This week, John and Andy return for another installment of point/counterpoint, with an eye toward the events of TLC.
1-Did WWE handle the Punk/Shield handicap match well enough to protect the status of all AND make for a compelling storyline?
Point(John): Simple answer, yes. I think in this instance, WWE Creative was less concerned about giving Punk the victory and more focused on furthering the storyline of a likely/eventual Shield split. As I opined elsewhere, on paper, with no miscues, Punk should have had zero shot. Punk gets the win, but it’s not like he dominated. The story can and will be that Punk only won because Reigns speared one of his own. It works, and I was OK with how it got done. It could have been much much worse.
Counterpoint(Andy): CM Punk got lucky on Sunday, he was out numbered but due to a crucial error by Roman Reigns he walks out with the win but didn’t walk out with a bruises and soreness. Yes he got the win but how does this boost him for down the road. On Raw the next night he lost to the Shield in a six man tag. So it’s like were taking one step forward but two steps back. This story feels like were going around in circles instead of a steady straight line.
2-Did WWE handle the Bryan/Wyatts match the right way, and do you like the direction they appear headed in?
Point(John): It sure seemed like a well-booked and well-executed match, and when you consider how relatively green most of the Wyatt clan is still, it impresses me that much more. That they continue to tease Bryan joining Bray and the clan is intriguing but I have long term concerns.Intriguing in that it may end up being a nice program for DB to take him a month or two. Long term though, does this program take him out of the title hunt and out of the ‘Mania main event picture? I know the rumored top match didn’t involve Bryan, and I think how this program continues to unfold may just solidify that. In my mind, this kind of an angle could last through WrestleMania.
Counterpoint(Andy) Bryan almost defeated the odds but due to the awesome talent that Bray Wyatt is, he had no chance of winning. Bray is threatening him as if he is going to kill him but yet every chance he has, he doesn’t do anything. At a point you have to go with your word because at this point I think they are confusing the audience. Does Bray want Bryan to join or put him down for good? Bryan could have a chance at the world title but I think the Wyatt’s eventually cost him that shot. This story ends with Bryan getting his revenge on the Wyatt clan not doubt but the question is do they stick with this story until Mania? WWE changes plans all the time so how can we have faith they will stick with?
3-What happens with Orton and the Authority now?
Point(John)-Well, Orton is your latest unified champion, and somewhere Chris Jericho is yawning. The biggest thing for me that happened last night? That HHH, Stephanie AND Vince came down to the ring after Orton’s win. Does this mean that the plug has been pulled on the rumored angle of a power struggle at the top, leading to a ‘Mania match with control of the company at stake? Last night, they all seemed on the same page. That does not mean that such an angle can’t happen or won’t-there is still over a month till the Rumble, and WM30 is months away. Still time to make it happen, and I hope they do. I just expected last night’s match and how it ended to set up the split, and it did not.
The ending of that PPV was flat and left you with a feeling of where are they going? I still think John Cena and Randy Orton goes one more round at the end of the day, most likely at WrestleMania. To answer are they still going with a power struggle, what if John Cena aligns himself with Vince? Vince wants Cena to be the face of the company and doesn’t like Orton’s tactics that he has done. This creates a butting heads between him and Triple H. There is a big payoff still in the air and I think they will continue with current plans.