Payback plotlines keep playing out for WWE
Results and subsequent fallout from the Payback pay-per-view and the intriguing booking heading toward Money In The Bank are the focus this week as pro wrestling action heats up along with the summer weather.
Two weeks ago, John Cena successfully retained the WWE title at Payback with a win over Ryback when he managed to deliver the Attitude Adjustment on Ryback through a table to win the second fall and through the roof of an ambulance to capture the deciding frame after dropping the first fall to the Shellshock in the Lumberjack contest.
Surprisingly, Dolph Ziggler coughed up the world heavyweight championship to Alberto Del Rio in his first bout back after recovering from a concussion. Afterward, it was reported that he was back on the disabled list. Not sure if it was an angle or he was getting legit symptoms back from his concussion, but that explanation would make the most sense to switch the belt so quickly. They are scheduled for a rematch at MITB.
Not surprisingly, Curtis Axel, subbing for the concussed Fandango, won the Intercontinental title in a three-way over Wade Barrett and the Miz. A.J. bested Kaitlin to win the Diva crown. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns kept the tag straps with a victory over Randy Orton and Daniel Bryan. Orton walked out on Bryan, who got pinned, setting up a series of television matches between the two for Raw and Smackdown.
C.M. Punk made a popular and successful return in front of a rowdy Chicago crowd by defeating Chris Jericho in what some fans described as a possible match of the year candidate. Y2J is reportedly working on a bad right knee and may be suffering from a meniscus tear. Punk began a face turn by declaring himself "just a friend of Paul Heyman" and not one of his clients like Brock Lesnar and Curtis Axel.
It was announced at the ppv that Rob Van Dam will be returning at the Money In The Bank next month in Philadelphia, his old stomping grounds when he starred for ECW. With Punk seemingly distancing himself from Heyman and being attacked by Lesnar and given an F-5 for his trouble on the Raw after the ppv, it is possible RVD might return and align himself with Heyman.
Naturally, it looks as if Punk's next major feud will be with Lesnar for SummerSlam. Despite Heyman's attempt to straighten things out with Punk and deny responsibility for the Lesnar attack this past Monday on Raw, it would make sense that henchman Curtis Axel will first attempt to take out Punk at MITB and there could be a fresh match-up with RVD well down the road if they wanted.
On the post-Payback Raw, Mark Henry teased retirement in a very convincing fashion, fooling John Cena hook, line and sinker. After a wake-up slam, it will be Cena defending against Henry at MITB. Zeb Colter latched onto a new protégé in Antonio Cesaro.
Daniel Bryan sustained a stinger in his bout with Orton on Raw the night after the ppv and the match was stopped by the doctor against Bryan's wishes as he was supposedly going to be going over. Bryan did get a tap out victory over the Viper this past Monday and there are rumors of a big push for him for this summer.
The Shield beat up Kane and he got no help from anybody. That could portend the return of the Undertaker and a Brothers of Destruction reunion for SS. A picture of Punk holding the Stanley Cup, won by the Chicago Blackhawks earlier this past week, was circulating on the Internet.
Sad to report the recent death of Memphis area wrestling legend Jackie Fargo. The famous Fargo strut was the trademark of his very successful pro wrestling career and Jerry Lawler tweeted that he considered Fargo a real mentor for him when he broke into the sport.
For Father's Day, the Insider received the perfect reading material for the beach with copies of the new George the Animal Steele and Bob Holly books showing up as gifts. Should be able to review those somewhere not too far down the road.