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John Cena has been out of commission since dropping the WWE Championship to Daniel Bryan at SummerSlam due to torn triceps, and he was initially expected to be on the shelf for four to six months. Either that timetable was extremely conservative or Cena has superhuman recovery powers, though, as Vickie Guerrero announced on Monday that Cena will challenge Alberto Del Rio for the World Heavyweight Championship at Hell in a Cell.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Is This the Right Move by WWE?
That announcement caught the WWE Universe off-guard, as there was not a single report out there regarding Cena's return. The consensus seemed to be that he would return in time for the Royal Rumble, and some even believed that a Survivor Series return was possible, but few could have imagined that Cena would be back after just two months. Cena is known as a quick healer, as he came back from a torn pectoral muscle after less than four months to win the 2008 Royal Rumble.
With all of that said, there are some mixed feelings when it comes to Cena's upcoming return.
While it's never good to see someone get hurt, there was excitement among wrestling fans that Cena was taking time off because it gave a rising star like Bryan the opportunity to prove that he is capable of being a go-to guy. At the same time, Cena is the top star in the company and will be for as long as he is an active wrestler, so it's tough to blame the WWE for wanting him back as soon as possible.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Whether you're a fan of Cena or not, there is no doubt that WWE could have done a better job of reintroducing Cena. Rather than having Guerrero make the announcement out of nowhere, his return should have at least been hyped to some degree.
Also, tension with Del Rio should have been teased because it doesn't make much sense for him to be facing Cena. They didn't have any issues with each other when Cena went down two months ago, so there is no backstory present.
Also, Cena and Del Rio have feuded before and it wasn't good then, so it probably won't be much better this time around. Even so, the World Heavyweight Championship has been in dire straits since Del Rio won it from Dolph Ziggler, and Cena's involvement will make it matter.
The world title has taken a backseat to the WWE Championship for far too long, but Cena has the ability to change that. Cena vs. Del Rio may not be anything worth writing home about; however, the prestige of the world title may finally be restored.
Rumor Mill: Cena to Possibly Be Kept Off TV Until HIAC (WrestlingInc.com, via F4WOnline)
Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton Send Fans Home Unhappy at Battleground
Few expected Battleground to be a top-of-the-line pay-per-view, but thanks to a handful of solid in-ring performances, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. One thing that truly held the event back, though, was the booking of the main event. Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton put on a great match as they vied for the vacant WWE Championship, but it was marred by a convoluted finish that involved Big Show taking out Bryan, Orton and two referees to close the show.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was This a Proper Booking Decision?
It was fairly obvious heading into Battleground that the main event wouldn't end cleanly, but at the very least there was an expectation that somebody would win the title. The logic behind the non-finish is understandable, as the creative team wanted to continue the Bryan vs. Orton feud through Hell in Cell, culminating in a match that must end with a winner, but this may not have been the right way to go about it.
Big Show's interference was fine to start since it made sense for Triple H to order Brad Maddox to have Big Show get involved. After all, Triple H had been in control of Big Show for several weeks leading up to the event. Big Show knocking Bryan out would have been the perfect way to end things, but he then knocked out Scott Armstrong and followed that up by knocking out Orton.
The show went off the air with Big Show celebrating and both WWE title combatants laid out. As someone who attended the event, I saw Bryan and Orton both get up about a minute later, so it wasn't logical from the live crowd's perspective for the match to end in a no-contest.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As a rule, it's generally not a good idea to end pay-per-views in such an indecisive manner. The buyrate for Battleground probably wasn't great, but anyone who purchased it is going to think twice before dropping $60 on a non-big-four event in the future. Because of that, WWE may have cost itself a lot of money moving forward. WWE generally does a great job of taking care of its fans, but Battleground certainly wasn't the company's finest hour in that regard.
Also, it isn't as if having Orton win would have ruined the storyline. Bryan would have still been entitled to a rematch at Hell in a Cell due to the finish, and he could have even earned the rematch if need be.
The Big Show vs. Triple H angle would have had to be altered somewhat, but Big Show simply could have regretted his actions the next night on Raw rather than immediately after knocking out Bryan. The WWE didn't have to go to great lengths in order to have a passable finish at Battleground, but it decided to take the easy way out.
Rumor Mill: Backstage Chaos Reportedly Rampant at Battleground (WrestlingInc.com, via F4WOnline)
Big Show Stands Up to Triple H
Following Big Show's indecision at Battleground, he was confronted by Stephanie McMahon the next night on Raw. Steph ordered Big Show to beg for her forgiveness and the forgiveness of the fans, but he refused as he said he was fed up with Triple H's demands. This prompted Stephanie to slap and fire Big Show, but he returned later in the night to knock out Triple H.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Big Show Face Triple H at Hell in a Cell?
Over the past several weeks, it became blatantly obvious that WWE was building toward one of two things. Either Big Show would continue to allow Triple H to boss him around, which would lead to Big Show turning heel, or he would snap. The latter occurred on Raw, as Big Show couldn't stomach Triple H's tyrannical ways any longer. With the threat of getting fired no longer hanging above him, Big Show attacked Triple H.
The angle was flimsy, to say the least, as Big Show was fired and forced to leave the building.
It obviously wasn't the first time in the history of professional wrestling that someone was asked to leave the building and they didn't, but it could have been sold much better. Big Show should have at least had to get past security or something of that nature.
On top of that, it was ridiculous that Bryan celebrated after Big Show knocked Triple H out because he seemingly forgot that Big Show cost him the title 24 hours earlier.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
It may not be the most exciting potential feud, but the continuation of Big Show vs. Triple H is inevitable, and a match between them at Hell in a Cell is pretty much a given. Big Show and Triple H have feuded in the past, so it isn't like this is anything new, but it has been quite a while since they last locked horns. Also, it's always great to see Triple H in action, as he is still capable of putting on fantastic matches and still has plenty of drawing power as well.
On top of that, Big Show vs. Triple H will certainly add some cachet to the Hell in a Cell card. With Bryan vs. Orton and Cena vs. Del Rio already in place, Big Show vs. Triple H would add a great deal of depth. Had Big Show turned heel instead, though, it's quite possible that the angle would have been far more compelling.
It's difficult to say what the endgame is here, but it probably involves Triple H getting his comeuppance courtesy of another Knockout Punch.
Rumor Mill: Potential Angle Lifted from CM Punk DVD (WrestlingInc.com, via F4WOnline)
RRR Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Donald Wood: 252.5
2. Mike Chiari: 107.5
3. Brandon Galvin: -62.5
4. Michael Cahill: -70
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