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?
When Sting was brought into the fold in WWE, the go-to match was obviously to have him face off against Undertaker at WrestleMania. However, WWE decided to go a different route and set up a match with Triple H. While this is far from being a terrible choice, it felt underwhelming to me. In the laundry list of fantasy feuds that I've always wanted to see—including Bret Hart vs. Kurt Angle, Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan, Big Show vs. Andre the Giant and so forth—never was Triple H and Sting a combination.
Building up to their match so far has been a little lackluster, but on this week's edition of Monday Night Raw, Ric Flair was tossed in to help add more to the story. Having him in a sense go against Triple H and defend Sting over him adds more intensity to why the Cerebral Assassin would get riled up. Sure, Triple H already had a reason to be pissed at Sting for his interference at Survivor Series, but that just isn't enough to sustain a feud for several months. Going into WrestleMania, there needs to be more to the story than just one more interference on Raw. Now that Flair has opened up a can of worms and Triple H is making this about WWE vs WCW, that amplifies everything and will have a much stronger payoff when Sting defeats The Game at the biggest show of the year.
Natalya is easily one of the best wrestlers in the Divas division and has been for many years. However, one of the most frustrating things about her involvement in WWE is not that she's infrequently challenging for a title, but that she is boring. Natalya seems like a nice woman in more ways than one, but she has very little character to give people something to latch onto. If it weren't for her lineage, most people wouldn't be paying all that much attention, which is a shame. On Total Divas, she's fairly unlikable, as she's either talking about her cats or she's complaining about something else that she's blowing out of proportion.
Babyface Natalya who smiles, goes to the ring, wrestles a bit and then loses and looks all disappointed but picks herself back up and does the same again on Superstars or Main Event later that week is not something I want to keep seeing. I've seen it for years. During this feud between The Usos and Naomi against Natalya, Tyson Kidd and Cesaro, there was an opportunity to turn Natalya heel and inject some character into her. If you want Tyson Kidd to come off as a complete asshole, why not make him an emotionally abusive husband, essentially? Natalya can be that weak person who listens to Tyson talk badly about her, but she's so lovestruck and easy to manipulate that she just makes excuses for him and backs him up.
Instead, this week's Raw showed that WWE is going to stick with the same character from the past few years. I'm supposed to be on her side when Tyson yells at her for losing, because she's such a sweetheart and he's an asshole...except I'm not, because of how she's portrayed in Total Divas and how bland she is on the primary shows. Rather than hoping that she will fight back for herself and tell Tyson to go screw himself, I'm more sympathetic to Tyson Kidd! His character points out that she lost the match on a stupid mistake that she knows better than to get caught up in. I should be hating this guy and loving Natalya, but at this point, I'm rooting for Kidd to drop Natalya and bring someone better into the Brass Ring Club like Sasha Banks or perhaps even Charlotte.
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!