Looking at the potential Survivor Series card

Hell in a Cell has come and gone, with CM Punk hanging on to his WWE Championship thanks to the help of referee Brad Maddox. While the ending left a lot to be desired, the creative team was backed into a corner and the end probably justified the means.

Our “payoff” on Monday’s Raw saw the booking of a traditional five-on-five Survivor Series match between Team Punk (Punk, Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow and The Miz) v. Team Foley (Ryback, Kofi Kingston, Randy Orton, Kane and Daniel Bryan).

Sure, this match has some smells of typical WWE “put the singles guys in feuds with their foes in tag team matches” booking to it, but a traditional Survivor Series match on the pay-per-view called Survivor Series is probably a good thing.

Early in the show, I had high hopes for a few traditional elimination matches but the use of all these names in the top match make me think that’s not possible. The tying up of the WWE, Intercontinental and Tag Team champions also means we won’t get a whole lot out of the rest of the card.

Here, though, are some matches I think we might see to round out the card:

Antonio Cesaro is available, and following the run-in of R-Truth during the Cesaro-Kofi Kingston match, we might see Cesaro defend his United States Championship against Truth.

The World Heavyweight Championship will probably be up for grabs again, with Sheamus getting his rematch against Big Show.
The recent interactions between John Cena and Dolph Ziggler, as well as Vickie Guerrero’s “witch hunt” aimed at AJ, means we’ll probably see Cena and Ziggler go at it.

I’d also love a “midcard” elimination match with maybe Santino, Zack Ryder, Justin Gabriel, Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio v. 3MB and the Primetime Players. Will we see that, though? I would say the odds are more likely of the competitors being in other tag team matches just to add more to the card.

Why CM Punk won’t lose the WWE Championship to Ryback at Hell in a Cell

Image via WWE.com

Even though Ryback has been built up as a monster who can’t be beaten, the idea of him defeating CM Punk and claiming the WWE Championship seems highly unlikely.

WWE has continually emphasized CM Punk’s long title reign and it seems ideal to have him defend the title against The Rock at Royal Rumble. If not, the Punk clothesline to Rock on Raw 1000 is left dangling in the wind. Sure, Punk could lose and then regain the title, but his match with The Rock wouldn’t mean as much in that scenario. Of course, WWE could change everything and have John Cena v. The Rock at the Rumble. That rematch seems more likely to happen at WrestleMania XXIX, though.

I think the most probable scenario has CM Punk walking out of Hell in a Cell, still the champion, thanks to some shady business from either Paul Heyman or Brock Lesnar.

While plenty of people think Lesnar won’t get involved because it would derail him from an impending rematch with Triple H, perhaps the powers that be at WWE realize that not many people want to see that rematch. A Brock Lesnar v. Ryback match at, say, WrestleMania would create some new intrigue. If it’s a stiff fight, like Lesnar’s matches with John Cena and Triple H have been this year, and Ryback wins, it could do a lot to establish Ryback as a long-lasting main eventer.

Or maybe CM Punk wins clean. He could clearly use that as more ammo to say he’s “Best in the World,” and add to it that even after beating the undefeated “Big Hungry,” he still can’t get respect.

There are a number of ways to keep the belt on CM Punk moving forward, but I don’t envy WWE’s oft-lamented creative team for figuring this one out. Either way, having Ryback in the main event against CM Punk has created more intrigue around the match and pay-per-view than if it were John Cena.

Gail Kim ranked No. 1 in PWI “Female 50”

Pro Wrestling Illustrated has released its annual PWI Female 50 rankings and TNA’s Gail Kim has earned the top spot for 2012. The rankings are based on activity from July 1, 2011 through June 30 of this year and include female wrestlers from North America.

From PWI‘s press release:

Pro Wrestling Illustrated has revealed that Gail Kim has been named #1 in the 2012 PWI Female 50. The Female 50 will be available for digital download on Thursday, October 18, at www.pwi-online.com. It will be released on newsstands later this month.

This is the first time Gail Kim has earned this distinction. Prior Female 50 number ones have included Madison Eagles (2011), Michelle McCool (2010), Mickie James (2009), and Awesome Kong (2008).

“Gail Kim held the Knockouts title for 210 days during the evaluation period,” said PWI Senior Writer Dan Murphy. “She also held the Knockouts tag team title, and had a string of successful title defenses against the top women in TNA, including Mickie James, Tara, and Madison Rayne. Our congratulations go out to her.”

Brock Lesnar DVD will be first title to feature unblurred WWF logo

Photo courtesy MemeGeneOkerlund.com

It was reported in August that WWE was working with the World Wildlife Fund to agree on terms so that the company wouldn’t have to blur the old WWF scratch logo in archive footage, mostly to reduce costs associated with doing so in preparation for the launch of the WWE Network.

WWEDVDNews.com has learned that the logo will no longer be blurred on DVD and BluRay releases as well, beginning with the Brock Lesnar: Here Comes The Pain set that hits stores October 30th.

The blurred logo has really been an eye sore on DVDs past, with the splotches covering turnbuckles, ring aprons, entrance ways and title belts. At times, it’s so bad that it distracts from the matches, since the blurring sometimes covers the wrestlers as well.

10.8.12 Raw Rants: CM Punk, McMahon, Ryback bring “attitude”

This week’s episode of Raw had a different feel to it than the recent shows, it felt like it had a little more “attitude.”

CM Punk was the star of the show and he’s really hitting his stride once again as a heel. His in-ring interaction with Vince McMahon was intense and entertaining and Punk seemed like he had a little more fire than usual. Or, as I put it on Twitter, CM Punk was on some “other level, Jack Nicholson-type shit.” While the whole idea of a rebellious champion against the authority figure has been done to death and this seemed like Austin v. McMahon lite, it was done in a different way and isn’t leading into a feud between Punk and VKM. This was all to set up Punk having to choose between facing John Cena or Ryback at Hell in a Cell.

The match itself between McMahon and Punk was not a catch-as-catch-can classic but it was a beauty in a whole different way. It was physical and you have to give McMahon credit for taking the beating he did at his age. The use of weapons made it logical that Vinnie Mac could hold his ground against Punk.

The crowd was into the show the entire night and popped incredibly when Ryback’s music hit during the Punk-McMahon match. While he may be limited and remind many of Goldberg, Ryback is definitely getting over. The ending of the show felt a little bit like the “good old days” of Raw, with the crowd going so crazy that the hard camera was shaking and Ryback looking like a monster.

Thoughts on the rest of the 10.8.12 Raw:
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Brian Gewirtz out as head writer of Raw

Dave Meltzer is reporting that Brian Gewirtz, on the staff since 2000, is out as head writer of WWE Raw. Vince McMahon returns to Raw tonight to make his “State of the WWE” address, but apparently analyzed the real state of the show just hours ago, removing Gewirtz from his post. Meltzer is also reporting that Gewirtz will stay on as a consultant.

Perhaps Gewirtz simply wanted a change and the decision was his but one would assume Gewirtz took the fall for Raw’s somewhat disappointing ratings as of late. The show, though, has been pretty good since the switch to three hours, so the timing is a bit odd.

Video: Dave Bautista wins MMA debut by TKO

Dave “Brass Body” Bautista made his MMA debut Saturday night, defeating Vince Lucero at CES 12: Real Pain in Providence, Rhode Island. Obviously Bautista was in better physical condition than Lucero, a veteran of over 40 MMA fights. Bautista won by TKO late in the first round. Afterwards the two men jawed a bit over Bautista’s punches seemingly landing illegally on the back of Lucero’s head. (Some NSFW language in Bautista’s post-fight interview)