Ring Rust Radio is the best wrestling show on the airwaves, and this week was no different. With strong opinions on Brock Lesnar, John Cena 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 everything going on in the wrestling world. TNA star Jeff Hardy 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.
Aug. 12: TNA president Dixie Carter
Aug. 19: WWE's Paul Heyman
Brock Lesnar and John Cena Absent from Raw
With just two weeks until their WWE World Heavyweight Championship clash at SummerSlam, neither challenger Brock Lesnar nor champion John Cena were present on Monday Night Raw. In lieu of their appearances, WWE twice played a hype video that included interviews with both combatants in the hopes that it would be an ample replacement for the two legendary Superstars and future Hall of Famers.
Question on Everybody's Mind: Did Their Absence Detract from the Feud?
WWE obviously wasn't placed in an ideal situation in relation to Lesnar and Cena on Raw, but it attempted to make the most of it. Since the Beast Incarnate has limited dates on which he is required to appear and Cena was off shooting a movie, there wasn't much that the creative team could have done. Aside from having Paul Heyman cut a promo by himself, a video package was essentially the only feasible option.
That may have been unsatisfactory to some fans, but there was plenty to like about the video itself. Both Lesnar and Cena were outspoken, honest and intense. Lesnar made it clear that he intends to destroy Cena and become WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Cena labeled Lesnar as a mercenary and claimed that he doesn't care about WWE or its fans. This is a video that will likely be shown countless times between now and SummerSlam, but there is no question that it was effective in terms of establishing heat between the two competitors and meaning behind the match.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
As much as fans would have loved to have seen Lesnar and Cena live on Raw, that simply wasn't an option. The video was a suitable replacement partially because it allowed Lesnar to voice his opinions. It is very unlikely that Lesnar will talk on the go-home edition of Raw since Heyman will be at his side. At the same time, it was important to understand his point of view, which he was able to convey much better within the confines of a pre-taped interview than he would through a live promo.
The fact that the go-home edition of Raw will be dominated by Lesnar, Cena and Heyman makes their absence acceptable. In fact, keeping Lesnar and Cena away from each other for as long as possible only serves to increase the excitement and anticipation surrounding their match. Some fans can be demanding in terms of wanting the perfect build, but that can't be achieved under imperfect circumstances. Considering what WWE had to face, there isn't much to complain about regarding what happened on Raw.
Possible future plans for Brock Lesnar (WrestlingInc.com via F4WOnline)
RRR Interview with TNA's Jeff Hardy
Few wrestlers in the history of the business are as exciting and enigmatic as Jeff Hardy. The death-defying daredevil has been near the top of the industry for more than 15 years and continues to be a top draw. Hardy is quite possibly TNA's most popular star, and he touched on a number of subjects during a recent interview with Ring Rust Radio.
Question on Everybody's Mind: What's Next for Hardy?
Hardy is at an interesting point in his career. He is 36 years of age, but he is still among the best workers in professional wrestling. He has proven capable of working in the main event or essentially anywhere else on the card as a singles competitor. He is also one of the best tag team wrestlers ever. That has been on full display as of late with Jeff reuniting with his brother, Matt.
The Hardys faced The Wolves in a fantastic match on Impact recently, and while Jeff would love to continue teaming with his brother moving forward, he is unsure what the future holds for him.
"It's kind of the unknown," Hardy said. "I mean, I don't know what Matt's going to do or what he wants to do as far as a long-term deal. I'd like it to be long term, but right now it feels short term, but I can't speak for Matt, so we'll see what happens."
No matter what role TNA decides to utilize Hardy in, though, there is little doubt that he will excel and put on some fantastic matches.
Ring Rust Radio's Take
Just prior to reuniting with Matt, Jeff became the No. 1 contender for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship. He put on a better-than-expected match against Lashley, which saw him do a Swanton Bomb onto steel steps. Hardy truly left it all on the line in a losing effort, but he succeeded in making Lashley look great in the process.
Despite falling short of the title, Hardy made it clear that getting back to the top of the mountain is very much in his plans.
That's that feeling that never gets old and when you talk about holding onto something as long as you can. Whether I retire a year from now or not, I would like to hold that title one more time and keep it until that point that breaks me, whatever it may be. I would love to end my career as World Champion.
I can't be Jeff Hardy without taking chances. If I feel like I do now, I'm going to keep going out there like I did against Bobby Lashley a few weeks ago. I'm going to go all out and go hard and go for it to win that title.
With TNA taking a more youthful approach, Hardy is among the biggest names in the roster. That essentially guarantees that he will be a featured player and be near the top of the card as well.
At the same time, he figures to be instrumental in helping the younger talent progress and reach the next level. Hardy is essentially priceless as a member of TNA, and he will be counted upon heavily for as long as he continues to wrestle.
Bleacher Report Article
RRR Current Era Fantasy Draft Results
The latest installment of Ring Rust Radio's fantasy-draft series focused on the current era of professional wrestling. RRR's panelists conducted a 30-round, serpentine draft with wrestlers in WWE, NXT, TNA, ROH and the independent scene available to be selected. Over the next week the panelists will construct fantasy cards and the Bleacher Report community will be able to vote on who created the best card.
Question on Everybody's Mind: How Did the Panelists Fare?
Brandon Galvin selected first as NXT, Joe Arcidiacono picked second as WWE, Donald Wood picked third representing ROH and Mike Chiari had the fourth selection as TNA. The draft proceeded for 30 rounds and what follows is what the rosters looked like at its conclusion.
Brandon Galvin (NXT)
Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman
Bad News Barrett
Alberto Del Rio
Joe Arcidiacono (WWE)
Michael Bennett w/ Maria Kanellis
Kyle O'Reilly w/ Tom Lawlor
Donald Wood (ROH)
Triple H w/ Stephanie McMahon
Rob Van Dam
Jay Lethal w/ Truth Martini
Rusev w/ Lana
Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Mike Chiari (TNA)
Jack Swagger w/ Zeb Colter
Tyson Kidd w/ Natalya
Ring Rust Radio's Take
If nothing else, this draft speaks to the depth of talent that there is in professional wrestling at present. Even if the products aren't always perfect, there are enough great performers out there to keep fans interested and engaged.
It is clear that all four RRR panelists took different approaches to the draft. The first round alone was quite intriguing as it featured old standbys like Brock Lesnar and the Undertaker, a current top star in Daniel Bryan and a future top star in Roman Reigns.
All four rosters have the pieces necessary to make a great card, but only one Ring Rust Radio personality will come out on top.
Ring Rust Radio's Season 5 Fantasy WWE Standings
1. Mike Chiari: 500
2. Donald Wood: 362.5
3. Brandon Galvin: 125
4. Tom Kinslow: 107.5
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