How Seniority Works In WWE, The Final Days Of TNA?, Future Of WWE Title With Daniel Bryan’s Injury, David Benoit

In any company or organization, I believe that an employee should be promoted from within based on longevity and good work ethic. It’s called “seniority.” How come former talent like Matt Hardy and John Morrison have never held the WWE or World Heavyweight titles? Especially Matt Hardy. Does WWE management abide by the rules of “seniority?”

Yes and no. The pro wrestling business is unlike any other in that there isn’t an objective structure. For instance, in sports, the best players get paid the most money. In pro wrestling, some of the best wrestlers never get legitimate main event opportunities. I know there are exceptions on both sides, however, this business comes down to getting the right opportunity and who Vince McMahon ultimately sees money in. Sometimes, outstanding workers such as John Morrison or Kofi Kingston, are relegated to the midcard based on factors other than their in-ring work. WWE doesn’t push talent based solely on in-ring. As for seniority, the very basic principle you described does apply in the locker room. Someone like Mark Henry or Kane has a lot of stroke and influence even though they are not at the level of someone like John Cena. However, title reigns and pushes ultimately come down to the vision of Vince McMahon and other company officials.

With the high number of veterans being released, the fact that TNA is making a big deal of signing young stars and smaller names to multi-year deals, the loss of use of Universal Studios, and the apparent back-stepping of the product, are we seeing the final throes of a dying company?

In what is perhaps the biggest understatement of the day, things are not good with TNA Wrestling. Money is tighter than ever, the fan base is shrinking, their main TV contract is coming up, there is no stability for tapings and the company is being forced to dump any talent that will not re-sign at a much lower rate. To make matters worse, their biggest non-Carter family investor, Jeff Jarrett, is starting his own competing promotion. The relationship between Dixie Carter and “Big” John Gaburick isn’t on the best of terms and we’re told she is frustrated with almost every aspect of the company. Many have been trying to predict the demise of TNA since its inception in 2002, however, it’s unfortunately becoming more of a reality. No one outside of the Carter family can predict how much longer TNA has left but a number of things must turn around (and turn around quick) for the company to be salvageable. This isn’t me caving to the TNA trolls but delivering a reality that I’ve reluctantly come to accept.

What is the future of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship with Daniel Bryan in need of neck surgery?

The status of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship is unclear. I believe more will be known once Daniel Bryan has surgery on Thursday. Daniel Bryan’s neck injury is currently a tense situation and the timing could not have been worse. I think I speak for everyone in that I hope the injury is minor and he is not out for an extended period of time. The word making rounds at Raw was not completely bleak, however, there is still a lot of unknown until he actually has surgery.

I’m not sure if you’ll feel like tackling two Chris Benoit questions in a week but here goes. I watched part of the David Benoit interview that you posted last week. While I believe that every individual has the right to choose their own career path, surely David Benoit would never be signed by any major wrestling promotion even if ends up being the best technical wrestler of all time. Would you agree?

I believe there is a tremendous misconception when it comes to second generation talent. A lot of people believe that just because someone is a second or third generation talent, they will get an opportunity. Your point is along the same lines but the opposite. Because David Benoit is the son of Chris Benoit, he won’t get an opportunity. I absolutely think who someone is factors in to how they are evaluated, however, that’s only part of how it works. If David Benoit develops into a very talented prospect, who is to say an opportunity won’t be there? All of this is premature as David has a long ways to go before he’s even on WWE’s radar.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2012: What has the reaction been like in WWE to the monster rating the 1000th Raw the show did? Do you think Vince McMahon looks at it as people having renewed interest or just a one time fluke? - WWE is thrilled with the rating of the 1000th episode of Raw and they should be. As we talked about here in Ask WNW, the company immediately issued a press release to tout the success of the large viewership. I have not heard from sources close to Vince McMahon what he thought and would be scared to speculate, however, I feel it shows the audience is still there. Whether or not that audience tunes in weekly or buys the monthly pay-per-views all has to do with the quality of the product. The company showed with Wrestlemania XXVIII they could get people to buy their product. WWE should strive to make every show “must-see programming,” treating them as a “big deal” to spark interest. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying pay-per-views are going to go be able to compete with Wrestlemania or weekly TVs can exceed the viewership of the biggest show to date but there is a large differential in the averages and these spikes. If WWE were to make their shows of more importance, I feel it could significantly boost ratings. This will, however, be very challenging by trying to come up with three hours of live TV each week.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, May 14, 2014.

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  • outkazt09

    First question. That guy must be joking right?

    • Jesse Sherwood

      While I don’t agree with who he put up there, I can see what the person was trying to get to with the question. There are plenty of vets in the company who have never had a chance with the big titles who should have had one, if for no other reason than to see where they could go once they had the shot. The problem with that thought is that not everyone has the entire tool set to be in that position. And with the major titles unified now, there will be even fewer chances to breakthrough.

      • outkazt09

        I understand. However the wrestlers he listed are not main eventers. Mid carders at best. Someone like christian (longer reign) would be more appropriate.

    • J Vomkrieg

      If they aren’t joking, i hope they don’t run anything important.

      “I believe that an employee should be promoted from within based on longevity and good work ethic”

      Yeah, i’d rather promote people based on what they deliver at work, rather than how long their bum has been on a seat. I’d happily promote a younger innovator who has great ideas and adds value to the business over someone who has “done their time”.

      In a wrestling context, i’d rather push the mid 20′s Bray Wyatt because he is drawing a reaction from the crowd, than push 40 year old Mid Cardy, regardless of what time he had put into the business.

      • pauluk

        I agree. Longetivity is not necessarily success. Would you give the wwe title to someone like rtruth because he has been there for a long time or wyatt/reigns or another new breakout star who the fans are excited about?

        And to the issue of the main event scene shrinking with only one major title.
        I feel this is a good thing because it means those who are in the upper mid card have to work that much harder to get their opportunity just like they used to have to back in the attitude era and the years before it.
        That equals good matches, too many times have lackluster stars won the world’s title, that’s how the world’s title lost its prestige, it felt like anyone could win it and not just the best.

  • Steve pritchard

    I’m not cheering for tna’s demise. Because competition is a good thing. But I just can’t stand Dixie carter. But the talent in tna is great. I hope wwe extends contracts to some of these guys if tna goes under. Global force sounds like another wcw failure.

    • BIG M

      As a life long Pro Wrestling fan Im taking a wait and see approach to GFW (wait and see who they sign, wait and see who will be booking the product and watching their first show) before I start to pass any kind of judgement positive or negative.
      But lets try and see this from a Workers perspective (which none of us here are) but lets give it a go anyway.
      When/If TNA folds a lot of great talent are going to be looking for work and if WWE Shows little interest (which is more than likely) great workers like Samoa Joe, Jeff Hardy, Magnus, Tigre Uno or Bobby Roode have 4 choices.
      1. Go back to indies Which is not as dire as it used to be thanks to Promotions like Ring Of Honour and DragonGate USA but still the indies can be hard road to travel a 2nd time.
      2. Go to Mexico and work for one of their national companies Triple A or CMLL.
      3. Go to Japan not to difficult to do if your somewhat established in the U.S. and already possibly working for Ring Of Honour or DragonGate USA (Who have working relationships with New Japan Pro Wrestling and DragonGate Japan respectfully) but the Japanese style is very very physical and many foreign Workers don’t last too long there because of it.
      4. Go and get signed by a brand new promotion thats looking for as much talent as they can get.
      But its a promotion that hasn’t even began running shows yet and is run by an experienced but mostly unsuccessful promoter in Double J.
      But its a promotion with a MAJOR financial backer and if successful would mean a decent pay check every week.
      If you were a worker signed to TNA and it goes under what choice do you think you would make.

      • Steve pritchard

        I’m also lifelong pro wrestling fan. I have to disagree. . Samoa joe , bobby roode, Magnus and James storm could easily fit in wwe. Why do you think they have no interest in them. Jeff hardy is a used up drug addict . That has no business in any company , and I don’t even know who the other guy is you spoke of. There’s lots of talent wwe would jump on from tna. As far as global force goes . Your right , it’s a wait and see type of thing . But being Jeff Jarrett and Toby keith being involved . I would not put much faith in it . Just because wwe didn’t want aj styles does not mean they would not sign a few guys from tna. Especially the knock outs.

        • J Vomkrieg

          I disagree about Jeff Hardy. Not about his drugs and whatnot, but about WWE and there interest in him. He is still a former WWE Champion, something not a lot of people have on their CV. That fact alone means they would be more likely to bring him back than anyone else with a similiar track record. Heck, RVD had drug issues, but hes a former WWE Champion so hes getting more air time on Raw than he got on TNA in his last run.

          I bet that Jeff resigns with WWE at some point, even if it is in 10-15 years time on a Legends contract going into the Hall of Fame. Jeff Hardy never fell as far as Scott Hall or Jake Roberts did and neither of those guys held the big belt.

        • Vic Jose

          Because they are all older like AJ

  • Lefty Tosser

    A large part of the issue that Panda faces with a potential sale of TNA is the situation of trying to dictate a position for Dixie after the sale. Both of the two parties that have “made offers” to purchase the company have balked at the thought of Dixie being any part of the company going forward. All of the other issues can be overcome with a strong investor, but the Dixie thing is a huge deal breaker.

    • Vic Jose

      Why would she be a part of TNA if it sold? She is with Panda Energy, she can stay with mommy

  • Alex

    Perfect time to build up the intercontinental championship!

    • Steve pritchard

      They should unify it with the United States championship. And call it the tv title. . Then it would have to be defended every time they’re on tv, instead of ppv kick off shows .

  • Jaryd

    I don’t see why David Benoit wouldn’t get a shot because of who he is. Obviously he would have to have a different ring name in a major promotion, but say he goes to WWE, 90% of the audience won’t know he’s Chris’s son, so I don’t know why it would hold him back.

    • Vic Jose

      Yeah who really knows Bray is a Rotunda? A lot of people probably don’t know IRS was too.

  • ldb

    I agree with Richard from past posts on GFW and TNA. We need competition in pro wrestling. Hopefully GFW doesn’t try to compete with WWE right out of the gate. TNA had a good thing going when they were different, but then they signed a bunch of has beens and booked like crap. I don’t blame a company for not wanting Dixie.If they do find a buyer not having a Carter should be part of the deal.I have hope for JJ and GFW. I hope they build their own talent and product instead of just being a poor mans version of WWE.

    • Steve pritchard

      When they got rid of 6 sided ring it was over in my opinion . As far as global force goes . Competition is a good thing . But wwe has no competition nor will they likely ever. WCW tried but got bought out by Vince in the process. That’s the future I see for any promotion trying to compete with wwe. They’re just to big and have way too much money. The best global force can do is give us an alternative to the garbage we see on tna now . And I don’t see tna lasting much longer. It’s insane to think any promotion at this point could even come close to competing with wwe . That’s like a little league baseball team trying to compete with the boston Red Sox. They can try but will fail miserably.

  • Steve

    Upvotex1000 if I could.

  • Charles

    He’s right. The Brooklyn Brawler should have gotten at least one run as the WWE Champion.

  • Lebron James

    Daniel Bryan has had the shittiest run of bad luck this year. When it rains it pours I guess. Hope he’s staying strong. It’s easy to lose yourself after such unfortunate things keep happening to you.

    • Vic Jose

      I predicted this would happen with all those ridiculous bumps he’s been forced to take recently!