“Cheap Heat” Podcast on Grantland Sports
Hosts: David Shoemaker & Peter Rosenberg
Release Date: March 17, 2016
Recap by Corey Freedman
– Shoemaker tends to enjoy WWE Network specials like Roadblock better than the actual PPVs because it’s easier to place the focus solely on the in-ring work.
– All the hosts agreed that the Triple H-Dean Ambrose match was excellent. Shoemaker and Rosenberg argue that Hunter is, possibly, the best he has ever been. They point to his match with Ambrose, his match with Ziggler on Raw, and the promos he has been delivering since becoming WWE World Hvt. champion.
– The hosts talk about whether or not Shane-Taker and Reigns-Hunter got physical too early in the build to WM32.
– The hosts break down the 2016 HOF class in terms of who is most deserving. They seem to settle that the Freebirds/Sting are tied as headliners, then the Big Boss Man, then The Godfather, and finally Jacqueline (though they all agree Jackie is certainly deserving of being in the HOF).
– The trio also mention some of their favorite Steve Austin moments as they recorded this episode on 3:16 day (March 16).
Subjects Covered (w/timestamps)
0:00 – Sponsor Ad
0:15 – Introduction
5:55 – Roadblock/Triple H thoughts
8:00 – Raw thoughts
27:30 – Listener questions
36:30 – Sponsor Ad
36:50 – Show resumes/brief TV show discussion (House of Cards, O.J. trial on FX, Downton Abbey)
40:05 – Hulk Hogan trial update
51:00 – Jacqueline in the HOF
1:04:15 – Greg reviews the show
1:06:26 – Shoemaker sings the “227” theme song
1:06:55 – Show ends
Introduction: Shoemaker jokes that this episode is Cheap Heat 3:16 (I gather that they recorded this on March 16). They discuss St. Patrick’s Day and the various celebrations that occur. They are not fans of the celebration that occurs in New York City. This leads Shoemaker to discuss the celebrations for SantaCon in New York (a day where everyone dresses up as Santa and drinks all day).
Roadblock/Triple H thoughts: Shoemaker says he tends to enjoy these random Network specials more than the normal PPVs. He says part of that may be due to having lowered expectations (or no expectations) for these random shows as opposed to a big PPV. Shoemaker calls the Ambrose-Hunter match the highlight of the show, and says it was a very very good match. He calls Hunter “the best he has ever been” after his match with Ambrose, his promo on Raw, and his match with Ziggler on Raw. Greg doesn’t agree this is the best he has ever been. They discuss some of the other eras with Hunter being on top.
Raw: Rosenberg loved the beating Hunter took at the hands of Reigns, but he has to call out the commentary team once again. He hated that Michael Cole said something along the lines of “Hunter looks like he has seen a ghost” when Reigns returned. Rosenberg continues that, firstly, Hunter did not look like he had seen a ghost and, secondly, that line only works for someone who has been gone for years not two weeks. Shoemaker says he didn’t know Reigns actually had an injured nose, and that wasn’t just part of the story.
Rosenberg asks how serious the injury to Neville is. They discuss the situation with Jericho and referee Charles Robinson after Neville got hurt. Greg compliments the WWE editing team for cleaning up the highlights to not include Jericho yelling at Charles Robinson (Robinson didn’t realize Neville was injured and didn’t count three when Jericho tried to end the match with an audible). Discussing Neville’s injury leads to a discussion about WWE’s long schedule. However, Shoemaker notes that people tend to get a boost when they make a return from injuries so at least there is some silver lining. Rosenberg says that having someone be the IC Champion can’t be a goal for someone. The goal with everyone needs to be getting over and/or being the WWE World champion.
Shoemaker says this was a great week for talking in the WWE. He mentions Hunter’s promo, Kevin Owens on commentary, and the New Day promo as specific examples. He says his guilty pleasure lately has been Ryback’s semi fourth wall breaking promos on Kalisto. Rosenberg wonders if the way this feud is playing out is leading to a Kalisto win at WM32. Shoemaker doesn’t think it would be crazy for Ryback to win and start a U.S. Title run. The hosts wonder if Mick Foley will participate in WM32 at all. Greg mentions that we saw Shane-Taker and Hunter-Reigns get physical with each other on Raw, which is usually reserved for the go-home show, so he wonders what we will see from those feuds over the next two weeks. Shoemaker responds that they needed to make it clear that Shane can actually fight and that this will be a real match. He says with Hunter and Reigns that the only thing that has gotten a reaction with this feud is beat downs/people getting hit with foreign objects so they almost have no choice but to continue doing that.
Rosenberg wonders if they should give Shane a match before WM 32. Shoemaker responds that people can suspend disbelief with Shane for one match, but him fighting more people would only hurt the other people that he was fighting. Rosenberg thinks Shane needs to do something crazy, but not too crazy, over the next couple weeks to plant the seed of “what lengths will Shane go to to beat Taker at WM32.” However, he wonders how WWE could create that moment with Shane working babyface. Shoemaker talks about how most of the top of the WM32 card is a babyface. Even Hunter, who is the biggest heel at the top of the card, is getting a ton of cheers leading up to the event.
Listener questions: The first question is “doesn’t Hunter-Ambrose-Reigns triple threat and Brock-Wyatt make more sense for WM32.” Shoemaker and Greg agree that it makes more sense from a storyline perspective. The next question is “if you could have one injured wrestling back (Rollins, Cena, Orton, Cesaro, Neville, etc.) who would it be?” Greg and Shoemaker initially choose Cesaro because it would be a huge opportunity for him given the amount of people who are injured. Shoemaker continues though that obviously Cena would be huge because he would instantly add star power to the top of the card, and that Rollins returning might be one of the only things that could save the main event with Reigns.
The next question is “since it is 3:16 day, what are your favorite Austin memories?” Shoemaker talks about how Austin’s heyday wasn’t as long as people think it was. He says his absolute peak in the WWE was after his physical peak. He continues that his favorite feud that never got off the ground was Hunter/Austin as buddies going up against Benoit/Jericho. Shoemaker and Greg bring up both of Austin’s big matches with Bret Hart as well as his feud with Shawn Michaels as some of his best moments/matches. They joke about how Vince never learned to take a good Stunner. Rosenberg talks about how Austin had huge moments with some of the biggest stars in WWF/WWE history (Jake the Snake, Bret Hart, Owen Hart, Vince McMahon, Brian Pillman, The Rock, etc…). Shoemaker suggests everyone watch Austin during his time in WCW because his in-ring work was at it’s peak (and he was one of the best in the world at the time).
Hogan trial update: Greg updates us on the Hogan vs. Gawker trial situation. He says it seems things aren’t looking good for Gawker as the jury may believe Hogan’s argument about Hogan and Terry Bollea being different people in a sense. Shoemaker jokes that this reminds him of the Seinfeld finale with their trial. Rosenberg asks who would be the best WWF character witnesses to bury Hogan in the trial. Greg suggest Tugboat. He also suggests Bobby Heenan to paint the perfect picture of why Hogan is a phony. The hosts crack up at the mention of Bobby Heenan showing up in the trial. They joke about Heenan and Monsoon calling the current product.
They joke about a March Madness bracket of wrestling animals/mascots. Rosenberg says it would really be a four person bracket between Damien (the snake), Matilda (the dog), Frankie (the bird), and Jack Swagger’s eagle. Rosenberg wonders whether or not the other hosts are rooting for Hogan in the trial. Greg says no because, as a lawyer, he doesn’t think he should win the trial. Shoemaker doesn’t agree that Hogan has suffered massive damage from this video. They discuss whether or not Hogan winning this trial would allow many other media sources to get accused of similar transgressions. Rosenberg seems to agree, somewhat, with Hogan that this shouldn’t be news.
Jacqueline in HOF: Shoemaker says Jackie is legit. Rosenberg asks if the HOF was a “real thing” (e.g. with actual guidelines/voting system on how to get in) would Jackie be inducted. Greg brings up that Jackie was a female wrestler who wrestled during a time where women’s wrestling wasn’t taken seriously. Shoemaker remembers when Marc Mero debuted Jackie as his new valet as a big moment. The hosts try to figure out who in this class is the most deserving. Shoemaker isn’t sure because he understands the argument against having Michael Hayes in the HOF, but the Freebirds’s impact on the business was huge. The hosts agree that Sting/Freebirds can be equal headliners. They then debate who should be next between the Big Boss Man and The Godfather. Rosenberg asks, in-ring, who was better between the Boss Man and Bam Bam Bigelow. Rosenberg’s wife Alexa calls. She chooses Bam Bam Bigelow. Shoemaker jokes about an episode of America’s Most Wanted where the actor in the crime reenactment looked like the Big Boss Man and a bunch of people called the hotline to say the criminal was on Monday Night Raw. Rosenberg says the HOF order is Sting/Freebirds tied as headliners, then Big Boss Man, The Godfather, and then Jackie.
Greg reviews the show: Greg talks about Neville’s injury, and mentions that it appears Bray Wyatt suffered a back injury recently which would explain why he didn’t wrestle at Roadblock. They discuss the nomination of Merrick Garland for the Supreme Court. They say that @CheapHeatESPN on Twitter is not an official account of the show. If you want to follow the hosts, you need to follow them individually (@rosenbergradio @akathemaskedman @statguygreg).
Score and Review
Score (9.0): This was a really solid episode of Cheap Heat. Aside from a brief discussion about TV shows, there were no real digressions from wrestling subject matter and the conversations were quite entertaining. The hosts discuss a little bit of the Roadblock event, break down the main issues from Raw, and discuss some other relevant issues in the industry. They also take some listener questions this week, which was a nice segment that we don’t normally hear. In a week without too many major events, I thought this was a really entertaining, informative discussion. The first 35 minutes, or so, of this episode was truly fantastic listening. This week was a great mix of substantial wrestling discussion and the entertainment value fans have come to expect from Cheap Heat. A recommended listen for sure.