Rock! Punk! Heyman! The Shield! Lesnar! Vince! C! O! N! Spiracy! WWE Championship!
Well this has devolved into a cluster-[explicit] of epic proportions, hasn't it? Lets see if we can get everything sorted.
First, we have The Rock and CM Punk. Last week at Royal Rumble (Jan. 27), Rocky defeated Punk to win his first WWE Championship since 2002. He won despite interference from The Shield. It's been widely assumed that the NXT Trio was simply a mercenary group working on behalf of Punk and Paul Heyman to keep the strap on "The Second City Savior." However, there has been no proof firmly linking Punk & Heyman with The Shield.
No proof, that is, until last week's (Jan. 28) Monday Night Raw.
During Paul Heyman's "performance review" with Vince McMahon -- don't worry if you missed it, I'm sure it will be replayed at least a half a dozen times -- it was revealed Heyman was working with The Shield. Not only working with them, but he explicitly stated that he was paying them to assault members of the roster. Why would Heyman admit to such an act?
Because he was about to have The Shield beat down Brad Maddox, and what else is a super villain suppose to do but explain his entire dastardly plan to his captured victim?
We also learned from Heyman's evil monologue that he had plucked Maddox from NXT obscurity to ref Punk's match against Ryback at Hell in a Cell (Oct. 28) to make sure the champion retained. But Maddox refused to follow orders like a good soldier, and he needed to be taken out.
So we have Heyman using one group of hired guns to attack another one of his hired guns, except the original hired gun was smart enough to videotape the whole thing and hand it over to the Vince. The WWE Chairman would use the videotape as evidence to finally have cause to fire Heyman.
However, before the magical words could be uttered, the one and only BROCK LESNAR -- !!! -- came out to interrupt the proceeding and deliver an F-5 to Vince.
And it was glorious.
Before we get much farther, I need to ask a question; how does this make any sense? To the list!
- Does Paul Heyman work for WWE? It was always my assumption that he was hired by Punk. I guess you could find some logic that talent cannot personally hire managers and it has to go through WWE Corporate, but that is kind of a stretch.
- Why does Vince need reason to fire anyone, and/or does he even have that power anymore? He goes back and forth between WWE's Zeus and just another talent that I have no idea what he can or cannot do. It's possible that he just really wanted to embarrass Heyman, and set all this up as an elaborate ruse. But again we're drifting into super villain logic.
- I know I mixed my metaphor by calling both Paul Heyman and Vince McMahon super villains. But in WWE everyone is a super villain, and there are no superheroes.
- Why is it Vince McMahon has to say, "You're Fired!" before anyone is actually fired? Yes, yes, #WWELogic and all that good stuff. But, that's seriously pushing it. A firing doesn't have to be a public spectacle for it to be effective; filling out some forms and sending them to Human Resources works just as well.
Time to recap. CM Punk has been retaining his championship against various opponents because Paul Heyman has been paying off Brad Maddox and The Shield to interfere in matches. It is unknown how deeply Punk is involved in the scheme, or if he was aware of it in anyway.
Of course he will deny having any knowledge, but it will remain to be seen how it all plays out.
Brock Lesnar -- who was working with Heyman when he left WWE after beating Triple H at SummerSlam (Aug. 19) -- has come back to defend his manager.
On one side we have Heyman in charge of Punk, Lesnar, and The Shield. A heel faction ripped from a smark's dream. This is pro wrestling perfection personified, and their potential is only limited by how far WWE is willing to push them.
On the other, we have Vince and his son-in-law Triple H. They hate Heyman & Co. There's really not much that needs to be said about it. They hate Heyman. They hate Punk. They hate Lesnar. They may not hate The Shield as individuals, but they hate what they represent. The McMahons stand for control and order; The Shield spit in the face of that.
In the middle, we have The Rock, who is now the reigning WWE Champion. He has returned to a WWE in chaos. Everyone seems to be choosing sides, yet the promotion's highest title remains unaffiliated. Does Rocky turn his back on the people, make a powerplay against Punk and go back to his heel roots? Does The Corporation make a valiant return?
Or can he manage to protect the title against the two warring factions?
There are so many moving parts that it will be hard to keep track moving forward. Will Heyman & Co. stay united, or will they splinter off into separate groups? Does anyone else join Vince and Trips? Where will Maddox play in all of this?
This is the angle we should see in the main event. This is the storyline that fans are demanding. This is the feud that will make WWE fun again.
But we're going to get The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 29, because, "f*ck you" that's why.
Hopefully, this has prepared you on the night's festivities. Leave a comment below about what you are looking forward to, and please join the entire CSS Monday night gang in the live blog TONIGHT!