Bray Wyatt A Main Event Gimmick?, Bourne's WWE Status, Why Contract Terms Aren't Disclosed, Unified Champion

The way both Undertaker and Goldust play their characters really well, do you see Bray Wyatt in the same light and can he reach the main event level?

As well as Goldust has been in this latest run as the tag team partner of Cody Rhodes; he's nowhere near the level of The Undertaker. He's working at a very high level right now but he's still a mid card talent. As for Bray Wyatt, I understand your point and can draw similarities about all three you mentioned. These are characters where the money in them is in their gimmicks, not necessarily their in-ring work or even mic work. How far Bray Wyatt can take the creepy cult-leader gimmick remains to be seen. I believe I'm on record as to saying I don't see it as a top level gimmick but that's not to say it couldn't happen either. The Wyatt Family gimmick is dynamic and is one of the more intriguing over the past several years.

What's the status of Evan Borne?

Evan Bourne's status in WWE is similar to the status of Luis Ignascio Urive Alvirde, or the original Sin Cara. He's under WWE contract but he's not being used. I was told prior to SummerSlam that Bourne let the company know he was cleared to compete but there wasn't interest in using him. At this point I'm unsure when he'll be brought back if at all. Triple H has this new thing where they do not release main roster stars unless what they do is something so blatant there is no other choice. Instead, the company is opting to let deals come up and not re-signing them. I've termed this the "don't fire anybody" edict.

Why does WWE and TNA not disclose the terms of their talent contracts like that of the major sports leagues like the NFL, MLB, NHL or NBA?

The major spots leagues are all unionized organizations with set pay structures. Aside from Major League Baseball, there are also salary caps that teams must work around when signing talent. WWE and TNA do have set pay structures and formulate independent contractor agreements with their talent. The contracts are structured with downside guarantees and bonuses. One of the reasons why WWE in particular tries to keep what others are making quiet is so they have all the leverage when negotiating contracts. It gets complicated because even though the produce is contrived, the workers in the main event command much larger salaries. Because there isn't a union and no set pay structure, the pay gap between a main event WWE star and a WWE developmental worker is very large.

What was the purpose of WWE holding an App vote to determine what fans wanted the new champion to be called if they were going to use it?

A couple weeks ago WWE held a vote on their App asking fans what they felt the winner of Randy Orton vs. John Cena at TLC should be called. However, at the time, we noted here on the poll was essentially meaningless. When it was announced that 38% of respondents wanted the new champion to be called the Unified Champion, it was announced The Authority would "take the vote into consideration." They never said that's indeed what the champion would be called. WWE would have been better off not doing the poll if they weren't going to use the result as it's been more confusing than anything else.

From the Ask WNW vault…

March 2009: I've read a lot of things as to why TNA wrestlers would prefer WWE and one reason commonly used is the pay. How much more does WWE pay then TNA? - WWE is a much bigger, more profitable company; therefore they are able to pay their workers more. I do not have the comparable show figure payouts but workers get their downside, bonuses for appearances, bonuses for TV, bonuses for PPV, and bonuses for merchandise. While TNA could technically match WWE in their downsides, the bonuses from WWE are going to be more because more fans attend WWE events and WWE sells much more merchandise. Workers get cuts from everything which is why WWE is a more attractive option from a financial standpoint for most people.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Thursday, December 19, 2013.

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  • Nostaljack

    Why anyone is asking questions about Evan Bourne at this point is something I will never understand. He’s been off TV for very nearly *two years* (I know he had a match in NXT earlier this year but that hardly counts). He’s not coming back. He wasn’t horrible by any means but WWE has far better under it’s umbrella so he’s certainly not needed.

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      Well that is your opinion. I’d like to see him back, I wouldn’t mind seeing a higher flyer that isn’t Rey Mysterio or which ever Sin Cara they use, and I hope they bringing him back to TV.

      • Nostaljack

        I’ll ask you the same question I asked “31Forever” as I’m genuinely interested in your viewpoints. What is it about Evan Bourne that you’re so high up on? What am I missing?

        • JR Texx (Jamie)

          read my comment again and you’ll get my answer.

          • Nostaljack

            So you like that he’s a high flyer that isn’t Sin Cara or Rey Mysterio? That’s all I’m seeing.

          • Howard Stern

            Evan Bourne is exciting and unpredictable in the ring which is something the WWE desperately needs. Now you can predict what the matches are going to be like because each “superstar” has signature moves that they have to do every single match.

          • Allen Boyce

            In my opinion the wwe doesn’t need Evan Bourne when they have Adrian Neville (PAC) down in developmental that they can call up. If anyone thought Bourne’s shooting star was impressing check out Adrian Neville’s corkscrew shooting star. It’s a true masterpiece.

          • 31Forever

            The only problem with that, is that WWE has gotten rid of all of their high flyers:

            Paul London
            Jason Kendrick
            Evan Bourne
            Shane Helms

            The rest of their high flyers, like Kingston, have been grounded. And,, while Bourne wouldn’t be the second coming, neither will this one guy either. Although Neville’s take on the Shooting Star was impressive as all hell…..

            Maybe it’s an injury issue. My all-time favorite, Mick Foley, was told when he retired that he had the body of an 80 year old, after all the abuse he had subjected himself to in the ring. Exciting? Definitely. Compelling? Without a doubt. But I think that Foley was one of those “one in a million” types that was able to wrestle through the pain, and whose body could hold up to the abuse.

            Others simply are not that durable. While Mankind has a nice career, spanning at or near 20 years; others might only get 5-8 years out of performing the same gags. Heck, Edge is out because of it, Christian, Matt, and Jeff Hardy have all stopped, or mostly stopped their antics, and there doesn’t seem to be anyone to take their place.

          • I would love to see your thoughts about EB put together into an article – hint, hint.

          • Possible as a rebuttal to what people are liking about EB.

            Just a thought.

          • JR Texx (Jamie)

            He’s different. I liked watching him, Hunico is the only one really to watch I like watching Rey but I have a feeling they’re sticking him in tag teams because he’s injury prone (guess) so having Evan Boune back would be nice.

        • 31Forever

          I’ll agree with what Jamie said: it seems like the only high flyer left in the WWE is Rey, and HE just got back…..

          • Nostaljack

            He also still isn’t well and he’s gonna end up in a wheelchair if he doesn’t walk away while his limbs will allow him too. Sin Cara is still there so we’ll see where he goes.

        • The arbiter

          I guess Nostaljack that I liked the “david and goliath” stories that EB could tell in the ring. Also, no one bumps as dramatically as he does. i.e Big show clothesline…… bourne does a 540 in mid air to sell the impact and falls like a broken rag doll.

          I don’t think he should main event, but i see his potential with kids and as the good natured little guy that mean heels beat on to tell the crowd how mean they are.

    • 31Forever

      I would disagree with that opinion wholeheartedly.

      Strictly a point of personal preference, but gigantic, 300-pound men slamming into each other, running the same gimmicks time and time again, like Triple H’s “running knee”, doesn’t do it for me.

      The Hardy Boyz, Evan Bourne; to an increasingly lesser and lesser utilisation, Kofi Kingston: these guys are all high flyers, and they like to mix it up in ways that keep the crowd always in suspense as to where will be the next place they fly from, or to.

      I respect your opinion, I just wanted an opportunity to speak in counter-point.

      • Nostaljack

        I love a good high flyer for sure so I totally get what you’re saying. I’m totally with you on Kofi. He proved a couple of years ago (at least to me) that he could go places if Vince would let him. Wrestling can’t just be a ground game so we have to have an alternative. I’m not sure I’d have used Triple H’s running knee to make your point as Triple H is hardly in the ring anymore. Also worth noting is it’s not like most of WWE’s roster is made up of 300 guys. Todays WWE is quite different and we’re all better off for it. I just don’t understand the specific appeal of Evan Bourne. What is his specific appeal to you?

        • 31Forever

          For the record: I was using Hunter as an example because his ring work, IMO, was always very much the same: running knee, Pedigree, and so on. He was consistent in the ring, but where his real value was lay in his promos and vignettes. I would not be averse to saying that he “single” (through DX) – handedly kept WWE afloat during a time when stars were jumping ship left, right, and center. With that having been said …..

          What appeals to me about Evan Bourne was a combination of charisma, good looks, the fact that he was built more like a “normal”-sized guy (something that was true of all the examples I cited), but most of all, his versatility. He could fly FROM anywhere, launch off anything and sell the gag, and managed, for the most part, to do so and avoid serious injury.

          Bourne’s mic work is so lost in my memory as to become unforgettable by default; but inside the ring, I thought he really shined.

          For the record: my favorite era of the WWE was the time when you would see stuff like Shane O’Mac jumping off the Titantron, , or taking out the Undertaker by jumping off the turnbuckle corner-to-corner . The Hardy Boyz vs. Edge and Christian in a TLC match: these are a few of my favorite things.

          • Nostaljack

            Thanks for the response! True about HHH. I agree with every word. He is quite good in the ring but his value lay just where you feel it does – in his mic. All of his best moments (to me) are on the mic.

            I remember Bourne’s ring work and no one could ever argue that he could really go. Like you, I don’t remember his mic work but I certainly bought him in the ring. He absolutely was fun to watch and him tagging with Kingston was definitely a spectacle. I don’t remember him injuring anyone either so that’s definitely a virtue. Hardys and Edge (and yes, even Christian) were fabulous at that point. Sadly, Edge has paid for his risky style. I was always a major fan of Bobby Eaton – a guy who Mick Foley referred to as “a night off.” He didn’t injure people…ever…and yet he made everything he did look incredibly real. Eaton couldn’t talk at all hence Cornette but that’s another discussion altogether.

            I guess my main beef is all the really foolish personal chances he took with Spice and ratting out R-Truth. The latter was an absolutely horrible choice that curried him *no* favor in the back. Bourne really put the screws to himself and he’s paying for it.

          • Gary Robert

            I could care less about Evan Bourne but gotta say he had a hellva finishing move.

          • the arbiter

            The “shooting star-KO” that he and Randy Orton did in one match was one of my favorite spots of all time.

          • 31Forever

            Just watched that clip on YouTube. All I can say is, wow!!

  • JR Texx (Jamie)

    I’m glad they didn’t use the voted name “unified champion” it was a stupid name, I prefer WWE World Heavyweight Champion, both titles are included. “Unified Champion” the hell.

    • Mysterion

      Unified Champion was the worst of the three names without doubt. It was horrendous and yelled of children voting.

  • illdecide

    Richard – if the Undertaker debuted with the same gimmick today do you think he would be as successful?

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      Submit that question, I’d like to hear an answer.

  • K!NG

    I can tell you Bray Wyatt will be one of those guys that because of his gimmick he can flex from the mid-card to the main event scene. Much like the undertaker when he first started in WWE.

    • Nostaljack

      I agree. That gimmick will go where they want it to. It’s totally unique (the setup and the way Bray plays it) so the sky’s the limit in my eyes.

  • Patrick

    Undertaker took his Deadman gimmick to Main Event Status so no reason Bray Wyatt couldn’t do the same thing with his gimmick. Undertaker managed to change with the times and refresh his character yet stay true to what the gimmick was about. Bray needs to keep his gimmick fresh also.

  • Patrick

    the same goes with Kane.

  • smark calloway

    richard i have a legit question for you. its not for ask wnw , but i hope you can take it into consideration. a few months ago you asked the readers things that could make wnw better and things we would like to see.well, theres another site i go on ( i wont name names ) and they have guest columnists. one of them who writes for the site is ecw/wwe veteran justin credible. as a student of the game myself, justins insight into the business each week is fascinating , and i have learnt alot from him about all aspects of the wrestling business. it would be great if you could get a veteran to write for wnw each week and pass on their knowledge to the wnw readers…im sure i wouldnt be the only one to enjoy something like this. you have a lot of inside leads into the business and it says a lot of big names come onto the site, so you must be able to find someone who would be interested and willing to write for you….is it something that we could possibly see in the future ?

  • jdl

    Gimmick commitment is all that is necessary to get over in the main event. Daniel Bryan is proof of that, CM Punk is proof of that, even John Cena is proof of that. He got over as the most generic, boring, white bread wannabe thug in the history of the business, if he can do that then Bray Wyatt can pull off his gimmick in the main event. All he really needs to do is start expanding the family.

  • jdl

    Gimmick commitment is all that is necessary to get over in the main event. Daniel Bryan is proof of that, CM Punk is proof of that, even John Cena is proof of that. He got over as the most generic, boring, white bread wannabe thug in the history of the business, if he can do that then Bray Wyatt can pull off his gimmick in the main event. All he really needs to do is start expanding the family.

  • JR Texx (Jamie)

    I wasn’t really keen on watching this Wyatt gimmick, but now I’m starting to like it, this “creepy” thing has kinda got my attention.

  • Brandon Roberts

    look both names are stupid and bray wyatt is a main event gimmick i mean you’d have to be crazy to believe what he says but he’s interesting and as for the championships name keep the name or rename it the ultimate wwe championship and as for evan bourne fire him and move up adrian neville