Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on CM Punk, Jerry "The King" Lawler, John Cena 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 give the lowdown on all things going on in the wrestling world. Also, former WWE star Hardcore Holly and former WWE, ECW, TNA and current ROH star Rhino offer their insight into the business.
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. 20 - Former WWE and current ROH star Charlie Haas
CM Punk Exploits Jerry Lawler's Heart Attack
After nine weeks away, Jerry "The King" Lawler made his highly anticipated return to the announce table Monday on RAW. Lawler suffered a heart attack while commentating in Montreal and nearly lost his life, but he has recovered remarkably and is able to continue doing what he loves. Lawler's triumphant return was interrupted by WWE Champion CM Punk, however, and a lot of people were left feeling sour.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Did CM Punk Cross the Line?
When Lawler was about to take his seat at the announce table, Punk came to the ring and cut a promo. He made light of the fact that Lawler was clinically dead for a period of time and called him a zombie. He also said that Lawler deserved what happened to him because he had the arrogance to step into the ring and face the best wrestler in the world. Also, Paul Heyman went on to fake having a heart attack to further mock Lawler.
The entire segment was obviously done as a means of getting Punk a massive amount of heat, and the WWE succeeded in that regard. Even so, there is a contingent of fans that believe it was a classless move by the WWE and its writers. There are arguments to be made for both sides, but I reside in the school of thought that supports the premise.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Had Lawler actually died and the WWE used it to get Punk heat, then I wouldn't have been a fan of that. Something similar was done when Lawler was feuding with Michael Cole and his mother passed away. Also, the WWE used Eddie Guerrero's death to further the career of Rey Mysterio.
Those angles were in poor taste, but what happened on Monday was perfectly fine. It's quite clear that the WWE ran the idea by Lawler first and if he was okay with using his heart attack as part of a storyline, then we should be as well.
None of us had the heart attack, so the only person who should truly judge the entire situation is the guy who went through it. Lawler has a great sense of humor and is willing to do anything in order to improve the product, so I'm not surprised that he gave it the go-ahead.
From a booking perspective, it truly was brilliant because it helped Punk get over even more as a heel and it has had wrestling fans talking all week.
Rumor Mill: Most of WWE Reportedly Fine with CM Punk's Promo (via WrestlingInc.com)
RRR Interviews Hardcore Holly & Rhino
Ring Rust Radio has had the honor of hosting several big stars in the wrestling industry, but this week's show was even more special than usual as both Hardcore Holly and Rhino joined us. Both men have accomplished a lot in the business and have pretty much seen it all. Not surprisingly, they each had some pretty interesting things to say and were more than forthcoming about everything that happened in their respective careers.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What Are the Main Things We Took Away from the Interviews?
While Hardcore Holly and Rhino were quite similar throughout their careers as they both prospered thanks to the hardcore style of wrestling, they are at very different points in their lives right now. Holly is retired from the business and doesn't seem to have any imminent plans of returning. He does have a book entitled The Hardcore Truth that is set to be released in April 2013, though, so he hasn't had any trouble keeping busy.
As for Rhino, he continues to compete on a regular basis and is still very much a big part of the industry. Not only is he a major player in ROH, but he is also scheduled for the next couple Extreme Rising shows and told us that he plans to enter himself into the tournament to crown the first-ever Extreme Rising World Heavyweight Champion. That is certainly something that bears watching in the coming weeks.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
One of the main things that fans should realize about Hardcore Holly is that many of the negative rumors regarding him were probably blown out of proportion. He was incredibly forthcoming and probably the most polite and accommodating guest that Ring Rust Radio has ever had.
He brought it upon himself to elaborate on the incidents with Brock Lesnar and Rene Dupree that have caused many to believe that Holly is a bad guy, but we believe it's much more likely judgments have been made without understanding the full story.
As for Rhino, it seems quite obvious that the fan support is what drives him to continue competing. He was a world champion in both ECW and TNA and he found plenty of success in WWE as well, so you would think that he has nothing left to prove.
Rhino still loves to compete and put on a show for the audience, though. He really enjoys the way ROH focuses on the basics of wrestling and he can't wait to get back into the ECW consciousness at Extreme Rising.
What to Make of TNA Turning Point
TNA's Turning Point pay-per-view has come and gone, so it's only appropriate to reflect on the show as a whole. Jeff Hardy retaining his World Heavyweight Championship against Austin Aries in a ladder match, James Storm pinning A.J. Styles to become the new No. 1 contender and Kurt Angle defeating Devon were among the highlights of the night.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was Turning Point a Quality Pay-Per-View?
Since most agree that Bound For Glory was a relative failure in terms of build, overall match quality and booking, TNA needed to come up big when it came to Turning Point. The company put itself at a disadvantage, however, as the build was once again lackluster, so the pay-per-view had to be amazing in order to register on the radar.
Some might argue that it was, but I certainly wouldn't agree with that assessment. Looking only at the in-ring work, Turning Point was fine, but that usually isn't the issue when it comes to TNA pay-per-views.
The build and booking simply weren't very good and there were far too many head-scratching moments to consider it a great show. Ultimately, Turning Point was just mediocre, which is a good word to describe the entire product over the past few months.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
There's a lot worth complaining about when it comes to Turning Point, but my most hated moment came in the ladder match between Hardy and Aries when Aries could have easily won the title. He wedged Hardy beneath a ladder and steel steps and simply had to reach up and grab the titles, but he decided to get down and look for Hardy, at which point Hardy appeared in the ring and nearly stole the match. Eventually, Hardy did go on to win the bout.
I understand that we're supposed to suspend out disbelief, but that entire spot was idiotic. Having Hardy appear at the last second and knock over the ladder would have been fine, but Aries was made to look stupid.
Also, the fact that Storm won the No. 1 contendership only to lose it to Roode on Impact made the match completely meaningless. TNA has made a habit of doing this and it needs to stop. In addition to that, the first half of the event had absolutely no heat behind it and just felt like a normal episode of Impact, so I definitely give TNA a failing grade for Turning Point.
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