Montreal Screwjob A Work?, Should Sting Call It A Career, Letting Bobby Fight, AJ Lee The GOAT?

A few days ago you explained the Montreal Screwjob to a reader. Considering that WWE would never televise anything they wouldn't want fans to see, is it completely out of the question to think that maybe the screw job indeed was a work?

It's not out of the realm of possibilities that the Montreal Screwjob was a well orchestrated elaborate work, however, I truly believe it was a shoot. If you go back and read Bret Hart's book and catch-up on comments he's made about Montreal, you'll learn how deeply it hurt him. Bret felt that Vince McMahon not only betrayed him but did so in his home country. I've examined the difficult position that Vince was in (his company was in jeopardy and his champion was heading to WCW, the root of all their problems), however, I believe the finish Bret signed off on [at Survivor Series 1997] was not the finish that was executed. I am glad that all has been resolved -- creating one of the most memorable moments in the business in 2010 -- with Bret and Shawn Michaels making amends over the situation.

I have seen a lot of comments where people have said they do not want to see Sting wrestle at Wrestlemania 31 because he had been putting on less than stellar performances during his final days in TNA. While he has clearly lost a step (anyone would at 55 years old), do you feel his performance could have been a reflection of how much work he wanted to put in because of how he felt about the company?

Do I think Sting "mailed in" his final matches in TNA Wrestling? That's possible as he knew he was going to have to take a significant pay cut to stay with the company he had helped put on the map over the past decade, however, no one can say for sure. I understand why people are not interested in Sting working at Wrestlemania 31. He's 55 (and will be 56 at the time of the show) and will not be a full-time performer in any situation. A lot of people are "over" part-time workers coming in and taking main event spots from the guys that do the heavy lifting. Further, there are concerns about a 56-year-old being able to carry a main event match at WWE's biggest show of the year. There are no guarantees that Sting will wrestle for WWE, however, the relationship has been established. A lot of people thought we were crazy when we talked about Hulk Hogan's inclusion in WWE 2K14 being part of a bigger deal -- remember Eric Bischoff's ridiculous rant? Fast-forward nearly a year later and we can see -- just as we reported -- Hogan's inclusion was the beginning of his deal to return to WWE. While Sting is currently being used for the video game and forthcoming DVD, the relationship has been established. From a fan perspective, I want to see Sting work a WWE match. I don't want it to be a main event caliber match at Wrestlemania 31 next year, however, the fan in me wants to see it. It's now or never so why not now?

I understand why TNA would allow Bobby Lashley to return to fighting but if he loses wouldn't that look bad for the company? Why risk it?

It's unfathomable to me that TNA Wrestling would allow their current champion to compete in an MMA fight knowing there is a chance he could lose or get injured. However, before we get on our soapbox about Dixie Carter "not knowing what she is doing," let me remind you that sources have told me Vince McMahon would allow Brock Lesnar to compete for UFC while under WWE contract. While it's one of these things I would have to "see to believe," my sources indicate if it was an opponent Lesnar would be "guaranteed" to beat, Vince would be open to it. Again, I think it's one of those things Vince just goes along with to appease Lesnar, knowing the chances of him fighting for UFC again are virtually zero. However, back to the question. Why should TNA risk it? When I first read that Bellator MMA had signed Lashley and he would be fighting at Bellator 123 on September 5 live on Spike TV, the following thoughts went through my head - Spike TV owns Bellator, Lashley on Spike TV, TNA's TV agreement with Spike TV is up in October. While TNA has a lot going against them in contract re-negotiations with Spike TV -- and things haven't been going well -- one thing they have going for them is the network's intrigue about cross-over possibilities between Bellator and TNA. When Spike was in on the WWE TV negotiations, one of the biggest things they were interested in was how it would help Bellator. Ultimately they walked away because they found out WWE was "playing them" but in a sense, this could save TNA Wrestling.

Is it too early to start considering AJ Lee one of the best Divas of all time?

It's too early to start considering AJ Lee in the GOAT conversation. Look, I'm an AJ Lee fan and I think the amount of heat she gets from jealous haters is hilarious. She's not only WWE's top Diva but she's the face of the Diva's division. However, let's slow down on the GOAT conversation and continue to follow along. She has many hurdles to cross before being in the company of workers like Trish Stratus and Lita.

From the Ask WNW vault…

December 2011: Whatever happened to Bret Hart? He was touring with WWE earlier this year but is now nowhere to be found. - Bret Hart still has a good relationship with WWE but does not have a recurring role on television. While Bret is a WWE Hall of Famer and a Legend, he’s limited in what he can do because he cannot compete. I criticized WWE earlier this year for the way they used Hart, not making a “big enough deal” about him appearing. When Bret finally returned to WWE TV in 2010 it was monumental but the use of him lately is more like seeing someone such as Sgt. Slaughter on TV. Any appearance of Hart should be heavily promoted and portrayed as something extraordinary.

Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, July 18, 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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  • GOR

    Wat about Melina, michelle McCool, beth pheonix, Gail kim ?
    Where woud they be on the list of GOAT divas ? In what order ?

    • Guest

      Chyna, Kharma, Maryse

    • Gary Robert

      I would say those four would be no where close and shouldn’t even be mentioned.

    • ldb

      Goat to me for women period is Mae or Moolah

  • Venom

    I never heard that term before. This is the first time GOAT is being used in a positive light. Like MILF. it’s like telling someone “hey I’m a GOAT….Greatest of all Time”.

    • AJ Punk

      I think Richard made this acronym up!

      • miz

        Uh not a chance GOAT has been around a while…

        • J Vomkrieg

          I first saw it years ago referring to Jerry Rice.

        • AJ Punk

          It’s been around a while as an animal…

      • Jesse Sherwood

        Actually, Bryan used it at the start of the Goat-face thing.

      • Guest

        Um…where have you two been???? Smh!

        • AJ Punk

          In a cave. With Brad Maddox

    • Guest

      Finally climbed under that rock I see. Lol

    • flex brown

      What r u 10

  • jdl

    Just to point out those mediocre matches were not entirely his fault. His opponents during his last days with TNA were either fairly fresh, unskilled, or an overrated tub of fat who has never been particularly skilled in the ring and had to rely on his partner to do the heavy lifting for decades.

  • Khalkaroth

    I can’t wait until Kharma vs AJ lee.

  • outkazt09

    If any “shoot” that may be considered a “work” it would be Bash at the beach 2000 with Hogan and Russo.

  • monty

    i want to see sting wrestle who the heck cares about his age. He knows more about the art of wrestling than most people. Also i believe he will train for few months with a young wrestler at wwe performance center to really get in shape

    if sting is wrestling Richard than it will be one of the main events, whether we like it or not part timers are here to stay(also watch how Punk will turn into a part timer himself, get big payday but wrestle only limited dates)

    I am not worried about sting, i am though worried about Taker.

    Richard do you think wwe did a bad thing by having taker wrestle on free TV after last year’s WM match against PUNK? could those free match(plus toll on his body) be better saved for WM main events

  • sam

    For anyone that thinks the Montreal Screwjob was a work, please watch Hitman Wrestling With Shadows

    • Bob’s Diner

      Funnily enough, that documentary was the reason Warrior thought it was a work

  • James

    Screwjob or work. Bottom line is this, Bret Hart didn’t want to lose to HBK because he didn’t like him. Vince couldn’t be man enough to say, lose to him or give up your title, instead he decided to just be a bigger jerk then Hart. Hart wasn’t man enough to just lose and Vince couldn’t say, do it or you are off TV til your contract is up. Listen, so much of us hate our jobs or hate people we work with, but we do it anyways. Vince was not much of a leader and Bret Hart’s ego was too big.

    • Bob’s Diner

      That’s possibly the worst breakdown of the situation I’ve ever read. I would recommend listening to some interviews or reading some of the details.

      • James

        Okay since you were there Mr Diner what truly happened? Or will you just tell me what happened from third party sources?

        • Bob’s Diner

          Well, I trust interviews with people like Rick Rude who were actually there when it and everything leading up to it actually happened. And people who have read legal letter’s from Bret Hart’s lawyer.

          Yeah I think those people are a lot more qualified than you to speak about it

          • James

            Rick Rude was part of anything, he didn’t even know it was going to happen, and if he did then he wasn’t a man either. Bret Hart’s lawyer is always going to be part of Hart’s side, cause he is being paid for it.

            Yeah I think those people are less qualified then anyone. Any other useless people you will spew at me?

          • Bob’s Diner

            Rick Rude worked with HHH and Shawn Michaels – he was there for many conversations. If he were still alive today, that man would have lots of stories to share..

            And you obviously have no idea what I’m talking about in regards to Bret Hart’s lawyer…

            Well done on being ignorant in about 5 different ways! Kudos

          • James

            You haven’t read what I wrote, you want to claim you are being ignorant? Again I will say, there are three sides, Vince’s (and triple h and HBK were on Vince’s) side, you have Bret’s side, and lawyers will say anything they can to defend somebody (look at OJ Simpson) and the truth. You should learn to read between the lines

          • Bob’s Diner

            Again, you obviously have no idea what I am saying in regards to the legal stuff – it actually relates to info BEFORE the screwjob happened.

            Honestly, go read stuff. Go listen to some interviews and make an informed analysis for yourself. I mean, “do it or you are off TV” is just about the silliest thing I’ve ever read in regards to this.

          • James

            You haven’t shown me anything, which makes you less credible then anyone. If you have so much proof, then be a man and show it.

          • Bob’s Diner

            Because I don’t want to write an essay on this. Go do your own research and make informed decisions for yourself – there is plenty out there that is quite informed from people that were involved. I think I’ve recommended that now 3 times?

            Wrestling with Shadows is fine but is very much slanted in Bret Hart’s favour. Pretty much paints him as a saint or something. That’s all I will offer

          • James

            If you can’t back it up, it doesn’t exist. Back it up or move on, don’t be silly and tell me to find it. That will make you look like you have no clue what you are talking about.

          • Bob’s Diner

            No your very first comment made it very clear you don’t know what you are talking about. Changing your previous comments just makes it funnier

          • James

            What did I change? Show me proof of what you say or you look like a fool. You are the one who says something but can’t back it up. Be a man and back it up. Otherwise, it doesn’t exist and you are a fool

          • Bob’s Diner

            Yes because I keep screencaps of everything I do on the internet.
            I will remember that for next time we converse 😉

          • James

            So in other words you want me to do your research. You want me to look up what Bret’s Lawyer has to say. Wow says something about you doesn’t it?

          • Bob’s Diner

            I’m not sure how you expect me to show proof you changed your comments. You did, you know it, and it is funny. As I said, perhaps next time we converse I will keep some screen caps to keep you happy.

          • James

            I haven’t changed anything. All I want is you to show me this lawyer’s words. Can you do it? Or will you be silly again and say something else now? Be a man and stop changing the subject

          • Bob’s Diner

            See, I have no need to show you any proof of anything now. You wrote stuff, went back and changed it for no reason, and keep saying “be a man” like you are Randy Savage and I’m Hulk Hogan because you want to look tough and smart or something? I’m not bothered by the opinion of someone who flips on their words like that.

            Have a picture as gesture of good will

          • James

            Why do you keep changing the subject? What did the lawyer say?

          • Jesse Sherwood

            All right, both of you cut it out. This flame war has gone far enough. Drop the subject.

          • I agree with Jesse, that’s enough of this. It’s not a pissing contest, and you’re getting nowhere fast. Changing comments in the middle of an ‘argument’ is bad business and enough BS has been spewed. One more and I’m really stepping in.

            Bob, you too.

        • Bob’s Diner

          Wow I love that you completely changed your comment after I replied to make yourself look better/smarter.

          Good job with that

  • John

    The Bellator show on Sep. 5th is going head-to-head with a UFC event, and both events are taking place within 10 miles of each other. So not only are they competing for TV ratings but also for local fans interest… That is why Lashley is fighting on that date.

  • flex brown

    Uhh try gail kim Goat smh once again wwe marks acting like vince mcmahon actually pays them to promote his billion dollar company this is suppose to be a wrestling site not lol. Gail kim single handedly built the best woman division in the world today from ground up

  • flex brown

    Aj lee is very good but honestly who is her competition” the bella twins” ” cameron and naomi” give me a break and richard gray u should know better smh gail kims competion are the best female workes ive personally ever saw and im a 20 plus year fan of wresting not just the “wwe” which is definitely on the decline as far as watchable