John Cena Heel Turn, Favorite Hall Of Fame Speech, WWE Releases, Royalty Checks

Do you think a heel John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan rivalry backed by a strong storyline would be very good for business as it will draw maximum heat for Cena?

Given the reactions to John Cena during his program with Bray Wyatt, the rumblings of turning Cena are coming back out. It’s to the point where I’ll believe it when I see it and I honestly do not see it. In addition to Cena moving merchandise and having highly rated segments, his charitable efforts provide WWE with a great public image. There are so many risk factors in turning Cena, it’s not automatic that such a turn would work. There have been better situations to turn Cena in the past and while Vince gave them some consideration, he never actually pulled the trigger. I heard the talk on Monday night was to closely monitor Cena/Wyatt, in order to prevent a double turn.

Who do you think has given the greatest Hall of Fame speech so far?

I don’t like to answer “greatest ever” questions because it’s very hard to pick just one of anything in the pro wrestling business. My favorite WWE Hall of Fame speech this year was Jake Roberts. He truly spoke from the heart and it was one I’ll always remember. Obviously with Warrior dying just days after his speech, his will always be remembered as well. I’ve been a loud critic of Mr. T’s speech from this year because I felt he abused the honor by going too long in a bizarre rant/eulogy about his mother. Again, Mr. T fully deserved the honor in the celebrity wing but he was still a guest. A guest should never take the focus off the people that gave all they had for the business.

Are there any updates on the usual post Wrestlemania cuts we usually see this time of year?

WWE has shied away from going public with large number of releases. In fact, for much of last year, Triple H issued a “no fire edict,” where they didn’t cut anyone. This is basically still in tact as WWE lets contracts expire rather than terminating them early. The company has acknowledged the recent contract expirations of the original Sin Cara (Luis Ignascio) and Ezekiel Jackson. There are a number of workers that currently are not being used that are in jeopardy of not having their deals renewed. You can easily come up with these names but looking at some of the names that haven’t been used in several months.

When music is featured in promos/videos on WWE TV, do the musicians get royalties?

Yes, WWE pays royalties to bands/artists for the music they use. This is also why music is edited off DVD releases, to prevent the company from cutting continuous royalty checks for DVD sales. WWE is legally obligated to compensate any artist whose music they use after they have received permission to use it.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2012: Do you think that there will ever be another company to compete with WWE? If so, which company, and why? - WWE has been operating for over ten years with basically no competition and they have put a stronghold on the market. Not only have they expanded into a global giant but Vince McMahon owns just about every tape library that anyone could ever care about. However, it isn’t impossible and could be done. In order to compete with WWE a company would need a national TV deal and plenty of money to spend on talent, production and of course marketing. Many people have hoped TNA would be that company with their national TV deal and significant financial backing but they haven’t even scratched the surface. They have had their opportunities but have not been able to create enough momentum to even sell out their major pay-per-views. I could spend the rest of this installment elaborating on why but there really isn’t enough time or space.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, April 25, 2014.

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

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 AskWNW@wrestlingnewsworld.com

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  • BIG M

    My favourite HOF speech…….. The Iron Sheik.
    BLOODY HILARIOUS.

    • David Jr.

      My favorite HOF speech was Bobby Heenan.

      • BIG M

        Another good one very funny and at the end touching (Tears in his eyes when he said “I wish Monsoon was here”).
        But I always found him the most entertaining presenting at the HOF.
        Hope one day he will be well enough to do so again.

        • Kevin

          Bret Hart has to be up there too…. Telling Owen’s stories and calling out Hulk and then putting the camera on him and the look on his face was fantastic

  • Ty

    What makes it so hard to pick your favorite of something? And if you feel uncomfortable answering those type of questions can I recommend they stop getting published weekly?

    • http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Richard Gray

      I still answer them, I just set a window. The window here is speeches this year. I also find they create good discussion.

      • http://wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Theophilus McFadden

        But you didn’t answer it; mention a few but you never answer. I totally get why you don’t want to answer them but why bother including them? This is the regular “Ask WNW” where you *don’t* have to answer every question you get. Just ignore questions you aren’t willing to answer.

        • AJ Punk

          Or continuously answering the same questions or answering questions about things that are posted so much that the answer should be known; example: When is the WWE Network coming to Canada or the UK? How many times can that question possibly be answered?!

          • http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Richard Gray

            Feel free to submit your own questions. I answer stuff people ask, it’s really that simple.

          • Lance UpperCutt

            but you don’t that is the point, the question asked was which HOF speech is your favourite and you answered with which was your favourite this year….You answered a different question

      • Ty

        Very sorry to put you on blast bro, but it just seems that the way it’s answered is a letdown for the people who asked them and for the readers who are interested in your opinion. You have a lot of knowledge bro and people are just wanting to know your honest opinion.

  • Razmos

    Why cant Cena be heel and still support Charitys outside of the ring? Everyone knows he is just playing a character for entertainment purposes, so why should this risk merchandise sales or the work he does for charity?? Plus when he was the Dr of Thuganomics the crowd took to him alot more than they do now, so the way i see it is – try it, if it dont work then change it back.

    • Lebron James

      I don’t recall The Rock or Austin losing merchandise sells during their heel runs. IN fact, they arguably became more popular. Vince and Cena need to stop being cowards about this. Just turn him and see where it goes. Him being a face hasn’t been working for 10 years now. Enough is enough.

      • Xavier

        Austin’s heel turn was a disaster, WWE actually lost a lot of business when they turned Austin. And how is face NOT been working? He’s selling 5x more merchant then the anybody on the roster right now, he’s segments are still the highest rated defenders typically on RAW, he has more FB followers then any other wrestler by a large margin and same goes with twitter. Oh and WWE is coming off their most profitable stretch in company history (2010-2013)

        • mike

          Beat me too it, and yes we as adults know he is in character, but the children that he is geared towards love him. I’m sorry but how many kids are gonna want there moms and dads to buy them wwe stuff with a “bad guys” face on it?

          • mike

            And you can’t just flip his character like a house. Once he goes bad he wont be able to come back. Not anytime soon anyways.

        • Cubed56

          I don’t really think they lost that much business to be honest. The problem with Austin’s turn was nobody believed it, and they didn’t have a guy to step in his place. This is not the case here, they’ve got guys who can step in as the face for cena. Plus the turn writes itself, he’s getting sick and tired of the fans shitting on him when he constantly gives them everything he’s got night in and night out.

          • Xavier

            Outside of Bryan possibly I don’t see anyone else on the roster that’s even close to ready to take Cena’s spot at the moment

            Personally I’d love too see him turn heel. I’d love for Cena to s*** on the fans that booed him all these years, him picking out individual fans in the front row wearing Punk or Bryan T-Shirts and just going in on them would make my day (fans in the front row wouldn’t be so quick too try and hijack shows if Cena was calling out people in the front row I bet) but you gotta ask yourself though, do you turn the show back to TV14 if you turn Cena? I ask this because in order for a heel turn as big as this too work you have to do a complete 180 with his character and the entire show for it to be believable & edgy, and if you do go TV14 is the WWE willing to part ways with the very many sponsors that they were able too pick up because it was PG, keep in mind that the WWE are coming off their most profitable years EVER these past 3-4 years believe it or not and PG has played a huge role in that. Another thing too think about, if Cena does turn you almost have to strap him with the title for a very long time too really put him over as a dominate heel, are smarks willing to accept another long John Cena title run?

          • Cubed56

            Im all for the Cena title run if his character is different , especially if its a dominant heel. I’d like to think wrestling fans would be acceptable to it as they got the change they so desperately want. As far as the charity stuff, I agree its gonna be hard to find someone to replace him there, since his character is so heavily leaned towards children. As far as the “face of the company I don’t think that part will be hard. The face doesn’t necessarily have to be a face imo. Right now you’ve got DB, Bray Wyatt, and the entire Shield faction that could become the face of the company. I would’ve said Cesaro, but they blew that for the time being by aligning him with Heyman imo. A heel turn also doesn’t mean Cena cant remain under the PG initiative. He can call out fans like you said, but he doesn’t have to cuss at them and break PG. He can push the boundary like they have been for some time now, and still be very edgy and get plenty of heat while doing it. All in all we are both for the turn, but I agree, they really have to be careful when theyt do it. it has to be unexpected and natural, it can fell any bit forced or it will flop.

        • BIG M

          I wouldn’t call it a complete disaster I thought it was a cool storyline Austin doing the unthinkable and teaming up with VKM.
          As for the loss of business that could have been attributed to VKM buying WCW and ending the monday night war and the biggest boom Pro Wrestling has ever seen with it.
          I know Cena will most likely never turn heel but at the same time WWE needs to start winding the whole Cena No.1 thing down a bit.
          Like it or not Cena just turned 37 and this is a young mans business.
          He will be around for what another 3-4 maybe if he’s lucky 5 years before his body finally cries out ENOUGH and WWE will ned to find a new No.1 guy like when Hogan left and Brett Hart had to step up.
          Maybe turning heel and allowing someone to try to fill that gap before he retires would be easier for WWE than trying to find someone after he retires.

          • Xavier

            Yeah I get that, and I believe Cena will turn heel at some point. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it happened by the end of this year actually. A lot of what happens with Cena from here on out regarding his character really depends a lot on rather Bryan can sustain his current reactions right now and rather he can fill the void left by Cena if he does indeed turn. Can Bryan be that guy who grants the wishes, does the promotional stuff for the fight against breast cancer, and the guy who does all the interviews. How well would Bryan hold up when fans come to resent him the way they did Cena. Can Bryan be a draw on the house show market, can he push the merch. These are all things that will be answered in time, and until those questions are answered Vince needs to hold off on a heel turn. It takes a special person too be “the guy” in Vince’s promotion. Just ask Lesnar, he left in 04 because he couldn’t handle the hectic schedule of being the #1 guy nor did he have the personality for it. Finding the next top guy is easier said then done.

          • mike

            Cena is way too far over with kids to turn him, as much as the adults want him to turn theres little kids right now who are fighting for their lives and the cena character helps them through it. Thats why they can,t turn him. And also due to the merch. Yes daniel bryan could be the next one but those kids will prob not wanna watch the show as much with cena heel. I would love it as af an for him to turn but i would feel bad for the hundreds if not thousands of kids who would be devastated.

          • Xavier

            Very good points.

        • Scott Davies

          But their is the Hulk Hogan factor. I do believe he turned heel in 1996 & only drew more money in merchandise & still made make a wish foundation appearances. But I am on Richards side with the “I will believe it when I see it” bit. If it don’t happen after this feud it will never happen & I think everyone should stop hoping & looking for a Cena heel turn. 10 years of Cena is enough, but so is “Do you think Cena is turning heel?”

    • Guest

      But just like how Batista said yesterday and what Triple H said a couple of months ago, there are a lot of fans who cant differentiate fiction from reality…and they are right…the kiddie fans that think everything is real, ie: John Cenas hardcore fans. So thats why it might be kinda tough for him to go heel.

      • Razmos

        Its like food, you wont know if you like it until you try it and if you dont like it you can always spit it out and never try it again

    • Win

      If the crowd takes to him, then the heel switch is a failure and it defeats the purpose. If kids still love him, then its right back to the current situation, so why bother? You want him to turn heel so everyone cheers him, again? Go look up heel. Cena will never receive more boos and hatred than he receives now.

      • David F

        Why cant Cena turn on men and still be loyal to kids like Bret Hart turned on U.S but was loyal to Canada back when he turned. Cena doesnt need full heel turn but some type of character change would be refreshing

        • Xavier

          That would defeat the purpose of a John Crna heel turn, it would completely water it down.

          • David F

            I respectfully disagree and I would love to Cena rip on the men who boo him in his promos but still remain loyal to kids and women who support him. You can find the right balance. Cena doesnt need to be full on heel just tweak his character up a bit. Either way like most fans I will believe Cena heel turn when I see it.

            If there is time to change Cena it would be near SummerSlam to get people to renew for the network.

        • Win

          Bret Hart’s program when he turned heel was a totally different dynamic. He became a patriotic Canadian, turning heel on his American fans. The same way Sergeant Slaughter did in his feud against the Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan. He was waving the Canadian flag and putting over his fellow Canadians in every match/promo. He was a Canadian hero before this and it only grew stronger during that time. That’s why kids in Canada still loved him and wanted to see him. In their eyes, he was standing up for them. He wasn’t receiving that same love in the states. Americans had a completely different opinion of him at the time. That’s what you call a successful heel run. The objective is to get booed and make kids cry.

          • Venom

            Man, that was my favorite memories as a wrestling fan. I was in 8th grade when this was happening. I hated school but I would look forward to Monday’s just so I can watch raw is war. It was a fun time until the Montreal Screwjob. And us kids did look up to Nret feeling like he was defending our country. Yes we knew it was fake but we actually couldn’t stand Americans. I even went on vacation in New Hampshire that summer and felt weird being in America. We all even hated every single American NHL team even though we knew our Canadian teams always sucked.

            Of course years later we found out Bret Harts mom is from New York and he holds dual citizenship :s

      • Razmos

        i know what heel mens, ive been watching wrestling from when Hogan was dropping his leg drops in white pants, plus if you look a few things up you will have read on this site that WWE are doing away with Face and Heels, so flipping his character dosent mean a heel turn per say. Win?? I think you Lose…

    • Tna

      It’s 50/50 now for cena and if he turned all that would probably happen is sides would switch

  • Brandon van Reenen

    No-fire edict… could a Mr. Bourne, Evan Bourne, please step forward. :P

  • stoney

    I miss the days when Vince wasn’t afraid of taking risks

    • Snap

      Back when he didn’t have shareholders to answer to? Yeah, I’d love to see WWE take more risks or, at the very least, let the product grow organically instead of focusing on instant gratification, but they also have to keep their shareholders happy which means money, so it’s no surprise that they will opt to milk the cow until is is completely and utterly drained instead of taking a risk on an “unproven” talent.

      In that respect, I don’t think PG is the worst thing that has happened to WWE, it’s Vince taking the company public. Sure, it brought in a new source of revenue but it tied their hands creatively.

      • BlazeKing

        “I don’t think PG is the worst thing that has happened to WWE, it’s Vince taking the company public.”

        There it is right there.

  • Ant c

    I’m surprised some artist/record labels don’t just let WWE use the music for free. I know money is the bottom line. But for an up and coming artist it seems like it would be really good promotion for them. Just look at how many people started listening to living colour/cult of personality after they used it for CM Punk. Yes I know that song is over 20 years old but just saying how it turned a new generation of people on to it who other wise would never heard or cared about it.

    • J Vomkrieg

      The music business has some pretty strict and solid rules around cash for play. You would have to negotiate each deal around an exemption with each artist and label, with lawyers involved it would cost you a lot more than using the song would in the first place.

  • Padres4life

    but can’t DB do those same charity obligations as well?

    • John

      Bryan isn’t even the main event of his first PPV since finally winning the title… He’s not in Cena’s league when it comes to that kind of stuff.

  • Rachel Miller

    So, could it be safe to say that guys like JTG and Curt Hawkins may very well be leaving the WWE very soon?

  • proud

    I look at Cena like Roger Federer is to tennis, already an undeniable champion and someone that could be pushed just on their records alone (titles and length of reign) but both can still go!

    Both do incredible charity work but although Federer isn’t the #1 guy he’s still the most popular and making a tonne of money…

    WWE always have the option not to saturate us with Cena and hopefully they do and they know its always an option.

    As for who should be breast cancer poster child within WWE, personally I’d like Miz or Ziggler as I think they would have no troubles getting the issue out there and it could be the rub the deserve… Cena doesn’t need that rub as well (if you spread the exposure to more superstars and divas then more become the household names that WWE desires)

  • Jay El Bee

    Really another Cena heel turn question, I guess that guy didn’t see the news that most wrestling websites have reporting in the last day and that is that Cena is outselling Bryan or anyone else you want to put in his spot 5-to-1 in merchandise sales recently.

  • Tim

    Kevin Nash or carlitos coloń. Who had the worst speech during the 2014 hall of fame.