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?
On Monday Night Raw, the WWE universe said goodbye to Vickie Guerrero. Vickie has been a staple of WWE programming for—believe it or not—nine years. In this time, Vickie has fulfilled many authoritative roles including Assistant to the General Manager, Co-General Manager, and of course, the G.M position itself.
She has officiated matches and even been an in-ring competitor. She has been involved in several high-profile storylines. From feuds with AJ Lee to being Ziggler's on-screen girlfriend, she even had a storyline marriage to Edge!
She was annoying as heck, but it worked for her character. Vickie was a perfect heel figure and never afraid of being the butt of a joke. We loved to hate Vickie. It is rare for someone in a non-wrestling capacity to be at the forefront of WWE programming as long as she did. So, I did not believe it when rumours of her intended departure emerged months back, as it felt like she would always be around.
While getting dunked in a pool of game show gunge was hardly the greatest way to go, there were saving graces within it. First off, despite years of being heel, she more or less ended her career as a babyface. She defied The Authority, beat Stephanie's hench-divas, and got some messy revenge on the one woman more villainous than herself.
But the main reason behind making this saga being my "Pop" of the week? Simple esse — Latino Heat.
WWE using her late great husband's theme song was a fitting tribute and an excellent touch for her entrance and exit. The WWE Universe, myself included, lapped it up as she jived and grooved her way back up the ramp before blowing a kiss to the air and dedicating the moment to Eddie. Certainly, a feel-good WWE moment.
I hope this is not the last we see of Vickie, though. Perhaps she will turn up from time to time Ron Simmons style, delivering her trademark shrill shrieked catchphrase.
Thanks for the fun times Vickie, but for now, you are excused.
The case of Big E Langston is a curious one.
Only a few months back, Big E was Vince's hottest upcoming commodity. He had a big push and was the WWE Intercontinental Champion. But how about the present? Well, as of last Monday Night Raw, it would seem Big E is off the agenda for a MITB match and has been thrust into a "Captain Pro-America" role.
Judging from Big E's speech on Monday Night Raw, it seems he is the self-appointed savior for the States—the one willing to stand up to the Bulgarian Brute and Lana, with her relentless verbal abuse of America.
Technically, Big E is a logical choice for someone who can match Rusev. He is as strong, if not stronger, and he is also oddly graceful for a man his size. Rusev would struggle to get easy squash match wins over him. But should his fight against Rusev have been built this way? The pro America speech seemed out of character and horribly stilted. It had shades of Hogan minus the impact. Big E is naturally very funny. Just watch WWE Inbox or any backstage interview to see that. This latest development feels very forced.
At one point, there were whispers of a new Nation of Domination being formed. Langston, Kingston, R-Truth and Xavier Woods were all mentioned as possible members for such a faction. It certainly is an interesting idea if true, but I doubt this Rusev feud will lead to such a stable, so this group is likely off the cards for the time being. It is a shame, as I certainly feel it could have been a better role for Langston than where this is heading.
If the WWE really wanted a pro-American hero to battle Rusev, surely The Real American Jack Swagger is the answer. That would fit perfectly. His build and height makes him a realistic long term opponent, plus he would have Zeb Colter in his corner to keep an eye on Lana.
Maybe it is too early to tell how this will go down, but my first impression of the potential? Unlike Langston, not very big.
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!