With just three weeks left until WWE’s Hell in a Cell pay-per-view Sunday, Oct. 28, this edition of Raw will begin the final run towards the company’s big show.
Add in the fact that Survivor Series is the following month, and the WWE is starting to gear up for one of the most important stretches of 2012.
They aren’t just building to HiaC—they are building long term; or at least they should be.
There are still far more questions than answers, but the hope is that the company starts giving the WWE Universe some hints about where it is going with its top storylines so fans can start getting behind them.
Where: Power Balance Pavilion, Sacramento, CA
When: Monday, Oct. 8, at 8 p.m. ET
Watch: USA Network
Ryback and Punk
For those fans that were complaining about the possible storyline between CM Punk and Ryback, there appears to be no stopping this angle from coming to fruition. With John Cena’s health still in question, all signs point to Ryback being the company’s backup plan.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is this a good idea?
While there is no way the WWE will let either man lose, there is no doubt that this is the perfect backup plan if Cena can’t wrestle. Not only does Ryback get the main event rub, but nothing makes a heel look more like a worm than backing down from a fight.
Hype Meter: 5 out of 5 Superstars Being Built
The WWE Universe better get used to seeing a lot of Ryback on its TVs because the company loves what he is doing. As long as he doesn’t screw up his own chances, there is an opportunity for Ryback to become the next big WWE face.
Rumor Mill: Mick Foley vs. Punk at HiaC? (Wrestling Observer via PWTorch.com)
While nothing has been confirmed for Vince McMahon’s return to TV this week, his State of the WWE address is likely to be nothing more than a way to get cheap ratings because of his appearance. There is a chance he furthers a storyline, but his role will likely be to calm investors terrified by last week’s 2.5 Raw rating.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Vinny Mac’s appearance feel forced?
In short, yes. McMahon has tried to keep off the camera as much as possible over the last few years while his wife, Linda, is running for office. The fact that the election is so close and Vince is hitting the ring is a genuine surprise, but that’s what a low rating can do to a business man.
Hype Meter: 4 out of 5 Chairman of the Board Appearances
There is no doubt that McMahon will not do anything wild when he is on TV due to his wife’s situation, that doesn’t mean he can’t further a storyline or two. Between A.J. Lee as Raw GM and the Jerry Lawler situation, McMahon has plenty to address Monday.
Rumor Mill: Possible tension between Vince and John Cena? (Examiner via 411mania.com)
Tag Team Tournament Continues
It was just a few months ago that the WWE hated the tag division and gave it absolutely no love at all. Just a few weeks later, we have relevant champions and a tournament of tag teams vying for the No. 1 contender spot. Wow.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who wins this tournament?
While there are a few viable options to win the chance to fight the No. 1 contenders at Hell in a Cell, this all comes down to how the WWE views Kane and Daniel Bryan. With the company teasing a feud between Sin Cara and the Prime Time Players, it looks as if the WWE sees the tag champs as faces and they will likely face Rhode Scholars for the belts.
Hype Meter: 3 out of 5 “Millions of Dollars” Chants
There is still so much time until the HiaC PPV that there is concern that the WWE won’t build this title match correctly, but the tournament is saving it. After the winner is finally crowned, though, the WWE must push Daniel Bryan and Kane to the victory and cement the division moving forward.
Rumor Mill: New Tag Team Push means less time for others? (WrestlingInc.com via PWInsider.com)
Check back for more on the World Wrestling Entertainment as it comes, and visit Bleacher Report’s wrestling page to get your fill of WWE/TNA. For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics you just can’t miss (some language NSFW).
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