Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on Evolution, Kane and more, this is where you need to go to get all of your weekly WWE nuggets.
Bleacher Report featured columnists Mike Chiari, Donald Wood and Brandon Galvin give the lowdown on all things going on in the wrestling world. TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eric Young also joined the show to offer his inside perspective on the business.
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.
Ring Rust Radio Schedule
April 22: TNA star Magnus
Evolution Reforms to Face The Shield
Triple H, Randy Orton and Batista were at odds entering WrestleMania XXX as they were all vying for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship alongside Daniel Bryan, but things have changed in the weeks since. After suffering an attack at the hands of The Shield, Orton and Batista joined forces with Triple H and reformed Evolution in spectacular fashion on Raw.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is This Proper Utilization of The Shield?
Evolution is known as one of the most successful stables in WWE history, with Triple H and Ric Flair helping Orton and Batista become two of the biggest wrestling stars of all time. While it has been more than a decade since Evolution first came into existence, it is a brand that still resonates with wrestling fans. WWE is clearly cognizant of that, which is why it made the decision to pit Evolution up against one of the fastest-rising stables ever, The Shield.
The conflict between Evolution and The Shield began on the post-WrestleMania edition of Raw ,when The Shield prevented Triple H from beating Bryan for the title after Bryan was jumped by Orton, Batista and Kane. Roman Reigns speared Triple H in an act of defiance, and it came as no surprise that The Game was in the mood for revenge. Orton and Batista were initially reluctant to join forces with Triple H, but after The Shield jumped them, the return of Evolution was inevitable.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As successful as Evolution was in the past, it is understandable why some people might question the group's viability in 2014. Triple H, Orton and Batista are all very different now than they were a decade ago, but the stable still works on many levels. Many fans have argued that a fourth member should be brought in so that Evolution stays true to the original group, but it isn't necessary. This version of Evolution is still about getting over younger talent just like it was 10 years ago, but now it relates to young talent that Evolution is facing rather than young talent within the group.
Triple H, Orton and Batista coming to the ring with the Evolution theme blaring in the background was great for nostalgic wrestling fans, but there is no reason for this Evolution to be a carbon copy of the previous one. As great as Flair is, there is no need for him right now. The same can be said for bringing in a younger fourth member since that would detract from some of the focus regarding The Shield.
This is ultimately a vehicle to take Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins to the next level. Despite the perception surrounding Triple H, he is more than willing to put over deserving talents, just like he did with Bryan at WrestleMania. Add in the fact that Orton and Batista are suddenly interesting and there is a lot to like about this angle.
Backstage News on Triple H's Booking (WrestlingInc.com via PWInsider)
Masked Kane Set to Challenge Daniel Bryan
Bryan wasn't present on Raw after his marriage to Brie Bella, but that didn't stop the creative team from building toward his Extreme Rules storyline. Stephanie McMahon blasted Kane for his failures in recent weeks regarding both The Shield and Bryan. She said that it was his responsibility to fix the mess involving Bryan, which prompted Kane to take his mask and tease the return of masked Kane moving forward.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is Kane vs. Bryan a Fresh Feud?
Following WrestleMania, most probably assumed that Bryan would face one of Triple H, Orton or Batista at Extreme Rules. Any and all of those opponents certainly would have made sense—particularly Orton, since he didn't take the fall at WrestleMania—but it appears as though WWE is going in a different direction. There aren't many credible or logical contenders for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship outside of Evolution right now, but Kane certainly makes sense from a storyline perspective.
Kane has been at odds with Bryan for the past few months, and they also have an extremely long history. Kane and Bryan are among the longest-reigning Tag Team Champions in WWE history as Team Hell No, and there was never really a blow off when they went their separate ways. It can be argued that the ship has sailed in that regard, but there is still plenty for the writers to draw from and it is possible to make it work.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
There is no question that Kane's run as a corporate stooge has been disappointing. It seemed as though the creative team might have found something since Kane is extremely intelligent and articulate as a person, but the character change simply hasn't resonated with the fans. Conversely, masked Kane is firmly entrenched as a gimmick that will always work, so there is reason to believe that a holdover feud with Bryan will be entertaining, particularly with Evolution vs. The Shield co-headlining.
It is true that Kane and Bryan had several matches against each other leading up to WrestleMania. At the same time, the corporate version of Kane and the masked version of Kane are totally different entities. They are played by the same person, but they are essentially polar opposites. Bryan is good enough in the ring to carry Kane, but Kane is still capable of acquitting himself well too. This feud probably won't go down as one of Bryan's best, but it has the potential be solid if the angle is written well and should allow Bryan to get a win under his belt as well.
Bryan's Potential Extreme Rules Match (WrestlingInc.com)
RRR Interview with TNA's Eric Young
After more than a decade with TNA, Eric Young finally got his big break on the April 10 edition of Impact. After winning a gauntlet match to become the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship, Young challenged Magnus to a title match that night and shockingly went on to win TNA's top prize for the first time.
Less than one day after his greatest accomplishment in wrestling, EY sat down with Ring Rust Radio and discussed his feeling regarding the historic win.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What's Next for EY as Champion?
Young has been an extremely underrated worker for many years in the ring—on the mic and in terms of his gimmick. While EY hasn't always been viewed as a potential main eventer, there is no question that he has done everything asked of him to the fullest. He is seemingly always committed to entertaining the fans, and he comes across as one of the hardest-working guys in the business.
EY has built up quite a large following during his time as a professional wrestler, and he hopes that his title reign will lead to some of the best moments of his career.
I want to create as many memories and amazing moments for myself and wrestling fans as I can. That's what pro wrestling is to me. I don't remember whole matches from 20 years ago, but I remember moments from matches. I remember where I was and who I was with and how it made me feel. I'm ready to do that as World Heavyweight Champion. That's my No. 1 goal. It's to have as many amazing matches and memories as I can possibly make while I have this belt.
Some might assume that Young's reign will be transitional in nature, but he may very well change that perception if he continues to perform at a high level. EY looked credible throughout his victory over Magnus, and he has the right mentality to succeed as a champion.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
The biggest thing that Young's detractors seem to be pointing toward is the fact that he has largely been used as a comedic character in recent years. While that is true, he has been trending in a more serious direction as of late. The serious version of EY truly came to the forefront during his feud with Abyss, and it continued as he pursued the world title on Impact.
Young is well aware of the perception, and while he said that his aim will always be to entertain, he also admitted that he has no problem getting serious when the situation calls for it.
It's important for me to be funny, and that's what made me popular. That's what got me over with the fans in the first place and I won't lose that. As far as adding an edge, when you're rolling around in tacks with the monster Abyss it's hard to crack jokes. There's nothing really funny about that. But yeah, it's a cool challenge for me because that's what I have been for the last five-to-eight years, and this is a whole new world for me. I can do it. I know I can. I've always known that, and I'm dying to show people.
The fact that Young is willing to evolve based on the situation that he is faced with says a lot about him as a performer. It remains to be seen how well he will be received as champion moving forward, but there is no question that EY has put the work in and deserves a chance to show what he can do.
Donald Wood's BR Article
1. Mike Chiari: 42.5
2. Donald Wood: 17.5
3. Tom Kinslow: 7.5
4. Brandon Galvin: 2.5
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