Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and more, this is where you need to get all of your weekly WWE nuggets.
Bleacher Report featured columnists Mike Chiari, Donald Wood, Brandon Galvin and Michael Cahill give the lowdown on all things going on in the wrestling world.
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.)
Upcoming Guests and Events
- Nov. 19: TNA star Christopher Daniels
- Nov. 26: Bryan Williams from 2K Sports talking WWE 2K14
CM Punk and Daniel Bryan vs. Luke Harper and Erick Rowan Booked
After Daniel Bryan fell short in his bid to regain the WWE Championship at Hell in a Cell and CM Punk gained revenge on Paul Heyman, the two of them became involved in an angle with the Wyatt Family. Bray Wyatt and his minions have targeted Punk and Bryan for the past several weeks, but the indy darling duo will have a chance to get retribution at Survivor Series, as they will face Luke Harper and Erick Rowan in a tag team match.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is This the Best Way to Utilize Punk and Bryan?
As soon as it became apparent that Bryan was being removed from the WWE Championship scene, a sizable chunk of the WWE fanbase seemed to let out a collective groan. Similarly, while Punk is viewed as one of the WWE's top Superstars, he hasn't been in the title hunt since feuding with The Rock ahead of WrestleMania XXIX. Both men could easily be involved in the main event scene, but they will instead be used against Harper and Rowan, both of whom have only been on WWE's main roster for a few months.
In addition to that, WWE teased a potential six-on-six traditional Survivor Series match on Raw. After initially roughing each other up, the Wyatt Family and The Shield turned their attention to Punk and Bryan. This led to Cody Rhodes, Goldust and the Usos rushing to their aid. The show ended with all 12 men staring each other down, and there were plenty of interested fans waxing poetic about how great of a match it would be, but the creative team has apparently decided to go in a different direction.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
There are a number of ways to look at the situation that Punk and Bryan are currently in. While the feud with the Wyatt Family is intriguing, and it will surely elevate both Harper and Rowan, it's somewhat bizarre that Wyatt himself isn't involved. He's obviously going to be outside the ring and is going to be a factor, but he needs to actually compete in big matches to reach the next level. Wyatt is the one who is running the show, while Harper and Rowan are supposed to be mindless drones who do his bidding. Despite that, they have been made to look stronger and arguably more significant than Wyatt.
Because of that, there is a definite argument to be made in favor of the six-on-six match.
Not only would it have allowed Wyatt to get involved, but it would have been interesting to see if the Wyatt Family and The Shield could coexist.
At the same time, it would have taken some of the emphasis off of Punk and Bryan with so many people involved, and that may have been counterproductive. It's tough to say with certainty what the right move would have been, but leaving Wyatt out of the match is clearly the most egregious error that has been committed.
CM Punk Possibly Injured in England (WrestlingInc.com via F4WOnline)
Kane Serves as Director of Operations
Kane has been an evil, dominant monster for much of his WWE career, so it came as a shock to many when he appeared on Raw in a suit and tie a couple weeks ago. Kane has since been named the director of operations by Triple H, and he served in an authoritative role on the most recent episode of Raw with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon on vacation.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Does This Role Work for Kane?
Kane was immediately involved in a power struggle on Raw, as he and Raw general manager Brad Maddox were at odds. They disagreed about which of the Rhodes brothers Randy Orton should face, so SmackDown general manager Vickie Guerrero made the decision for them. She put Orton in a handicap match against Cody Rhodes and Goldust in a move that seemed to undermine Kane's authority. The Big Red Monster saved face later in the night by threatening Maddox, though.
There seems to be a divide among wrestling fans regarding Kane's new role. In one respect, it's somewhat difficult to take him seriously as an administrator after all the crazy things his character has been responsible for over the years. For those who know anything about the real man behind Kane, though, he's actually a very intelligent and business-savvy person, so he should be able to make the gimmick work.
Kane has been an extremely versatile performer over the years, and even though this is his toughest sell yet, he may be the one guy who can pull it off.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
In order for fans to truly embrace and buy into Kane as the director of operations, he has to be empowered by Triple H from a storyline perspective. Kane was upstaged by Maddox and Guerrero to a certain extent Monday, so his credibility was damaged a bit.
It's understandable why Maddox was resistant to Kane since he is the Raw general manager, but Vickie shouldn't have had any authority over Kane. She's the SmackDown general manager, so it made no sense for her to essentially overrule two people who had more power than she did.
There is still hope for Kane, though, due to the fact that he can use intimidation to his advantage. There haven't been many authority figures over the years as physically imposing as Kane, and that figures to be a huge part of his character. Although the Ring Rust Radio panel enjoys Maddox in his current role, he's certainly expendable if it means adding some legitimacy to Kane's character.
With that said, look for Kane to possibly take out Maddox and assume his role as the chief decision maker on Raw in the very near future.
Update on Brad Maddox's Potential Role Moving Forward (WrestlingInc.com)
RRR Ruthless Aggression Era Draft Results
Another Ring Rust Radio fantasy draft is back by popular demand as the RRR panel delved into the Ruthless Aggression Era. Mike Chiari, Donald Wood, Brandon Galvin and special guest Graham "GSM" Matthews participated in a 30-round draft with wrestlers who competed in WWE, TNA and ROH from 2002 through 2005 eligible to be selected.
The draft occurred in a serpentine manner, with Galvin picking first, Chiari picking second, Matthews picking third and Wood picking last. To complete the competition, each panelist will craft the best possible card using the roster they drafted, and the Bleacher Report community will have a chance to vote for the winner in an article next week.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Did the RRR Panel Fare?
Here is a closer look at what each panelist was able to come away with after 30 exciting rounds of drafting action:
Brandon Galvin (ROH)
Edge w/ Lita
Bubba Ray Dudley
Jamie Noble w/ Nidia
Mike Chiari (Raw)
"Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman
"American Dragon" Bryan Danielson
Billy Gunn/Kip James
Johnny Nitro w/ Melina
Joey Matthews/Joey Mercury
Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Billy Kidman w/ Torrie Wilson
Road Warrior Animal
Graham Matthews (SmackDown)
Rob Van Dam
Donald Wood (TNA)
The Undertaker w/ Paul Bearer
Diamond Dallas Page
Test w/ Stacy Keibler
Scotty 2 Hotty
Brian Christopher/Brian Lawler
Ring Rust Radio's Take
With so much talent during the Ruthless Aggression Era, it comes as no surprise that all four panelists came away with highly impressive rosters. It is clear that they each valued different things, but all of them have plenty of star power with which to build a strong card.
Galvin selected one of the all-time greats first overall in the form of Shawn Michaels, Chiari went with arguably the most popular Superstar of all time in "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Matthews selected a Ruthless Aggression stalwart in Kurt Angle and Wood went with old reliable as he drafted The Undertaker.
The panelists didn't rest on their laurels following the draft, either, as there were two trades. Galvin sent Raven, Goldust, Lance Storm and Stevie Richards to Chiari for Jeff Hardy, Jeff Jarrett, The Hurricane and Road Warrior Animal. Also, Matthews picked up The Boogeyman, Hardcore Holly, Crash Holly and Ron Killings from Wood in exchange for X-Pac.
It's very difficult to pick one roster above all of the others, but the panelists should be able to separate themselves by using their creativity when it comes time to build the cards.
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Donald Wood: 287.5
2. Mike Chiari: 177.5
3. Brandon Galvin: -15
4. Michael Cahill: -30
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