Creative Control On Display, Breaking Kayfabe, Sandow Cashing In, Sheamus' Return

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How much control do wrestlers in WWE and TNA have over the direction of their respective gimmicks?

It depends on the worker. The higher up one is on the card, the more creative control that they have. When you're Hulk Hogan in TNA Wrestling, you can script a segment where the owner of the company is grabbing you by the leg, begging you to stay, when you are involved in a real-life contract dispute (watch here). If you're someone that just got the call-up from developmental, you're going to be given a script and will be expected to follow it.

Why do you think WWE and TNA have been bringing in the personal lives of wrestlers into storylines? Velvet Sky with Chris Sabin and now Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella, just to name a couple of examples.

I don't know the thinking behind Velvet Sky and Chris Sabin but the reason WWE is acknowledging the real-life engagement of Daniel Bryan and Brie Bella is to cross-promote Total Divas. That's the only reason.

Any word on when Damien Sandow is supposed to cash in his Money in the Bank contract?

As is the norm with the Money in the Bank situation, there's always buzz on when Damien Sandow will "cash in" the briefcase. The fact they're scripting him to tease a "cash in" at live events, like he did last weekend, has led some to believe it could be sooner than later. I can't give you a firm date but I can tell you it's something that comes up rather frequently. One of my pet peeves about the MITB holders is the way they are booked prior to cashing in. Sandow has been constantly buried, with the mentality that it will be a "bigger surprise" when he does cash in. I don't agree and am against the "tear them down to build them up" method.

What's the latest on Sheamus' rehab and do you see him turning heel when he returns?

Sheamus is doing well and is out of a sling as he continues his rehabilitation for a torn labrum that required surgery in August. He is still making regular appearances for WWE while he works to get back into the ring. You can view a photo of him with the co-creator of Spider Man Stan Lee at Ohio ComicCon a couple weeks ago at this link. I haven't heard anything regarding creative plans for him as WWE is hopeful he'll be back either late this year or early next year.

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  • Nick insalaco

    Spider-man not spiker man, it happens richard haha but as always thanks for the article

  • Clint

    I could see a situation where he returns like he is going to help daniel bryan only to brouge kick him instead… thats if they plan on turning him heel.

  • H.M.

    Edge was one of the most successful cash-ins of the MITB(1st) if you look at how he was propelled into the main event gradually, after winning the case. I was only 14 at that time but I do vividly recall WWE building him up as a big star prior to his cashing in. In short he was very relevant on Raw. Of course, then you have guys like Daniel Bryan who got the treatment Sandow is currently getting – and we’ve seen past MITB holders get since 08 for the most part. But look at him now; he’s gotten over in a huge way but even HIS first title reign was ended in 18 seconds. Were it probably not for the fans he might have been stuck in midcard purgatory. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that IMO the treatment of putting a star down before bringing him up (only to have a lacklustre title run) doesn’t really seem effective in producing new stars.

  • TheBigKing1

    I totally agree with Richard. I definitely don’t agree with the tear down to build them up method. It’s stupid to the stupidest height.

    And obviously Sheamus is going to return as a face in the WWE. After his return, then you can talk about character changes or whathaveyou.

  • smark calloway

    breaking grayfabe

  • K!NG

    WWE needs to cut down the money in the bank match to only 1 brief case instead of two. i feel its watering down the value of the titles with so many cheap victories and 11 minute title reigns but thats just my opinion

    • Dan

      I kinda agree with you. I thought it was more interesting when they had 1 and which champion will they cash in against. Now it’s just guaranteed that both champs will change at some point. Doesn’t feel as fun

  • Stoney

    I hope Sheamus comes back as a heel, he’s just not funny as a face

    • Mysterion

      And WWE isn’t a comedy only business.

  • Philip Thompson

    I think that carrying the MITB briefcase for a prolonged period of time does far more for a worker than cashing in early and having a short title run. Look where Dolph was when he had the briefcase and look where he is now. The crowd went ballistic when he cashed in – at that moment he was at the level of Edge, John Cena or Daniel Bryan. It all started going downhill when Ziggler was stiffed by Jack Swagger who may have been jealous as his title prospects had just disappeared. Ziggler didn’t do himself any favours – but the point is that when you have the briefcase you’re in a far better spot than having the briefcase and title for short periods of time and then getting lost in the mix afterwords. So, if you’ve got the briefcase – try to get creative to hold off from having you cash in unless you get assurances that you’re going to get a decent push or run with the title. Don’t push too hard – or you may be being wished well in your future endeavours.