CM Punk signs deal with UFC, will fight some time next year. This is an interesting move for Punk, considering just how many doors seem to be open for him these days. He's writing for Marvel, he was supposedly thinking about forming a band for awhile, I'm sure he could act in various movies or TV shows if he wanted to. But he went the MMA route. I give him props for wanting to take a risk like this and try something new. Certainly it's a huge disappointment to WWE fans who still long to see Punk in the ring. WWE now has even more egg on its face, as Punk trashed them so hard on that Colt Cabana podcast, and then signed with an organization that could be considered their competitor. But I suspect there's still hope for reconciliation. Let's give it a few years and see what happens.
Thoughts From Raw:
WWE changes Pay Per View name to Tables, Ladders, & Chairs...and Stairs. Point blank, this is stupid. The idea of a "Stairs" match adds next to nothing to the pay per view's drawing power, much less adding it to the name of the damn show.
Roman Reigns wins Slammy Award for Superstar of the Year. Considering these were supposedly voted on by the fans, I'd say this is a good sign for WWE, as they clearly want Roman Reigns to be their next guy. I'm still not convinced he's ready, though. He might need a little more time to cook as a singles star before they give him the top spot. But hey, "power to the people," and all that...
AJ Lee wins Slammy Award for Diva of the Year. It's always interesting to see how WWE uses AJ, the wife of such a controversial figure, CM Punk. Seemingly, very little has changed. But now that Punk has signed with UFC, you've got to wonder just how much either side wants to be around the other. In any event, the fans clearly have no desire to see her go.
John Cena and the Big Show square off in the main event. This one was kind of a snorefest. I joked on Twitter that this was like taking a trip back to 2004. How many John Cena/Big Show matches have we seen in the last 10 years? And how many times have we seen Cena hoist Show up for the Attitude Adjustment? It just had a "been there, done that" feel to it.
Bray Wyatt cuts a go-home promo before TLC. Holy crap! Bray Wyatt is actually acting like a heel! He even said: "I despise each and every last one of you." And he cut down on the laughing. I maintain that Wyatt's mic work isn't as good as people say it is, but this week was an improvement. He's gettin' there. Dean Ambrose's entrance with the ambulance was cool too. These guys work great as enemies. And of course, it's exciting to see them getting to main event a pay per view. At least I'm assuming they're the main event...
WWE gives Luke Harper vs. Eric Rowan away for free on Raw, with no build up. How stupid was THIS? You had a built-in program here between these two former members of the Wyatt Family. For the Intercontinental Title, no less! Why would you blow off that initial explosion between the two without even telling us what's coming?
Charlotte makes her long-awaited Raw debut. Pleasantly surprised to see Charlotte show up on Raw, wrestling Natalya no less. This girl is definitely a breath of fresh air. And wouldn't you know it, she can actually wrestle! I'd love to see her reach the main roster after Wrestlemania season. She beats the hell outta seeing the Bella twins, that's for sure.
Seth Rollins cuts a promo on Sting after he wins the "This is Awesome" Slammy Award. Depending on how many matches WWE can get out of Sting (supposedly his current deal only calls for six dates), a Sting/Seth Rollins match might be interesting. Rollins is one of the top bad guys in the company right now, and it would be interesting to see what a man of his talents could do with someone like Sting. Will it happen? Probably not. But you never know.
Rusev to face Jack Swagger at TLC. We already know Rusev isn't going to lose at TLC. But it's still interesting to see him interact with various different personalities on the roster. That's why it's somewhat curious to see he's facing Jack Swagger yet again. Still, Swagger had kind of a cool moment this week, on the mic no less! Short, concise, and to the point. He looked like the bad ass grappler WWE has apparently wanted him to be.
Kane continues to wrestle in black dockers. So Kane is basically an active wrestler again, right? And there's no Authority on TV anymore, so he's not really "Corporate Kane." So can we maybe get him his black and red tights back? The contrast of the demonic music/pyro against this bland-looking wrestler sends mixed messages to the audience.
Rob Van Dam makes surprise appearance to present a Slammy Award. RVD was definitely a pleasant surprise, but I can't help but think it would have been that much better if, during his last few runs, WWE had build him up as the main event level star he's always been. Chris Jericho (who is apparently coming back next week) got that, but clearly RVD got the shaft.