Manager For Ryback?, Fandango Craze, Rock Finished?, Rebuilding Titles, 3rd WWE Brand

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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  • opie

    Non-title matches are dumb. The champion goes under in about 95% of them, and the other 5% are just as predictable (there’s a stipulation where the guy gets a title shot if he wins, but a rival interferes and costs him the match and the shot, which furthers the feud between them).

    • Yeah I don’t like non-title matches. I’m also for long title reigns. However, I’d rather a brief title reign and a title actually being in play rather than a long title reign where the champ has done 100 clean jobs in non-title matches.

      • Loren Goldstein

        I know that the WWE likes to make a big deal about the number of times someone holds a title, I personally think how many times a person successfully defends the title is a better measuring stick.

        That being said, I had thought we might be getting an interesting program with Miz and Barret. I would love to see two guys going back and forth over a title with neither being able to keep it long. To me, that would put some prestige back into a title to have two guys, or even three constantly going over each other with the belt being passed around.

  • ldb

    nxt would be great those young guys and girls work harder to make it up the ladder than most the main roster. They have better “wrestling” than most raws and smackdowns. I can’t wait to see them on national tv. They will crush impact. the third string of wwe will smoke impact with unknown talent!

  • Elliott

    richard you answered 5 questions instead of 4 today

    • What can I say, feeling generous I guess.

    • Matt

      Have a cookie.

  • Problem is if nxt got a tv deal would they be able to wrestle like they do now like more risks etc i remember rollins used to do gods last gift but when nxt was getting shown on .com he stopped

  • tomcatjerrymouse

    The last thing the WWE needs is a third brand. A lot of veterans would probably be moved over to NXT to help the young guys out which would only weaken the Raw and Smackdown rosters. What they should do is merge Raw and Smackdown back to a single brand. There are plenty of guys who are irrelevant and are only taking up space and they should just get rid of all the dead weight and go back to the single brand. It always worked in the past.

    • Other than certain Wrestlers appearing only on Raw or only On Smackdown. I really Considered both brands as one brand. since a majority of the roster appears on both shows

  • cobra

    I would say the the World Heavyweight Championship is now equivalent of what the Intercontinental Championship use to be. When guys like Pedro Morales, Randy Savage, Ricky Steamboat, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels were holding them.

  • Chris

    For me, for the wwe to build their inter/us titles back up they should bring in some of their top guys to compete for them. I would have loved to have seen Orton go after the us title when Cesaro held it, to prove that the Swiss wrestler couldn’t beat every American for his title.

    That ship has sailed but high up wrestlers with strong storylines need to be brought into the mix if the titles ever get rebuilt. I would love to see Sandow and Rhodes compete for the two titles, looking to outdo each other by being the first to hold a title.