Kane Unmasked, WWE's Disappointment With SummerSlam, Ryback's Future, Sting & Value Outside WWE

With Kane unmasking and looking better than ever, what are the current ideas or potential feuds for him?

The booking direction of Kane is one that was significantly changed from last week to this week. His unmasking was seen as something that is part of the 2014 release of See No Evil 2, as he doesn't wear a mask in the film. Whether or not they leave him unmasked throughout the release of the film remains to be seen but that was the initial word at Raw. As for his character direction, the storyline is he was "given to Stephane McMahon" to help her do what is best for business. I'm told this was done to explain why he's not going after The Wyatt Family and presumably turning heel. I talked more about Kane in this week's Backstage Raw News where you can also read about failed Wellness test and a lot of other material of interest.

What are your feelings on WWE's disappointment with the performance of this year's SummerSlam?

One thing was very clear in Thursday's conference call with investors and that was Vince McMahon and company were not pleased about SummerSlam doing 296,000 buys in August. The show is seen as one of the most important shows they do all year long besides Wrestlemania and the number was a big pullback from the 358,000 buys they did in 2012. Vince McMahon explained that fans didn't "buy the attraction," which has resulted in widespread IWC speculation. It seems everyone wants to find one worker to shoulder the blame. I've heard everything from "that'll show John Cena fans" to "well, that's it for Daniel Bryan." These knee-jerk reactions are incorrect. Trust me, if WWE could pinpoint the blame on one particular worker, they would take the appropriate action with that particular worker. I take Vince's comment that fans didn't "buy the attraction," at face value. Pay-per-view events are attraction driven and WWE "swung and missed" with SummerSlam.

With Paul Heyman being written off television as a result of CM Punk's beating on him, what's next for Ryback?

Ryback vs. CM Punk was blown off on Monday Night Raw when Punk made Ryback tap out in the Street Fight. This doesn't mean Ryback is off television as he went over Kofi Kingston on this week's episode of WWE Main Event. Where they go from there remains to be seen but I hope they pull the reigns back and give Ryback some time in the mid-card. Every time WWE has tried to force him to the main event, they've failed. There's nothing wrong with building him back up through the mid-card and it's where he should have been working all along.

You said last week that Vince McMahon doesn't see talent outside the WWE as valuable, but what about guys like Sting?

A lot of people see Sting as the exception but this is one of the things that has kept Sting out of WWE. Sting doesn't completely trust Vince McMahon with his character and he very well remembers The Rock looking at Booker T when he first came to WWE after a successful career in WCW and asking him who he was. Now obviously Booker overcame that because he's extremely talented and went on to have success in WWE but these are the things that have kept a deal from happening. Sting is a smart guy and understands the WWE mentality. People criticize him for not going to WWE but he's worked the last decade under an awesome deal. He gets to work minimal dates at optimal pay. I'd love to see Sting come to WWE and work a Wrestlemania main event but he hasn't done bad for himself by refusing to risk the McMahon machine at this stage of his career.

From the Ask WNW vault…

November 2011: What are the chances AJ Styles ever leaves TNA Impact Wrestling for WWE? - This is a common question I see readers asking from time to time and while it’s certainly possible AJ Styles could leave TNA for WWE, how much success do you think he would have? While I know Vince McMahon and Triple H will point to workers such as Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, Christian, etc. and say they push workers of all different sizes, it’s a fact they don’t push talent based on in-ring skills. Daniel Bryan, who I consider the second best in-ring worker in the world (Kurt Angle at number one), has struggled to find a main event role. Watching Daniel Bryan on WWE TV is like playing with a yo-yo, he’s up then he’s down. There has been very little consistency. I have a hard time believing things for AJ Styles would be much different.

Want more Ask WNW? You can now Tweet your questions to Richard at Twitter.com/wnwdotcom using the hashtag #AskWNW and get an answer! The only condition is you MUST be following Richard Twitter.com/wnwdotcom.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, November 4, 2013. Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

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  • AB

    The Rock also asked Chris Jericho who he was when he made his debut after the infamous Y2J countdown. That was part of his shtick, a lead in to the “It doesn’t matter who you are!” catchphrase that was part of Rock’s cocky, egotistical character. It certainly didn’t kill off Jericho, unlike WCW where his legs were cut off at every turn.

    • Haha yep but let’s make it clear, Jericho and Booker had to prove their worth in WWE. Nothing was handed to either. Both are highly talented individuals and they were given opportunities in WWE but getting the opportunity and picking up the ball and running with it are two different things.

      • Tyler

        The problem with these comparisons is that Sting is already a legend. I’d love to see him back in the big leagues, but if he doesn’t he can be one of the rare performers in the HOF to have never worked for Vince McMahon.

      • Draven

        Very true but as talented as AJ Styles is dont you think he would very likly pick up the same ball as jericho and booker did in wwe cause of how talented he is.

      • Xavier

        I really wish Sting would quit making lame excuses for not wanting to got to WWE. Benoit, Guerrero, Jericho, Big Show and probably Booker had more success in the WWE then they ever did in WCW. This whole thing about Vince not pushing guys from other promotions is a myth, always has been a myth.

        • Nostaljack

          Uh…ask Christian how mythical it is. It took him a while to get back to a decent level and injuries have undermined him too.

          • Xavier

            Christian has had more success as a singles wrestler in his 2nd run in the WWE then he did in his 1st run with the WWE. Still seems mythical to me. The only guy you can make a case for that McMahon mismanaged was Lex Lugar during his run in the WWE.

        • Bob’s Diner

          It took years for all of them to be taken seriously in WWE – something Sting can not afford to waste

      • Kid

        I don’t understand this argument. At this point sting is very established and is thee most famous wrestler to never step foot in the wwe. If he came in and somebody like a John cena or triple h said “who are you?” It wouldn’t hurt sting and he wouldn’t have to overcome anything.

  • Venom

    I think if Triple H talks to Sting like he did with Bruno he can convince him to come to WWE.

    As far ppv buys. They have to understand that ppvs have become watch parties. A group of friends pitch in and order the show at ones house and save money. Summerslam was exciting even people I know who don’t normally order ppvs aside from wrestlemania wanted to get together and order the show.

    • Draven

      I agree thats what me and some of my friends did for summerslam and what we always do for wrestlemania.

      • Venom

        At these prices they can’t expect 1 person is gonna order it alone. And it’s not like the whole family will watch it. I’m in a family of 5 and I’m the only one who watches.

        It’s more fun if and reasonable if a group of 5-10 friends pitch in and watch especially when it’s something like royal rumble or if they went back to multiple survivor series elimination matches. Even elimination chambers matches.

        If they lowered the prices less people in a group would order. Maybe even split to 2 or 3 groups which would result in more buys since most people won’t feel obligated to get together and order. It’s hard to convince so many people to get together and order a show.

        Just my 2 cents

    • Kris Mystery

      Alot of people watch online for free.

      • Venom

        I know they do I just don’t like to publicly admit it. But I know people who want to watch it on their big screen in better quality.

        • TheBigKing1

          Because he’s an idiot.

        • Bob’s Diner

          And that’s why I download HD files

    • Nostaljack

      Sting’s over 50. The ship has sailed, IMHO. He’s lost a step or twelve so I’m not dying for it to happen. If it does, that’s cool, but I’m not dying for it.

    • LeftyTosser

      Steve will never go to the WWE, at least not until he knows his in ring career is over. His memories of VKM’s treatment of the former WCW players is still strong in his mind. HHH’s great negotiating skills will get him no closer to WWE than he is now.

    • Jay El Bee

      But PPV’s have always been watch parties, at least dating back to the mid-90’s when the NWO and Austin/Rock became became popular.

  • Justin Lal

    Hold on Richard. You say every time the WWE has forced Ryabck to the main event he has failed. Maybe if they didn’t screw up his first run in the main event he wouldn’t be in the position he is currently in. One year ago Ryback was the hottest thing in the WWE. He got over all by himself and was doing just fine. WWE made the mistake by putting him a title program without ever having the intention of putting the title on him. That’s a big NO-NO in wrestling. They should never take a hot wrestler and stop his momentum by failing to win the title. Goldberg and Ultimate Warrior were both red hot when they were put into the title scene and both cashed in. WWE screwed Ryback up by having him fail to win the title on three occasions. If WWE never had the intention of putting the title on Ryback they should have never put him into the title program.

    This example is very similar to Lex Luger’s run in WWE. Everyone says Luger failed in WWE. The biggest mistake with Luger is that they failed to give him the title when he was hot in the Summer of 1993. What’s worse is that had him celebrate is count out victory over Yokozuna at Summerslam like he won the title. After that PPV Luger went downhill.

    • I agree with you that WWE booked him horribly last year although I’ll push back that he was the “hottest thing in WWE.” However, we can’t play the “what if” game. What’s done is done and Ryback needs to be pulled back if they’re going to salvage him.

      • Justin Lal

        Richard, he was the hottest thing in WWE. There is no denying this. The “Feed Me More” chants got over in a big way. Here’s the thing about Ryback: turning him back into a babyface will be easy. All they have to do is have Heyman slap Ryback and he’s back to being a face. Turning him heel was a horrible mistake. Let’s not forget going under against Henry at WM.

        • RC

          Ryback was over with the fans, however the “feed me more” chants were no louder than the “Yes” chants at the time so I would not say he was the hottest thing in wwe at the time, but definitely one of the most over characters. Have WWE booked him poorly? Yes of course they have but they forced themselves into a no-win scenario when they used ryback to fill Cena’s spot, if they put him over cm punk then they ruin the importance of Rock’s title win in a few months, if Ryback looses then he looses his unstoppable monster image and we now see the result. His heel turn however was needed IF they were to push him into the main event scene again, with Cena just coming off of a huge Wrestlemania win against Rock and earning his redemption throwing him into another Face vs Face fued wouldn’t have meant anything, he needed to turn heel to be scene as any sort of viable threat despite his loss to Henry (which was another no-win scenario). WWE’s booking of him wasn’t his only downfall however, his sloppy in ring work and all around attitude has been his downfall, and he now needs to slum it in the mid card again for a while to build up his credibility again.

          • RC

            to be seen*

        • Nostaljack

          I vehemently disagree. Ryback has *never* been the hottest thing in the WWE. The “Goldberg” chants were almost as loud as the “Feed Me More” chants. Given Ryback’s behavior in the media and elsewhere, WWE’s lack of trust in him was proven correct. He undermined himself by whining that he wasn’t getting ahead when he wanted to and by his general bad attitude and worse ring work. Ryback can’t be a babyface because he isn’t a nice guy; his repeated whining on Twitter proved that. Why would you make someone who isn’t a nice guy by nature a face? He’s a natural heel and should stay that way, IMHO.

        • Avalanchian

          Ryback may have been the hottest thing for a bit, but he was also the most careless in the ring too. How many workers didn’t want to work with him for how he was careless? I believe quite a few and most of them with big names.

      • TheBigKing1


    • Jbreed

      The WWE set Ryback up to fail. First they were supposed to give him a big WM moment but he lost. Then the whole “Cryback” angle when he was feuding with Chris Jericho. It’s hard to take him seriously even alongside somebody like Paul Heyman.

  • Tom

    I can’t even remember a time where I have been entertained by a WWE PPV to justify $50-$60 for it.. Maybe the prices need to be readjusted, maybe there is too many cuts of the money because of fees to content providers, I’m not sure..

    The prices were over-inflated over the past 10 years and they never came back down, or leveled off at a price. I remember when PPVs were $30, and even that was kind of expensive..

    I think they should cut some PPVs a bit. Having one every month doesn’t seem like a very profitable/smart move in this day in age when money is a problem for a lot of people.

  • The Breaker

    Is there a possibility that Bray Wyatt somehow ‘brainwashed’ Kane? It would begin to explain why he so oddly surrendered himself to The Authority like that. However, it’s not like there’s been any kind of logical consistency with the development of Kane’s character over the years anyway.

  • Johnny A Vincent

    Talking about Sting and his reason for not going to the WWE.
    Comparing his circumstances with Jericho, is not a good comparison.
    When Jericho came to WWE, he wasn’t a star in WCW, and he interrupted the Rock during his air time. Having him asking who he was , was just a smart move.
    How dare you interrupt the Rock.

    Comparing Sting with Flair would be a better example of WWE not changing a character, Flair a well known star and the WWE let him be himself.

    Sting if he came, they would do the same for him, he has only a year or 2 at the most left in his career, and having someone ask who he was would be stupid,
    It would be a waste of time to have him be anything else that what he is

  • JJ

    Sting outside of the WWE is the ultimate defiance of Vince. He should NEVER go, it gives an example to all those stars who were told by wwe “you’re not good enough” and they can look at this man who has worked for almost 3 decades outside of the “top” promotion and could arguable be one of the most well known worldwide.