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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.
Daniel Bryan Joins Wyatt Family
Most figured that the Dec. 30 edition of Raw wouldn't be much more than a nod to the New Year, but it may very well have been one of 2013's most effective shows. Many fans were in shock when Raw reached its conclusion and Daniel Bryan decided to join the Wyatt Family. Since that moment, there has been a great deal of confusion and anger within the WWE Universe.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Where Is This Angle Going?
It's fair to say that Bryan fans were already riled up prior to his decision to join the Wyatts. Bryan's run in the main event didn't go as many hoped with him losing the WWE Championship to Randy Orton and ultimately transitioning away from it.
Since the notion is now that Bryan is heel, the prevailing thought is that the WWE has totally dropped the ball with him and ruined its opportunity to capitalize on the considerable momentum that he has built over the past several months.
With that said, fans have a penchant for putting on blinders and failing to see the big picture. Although there is no doubt that the WWE creative team makes strange decisions at times, there is no way that the WWE brass of Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Triple H would allow Bryan to go by the wayside. Rumors regarding the trio's dislike for Bryan because of his size are clearly unfounded, and the McMahons aren't about to throw money away by ignoring what the fans overwhelmingly want.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Clearly, there is more than meets the eye with this storyline. Bryan has been unable to overcome the Wyatt Family over the past couple months due to the fact that Bray Wyatt constantly hides behind Luke Harper and Erick Rowan. That was the case on Raw, and it would have continued to be the case had Bryan not joined the group. Now that he has professed his allegiance to Wyatt, there is a level of trust. This will ultimately allow Bryan to take Wyatt down from the inside by using deception against arguably the biggest mastermind and manipulator in WWE.
This angle will likely continue until the Royal Rumble, and there will come a time when Wyatt will ask Bryan to eliminate himself. Rather than doing that, though, Bryan will turn on Wyatt and finally get his hands on him.
Not only will this make Bryan look great, but it will lead to a huge pop as well as the furthering of his super face persona.
Bryan is also likely to win the Royal Rumble, which will subsequently catapult him to new heights. Fans always complain that there are no good storylines, but they are unwilling to give them a chance, which is the case with this one.
Backstage News on Bray Wyatt's WrestleMania Plans (WrestlingInc.com via PWInsider Elite)
Brock Lesnar Returns with a Bang
There was plenty of buzz surrounding Raw before it even started because it was reported that Big E Langston mentioned Brock Lesnar attacking Mark Henry on SmackDown. Since SmackDown was taped before Raw, this spoiled the fact that Lesnar would be on Raw. The element of surprise was absent when Triple H introduced him, but his return and subsequent decimation of The World's Strongest Man was entertaining nonetheless.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What's Next for Lesnar?
Paul Heyman was in tow when Lesnar came to the ring, and the two of them discussed his plans for the future. Lesnar's main goal was revealed to be winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Lesnar called himself the No. 1 contender and said that he wouldn't wait in an imaginary line in order to get a title shot. That would seem to suggest that Lesnar won't be part of the Royal Rumble match even though many expect him to compete in it.
Lesnar and Heyman defied anyone to come to the ring and shut Lesnar up. It didn't seem as though anyone was going to reply, but Henry answered the bell. Lesnar promptly speared him through the barricade and delivered a thunderous F-5 in emphatic fashion.
This has led to talk about a possible Lesnar vs. Henry feud and match at the Royal Rumble, but that simply won't happen after Lesnar destroyed Henry was easily. It was just a way to put on exclamation point on The Beast's return.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
If Lesnar isn't in the Rumble match or in a singles match, then most are probably wondering how he will be utilized in the near future. One possibility is that he could get involved with Batista when he returns on the go-home edition of Raw. Perhaps he could then inject himself into the Rumble match as a non-sanctioned entrant by taking out Batista and starting a feud. If his true intention is to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, though, he will probably go in another direction.
It was also announced on Raw that Orton vs. John Cena for the WWE World Heavyweight title would main event the Royal Rumble pay-per-view, and it was revealed that there would be no disqualifications of count-outs.
That suggests that some foul play will be involved, and Lesnar interfering would make a lot of sense. Perhaps he will take out Cena, which would allow Orton to retain. He could then attack Orton as well, which would be a warning shot to everyone involved in the title hunt. Lesnar standing tall would also be a great visual to end the night.
Lesnar vs. Big Show Discussed for Royal Rumble (WrestlingInc.com via F4WOnline)
Ring Rust Radio Awards Determined
WWE hosted the Slammy Awards a few weeks ago, but Ring Rust Radio proved that it could do it better with the RRR Year-End Awards show. The RRR panel voted on 32 different categories, with wrestlers from all promotions eligible to be nominated. Through a points system, we decided who prevailed in each of the categories, which included everything from wrestler and promotion of the year to most improved and most underrated.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Came Away with the Biggest Haul?
Since WWE is the dominant company in professional wrestling, it should come as no surprise that many of the awards were handed out to WWE and its stars. Although most Internet fans may not want to hear it, Cena shined brightest by winning or sharing five different awards. He was named best box-office draw, most charismatic and best babyface. He also shared most underrated honors with Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger while winning match of the year for his tilt with Bryan at SummerSlam.
Speaking of Bryan, he nipped at Cena's heels in terms of award dominance. Along with match of the year, Bryan was named wrestler of the year and best technical wrestler. In addition to that, he took home feud of the year honors for his rivalry with Orton, Triple H and The Authority. Even though Bryan has yet to stick at the top of the card, most would probably agree that 2013 was Bryan's year, as he ascended to elite status after showing so much promise previously.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Even though Cena and Bryan took the bulk of the awards, there were plenty more handed out as well. Rising star Roman Reigns was named the most improved wrestler of 2013, as he edged out TNA's Magnus and Adam Cole of ROH. He also won best gimmick along with fellow Shield mates Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, tag team of the year with Rollins and combined for wrestling maneuver of the year in the form of the Triple Powerbomb.
It was a great year for The Shield, and even though a breakup seems imminent by the time WrestleMania XXX rolls around, all three men have very bright futures in the WWE as individuals.
Along with the serious awards, there were some fun ones as well. TNA was synonymous with futility, as it was named worst promotion of the year. Also, Impact was named the worst weekly wrestling television show. TNA also took home the most disgusting promotional tactic award due to its One Night Only pay-per-views. The pay-per-views were taped back in March of 2013, yet they continue to air to this day. Aces & Eights was the worst aspect of TNA in 2013, and that wasn't forgotten, as the faction won worst gimmick, worst feud for its rivalry with Main Event Mafia and worst match for its Lethal Lockdown match against Team TNA.
RRR Season 4 Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Mike Chiari: 112.5
2. Brandon Galvin: 70
3. Donald Wood: -55
4. Michael Cahill: -105
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