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?
Out of the dust and ashes he rose — Stardust!
The past few weeks saw Cody Rhodes searching for the perfect tag-team partner for Goldust. On Monday Night Raw, he finally found his star. Alternatively, one could possibly say, he found himself.
A new theme song, a new titantron, a new costume, and a radically new use of makeup—the transformation of the one-time Rhodes Scholar has certainly caught my attention. How could it not? I do not think anyone predicted this happening, and that is where the WWE works best—when it surprises us.
They were both in fine form during their match against RyBaxel, and I found it the highlight of the program. I love the Rhodes Brothers. I know some people really want them to fight one another, and perhaps that is inevitable at some stage, but I really do not wish to see it just yet.
I'm a sucker for family teams. There is just something nice about the concept of real-life brothers teaming up. Plus, the ring psychology between a sibling team is often very strong. The Rhodes Brothers are an excellent example of this. When they were on a winning streak, they were very much over with the crowd. This reinvigorated team has the potential to put on some great matches.
I know there are many who will probably balk at Stardust, but then people also complain that the WWE doesn't have enough "real tag teams" (those with similar attire, gimmicks, theme music) as well. This fits right into doing something to address that.
I am also hoping this change signifies a possible second title run for the brothers; something the WWE has not done with a new team for some time. Remember the days of E+C, The Dudley Boyz and Hardys? That was true tag team division investment. For the best part of 2 years, the teams would exchange the titles back and forth. If they lost, they would go straight back to try to gain a Number 1 contender spot . It all made for exciting viewing and a meaningful tag team scene. Nowadays, it is one run (if you don't get split up first) and then the team is gone.
The WWE has been smart with Rhodes. He has been in the company for over 5 years, and he has been very slowly built. They rushed Swagger and Miz's ascent to the front of the pack and look what happened; some do not even remember they held the heavyweight gold.
This will not damage Cody's career and this gimmick change will not be forever. Just enjoy Dusty's boys being on the same page a little longer. It could be just what the tag-team division needs right now.
The WWE went on a roster culling spree last week. The loss of the likes of Yoshi Tatsu and Curt Hawkins were expected. Others came as a bit of a shock. Most notable for me? Without a shadow of a doubt, Drew McIntyre.
He is young, tall, well-built, and very highly skilled in the ring. He was the first Scotsman to make a big impact in the WWE (No, Hot Rod does not count). As we all well remember, he was at one-point Vince McMahon's "Chosen One" — a future WWE Champion.
In my opinion, McIntyre is very good on the microphone. Self-opinionated, aggressive, full of self-belief, and all delivered in his memorable gruff Glaswegian drawl. Sadly, he rarely got the chance to speak that often during his two-year stint in 3MB, but when he did, it was obvious McIntyre had comedic talent too.
There is a hilarious moment in a WWE app interview where McIntyre stumbles over lines and asks for a retake, only to be told it is live. The way he and his band mates freeze, look to the camera, and all slowly slide away off-screen is just comedic gold. You couldn't script it. And this partly is what upsets me so much about his release. [Editor's Note: Check out Sid's legit take of this from back in the day as well if you want a laugh]
Despite being given a gimmick which was obviously never going to catch fire, coupled with the fact he was jobbing on an almost weekly basis — McIntyre endured it. He did not complain; he did not gripe, he and his 2 fellow "band" mates made the most of it — even when placed in a feud with a miniature bull. 3MB were genuinely funny when given the rare chance, and I feel the WWE universe had started to warm up to them and see this.
I always thought McIntyre would eventually return to the single division and chase gold when he was finally done with 3MB. I certainly do not believe McIntyre expected this. His Twitter account leading up to his release is full of activity and banter with colleagues. It even includes a tweet on June 3rd about the Shields implosion, where he states, "#3MB Forever."
Some have said his job loss was a result of heat he still carried following a domestic incident years ago with his wife — the then WWE diva Tiffany. However, if this truly was the problem, I feel he would have been cut long ago. (She certainly was!) .
The simple fact is McIntyre was full of talent. He had so much to offer, and the WWE dropped the ball with him. Then for reasons we may never know, decided they would not even attempt to pick it up again.
I sincerely hope that we have not seen the last of him.
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!