John Cena's Career & Program With Wyatt, Cody Rhodes A Career Midcarder?, NXT Its Own Brand, Mick Foley's Criticism Of WWE

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Do you feel the feud between Bray Wyatt and John Cena is the best thing that has happened to Cena's stale career? I feel like being in the mid-card, against the biggest anti-heroes in the company has really made him more relevant and is showing more of his potential than when he would just defeat everyone against all odds?

The first line from this question struck me as somewhat bizarre - "Cena's stale career." Did you watch Wrestlemania 28 and Wrestlemania 29? Cena headlined both in one of the biggest bouts WWE has done in the last decade (if not ever in the case of Wrestlemania 28). He's the number one merchandise seller and easily the most recognizable name on the WWE roster. Yes, Cena's character has grown stale with older fans that expect more progression but his career has been anything but. Back to your original question, Cena's upper mid-card program with Bray Wyatt has been good for everyone involved, however, I'll concede it's gone on one pay-per-view too long. My argument on Monday regarding Bray Wyatt is that if you don't find his work entertaining, what - if anything - on WWE TV is entertaining? And if you couldn't name at least one current program or gimmick, why are you watching? Cena vs. Bray has been great and it will be interesting to see how WWE books the "rubber match" at Payback. As stated, this has gone on a little long and that has negatively affected fan interest.

Looking back over the career of Cody Rhodes, WWE has utilized him mainly in the tag team division. Rhodes is a very talented worker but aside from a couple reigns as Intercontinental Champion, why hasn't he been given a serious singles push for gold?

Cody Rhodes is a talented worker and is still young (he'll be 29-years-old next month). When WWE put him in Legacy in 2008 with Randy Orton and Ted DiBiase, the hope was one of them would be able to separate. Cody hasn't reached the level where many see his ceiling, however, he's still had a lot of success under the age of 30. A lot of major pushes come down to how the fans respond and the right opportunity. However, I warn everyone that will listen, not everyone can work in the top of the card. Is Cody more of a career midcarder or is he a future WWE World Heavyweight Champion? That question is still premature given his age and potential.

Are the chances of seeing a cruiserweight show on the WWE Network getting better now, especially with all the talent they have that could be showcased on there? They could even tape at Full Sail.

As we reported here on on March 14, 2014, there was a recent shift in philosophy regarding WWE NXT and how it related to a prospective cruiserweight show on WWE Network. While NXT’s primary focus will always be to develop future stars for television, it's not the only focus with the evolution of the WWE Network. NXT is more or less its own brand and this has sparked internal conversations as to whether or not WWE should sign talent with the sole purpose of having them work developmental talent with no intention of calling them up. NXT features a different atmosphere than the average WWE show and it allows for talent to showcase a more athletic style, with matches similar to what you would see on the domestic independent scene. Given the success of NXT and plans for new original WWE Network programming, a prospective cruiserweight show appears to be on hold for the time being.

Regarding Mick Foley's rant about WWE stockholders and how Triple H and Stephanie's on-air roles can damage their view of WWE, why say that now since that antagonizing authority role has been around for years? Doesn't it seem like odd timing?

Let me start by saying that I had the chance to meet Mick Foley a few years ago and he's a great guy. Mick is down to earth and has a wonderful mind for the wrestling business. In fact, I believe Mick has one of the best wrestling minds around and we can all learn from his musings. He's been much more critical of WWE in recent months and I believe this is due to a couple reasons. For one, Mick is a fan of the wrestling business. I believe Mick truly does want what is "best for business" and is more than qualified to speak out when he believes mistakes are being made. He was one of the most vocal critics of Daniel Bryan's booking at Royal Rumble and WWE ended up completely changing directions. Secondly, Mick has his Hall of Fame ring and is free to speak his mind. I know he has denied this but Mick does not have a good relationship with Triple H. Hunter has never viewed Mick as a top guy and has been known to make off-color remarks regarding Foley when given the opportunity. In fact, it's my belief that Triple H was going to do whatever it took to assure that Mick wasn't going to be the headliner for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame class and had Bruno not agreed, I believe he would have led an induction of DeGeneration X just to provide a co-headliner. I even heard there was an incident where Vince McMahon rebuked Hunter for an off-color remark about Foley when it was believed he would be the top name for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame. So I see Foley's criticism as two-part, his love for the business and his knowledge of Triple H's mindset that absolutely has an egotistic component to it.

From the Ask WNW vault…

February 2012: I have read the accounts of Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart in regards to the infamous Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series 1997. Both place the blame on one another. Who do you think is telling the truth? - I’ve always heard there are two sides to every story and when you combine both sides, the truth is somewhere in between. The Montreal Screwjob was a bad situation because I can understand how it was no-win on both sides. On one hand if Vince McMahon put Bret Hart over Shawn only for his champion to go to WCW, how does that make WWE look? WCW was really putting the pressure on WWE and it would have been a disaster for their champion to leave for the competition. On the other hand, Vince had told Bret he was going over and Bret felt that his hard work and dedication had earned him the right to leave as champion. Bret was blindsided by the screwjob and he took it very personal. In the end I’m glad Bret and Shawn were able to reconcile their differences and while they’ll probably never be best friends, it was awesome for the business when the beef was squashed a couple years ago.

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

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, May 23, 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].

  • LeftyTosser

    Richard, you asked and were answered on Monday. I record RAW and watch it later to avoid the general crap that has been brought to the program like the constant Stephanie / Hunter “authority” story, the never ending diatribes by Wyatt and the ridiculously booked matches brought to us by the “creative” team. I can watch a 3 hour RAW in about 35-40 minutes after fast forwarding through the junk. I watch the recorded RAW for the one or two good wrestling segments that might air. If the “creative” team and VKM would start to take a longer term view of their setups and work towards bigger feuds it would greatly enhance the product. Watching someone talk about the WWE App or the WWE Network just do not interest me in any way. The Network will eventually gain enough viewers to break even, but at what cost to the overall viewership? Less than 30% of the RAW viewers will ever sign up for the Network.
    At some point in time there will be real competition for the WWE and at that point VKM & Co. will have to step their game up to continue any level of success. I don’t know when that time will come, but it will happen. At that point, true wrestling fans will again have something worthwhile to watch.

    • Guest

      Youre WEIRD!

      • LeftyTosser

        Yep, but I’ve been a fan of wrestling since the territory days and spent my fair share of time around the guys and gals involved to know what the industry could be. The crap that WWE is putting out there right now would have never flown in ratings or fan attendance during the Monday Night wars. And anyone that has watched the industry for more than 10-15 years knows it.

  • jdl

    Cena’s career is stale. It doesn’t matter if he’s been in the biggest matches, as that is simply indicative of his position in the company. A position that has not changed in years, with a gimmick that has not changed in even longer, with merchandise that all looks the same and typically has the same message, with title reigns that involve feuds against the same people over and over again, and matches that play out the almost every time. You can be successful and stale.

    • JeanAE

      You’re definitely right on the money.

  • Evon Callaway Bitterweed Reese

    I think you’re right about Bray and Cena being one match to long. It’s not that I don’t find Bray talented because he is. I’m just ready for him to move on.

  • Evon Callaway Bitterweed Reese

    I know Foleys heart is in the right place but he just comes off as a bitter old man instead of constructive criticism

  • Mike McCarthy

    I’d much rather see Tag Teams get their on show on the Network, NXT AND a Cruiserweight show would be total overkill.

  • Rachel Miller

    I heard rumors that Triple H and Vince McMahon were never big fans of Cody Rhodes to begin with (Triple H in particular). Your thoughts?

    • Steve pritchard

      I usually don’t listen to the rumor mill. . Because they’re usually just that “rumors ” and nothing more. But if it were true . It would not surprise me. After hearing what trip did to mick foley before the hall of fame . It changed the whole way I think about HHH . I’ve always respected his ring work , but thought behind the scenes he was very arrogant . Which in my opinion . Is the reason him and cm punk never got along . Both have a massive ego .

  • Vic

    It’s unfair to call John Cena’s career stale or boring. Hulk Hogan used to do the same thing Cena’s doing now. You would never see Hogan throw in a hurricanrana (even if it looks botched) or drop kicks into his arsenal. There are times even i find Cena annoying but i have to give the man his credit at times. Cena vs Rock both matches were great, after he came back from his elbow surgery he put on one helluva match against Sandow and his best match in my opinion was him against Daniel Bryan at Summerslam were the match was worth every moment. He might not appeal to that many older fans because of the same repeated moves but he’s still gonna be the face of the industry and still bring attention to WWE

    • Cubed56

      Can you please explain why you think the Cena/Rock matches were “great”? I dont thing i was watching the same matches as you. I’m not saying they were bad, but i dont think they were great by any means.

    • Bob’s Diner

      It isn’t about his wrestling, it is about his character being stale; you compare him to Hulk Hogan, but even his character lost appeal after 10 years because of his character doing the same thing.

      • Avalanchian

        They will never change Cena because he is the face of the WWE and has a very approachable face and personality. He’s a savior to many kids with the Make-A-Wish. My little nephew is 10 and a huge Cena fan, but he doesn’t know about the rapper thug Cena. He only knows of this Cena the man who overcomes the odds with his respect and loyalty. To get even a negative reaction from the fans is still a great accomplishment. Now if the crowd was completely silent during his matches is when problems would arise, but that day hasn’t come.

        • Bob’s Diner

          Completely agree. They can still make changes without hurting what he already does but they seem far too scared to try. Someone once explained it to me in terms of ‘moral authority’. Guys like Hulk Hogan, Bret Hart and The Rock had it – they could use steel chairs or cheat and fans just cheered them on when they did it. But John Cena doesn’t have that – if here were to start cheating in any way it would be so out of character his fans wouldn’t like it.

    • Malboja

      Ok so did you ever hear of a little thing called the nwo ….
      I believe hogan was the third man
      And was a huge shock when he turned heel

      • Jay El Bee

        Not the same, that was in WCW where Hogan was already seen as an outsider or the enemy if you want to put it that way. The only time McMahon ever did something as stupid as turning his biggest money making face heel was at WM 17, and most people agree that it killed the Attitude Era.

  • Jbreed

    Maybe calling John Cena’s career stale is stretching it a bit but for somebody who has been the number 1 for almost 10 years his career has never really been spectacular. Besides being the top merchandise seller and his matches with The Rock (even though nobody cared about the second match) what else can he be remembered for? He’s never had a memorable Austin/Rock type of feud and as far as his charater is concerned the older fans had already gotten tired of it way back in 2006 when the “Cena Sucks” chants started.

  • Cubed56

    It’s not that the Cena/Bray feud has gone on too long, its the fact that we’ve seen absolutely zero progress from Cena’s character yet again that has made this feud lose its steam. Wyatt’s promos are brilliant, but they are being wasted by Cena doing his usual corny joke filled, ill overcome all odds, hustle, loyalty respect, blah blah blah promos we’ve seen for ten years. This feud would still have all the fire it had if Bray would’ve gone over clean at ER and if once just once, Cena would snap and beat the holy hell out of Harper and Rowan. Or you know what would really make it interesting is if Cena got a taste of his own medicine once by beating the hell out of Bray for 90-95% of their match, but no matter what he does, Bray wont stay down, then bang out of nowhere Bray hits his signature and finisher and its over.

    • Malboja

      Couldn’t have said it better myself 😀

    • GOR

      Its funny how cena’s matches are similar against most of the other guys !

  • Edgecution

    So HHH never viewed Foley as the top guy well thats funny because I view HHH in exactly the same way and would rather see Mike Adalme headline a HOF class than that glorified excuse of a shovel carrier.

  • Bob’s Diner

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – WWE wasted a great opportunity with Cody Rhodes last year. He was incredibly over after the whole firing angle and could have easily been given a shot at the top of the card. I will never understand why they chose to instead push him aside and focus on the same people they’ve been focusing on the last 10 years.

    • j vomkrieg

      I think there is a rule, hope to heck your push doesn’t start just before Wrestlemania season, because if it does, you will be buried when the “real stars” return to claim the spotlight.

      We agree that the handling of the Rhodes brothers by having them fail immediately to the old age outlaws, was one of the worst bone-headed moves WWE has done in the last few years.

      I still do not understand why they got left of the WM card in favour of Rybaxel (a group no one cares about) and Los Matadores (A comedy act)

      • Bob’s Diner

        Think about this as well: Aksana was on the WrestleMania card while the Rhodes Brothers were left off

    • Steve pritchard

      It almost pains me to see wwe do things like this. They had a great catalyst for a major push with Cody , and totally missed it by a mile. It seems they’re more interested in bringing in guys from yesteryear for one match . And not even worry about the great talent they have year round . Let’s face it. Daniel Bryan was not getting the spot he got in wrestlemania . If not for the out cry over royal rumble. And punk supposedly not taking the match . As much as I disagreed with punks reasons for leaving. . It seems the reason he left is making more and more sense as time goes by . Too many big egomaniacs under one roof is a good recipe for trouble .

  • Splat

    “Cena vs. Bray has been great and it will be interesting to see how WWE books the “rubber match” at Payback.”

    It won’t be interesting at all everyone knows Cena is winning…

  • Jay El Bee

    A cruiserweight show on the WWE Network that is taped at Full Sail, add in a women’s division and that sounds like what NXT has been for the most part for the past 2 years to me.

  • Avalanchian

    I asked this before and didn’t get an answer. Who does Wyatt go after next? He’s done some stuff with The Shield, Bryan, and Cena. So who is next? Because I don’t think we have any other big name hero guy around in WWE that has a huge push that would elevate both people.

    • packerpf

      Sheamus? While Harper and Rowan go for the tag titles?

      • Avalanchian

        You think Sheamus can really have a good setup with Wyatt? I just can’t really see it happening. Sheamus isn’t much for mic skills.

        • packerpf

          I know, it took me forever to think of someone, but I don’t think they’d go Big Show or Henry route, and Rey wouldn’t be believable. Also as you already mentioned there aren’t many left; especially with others being involved in their own programs. Can’t really go back to the shield, and Takers out with injury; unless Punk somehow was working all of us with WWE and comes back I don’t see who besides Sheamus really could provide some rivalry

          • Avalanchian

            That is my fear that there won’t be enough talent to constantly push the Wyatts. He wants to destroy people who have a big name for themselves it seems. Maybe the Wyatts could simply turn on Evolution because he’s tired of answering to HHH when Wyatt himself claims to be a god so he should answer to no one.

    • GOR

      Bray wyatt will lose this feud to cena. So, obviously he will have to take a backseat.
      while other 2 can carry on against usos which will allow bray to interferer n make Usos the sacrifice. n get back in focus.
      Also, their feud with the shield ended abruptly after just 1 PPV, so they can always go back to that after shield defeats the evolution.