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Ask WNW: Women's Championship History, AJ Styles' Character, Zack Ryder WrestleMania Victory For Commercial, And More!

With WWE now referring to Divas as Superstars and the emphasis on treating the men and women as equals, do you think we will see intergender matches return? I think women like Charlotte, Sasha, and Becky could put on some memorable matches with the guys.

 

I wouldn’t hold your breath on WWE doing intergender matches again.  I was shocked to see Stephanie McMahon eat a spear at WrestleMania from Roman Reigns.  WWE does their best to stay within politically correct boundaries so they don’t get negative press.  While the idea of men and women fighting in a match would definitely make them equals in some people’s eyes, other people would claim WWE is encouraging violence against women.  It’s a complicated issue for sure, and I think WWE would rather not risk it.

 

I've always previously enjoyed watching AJ Styles, but now he's in WWE, I find him, well, boring. Is that a further testament to WWE developing 'character' in their superstars?

 

It certainly could be.  WWE is playing it safe with AJ, but also, remember that since his second day in the company he’s been in a rivalry with Chris Jericho.  Obviously, Jericho is one of the best veteran workers they have, but at the same time a rivalry that spans the course of 3-4 months is hard to keep fresh.  WWE definitely has a big problem on their hands with the way they are writing wrestlers.  Gone are the days where for the most part guys write their own promos with the exception of Dean Ambrose, Paul Heyman, John Cena, and New Day, who all have a lot of control over their own characters.  It’s pretty easy to pick out the wrestlers who have more control over what they say because they stand out.  Most everyone else seems to have the same tone.  Scott Steiner said it in an interview recently when he said, “You’ve got 4 or 5 guys writing promos for 30 wrestlers, it all starts to sound the same.”  This could be what you’re feeling from AJ.  Luckily with him heading into WWE Championship match, it seems like he’s going to the top and is going to be staying there, so hopefully he’ll get more freedom with his character.  

 

Why is WWE pretending like there was never a Women’s title before the Diva’s title?  We all know there was one!

 

This is a really good question that I honestly don’t have an answer to.  WWE likes to use selective memory with their past, but this is a bit of a stretch.  The Divas title was only introduced 8 years ago and to have Lita, one of the greatest Women’s Champions of all time, have to announce that this was the first Women’s Championship was a bit heartbreaking.    

 

I'm sure I'm not the only one that wonders this: Did WWE put the Intercontinental Championship on Zack Ryder just so they could do the Snickers commercial with Ric Flair?

 

I really hope not.  The thought did cross my mind, though.  I was so excited to see Zack Ryder pull out the dark horse victory at WrestleMania and so happy for him.  Ryder is a guy who has fought tooth and nail to make it in the WWE and they just wouldn’t budge on him.  I’ve said it countless times and I’ll say it again, not everyone can be a World Champion, but that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve solid mid-card talent and Ryder should be in that role no question.  The problem right now is that WWE isn’t building up any main eventers other than Roman Reigns, so as a result everyone else is shoved into the mid-card.  Guys like Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Kevin Owens, and many other should be considered main eventers and they’re being forced into the mid-card.  This forces guys like Ryder, Stardust, Sin Cara out of the mid-card because it’s now overcrowded.  I was so angry that they took the title of Zack nearly 24 hours after winning it at WrestleMania.  It makes Zack look bad, it makes the Intercontinental Championship look bad, and it makes WWE booking look bad.  Even if Ryder wins it back soon, he should have held it AT LEAST until Payback.  I’m proud of Zack for staying humble, grateful, and appreciative throughout everything.

 

Raw this week lacked some of their bigger star power. Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns was on for 5 minutes, John Cena, Triple H.... Do you think this was the roster needing a break or did Vince listen and actually give this very special audience the show they wanted and would pop for?

 

I was shocked at the lack of “mega stars” this week.  On top of those you listed, no Stephanie McMahon, Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Paul Heyman, and Shane McMahon was used VERY briefly.  In fact, Shane McMahon’s Raw felt a lot like Vince McMahon’s Raw and The Authority’s Raw.  Regardless, I don’t think it was necessarily a break for those guys.  They could have easily brought Cena out to cut a promo and give him a show bonus, or had Paul Heyman appear on behalf of Lesnar.  In fact, Kevin Owens wrestled on Raw after a brutal ladder match.  I honestly haven’t heard why Raw was booked the way it was.  It could have been avoiding the crazy post-WrestleMania crowd, but I don’t think that’s it, as Ambrose would have gotten a hero’s reception from the crowd.  It will be interesting to see how next week’s Raw is booked, if they return to “normal” or if they continue with this new trend.

 

After Raw and Wrestlemania and the negative crowd reactions to Roman Reigns not going away anytime soon could you see them turning Roman heel and somehow teaming with The Authority and giving him a mouthpiece (Paul Heyman). This could set up an interesting program once Seth Rollins is back.

 

I have given up on WWE taking a more creative path with Roman Reigns.  I’ve hope for YEARS that WWE would take the same creative path with John Cena and they never did.  I have no reason, at this point, to have hope WWE will make the smarter move with Roman.  As long as Vince McMahon has the final decision on the booking in WWE, I will not believe it until I see it when it comes to a Roman heel turn.  Every time I get my hopes up WWE will do ANYTHING other than a cookie-cutter, paint-by-numbers booking decision with Roman, I’m let down.  I’ve decided to lower the bar to their standards to I’m not as disappointed when it’s the same ABC booking.  

 

Did you happen to notice the look on both Jericho & AJ Styles after the match at WrestleMania? Do you have any inside scoop as to there being any changes to the outcome of the match or so? It certainly looks like WWE has buried AJ Styles.

 

I actually posted this question not to answer it, but to make a point.  This question was submitted between WrestleMania and Raw.  I don’t think there was any change or screw job to the outcome of the match at WrestleMania, both men were just selling the ending of the match.  However, people are so quick to call someone buried that the term is possibly one of the most overused phrases by the fans today.  Even before Raw, I wouldn’t have called AJ buried.  If AJ would have come to WWE and immediately started losing matches that lasted less than 2 minutes to mid-carders like Stardust or R-Truth.  THAT is being buried.  Having a 17-minute long match at WrestleMania with Chris Jericho is NOT being buried, even if you do lose.  Then, the next night on Raw AJ Styles won the main event and became the #1 Contender for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.  AJ Styles is NOT being buried in WWE and, in fact, is being treated better than most guys who come from a heavy TNA background.

 

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  • David Carey

    To call it ABC booking is to give them far too much credit. WWE has very rarely booked past A and B, C is asking for too complex a story.

    I think patience is required for Ryder and Miz as in the grand scheme of generic story telling you have to nock the hero back in order for them to get a big upset at the end. HOWEVER, I have no faith and assume Ryder will be nothing again after the next PPV.

    • Kyle Williams

      The Miz though? The Miz? If you’re going to take the title away from Ryder 2 minutes after he wins, at least put it on somebody that’s going to do something for the title. I couldn’t care less about the Miz in any capacity, even as Intercontinental Champion.

      • David Carey

        They like generating heat for the sake of it.

      • Vomkrieg

        The Miz is only the 14th grand-slam champ in WWE history. Think about the guys who haven’t done that, and it’s a lot of them. I know people love to hate on the guy, but he’s actually one of the most decorated wrestlers in WWE history.

        Some crazy miz stats.

        More IC title reigns than anyone other than Jeircho, RVD and Double J
        More time as WWE Champion than Edge, Mankind, Eddie, Ric Flair, Jericho, Batista and Kane
        321 days as US champion (11th most all time)

        It’s hilarious how “decorated” the Miz is. A “Surefire” hall of fame career 🙂

  • Casey Franks

    I hope the WWE love Roman….turn him into Cena 2.0….that gives Cena room to turn heel himself and fued with Roman…that might actually be pretty good. lol

    • David Carey

      For the sheer fact that Cena actually turned heel after all these years AND you’d be putting him up against Reigns would mean that Cena would get the most unanimous cheers in years.

    • Kyle Williams

      I think the program against AJ is the beginning of the turn to heel for Roman. Apparently, they’re going to book him in circumstances where he’s the heel by virtue of being the least popular guy, but I believe he’ll eventually fight guys like Ambrose, Cena and eventually Rollins, but maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part. This is the WWE writers we’re talking about here

  • Avalanchian

    They need to bring back another prestige title instead of the just 1 world title. Then you can move some of those midcards that deserve main event status some limelight.

    • David Carey

      That and a brand split. Two shows, two Top Titles, Two mid Titles and room for stories to breathe and stars to be made. Go back to 02-03 where Raw was where you had more established guys and Smackdown pushed younger more wrestling oriented matches.

      Getting in some new writers and letting Trips take the lead on control would be a great proving ground too.

      • Avalanchian

        I don’t care so much for a brand split. But what I wanted was them to slowly build storylines and not say use the same workers each and every single Raw/Smackdown. Maybe have Cena do 2 Raw and 2 Smackdown a month. Give the talent a bit of some rest so we don’t get that nasty injury bug and develop more storylines that can be slowly brought to life.

        • Kyle Williams

          I agree that I don’t really care if they have a brand split, but with all the upper mid-card and main event talent they have, the benefits of reintroducing another Heavyweight Championship are boundless, and would give the WWE the chance to appease the IWC by rewarding the overlooked workhorse (Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, etc.) while still having their guy (Roman Reigns) at the top of the card

          • David Carey

            By keeping them both under the same two shows though limits their potential to developer new stars. Lol at the rich pool of talent that they have and imagine if they could literally create twice as many stars from it.

            The brand split would allow them to focus their attentions much clearer. They could take more chances and work towards building the new stars. People like Bray, Cesaro and Ambrose to name a few could be given the opportunity to lead because they wouldn’t be in the shadow of the One main guy that they’re pushing at the time.

            To simply being back another title would have little meaning and they’d need to balance it’s relevance up against trying to maintain that belt A is what the face of the company holds. It didn’t work before and they’d likely fail to capitalise on it again.

          • Snap

            There wasn’t a brand split during the Attitude Era and that didn’t limit their potential to develop new stars. WWE’s philosophy has changed since then and they will saddle talent with awful characters forced to follow awful scripts and when that fails to get the talent over, it’s the fault of the talent and not the awful writing.

            They also have an instant gratification complex, where they will constantly mess with a talent they introduce if they’re not getting the desired reaction and that talent could be completely gone or lost in the undercard within weeks. Unless the talent’s name is Cena, in which case they invent reasons why they aren’t getting the desired reaction from the crowds.

            Splitting the shows also brings up another problem, SmackDown is treated like the Divas championship of the two main shows. Gone are the glory days when Paul Heyman was SmackDown’s head of creative and now it’s just two more hours to fill when they can’t even make a bloated RAW compelling TV. I also think the name “SmackDown” is terribly outdated and ever since The Rock left the term “lay the smackdown” has died out. If they were to split the roster, just like the Women’s division I think SmackDown could use a rebranding.

          • Kyle Williams

            You’re right. There would need to be clear separation between the two titles for the guy who wasn’t “The Guy” to succeed as champion.

    • Snap

      That’s actually what the Intercontinental title should be used for. I will always be of the position that there should only be one World title (we only have one world, after all) and it’s not so much a problem of the number of championships rather how they portray those championships and the talent they have on the roster.

      Adding in more props isn’t going to help talent get over if they aren’t already getting over, it just cheapens the prestige of the props already in existence.

      People can argue that a brand split will allow more of the talent to have screen time, but look at what happened when RAW was extended to three hours. That opened up another hour which could give more talent an opportunity, instead we got 30 minute promos from main eventers/power figures and too many recaps. The real issue is the creative department and their lack of, well, anything for much of the roster.

  • Terra Ryzing

    I 100% agree with your stance on the whole “buried.” With the exception of WM, I’m actually surprised about AJ’s booking. His loss to Y2J at Mania wasn’t even that bad cuz the match was awesome. I know AJ won’t be taking the title from Reigns but I’m excited for the match up, Styles can have a 5* match with a broomstick and with Reigns new persona I think it’ll be a heck of a fight.

  • Punker

    What I don’t buy with the whole Ryder/Miz fued is, how the hell, in
    one night, did it go from Owens/Zayn/Ziggler- that caliber of talent, to
    the IC title only revolving around Zack Ryder and The Miz. On their
    own, I like both of those guys, but man, between Raw and their Smackdown
    match, I felt so underwhelmed at whoI was watching perform. Those guys
    together, for me, don’t scream STARS, its more like, “Oh, Maryse wants
    to come back, better give her husband something to do…”