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?
Two weeks ago, I wrote about my dismay of having Big E pushed as the American advocate—the United States crusader, capable of stopping Rusev and shutting up Lana. The role seemed awkward and out of character. I suggested that The Real Americans made far more sense in this storyline.
So, either WWE has read my column, or, more likely, they just used common sense.
On the Independence Day edition of SmackDown, Lana gave her normal derogatory dressing down of America. That is until, Zeb Colter and Jack Swagger stormed down the aisle. A verbal barrage between the managers ensued, ending with Colter firmly putting Lana in place and Swagger forcing the Bulgarian Brute to retreat from the ring. We the people, had spoken.
Every couple of years, WWE likes to do an anti-American storyline. In the '80s, we had Hulk Hogan vs Iron Sheik. The '90s saw the Hart Foundation ripping on American morals. The early Noughties brought us the Lance Storm-lead stable The Anti-Americans. It is a simple, but effective storyline—one that plays upon the deep-rooted patriotic nature of Americans. I should add though, even I as a Brit, place my hand over my heart and chant along . How can you not? It is infectious.
Aside from being a well placed feel-good moment, I love the focused use on the managers this feud has led to.
Managers have fallen by the wayside in comparison to the Rock and Wrestling era days, reportedly largely due to cost reasons. But as the likes of Heyman, Lana and Colter have shown, they really do benefit wrestlers less able to work the microphone, and can bring a lot to a story. As good as Swagger and Rusev are, neither are talkers. This feud would likely fall flat with the managers removed from the equation.
This short segment offered us a glimpse of the entertainment still to come. Whether this is as in-ring action, or on the microphone, I have a feeling we, the people, are going to enjoy seeing where this one can take us.
This week's Heat choice may surprise some, but I am going with the dissolving of The Funkadactyls on Monday Night Raw. Why this? Like thousands of others, you probably do not care. But this is exactly my point.
The Heat of the week highlights a bad point in the world of wrestling. This could be it a match, title exchange, promo, injury or storyline.
The reaction to the Funkadactyls' split could not have been more underwhelming. A good crowd response is essential for a wrestlers ring psychology. It is hard to get into it if the crowd is not interested, and that goes for those watching at home too.
The match they had with AJ and Paige was good, but the aftermath was weak. WWE allocated them all of 2 minutes to have a bit of a half-hearted slap fest and roll around. I am not saying I expected the split to have been akin to the likes of Christian's one man conchairto to Edge, but there is no denying the audience could not care less.
The split has been teased for weeks, though perhaps "teased" is too strong a word. Teasing would indicate something exciting was going to happen. This was anything but. We knew it was going to happen, but I am not 100% sure why it was happening. Cameron had a bad attitude, she was jealous of Naomi — and that is about all I know.
I understand it is something to do with a storyline in Total Divas, but as I do not watch the show, this part was lost on me, and I suspect, many others to.
If WWE wants to incorporate a story from outside of the main shows, I think greater explanation is going to needed to achieve a wider audience understanding and interest.
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!