I’m pretty glad I held off on writing this piece before Hell In A Cell, mainly because I was going to write about the status of Our Boy John Cena. But with the PPV in the can, that can be left to another day.
More importantly, there’s a WWE Champion again! After feuding since the day after SummerSlam, Randy Orton finally got Daniel Bryan down for the old three count last night in Miami, FL…but not without some unexpected help.
1. Where was the Big Show?
We’ve spent weeks watching Big Show ruin Triple H and Stephanie’s parades since he was fired after Battleground. And just 6 days after he drove a semi into Raw to allow Daniel Bryan to get a cheap shot in on Orton, the second biggest thorn in The Authority’s side…wasn’t there. All that was mentioned was that he was banned from the arena and Big Show apparently followed the rules.
Didn’t Heyman and Punk attempt to get The Rock banned from the arena through Vickie in January? And didn’t The Rock still find his way into the damn arena? And you’re telling me that Big Show was all like, “That’s cool, I’ll just go to Club Liv early”?
I really want a Trips/Show match. You know they’re building to it, and while the buildup might have been too short for Creative’s liking to do it at HIAC, it still could have been done last night. So we’re either getting the match at Survivor Series, somehow Show will be granted a WWE Title shot versus Orton, or Big Show sold all the way out, got rehired, and is in full heel mode by the end of Raw tonight.
But honestly, with the way the Championship match went, what could Show have possibly added?
Besides maybe an awesome spot where he tore into the cage as Shawn was counting, caused enough distraction to stop the count, and then got ran off by The Shield or Pedigreed/assaulted by sledgehammer by Trips.
But I digress.
2. Did it hurt the PPV that the 6-Man Tag Match stole the show at the very start?
Yes and no.
This was the first time in ages that a tag match was the highlight of a PPV, even bigger than when Cena and Rock teamed up in 2011 at Survivor Series. The match was fast paced, it had great spots, it had great wrestling, it told a great story, it was everything that you want from a PPV match…
…and then nothing else came close the rest of the night.
None of the teams looked bad here: The Shield remained strong, The Usos gained more new fans (their intro is definitely too long now. But then again, wasn’t DX’s too?), and Cody and Goldust continued to show excellent chemistry. It’s a shame that in a few months their team will be broken up so that they could either feud with each other or so Cody can get a solo push (I still think he should challenge Sandow for his Money In The Bank briefcase). And for one night, this match made WWE look like they had a strong tag division again.
So while the match did set a great tone for the rest of the night, it was almost bittersweet. Creative doesn’t focus on having a true tag team division anymore. Cody and Goldust are this year’s Team Hell No essentially. The Shield are going to have to break up eventually. And The Usos will remain on the roster as long as they remain healthy and the kids like them but I don’t see either one of them breaking out into solo stardom.
The best part was that it started a PPV off on a good note in a different way and I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to recreate that magic at some point again on Raw or SmackDown. The worst part was that they took the crowd to the mountaintop, and the rest of the evening was spent freefalling back to earth.
3. Is the CM Punk/Paul Heyman feud over finally?
Hell no. There’s nothing else for Punk to do yet. If they were going to give him a (cursed) Intercontinental Title run they would’ve done it by Night Of Champions. Ryback remains winless against CM Punk even though last night was the cleanest win Punk’s come by. Curtis Axel is always lurking around as long as he’s got Heyman’s stamp of approval. And Heyman still will hold his NOC win over Punk’s head.
So how do you follow up Heyman getting a well deserved beating on the Cell’s roof last night. Well, they sure won’t have Punk running up to Randy Orton tonight (though they should). More than likely, it’s receipt collecting time: Punk’s calling out Lesnar.
In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Team Punk/Team Heyman Survivor Series match. Punk was jerked out of the Survivor Series storyline to do a triple threat match last year, why not have him and a few of his new/old friends (Big E, R-Truth, Kofi, etc.) come together to take on Heyman’s bunch (Axel, Ryback, Fandango, and a returning Brock)? This would get Brock PPV buys without having to use him in a full match.
Or they should go all out and do a straight up Punk/Brock rematch. Win or lose, have Punk disappear until the Royal Rumble. I just can’t figure out Brock’s motivation for wrestling Punk again right now.
But I couldn’t figure out his motivation for wrestling Trips at ‘Mania NY/NJ again either.
4. What do you do with John Cena, World Heavyweight Champion?
Like anyone expected our boy Cena to come in and lose last night. I have to give ADR all the credit in the world though, he carried Cena for most of the match. As Thomas mentioned to me, Cena wasn’t fluid in the ring like he normally is; he was cautious with his moves. And that’s exactly what this World Title reign is about.
While I originally thought that unification was in the plans, Orton’s win makes that less likely. I don’t think the Bryan/Orton feud is quite over, so I don’t expect Cena to come out gunning for his WWE Title rematch. No, I think Creative will play it safe and give ADR his rematch at Survivor Series. Give Cena a few jobbers and mid-carders to destroy on Raw and maybe even a SmackDown appearance (you know, since it is SmackDown’s belt officially). Have ADR and Cena battle it out verbally with things getting physical closer to Survivor Series. Make sure that left arm is good to go. And then when Bryan wins the WWE Title (finally!) at SuSe, then you can run with the Title Unification feud between Bryan and Cena all the way through Elimination Chamber if you wanted.
Or Creative will find someway to have Cena drop the WHC so he can jump back into the WWE Title picture by the new year. Bet on this one folks.
5. Did Shawn Michaels turn heel or did Shawn just lose control on Bryan last night?
Judging by how much crap Shawn was getting on his Twitter last night and today, most people think he’s down with The Authority. I think he’ll play the bad judgment card and say that seeing his BFF Hunter taking the knee from Bryan made him snap. Cause technically…Bryan picked the wrong time to level Triple H.
Sure, Trips pushed Daniel back away from Shawn when he rushed to his best friend’s side but Bryan should have been focused on The Viper. Instead, he let his ego get the best of him and he laid out HHH, something he should have gotten to do at least once before last night. So for Shawn to see his friend, who was coming to his aid, cheap shotted, of course he’s going after Bryan!
Of course he counts the 1-2-3!
Of course he leaves conflicted! He betrayed a man he helped train because that man made a mistake of judgement! So HBK allowed himself a mistake of judgement!
I was only bummed that last night brought us no closer to Shawn/Trips at WrestleMania XXX (mark it down).
I’m interested to see how Bryan gets another rematch personally. Since he never “legitimately” won the Title, he has no rematch clause. Unless he teams with Big Show against Orton/Hunter next month at SuSe: If Show/Daniel win, Show gets his job and home back/Daniel gets a Title shot at December’s TLC PPV! If Hunter/Orton win, Show has to retire/Bryan may never challenge for the WWE Championship again!
But I digress.
He’ll probably get his rematch by calling Orton a sissy tonight.
At least things aren’t as boring as they usually get once the winter months approach.