Cena Can't Go Over Lesnar, Dean Ambrose A Star In Need Of A New Look, Sandow's Awful Gimmick

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Do you think WWE would be dumb enough to book John Cena over Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam?

The event was Extreme Rules 2012; a hot crowd just outside of Chicago and WWE had all the momentum they could stand with Brock Lesnar returning after carrying the UFC to unseen levels of popularity. In one of the worst creative decisions in WWE's history, John Cena was booked over Lesnar in just under 18 minutes. Surely, WWE won't make the same mistake twice. Not after giving Lesnar the streak. It's not beyond the realm of possibilities -- because literally anything can happen -- but one can only hope WWE will do the right thing.

What do you think about the way Dean Ambrose has really come into his own since the separation of The Shield? In my opinion, aside from the lack of size that Reigns has over him, he is the much better star. He is probably the hottest star in WWE today.

I like how WWE is tapping into Dean Ambrose's "unstable/insane/hardcore" character that he portrayed on the domestic independent scene. It's what put him on the map and it's the most effective way to assure he smoothly makes the transition to a singles star. What I don't like is his ring gear. I've said it more than once -- and I know there are several that disagree -- but he looks too much like Luke Harper. I don't think his ring gear is a hindrance, however, he would stand out better if it were different.

What did Damien Sandow do to get put in the position he is in now?

Everyone wants to know what you have to do to get booked like Damien Sandow. I don't know if it's a situation where he has heat or if creative just has nothing for him, so they revert to comedy. The booking is atrocious, the gimmick is reminiscent of the dreadful one WWE gave Charlie Haas and I'm not optimistic about his future. Every stat I can give you is horrible. Take into account he's 3-37 in televised/pay-per-view matches for the year (including gimmicks such as Royal Rumble) and lost 3 times at a weekend live event.

Does it surprise you that Brock Lesnar, the man who ended Undertaker's Wrestlemania streak three months ago, actually got a huge pop upon returning last Monday on Raw?

I noticed the pop for Brock Lesnar on this week's Raw as well. I don't know if fans were just excited to see a non-regular or if they just want a viable threat to John Cena but WWE will have to monitor the situation throughout the program. I know efforts were made to keep Bray Wyatt from turning babyface in his program with Cena and he still drew babyface reactions where they went. Perhaps this is a rhetorical question but what does this say about John Cena? The plan headed into SummerSlam is for Cena to play the face and Lesnar to play the heel.

From the Ask WNW vault…

September 2012: With growing concerns from WWE talent about the pay and compensation they are receiving; can you see a union for professional wrestlers forming in the future? - We get questions from time-to-time about a pro wrestling union with the issue really being brought to the forefront after the Benoit tragedy, however, I don’t see how it would be possible. Performer’s contracts in WWE are signed as independent contractor agreements, where the workers agree they are not classified as employees even though the company stipulates very specifically when and where they can work. Former workers have challenged the contracts in court, however, they are iron clad in terms of validity and enforcement.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, July 25, 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 [email protected].

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

  • Geordie Dolph

    Would WWE not benefit from having Cena booked as the heel and then the next night have him revert back to how he is now like they did with HBK at Summerslam in 2005?

    • J Vomkrieg

      I don’t think the fan reaction will be as extreme as the one in Chicago vs Punk a few years ago, where the crowd was 95% behind punk, and really loud.

      Cena had one of his best nights and turned in a 5 star match with Punk, one of the best and most memorable matches of the last decade.

      If anything, Cena does his best work with a hostile crowd.

      • Venom

        See I don’t hate Cena. I think he’s a good wrestler and when he was slowly turning face with the rap gimmick I was a huge fan. I just think the whole honor and respect gimmick he does comes across as douchy. Like the MITB ppv vs Punk he put on a good wrestling match. I just hated seeing him get out the ring and stop McMahon and Laurenitis from screwing Punk saying he can do this. Or when fans are cheering Bryan and want Bryan to beat him at Summerslam, Cena cheers with them.

        Stuff like that is annoying and unrealistic. I rather see a hero get frustrated and slowly show heel tactic cause the fans are getting to him. What WWE isn’t realizing that a heel Cena may slow merchandise sales fkr a short term. But once he sees the light and becomes a face again and a hero to children his merchandise would skyrocket better then what it is now.

        • JR Texx (Jamie)

          I don’t see how thats unrealistic, CM Punk won and Cena’s character respected that, and with Daniel Bryan, Cena wanting Bryan at Summerslam because he wants the next big thing.

          • Venom

            I’m not talking about someone losing and then saying the better man won and shakes hands. I’m the type of guy if I lost in a tournament I want the person who beat me to win it all cause it means I lost by the best.

            I’m saying in the build up to the matches Cena clearly gets booed while his opponent gets cheered and Cena joins in and cheers his opponent. That stuff annoys me. It would be more realistic if lights a fire under him.

  • Yves Heinrich

    Here’s my thoughts: I’ve said it again in the past: I hope that Cena wins and lose the title to Reigns or Seth cash in and win him because, Brock is a part timer who ended The Undertaker’s streak instead of someone else who is a new talent or a full timer and I hope that Cena lose the title to new talent that could’ve win the MITB like Cesaro, Wyatt or Reigns that could’ve won the match.
    I wouldn’t even care if Kane win or Orton, I just don’t want to see John against Brock again because it’s just garbage to see Brock again and I hope he lose.

    I’ve got no words for Dean except that he’s awesome with his gimmick, kick Seth’s ass and reunite again with Reigns and for Sandow, he better get his head straight with one simple gimmick or himself or just fire his ass outta the company.

    • Bob’s Diner

      Get ready for disappointment at SummerSlam!

      • Yves Heinrich

        We’ll never know…

        • Bob’s Diner

          Huh? SummerSlam is actually happening so you will know…

          • Yves Heinrich

            Everyone knows it’s Cena vs. Lesanr but we don’t know who’s gonna win and what other matches will be in SummerSlam.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Your response was “We’ll never know…”
            That would make sense if SummerSlam was just a hypothetical fantasy booking situation. But it is an event that is actually happening. So you will know at the end of that show whether you are disappointed or not.

            Perhaps you meant to say ‘We’ll see’ ?

          • Yves Heinrich

            I’m saying that we’ll never know as we’ll never know who’s gonna win and at this moment until few days later, never know who are the wrestler to compete in the event and by the way, why disappointment?

          • Bob’s Diner

            We’ll never know who is going to win???
            Yes you will; the match will happen and there will be a winner…

          • Yves Heinrich

            You’re saying things that you think I’m an idiot.
            I meant that we’ll not know who’s gonna win, I didn’t say there isn’t a winner.

    • Devansh Kotak

      see if some guy ended takers streak he would have to stay heel for atleast half a decade. what better guy than one who is good as well as carrys legit heel heat every time. yes punk or hhh could hav done it but then again it wouldnt make sense having thm brag about takers streak every time they came to the ring. its not thm, name me one guy who could have said i broke the streak without making it sound stale. and u cant say a young guy cause it would just be disrespectful to end the streak with a guy who has just held 1 championship in his career

      • Yves Heinrich

        If not young then at least a new talent, do you rather a part timer than a new talent?

        • Devansh Kotak

          young would be xavier woods bo dallas or tyler breeze. they are the young ones and way too risky to invest into. and also non of the young stars have anything for us to digest that they could beat taker. not even reigns. we dont know his actual potential and we wont anytime soon. and lesnar is the biggest bad ass -good wrestler in wwe (with credits to heyman) and always has been he called the whole match with taker because he wasnt even able to speak. the match was not that good but whatever it was was because he carried it. no way any young/new/fresh guy could have done that.

          • Yves Heinrich

            Well if not new talent either, why should a part timer be, I won’t even say that Cena should win but there are others that could’ve be in a match against Undertaker, might or might not end the streak or just lose but still, it’s great to anyone who’s against Undertaker but not a part timer, makes me wanna puke!

          • Devansh Kotak

            YES NOW U MAKE PERFECT SENSE. A full time heel would have been perfect. like orton, kane or a full time heel turned cena. or even jericho or edge or michaels or even lesnar if they come back permanently. but the only problem is (it burns me inside) they are are not coming back permanently. but we have to grow to accept that there was no one available to do it in april except lesnar and u never know if taker would have had another match at WM31

          • Yves Heinrich

            True and I agree!

  • Scottyo614

    The difference between Sandow and haas is charisma. People actually are still popping for Sandow and I know I actually look forward to his mid card entertainment.

    • Devansh Kotak

      wwe is going with the multiple gimick thing cause ppl like it. its as simple as that. even if u dont like it its still comedy and keeps sandow alive especially on the dirt sheets and here. he will do it till it gets boring or he runs out of gimmicks

  • Mike McCarthy

    The difference between Dean Ambrose and Luke Harper, is that Ambrose actually washes his ring attire. I’d have to respectfully disagree, Luke Harper doesn’t have any exclusivity to his ring attire. When we start pulling threads like that we can make similar arguments about every single wrestler copying one another by wearing tights, or Rusev copying Umaga by wrestling barefoot. There’s only so many ways a wrestler can dress, not everyone can be blessed with the ever-changing attire of Damien Sandow.

    • Venom

      I think the argument is more that someone else on the roster is wearing something similar. Like Rusev/Umags could be like that if Umaga was still on the roster. Since Ambrose and Harper are on the same roster then it’s sort of an issue.

      Like .the Miz is doing the dint hit me in the face gimmick and someone on NXT currently does that gimmick.

      Now I know most wrestlers wear black tights but I do remember WWE trying to make people wear different colors to stand out. Especislly if 2 guys are wrestling each other. So I think if Ambrose and Harper were in a match it would look weird.

      But WWE used to go as far as even changing people’s first names as to not have 2 using the same with the exception of Benoit and Jericho. Shane Helms had to use Gregory, Steven Regal switched to William, Jon Heidenreich dropped the Jon.

      • J Vomkrieg

        I thought that was mostly about trademarking issues? (william regal et al)

        • Venom

          It is. But it was obvious at times they wanted to make everyone different. Plus Regal wrestled before as Steven Regal in WWF before doing the old Lord gimmick. I heard in an interview he stated they came up woth Wiliam and he was fine as he wanted to move on from the o,d gimmick. Mkind if a coincidence that he went from using Steven to Williams which is Austin’s real name Steve Williams.

          Also everyone got to keep their names and gimmick from WCW during invasion. Everyone except for Shane Helms. He had to use Gregory Helms because of Shane McMahon.

  • Venom

    I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again. If Cena never turned heel or even gave in to Wade Barretts demand in helping him beat Orton for the title at Survivor Series to keep save his job, it’s never gonna happen. John Cena will cheer his opponent and encourage fans to cheer his opponent and never turn heel. I don’t agree with it but that’s the way it is.

    Personally, I think Extrme Rules 2012, during Cena’s divorce, it was a perfect oppurtunity to have Brock destroy him, give Cena months off to deal everything, then come back as an underdog and win. That didn’t happen.

    I think after Ambrose finishes his feud with Rollins he’ll change his ring gear. It’s not realistic to have a guy doing street fights and breaking into arenas in tights. Even back in the attitude era Austin mainly stashed in t-shirts and jeans when doing promos and getting kicked out of arenas. You only saw him in tights when he had to wrestle on RAW. It’s not exactly the same but you get what I mean.

    Also, I don’t think WWE wants the Sheild members to distance themselves from their look. Didn’t all three of them wrestle in short tights on the indies and FCW/NXT?

    • Jay El Bee

      Except I believe it was Cena’s divorce that kept him on TV. If I remember correctly he written out of the show the night after ER 2012 but then his wife filed for divorce a day or two later and that changed everything.

  • Uzoma Iwuagwu

    You have a point on the fact that Dean Ambrose’s choice of ring attire is akin to Luke Harper’s but I’ve read comments that it fits Ambrose well on his persona.

    • Gary Robert


  • Roger

    They should give Ambrose a straight jacket like with Heidenreich

  • jdl

    I still don’t see the issue between Ambrose and Harper. One guy looks like he just rolled out of a swamp, has massive beard and long, black, stringy hair. The other is relatively clean shaven, is blond, wears a tighter fit and actually has clean clothes. The only similarities are color, it’s not an issue and it’s ridiculous to keep bringing it up.

  • Smark Twain

    My only complaint about Ambrose is He can’t be Jon Moxley soon enough. He’s about halfway there and I have confidence that WWE is using character progression for once and is slowly building up to it. They’d be foolish to let such a character go to waste. Hopefully it won’t get too watered down because of PG. Hell, I’ll be perfectly content if he only starts cutting promos from back alleys and “bad neighborhood corners” again.

    • Yves Heinrich

      Blame Seth Rollins for breaking The Shield apart!

  • Gary Robert

    I disagree with Richard who constantly harps on the fact he doesn’t like the ring gear of Ambrose. To me, it fits his character and I never once, other than Richard constantly bringing it up, think of Harper or The Wyatts when he comes out. He’s playing a character who is mentally “off” and doesn’t give a sh*t so it actually makes perfect sense for him to care less about getting actual ring gear to enter a ring.

    • 2Sweet

      I agree. So many guys wore jeans in the attitude Era. Did they all look like Austin?

      • Uzoma Iwuagwu

        Yeah, for example, the late Davey Boy Smith wrestled in jeans during the Attitude Era.

    • K!NG

      there are other things to gauge a wrestler on other then what they wear to the ring…. and it fits Ambrose and his gimmick perfectly

  • Lefty Tosser

    Richard, I know you try to stay out of personal situations, but did you notice that it looks like Stephanie has had her implants removed? The video from RAW from Monday with that dress she wore really looked like she had things reversed.

  • David C

    Brock Lesnar vs John Cena will be a train wreck of a match for a few reasons.

    Number 1 is that it’ll likely be a straight forward match without any hardcore element.
    Number 2 is directly linking with 1 and that is that with Cena playing Face and Lesnar playing heel the audience reactions will be completely out of synch with the performance. Cena will be booked like an underdog as always, he’ll get his as kicked and will keep firing up out of nowhere but there’ll be no pop for him as there would be a regular face. The pacing will probably be questionable and i expect atleast 5 false finishes.

    • David_C

      Forgot to add ‘In my opinion it’ll very likely be’ to my first sentence’

      • Bob’s Diner

        See, the only thing I will say in Cena’s defence is as much as people say the dislike him, he still gets lots of crowd support. I mean go back to WrestleMania when he beat Bray Wyatt – big pop. Previous WrestleMania when he beat The Rock – big pop. Heck, last time he beat Brock Lesnar it was considered a huge blunder, but he still got a huge pop for winning. And lots of people loved his post-match speech.

        I completely agree with you about the ending, though. I expect Lesnar to have to hit him with about 10 F5s throughout the match in order to win. That seems to be WWE ‘pschology’ nowadays – a million finishers, nothing else matters.

        • Venom

          But with that and to David C’s comment.. How does it make any sense for Cena to be the underdog? I think he will be booked as the underdog, sorry I know he WILL be booked as an underdog. But why should he be? He beat Lesnar at Extreme Rules 2 years ago and Brock only beat a few people including The Undertaker.

          Even though I think Brock will win and he better win or else Cena winnig at MITB was a complete waste. Realistically Brock os the one who has something to prove. He had a hard fought match with a broken down Taker and beat him and had to rest up to fight a guy who beat him 2 years ago.

          • Bob’s Diner

            I totally agree with you. It hasn’t made any sense to book Cena as the underdog since about 2007, but WWE don’t know any other way to tell a story. We’ve talked about before how he was the ‘underdog’ in his match against The Rock, despite holding more world titles and headlining more PPVs and having a longer career, etc. Underdog babyfaces and cowardly heels – that is WWE’s main characters all the way.

            Though if John Cena is losing, we can expect yet another ‘It doesn’t matter if I lose’ promo from him before SummerSlam.

            I dunno, from the sounds of things it is almost like they are trying to pretend that whole first year of Brock’s return just didn’t happen

          • JR Texx (Jamie)

            Wouldn’t you want to pretend the first year didn’t happen with Lesnar? better to forget about it than compare to what they can do now.. they have an amazing chance to put Lesnar on a winning streak of his own.

          • Venom

            The only explaination I can come up with as why Brock was a jobber his first year and most importantly lost his first match against Cena was to make 2 points.

            1) incase he feels like walking out on them at least he lost to their face of the company

            2) its to prove Brock doesn’t care and he’s only in it for the money. He’s already proved himself as a former UFC champion and doesn’t care.

          • Bob’s Diner

            I think was a combination of (2) and that Vince wanted to show his guys are tougher than UFC competitors or something, if you get what I mean. Fact is, the ‘record books’ will show forever that John Cena and HHH defeated a former UFC world champion

          • JR Texx (Jamie)

            Anyone going against Lesnar after defeating the streak is going to be “the underdog” no one else in history is going to defeat the streak and that was his last match, Lesnar is going into Summerslam with a huge about of momentum. Booking Cena anything other than the underdog would be a mistake, as most people are expecting Lesnar to win.

  • The Spinebuster

    I think they should turn Sandow face his charchter is stale but he is superb on the mic. Get him to feud with Rusev next in my opinion

    • Avalanchian

      I wouldn’t mind Sandow or Cesaro feuding with Rusev.

  • Charles

    Seth Rollins was the one who actually left the Shield. Roman Reigns kept the theme music. Why not let Ambrose keep the gear?

    • Simon Veitch

      Didn’t reigns basically keep that too?

      • Charles

        True …and the entrance too.
        It’s gonna be a little tougher on Rollins and Ambrose basically starting over.

        • Simon Veitch

          You’re right, but at the same time, Rollins and Ambrose are a lot more experienced and definitely capable of getting a whole new character over, where reigns probably wouldn’t be as successful with that

  • JR Texx (Jamie)

    Lesnar is really the only thing they can do and not make themselves look foolish. It would be a HUGE mistake, Lesnar should have been winning match after match when he originally came back, now WWE has a chance to do that, Lesnar should have a winning streak up until mania, and make the Wrestlemania match that much better

  • Malboja

    So why no complaints about …… Miz , cm punk , Daniel Brian , Jericho , amount others all wear trunks and kick pads
    I mean how am I ment to tell them apart ???? My god they all should look compleatly different lol god forbid for two people to wear jeans and a tank top
    I mean back in the day I remember not being able to tell the rock from Austin or hhh , they all had trunks knee pads and boots , at least angle had his singlet
    I mean the dream match with taker and sting , how will I tell one from the other if they both wear black ????

  • Jay El Bee

    Cena beating a guy who was only under a one year contract is not even close to being one of the worst creative decisions in WWE history, and you need to stop acting like it was. Now if Lesnar had a 3 year contract from the start that would be different, but he didn’t did he.

  • Steve

    So Damian Sandow is 3/37 on Tv or PPV for the year – surely this is a great $$$ spinner for him?? Irrespective of whether he is winning or loosing, he is still on our TV each week so we don’t forget him like we have to ssssooooo many before him: Cody for a while, Ted Dibiase, Natties n real life Husband, the little rapper guy that was in a tag team and the biggest of them – Yoshi,

  • Jay El Bee

    Cena beating a guy who was only under a one year contract is not even close to being one of the worst creative decisions in WWE history. Now if Lesnar had a 3 year contract from the start that would be different, but he didn’t did he.

  • K!NG

    “It’s not beyond the realm of possibilities — because literally anything can happen — but one can only hope WWE will do the right thing.” I have to ask what exactly do we consider as WWE doing the right thing? cause the right thing is not always match everyone’s personal opinion to each situation. IMO I was shocked when Cena beat lesnar in his first match back. However they were smart for doing it that way in the big picture of things. it was too predictable Lesnar would win his first match back so they throw us a curve ball knowing there gonna have them 2 face again. now wwe has the rubber match set and no one can predict who will walk out as champ. Isn’t that as a wrestling fan all we ask for is to be surprised anymore?

    • Bob’s Diner

      Actually, WWE pretty much ignored his win after it happened – remember that for the next 12 months they talked about it being the worst 12 months of John Cena’s career. So big picture-wise, it meant nothing for Cena. But it hurt the return of Brock Lesnar a fair bit.

      I haven’t once heard them bring up the rubber match in regards to SummerSlam. I’m pretty sure after this they will only pretend Lesnar and Cena have one win a piece and the rubber match will be WrestleMania or something