Titles In WWE, Mark Henry's Return, WWE Poised For Growth Or Failure?, How WWE Should Book CM Punk vs. Ryback At HIAC

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Why has WWE reduced the number of titles over the years?

I cannot begin to explain the exact reasons why WWE does anything because that would entail going into the mindset of Vince McMahon, which I don't even think the people closest to him understand. However, we can speculate the titles were dropped because of their lack of value and/or importance to help the product. If I were calling the shots I'd lobby to eliminate the US title and go with two world titles, the IC title, the tag team titles and the Divas championship. When a title becomes nothing more than a prop, there's no reason for it and it's more confusing than anything else. As I noted in Ask WNW earlier in the week I support two world titles because of the expanded main event opportunities they provide.

How long will it be before Mark Henry returns?

We ran an expanded update on Mark Henry in Ask WNW here a couple weeks ago. The only reason I agreed to include this question is the word out of this week's WWE TVs was that his return is imminent. I do not have any further details at this time.

You have said in the past that you would not take a backstage job with WWE in a writing or producing standpoint, and who could blame you. As far as developing new talent, securing the business for the future, and keeping things fresh and exciting, what does WWE need to do in the now to turn their product around? Are they on the right track, or are they just digging holes in the ground and hoping to strike gold?

WWE has a strong developmental system in terms of talent although there are disagreements with the best approach in running it. One of the things Hunter is looking to revamp before taking the wheel from Vince McMahon is the developmental system as he feels it's the key to their success in 5-10 years or even earlier. The company is poised for growth on all fronts but there are also areas of concern. The WWE Network is frightening because it's a huge amount of money being spent without a clear-cut plan of distribution. Every time WWE has tried to negotiate clearances on satellite/cable systems they've ran into problems. Another area of concern is the decline in viewership. We can talk about competition or any underlying factors but the fact of the matter is since Raw has gone three hours it's posted some very troubling ratings. I find it especially troubling that shows are losing audience as they progress. A decline in viewership signals a lack of interest and that needs to be turned around. Finally I'm somewhat alarmed by the amount of money the McMahon family has spent in hopes of landing Linda McMahon a seat in the US Senate. While I'm sure risk/reward was weighed before they took a "all in" approach in trying to get Linda elected, I would consider it a monumental waste if she isn't elected. If she is elected, it's not going to be good for the business so that's a lose-lose situation.

How should WWE book CM Punk vs. Ryback at Hell in a Cell on Sunday?

The best way to book this match is not to have it. Not only is Ryback unproven and not ready for such a push, but they are building him on the fact he's unbeaten. The creative quandary is obvious as how do you logically keep Ryback's momentum going without crushing your champion in the process? The only way out of this is some type of "outside interference" which gets even more complicated given the Hell in a Cell stipulation. They can't rule a DQ or no contest and anyone that interferes is going to have to either distract the referee from outside the structure or break it down to enter? Regardless, I don't see the logic behind doing this match. WWE could have come up with something else in terms of giving Punk an alternative opponent to John Cena but Vince McMahon is determined to push Ryback to the moon. I hope I have a better reaction come Monday but going into it, I don't see the payoff.

Remember questions with proper spelling and grammar have the best chance of being answered. The next installment of Ask WNW will run on Monday, October 29, 2012.

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  • Jackwagon

    Mark Henry's return is imminent. So bring Henry back as a heel. He "breaks" the door to the cage and lays Ryback out. Punk wins, and Ryback is now in a feud with Mark Henry.

    • Doug

      I like your thinking, JW! It's as good an idea as any.

      • Doug

        so youd be trying to book a feud with to guys that your trying to build as unstoppable where one of them has too loose and look weak….. wouldnt be much of a thing for mark henry to come back too if they wanted people to take him seriously same goes for ryback

    • Rob

      I think Broke Lesner will return, and cost Ryback the title…..then at Survivor Series Lesner vs Ryback

    • jdl

      That's a good idea, in theory, but the actual matches between the two would be absolute and utter train wrecks. It would probably do a good job of killing Ryback's momentum.

    • JasonGaza

      dude thats Good Good idea. Mark Herny and Ryback would have an excellent fued. kinda like henry and batista did. Also it would be a great way to end the match so punk can leave with the title until RR where he faces the Rock

  • Rayner Chee-bai

    Ryback vs Punk shouldn't happened in the first place. If Punk wins then all of his manifesto about "Best In The World" will ruined. If Ryback wins, and it shouldn't, then his undefeated streak meant for something bigger will disappear just like that. Punk should win at Hell In The Cell and I know IWC is with me.

    • Ken

      No one's with you on sheer principle, friend.

    • KingKongBrody

      Omg stop. I wanna book you against Ryback just so I can see him wreck u.

    • Raemel

      Punk will win, but not cleanly. That way, he keeps the title, but Ryback doesn't come away looking weak.

      By the way, Rayner. When trying to make a point, make sure you have your names in order. If Punk wins, he's ruined? If Ryback wins, his undefeated streak ends? Try again.

    • H.M.

      You enjoy this don't you? Lmao.

  • Lee

    Richard Do you see Ryback winning the title only to lose it the next nite to Super Cena?

    • Ger


  • Kanewty

    Regarding the Punk/Ryback match, I have a feeling either Mark Henry or Big Show(whom I feel will not have the WHW Title) will interfere and "take out" Ryback so punk retains…. This could lead to a feud with ryback, and leaves the cena/punk match open again…

  • The Heel

    Wwe is at its worst right now! I’ve never been so bored with them in all my life! That storyline with John Cena and AJ Lee? Really? Really? REALLY? That crap doesn’t cut in a pg world! Wwe sucks right now! Yeah go ahead boo me! I don’t care!

  • Brandon

    Why not have Mark Henry rip off the cage door and make a comeback? Sure that feud would suck but it gives Skip a legit threat.

  • Doug

    The only way the HIAC Main event will work is if heyman has a bunch of "heyman" guys come down and break in the cell beat down ryback for him to start to come back and then big show or lesnar come in to take him out finally for punk to get the win…… which in all would be the same finish as the undertaker VS yokozuna royal rumble 1994 casket match

  • Whatever happens at HIAC, the main event finish is going to be crap. Whether it's having someone interfere or doing a big finish that they "can't continue," or just have Punk run away. Whatever finish it is it's probably gonna tick off everyone watching so I'm expecting the worse outcome they can go with this.

  • Ken

    I have a couple scenerios of what will mostly likely happen in the CM PUnk vs Ryback match, which by the way I agree shouldn't be happening at all. #1: Brock Lesnar or Mark Henry interfere in some way and cost Ryback the match and his streak or #2: Paul Hayman costs CM Punk the title and sides with Ryback.

    Either way, whoever wins means we lose.

  • mike

    They should hide someone under the ring

  • ou812

    Here’s how its gonna go with Punk vs Ryback: Ryback’s music will play but he won’t show up. The backstage cameras will find Ryback locked in the clutches of Mr. Backlund’s crossface chicken wing. While that’s happening, Steve McMichael will come out from under the ring and roll up a small package on punk and get the three count which will set up a feud between McMichael and the Rock at the Rumble and culminate at wrestlemania where the 2 world titles, the money in the bank briefcase, the king of the ring crown, and the undertakers urn will all be on the line in a ladder match. Tell me I’m wrong!

    • Ego Trip

      I think you mixed up your medication.

    • Herman Tank

      Of course! That explains all of the recent Backlund appearances…he wants Mongo to kill the Rock in order to get Taker's urn to resurrect Damien the snake which in turn would consume Kenny Dykstra and Shawn Stasiak because everyone is sick of seeing them dominate the main event scene. It's so obvious…

  • izblack

    Screw the IWC! Have Ryback go over Punk clean so Wrestling can be exciting again.

    • outkazt09

      You are part of the IWC. LAWLS!!!!!

  • HugeRockStar

    People forget that Ryback has been around WWE for years. Sure the audience has not seen much of him but surely they would not throw some rookie out there if they didnt believe he could somewhat hold his own. The fact that nobody can predict how this match will end based on how little we know of Ryback is what makes this match interesting.

    I predict Ryback either wins the title, or he loses in such a ridiculous manner that he has a tantrum and just destroys everyone and breaks down the cell and that’s how I ends. That way it ends on a high note and keeping his monster image.

  • adm5438

    They need to have ryback laid out before the match who done it style, cena can step and take his spot, have ryback fued with the attacker.

  • Mark3man

    Few Ways to book it.
    1# ryback heel turn and joins team heyman for ss
    2# ryback smashed his way through the cell. shows his power and he lays out punk before lesnar fights with him leading to ryback on team McMahon ss .
    3# Ryback delivers shell shock on top of cell. then does his done taunt and match ends as no contest.
    4# we actually have some colour and the ref needs to call the match off
    5# double count out, (both men can’t make the ten count

    • Doksj

      Ryback heel turn will be weird, especially if it is the main event of the show. 2nd and 5th opinion seems right

    • KiddCisco

      #5 wouldn't work because there's no 10 count in HIAH.
      #4 Would be best

      • Mark3man

        If both men can’t stand there will be a ten count and even if there wasn’t one beforevince can change the rules to suit the situation

  • Tom

    I still say the best way would be to bring out Lesnar, have Cena follow and then turn Ryback for the three on one beat down. Start an evolution like stable where Lesnar is Flair, Punk is HHH, Ryback is Batista and then bring him some ROH guys like Rollins and Ohno as the pawn tag team. Sets up new stable vs team Cena at survivor series and extend the punk vs Cena feud up until the build of the rumble while goin 2 PPVs without a 1on1 match.

    • Brandon

      Lesnar can never be like Flair. Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!

  • Jman72485

    Regarding the titles, I’d leave everything the way it is, just add a cruiser/light heavyweight belt. That way you got something for everyone. Your 2 world titles for each brand (one for the vets and one for the younger guys that are ready for the main event) the mid card belt (ic) the lower card belt(us or euro) the cw belt for the smaller guys like sin cara and the divas belt.

  • Maz

    The best way to end it is ‘ The Rock’ to beat down Ryback and give Punk the win, and the rock grabbing the mic and say to punk ‘ see you at the rumble’

  • Mike1983

    How about this…… Put ryback punk ‘first’ let ryback get ambushed by say half the locker room, ryback is decpitated ‘can’t compete’ punk gloats he won’t compete Cena comes out says uh huh you ain’t getting out that easy, sets up Cena v punk main event, that way everybody wins ….. And ryback doesn’t lose his momentum !!

  • Gibbopaul1982

    How about Ryback being a secret “Paul Heyman guy” cena comes out to attack punk during the match, Ryback opens the cell for him and then attacks Cena. Match ends as a non finish, leading to a programme o Cena vs Ryback

  • Stoney

    The spinner belt is now a prop

  • just a fan

    1. i think they should drop the US title, make the ic title the top on smackdown and the WHC the main title on raw and have the WWEC like the most desired goal. thumbs up if you agree

    2. there could be outside interference if someone were hiding under the ring, who that would be… no frikin clue.

  • Michael

    The way i see it, Lesnar comes back and CM Punk gets DQ'ed, or they end it in a double count out..

  • dave spad

    i can see ryback getting jumped backstage and not being able to compete and have cena take his place, maybe mark henry, possibly brock lesnar, then break the cage and cost cena the match starting a fued with cena and ryback

  • Marc

    Din Edge act as a Cameraman during the Undertaker vs Batista match at Hell in a Cell? Anything can happen, just that who will interfere? Cena, Lesnar, Henry???

  • MonsterMike42

    The only way I can see the HIAC match going without anyone looking bad is after some decent back and forth action, Ryback gets the upper hand, but before he can pick up the victory, Brock Lesnar breaks into the cage pulling a Kane and ripping the door off the hinges, or the less badass way of using bolt cutters, and attacks Ryback. CM Punk and Lesnar double team Ryback until Cena shows up to even the odds. Cena takes out Punk who then escapes up the ramp with his belt. Cena and Lesnar fight with Lesnar getting the upper hand. Just before Brock csn finish off John, Ryback whose now had plenty of time to recover, nails Lesnar with his clothesline and goes for all of his big moves. Before he can hit his Shell Shocked finisher, Brock fights out of it and escapes the cage. The PPV ends with Ryback and Cena in the ring staring down Punk, Lesnar, and Paul Heyman, with Punk holding his title close to his chest.

  • poopsmcgee

    No match. Cena, Punk, Ryback, and Lesnar Curtain Call before the match, all lose their push, feud over US title, and Beth Phoenix new champ

  • Joshua

    I’m more interested in if ziggler be leaving world champion