What you need to know
Shawn Michaels cost Daniel Bryan the WWE title at Hell in a Cell, tapped to a Yes Lock on Raw and stood up the Miz on Smackdown. While some, including Bryan himself, are hoping that DB and HBK may be on a collision course, The Beard's current trajectory has him looking for revenge on Bray Wyatt and his family. The Wyatts followed up a backstage assault on Daniel with an in-ring beatdown of CM Punk, who will also be looking for Luke Harper and company this week.
Former Team Hell No partner and previous Wyatt target Kane returned to WWE last week. In a speech as cryptic as some of The Eater of World's best, the Big Red Monster pledged allegiance to Stephanie McMahon and demasked himself. As long as he keeps attacking The Miz, it's hard to tell if he's a face or a heel, though.
WWE Champion Randy Orton celebrated his latest title win last week, but The Big Show chose that moment to get himself banned for life by HHH for knocking out the champ. And, while that moment closed Raw, the show opened in a familiar fashion with John Cena showing off the rewards of living a life of hustling, being loyal and respectful. There was no need to ban his party crasher, though. Despite a game effort, Damien Sandow became the second man to lose a Money in the Bank contract match.
Big E Langston can defeat Dean Ambrose in all kinds of ways - it's just that so far none of them are the kind where he becomes United States champion. The Intercontinental belt that Langston was supposed to challenge for at Hell in Cell is in limbo due to an injury to the man holding it.
It was a roller coaster week for the sons of the son of a plumber. The Rhodes defended their crown on Sunday, but were bested in non-title action on Monday before teaming with Cena to avenge that loss on Friday. It seems that Antonio Cesaro and Jack Swagger, the men who defeated them on Raw, are now in the mix for the tag belts.
What to look out for
Will The Wyatts feel right at home in Greenville, South Carolina? (Sorry for the cheap heat, South Carolinians. I was born in Anderson - Eat 'em up, Tigers!) But seriously, will we learn any more about "The Devil" making them take out Superstars? Who's next on their list? Or will this be the night that past victims rise up to stop them?
So, banned for life means we probably won't see The World's Largest Athlete until 10:55PM tonight. What will the Viper and his benefactors be doing until then? What's next for the WHC and John Cena's quest to elevate its status? Can the champ raise Alberto Del Rio and Damien Sandow's status as well, if it turns out they remain the men chasing Cena?
It seems certain that the old tag champs (Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of The Shield) will continue to chase the new tag champs (Goldust and Cody Rhodes), because the match quality is just too dang good not to. But with rumors swirling that one or possibly two more teams could join the dance, expect the Rhodes Brothers recent issues with The Real Americans to be built upon.
What they should do
Intercontinental title tournament! Like many of us here at CSS, I'm a tournament mark. With no news on the health of current champ Curtis Axel (and barely any excitement behind him to begin with) and Paul Heyman rumored to be off television until the build to WrestleMania 30 begins, it's time to either hang up the belt or get it on someone else.
Retiring the belt might actually be a consideration, as putting the Big Gold Belt on Cena is an indication that they realize that there's a perception problem with the titles. They may be props, but if the prop isn't adding anything to the story, what's the point?
Before we do that, though, let's try something to generate some excitement. And since TNA is willing to steal anything WWE puts on television, let's return the favor. Build a bracket of former IC titleholders. This gives guys like Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler something to do, and a story with which to return Wade Barrett and maybe Christian. Throw in some big names like Punk or, if he's ready, Rey Mysterio. Have some qualifiers to round out the field and get to at least eight names.
Done right, this could generate several mid-card feuds - or at least fodder for future ones. More importantly, you establish that wrestlers want the white and gold belt. For too long, it's been treated as something that is given to someone that Creative has nothing for, and gets defended on the pay-per-view (PPV) pre-show against someone else who's not involved in a storyline that month.
Watching a wide variety of title scrap to earn a shot at it will change that perception. As always, the follow-up would be the key (meaning that if it goes right back to random match-ups that may or may not make it onto big shows, forget about it), but it's worth a shot.
What we're afraid they will do
Use whatever they have cooking with The Wyatt Family as a way to push Kane and have him in main event feud with either Cena or Orton by January. Because what we need now is more 40 year old big men headlining shows. They're the wave of the future, don't you know.
Are you over the disappointment of yet another summer that reverted to the status quo just in time for Survivor Series? Ready to head into this week's Raw with a clear eyes and
full hearts an open mind?
Even if you're just going to hate watch the show, join your pals in the live blog, and stick around to hash it all out here on Cageside Seats!