Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on Seth Rollins, Daniel Bryan and more, this is where you need to go to get all of your weekly WWE nuggets.
Bleacher Report featured columnists Mike Chiari, Donald Wood and Brandon Galvin give the lowdown on all things going on in the wrestling world. WWE Superstar Santino Marella 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 10: WWE Hall of Famer "Stone Cold" Steve Austin
Seth Rollins Turns On The Shield
In what was certainly one of the biggest WWE swerves in recent memory, Seth Rollins shocked the wrestling world by turning on Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose in favor of Triple H and Randy Orton on Raw. With The Shield reeling and Evolution perhaps stronger than ever, the feud between the two sides only figures to intensify.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was Turning Rollins Heel the Right Move?
Wrestling fans most definitely like to be surprised from time to time, but the shock factor is only effective if the booking is sound as well. WWE certainly has an opportunity to make this angle a success, but it may already be facing an uphill climb. To break up The Shield after two decisive victories over Evolution is controversial in itself, but the choice of Rollins may be the most curious part of this entire situation.
Rollins gained a great deal of popularity since The Shield turned face, due largely to his high-flying style in the ring. He was also the smallest member of The Shield, which allowed him to give off an underdog aura and feel like a natural face as well. Rollins seemed like the least likely member of The Shield to turn heel, but perhaps that is why the creative team decided to make it happen. Nobody was expecting the turn, so WWE definitely has people talking at least.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
There are some positives that could come out of this entire situation, chief among them is the fact that Rollins figures to be placed in a featured position. He is Triple H's hand-picked guy from a storyline sense, and he is now viewed as the future star of Evolution, just like Orton and Batista were when the stable first came into existence. In addition to that, the fact that Triple H was able to influence Rollins and break up one of the most dominant groups in WWE history reestablishes his heat as the top heel in the company.
With that said, the WWE has seemingly missed out on a good opportunity regarding The Shield. WWE had the right idea when The Shield started to implode from within leading up to WrestleMania due to turmoil and jealousy among themselves. The writers went in a different direction by turning The Shield face, but that is a storyline that could have resurfaced.
It would have been easy to create tension at Money in the Bank if all three Shield members had been placed in a ladder match together. That could have eventually led to a breakup and a triple threat match between them that would have torn the house down. WWE would have then had a lot of flexibility in terms of what to do with Rollins, Reigns and Ambrose moving forward.
The current Rollins situation has created plenty of intrigue, but it may not ultimately be the best thing for WWE from a booking perspective.
Backstage News on Seth Rollins' Turn (WrestlingInc.com via Wrestling Observer Newsletter)
Clock Ticks on Daniel Bryan's Title Reign
Daniel Bryan hasn't competed for several weeks since learning that he would have to undergo neck surgery. Bryan is currently recovering and he appeared at Payback when faced with an ultimatum. Rather than surrendering the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, his wife, Brie Bella, quit. Even so, Stephanie McMahon is still aiming to end Bryan's reign atop WWE.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Will Bryan Compete at Money in the Bank?
Stephanie announced on Raw that Money in the Bank would either be highlighted by Bryan defending his title against Kane in a stretcher match or a multi-man ladder match with the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on the line. The fact that two different possibilities have been laid out makes it clear that WWE officials are still unsure about Bryan's status. Announcing the situation ahead of time gives WWE some flexibility, but there is no question that the vast majority of fans would love to see Bryan in action.
That is basically out of WWE's hands, since it is at the mercy of the rate at which Bryan heals. Only Bryan, WWE officials and the doctors truly know how he is coming along, so it is tough to speculate upon his status.
The fact that Bryan has been appearing on WWE programming is promising, however, since it means he is able to travel, but traveling and working a physical match are two totally different things.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
In one respect, the thought of a Money in the Bank ladder match for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion is intriguing. That has never been done before and it would surely make for an entertaining match. At the same time, that could very well necessitate the elimination of the Money in the Bank briefcase this year. That wouldn't be the end of the world by any means, but the briefcase is definitely a good tool in terms of building rising stars.
Say what you will about the Bryan vs. Kane feud, but they had a great match at Extreme Rules and are more than capable of putting on another fine encounter. Also, having a Bryan match on the card would improve the depth significantly. Payback was a thin card without Bryan, and with the exception of the ladder match, Money in the Bank would likely be similarly weak.
Ultimately, the main concern is making sure that Bryan heals properly, so there is no point in rushing him back. If he is ready to work Money in the Bank, then that it obviously a great thing, but he'll get back in the title picture upon his return even if he can't make it time for the next pay-per-view.
Latest Rumors Regarding Bryan's Health (WrestlingInc.com via Wrestling Observer Newsletter)
RRR Interview with WWE Superstar Santino Marella
Few performers in professional wrestling are more dedicated to their gimmick than WWE Superstar Santino Marella. He has been with the company since 2007 and carved out a great niche for himself. He has seen and accomplished a lot during his time in WWE, and he sat down with Ring Rust Radio to discuss some of his experiences in a candid interview.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What's Next for Santino?
Perhaps Santino's biggest asset as a performer is his ability to use humor, both in the ring and on the mic, to entertain the fans. That type of style may not be something that resonates with all fans, but there is no doubt that Santino has developed a large fanbase, especially among the younger crowd.
While Santino's gimmick may make it seem like he isn't a serious performer on the surface, he has definitely worked hard to hone his craft. Improvisational skills are something that every successful Superstar must have, and Santino has them in spades. While Santino has to work within certain guidelines, much of what he says and does is up to him.
"In the beginning, it was more regionalized, then it was a collaboration and now I have more freedom for input," Santino said. "They give me a skeleton and say 'You need to say this, this and this, but in your way,' and I come up with what I want to say."
Very few guys in the business are able to come up with things on the spot and freelance, which may well be Santino's biggest strength.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
One thing that some wrestling fans may not know about Santino is that he has a mixed martial arts background. He is currently the co-owner of Battle Arts Academy in Toronto, and he had a shoot fighter gimmick during his time in Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Santino hasn't incorporated much of that into his WWE matches due to his comedic gimmick, but he believes that the MMA style will play a big role in professional wrestling moving forward.
For my matches, maybe not because my character is established, but for the future and young talent. I believe this is the way the business should go because of the growth of MMA, and people are becoming more savvy when it comes to submissions and takedowns and things like that. Before, when we said that wrestling was real, we didn't have to work so hard, but now that we acknowledge that it’s entertainment, we have to be very realistic and that is the style we teach at Battle Arts Academy in Toronto.
Santino doesn't always receive the credit he deserves, but he is a highly skilled wrestler who likely could measure up with some of the top workers in WWE if given the opportunity. It remains to be seen if he will ever get that chance, he has had plenty of success regardless.
Bleacher Report Article
RRR Season 5 Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Mike Chiari: 405
2. Donald Wood: 160
3. Brandon Galvin: 52.5
4. Tom Kinslow: 17.5
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