Why is WWE so high up on Brock Lesnar when he cannot even cut his own promo? When he speaks, he sounds like a boy hitting puberty. Also watching his matches, his work doesn't flow well and is sloppy.
I guess it's safe to say that you aren't a Brock Lesnar fan. You aren't alone as many WWE fans despise Lesnar because of his part-time status and tremendous rub by ending The Undertaker's iconic streak. Vince McMahon sees Brock as a major draw based on how he drew over 1 million pay-per-view buys for UFC and was determined that Lesnar's first post-UFC appearances would be in his ring. I'm actually a Lesnar fan -- not because I think he cuts good promos or has flawless matches -- but because he's a huge spectacle. His size alone is intriguing and every time he's in a match, I wonder aloud how he's going to get to the bell without injuring someone. Vince didn't order Lesnar over Undertaker, despite what some people think. Undertaker wanted to pass the rub and signed off on the outcome himself. Lesnar used to be a really good in-ring worker but his style has significantly changed since returning to WWE in 2012, however, I find it entertaining.
What is your response to the heel turn of Paige? I already think she is more interesting and the Miami crowd seemed to love it.
Paige needed a change -- any change -- to help her reset. She was a successful heel in NXT, so I'm all for the turn on the main roster. I believe Paige is one of the most talented Divas to come through the company's developmental system in quite some time but I blame the writers for her immediate flop. I say it all the time and it stands repeating. Elevations must be handled carefully and tactfully. Name a rocket-pack push that worked. It's hard to think of one and even The Rock had to be Intercontinental Champion before he was the most electrifying talent in sports entertainment. This is why I didn't think Roman Reigns should win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Battleground. He's not ready. Build him and let him chase so when he does go over, he'll have a chance to succeed.
Is WWE not worried about a potential, unintentional PR disaster with Lana and Rusev, similar to what happened with Mohammad Hassan and the 'terrorist' angle several years ago?
I texted a WWE contact on Saturday to see if any changes would be made to Lana/Rusev in light of the Malaysian Airlines crash last Thursday. I was unable to gain any insight as I knew the gimmick continued untouched at weekend live events. It felt like not only did WWE not "tone it down" at Battleground but they turned it up. She continued to praise Vladimir Putin on this week's episode of WWE Main Event and is getting nuclear heat. I wasn't a fan of the Battleground promo because I felt that it was in poor taste. Based on recent WWE PR missteps, I don't believe they are as concerned with public image as they once were.
You've previously discussed the use of both the World Heavyweight Championship and WWE Championship belts and WWE's long-term plan to keep the belt The Rock introduced last year. With all signs pointing to complete transformation from the scratch logo to the new Network logo in the coming month, where does that leave the WWE title and all belts featuring the scratch logo in some form?
WWE continues a slow transition to their new "Network logo." They already changed the NXT title belt and I expect the others to follow in due time. I do not believe that WWE will introduce a completely new WWE title belt, considering the current one cost $50,000 to produce and a year and a half to do so.
I for one feel like Battleground was a HUGE letdown! Canceling an advertised match with the old bait and switch is completely unacceptable (especially if they want me/others to keep my/their network subscription). While I know Ambrose/Rollins is being set up for SummerSlam and that's all good and well, what WWE did was a blatant act of false advertising in my opinion. What are your thoughts on the PPV overall?
I couldn't agree more with advertising and then pulling Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins. If they didn't want to do it, fine but don't advertise it. As I explained in Richard Reacts to WWE Battleground, that's why we don't cover independent promotions here on Wrestling News World. A lot of indy shows feature promotional material showing talent in their physical prime from 10-15 years ago and the actual product is much different than what was promised. WWE advertised Ambrose vs. Rollins for Battleground, so they had an obligation to do it. It was a bush league move and the pay-per-view as a whole was a weak effort. I do not judge WWE pay-per-views as strictly now that they have a lower price tag, however, that doesn't mean WWE can get away with not trying either.
From the Ask WNW vault…
March 2012: Do you think that Jim Ross should indeed commentate at Wrestlemania XXVIII like he did last year? - If it were up to me, Jim Ross would still be the “voice of WWE” and would still be the play-by-play man of Raw Supershow alongside his long-time broadcast colleague Jerry Lawler. It wasn’t JR’s decision to leave broadcasting and it’s Vince McMahon that has implemented the new direction. I think just about everyone would rather see Jim Ross than Michael Cole but unfortunately it’s not our decision to make. So to answer your question, yes I think JR should work Wrestlemania.
Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Thursday, July 24, 2014.