Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on CM Punk, Ryback, Dolph Ziggler and more, this is where you need to get all of your weekly WWE nuggets.
Bleacher Report featured columnists Michael Cahill, Brandon Galvin, Mike Chiari and Donald Wood give the lowdown on all things going on in the wrestling world. The Ring Rust Radio crew gets down to the crux of the wrestling business with the professionals.
With another unpredictable episode of Ring Rust Radio in the books, you can't afford to miss another second of the action. Catch us LIVE every Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET (some language NSFW) or follow us on Twitter @RingRustRadio.
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Oct. 16 - Attitude Era Fantasy Draft
Oct. 30 - Bleacher Report Video Game Expert Brian Mazique
CM Punk vs. Ryback
With John Cena currently on the shelf due to an elbow injury, WWE champion CM Punk has to do something in the meantime. He has had some run-ins with WWE legends such as Mick Foley and Jim Ross over the past couple weeks, but what he truly has to worry about is Ryback as he has come to the aid of the legends in consecutive weeks.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What Is the Endgame for Punk and Ryback?
From a storyline perspective, everything Punk is doing right now relates to a potential match with Cena at Hell in a Cell. Both Foley and Ross have said that he doesn't deserve the title of best in the world unless he beats Cena in the barbaric structure, so it's tough to imagine where Ryback fits in with all of this.
It remains to be seen how long Cena will be out of the picture, but as long as he is, Ryback figures to be Punk's main rival. It will certainly be interesting to see if that leads to a match between them as both men have a lot to lose. A loss for Ryback would mean the end of his undefeated streak, while a loss for Punk is never good as he is the WWE champion.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
The way I see it, the entire Punk vs. Ryback feud is little more than a fallback option. Cena has traditionally been a quick healer when it comes to injuries, but the estimated recovery time was six-to-eight weeks, so missing Hell in a Cell is possible if his rehabilitation doesn't go smoothly.
Punk would obviously have to defend the title at Hell in a Cell anyway, though, and Ryback would be a logical replacement.
More than anything, this is probably a way to see if Ryback is ready for the big time. I would be really surprised if Cena isn't back prior to Hell in a Cell, so Ryback's involvement is only temporary.
He has gotten a good reaction so far, and if that continues, then I would expect him to be moved even further up the ladder. Ryback may be lacking in terms of mic work and charisma, but he can put himself in great position over the next couple weeks.
Bleacher Report Insider Scoop: Predicting What's Next for Ryback
Determining What's Next for Dolph Ziggler
He may be Mr. Money in the Bank, but Dolph Ziggler certainly hasn't been treated like a future world heavyweight champion since securing the briefcase. Not only has Ziggler lost pay-per-view matches to Chris Jericho and Randy Orton, both of whom are veterans who didn't need the win, but he has also lost countless tag-team matches and is generally made to look inferior despite his superior skill set.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Ziggler Join Forces With Punk and Heyman?
During Monday's edition of RAW, Ziggler and Vickie Guerrero interrupted WWE champion CM Punk and his adviser Paul Heyman. The former ECW mastermind was talking about the failures of RAW general manager A.J. Lee and how he should be her replacement. Vickie suggested that the four of them should join forces and rule over the WWE, however.
It could very well have been a segment that leads to nothing, but there is no question that the idea is an interesting one. Ziggler is in a position where he doesn't have much going on and he is just biding his time until he cashes in Money in the Bank. One way to bridge the gap between now and his World Heavyweight Championship run would certainly be to join a Punk and Heyman-led stable.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As much as I have been calling for Ziggler to go off on his own in order to prepare for a main-event run, joining forces with Punk and Heyman would be even better.
Punk and Heyman have been the focus of the WWE for the past month and being associated with them would only help Ziggler. It already seems likely that Brock Lesnar and perhaps Big Show will become part of the stable, so Ziggler might as well join in too.
I envision a traditional Survivor Series match next month between Punk's team of himself, Ziggler, Lesnar and Big Show against John Cena, Ryback, Triple H and Sheamus, and that is something that could elevate Ziggler in a big way.
Then, once he wins the world title and the stable slowly dissolves, Ziggler will be ready to go off on his own and the odds of him succeeding will be even greater.
Bleacher Report Insider Scoop: Why Ziggler Must Move on from Vickie
Analyzing the Aces and Eights Situation
For the past couple months, TNA has dedicated much of its television time to the Aces and Eights storyline. While it initially seemed to have some potential, I felt like it quickly went downhill and lost steam. Over the past month especially, the angle hasn't really gone anywhere and it appears as though a terrible payoff is on the horizon.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Is the Leader of Aces and Eights?
Last week on Impact, it seemed as though the writers tried to fast forward the storyline as Hulk Hogan and Sting were kidnapped and taken back to Aces and Eights' clubhouse. It was there that Aces and Eights' leader spoke with Hogan and negotiated a deal where Sting and a partner of Hogan's choice will take on two of Aces and Eights' top guys.
If Sting and his partner win, then Aces and Eights will go quietly, but if Aces and Eights wins, then they will regain full access to the Impact Zone. It was the first time that we really got to see extensive interaction between the leader of the biker gang and others, and there is certainly a new favorite with regards to who it might be.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Very early in the storyline, I predicted that Eric Bischoff was the mastermind behind Aces and Eights and it seems like that may be the case.
I initially picked Bischoff since I figured TNA would make a mess of the storyline and because Bischoff is a motorcycle enthusiast, so there was a clear link there. Based on the leader's speech pattern last week, it sounded an awful lot like Bischoff and I'd be surprised if it wasn't.
Also, when Hogan was deciding on who he would put in the Television Championship match, he passed over Garett Bischoff in favor of Samoa Joe and Mr. Anderson. When Bischoff walked away, he shot a sinister look in Hulkster's direction. I suppose it's possible that TNA is planning on pulling a fast one, but this angle is so far gone, that it would take something spectacular to save it.
Bleacher Report Insider Scoop: Breaking Down Aces and Eights on Impact