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 CAN DO THE SAME
The Miz and Ziggler feud over the I.C Title has been hugely entertaining, but I would like to spend this week's column praising the man who has helped make it even more special.
There is no question Damien Sandow has had a rough time since his money in the bank contract failed to bring dividends.
As time went on, his status was diminished, his pompous "intellectual savior of the masses" gimmick became diluted; largely, this was due to the reduction in microphone/promo time, a skill that is easily his greatest asset.
Many thought it was the beginning of the end once he was shoved into a gimmick reminiscent of the likes of Stevie Richards or The Big Show circa spring 2000.
The role saw Sandow changing his character on a show-to-show basis. A basketball player, Santa Claus, Magneto, Bret Hart and even a Sonic fast food employee (possibly the worst one). There were some laughs, but there did not seem to be any long-term thought into where he was going with it, so when he showed up as Damien Mizdow, the Miz's stunt double, it appeared to be just another one night showcase.
However, week after week he continued to be by Miz's side under this guise.
Slowly, but surely, I have to say I have grown to love this new persona of his; he is very entertaining. This was especially illustrated by his antics on Monday Night Raw. Now whatever Miz does, Damien does, too.
As Miz gave a promo, Damien stood by his side, silently repeating the words and copying his actions. When Miz lost his match against Ziggler, he crouched down on his knees in a state of disbelief, Damien followed suit and mimicked his expression and actions by his side. It was subtle, it was silent, but something about it made me laugh.
Above the entertainment value, it is a sign of some sort of direction for Sandow. If he can't be the intellectual savior of the masses, at least he can be a great source of entertainment to the masses.
A few weeks ago, I spoke very positively of the newly formed titanic tag-team of The Big Show and Mark Henry. I thought together they could make a great contribution to the Tag-Team Division and everything seemed to point to them joining it on a more permanent basis.
Instead, Mark Henry became WWE's Captain America, and began a feud with the invincible Rusev. With the likes of Undertaker and Kane, clashes of giants can work, but often the result is a cumbersome and dull match, as was the case on Monday Night Raw.
Rusev is oddly agile. He is capable of moves one might not expect from someone of his size, but against Henry, these traits seem to disappear. If matches between these two are going to continue being of this caliber, I am hoping this feud will not stretch on too much longer. Both men could be doing better things.
I think Henry would be far better placed back in his team with Big Show, and Rusev should be challenging for the U.S. title. Would it not be a brilliant use of the belt? For someone to be the Champion of a country they are so dismissive of? Think of the heat! He could even do a Lance Storm and re-christen it the USSR Title, sticking on a Russian flag sticker on to complete the insult to injury.
Someone has to put a stop to Rusev's reign of terror soon, I just think a giant-killer, not a giant, would be the more entertaining one to do so.
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!