What Should Headline Royal Rumble, Back To 30 Men, Ryback Fail, A Funny Story About Real Names

What match should go on last at Royal Rumble - CM Punk vs. The Rock for the WWE Championship or the 30-man Royal Rumble match?

If I was booking the show, I would open with the 30-man Royal Rumble match and close with the WWE title match. There aren't many bouts big enough to bump the 30-man Royal Rumble out of the main event of the pay-per-view which carries its name but did you see the promo work between CM Punk and The Rock on this week's Raw? As far as I'm concerned that segment took this match to another level and I look forward to watching it play out. For those wondering why I would open with the Rumble match, rather than somewhere in the middle of the card, there needs to be a significant amount of time between the two matches to give the crowd time to recover. Booking the bouts too close together runs the risk of wearing the crowd out and hurting the reactions.  With that being said, I haven't heard WWE's plans for the show.

Why was the Royal Rumble match changed back to 30-men from the 40 it was a couple year ago?

From what I was able to ascertain, Pat Patterson, the creator of the Royal Rumble match and the guy that books it annually, was upset about taking the match from 30 to 40 men in 2011. He felt the match has been so effective and timeless, it shouldn't be altered in any way. When it was explained to him they would be able to promote it as the "biggest Royal Rumble ever," he wasn't sold. Triple H, who is taking on more and more behind-the-scenes responsibilities, was instrumental in working with Patterson to book this year's match.

Are you as tired as I am about the predictability of The Shield running in and preventing Ryback from going over? As was the case on Monday, we all knew it was coming, it was just a matter of time.

I have loudly voiced my displeasure with the booking of Ryback, even mentioning the finish of the aforementioned match in Tuesday's installment of Ask WNW. I'm out of argument on this one. For the life of me I don't understand having Ryback mow through enhancement workers for months only to never win when booked as a main eventer. Yes, he has gotten over and yes, I understand the argument of keeping the strap on Punk but the whole thing is underscored by lazy/illogical booking that shows a blatant lack of trust in Ryback. With Wrestlemania season upon us, Ryback and The Shield are about to take a serious backseat.  Some have taken this argument to mean I see Ryback as "the next big thing," not quite.  If you're going to push Ryback as a main eventer, push him.  If you're not sure, then don't book him in a multiple title matches when he has a gimmick where he is an unstoppable monster that needs to be fed more.

How do the superstars refer to one another when the cameras aren't on? Do they call each other by their legal name, or by their character?

It really just depends on the person. For example, would you even know who I was talking about if I said the name Michael Hickenbottom? Above, I just referenced Pat Patterson (real name Pierre Clermont). I've got a funny story to disclose on this question. Four years ago I was conducting some interviews for use on the website. When booking names I would often go through a worker's agent to get in touch with them. Well, I wanted to be as professional as possible without sounding like a mark so I emailed one agent and asked to book Nick Cvjetkovich (better known as Kizarny or Sinn Bodhi). The agent said when they read the email they thought, who in the hell is Nick Cvjetkovich?

Remember questions with proper grammar and spelling stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW will run on Friday, January 11, 2013.

Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

Submit questions to: [email protected]!

  • you wouldn’t have to worry about crowd burn out if it was taking place in chicago. Which both Rock and Punk would get huge pops

  • Brock

    Isen’t his name Hickenbottom?

    • brad

      im pretty sure it is

    • Dangerous Lee

      The O is right next to the I on the keyboard. Just another typo.

    • Watch out. Richard might get offended by you correcting his mistake and delete your comment.

  • steve pritchard

    Wwe has had a booking nightmare for the past few years! I don’t understand why they poop on almost every ppv just so they can have these so called dream matches once or twice a year! I would much rather see them push other stars like ryback or Ziggy! But they bank on stars like taker and rock to give them a fix for the now not even seem to care bout the rest of the year.this creative team needs to go or maybe it’s time for vkm to retire. This is just getting to predictable and boring.I applaud the rock for coming in and help push these new guys. That’s something that’s been few and far between with the other parttimers.they seriously need to get there head out of they’re arse before people just loose interest all together

  • Winnipeg

    The only way they’ll ever save Ryback now is send him to Smackdown and start from scratch. My only question is the why did they not do that in the beginning? Is that not what Smackdown is for?

  • Stoney

    Everyone just calls him Shawn because he doesn’t like the name Michael

  • Ben Reynolds

    I agree the booking in WWE over the last several years leaves a lot to be desired but feel the Ryback elevation has been spot on and that you have missed the whole point of it. Remember a few years ago when Jeff Hardy couldn’t quite reach the pinnacle and capture the World Heavyweight Title? He was the guy that in the fans eyes couldn’t quite do it! He was the guy that everyone was trying to hold back! Remember when he finally won the title and how elated people were? And then when he captured the title again after a long chase only to loose it minutes later to a MITB cash in? There was uproar!

    Now where was Ryback to go next if he were to capture the big prize within the same year that his new gimmick got introduced? The internet would scream that he was handed the belt too soon and fail to get behind him.
    After watching ‘Big Hungry’ get screwed time and time again over the last 3 month, I for one am eagerly awaiting the day that he finally reaches the top of the mountain! As when he does, we could finally find ourselves with a true feel good moment and most importantly, the crowning of a genuine main event draw not seen since John Cena in 2005!

    • Chris

      never considered that before. maybe they do do everything for a reason

  • Snap

    A while back, Lance Storm actually answered the question about how to refer to wrestlers, be it fans or the wrestlers themselves. As Lance explained it, he doesn’t like it if a fan calls him “Lance Evers” because he is only called that by people he actually knows and will expect to see someone he knows when called that, whereas he knows to expect a fan when he hears “Lance Storm.”

    Backstage, he says the wrestlers refer to one another in the way they were introduced to each other. So, he will always call Undertaker “Taker” as opposed to “Mark Calaway.” In fact, I recall a story about Paul Bearer’s return to WWE at WrestleMania XX where he was referred to as “Percy” (for Percy Pringle III, his pre-WWE persona) when Jim Ross called him.

    Of course, it’s not a universal rule, but the general idea I got out of Lance Storm’s explanation is if a wrestler introduced himself with “Hi, I’m Dolph Ziggler” then you’d refer to him as Dolph Ziggler instead of “Nick Nemeth.” Contrary to how it may seem, calling wrestlers by their real names as opposed to the names of the characters they have worked hard to establish would make one appear to be a mark trying to appear “smart.”

    As I mentioned, though, it all depends on the wrestler in question so your mileage may vary.

    Now, in regards to the Royal Rumble match, I’ve always felt that 30 participants was the best number, as any more just dilutes the match and forces shorter intervals between entrants. Yeah, the interval has never been consistent, but 30 participants with a (roughly) two minute interval is a nice round number to put on a one hour spectacle. Furthermore, while surprise entrants are nice and more participants provide for more surprises, it also means that many more whom you KNOW aren’t going to win. Looking at the 1991 Rumble when Ric Flair won the title, there were so many entrants who could have legitimately and believably won, but when the prize is a main event title shot at WrestleMania, you know who has the highest probability of winning: John Cena or Yoshi Tatsu? Dolph Ziggler or Justin Gabriel? Sheamus or Zack Ryder?

    Basically, if it isn’t broken why fix it?

  • Rayner Chee-bai

    Ryback shouldn’t come near the main event scene at all. He’s upper mid-card talent at the most.

  • Destruction EWA