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 could talk about the twists and turns the Road to WrestleMania has taken, but in this column, I sometimes avoid the bigger-profile news stories in favor of the less obvious stories; shining a spotlight to highlight what good has come, or will come from a situation, segment or match.
So, today I wish to highlight the change from "Mizdow, Stunt Double" to "Mizdow, Personal Assistant."
On Monday Night Raw, Miz finally tired of Mizdow's popularity and antics and thus, fired him from being his stunt double, but then offered him an alternative role as his personal assistant. There are no more copying moves, bumps, and hand gestures (despite protests from the crowd to do so).
I think this is a smart move for Mizdow. Think about it—people love Mizdow, but would the quick turn around back to Damien Sandow have carried his popularity? Possibly, but there is still a chance people would expect his mimic gimmick's antics, and there is a risk Damien would be right back to his post-Money in the Bank position—doing little.
However, this subtle change allows the crowd to embrace a different side. It will give him a little more of his own persona, but still in a semi-familiar role.
In the long run, I think that this slow burn feud with The Miz will help establish Mizdow/Damien/Magento/Bret Hart, or whoever he may become!
THIRD GENERATION THIRD RATE
Poor Curtis Axel.
Monday Night Raw saw him placed in a throwaway segment, designed mainly to be an introduction to Dean Ambrose's Intercontinental title hunt.
The one-time Paul Heyman Guy came out to announce what many had already pointed out—he was never eliminated from the Royal Rumble. Sure, he was taken out by an ambush, but he was never thrown over the ropes. This led to his announcement he intended to go to WrestleMania to face Brock Lesnar for the title — to deafening silence. No boos, no cheers, just JBL's commentary, which only served to show how little value WWE seemed to have in him.
If people had not shouted out about it, would WWE have even acknowledged Axel's non-elimination? I do not think so. It seems tacked on; a response to post-Rumble controversy, but to no real benefit for Axel.
The sad part is that Axel is a good wrestler. As a third-generation superstar, he knows his way around the ring, has a varied move set, and is capable of good matches. Yes, he has weak mic skills and a somewhat bland personality, but his time as one-half of RybAxel showed promise of his potential.
But Curtis, much like Harry Smith and Ted DiBiase Jr, is another example of a legacy talent WWE does not know what to do with. That much, is perfectly clear.
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!