Did CM Punk Help Daniel Bryan?, Heyman Failures, WWE Non-Compete, Future Of Hulk Hogan

Do you believe CM Punk walking out was the greatest thing that ever happened to Daniel Bryan's career? Do you think Bryan would be WWE World Heavyweight Champion had Punk not walked out?

Remember it was the crowd's reaction to Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble that started the Yes Movement and put the wheels in motion for the now WWE World Heavyweight Champion. CM Punk was in the Royal Rumble match and went nearly 50 minutes, however, his stock actually increased after the events that followed (even though he's done nothing WWE-related since). With that being said, Punk's sudden departure created an opportunity for Daniel Bryan against Triple H but WWE was going to have their hand forced even if Punk had stayed. The storyline is Bryan "overcame the odds" but that's very much how his WWE career has played out  in real life. So had Punk not walked out, I still think Bryan would be a top star.

Paul Heyman has to be considered one of the greatest managers of all time but for some reason his protégés have seemed to flounder when called upon. Do you believe that Heyman is to blame for the lackluster outcomes that come from his protégés or is the blame to be placed on WWE creative?

I assume you're speaking of the failed Paul Heyman pairings with Ryback and Curtis Axel. Paul Heyman is not only one of the best managers in the wrestling business but he has one of the greatest minds in the pro wrestling business. Heyman "gets it" and is able to use his skills to be a very valuable asset to WWE. The aforementioned experiments proved that putting a talent with Heyman doesn't guarantee them stardom, however, I didn't take it as a condemnation of Heyman's skills either. WWE tried to make both Ryback and Axel main event talents, however, the audience didn't accept them. That's not say they won't get another opportunity either but there are now others in front of them.

What are the consequences for a talent breaking the 90 day non-compete agreement attached to a WWE Performer's Contract?

Non-compete agreements attached to WWE Performer's Contracts are put in place to protect the company from a talent leaving and using their exposure from WWE to help a competitor. Breaking the agreement would result in litigation from WWE that could probably extend to the competing promotion as well. WWE legal is fierce and the company has more money and resources available than pretty much anyone that tries to challenge them.

What does the future hold for Hulk Hogan in WWE now that Wrestlemania XXX is over?

I look for Hulk Hogan to continue to be used in an ambassador's role in WWE. According to Wade Barrett, he'll be at the Smackdown taping in London next month. One of the biggest reasons Vince McMahon wanted to bring Hogan back was not only to be part of the 30th anniversary of Wrestlemania but to entice lapsed fans to subscribe to the WWE Network. Creative will have to be careful when booking Hogan on television as they will not want to overexpose him. As you know, workers that cannot wrestle have a limited shelf life. Even Dixie Carter admitted to overexposing Hogan on TNA television.

From the Ask WNW vault…

March 2014: Do you think the fans would have received Batista differently if his return wouldn’t have leaked and he would have came back as a surprise Rumble entrant and went over? - Batista’s return leaked in advance advertising material for WWE live events, however, the plan was always to air vignettes before bringing him back. If WWE would have foregone those plans and made Batista a surprise Rumble entrant and put him over, I still think they would have had trouble selling him as a babyface. Daniel Bryan has been over like rover since last summer and the majority of the WWE audience demands he gets a proper payoff. When the decision was made not to put Bryan in the Rumble, that’s when the problems started and it was an error WWE is now trying to correct by incorporating the reactions into storyline. Batista’s new direction is the right direction and has me more optimistic, however, WWE will not be able to get Batista vs. Randy Orton for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestlemania over. Bryan must be inserted if there is any hope for it. I have more about possible tweaks to the match at this link.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, April 16, 2014.

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  • Jbreed

    It’s actually thanks to the fans threatening to hijack the title match at WM otherwise Batista would be the champion right now and Daniel Bryan would be underused and wasting away in the midcard division.

    • kavon

      I agree with batista part but bryan would stay on top as a top contender for batista title because batista was supposed to turn heel at mania and not before.

      • Mysterion

        This is literally the first and only time I’ve heard that. Where did you hear it?

        • kavon

          On other wrestling sites, batista was to turn heel at mania but due to his reaction at EC ppv, vince gave up on him being face and had him turn early.i believe this was on daily wrestling news. Plus Batista knew him being a face wouldn’t work.

  • TT

    Nobody knows what plans WWE had for Punk and Bryan prior to Punk’s walkout. I mean one of the rumours at the time was the Royal Rumble reaction meaning Punk, HHH being replaced by HHH, Bryan and Punk, Kane so maybe the walkout didn’t matter at all for Bryans push. Even with all the Punk chants during RAW they immediately stopped when Bryan was out so it’s obvious Bryan’s stock is higher than Punk’s.

    • Before the rumble it was Bryan vs Sheamus in a redemption angle and Punk vs HHH in the authority angle. Everything changed when the fans turned on the rumble and the talk became HHH vs Bryan and Punk walked out.

      • craig

        It started in Dayton when Batista returned and half the crowd took a piss break because they wanted to see Daniel Bryan and wanted to hear nothing of Batista winning the rumble and the title. Pittsburgh then took it to another level at the rumble (lots of fans traveling in for the rumble)

  • Nathen

    The thing entry non competes is that they are generally not enforceable. In fact, in California non competes are not enforceable at all, so any performer residing in California(state law used is based on where employee lives, generally) had nothing to worry about.

    It is astonishing that more wrestlers don’t fight the non compete since they are usually easy to get out of. They are really more if a scare tactic than anything else.

    • The same can be said for Cease and Desist letters, however, we’ve complied every time WWE has sent one of them. The fact of the matter is WWE legal has more money and resources so they’re best not to mess with. I know I don’t want the headache.

      • Nathen

        That is a fair point. There purpose is truly to make it more difficult. Bit in states like California you don’t need money to fight it. Just take the job, former employer sues, court throws it out as unenforceable. Of course that is only true in states that like California do not enforce non compete as a point of law.

        There is a difference with Cease and Desist, they are essentially warnings. But could have enforceable consequences, such as trademark infringement, defamation, etc. So they can also be ignored but generally have more serious financial consequences.

        • DW

          I mean that’s cool and all buts it’s like…go wrestle…be a smart a**….come on back to WWE after you are done and prepare to eat s***t…plates and plates and plates and plates of it. That Triple H doc was crazy.

  • James

    I would love to see Ziggler turn heel and feud with Bryan. Build it up and have a match a Summerslam.

  • monty

    if Punk had stayed i don’t think DB would have won the WWE title. Before punk left many were questioning where DB would fit into WM 30 card. either way can’t wait for PUnk to come back

    • Mysterion

      It’s probably best you’re not waiting because he’s made it pretty damn clear he isn’t coming back.

      • monty

        he is on break man i don’t know why most of you are reading too much into it, its like you guys are playing right into Vince’a hand. Punk was backstage at WM30, that picture at NHL game was from a year ago

    • kavon

      Thats debatable, bryan got a large reaction during the royal rumble and punk was in that rumble,they would have put him in a big match.

  • J Vomkrieg

    So, who has Paul Heyman managed in WWE that has gotten over because of him?

    I like Paul, I think he is one of the better promo artists in the business. I don’t think he helps people get over. Punk and Lesnar didn’t really need him to get over (Although, having Brock not speak is best for everyone), and he sure as heck didnt help Ryback or Axel. I dont think Cesaro will benefit from the relationship. The person who benefits from having Paul Heyman as a manager, is Paul Heyman.

    • Jay El Bee

      Brock Lesnar back in 2002 is the last guy I can think of.

      • J Vomkrieg

        But, could Brock, with his talent set, have got over without Paul?

        • Mysterion

          No. He needs a mouth piece. Lashley, best example, was a big guy with talent. Then he spoke.

    • David C

      Cesaro stands a far greater chance of benefiting from having Heyman as a manager than both Ryback and Curtis Axel combined.

      I see Heyman in a similar vein as JR. They will make the best out of the situations that are presented infront of them, but when they get something very good to work with they’ll take that ball and run with it.
      With the two previous talents he had to carry them and legitimise each of them. Heyman came off looking better because he has far more talent in his area. Brock Lesnar came in as an unkown quantity and was shaped by his actions and Paul’s. Ryback however is a redesign of a failed character that struggled to connect after the spotlight began to move. Paul had to try and make him relevant in a programme against a great talker in CM Punk AND straight after Brock Lesnar.
      Curtis Axel is fairly proficient but lacks the charisma in his delivery inside the ring and lets not mention his mic skills.

      Cesaro has proven he can talk adequately and is a ring general. His work goes far deeper than his spotlight moments and uppercuts and this will combine to create a compelling relationship between himself and PH.