Are you expecting big things from the CM Punk vs. Ryback and Paul Heyman match at WWE’s Hell in a Cell event this Sunday?
That might not be the best idea. In fact, the indications are that this Handicap Match will be a major letdown.
First of all, as I discussed in depth last week, the Heyman/Punk angle has already run its course. Likely because it didn’t have any other ideas, WWE has dragged the program out for too long, and no matter how many spirited and zany Heyman cuts there are, nothing will change that.
At this point, the angle feels like mediocre time-filler and little else.
It hasn’t helped the careers of anyone involved in it, either. Ryback has been demoted to Paul Heyman’s sidekick. Curtis Axel, once a rising star in WWE, has been totally forgotten.
Punk, meanwhile, is well and truly out of the title picture and has seemingly settled into a role in the upper midcard. Given Daniel Bryan’s ascension and John Cena’s upcoming return, this was perhaps bound to happen anyway, but the writers could at least give him something worthwhile to do.
While he’s been given the chance to show off his phenomenal verbal skills—which we knew about anyway—Heyman also seems kind of stuck in this storyline. What happened to wanting to be the most powerful man in the company? The manager of champions? Now he just seems content to get even with Punk.
Heck, the only person who seems to have gotten anything out of this whole thing is Big E. Langston, who has undergone something of a career revival by turning face and helping Punk even out the numbers in recent matches.
Plus, there are other issues beyond this program being tiresome.
Adding the steel cage to Punk vs. Heyman/Ryback feels like a desperate bid on WWE’s part to make the match more compelling (reports from F4Wonline.com, via WrestlingInc.com, indicate that Vince McMahon made the call to add in the cell in a bid to make the bout more noteworthy).
More regrettably, when it comes to the quality of the match on Sunday, we shouldn’t expect good things either.
Ryback vs. Punk at Battleground earlier this month was a terrible disappointment. The injury-plagued Punk couldn’t carry the behemoth to anything decent—and the cheap, out-of-nowhere ending didn’t help matters either.
And now, at Hell in a Cell, WWE is throwing Heyman in there, too. (Hey, didn’t roughly this exact same scenario—only with Axel instead of Ryback—happen at Night of Champions? Hooray for originality!)
While there is no doubt some interest in seeing Heyman get his long-awaited comeuppance, actually putting him in the Hell in a Cell match just spells disaster.
The whole thing is at risk of turning into a cluttered, cringeworthy mess.
So can anything good come out of this two-on-one clash? Well, it can be the final chapter in the way-too-long Heyman/Punk saga, at least. Hopefully this is the case, because it is past time for everyone in this program to move on—once and for all.