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?
SummerSlam saw the crowning of not one, not two, but three new champions. While I am not happy about AJ losing the title to Paige, the other two exchanges are certainly good things.
Brock Lesnar slaughtered the WWE World Heavyweight champion John Cena to claim the gold in a brutal match which saw Cena being German suplexed sixteen consecutive times. In his most recent Smark Remark column, my colleague Stephen Wago covered the reasons behind why this victory is a great move for the company, but I just want to reiterate his sentiments here. Yes, Brock is a "part timer", but how often is the title actually defended? Typically once a month at a pay-per-view, and on occasion, a rematch on a Monday Night Raw.
In his absence, we will have Paul Heyman provide Brock's voice and presence, and Paul Heyman never fails to disappoint. Seeing more of him? Never a bad thing. In terms of wrestling? Well, who is going to be brave enough and strong enough to take Brock on? It is going to lead to some intense matches for sure.
Next we come to Dolph Ziggler, who topped The Miz to become the Intercontinental champion. I am a fan of both these men, but as I wrote in a recent column, Ziggler is riding a wave of momentum at the moment. Fans love him, and he deserves this.
Dolph will be an excellent representative of the IC title. In his post-match interview, he made it clear that he was proud of the title's heritage, he did not act like this was a step back from once being Heavyweight champion, he did not act like this was a mere stepping stone to get back to the Heavyweight picture. Instead, he acted like a true champion. I hear a lot of people saying the Intercontinental title is not relevant or meaningful, but I disagree.
It has had some less than stellar champions in recent years, but Dolph is not one of them. The title does not make the wrestler. The wrestler makes the title. Dolph will bring a huge level of pride and excitement to the division.
R.I.P ATTITUDE ERA LOGO
What's in a name? Or a logo for that matter? Apparently, an awful lot.
Last week, WWE officially changed its logo from the classic attitude inception scrawled "W" to a cleaner bold one.
The old logo was slightly slanted, scrawled, scruffy even. If it was a person, he would be leaning against a wall, his hair would be messy, he might even have his hands in his pockets, and he would probably attract a disconcerting tut and head shake from an elderly member of public passing by.
Whereas the new one is clear, bold and standing up straight, he would probably be standing on a military cadet parade ready for inspection. He would be clean-shaven with a crew cut, his back would be ramrod straight. He would attract a nod of approval from the same elderly member of public, possibly even a mutter about what a nice young man he is.
Now, while there is nothing wrong with that at all, we as a society need such people. In terms of which one the WWE Universe preferred, it would have been the former.
There has been far more negative than positive comments on social media regarding this change. While the logo is not totally without warning, as it has featured on the WWE Network since February, many are still mourning one of the few remaining links WWE had to the Attitude Era. In all honesty, the change is not drastic, but I feel it is more what it represents that people are reacting to. It feels like it belongs in an era of 24/7 rule hardcore matches, beer drinking, dark ritual sacrifices and the Monday Night Wars. A prominent part of our wrestling childhoods, certainly yes, but I love the product today regardless.
The term "if it ain't broke, don’t fix it" does spring to mind,. but I know it won't really change any aspect of the program I still love, and in time, I am sure I will just accept it. I objected to the Facebook layout and eBay logo changes when they happened. Now, I can hardly remember why. But still, I am sure I will be among the majority sorry to see this one go.
RIP WWE Attitude Era logo 1997-2014.
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!