TNA's Former World Champion, Bischoff's Status, Paul Heyman's Role In WWE, New Direction For Kane

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What are your thoughts on Adam "Pac Man" Jones returning to TNA Wrestling?

Remember the campaigns that TNA Wrestling used to deliver Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (the "big free agent signing") and Tito Ortiz (#August1Warning cryptic videos) earlier this year? I was in the minority in defending both moves because I felt they had more "star power" than another WWE retread, however, the moves fell flat and were the beginning of what has been a brutal year for TNA. Dixie Carter advertising a "former World Champion" and delivering Adam "Pacman" Jones is a very questionable move. I will give her credit for "revealing him" before it happened Thursday night at TVs but moves like this cause fans to not take Dixie seriously. Jones isn't even relevant in NFL circles, much less pro wrestling circles. The pro wrestling business is all about hype. It's about who can generate buzz around their product. However, when you start to create buzz and hype about a former "World Champion," you set unattainable expectations. Many set their hearts on people that have less than a 1% chance of coming in like Dave Batista or Bill Goldberg. And this is why I hate the "major free agent" and "former world champion" promotional lines.

No matter who the company delivers, most fans are going to be disappointed. Because outside of a select few names, there aren't many that can answer the hype. Especially in TNA's case that has already employed the likes of Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Sting. When you've had some of the biggest names in the business, the bar is raised accordingly. TNA got destroyed for bringing in Jackson and Ortiz and haven't learned from their past mistakes. If they wanted to use Jones because they're in Cincinnati (he plays for the Bengals), then I'm fine with that. Those type of tie-ins are more than acceptable and can be very effective if utilized properly. However, to advertise a former "World Champion" and deliver Jones is like WCW putting David Arquette over for the World Heavyweight Championship. It makes no sense and undermines the business all for cheap mainstream publicity.

For the sake of the business and the fact I want TNA to succeed, let's hope they swerve. If not, I'm afraid Dixie Carter is going to have a lot of upset fans to address after the show airs. Regardless, make plans to join our "Open Thread" Watch Party Thursday night beginning at 8:30 PM EST so we can watch together.

Now I know Hulk Hogan is gone from TNA, but recently you mentioned Eric Bischoff was gone as well. Is Eric Bischoff really gone from TNA and how come that wasn't mentioned until recently?

The questions surrounding Eric Bischoff's status starting popping up when he wasn't backstage at Bound for Glory last month. After all, his official title is "Executive Producer" so it's pretty important that he is at the shows he is executive producing. Talent were later told when it was announced that Impact would be returning to Orlando that Bischoff would be working "from home" moving forward. Again, Bischoff's job as Executive Producer isn't exactly a job that can be done "from home." While not officially announced, the word going around backstage is TNA is paying him the remainder of his contract while keeping him away from the product.

Does Paul Heyman have any creative duties backstage or is he just an on-screen character?

Paul Heyman was originally brought back exclusively as an on-screen mouthpiece for Brock Lesnar. He wasn't part of the Lesnar deal, he was added afterwards because the thinking was he could be used in situations where they did not want to burn through one of Lesnar's limited appearances. Heyman got his foot in the door and landed an expanded role as he's currently on the overseas tour… where he's advertised to wrestle. There are few people that understand the business the way Paul Heyman understands it and because of that, there will always be opportunities for him. As for your question about creative duties, Heyman has no formal title other than on-screen talent. However, I'm aware of multiple situations where his input has been sought in the direction of storylines.

Am I the only one that is confused with Kane, He's gone from the "Big Red Monster" and now he's in a suit?

Kane was named the new “Director of Operations” in this week's kayfabe Tripe H interview. This is a way of aligning him with the corporation faction and turning him heel. Taking the mask off him is seen as something that's part of his role in the forthcoming "See No Evil" sequel. If the sudden change of plans caught you off-guard, you aren't alone. The plans for Kane changed significantly over the last week as initial plans had him aligning with Vince McMahon.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2011: Was WWE Money in the Bank the best pay-per-view of the year? - Sunday's WWE Money in the Bank pay-per-view was the best show of 2011. From the way it was booked, to the ultra hot crowd, to the surprising CM Punk title win - the show was very entertaining. We saw title changes, surprising finishes and stuff that made logical sense and had everyone guessing what was a shoot and what was a work. There isn't much more you can ask for in a pro wrestling pay-per-view and I feel I got my money's worth. The biggest disappointment to me was a weak WWE Raw following a stellar pay-per-view. As one of my sources pointed out, this is what happens when you leave your creative team in the dark.

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  • Jbreed

    The Big Red Machine is one of the coolest characters ever and while it’s wierd to see Kane in a suit, this is a lot better than an intimidaing looking monster in a mask who acted like a five year old kid in the lame anger manament angle.

    • TheBigKing1


  • Venom

    I think once the movie out he’ll make a face turn and put the mask on. If the plan was for him to align with Vince they can redo the Invasion angle where Kurt Angle joined The Alliance only to turn on them at the last minute as he was with Vince McMahon all along. He’ll even chokes lam Vince and act like it was part of their plan cuz its wrestling.

    • Ricky

      The Corporation Angle is getting absurd now. Bryan never had a fair chance, she Big show “firing” was totally lame. The only bright spot was Cody and Goldust teaming up and Goldust being given a contract. Vince needs to return to TV so he can bring in Flair and then the whole family can vanish from TV again.

      • Venom

        If they wanted Flair back on tv they would have done that by now. I don’t see Flair back for any long term programming.

      • the arbiter

        You had me right until you said “bring back Flair”

        He can’t wrestle anymore, his promos in the last few years have been rambling messes and he very unreliable. Why on earth would you want him back on regular TV?

        • Ricky

          I don’t but I think he’s back under WWE contract and he could fit the Authority figure well until he turns heel again.

  • Philip Thompson

    I massively popped for Kane walking out in a business suit. The mask coming off was obvious – but that was a twist.

  • Jesse Sherwood

    Ok Richard, I have to give props for the picture of Jeff Jarrett pointing at David Arquette after his WCW Title win.

  • Wes

    They could go so far with this angle with Kane. I was thinking with Kane giving Steph his mask that when the corporation needed someone dealt with, she would give Kane his mask and he would be the muscle. Kinda like Taker with the urn. Just a thought.

    I honestly feel this could be a good set up for a Kane vs Taker. Taker comes back and attacks the mcmahon-orton regime. Kane has to face his brother because it’s what’s “best for business.”

  • smark calloway

    for all the negativity the david arquette wcw title run got and still gets ,it did its job to create a buzz ,as people still talk about it today ( not for good reasons no, but it still has people talking about it some 13 years later..and thats exactly why it was booked…to get people talking about it ) and a few little known facts about the arquette title win is that it was actually wcw announcer tony schiavone that pitched the idea to vince russo to book, ( russo then took the idea to the whole creative team and they all agreed it should take one said it was a bad idea to him ) .. and also the money that arquette made from his wcw run he gave to the families of brian pillman and owen hart , so he is actually a really good guy, and i personally have no problems with him being champion , as he showed a lot more class in doing that good deed than a lot of former ” proper ” champions have shown

    • Ricky

      People still talk about it because of the stupidity of the move and how it was pretty much the death blow to WCW. I never knew about him giving the money from his WCW run to the families of Pillman and Hart. If true, it w is a much appreciated and respected move.

      • smark calloway

        no what killed wcw is that aol/time warner didnt want wrestling on turner broadcasting television anymore. it didnt fit in with the image they were looking for ..yes wcw was losing money and ratings left, right and center at the time in early 2001 and yes there was a lot of stupid storylines and nonsensical angles but it was still getting quite respectable ratings,( not enough to beat wwf then, but still way more than it was getting in the 80’s and early 90’s ) but aol/time warner still decided to take it off the air..and yeah arquette did give the money he made in wcw to the families of owen and pillman, it was revealed in a wwe legends of wrestling roundtable discussion show and ive read it in a few books too

        • Venom

          I think he also did media appearance with the belt so it did give the company more advertising.

          • smark calloway

            yeah it was on the front page of usa today when he won the belt,apparently , so mainstream exposure was definitely one of the main reasons they gave arquette the title

    • Lebron James

      I agree 100%. Arquette is a great guy. Only idiots who still can’t see the big picture of it are enraged by it. Plus, he literally didn’t effect the prestige of the world championship AT ALL. It’s still in the business and considered one of the most prestigious titles to hold. Currently held by one of the greatest of all time in Cena. So yeah, stop giving the guy a hard time about it. It’s WRESTLING. Expect the unexpected.

  • Dave Barton

    Its too bad Jim Ross wasn’t on commentary this week…

    “That’s gotta be Glenn the Libertarian!!”

  • Lebron James

    I love Kane, he’s the most versatile character in the business. I have no doubts that he will have success being the Director of Operations. I like the direction this story line is going. I am, however, very bothered by the fact that Daniel Bryan is officially out of the title picture. That whole storyline between him and Orton was a complete waste and both of them didn’t really get over any higher. I’m still extremely confused by it. I hope Show loses at Survivor Series and we can see Daniel chase the title again.

  • JJ

    Seeing as Pacman has a contract with the Bengals this is more then likely just a one or two time deal

  • BlazeKing

    Lol, that headline picture is going to piss Triple H off sooooo much if he ever sees that!!!