Each week, we break down the world of professional wrestling and examine two of the polar opposite ends of the spectrum: one thing that was by far the worst thing (Cheap Heat) and the best thing (Cheap Pop) to happen over the past 7 days in sports entertainment. So, what went down this week that we loved and hated about the business?
"This man...this man...I love this man" said Alicia Fox to Tony Chimel on last week's Main Event program. And no, before you ask, these words had nothing to do with a new odd couple storyline pairing, they were just part and parcel of Alicia's new direction, (i.e going stir fry crazy).
On last week's Monday Night Raw, we saw a very aggressive side to Fox. She dominated in her match against Paige and was responsible for the vast amount of offense thrown—and what offense it was. Though she did not pick up the win, Fox positively womanhandled Paige until the very last moments of the match. She demonstrated an impressive array of technical moves that I was shamefully unaware she was capable of.
Following the match's outcome, the spotlight did not stay on Paige for long, though. What everyone was really looking at was Fox's bizarre breakdown. This was not your normal slightly pouty defeated diva. She began to flounce and strop in and around the ring, evidently furious. She began ranting and raving nonsensical ramblings at the commentators and ring staff. Much to Jerry Lawler's bemusement she even asked "WHERE IS MY PURSE".
Following her outburst, there was some brief murmurings on the Twittersphere that she had actually quit WWE and this was a genuine "Pipebomb" incident. But she returned to the ring the next day for Main Event, though clearly without having stopped to count to 10 first.
Despite another offense-filled aggressive display, she quickly lost to Emma and once again took off against all and sundry at ringside. While the mental breakdown of anyone should never be cause for celebration, in the wacky world of WWE however, to quote DDP "It's a good thing".
Let's face it, Divas matches are sometimes just filler material—a literal tick box match for the agents to include on the program. But this storyline looks a lot of fun and I am looking forward to seeing what happens next.
WWE is clearly investing in Fox by giving her the post-match broadcast time to display her insanity. With AJ Lee on sabbatical WWE obviously feels Fox can fill the resident Crazy Chick shoes.
This insanity angle is allowing Fox to show her skills in and outside the ring, and for us watching at home and the divas division as a whole. THAT'S a good thing.....not a bad thing.
Undoubtedly one of the worst occurrences of the past week has been WWE World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan's injury and surgery.
First off, whether you love him or hate him, anyone with an ounce of compassion has to at least feel at least a little sorry for Bryan. At the end of March, he was on top of the world.
The underdog "B+" superstar overcame odds off and on screen to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXX. This was a genuine feel good story of a man who refused to give up; a man who would not be told he was not good enough; a man whose momentum and fan base forced the WWE's hands into giving him a chance. A few days after his "WrestleMania Moment" he jetted off into the sun and married his long-term girlfriend Brie Bella; a well deserved happy ending.
But much like this column illustrates, with the good must come the bad. Upon his return from his honeymoon he learnt the tragic news that his father had passed away. This must have been a horrendous devastating blow after such a high. The tragedy did not stop there though. Just days later Bryan learnt of the death of Connor Michalek, an 8-year old cancer stricken wrestling super fan.
Bryan first met Connor in 2012 as a result of his "Make A Wish Foundation" request. Much like his idol, Connor was not one to give up fighting. His charm and determination obviously hit a chord with Bryan for he ended up staying in touch with the family. This ultimately led to Connor and his father getting front row seats at WrestleMania 30 where he got to witness his hero winning the title. Then, mere moments after his victory, Bryan leapt to ringside and hugged Connor. He proclaimed the win was for him and that he had to keep on fighting.
Just days later, Connor passed away.
While his death can not have come as completely unexpected, this takes nothing away from the sadness of it.
Despite the grief he must have felt, Bryan did what he told Connor to do after WrestleMania, "keep fighting". He embarked on a feud with former tag partner Kane and managed to successfully defend his title against him at the Payback event. But sadly, Bryan's luck did not stick around for long, and he ended up badly injuring his neck and underwent surgery for it this past week.
Reportedly, the best case scenario is he will return to action in 8 weeks, but potentially, it could be as late as the end of the year. I, for one, am going to miss seeing him in the ring, and I suspect many in the WWE universe feel the same.
But above that, the injury, the surgery, it caps off a series of such tragic misfortune for Bryan. I can only wish him the very best, and hope he recovers from this without any serious lasting damage.
So there you have it, my two choices for the week. What do YOU think are the Cheap Pop and Cheap Heat this week in professional wrestling? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!