WWE ‘RAW’ Preview: Punk’s HIAC Choice, Tag Tournament Finals, Cena’s Health

 
on October 15 2012 3:38 PM

 

“RAW,” broadcast tonight from the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn., will feature the backlash from last week’s episode. After the return of Vince McMahon, the tag team tournament semifinals and other storylines were left wide open for this week’s show.

WWE execs put company owner and wrestler Vince McMahon back in action last week, with the 67-year-old businessman facing WWE Champion CM Punk. At the end of the brutal match that showed McMahon still had it, Punk was told he had to choose his Hell in a Cell opponent: John Cena or Ryback.

Recovery time for Cena is still be speculated after the 10-time WWE Champion underwent surgery to have a bone fragment removed from his elbow last month. His estimated recovery time runs past the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view date, but it is still possible for Cena to be ready for the match.

Despite Cena’s polarized popularity with fans, people are hoping the Cenation Leader is recovered before the pay-per-view because of the stellar matches him and Punk have had in the past. Cena himself is optimistic about his chances.

Over the weekend, he tweeted:

Just finishing four hours of physical therapy. If @cmpunk chooses me @wwe ill be ready for #hellinacell

“Just finishing four hours of physical therapy. If @CMPunk chooses me @wwe ill be ready for #hellinacell.”

This conflicts with reports that WWE officials are concerned about Cena not being ready for the Oct. 28 event; in case of Cena’s absence Ryback will be placed in the match.

Although he has become the top rising star in the WWE and is an favored competitor, Ryback has yet to prove himself as a top level talent in the WWE. The monstrous performer has never cut a promo, or even had a match go anywhere near the half-hour mark that’s expected from top superstars.

The 30-year-old wrestler Ryan Reeves, who portrays Ryback, has been working under that moniker since January, and has had mostly squash matches. These quick matches, designed to get Ryback over with fans as an unstoppable force, continued until the powerhouse entered into matches with the likes of The Miz and Tensai in the last month.

Ryback should stay in the mid-card for now. The best-case scenario would be for Cena to recover and take on Punk, while Ryback enters into his first legitimate feud with someone like Alberto Del Rio, who has held a World Title, but wouldn’t put so much pressure on the rookie.

WWE.com is reporting that the Rhodes Scholars (Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow) will face Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara in the finals of the tournament for the no. 1 contenders spot in the tag division. The winner will face Kane and Daniel Bryan for their Tag Team Championships at Hell in a Cell.

With the WWE tag division gaining more momentum than it has in over five years, officials are entrusting the matches to couplings of singles wrestlers, like all four of the participants in this finals match, as well as the champions.

Odd couples have worked in the past, and Team Hell No (Kane and Bryan) is working right now, but WWE will truly have the tag division back when teams like the Prime Time Players and the Usos take over the division. It’s one thing to have a quality performers work well together, but it is even better when you have inseparable wrestlers together, like the Hardy Boyz, the New Age Outlaws or Edge and Christian.

Sandow and Rhodes will likely meet with Kane and Bryan at Hell in a Cell for the titles, leaving Mysterio and Cara to feud with the Prime Time Players, who were eliminated from the tournament by the luchador duo.

Big Show and Sheamus are likely to get into one another’s business again this week, after the two have been causing disqualifications due to interference in each other’s matches lately. Last week Wade Barrett ended up losing to Sheamus when the Giant struck the Celtic Warrior.

Even though Barrett lost, he has still been a dominant competitor since his return. His new fight club-esque vignettes and brawler personality could be what the former Nexus leader needs to finally shoot to the top of the WWE, and now might be the best time with the lack of top tear talent in the company.

Dolph Ziggler is also on his way to the top, being that he is still holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. The Showoff is one of the best heels on the mic and best performers in the ring, and if he were to ditch his manager Vickie Guerrero, he'd have the charisma and skill to be a major face for the company.

Antonio Cesaro is another up-and-comer, already holding the U.S. title after a short time with the company. Last week he beat Tyson Kidd and the week before he lifted up the massive Brodus Clay for the win.

Cesaro is another indi-wrestling talent like Punk or Bryan, and he has all of their potential for success. It wasn’t very long ago that Bryan held the U.S. Championship, and since then he’s won Money in the Bank, the Tag Team Championship and the World Heavyweight Championship.

Fans can expect Kofi Kingston and the Miz to have some kind of run-in, with the two set to fight for Miz’s Intercontinental Championship this Wednesday on WWE’s new program “Main Event.” The show has featured some high-caliber matches so far, and NoDQ reports that the IC belt could change hands to make fans aware that “Main Event” isn’t a second rate show.

The Divas will most likely have a match as well, but it will be short and underplayed. It’s unfortunate that the WWE doesn’t work its women wrestlers properly.

The Divas roster is consists of mostly glorified models, but there are women on it with pure wrestling ability like Beth Phoenix and Natalia. Who knows how many viewers the Divas could draw if they were given a legitimate chance, but they aren’t and the ones who are often don’t have much to bring to the ring. 

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