“Cheap Heat” Podcast on Grantland Sports
Hosts: David Shoemaker & Peter Rosenberg
Release Date: March 2, 2016
– The hosts were quite underwhelmed by this week’s episode of Raw and thought it was a real crash back to reality from last week’s excitement.
– All three hosts agree that the Wyatt Family has lost all of heat/legitimacy. They discuss some ideas to book them with more success.
– The crew raves about Stephanie McMahon’s promo from Raw. Shoemaker put it on par with a Paul Heyman promo.
– Shoemaker criticizes the Raw commentary team for their awful job helping the audience understand the finish of the Becky vs. Sasha match on Raw. He says they didn’t convey the logic/set-up for the double pin at all.
– The hosts enjoyed The Undertaker’s appearance on Raw, but thought it was too short and didn’t exactly lend that much clarity to the storyline with Shane McMahon. They still feel like the WWE has not answered why The Undertaker would accept a HIAC dictated by Vince so easily.
– Y2AJ is over with the Cheap Heat crew, but they think their coming together moment could have been hyped as a bigger deal.
Subjects Covered (w/timestamps)
0:00 – Sponsor Ad
0:20 – Introduction
13:10 – The Wyatt Family
15:40 – Positives from Raw
19:00 – Divas Championship storyline
32:55 – Sponsor Ad
33:10 – Return to show
33:10 – Bret Hart
37:00 – Undertaker vs Shane
46:20 – Big Wheels, Wrestling shirts, Pacquiao-Bradley
55:00 – Politics
58:15 – Y2AJ-New Day
1:00:50 – Conclusion/Greg reviews the show
1:05:15 – Show ends
Introduction: The hosts start the show by joking that last week’s Raw was so exciting, but this week was such a letdown. They joke that last week’s episode of Cheap Heat was very well-received, so they will follow suit and make this week’s episode a letdown. Rosenberg asks if people (including them) got too excited by the Shane return, even though the story made/makes little sense, and this week was just crashing back to reality. Rosenberg wonders if it doesn’t make more sense to put out shows that surprise people each week and use that to get them to tune in next week, rather than tweeting/posting about things that will happen in the show on social media beforehand (he used the Rusev body slam “contest” that was posted on Twitter and never mentioned again). They also talk about how many matches Raw usually consists of where you usually know who is going to win beforehand because you’ve seen the same match-ups before.
Shoemaker notes that part of the reason for lowered excitement might have to do with the fact that we are now no longer on the road to WM32, we are on the road to Roadblock (WWE Network special). He also briefly mentions that Dean Ambrose comes off as the legitimate “tough guy” between him and Roman Reigns because Ambrose doesn’t take time off when he gets badly beaten like Reigns is currently doing. Greg thinks it is smart for them to leave Reigns off TV until they are done with the Hunter-Ambrose mini-feud. He thinks, at the very least, it prevents fans from seeing too much of Reigns before WM32. Shoemaker says that in this era, if you are going to write Roman off TV they should have tried to sell a more legitimate injury than a broken nose. Shoemaker presents a conspiracy theory. He suggests that they intentionally released the video of Byron Saxton handing the blood capsule to Reigns last week so that they could keep their PG rating, while also having blood on the show. Shoemaker wonders why the 10-11 hour can’t be a bit less PG than the rest of the show assuming that most kids are asleep by then.
The Wyatt Family: The hosts can barely remember if the Wyatts were even on the show. Shoemaker brings up that they asked the listeners last week how they would book the Wyatt Family. Shoemaker presents a few good responses. (1) Put them all in the Andre Battle Royal and have them dominate to allow Bray to win (2) somehow get to a Bray Wyatt vs the Family storyline. Greg notes that he tuned out of Bray’s promo as soon as he said they were “indestructible.”
Positives from Raw: Shoemaker’s MVP of the week is Stephanie McMahon. The three hosts can’t praise her promo on Raw enough. Shoemaker called it “Heyman level.” He goes on to say that he is enjoying the Ambrose-Hunter feud even if it is somewhat distracting from the WM32 build. He says it is cool that we are getting the Ambrose Title shot even if he is almost certain to lose. Rosenberg says it is good to see Triple H have a match before WM because it seemed like we weren’t going to see him fight before then. Shoemaker also liked the ending of the show with Hunter beating down Ambrose. He continues that Ambrose coming out to address Hunter felt like a big moment.
Divas Championship storyline: Shoemaker likes where their storyline is heading. He says he is usually letdown by the Divas work on Raw as it feels like they are underperforming. Shoemaker says it was the worst commentary job during this match. He points out that the commentary team didn’t explain what was happening with the finish to this match and they essentially ruined the ending by not helping the audience understand why the double pin occurred (e.g. that Becky had headbutted Sasha before her Sunset flip, resulting in both participants being knocked out). Rosenberg comments that he didn’t understand the finish himself because he wasn’t paying close enough attention. They wonder if Sasha and Becky just don’t have the best chemistry with each other.
Rosenberg brings up some of the NXT talent that come up not feeling as “big” as some of the women who have been on the main roster. He doesn’t mean that they are not as talented, but just that they have not perfected the WWE style of projecting to such a large crowd. He says the Sasha-Becky match on Raw felt like an NXT match in a bigger ring. Shoemaker says that if they wanted people to care about the Divas storyline, they should have made it the main event. They talk about some past Divas such as Melina and Mickie James. Rosenberg asks if Melina is better in the ring than A.J.
Rosenberg/Shane: Firstly, Rosenberg mentions he got a text from Bret Hart and that he is doing well and in good spirits. Rosenberg continues that he interviewed Shane McMahon for the Michael Kay show and you can find the audio on the ESPN App. Rosenberg says his favorite part of the interview was about Shane learning a dropkick from Mr. Fuji. Greg jokes that they need to interview someone from the Mean Street Posse as they would have the best stories. Rosenberg notes that at this point we can certainly dispel any notion that this match isn’t actually going to happen at WM32.
Undertaker vs. Shane: Rosenberg literally starts this segment by saying “what the hell.” They talk about WWE promoting Taker’s appearance so much for him only to be on-screen for two minutes. Shoemaker says it seems like some segments have a minimal script and they do a terrible job of filling in the blanks. They discuss the lock box that was mentioned by Shane when he returned but hasn’t been mentioned since. Rosenberg asks how much of the Stephanie promo is art imitating life given their unknown family dynamic. Shoemaker liked Vince referring to the Undertaker as his weapon rather than trying to talk Taker into the match or something of that sort. He thought the Undertaker set the right tone with his appearance, but that they didn’t provide the audience with anything to talk/speculate about going forward with this match. Rosenberg mentions that Taker’s walk to the ring isn’t looking so hot nowadays. Somehow this leads to a brief discussion of Segways and Big Wheels. Greg thinks Taker is just as confused about this storyline as anyone else. Shoemaker still doesn’t think they explained why the Undertaker would agree to a HIAC match with seemingly no explanation.
Big Wheels, wrestling shirts, Pacquiao/Bradley: Rosenberg brings his mother onto the show to ask her how much they paid for a Big Wheel. She says under $20. They also discuss Rosenberg’s wrestling shirt collection. Rosenberg is going to the boxing match and they discuss Manny’s homophobia. Rosenberg says it is very wrestling of Pacquiao to be heeling it up like that as his career winds down. They discuss the religious/cultural influence on people who the hosts label as homophobic.
Politics: Shoemaker asks if this is the peak of politics and pro wrestling comparisons. He says the Donald Trump situation is almost straight out of the WWE. He says he is playing a great heel, in an era where people cheer great heels.
Y2AJ: Greg and Rosenberg feel like they could have come up with a better name for the pair. Shoemaker likes that they are together, but he feels like them coming together should have been a bigger moment. Rosenberg thinks the New Day needs to be serious heels every now and again as opposed to always being the silly heels. He says they can’t be funny all the time, as they are supposed to be dominant too.
Conclusion/Greg’s review: Shoemaker reads a tweet from the official WWE WM32 Twitter account that claims the main event will be Hunter vs. Hunter for the WWE World Title. They also joke about Charlotte wrestling a broom stick because we do not have a clear number one contender. Greg corrects some errors from the show. Shoemaker brings up a picture of Big Show hanging out with various African-American celebrities.
Score and Review
Score (7.5): The summary of this episode on the podcast app reads “the guys reflect on an underwhelming Raw, discuss the road to Roadblock, and have a battle royale of digression.” I don’t think I could have said it better myself. I quite enjoyed the first 45 minutes of this episode. In a week with a pretty uneventful Raw, the hosts did a nice job of focusing on the interesting topics of the moment and have an entertaining, fun discussion about them. The last 20 minutes, or so, are all over the place as far as the subject matter. Overall, this was a nice listen, but I think it would have been a great episode had they not flown so far off the rails. As I always mention, if the digressions are for you, then disregard those criticisms. However, given the nature of the site, I feel obligated to point out when they stray so far from talking about wrestling. Sometimes Cheap Heat feels to much like a variety podcast rather than a wrestling podcast, which is what they claim to be. To summarize, this was an entertaining listen with some really good moments, but the rating suffers from too many digressions from wrestling subject matter.