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.
Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.