Punk! Ryback! Heyman! Maddox! Clusterfunk! In a Cell! WWE Championship!
Just when you didn't think there were any surprises left in the bag -- or cage, so to speak -- WWE manages to come up with something that virtually no one expected. Last night (Oct. 28) at Hell in a Cell, CM Punk and Ryback delivered what was a solid main event brawl for the WWE Championship. Punk got in plenty of offense to look strong, but Ryback was proving to be too much. The challenger took his lumps and fought through the punishment. He took control of the match, and everyone at home scooted to the edge of their couches, La-Z-Boys, and ergonomic desks chairs. As Ryback lifted Punk onto his back, the same thought crossed through the WWE Universe's collective mind.
This night would be the night we would see a new WWE Champion.
Ryback started his high step. He marched around the ring. He began his descent.
And the referee, Brad Maddox, put his hands up to stop the monster, dropped to his knees, and delivered a strike to Ryback's steroid-riddled jewels.
Punk and Paul Heyman had spent all night trying to convince Vickie Guerrero and Vince McMahon to call off the Hell in a Cell match. It seemed, though, that they had a Plan B in their back pockets the whole time.
Maddox, the same ref who had screwed Punk out of a win on the Sept. 17 episode of Monday Night Raw, looks to be a "Heyman guy." He broke his oath to the WWE Universe -- I'm assuming WWE refs take some form of the hippocratic oath -- and directly interfered with the championship match.
Which is weird. With a name like Brad, you would think he would be a lot more trustworthy.
I do have some issue with the fact that the pay-per-View (PPV) built towards Monday Night Raw. The paid show should answer the questions the television show asks, not the other way around. I know this is how the business works, but it's not something I particularly enjoy.
It is what it is, though, and the show must go on.
The question coming out of Hell in a Cell is, how far do Heyman's tentacles reach? He has Punk and Brock Lesnar as his muscle, and now a ref to do his bidding. Who else is on his payroll? Another wrestler? An announcer? One of the hot dog venders, so he doesn't have to wait in line? It could be anyone!
For all you know, I could be a "Paul Heyman guy"!
As I stated last night, there is an opportunity here for something interesting. When you start pushing the story back, though, it gets harder and harder to wait for things to play out. Survivor Series takes place on Nov. 18, just a mere three weeks away. That equates to this fall-out show, a middle show, and a go-home show.
Unless WWE starts planning for the "Thanksgiving tradition" tonight, it is just going to run out of time.
So hopefully we get some answers to our burning questions. Who all is working for Heyman? Will Punk ever get his just deserts? Is this a start to an nWo or just another Nexus? Can Ryback cut his own promo?
Did Punk ever come down from the top of the cage?
Hell No! Rhodes Scholars! Disqualification! Holding Steady! Tag Team Championship!
Hell No retained the Tag Team Championship against Rhodes Scholars last night. They did this, not with a legit pinfall, but with Kane going berserk and getting the team disqualified. It's one of those booking decisions that makes sense, but it just feels empty. Because of Rey Mysterio's illness, Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow only had one show to hype up the PPV match. Pushing their eventual title win back for three weeks gives them more time to get over as a team. I don't really think they need it, but I guess it won't hurt.
It also gives WWE a few more weeks to milk Daniel Bryan and Kane's eventual split. I think the duo's shenanigans are riiight on the line between funny and overexposed. And we all know that WWE will not stop until they run something straight into the ground.
At the very least though, this gives four of the better guys on the roster screen time as well as something to do. There are definitely worse things they could be involved in.
Everything Else! Bullet Points!
- John Cena is still denying having an affair with AJ Lee. Vickie Guerrero claims she has proof of said affair. This is going to be painful to watch.
- Kofi Kingston is a "Wildcat" now. Rawr mother-effer's.
- For those who are in the path of Hurricane Sandy, please do your best to keep safe. Have plenty of food and supplies stocked up, stay away from windows, and don't go outside unless absolutely necessary. I don't want to hear that anyone in the CSS family was hurt.
- Also, call your mother. She worries about you.
Hopefully this has prepared you for the night's festivities. Leave a comment about what you are looking forward to, and please join Nolan, myself, and the entire CSS Monday night gang in the live blog right here.