Last Sunday night, Kevin Owens shocked the WWE Universe with a debut victory over John Cena in what must surely be a match of the year contender.
Despite his on-screen cocky bravado and his statement that Cena was a man past his prime, Owens was well aware of what was ahead of him. In a frankly humble interview on the Talk is Jericho podcast, he admitted this was going to be the biggest match of his 15-year career and knew how much was riding on it.
This fear and determination translated well to screen. From start to finish, Owens was focused. There was old school brawling, heavy hitting slams, throws, and even some high-flying from Kevin with a size-defying two-step turn around moonsault.
Despite neither title being on the line, this had all the makings of a top-billing main event bout. With nail-biting "this is awesome" chants and near-fall after near-fall, it was edge of the seat viewing.
Cena vs. Owens was possibly the best match of the card, and it bodes well for the rematch at Money in the Bank, but also as a testimony for the NXT training system.
Say what you will about Triple H, but this man knows what he is doing. NXT is his baby, and just look at who has come from it in recent years: Kevin Owens, Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Paige, Bray Wyatt and Neville, just to name a few.
Yes, they all had varying degrees of independent wrestling experience, but that does not always translate instantly into being a WWE hit. NXT has helped to fine tune these stars to working WWE style with efficiency and flair.
The really big stars are few and far in between, but in one singular match, Owens has given indication that he has every chance of being one in WWE.
Well fought Owens, well fought.
The Intercontinental title match at Elimination Chamber should have been a hugely memorable occasion, and while by no means was it bad, there were a few unfortunate botches and decisions that made it less than it could have been.
Bye Bye Barrett: Bad News Barrett being eliminated first was an odd call. The newly anointed King of the Ring had a lot going for him upon entering this match, but I feel his royal presence was missed during the bout. Why build him up only to knock him down so quickly?
Surprise Guest: Well, I guess Mark Henry had to return at some point, but was he the best replacement for Rusev? If they were looking for another strongman brawler, then it does make sense, but many felt Bray Wyatt could have fit in such a role and surely could have benefited from it more.
Can I Come Out Now?: During the match, Barrett accidentally smashed open Mark Henry's pod, shattering it and forcing his early release. Many felt the momentum of this match went at this point, and it threw some of the superstars off-kilter.
Locked Up: Poor Sheamus. When his turn came to be released, his pod did not even open! All that Sheamus could do was bang angrily on his glass whilst the referees scrambled and fiddled to fix the problem. What on earth did it add to the match?
However, all this being said, Ryback winning his first championship was a long time coming. Plus, there was the touching moment with Daniel Bryan passing his vacated title to his former Nexus stablemate, and then asked the audience if they thought he deserved it.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the answer was a resounding "yes, yes, yes" and I, for one, could not agree more.
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!