“Cheap Heat” Podcast on Grantland Sports
Hosts: David Shoemaker & Peter Rosenberg
Release Date: February 24, 2016
Recap by Corey Freedman
– The hosts loved Shane McMahon’s return on Raw and were extremely excited. The hosts agree that the only other person who could have returned to a pop like that is C.M. Punk.
– Shoemaker says that the end of Raw certainly got him more excited for the main event of WM32, but all the hosts agreed that obviously was not a smart way to book Reigns.
– Rosenberg says the WWE can’t possibly continue with the “stack the deck” angle for Roman as it certainly doesn’t do him any favors.
– The hosts rave about the heel work Charlotte and Ric Flair have been doing lately.
– Shoemaker feels like, right now, WM32 is one of the most predictable WrestleManias ever.
– Shoemaker talks about Roman’s booking making no sense given that we are in the “Reality Era” as everyone knows the story they are selling does not reflect reality.
Subjects Covered (w/timestamps)
0:00 – Sponsor ad
0:15 – Shane McMahon
30:25 – More Raw/WM32 build thoughts
53:55 – WWE Network issues
57:00 – Roman’s blood
58:17 – Ryback
1:01:40 – Big Show on Austin’s podcast
1:02:55 – Roman Reigns
1:07:20 – Paul Heyman
1:09:10 – Wyatt Family
1:10:00 – WM32 thoughts
1:11:45 – Sami Zayn conspiracy
1:13:40 – Godfather in the Hall of Fame
1:19:10 – Stat Guy Greg reviews the show
1:26:48 – Show ends
Shane McMahon: No real introduction today. Rosenberg starts the show by interrupting the normal theme song to play Shane McMahon’s music. They joke about the fact that they have often discussed the huge pop Shane would get if he ever returned on the podcast. The hosts all agree that the story of how this all came together (in real life) would be extremely interesting. They wonder specifically about what the real life relationship between Shane and his family is. Shoemaker remarks how huge the pop for Shane was. Rosenberg says Shane returning is sort of vindication for the Cheap Heat podcast because he has always talked about how excited he would be to see him return, and Shane was so genuinely shocked/appreciative of the reaction he got.
Rosenberg asks who else could have returned on Monday and gotten the same reception. Shoemaker says the only answer is C.M. Punk. Rosenberg plays the audio of the Shane return from Raw. Shoemaker jokes that the endless heel Authority promos for the last few years made this moment better because everyone’s standards for those segments were so low. Shoemaker talks about how big a pop this was and that you can tell it hits different people in the crowd at different times during the return. Shoemaker jokes that he figured Rosenberg wouldn’t have even been watching at the beginning of Raw (he did tune in live). The hosts talk about Shane during his original run (his role as a wrestler and within the company behind the scenes). Shoemaker talks about Shane being groomed to run the business, but that once he figured out Steph/Triple H were taking more control he decided to leave.
Shoemaker says that the announcement of the Undertaker match almost took away from the Shane return as the crowd seemed kind of confused at the announcement. Shoemaker says that back in the day he heard that Shane’s way of working out was simply to wrestle/grapple with other wrestlers. Rosenberg wonders if we will see Shane again before WM32. He brings up Mankind saying that the HIAC is a great vehicle for the older wrestlers because it’s easier to put on an exciting match without having to do as much overall. Shoemaker notes how weird it was for the Undertaker match at WM32 to be announced without Taker even being there (he felt insignificant in this conversation). Rosenberg says Shane is going to lose this match, and he will not be getting control of Raw.
Greg wonders if this is the start of a brand split. Shoemaker disagrees with Rosenberg and says that if Shane says he wants control of Raw, that means eventually we are going to see him gain control of Raw. Greg notes how specific Shane was in mentioning he wanted control of only Raw, which he thinks is an indicator that will happen. Rosenberg argues that they did this simply because the show has been so bad and they needed a way to get fans excited. Rosenberg shoots down/derides any suggestions that Shane should have introduced the Bullet Club or something along those lines. Shoemaker gives the Detroit crowd props for their reactions.
WM32 build thoughts: Shoemaker starts by saying that the beat down of Reigns by Triple H certainly got him more excited for their match. He jokes that more people who were at WM16 will be on the WM32 card than new talent. Shoemaker notes that he heard Shawn Michaels was offered a spot at WM32 to be in Hunter’s corner in order to stack the deck against Roman. Rosenberg says they can’t continue to stack the deck so much against Roman as it doesn’t do him any favors. Rosenberg says that he is excited that we got multiple stipulations for WM matches on Raw.
The hosts enjoyed the backstage segment with Brock Lesnar attacking Dean Ambrose (they joke about how good the camera quality was for it to have been a “fan’s” camera). They discuss whether or not Roman’s blood on Raw was a authentic or a fake blood capsule. Shoemaker thinks Cena, even in a cast, would perform better than Shane against Taker. Rosenberg simply doesn’t think he can be healthy enough to perform at WM32.
Rosenberg says that Charlotte is the MVP of the week because she and Ric are generating true heat from crowds. He also says it might be a little early for Sasha to get the WM match. They discuss that notion but Rosenberg eventually comes to the conclusion that perhaps he should just be happy she’s getting the chance at all given how few women get a shot like that. He reiterates how impressed he has been with Charlotte and their commitment to her character. He says that Sasha shouldn’t win at WM and they should book Charlotte as an unbeatable force. He says she and Ric should be nauseating together as heels to help build up the entire division. He says Sasha beating her after a few months as the champion wouldn’t elicit the same reaction as if Sasha was on the chase for several months. He jokes that Sasha should have her cousin Snoop Dogg in her corner. Shoemaker talks about his suggestion to have had Kalistp-Del Rio 2/3 falls roll over to the actual broadcast of the PPV (e.g. the cold opening of Fastlane is the last fall of that match).
WWE Network issues: Shoemaker brings up so many people tweeting about having problems with the WWE Network quality/streaming. He brings up a response bias in a situation like this because the only people who are likely to tweet/agree with problems existing are those who experienced problems (his point being that nobody is likely to tweet that their network is working great). (PWTorch Poll results indicate that a majority of Network subscribers had an issue.)
Roman’s blood: Rosenberg finds a video that shows Byron handing a blood capsule to Roman during the last segment. Shoemaker jokes that he should be suspended for 90 days like Titus. Rosenberg asks why he wouldn’t have just left the capsule on the desk instead of having to hand it to him.
Ryback: Shoemaker says this wasn’t the only screw up on Raw, and he says the cameras caught Kane yelling at Ryback to go to the back. The hosts like Ryback’s new attire. Shoemaker brings up Ryback almost injuring Luke Harper at Fastlane with a botched Shell Shock.
Big Show on Austin’s podcast: Rosenberg brings up Show’s appearance on the podcast. He mentions how Austin said Show has turned 30 times. He also mentions that Show said he feels he has been booked horribly.
Reigns: Shoemaker brings up a Meltzer discussion where he talks about how terribly Reigns has been booked. Shoemaker says in this “Reality Era” the way they book Reigns is the exact opposite of that mentality (e.g. they are trying to convince everyone Reigns is against the world when literally everyone knows that is not the case in real-life). He also brings up a poll on the WWE’s Facebook page that was resounding thumbs down for Fastlane. He also talks about the crowd in Detroit going wild for Triple H at the end of Raw after beating down Reigns. They joke about Hunter doing this on purpose so he could end up being the big babyface.
Heyman/Lesnar: Rosenberg brings up that he can’t remember a time where he cared less about Heyman getting on a microphone. Shoemaker doesn’t really agree as he was really excited for his promo on Raw this week. Shoemaker praises Lesnar’s work with Ambrose thus far.
Wyatt Family: The hosts try to figure out how to best book the Wyatt Family. They aren’t really sure as their characters seems to be weird guys before wrestlers.
WM32 thoughts: Shoemaker feels like this might be “forgone WM” in the sense that he feels like he can easily predict all the matches on the card so far. Shoemaker thinks Taker has to show up to say he won’t do Vince’s bidding. Rosenberg says definitevly that John Cena will not wrestle at WM 32.
Sami Zayn: Shoemaker brings up something he found on reddit that if you type Sami Zayn into google translate, translate to Arabic, then translate back to English the result is “El Generico.” He also brings up that the Sami Zayn logo in NXT is the same design as the El Generico mask. He suggests that means El Generico will show up in NXT/WWE at some point.
Godfather HOF: Greg starts by saying the person deserves to make the HOF but not really the Godfather character itself. Shoemaker says that since the WWE HOF doesn’t seem to have set criteria anyway, this is a fine choice. They talk about the value of someone like the Godfather beyond just in the ring.
Greg’s review: Greg corrects some facts from the show. They remark at Shane’s great shoe selection for his return. Shoemaker says that the Edge and Christian show was much better than the commercials for the show. Rosenberg disagrees completely and says the show was horrible. He saw some glimmers of creativity but the first few minutes totally turned him off from the show. Shoemaker jokes about trending on Twitter after the Shane debut because of his tweets.
Score and Review
Score (9.5): The only reason this doesn’t get a 10 is because I feel I need to be reserved with giving out 10s. I thought this was an excellent episode. The hosts cover a ton of topics, but spend the appropriate amount of time on the major issues from this week (Shane, Raw, WM32). There were no digressions from the main subjects. This was almost a perfect episode of Cheap Heat. Cheap Heat is not meant to be as methodical/formulaic as other wrestling podcasts. It is meant to border on more entertainment than information. This was a excellent execution of that. This was an hour and 20 minutes of pure wrestling discussion, and a fun one at that. If you have never listened to Cheap Heat, this would be a great episode to try as I think it really embodies what this show is all about.