How IC Title Is Cursed, Non-Compete For CM Punk?, The Usos From Afterthoughts To Stars, Bo Dallas & Adam Rose Flops?

I read your article -- Is The WWE Intercontinental Championship Cursed? -- and do not follow your point. How is it cursed?

I thought about following up with Part 2 on Thursday but this seems like an appropriate platform to address this. Workers to hold the WWE Intercontinental Championship over the last three years include Ezekiel Jackson, Cody Rhodes, Big Show, Christian, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Wade Barrett, Curtis Axel and Big E. I thought the list alone would be enough for people to see my point but I'll expound further. Workers put over for what was once WWE's top midcard belt have struggled with injury issues (Big Show, Christian, Wade Barrett), lack of creative direction (Ezekiel Jackson, Cody Rhodes, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Curtis Axel and Big E) or both (Big Show, Christian and Wade Barrett). Out of the 9 people to hold the belt over the past three years, none of them have been propelled to proverbial main event status. In fact, it was a demotion for Big Show, Christian and The Miz. What was hoped to be the launchpad for some stars turned out to what could be (Curtis Axel and Big E) or was (Ezekiel Jackson) their peak. Is the Intercontinental Championship cursed? I don't know if that's the right word but it's certainly not the same title that launched the successful careers of Razor Ramon, Mr. Perfect and The Rock.

Does CM Punk have a 90-day non-compete clause attached to his WWE contract?

The way 90-day non-compete clauses work with WWE contracts is they kick in once the agreement is terminated before its expiration. Because Punk's contract is expiring, there will be no 90-day non-compete clause. No one expects Punk to work outside of WWE and the belief is he is in fact retired. As I've now noted two times this week, the expiration date for CM Punk's WWE Performer's Contract is July 15, 2014.

I feel The Usos are underrated on the mic. Is there a chance we see more of them talking?

I believe The Usos will continue to have opportunities, both on the mic and in the ring. At one time they were struggling for creative direction and even wavering on irrelevance but with Vince McMahon swinging back and forth on tag teams being relevant, they took their opportunities and made the most of them. Now, Jimmy and Jey Uso are seen as a big part of WWE's next wave of talent. I say this all the time but it bares repeating. Opportunities are few and far in-between and once they become available, it's imperative the worker(s) makes the most of them.

With the seemingly flop of Bo Dallas and Adam Rose, is Vince McMahon beginning to question Triple H's talent judgement. Who is the next NXT call up?

Neither Bo Dallas nor Adam Rose are considering "flops" at this point. I believe Rose is losing confidence from the office more than Bo Dallas but the push of neither has been aborted as of this writing. Bo Dallas and Adam Rose continue to be booked with confidence and as I've pointed out, Adam Rose has never lost under the gimmick. As for the relationship between Vince McMahon and Triple H, we've heard things have grown more contentious recently, however, I don't think there are major issues either way. Vince has a vision and Hunter has a vision and the bad part is when they intersect into storylines but the chain of command has not and will not change. As for upcoming NXT call-ups, look for The Ascension at the top of the list.

From the Ask WNW vault…

September 2012: Is Beth Phoenix being booked as a jobber because she plans on leaving WWE? - As I discussed in Monday’s YouTube report, WWE has made sure Beth Phoenix has “hit her head” several times on the way out the door. Obviously they’ve known for awhile Beth’s contract was coming up and she wasn’t intending to re-sign so they wanted to send her out as cold as possible. It seems harsh but it’s the way the business works.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, July 11, 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].

Want more Ask WNW? Check out the Ask WNW vault & Premium Mailbag!

  • Nick

    Has the one questioner who rated Bo Dallas as a “flop” been watching WWE programming? He’s one of the best parts of the show!

    A great addition to his character, which was first mentioned on the Cheap Heat podcast, would be for Bo to get a submission finisher and beg his opponent to not give up. But at the moment I feel his humor is quite over with the fans. “Whoops, butter fingers, silly me.”

    • John

      His character is fine, but what is the end goal? He’s not going to go anywhere with a silly gimmick like that. Same with Adam Rose.. It’s not terrible, but it’s hardly a gimmick aimed at long term success.

      • Nathen

        I disagree about Bo Dallas. At first I didn’t see long term potential in Bo Dallas, but I think there is more depth than we presently see. If booked correctly, there is no reason Bo can’t take that gimmick to the top of the card. He could be a great slimy villainous champion using creative underhanded tactics to retain his title.

        But I agree Adam Rose is midcard for the life of that gimmick, but that isn’t a bad thing. Not everybody can make it to the top of the card. Good midcarders are very important to the overall product.

      • Tomas

        Bo Dallas is a closet psychopath. That ultra-happy-go-lucky, motivational personality is a mask. He gets heat for being Justin Bieber squared and then when that part of the gimmick has run it’s course, he flips and nearly kills someone. That’s the gimmick. Go back and watch him in NXT. Follow it through to his main roster matches. Watch his face when he gets on the punishing end of a beating. It slips and he goes crazy for like half a second. The announcers have even mentioned it. That’s where it goes.

        • J Vomkrieg

          Yeah, i love this gimmick as it is deep and really really dark.

          It’s a character that is lying to itself, a fractured personality right on the edge of breaking. The social veneer is like a trained mechanism, like a creepy dude that went through WAY too much therapy and rote learn’t behaviour to cover up his madness. I think it really has potential.

          And I found “face” Bo Dallas as boring as watching paint dry.

          • Venom

            my greatest fear is every newcomer has to be humbled. It’s ashame as I think it’s a great fresh character. But eventually goes on a losing streak and creative has to figure out how to build him up again. Damien Sandow had a great old school gimmick and they tarnished that. I loved how he forfeited matches in his early days but with style. It reminds me after Austin won King of the Ring and started forfeiting to jobbers like Aldo Montoya but gve them stunners and announcer declares them the winner by forfeit.

          • J Vomkrieg

            I am so with you on Sandow. He was probably my favorite character that year. I love defined characters like Sandows “intellectual savious of the masses” and Wyatts “Backwaters prophet”.

            I have no time for dull characters that are basically, “some guy”….. i’m looking at you Bo Dallas from when he was on raw a year ago.

            I’d rather have a show with characters like Adam Rose, Kane, Sandow, Stardust etc than what NXT was like series 1-4 with such stunning “characters” as Michael McFillerbunny, and Lucky Cannon.

            Case in point, Husky Harris vs Bray Wyatt. What was Husky Harris’s character? That’s right it was “some dude”.

          • Venom

            It is true in that beginning with NXT they didn’t have names with any “flair”. They were random names thrown together like Johnny Curtis or Darren Young. Even Daniel Bryan seems like a jobber name.

            I think I’m the only person who liked the name Michael McGillicutty it wa just given to the wrong guy. They should have named him Axel Hennig if WWE wants to own the name. Husky Harris the name is catchy but had no character.

            I did love Sandow insulting his opponents and the crowd before forfeiting the match saying the fans will never learn and what’s the point of teaching them anything.

            Sadly he’s santino 2.0 a gimmick that should be for a Heath “I recently had a kid so WWE can’t fire me” Slater.

    • Venom

      I don’t know of you watched WCW during its dying Russo days. But once I believe it was MI Smooth vs Norman Smiley. And Smooth was beating on him and then had him in a submission. Smooth then yells at Smiley and tells him “say I quit say I quit” and in classic Russo booking the ref rings the bell and declared Smiley won by submission.

      I dunno why but this comment made me think of that.

  • Splat


    • jman72485

      I was laughing my butt off when that happened. Lmao!!

    • Terra Ryzing

      What an inspiration.

  • Venom

    Thanks for adding more to the IC Title curse article. Kofi Kingston and Cody Rhodes are big 2 I feel bad the most for. While Cody can be given any gimmick and knows how to make it work between losing the IC title and teaming his Goldust he went from main eventing smackdown feuds with Randy Orton to teaming woth Sandow and feuding with Tons of Funk to getting match pulled from wrestlemania.

    When I first thought of the whole IC Title curse after Curtis Axel lost it, I thought Big E might break that bad streak but he just continued it. Now Barrett.

    On a side note, if Sheamus wins it at battleground it doesn’t necessary mean he’s unifying it unlesss they openly say so. I think the best way to re-establish both title and seriously rebuild Sheamus is have him hold both titles and defend them twice on the same shows. Kinda like Kurt Angle holding bith IC and European titles.

    • Robby L. Sklarz

      If they are going to put both midcard titles on one guy, Sheamus is not that guy. Cesaro would be a much better choice. Heyman could have some fun with that and Cesaro and both titles could be elevated.

  • K!NG

    once again anyone can hold a title and it does not make that person or the title it self more valuable. Its the feud that surrounds the title that does.

    • Venom

      No $hit. But it’s a really strange coincidence that people were supposed to go up and once lost the title went downhill. Big E. was tagging with Cena and Punk at one point. I was at a show and Big E was in the ring and he told me this guys career is over. I brought up my theory on the IC title being a curse and had to think about it.

      • K!NG

        not everyone who wins the IC title becomes a main event guy and you could go through the whole history of the belt and find a number of different guys like marc mero who the belt didnt get them to the next level

        • Venom

          I’m not disagreeing with you. But in the last 3 years every single holder was plagued with something. Injury, no direction, becoming a jobber (sorry Kofi).

          • K!NG

            I’m not dis agreeing with you but i dont think its as simple as its cursed. I just dont think its gonna matter what WWE does because the IC title isnt the spring board anymore winning the MITB match is and is more valuable then any mid card title the WWE has.

          • Venom

            Well lately you win MITB it does nothing for you. Ask Damien Sandow or even Dolph Zoggler.

            I just feel in the case of Kofi, Ezekial, Cody and Big E they were set for a huge push. Well Kofi just hasn’t been the same since his last IC title. Cody was should have been is main eventer after the mask gimmick. I’m not saying world champion. But he should be one of the faces you see on ppv posters. But once he lost IC title he got demoted. Ezekial and Big E were huge powerhouses and nothing.

            In the case of Big Show it was really a short rain and he’s kind of like Kane where he can flip to heel/comedy and doesn’t matter. Christian, Miz, and Barrett were in limbo before winning it but still seem plagued.

            And I actually forgot about Curtis Axel in my above comment so I shows what winning the title did for him.

          • K!NG

            Big show might of had a short reign but he did go on to Beat Sheamus in prlly the best match of his career at HITC 2012 for the world title so in a way the IC title win helped propel him back in the main event just saying.

          • Venom

            Wait a sec.. Did Big Show beat Sheamus for for the world title in a HIATC? I do not remember that at all. The last world title I recall from Big Show was beating Mark Henry but 30 seconds later Bryan cashes in.

          • Venom

            Follow up: wow you are right. I completely dosed off on that.

          • K!NG

            Yes he did it was the match of the night IMO if u got WWE network check it out cause Big show and sheamus delivered

          • Venom

            I can’t I’m Canadian.

          • K!NG

            I’m 2 hours from the canadian boarder if i could i would smuggle you over some wwe network lol

        • Bob’s Diner

          Realistically, neither did Razor Ramon or Mr. Perfect – I’d say IC champion was the peak of Scott Hall’s career

          • K!NG

            exactly. British Bulldog as well

  • Guest

    It seems not a lot of people watch NXT so I’m gonna say be excited for the Ascension call up. Konner/Viktor vs Luke Harper (sorry Rowan) should be amazing

  • Kevin Taylor

    I would also argue that the IC title also launched the successful career of Bret Hart (Summer Slam 91)

    • Oh, we could go on and on and on. I just listed 3 of the most obvious.

    • Venom

      Clearly the topic is from Jund 2011. Yes IC title launched many careers before that. But the topic is the last 9 champions to hold it in the last 3 years.

      • Kevin Taylor

        Thanks Captain Obvious. I was merely expanding on Richard’s line of champions when the title was more prestigious.

        • Venom

          Sorry man I realized it after I posted when I saw Richard talking about the obvious 3.

          List can go on:
          Steamboat/Savage match
          Triple Hs first title
          Steve Austin (I checked on Wikipedia never actually lost them. Always stripped or forfeit it)

          While I’m not saying they were the greatest IC champions. They won those titles first and later went on to better things. Can’t say the same for the guys who won it in the last 3 years. In fact their careers went completely south.

          • Bob’s Diner

            I thought HHH’s first title was the European?
            I remember his feud with The Rock over the IC title was absolutely what elevated both men. I’ll never forget SummerSlam 98 when in the middle of the match The Rock went from being one of the most hated men in the company to having everyone chanting “ROCKY!”

          • K!NG

            HHH first won it in 96-97

          • Bob’s Diner

            Yes as I wrote, I looked it up afterwards and saw that he won in 1996. It obviously was a nothing reign that didn’t mean anything

          • Venom

            If memory serves Triple H beat Marc Mero thanks to Mr. Perfect and I think he had an okay first run. He lost it to Rocky Maivia in a special episode of RAW. I think it was a Friday RAW and Honkytonk Man was doing commentary. I was in 8th grade and I’m saying this off of memory.

            Rocky would later lose it to Owen.

            It wasn’t until the whole DX thing where HBK was both European and WWE champion and layed down to HHH who had an injury and Goldust who was doing the Charlie Haas gimmick dressed like H and lost it to Owen Hart.

  • David F

    WWE could care less about mid card titles and it shows in booking. Just look at Ambrose hardly defending the U.S title where he certainly could have elevated it if WWE build proper feuds for lower card. Last minute thrown together matches on PPVS does not help anyone

  • Sandeep Agarwal

    Richard, i won’t say that the IC title is
    cursed. You cannot link the injuries and lack of direction to the title. This
    way i can say that WWE/WHC title is also cursed as Edge, Punk, Rock, Cena, DB
    all suffered injuries either during or immediately after the title reign.
    Unfortunately, the title was given to the people who were already suffering
    from injuries or whose career was going nowhere. Add lack of direction
    to it and you will get the reason why this title lost its
    prestige. I went through the career of the IC title winners that you posted and
    couldn’t find any reason to say it’s cursed:

    Show: Was out for 3 months, came back and had feud with Mark Henry and DB for
    WHC title during October, 2011 to February, 2012. Then the IC title reign.
    After that, he was involved in the WWE title feud till Summerslam 2012. Then,
    he won WHC title by defeating Sheamus and had a feud with him and ADR till Feb,
    2013. He was in main title feuds till next one year after winning IC title.

    Jackson: Returned after 6 months in October, 2010 due to injury. Lost to Team
    Smackdown at Bragging Rights, lost early in King of the Ring. Joined Corre as a
    second to Barret. Turned face and had a forgettable title reign till August,
    2011. Was dropped to lower card after that. In mid 2012 he suffered another
    injury and was released in April 2014. Not because IC title was cursed, but
    because his career was already going nowhere even before winning the title.

    He has been having recurring injuries. He was out during September, 2010 to
    February, 2011 then again from November, 2011 to April 2012 before winning the
    IC title in May, 2012.

    He is a four time IC champion and has spent a long time in the mid card. This
    particular reign during October to December, 2013 made no difference in his

    Axel: He was given multiple opportunities including a repackaged character,
    matches with top card superstars and a IC title reign but he couldn’t get
    himself over. IC title cannot be blamed for this. Remember, he failed as
    McGillicutty also.

    He had already lost his top spot after losing the WWE title to Cena at Extreme
    Rules in May, 2011. His IC title reign during July to October, 2012 failed due
    to lack of storyline for him not because it was cursed.

    I think at that time during his reign, everyone talked about how he tried to
    re-established the IC title prestige, not how his career is going down. I agree
    that he was lost for a while after losing the title and when he teamed with
    Sandow, but he made for it as a part of “Rhodes Brother” team and is still
    doing well with his Stardust character.

    Big E:
    Too early to say anything.

    This is one particular case where you can say that the IC title is cursed for
    Barret. He faced multiple injury/visa issues throughout his career after his
    first IC title reign.

    • Venom

      you are taking the word cursed too literally. It’s not like somebody out a hex on the belt like the guy did to the Cubs.

      It’s just implying the people who held it in the last 3 years since Ezekial won it have had a string of bad luck career wise.

      Big Show is probably the only success out of the group even though currently has no direction.

      • Sandeep Agarwal

        This is what i am trying to clear, the bad luck started even before they won the IC title (Christian, Ezekial, Curtis, Miz, Kofi). Big Show had success post IC title reign. Rhodes had the up moments also in his career after his IC reign and it is too soon to talk about Big E. You can’t call the title curse just because they all had won it.

        • Venom

          It is true some of them were winning the IC to give them a new start and didn’t work out like in Curtis Axels case. Perhaps Big Show is the only “success”. However, I really didn’t even remember his WHC win over Sheamus and losing it to ADR. I completely blanked out from that which shows how much of a run that was.

          But I’m sorry Cody Rhodes was main eventing SD vs Orton and suddenly after losing it to Christian he ended up being lost. Tagged with Sandow and his mania match was scrapped. Yes he started teaming with Goldust but we can’t say it’s the level he was at before with the paper bag gimmick.

          Ezekial went from body slamming the big show to jobbing out to guys like Jinder Mahal on superstars. Later on he got injured but it’s just a coincidence he got plagued.

          Kofi Kingston never was the same since losing his last IC championship. Even him winning the last 2 weeks on RAW he got beaten up after. He lost a lot of steam once losing the IC title.

          I can’t say it’s too early for Big E. he’s literally going nowhere at the moment. Barrett has lost IC title before and lost steam. Tried getting momentum again but got injured for several months.

          I will say the big disappointment is Rhodes, Ezekial, Kofi and Big E.
          Christian was injury prone and Miz, as long as he’s doing WWE movies hel’ll get momentum back for a bit.

  • BigMike

    Bo needs to stop with this STUPID persona and show up in a work jumper and say he is the true brother of Bray and join the WYatt family

  • Jay El Bee

    I’m not seeing how the IC title is cursed or anything similar to that. Looking at the top 10 list of guys that have held the IC title combined the longest only 3 of those guys ever went on the being a World champion anywhere, and while both Mr. Perfect & Morales had been World champions that was before they held the IC title. Also looking at the list of 72 guys that have held the IC title at some point only about a third of them have held a World title at any point in their career.

  • monty

    shane should be the one running this company not steph or hhh

  • Robby L. Sklarz

    I don’t consider Bo Dallas a flop at all. The guy cracks me up and I think he gets pretty good reactions. I like how we’re starting to see glimpses of a sadistic streak underneath his happy-go-lucky exterior. I’ll be interested to see what happens when he moves into a feud with a bigger star and starts wrestling long form matches.

  • Gio

    Bo Dallas has potential to be something, but it still isn’t time for us to see it. As for Adam Rose, the only way I see Ray being a WWE Champ is if they do a Mick Foley and make Ray switch from Adam Rose to Leo Kruger.

    • Ryan

      Thought I was the only one who remembered and enjoyed Leo Kruger more than Adam Rose.

      • Gio

        I really enjoyed Leo Kruger and don’t understand how that character had no future, he had the potential of being as creepy as Beat Wyatt and as deranged as Dean Ambrose. Imho Adam Rose has run it’s course unless they plan on making him into the next Santino.

  • Ryan

    I don’t know if anyone remembers who Adam Rose was before,
    but I really enjoyed his Leo Kreuger persona. I was already disappointed seeing he wasn’t gonna be that anymore. He was basically a crazy poacher/big game hunter treating his opponents like animals he was stalking & hunting. I thought that gimmick was deeper, and more viable as a one day main roster superstar. It was so original to me to see Leo Kruger hunting his prey. I think they could’ve tweaked that gimmick and made it perfect. It is better than what I see of the Adam Rose gimmick in my opinion.

  • Lebron James

    Bo couldn’t be more over. I haven’t heard a single negative thing about the guy. He’s gold!