Cheap Heat on Grantland Sports – Royal Rumble Review (Jan. 27, 2016)

“Cheap Heat” Podcast – Grantland Sports
Hosts: David Shoemaker & Peter Rosenberg
Release Date: January 27, 2016


Recap by Corey Freedman

Top Newsworthy Items

– The hosts react to Triple H winning the Royal Rumble and becoming the new WWE World champion. The hosts seemed to agree that this was an enjoyable match, and as far as the storyline is concerned, it made sense for Hunter to win.

– The hosts agree that A.J. Styles’s debut was well put together and did a good job of presenting him to the WWE audience as a big deal.

– The Rock’s appearance on Raw drew mixed reactions. The hosts enjoyed certain parts, but felt others were out of place, and overall the segment was too long.

Subjects Covered (w/timestamps)

0:00 – Sponsor Ad
0:30 – Introduction
1:25 – Triple H as WWE champion
14:55 – A.J. Styles debut
19:30 – Body types in WWE
26:40 – More Rumble thoughts
49:05 – The Rock on Raw
59:58 – Flo Rida
1:03:10 – Brock vs. Dean vs. Roman
1:08:00 – Conclusion
1:10:20 – Show ends

Show Highlights

Royal Rumble match: Rosenberg starts the discussion by calling out Shoemaker for saying they wouldn’t have Triple H win because he obviously won’t stand tall as champion at WM32. Shoemaker says this was the best possible scenario for this storyline. Rosenberg says that the best news from all of this is that Hunter will inject himself into the Steph/Vince segments which will make those better. They talk about the Steph/Vince segments not being the most entertaining lately, and adding Hunter with the Title will certainly help those segments. Shoemaker talks about the Authority’s promo on Monday night. He jokes about Hunter talking about him not needing to be WWE Champion, but wanting to be WWE Champion. Along those lines, he notes the very meta feel of this promo in many regards (Vince talking about Reigns fans, Hunter wanting the Title, Steph essentially talking about booking the Rumble match). Shoemaker talks about how many of the criticisms of Hunter winning are just memes (he buries people, only wants to put himself over, part-timer, etc…). He notes Brock Lesnar elevating the Title while he was a part-timer as a counterargument to that thought in particular. Rosenberg and Shoemaker agree people should be enjoying Hunter, an all-time legend, still putting on excellent performances. They praise his opening promo from Raw. Greg loved Hunter winning the Rumble.

A.J. Styles: Shoemaker notes they did his debut very well. He says he did not need to win and achieved great value from this booking. Shoemaker did not believe in the talk that they filmed his interview on Raw poorly to make him seem short. He had no problem with any of the camera work for that segment. Rosenberg notes that he hopes A.J. gets more mic time than he got on Raw this week. Rosenberg asks about A.J.’s hair. Shoemaker says it looks like someone is in the middle of growing his hair out. Rosenberg is fine with A.J. having a feud with Jericho if for no other reason than it makes sense. Overall it seems like all three hosts enjoyed A.J.’s debut presentation.

Body types: They talk about Jericho not seeming to be in the best shape right now. Shoemaker speculates for Jericho that is because he is spending more time doing yoga than spending time in the weight room. Rosenberg says that the pecs are a huge portion of whether a guy looks in good shape or not. Shoemaker notes that Ambrose seems slimmer/less muscular than he has been in the past. They talk about the problem of maintaining a particular body image while traveling on the road so much. Shoemaker does note that it is possible Dean hasn’t been WWE World champion yet because of his body image (said differently, he wouldn’t put it past Vince to make a decision based on that). He jokes that Hunter might make a better heel if he was in awful shape.

More Rumble thoughts: Shoemaker praises the spots where Hunter was selling a near elimination as looking extremely realistic. Rosenberg notes how crazy some of those spots are considering if Hunter had slipped out accidentally, the whole match/storyline would have been ruined. Shoemaker brings up some of the dumb moments breaking rules within the Rumble like The Miz staying on commentary or the Wyatt Family cheating after being eliminated. Rosenberg wonders why Bray couldn’t have just thrown Brock out after they beat him up. Shoemaker thinks that was to set up Brock vs. the entire Wyatt Family. Shoemaker says it was weird that Brock just left after his elimination, and he wonders why Brock wouldn’t have attacked Bray. Rosenberg asks why Paul Heyman wasn’t able to explain to the refs that Lesnar wasn’t eliminated by someone in the match. Rosenberg also asks why the WWE refuses to acknowledge TNA when putting over A.J. Styles. Rosenberg says he was disappointed that there were no other surprises besides A.J. Shoemaker responds that since the Rumble was for the World Title, it didn’t make sense for legends to enter because that would have taken away from the gravity of the match being for the Title. He also talks about the WWE’s inability to keep things a secret. Shoemaker says the WWE did a really smart thing in booking Ambrose as the last person against Hunter to ensure Hunter didn’t get as much of a face pop for winning the Rumble as he would have had he eliminated Roman last. Greg praises the booking of Owens as a heel, as at this point he seems to have feuds with half the roster. Rosenberg notes that one of the biggest pops of the night was for Sasha Banks. He continues that when Sasha came out, it reminded him that none of the other women are on her level. They talk a bit about how it’s unfortunate Becky was thrown to the side here, but Rosenberg and Greg agree that she isn’t close to Sasha’s level.

Rock on Raw: Rosenberg found the character he was portraying in the beginning was weird. Shoemaker notes that it reminded him a lot of old time cocaine-driven promos. Rosenberg loved the part backstage, even though it was weird. He loved how he counted down to his music hitting backstage. He notes that by the time he got out to the ring, the crowd reaction had already died down because he had been on screen for 10 minutes. Shoemaker brings up how weird it was for him to mention the Gorilla position. They talk about it seeming like the Rock forgot what he was supposed to say during certain portions of this segment. They talk about The Rock interacting with the fans in costume. They enjoyed the interaction with the New Day but thought this segment was way too long. While on the topic of Raw, Shoemaker notes he isn’t the biggest fan of the Styles Clash as a move. They talk about the disjointed nature of Rock’s appearance. The three agreed the Lana portion was completely unnecessary.

Flo Rida: Rosenberg brings up that this shows WWE’s disconnect really well. He thought the idea of having Flo Rida do a battle rap made absolutely no sense. He also joked before they battled, that Bo Dallas would outrap him (which he did).

Brock/Dean/Roman: Shoemaker brings up that it would make more sense for them to sell Reigns as an inevitable champion, rather than trying to make him seem like an underdog with no chance. They also think it might make sense for Vince to subtly acknowledge that Reigns might make a great champion. Shoemaker wonders what the plans for Dean at W 32 are. They think he’ll be doing something with the IC Title. Shoemaker suggests that Ambrose is currently just taking Cena’s spot, and that perhaps that will mean he will face The Undertaker at WM32. He says that if you inserted Cena into Ambrose’s role at the Rumble and Fast Lane, it makes more sense.

Conclusion: Rosenberg sends best wishes to Nikki Bella who is dealing with a shoulder injury/surgery. He certainly hopes this is not the end of her in-ring career. Greg notes that Lucha Underground returns tonight.

Score and Review

Score (9.0): Another great episode of Cheap Heat. This show wasted no time getting into the big issues of the week. They spent ample time discussing the finish of the Royal Rumble and what that means going forward. They also addressed A.J. Styles’s debut into the WWE. This show was well structured and feature no real digressions from the important issues. If you like Cheap Heat, you will certainly enjoy this episode. If you have never heard Cheap Heat, this episode is a great primer for the show overall. Simply a solid hour of entertaining wrestling discussion.

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