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.