Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on John Cena, Ryback, CM Punk and more, this is where you need to get all of your weekly WWE nuggets.
Bleacher Report featured columnists Michael Cahill, Brandon Galvin, Mike Chiari and Donald Wood giving the lowdown on all things going on in the wrestling world.
With another unpredictable episode of Ring Rust Radio in the books, you can't afford to miss another second of the action. Catch us LIVE every Tuesday at 6 p.m. ET (some language NSFW) or follow us on Twitter @RingRustRadio.
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Nov. 13 - Former WWE star Hardcore Holly
Nov. 13 - Former ECW/WWE and current ROH star Rhino
Nov. 20 - Former WWE and current ROH star Charlie Haas
CM Punk vs. John Cena vs. Ryback Set for Survivor Series
Just last week it was announced that CM Punk would captain a team against a Mick Foley-led team at Survivor Series in a five-on-five elimination match. That was thrown for a loop on RAW, however, as Vince McMahon announced that Punk would instead defend his WWE Championship at the company's November classic against John Cena and Ryback.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Why the Sudden Change?
WWE's decision to remove Punk and Ryback from the traditional Survivor Series match certainly seemed like a sudden audible. Dolph Ziggler took Punk's spot as the leader of one team, while Ryback has yet to be replaced on Foley's team.
The five-on-five match will still happen, but rather than headlining the card like it would have, it is probably going to go on second or third to last depending on what is done with Big Show and Sheamus.
There is no question that the triple threat is going to draw interest and pay-per-view buys, but it's odd that it wasn't announced from the beginning. I was really looking forward to the elimination match since I love the history of Survivor Series, but the WWE obviously thought that having Punk defend the title would be more beneficial.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
While there isn't necessarily any information available to back this theory up, I have to believe that the only reason the change was made so suddenly was that Cena wasn't officially cleared to compete until between the Oct. 29 and Nov. 5 episodes of RAW.
I realize that Cena said he was cleared two weeks before that, but his physical involvement was very limited during that time, so I don't necessarily believe it to be true.
Until this past edition of RAW, Cena hadn't actually wrestled in seven weeks. He clotheslined Ziggler over the ropes one time and threw a couple punches, but that was the extent of it. Since the writers didn't want to do Punk vs. Ryback again, it had to stall until Cena was declared ready to go. That likely came over the past week and it's the only explanation I can come up with for the about-face.
Rumor Mill: John Cena Reportedly Lashes Out at Vince McMahon (via WrestlingInc.com)
RRR WWE Fantasy Draft Results
Ring Rust Radio staged yet another fantasy draft this week, but this one was based more in reality than most. Each of us drafted 10 current WWE superstars and we will gain (or lose) points from now through WrestleMania XXIX based on our wrestlers' wins or losses.
RAW, SmackDown and Main Event will all count, as will pay-per-views, which are weighted more heavily. The draft was serpentine in nature and the first round order was Brandon Galvin, Donald Wood, Mike Chiari and finally Michael Cahill.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Has the Best Team?
The Great Khali
Ricardo Rodriguez/El Local
Alberto Del Rio
Ring Rust Radio's Take
I may be biased, but of course I'm going to say that Mike Chiari has the best roster. It's certainly important to pick up wins, and he'll do that with the likes of Ryback, Sheamus, Antonio Cesaro and others, but it's equally important to avoid losses since they count for negative points.
Taking guys like Mark Henry, Fandango, El Local and Triple H, who are either injured, inactive or being repackaged at the moment may seem odd, but none of them will adversely affect the scoring and they're all likely to pick up wins when they come back.
With that said, the other teams have plenty of merit as well. Brandon Galvin's squad is face-heavy, which is obviously a smart strategy since they win most often. On top of that, Big Show is the current world champion and Dolph Ziggler may not be far behind.
Donald Wood has a couple old standbys in CM Punk and Randy Orton who should rack up points for him, and he went noticeably heavy on one-off guys. The Rock, Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker probably won't wrestle more than about five matches total between now and WrestleMania, but they aren't likely to get him any negative points either.
Michael Cahill's strategy was to pick guys who wrestle often, and while guys like Zack Ryder, Brodus Clay and Santino Marella will probably be in red numbers, he's hoping that Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, The Miz and Damien Sandow can counteract that. It's tough to pick an obvious favorite right now, but it should be a really tight race between all four teams.
Luke Gallows Revealed as Aces & Eights Member in TNA
Although the Aces & Eights storyline has been going on for the past few months in TNA, almost all of the group's members have kept their identities secret, with the exception of Devon. That changed last week, however, as Luke Gallows was unmasked by Joseph Park during a brawl to close the show. Gallows had been rumored to be a part of the gang for quite some time, and that was confirmed on Impact.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Does Anyone Care About Luke Gallows?
I realize that Gallows is a solid big man with good in-ring skills, but I'm really not sure that casual fans know or care who he is. It felt like TNA thought it was doing something groundbreaking when it revealed Devon at Bound For Glory, but that has fallen flat so far. Devon is a veteran in the business who has gotten a lot of support over the years, but he simply isn't a draw as an individual.
Gallows, on the other hand, has never had a big following. Internet fans wax poetic about his wrestling ability and accuse the WWE of misusing him as Festus and Impostor Kane, and while that may be partially true, it doesn't change the fact that he hasn't really proven anything in the business. With that in mind, it's a bit strange that TNA would choose to unmask him first.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
The funniest part of Gallows' unmasking was that TNA itself must not have thought he was all that important. Mike Tenay exclaimed that Gallows was "an enforcer for some of the biggest names in the business," but he conveniently forgot to say his name. My guess is that if he would have said the name, any non-diehard TNA fan who didn't know who he was would have been underwhelmed,..
Perhaps the hope was that people would look up Gallows' name and that would generate interest, but that's a shoddy way of doing things. Also, the fact that Tenay was clearly referring to CM Punk was pathetic since TNA is doing everything possible to capitalize off him, including making Austin Aries into CM Punk Jr.
As far as Gallows goes, though, I doubt that reveal created much buzz, and if he's the crown jewel of this whole operation, Aces & Eights will continue to bomb.
Check back for more on World Wrestling Entertainment as it comes, and visit Bleacher Report’s Wrestling Page to get your fill of WWE/TNA. For more Wrestling talk, listen to Ring Rust Radio for all the hottest topics.