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Nov. 12: Ruthless Aggression Era Fantasy Draft
Predicting Daniel Bryan vs. Randy Orton
The contract signing for the WWE Championship match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton fittingly closed Raw, as a new champion will finally be crowned at Hell in a Cell. As if the match wasn't meaningful enough, Shawn Michaels was added as special guest referee a couple weeks ago, so the added element helps bring a great deal of unpredictability to the table.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Leaves HIAC as WWE Champion?
The go-home edition of Raw featured some foreshadowing with regard to who might get involved in the match. While the cell structure is supposed to prevent interference, that obviously hasn't always been the case over the years. While the main feud at work is Bryan vs. Orton, both Triple H and Big Show have been intertwined in this angle as well. Because of that, it is a near certainty that one or both of them will have a hand in the result.
Also, Michaels' status as special guest referee could lead to a number of different outcomes. HBK could potentially call the match right down the middle, but there is also a very real possibility that he will screw Bryan over either purposely or inadvertently. That has plenty to do with Triple H, so it will be very interesting to see how this bout reaches its conclusion.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Based on the way Michaels questioned Triple H's disdain for Bryan, fans are led to believe that Michaels might show favoritism toward his former student. Although that may be the case, it could just have easily been a red herring to throw the WWE Universe off track.
One way or another, it seems likely that Orton will come away victorious through unfair means. There are plenty of moving parts with Triple H and Big Show looming, so it's tough to nail down precisely how things will go, but there are some definite options.
Perhaps the best way to do it would be for Triple H to break into the cell at one point while Bryan is dominating the match. It can be made to look as if Triple H is going to bully Michaels into favoring Orton, at which point Big Show will interfere. When Big Show tries to stop Triple H, Michaels will hit Big Show with Sweet Chin Music, Orton will hit a distracted Bryan with an RKO and Michaels will make the count for Orton.
Negative Backstage Reaction to Triple H's Burial of Bryan (WrestlingInc.com via PWInsider)
Breaking Down Hell in a Cell Card
In addition to the main event, there is plenty else to look forward to on the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view. John Cena will return to challenge Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship, CM Punk will face Ryback and Paul Heyman within the cell, Cody Rhodes and Goldust will defend the Tag Team Championships against The Usos and The Shield and a number of intriguing supporting matches will take place as well.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Will the Rest of the Card Play Out?
Aside from Bryan vs. Orton, it can be argued that the most important match on the card is Cena vs. Del Rio.
The feud itself is essentially non-existent since Cena was thrown into the match for no apparent reason, and although he hasn't appeared on Raw to hype the bout, it's meaningful nonetheless. While Del Rio is a fine in-ring competitor, the staleness of his character has unquestionably damaged the prestige of the world title. That certainly appears to be the reason why Cena has suddenly been thrown into the title picture.
Whether you're a fan of Cena or not, there is no disputing the fact that the world title will mean that much more if he wins it. In fact, it may very well be right on par with the WWE Championship. The announcers have connected Cena's triceps injury to Del Rio's Cross Armbreaker often over the past couple weeks, so expect a good, old-fashioned wrestling match that involves ADR focusing on the arm. When push comes to shove, however, Cena will overcome the odds and leave Miami with the big gold belt in tow.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
The creative team has tried to hype Punk vs. Ryback and Heyman as a big-time match, but it's tough to get excited about it since the feud feels stale and because Punk and Ryback faced each other at Hell in a Cell just one year ago. With that said, the end seems to be on the horizon when it comes to this rivalry. Look for Punk incapacitate Ryback in some way, which will allow him to finally get retribution on Heyman and pin him for the victory.
The tag team division has been revitalized in recent weeks thanks to Rhodes and Goldust, who captured the Tag Team Championships from Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns a couple weeks ago. The Usos also got themselves involved when they won a No. 1 contender match several weeks back.
There is a great deal of talent within the division right now, and it will be on full display at Hell in a Cell. Based on how well the crowd has responded to Rhodes and Goldust, though, all signs point to them retaining the straps.
Punk Potentially Dealing with Injury (WrestlingInc.com via PWInsider)
Reviewing TNA Bound For Glory
TNA put on its biggest show of the year Sunday in the form of Bound For Glory from Viejas Arena in San Diego, Calif. The only thing more pathetic than the attendance was the card itself, as it failed to deliver the big-event feel that it should have. Poor presentation had a lot to do with it, but it also seemed like the creative team treated Bound For Glory as just another show rather than a culmination of its major storylines.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was BFG a Hit?
The main event match is arguably the biggest thing that held Bound For Glory back. Bully Ray attempted to defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Bound For Glory Series winner A.J. Styles, and while the in-ring work was decent, there was far too much going on. Not only did Knux and Garett Bischoff interfere, but so did Dixie Carter. After stopping referee Earl Hebner from counting for Styles once, she neglected to do so on the winning pinfall, as she let Styles win for no apparent reason.
If Carter was so dead-set against Styles winning from a storyline standpoint, why wouldn't she do everything possible to ensure that he didn't win? There were way too many plot holes, and they took away from what should have been a great moment when Styles won the title. The remainder of the card wasn't enough to make up for it, either, so Bound For Glory was an unequivocal failure.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
TNA was clearly trying to shake things up, but it went way too far in doing so. Instead of booking intelligently by having Bad Influence win the Tag Team Championships, a comedy team in the form of Bro Mans was handed the straps. Bad Influence was instead relegated to feeling the wrath of Abyss. The Abyss and Joseph Park storyline has existed for well over a year, and if TNA thought that Abyss returning to attack Christopher Daniels and Kazarian was a good payoff, it was sorely mistaken.
Also, the Kurt Angle vs. Bobby Roode match was marred by a bizarre finish, and the Sting vs. Magnus match didn't accomplish what it was supposed to. Sting was supposed to put Magnus over like Ric Flair had put him over years ago, but it was a bland 10-minute match that did little for either man. Magnus won the match, and his heel turn was certainly furthered, but nobody watching the event walked away thinking that Magnus had become TNA's next breakout star.
BFG Injury Updates (WrestlingInc.com via TNA)
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Donald Wood: 267.5
2. Mike Chiari: 132.5
3. Brandon Galvin: -47.5
4. Michael Cahill: -75
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