Most Influential Stars In WWE, Mystery Man Revealed, The Next Cena, Ryback, Why 3 Hours Of Raw Is Too Much

We all know John Cena is "the guy" backstage but who comes after him? Can you list 5 workers who have the most stroke backstage?

You can take a look at how people are being booked and begin to get an idea of who has more influence. The higher up a worker is on the card, the more stroke they carry. John Cena is the face of the company and has as much power and influence as anyone. Randy Orton and CM Punk round out the top three with favor and opinions to boot. After that, there's a drop off and it's not as clear and defined. I have to think that Daniel Bryan's stock continues to rise but I can't really list him in those ranks yet. Someone like The Undertaker, who is a part time talent, is extremely influential. Brock Lesnar on the other hand is seen as a guy that comes in and does what he is told to collect his large paycheck. He's not as engaged when it comes to the booking of his character as someone like Undertaker who is thinking about his iconic legacy.

Can you confirm that the mystery partner for The Usos and Goldust & Cody Rhodes at Survivor Series will be Rey Mysterio?

Yes, Rey Mysterio is the mystery partner for The Usos and WWE Tag Team Champions Goldust & Cody Rhodes, however, Mysterio didn't escape Raw without injury concerns. The word coming out of Raw was that he was seen limping after his segment. I don't want to speculate any further but this is the last thing any fan of Rey Mysterio wanted to hear, me included.

Looking back at superstars such as Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin, each of them had to start from the bottom and work their way up to become the "top guy" in the company. When the time was right, they were given their chance and made the most of it to become the stars that they were (and are) known for. With that being said, there is no question that John Cena is "the guy" in WWE at the moment, and probably will be for some time. However, are there any superstars on either the active or developmental roster that you believe has the "it" factor to take over the reigns when Cena's time is over?

There is just no way to predict the next Steve Austin or John Cena. I heard a WWE investor ask Vince McMahon this very question a couple years ago and Vince laughed it off. By comparison, take a look at pro sports. Even though next year's NBA Draft class is expected to be one of the most talented classes in many years, it's still impossible to predict there will be another LeBron James or Kobe Bryant. Everyone with a WWE developmental contract has potential because it takes a lot just to get to that point. However, it all comes down to the right situation, which includes a level of reliance on the creative team. Austin was "Stunning" Steve Austin before he was ever Stone Cold. He had the talent but he also relied on the right creative opportunity. There's a lot that goes into making a mega star and because there are so many factors, it's literally impossible to predict.

I know that you have had your reasons for not liking the way Ryback has been booked and some of the matches that he has had but I was very impressed by the match he had with Big Show and with Ryback's strength. What are your thoughts on the future of Ryback?

Ryback Shellshocking Big Show on this week's Monday Night Raw was impressive but the one thing that detracted from their match was the blatant spot calling. Someone said it looked like Big Show was telling Ryback to slow down at one point. Ryback is still learning and wasn't ready for the opportunities in the top of the card he was given. It didn't help that he was booked very poorly out of the gate and he's been left on a proverbial treadmill that's kept him from breaking out. Another thing working against Ryback is his attitude. He doesn't have a good reputation behind-the-scenes and can't handle criticism. We can all say he was working but remember his freakout on me last month?

Do you think it was a bad idea for Monday Night Raw to go three hours?

I have been against the expansion of Monday Night Raw to three hours from day one. WWE likes it because they get an extra hour of advertising revenue but I feel it's over saturation and had a telling impact on the quality of programming. It's just too much week in and week out and they would have been better suited to continue Tough Enough (or anything else) in the 8-9 PM timeslot preceding Raw. That way they would have still cashed in on the extra hour without worrying about over saturation and viewership fatigue.

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From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2011: Do you think Cody Rhodes is going to get a run as World Heavyweight Champion? - WWE is currently in the process of elevating Cody Rhodes (hence the program with Randy Orton). They've tested the waters in elevating him before but he's talented enough where it will eventually stick. I like the gimmick transition from "dashing" to "demented" and feel like he has a bright future in WWE.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

Submit questions to: [email protected]!

  • Justin Lal

    Richard, if you are going to call out Ryback for his blatant spot calling (I agree with you on this) last night you should be just as critical about other guys that do this. CM Punk on numerous occasions is seen talking to his opponent calling spots either in a rest hold or on an Irish Whip. Even last night Cody Rhodes was seen talking to Seth Rollins before throwing him against the ropes. There are a lot of wrestlers who have this bad habit.

    • Robert Olley

      I think its because ryback seems to need to be guided every match and its more noticable plus ryback just hasnt taken the opportunity which,frankly,most others would have taken and made the most of i

      • Justin Lal

        Perhaps. But spot calling it a big problem in the WWE. I realize guys are working with different people every night, but still. There’s no reason to push your head right into your opponents ear to call a spot. Another problem is that a lot of guys have shorter hair now. Back in the day guys could conceal their spot calling with their hair/opponents hair.

        • Possibly they’re trying to cover the lack of long hair with shaggy beards. The thing about Punk calling matches is because he knows what he’s doing in the ring and trying to even the match out. The problem with Ryback’s match was that Show was doing more than calling, he was almost reprimanding Ryback, and that’s far beyond caking a match.

      • K!NG

        If ryback is calling spots then isnt he the one doing the guiding during matches?

        • Mike McCarthy

          He isn’t necessarily calling spots, he was discussing spots, if you go back they were talking it for a good 30 seconds

    • BIG M

      There is actually a really funny video on youtube with WWE stars past and present calling spots Cena’s on it bout 50 times LOL.
      There’s a bit on the video where HHH has Owen Hart in a rest hold and the crowd is dead he’s literally shouting the spot to Owen while Owen is cringing in embarrassment in the hold so funny.

  • Xavier

    Ryback/Big Show was the match we should of got at Mania 29 for the WHC instead of Del Rio/Swagger. Ryback at the time was still really over and despite the Goldberg chants they were usually drowned out by FEED ME MORE chants. Imagine Ryback getting shell shock on Big Show at Mania, that could of been a huge WrestleMania moment for him. As far as his attitude is concerned you’ll get no argument from me there, he needs to take it down about 20 notches. But let’s also keep this in mind, how many of you guys would of been upset if someone like Punk, Bryan or Ambrose constantly went under in every single major match they’ve had, then on top of that let’s say they were promised by the boss that they would be in the World Heavyweight Championship match at Mania only to have McMahon go back on his word? All that stuff happened too Ryback, Richard reported that here on WNW a month or so before Mania. His attitude is a reflection of the piss poor development of his character. Having said all that, Ryback still needs to keep his attitude in check and work harder on developing his craft inside the ring and cut down on the reckless stuff before he really hurts someone. And I agree, Ryback/Big Show was a really good match last night. I was very impressed with Ryback’s performance yesterday despite the obvious talking inside the ring.

    I said this before and I’ll say it again. It takes a really special personality to be the face of the WWE. I don’t think some people really grasp that. Not everyone who has talent has the ability to be Hogan, Austin or Cena. Being a great worker doesn’t qualify you to be the “face” of the company. It takes so much more then just that. It’s a huge burden & responsibility not only physically but mentally as well. Not only are you working 20-30 minute matches 4 or 5 times a week, but you’re constantly always having to be put on a public friendly face, do all the media appearances, and all the autograph signings. There’s very little down time or time to have a life outside of your job. I can promise you that probably 98% of the guys that ever worked for the WWE(F) are not capable of taking on such a burden. It takes a special person to fill that void. Finding someone with Cena’s charisma, work ethic, toughness, love of the business and professionalism when the camera is ON or OFF is a lot easier said then done. Until McMahon has the confidence to put someone else in that role Cena will be the guy. I’m not sure if that guy is on the roster yet.

  • K!NG

    thats why i love mark henry u cant tell him he is talking trash or calling spots… same with the rock lol

  • Normally in Raw Results I try to just call the moves I see, and sometimes state if the looked rough, weak, or even dangerous, but last night I commented on seeing Show calling moves. I didn’t mention it each time I saw it, but did mention it so it was known that Show was obviously calling the match as they went, and talking Ryback through it. I normally try to avoid Ask WNW before writing any blogs, because I don’t want Richard to influence my thoughts, but the first question caught my attention, so I read on. It’s nice to see that I did catch something so vital to the match as I was writing it on the fly.

  • Jbreed

    I love today’s Ask WNW Vault question. It basically confirms how the WWE has been in the habit for a while now of giving up on young guys. In this case it’s Cody Rhodes who was in the process of being elevated in October 2011 and instead it took two more years for Rhodes to be at least relevant. And it shows what being in a program with Randy Orton really does for your career.

  • Scott Davies

    Hey I’ve been noticing the retro mail bag questions as of late. Obviously an opinion may change why not if any, Add a change with the original answer as well.

  • Christen

    Brock Lesnar don’t car with the booking of his character he only wants the money.

  • pj

    Oh dear more Ryback bashing from Richard and his sheep Kendra,you see wrestlers calling spots every single week,especially Punk and Bryon,but no et’s ignore that and pick on Ryback again. WNW has become a sad joke,who would pay for this garbage.

  • John

    John Cena is the worst guy on the roster for calling spots in the ring.