Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on The Rock, The Shield 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.
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April 30 - ROH star Adam Cole
May 7 - May Match Madness
The Rock Undergoes Surgery
There has been plenty of speculation regarding The Rock's status since WrestleMania XXIX, as numerous sources reported that The Rock walked out on the company. As it turns out, The Rock was in fact injured, as he underwent surgery to repair three hernial tears. The Rock's detractors will still make up stories and claim that he left the WWE high and dry, but the true concern now is whether or not he'll ever wrestle another WWE match.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Has The Rock Wrestled His Last WWE Match?
The Rock has had some bad luck over the past couple of years when it comes to injuries in matches against John Cena. The Rock got hurt in his loss a few weeks ago, but he was also injured last year at WrestleMania XXVIII, as he tore his hamstring. The Rock is much more muscular now than he was during his full-time wrestling days, which is largely due to his movie roles, so that may have something to do with his lack of durability. The Rock was a workhorse during his day, so these injuries could very well be an anomaly as well.
He acknowledged in a recent interview that WrestleMania XXIX could have been his final match, but he certainly didn't shut the door on future matches, either. Whether he comes back or not, The Rock definitely helped the WWE out in a big way. All three of the WrestleManias that he was involved with made a ton of money, and he increased interest whenever he was featured. The cynical fans will continue to complain, but it's obviously the truth.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
The Rock has already accomplished everything possible in the WWE, so he could very easily call it quits. With that said, it's clear that he still loves the business and wants to give back. With WrestleMania XXX coming up in New Orleans next year, it's hard to imagine The Rock passing up on an opportunity to wrestle. In the same interview in which The Rock expressed doubt about wrestling again, he also mentioned that a feud with Brock Lesnar was in the works.
WrestleMania XXX could potentially be the biggest event in WWE history, and a match between The Rock and Lesnar would be a huge part of that. The Rock and Lesnar have faced each other in the past, and The Rock considers him a friend, so it makes a ton of sense. The Rock deserves to go out on his own terms rather than allowing an injury to put him out, and he will likely do that by wrestling at least one more match next year at 'Mania.
Rumor Mill: The Rock Discusses Potential WWE Plans (via WrestlingInc.com)
The Shield Defeats The Undertaker and Team Hell No
In one of the most anticipated Raw matches in recent memory, The Shield defeated The Undertaker and Team Hell No in an extremely entertaining six-man tag team match this past week. There was some skepticism regarding whether or not Taker would actually wrestle, but he did, and he put on another fine performance. Then he helped put The Shield over once again on SmackDown, as he beat Dean Ambrose in a singles match and took a triple powerbomb afterwards.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Where Does The Shield Go From Here?
While the trio of Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns is one of the most intriguing things about the WWE product these days, there is definitely some concern about where they go from here. The Shield has never lost a match as a unit, as it boasts victories over some of the biggest names in the business. Ryback, Kane, Daniel Bryan, John Cena, Sheamus, Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Big Show and The Undertaker have all tried to beat The Shield, but they all have failed.
Considering the fact that the creative team tends to jump the shark with heel stables at times, it is encouraging that The Shield has been so dominant. At the same time, since The Shield has beaten everyone, how can the writers keep them relevant and interesting? It's a difficult situation, but there are some options for The Shield moving forward.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Since The Shield has been feuding with Team Hell No since WrestleMania, the next natural step is for The Shield to defeat Kane and Bryan for the Tag Team Championship. Whether that means a handicap match at Extreme Rules or a match between Team Hell No and two of The Shield's members remains to be seen. If that is the case, then The Shield can defend the titles using the Freebird Rule and run rampant in the tag team division.
Unfortunately, there isn't a lot of face depth in the tag team division, so The Shield wouldn't have many potential challengers. In order to expand its influence, perhaps two Shield members can win the tag titles while the other beats Kofi Kingston for the United States Championship. Fans may complain that those titles have no prestige, but if The Shield wins them and defends them, then that could very well change moving forward.
Rumor Mill: The Undertaker Reportedly Praises The Shield (via Wrestling-News.net)
Bully Ray Scuffles in Aces & Eights
After a few weeks away from the Ring Rust Radio article, TNA is back with a vengeance. It certainly isn't because TNA did something right, though, as the Aces & Eights angle continues to get worse with each passing week. Bully Ray was supposed to be part of the solution when he was revealed as the president of the group, but he has been part of the problem and clearly hasn't made things any better over the past several weeks.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is Aces & Eights Holding Back Bully?
TNA finally decided to start giving Aces & Eights some victories, but the problem is that the group lost essentially every match for nine months, so it's extremely difficult for the fans to care. Also, all of their matches end the same way with multiple members of the group interfering and using some type of crude weapon. In addition to that, Devon is still given a significant amount of promo time despite the fact that he is arguably one of the worst mic workers in the business today.
Bully Ray was supposed to help in that regard, but he is suddenly a cookie-cutter heel as well. After A.J. Styles defeated James Storm, Aces & Eights attacked Storm, and Bully Ray cut a promo in the aftermath. He said his, "Do you know who I am?" line and used the Aces & Eights catchphrase as well. Aside from that, he said, "Your heroes are now victims," about 20 times, and there was really no rhyme or reason to what he was saying.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As much as we like Bully Ray, he simply hasn't been very good as the leader of Aces & Eights. Perhaps he is to blame for that, but it's more likely that the albatross that is Aces & Eights is holding him back. Aces & Eights have been holding back TNA as a whole for several months, so that should come as no surprise. Bully Ray wasn't great in the face role that he was playing before he joined Aces & Eights, but at least he had more freedom and actually varied his promos to some degree.
His promos have been as repetitive as Aces & Eights' actions in recent weeks, and it's getting very difficult to stomach. The Aces & Eights storyline was doomed well before Bully Ray became a part of it, so there's no saving it now. Expect the writers to have Brooke Hogan join the group out of desperation in the near future, and if the storyline isn't dead by that point, it certainly will be when she becomes a part of it.
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
T-1. Michael Cahill: 50
T-1. Brandon Galvin: 50
3. Mike Chiari: 40
4. Donald Wood: -5