What you need to know
They have too many pay-per-view (PPV)s in October. But, more specifically, Randy Orton is once again WWE champion following the latest iteration of an unclean finish in his Hell in a Cell match against Daniel Bryan last night in Miami. Special guest referee Shawn Michaels reluctantly(?) superkicked his former trainee and handed Chief Operating Officer (COO) Triple H's chosen face of the company the title.
Big Show was banned from the building by Stephanie McMahon, while fellow nemeses of The Authority, the Rhodes Brothers retained their tag team titles in the match of the night. It was a bad night all around for the mercenaries in The Shield - not only did Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns fail in their bid to regain the bronze eagles, but United States Champion Dean Ambrose was forced into an impromptu title defense against Big E Langston. The Cincinnatian left with his title, but he also left a lot of blood in the ring as he fled in a countout defeat.
The other champ with her title on the line retained last night, as AJ Lee is still queen of the Divas. And the next big program for the women's division and Total Divas season 2 probably won't have anything to do with the butterfly belt following a collision between sisters that set-up Brie Bella's loss last night.
More intriguing than CM Punk finally getting his hands on Paul Heyman, whatever BS reasons they came up with to get giant Indians or tiny Mexicans on the card last night or how they've marginalized the blue Money in the Bank briefcase holder now was the return of Kane. Fresh off filming a movie, the Big Red Monster showed up for the first time since being carried out of SummerSlam by The Wyatt Family. He sent Luke Harper and Erick Rowan packing, but then also took out Bray Wyatt's latest target, The Miz, with a chokeslam.
What to look out for
John Cena begins his 14th world title reign tonight in Orlando, FL. Can he elevate the World Heavyweight Championship (WHC) that was listing with Alberto Del Rio? What's next for ADR? Does Damien Sandow think it is a smart move to go against The Champ?
Kane's actions (and his second ever tweet) seem to indicate that he not with the Wyatt's, but that their actions may have returned him to a pre-Hug It Out state. What's next for their program, and will it help Bray Wyatt's position on the card after their Inferno match in August seemed to stall his momentum?
Is Punk vs. Heyman really over? And what happens next with the Intercontinental championship and the Heyman Guys stable with Curtis Axel on the shelf due to a reported hip flexor injury?
Why, Shawn? Why!?!?
What they should do
Like most of us, I'm concerned with what happens to DB now. Not so much in terms of the belt, or even wins and losses. If you've been paying attention, he's been booked to look like pretty much a badass. He has several pinfall victories over the man who now holds the WWE title, dating back to June. He's universally adored by the existing WWE fan base, and the McMahons are too shrewd to piss that away even if he doesn't look like Batista.
But in terms of his character - how does he react? One of my biggest problems with the Battleground fallout was how happy he was to look the other way after having been KO'd by Show. As has been said many times, this is pro wrestling, not the real world. I may not teach a kid to kick the ass of the bigger kid who was bullied into punching him by a group of mean, popular kids, but that doesn't mean I want to see my favorite underdog "fake" fighter just turn the other check and "Yes" it up with the guy who cold cocked him the night before.
It makes sense, from creative and moneymaking perspectives, to remove him from the title scene right now. He's proven he can beat the guy with the belt, and there's bigger moments down the line for the lil' Dragon that could. But he should declaratively set his sights on the COO. And HBK doesn't get a pass just because he mad a sad face on his way out of American Airlines Center last night.
Michaels is happily retired, and I don't expect to see him return for a program. But he did some spots to build the Brock Lesnar story last year that probably didn't even need to happen considering that Brock is already one of the biggest draws on the planet. He can tap to a Yes Lock after The Beard accepts his apology on a go home show.
And Hunter has done jobs for little guys he respected (Voldemort) and up and comers he saw money in (Cena), so why wouldn't he do one for someone who is essentially both? This story demands that the hero vanquish the villain, and if WWE cares about the narrative or what's best for business, Big Show isn't the former and Randy Orton ain't the latter.
What we're afraid they will do
Big Show in a Smoking Skull vest. Cena gets a 15 minute rambling "comeback" promo and then takes care of Del Rio's rematch clause in under 5 minutes. Paul Heyman debuts his newest "guy", a repackaged Brodus Clay, and has him beatdown Punk.
We'll start to find out which way they'll go tonight.
Join Rex and the gang in the live blog, and then come back tomorrow for all the reactions.