TLC, Randy Orton, John Cena and Latest WWE News and Rumors from Ring Rust Radio

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2013

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Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on TLC, Randy Orton, John Cena 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.

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Title Unification Guaranteed at TLC

When it was initially announced that WWE champion Randy Orton would have World Heavyweight champion John Cena at TLC, many were skeptical about how the match might play out. At first, WWE was very careful to avoid saying that it would be a unification match, but Triple H made it very clear on Raw that one man would leave TLC with both titles.


Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Will Leave TLC as Unified Champion?

It can certainly be argued that unifying the titles is unnecessary, but there is no question that it is generating a ton of buzz. After what may have been the worst Survivor Series pay-per-view of all time, the WWE brass was well aware that it needed to do something big in order to regenerate fan interest. Orton vs. Cena is always a huge deal, but putting them in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs match with the top two titles in professional wrestling on the line takes things to a different level.

That match alone could very well be enough to drive TLC pay-per-view sales past whatever Survivor Series garnered. In that respect, this is a very smart move on WWE's part. At the same time, it's possible that neither Orton nor Cena is an ideal option as Unified champion. Orton has floundered to some extent since becoming WWE champion, while many fans will complain if Cena reigns supreme yet again. With that in mind, the creative team has a big challenge ahead of it.


Ring Rust Radio's Take

With WrestleMania season drawing near, the result of the TLC main event is hugely important. The winner will be the Undisputed champion, which means next month's Royal Rumble winner may very well face either Orton or Cena in the main event at WrestleMania. Based on the fact that Cena has been fast tracked back into the main event scene so quickly since returning from injury, it would seem as though he is the odds-on favorite, especially since Orton has been at odds with The Authority.

It is also possible that WWE will come through with a major swerve. From a storyline perspective, there has to be a reason why Triple H is centralizing the power that comes with the world titles. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have made sure to mention on numerous occasions that Triple H has held both titles. Also, there is reason to believe that Triple H doesn't want Orton or Cena as Unified champion. It may seem like a longshot, but perhaps The Game figures out a way to become Unified champion himself by the end of the night.


Rumor Mill

Possible WrestleMania Plans Being Discussed for Cena (PWInsider Elite via



Daniel Bryan vs. Wyatt Family Set for TLC

After the Wyatt Family abducted Daniel Bryan on the Raw following Survivor Series, it became apparent that the two sides would continue their feud. Most figured that Bryan and Bray Wyatt would compete in a one-on-one match at TLC, however, that won't be the case. Instead, Kane placed Bryan in a three-on-one handicap match against Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan as a form of punishment.


Question on Everybody's Mind: Where Is This Feud Heading?

Due to the fact that Bryan hasn't been placed back in the WWE Championship scene yet, his fans are still fairly unconscionable. With that said, this feud has the potential to be quite good. Bryan is still getting a huge reaction from the fans, and even though people have been trained to believe that the likes of Triple H and Vince McMahon don't want Bryan to be the face of the company for whatever reason, he'll be back at the pinnacle in due time.

Until then, feuding with the Wyatt Family can potentially get him over in an even bigger way. Every top face comes against a dark, sinister figure and ultimately overcomes them at some point. Wyatt can be that figure for Bryan. Although the odds are clearly stacked against him, if Bryan is booked to beat the Wyatt Family at TLC, it will do wonders for his momentum. The Royal Rumble is coming up, and Bryan could really use a big win heading into it.


Ring Rust Radio's Take

Some seem to believe that Bryan's feud with the Wyatts will lead to him turning heel and joining the group. Based on how popular Bryan is, though, that simply wouldn't make sense. Those who are down on the creative team may think that it will make the wrong decision in that regard, but Triple H, the McMahons, et al are smart enough to know what type of commodity they have on their hands. Because of that, a heel turn simply isn't on the horizon.

If anything, this feud seems a lot like the one Cena had with Kane a couple years ago. In that feud, Kane tried to get Cena to "embrace the hate" and turn heel, but Cena ultimately rose above. Although that angle was a failure, Bryan and the Wyatts should be able to do a much better job with it. Wyatt's promo on Raw seemed to suggest that he will try to coax Bryan into joining the group, but Bryan will resist it and find a way to vanquish his tormentors.


Rumor Mill

Vince McMahon and Triple H Holding Bryan Back? (Wrestling Observer Newsletter via



CM Punk vs. The Shield Set for TLC

Much like Bryan, CM Punk will be placed in a nearly impossible situation at TLC when he takes on all three members of The Shield. Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns attacked Punk following his match alongside Bryan against the Wyatt Family a couple weeks ago, and while it hasn't yet been explained why, it figures to lead to a very intriguing feud.


Question on Everybody's Mind: Where Is This Feud Heading?

It is no secret that Punk has been placed on the back burner since losing to The Undertaker at WrestleMania XXIX. Punk took some time off since that loss and his primary feud since then has been against Paul Heyman. His match against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam was fantastic, but going against the likes of Ryback and Curtis Axel didn't do him any favors. He has quickly transitioned out of the Wyatt Family feud, and now seems to be moving in the right direction.

Even though I'm not wild about handicap matches being booked on pay-per-views, this one has the potential to be fantastic. Punk is obviously one of the best in-ring workers in wrestling, and all three members of The Shield can get the job done as well. Punk and The Shield have interacted in the past, but this is the first time that they have really gone up against each other. This feels fresh, and it should help all parties involved.


Ring Rust Radio's Take

The big question relates to why The Shield has targeted Punk. The easy answer is that The Authority ordered it since Punk has been critical of Triple H as of late. This could then lead to a feud between Punk and Triple since Punk is the ultimate anti-authority figure. That seems way too easy, though. The Authority is focused largely on Cena and Orton right now, and in all likelihood their focus will shift toward Bryan again at some point, especially if he wins the Royal Rumble.

Another possibility is that someone else is pulling the strings when it comes to The Shield. The group initially helped Punk retain the WWE Championship on several occasions, and they did so because Paul Heyman paid them off. Heyman is off television right now because Punk beat him down on a couple occasions. Conventional wisdom suggests that Heyman will once again go after Punk when he returns. Perhaps that process has already started with The Shield doing his bidding.


Rumor Mill

CM Punk Nursing Rib Injury (



RRR Season 4 Fantasy WWE Standings

1. Brandon Galvin: 25

2. Michael Cahill: 20

3. Mike Chiari: -5

4. Donald Wood: -35


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