WWE News: Reviews, Analysis and Rumors for Week of Nov. 25
Photo courtesy of WWE.com
With WWE Champion CM Punk vs. Ryback announced for TLC (tables, ladders and chairs) the upcoming pay-per-view's card is certainly coming together.
While most of WWE's focus is currently on the TLC event, there is plenty going on behind the scenes as well that could have major ramifications moving forward.
Vince McMahon is constantly trying to improve his product, so it should come as no surprise that he is targeting some outside talent.
One of Ring of Honor's fastest-rising stars could be in the fold in the near future, while there is also a possibility that one of the most popular tag teams of all time could reunite in the WWE as well.
In addition to that, one of the WWE's hottest storylines gained some steam over the past week as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns revealed the motive behind their attack of Ryback at Survivor Series.
There are still many unanswered questions, however, and that should keep the fans engaged moving forward.
Here are the biggest rumors and news stories regarding the WWE for the week beginning on Nov. 25.
CM Punk vs. Ryback TLC Match Set for Upcoming PPV
It may not have come as a shock to anyone, but a WWE Championship match between CM Punk and Ryback was announced for TLC on this past edition of RAW.
Punk has narrowly escaped with his title at the past two pay-per-views as Brad Maddox helped him defeat Ryback at Hell in a Cell and the young trio of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns aided him in taking out Ryback and John Cena at Survivor Series.
Ryback demanded a rematch due to the shenanigans in his previous two title bouts and he was reluctantly granted one by RAW managing supervisor Vickie Guerrero.
Rather than asking for a tables match, which many figured would be the preferred stipulation, Ryback requested a tables, ladders and chairs match. Whatever the case, a match involving Punk and Ryback will headline the third consecutive WWE pay-per-view.
Based on the way things have played out between Punk and Ryback as of late, I wasn't the least bit surprised when this match was announced, but I am looking forward to it somewhat.
The match itself should be decent due to the hardcore environment and a shady ending is almost guaranteed. It isn't likely to involve The Shield since that would be too predictable, but I can definitely envision Brad Maddox returning to help Punk or, preferably, Brock Lesnar making his long-awaited return and starting a feud with Ryback.
With that said, I would have rather seen Punk vs. Cena. Obviously that is a match we have seen many times before and Cena is currently wrapped up in the scandal with A.J. and in a feud with Dolph Ziggler, but he would have been a far superior opponent to Ryback.
It's essentially a guarantee that Punk will defeat Ryback and go on to face The Rock at Royal Rumble, but Cena's presence would have at least created doubt. Punk would still be favored, but Cena vs. The Rock II at Royal Rumble would have been a possibility and it would have made the TLC match far more intriguing.
Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns Dub Themselves The Shield
Not long after Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns made their WWE debut at Survivor Series by attacking Ryback and allowing CM Punk to retain his WWE Championship, it was rumored that they would be called The Shield.
The Spanish announce team reportedly called them that during their attack and the name has stuck as Ambrose revealed the name during a sit-down interview with Michael Cole on RAW.
Ambrose denied any involvement with CM Punk or Paul Heyman and simply said that he, Rollins and Reigns have come to the WWE to fight injustice. He elaborated by saying that they were a shield against injustice.
They struck again later in the night following Punk's match with Kane as they took out Kane, Daniel Bryan and Ryback, while leaving Punk unscathed.
Although we didn't really learn a ton more about The Shield on Monday, their situation has been handled quite well by the WWE thus far. Rather than admitting that they were working with Punk and Heyman, they offered a cryptic response that can be interpreted in many different ways.
The possibility of them being disciples of Punk and Heyman is still very much present, but it is also entirely possible that they are rogue superstars who have their own agenda.
I'm also glad that they have been allowed to come out on top during each of their appearances thus far. They have taken out Ryback on three occasions, and while Ryback was able to get some offense in on RAW, The Shield ultimately stood tall.
Because of how surprised Punk has looked during the attacks, my money is on Heyman enlisting The Shield without telling Punk. If that is the case, it will be interesting to see if Punk reacts favorably or feels slighted by Heyman since he believes Punk can't get the job done on his own.
Could a Hardy Boyz Reunion Be Near in WWE?
Jeff and Matt Hardy have been away from the WWE for the past couple years, and while they have had their trials and tribulations, they seem to be in a good place right now.
Even though The Hardy Boyz left the WWE on pretty bad terms, most fans figured we would see them back in the WWE at some point. If there is any truth to the comments recently made by Matt Hardy, the return could happen sooner rather than later.
During an interview on Passing The Torch Radio, Hardy said that it was "very likely" that there would be a Hardy Boyz reunion in the WWE in the near future. With Matt doing side work for ROH and Extreme Rising and Jeff's contract with TNA set to expire soon, the pieces are in place for another WWE run.
Whether it actually happens is anyone's guess, though.
As much as The Hardy Boyz would help the WWE's tag-team division reach the next level, I would not be in favor of a return. First of all, I'm not even sure how realistic it is.
Matt has been known to exaggerate in the past and his comments may be based on wishful thinking more than anything since he has nothing substantial going on.
Also, TNA is going to put the full-court press on Jeff to re-sign as it views him as their cash cow. He has the World Heavyweight Championship for a reason and TNA is likely to make many concessions in order to keep him.
Even if everything does come together, though, there is inherent risk in the WWE bring the Hardys back, and there is plenty of risk on the Hardys' end as well. Perhaps Jeff and Matt are totally past their problems with addiction, but the arduous WWE schedule is tough on the body and the psyche.
The Hardys have settled down over the past year and I believe that light travel schedules have played a big role. Both Jeff and Matt are in a good place in their lives right now, and even though WWE means more notoriety and more money, it could also mean a worse quality of life.
Kharma Has No Hard Feelings over WWE Release
Kharma burst onto the scene in WWE back in the spring of 2010 and seemed poised to take the divas division by storm. She attacked fellow divas following matches for a couple weeks, but her stint was unexpectedly cut short when it was announced that she was pregnant.
Kharma was out of action for more than a year before shockingly entering the 2012 Royal Rumble.
After that, however, it was revealed that she had suffered a miscarriage, which obviously damaged her emotional state immensely. Kharma was never able to get back in the right state of mind and it ultimately led to her WWE release.
Many fans were offended by WWE's decision, but in a recent interview with Diva-Dirt.com, Kharma called the release "appropriate."
There is no question that the entire situation between Kharma and the WWE was unfortunate, but I'm glad that she finally addressed it and put it to rest. The WWE obviously had major plans for her and waited a long time for her, but at some point it's time to move on.
There has been a school of thought that WWE was somehow malicious for getting rid of Kharma after she had experienced so much heartbreak, but the WWE is unfortunately a business and decisions have to be made for the betterment of that business.
Kharma just wasn't in the proper emotional or physical state to make an impact in WWE and releasing her was the proper thing to do. It allowed her to heal at her own pace and now she is back performing on the independent scene, so it worked out well for everyone.
Kharma only appeared on WWE programming for a couple weeks, but she made an indelible mark and the door seems to be open for a potential return one day. Even if that doesn't happen, though, it's nice to know that she is at peace and harbors no ill will toward the company.
Exclusive Kharma Interview (via Diva-Dirt.com)
WWE Reportedly Targeting ROH Star Mike Bennett
Over the past several years, the WWE has taken a lot of talent from Ring of Honor. Top current stars like CM Punk and Daniel Bryan first became popular in ROH, while future WWE stars such as Antonio Cesaro, Seth Rollins and Kassius Ohno were poached as well.
The scouting has continued and the WWE may be closing in on a deal with another ROH wrestler.
According to WrestlingNewsWorld.com, the WWE has been in discussions with "The Prodigy" Mike Bennett. Although it is unclear if or when a contract will be offered, the company obviously has some interest.
Bennett has never held a title in ROH, but he may have a higher ceiling than anyone in the company, so he would be a great addition for the WWE.
I have seen a decent amount of Bennett's ROH work and have been impressed with him, so I would be 100 percent in favor of the WWE signing him. Bennett is young, he has a good look and he has plenty of charisma as well, so he seems like the type of guy who can thrive in the WWE.
He would almost certainly be asked to hone his skills in NXT Wrestling like the ROH guys who came before him, but his transition would probably be a smooth one.
Many of the WWE's top stars are aging, and the company is constantly on the lookout for young talent. It doesn't really matter whether the WWE molds the talent itself or gets it from somewhere else, so inking Bennett is a no-brainer.
Also, Bennett's girlfriend is former WWE diva Maria Kanellis, so signing him could lead to her returning as well. Maria wasn't the best in-ring worker in terms of divas, but she was popular and the division is thin right now, so she would be a great signing as part of a potential package deal as well.
Mike Bennett in Talks with WWE (via 411mania.com)