Punk! Cena! Heyman! Elbow Surgery! What Now? WWE Championship!
The smoz finishes between CM Punk and John Cena continued last Monday (Sept. 17). In a tag team match that gave us Cena and Sheamus against Punk and Alberto Del Rio, Cena got the pin while Punk's foot was on the bottom rope. The show faded to black with the WWE Champion doing his best Bill Belichick impersonation and looking like he was going to lay the smackdown on the poor referee.
The expectation was that Punk and Cena would trade "victories" for the next couple weeks until they both get sick of the non-finishes. Cena, being such the nice guy that he is, would offer to have a championship match at Hell in a Cell, in which Punk would accept to finally shut everyone up. Then, depending on what the booking plans were, WWE would probably push back a decisive ending until The Rock's return at the Royal Rumble.
Now things are a bit murkier.
Cena went under the knife last Tuesday (Sept. 18) to remove several pieces of cartilage from his elbow. The "Dr. of Thuganomics" himself reports that he'll be out for six weeks. (Because that is what his surgeon, James Andrew, told him, not because he self diagnosed his recovery time.) With Hell in a Cell set to take place on Oct. 28, that puts the main event in a tough position. Cena could theoretically come back to wrestle at the Pay-Per-View (PPV).
Does WWE really want to risk their top star in "The Devil's Playground," though?
So it's a possibility that someone else will be inserted in the championship picture in order to allow Cena time to rest. The question just becomes who? With Sheamus holding the World Heavyweight Championship, the only other face on the full time roster that has enough legitimacy is Randy Orton. I certainly wouldn't be opposed to Punk and Orton for a month or so. It will just be interesting to see how WWE swings it.
Or we could end up with Big Show getting another shot at the WWE Championship. Because WWE logic.
The rest of the show after the jump.
Bryan! Kane! The GREATEST Team On Hell and Earth! Tag Team Championship!
Daniel Bryan and Kane had a "breakthrough" on last Friday's (Sept. 21) SmackDown. After costing each other a victory in singles competition, they actually worked to face Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes. Following Cody taking a steel chair to Kane's back, and with The Usos, Prime Time Players, and Tyson Kidd and Justin Gabriel all standing outside the ring, the duo worked together to bury the entire tag team division. They completely cleared house with a pair of steel chairs, with not a single man left standing as the show ended.
And it was glorious.
There is something to be said about two guys who were just thrown together laying out an entire division, and the problem it creates of taking any of them seriously down the road. But I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I got excited by The Usos' Samoan dance at the top of the ramp. While The Prime Time Players are fun, the rest of the division is just kind of "eh."
Finally, though, there is a team we can all actually care about. Bryan and Kane -- who seriously need a team name -- have taken over WWE. John Cena and CM Punk are the only guys who get even close to the same amount of airtime on Monday Night Raw, and neither appear on SmackDown. For something that might have started out as "Creative has nothing so lets just throw these guys together," this has turned into the most entertaining angle in pro wrestling.
Daniel Bryan may never be the top start within the promotion. He certainly has the skill in the ring and on the mic to do so. Hell, the guy got "YES!" "NO!" and "Hug it out!" over. But in an art form that is based so much on looks and physical appearances, I just don't know if he'll ever have the opportunity. Right now, though, he is probably the third or fourth most popular guy on the roster, and he is getting the most airtime out of anyone.
For a guy who was supposed to be buried by "18 Seconds" at WrestleMania 28, Daniel Bryan has proven he can take anything he is given and make it the best in the world. This has just continued the trend.
Ryback! Miz! Goldberg? Intercontinental Championship!
Ryback completely destroyed The Miz's Miz TV set last week, setting up what looks like feud for the Intercontinental Title. Thanks to the fine folks at the Internet Wrestling Database, i know that Ryback has defeated 45 opponents (not counting dark matches or house shows, and counting handicap matches as two people) since making his re-debut. By comparison, before Goldberg defeated Raven for the WCW United States Championship, he beat...44 opponents. There is no way in hell that is just a coincidence. Someone backstage must be keeping track of this. If this isn't some type of joke, then I just don't know what to believe in anymore.
Hopefully, this has helped get you prepared for the night's activities. Leave a comment about what you are looking forward to, and please join Nolan, myself, and the entire Monday Night gang during the live blog right here.