Cheap Heat Podcast – Raw Break Down w/Shoemaker & Rosenberg (Feb. 3, 2016)

“Cheap Heat” Podcast on Grantland Sports
Hosts: David Shoemaker & Peter Rosenberg
Release Date: February 3, 2016


Recap by Corey Freedman

Top Newsworthy Items

– The hosts offer their thoughts and well-wishes for Bret Hart, who is battling prostate cancer.

– The hosts loved the work The Miz did on Raw with A.J. Styles. They praise Miz’s ability on the mic.

– The trio discusses the confusing booking of Roman Reigns in the Rumble. Namely, why he went to the back without getting on the stretcher.

Subjects Covered (w/timestamps)

0:00 – Introduction
5:22 – Bret Hart
14:20 – Lucha Underground
16:45 – A.J. Styles
22:35 – Brand split
28:25 – The Miz
33:32 – Raw
37:30 – NHL/NBA
39:40 – A.J. Styles theme
43:12 – More Raw
54:55 – Roman Reigns in the Rumble
1:00:23 – Conclusion

Show Highlights

Introduction: The hosts discuss some of their other work/weekend plans. They wonder if Ric Flair supports the Carolina Panthers. Rosenberg talks about his plans for Super Bowl weekend. Shoemaker asks which cities he could live in and survive just being a wrestling writer.

Bret Hart: Rosenberg brings up the recent news that Bret Hart has prostate cancer. They talk about his surgery. Shoemaker thought it was nice that the story received so much mainstream attention because Bret certainly deserves to have many people wishing him well. Rosenberg says he is not ready to live in a world without Bret in it. They all praise him as a wrestler and as a person. Shoemaker wonders what the WWE would be like now without Bret Hart. They also pass along well wishes for Blackjack Mulligan.

Lucha Underground: Shoemaker suggest anyone that has not seen LU find a way to watch the program. He mentions the main event between Mil Muertes and Ivelisse. He says that match was booked the way they want Raw to be (in the sense that it was surprising and set an exciting path for them to go down in the future).

A.J. Styles: Shoemaker notes that A.J. hit the Styles Clash move on Curtis Axel last week on Smackdown. He says the move makes him uncomfortable and doesn’t need to see it again. They can’t figure out the point of debuting it on Smackdown after teasing it in the Rumble and on Raw. The hosts all praise The Miz for his interview with Styles on Raw. Greg says that Miz might be his MVP of the week. Shoemaker says he did more to get A.J. over than anything A.J. was going to do on his own (he says that as a huge A.J. fan). He was initially wary when he heard A.J. would be on Miz TV. They discuss the possibility of a Chris Jericho-Styles match at WM32. Shoemaker says he is enjoying this period in WWE booking because when things happen (like A.J. attacking The Miz) you don’t know if it’s to promote Smackdown, to set up a Fast Lane match, or part of the WM32 build. He likes the uncertainty.

Brand Split: Shoemaker brings up the possibility of a brand split. He says one thing the WWE is missing, that real sports have, is trade rumors. He says it could be really cool if there was a true brand split where they were really competing for ratings/talent/etc. He says the could have segments where they show the writers talking about how to beat the other show. Rosenberg and Greg agree this is not something the WWE would do. Rosenberg suggests the focus be more on the two brands building toward a mutual prize (like baseball with split leagues who occasionally play each other).

The Miz: Rosenberg says that Miz should be trusted to take the ball and run with some ideas. He thinks Miz should be building a stable as well as the role of a manager type is the best path for him. Rosenberg and Greg don’t think the Miz has much more of a future as only a wrestler, but Shoemaker slightly disagrees. Shoemaker and Greg really disagree on the role Miz can play as a wrestler.

Raw: They recap the Dean Ambrose-BrockLesnar interaction to start the show. Rosenberg notes that there was a great “MAJ” sign featured on Raw. Shoemaker liked that Ambrose was allowed the opportunity to have that segment with Brock. The hosts bring up Lilian Garcia accidentally calling the Usos the “Grammy” winners instead of Slammy winners.

NHL/NBA: Rosenberg jokes that the WWE booked the John Scott situation at the NHL All-Star Game perfectly. Shoemaker brings up the Blake Griffin situation as another example of a sports moment that seems like a well-written storyline.

A.J.’s theme: They talk about the WWE theme. Rosenberg plays the audio. Rosenberg really likes the beginning of the theme and thinks that part will get over with crowds. This leads them to talk about The Rock’s theme for a bit.

More Raw: Shoemaker says that he would not mind seeing Kevin Owens vs. Dolph Ziggler every week. He thinks they work really well together and that Ziggler makes Owens look great. Shoemaker points out that Ziggler, Owens, and Ambrose represent some big guys who we seem to have no idea what they will be doing at WM32. Shoemaker asks whether the other hosts would prefer Ziggler or Miz be the World Hvt. champion, and both say Ziggler easily. They try to think of a way for Ziggler to fix his career path. Rosenberg plays some Ric Flair promo audio. Shoemaker says he wishes Titus O’Neil was partnering with Goldust instead of R-Truth. Rosenberg brings up that his trunks are way too short. They talk about some trunks having too many details and needing to be a little simpler.

Roman Reigns at the Rumble: Shoemaker starts the discussion of how Reigns was booked in the Rumble. He talks about how he was beaten up out of the ring, but not eliminated, and then him not getting on the stretcher but still going to the back. He says this booking was crazy. He notes that booking him at #1 serves several purposes, but that is negated by him walking to the back. He has no idea what they thought this would accomplish. He suggests maybe they thought him walking to the back would make him look stronger? They suggest he should have been strapped to the stretcher or something like that. Shoemaker suggests even having the League of Nations dress as EMTs to take him to the back. They wonder if he was going to lose anyway, what was the point of doing all this with Reigns as it certainly didn’t make him look any stronger.

Conclusion: For the second straight week Greg doesn’t have any corrections for the show. Rosenberg lays out an idea that involves Cena and Brie Bella falling in love because Daniel Bryan and Nikki Bella are not healthy.

Score and Review

Score (8.0): This was an entertaining episode. There were not too many hot-button issues to talk about, so I didn’t have a problem with the topics being all over the place. I thought this was a fun discussion between wrestling fans that touched on a variety of topics. Kind of a simple episode of Cheap Heat, but sometimes that isn’t a bad thing.

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