Do you feel that a manager could help Ryback get more heat? Who would you pick to manage Ryback?
I haven't given a lot of thought to Ryback getting a manager but so far, I've been pleased with what I've seen with Ryback's heel turn. He's clearly far from perfect - his in-ring is lacking and he's not exactly "steady" on the stick but he has the look and it's enough for WWE to have confidence in pushing him as a main event talent. A lot of the other heels have mouthpieces right now so I'm not sure this would be the type of uniformity that WWE would welcome. If they did go in this direction, my picks are rather obvious. Paul Heyman and Zeb Colter are the two best heel mouthpieces in the company right now.
With the overwhelmingly positive reactions that Fandango has drawn do you see him completely turning babyface in the near future?
WWE has made it clear they want Fandango working as a heel, even putting him against William Regal on Raw in London to assure he drew heat. It's impossible to predict the future but it's clear Fandango has a great opportunity after catching fire the night after Wrestlemania. One of the things I talked about at length in the latest Premium Mailbag is how fans were disparaging the Fandango gimmick after his match at Wrestlemania against Chris Jericho (which was good) only to fall in love with it less than 24 hours later. Hot crowds make a difference and Fandango owes WWE music composer Jim Johnston at least a dinner.
Do you believe The Rock has worked his final match?
I agree with Jim Ross and his latest comments that The Rock will go out on his own terms. I know the three-year Wrestlemania plan is over but I also think there are reasons why Rock is questioning his own in-ring future. One, he suffered a very painful injury at Wrestlemania and that can be extremely frustrating. Two, he didn't want to get locked into a program [with Brock Lesnar] for next year's show. Another thing that hasn't been brought up is studios discouraging The Rock's wrestling career because they don't want him getting hurt and blowing up major movie plans. Ultimately, The Rock will be back but it's up to him whether or not he wrestles again.
You've stated in the past that you feel the Intercontinental and U.S. belts should be unified, and while I understand the reasoning, I like the idea of keeping both belts. What would you do (other than unifying) to make both belts more relevant?
You are correct in that I would favor a decision to unify the Intercontinental and US titles, leaving the IC strap as the sole mid-card strap. However, if WWE doesn't want to go in that direction, then the titles need to be built back up. Champions can't go under in non-title matches. This has always been a pet-peeve of mine and while I understand the argument that it makes it look as though "anything can happen," the title should change hands. To clarify, if a mid-card champion is booked under, the person going over should win the strap. This would make the titles more than props and would mean winning them was something more than an ordinary match.
Will WWE market NXT as an equal product to the main roster when/if they get a TV deal?
The plan as of Wrestlemania 29 weekend was to make NXT the company's third brand, much like ECW was when it aired on SyFy. The thinking is NXT will help WWE introduce developmental workers before calling them up to the main roster. Furthermore, it's all profit as WWE is already taping the series and a domestic TV deal would mean more money for the company with no additional expenses. This was the plan with the original WWE NXT (after ECW was revamped) but the company was unable to find a new domestic TV deal.
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