Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on Chris Jericho, The Rock, CM Punk 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. WWE superstar Chris Jericho also joined the show and provided his insider perspective on the business.
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 7 p.m. ET (some language NSFW) or follow us on Twitter @RingRustRadio.
(Some language NSFW)
March 12 - Mark Madness
April 16 - nWo Era (1996-1997) Fantasy Draft
Chris Jericho RRR Interview
The star power continued to roll in to Ring Rust Radio this week as WWE superstar Chris Jericho joined the panel to discuss his latest WWE run, his band Fozzy and his new SyFy show Robot Combat League. There is no doubt that Y2J has a lot on his plate right now, but he manages to excel in all areas. Opinionated as always, Jericho had plenty to say and wasn't shy about challenging the conventional thought processes of many wrestling fans.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Does Y2J Balance WWE and Fozzy?
Jericho is a true renaissance man as he is currently involved in a little bit of everything. He is already considered by most to be one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time and he is a rising star as the lead singer of Fozzy as well. Add in the fact that he is hosting Robot Combat League and it's crazy to think that he even had time for an interview. Jericho is focused largely on his WWE work currently, but he really has to find a proper balance.
Y2J revealed that Fozzy will be on tour with Metallica for a couple weeks, so he won't be seen on WWE programming. That is obviously something that will disappoint his fans, but it's hard not to respect somebody who is so ambitious and successful across several different platforms. Jericho admitted that his priorities are more "Fozzy-based" than they are "WWE-based" at this point in his career; however, his production hasn't dropped off in either venture.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Every wrestler is going to have his detractors, and while Jericho seems to have fewer than most, there is a contingent of fans out there that wants him to drop Fozzy in favor of the WWE. Jericho is a guy with several different passions, though, and he is fully committed to all of them.
Jericho has been absolutely fantastic since returning to the WWE as a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble, so it's tough to argue with the results he has had thus far.
At the risk of sounding too egotistical, I’ve had the best match on the show or top-two best matches on the show on every show that I’ve done since I came back, and that was after a six-month layoff. I’m putting in some time. 45 minutes in the Rumble, then 18 minutes with CM Punk and 32 minutes in the Chamber. It’s been a pretty cool vibe to know I can go in there and perform at the highest level and put in the time I need to put in.
It may sound like Jericho is patting himself on the back, but he's 100 percent correct. His in-ring work has been sterling since the Rumble and he is routinely putting on longer and better matches than anyone else on the roster. It's amazing when you consider the fact that he has been away from the ring for a while and is entering the twilight of his career.
We aren't likely to ever see Y2J back in the WWE on a full-time basis, but if he continues to perform at a high level when he does return, most fans will be happy to have him whenever he has a break in his schedule.
CM Punk to Challenge for John Cena's Title Shot
After John Cena won the Royal Rumble, it came as no surprise that he announced his intention to challenge for the WWE Championship at WrestleMania. The Rock retained the title against CM Punk at Elimination Chamber, so it seemed as though Cena vs. The Rock II was set for WrestleMania XXIX.
Punk goaded Cena into putting his title shot on the line, however, so they will do battle on Raw next week with the winner officially going on to face The Rock at the show of shows.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Will The Rock Face at WrestleMania?
There is no question that the forthcoming Cena vs. Punk match on Raw has added a bit of mystery of the WrestleMania event. Many fans have clamored for a triple threat between Cena, Punk and The Rock at WrestleMania, and this represents the final chance for the WWE to make that happen.
The WWE could easily have the match end in a draw of some sort, which would then give both Cena and Punk a reason to challenge The Rock for the WWE Championship.
At the same time, WrestleMania XXVIII's result seemed to indicate that we would see The Rock and Cena go at it on the big stage once again. They would technically be facing each other in a triple threat, but it wouldn't be as personal. Cena lost to The Rock fair and square last year and he wants to get his revenge.
This entire situation may be contingent upon The Undertaker's status. Nobody knows for sure if he will be able or willing to compete at WrestleMania, but if he can't, then it almost forces Punk into the WWE Championship match.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Call it a gut feeling if you want, but I still firmly believe that Punk will face The Undertaker at WrestleMania. The RRR panel couldn't come to a consensus decision on precisely how things will play out, but putting Punk in a match with Cena may have been the WWE's way of giving Taker another week to mull things over.
Even though Taker is getting up there in age and has taken a lot of punishment over the years, a potential match with Punk, who is coming off a 434-day reign with the WWE Championship, is too sweet of a deal for him to turn down.
If for some reason The Undertaker decides to skip WrestleMania, though, Punk will have to be inserted in the WWE title picture. Brock Lesnar appears likely to face Triple H at WrestleMania and I can't imagine that anyone wants to see Punk take a step down by facing somebody like Ryback or Sheamus.
There is no question that the addition of Punk would add some intrigue to the main event, but I would definitely rather see Cena vs. Rock and Punk vs. The Undertaker, as it would add a considerable amount of depth to the overall card.
Rumor Mill: CM Punk vs. Undertaker Still in Question (via WhatCulture.com)
The Rock Reveals New WWE Championship
After eight years, it's safe to say that most WWE fans had grown tired of the WWE Championship's design. The spinner belt was new and unique when John Cena first introduced it, however, it hasn't been a good fit for at least six years. The Rock unveiled a new belt during his celebration for beating CM Punk and it figures to be the symbol of the WWE for the foreseeable future.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Does the New Belt Look?
After so many years of seeing a mediocre top title, any type of change was a welcomed one. There is no doubt that the new title is a lot different from the old one and a lot different from any title the WWE has ever had. The most notable feature is the large main plate which features the WWE logo.
Also, the side plates are adorned with Brahma bulls. This is interesting as new champions could potentially have their own personal side plates in order to customize the belt.
The leather strap can be seen behind the main plate as well, which adds a different dynamic than the fans are used to. There was plenty of initial shock when the title was first revealed as we have grown accustomed to the spinner.
That isn't to say that the spinner belt was a good title, but it had become a big part of the product whether we liked it or not. It will take some time before fans feel the same way about the new title, but change is good.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
The vast majority of the RRR panel liked the new belt, so I suppose that I'm the outlier in this instance. As I said, the fact that the WWE has gone away from the spinner belt is a step in the right direction, but I'm simply not a fan of the new design. There is very little shine to it, so it doesn't initially pop.
Also, I really dislike the main plate. I understand that the WWE wants people to identify the title with the WWE, but it seems like an advertisement more than anything. Prior to the spinner belt, the logo was never a main focus and the designs were much cleaner and classier because of that.
I suppose that I'll eventually accept it and I probably won't even think twice about it, but I just feel like the WWE missed a golden opportunity to introduce a truly great belt.
I'm not one of those guys who clamors for the return of the Attitude Era, but I absolutely love the old belt designs and wish the WWE would have looked to them for inspiration. That didn't happen, but I can take solace in the fact that the spinner is no more.
Rumor Mill: Behind the Scenes of the Making of New WWE Title (via WWE.com)
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Mike Chiari: 135
2. Brandon Galvin: 110
3. Michael Cahill: 110
4. Donald Wood: -60