Promos By Hyphen: Payback Schmayback

So you’ve watched Payback and Raw and you’re ready to read more about the latest in the WWE? Of course, you look to Promos By Hyphen for all the information you need.

I took to Twitter and asked if anyone had any questions they wanted me to answer in the next article. I got a few responses and so I decided to run with the first ever all Q and A edition! And away we…

Why should I care about Ryback anymore? – @LordKokosinski
After his pummeling at the hands of our boy John Cena at Payback, you shouldn’t. It doesn’t look like WWE cares anymore. After a 2 month long buildup from Ryback the face monster to Ryback the heel Ruler, his complete lack of TV time on Raw doesn’t bode well. Sure, he could pop up on SmackDown this week but with his Cena feud effectively over, I expect him to be used like Mark Henry was a few years back before his heel turn. Remember when the Raw GM/Vickie/Guest Host wanted to challenge someone who came to the ring talking about their alleged greatness? They’d sic Mark Henry on them. Welcome to the next year of your life Ryback. He’ll probably get into one of the Money In The Bank matches though…and lose.

Do you think they’ll ever give Dolph the ball and let him run with it? – @EGDetweiler
They’d be crazy not to after the reception he got when he FINALLY got to cash in after WrestleMania NY/NJ. His legit concussion fouled up this World Title run for him but his attack on Del Rio at the end of Raw’s main event is a sign that he’s not going away anytime soon. He’ll get some form of rematch by the Money In The Bank (MITB) PPV. It looks like creative is finally shifting him to face as well, something that’s been a long time coming, at least since his tag days with Swagger. Expect Ziggy to have the World Title back by at least SummerSlam and vying for the WWE Title by early next year. And a lot more brightly colored shirts.

Which division is being used the worst right now: the tag team, the divas, or the Intercontinental belt? – @mark_bousquet
For right now, I can’t complain about the tag teams with The Shield holding the belts. There’s still a severe lack of exposure but when they need to they can pull The Usos or Prime Time Players out the well for a match or 3. I’m sad to see the end of Team Hell No, but more on that later.

The Divas are actually interesting as long as the Kaitlyn/AJ feud is going and adding Stephanie into the mix was a nice look too. I can’t be the only one who’d like to see her climb inside the ring and beat the living snot out of Ms. Lee. I’d really like to see the Women’s Title come back into the picture. That way you could have multiple feuds at once and give the Divas something to do at least.

I’d have to say the Intercontinental Title is the worst. The Belt hasn’t been relevant since Cody had it and that’s more because of the length of days in his reign. You’d have to go back to the days of Jeff Hardy holding the IC Title to find the last person to hold the Belt who moved up the card to a major Title later. Sure, Wade held the belt a combined 168 days before he lost it at Payback but is he being pushed to the main event picture? Is Miz going to get a World or WWE Title run again any time soon? Or is Curtis Axel? I officially declare the IC Title the new Madden cover/Sports Illustrated cover curse. And speaking of Wade…

Is Wade Barrett officially in the Kofi Kingston box?
He’s on his way. The Kofi Kingston box is when WWE has a popular wrestler, whether he be face or heel, and they never push him into the main event picture, but they love giving him minor Titles. Kofi has had a combined 9 of these but I can’t recall the last major Title shot he got outside of an Elimination Chamber match. Barrett is at 3 such reigns (all with the cursed IC Title) and it looks like Miz is next to feud with Axel, so where does that leave him? Toiling in the mid-card. The Kofi Box contains a glass ceiling when it comes to WWE creative and I don’t look for Wade to break it in the near future. A release (which I highly doubt) or maybe Wade getting fed up and wanting out is the only way I see this changing.

Where does Randy Orton go from here?
Raw was the perfect time to turn Randy heel. Beating the crap out of Daniel Bryan (who I think will get a face v. face WWE Title shot down the line) with that kendo stick, or a chair, or attacking him after they called the match would’ve been enough. Nope. Randy helped Bryan up and shook his hand, probably because he rammed Team DB’s head into the barricade and he felt guilty.

But for someone who’s been quoted in several interviews in the past 2 years as saying he wants to be a heel, he sure seems content to do whatever creative tells him. I already described my disappointment with him in the last article and WWE has their fun, badass face in Sheamus. Let Randy do what he does best: Punt people in the effing head.

Why Rob Van Dam now?
After a 4 year absence from WWE, RVD will be making his return at MITB. The question is: Why? Is this a Legends type deal so he can get a new DVD put out with all his now WWE-owned matches? Is he coming back full-time? Will MITB feature a MITB match of all former MITB winners? Did I just make 1 question into 5 questions? RVD hasn’t wrestled (at least for a company) since February and this seems like a classic WWE move of “bringing back the name” rather than pushing newer talent. RVD is another Bret Hart for me: I recognize the fact that he’s great but I didn’t see it, therefore I don’t care. In fact, this makes me care more that WWE might finally sign Sting. I expect this to be a Jericho contract with a lot less wrestling but I think we’ll see RVD more than we’ve seen Brock.

But didn’t Brock Lesnar just attack CM Punk at the end of Raw?
Apparently, the war for Paul Heyman’s honor is officially on. Punk dismissed Heyman earlier in the show after he almost cost him at Payback and after he wouldn’t shut up when Punk was challenging Del Rio at show’s start. Punk made a comment about not needing Heyman to talk for him like he has to for Lesnar and Axel. I suppose the F-5 Punk received was Brock’s response to that comment. I wouldn’t expect to see Brock again until at least next month when the run up to SummerSlam starts. Punk will be working on his new face run until The Next Big Thing’s ready to grace us all with his presence again.

How come Vince and Stephanie are on Raw so much?
I think there’s more going on here than the ratings spike that a McMahon is rolled out for in recent years. For the first time in ages, Vince and Triple H are having onscreen differences, with Stephanie taking Trips’ side on most things. While all signs point towards a Vince heel turn1, where he could start an odd couple pairing with Heyman over Curtis Axel, is this what we really need? Triple H seems to be more reluctant to get off camera than he has been in recent years, as this feud with Axel has proved. Who benefits from Trips winning the IC Title AGAIN at SummerSlam? Not Axel. Not the ratings. Not Triple H. Honestly, if Vince and Hunter just bitch at each other for two more months, I’d be okay with it. Mostly because I can’t figure out a logical explanation for where to take them and the concussion angle they were working on seems to be dropped for now.

Is Zeb Colter the right person to get Antonio Cesaro over?
Yes and no. It lets Cesaro get back to being a true heel by having him join the “We The People” faction. It gets us more Zeb talking that junk that we love to hate. But in the long run, I don’t see this lasting past Night Of Champions (NOC). And I really hope this doesn’t lead to a feud between Cesaro and Swagger since one of them would have to become a face. Maybe Cesaro has a great face character run in him but right now, I love him in all his heel glory. I wouldn’t be mad to see him win a MITB briefcase but I could also see creative doing that and then having him lose the briefcase down the line. Hell, I’ll just be happy if he gets in a MITB match. But more Cesaro makes us all winners in my book; I just hope this isn’t a final attempt to get him over before a 2014 release.

What’s the best thing Zack Ryder can do at this point?
Get released and go to TNA. It’s sad that WWE still didn’t want to push him after he singlehandedly built his own fanbase.

Did Mark Henry solidify his place in the WWE Hall Of Fame with his ruse on Monday?
While I feel like I could make a decent argument for Henry’s candidacy before Monday, he had me fooled. Everyone thought that Henry was setting a trap, possibly for a rematch against Sheamus from Extreme Rules, but he put on a Slammy worthy performance. The speech, the (crocodile) tears, the cracking voice, the fact Cena sold it so well…there wasn’t much there to convince me that Henry wasn’t retiring. And the pieces fit; Henry has been a mid-carder most of his career and while you would think his longevity would guarantee him a special after Raw ceremony like most Superstars get, maybe he wanted to say goodbye mid-show, the same mid-show he toiled in for years. Maybe all the Nation Of Domination members and Mae Young wasn’t available that night. Maybe…he just wanted the WWE Title shot he tried to get after WrestleMania that Ryback swooped in and took.2

Am I in love with our boy John Cena defending the Title at MITB against Henry? No, but I don’t really mind it. Henry’s another strong, formidable foe for Cena to triumph over and the match should be entertaining. I doubt we’ll get a rematch at SummerSlam though. This brings us to our final question:

How long until Daniel Bryan is WWE Champion?
WWE creative is fully focusing on showing how strong a Champion our boy Cena is so even if we get a face v. face match with him and Bryan at SummerSlam, expect Cena to win. Bryan could possibly win a MITB briefcase again and heel turn from that like Punk did against Jeff Hardy3 in 2009 but I would rather see Bryan stay a face. Prediction: NOC from our boy Cena in some underhanded way. But more importantly, Bryan has taken the ball and ran with it since the day after WrestleMania. Could we be on the way to a Summer of Bryan like we had a Summer of Punk in 2011? I think he’s earned it at this point. In fact, any time creative started telling him where his storylines are going, he should just look at them and say, “18 seconds. I’m not the weak link!”

After Punk’s 434 day Title reign and The Rock’s short reign going into ‘Mania, our boy John Cena won’t be dropping the strap any time soon. When Bryan does win his first WWE Title, it’s going to have to be big. Pushing it back to NOC gives it plenty of time for the right build to take place.

The end of Team Hell No was inevitable but I’m glad it lasted as long as it did. It’ll be interesting to see where Kane goes from here though. He could go back to his heel ways but I could see him having a Big Show like face run with lots of comedy. He deserves another shot at a major Title after all he’s done with Bryan in the past year…which means he probably will feud with Dean Ambrose for another month.

Hell, maybe Bryan could even be a Paul Heyman guy for awhile. But instead of counting the days until Gold is around Mr. Danielson’s waist, I’ll just enjoy his current performances…as long as Randy doesn’t keep running him into barricades.

  1. Not that he ever stopped being a heel; Mr. McMahon has definitely softened in recent years. At least on camera.
  2. Henry’s time off following Extreme Rules was reported as a legit injury. This probably explains the gimmick strap match.
  3. Two Jeff Hardy mentions in a Promos By Hyphen column. You’re welcome.

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