WWE: 5 Things to Watch for on the Sept. 10 Edition of Monday Night Raw
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
Monday marks the go-home edition of Raw, as Night of Champions is looming on Sunday, so expect things to be quite eventful. Most of the top-level matches seem to have been set already, but there is plenty of storyline development left to be done.
The main thing that fans are anticipating is the explanation of what happened last week between WWE Champion CM Punk and Paul Heyman. Punk jumped into a car that was being driven by Heyman, so it would seem as though the two of them have formed an alliance of some sort.
Also, Bret "Hitman" Hart will make his return to a WWE ring in Montreal for the first time since the infamous Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series in 1997. It will be very interesting to see what type of role he plays in the night's events.
Feuds between A.J. Lee and Vickie Guerrero, as well as Kane and Daniel Bryan, have dominated Raw for the past few weeks too, and I'm sure we'll see plenty of movement on both of those fronts, as Night of Champions is very much on the horizon.
Here are the top five things you should keep an eye on as you watch the Sept. 10 edition of Monday Night Raw ahead of Night of Champions.
How Will CM Punk and Paul Heyman Explain Their Partnership?
For the past couple months, there have been plenty of rumors with regards to a partnership between WWE Champion CM Punk and Paul Heyman, and last Monday, it seemed as though that finally came to fruition.
After giving John Cena a GTS and costing him in his Falls Count Anywhere match against Alberto Del Rio, Punk jumped into a car, and Heyman was revealed to be the driver.
Punk and Heyman have a personal and professional history, as Heyman was a big reason for Punk's initial success in the WWE, so putting them together makes a lot of sense. Also, you could argue that Punk and Heyman are the top two guys in the business when it comes to mic work. Neither necessarily needs each other to excel, but together, they should form something very special.
With Brock Lesnar kayfabe quitting the WWE once again, Heyman doesn't really have any business with the company, so everyone is dying to know why he is back. I anticipate Punk talking about how Heyman knows how to properly respect great talent in the wrestling business, and he can then say that he has brought him in as a business adviser.
Regardless of the reasoning behind their bond, however, I'm fully expecting some fireworks on Monday. Whenever Punk or Heyman are in the ring something entertaining is bound to happen, so having both of them together will be absolutely fantastic.
What Role Will Bret Hart Play in Montreal?
It was announced by WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart on Twitter and confirmed on WWE.com that he will be a part of Monday Night Raw in Montreal. The site of Hart's biggest embarrassment in his wrestling career was Montreal as he lost to Shawn Michaels in the Montreal Screwjob match, so there will obviously be some emotions running high on Monday.
Hart is an absolute hero in Montreal and essentially anywhere he goes in Canada, and I'm expecting a red-hot crowd for Raw. If I had to guess, Hart is probably going to open the show, and I anticipate him talking about WWE Champion CM Punk. The two of them have a mutual respect for each other, and Punk has even been following Hart's lead as of late in wearing pink and black and feuding with Hart's old rival, Jerry "The King" Lawler.
Punk's actions haven't been becoming of a champion lately, however, as he has blindsided Lawler on numerous occasions, walked out on his match with Sheamus last week and cost John Cena his match as well. With that in mind, Hart will probably initially be complimentary of Punk before calling him out and lecturing about the virtues of a champion.
At some point, Punk is going to beat down Hart in order to get him some increased heat. As good of a heel as Punk has been, he is still very popular and getting a favorable reaction, so he needs to do something dastardly. Attacking Hart in Canada will get Punk nuclear heat there, but it should also translate to the United States to some degree.
What's Next in the Daniel Bryan vs. Kane Saga?
Kane and Daniel Bryan have been feuding with each other since prior to SummerSlam, and their rivalry has been among the most entertaining things on WWE programming. After Kane went ballistic following Bryan's win at SummerSlam and Bryan continued to have mental breakdowns as well, both of them were forced by Raw general manager A.J. Lee to attend anger management classes, and they have done so for the past two weeks.
The segments themselves have been hilarious, and it looked like Kane and Bryan might have finally gotten over the hump last week. Not only did they start to understand each other at the therapy sessions, but they even had a hugging session in the ring. Things escalated, however, as they ended up attacking each other and they are now back to square one.
Whether they go back to anger management or do something else this week, it is almost certain to be a barrel of laughs. When the entire anger management angle began, I figured it was leading to a Kane and Bryan tag team, and although things got a bit murkier when they attacked each other last Monday, I still feel like that is the endgame.
The tag-team division is in desperate need of revitalization, and I feel like a Kane and Bryan tandem would be huge for the floundering tag scene. Not only are they both great in-ring workers who are over with the fans, but they could form a reluctant partnership where they constantly bicker, and that would make for some great moments.
Where Is the AJ Lee vs. Vickie Guerrero Feud Leading?
Vickie Guerrero has made her negative feelings toward Raw general manager A.J. Lee known over the past couple weeks, and their feud has become one of the show's main storylines. Guerrero's initial complaint was that A.J. forced Dolph Ziggler to defend his Money in the Bank contract against Chris Jericho last month, and while Ziggler ultimately retained it, Vickie has maintained that it was blatant abuse of A.J.'s power.
A.J. responded by attacking Vickie two weeks ago, but she was reprimanded by the board of directors. Because of that, A.J. had to apologize last week and then stand idly by as Vickie slapped her across the face twice. This rivalry is obviously leading somewhere, but it is unclear exactly where. Seeing as A.J. is being made to look increasingly unstable, one possibility is that it will lead to her removal as Raw GM.
I'm leaning in another direction, though. Ziggler and Vickie have been together for a couple years, and while she has helped get him some heat along the way, the time is now to break them up. Essentially every main-event-caliber guy in the company is on his own, and in order for Ziggler to reach the next level, I believe he needs to fly solo, cut his own promos and garner his own heat.
A great way to do it while keeping both Vickie and Dolph heel would be to have Vickie lose to A.J. in a match with A.J.'s GM job and Vickie's managerial job on the line. A.J. would win that match and retain the role of general manager, with Guerrero losing the right to manage Ziggler. The WWE has had plenty of opportunities to break up Vickie and Ziggler, so hopefully, it does something with this particular opportunity.
Will The Miz Finally Get an Opponent for Night of Champions?
The Intercontinental Championship was once the second-most prestigious title in the WWE, but the state it is in currently is nothing short of dire. The Miz currently holds the belt, and with Night of Champions less than a week away, he still doesn't have an opponent. The Intercontinental Championship used to serve as a gateway to the WWE Championship, but now, it is little more than a useless, mid-card strap.
Pay-per-view events used to be built around the WWE and Intercontinental Championship matches, but I wouldn't be surprised if Miz gets thrown on the card as the pre-show match. Miz is a main-event-caliber performer who I figured would bring some legitimacy back to the title, but he has been pinned by the likes of Rey Mysterio, Kane and John Cena in non-title matches and has been booked to look incredibly weak.
Miz isn't in any sort of feud to speak of right now, so I suppose he will have another match with Mysterio. The Miz beat Mysterio at SummerSlam and lost to him in a tag match on SmackDown, so I suppose that is the only viable option. The Miz has already lost so many times as champion, though, that I doubt another win over Mysterio will help him.
Truth be told, Miz would be best off losing the title and moving on because it is holding him back at this point. He should be contending for a world title rather than putting over everyone else, so hopefully, whoever he faces at Night of Champions gets the win. Miz vs. Sheamus would be a great feud, and one that I'm sure most fans would love to see.