Maybe there is indeed life after CM Punk. At a time of a movement that literally lives and dies by the week and a rivalry that will just...not...go away...ever, there are occasional reminders that while WWE Creative can be doofuses (even if it's not entirely their fault), they do get a fat pitch down the middle and hit it out of the ballpark. Take the Shield and the Wyatt Family rivalry. They first teased this last November just before the Survivor Series PPV, then again during one of the holiday episodes of RAW (probably the pre-New Years' one). Here's the thing: you take six people that can go in the ring, give them all compelling characters, and a good reason to fight (two dominant trios; there can be only one) and people will put down cash money to see them fight to the death. It's moments like these that make people confident in your product.
But enough about my feelings, how about your feelings? Elimination Chamber: The PPV and the WWE Network are less than two weeks from happening, with Wrestlemania XXX now under two months away. But perhaps just as big and worth keeping an eye on is the negotiations between WWE and NBCUniversal and other television conglomerates for future television rights.
How confident are you as a fan and consumer right now? Before you answer, here's what's gone on since we last checked in on Friday.
Tuesday, February 11 *WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!*
- Antonio Cesaro beat Randy Orton, legend killer. Clean.
- Oops, I mean CESARO beat Randy Orton, legend killer. Clean. If you're scoring at home, Randy is 1-3 against his Elimination Chamber: The PPV opponents since the match was made.
- Add Rob Van Dam to the list of "everybody is coming back". Assuming he can pass a physical, of course.
- Miss Flappy Bird? Try Flappy Bryan.
- WWE is making more movies, such as a fourth Marine movie and a Jingle All the Way sequel.
- WWE releases a DVD compliation of (nearly) every Shawn Michaels Wrestlemania match ever (spoiler: he loses more than he wins).
- 30 Years of Wrestlemania podcast? Hosted by Renee Young? Yes, please.
Monday, February 10
- And now, your weekly "Where Is CM Punk" news: Punk is still radio silent (as is his girlfriend AJ Lee). Vince is still trying to get Punk back. WWE has come up with a plan to deal with the Punk chants. Expect that plan to crack by March 3.
- Post-RAW, video leaked of the commentators making fun of CM Punk chants.
- EVERYBODY IS COMING BACK FEBRUARY 24, including Brock Lesnar, and maybe Shawn Michaels. And Ho Kogan.
- Amy "Lita" Dumas: WWE Hall of Famer.
- Things that happened on RAW: Cena vs. Orton: yawn. Been there, seen that. Rey Mysterio dies. Dolph Ziggler dies. Alberto Del Rio dies. Roman Reigns makes ladies swoon. Some guy not named Renee Young did interviews too (go away, not Renee Young!). Billy Gunn learned his posterior needs to contact someone at once (that's what ya get for messing with Betty White). Bellas botch. Shield and Wyatt Family are gonna fight to the death...until Bray pulls his team back. And surprise: Daniel Bryan came to kill Kane on his day off. Also, Sheamus versus Cesaro should be a thing. And Mark Henry returned to split wigs, but instead got GORED. GORED. GORED.
- And what did Daniel Bryan Danielson do on his night off? He was on NFL Total Access.
- And, here's a stunner: Betty White equals ratings!
- Also, this happened. Make of it what you will.
- And this happened. Dumb Bellas are dumb.
- Also petty. That's why AJ's "pipebombshell" from last summer went nowhere.
- Fractured eye socket for Naomi. She's out indefinitely. Aksana is now on the clock.
Sunday, February 9
- The Wyatt Family theme will be performed by a band at Wrestlemania 30. Maybe.
- Unless WWE and NBCUniversal make nice, starting Saturday, the E will be negotiating their new TV deal with other parties.
Saturday, February 8
- This happened.
- Colt Cabana denies he has spoken to CM Punk, which means Colt and Punk have probably been using burner phones for the last two weeks.
- When WWE said all their old PPVs were available, they meant it. That includes Over the Edge 1999, albeit in edited form.
- Just making sure: I said EVERYBODY WAS COMING BACK FEBRUARY 24, right?
Friday, February 7
- Mickie James wants back in the WWE.
- Alberto Del Rio vs. Batista was made official for Elimination Chamber: The PPV...three days ahead of schedule.
Amazingly, not as much bad news as when I first started doing this. But are you any more or less confident. Vote and tell us why, Cagesiders. Whatever criteria you use is up to you. Poll closes at noon ET Friday. Best five comments go in the Friday analysis.