Lesnar's Part-Time Status, WWE's Act Of Desperation, Backstage Hazing, Dreadful Bella Program

Why does Brock Lesnar only have a contract for limited dates? What's the big deal with him appearing once a week for Raw, is he really that busy?

The reason that Brock Lesnar left WWE a decade ago is because he despised the travel schedule and hated living his life out of an airport. He walked away from tremendous earning potential -- a spot most wrestlers will never achieve -- to pursue outside opportunities. After a failed NFL attempt and a run in Japan (as a pro wrestler), he went on to UFC and endured great success. In the UFC, Lesnar realized his full potential and became one of the biggest draws in their history. Vince McMahon was determined that Lesnar's first post-UFC appearance would be in his ring -- feeling it was WWE that heavily contributed to the success of Lesnar, which translated into millions of pay-per-view buys. WWE knew Lesnar would only agree to a contract that included a heavy downside and limited dates. He completely broke the mold and cashed in big time and out-earns the majority of the WWE roster, while working minimal dates. It's the subject of debate and controversy but it is what it is. Lesnar is one of WWE's top guys, despite minimal TV appearances and PPV dates.

Why do you consider WWE inviting Michael Sam to Monday Night Raw an act of desperation?

It's obvious that WWE wants to create hype for next week's Raw because they'll go head-to-head with Monday Night Football on ESPN, which will heavily challenge them for their demographic. By inviting Sam, the company knew they would attract mainstream media attention even if Sam didn't acknowledge the invitation. I hated how in Stephanie McMahon's "Open Letter" to Sam (now off WWE.com), it was perceived that WWE wanted to "take a stand" for equality and justice for all when they were only looking to cash in on his name value. If they were serious about that message on their programming, they should look no further than Darren Young, who is the first person under a WWE Performer's Contract to be openly gay. However, don't be deceived, this was a watered down promotional tactic and not some extraordinary stand for justice. It was cheap and it showed how desperate WWE is for attention as the competition gets stiffer.

I guess to a certain extent it worked -- in that it got people talking but why not get people talking about the actual programming? This week's Raw was dreadful and left many viewers shaking their heads a week before the NFL competition starts up. While there are bound to be peaks and valleys regarding WWE storylines, the invitation sure seemed like WWE was out of answers with their Michael Sam invitation.

In Tuesday's installment of Ask WNW, you mentioned hazing backstage in WWE. How serious/extreme does it get in WWE and are their measures in place to discipline such behavior?

Things are no longer as they once were in terms of hazing, bullying and extreme ribbing backstage in WWE. The business has evolved with society in understanding such behavior is flat out wrong. Daniel Bryan had a quote several months ago where he talked about this generation of wrestlers being the tamest ever in regards to backstage ribs. Yes, there are still jokes played and rookies are bound to get a hard time but it's nowhere near the level it once was. When The Miz was breaking in, he wasn't even allowed to change with the rest of the roster.

What are your thoughts on the Brie/Nikki Bella program?

The ongoing program between Brie and Nikki Bella is one of the most poorly executed personal feuds in quite some time. WWE transitioned from a program in Stephanie/Brie that was compelling and engaging to a program that lacks logic and comes off as forced. Not only has the poor acting been obvious but the roles of Brie and Nikki are not clearly defined. Nikki isn't a clear heel, playing the role of the victim in her "but I never told anyone" vignettes, while making Brie come off as a liar that can't be trusted, keeping her from a clear babyface. While one could suggest this is some sort of hybrid program where lines are blurred, it has translated into some of the most mundane WWE TV in quite some time. Things don't look to be getting any better either, given the fact WWE is introducing Jerry Springer to the program next week.

From the Ask WNW vault…

June 2012: Seeing as how WWE is short on top tier talent, do you think they should call some older guys to come back for a couple of months? Like Shawn Michaels, possibly the Undertaker? Or maybe reach out to Batista and see if they can get back under contract? - WWE has already done what you are asking, hence The Rock and Brock Lesnar coming back on part-time deals. Shawn Michaels is under WWE contract but is retired from the ring and only desires to do things that do not involve him wrestling. The Undertaker is also under WWE contract but is semi-retired and used for Wrestlemania. Batista is a guy the company has interest in but no deal has been put together as of this writing. Now is the time of year where competition is light and can be used to develop new main event stars. Rather than WWE relying on the older and more established names, it’s a good time to create more stars to mix with the aforementioned talent when competition gets stiffer and Wrestlemania season draws closer.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Thursday, September 4, 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].

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  • Splat

    WWE inviting Michael Sam had nothing to do with Michael Sam and everything to do with WWE wanting attention.

    • Padres4life

      Michael Samdow comes out next week.

  • Kevin Taylor

    I heard the Bella program was at the request of the Total Divas producers for season 3 material and that they’ll be back together before the end of the season. I’m assuming some swerve as “playing the authority the whole time” type thing. I have to agree, the Bella Twins are awful actors, especially Nikki.

    • Kevin Dunn is the producer for Total Divas.

      • Padres4life

        Richard, don’t you find it tough for them to reunite after Nikki uses stiff microphone shots to Brie’s head as well as saying she wishes she died in the womb? how do you make up after that?

        • Undecided Voter

          It’s pro-wrestling. HHH burst into Randy Ortons family home and attacked him a sledge hammer about 4 or 5 years ago. Now they are together in the authority. Characters can have short memories if the script requires them to.

  • Sub Zero

    Even though Darren Young isn’t cleared to return to the ring yet, they should let have a special segment with Michael Sam. It would be much better than returning with a jobber entrance and getting squashed by Rusev.

  • Rachel Miller

    My gut feeling tells me that we’ll be seeing The Rock vs. Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 in an effort to boost PPV buys. Nothing against Roman Reigns, he has a very bright future but isn’t on the level of guys like John Cena and The Rock yet, IMO. Your thoughts?

    • TheBigKing1

      I hope so.

    • sheamusfan

      To face Brock for the wwe championship at wrestle mania the challenger would need to win royal rumble 2015 and I can’t fathom the rock winning the rumble ahead of reigns , ambrose, Orton , Bryan so it has to be Brock vs reigns or Bryan at wrestlemania .

      • Moose

        Batista won ahead of them this year so why not?

        • kavon

          Yea but batista agreed to stay past wm in which rock wont do

      • TheBigKing1

        Brock shouldn’t be champion by that time. That’s bad for business…well morale in the WWE locker room.

    • Padres4life

      i wonder who Bryan is facing..he’s been out awhile, they’re grooming Reigns but he’s not over to the levels of DB was this time last year….wonder where Bryan is put, hopefully in a good program.

      • kavon

        John cena

  • BIG M

    Im Australian so I don’t follow American “Football” (if you can call it that) so can someone tell me who this Michael Sam person is and why its such a big deal that he’s Gay.
    I mean there have been 1 or 2 Gay Rugby players in OZ who cam out after they retired and most people didn’t really care that much because it doesn’t really have any bering on how they played the game.

    • Mike Elliott

      “If you can call it that” Go home buddy. We don’t appreciate people badmouthing our hand ball over here! lmao 😀

      • GOR

        Hand Egg more like !

    • Ben

      American football is the REAL football, you play soccer! MURICA!!!

      …just kidding. But seriously, it’s just idiotic media sensationalism. It’s a shame that it’s still considered to be a big deal to be openly homosexual in this country.

    • Undecided Voter

      One point though. I’m in NZ and we still have no gay All Blacks in NZ.

      It’s a big deal in a way, and not a big deal in others. Basically, it shouldn’t be a big deal for someone to be gay and play sports, it just shouldn’t matter. But it has been, no one had come out in a major US sport before playing in the league, and only recently didn’t an active player come out while still in the league (NBA i think).

      And in Aus, look at Thorpe coming out recently. He hid his gayness for years even though he was a national icon. 5 Olympic gold medals and he still didn’t feel comfortable coming out because he thought sponsors would root him on it.

      So yeah, shouldn’t be a big deal, but sadly it is. Hopefully in a few years no one will give a toss about a players sexuality.

    • Steve pritchard

      The big deal is . He would be the first openly gay professional athelete. You are correct there’s been lots of professional atheletes that came out once they’re career ended. But no one has ever came out while playing . Especially at the beginning of they’re career . I don’t see any problem with it . But I don’t share a locker room with him. I could see where some could be bothered. It’s a matter of opinion . I don’t agree with the lifestyle but it’s not my place to judge. But I could see where some could have a problem with sharing a locker room with him.

  • Alex

    I said it lastnight, WWE needs to probably hire a acting coach.. Just saying. I am completely bored by this twin drama… I think everybody just wants to see AJ beat somebody up…

    • TheBigKing1

      Speak for yourself bro.

      • Robinescence

        He can speak for me too. I agree with every word in his comment. I actually think he’s speaking for 90% of us. This “drama” was over before it started. They aren’t getting over and we don’t care.

        • TheBigKing1

          Lol @ he can speak for me too. Lol.
          But I was talking about his AJ comment too. I want Paige to beat her up…but that’s only because I don’t Iike her like that. Lol

          • Alex

            [email protected] Paige beating up AJ.. How many of you were thinking Stephanie was gonna slap AJ though on RAW?? It’s like Stephanie was looking at one of her and The game’s children.. LOL. But honestly though, the twin drama is boring.. Past 3 weeks with the same lines, “Your ruining our family”, the yelling back and forth is just ridiculous.. The only way they can save this feud, is to insert DB and John Cena into it, which is something I know allot of people like us might be expecting..

  • Patrick

    The Bella’s may not be great actors…but then most people in general are not great actors… not everyone can be a great actor.

    • Bob’s Diner

      Unfortunately, their roles rely on acting.

      • Padres4life

        its funny because on TD the show, they come off as not even acting, it seems like their natural personalities…i wonder why they have trouble in front of live crowds…i guess maybe it is nerve racking.

  • Padres4life

    i dont get how the WWE has to make the Danielsons look bad….This current storyline makes Brie look like the bully and the liar and makes Nikki who is supposed to be the heel, the victim…Brie should be getting over as a huge babyface like she was against Stephanie but instead they’re making Nikki look sympathetic and confusing everyone. Not to mention they told everyone that Bryan was a cheater and they never were proven false about that…..It just seems like the Danielsons are always their targets for character assasination.

  • K!NG

    Lesnar is a once and a life time type of talent we have never seen anyone like him before and i dont think we will ever see anything like him again

  • AB

    Lance Storm had a good take on the Bella angle on Twitter: “So if Nikki is telling the truth Brie is unlikable. If she’s lying there is no motivation for the turn. Spock would not like this feud”

    On the surface he’s 100% right, but for what it’s worth, there is actually a logical explanation there: Nikki IS actually motivated by jealousy and bitterness, but she’s covering that up by lying and pretending to be the victim, to justify her actions and garner sympathy she feels Brie doesn’t deserve. If that’s what they’re going for though, they’re not doing a good job of selling that idea. In any event, the angle’s being executed very poorly.

  • Robert Olley

    In fairness richard darren young is currently injured but given thats he’s bulked up a fair bit i’m betting he’ll get a push on his return