What you need to know
John Cena, one half of our upcoming champion vs. champion match coming in seven days, hasn't been seen since putting his rival through a table and posing with the WWE title and the World Heavyweight Championship (WHC) last Monday. Said rival, Randall K. Orton, spent Friday night talking about proving himself and defeating Daniel Bryan.
The victory over the man he spent the autumn feuding with wasn't exactly clean as a sheet, though. The Wyatt Family killed the lights and showed up at ringside to distract The Beard and give The Viper the opening he needed for an RKO.
Off the three guys that he'll face at TLC, CM Punk was only going to face one on Smackdown. Dean Ambrose seemed to step in front of Roman Reigns for that honor, and a crack in The Shield may have been revealed. Does the lack of assistance from Reigns or Seth Rollins in his loss mean that crack is deeper than anyone suspects?
Former Heyman Guys Ryback and Curtis Axel are now tag team partners. And they may soon be tag team champions, based on the old "beat the champs get a title shot" "rule" - since they managed to eke out a win last week over Cody Rhodes and Goldust.
Mid-card feuds like the ones for the Intercontinental belt and the Divas championship are primarily built in one of two ways right now. Champ on commentary (as AJ Lee was when Nataya defeated Tamina Snuka) or challenger on commentary (like Damien Sandow during Big E Langston's destruction of Fandago).
What to look out for
The 12th Man moves indoors, as Robinson Cano's new town hosts the Slammies! Non-sports fans: all that means they're in Seattle tonight.
From Extreme Moments to Fan Participation, they've got fake awards for just about everything this year. You can start voting now in a wide variety of categories. And, if you can figure out that tricky App that Michael Cole is always trying to educate you about, you'll be able to use that tonight to help pick Superstar, Diva and Match of the Year. Provided those things aren't rigged for storyline purposes, of course.
WWE.com is teasing that Bad New Barrett will deliver some of his signature negative bulletins to an actual wrestler. As someone who has been a little underwhelmed with the rollout of what could be an interesting gimmick, I'd very much like to see that happen on this week's Raw.
The Eater of World's has been speechifying convincingly enough to persuade half the WWE Universe to join his cause, but is he getting through to the target of his sermons? Bray's brutes have been giving Bryan hell in the ring, but will he say Yes to taking down the machine?
Amid all the trophies, this is still a go home show. We'll be watching to see who stands tall tonight as a indicator of who might do the same come Sunday night. Except for the main event, where the smart money is still on a non-finish, despite HHH's promises to the contrary.
What they should do
Shawn Michaels, last seen tapping to a Yes Lock after a little Sweet Chin Music kept Daniel Bryan from the WWE title at Hell in a Cell, is rumored to be on-hand as a Slammy presenter. Could this be the start of something big on the road to WrestleMania?
The latest rumor for the 30th edition of that event is that CM Punk may finally get another shot at Triple H, something that hasn't happened since The Game deflated the tires on The Straight-Edged Superstar's ride to the top in 2011. They set the stage for this program to be revisited last week, when Punk accused The Authority of being behind his being targeted by The Shield. It's the kind of multi-layered angle the new head of creative loves - is it the rebellious character battling the on-screen management figure, or the different-looking indy star trying to get a symbolic victory over the sculpted veteran of the WWE star-making machine?
What better way to add to that kind of smark vs. mark showdown than by throwing in Mr. Montreal 1997 and an even-smaller guy made on the high school gymnasium scene? There's so much history to a Michaels/Bryan match. Even without breaking HBK's retirement vows, The Showstopper at his heel-ish best would be an amazing foil for DB and cement him even more as a fan favorite for all kinds of fans.
We got a hint of the villainous Heartbreak Kid when he demanded that Bryan shake his hand on the Raw after HiaC. That guy could feud through a proxy and still steal the show. What if he decided to mentor a re-turned Dolph Ziggler? Or (dare to dream) what if Chris Jericho returned as a heel who had made peace with his old nemesis and decided to act as his in-ring extension to defend the honor of Legends like Michaels and himself?
Let 'em run Cena vs. Orton for the next three months. Punk-Hunter plus any form of Bryan-Michaels will placate a large percentage of folks like us and make WM30 in New Orleans a night for jaded meta fans, kids and casuals to cheer together.
What we're afraid they will do
Tease an interaction between Shawn and the Goat-faced Killah, but just as a set-up for feeding him to Orton again, further enraging the company's most loyal consumers. All while still having no endgame in mind for Bryan's program with The Wyatts.
Who you voting for, and will they make you want to vote with your wallet on Sunday the 15th?
Use the comments below to talk about what's next for Bryan, Punk or any of your favorites. Then join Rex on the red carpet in tonight's live blog, along with all of your fellow Cageside paparazzi.