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Could it really just be that kind of year for WWE Superstar, CM Punk? You know, the kind of year you just want to forget about? Or is CM Punk’s rollercoaster 2013 season just a sign of WWE wanting to build up a storyline similar to what they did one year ago?
Let’s look at the year CM Punk has had so far. He lost the WWE title, after a historic 434 day reign, to The Rock at the Royal Rumble. Then lost again to The Rock in their rematch at The Elimination Chamber Pay per View. After the loss at Elimination Chamber, Punk challenged The Undertaker to a match at WrestleMania 29 and lost again.
After his loss to Undertaker at WrestleMania 29, Punk announced that he would be going on hiatus from wrestling for a few months. The hiatus was short lived, as Punk returned two months later and defeated Chris Jericho at Payback in April.
Punk followed up his victory at Payback by banning his longtime manager and friend, Paul Heyman, from joining him at ringside during matches anymore leaving Heyman deeply hurt and angry by Punk. A week later during a backstage segment, Punk comforted Heyman by saying that people like Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel needed Heyman’s services, but not Punk.
Punk’s words didn’t sit well with Heyman’s other client, Brock Lesnar, who later surprised Punk after a match and nailed The Second City Saint with a vicious F-5 that left Punk motionless as Monday Night Raw went off the air. After the attack, some fans speculated that the attack was preplanned, due to Heyman’s anger at Punk’s betrayal, but Heyman later assured Punk on Raw, that Brock Lesnar attacked Punk without his knowledge.
Paul Heyman’s anger would prove costly for Punk though, as Heyman later interfered in Punk’s ladder match at Money in the Bank. Beating Punk in the back with a ladder several times as he stood fingertips away from retrieving The Money in the Bank Briefcase, Heyman’s relentless shots with the ladder, caused Punk to crash back down to the ring, and ultimately lose his chance at becoming WWE Champion again.
The betrayal didn’t sit well with Punk, who ordered Heyman to give Punk an explanation for his actions at the Money In The Bank Pay Per View. Heyman surprised Punk by coming to the ring with Brock Lesnar by his side. After
a few words were exchanged between Heyman and Punk, Lesnar attacked Punk, eventually hitting him with an F-5 onto the announce table.
The feud climaxed with a match between Lesnar and Punk at Summerslam, where despite many comebacks by Punk, Lesnar, with help from Paul Heyman, finally hit Punk with an F-5 onto a chair and got the three count forthe victory.
Following the loss at Summerslam, Punk vowed revenge on Heyman for his continued interference in his matches, and began feuding with Heymans
other prodigy, Curtis Axel. The feud culminated when Raw General Manager, Brad Maddox, announced a Tag Team Elimination Match at Night of Champions. The match came with the added stipulation that Heyman would have to step in the ring with CM Punk if Curtis Axel is eliminated.
At Night of Champions, Punk was able to force Axel to tap out to
the anaconda vice, forcing Heyman to step in the ring with Punk. Punk took great joy in dismantling his former manager and friend, as he beat him with any object he could get his hands on.
The seemingly assured victory was short lived however, as Ryback
came out of nowhere to aid Paul Heyman in his time of need. The beast then
quickly speared Punk through a table, before picking up a lifeless Paul Heyman
and dropping him on top of Punk for the victory.
I know it’s hard to believe, but if you look at all of CM Punk’ pay per view matches this year. He is 1-6 in pay per view bouts. Even worse than that, it seems he will be going 1-7 if he jobs for Ryback during their storyline in the coming months
I know all CM Punk fans must be a little disappointed in Punk’s performance this calendar year, but there may be a silver lining to all this jobbing Punk has been doing this these past few months. If we look back at 2012, ten time WWE Champion, John Cena, was having a particularly hard time in the WWE as well.
Cena lost to The Rock at WrestleMania 28 in Miami Florida, then got attacked by Brock Lesnar the following night on Raw. The attack would ultimately lead to match at Extreme Rules, which Cena would win. Cena then lost to John Laurinitals at Over The Limit, with help from a timely interference by The Big show, and was forced to fight for his job in a steel cage match against The Big Show at No Way out, in which Cena again came out victorious.
With his feud with Laurinitus and Big Show over, Cena was able to
win the briefcase for the WWE title at Money in The Bank, battling Kane, Big
Show, Miz and Chris Jericho to win the coveted briefcase. John Cena cashed in
his briefcase at Raw 1000 in July, only to lose by disqualification to CM Punk
after Big Show interfered in the match.
Big Show’s attack on Cena continued, until The Rock finally ran down to make the save on Cena’s behalf. Cena then battled CM Punk and Big Show in a triple Threat Match at SummerSlam. Despite Cena’s great efforts, he would once again come up short to CM Punk. Cena got a second chance for the WWE title at Night of Champions, where the match was ruled a draw, and the title was once again retained by Punk.
After an arm injury sidelined Cena at Hell in a Cell, Cena made his return at Survivor series in a Triple Threat Match against CM Punk, and Ryback. Again, despite many opportunities for Cena to win the title during the bout, the match would be ruled a draw after The Shield attacked Ryback in their WWE debut.
Cena then faced Punk again at the Vengeance Pay Per view, only to lose again to Punk, this time by pin fall. Cena’s biggest downfall however, came at WWE TLC, where Cena looked poised to capture Dolph Ziggler’s coveted Money in The Bank briefcase, before he was betrayed by AJ Lee, who knocked him off the ladder, allowing Ziggler to win the match.
Looking over those stats of John Cena, you will notice he also spent the year jobbing for young and upcoming talent in the WWE. In fact, Cena didn’t only have a record of 3-7 in pay per view matches in 2012, but also never held the WWE title in 2012 either.
But all that changed at the 2013 Royal Rumble, when John Cena defied the odds once again and won the 30 many bout by eliminating Ryback in the closing stages of the match. John Cena then went on to battle The Rock at WrestleMania 29, and recapture the title that eluded him for all of 2012.
With the year that CM Punk has endured, one can only hope this will be the case for him as well in 2014. Signs look particularly promising that this will happen, especially with a feud with Ryback on the horizon to help Punk gain momentum for the Royal rumble in January.
With Punk’s 2013 being very similar to Cena’’s 2012, a logical guess would be that the WWE will be repeating the redemption storyline, starting at the Royal Rumble. From there, it is literally anyone’s guess who will have the honor of facing Punk at WrestleMania 30, or even what kind of storyline they build the match around.
My hope is that the storyline will be CM Punk joining the babyfaces of the WWE and fighting the corporation, along with their many goons. It would be interesting to see if the WWE decides to revive his old 2011 role as the voice of the voiceless for the new storyline, but with Punk’s excellence on the microphone, and his ability to have great matches no matter the situation or opponent, it seems like the WWE could put him in any storyline and it would work perfectly.
The only real problem I see with raising Punk back to the main event card, is what will happen to Daniel Bryan then? Will the WWE just kill off his momentum and stick him back in the mid-card or filler matches, or could the WWE find a way to stick Bryan into Punk’s storyline as well? Maybe a triple threat, or even fatal four way match for the WWE Title at WrestleMania 30.
I know the possibility of this happening is looking very slim at the moment. Especially with the newly formed storyline between CM Punk and Ryback set to culminate at WWE, Battleground next month, but instead of looking at his feud with Ryback as just another storyline in the never ending soap opera of the WWE, look at it as just the thing Punk needs to get him over and give him the push to win the Royal Rumble. Hey, stranger things have happened!
If I had to be wrong about something, I am so glad it was about this! Of course by now you all know the latest plot twist in Daniel Bryan's quest for the WWE Title. Just when he thought he would be able to come on Monday Night Raw and hold the title high above his head, Triple H and Randy Orton come storming out of the back and accuse him of having a secret deal with referee, Scott Armstrong, during his match with Randy Orton at Night Of Champions.
The King of Kings then effectively stripped Daniel Bryan of his newly won WWE Title, while Randy Orton added insult to injury with a killer RKO for Bryan's troubles. Now with the WWE Title vacated, and a ferocious heel stable eager to throw their weight around, one can only guess what will happen next!
And that of course is where the apology comes in on my part. I was so under the impression that the WWE was happy with the status quo. That Randy Orton would walk out of The Main Event match at Night of Champions with the WWE Title around his waist. But thank god that didn't happen! Thank god for a little controversy! And thank god for not just keeping things the way they are!
By having the WWE Title vacated, WWE has not only created a reason for a more driven Daniel Bryan, but also a more vicious and demented Orton, eager to prove himself to The corporation and once again be the face of the WWE. Not to mention that fact that, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon seem more evil then ever after stripping the title from Daniel Bryan, just one night after he won the title for the second time in his career.
Stephanie McMahon seems to especially be going off the rails, given her recent ordered beat down of WWE Hall of Famer, Dusty Rhodes, after he refused a business proposition of giving one of his sons their jobs back with the company. And who could forget the anger that The Big Show has been building up inside after not only K.O punching Daniel Bryan twice in the Main Event, but also knocking Dusty Rhodes out with one punch live on Raw!
Even The Shield seems to have regained their once lost luster by laying beat downs night after night on fan favorite, Daniel Bryan., and other superstars that interfere with The Corporation’s plans. By joining The Corporation, The Shield has not only placed itself in the Main Event spotlight once again, but also given more meaning to their titles reigns at the same time.
Let's be honest here, we all know Every WWE fan wants to see someone best a member of The Shield In a title match. And why is that? Just for the simple fact that no one wants to see The Corporation succeed in their evil plan to keep a stranglehold on the WWE. Thus creating more heel heat and attention for title runs involving the baby faces and The Corporation.
As for looking ahead into the future, I predict for the WWE to have Randy Orton defeat Daniel Bryan in the Main Event at BattleGround, and hold the WWE title until Hell in a Cell. At Hell in Cell, Daniel Bryan will once again defeat Randy Orton for the WWE title with help from The Baby faces of the WWE roster (including Cody Rhodes, Golddust, Dolph Ziggler and others).
The win at Hell in Cell will be a major turning point in the storyline, as the baby faces and The Corporation will battle it out as The Hell in Cell pay per view goes off air, prompting a twelve man Survivor Series Elimination match between the two factions at Survivor Series.
The only problem with this entire storyline scenario is, what happens when John Cena returns from his elbow injury? Do they just allow John Cena to retake the stoplight after getting Bryan over in their match at Summerslam? If they really want to build the storyline to a healthy climax, The WWE will need to share the spotlight equally between all the superstars they put in The Main Event matches. If John Cena comes back from his injury and takes over as the leader for The Baby faces, then the WWE has essentially killed and buried every bit of momentum they had just given to Daniel Bryan during his feud with Orton for the WWE Title.
My dream scenario for this storyline, is for John Cena, Daniel Bryan and CM Punk t all join as leaders of The Baby face Regime and battle The Corporation in an Armageddon Hell in a Cell match at WrestleMania. The scenario would allow for the veterans to help get over all the lower card superstars and help pave the way for all their futures in the WWE as well.
I really hope that if the WWE chooses to put other veterans in the spotlight for the storyline, that they do it in a way that will benefit not only the veterans at the top of the industry, but also the rookie and lower-card superstars at the bottom. Personally, I would love to see The Prime Time Players get another push for a Tag Team title shot against The Shield. Or even have Ambrose drop The United States title to Dolph Ziggler, to make that feud a little more personal.
For this this to work, the WWE will have to do what they haven’t done in years, and that’s to make the mid-card matter again. They need to keep creative storylines between Ziggler and Ambrose, and even maybe set up some specialty matches once the feud intensifies. They also need to bring Wade Barrett back and have him join The Corporate Regime to battle another mid-carder on The Baby face side.
As for my predictions last week for Night of Champions, I couldn’t be happier that I was wrong with how the storyline between Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan would have progressed! With the title vacated, Randy Orton has become a more vicious and sinister superstar, and The Yes chants keep getting louder and louder for Daniel Bryan to become Champion again. WWE is now must see television, no matter what day it’s on! It seems like the days of status quo has finally ended, and the revolution of the company versus its wrestlers can finally begin!
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While I do regard this as probably one of the worst pay per view lineups of the year, Night of Champions will still be highlighted by two matches that may just save the pay per view from complete stupidity. Here is a look at who I think will be raising the gold high above their head, and who will be looking up at the lights after the three count on Sunday night.
The Prime Time Players Vs. The Uso's Vs. The Real Americans Vs. Tons of Funk Vs. 3MB in a tag team turmoil match: The fact that the WWE is using this match to get more pay per view buys is pathetic enough, but the fact that the WWE has yet to reveal their choice for the number one contender is even more pathetic. I really see The Prime Time Players and the Real Americans being the only reasonable choices in this matchup. "3MB" "The Uso's " and "Tons of Funk" will only add to the chaos of the match and work as jobbers to help get over the eventual winners. I predict the Prime Time Players will win after Darren Young hits the Gutcheck maneuver on Antonio Cesaro
Winner: Prime Time Players.
The Shield Vs. The Prime Time Players for The Tag Team Titles: Could this really be the end of The Shield's tag team title run? Or is The WWE just getting our hopes up again? The Prime time Players have been riding a big push lately, especially after Darren Young came out about his sexuality during a interview with TMZ. Although I personally think WWE is doing the wrong thing by using Darren Young's newly found media publicity to sell a storyline to the public, I have no doubt that WWE Creative intends for The Prime Time Players to walk out Tag team champions. The question still remains, can The Prime Time Players have a believable match against one of the most vicious factions in the WWE today. I think the push that WWE gave The Prime Time Players was ill timed and conceived and will most likely lead to a poorly put together match between these two teams and will only embarrass the tag team division even more. Ultimately, Darren Young will hit the gutcheck on Seth Rollins and get the three count for the victory.
Winner: Prime Time Players.
Dolph Ziggler Vs. Dean Ambrose for The United States Title: After weeks of being bullied by Ryback and Dean Ambrose, Ziggler will now not only have the chance to put Ambrose in his place, but take away his title gold as well. With both Ziggler and Ambrose being great in ring performers, this should really be the match on everyone's radar to steal the show on Sunday night. The only thing that really upsets me about this storyline, is that the WWE would take these two great promo cutters and put them in a storyline where promos aren't really needed. Why not give this angle some juice with the two exchanging heated words in a few segments on Raw and Smackdown. I know their match isn't headlining Night of Champions, and is probably just to fill time between the more important bouts, but if the WWE really wants to push this cooperation versus faces storyline, they need to give each member of both sides more segments with vocal roles in them for promo cutting. The current structure of the storyline is leaving two great promo cutters silent, which is of course bad for business. As for my prediction, I see Ziggler winning by disqualification, after a obvious and boring Shield interference.
Winner: Dolph Ziggler by disqualification after Shield Interference.
AJ Lee vs. Natayla vs. Brie Bella vs. Naomi for The Divas Title: I guess WWE Creative is implementing a new strategy on how to write storylines for The Divas division, throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. This match is poorly built and is most likely just being used to get more attention on WWE's new reality show, Total Divas. which plays on the E network every Sunday at 10pm. Not that I've been watching it or anything. Anyways, if AJ Lee does lose the title on Sunday , the WWE has a entirely new problem of trying to build a decent storyline around the newly crowned Divas Champion. The Divas division has really declined in interest over the last few months , with many matches only lasting about five minutes and featuring very little action at all. And if the WWE cant continue to build a storyline around AJ Lee, arguably one of the fiercest and sexy Divas champion to date , then what makes them think they will have better luck with someone else at the helm. As for a prediction, I think Natayla walks out of Night of Champions with the title gold around her waist. WWE has obviously been pushing Natayla since Summerslam, where she beat Brie Bella in a grudge match. The WWE also seems to be putting more emphasis on her sharpshooter submission move. That coupled with idea that Natayla as champion will mean better ratings for Total Divas, leaves me to believe that she is definitely going to win on Sunday.
Winner Natayla with the Sharpshooter on AJ Lee.
Alberto Del Rio vs. Rob Van Dam for The World Heavyweight title: ADR has been flying high since his heel turn at Payback a few months ago. He even knocked off Dolph Ziggler and Christian to keep the gold around his waist at Money in The Bank and Summerslam respectively. With it being three months after Del Rio's heel turn, the question is how much longer an WWE Creative keep his feuds interesting. I will admit that the addition of his former ring announcer, Ricardo Rodriguez, has brought new fuel to the fire for this feud between Del Rio and Van Dam, but where can It all go from here? The only logical option is to have Del Rio drop the title to fan favorite, Van Dam, at Night of Champions and the have Damien Sandow cash in his Money in The Bank contract and win the title from Van Dam. This would create a great feud between Sandow and Van Dam, and would also allow Van Dam to put Sandow over with the WWE Universe. With RVD's mystical high flying moveset and Sandow's great heel heat and awesome promo skills , the WWE would finally have a great storyline for their World Heavyweight championship belt. My prediction is Del Rio will drop the belt to RVD, after Van Dam nails a timely frog splash from the top rope on the "Mexican Aristocrat". After the match, Sandow will cash in and beat RVD easily with determinoose for the victory.
Winner: Rob Van Dam by a Frog Splash for the three count.
CM PUNK vs. Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman in a Tag Team Elimination match: As a CM Punk fan, I consider this a low point for The Straight Edge superstar. He goes from match of the year with Brock Lesnar, to jobbing and trying to build up new talent. I'm not saying Curtis Axel dosent deserve this push from WWE, because he truly does, but does CM Punk really have to be the one to do it? Now when I say put him over, I in no way mean that Curtis Axel and Paul Heyman will walk out of Night of Champions victorious, I mean that their are far better opponents for CM Punk to work with. Rest assured that CM Punk will give a good match as always and even put over Curtis Axel as a true competitor in the process, but does it really have to be at the cost of what the fans really want? We all know we just want to see CM Punk completely murder Paul Heyman with weapon after weapon and chair shot after chair shot, but besides all that, does this match really hold any interest or significance to the WWE Universe. I personally think this is a failure on WWE's part to put Punk in a decent match at Night of Champions. Moving on with my prediction. I believe CM Punk will reverse one of Axel's finishing moves in to the GTS for the three count. Then afterwards, Punk will beat the living daylights out of Heyman for about a good ten minutes, before Punk is finally detained by security and forced to the backstage area. Paul Heyman will have to be taken by stretcher out of the arena, and will then be written off television to take some vacation time.
Winner CM Punk.
Randy Orton vs. Daniel Bryan for The WWE Title: After being screwed over by Triple H at Summerslam last month, is it finally time for submission specialist, Daniel Bryan to raise the gold above his head? Honestly no, because of course that would be bad for business. early reports indicate that this feud between Bryan and Orton will last past November's Hell In A Cell", a good sign that WWE isn't going to just have Orton drop the belt to Bryan right away. Even with the spectacular matches Daniel Bryan has had over the past few weeks, a slew of cooperate goons might be all Orton needs to shift momentum in his favor Sunday at Night of Champions. I speculate this match will be highlighted by both the cooperation and the Babyfaces of the WWE making last minute saves for both Orton and Bryan during the match. We can also expect for power to reign supreme, as Triple H or Stephanie McMahon can call for the bell at any time and for any reason to end the match in Orton's favor. For those reasons alone, I believe Randy Orton will walk out of Night of Champions with the title around his belt, after a surprise RKO on Daniel Bryan . I also believe the RKO wont be a clean one, as one of Triple H's corporate goons will most likely be a factor in the distraction that hands Orton the victory. After this match, the WWE will most likely be building up to a Survivor Series Six man tag match between the team of Triple H, The Shield, Randy Orton and Wade Barrett vs. Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler, The Miz, Rob Van Dam, Cody Rhodes and The Big Show. The match will have a stipulation of another title shot for Bryan if his team wins, and he will face Orton later in the main event at Survivor series, only to lose to Orton and the Corporate goons again.
Winner: Randy Orton with a timely RKO on Daniel Bryan while he was distracted by a corporate goon.
5. Fandango: He may not be the most talented out of this group of superstars, but his entrance music and highflying move set more than compensates for the fact that he will most likely never escape mid card oblivion. After winning in his debut at WrestleMania against Chris Jericho, Fandango is still great for a filler match and the occasional Wednesday night Main Event. It may
take another superstar to carry him during some matches, but watching him hit that top rope leg drop on his opponent is certainly a sight worth seeing for the WWE Universe at live events.
4. Curtis Axel: Although I am personally not a fan of Curtis Axel, he certainly has what it takes to mix it up in the ring with many of the veteran superstars in the WWE. Axel’s standing drop kick, coupled with his manager, Paul Heyman at ringside for every match, really make this guy a versatile superstar. If the WWE is really focused on raising up new talent, they will drop the storyline between Punk and Axel after Night of Champions and have Axel join the corporation to garner him more heat with the audience. If Axel can draw lasting heat with the audience, then he should definitely have a World Heavyweight title run with Paul Heyman by his side.
3. Dolph Ziggler: You’re seriously going to go from having Ziggler cut a massive pipe bomb on his ex-girlfriend on SmackDown, to him being silenced a few weeks later by a corporate regime that does what’s best for business? This man is immensely talent in the ring and can cut great promos when given the chance, but the WWE still sticks him in these feeble storylines that never serve to get The Showoff over with the fans. Ziggler even had to drop his title to Alberto Del Rio at Payback, because Ziggler was deemed a injury risk to carry the title any longer. Ziggler was then thrown in another storyline with his ex girlfriend and her new boy toy. The storyline was designed to put over Big E. Langston, but Langston ended up losing the match and hasn’t been heard from since. So once again they put Ziggler in a situation to put someone else over and it gets dropped too. If WWE wants him to rise, they need consistency in the stories they sell. Ziggler is a great wrestler. The only thing that hold him back is the WWE itself.
2. Kofi Kingston: I really don't know why the WWE continues to waste this talented athlete. He may not be the best at promo work, and it’s almost impossible to really build a decent storyline for him, but when you put this man in the ring, great things are sure to happen. His trouble in paradise finisher is almost as unpredictable as the RKO, and just as effective. Despite many meaningless Intercontinental and United States title runs, Kingston is still a phenomenal in ring performer and if paired up with another highflying superstar could probably take the tag team division by storm.
1. Seth Rollins: I know everyone reading this will think I'm crazy for saying Seth Rollins is being underutilized in the WWE, but if you really look at that’s just what he is The WWE waste all their time putting Ambrose over as the mentally off-balanced grappler, who uses unsanctioned tactics to win matches. They put over Roman Reigns as the powerful, who can silence his opponent with one mighty spear, but how much time has the WWE really spent promoting Seth Rollins for the eventual split up of The Shield? yes there
has been Rollin's consecutive main event bouts with Daniel Bryan on both SmackDown and Raw, but besides those brief highlights Rollin's mostly just stands like a stooge along with the rest of the shield to aid the corporation during the opening segments of shows. I think when the Shield does finally disband, Ambrose will definitely keep his career alive by what he can do on a microphone, but will be Seth Rollins who soars to the top of the WWE with his mesmerizing move set and unprecedented ability to have a good match night after night. With all this being true, keeping Seth Rollins in the Shield is almost doing him more harm then good. Rollins needs to get his singles career started so fans can begin to understand more about him in his personality. If he can work on his microphone skills a bit, and can get a decent push after the shield gets dismantled, then Rollins will certainly be a valuable asset to the WWE
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