Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on Brock Lesnar, CM Punk, 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. ECW and WWE legend Tommy Dreamer also joined the show to offer his inside perspective on 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 9 p.m. ET (some language NSFW) or follow us on Twitter @RingRustRadio.
(Some Language NSFW)
June 25 - WCW/ECW Match Madness
July 2 - PG Era Fantasy Draft and 100th-episode celebration
Brock Lesnar Attacks CM Punk
After taking about a month off following his victory over Triple H at Extreme Rules, Brock Lesnar made his return to WWE programming on Monday. CM Punk defeated Alberto Del Rio via count-out in Raw's main event, but the show was far from over, as Lesnar came to the ring and hit Punk with a thunderous F-5 to begin what promises to be a highly entertaining feud.
Question on Everybody's Mind: When Will This Match Take Place?
Fans have speculated ever since Punk and Paul Heyman were paired together that a feud between Punk and Lesnar would happen. The creative team did a good job of differentiating Punk and Lesnar as different entities over the past year, as they never crossed paths until Monday. Now that Lesnar has struck the first blow, though, it will be very interesting to see where things go from here.
Lesnar's attack likely stems from Punk dissolving his relationship with Heyman earlier in the night. Heyman nearly cost Punk his match against Chris Jericho at Payback inadvertently, and there was clearly some trouble in paradise after that. Heyman tried to prevent Punk from facing Del Rio on Raw, so Punk asked Heyman to stop accompanying him to the ring. This presumably led Heyman to send Lesnar after his former client.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
No matter when or where Punk vs. Lesnar ultimately happens, it figures to be an unbelievable match with great buildup attached as well. Since Money in the Bank is a few weeks away, it is entirely possible that they will wrestle in Philadelphia. With that said, the Ring Rust Radio panel was nearly unanimous in saying that the WWE will wait until SummerSlam to make the match happen.
Money in the Bank should have enough juice behind it with two world title matches and two ladder matches to sell itself. Also, SummerSlam is one of the "Big Four" pay-per-views, and there is no doubt that Punk vs. Lesnar will have a big-fight feel.
The possibility of a three-match series starting at Money in the Bank was discussed on the show and it isn't outside the realm of possibility, but placing Punk in one of the ladder matches and possibly having Lesnar interfere might be a better route at this point.
Rumor Mill: Lesnar Attacking Punk Not in Final Raw Script (F4WOnline via WrestlingInc.com)
Mark Henry Trolls John Cena
Mark Henry orchestrated what was arguably one of the greatest Raw segments in years on Monday as he pulled off a ruse for the ages.
The WWE had been advertising Henry potentially announcing his retirement on Raw and Henry delivered a seemingly heart-felt retirement speech before ultimately hitting WWE champion John Cena with a World's Strongest Slam.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Does Henry Have a Chance to Win the WWE Championship?
While many, including myself, were expecting Henry to attack Cena all along, that doesn't diminish what he was able to do on Monday. Henry was once considered to be nothing more than a career midcarder, but over the past couple of years, he has managed to develop into a bona fide, main event-level star. His mic work has grown by leaps and bounds, and that was clearly on display during his faux retirement speech.
Even some fans who were certain that he wasn't retiring probably found themselves believing it by the middle of the promo. Henry was that good and convincing, which isn't easy in today's professional wrestling landscape. Now fans have an exciting feud to look forward to as Henry will face Cena for the WWE Championship at Money in the Bank. Even if Henry doesn't beat Cena for the title, he certainly seems like a legitimate threat at this point.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
If nothing else, Henry winning the WWE Championship appears far more plausible than Ryback doing the same. While Ryback's poor mic skills held back his feud with Cena, the fact that he was never really a believable contender hurt it even more.
Henry has far more credibility than Ryback and he is actually capable of hanging with Cena on the mic. That alone may give the creative team reason to consider rewarding Henry with a transitional title run.
Even though that isn't out of the question, Cena retaining is still the smart bet. It has only been a couple months since he beat The Rock at WrestleMania, so the odds are that the writers have something big planned for whenever he drops the belt. With other top faces currently wrapped up in storylines, there wouldn't be a logical feud on the horizon for Henry. Seeing him validate his career by winning the strap would be great, but it's still unlikely.
Rumor Mill: Cena vs. Daniel Bryan Discussed for SummerSlam (F4WOnline via WrestlingEdge.com)
RRR Interview with Tommy Dreamer
Tommy Dreamer has been a major player in the wrestling business since 1992, and while he has retired from full-time competition, he continues to make waves. Dreamer's latest venture is a promotion called House of Hardcore. It is an independent promotion that is somewhat similar to Extreme Rising, but most fans would probably agree that it has already eclipsed Extreme Rising and appears to have the staying power necessary to last.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Should I Check Out House of Hardcore?
These types companies often don't last, as they run a few shows before ultimately sputtering, but Dreamer is the perfect guy to run House of Hardcore and ensure that it succeeds. Not only was he an incredibly popular wrestler, but it is well known that he learned a lot about the business side of professional wrestling. On the Rise and Fall of ECW DVD, it was revealed that Dreamer helped Heyman immensely and acted as a treasurer of sorts as Heyman struggled to keep ECW afloat.
Despite Dreamer's business acumen, ECW didn't survive. Now that he is running his own show, however, it is blatantly obvious that things are in good hands. The roster for the upcoming show on Saturday is stacked with both young and old talent, so it should offer an experience that wrestling fans don't often get anymore.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
If you're going to be in the Philadelphia area on Saturday, then you won't regret picking up tickets to this event. The card is an intriguing one, as it will feature matches such as Dreamer vs. Lance Storm, Too Cold Scorpio vs. John Morrison, MVP vs. Sami Callihan and The Young Bucks vs. Brian Kendrick and Paul London. All of those matches feature guys who can still go in the ring, but the nostalgia is still there as well, so it will appeal to everyone.
In addition to those matches, Ric Flair, The Steiner Brothers, The Sandman and Carlito are all scheduled to appear as well, so the star power is immense for what amounts to an independent show.
Dreamer knows this business inside and out, so there is no chance that he is going to deliver a subpar show. He spoke about House of Hardcore with a great deal of pride and energy, and it's easy to see why.
HOH Information: HouseofHardcore.net
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Michael Cahill: 250
2. Mike Chiari: 150
3. Donald Wood: -35
4. Brandon Galvin: -65
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