Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on Chris Jericho, Daniel Bryan 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. Chris Jericho also joined the show to provide his inside 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 9 p.m. ET (some language NSFW) or follow us on Twitter @RingRustRadio.
(Some Language NSFW.)
Chris Jericho Interview With RRR
Chris Jericho's latest tenure with the WWE came to a close several weeks ago, but "The Ayatollah of Rock 'n Rolla" hasn't had any trouble keeping busy. In addition to touring with his band Fozzy, Jericho also has a guest-starring role in a hilarious new Web series called Jon Davis Gets a Sex Robot. The six-time World champion and nine-time Intercontinental champion joined Ring Rust Radio this week to discuss his latest endeavors, as well as his future with WWE.
Question on Everybody's Mind: When Is Y2J Returning to WWE?
While Jericho is constantly out there in the public eye, it is well established that he is somewhat secretive when it comes to his dealings with WWE. That certainly paid off the last time he returned, as he managed to be a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble without any dirt sheets catching wind of the situation. Because of that, there isn't much reason for Jericho to elaborate on his current relationship with the company, and he made sure to keep the fans guessing with his latest comments.
People are always putting words in my mouth—I never once used the word hiatus or retirement; I'm just not working there. I don't know if it's a long time, if it's a short time, forever. I'm not taking a hiatus or sabbatical; my contract was up. I have a bunch of other stuff going on.
With Jericho keeping a potential return shrouded in mystery, there is no question that fans will continue to question his future with WWE. Based on some of the things that Jericho said during the interview, it seems as though he prefers it that way.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
It's very difficult to predict when or if Jericho will return to the WWE since he often says that returning depends upon whether or not the WWE has something interesting lined up for him. Being a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble likely appealed to him last time since it's something that he had never done before.
He also spent his entire tenure as a face after largely portraying a heel character for several years prior to that. Jericho seemed to have a lot of fun with that, so perhaps the creative team can expand upon his face role whenever he does decide to return.
Jericho mentioned the dreaded "retirement" word during the interview, but it's very hard to imagine him stepping away from the ring for good. Jericho obviously enjoys pursuing other projects, but he still seems to love wrestling as well.
Also, Jericho is on top of his game from an in-ring perspective, as he acknowledged that he had some of his best matches in recent memory during his latest run against the likes of Rob Van Dam and CM Punk. The safe bet is that it's a matter of when rather than if Jericho will return to the WWE, but it remains to be seen how that return will play out.
Daniel Bryan vs. "The Corporation" Heats Up
In the aftermath of Triple H screwing over Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam, and Randy Orton successfully cashing in his Money in the Bank contract, Bryan's feud with the WWE powers that be has risen a few notches over the past couple weeks. Bryan spray-painted a Cadillac Escalade that Triple H gave to Orton as a gift on Raw and then defeated The Shield in a gauntlet match, but Orton and Triple H got the last laugh, as Bryan was left laid out in the ring as the show came to a close.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is This Angle Progressing as Well as Expected?
Although there is definitely a contingent of WWE fans that are still upset about the way Bryan was handled at SummerSlam, it seems as though most have come around. While it's true that Bryan didn't leave SummerSlam as WWE champion, he did defeat John Cena cleanly, and he has essentially been established as a perennial WWE Championship contender.
Feuding with Orton, Triple H and the McMahon family is only going to be positive for Bryan, as it is a formula that has worked in the past for huge stars such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, The Rock and Mick Foley, among others.
The idea is for WWE's power structure to hold Bryan back, and that is precisely what has happened thus far. Triple H did an excellent job on the mic this past Monday, as he explained that Orton as champion is best for business. He played the typical corporate heel role, attempting to justify his actions, knowing full well that it was in direct conflict with what the fans truly wanted.
With Triple H now in the role that Vince McMahon once occupied, it's hard to believe that this angle can possibly fail.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
The entire Ring Rust Radio panel was in unanimous agreement following SummerSlam that the creative team had booked the WWE Championship situation to perfection. Now that a couple weeks have passed, nothing has changed in that regard.
There has been a great balance between making Bryan look strong while still allowing Orton and Triple H to stand tall. In addition to Bryan's clean win over Cena at SummerSlam, he has consistently won matches since then. While it technically took two disqualifications to win the gauntlet match against The Shield, it was a win nonetheless. Despite that, Orton and Triple H accomplished what they set out to do by punishing Bryan afterward.
Bryan also seemed very Austin-esque when he defaced Orton's Escalade. Austin used to destroy Vince's vehicles all the time, and his backstage hijinks were just as entertaining to the fans as his matches. Assuming Bryan continues to look like the underdog moving forward, he is going to receive even more fan support. The goal is to ultimately help Bryan reach the same level as a guy like Cena in terms of popularity, so the writers need to keep doing what they've been doing.
Rumor Mill: Rumored Card for WWE Night of Champions (F4WOnline via WrestlingInc.com)
RRR's 3rd Fantasy WWE Draft
After Michael Cahill's second consecutive Ring Rust Radio fantasy WWE league victory, a third draft was held on the most recent episode. The concept is quite simple, as every win or loss by the wrestlers who were drafted result in positive or negative points. This particular session will run through Survivor Series, so scoring will be kept over the next three months. It will be interesting to see which Ring Rust Radio panelist will ultimately secure bragging rights this time around.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Had the Best Draft?
Ring Rust Radio's third fantasy WWE draft featured its fair share of logical and shocking selections, and it's extremely difficult to pick a favorite as of right now. By virtue of his last-place finish during the second fantasy season, Donald Wood picked first, followed by Brandon Galvin, Mike Chiari and Michael Cahill. Here is a look at all four teams:
Alberto Del Rio
Big E Langston
Rob Van Dam
Ring Rust Radio's Take
There is no doubt that all four teams have their strengths and weaknesses, so any type of finishing order is conceivable. The first three picks of the first round went as expected, with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Randy Orton going off the board.
Cahill is generally known as a huge supporter of Cena, but with the face of the WWE currently on the shelf, Cahill went with Dean Ambrose and Big Show with his back-to-back selections. Cahill has owned this competition, but he may be hard-pressed to pull off another victory with regular losers like Wade Barrett and Antonio Cesaro on his team.
Wood has been on the other end of the spectrum, as he has finished last on two occasions. But there is a lot to like about his team, with Bryan, Alberto Del Rio and Curtis Axel in tow, so he could surprise some people.
Chiari has two second-place finishes to his credit, but with Orton and the entire Wyatt Family in the fold, a run toward first place is possible.
Galvin is already off to a rough start; however, a strong nucleus of Punk, Ryback and Roman Reigns should be enough to help him climb out of an early hole.
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Donald Wood: 25
T2. Mike Chiari: 5
T2. Michael Cahill: 5
4. Brandon Galvin: -15
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