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Nov. 12—Ruthless Aggression Era Fantasy Draft
John Cena Remains Absent from Raw
Any questions surrounding whether or not John Cena would actually be present to challenge Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell in a Cell were essentially answered on Monday as a vignette chronicling Cena's recovery aired. While Cena did not appear on the show live, it is quite clear that all systems are go when it comes to his rapid return from triceps surgery.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Should Cena Appear on Raw Before Hell in a Cell?
WWE's decision to air a vignette, rather than having Cena appear on Raw live, was certainly an interesting one. While the vignette did plenty to further the mystique behind Cena's healing ability, one has to wonder why WWE wouldn't want to boost Raw ratings. Overall interest has waned a bit since Cena left after SummerSlam, and there is no doubt that Cena's return would at least provide a temporary ratings increase.
At the same time, Cena's promos prior to pay-per-views are pretty much always the same. He does a good job of hyping up his matches with excitement and intensity, but he rarely says anything of importance. Perhaps keeping Cena off television will actually do more good than bad in terms of building anticipation. Cena's return match is a huge deal regardless, but there will be plenty of second-guessing no matter how WWE decides to handle things.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Despite not being a Cena fan by any stretch of the imagination, I can't help but think that having Cena appear on Raw prior to Hell in a Cell would be the best course of action. If nothing else, the Cena vs. Del Rio feud would benefit from some type of heat because there is absolutely none right now. The WWE erred by announcing Cena vs. Del Rio without having a good reason behind it. Cena and Del Rio haven't had any issues with each other for quite some time, but that could easily change by having Del Rio attack Cena on the go-home show.
If Cena doesn't appear prior to Hell in a Cell, it will be very difficult for those who aren't a fan of Cena to get excited about his match. There is something to be said for leaving things to the imagination, though, so maybe leaving Cena off television will drive pay-per-view buys to a certain extent. The WWE brass has to pray that the strategy works or else it will all be for naught.
Cena's First Appearance to Reportedly Be at HIAC (WrestlingInc.com via Wrestling Observer Newsletter)
Cody Rhodes and Goldust Win Tag Team Championships
Since winning back their jobs by beating Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns at Battleground, Cody Rhodes and Goldust have been a huge part of WWE programming. The prevailing thought seemed to be that one of them would turn on the other. That still could happen at some point in the future, but there is no end in sight to their partnership as they defeated Rollins and Reigns once again on Raw, and this time they won the Tag Team Championships in the process.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was Giving This Away on Raw the Right Move?
The Rhodes brothers' win was certainly surprising since it's pretty rare to see title changes on Raw. It does happen on occasion, but few could have predicted it with Hell in a Cell on the horizon. It's tough to argue with the logic behind putting the titles on Rhodes and Goldust as they are red-hot as faces right now, and they can probably do more with the Tag Team Championships moving forward than Rollins and Reigns have as of late.
That isn't an indictment of The Shield by any means, but they've been caught up doing Triple H's dirty work lately. Rollins and Reigns are bona fide studs regardless of whether or not they have the titles, so they'll be just fine without them. Now that Rhodes and Goldust have them, though, they can start to feud with some of the other heel teams in the company such as the Wyatt Family and the Real Americans, and that will be great for the development for the tag division.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
There's no reason to complain about Rhodes and Goldust winning the titles, but an argument can be made that the creative team went about doing it the wrong way. A pay-per-view moment was essentially given away for free on Raw even though Hell in a Cell is nearly upon us. Some might say that having the title change hands on Raw was a poor decision, but Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton with Shawn Michaels as the special guest referee, plus the return of Cena, are already the driving forces behind the event.
Because of that, WWE can afford to have something big happen on Raw. After all, it's important to make the fans believe that anything can happen on Raw, and the Tag Team Championships switching hands definitely helped in that regard. Fans wax poetic about the Attitude Era, and titles changed hands on Raw all the time back then. Maybe some fans may not view it as an ideal way of doing things, but it will prove to be a smart choice.
Heel Saturation Reportedly Led to Title Change (WrestlingInc.com via Wrestling Observer Newsletter)
Big Show Continues to Run Rampant
Big Show made his presence felt once again on Raw one week after being fired by Stephanie McMahon and subsequently knocking out Triple H. During the Tag Team Championship match, which was not disqualification in nature, Big Show come through the crowd and decimated The Shield. This allowed Rhodes and Goldust to win, and Big Show once again got one over on Triple H after weeks upon weeks of torment.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Big Show Face Triple H at Hell in a Cell?
It is blatantly obvious that the creative team is building toward a Big Show vs. Triple H match at some point, but the big question relates to when it will take place. On one hand, the Hell in a Cell card is already fairly strong, so it doesn't really need the addition of this match. With that said, the feud has pretty much reached its high point, so waiting any longer could conceivably kill any excitement the fans might have.
Triple H is a huge star who only wrestles on occasion, though, and it would make sense to save him for a big pay-per-view like Survivor Series. If their one-on-one match happens at Hell in a Cell, however, it could lead to a traditional Survivor Series match with Triple H and Big Show on opposing teams. Both potential decisions have their merits, although it's hard to get too pumped up about the match either way due to the fact that the angle hasn't been handled particularly well.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As much as Survivor Series might benefit from Triple H's involvement, my preference would be for the Triple H vs. Big Show match to happen at Hell in a Cell. The main issue is that this feud isn't intriguing enough to carry on through Survivor Series. Big Show isn't great in his current role, and Triple H should go back to focusing more on Bryan as was the case following SummerSlam. Having the match at Hell in a Cell would allow that shift to occur.
Based on how close Hell in a Cell is, though, it looks like the writers plan on making it happen at Survivor Series instead. That could help drive pay-per-view buys down the line since there are plenty of Triple H fans out there, but that doesn't make it a perfect plan by any means. Luckily there are a few solid storylines worth monitoring right now because the Triple H vs. Big Show angle simply doesn't have the legs it needs to remain interesting for an extended period of time.
Triple H vs. Big Show Being Discussed for Survivor Series (WrestlingInc.com via PWInsider)
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Donald Wood: 252.5
2. Mike Chiari: 122.5
3. Brandon Galvin: -37.5
4. Michael Cahill: -75
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