Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on WrestleMania XXIX, Ryback, John Cena, Dolph Ziggler 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 7 p.m. ET (some language NSFW) or follow us on Twitter @RingRustRadio.
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April 16 - nWo Era (1996-1997) Fantasy Draft
May 7 - May Match Madness
WrestleMania XXIX Review
The biggest night of the year for wrestling fans has come and gone as WrestleMania XXIX took place from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday. While every WrestleMania is certainly special in some ways, many were critical of this year's edition. It was far from the best 'Mania of all time, but was it truly as bad as some are making it out to be?
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Well Does WrestleMania XXIX Rank?
One of the big complaints heading into WrestleMania was that the card was too predictable. That predictability was ultimately proven true as pretty much every match went by the book. The only true surprise came when Mark Henry defeated Ryback.
Aside from that, The Undertaker extended his streak to 21-0 by defeating CM Punk, Triple H avoided retirement by beating Brock Lesnar and John Cena took down The Rock to win the WWE Championship.
There weren't a ton of noteworthy performances on the undercard, although The Shield impressed yet again in their victory over Randy Orton, Sheamus and Big Show. Match quality is in the eye of the beholder, so while some may not have been impressed with the card, others thought there were some great bouts.
There is a lot to consider when determining how good or poor a wrestling event is, and WrestleMania is no exception.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
While WrestleMania XXIX will never be remembered as one of the all-time greats, the criticism has been far too harsh. There has been a lot of talk about WrestleMania XXIX being the worst ever, but that isn't even close to accurate. WrestleMania IX and XI were both far worse, and there is a handful more that were probably worse as well.
Punk vs. Taker was an absolutely fantastic match and it was one of the best of The Phenom's career, which is really saying something. Triple H vs. Lesnar was an enjoyable brawl as well. The Rock vs. Cena started off slow and some may say that it was a finisher fest, but they told a great story and got the crowd engaged.
The predictability argument is understandable, but it's important to consider that 'Mania wouldn't have been any better if the WWE shocked the audience by having Punk, Lesnar and The Rock win. In fact, it would have been worse because it wouldn't have made sense.
WrestleMania XXIX featured some entertaining matches, but there weren't a lot "wow" moments that will go down in history. Because of that, the Ring Rust Radio panel agreed that it was an average 'Mania.
Ryback Attacks John Cena on Raw
While WrestleMania XXIX may have been average, the ensuing episode of Raw was one of the best in recent memory. The show closed with a match between new WWE Champion John Cena and Mark Henry. Had Henry won the match, he would have become the new No. 1 contender. Cena prevailed via countout, but Henry attacked Cena after the bout. Ryback made the save, but he ultimately decided to take out Cena as well.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is Ryback Now a Heel?
There was some speculation among WWE fans that a Cena vs. Ryback feud could be in the works after 'Mania, and it appears as though that is the case. After fighting off Henry, Ryback offered his hand to Cena and helped him up.
When Cena turned around, though, he was met with a clothesline as well as Shell Shocked. Ryback closed Raw by holding up the WWE Championship and posing over the prone body of Cena.
Since most fans prefer for things to be black and white in professional wrestling, the big question now relates to whether or not Ryback turned heel on Monday. Ryback has obviously been a face since bursting onto the scene last year, and his attack on Cena was the first heel-type move he has made.
Ryback attacked Henry beforehand, though, so maybe things aren't as clear as they seem. Whatever the case, Ryback has undergone a definite attitude change, and it's quite intriguing.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
It seems like there are a lot of fans out there who hope that Ryback is now a tweener. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but it's incredibly difficult to pull off that type of character. At some point, the majority of fans either cheer someone or boo someone, so the decision is pretty much made for the creative team.
Perhaps the hope is that the mixed reaction Cena receives will reflect upon Ryback as well. Cena is a face regardless of the fan reaction, but Ryback could potentially be a tweener if he is received similarly.
The fact that Ryback punctuated his Shell Shocked to Cena with a Royal Salute is somewhat telling that a heel turn did happen. Aside from "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, there aren't many guys with face characteristics who would do something like that.
Ryback received a face reaction in New Jersey, but that was a rare crowd. The WWE still views Cena as the top face, and he is, so the odds are that Ryback will be a full-fledged heel moving forward.
Rumor Mill: Ryback Scheduled to Team With Heel in Dark Match (via WrestlingInc.com)
Dolph Ziggler Cashes in MITB
In addition to Ryback's possible heel turn and the enthusiasm of the crowd, the Raw following WrestleMania was fantastic due to Dolph Ziggler successfully cashing in his Money in the Bank contract against Alberto Del Rio.
After a difficult match against Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter put a beating on Del Rio, the world champion was in dire straits. Ziggler took the opportunity to cash in and he made no mistake as he is now the World Heavyweight Champion.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Did WWE Handle Ziggler's Cash-In Correctly?
There are a lot of Ziggler fans out there, and many of them were in attendance at Raw, so the reaction that The Showoff received was excellent. Ziggler is a guy who has done some spectacular work of the WWE over the past several years and he definitely deserved to be rewarded.
Ziggler wasn't exactly booked well while he was in possession of the Money in the Bank briefcase, but hopefully that is all forgotten moving forward.
The creative team has had a lot of opportunities to make him world champion since last year's Money in the Bank pay-per-view, but it decided to wait until the Raw after WrestleMania.
The WWE had to know that the crowd would be pro-Ziggler in nature, so it also knew that the reaction would be favorable. Whether that played into the decision of when and where he would cash in is up for debate. Regardless of all that, SmackDown has suddenly gotten a lot more interesting.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As great as Ziggler's cash-in was, it's hard not to think about how it would have been at WrestleMania XXIX. Maybe there's no real reason to complain, but if the goal was to make Ziggler's cash-in memorable, then doing it at 'Mania was the logical move to make.
Del Rio beat Swagger at WrestleMania and it seemed like people were just waiting for something to happen. Instead of having Swagger attack Del Rio following the match, though, things went on without incident and Ziggler ultimately held on to the contract.
A cash-in has never occurred on the grandest stage of them all, so it can be said that the WWE missed a golden opportunity. WrestleMania XXIX lacked a signature moment, and Ziggler cashing in could have been it.
Many people compare Ziggler to Shawn Michaels, and Ziggler could have been well on his way to becoming the next HBK. As long as the WWE books Ziggler well as world champion it won't really matter how he got there, but having the cash-in at 'Mania simply would have been more impactful.
Final RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Michael Cahill: 250
2. Mike Chiari: 200
3. Brandon Galvin: 150
4. Donald Wood: -35
New RRR Fantasy WWE Rosters
WrestleMania XXIX marked the end of Ring Rust Radio's first ever fantasy WWE league. The league lasted from the week after Survivor Series through 'Mania, and Michael Cahill ultimately prevailed, with myself finishing second, Brandon Galvin coming in third and Donald Wood rounding out the field.
We held another draft on the show this week and now we all boast new, 10-man rosters. This session will begin next week and last through SummerSlam. Here is how everyone fared in the second RRR fantasy WWE draft.
Tensai (Sweet T)
Alberto Del Rio
Big E Langston
The Great Khali