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?
There is something a little bit different I want to highlight this week. It is a little moment some of you may have even missed, but it was a moment worthy of a mention.
RybAxel has broken up. The team of Ryback and Curtis Axel agreed to part ways this past week, but the split was not a typical WWE one. Rather than have one get jealous of the other and make them have a feud nobody wants to see (we know how fond WWE is of doing this) they simply had a backstage segment in which Axel suggested it might be time for them to go their separate ways.
Touchingly, Ryback appeared saddened by the news, but ultimately agreed to it on the caveat that, one day, they would get back together again…and lose.
Jokes aside, the men agreed that all the best tag teams get back together, and they would ride together again somewhere along the line.
While it would be a bit of a push to describe them as one of the best, they did develop chemistry on and off-screen, and the team came at a time when both men needed it. Development wise, it was a good time for both of them.
With Ryback getting a bit of a main event push once more, it probably was right to split them, but I am happy how this has happened.
WWE has had success in the past keeping teams apart, but giving them sporadic reunions. Look at DX between 2007-2008. When Triple H and HBK were on different shows, they still occasionally found chances to tag together, and always to massive pops from the crowd.
Take the more recent example of The Shield. Ambrose and Rollins might be bitter enemies, but on more than one occasion, Roman Reigns has verbally or physically backed Dean Ambrose up. Again, to a massive pop.
Good friends, better enemies? Not always the case, and I am glad to see WWE can occasionally respect this.
This column focuses on the world of wrestling. Not just what you see on the shows, but the politics and wider spectrum including wrestling in mainstream news.
This past week has seen some bad heat come WWE's way in the form of racism allegations. While they are nothing new, it would seem some people are not quite done shouting.
Firstly, calling an organization "racist" is a very broad sweeping allegation. Are we to assume the allegation means anyone who is not a white American won't get anywhere? I disagree. Consider the what they are doing with Rusev. He is an undefeated Bulgarian, who currently holds the United States Championship, and is getting into the main event scene at Survivor Series. Not exactly being held down is he?
So, let us drill down further and look at who is bringing these accusations. Namely, Alberto Del Rio and the original Sin Cara.
Both have grudges with the company, as both were let go. Does this automatically mean WWE discriminates against Mexicans?
Again, let us look at why they were let go. Alberto hit an employee for an apparent racist remark. This part I do not really dispute, and there is every chance there are racist individuals in the company. There sadly are in all walks of life.
But from a corporate perspective, you have one person's accusation against an admitted physical act of violence. Firing someone with no evidence could lead to lawsuits or a tribunal. WWE want to avoid anything of the sort at all costs.
As for the original Sin Cara, the man did not learn English, he did not adjust to the WWE style, he was a notorious botcher because of the language barrier, and many superstars have said it was very hard to work with him. I think they were in their right to let him go if he was not performing to their satisfaction. Had he learnt and adjusted, there is a good chance he would still be here.
For they kept the character of Sin Cara on, and he is now one half of the NXT Tag Team Champions.
If Hispanics in WWE are always discriminated against. How did Eddie Guerrero and Rey Mysterio get to the level they did? I would wager their talent, perseverance and attitude likely had a lot to do with it.
But racism allegations stick, this is not good publicity for WWE. Mexican talent can do very well in WWE, and it is a shame if this puts off luchador talent from seeking employment there. Lord knows they are the main reason I watched WCW.
I expect there are some choice individuals who have behaved inappropriately in the past, but it would be wrong to assume each and everyone in the company is like this.
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!