Paul Heyman Consulted, Ricardo Rodriguez's Role, Ryback vs. Lesnar, Brand Extension!

Shares 0

Has Vince McMahon finally acknowledged Paul Heyman's key role in WWE by giving him his pet project in Ryback?

Vince McMahon likes Ryback, there's no doubting that. Ryback is everything that Vince has been known to push over the years and putting him with Paul Heyman is a "last ditch effort" to make him a top talent. A lot of people want to know how much influence Paul Heyman had and the honest answer is, I don't know. Heyman has been consulted about creative direction but his job is simply an on-air talent. The creative situation in WWE has been in disarray lately so I have heard of multiple situations where Paul was consulted but I'm not sure about the Ryback pairing.

Given the fact that Ricardo Rodriguez can actually wrestle, is there any reason why WWE keeps him in his current role as a "stooge" and nothing more?

Let me ask you a question and we'll analyze it. Where do you think Ricardo Rodriguez is best utilized? As a ring announcer/manager where he is involved in a top program or as another forgotten in-ring name? You're right that Rodriguez can work but that doesn't mean much in WWE. There are a lot of guys that can work but not everyone has the personality where they can be featured in top level programs. The ceiling for Rodriguez [as an in-ring talent] probably isn't more than a secondary title so unless you see him as a viable World Heavyweight Champion, where he is working is a good thing for him and his career.

Given Ryback's alliance with Paul Heyman, do you see Ryback vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX next year?

This is what a lot of people are already clamoring for and let me make sure to put it out there - it's not a bout I want to see! I feel like all I've done this week is hammer Ryback but I just don't understand the infatuation with this guy. I gave him a chance, I really did. Go back and read my work, listen to my recordings - I wanted Ryback to succeed. He hasn't succeeded and has become one of those guys WWE continues to force feed us. Ryback vs. Brock Lesnar, the battle of the big men, isn't much of an upgrade from Ryback vs. Mark Henry that we saw this year. How did that work out? Look, Brock can work and is not your typical big man. However, the Lesnar of today is different from the Lesnar his first time in WWE. Now he's a guy that is going to keep it more basic and is going to be portrayed more as a "fighter." Ryback hasn't proved he can have a good match against one of the best in Chris Jericho. If Jericho can't get it out of Ryback, do you think Lesnar could? I hope I'm proved wrong on Ryback but I just don't see it.

Do you think WWE should have separate stars for Raw and Smackdown?

Here we go IWC! For years all I heard was that it was time to end the brand extension and combine the roster. It's been gracefully phased out and now we have readers that want to return to it. The brand extension was needed when it was in place but over time the WWE roster thinned out to the point where it wasn't needed. I like how WWE phased it out slowly rather than making a big deal out of it but I don't see enough main event talent to re-enact the brand extension.

Want more Ask WNW? You can now Tweet your questions to Richard at using the hashtag #AskWNW and get an answer! The only condition is you MUST be following Richard

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Thursday, September 19, 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]!

  • Scott Davies

    I don’t think it is fair to write off Ryback as a maineventer, because you don’t see the draw or ring work. You always say let things play out & you are writing the whole thing off before we even know if this might work or not. So he had a bad match with Jericho. Ryback is not going to give a 5 star match. To a causal fan he is an attraction. We have been so use to Daniel Bryan & CM Punk putting on 5 star matches. That we forget that not all mainevents are 5 star classics. I am interested in this now, cause Roles are now reversed from last year. I look at it like this, If a muscly 300lbs jacked up guy like Ryback closelined me. I would go down. That is realism. So i’m going to sit back & see how this plays out. Before I decide.

    • My problem is, we have watched it play out… For a year. There are other guys out there. Titus O’Neil, Big E Langston, Antonio Cesaro… just to name a few. These guys have just as much potential (in terms of look) and could all have a better match than Ryback. Patience is important but he didn’t work as a Goldberg babyface or as a bully heel. So do we really expect the alliance with Heyman to make that much of a difference?

      • Xavier

        What do you mean it didn’t work? He was getting louder reactions then all of those guys you just mentioned when he was a babyface. The FEED ME MORE CHANTS were much louder then the GOLDBERG chants. A good majority of the problem was the poor booking, he didn’t win a match on PPV until after he turned heel. Turning Ryback heel has been a huge mistake so far. If creative would of went with the original plan for the WHC at mania and had Ryback go over Show for the title instead of the Del Rio/Swagger program for the title instead (which by the way flopped) Ryback would still be over huge as a face. Imagine Ryback getting Big Show up for the Shell Shock, that could of been a big Mania moment and definitely would of got a major pop from the crowd and Ryback even more over.

  • eskymi

    It would be different wtih Ryback if he were around for 3 or 4 months and had a bad match with just Jericho, but the guy is useless as far as I am concerned. I have not liked him since day 1 and how long has he been on the main roster now. Worthless, so I agree with Richard that it might be time to cut their losses. Heyman may get him over a little but be honest….do you care about Axel, or just Punk/Heyman….Axel is a third wheel and has added nothing to the feud. So Heyman could not do much for Axel, so I do not think he will be able to help Ryback who still gets Goldberg taunts.

    • Xavier

      Difference between Axel & Ryback was that Axel isn’t over in anyway shape or form. Ryback was massively over as a face. And as far as the GOLDBERG chants are concerned, let’s not forget that those chants were quickley drowned out by chants of FEED ME MORE. Poor booking had played a major role in the downfall of Ryback maybe even more so then anything Ryback has done. However, I do agree that at this point Ryback’s stock is no near high enough to warrant a high profile match with Lesnar at this point.

      • TheBigKing1

        Yeah, you can’t compare Ryback to Axel. Axel just doesn’t have it imo. Ryback was definitely over as a face. But I’m curious to see how they book him from here on out as this big bully Ryback. We will see.

  • Hercules Rockerfeller

    The brand extension was implemented at the end of the attitude era because during that era, ALOT of main event players were created and it absolutely needed to extend. At that time we had in their primes…The Rock, The Undertaker, Stone Cold, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Kane, Big Show, Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan. Not to mention a healthy Vince McMahon and Ric Flair who were also a big plus during that time. That’s quite the main event roster and to have all these guys on both Raw and Smackdown each week would never build the stars of tomorrow like Brock Leanar, Randy Orton and Batista. Nowadays we have Orton, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. These are basically the three top guys in the company right now who are on their prime! So yeah no more need for a brand extension.

  • Malboja

    I think ryback has a good chance at tho moment we have no real big monsters , Kane is out , mark henry is out , big show is a crybaby and lesner is a part timer .
    We need a big guy and ryback can throw people around pretty well , he may not be a mat technician like punk and bryan but we never wanted to watch Batista to see him mat wrestle we want to see a big guy dominate with power moves and ryback can fill that gap
    I still think with the right booking he can be a top draw

  • David Jr.

    The people who keep asking about Ryback vs. Brock Lesnar, the WWE is not going to pay Brock Lesnar big money to wreslte 3 times a year to fight someone who isn’t a big deal.

  • Malboja

    Would also like to point out that at the point where ryback had the hell in the cell match with punk he was pretty good maybe not over as a top draw but still had good potential if he failed from there I blame the booking

  • Xavier

    I was one of the few that was against ending the brand split. You often here fans say how unorganized the show has become lately, well I honestly think a good portion of that is because there is no more brand split. Smackdown is basically a 2 hour extension of everything you see on RAW. The Bryan/Corporation angle takes up a good chunk of both shows, think about this for a sec Richard. How many people voiced their displeasure on here about Bryan getting beat down six episodes in a row? A lot actually. If that’s limited to just RAW I’m pretty sure most people whouldn’t have had such an issue with it. The ending of the brand split has also devalued the World Heavyweight Champion a lot. Why have two belts if there is no brand split?

    There are so many better options for Lesnar then Ryback at WM. I don’t even understand why that question was even asked. Moving on

    “Ryback is everything that Vince has been known to push over the years”

    Would have to disagree with that, Vince has pushed just as many smaller guys as he has bigger guys since he took over in 82. That whole McMahon only pushes the big guys has been myth since the start.

    • TheBigKing1


    • the arbiter

      I was alway opposed to ending the brand split. If anything I wanted them to make it more of a split. Have Raw be more over the top drama, and Smackdown as the “wrestling” show.

  • Justin Lal

    Ryback got over by himself and had the fans chanting “Feed Me More.” He didn’t need anyone to get over unlike Daniel Bryan who is constantly getting great booking as a face. Daniel Bryan got handpicked by John Cena (which is a great rub), he gets to have wrestler watch his matches, he’s getting to work with HHH and Randy Orton, got to work with Edge, and soon will be working with HBK. If WWE put an ounce of common sense or effort when Ryback was hot he could have been huge as a face.

    • David

      I agree that the booking was the real reason why he started to lose relevance and legitimacy amongst the top of the card.
      However, to say that it is the opposite way around for Daniel bryan as a character in the wwe is ludicrous. DB was the reason team hell no was remaining interesting for a great amount of people towards their end and he managed to not only maintain that momentum, but exceed it. He wasn’t handed the popularity just because it was John Cena picking him, that audience Was on fire because he works at a level above the norm. The booking since has definitely been helping to solidify it all though.

    • the arbiter

      Wait… whut?

      Ryback got over by himself? I’m guessing you forgot the 50 odd squash matches to build him up as an unstopable beast and then his early programmes against top talent (cena and punk) when he had never had a match of value before hand.

      Ryback is the perfect example of a WWE management pushed product as compared to one that organically grew out of crowd reactions. Both ways to the top are valid, but confusing one for the other is just a bit odd.

    • Jay El Bee

      Actually I’d say they both got themselves the same way, with their dumb chants. Although I will agree with you that Bryan has easily gotten a better push to the top than Ryback did.

    • Big D

      Daniel Bryan has had a growing push since he stepped in the company. It hit a new gear starting at TLC 2011 and continuing through WM28 with the growing yes chants.

    • Anand Vijayakumar

      Justin – Did you forget the 18 second loss that Bryan suffered in last years wrestlemania? Can booking get any worse? The man worked his a** off and rose to prominence.

      I agree that Rybacks booking has been terrible but what has he done to counter it? Ryback was given all the momentum he possibly could last year when he replaced Cena to face Punk. Did he capitalize? He was pitted against Mark Henry for Wrestlemania. Did he capitalize?

      Dont compare Bryan and Ryback. Bryan kept his character interesting and put his heart and soul in his performance both on the microphone and in the ring. The fans reciprocated with support and he became a top star. dont blame just booking as the reason.

      Even now the WWE has given Ryback the best possible push – a pairing with Heyman which will succeed 99% because Heyman is just that damn good. For the 1% worst case if ryback continues to be bland and boring like he is now, even Heyman cannot save him.

  • TheBigKing1

    Hey Richard, you’re entitled to your opinion. But what I’m saying is if you are talking about matches that Ryback has had, ok maybe the match with Jericho wasn’t all that. You wasn’t a fan of Ryback vs Henry…but then again, you’re not a fan of 2 big men battling anyway…you don’t even like Henry for that same reason. So we have different taste. I like big men overpowering and slamming opponents and totally dominating them…but that’s just me. But back to the matches, if you say that Ryback hasn’t had a good or great match. I can name 1. Didn’t a few weeks ago or a month or 2 ago, Ryback fought D. Bryan and everybody was saying that that match had high praise…of course Bryan is going to carry Ryback, but neverless. It was a great match.

    As far as getting over, he has gotten over as face before…very over. So it’s not that we are hammering you, we just don’t get your criticism. But I think all in all, you just don’t like him. Maybe you’re not a fan of him, maybe you just don’t like any big man, maybe you just don’t like him as a bully…who knows, it could bring back memories of childhood, so it could be a little too close to home for you, idk. I just feel that you should just admit that you don’t like him PERIOD. Because that will make a lot of sense, and the fans on here won’t have to hammer you…because they know where you stand on him and others like him.

    • Rus

      So the only good match Ryback was is you admit he was carried by Daniel Bryan Ummm so in other words your agreeing with Richard???

      • TheBigKing1

        Well first of all, how much carrying can 1 man do. He lead the match. So I’m not sure which part you think I’m agreeing with Richard on. We disagree on a lot of points.

    • Anand Vijayakumar

      It is not about whether Richard likes Ryback or not. Did you actually watch the match between Ryback and Henry? It was slow, awkward and the crowd was literally sleeping during the match. Henry was one of the most hated heels at that time and if Ryback had tried a it more, the match could’ve been more interesting. The booking ryback losing to henry was absolutely a disaster but people just did not care because the match wasnt that big of a deal. Do you want to blame Richard of the rest of the WWE fans for that?

      Why are fans chanting goldberg when Ryback comes? Because he hasnt shown anything new or interesting for the fans to forget the fact that his character is a goldberg rip-off – PERIOD.

      Have you seen his promos? It looks as if he is half asleep or just doesnt care about facial expressions. See CM Punk or John Cena or Paul Heyman when they cut a promo. Your facial expressions matter. How ridiculous would it be if Punk cut his infamous pipe bomb promo with a sarcastic or should I stay stupid one sided sly smile on his face? The promo would’ve been an absolute bust. Disagree???

  • Justin Lal

    Looking back WWE made a huge mistake by not putting the WWE Title on Ryback last fall. While it was nice to see Rock win the WWE Championship he simply didn’t need it nor was the title needed to have a Rock/Cena match again at WM. When Ryback confronted Punk out of nowhere last fall he was red hot. The idea that CM Punk would escape against Ryback in a HIAC match even with the Maddox stunt was ridiculous — Ryback should have easily destroyed CM Punk inside a cell.

    • Anand Vijayakumar

      It is not as easy as it sounds – Punk Vs Rock sells hundreds of thousands of seats as well as PPV buys. Ryback Vs Rock doesnt sell nearly as many.

      Why do you think WWE went with Rock Vs Cena II instead of Punk getting his revenge on Rock?

      Rock Vs Cena II will sell better than Punk Vs Rock II. It is all about business.

      WWE cant just put the title on some new guy who has just beaten up a bunch of jobbers and hope for him to carry the company.

      The reason to include Maddox in the screwed finish was to ensure that Ryback looked good. Did you see how awkward he was in the match? Punk was wrestling circles around him while this guy as breathing heavily.

      I am not saying Ryback cannot be a top player. With a lot of improvements – he can be. But, as of what he was last year – he was not even close.

    • 1molly23

      WWE should have put the title on Ryback why?

  • Austin “no username” Jones

    So I was right about there being a Ryback hate question every day now. Ryback got over just fine as a babyface.

  • Justin

    I have never been a fan of Ryback…

  • Jay El Bee

    What are you talking about you’ve been complaining Ryback for as long as I can remember. Whether it was claiming the WWE was piping in the Feed Me More chants, complaining about the way the WWE was protecting him in his feud with Punk, or even complaining about Ryback dropping Bryan from about 3 feet off ground when he obviously didn’t have a good grip on Bryan and possibly could have done real damage if he would have tried to hold on and accidently dropped Bryan on his head or something like that.

  • 1molly23

    Sounds like a plan! Put Ryback and Lesnar in the ring together (add Wade Barrett) let them all work stiff against each other – may the best man win.

  • Robert Olley

    i always liked the brand extension mostly because it gave bragging rights and survivor series a extra match

  • StanTheMan

    Anybody remember the “FEED ME MORE!!!” chants on TNA Impact Wrestling?