Do you think it would be a good opportunity to split the titles up again if Daniel Bryan is expected to be out of action for an extended period of time?
I wasn't for the unification of the WWE and World Heavyweight Championship in the first place so I would favor most scenarios that saw the titles split. Two world titles forces WWE to have an expanded main event scene and most will agree it's shrunk since December's title unification. As for the future of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, the reality is the company doesn't know what they're going to do but they're going storyline heavy with whatever it will be. For those tired of Triple H "burying" Bryan as a B+ player, there's no end in sight for that and I would expect heavy such references in next Monday's announcement. The problem I already have with how WWE is treating this is Daniel Bryan finally "overcame the odds" against The Authority [at Wrestlemania 30] and now it's like we're back to last summer all over again. No matter how much Bryan improves his stock in the eyes of WWE officials, they're determined to push him as the proverbial underdog. I don't like it and would rather see the company pivot and treat Bryan more like a protected top guy.
With Batista potentially taking time off for movie related media, do you see this as an opportunity for WWE to bring in Curtis Axel, Ryback or another superstar to align themselves as members of Evolution and possibly head in the direction of stardom under the tutelage of Triple H & Randy Orton?
Batista will be taking time off this summer for media related to Marvel's "Guardians of the Galaxy" film, in which he plays the part of Drax the Destroyer. Whether or not WWE adds another member to Evolution will depend on how long they plan to keep the reunited faction around. Is Evolution there to help prevent the post-Wrestlemania letdown or are there long-term plans leading into SummerSlam? This question will have to be answered before we can talk new members. If the latter proves true, I would prefer someone other than Ryback or Curtis Axel get the opportunity. Both have already been given main event opportunities and have squandered them.
What's Shane McMahon been up to? Any chance he'll be back to WWE in the future?
Shane McMahon left WWE in 2009 to "do it on his own" and has been very successful as the Chairman of YOU on Demand, which is often referred to as the "Netflix of China." BuzzFeed Sports ran a sensational piece on him last month that will answer most of your questions at this link. The only thing I will add is there is always a chance that Shane McMahon could return to WWE. No matter what people like Shane or Linda [McMahon] do, they will always been associated with WWE because of who they are and the prominent positions they used to fill. Shane leaving WWE was not something that was easy for Vince and according to observers, it was difficult on their relationship. I believe Shane realized the company would go to Stephanie and Triple H and wanted to see what he could do outside of his father's shadow.
Where is Hulk Hogan?
Hulk Hogan is still running wild and remains under WWE contract. The company plans to utilize him on their July tour of Japan. Hogan is an asset for WWE but given the fact he can no longer wrestle, his exposure must be limited. If it's not, his appearances go from a "big deal" to "ordinary." Once this happens, he loses all value. TNA overexposed Hogan to the point where he couldn't help them at all. Vince McMahon and WWE have done a great job in utilizing Hogan without overexposing him since he returned to the company earlier this year.
From the Ask WNW vault…
December 2012: Why is Daniel Bryan constantly the one being pinned and shown as the weak link of Team Hell No? - The justification seems to be Daniel Bryan’s current gimmick is comedy and he won’t be hurt by any losses under it. I would rather see Kane doing these jobs as he’s someone up there in age that has already peaked. Daniel Bryan hasn’t come close to his ceiling and I would prefer he didn’t go under although that seems to be the reason why he has been booked as such. From what I’ve been told, Vince McMahon sees Daniel Bryan as diverse and is high up on him heading into the new year.
The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, May 16, 2014.
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