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?
Last week, I reported on my excitement for the upcoming Team Authority vs Team Cena match for Survivor Series. As of Monday Night Raw, this excitement looks set to build.
The show started with WWE Chairman Vince McMahon making a (now) rare appearance, coming out to a big pop and ovation from the crowd.
He strutted to the ring—ever the eternal showman he is—then proceeded to make a few announcements about the FREE month for the WWE Network and the FREE PPV Survivor Series (is FREE the new 9.99? Well, for one month only perhaps).
But Vince being Vince couldn't pass up coming out like this without revealing something we didn't know, and Monday Night Raw was no exception. He announced a stipulation on the Team Authority vs Team Cena Match. Namely, if Team Authority loses, they will no longer be The Authority.
This raises the stakes and anticipation of the match ten-fold. The Authority has been in power and running the show for a good 18 months now. A loss would shift the landscape of the current WWE Universe hugely. This also begs the question whom would run the shows? WWE doesn't seem the same without an evil boss in the midst. Would it be the return of GMs or a Commissioner?
In complete honesty, I don't want to see The Authority lose. I have been a fan of Triple H since his blue blood days. I am proud I liked him long before many considered him as WWE Championship material. So, despite his wicked ways, my 10-year-old self still wants to see him come away with the victory.
But the "what will happen next" are questions for another day, maybe they will keep their grip on the WWE after all. We will just have to wait and see. The point of the matter is in the announcement itself, the stakes have been raised, my anticipation has heightened.
Roll on Survivor Series.
A few weeks ago, I was moaning that WWE were not doing themselves any favors by dragging out releasing the Network to the United Kingdom. After America, this is likely the second biggest area where fans live.
But then last week, WWE delivered the news that not only will the Network be available from November in the UK, there will no longer be 6 month commitment sign ups, AND it will also be FREE for the entire month to new joiners.
Well, that showed me. I thought the promised November announcement was only going to be just that, an announcement, not the actual release date.
However, November 1st came and went, and we are still without the Network. Why?
We have been given no explanation, bar a tweet and a uninformative message on WWE.com, but we are not closer to knowing what went wrong, and more importantly, will we get it in time for Survivor Series?
It goes without saying really, but UK WWE fans are not best pleased with the situation. Neither do, I imagine, are the WWE. If they want the Network to grow in subscriptions, they really need to actually make it available to new potential subscribers.
Surely that is best for business?
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!