Are there any plans or future plans for Chris Jericho to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? If not, then what's next after his victory against Bray Wyatt at Battleground?
I was surprised that Chris Jericho was booked over Bray Wyatt at WWE Battleground but it makes sense. WWE wants to extend the program to SummerSlam and Jericho just came back, so he needed a victory to build credibility. However, that doesn't mean there are plans to strap him as he is only working on a short-term part-time agreement. I thought Chris and Bray had a good match but I also must say that Bray's Wyatt Family colleagues had the better bout.
What are your initial thoughts on WWE Battleground?
I will have my complete thoughts on WWE Battleground in a podcast later on Monday but to sum it up, I thought it was a weak effort. The show wasn't predictable and there were some good matches, however, there was plenty to criticize. I'm still baffled at WWE scripting that ridiculous promo from Lana, they pulled a bush league bait and switch with Dean Ambrose vs. Seth Rollins, AJ Lee vs. Paige looked lost and the entire night was anticlimactic. I do not judge the pay-per-views as strict now that they do not carry a hefty price tag but that doesn't excuse WWE from trying either. It was a weak show.
What do you make of Rusev's dominance and gimmick?
I am unhappy with the gimmick and feel WWE made a big mistake with Lana's promo at WWE Battleground. 298 innocent people were killed when Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down. Russian President Vladimir Putin is far from innocent and to praise him -- even in storyline -- when his involvement is in question is ridiculous. While WWE has been known for controversial angles in the past, their commitment to restoring their public image after Benoit has been very strong. However, after their underwhelming domestic TV deal with NBCUniversal, the mass roster cuts and the embarrassing situation with Emma's firing and rehiring, it almost feels like they aren't even trying anymore. WWE has gone from an organized machine to showing severe dysfunction. Knowing that things between Triple H and Vince McMahon have broken down, there are major issues at present time. It was hard to enjoy Rusev's match with Jack Swagger after Lana's promo but it was more competitive than originally planned because Vince McMahon is happy with the babyface reception Swagger has garnered.
Has WWE forced themselves to promote John Cena as their World Heavyweight Champion?
It was the right move to put the WWE World Heavyweight Championship on John Cena at Money in the Bank and it was the right move for him to retain at Battleground. When Daniel Bryan went down, WWE had to revert to their top star to create stability. Those that wanted Roman Reigns to walk out of Battleground as WWE World Heavyweight Champion are failing to see the bigger picture. For one, there are plans to do Cena vs. Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam. For Cena to be a viable threat to the man that ended Undertaker's streak, he has to come in as strong as possible. Next, I don't think Roman Reigns is quite ready. He will be there in time but stability is important at the current juncture. The worst thing WWE could do for Reigns is strap him too early.
From the Ask WNW vault…
January 2013: With the IC and US titles being meaningless at this point (the titles change hands on non live TV events and haven’t had a decent storyline, champion, or meaningful title defense in a long time) in your opinion would it benefit WWE to just drop one or both all together or drop those titles in favor of a gimmick title(s) like say the Cruiserweight title or create something new? - I would be in favor of eliminating the WWE United States Championship but do not think both secondary titles should be scrapped. I am against introducing any new titles as they have a hard enough time showcasing the belts they currently have, as you mentioned. Title changes on taped shows are actually beneficial for the live audience as they maintain the illusion that “anything can happen.” It would not be wise to change a major title on tape but as long as the titles are being defended, there isn’t a scenario that’s necessarily bad.
Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, July 22, 2014.