How Scripted Are Interviews?, Booking Dolph Ziggler, Velvet Sky In TNA, Comparing Ryback To Sheamus

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When a WWE worker makes a non-wrestling appearance (e.g. autograph signing, media appearances, etc.) does the company instruct them to appear in or out of character?

WWE workers have a lot of freedom in media interviews but there are directives that come down from the office. Obviously the company doesn't want stars leaking storylines and generally speaking, they want the focal point of the interview to promote the product. We've seen it all - from Randy Orton completely shooting on Kelly Kelly to Sheamus constantly remaining in-character during media appearances. John Cena is known for focusing on the product in-character and is seen as the best promotional mouthpiece they have. Speaking from experience, when I've done interviews with workers alongside radio anchors, the radio station has met with company officials to let them know to keep it clean. My biggest pet peeve with interviews (and why I don't do many of them) is workers using them to put themselves over rather than actually answering the questions. Kind of like what we saw with the Presidential debate on Tuesday night, where the candidates would be asked a question, but skirt around it to get to their approved campaign rhetoric.

What are the creative plans for Dolph Ziggler? It seems since winning the Money in the Bank briefcase, he's been forgotten.

Dolph Ziggler gets Ryback after beating Zack Ryder on this week's WWE Main Event. I hate the way he is being booked, especially in the match with David Otunga against Ryback on this week's Raw. Ziggler's in-ring work has been as good as anyone in the company and it's unfortunate to see him being used to put Ryback over. I'm hoping WWE wants him "under the radar" before surprising the audience by "cashing in" his Money in the Bank briefcase.

What's the latest on Velvet Sky?

As we noted on Sunday, Velvet Sky is believed to be close to agreeing to a new contract with TNA Wrestling. The company worked hard to keep her from walking this summer and it appears they are close to getting a deal done.

I've read that you (along with others) feel WWE is making a mistake pushing Ryback in the main event for the WWE Championship this soon. But didn't WWE do the same thing with Sheamus? My question is if it worked for him then why don't you believe that it could work with Ryback as well?

I am diametrically opposed to the notion that Sheamus over John Cena for the WWE Championship at WWE TLC in December 2009 worked. Sheamus ended up developing into a main event talent but his title win was one of the most underwhelming in WWE history. The move received positive marks because it was over John Cena but I didn't like it. I'm all for the element of surprise but strapping an unproven worker is a risky proposition that I'm not sure the reward outweighs the risk. I didn't buy Ryback at all when he debuted but the character has grown on me as he "turns the corner" in terms of getting over. However, to take him from working indy call-ins to the WWE Champion and expecting the audience to be interested, seems a bit much. The gimmick needs more time and Ryback needs more seasoning. Neither of which are going to happen as Vince is hell bound on pushing him at the top but I fear the long-term outlook is not being considered.

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  • Jbhc

    In a way I’m seeing a similar story with dolph as we did with Daniel Bryan last year do u see them trying to replicate that success Richard?

    • GODSENT83

      That’s what I was thinking too. Trying catch lightning in a bottle twice, I think Dolph will be able to pull it off too

  • Jason

    With Ryback, I think it would be interesting to see the belt on him. It would be something that many fans would not see coming at all!

    • ou812

      Yup, they won’t see it coming cuz nobody will be watching

      • XKonn247

        I bet you watch TNA.

        • ou812

          I bet you watch half pint brawlers.

          • Joe

            So TNA?

  • Ken

    Randy Orton shooting on Kelly Kelly?
    That would NEVER happen in the PG era.

    Oh, wait. That's not what you meant…

    • A2H

      Richard was referring to a radio interview where orton said he could think of at least 10 guys in the company that banged kelly! And that was like at the beginning of this year…

      • Dan

        How did you not get that

      • Ken

        **Exaggerated sigh**

        That was a joke, my friend. I was referring to the idea that Randy Orton had ejaculated lots and lots of semen over Kelly Kelly's face, a highly sexual concept that is completely at odds with the WWE's present PG direction.

        Does that clear up any misunderstanding? Dude, if you're not under the age of twelve then I am really disappointed in you for not getting that.
        I hope this gets posted.

        • Jim

          Not cool Ken considering kids read these posts! Too far to prove your point!

          • Joe

            Who cares if kids read these posts?

  • Rayner Cheebai

    Ryback is no Sheamus! If Sheamus can be a top star on WWE or SmackDown!, Ryback isn't. He's just overrated with piped chants in the crowd. Who's with me this time?

    • nefty131

      No one. Again…

    • Maxx Stylez

      If by piped in you mean legit arena rocking chants then you’re right. Was at the Jonesboro AR show last Friday night and he was so over that you couldn’t hear the bell ring to start the match.

    • teamUsUcK

      Once again… Nobody Thats gotta suck

    • XKonn247

      Calm down. This is not a referendum.

    • Nick

      Lmao dude….alrght ill throw you a bone, I’m with you for the fact that you said Ryback is no Sheamus, your right there.

    • PainOfDemise

      Feed Me Cheebai.

    • Moose666

      Apparently no one, again…

    • Behind the scenes

      Your looking at this wrong, VKM drooled at the chance to ride Goldberg when he had the streak. He is caught up with this fascination, problem ryback is no Goldberg along with the fact that adults that were apart of the Goldberg experience, has seen this played out.

    • peter


    • justin b

      rayner u keep trying to put down ryback and its not working shut up and no one is with u.

    • snuggle

      You are a hater. Ryback and Sheamus are former partners but Sheamus got called up first. Ryback will prove everybody wrong by becoming a main event star for years to come. The chants that have been heard for the past two months are legit. Ryback isn’t a Goldberg, because Goldberg thought he was bigger than what he was. Ryback is humble and has been in the business for a long time so he’s paid his do’s. Ryback has become a huge talent in a short period of time. The only reason Sheamus made it is because he’s a HHH guy. Ryback is a Vince guy and last I checked guys Vince wanted to make it outnumber HHH guys. Vince guys Cena, Austin, Rock. HHH guys Sheamus, Sin Cara need I say more I rest my case.

      • ou812

        I can’t wait to see where ryback is a year from. Maybe he’ll be on one of those “where are they now?” Shows.

        • Joe

          No he won’t.

  • FactionZer0

    I don't see CM Punk dropping the belt. But then that defeats the whole purpose of Ryback's undefeated streak. Then if Ryback does win, Punk vs Rock is a flop. So, there HAS to be a twist come PPV time.

  • SRP

    The pigeons better return, dammit.

  • Brad

    Too bad Ziggler cant cash in MITB for the WWE title. I think the perfect situation for him would be for Rock to win the belt at the Royal Rumble, then have Ziggler cash it in, winning over a "beat down" Rock. Rock gets his moment of glory, Ziggler gets elevated through the roof, and it sets up both for a Wrestlemania rematch!

    • Frenchfry

      Ziggler vs Rock at WM? no thanks

  • Kurt

    Does anyone remember how unstoppable The Ultimate Warrior was booked? Still, he slowly worked his way up the card. He would not have had his IC title so soon if Ed Leslie wasn’t injured, and who knows how long it would have been for him to get booked for the world title. Ryback’s gimmick isn’t really all that different than Warrior’s, but at least Helwig had a decent amount of time to develop his. Too soon.

  • bettysteve

    gotta laugh, at least VKM doesn't have to worry about Ryback doing interviews. I mean, how hard is it to screw up the line "feed me more" (with "more" changed to a name every now and then).

  • matt

    Ryback is super over with the crowd, but I still think it's too soon for him to be a main eventer he's still quite stiff in the ring. I just hope what happened to Kozlov, Swagger and McIntyre doesn't happen to him

  • JasonGaza

    if the crowd never yelled out golgberg ryback would still be mid-card

  • Will

    Ryback is a over rated jackass

    • ou812

      Ryback is OVER…. RATED!!! So is Sheamus! Did anyone ever question batista’s main event status? He’s gone and neither ryback or sheamus can fill that void.

  • smithmiester

    Mr ziggles will be fine. Just look at how Daniel Bryan has ended up, one of the best tag teams I’ve seen in a long long time.

  • Jason

    Why is everyone saying that Rock vs Punk is a flop if Ryback wins the belt? There are rematch clauses as well as two more PPV before the Rumble. Anyone stop to think that they will have Ryback win the belt then Punk will win it back before?

  • karlos

    I like the ryback gimmick. However I do think he has been pushed to the top too quickly. Instead of squashing the miz he should havehad a fued with him which culminated in him winning the ic belt. Then have him work with some of the mid card talent such as cody Rhodes damien sandow . Even a possible program with the big show or Mark Henry to really get him over with the audience. If I was a betting man I would bet the vince has picked ryback to win the rumble. I could see him challenging for the WHC at mania. I just hope vince hasn’t put all his eggs in the one basket with ryback by pushing him too fast. I agree with Richard with the fact that it looks like the WWE haven’t thought the long term effects of this decision .

    • Mario

      Good scenario , I also hope that Vince isn`t so short term ( greedy ) and rather thinks about an investment .

  • proud

    I don’t know why the crowd chant Goldberg, he reminds me more of Perry Saturn… I wonder if there was Perry Saturn chants that Ryback would come out in a dress!

  • justsomeguy

    totally agree with the guy who likened Ryback to The Ultimate Warrior, I too have noticed the similarities and my friends and I refer to Ryback as Ultimate RVG. He's like a hybrid of Warrior and Goldberg while wearing RVD ring gear so Ultimate Ryback Van Goldberg, way to soon to put the strap on him though, hopefully Cena will turn attacking Ryback to end the match so he's still undefeated and Punk retains, only way it makes sense so they dont have to program a Ryback Lesnar booking nightmare.

  • _JIM_

    I still believe whole heartedly that the best thing for the Ryback character is for him to lose at HIAC. Not clean but at the hands of Punk with the help of Lesnar. If they have Brock run-in and Punk and Brock really whipe Ryback out in a big way, him losing wouldn’t hurt him in the least bit. Because it took 2 of the best workers in WWE to get it done. From then on it frees creative to be able to do a lot more with Ryback without having to worry about writing themselves into a corner like they did for HIAC.

  • Kevin

    I think that if Cena is ready to go by the PPV, we'll see a last minute change to a 3 way dance for the title. Punk beats Cena to retain, so that Punk v. Rock still makes sense, and Ryback keeps his undefeated streak intact.