Hate For Lesnar, Welcoming Paige's Turn, WWE's PR Disasters, New Logo, Battleground A Letdown

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.

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].

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  • Rayner Chee-bai

    Is it just me or is Paige’s heel turn seems a lot more like Christian’s circa 2011?

  • Uzoma Iwuagwu

    Paige was actually a face throughout her run on NXT, wasn’t she, Richard Gray?

    • Jesse Sherwood

      Paige actually started as a heel, and her ring work and “anti-diva” look caused the fans to turn her face.

      • Uzoma Iwuagwu

        Oh, I see. It is great that she has turned heel. Hope that she’ll be used very effectively going forward.

  • Adam Eaton

    I don’t understand how after one bad ppv people are saying they will cancel their subscription to the network. It was one ppv chill out u get the ppv for $10 and not $60 plus a bunch of other things u don’t get on a daily basis paying for one ppv at a time.

    • RKM_13

      I know right? Battleground was probably the only bad PPV of this year as far as actual match quality goes. I know a lot of other PPVs this year had booking that ranged from slightly misjudged to downright horrible but the matches were still solid.

      • Adam Eaton

        I have been extremely impressed with the quality of WWE ppv since the network started. And if I don’t like the ppv I can go watch whatever ppv I want. That is the luxury you have with the network. I don’t see how one bad ppv ruins that for people.

  • Venom

    It just shows poor planning and lack of organization regarding the WWE logo/belts situation. They spent $50,000 on an ugly looking title and later decided to unify the belts which was obviously a last minute decision. They had Sandow cash in out of nowhere just to get it over with to set up Cena/Orton at TLC. They clearly should have unified the spinner/big gold and then introduced the new title.

    Of course while spending a year and a half on the new title, the designer didn’t get the memo they were changing the logo. Just shows nobody at WWE headquarters are on the same page.

    I think Vince and company know the new title sucks but they’re sticking to their guns. It’s like dating a loser but not wanting to admit it. I think WWE should forget about the $50,000 and just design a new title with the new logo.

    And for the record, most fans I know that buy replicas buy the big gold belt because it has history. WWE should learn that. I understand we live in a merchandise profit world hence why Cenas character is untouchable and he changed shirts every 4 months, but a title won’t feel like a prop or a toy of they stop changing it every few years. That’s why I hate custom belts for a wrestler. A major title for the company should feel like you’re part of history when you win it. Like you’re holding the same belt that a legend held 20 years ago. Now I understand the old titles didn’t look appealing. But I wouldn’t mind similar design with a better quality.

    • BlackLotus

      I would like to add that the network logo just looks too corporate to me. the current logo used now shows a sense of “action” if you will. As for the WWE belt, can you get anymore generic? The custom side-plates are especially pointless to me, because if you actually watch the RAW/Smackdown you know who the champion is.

      • Venom

        I actually don’t mind the custom side plates. I’ve seen Sheamus’s and it looks pretty cool only cause it has some color. So fathe only people to wear that title are The Rock, Cena, Orton and Bryan and they use black and gold to blend with the title. Sheamus’s stands out.

        I don’t mind the corporate WWE Network logo on the title, but I’m not a fan of a giant logo as a title. Looks like a giant ring. UFC and other MMA promotions have nice looking designs. WWE could learn from them. But I do remember other potential designs for the new title and some of them look better then the crap they delivered last year. I could have swore I heard some boos when The Rock revealed the new title.

    • GOR

      WWE should take WHC belt, CAREFULLY add new WWE logo to it with a few modification to it & publish it as new belt. That’s it. The so called 50k $ belt 1.5 years in making is stupid as hell. I woud design a better belt for free as a fan.
      Personally, I dont think there could be a better belt than WHC belt; unless u use some very shining Diamonds in a very smart way.

  • Scott Davies

    I am calling it. I don’t see Brock Lesnar leaving Summerslam WWE Champion. I do not see WWE putting the title on him to not defend it until Wrestlemania next year. I see Seth Rollins walking out champion.

    • Gary Robert

      Richard posted a while back that WWE feels they have more than enough dates available in Lesnar’s contract to use him quite frequently leading from SummerSlam to Mania. How many there actually are I do not know, but I think I remember him saying that Lesnar would have enough dates to make multiple TV appearances and to defend at every PPV through to Mania. Maybe someone else can clarify or remember better?

    • ldb

      I agree. Cena already gets heat but if they have him beat Lesnar and take the rub from the guy that ended takers streak how much more heat will he have? With his tweets they can book him into an epic heel turn. Cena can say he never gave up on himself. Cheer if want , boo if you will Cena is King of the Hill.

      • Bob’s Diner

        Cena heel turn?? Wow, I’ve never heard that idea before! It is totally going to happen!!!

        • Venom

          If it didn’t happen during the Nexus angle, the Rock angle the Bryan angles it’s never gonna happen.

          Nexus was the perfect time where he had to referee a match between Orton and Wade Barrett and if Cena doesn’t help Barrett win he’s fired. He could have turned heel then just for a short term to keep his job similar woth how HBK had to help JBL for a few months cause of storyline money issues.

          Heck, remember when Cena was part of Nexus and didn’t even put on the black nexus shirt until the final day he wore it at the beginning of RAW only to be storylines fired after? It reminded me of Bret Hart “joining” the nWo but never once wore an nWo shirt.

          • Bob’s Diner

            I’m hoping people realise I was being incredibly sarcastic. The best opportunity was the rematch against The Rock. He got almost nuclear heat at that terrible in-ring debate or whatever it was, and they still kept him superniceguythatlovesthefansthatboohimandeverythingaboutwwe. CM Punk will return on a unicorn and form a tag team with Estonian Thunderfrog before John Cena turns heel

          • Venom

            I thi I the Nexus angle was the one point they could have tested the waters of a heel turn. It was a perfect oppurtunity for Cena to do something against his will to help Barrett win matches by cheating or else he’s fired. Even do a fast count on Orton to save his job. But Cena had too much honor and integrity to do that. Ever since then I knew a heel turn would never happen.

            At WM I thought maybe just maybe Bray Wyatt would push him over the edge that Cena brutally annihilate Wyatt with a chair or any weapon and they would have shots of kids in the crowd sad that their hero is acting like that but nothing. Cena will never turn heel which sucks cause I thi k did play a good one when he started out. I wouldn’t be shocked of they decode to pull his young heel persona off the network so kids never see it.

          • J Vomkrieg

            Today i learned about the Estonian Thunderfrog….. I feel enriched.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Whenever I am feeling down, I watch an Estonian Thunderfrog promo and am reminded of how good life can be. HAMMER OF PEACE!

      • Trapdoor

        As we have said on here, many, many, times: A Cena heel turn simply can’t/won’t happen. The closest they could get would be an anti-hero/dark-side good guy type of thing, & here’s why: Apart from the TON of merchandise sales they make from the kids (& ladies) there are 2 even bigger reasons: Make A Wish & the support he gives to the Troops. They simply could not have a heel, going out & doing all these great things, for all those sick kids. Just like they wouldn’t have a heel promoting/giving support for their Troops.

  • Ty

    Card is subject to change.

    • Jeremy

      Not when WWE advertised but never planned on having the match at Battleground in the first place.

    • Snap

      Card is subject to change, but NOT when the advertised participants are both present AND utilized on screen at the time their match was to begin, only for a bait and switch. Card subject to change is valid in extreme circumstances such as Brian Pillman’s death forcing a change to the PPV he was advertised to compete on or when one (or more) of the participants are unable to make the event due to medical or travel conditions.

      As both Ambrose and Rollins were present and ready to compete, the “card subject to change” excuse is simply that, an excuse. Unless there was a legitimate medical issue, it was a bait and switch.

      • Venom

        And they both wrestled each other in a tag team dark main event on raw as well as competed in different matches at the Tuesday tapings.

        So I said Monday night that if there was an injury tht wasn’t reported yet, we can give them a pass. However, it turned out to not be the case. I understand with the Network it’s only $10/month. What about the fans who paid in attendance? Some people really do go to an event for one particular match. I k kw when it was HBK vs Undertaker 2 at WM in Phoenix I was dying to go just to see that match live. Ambrose and Rollins are no HBK/Undertaker but you I is what I mean.

        Also, until the network is available around the world and people outside the US are paying full price for ppv like here in Canada, they can’t do crap like that.

      • Ty

        Actually the card is subject to change at their discretion. Obviously this is playing deeper into the storyline. Either way I don’t mind that the match didn’t take place. I was a little mad at first, but if you look at the bigger picture I’m glad that they held the match off.

        • Snap

          That is an abuse of the “card is subject to change” disclaimer, which is something you would never see in legitimate sports competition. The thing is, those type of angles are perfectly acceptable for RAW and SmackDown, but for PPVs (yes, they STILL are PPV outside of the US) it’s not acceptable as people are paying to see the advertised matches, thus they would have every right to be upset at the bait and switch.

          If they had no intention of actually having the match, they should NOT have advertised it for the show and had Ambrose attack Rollins during a cash in attempt.

  • kavon

    Wait i read on another report hbk says he talk to taker about competing next year at mania and taker said well see depending on if he lost to brock or not. He also claim vince made that decision to have streak end.

    • Bob’s Diner

      He isn’t exactly the most reliable source, besides he likes to make it known that Vince is the only one who can make decisions. If you read his book (the first one anyways) it is his excuse for the bad things he did because Vince has final say. Pretty sure if Undertaker didn’t want to lose to Brock then he wouldn’t have done the match. He is under no obligation. Richard has been reporting for years that Undertaker wanted Brock to end the streak.

  • Gary Robert

    I don’t like the idea of a match being advertised and not happening, either, but at the same time if you think about it…this is a show that is meant to be taken as something that is actually real and sometimes that’s the way things happen. We, of course know its scripted, but still…just b/c this is a “PPV” type match, does that mean that the Ambrose character is invincible in all ways until the point of the match? No. Something can happen at any time, whether its behind the scenes, during the match, just prior to the match beginning at the entrance, during the walk to the ring etc etc Doing what they did with Ambrose, even though some hate they didn’t get to see the actual match, this what makes it seem more realistic. May have rambled or not made sense here…but I’m on my phone so fcuk it, you get what I’m saying.

    • Jay El Bee

      Don’t worry you made sense but apparently the IWC doesn’t want realism in their wrestling, or at least not when it involves their guys. I guarantee you if this happened with guys like Sheamus or the Miz the reaction would be a lot different

  • John

    I don’t quite understand the mentality of wrestling fans who can’t actually see what makes Lesnar such a special talent! He walked off the streets and became the undisputed WWE champion within 5 months on the main roster.. He won the undisputed UFC heavyweight championship in his 4th MMA fight. He is a once in a lifetime athlete! We haven’t seen anybody in the WWE like Brock Lesnar in the 8 years that he was gone, and we won’t see anyone like him again once he retires.

    • Venom

      While I agree with some of the stuff you said, let’s also remember a few things. I strongly 100% believe the reason talents get pushed and depushed (Ryback, Swagger, Ziggler, Sandow, etc. etc. etc. etc,) is because someone like Lesnar was pushed to the moon and when it came time for someone else to be in the spotlight he asked for his release. That’s why I think someone like Reigns and Rusev will go on a losing streak before being pushed again. MVP is another great example. Yes, so e of them had backstage attitude or incidents outside the company. However, I think WWE builds up young wrestlers, put them on a losing streak to test their egos, and then build them up again. Even the Sheild were on a mini losing streak last summer.

      Also, Lesnar had 2 MMA matches and then lost his first UFC match. For whatever reason, probably as a publicity stunt he was in a championship match and won a few. Then got sick and then lost matches and then retired from MMA because he started losing.

      Don’t get me wrong, I think Brock was great back when he debut. I was a fan. But I can’t stand someone who comes back as a part timer, makes a lot of money for limited appearances.

      • John

        No doubt Lesnar didn’t ‘earn’ his UFC title shot when he got it, but regardless of how, or why he got it, the fight ended with Lesnar knocking out a 6 time UFC Champion who also had 10 years experience on him. And trust me, as a huge Randy Couture fan, i didn’t enjoy that fight one bit, but even so, Lesnar deserves a lot of credit for what he was able to accomplice.

  • John

    You can’t blame the writers for Paige’s in-ring performance at battleground.. She was terrible.

  • Ripped Off

    PPV’s are only cheaper for those in the US, don’t forget. Imagine how those outside the US felt, if they’d paid the (usual) PPV price

  • JR Texx (Jamie)

    Big deal, they cancelled a match, it was supposed to draw heat, and it did.

  • ldb

    I am not a lesnar fan. I think he has a terrible attitude. He is an amazing athlete, but he gets his way too much. It comes at the expense of the guys who will be there when he’s back home waiting until his next time for big payday without earning it. I feel for the guys who work their butts off and take a back seat to these guys. Rock earned his spot, I m okay with him and always Taker. The more this happens the more Phil Brooks I see happening when they finally get fed up with it.

    • Berry

      Who is Phil brooks?

      • Mike McCarthy

        The God of Wrestling.

        • Berry

          Ok explain.

          • Mike McCarthy

            Phil Brooks is the real name of CM Punk.

          • Berry

            Yes I know. But you don’t know him as Phil Brooks. So why not use his ring name? Did you ever see the interview Raven did talking about fans calling wrestlers by their real names? You should check it out.

          • Mike McCarthy

            It really really doesn’t matter.

  • Steve

    I haven’t seen the PPV yet, have read about it and it doesn’t sound bad as the favourites didn’t win (except Cena) so what do people want?? I live in Australia so still get the pleasure of paying $29.95 for it as we have no WWE Network yet. One point though, at a live show if the top talent can’t wrestle, they offer refunds if you leave in the next 30 mins. This is different as it is storyline that they didn’t wrestle but to make the storyline even more believable, why didn’t they offer a refund at the PPV??

  • 1molly23

    Thank you to the person that sent in the 1st question. Well said!