Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on Triple H, Big Show, Cody Rhodes 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 Hall of Famer "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase 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.)
Sept. 24, Former WWE Superstar Chris Masters
Predicting Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan
The Night of Champions main event will be a match that wrestling fans have been waiting for ever since SummerSlam, as Randy Orton will defend the WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan.
Emotions have run high throughout the WWE Universe since Triple H screwed over Bryan and helped Orton win the title, but Bryan will finally have a chance to get his hands on The Viper come Sunday. Whether or not he gets the ultimate revenge is certainly up for debate, though.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Will Exit NOC as WWE Champion?
The card for Night of Champions certainly isn't as stacked as what we saw at SummerSlam, but the Bryan vs. Orton match alone could potentially make this a great show. Bryan and Orton have wrestled each other in the past, including a few times a couple months ago, and they have proven that they have solid in-ring chemistry. Bryan is one of the best pure grapplers in the business, and Orton is highly underrated in that regard as well, so they definitely have what it takes to carry a pay-per-view together.
In addition to the match itself, the storyline surrounding it is quite compelling. Bryan enters the match as a huge underdog, a role that has helped endear him to the fans so intensely in recent months.
Not only does he have to contend with one of the most successful Superstars in WWE history in the form of Orton, but he also has to overcome Triple H and whatever types of tricks he has up his sleeve. With so many potential influencing factors involved, it's very difficult to predict how this one will play out.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
While there are several manners in which it could happen, it's difficult to dispute the notion that Orton is going to retain on Sunday somehow, some way.
Most fans want to see Bryan as WWE Champion, and there is little doubt that he will be a great champion when he gets that chance; but now isn't the time.
The angle with Orton as WWE Champion and Triple H pulling the strings is still very new and fresh. It would be a huge mistake to put the title on Bryan at the moment because the WWE Championship is what legitimizes both Orton and Triple H right now.
Bryan is unquestionably at his best when he is chasing the title, and that is precisely what he is doing right now. If Bryan's current storyline mirrors "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's battle with The Corporation back in the Attitude Era, then Bryan will get his moment in the sun and both Orton and Triple H will get their comeuppance in due time.
As for how Orton retains, a Big Show heel turn and interference seems like a distinct possibility. Big Show has been an unwilling participant under Triple H for the past few weeks, but look for The Game to convince Big Show to join his side on Sunday.
Rumor Mill: Orton Reportedly Booked to Win at NOC (WrestlingInc.com via Wrestling Observer)
Predicting Rest of Night of Champions Card
Orton vs. Bryan is certainly the marquee match on Sunday's Night of Champions card, but there are plenty of other bouts to look forward to as well.
Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman will take on CM Punk in an elimination handicap match, Alberto Del Rio will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Rob Van Dam, the Divas Championship will be on the line in a Fatal Four Way and a Tag Team Turmoil match will take place on the pre-show to determine who will challenge The Shield for the Tag Team Championships.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Will the Undercard Play Out?
There is no question that the Night of Champions card leaves something to be desired, but a few of the undercard matches could potentially surprise. From an in-ring perspective, there is a lot to like. Punk vs. Axel and Heyman is about the feud between Punk and Heyman more than anything, but Punk and Axel have tussled in the past and they seem to have some pretty solid chemistry. There is also a lot of intrigue regarding how the match will ultimately come to a resolution.
The Del Rio vs. RVD feud hasn't been good by any means, but the match should be absolutely fantastic. What Del Rio lacks in having a good, compelling character, he makes up for with solid in-ring work.
The rest of the card is a little light, but the Divas Championship match features three of the best female wrestlers WWE has to offer and The Shield manages to have great matches against everyone they face. So they'll surely be a highlight as well.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
The RRR panel was split with regards to the Punk vs. Axel and Heyman match as it can conceivably go in any number of directions. Punk winning cleanly and getting revenge on Heyman would effectively end the feud, while Heyman getting some outside help to beat Punk would serve to further it.
One outside possibility would involve RVD interfering on Heyman's behalf to start a Punk vs. RVD feud. That would be contingent upon RVD losing the world title match against Del Rio in all likelihood, but the panel was in agreement that Del Rio will retain.
As for the other matches, AJ Lee retaining her Divas Championship seems like the best bet as there isn't much that the creative team can do with Natalya, Brie Bella or Naomi. AJ is suffering from a severe lack of competition, but she has done a fantastic job individually as champion.
The Tag Team Turmoil match should be a lot of fun on the pre-show, and the Prime Time Players have to be considered the favorites due to their recent push. They won't be able to overcome Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns on the main card, though, as The Shield duo will come away victorious.
Rumor Mill: Backstage News on Tag Team Turmoil Match (WrestlingInc.com via PWInsider)
RRR Interview with "Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase
Ring Rust Radio has been lucky enough to sit down with many great wrestlers in recent months, but it isn't often that a WWE Hall of Famer joins the show. That was the case this week, though, as "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase discussed everything from his career as a wrestler and manager to the status of his son Ted DiBiase Jr. and to his ministry work and more.
DiBiase is easily one of the greatest heels in the history of professional wrestling, but he couldn't have been nicer in his exclusive interview with RRR.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Does He Regret Never Having Been WWE Champion?
If DiBiase wrestled in today's landscape, there is no question that he would have held a world title at some point. While the WWE has moved back in the direction of long title reigns as evidenced by CM Punk's 434-day run with the WWE Championship, it was far more prevalent in the 1980s and early 1990s.
With the likes of Hulk Hogan, Randy "Macho Man" Savage and The Ultimate Warrior dominating the WWE Championship scene, DiBiase never had an opportunity to hold the belt officially.
DiBiase met Savage in the finals of the WWE Championship tournament at WrestleMania IV, but he told RRR that he preferred to chase the title rather than win it.
I think it was Pat Patterson who said, "Ted, what’s going to give you more heat? What’s going to generate more heat and what’s going to generate more money? If we do what we would normally do, and been done a thousand times, and we go to this WrestleMania and you underhandedly win the title and you have the run with Hogan and on and on you go. Or, you don’t win and somehow you get screwed out of it and then in your arrogance you declare to the world that you don’t need the WWE’s world championship, belt you’ll create your own." And I said that’s the ticket. For me to walk out every night with my own belt declaring myself champion, I mean, people would just absolutely loathe me and I’ve made more money with the Million dollar belt than I ever would have with the other one.
Other wrestlers might have been bitter about the suggestion that they shouldn't win the title, but DiBiase embraced it because he viewed it as a challenge.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Although it's unfortunate that DiBiase's name won't go down in the annals of WWE history as a former WWE Champion, his influence on the business stretches well beyond that. During DiBiase's heyday, nobody was beating guys like Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior, so failing to win the title wasn't an indictment of DiBiase's ability by any means. In fact, few wrestlers to ever grace the squared circle possessed the mixture of mic and in-ring skills that DiBiase did.
Also, DiBiase was far more dedicated to his gimmick than most, as he practiced the "Million Dollar Man" persona out in public as well as in the WWE forum. Because of that dedication, it's ludicrous to suggest that DiBiase was somehow a lesser performer because he never won the WWE Championship.
DiBiase mastered his craft, and he was so good that he is still remembered 20 years after his in-ring career came to an end, so there's no point in picking apart what was an incredible career.
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Donald Wood: 85
2. Mike Chiari: 40
3. Brandon Galvin: -30
4. Michael Cahill: -35
For more wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot topics or catch the latest episode in the player below (some language NSFW).
Follow @RingRustRadio on Twitter.