On Monday's Raw, it was announced that rising babyface star Ryback would taken on WWE Champion CM Punk at this month's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view.
Originally, of course, John Cena was going to face Punk at the pay-per-view, but his elbow problems put an end to that.
As it was, Cena was out at the end of Raw giving Ryback his solid endorsement — an interesting development considering earlier in the show he was claiming how determined he was to do the match — and encouraged the new star to wreck havoc on his foe at the pay-per-view.
In this week's (subscribers-only) F4W Newsletter, Bryan Alvarez goes into the background behind the decision, noting that several different ideas for Punk's opponent were being flown around prior to official announcement on Raw:
Obviously, the main idea was to either go with Cena or Ryback, the latter only if Cena wasn't going to be medically cleared in time to work Hell in a Cell. His elbow damage was more severe than initially thought when they finally went in and cleaned it out. The idea of doing a three-way was broached... By Monday it had come down to either Punk vs. Cena or Punk vs. Ryback, and they had two scripts written and it all came down to what was decided during Cena's medical evaluation.
Alvarez mentions that, astoundingly, the idea of putting the 67-year-old Vince McMahon against Punk at the pay-per-view — a follow-up to their vicious brawl on Raw last week — was even mentioned briefly as an option but notes that a source assured him, "It was killed within 30 minutes."
Well, thank goodness for that.