A bruised jaw and a massive fist will be at the heart of the drama on the Oct. 14 episode of WWE Raw.
The repercussions of Big Show's knockout punch on Triple H highlight what fans can expect to see when Raw hits St. Louis, Miss.
Charging toward Hell in a Cell, WWE will be doing its best to get the crowd pumped about Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton's WWE Championship bout, John Cena challenging Alberto Del Rio and where CM Punk and Paul Heyman's ambling feud heads next.
Last week, Stephanie McMahon fired Big Show.
Rather than go home and update his resume, Big Show returned later that night and took out his frustrations over weeks of abuse from WWE's authority figures. He clocked Triple H with his trademark punch and left the COO suffering from symptoms of a concussion.
Triple H will be seeking revenge on Monday's Raw.
With just two weeks left until the Hell in a Cell pay-per-view, the changes are good that "The Cerebral Assassin" books a match between himself and Big Show. Despite being fired, "The World's Largest Athlete" is advertised to be a part of the show. WWE may delay the announcement of their clash a week, but the rivalry will certainly get a major chunk of Raw's air time.
Triple H's storyline injury will propel their animosity while a real-life injury will have WWE hold back a monster momentarily.
The Wyatt Family will likely still wreck havoc on Raw, but Bray Wyatt will be limited.
As many fans have heard already, Wyatt was injured at a recent house show. PWInsider.com provided an update to the extent of the injury.
The word on Bray Wyatt is that he suffered a deeply bruised calf muscle. He's going to be getting it looked at again today we are told. He's being kept out of the ring as a precautionary measure until he gets an updated diagnosis.
There's no need for WWE to push Wyatt into in-ring action early. His "brothers" can handle the distribution of violence while he wields a microphone.
Expect to see Wyatt further his feud with The Miz, working toward a showdown at Hell in a Cell. Anthony Benigno's five-point preview on WWE.com lists the burgeoning feud between Miz and Wyatt as one of the five major plotlines for the episode.
Wyatt is need of a victim to keep him in the spotlight and Miz could excel as the resilient hero who gets caught in the monster's maw. The "Eater of Worlds" will then look to devour all of WWE's babyfaces, a list that may soon include an unlikely addition.
A Shift in the Savior
Damien Sandow appears to be undergoing a transformation. Monday's Raw would be a marquee place for him to fully transition into a babyface.
As ill-advised as making one of the company’s best heel characters into a fan favorite is, that appears to be just what is happening with “The Intellectual Savior.” Sandow battled Del Rio on last Friday’s SmackDown and showed signs of being more hero than villain.
Where WWE goes with the character will be intriguing either in a great theater way or in a car wreck way.
Watch for who the company pits Sandow against on Monday. Should he go to battle with another heel, the suspected face turn will be in full effect.
WWE's most famous fan favorite will be a big part of Monday's Raw, either as an impending threat for Del Rio or as a ratings booster.
Last week's Raw scored only a 2.65 rating. That number and the recent trend of disappointing ratings severely lessen any chance of WWE being patient with reintroducing Cena.
Cena's surprise return to injury provides a powerful weapon for WWE in terms of ratings on Monday and buyrates at Hell in a Cell. Expect Cena to make a speech about toughness and hustle that works to create buzz about his upcoming match with Del Rio.
The physical altercations between champion and challenger here will be limited to save Cena and his scarred elbow for the pay-per-view. The verbal smackdowns, though, will be plentiful.
WWE has little time to build for this match and Cena's presence will be a salve for the recent limping ratings.
Bryan and Orton's rivalry and Big Show's struggle against being a corporate puppet have bled into each other from the beginning. Bryan's fight has been just as much about the now-vacant WWE Championship as it has been about him raging against the machine that is the McMahon family.
Benigno's preview provides an interesting hint as to where those stories head next.
He writes, "The door is wide open for Daniel Bryan or anyone else to strike another crippling blow on the McMahon regime, but will Bryan pull the trigger?" That implies that Bryan will not only be going after Orton, but Triple H and company as well.
This narrative will be a major part of the show, especially now that Shawn Michaels has been named the special guest referee for the Hell in a Cell main event.
This is WWE's shot at constructing doubt in the audience's mind as to what Michaels will do in that match. His impartiality or lack thereof will be scrutinized and emphasized as Hell in Cell approaches.
Look for WWE to toy with fans' collective expectations, having Michaels lean toward favoring either the Triple H-backed Orton or his mentee and friend, Bryan.
Mutiny on the Horizon?
Heyman's crew hasn't had much success against Punk lately. Ryback and Curtis Axel lost to R-Truth and Punk on last week's Raw, for example.
Benigno's WWE.com preview gives us a peek at where this story heads from here.
He writes, "It's safe to say Heyman's boys need a morale booster, and smart money is on Ryback going after someone. The only question is who." This sounds like Ryback may eventually get frustrated and take issue with Axel or Heyman himself.
Cracks should start to form between Heyman's group, it will be interesting to see how that plays out. Is Ryback headed for a return to face status? Will Axel and Ryback feud with each other? Those questions will be among the most compelling aspects of the show's undercurrent.
Punk's revenge will feel a lot more complete should he be the catalyst for Heyman's group falling apart.
Big Show, Triple H, Bryan and Orton will soak up most of the spotlight, but the possible slow dissolution of Heyman's stable, Sandow's possible turn and where WWE goes with Wyatt will give fans reasons plenty to tune in.
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