"Jesus H. Christ!" are the words that left my lips a few moments into the match between Seth Rollins and Neville on Monday Night Raw.
The man whose first name Vince McMahon forgot competed in his second match since making the crossover from NXT last week, and to say he shone would be something of an understatement. He was like a permanently coiled spring, poised to maneuver his body at any given moment with perfect form. The sheer athletic ability of him was phenomenal and the crowd clearly loved it.
Now, I had seen Neville wrestle on NXT and it had always been obvious he was special, but just because someone works well in NXT does not mean they will transition seamlessly to the WWE's main roster. The talent may be there, but like any superstar, without the correct direction, it can be sink or swim if WWE management misuses them or loses interest. The Ascension is a prime example of this.
At one stage, they were touted as the next Legion of Doom, but after failing to capture the WWE Universe's imagination, they found themselves relegated to the lowest rung of the tag team ladder. Ascending, they are not.
However, this does not seem the case for Neville. It shows a tremendous belief from WWE officials to place the former NXT champion in direct competition with the newly crowned WWE Heavyweight Champion so early in his WWE career. Yes, he inevitably lost — it would have been poor booking for Seth if he hadn't — but the fact he was there in the first place and managed to deliver such a stellar performance is what matters.
Gravity might have forgotten Neville, but if he can carry on with matches like this, I can guarantee that we will not.
Last week, AJ Lee retired from WWE. Extremely entertaining and hugely capable in the ring, AJ was one of the elite few divas that found herself in main event storylines. From the love triangle with CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, her stint as the General Manager of Raw, to the faction with Dolph Ziggler and Big E, there was little the girl could do wrong.
That is, until fiction blended into fact. Her storyline love affair with Punk seeped into the realms of reality, as the pair fell in love and eventually married in June 2014.
From here, it was surely only ever going to be a matter of time. Punk's disdain for WWE cannot have set AJ in good stead with WWE brass.
From signing her marriage contract to terminating her WWE one, AJ Lee remained for just under one year. It is a strange set of events given her documented love for all things wrestling, for the 3-time Divas champion was not one of the bikini models who just fell into wrestling.
No, she was one of blood, sweat, and tears to climb to the top of the mountain. But until AJ gives an official reason, we can only speculate cause. Same say being on the road and away from her
husband was the reason, while others say she had simply achieved all their was to achieve. However, as much as I like Punk, it is unbelievable to think that his negative opinion of WWE had no impact
on this. How could it not? Is it inconceivable they would never have spoken of her work life.
I will always fondly remember AJ, and I really hope it is not the last we see of her. At just 28 years old, she still has plenty of fight left in her.
Thank you AJ.
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!