Tonight (Nov. 12) on WWE Raw, controversial referee Brad Maddox will face off against Ryback with a $1 million contract as the prize if Maddox wins the match.
Yep, they really are going with this.
Fans were questioning just how the company would end the WWE title match between defending champion CM Punk and the challenging Ryback for the main event at Hell in a Cell a couple of weeks ago. For many fans, it was a no-win situation.
If Punk had retained, it seemed as though it would totally kill Ryback’s momentum, causing the unstoppable monster created by Vince McMahon to suddenly be not all that unstoppable. How could fans take “Big Hungry” seriously at all anymore?
But if Ryback had won, that would have caused another set of problems. Namely, that it was too soon for him to win the title.
Punk is a veteran, and he has held the title for almost a full year. To lose the belt to a newcomer his first time out could have made him look foolish, ending his championship run prematurely.
Instead of leaving the outcome to chance, WWE went with the official going into business for himself, giving Ryback a nutshot and costing him the title.
Well, at the very least, we didn’t see it coming. And though it seemed to be such an impromptu move, it may actually lead to the development of a new Superstar that we will all eventually care about.
Don’t laugh, it’s true.
WWE has outlasted any and all competition in the industry. The biggest reason for that is because they consistently work on creating new stars to carry them forward.
It’s the one element of the company that set them apart from WCW during the Monday Night Wars and ultimately caused them to pull ahead.
Now, we have a new, fresh face to add to their collection of young Superstars. Another worker, another gimmick, another talent for fans to either grant their stamp of approval or to hate for the majority of his career.
So, which side will Brad Maddox fall on?
Unlike CM Punk, Brad Maddox should have no chance to win on Raw. The sheer size difference alone is enough to make even the most casual fan cry foul if Ryback were to be pinned at the end.
However, similarly to the Punk match, if Ryback were to somehow lose, then what are we looking at afterward? Would another loss, especially if it was a screw job, completely stop any progress that Ryback has made up to this point?
Would he end up as many fans have suggested: nothing more than a flash in the pan who didn’t have enough real talent or character to make it at the top? Despite the fact that the loss would obviously be a preplanned event, perception is reality for fans.
And another loss, this soon for Ryback, could very well stop him dead in his tracks.
For me, I happen to think that a loss is exactly what we’re looking at. McMahon’s assertion on Raw that he still believed there was a connection between Maddox, CM Punk and Paul Heyman seems like a logical conclusion.
Perhaps either Heyman or Punk will somehow interfere in the match, giving Maddox the assist. That would return the favor for the cheap shot and fast three count which allowed Punk to retain the WWE title at Hell in a Cell.
WWE has somehow found a way to reel us in yet again with a match that we simply cannot call. Fans will likely be debating this one all day. When the match ends, we will certainly be discussing it all over again.
Simply put, if this is where WWE is going with this storyline, then we are surely going along for the ride. It’s what we do.