Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on Payback, Daniel Bryan 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. Former WWE and WCW Superstar Bill Goldberg 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.
June 3: WWE Superstar Santino Marella
Daniel Bryan Given World Title Ultimatum
Although Daniel Bryan refused to surrender the WWE World Heavyweight Championship when poked and prodded by Stephanie McMahon on Raw, this saga is far from over. Since Bryan was unwilling to play ball, Stephanie told Bryan that she would fire his wife, Brie Bella, if Bryan doesn't change his tune by the Payback pay-per-view.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What Will Bryan's Decision Be?
The fact that Bryan appeared on Raw is certainly a good sign regarding the condition of his neck since he was allowed to travel. That would seem to suggest that he could return to in-ring action much sooner than many anticipated. If he could potentially start wrestling again in a few weeks and be ready for Money in the Bank, then WWE likely won't be interested in stripping him of the titles.
Even though Bryan surrendering the titles probably won't happen, WWE deserves a lot of credit for setting up the angle in this manner. The idea of Bryan losing the titles was first brought up a few weeks ago, but WWE has managed to string it out. Since the Payback card is pretty thin aside from The Shield vs. Evolution, adding Bryan's decision to the card is a major draw that could help in terms of pay-per-view buys and WWE Network subscriptions.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Although the general wrestling fan population may not necessarily care about whether or not Brie gets "fired," that isn't the main point behind the angle. Stephanie reestablished herself as the biggest heel in WWE by placing Bryan in what amounts to an impossible situation. He either has to give up the titles that he worked so hard to win in the first place, or he has to be the one responsible for his wife no longer being able to do the job that she loves and enjoys so much.
That is a fundamentally sound story that should make for an intriguing segment on what could be a somewhat disappointing show. In terms of how it will ultimately play out, a very likely scenario would be Bryan proceeding to hand the titles over to Stephanie only for Brie to step in and stop him. That would lead to Brie getting fired and then Bryan perhaps getting beat down by Kane to add injury to insult if he is well enough to get involved physically.
Of course, Bryan could always win Brie's job back down the line, and it would also allow for Bryan vs. Kane to continue when Bryan eventually returns. It generally seems as though the fanbase would rather have Bryan keep the titles, and WWE will probably give them what they want.
Backstage Update Regarding Bryan vs. Kane (WrestlingInc.com via F4WOnline)
Previewing Payback Pay-Per-View Card
Aside from Bryan's World Heavyweight Championship decision, Payback will be headlined by a No Holds Barred Elimination match between The Shield and Evolution. Also, John Cena will take on Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing match and the Intercontinental, United States and Divas Championships will all be on the line as well.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Will the PPV Shake Out?
Although The Shield vs. Evolution went on in the middle of the show at Extreme Rules, there is no question that it stole the show. Fittingly, it will main event Payback and will most definitely be the biggest draw on the card. All of the interaction between the two stables has been absolutely fantastic since WrestleMania XXX, and there is every reason to believe that their Payback match could top what they did at Extreme Rules due to the added stipulations.
The Shield came out on top at Extreme Rules, and they will likely win again at Payback since Evolution could be on the verge of disbanding based on the assumption that Batista will soon have to leave in order to promote his new movie. Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are on an absolute roll, and another win over Evolution will give them a ton of momentum heading into Money in the Bank.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Another contest of particular interest is the Last Man Standing match between Cena and Wyatt. They have been feuding since Royal Rumble, and each has one pay-per-view win to his credit. The Payback clash may very well serve as the rubber match, so the winner will essentially be declared the victor of the feud. Wyatt needs the win much more than Cena, but picking against Cena is usually a sucker bet, as evidenced by what happened at WrestleMania XXX.
Payback also features several midcard title matches, including Bad News Barrett vs. Rob Van Dam for the IC title, Sheamus vs. Cesaro for the U.S. title and Paige vs. Alicia Fox for the Divas title. Barrett is basically guaranteed to retain his strap, but the other two matches are a bit tougher to call. Paige is probably favored to win, although Alicia's recent push means that she could usurp the young champion.
Sheamus vs. Cesaro is the dark-horse match of the night, as both men are hard-hitting, physical competitors. Since it seems as though Cesaro is ticketed for the main event scene very soon, expect Sheamus to retain so that Cesaro can move on to even bigger and better things.
Possible Angle for WWE World Heavyweight Championship (WrestlingInc.com via Wrestling Observer Newsletter)
RRR Interview with Former WWE and WCW Star Goldberg
It has been a decade since Goldberg last appeared on WWE programming, but he certainly hasn't exited the minds of wrestling fans across the world. Goldberg has kept busy outside the wrestling business, and he has an exciting new venture in the form of his new PodcastOne show Who's Next with Goldberg. The wrestling legend joined Ring Rust Radio to discuss his podcast as well as his time in professional wrestling.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What's Next for Goldberg?
There is no question that Goldberg was one of the driving forces behind WCW's success in the late 1990s, as his streak dominated WCW programming. He later spent a year in WWE, and although his time there didn't define his career, he certainly made an impact.
Goldberg is 47 years of age, but he remains in tremendous physical condition. That naturally leads fans to clamor for a WWE return. While he admitted that he is willing to listen to an offer, he made it clear that it isn't something that consumes him.
"At the end of the day, I would definitely listen to that type of conversation, but it's not something I wake up every morning and I pray to God to and hope that I can lace up my boots one more time because I have to end on a nostalgic note," Goldberg said. "If the opportunity arose and it was a favorable condition for everybody involved, and I mean working condition, not necessarily the money, and opponent, I would definitely cater the thought."
Although that certainly doesn't guarantee anything, the fact that Goldberg is open to the prospect of a return gives his supporters hope at the very least.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Even if another Goldberg match never comes to fruition, one can only assume that his relationship with wrestling is far from over. He became one of the most popular and successful stars in the history of professional wrestling, and there is no doubt that he deserves to be honored for his accomplishments.
Goldberg is happy with what he was able to do in professional wrestling regardless of whether or not he ever receives a WWE Hall of Fame nod, but he admitted that it would mean a lot to him.
"It would be an honor for sure because there are a lot of legends there, and it is a sport that put my name at the forefront, and I owe it a lot of credit for me being able to talk to you right now and have my own podcast and be a television actor," Goldberg said. "Yes, it would be an honor, but I wouldn't feel incomplete if it didn't happen at the end of the day."
Goldberg is clearly still a massive draw, so WWE would be wise to bring back in any capacity possible. Even if Goldberg is done with wrestling, though, he is still doing plenty outside the ring to entertain his fans.
Bleacher Report Article
1. Mike Chiari: 360
2. Tom Kinslow: 77.5
3. Donald Wood: 70
4. Brandon Galvin: 47.5
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