The IWC is all abuzz about Sunday's pay-per-view. I'd like to take a quick look at what I believe the major problems are for this pay-per-view, what the solution to those problems may be, and how exactly that solution could play itself out at Hell in a Cell.
The proposed card for Sunday's Hell in a Cell pay-per-view has two major problems: the WWE Championship match and the World Heavyweight Championship match.
As it has been written about ad nauseam, the Punk/Ryback match simply can't end with a clean victory for either participant. Punk dropping the belt to a relative newcomer at a second-rate PPV would be a horribly anti-climatic and unsatisfying way to end Punk's year-long title reign. Ending Ryback's streak is almost guaranteed to take most of the wind out of a push for someone that is being built as an instant star.
The IWC and WWE Universe are divided on who they feel should leave HIAC with the WWE Championship. It's hard to read anything WWE-related that doesn't have something to do with that match.
Sheamus and The Big Show have a completely different problem: No one really cares. During the Attitude Era, X-Pac would often get booed not because of heel heat, but because the fans simply did not care about him and did not want to see him.
In much the same way, people want Sheamus to lose the WHC not because he has significant heel heat, but because the fans are tired of him with the strap. When talking about the two American presidential candidates, you often hear people speaking about voting for the "lesser of two evils." The Big Show isn't especially over as a heel, but if he leaves HIAC with the World Heavyweight Championship, it will feel like the lesser of two evils.
A new faction can set a mundane wrestling scene on fire. It wasn't until the unveiling of the NWO that WCW ever really threatened Vince. Second only to Steve Austin, the WWF's Attitude Era was really solidified by the popularity of Degeneration-X. And the legacy of the Four Horsemen goes without saying.
These stables were so successful that we have seen at least one attempt to rebirth each of these movements since their initial demise. There's something about a powerful faction that really connects with the professional wrestling patron.
With Survivor Series just around the corner, you couldn't ask for a better time to introduce a new stable. A stable of "Heyman guys" could serve to provide a satisfying end to Sunday's PPV, would immediately create excitement for Survivor Series, and allows WWE Creative several directions to go with many of their top tier performers.
How It Plays Out
Let me set the stage for you. As the pay-per-view begins, the first thing we see is CM Punk and Paul Heyman arriving backstage. Heyman is excitedly talking to someone on the phone, and both Punk and Heyman are all smiles, seemingly care-free. Josh Matthews is there and asks Punk if he's nervous about his match with Ryback. "What's your plan to get a win over Ryback when no one else has been able to it?"
Punk, of course, will give some sort of response accusing Matthew of disrespecting him, and gives no real clue as to why he's so confident. It will naturally be assumed that Heyman is on the phone with Brock Lesnar, and that this is why Punk is so confident.
How are you feeling about HIAC 2012?
About an hour later, we see Punk and Heyman jovially enjoying craft services backstage. As Punk is loading his plate, he runs into The Big Show, and they get into some trivial dispute related to the food. The Big Show could have an ice cream bar, and Punk could be angry that Show took the last one. He demands that Show hand it over since Punk is the WWE Champion. Show refuses and Punk promises that he'll pay for the disrespect.
Fast-foward to the World Heavyweight Championship match. Having said several times that he's cashing in his MITB contract at HIAC, Ziggler comes out to the ring before either competitor is announced and prepares to watch the match from ringside.
As the match begins to wind down and it's clear that someone will be hitting their finisher before long, Heyman and Punk make their way to the ring. They approach Ziggler and make sure that no one can hear what they're talking about.
The Big Show is distracted by Punk and Heyman. Ziggler grabs his briefcase and peacefully makes his way to the back. Show chokeslams Sheamus. Punk jumps up on the apron. Show and the referee are distracted, so the cover never happens. In the meantime, Heyman has slithered his way to the other side of the ring with Punk's belt.
As Punk, Show and the referee hash things out, Heyman shakes Sheamus to wake him up. The Great White manages to pull himself up off the mat. Unaware of what exactly is happening, Sheamus sees that Show is distracted and he begins to pump his chest, preparing for the Brogue Kick.
Just then, Heyman nails Sheamus with the WWE Championship belt. Sheamus remains on his feet, but he's out of it. Heyman slides out of the ring just before the referee and Show turn around. TBS clocks the champion with the Weapon of Mass Destruction and takes home the gold.
In the chaos that ensues post-match, you can hear Heyman saying to Show, "Now it's your turn, we did our part, you owe us!"
After whatever match they serve us as a filler between the two world title matches, we see The Big Show celebrating backstage. Ryback stares him down, doesn't say a word. Neither man looks happy.
Fast-forward once again, this time to the end of the WWE Championship match. There's no disqualification for matches in the Cell, so anything goes. When it is clear that Ryback is getting ready for the Shell Shocked, The Big Show comes back out and forces his way into the Cell. With the assistance of Heyman and Punk, Show eventually manages to hit Ryback with the WMD.
And just as this is happening, Cena's music hits. He takes out Heyman with a single punch. He grabs a chair and manages to lay out The Big Show. Before Punk has a chance to react, he finds himself on the receiving end of an Attitude Adjustment. Cena then heads over to check on Ryback so that a new champion can be born.
Just when you think Punk's reign is over, Lesnar bursts onto the scene, sans entrance theme. After a quick pounding, Lesnar picks Cena up over his head and throws him out of the ring into the Cell wall, leaving him helpless outside the ring. Heyman tends to Punk, Lesnar hits the F-5 on Ryback, and the Second City Saint leaves HIAC with his title reign still in tact.
As the pay-per-view ends, we see Show, Punk, Lesnar and Heyman standing together, looking down on Punk and Ryback, both world titles now in their possession.
This also sets up a huge main event for the Survivor Series. Heyman picks up a fourth guy for the match (maybe Cesaro or Barrett, maybe Ziggler, maybe bring up one of Punk's friends from NXT) as his guys take on Ryback, Cena, Sheamus and Triple H in a traditional Survivor Series elimination match.
What is the greatest faction of all time?
This type of swerve serves several purposes. It allows for a satisfactory ending to the Punk/Ryback match. It puts additional heat on the World Heavyweight Championship scene. It continues the feuds while allowing WWE Creative to go several different directions. And finally, we have an elite stable the likes of which we haven't seen in WWE since Evolution.
I'll admit: Parts of these ideas came from the dozens of blogs and articles I've read about this pay-per-view. I'm not going to pretend that all of this is absolutely original content. But I think I've pieced together a believable and engaging story that leaves everyone anticipating what would happen next.
What do you think? Do any of "Dustin's Diamonds" have a better way to resolve the issues that we're all concerned about for this month's WWE pay-per-view?