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Nov. 6 - Former WWE and current ROH star Charlie Haas
Breaking Down CM Punk vs. Ryback at HIAC
The WWE did what it had to do on Sunday as it went through with the WWE Championship match between CM Punk and Ryback at Hell in a Cell. It seemed like the company was in a tough spot as it had to have Punk retain the title and try to maintain Ryback's momentum. In order to make that happen, referee Brad Maddox gave Ryback a low blow and helped Punk pin the monstrous superstar.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was the Match Booked Correctly?
There have been differing opinions regarding the way things were booked at Hell in a Cell, and it's easy to understand why. Most people, myself included, were expecting someone like Brock Lesnar to break into the cell and help Punk win the match, but it was Maddox who screwed over Ryback instead.
It was a shocking moment to say the least, but it did accomplish the same things that a Lesnar interference would have. Ryback may have lost the match, but ultimately stood tall as he destroyed Maddox following the bout. He then followed Punk to the top of the cell and delivered Shell Shocked to the battered WWE Champion.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Most fans either loved or hated the way that the WWE Championship match was booked at Hell in a Cell, and I fall into the latter group. I was prepared for Lesnar to show up, and while that would have been good, it became predictable since it was being so widely speculated. Good booking should always take precedence over shock value, but if it's possible to have both at once, then it's important to pounce on it.
The WWE did that to perfection when it came to Maddox's involvement. Maddox was the official who failed to see Punk's foot on the ropes against John Cena in a tag-team match back in September, but he had been fairly anonymous after that.
I didn't think twice about Maddox officiating the Punk vs. Ryback match, but it all made sense when he was the one who turned the tables in Punk's favor. This angle could lead in several different directions, but I feel as though it has a ton of promise.
Rumor Mill: Possible Original Plans for Ryback (via WrestlingInc.com)
Making Sense of John Cena and A.J. Lee
Because of an elbow injury that took longer than expected to heal, John Cena was left out of the WWE Championship match at Hell in a Cell. Ryback took his place and Cena is now involved in an angle with former RAW general manager A.J. Lee instead.
Vickie Guerrero accused A.J. of having an affair with Cena, and that led to A.J. resigning from her position. Vickie showed some circumstantial evidence on RAW, but it is unclear exactly what this entire ordeal is leading to.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What Is the Endgame for This Storyline?
Initially it looked like Vickie made up the claims of Cena and A.J. having an affair simply to gain control of RAW, but she showed a photo and some video of them getting cozy, so it could potentially turn into something more.
Dolph Ziggler has gotten involved as well as he interrupted Cena's segment on the Hell in a Cell pre-show and came out to cut a promo on Cena on RAW too, but that caused Cena to become furious and throw Ziggler to the mat.
Later in the show, Cena and A.J. were shown talking backstage, and when Cena walked away, A.J. smiled admiringly. Vickie looked on from the background, meaning she is likely to try and use that to her advantage. This angle is in its infancy so predicting what will happen is difficult, but I believe I have a pretty good idea.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
To sum things up, I think that A.J. is working with Vickie, Ziggler, CM Punk and Paul Heyman in an effort to screw over Cena. I anticipate A.J. eventually tricking Cena into falling for her, at which point she will accompany him to his matches.
Cena will face Punk at TLC for the WWE Championship, and it will appear as though she inadvertently cost Cena the match, but she'll slap him and reveal that she loved Punk all along.
Not only would this explain her involvement with Cena, but it would solve the Maddox conundrum too. A.J. hired Maddox and it was mentioned several times on RAW. Maddox made a bad call against Punk that benefited Cena initially, but it can be explained that it was simply a way to throw people off track. Vickie would also be part of the budding power group as she is the one who assigned Maddox to officiate the match at Hell in a Cell.
Vickie and Heyman would share power over WWE programming, Ziggler would eventually cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase to become World Heavyweight Champion and A.J. would settle in as Punk's girlfriend. It may seem convoluted, but it would solve two storylines at once and it would allow for the formation of an extremely powerful stable.
TNA certainly has its merits as it possesses a talented roster and the potential to put forth a quality product, but over the past few months it has fallen flat in a big way.
The build toward the company's biggest pay-per-view of the year, Bound For Glory, was almost nonexistent and that showed as the event was sub-par. Despite TNA's best efforts, it has been unable to rebound with the ensuing Impact episodes.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What Was the Worst Aspect of Impact Last Week?
There was a lot wrong with Impact last week and we discussed it in detail on Ring Rust Radio. Rather than simply booking things well and putting forth great matches, TNA tries to get too cute and it comes back to bite them.
One thing that was particularly awful was the segment with Jeff Hardy at the beginning of the show as the fans could hear his thoughts out loud. I understand suspending disbelief, but that was ridiculous.
As lame as Hardy has been the past couple weeks, though, Aces & Eights has been even worse. The fact that the group now has full access to the Impact Zone hasn't changed anything as they continue to do the same things they did before. Devon has been unimpressive in his role as the temporary leader of the group and there hasn't been any advancement in a very long time.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
With all of that said, the main thing that may be holding TNA back right now is Hulk Hogan. I was always a huge Hogan fan and consider him one of my all-time favorite wrestlers, but he just isn't good in his role as general manager.
The most annoying thing he does is the weekly segment where he chooses the No. 1 contender for a title. Rather than having a triple threat or fatal four way, Hogan randomly eliminates guys from contention for no apparent reason.
Also, his involvement in the Aces & Eights storyline is useless. He doesn't seem to concerned with the supposed evidence that Joseph Park continually brings him and his character as a whole is aloof.
It seems like half the show is focused on Hogan and that isn't a recipe for success. TNA should be worried about proper storyline development, but that hasn't been the case in quite some time.
Rumor Mill: Aces & Eights to Last Six More Months? (via TNAWrestlingNews.com)
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