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.
Author's note: Before we begin I just want to say a big thank you to J.B Alexander for doing such an awesome job covering this column last week.
Last week, WWE briefly adopted a new YouTube show entitled "Cheap Pops". How dare they! I can only possibly conclude they stole the name from this column. But like Lance Storm, if I could be serious for a minute, I am going to have to say, if you missed it, you missed out.
The show was 2 1/2 minutes of WWE cartoon sketches lampooning both recent events and days gone by in WWE. The animation style was not high brow nor overly sophisticated, but this just added to the charm of it all.
The fact WWE acknowledged it and uploaded it to the channel really made it seem WWE was not afraid of making fun of itself. Nevermind Demon Kane or Corporate Kane, we saw Stephanie McMahon send out increasingly ridiculous revamps of Kane to tackle a buffed up Daniel Bryan such as Surfer Kane and Safari Kane. We also had John Cena struggling to pick what he wants to wear, despite the fact he only has multiple orange shirts and blue shorts.
But not to neglect the past, Adam Bomb (remember him!) made an appearance, visiting a doctor over radiation poisoning, due to living on Three Mile Island. It was like a beautiful rendition of Family Guy meets WWE cutaways.
You may have noticed this article talks of the show in the past tense, though. This is sadly because it was taken down only minutes after being uploaded due to complaints that the content was not child friendly. The fact it was billed "Episode 1" indicated they were initially keen to adopt more. Will they still? I am not sure they will, so this almost could have been my Heat choice for that reason, but for the few thousand who saw it before it was pulled, "Cheap Pops" really was a true pop of the week.
If you can find a copy somewhere off YouTube, do try and watch it, you won't regret it.
A few months ago I wrote of my excitement of Cody's rebirth as Stardust, and the exciting new avenue of the repackaged Rhodes brothers team.
Stardust has since proven he is even more bizarre than his brother. He giggles, he cackles, he cartwheels, he speaks in coded manic cosmic ramblings, he blows glittery sparkles and hisses his name. He has been likened to The Joker and Riddler of Batman fame and was quick to get over because of it.
WWE clearly were pushing them as faces, as for weeks, they appeared in comic vignettes laminating their wonderful weirdness. On live interviews on Raw, you could hear the crowd laughing along at the antics as they proclaimed to search for the mystical cosmic key—an item many believed was the WWE Tag Team Championship belts.
Since then, a brothers vs brothers war with The Usos has escalated through a series of single and tag matches, each one ending in a way portraying Goldust and Stardust as unsporting bully boys.
This was further highlighted on Monday Night Raw when Goldust defeated Jimmy Uso in singles competition—a match which was followed up by another brutal beat down on the already injured Jey Uso.
Cody is no stranger to being heel; you just need to look at his time in teams like The Legacy, The Dashing Ones or Rhodes Scholars. Each one exhibited a self-righteous arrogance and belief of being better than their opponents, and each one was successful in its own right. Goldust equally has spent time at heel camp during the early part of his career, and did well with it.
But together as heels under the Gold/Star guise? WWE wants us to hate them for their now villainous tactics, but I find it hard to. I love both these guys. They make me laugh and they are amazingly agile competitors. Goldust is 45 years old, but can out-perform many young stars. I do not agree with this direction for them.
With the popular reception of Big Show and Mark Henry, I can accept that WWE felt it might have needed another heel tag team to balance the division, but making the Rhodes brothers one would not have been my first choice, nor do I feel many within the WWE Universe would have gone with that decision.
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!