Wow. Top marks to SmackDown's new commentator, Mauro Ranallo. With over 30 years experience in calling combat sports such as boxing and MMA, Ranallo's voice gives SmackDown an air of a genuine shoot fight feel.
What is also refreshing is that Ranallo has a genuine interest in being there. He is not using it as a stepping stone to get onto a more "reputable" sports program. He has already been there and done that. Commentating on WWE is a position he has wanted for 30 years. Wanting something after all this time speaks volumes of his passion, and it shows (sounds) in his voice.
He concentrated on calling the action as he saw it, and was really present in the moment as it unfolded. Contrast this to when commentators talk about an unrelated issue trending on Twitter, promoting the next segment, or something else to do with Roman Reigns. Granted, these are things they are being told to do backstage, but we all know it can make them appear disinterested in what is actually happening in the here and now.
Of course, time will tell if Mauro Ranallo gets told to call it attune to the "WWE style," but I have a feeling that he will still be able to deliver us some quality SmackDown sound bites in spite of this.
Sometimes, WWE manages to come up with something that is just universally funny. R-Truth's deluded belief of being in the 2015 Money in the Bank match was one of these occasions.
It was so unexpected, so bizarre, and a perfect embodiment of playing to a superstar's strength. He fully deserved getting the 2015 LOL of the Year Slammy award.
However, sometimes, when WWE realizes something has worked well, they will take a concept and overuse it to the point it loses its charm. Remember $9.99?
Since R-Truth's gag worked so well the first and even second time, WWE has repeated it twice more in as many weeks. Last week's SmackDown saw R-Truth interrupt MizTV to talk about accepting the (non-existent) US Title Open Challenge. While still amusing, by this point we knew what to expect the moment his music hit.
The "my bad" R-Truth gag could do well to take a lesson from the likes of Ron Simmons. His showing up to deliver "DAMN" in response to a ridiculous situation or skit, while expected once we see him on screen, occurs infrequently so that it can still take us by surprise.
Bonus Heat: Injuries, injuries, everywhere! John Cena is the latest superstar we must sadly add our injured list. Read more about Smark Out Moment's thoughts on the matter here.
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!