WWE News: Reviews, Analysis and Rumors for Week of Sept. 9
As much as we like to criticize and dissect everything that happens in WWE, Monday's events certainly put everything into perspective. Jerry "The King" Lawler suffered a heart attack while commentating on RAW, which certainly changed the complexion of the night and had fans across the world worried about his well-being.
The show went on amid great uncertainty, but Lawler is recovering and it luckily appears as though he will be okay. Not surprisingly, King has dominated the wrestling headlines this week as his health status and the fact that WWE carried on with the show have been discussed at length.
Despite that, the WWE has had to soldier on and prepare for Sunday's Night of Champions pay-per-view. The final hour-plus of RAW went on without commentary, but CM Punk, John Cena and Bret Hart delivered a great final segment that helped ease the concern over the Lawler situation.
Also, a few mid-card title matches were announced for Night of Champions and everything appears to be in place for Sunday's big event.
Here are the biggest news stories and rumors relating to the WWE for the week beginning on Sept. 9.
Jerry 'The King' Lawler Suffers Heart Attack on RAW, Now Recovering
In one of the scariest moments in recent wrestling history, Jerry "The King" Lawler passed out on Monday night after suffering a heart attack and was transported to a Montreal-area hospital.
The unfortunate incident happened during a tag-team match between The Prime Time Players and Kane and Daniel Bryan. It became apparent something was wrong when the crowd focused its attention toward the announce desk.
The show continued without commentary, and periodic updates on Lawler were given throughout the night. Things certainly looked grim for the WWE Hall of Famer, but he appears to be on the road to recovery. According to ProWrestling.net, Lawler is improving and walking around, so it looks like he has averted disaster.
As someone who has been watching wrestling since I was a little kid, I have been lucky to witness very few serious situations such as what happened with Lawler, but there is no doubt that it was worrisome.
I immediately thought back to what happened with Owen Hart at Over The Edge as he plummeted to his death when a stunt went horribly wrong. Lawler thankfully didn't suffer the same fate, but it was hard not to consider the worst-case scenario.
It was difficult to enjoy the remainder of RAW with Jerry's condition at the forefront of my thoughts, but I feel like the WWE did the right thing by continuing without commentary. The build toward Night of Champions had to be finished and stopping the show would have only furthered the panic that wrestling fans were feeling.
Vince McMahon will always receive grief for continuing in the wake of the Owen Hart incident, but I can't argue with his decision on Monday.
Bret Hart Returns to RAW in Montreal
It had been 15 years since Bret "Hitman" Hart was in a WWE ring in Montreal, but he made his triumphant return on Monday night and was a huge part of the show.
Montreal was, of course, the site of the infamous Montreal Screwjob in 1997 which resulted in Hart losing the WWE Championship to Shawn Michaels at Survivor Series when Vince McMahon called for the bell.
Hart and McMahon have since mended fences and that scandal is in the past, but no wrestling fan will ever forget it. Hart had a greater purpose than reliving the past, however, as he had a war of words with current WWE Champion CM Punk and was present in the closing segment when Punk and John Cena cut promos on each other.
Punk attempted to punch Hart at the conclusion of RAW, but Hart blocked it and got a shot of his own in.
When I heard last week that Hart would be appearing on RAW I was excited, not only because Hart is a legend in the professional wrestling business, but because I knew he would help get Punk over as a heel.
Hart isn't what he once was, as health problems and the natural aging process have taken their toll on him, but he did what he needed to do on Monday. Hart is a national hero in Canada, so he played the mega baby face so Punk could put him down and garner heat.
WWE is really trying to get Punk over as a heel, but it isn't easy because of the sizable fanbase he gained as a face. The crowd was really against him in Canada, and while that may not transition back to the United States, it was a worthwhile effort.
The best way to further a heel turn is to have that guy disrespect WWE legends, which is exactly what Punk did on Monday. Hopefully, he can keep up that momentum in the coming weeks and months.
Sheamus' Brogue Kick Banned for Night of Champions
The Sheamus vs. Alberto Del Rio feud over the World Heavyweight Championship has been going on for the past several months, but it appears as though an end may finally be on the horizon. Sheamus and Del Rio will do battle once again at Night of Champions and a Sheamus win would signal the end of the angle in all likelihood.
Although most expect Sheamus to come away victorious, the writers have been adding some new wrinkles to make it look like Del Rio has a chance.
Sheamus "injured" Ricardo Rodriguez with the Brogue Kick, so he acquired David Otunga as his legal counsel. Otunga got SmackDown general manager Booker T to agree to ban the Brogue Kick, so Sheamus will be without it at Night of Champions. If he uses it, though, then he will be stripped of the titles as per Booker T.
You can put lipstick on a pig, but in the end, it's still a pig. That is the way I feel about this Brogue Kick stipulation. The WWE is trying to take a failure of a feud into something better, but the Brogue Kick ban is cosmetic and isn't going to draw anyone in.
When the odds are totally stacked against a face in wrestling, that face overcomes them more often than not and comes out on top, and that will be the case with Sheamus.
The WWE has been building up Del Rio as of late by giving him wins over Randy Orton and John Cena, but it's too little, too late. Del Rio has already lost to Sheamus on several occasions and still isn't a credible challenger.
Sheamus has been utilizing the Texas Cloverleaf quite a bit lately, so expect Sheamus to break that out on Sunday and come away with a win.
Intercontinental Championship Match Announced for Night of Champions
Considering the fact that the Intercontinental Championship has been held by all-time greats such as Mr. Perfect, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Chris Jericho and so many others, you would think that it would receive proper storyline treatment, but that hasn't been the case lately.
The Miz has been made to look extremely weak since winning it and he'll be thrown into a match at Night of Champions rather than engaging in an actual feud.
Miz defeated Rey Mysterio at SummerSlam and has been engaged in a lukewarm rivalry with both him and Sin Cara, as has Cody Rhodes. Miz interfered in a match between Mysterio and Rhodes on RAW and that resulted in Rhodes hitting Miz with Cross Rhodes.
Miz also lost a non-title match to Sin Cara on SmackDown, so it was announced that he would defend the Intercontinental Championship against Mysterio, Sin Cara and Rhodes on Sunday.
As somebody who remembers when the Intercontinental Championship really meant something, its current state certainly irks me. The Miz is a main-event-level guy who could be having great feuds and bringing the belt back to legitimacy, but he isn't being given that opportunity.
There is absolutely nothing being put into the mid-card scene right now and it shows with this Fatal Four-Way simply being thrown together on a whim.
From a wrestling perspective it could be the best on the card, but the storyline development has been nonexistent for the most part. The Intercontinental Championship is hurting Miz more than its helping him right now, so I'm hoping he drops it at Night of Champions.
Rhodes has been lost without the title, so I would have him regain it. Then perhaps Miz can start a slow face turn and eventually get himself back into the main-event conversation.
Tag Team Championship Match Announced for Night of Champions
The tag-team division used to be one of WWE's biggest assets, but it has definitely taken a backseat over the past couple years. The last legitimate Tag Team Champions were Hart Dynasty, so that should tell you all you need to know about the state of the tag scene.
Things have heated up a bit in recent months, however, and I am intrigued for the first time in a long time due to the pairing of Kane and Daniel Bryan.
I thought they would make a great team even before they started attending anger management together, so I'm thrilled that WWE followed through on it.
Kane and D-Bry defeated The Prime Time Players to become the new No. 1 contenders for the Tag Team Championships and they will now face the team of Kofi Kingston and R-Truth for the straps at Night of Champions.
I'm not usually in favor of tag teams that are thrown together, but because of their psychological issues and overall entertainment value, Kane and Bryan should work very well as a tandem.
There's nothing inherently wrong with Kofi and Truth as a team, but they're quite boring and haven't done anything to further the Tag Team Championships. It's time to do something substantial with the belts and giving them to Kane and Bryan could be huge.
Aside from CM Punk and John Cena, Kane and Bryan are the biggest parts of RAW right now. They are so fun to watch that they'll continue to be featured and, by virtue of that, the Tag Team Championships will be featured as well if they win them.
Kane and Bryan won't be a team forever and the division needs some permanent teams to establish themselves if it is going to be self-sustaining, but Kane and Bryan can generate a ton of buzz in the interim and make the titles mean something while the rest of the division comes together.