JBL’s In-Ring Career, Christian Returning On Smackdown, Part-Time Talent & Wrestlemania, Roman Reigns Separating From The Shield

I would love to see JBL return as a wrestler, but do you see it happening anytime soon?

Before JBL returned to WWE on a full-time basis in November 2012 as a commentator, he had actually pitched some ideas to have one final run as a wrestler. He ended up getting the commentary gig and it’s the best of both worlds. JBL is able to be around the business and collect a paycheck without taking bumps. He retired from the ring due to back problems and any run for him to return to the ring would have been a part-time run where he would have risked further damage. JBL is in great shape and could probably work another match, although I’m not sure the risk outweighs the reward. I know people like to criticize his work on commentary but I’m a big fan. Without him, Raw would lack in humor and money quotes.

With Christian coming back this week, why not make him a surprise entrant in the Royal Rumble?

WWE nixed Bad News Barrett and Xavier Woods to put Kevin Nash and El Torito in the 30-man Rumble match. They wanted to bring Dolph Ziggler back because he was cleared and Sheamus also had the green light. The decision had to do with position scarcity and also how they wanted to bring Christian back. The decision was made to advertise his return for Smackdown, giving viewers a reason to tune in to this week’s broadcast. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, one concern Vince McMahon has with the roster getting top-heavy is there are too many guys for the number of available spots. Putting Christian on Smackdown gives the company an opportunity to showcase him without getting lost in the shuffle. Last week, Vince was telling members of the creative team to brainstorm about how they could feature more guys without a logjam.

Last year The Rock came in after being gone for a year, took the title off CM Punk after his long reign, headlined Wrestlemania and walked away. It appears Batista is about to do the same and Brock Lesnar has been doing that too. How do all the hard working full time wrestlers feel about these things backstage?

Batista’s WWE contract is a two-year deal and is believed to be more of a full-time Performer’s Contract rather than a part-time agreement like what you mentioned. I can tell you there continues to be dissension from full-time workers about part-time talent coming in for the big Wrestlemania payday. This is always going to be the case when large payouts are given to guys not in it for the long haul; however, my position is a little bit different. As a fan I want to be entertained. I hate to say it but The Rock and/or Brock Lesnar are guys I would rather see in main event matches over guys that haven’t proven they can get over at the same level. If a full-time worker doesn’t want to lose their spot to a part-time worker then they have to prove they’re capable of moving the needle. I understand that’s easier said than done in a business that’s not objective but as a fan; I want Wrestlemania as loaded as possible.

When The Shield first debuted Roman Reigns seemed to wear the label of being the most green and the biggest project. Now he seems to be the frontrunner for a major push. What changed his career outlook?

Not only was Roman Reigns labeled the greenest of The Shield faction, he was the greenest of The Shield faction. Consider the fact that Seth Rollins (Ring of Honor) and Dean Ambrose (CZW/Dragon Gate USA) had already proven they could be very successful, albeit on a much smaller scale, Reigns was simply a WWE developmental talent. Reigns was impressive enough to get called up but he wasn’t exactly tearing the house down either. The feeling is that Reigns’ work on the main roster has been the best work of his career, where he literally saved his best work for the biggest opportunity. I believe what sets Reigns apart from many of the up and coming workers is his look. He just looks like he belongs. Not just his frame but the entire package. Some guys just have “it” and watching in him the ring with John Cena on Raw, he just looked like a top spot fits him. I expect a major push to come his way later this year.

From the Ask WNW vault…

September 2012: Is there any particular reason WWE had Daniel Bryan stop with the “Yes, Yes, Yes” chants? After all, it’s the main reason he got over. - No, no, no! WWE tinkered with turning Daniel Bryan babyface but ultimately wanted him to remain heel. The logic behind “no, no, no” is simple. Chant the opposite of what the fans are chanting to get heat on him. Because Bryan plays his character so well, it worked to perfection. I disagree the “yes, yes, yes” chants were the main reason he got over, he got over because of how well he plays his character not any particular chant.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, January 29, 2014.

Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

Connect With WNW

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn!

  • Patrick

    JBL needs to go back climbing his mountains.

    • Mysterion

      Thought you didn’t watch RAW?

  • illdecide

    I like Lesnar/Rock/Batista, but they should at least put the time in on shows and fight up until Wrestlemania, it was borderline boring to have Rock come on Raw every Monday and just do speaking segments.

    Sure glad I got to see El Torito instead of Christian as well! Thanks WWE!!

    • Kevin

      Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge fan of his but I find it amusing how the Undertaker gets a free pass on this topic when it comes to the surface. It’s been one year removed and The Rock still can’t catch a break.

      • David

        The fact of the matter is that the Undertaker simply cannot work a schedule full time any more. His matches at Wrestlemania always draw attention and he puts on some brilliant performances (when HHH isn’t utilising his snails pace).

        When the Rock came back, he did so as a lesser man in the eyes of the fans. His ring work was acceptable but his story telling was predictable and his particular insult based character was no longer as easy to perform within the PG confines.

        Lesnar is a strange one for me as he is one of the guys that can be a spectacle with the right guy. His work with CM Punk at SS was very enjoyable and can help to justify why he would be brought back. He hasn’t come back requesting to take the spotlight with Rumble wins or Title runs, just big money. Creative have been his enemy as they’ve given him opponents that didn’t really gel with his style, people such as Big Show who simply can’t move around at the same level of their previous encounters.

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      I enjoyed El Torito, it made me chuckle.

      • Vince McMahon

        I was laughing my head of as well. Short people wrestling always give me a hoot!

        • JR Texx (Jamie)

          well you’re the one that had hornswoggle as a b*****d son.

          • Vince McMahon

            THAT WAS OVER 4 YEARS AGO! YOUR SUPPOSE TO FORGET ABOUT IT THE MONTH AFTER IT HAPPENED! That’s how you wrestling fans are suppose to work!

          • JR Texx (Jamie)

            Ha, that’s great, couldn’t have asked for a better response.

          • Tim

            What about Chris Benoit

          • Vince McMahon

            who?

      • Bob’s Diner

        I don’t get the hate on El Torito – he is uber talented and fun. Better than watching Kevin Nash hobble to the ring and getting to look dominant yet again

      • Jimmy

        How much of a bonus do you think Punk asked for to let El Torito give him a hurricurana lol

  • Nate Mayhew

    How to feature more without a logjam? How about just putting them in compelling stories?!?!

    • TW

      My god, that’s just using the talent they have properly, they can’t do that!

    • Alex P

      I would suggest to rebuild the tag team division with these stars. I mean think about it…if you have main event talent (or upper mid-card talent) in the tag team division. It would bring prestige back to those belts in no time!

      • Jimmy

        If you think about, nearly half the Rumble were tag team wrestlers, and there were still some teams that weren’t in the rumble. They just don’t use them all in title feuds for some reason.

  • opie

    I love JBL on commentary.

    I think things were a bit different when Rock came back. The roster was pretty sad. I mean, The Miz was WWE Champion. Now they’re as loaded as they’ve ever been. There are at least 30 guys I want to see on the Wrestlemania card, and not one of them is named Batista (or Orton, for that matter).

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      The Rock returning was great, something new and it was fun. Lesnar came back and it’s nice to watch. Don’t think I could watch more part timers, The Miz being WWE Champion I think at the time was just bad timing.

      I so wanted Ziggler too win! I wanted him to “steal the spotlight” guess its too much to ask for.

      I like JBL on commentary too, yeah he screws up sometimes, but then so do most, I would have wished that he wasn’t in the rumble for about 30 seconds though.

    • Venom

      May I ask what did Miz do wrong to make him being WWE champion sad? Aside from them making him have to cheat to win I think he did a good job. But again as WWE champion they made him the background between the Rock and John Cena. Miz dressed as a cocky champion. He presented himself well and considering what he looked like when he was teaming with Morrison he made a huge improvement.

      And during that time we had the nexus and the new nexus. Big Show and Kane were a team. Roster wasn’t sad they just didn’t know how to use them right. And speaking of Nexus look where everyone is now? Is it their fault?

  • Tim

    Can we get an actual surprise in the royal rumble for once. Kevin Nash is as much as a gimme as ted dibiase on old school raw. They always use the same legends. It just makes then look desperate. Also why do away with the 40 man royal rumble other than the winner it was great.

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      It was too long. I got tired of watching it. Who knows what the superstars felt like.

      • Tim

        They felt like they wanted to make good money. For 20-30 maybe 40 minutes. If they couldn’t hang. Then what are they doing there.

  • opie

    I would just like to say something about the “logjam of talent” Richard was referring to. Remember when some people were clamoring for Ricardo Rodriguez to break away from Del Rio and become a wrestler, and Richard was trying to explain how he was better off not wrestling if that meant he got to be on tv? Funny, I haven’t seen that guy in a while.

  • Boomgreek

    Next year I think they should mix it up.If we go back to two World Titles have two RR each with 20 participates one for Smackdown and other win for Raw. This gives more opportunities for more people and gives extra 10 people. Would be a royal rumble with a twist, as this years was a complete flop

    • JR Texx (Jamie)

      I like the idea of having one world title now, means they have more time to use the other superstars (if they ever decide to use some of them). 20? 30 people is fine. it’s not too short, not too long. Surprise entrants are always amazing to see and it’s an amazing opportunity to put someone over. Putting someone over .. huh guess I shouldn’t have put that considering this years.

    • Jimmy

      Im pretty sure that’s what Money In the Bank is for.

  • Venom

    Regarding the Christian question…

    I guess it explains why for the past 10 years we had the combination of Cena, Orton Batista and Triple H. Vince McMahon just likes to focus on one or 2 guys at a time. Then job the rest. And yes I know punk was champion for ahead and a half but the only time he main evented a match was against Cena. Heck when Punk was champion the main event of a ppv was Cena vs John Laurenitis.

    Regarding talent needing to push the needle…

    How the hell is that possible? Zack Ryder got himself over and they screwed it up. Ryback was a believable monster and they started jobbing him. Damien Sandow destroyed the arm of a recently injured John Cena, cashed in the briefcase, had an amazing match and then lost clean. Now he was the first person eliminated from Royal Rumble. So how exactly are the full time wrestlers supposed to push the needle? I’m not saying I don’t like seeing Rock or Lesnar. It’s great if every wrestlemania or every once in awhile we have a celebrity part timer for a program to put someone over. And this sucks because which wrestlers in the last 10 years can we say are future hall of famers? I’d say maybe 5 or 6.

  • MyBrokenKnees

    Roman Reigns dropkick entry into the Rumble and again on Raw is what finally sold me on him having “IT” Reigns(The Sheild), Bryan(The Wyatt’s)and Lesner(Heyman) are the only reasons to watch WWE these days to be honest.

  • Ant_C

    With out JBL the occasional premier league reference would not be there either.

    As for wrestler that can “move the needle,” I think Daniel Bryan has proven on many occasions he can but still has yet to enjoy a legit main event push. Damian Sandow has very good mic skills and in ring work but continues to be buried for seemingly no reason unless he has backstage heat. Look how long they tried to keep Jeffy Hardy or RVD in the mid card until they were forced to push them into the main event because of fan reactions. Hopefully Bryan wont screw it up the way the two aforementioned ones did noce they actually push him into the main event with intentions of a legit push.

  • Mike McCarthy

    I still have dreams of an announce team made up of JBL, Booker and Punk.

  • K!NG

    Roman Reigns ALL!

  • jdl

    Reign’s best work is essentially just hitting big spots, he has almost no technical wrestling ability and he’s the weakest of the three members of the Shield on the mic. If he wasn’t a big, hulking behemoth of a man, no one would be paying any attention to him.

    • Bob’s Diner

      What makes me laugh is how the fans have bought into WWE’s plans; notice how the 2 guys from NXT that are have the typical ‘big guy’ look were teamed up with awesome workers that ‘internet fans’ loved? And now everyone wants them to succeed more than the people they were teamed with… that’s smart business, right there.

    • Jbreed

      Well than the perfect guy to be the next big megastar in the WWE would be Roman Reigns. If technical ability was one of the requirements to becoming a main eventer than why have Batista, Cena and Orton been the top guys in the WWE for the past decaade?

  • BigMike

    Rock has a genuine love for the WWE and the business, so I really had no issue with the way he was pushed and he, from what I understand, was not a douchebag or a prick backstage; I cannot say the same abotu Lesnar. IMO Lesnar is only here for the money and phones in his performances. He was always boring to watch which is sad because of his athletism. Lesnar also is just a prick IRL and should not be there

    • Bob’s Diner

      The biggest difference for me is the promos The Rock and Batista gave on returning: The Rock made it clear he was back for the fans, that he loved the business and was giving back to the WWE. Batista came back and declared he was only back to win the title. In fact, the only acknowledgement he has made of the fans was after Royal Rumble when he flipped them off. I don’t recall him interacting with fans in any other way since returning…

  • Ricky

    They are really showing Roman Reigns as THE guy in The Shield now. Multiple pins over Punk, breaking Kane’s record for most eliminations. Even last night he powered out of Super Cena’s STF. I agree he has the look of a WWE Superstar and hope for 2014 to be his year.

    • Jbreed

      But if Daniel Bryan is having trouble reaching main event status than what chance does Roman Reigns, or anybody else have?

      • Judas

        Roman Reigns is a big guy, so he has a much better chance.

        • Jbreed

          But as far as discussion about main event pushes in the WWE is concerned, it’s always a matter of having to see it to believe it.

          • Judas

            Ryback went from beating local guys to wrestling for the WWE title. Reigns has been built much better, and it’s obvious that we aren’t far off from him in the main event.

          • Jbreed

            I understand but a main event push doesn’t mean just one main event program and then it’s back to being irrelevant again the way it happened to Ryback. The WWE is in desparate need of new star power after ten years of always relying on just Batista, Cena and Orton.

          • Judas

            They didn’t pull the trigger on Ryback because their plans were to keep the title on Punk until RR against The Rock, and Cena was injured. I agree that WWE is in desperate need of new blood, but that really proves my point more than yours. If you have seen the past few weeks, and especially RR, you can easily see WWE has put the spotlight on Reigns and are prepping him for takeoff.

          • Jbreed

            I hope you’re right but I’m convinced as long as Cena and Orton are around nothing will change.

          • Judas

            I do sometimes wonder if WWE has inherited the WCW curse of guaranteed contracts equaling guaranteed money for top talent, meaning it would be fiscally irresponsible to not use them. In my opinion, that is the only reason Orton is where he is. Honestly though I do feel we are near the dawning of a new era. Who they decide to “champion” that era is TBD.

          • Jimmy

            Roman Reigns and Rybacks situation is completely different. The reason Ryback isn’t in the main event scene anymore is because he blew it. He botched moves and failed to get a reaction from the fans. Reigns on the other hand can work a match and has alot of support for both backstage and the fans.

  • Jbreed

    Maybe if they put more time and effort into creating WM main event calibre stars out of the guys on the current roster than they wouldn’t have to turn to guys from the past to entertain us. And what chance do they have to push the needle when the day after WM Vince McMahon already makes up his mind on what his main event is gonna be for next year?

  • Jbreed

    Back in the Attitude era there were plenty of main eventers but there were never any logjams. Those guys who weren’t currently involved in the main event were given important upper midcard programs and it all worked out fine. What puzzles me is how a genius like Vince McMahon all of a sudden forgets how to run a wrestling promotion.

  • Steve pritchard

    I don’t mind part timers at mania. Wrestle mania is a 4 hour show . With plenty of time for all. My problem is when they just come in like the rock did last year and steal the spotlight . While on a part time contract. He won the belt at rumble and defended it once before mania . He rarely appeared on raw. And we got the exact same main event we had the prior mania . The main event at wrestlemania should be used to take a super star to the next level . Even though Bautista isn’t a part timer . He still hasn’t been in the business in 4 years. Same old predictable garbage before wrestlemania . Just like last year. Good thing the wwe network only charges 9 $ a month. Because there is no way I’m shelling out 74 bucks for it again. If this is the direction they decide to go .

  • Jimmy

    Reigns can do no wrong. Being from NXT and part of the Shield he already the support of the IWC. The guy id fairly big and has the look so we know Vince and Triple H are high up on him, he is related to The Rock so that only gives him more backstage support i’d assume. The only question is can he work? and after seeing the Rumble i think we can all agree that can create excitement and put on a show just as well as if not better than all the current main event guys.

  • Jimmy

    To be honest, i think JBL is the realest commentator they have. When superstars make mistakes in the ring he talks about it. I remember in a match a while back Kofi had jumped off the ropes and botched a landing. The king said the Kofi’s opponent had countered and JBL corrected him saying that it wasn’t a counter and that Kofi had messed up the landing. Then there was also the Usos vs Harper and Rowan where Jey kept throwing big punches and JBL’s exact words were “Wheres the wrestling? They’re just throwing big haymakers”. I prefer JBL’s real commentary alot more than King who over-exaggerates everything. I mean whenever someone does a simple clothesline king says “he almost took his head off” like c’mon king lets be real, nobodys doing none of that.