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Cheap Heat from Grantland Sports (Sept. 22, 2015)

CHEAP HEAT FROM GRANTLAND SPORTS
HOSTS: DAVID SHOEMAKER & PETER ROSENBERG
RELEASE DATE: SEPTEMBER 22, 2015

LINK TO STREAM OR DOWNLOAD SHOW

By Corey Freedman, PWPodcasts.com reporter

TOP NOTEWORTHY ITEMS

– The hosts felt that WWE could have spent more time promoting the Undertaker vs. Lesnar match at HIAC. Given that the match is the last in the feud between two of the biggest stars in the company, it was surprising to the hosts that they only announced this match during a short video package and spent little time talking about it on Raw.

– Rosenberg believes Charlotte was hotshot to the Divas Title a bit too quickly, and both he and Rosenberg believe the WWE eased into the Paige heel turn a bit too much.

– The hosts break down the Sting vs. Seth Rollins match and try to piece together information about Sting’s potential injury and when it may have occurred.

– The hosts agreed that Chris Jericho was a decent/safe choice for the mystery partner given the situation and result of the match.

SUBJECTS COVERED (w/Time Stamps)

0:00 – Introduction

1:26 – Brock Lesnar vs. Undertaker HIAC announcement

6:25 – Sting Injury

12:50 – Fan jumping in the ring with Reigns/Ambrose

22:40 – Charlotte winning the Divas title/Ric Flair’s emotions

31:50 – John Cena post-match with Seth Rollins at NOC

35:35 – Chris Jericho as the mystery partner for Reigns/Ambrose

43:40 – JBL/Bischoff interview on the WWE Network and discussion of trust/production in WWE

58:15 – Sheamus being an afterthought

59:48 – Brief discussion of Rosenberg’s career/radio shows/football (general discussion)

1:05:15 – Shoemaker’s idea for the WWE Network

1:08:35 – Stat Guy Greg reviews the show for errors/corrections

1:13:00 – Sign Off

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS

Brock Lesnar/Undertaker Announcement: The guys discuss how this match was announced via a promo package during Night of Champions. Rosenberg asks whether they spent enough time on Raw promoting such a huge match. Shoemaker does not think they spent enough time promoting it, and says that could have taken up 30 minutes on Raw. Rosenberg notes that this is the final match in their feud, and it will take place in the defining match style of The Undertaker’s career (in a cell). Given those points, he wonders why there was not more time spent on introducing this match. Shoemaker notes that it feels like this match is a gift to L.A. for taking Summerslam away this year. The group briefly discusses the how some WWE events are better on TV than in person and that HIAC might be one of those events.

Sting Injury: Shoemaker starts this discussion by noting that this is related to the Undertaker conversation because people often worry about Taker’s well-being each time he fights. He also notes that he originally thought Sting was just selling, but watching the match again he noticed some signs that it was a legitimate injury (such as Sting’s knees buckling after the turnbuckle powerbomb spot). The hosts argue about whether you could hear Rollins say “that was on me” during the match. In trying to figure out when Sting got injured, they review the turnbuckle spot and wonder if Rollins dropped Sting too high on his back. Rosenberg wonders why, if Sting had a neck injury, they went to a roll-up for the finish given that Sting has to be on his neck. He also notes how unique a spot Rollins was in during this match because he had to continue to play the heel role while unsure of Sting’s condition.

Fan in the ring: Shoemaker starts off this topic by talking about how The Shield and Wyatt Family are easy targets for fans that like to cosplay as the wrestlers. Rosenberg brings up that the WWE will now start prosecuting these fans to the fullest extent of the law. Shoemaker expresses some worry with how close these fans are getting to the wrestlers each time this happens. Stat Guy Greg wonders if it would be a bad thing for one of these fans to get their bell rung by one of the wrestlers. Shoemaker tells a story of the wrestlers beating down a fan in WCW. This conversation leads to Shoemaker discusses his next article that will touch on how weird NOC/Raw felt, specifically how Rollins goes from possibly being Sting’s last opponent to being dragged under the ring the next night on Raw.

Charlotte/Ric Flair: The guys talk about Ric’s emotions at NOC and Raw and much he and Charlotte must have been thinking of Ric’s son Reid, who passed away in 2013. Rosenberg notes that he feels Charlotte was hot-shotted to the Divas Title a bit too quickly. He relates this to his readings of Gary Hart’s book in which he discusses how title changes can be detrimental if not built properly, and that there is a lot of pressure for someone like Charlotte if there isn’t a big plan ahead for her now that she is the champion. Shoemaker responds that this logic might not apply to the Divas championship, as it is usually not a belt the WWE makes a focal point of the shows. Rosenberg then points out that he thinks the WWE could have done more leading up to the title change to make Charlotte feel big than just promoting her name. Rosenberg starts a brief conversation about Paige’s heel turn by saying he feels the WWE eased into this turn too much. Shoemaker notes that nothing really happened in the ring to warrant Paige turning during that segment (he thinks this conversation could have taken place backstage). He believes the right way to do this turn would have been to have commentary constantly putting Charlotte over as the “heir apparent” to the divas division, and then that constant over-promotion would have enraged Paige. Circling back to the title match on Sunday, the hosts agree that they enjoyed Nikki and Charlotte’s match. Shoemaker specifically praises Charlotte selling a knee injury throughout the match.

Cena-Rollins: Stat Guy Greg jokes that Seth Rollins could charge John Cena with battery for giving him an AA on the ramp after their match on Sunday. He wonders why Cena would be allowed to physically assault Rollins after their match was over, and Rollins was preparing for his next match with Sting. Shoemaker follows by saying this represented the “cartoonish” nature of John Cena in that he has a move (the AA) that consistently ends championship matches, but he used it on Rollins, on the entrance ramp no less, who then has an entire match right afterward. Rosenberg notes that “Jack Tunney would never had allowed” Cena to do that.

Y2J: Rosenberg jokes about how Jericho was supposed to be a special mystery partner, but we have seen him on WWE television recently and he is constantly at house shows. Shoemaker discusses how much he dislikes Jericho wearing tights and not pants. However, he follows by saying that he thought Jericho was a good choice to be the mystery partner as he had some storyline relevance with the Wyatt Family. He also feels like NOC was just a “transitional champion PPV” for Hell in a Cell, as none of the feuds really ended at this show. He doesn’t dislike long feuds, but he feels that things need to end at a certain point for things to feel meaningful. Greg notes that he also likes long feuds, but part of the problem is that they try to include them on every single PPV. Shoemaker continues by saying that they could have matches that continue the feuds but that make it clear is not the big payoff of the feud (such as having one member of Reigns/Ambrose fight a member of the Wyatt Family as opposed to all of them at once every single time). Rosenberg then mentions the rumor of Carlito returning and how he would have preferred him as the mystery partner over Jericho. The Carlito mentions briefly leads the hosts to discuss how much they dislike theme songs that start with the wrestler’s catchphrase.

JBL/Bischoff: Rosenberg begins this topic by stating how much he enjoyed the interview. Shoemaker continues by saying this was a good example of simple content the WWE can produce that is entertaining and can fill time on the Network. Rosenberg notes that this show was a good reminder of how much he enjoyed JBL’s heel run which is sometimes hard to remember given how annoying he can be on commentary. Rosenberg talks about Gary Hart’s book and relates it to how he wonders if we will ever see an era where the WWE trusts its wrestlers to be themselves/take chances again. He relates this to the JBL discussion by saying that he dislikes a lot of his work on commentary, but it seemingly isn’t his decision at all. Shoemaker responds by saying that the commentary work on NXT doesn’t seem nearly as “produced.” He also says that he felt the in-ring competition on Sunday felt more like “the road agents were booking the matches.” Rosenberg bring the discussion towards the hosts, such as JoJo, who sometimes seem clueless as to what the goals of the interview segments should be or how she should be conducting them. He argues that those roles shouldn’t need to be so heavily produced, as there are plenty of talented people who could be given a few talking points and make those segments feel genuine. Shoemaker makes the case that the WWE puts people like JoJo in those positions to see if there is anything of value there, and he uses Corey Graves as an example of that logic really paying off for the WWE. Rosenberg wants the backstage interviews to feel more genuine and serve to promote competition that feels real. Going on a similar tangent, Shoemaker gives an example of the Wyatt Family-Reigns/Ambrose stare down that ends with the Wyatt Family video transition/fade to black, but then the lights come on over the commentary table. He expresses annoyance with production choices like this because the commentary desk is five feet from the ring, and the immediate cut to commentary kills some of the suspension of disbelief.

Sheamus: Shoemaker discusses how on the final Raw before NOC, commentary basically just included Sheamus in the discussion for Seth Rollins night at the PPV in a forced manner.

General Discussion: The hosts talk about Rosenberg’s career, ideas for podcasts/radio shows, and spend a little bit of time on the NFL and Shoemaker’s Dallas Cowboys.

Idea for the Network: Shoemaker poses an idea for an Adult Swim style cartoon block on the WWE Network, as opposed to all the children’s cartoons the WWE produces. They talk a bit about the Netflix show Narcos.

Stat Guy Greg/Show Review: Greg mentions that there has not been a date set for a Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte re-match for the Divas Title. Shoemaker notes how intrigued he is by the possibility of a Divas match within a cell. Rosenberg argues that Xavier Woods playing Rusev’s theme on the trombone was the highlight of Raw. Shoemaker wonders if Sheamus is being cast as a joke, because currently his gimmick seems to be having an inability to successfully cash in his Money in the Bank contract. He also enjoyed Kane’s forgetfulness gimmick on Raw.

SCORE & REVIEW

7.5 out of 10: This was a fairly solid episode of Cheap Heat. Much like last week’s episode, the hosts had a clear plan of the topics they wanted to cover, and they transitioned between them well. I thought they did a nice job of covering some of the biggest issues coming out of the Night of Champions PPV, and they devoted a good amount of time to each of those issues. While I had praised Rosenberg last week for being more subdued with his use of the soundboard, I thought this week was a step backwards. I believe he played the “it’s still real to me damnit” clip at least five times throughout the show. This very well may be enjoyable for some, but to me it gets distracting at a certain point. For me, the real reason this show doesn’t score higher is that I would have liked to hear them discuss every match on the NOC card. For example, they did not even mention the Kevin Owens vs. Ryback match, nor did they spend much time discussing the New Day vs. the Dudley Boyz. Sometimes there may not be much to discuss on certain matches, but general after a PPV I would like to hear where the hosts stand on everything. Again, overall this was a solid show. There are some really entertaining discussions and it was an easy listen.

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