Brie Bella vs. Stephanie A Main Event, Heyman Guys That Were A Bust, Souring On Part-Time Talent, TNA’s NYC Reset

Is it just me or the Stephanie/Brie storyline has way too much visibility for what it’s worth? I understand the Daniel Bryan angle behind it and the fact that they probably want to turn Nikki. Even then, to me, this feud is supposed to be a background story while we focus on the “real” workers.

Regardless of how you feel Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella should be treated, it’s been booked as one of the SummerSlam main events. In fact, it’s the 1b behind Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena. There are multiple reasons as to why WWE decided to go this route but the feeling is The Authority is a big draw and there is a lot of intrigue surrounding Stephanie McMahon’s return to the ring. Not to mention it gives WWE the opportunity to salvage a small portion of the momentum Daniel Bryan had after Wrestlemania XXX. I’m on record in writing that one should not go in expecting a top level match between Stephanie and Brie but this is clearly seen as a top program at a “big four” show.

I’m a big fan of Paul Heyman but the last three Heyman guys have been a bust (Ryback, Curtis Axel & Cesaro). Is this WWE’s doing or did it not just work out? Does this diminish the value of being a Paul Heyman Guy?

WWE tried to use Paul Heyman to help elevate Ryback and Curtis Axel respectively but neither worked out. Paul Heyman can be blamed all day long but he can’t do it on his own. Heyman is a valuable asset to any worker that calls him their manager but he can only do so much. As for Cesaro, WWE pumped the brakes on him once again. I can’t explain it as it reminds me of how Daniel Bryan has been booked by the company over the years. Given the high profile that Heyman has had alongside CM Punk during his 434-day WWE Championship reign and Brock Lesnar in ending the streak, being a Paul Heyman Guy isn’t diminished in the slightest. In fact, I’ll assert some casual fans do not even remember Heyman was paired with the failed experiments of Ryback and Axel.

I think wrestlers that are full-time are opposed to a part-timer because they are jealous of them receiving a main event match or being pushed to the top of the card. These full-timers need to remember what it took for the part-timers to establish such a position. Do you agree?

I’ve spent a lot of time over the years defending part-timers, specifically pointing out that stars such as The Rock and Brock Lesnar are big enough draws where they can still move the needle so I favor any situation we can get them in the ring. However, the initial luster has worn off and I’m growing tired of it. The problems have been very apparent in John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar, trying to promote a main event match at a “big four” show by the use of pre-taped video packages. The promotional framework for next week’s episode of Raw is built around Hulk Hogan — another part-time guy that doesn’t even wrestle anymore. There’s nothing wrong with using these names to help with exposure and sell the WWE Network but it’s gotten to the point where everyone that is there every week, the guys that work the live events are true second-rate citizens to the part-timers. As with the $9.99 stuff, WWE has a hard time with moderation. So to answer your question, no, I do not agree. It’s fine to bring someone back on a part-time basis and promote a big main event match — like how WWE treated The Undertaker for the past several editions of Wrestlemania — but the boundaries have gone too far the other way. Take a look at the current tour of Australia. WWE has to get guys in top programs on more shows, using part-time talent more like how Chris Jericho is utilized.

Why is TNA doing there shows in New York ? It looks so low budget.

TNA is resetting with New York City as a hub for Impact Wrestling. They like the venue, the crowd and the atmosphere and I couldn’t disagree more about it looking “low budget.” The production value is good and the crowd has reenergized the roster to produce some of the company’s best programming in quite some time. Viewership has increased as well so it’s clearly working.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2012: When a WWE worker makes a non-wrestling appearance (e.g. autograph signing, media appearances, etc.) does the company instruct them to appear in or out of character? - WWE workers have a lot of freedom in media interviews but there are directives that come down from the office. Obviously the company doesn’t want stars leaking storylines and generally speaking, they want the focal point of the interview to promote the product. We’ve seen it all – from Randy Orton completely shooting on Kelly Kelly to Sheamus constantly remaining in-character during media appearances. John Cena is known for focusing on the product in-character and is seen as the best promotional mouthpiece they have. Speaking from experience, when I’ve done interviews with workers alongside radio anchors, the radio station has met with company officials to let them know to keep it clean. My biggest pet peeve with interviews (and why I don’t do many of them) is workers using them to put themselves over rather than actually answering the questions. Kind of like what we saw with the Presidential debate on Tuesday night, where the candidates would be asked a question, but skirt around it to get to their approved campaign rhetoric.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, August 8, 2014.

You can submit a question for the next installment of Ask WNW at this link. If you have problems with the form, you can send your question to AskWNW@wrestlingnewsworld.com.

Want more Ask WNW? Check out the Ask WNW vault & Premium Mailbag!

Connect With WNW

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!

  • Rachel Miller

    The thing about part-time talent (The Rock, Brock Lesnar, and Undertaker) receiving main event pushes over full-time talent (exceptions include John Cena, Daniel Bryan, and Randy Orton) is because these three aforementioned part-timers draw more than your typical full-timer. But there is also the reason that Vince McMahon wants to utilize part-timers on such shows as WrestleMania and SummerSlam. The Rock of course of one of Hollywood’s top actors, Lesnar is also one of the UFC’s top fighters while Undertaker has became very popular because of the so-called streak. As a result, The Rock, Lesnar, and Undertaker have more of a mainstream appeal than guys like Dolph Ziggler, Cody Rhodes, and Cesaro. Your thoughts?

    • Chris

      “So – called streak”?

      You didn’t regard 21 straight wrestle mania wins as a streak?

      • Rachel Miller

        Yep, I meant the WrestleMania streak.

    • Bob’s Diner

      The problem, though, is they aren’t using the part-timers to spotlight the current talent at all. Who does Lesnar work with? Cena, HHH and the Undertaker – guys that don’t need exposure or a big match. Who does The Rock work with? John Cena and CM Punk – the two biggest WWE stars at the time. Batista came back and immediately got a Royal Rumble win and the main event at WrestleMania.

      I’m all for bringing these people back, but WWE need to start planning for the future or they’ll need a 50 year-old Rocky to sell WrestleMania 40 to people

  • Evon Callaway Bitterweed Reese

    I think Ryback would have gotten over as a Paul Heyman guy if the story line had not been so creepy and sappy. It was Heyman wanted to marry him.

    • Iffy

      Ryback would have stayed over if it hadn’t been for the SHIELD.

      Am I the only one that can remember when the crowd was chanting, ‘Feed me more!’?

      • ldb

        No I remember he worked it until the crowd got behind him. Even after jobbing to CM Punk for seemed like a 1000 times he was still over as a face. Find the night he saved Jim Ross. He has been actually getting the feed me chants going again as a heel and seems to have improved quite a bit. maybe he can actually earn a spot.

        • Evon Callaway Bitterweed Reese

          Yes. It’s just the Heyman and Ryback gimmick with Heyman slobbering all over him was creepy. Made me want to puke. I am a fan of Ryback just not of that story line. I like it when he was running around backstage beating people up and then saying they were bullies and laughed about it.

      • J Vomkrieg

        If anything, putting him with Paul Heyman was the kiss of death, just as it was with Cesaro.

        Heyman doesn’t elevate workers in WWE, he elevates Paul Heyman. And unless you are CM Punk (who was over more BEFORE Heyman than after) or Brock Lesnar (who probably shouldn’t talk) then Heyman is not going to help you get over.

  • The Spinebuster

    The way Cesaro has been treated in my view is disgraceful. One of the biggest talents out there. They need to get a Cesaro-Cena feud after summerslam and get Cesaro over Cena

  • Mike McCarthy

    Whoever asked question #2 must not know the meaning of the word “bust”. Axel and Ryback were busts because they couldn’t live up to the hype that WWE tried to create around them. Cesaro is somebody that WWE wouldn’t LET live up to the hype and was held back by poor booking and the questionable decision to take him away from Heyman. The only person we can blame for Cesaro is WWE Creative.

    • J Vomkrieg

      I agree in part. But putting a manger with someone, who spends his promo time putting over another wrestler was bound to hurt Cesaro.

      Heyman comes out, talks about Brock, Ceasro comes out as an after thought. I have no idea how that was going to do anything but harm Cesaro.

  • Venom

    I disagree. I think unless you’re a Brock Lesnar and to a lesser extent CM Punk, being a Heyman Guy is a joke. In storyline, not in real life. Look at Wikipedia and there is a list of guys Heyman managed and look at all the WWE ones. CM Punk was over on his own so I dont really count him. Brock was introduced with Heyman.

    I’m honestly surprised during the mini feud between Cesaro and Cena, I’m surprised they never ended up with Cena vs Cesaro and Heyman. I’m sure if the feud had lasted longer it would have. That’s how most Heyman guys end up. They tag and lose with him in handicap matches.

    I think in ECW all the roster were Heyman guys since he has them working for his company and the man is a genius. He knew how to make every match on the show important. His promo work outshines anything. Even when he’s repeating himself with what he says he knows how to get it over.

    But being a Heyman Guy in storyline sucks.

    • Xavier

      I agree. And too be honest. Heyman had nothing to do with CM Punk getting over. Heindenreich, Ryback, Curtis Axel and Cesaro got nothing out of working with Heyman. And as a matter of fact Ryback & Cesaro’s stock dropped once they were paired with Heyman.

      • opie

        I think a lot of it is chemistry. Lesnar and Heyman have it. Punk and Heyman have it. There’s something real and natural there. Pairing him with Ryback just seemed like a last-ditch effort to save Ryback’s roll as it was slowing (due to bad booking, no doubt). Axel had already busted as McGillicutty. It just all seemed so contrived. Brock and Punk never needed Heyman to validate them; he just took/takes them to a different level.

      • jdl

        To be fair, Paul Heyman can’t save someone from crappy booking. If a guy isn’t booked properly then it doesn’t matter who manages him.

    • Mike McCarthy

      If there was only one man in this business you could pick to credit as a Paul Heyman Guy, and that’s CM Punk. If you “don’t really count” Punk as a Heyman Guy, that just shows how little you really know. Punk wouldn’t have made it out of OVW if it wasn’t for Heyman. CM Punk has personally gone on the record to credit his entire career to Paul Heyman. You’re correct that CM Punk got over without Heyman, but without Heyman Punk wouldn’t have even gotten the opportunity. Cesaro and Ryback’s failure as Heyman guys is at the fault of WWE’s Creative team. Heyman took Cesaro to an entirely different level, and at times there were people talking about putting the WWEWHC on him. He failed because Creative booked him horribly following MITB and made an even worse move by taking him away from Heyman altogether. Ryback was someone who had already failed on numerous occasions yet was given another golden opportunity by WWE Creative as a Paul Heyman guy. He received the opportunity over someone who deserved it more and probably could’ve done a better job with it, Big E. Ryback as a Heyman guy was doomed from the start as all he did was do multiple PPV jobs to CM Punk who he already worked the entire end of 2012 against. The only people I consider to be failures as Paul Heyman Guys are Curtis Axel and Heindenreich, both were given great opportunities but were unable to successfully utilize it.

      • Bob’s Diner

        He said “In storyline”

        • Mike McCarthy

          And I’m talking about storyline? The only thing I mentioned that didn’t have to do with storyline was CM Punk which was made a storyline because of the real-life truth to it.

          • Bob’s Diner

            In storyline, CM Punk didn’t need Paul Heyman at all – he was already at his peak when Heyman came on board – in storyline. Hence, CM Punk doesn’t really count. In storyline. In real life? Of course, no one would argue that Paul Heyman was vital to CM Punk making it in WWE. But on screen, if they had never paired up nothing would have changed.

          • Mike McCarthy

            You just repeated my point exactly. Hmu when you wanna stop trolling my comments on this site, other than that I have nothing more to say to you.

          • Bob’s Diner

            “If you “don’t really count” Punk as a Heyman Guy, that just shows how little you really know.”

            I don’t troll you at all. You just have a great habit on going on massive unintelligent rants and then throw tantrums like this when I call you out on it

          • Mike McCarthy

            60% of my comments not from OTP’s are replied to by you, and I stand by my statement 100% that Punk is a Paul Heyman Guy. Reply to me again and I’m reporting this.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Report me? What kind of childish threat is that?
            And for what? Pointing out you didn’t read what the guy wrote?
            Jeepers you are sensitive.
            Not sure what your problem is. I actually don’t have a problem with you at all, just think you should read what people post – the exact same thing you complain at others for doing to you all the time.

          • J Vomkrieg

            Internet police here!

            Did someone wish to report something!

          • http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Kendra Bunyon

            Actually, Mike doesn’t need to ‘report’ anything to the mods here, because we’ve been watching this issue between the two of you closely, and there does seem that there’s an issue here. Mike can’t seem to move without being jumped on. The attacks are getting a little ridiculous, and too personal. Keep it light, and there won’t be any issues.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Well there is no issue from me. I really don’t know what the fuss is about

          • Venom

            Clearly Mike misread what I wrote and then called me out claiming I don’t know anything and giving me a history on CM Punks time in OVW when I already knew about it.

          • Venom

            I said in storyline. In real life CM Punk is a Heyman Guy. Paul looked out for him. In real life I think Cesaro would have been a Heyman guy if Heyman was booking. In real life Ryback and Axel and Heidenreich wouldn’t have been Heyman Guys. I don’t think Punk needed Heyman he was already WWE champion. He only needed Heyman to get over as a heel. That was all. There is even a story that the reason Punk never had his name changed like all new talents is because Heyman had something to do with it.

  • Xavier

    That 1st question that asked was pretty funny. Just a couple months ago fans were begginf for the WWE to pay more attention to the divas division and now that they are people are no complaining that they shouldn’t be building diva angles up this match and should instead pay attention to the “real” workers smdh. By “real” workers does he mean AJ & Paige, who BTW stunk up the joint in their last PPV match together?

    • MarilynRStroup

      I just got
      —————————————————-

      OPEN THIS LINK–>>­OPEN NEXT TAB FOR MORE INFO AND HELP

      • Brandon van Reenen

        Oh, really? Thanks.

  • John

    The reason WWE build around part-time talent is because the current roster is as weak as it’s been in years. Outside of John Cena there isn’t one single main-eventer on the entire roster that fans actually want to watch. Nobody seems to care about Randy Orton, Batista proved to be a dud, Kane as a main eventer is laughable, Roman Reigns isn’t ready, CM Punk is gone… Is it any wonder WWE needs Brock Lesnar?

  • Lebron James

    I think Heymans rep took a huge hit. He failed with 3 guys in a row. The Cesaro failure was the one that did it for me. He was getting himself more over without Heyman.

    • John

      I’m not sure what you expect from Heyman? He doesn’t write the show, so anyone who has been paired with Heyman and failed, well that’s on a) the wrestler & b) the writers. Brock Lesnar made Brock Lesnar, not Paul Heyman.

  • MarilynRStroup

    I just got
    —————————————————-

    OPEN THIS LINK–>>­OPEN NEXT TAB FOR MORE INFO AND HELP