Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on Roman Reigns, Money in the Bank 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. TNA star Bully Ray 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 24: WWE Superstar Rob Van Dam
Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose Go Their Separate Ways
Just a couple weeks after Seth Rollins shockingly turned on Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose, it looks as though The Shield is officially over. Reigns and Ambrose worked as individuals on Raw, and Ambrose even boasted new theme music and attire. With Reigns and Ambrose seemingly having different agendas, The Hounds of Justice are no more.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Was The Shield Dissolved Properly?
There were plenty of differing opinions regarding WWE's decision to turn Rollins heel, but every indication was that Reigns and Ambrose would continue on as a two-man version of The Shield. They worked as a team and cut a promo together on the Raw following Rollins' betrayal, but things suddenly changed the following week. Reigns' focus shifted toward the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, while Ambrose was still fixated on Rollins.
Reigns and Ambrose could have accomplished plenty more as a team moving forward, particularly in their efforts to get back at Rollins and The Authority. There is little doubt that both Reigns and Ambrose will go on to great success as singles competitors since they are immensely over with the crowd, but that isn't the point. The Shield is already arguably one of the greatest stables in WWE history, yet it went out with a whimper and ended unceremoniously with little explanation.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Perhaps the biggest issue with this situation is the manner in which Reigns was used. Not only did he seemingly forget all about the fact that Rollins double-crossed him, but he was also forced to do things that simply don't fit his character. Spiking Stephanie McMahon's coffee and sweet-talking Vickie Guerrero are antics better left to guys like John Cena. Reigns is a mostly silent tough guy who lets his fists do the talking. The end result was that Reigns earned a spot in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder match at Money in the Bank by winning a Battle Royal, which was great, but the path toward it was awful.
As for Ambrose, the concern now is that he will be the one who is overshadowed among the three Shield members. Reigns is being pushed as a top face, and Rollins is in position to be a top heel. Ambrose and Rollins figure to feud for the foreseeable future, and it is difficult to imagine Ambrose going over. He is good enough on the mic and in the ring to stay relevant regardless, but danger always looms in the form of him getting pushed down the card and into relative obscurity.
Backstage News on The Shield's Status (Wrestling Observer Newsletter via WrestlingInc.com)
WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match Finalized
The Ladder match at Money in the Bank for the vacant WWE World Heavyweight Championship came into clearer focus Monday as the remaining spots were filled. Both Reigns and John Cena qualified, which means that they, along with Alberto Del Rio, Cesaro, Sheamus, Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton, will vie for the biggest prizes in professional wrestling.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Who Are the Top Contenders at Money in the Bank?
It was announced by Rollins on Main Event that a second Ladder match will be held for the Money in the Bank contract, which certainly adds some intrigue to the pay-per-view. Not only will a new world champion be crowned, but a future one will be as well in all likelihood. The world title Ladder match is of particular interest since WWE could go in any number of different directions. In fact, a legitimate case can be made for anyone in the match to win aside from Alberto Del Rio.
Since Orton is just coming off a less-than-stellar title reign and Sheamus currently holds the United States Championship, though, they have outside chances at best. That leaves Cena, Reigns, Wyatt and Cesaro as the four Superstars with the best chance to win. Cena is obviously someone who the WWE brass trusts, while the others are fast-rising stars who all figure to become world champion at some time or another moving forward.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As is always the case, Cena has to be considered the odds-on favorite. WWE would feel extremely comfortable giving him the titles whether it is a long-term solution or simply a short-term fix. If he wins, then he could feud with several different competitors including Wyatt or perhaps even Triple H. Cena has been mixing it up with The Authority as of late, so a Cena vs. Triple H rivalry seems natural, and it could organically lead to Daniel Bryan getting involved when he is healthy enough to return.
Any of Reigns, Cesaro or Wyatt winning would be more exciting, but there is a certain amount of risk involved with crowning a first-time champion. They all have a lot of momentum, though, and could have some solid programs. Reigns vs. Triple H, Rollins or Orton would work as would a continuation of Wyatt vs. Cena before moving on to Bryan. Perhaps most entertaining of all, though, would be a feud between Cesaro and a returning Brock Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate needs someone to face when he comes back, and he could put on some incredible matches with someone as skilled as Cesaro.
Backstage News Regarding World Title (PWInsider Elite via WrestlingInc.com)
RRR Interview with TNA Star Bully Ray
After years as a tag team specialist in ECW and WWE, Bully Ray has reinvented himself in TNA. In addition to transforming his body and his character, Bully Ray has developed into one of TNA's most popular singles stars. He has always had a gift for getting the fans to react, and it can certainly be argued that nobody in TNA does that better than he does.
Bully Ray joined Ring Rust Radio this week for an entertaining interview. He discussed his career, TNA Slammiversary, his outside interests and so much more.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What's Next for Bully Ray?
Bully has experienced plenty of changes in his character over the past several months, but he has somehow managed to remain relevant, believable and entertaining through it all. Bully went from being one of the most hated heels in wrestling as the leader of Aces & Eights to perhaps the biggest face in TNA during his current feud with Dixie Carter.
He is constantly evolving, which is what has helped him maintain his love for the wrestling business over the years.
"Whether I'm out there and people love me or people hate me, I try to go above and beyond," Bully said. "If people love me, I want them to name their firstborn child after me. If people hate me, I want them to slash my tires and despise me to a whole new level. I'm always thinking of new ways to do things, and I'll always be passionate about the business, and I'll always be passionate about taking the fans on a roller-coaster ride, so that's what keeps me going."
Unpredictability is something that is often lost in wrestling these days. Bully aims to keep the fans intrigued and guessing about what move he'll make next. That, more than anything, may be the biggest key to his continued success.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
After losing to Ethan Carter III in a Texas Death match at Slammiversary, all signs point toward Bully Ray continuing his pursuit of putting Dixie through a table. He has been foiled on multiple occasions to this point but is hellbent on getting what he wants. Bully has put many people through tables over the course of his career, but Dixie has gotten away unscathed thus far.
"I don't care who I'm standing across the ring from. If they're in the ring with me, I'm going to make sure that it's the best possible performance," Bully said. "I'm going to make sure they up their game, and I'm going to make sure, first and foremost, that the people get what they paid to see, and when it comes to Dixie Carter, the one thing that every TNA fan, every WWE fan, every ROH fan, every House of Hardcore fan, every wrestling fan around the world wants to see is that lady getting powerbombed through a table."
Bully has kept the fans involved by building toward a crescendo within the Dixie storyline. His singular goal is to put Dixie through a table, and he has put so much focus on it that the fans are fully invested in that end result as well.
Few wrestlers are more invested in what they are doing than Bully Ray, and that is why this angle is likely to be a success as is anything he ultimately decides to do within the business.
Bleacher Report Article
RRR Season 5 Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Mike Chiari: 485
2. Donald Wood: 180
3. Brandon Galvin: 97.5
4. Tom Kinslow: 72.5
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