Thank you for the reply. Based on your response I decided to give the pump another look. I assumed since I could see no visable blockages/obstructions in the previous one, that that it wasn't the problem as I'm used to pulling baby socks, stockings, etc from pumps and then viola, they work again.
I swapped it out with a spare I happen to have and the machine functions as it should now. No thermal motor cutoffs at the beginning of the drain/spin anymore.
I guess I've learned something. Just because there's nothing you can see in the pump, that doesn't always mean the pump is working.