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Cheap Heat Podcast – Daniel Bryan retirement & Titus O’Neil suspension Reax (Feb. 10, 2016)

“Cheap Heat” Podcast on Grantland Sports
Hosts: David Shoemaker & Peter Rosenberg
Release Date: February 10, 2016

DIRECT LINK TO LISTEN/DOWNLOAD

Recap by Corey Freedman

Top Newsworthy Items

– The hosts break down Daniel Bryan’s retirement. They all agreed that this was one of the best promos they have ever seen.

– Shoemaker calls the Bryan storyline leading up to, and including, WM30 one of, if not the, most perfect stories ever told in wrestling.

– The trio tries to figure out the Titus O’Neil situation after news broke today that he was suspended for 90 days after grabbing Vince McMahon as the Daniel Bryan  retirement segment went off the air.

Subjects Covered (w/timestamps)

0:00 – Introduction
1:30 – Titus O’Neil
6:40 – Daniel Bryan’s retirement
33:20 – More on Titus
35:05 – Discussion of shows that air after Raw on USA Network/Dog show/O.J. Simpson show
51:40 – Raw thoughts
57:00 – Conclusion (show closes with audio of Bryan winning the WWE Title at WM30)

Show Highlights

Introduction: Shoemaker talks about writing a piece about Daniel Bryan for ESPN.com.

Titus O’Neil: Shoemaker brings up that Titus has been suspended for 90 days for grabbing Vince McMahon at the end of the Daniel Bryan retirement segment. Shoemaker talks about noticing it when it happened live. Rosenberg says that even if you have a good relationship, this was a really weird time to be playful. Shoemaker assumes this has everything to do with it being caught on camera. Rosenberg thinks we are missing a piece of information here because 90 days is a long suspension. He says that he also didn’t perceive Vince to be laughing/chuckling during the interaction.

Daniel Bryan’s retirement: Rosenberg says that there was nothing more unnecessary than Michael Cole talking while Daniel Bryan was thanking people in the crowd. He says we obviously knew how we were supposed to feel during that moment and it didn’t need Cole’s voice. Shoemaker jokes about some people’s unenthusiastic Yes! chants (like Cody Rhodes). Rosenberg talks about the production saying that there are moments where they don’t need to do anything for the moment to feel big/important. He feels that the WWE didn’t allow this moment to breathe on its own enough. The hosts agree that he delivered an absolutely perfect promo. Shoemaker says that as a writer he was “floored” by how well put together that retirement speech was.

They talk about the weird relationship between Vince and Bryan. Rosenberg talks about being very sad, but he feels like Bryan accomplished more than he ever probably would have thought. Shoemaker calls the Bryan build to the Title at WM 30 the best wrestling story ever told. The hosts wonder if DB will be in the Hall of Fame this year. Shoemaker brings up Bryan’s contract situation leading up to his retirement. He talks about a report/rumor that the WWE did not allow Bryan to get out of his contract in order to wrestle somewhere else. He guesses that he negotiated a new deal for his post-retirement career with the WWE. All the hosts agree that Bryan is an eventual HOF’er regardless of which year he goes in. Shoemaker notes that WWE hasn’t been as reserved to acknowledge outside accomplishments so Bryan’s career before the WWE should be considered. The hosts agree that Bryan’s position in WWE history is greater than that of Edge.

They refute the notion that the Yes! chant was more over than Bryan was as a performer. They also compare/contrast the paths of Edge and Daniel Bryan given the similarities around their retirements. Shoemaker suggests that Bryan opened the WWE’s eyes that there are different ways for talents to get over (e.g. you can look like a world champion without “looking like a world champion”). He says that Kevin Owens would not be getting the push he is without Bryan.

Rosenberg again praises the perfectness of Bryan’s farewell promo. Rosenberg comments how interesting it is to think that he covered Bryan’s entire WWE career. Rosenberg talks about how there wasn’t much left for Bryan to accomplish in WWE (not that he is glad to see him retire, but just from Bryan’s perspective he accomplished everything he ever could have wanted). Shoemaker brings up DB’s appearance on ESPN with Coach. Rosenberg does note that he doesn’t understand why he couldn’t have been on TV this whole time while he was out. The hosts talk about how hard it is not to think part of the situation was a work given how we are conditioned to watch wrestling.

More on Titus: The hosts bring this up again and still wonder why he wasn’t just fined instead of suspended. Rosenberg wonders why this isn’t just something they give him a warning about. Shoemaker brings up that part of the problem is that Titus was technically breaking kayfabe because Vince is a heel.

USA/Dog show: The hosts talk about shows that air after Raw. Rosenberg plays WWE theme music and tries to guess which dog it would represent. The hosts talk about the O.J. Simpson show that is airing on FX.

RAW: Rosenberg starts by praising the people that edit the promos for WWE as he really enjoyed the buildup to the Bryan retirement segment through the video packages. Shoemaker brings up Ryback changing his tights. Greg thinks it looks better than his old singlet, but he does feel like it invites the Goldberg comparison. Shoemaker also really likes the new outfit but thinks he should grow his beard out more.

Conclusion: Greg corrects a few errors during the show. They bring up Finn Balor hurting his ankle. Shoemaker brings up a rumor that Undertaker’s WM 32 opponent will be “someone totally unexpected.” Rosenberg asks how great a moment it would have been had Taker come out to challenge Bryan at the end of speech to set up a WM match. They close the show with the audio of Daniel Bryan winning the Title at WM30.

Score and Review

Score (8.5): This was a great episode of Cheap Heat. They opted to spend most of their time talking about Daniel Bryan, and I certainly had no problem with that decision. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the TV show discussion, but the dog show comparison definitely had some funny moments. They didn’t touch on Raw much outside of the Daniel Bryan story and Titus O’Neil, but I think they spent a good amount of time talking about two relevant issues which was okay by me. Overall a really entertaining 60 minutes of wrestling discussion.

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