Backstage news from WWE Monday Night Raw in Des Moines…
– We’re told Vince McMahon did want to “load up the show” because it was a holiday (Labor Day in the United States) and viewership was expected to be down. One observer called it a “paint by numbers” show.
– The initial diagnosis for Mark Henry’s hamstring injury was a torn muscle but he’s getting a second opinion.
– The situation with Cody Rhodes and his “firing” was two-fold. One, his contract was up at the same time that Ted DiBiase’s deal was up so WWE was hoping some of the smarks would falsely report he was really leaving. Two, he asked for time off so he could get married and go on his honeymoon. While Cody put his request in early, the producers and creative team didn’t really communicate the timing until late last week. He’s expected out for a few weeks.
– Vince McMahon is very high up on the CM Punk/Paul Heyman storyline and feels the realism in it is some of the best work he’s seen in a very long time. However, he also realizes they booked things backwards because he wanted Punk vs. Brock Lesnar so bad at SummerSlam.
– We’re told this week’s show had a heavy Triple H influence with Vince McMahon giving him a long leash. Hunter made most of the calls on the angles involving him. There continues to be some dissension between Triple H and Vince over the angle, however, as Vince doesn’t like the way the top babyfaces looked standing on the stage and doing nothing.
– Edge is returning to television next week to cross promote his role on SyFy’s “Haven” and there’s been talk of putting him in an angle, obviously as a babyface.