Rock! Punk! Heyman! The Shield! Lesnar! Vince! C! O! N! Spiracy! Elimination Chamber! Dé! Jà! Vu!
A black cat went past us, and then another that looked just like it. This week feels oddly familiar. Is there a glitch in the Matrix?
First, we have The Rock and CM Punk. three weeks ago 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 was no proof firmly linking Punk & Heyman with The Shield.
No proof, that is, until two week's ago on (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 more 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, this is where the C. J. would need to ask a question; "how does this make any sense?" And then promptly scurry off to... "the list!"
- C. J., one might ask, why does Paul Heyman work for WWE? Was it not always your assumption that he was hired by Punk? Could you not find some logic that talent cannot personally hire managers and it has to go through WWE Corporate? Is that kind of a stretch?
- And C. J, one might inquire further, why does Vince need reason to fire anyone, and/or does he even have that power anymore? Does he not go back and forth between WWE's Zeus and just another talent that you have absolutely no idea about whatever it is that he can or cannot do? Have you not told us it's entirely possible Vince just really wanted to embarrass Heyman, and set all this up as an elaborate ruse? Were you not so convinced you drifted yet again into super villain logic?
- C. J., do you recall all of these thoughts were just your way of mixing your metaphors by calling both Paul Heyman and Vince McMahon super villains? But did you forget, C. J., that in WWE everyone is a super villain, and there are no superheroes? Did you? How could you?
- And C. J., most of all, why C. J., why is it Vince McMahon has to say, "You're Fired!" before anyone is actually fired? Yes, yes, you have rationalized it with #WWELogic and all that good stuff before, but why C. J., why? Even you acknowledged that is seriously pushing it. After all, as you so brilliantly pointed out to us before, 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. Right, C. J.?
- C. J., how is it that an entire week has gone by on the build to the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view (PPV) event this Sunday and we are still left with so many of your questions unanswered?
- Inquiring minds want to know, C. J., just how is it that tonight (Feb. 11) we are still left to wonder what will happen between Rocky and Punk, or Heyman, Lesnar and McMahon? Not to mention, Cena, Sheamus, Ryback and The Shield? What is happening in the world of justice, C. J.? You are a student of the law, are you not, C. J.? Can't you clue us in C. J.? What are they building up to this weekend? Will justice really be served? And if it is, on who? Or is it upon whom?
- Plus, C. J., whatever happened to your adorable Brad Madd-ox? Will he ever return to grace us with his beauty and dazzling wit on commentary again? And C. J., two more questions, who will be next to enter the House of Pain, and why, oh why is Jack Swagger acting like he has never been gone a day?
Normally, this would be time to recap, regardless of our burning questions and the familiarity they bring. So...
Punk! Heyman! Madd! Ox! The Shield! Lesnar! McMahon! More! Dé! Jà! Vu! &! Bullet Points!
- CM Punk -- he retained his championship against various opponents because Paul Heyman paid off Brad Maddox and The Shield to interfere in matches. It is still, to this day, unknown as to precisely how deeply Punk was involved in the scheme, or if he was aware of it in anyway, as he can neither confirm nor deny, although he has been trying to deny. Of course he will continue to deny having any knowledge, but it still remains 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, but there are still no answers to be had as to why he has come back or what he will do next, or if Heyman can control the lethal Brocklesnar.
- Heyman -- 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. In the meantime, the pay off will likely come in small doses between now and WrestleMania 29 in April.
- Corporate tensions on the rise -- 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. McMahon is coming off a nasty hip surgery and will be out for blood when he makes his comeback. Will Heyman find his "imposter" or have some way of getting Lesnar to strong arm Mr. McMahon into backing down from finally firing him officially?
- The Rock -- 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? Do we get a new Punk pipe bomb tonight, countered with yet another Rock Concert? Will tonight's mic work be as riveting as their upcoming rematch is slated to be? Or can Rocky manage to protect the title against the two warring factions? We are no closer to figuring it out this week then we were last week, are we?
- Miscellany -- There are still so many moving parts, that it will be hard to continue 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? Again, there is that burning question as to where the Bradinator, our beautiful Maddox, play in all of this in the end?
- Foreshadowing -- With all this going on again this week, where will they find the time to clue us in on where exactly Mark Henry, Jack Swagger and the Shenaback will play into the code of the WWE Universe's Matrix?
- Reloaded -- Most importantly, does any of it matter, if every week we see the same recaps over and over again, and we are left with no free will, no choice but to conclude that no matter what path we take, we're still going to get The Rock vs. John Cena at WrestleMania 29... because, the WWE Oracle says f*ck you, that's why?
And, when is C. J. going to emerge from the snow to answer all of these questions for his adorable little Cagesider Precappies? (Because, you know, we're like Trekkies, but cooler, right?)
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!