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Posted in: My Two Centsss
My Two Centsss - Where's Ryder?
By Super Chrisss
Aug 2, 2012 - 5:56:37 PM

1. Day 1 - Five Things That SHOULD Happen On RAW Tonight (But Probably Won't)

2. Day 2 - Where's Ryder?

1. Day 1

Writer's Note: Don't refresh your browser, you have indeed clicked on a brand new edition of My Two Centsss! For those of you who asked, I didn't die (duh), I simply had no time to post a column last week because I did the graveyard shift at work six days straight, followed up by a Coldplay concert and seeing a Mick Foley comedy show (both of which were AWESOME).

Since it's obviously too late to share my RAW 1000 thoughts, I thought I'd preview tonight's show. The last time I did this, I went 0 for 5 with my predictions, so we'll see how wrong I predict the future this time.

5. The Miz starts a program with his next challenger

Kicking things off with the most unlikely scenario is the brand new Intercontinental Champion, The Miz. As you know, Miz defeated Christian on last wee's RAW to win the title, and would successfully defend his title against Captain Charisma in a rematch on Friday's SmackDown. Since Miz won Friday's contest via dirty shenanigans, it would not surprise me to see Christian get "one more match" against Miz, possibly as soon as tonight. However, I hope that's not the direction they go in. Don't get me wrong, Christian and Miz are two of my favourite wrestlers, and each time they've faced off in the past, they've had some great matches (just watch their match on SmackDown for proof). But with so many hungry guys on the roster, why have Miz and Christian feud over the IC title another month? Sure, it could bring legitimacy to the title, like when Chris Jericho and Rey Mysterio feuded over the belt a few years back, but Miz could have a really good feud with Brodus Clay or Zack Ryder. I won't complain if we get Miz vs. Christian at SummerSlam, but I don't want this feud to last longer than it should, and I would introduce a new challenger as early as tonight.

4. The midcard gets some actual TV time

Most people don't know what to expect from tonight's show, mainly because there has been much speculation about what the extra hour of RAW will feature. Will it be like a pre-show? Will it be nothing but hype for Twitter and that piece of shit also known as Tout? Or will WWE be wise and use the extra time to get more faces on television? Obviously, I'm hoping for the latter. Not even counting SmackDown, there are plenty of RAW guys (and girls) who are dying for a chance to show their skills on RAW, or television for that matter. Well, if WWE can't find time to highlight their tag teams, divas, and midcard with three hours, then I don't know what will. Hopefully going three hours will cut down on the amount of jobber entrances and commercial breaks between matches, but I'm not that optimistic.

3. Aj proves her worth as General Manager

When Aj was named by Vince McMahon as the new General Manager of RAW, I was stunned. I was NOT expecting her (or any woman, for that matter). But as RAW 1000 went on, I started thinking about it, and I began to like the idea. She is going to be much different than any past GM, that's for sure. In fact, she's probably one of the youngest RAW GMs in history, and definitely one of the more attractive. But choosing her for the role does make sense. She's proven to be a ratings draw in recent weeks, so why not capitalize on her momentum and give her a huge on-screen role? Considering the way the divas championship is represented nowadays, being the GM is more prestigious than being the divas champion. Aj has been one of WWE's breakout stars of the year, and I'm anxious to see what she can bring to the table, which will hopefully silence some of the haters out there.

2. Randy Orton returns and becomes the new number one contender

Allow me to explain. Randy Orton's 60-day suspension is officially over, so he can return to TV beginning this week. There's no doubt WWE will push him back to the top right from the get-go, and with SummerSlam coming up, it makes sense for Orton to be in the title picture, especially with Sheamus unproven as a draw. Alberto Del Rio unfortunately became the number contender (again) on SmackDown, but WWE never specified Del Rio would get his title shot at SummerSlam. With WWE teasing a confrontation between Mysterio and Del Rio tonight, I would have them face off in another number one contender's match, only for both of them to be taken out by a returning Viper. This way, we avoid a SummerSlam match no one wants to see (Del Rio vs. Sheamus) and we get two matches people do want to see instead (at least I do) in Sheamus vs. Orton and Mysterio vs. Del Rio. Everybody wins, right?

1. CM Punk officially turns heel

After the conclusion of last week's show, I thought Punk had already turned heel, especially when Jerry Lawler commented that Punk had turned his back on the WWE Universe. But, apparently, he's not. Jim Ross doesn't think Punk's a heel. Punk has been working live events as a face, and the crowds have been cheering for him. That's cool, but rather than try something edgy like keep Punk a tweener, I have a feeling Punk will somehow solidify his heel status on tonight's show. Logically, that's not a bad thing. We will most likely get Punk vs. Cena at SummerSlam, and it would help to have a clear-cut face and clear-cut heel. After that, I would borrow a page from Tito's playbook and have Punk vs. Triple H in a rematch from last year's Night of Champions. After that, a Punk vs. Undertaker match at Survivor Series is possible, with rumours circling that The Deadman will once again compete in 2012. Of course, this leads us to the Royal Rumble, where get a "dream match" in Punk vs. Rock for the WWE Championship.

Sorry for all the fantasy booking, but it all comes down to one thing. Punk's "Road To The Rumble" begins tonight.

What do you think? Agree with my predictions? Disagree? Hell, feel free to make your own and we'll find out tomorrow how wrong we all were.

2. Day 2

It's been a long time since I wrote a love column about my number one obsession, Zack Ryder, and with Long Island Iced Z's absence from last Monday's RAW felt (by me at least), I figured it would be a good time to write about the former United States Champion. Just a warning: if you hate Ryder/can't stand hearing or reading articles about him, then I suggest you skip today's column.

Back when I made my RAW predictions a few days ago, I hoped RAW would take the extra forty-five minutes to showcase the rest of their roster rather than utilize the usual suspects over and over. Unfortunately, WWE (unsurprisingly) decided NOT to do this, but to recap the same segment(s) over and over again - how many ****ing times must we be reminded about what happened between The McMahon family and The Lesnar camp when it took place LAST WEEK!? Oh, and if you didn't know the RAW stage set on fire and Aj was the new General Manager of RAW, well the company made sure to remind you of these things, over and over and over again.

Meanwhile, Zack Ryder and Cody Rhodes wrestled a dark match before RAW.

Think about that for a second. I remember a point in time when the IWC went bananas for Ryder and Rhodes. People (like myself) were demanding a United States title shot for the former, and a World Heavyweight title opportunity for the latter. Today, the Zack Pack and the ?Codians? aren't as vocal with their fan support, but that's internet wrestling fans for you - always changing their mind at the drop of a dime, incapable of choosing a side and sticking with it. But I digress.

I don't really understand why the first RAW after last week's star-studded episode couldn't find time for these two future stars. One thing I like about the show's new format is the longer matches - Bryan/Sheamus, Jericho & Christian/Miz & Ziggler and Show/Cena NEVER would have been given so much time if RAW was only two hours. On the other hand, as I mentioned earlier, those constant recaps really dragged the show down and made it feel longer than it had any right to be. You're telling me they couldn't have left out a few of those "reminders" and gave us a Rhodes and/or Ryder match instead? Come on now.

While I'm on the subject of Rhodes, I just want to take the time to praise his match with Sheamus from last week's SmackDown. Both men have had their share of strong matches in 2012, so it wasn't too surprising how well they clicked together. Rhodes should have become the number one contender to The Great White's world title, not Del Rio, but at least he had a great showing against one of the roster's top dogs. I'm predicting Sheamus will eventually drop his title to either Rhodes, Dolph Ziggler, or a returning Wade Barrett (you heard it here first, folks).

Going back to Ryder, I cannot comprehend WWE's logic when it comes to booking him. There's no need to recap his disastrous 2012, but when he defeated Kane to become the Interim General Manager of SmackDown last month, many people thought The Ryder Revolution was back in full-force. Well, it wasn't. Ryder was disappointing as a GM - his only in-ring appearance was a promo to kick off the show (which the fans were into, by the way) and the rest were backstage appearances, making matches. To my disappointment, he didn't book himself in a title match for the show nor did he book himself for the upcoming Money in the Bank ladder match. You know, things any superstar with power would want to do - create opportunities for himself, regardless if he's a face or a heel.

To me, it seems like the company has no idea what they want to do with Ryder. Despite losing a lot of momentum at the hands of Kane and Eve, Ryder is still one of the most over superstars on the roster (as seen on television, and as dozens of fans at live events will tell you). Just recently, Ryder was booked in Intercontinental Championship matches against The Miz at live events, and according to reports on several websites including LOP, Ryder and Miz had one of the best matches of the night. That may not be a whole lot to brag about when other matches on the card include Brodus Clay vs. JTG and John Cena vs. Big Show, but still, it's something. Especially when you take into account that Miz, although solid in the ring, has never been the world's best technician. Why this push is yet to translate to television is beyond my comprehension.

Quite frankly, I don't know why WWE have developed cold feet about pushing Ryder (and Rhodes too, for that matter). Maybe it has something to do with age. The last time I checked, both guys are two of the youngest superstars on the entire roster. Maybe WWE are simply using their older talents first because they know they won't be around forever (believe it or not, guys like Santino, Del Rio, and even Sheamus are all in their 30s). If that is the case, then I kind of understand why two guys in their mid-20s are being groomed, not pushed too quickly. However, WWE is notorious for failing to strike while the iron is hot, and they could seriously be hurting both guy's careers by not finding them something better to do than work dark matches or Superstars.

What do you think? What's your explanation for Ryder (and to a certain extent, Rhodes as well) being de-pushed in recent months? Furthermore, are you still a Ryder fan? If not, what made you change your mind?


Did You Know?

Before Zack Ryder re-debuted on RAW last year as a face, his nickname was "Long Island Loudmouth".

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Quick shout-outs go out to TeamFarell for making the sig and @WWEFunFacts for providing the "Did You Know?" facts.

Thanks for reading!

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