35 – Fan Run-Ins

24:35 – Reaction to Sting stealing the statue of Seth Rollins

29:50 – Brief discussion of the Nikki Bella countdown/Charlotte

36:30 – Reaction to rumor of Baron Corbin as Reigns/Ambrose partner for N.O.C.

41:15 – Rosenberg plays a clip of Jay Lethal impersonating Ric Flair

43:15 – Rosenberg tells a story about Samoa Joe

45:40 – Musing that WWE is trolling the audience with Corbin picture

47:02 – Discussion of the Beautiful People

49:20 – Shoemaker discusses his Grantland article

50:28 – Rosenberg plays the Beautiful People theme song

50:50 – Comparison between Deadspin and Bleacher Report

54:33 – Brief discussion of Alex Wright (Berlyn)

55:35 – Rosenberg asks Shoemaker questions about Gary Hart

1:00:10 – Discussion about the host’s girlfriends

1:01:25 – Greg reviews the show to make corrections/additions

1:05:55 – Signing Off


Introduction: David Shoemaker tells a story about Jake the Snake that he heard on the Steve Austin Show. The group talks briefly about blading.

Jimmy Snuka: Shoemaker runs down a few bullet points from the actual case (both the original details and some about how the case was re-opened). Shoemaker talks about how much of shame this all is because many fans don’t know just how important/impactful Snuka was. He compares Snuka’s initial push to that of Brock Lesnar’s to emphasize how big Snuka was. Peter Rosenberg notes that many of the older fans he interacts with speak of Snuka in the same vein as Bruno Sammartino.

WWE’s Popularity: Shoemaker notes that he recently wrote an article for Grantland that discusses WWE’s recent re-emergence in mainstream media. He also notes that many media outlets ask him for interviews regarding that subject, rather than the recent legal troubles with WWE superstars. He notes that a huge reason for this rise is due to celebrity fans (such as Bill Simmons, Jon Stewart, and Wale) who are not afraid to voice their support. Shoemaker discusses how Jon Stewart’s involvement in matches may make it seem “faker” but that there are many upsides to such actions.

El Torito/Los Matadores: The group is not particularly interested in this angle, but Shoemaker jokes that it would amusing if El Torito, instead of joining another tag-team, creates his own with the Big Show.

Fan Run-Ins: Shoemaker reviews the incident from Monday Night Raw where a fan ran down the ramp alongside Seth Rollins.

Shoemaker discusses the difference between a “drunk run-in” and a “kayfabe run-in.” Noting that in the old days fans would charge the ring in response to something in kayfabe (IE they were so mad a heel struck the referee). The group talks about how stupid a decision it is to run into a WWE ring, especially given the physical talent almost everyone on the roster has.

Sting/Seth Rollins statue: Shoemaker points out that he enjoys many aspects of this feud, namely that the match is occurring at an off-month PPV, but that this isn’t a storyline he would have booked.  Rosenberg was surprised that the angle with the statue was still occurring.

During the Rollins/Sting discussion, Rosenberg confirms with the group that we have yet to hear a response from the Undertaker post-Summerslam (or an explanation as to where he is). Shoemaker ask Rosenberg and Stat Guy Greg to rate their interest in the Rollins/Sting feud? Rosenberg says that he is interested in seeing Sting wrestle, but their feud doesn’t interest him. Greg agrees. Shoemaker makes the point that the value of this match lies heavily on Seth Rollins making Sting look awesome. Nikki Bella countdown: The group laughed at some JBL quotes related to the countdown and the “Bellabration.”

Shoemaker feels like Charlotte comes off more heelish in many of her promos, noting that she often yells a lot. Rosenberg jokes that it isn’t shocking the daughter of Ric Flair naturally comes off as more of a heel. The group discusses the nuances of the “Woo.”

Rosenberg insists watching the Ric Flair/Jay Lethal moments in TNA, especially when Ric Flair was in a wheelchair. Shoemaker brings up a rumor that John Cena vetoed Charlotte winning the Divas Title from Nikki Bella before she surpassed A.J. Lee’s reign. They discuss the idea of Charlotte winning the title from Nikki just minutes after she has broken A.J.’s record.

Baron Corbin with Reigns/Ambrose: Shoemaker brings up a potentially leaked image from the WWE that emerged on twitter showing Corbin as the third man. Shoemaker notes that his initial reaction was to not care at all. The whole group agrees with this assessment. Shoemaker suggests that it should be Samoa Joe instead, especially since he just beat Corbin on NXT. Rosenberg feels Joe would add a nice level of badass to the Shield. Rosenberg notes that it seems possible the crowd will have no reaction as well, which is worse than them booing. He thinks this because fans who only watch NXT Takeover specials don’t have that much to draw on to get excited about Corbin. Shoemaker does agree that Corbin fits in with the image of Reigns/Ambrose.

Rosenberg’s Samoa Joe story: Rosenberg talks about running into Joe the weekend of Summerslam and that he did not get the sense Joe knew exactly what his direction was going to be going forward with the WWE.

WWE trolling audience: Shoemaker argues that if they wanted to make Samoa Joe Reigns/Ambrose partner, leaking an image of Baron Corbin would be a great way to swerve the audience. Greg relates that to Kevin Owens carrying the NXT title into a TV taping to preserve the outcome of his match with Finn Balor in Brooklyn.

The Beautiful People: Rosenberg and Shoemaker discuss how much they love their entrance/attire. Shoemaker was a big fan of Lacey Von Erich, noting that she wasn’t a great wrestler but that she was tall and beautiful. They try to figure out what Lacey Von Erich is up to nowadays.  Shoemaker wonders how it would work if the Beautiful People came to the WWE. Shoemaker suggests that you could have a separate feud for the Divas Title while the Bellas feud with the Beautiful People.

Shoemaker discusses his Grantland article: He notes that Disco Inferno tweeted at him about the article because it was published around the same time as a Forbes article about the WWE. Deadspin/Bleacher Report: Shoemaker notes that Bleacher Report is a content farm, but that he knows various writers who actually do great work on the site.

Gary Hart: Shoemaker notes that Hart is one of the most well-regarded bookers, but he notes that his purview was relatively small. Shoemaker loves his TV character, especially that he was often larger than some of the wrestlers he managed. They talk about Gary Hart’s work with The Spoiler.

Host’s girlfriends: Rosenberg wonders if Shoemaker would force his girlfriend to read his book about professional wrestling. Shoemaker tries to think of a similar question for Rosenberg.

Stat Guy Greg: Greg corrects Shoemaker’s story about Terry Funk turning on Gary Hart, noting that it was the other way around. Greg lists all the members of the Beautiful People. 

Greg mentions some of the specific details of the Snuka case.  Shoemaker believes there is enough evidence to convict Snuka, and that nobody’s opinion of Snuka will change whether he is convicted or not. Shoemaker tells a brief story of a fan thanking him for his work at a bar.


SCORE (6.0): I thought this was a good episode of Cheap Heat, but a listener would not be lost if they had to miss this week’s episode. I thought all three hosts did a nice job of moving through various topics, while making sure to raise some good points on each. They did a nice job of transitioning between the topics this week by making it clear when they were raising a new topic for discussion. This week I was particularly pleased with Peter Rosenberg’s focus. In past weeks his use of the soundboard has been quite distracting, as he sometimes interrupts the other hosts to play sounds (like A.J. Lee’s theme music for example). This week he did a nice job of letting the other hosts, especially Shoemaker, get really detailed with his answers without being interrupted. Overall, this was a good listen. This show touched on a wide-variety of topics ranging from legal issues, the current product, and items from the past. While a listener didn’t gain anything groundbreaking from this show, it was a focused wrestling discussion that provided many entertaining moments.


1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.