With just under two weeks left until the next PPV Payback, WWE only has 2 official matches announced. Needless to say they better start filling out the card soon. Speaking of filling out the card, will Ziggler finally return to at least address his #1 Contender, Alberto Del Rio? Who will challenge The Shield for the US and Tag Titles? What will be the fallout of Heyman accepting Jericho’s challenge on Punk’s behalf? Which big name star will Curtis Axel ‘defeat’ this week? Most importantly of all will anyone be watching RAW since it’s Game 7 of the Heat-Pacers series?


Alberto Del Rio: As unlikely as it seemed at first, Del Rio’s face turn has been a success. He’s connected with a large part of the Universe with examples such as getting pops for locking in the Cross Arm Breaker and the crowd following along as Ricardo does his drawn out announcing of ADR’s name. In fact, the biggest reason for his acceptance as a face wasn’t giving up his luxury cars and aristocratic attitude, but how he treats his personal ring announcer. Whereas Ricardo was a type of servant before, now he’s a confidant and friend. During the WHC feud with Big Show he constantly put himself in harm’s way to protect his friend. It’s this relationship more then anything else that has made a successful hero out of ALBERTOOOOOOOOOOOOO…(15 seconds later)…OOOOOOOOOOO DELLLLLLLL RIOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Daniel Bryan: Is Bryan not the most entertaining star in WWE right now? I’ve written in the past how great his new persona is and how well he executes it, but that’s only one part of it. After taking the pin in a 6 man tag against The Shield, he begins to argue backstage with his partners, Kane and Orton. Bryan totally flips out and emphatically continues to insist he’s not the weak link and he’s going to fight someone to get their respect. It’s just absolutely hilarious how Bryan portrays this unhinged persona. His acting chops have come a long way since his initial appearance in WWE.

Jericho/Punk: Who cares that there was a contract signing between Jericho and Heyman for the Payback match and that it wasn’t as explosive as past ones? Who cares that no one went through the table in the ring? Who cares that the table top appeared to be of a nicer material then standard WWE tables? Who cares that CM Punk didn’t even show up? Punk will officiallybe taking on Jericho in a PPV match! When those two face off in the ring magic is bound to happen and it is incredibly likely that they will steal the show.


No Chance: So the advertised main event at the top of the show is a HHH-Axel rematch from two weeks ago? Not so fast as there are surprising appearances by both Stephanie and Vince to kick off the show. Well not so surprising when you consider RAW is in Hartford, CT and WWE HQ is just down the road in Stamford. Normally this would all be a good thing, especially Stephanie given the infrequency of her on WWE TV, but both continue the Hunter injury angle by saying that H will not compete tonight. Then all of a sudden ‘Sierra, Hotel, India…’ rings out and the possibility of The Shield going toe to toe with the MaMahons or cutting a promo on them could help this segment. So what does Creative have planned? RAW cuts to commercial and when it returns, the McMahons have left the ring and The Hounds of Justice are waiting for a 6 man tag match. The HHH injury angle is what it is, but cutting to commercial instead of having a potentially epic confrontation totally dropped the ball.

Mizzing Something: As big of a Mizfit as I am, even I have to admit that The Miz’s face turn isn’t going as well as I hoped. There was optimism at the start since he had the natural charisma and was over with the crowd. However, he hasn’t really taken off in the way you’d think. Part of that might be poor booking as his title feuds with Cesaro and Barrett were underwhelming, not to mention his 1 day reign as IC Champ did nothing for him. Then there’s the whole thing with Ric Flair as his ‘mentor’. Also, at times it seems like his stints as host of MizTV and announcer on Main Event have taken precedence over what he does in ring. Finally, there’s mot much difference between Miz’s heel persona and his face one. He’s still the same cocky guy, but he now targets heels instead. With all the promotional work he does for WWE and his movie career, you can be sure that the company will still feature Miz on TV, but whether his floundering face run takes off is anyone’s guess.

Ryback: Another week, another instance of Ryback interfering in Cena’s match against Curtis Axel leading to a another Countout win for Mr Perfect Jr. While Ryback may not be the best opponent for Cena in a match the magnitude of Three Stages of Hell, at least he’s a relatively new guy in the main event and not someone in their mid 50s who’s being pushed at the expense of younger talent. At least Creative has done away with the HHH-Lesnar feud, giving Ryback the chance to be the sole #1 heel.