Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on CM Punk, Ryback, The Shield and more, this is where you need to get all of your weekly WWE nuggets.
Bleacher Report featured columnists Michael Cahill, Brandon Galvin, Mike Chiari and Donald Wood give the lowdown on all things going on in the wrestling world.
With another unpredictable episode of Ring Rust Radio in the books, you can't afford to miss another second of the action. Catch us LIVE every Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET(some language NSFW) or follow us on Twitter @RingRustRadio.
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Dec. 11 - WWE '13 senior designer Bryan Williams
- We will also be conducting a contest in which we'll be giving away several copies of WWE '13. Be sure to listen live on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. ET to learn how you can score an early Christmas gift. In addition to that, keep track of the RRR Twitter feed as we will pose a question next week and the person with the best answer, as chosen by Bryan Williams, will win a copy of WWE '13.
Dec. 18 - Ring Rust Radio Second Annual Wrestling Awards Show
Jan. 22 - Royal Rumble Contest
- If you haven't signed up for the Royal Rumble contest, email or tweet us and pick a number for a chance to win an RRR prize pack which includes an RRR t-shirt and a white CM Punk "Best in the World" t-shirt. Numbers are going fast and submissions close on Jan. 22.
CM Punk vs. Ryback Set for TLC
Regardless of how predictable the outcome may seem, CM Punk will defend his WWE Championship against Ryback at TLC in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. Ryback forced Vickie Guerrero into giving him the match and she did precisely that. The Shield's involvement will be interesting moving forward, but many fans are underwhelmed by the prospects of another Punk vs. Ryback encounter.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is Punk vs. Ryback a Waste?
As much as we like to say that anything can happen in the WWE, Ryback isn't going to beat CM Punk at TLC. The WWE has rode Punk for over a year as WWE Champion and it would be silly to take the belt off of him ahead of a match with The Rock at Royal Rumble. A Ryback vs. Rock match is senseless and taking the belt off Punk at TLC only to have him win it back prior to the Royal Rumble is needless as well.
Punk and The Rock will certainly be facing off at the Royal Rumble, and that puts the WWE in a tough situation in terms of keeping Punk vs. Ryback interesting. Even if essentially every fan realizes that the end result will be Punk standing tall with the title in his possession, there are ways to make it intriguing.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
My preference from the start was Punk vs. John Cena at TLC since it would be somewhat unpredictable, but that obviously isn't going to happen. Punk is still involved with Ryback, and Cena is dealing with both A.J. and Dolph Ziggler, so the WWE is in a tough situation.
Punk would be favored to win at TLC regardless of who he faces, but at least the possibility of Cena vs. The Rock II would have remained and it would have added another dimension to the match.
The only way to truly save the Punk vs. Ryback match, however, is to have a surprise ending. That doesn't mean that Ryback should win, rather, it means that Punk needs to win in an unexpected manner.
The Shield could interfere, but we've already seen that, so I'm hoping for Brock Lesnar interference. The WWE has held off on Lesnar's return, but with Royal Rumble coming up, TLC would be the perfect time for him to come back so he can drive ratings for the ensuing RAW, begin a feud with Ryback and enter the Rumble match.
Rumor Mill: Vince McMahon Supportive of Punk's Title Reign (via WrestlingInc.com)
The Shield Continues to Wreak Havoc
Even though CM Punk continues to feud with Ryback and John Cena is embroiled in controversy with A.J., the biggest story in the WWE right now involves three guys who have never wrestled an official match for the company.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns have made their presence felt on a few occasions already, and on RAW they revealed their motivation and dubbed themselves The Shield.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is The Shield Working with Punk and Heyman?
Despite the fact that The Shield sat down for an interview with Michael Cole, it is still uncertain precisely what they're trying to accomplish. Ambrose said that the group isn't working for CM Punk or Paul Heyman and that they simply want to combat injustice in the WWE. He said that forcing a year-long champion in Punk to defend his title against two men he had already beaten previously was unjust.
The Shield made their presence felt at the end of Monday's show as they attacked Kane following his loss to Punk. They then took out Daniel Bryan and put an exclamation point on things by powerbombing Ryback for the third time in eight days. The Shield left Punk unscathed and allowed him to celebrate as he stood on Ryback's chest, but will they remain loyal to the WWE Champion?
Ring Rust Radio's Take
There are obviously a ton of possibilities for this storyline, and that is what has made it so good thus far. Simply seeing three fresh faces on RAW is great because the roster has been stagnant for so long.
With regards to the eventual direction of the angle, it's tough to say for sure what will happen at this point. Based on how surprised Punk has looked when they have interfered, I don't believe that he is involved with The Shield, but it is likely that Heyman has employed them.
If that is the case, then it should lead to some interesting exchanges. In one respect, Punk is willing to retain the title by any means necessary, so he may be supportive. On the other hand, however, he could view Heyman's enlisting of The Shield as a slight against his ability.
Provided this storyline continues for a significant period of time, I wouldn't mind seeing it lead to Punk turning face again and having some spectacular matches with Ambrose and Rollins in particular.
Thanksgiving Edition of Impact Tanks
Although TNA Impact has been putting forth consistently poor ratings under 1.0 for several weeks, the Thanksgiving edition was the worst in recent memory. According to WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the Nov. 22 episode of Impact pulled in a 0.8 rating, which was down from the 1.0 that the 2011 Thanksgiving show garnered.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What's with the Terrible Rating?
There are plenty of reasons why Impact scored poorly on Thanksgiving and not all of them are TNA's fault. Television ratings are generally down across the board on such holidays with the exception of sporting events.
Also, with the late NFL game moving from NFL Network to NBC this year, far more households had the capability to watch the New England Patriots take on the New York Jets.
On top of that, Impact was taped and even hardcore fans are less likely to watch if spoilers are available. It can definitely be argued that TNA was already fighting an uphill battle when it came to drawing in viewers for the Thanksgiving edition of the show, but an awful episode didn't help the company's cause.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
I understand that TNA didn't want to do anything groundbreaking on Thanksgiving since the show was taped and the audience would obviously be less than what it normally is, but it killed any chances it had of scoring a decent rating when it led the show off with Wes Brisco vs. Garett Bischoff. I can see trying to push a young talent like Brisco, but that's something that should be done later in the show.
There aren't that many people who know or care about Brisco and there isn't a single person who cares about Bischoff, so that was the worst possible decision on TNA's part.
Also, we got to see a turkey-suit match and a terrible Aces & Eights segment that included them eating an under-cooked turkey that would almost certainly result in salmonella poisoning. TNA wasn't going to do well in terms of ratings regardless of what it put forth, but the company definitely threw in the towel on Thanksgiving.
Rumor Mill: Impact Thanksgiving Scores 0.8 Rating (via ProWrestling.net)
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