We’ve got one more week of programming before WWE invades Phoenix for TakeOver, the Royal Rumble, RAW, and SmackDown… and they’re not holding back on shaking things up when and where necessary.

Braun is out; Finn is in. Lashley is a champion once more. Andrade’s name has simplified, and he seems to be on the up. Lots to chat about this week before we get back together with the Mat Mania crew. Let’s do the thing!

Featuring: ‘Hot Podcast Garbage’ Sprung (@jasprung), ‘Super Jew’ Jared (@SuperJew75), ‘Captain Kaveman’ Derek Montilla (@cap_kaveman) and Joshua Schlag (@thesteelcage / @schlizzag).

Intro music by The Black Furies, courtesy of Music Alley. Outro music by Mega Ran (@MegaRan).

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Joshua Schlag

For most of the last 30+ years of my life, I've been watching WWE. As a kid, Monday Night Raw hooked me from the start. From Bret Hart and Razor Ramon, to Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.. I've witnessed the ups and downs and I'm proud to have enjoyed pro wrestling through the years.

Though I now watch in a much different fashion than I did when I was a kid (finding out Vince McMahon was the owner and Jack Tunney no more than a figurehead was like finding out Santa Claus did not exist), I feel like I have a much greater appreciation for the hard work pro wrestlers do and the things they sacrifice to entertain us.

It's still real to me, dammit!