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?
Is Dolph Ziggler the new Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat? Aesthetically, no. However, bear with me on this one.
Monday Night Raw saw Ziggler and Luke Harper clash once again. Question: why do Ziggler matches run (for the most part) on the undercard or midcard of the show?
Granted, he is the Intercontinental champion; a belt which heralds the wearer to being champion of the midcard, but the sheer quality of his matches are main event worthy time and time again. Luke Harper is no slouch either. These two compliment each other well.
Harper is a powerhouse, a rough house brawler—he hits stiff and solid and puts up a damn good fight. Then, we have Ziggler—a man who can sell like nobody's business, a good all-rounder in mat skills, and one who positively sweats charisma.
People believe in him because he believes in himself. Even in WWE sanctioned interviews, he holds little back. He admits to having a chip on his shoulder and the frustration in his eyes and voice is evident. Anyone who has been held back but refuses to give up can relate.
He knows what he is worth, and is forever excelling to prove it.
So, back to the original question: is he the new Steamboat? Think about it. Everyone knows one of the best matches at WrestleMania III was not the main event with Hulk Hogan and André the Giant. Sure, from a ticket and marketing standpoint it was, but on a technical level, this belongs to the Intercontinental title match between Steamboat and Randy Savage.
It is for this reason the parallels can begin to be drawn. Seemingly, it matters little where you place a Ziggler match; he does as his catchphrase says—steals the show.
As illustrated once again on Monday Night Raw, he is one of the best champions in a long time. Wherever they place him, he still delivers main event material, but for his sake and self-worth, I hope WWE will eventually place him where he deserves to go.
On last week's Monday Night Raw, we saw the continuation of Adam Rose taking out his stresses on Chief Lieutenant Rosebud, The Bunny.
This bizarre tandem has endured for two reasons; the first being, they are a bit of silly fun, but also, for the sheer absurdity of The Bunny being a damn fine wrestler. I have to confess to enjoying seeing these two do the odd tag-team, but I am not convinced WWE is sure where they are going with the story here.
When Rose first attacked The Bunny a few months back, one would have thought it was the start of a heel-turn, surely. Well, yes and no.
Initially, he appeared to patch things up with The Bunny, but then quickly degenerated into his PETA-worrying antics time and time again.
Outside attacking The Bunny, he has hardly changed; maybe he is a little angrier than before, a little more aggressive, but unlike "party time" — not all the time. He appears stuck as some heel/face hybrid.
People do not want to hate Rose; he still attracts a certain level of respect for his NXT days as Leo Kruger (a gimmick many would like him to have still). But as Rose, he is still a fluid wrestler, his antics and demur are amusing, and he has a highly infectious entrance.
Believe it or not, Raymond Leppan (Rose) has actually been wrestling for nearly twenty years, having debuted at just sixteen-years old. He deserves a little more thought with his WWE development, and I am not convinced this bunny bashing has a long-term plan. It feels booked on a show-by-show basis, but with no real end goal thought out.
Let's hope it does not end up a lemon.
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!