Following Up On CM Punk vs. Ryback Finish, Big Show As World Champ, Referee That Screwed Ryback, WWE HoF

What are your thoughts on the finish of CM Punk vs. Ryback from WWE Hell in a Cell?

I thought the finish to CM Punk vs. Ryback at Hell in a Cell was lazy, nonsensical and very poorly done. This isn't an issue about having Punk retain while not making Ryback look weak. This is an issue of the undefeated superstar taking a loss in his first relevant match as a main event performer. Punk came out looking like the cowardly heel but why should anyone be scared of 0-1 Ryback? As I pointed out here in Richard Reacts, it completely lacked logic for the referee to be able to stop Ryback from Shell-shocking Punk. If Ryback is who they say he is, he destroys the referee without cause. The main event could not have come off worse and despite working the best he could, the booking assured no progress for Ryback as a viable main event wrestler.

What are your thoughts on Big Show as World Heavyweight Champion? Will it be a successful reign or abbreviated?

I haven't heard the plan for Big Show as World Heavyweight Champion but the good news is he left Hell in a Cell without Dolph Ziggler "cashing in" as that's something that was talked about at length going into the weekend. We noted here when we spoiled the title change the plan was to continue the program of Sheamus vs. Big Show. With that being said Big Show and Sheamus stole the show with the best match of the night.

Who was the referee in CM Punk vs. Ryback at Hell in a Cell?

The referee in the ring that cost Ryback the WWE Championship was Brad Maddox. Maddox is a former WWE developmental worker turned referee. He's the referee that did the angle on the September 17th episode of WWE Raw where Cena pinned CM Punk (in a tag match also involving Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio) with Punk's foot on the ropes. I expect this to resurface based on the way Maddox was booked at the pay-per-view and was probably the reason he was used.

Is 2013 the year WWE will induct Leon "Vader" White into the WWE Hall of Fame?

The only name I've heard contacted for next year's Hall of Fame is Bruno Sammartino and he said no. I'm sure we'll hear much more leading into next year.

Remember questions with proper spelling and grammar have the best chance of being answered. The next installment of Ask WNW will run on Tuesday, October 30, 2012.

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  • Joey

    The booking was very lazy indeed. The only positive for me is that Punk still has the strap. This is a reign that I truly want to see make history, and I think it can do just that.

    • Wally Palmer

      In order for his title reing to make history, he would need to hold it for 6 more years. I don't think we will see Punk (or anyone else for that matter) have a longer title run than Bruno Sammartino.

      • Joey

        More historical than the reigns of recent memory. The last title reign to go over the span of a year was John Cena from Unforgiven 2006 to the RAW 6 days before No Mercy 2007. If Punk makes it to the Rumble, he will have surpassed that. Just because it isn't 6 years, doesn't mean it doesn't matter.

        • The arbiter

          3 main events out of the last 12 PPVs with Punk as Champion. Can't recall any other year long champion having so little exposure at the top of the card.

          • A Worker

            Yes, punk only did main event 3 PPV's in the past year, but with Punk, that doesn't really matter. CM Punk as WWE champion has put on the best matches of the night on PPV's, and also defeated top name superstars such as, Miz, Alberto, Ziggler, Cena, Show, Henry, Jericho, Kane, and Daniel Bryan, and also defended the title in TLC, Elimination Chamber and Hell In A Cell matches. He also made the cover of WWE 13, main evented RAW's 1000th episode, and also defeated Sheamus in a Champion vs Champion match, and made The Rock "Go To Sleep". To me thats a pretty memorable run at the top. A pretty memorable title run over all.

          • Joey

            But those matches have mostly all been matches of the night, and the fact that the fans are complaining about it and that Punk's current storyline about respect really helps this matter.

  • Sovikos

    I think the GM will throw out the match based on the referee and it won’t go against Ryback’s record. No harm, no foul

    • Joey

      I could see that happening, but wouldn't it make sense for the GM to give Ryback a rematch? We've seen in the past with matches that have screwjob endings, that the wrestler who was screwed is just given another match, Usually with a stipulation that benefits them. they don't get the loss expunged from their record.

  • Dave Barton

    Hmm…Richard says the finish was lazy. Seems I remember someone else saying that and being ridiculed for it. Oh right, that was me. So who looks ridiculous now? A bunch of wannabe smarks or me & Richard?

    • aeaton45

      Just because Richard said it was lazy doesn’t make it necessarily true. I think using lesnar would be lazy as that is the easy way out and its what everyone is expecting. I see more storylines that can come out of this match out come then just doing lesnar vs ryback

      • GODSENT83

        I fully agree. I’m curious to see how it unfolds now

    • Maxx Stylez

      Well I do agree that it was creatively lazy for them to book the ending the way they did, it does force Punk into a title defense at Survivor Series (hopefully). This way the “smarks” as you put it can’t say Punk just floated past Cena on the all time longest reigns list.

    • Why do you care so much about your “Internet reputation”?

  • Shawn

    Booking was not lazy u people make me sick am done with this stupid ass website bunch of cry baby bitches u still can’t admit that they fooled the shit out of you and I last night and for u Richard and the almighty IWC to just go on and say it was “LAZY” really makes no sense so f u guys and this site

    • Dave Barton

      Ah yes, a crooked referee…so original. The reality is that it’s a gimmick that’s almost as pro wrestling itself. Bye Shawn, I’ll miss your insightful input here at WNW.

    • GODSENT83

      Amen!!! The WWE is screwed with whatever they do rather than let them play it out

    • The arbiter

      If your posting on the site, you are part of the IWC

    • Blaze

      Shawn is such a drama queen. See you tomorrow.

  • Ray

    I’m not buying another ppv till wrestlemania. Just because wwe is the only game in town doesent mean they should keep pushing a garbage product. Every hell in a cell they only ever refer to undertaker vs mankind match in order to sell the main event. Despite the no blood order and no more high risks being taken. Hell in a cell has just as much prestige as a cage match now. The original idea behind HIAC was that you can’t run, you can’t hide, no one can interfere, and there must be a winner. if the product does not improve before wrestlemania or just after. I’m switching to TNA and CZW.

    • peter

      I'm sure the WWE will miss you.

    • Me.

      Why buy another PPV ever? Just stream them.

      • Polyyyy

        How would you stream them for free?

  • peter

    Richard you are so wrong about Ryback because he looked great as a main eventer ,he made Punk look pretty pathetic and maybe that's what you didn't like,the match was pretty good, I'm getting sick and tired of the criticism the WWE gets from the armchair no it alls,don't like it don't watch it simple.

    • XKonn247

      Well that argument is flawed quite nicely. Telling Richard, whose job it is to report on wrestling, not to watch wrestling… Utter genius!

  • Fish

    I am sorry but everyone that says that the ending was lazy is trying to come up with a reason not to like Ryback in the main event. While I agree that Ryback should have been groomed more for the main event, with Cena down, what else could they do. Richard I am disapointed that you would be so against the ending since by all means they had really no way that would not make Punk weak or ruin Ryback's momentum besides something like this. If by all means you were a writer, you would have been in the same boat and to all that said they should have had someone interrupt the match, really because by all means waste Lesnar's days on his contract or someone have Ryback in a feud with Mark Henry would be so great. That is all I have to say and hope that in the future, Richard would take more caution with how he states his answers.

    • XKonn247

      And on this day no damns were given.

  • ericdraven86

    While the finish was pretty cliché, I'm going to see where they go with it tonight before calling it lazy. This could be the groundwork for a great storyline, but it could also be the lazy option.

  • Brandon

    I dont think it was lazy at all. WWE put itself in a no win situation last night. Now you have Ryback getting screwed and Cena saying its his turn since pulled his name from the title match due to injury. It sets up a triple threat at SS where Punk can steal a win and not make Ryback or Cena look weak. It sets up Punk and Rock and possibly Cena vs Ryback down the road

  • JonnyVC

    It was obvious ‘something’ was going to happen during the main event, but I wasn’t expecting the finish that happened & for that reason I feel creative did the best they possibly could. I reckon 90% including myself was expecting a Lesnar/Henry run in, so the ref swerve must have had most people fooled?

  • paulw3000

    I thought Punk and Ryback both worked really well… I wasn’t keen on the finish but I honestly didn’t see it coming and that’s what its about… One thing that really didn’t help the match was the crowd, they were poor all night…

  • Bob

    I actually liked last nights show. The ending was better than it would have been if the WWE would have used Lesnar or Cena.

    Show vs. Sheamus motn??? What have you been smoking? The first part of the match was as boring as it could have been. Motn was Orton/Del Rio.

    Fortunately, Richard is just like us. His opinion isn’t worth more than ours so people just please come up with your own opinions

  • Clint

    i love how they put over the ref angle as something that has never been done before

    • Rayner Chee-bai

      To be exact, Ric Flair and Charles Robinson already done this angle back in NWA-WCW. People, you are with me on this right?

  • Doug

    TOTAL lack of credibility using a JOBBER referee in a main event match. IMMEDIATELY you know he would be involved in the finish somehow. Richard, don't you agree?

    • Richard Gray

      I thought something was up when I saw Brad Maddox get the HIAC main event but I don't think that's an immediate "tip-off" either.

  • Da KiDD

    Richard, what the hell are you talking about "Who's going to be scared of a 0-1 Ryback"? It wasn't like it was a clean loss where a competitor would say "Oh, I can beat this guy strategically like Punk did." It was a screwjob, so that automatically lessens the effect of the loss. Also, Ryback was the last man standing, which made him look dominant. In one month, no one will remember "Ryback is 0-1." Also, you say he should have dominated the referee…..yeah, I dont give a damn how muscled up you are……try someone hitting u in the balls and see how quick you dominate them. You are like a little snob sometimes. And that last comment has nothing to do with the quality of your work or site, but just specifically what I said… are snobbish at times.