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?
I love a good "this is awesome" chant. It is a nice show of respect for the wrestlers, but how often do you hear a "you were awesome" chant post-match? I had not heard such a thing, that is, of course, until last week's Monday Night Raw when Ziggler took on Cesaro.
This was easily the best match of the night—fast paced, action packed, plenty of high spots and feats of strength, and God does Ziggler know how to sell a move. So, perhaps it is not surprising that after the match, the crowd erupted into a chant of "you were awesome, you were awesome." Still, it is a rather unique occurrence, but no less than Ziggler deserves.
The WWE Universe loves Dolph Ziggler. He is undeniably gifted. Go back and listen to the crowd response when he cashed in his MITB contract and won the World Heavyweight Championship in 2013. He is top caliber material in the fans' eyes, but sadly, not to management.
Rumor has it they feel he has a tendency to run his mouth, say things he shouldn't say. He is quick to drop any pretense of kayfabe and air frustrations in a way that is frowned upon. This is one of the reasons it is believed he is kept out of the Heavyweight Title picture. There is also a school of thought that, while his ability to sell is second to none, it does make him injury prone and potentially unreliable in this respect.
But WWE is not stupid. When someone is as over as this, they will see the dollar signs. Just look at the impact of the Yes Movement. I believe the "you were awesome" chants was a great thing to happen, for there are whisperings that the Intercontinental and United States Championships may merge at SummerSlam. What if Ziggler is in line to become the inaugural midcard title holder? If the WWE fans make it clear they want it enough, it could just happen.
Winning such a title would be testament to Ziggler's talent and the fan power behind him. Surely, that would show the world, and more importantly, WWE management.
Kane has unmasked!
On last week's Monday Night Raw, Kane interrupted The Authority backstage and wordlessly handed over his mask, then stormed off with no hint of what this meant.
If it were 1998 or a Luchadore league, I would be suitably shocked, but it is not. This is WWE in 2014, and to say this was a new development would be something of a misdemeanor.
Kane unmasked himself many years ago, exposing himself as not a burnt mute monster, but a smooth-skinned, bald, burly man. You still would not want to meet him in a dark alley, but the impact was never the same.
Since then, he has re-masked, de-masked and re-masked depending on gimmick or storyline. Losing his mask in late 2013 was to signify the change from Kane to Corporate Kane—the suit wearing Authority-enforcing Director of Operations. He put it back on in early 2014 to become Demon Kane, but the change in character or direction was not exactly groundbreaking. Yes, he was more aggressive, but he was still involved in The Authority and carrying out Stephanie McMahon's bidding. The only difference was that he just had some hair and a mask again.
So, forgive me for not being too excited at this latest unmasking. If they had left it for a while longer, then maybe it would have been more significant, but it has only been a few months. Why is this supposed to be significant? Does it mean he will become Issac Yankem again? I jest, but just going back to Corporate Kane or generic unmasked Kane seems a little pointless.
Maybe in the coming weeks, this will show an interesting plot development, but for now, I cannot help feel a little underwhelmed by the prospect.
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!