Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on CM Punk, The Shield and more, this is where you need to get all of your weekly WWE nuggets.
Was CM Punk's injury planned for?
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. Extreme Rising star Luke Hawx brought his inside knowledge of the business as well
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.
(Some language NSFW)
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 have posed a question 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.
Knee Injury to Keep CM Punk Off TLC Card
In news that came as a shock to wrestling fans everywhere on Tuesday, it was announced that WWE Champion CM Punk had to undergo emergency knee surgery. The surgery was performed by famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews and it was simply to repair a partially torn meniscus. While the recovery time shouldn't be too long, Punk has been removed from his TLC match against Ryback.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was This Planned All Along?
As surprising as Punk's sudden injury seemed initially, there is now some question as to whether it might have been in the works for a while. The WWE explained Punk's injury by saying that he suffered it when Ryback powerbombed him through a table on Raw. Truth be told, Punk had been favoring the knee for a while and even had it wrapped previously, so there was a preexisting condition.
With that in mind, it's quite possible that the WWE had been planning this angle in order to allow Punk to get the surgery and take some time off. On top of that, it allows The Shield to wrestle its first match in WWE as Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns will now face Ryback, Kane and Daniel Bryan in a tables, ladders and chairs match at TLC.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
It's hard for some people to fathom that the handling of Punk's injury was carefully planned since it seemed to happen so suddenly, but I certainly believe it to be true. The fact that Punk had clearly been nursing his knee previously is the first clue, but the most obvious evidence is the way that the creative team has been handling Team Hell No for the past couple weeks.
They seemed poised to take on The Prime Time Players and the team of Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara for the Tag Team Championships at TLC, but the WWE quickly went away from that angle and never announced a match.
Instead, The Shield attacked both Kane and Bryan last week in an effort to plant the seeds for a possible feud between them. They went after Kane and Bryan once again this week and it's no coincidence that Team Hell No was added to the TLC main event against The Shield.
Rumor Mill: CM Punk Undergoes Knee Surgery (via WWE.com)
RRR Interview with Extreme Rising's Luke Hawx
If you don't know about Extreme Rising star Luke Hawx already, it's only a matter of time before he becomes a huge name in the wrestling business. Hawx joined us as the feature interview on Ring Rust Radio this week and he was certainly forthcoming. He was extremely entertaining and discussed topics such as the Extreme Rising Championship, his dislike for Shane Douglas and Matt Hardy and his future prospects in WWE.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Luke Hawx Become Extreme Rising Champion?
Hawx defeated Perry Saturn in the first round of a tournament to crown the first ever Extreme Rising Champion at the promotion's previous event, and he is scheduled to go toe-to-toe with Stevie Richards in the semifinals on Dec. 29. If Hawx wins that match, he will then face the winner of the match between Rhino and Devon Storm to crown Extreme Rising's inaugural champion.
While Hawx may not have experience in major promotions like many of his Extreme Rising cohorts, he is most definitely an up-and-comer. At 31 years of age, he has a ton left to accomplish in the business, and winning the Extreme Rising Championship could be his first stepping stone. There are obviously no guarantees, but putting the strap on a young, tough, charismatic individual like Hawx would clearly be the right decision.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Since Hawx isn't the one making the booking decisions, I'm not sure how good his chances are of winning the Extreme Rising Championship. He's obviously the correct choice, but Extreme Rising is very much about featuring the older stars, so I anticipate someone like Rhino winning the tournament. Hawx is basically the leader of a youthful invasion within the company, though, and he is almost certain to capture the title before long, even if he doesn't win it initially.
In order to avoid being viewed as an old, broken-down version of ECW, Extreme Rising needs to put non-ECW guys over and Hawx is at the top of the list. Once Hawx does win the title, it will likely only be the start for him. Hawx recently worked a dark match for WWE and he has done so several times over the years.
Hawx told us that it's a matter of when rather than if he will be in the WWE, and wrestling fans obviously look forward to the day when that comes to fruition.
Rumor Mill: Luke Hawx Works WWE Dark Match (via ewrestlingnews.com)
Aces & Eights Continues to Flounder
Although I'm one of the few who thought that the Aces & Eights angle was doomed from the start, I'm even somewhat surprised at how awful it has become. The entire storyline has been stale for quite some time, but at least the group appeared to have some sort of purpose. Now they're suddenly attacking mid-carders, infiltrating Gut Check and doing very little of note.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Has Aces & Eights Jumped the Shark?
Last week's edition of Impact said a lot about where the Aces & Eights angle is heading. Right now the only reveals are Devon and DOC, but I doubt there is anyone who can save it at this point. Aces & Eights used to go after top guys like Kurt Angle, Sting, Hulk Hogan and others, but over the past couple weeks they have targeted the likes of Magnus and Eric Young, and their motives are extremely unclear.
On top of that, Devon demanded a Television Championship match against Samoa Joe, which makes little sense. Aces & Eights shouldn't care about titles, especially one as insignificant as the TV title. If Devon really wanted the belt so badly, all he had to do was not turn his back on TNA in the first place. Also, it is blatantly obvious that Aces & Eights is tampering with Gut Check with Garret Bischoff, Wes Brisco and D'Lo Brown all being part of the gang.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
There simply isn't any hope of saving this angle now. The first major blow was when Devon was revealed as a major player in the group, and it hasn't recovered since. As previously mentioned guys like Bischoff, Brisco and D'Lo are almost certainly in Aces & Eights and all signs point to Eric Bischoff being the leader, which would be a colossal disappointment.
Now that the relationship angle involving Bully Ray, Brooke, Hulk Hogan and Austin Aries is getting so much air time, and the World Championship feud between Jeff Hardy and Bobby Roode is in full swing, Aces & Eights is very much a mid-card storyline now. Perhaps TNA realized that it had nothing and decided to pull back the reins a bit, but it has to be considered a failure regardless.
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