Backstage news and notes from Monday Night Raw in Austin…
- We're told Brad Maddox's lines in the opening segment of this week's show were once again a worked shoot play on Vince McMahon's former mindset on Daniel Bryan.
- Triple H called the CM Punk/Paul Heyman segment some of the best promo work in many years. The program is being built with the "big fight feel," something both Vince McMahon and Heyman love. Hunter is really high up on the realism and feels it shows a side of Punk's character that hasn't been seen WWE television. One observer pointed you would have to go back to Punk's program with Raven in Ring of Honor to know that he really had it in him. While both Vince and Hunter feel Punk plays a better heel in the ring, they are "very happy" with this current direction and feel it's a completely different kind of babyface.
- Daniel Bryan's match against Antonio Cesaro was being called a second "Match of the Year" candidate in just as many weeks. Triple H greeted Antonio Cesaro as soon as he got backstage and CM Punk and others gave him an ovation. Many workers were spotted watching the bout on the monitor backstage.
- We heard criticism from Daniel Bryan beating Ryback by count out. As "poor as poor booking can get," is how one key observer described it.
- After the show we're told Vince McMahon went to Bryan and told him that sometimes it's "good to be wrong."
- Triple H "blew a gasket" on Ryback for his botched spot at the end of the match with Daniel Bryan where he was supposed to protect Bryan and catch him then put him through a table. It was seen as "careless and reckless" that Ryback just let Bryan bump to the outside and didn't know how to improvise after completely botching it. According to a source backstage, Hunter got in Ryback's face and was screaming "carelessness" at him. Bryan is expected to get x-rays on his collar bone on Tuesday but isn't believed to be hurt as he worked the dark match main event following the taping. However, it's worth noting this continues to hurt the stock of Ryback. Not only was Hunter upset with the spot but CM Punk and John Cena were vocal about it as well. Cena is someone that rarely calls out others, so when he does, people listen.