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WWE Capitol Punishment: 10 Burning Questions Heading into Sunday Night's PPV

Rob PicarielloCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2016

WWE Capitol Punishment: 10 Burning Questions Heading into Sunday Night's PPV

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    With the first of two three-hour Raw spectaculars behind us, a seven-match card has been announced—thus far—for Sunday's Capitol Punishment pay-per-view. Four championships will be defended and as of right now, all of the matches on the card are scheduled for one fall with no special stipulations attached to any of them.

    There are plenty of burning questions leading up to the event so let's take a look at a few of the ones that may—or may not—get answered live this Sunday from Washington D.C.

Does R-Truth Have Any Chance of Walking out of D.C. as WWE Champion?

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    If you asked me that a couple of weeks ago my answer would have been, "Hell No."

    After Raw this past Monday I would upgrade that answer to, "Probably Not."

    WWE booked R-Truth to look very strong by having him cost John Cena his match against CM Punk and then the subsequent beat-down he dished out on Cena.

    John Cena doesn't often go down in back-to-back appearances, but after Raw at least it looks like Truth may have a chance, albeit a small one, at walking out as the WWE Champion.

Will CM Punk and Rey Mysterio Steal the Show?

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    A few weeks back when CM Punk and Rey Mysterio began a rekindling of their SmackDown rivalry from years past, I was screaming at the television wondering why the WWE continued to rehash the same old matches.

    After two straight excellent wrestling matches between them, I'm genuinely excited for the rubber match this Sunday.

    If the rumors are true and CM Punk is upset at his current role within WWE, you wouldn't know it by the quality of his matches. Punk is still putting in 100 percent effort, and it seems that he's been able to raise Mysterio's game as well.

    These two continue to find ways to make each match between them unique and different, and I, for one, can't wait to see what comes next at Capitol Punishment. Don't be surprised if this is a de facto No. 1 contender's match with the winner (Punk is my guess) getting a shot at the belt at an upcoming PPV.

Will Alex Riley Catapult into Main Event Status?

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    After a lengthy WWE Championship run, The Miz has crashed back to earth and fallen into a rivalry with his old protege, Alex Riley.

    Riley has a revamped entrance theme and the fans are really starting to get behind him (even though on Raw the "AL-EX RI-LEY" chant ended up being drowned out by a "WE WANT RYDER" chant...and don't even get me started about the exclusion of Ryder in Long Island).

    A-Ry has the look of a main eventer. He's been more than adequate on the mic, he's in great physical shape and in his limited in-ring action, has been able to hold his own.

    If I were booking this match, I would have Riley (who as far as I can tell has yet to produce a finishing move) either catch The Miz with a briefcase shot behind the ref's back or roll him up for a surprise three count.

    Either of these finishes allows The Miz and A-Ry to continue their rivalry without either one of them looking overly weak.

Where Oh Where Has SmackDown Gone?

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    The WWE draft was supposed to help SmackDown, which had just lost The Undertaker to his post-WrestleMania hiatus and Edge to sudden retirement.

    After bringing over superstars like Randy Orton, Sheamus, Mark Henry, Daniel Bryan and Sin Cara, there are only two scheduled SmackDown matches for Capitol Punishment.

    PSEUDO-SPOILER ALERT

    I'm not big on reading spoilers, but it doesn't seem like this Friday's episode of the blue brand will be producing any other matches.

    With seven matches already on tap, SmackDown will get, at best, one more match.

Will Superstars Not on the Card Get Involved?

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    WWE teased a John Morrison return this past week on Raw and if you listened close enough, you could hear the majority of the IWC marking out.

    As it went, John Morrison was there just to take a nap and hold his neck as it seems he's still healing from real life neck surgery.

    After moving to SmackDown, Sheamus dropped the United States of America Championship and immediately moved into the World title picture. Unfortunately for him, he has yet to get a pay-per-view match out of it.

    I would guess that we might see both of these guys at some point during the night at Capitol Punishment, especially if Morrison is set to return. Don't be surprised if both the WWE and World title matches end with some interference.

Where Are the Divas and Does Anybody Care?

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    It was nice of the WWE to squeeze the Divas into a two-minute 14-on-14 match or whatever it was this past week on Raw (that's two minutes more than Ryder got...don't forget to riot).

    Since Kharma has been put on the shelf due to a real life pregnancy, the Divas division lost any sort of steam it may have been gathering.

    It's a shame that top caliber women's wrestlers like Beth Phoenix and Natalya have to go down with the sinking Divas ship but until the WWE stops making a mockery of their matches, there just isn't any interest.

On Monday Morning Will WWE.com Say "Cena and Orton Retain"?

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    In the post-WWE draft/Edge retirement world, there was some uncertainty about who could carry the company for the immediate future, so the WWE decided to stick the titles on old reliables, John Cena and Randy Orton.

    While I can't blame them for the decision, isn't it time to give some other guys a chance?

    I am not a John Cena hater like a lot of people. I am also not part of the Cenation. Just indifferent towards him. Wouldn't it be amazing if the guy who drinks water during matches, talks down to the "Little Jimmies" and is basically eveything that is anti-Cena walked out as champion?

    How about after Christian basically stuck his middle finger up at the "Peeps" and decided that an interview conducted by that slimeball Michael Cole was in his best interests, catches fan favorite Randy Orton with the Killswitch and becomes a two-time champion?

    While there's no chance both will happen I think that if at least one does, it will make for an interesting summer leading up to SummerSlam.

With a Mini Night of Champions Lined Up, How Many Titles Will Change Hands?

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    Well...Almost
    Well...Almost

    As previously stated, there are four championships being defended at Capitol Punishment. Good thing I'm here to break down the chances of each changing hands.

    WWE Championship

    While very unlikely, I'm giving R-Truth about a 10 percent chance to win the championship. He did look strong on Raw, but will most likely come up short of winning the gold.

    World Heavyweight Championship

    Here's where things get interesting. I'm giving Christian a 50/50 shot. This HAS to be his final chance to grab the gold from Randy Orton after coming up short on his previous chances. It's going to take time for him to get completely over as a heel and winning the belt in a dirty way would definitely get him closer.

    Intercontinental Championship

    Big Ezekiel Jackson is certainly the odds-on favorite, especially with The Corre no longer in the mix. I'm thinking Big Zeke has a 75 percent chance of winning the gold from Wade Barrett and I fully expect him to win, either clean or by DQ/Count-out.

    United States Championship

    Let the reintroduction of Dolph Ziggler begin. I'm also giving Dolph a 75 percent chance of winning the gold. Even though Kofi Kingston is a little kid favorite, he would be much better chasing the gold rather than using it as a prop as he walks to the ring.

    I'm guaranteeing that at least two titles change hands and there's a decent chance that outside of Cena, we may see the other three belts on the move.

Will Any Big Names Return?

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    It's unlikely we'll see any big returns this Sunday but with Capitol Punishment taking place in Dave Batista's hometown, I'm not completely counting out his return.

Will the Internet Champion Continue to Be Buried?

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    The WWE obviously upset a lot of people by shutting out the hometown "Woo Woo Woo Kid" from a three-hour edition of Raw last Monday.

    Everyone has an opinion on Zack Ryder, and love him or hate him, there's no denying his popularity.

    The big defense for WWE's exclusion of Ryder from Raw last week was that he would have been cheered heavily by his hometown fans and since he's still technically a heel, it would have looked confusing, blah blah blah.

    The WWE could easily fix that with a backstage promo with him even making a mockery of his face turn. WWE fans are some of the smartest fans in the world. Nobody would be upset if he just came out and said he's a good guy now. R-Truth did the exact opposite and it's worked for him.

    I know in the comment section I'm going to get slammed by people saying Ryder doesn't deserve it.

    Well, over 100,000 fans tune in on a weekly basis to Z True Long Island Story and believe me if he isn't pushed soon, we're ready to riot.

     

    Check out my B/R page here and help in my quest of becoming a Featured Columnist by becoming a fan.

     

    Follow me on Twitter @RobPicariello

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