Will Batista Return To WWE?, Daniel Bryan's Chracter Transition, Wrestling Today vs. 10 Years Ago, How Evan Bourne Failed Another Wellness Test

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Is it possible Batista will return to WWE and is there any hope of him being in Miami this year for Wrestlemania XXVIII?

I have maintained Batista will one day return to WWE to wrap up his career as a professional wrestler. He left the company to pursue other opportunities because his contract was up and he was unhappy with the product. Batista has been a vocal critic of WWE's PG initiative, has gone on record saying John Cena killed hardcore, edgy wrestling and he is no hurry to come back and work with The Miz. Batista has also said the current WWE product is "brutal." Despite all the negativity and brutally-honest comments, WWE would welcome him back. I believe it will come down to Dave's desire to return and the right opportunity being available. As for Wrestlemania this year, anything is possible, but any other return is going to take a backseat to The Rock. I can't imagine Batista wanting to do that, especially given his feelings for John Cena.

Why did WWE turn Daniel Bryan heel?

I talked about this in detail in yesterday's Premium Mailbag, but to summarize, Daniel Bryan was not booked like someone that WWE saw as a World Heavyweight Champion prior to "cashing in" his Money in the Bank briefcase at WWE TLC. We always talk about the "right opportunity" coming available and Mark Henry's legitimate injury provided the opportunity for Bryan to "cash in" at a time when there was flexibility in programming. It's clear Mark Henry didn't want his run as champion to end but Vince McMahon ultimately decided otherwise. After Bryan was crowned champion I expected him to immediately drop the belt. In this way, WWE would have gotten his title shot out of the way and eliminated the possibility of being "married" to the idea of Bryan challenging for the belt in a possible Wrestlemania XXVIII main event. However, in a turn of events, WWE decided to turn Daniel Bryan's character and rather than do another title switch and bury him, they began the character transition from babyface to heel. While I cannot tell you how long of a run Daniel Bryan will have as a top guy, as his title reign could end Sunday, but the turn has allowed him a much bigger opportunity than I initially thought he was going to get.

Comparably speaking, wrestling crowds today are not near as energetic or enthusiastic compared to the way they were ten years ago. Have you noticed this and why do you think this in?

It would be inaccurate if not irresponsible for me to say there is not a difference in pro wrestling today compared to pro wrestling ten or fifteen years ago. In the late 90s/early 2000s, we were in a major pro wrestling boom. The business was flourishing with more superstars and more interest than ever before. As a result, three prominent companies were brought to the forefront, people made millions but at the end of the day only the strongest would survive. It's impossible for me to evaluate crowds today versus crowds then because things are very, very different. There are still hot crowds today and there is still a large audience that watches and follows pro wrestling. Is it as big or as popular as it was then? No, but it's far from dead and still a major part of the worldwide entertainment landscape. We can build massive arguments and debate for hours as to why there was a decline in the overall popularity but the fact of the matter is, the business peaked and it has yet to re-establish these levels. I remain hopeful we will see another pro wrestling boom; however, there is no way for me to predict when or how it will happen. Many had hoped TNA, especially with people like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, would provide much-needed competition to Vince McMahon and WWE's monopoly. That hasn't happened and we still wait for the fan base to once again be re-energized.

How did Evan Bourne fail a second Wellness test so close to his first violation?

WWE randomly tests all talent a minimum of four times a year. However, once a worker tests positive, they are tested a minimum of 12 times for a period of one year. With one Wellness strike, Bourne was tested again in a short period of time in accordance with the WWE Wellness Policy. For details on what caused Bourne's second violation, his mindset and his future, click here.

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  • Kevin

    I've noticed that the crowd reaction has been different. I actually attended my first house show at Nassau Coliseum and it is a different scene when you're there in person. You actually see the "fakeness" of it in person, but the whole thing about it is that the athletes today have no real edge. John Cena is getting booed left and right because his character has just become so tedious. What made wrestling what is was back in the day was the initial chemistry between guys like Austin, The Rock, Bret Hart, etc. Now the feuds fluctuate so much that it's just so random.

  • Hello_Im_Awesome

    good editon of ask WNW today

  • Silver

    We will never see another pro wrestling boom. The landscape of entertainment has just changed too much. The quality of television programs has increased drastically since the 80's and even early 90's, despite what people hooked on nostalgia will spout. Sure there is still a ton of garbage on TV, but even that garbage has higher production value and more money behind it than most TV shows in the past, and if it came out ten years ago chances are it would be praised rather than overlooked. Look at the Attitude era and how popular Stone Cold was, people were enthralled by this athlete swearing and beating up his boss, it was edgy and original at the time. Now you can see that anywhere on TV. You have to remember that in the past a large portion of the wrestling audience were marks (Hulkamania), or at least were willing to mark out despite knowing the product is staged. People today simply don't want that. They want something that is either pure fiction, or something that they can get away with believing is real (like 'reality' TV).

    Wrestling will continue to lose mainstream appeal until it is nothing but the hardcore fans. As fans, we all know there is something inherent in the product that makes us watch. We don't watch for one person, we know it's not real, we get mad when the product is predictable but then get equally angry when we don't get the outcomes we want, but we still keep watching. The general public will never understand this, and in light of so many entertainment alternatives they will continue to ignore pro wresting save for that rare superstar, and the sooner VKM accepts that, the sooner the product can improve in quality for its core audience.

    • H.M.

      Interesting viewpoints.

    • Da KiDD

      This is the realest comment I ever read

  • steve2

    Never really liked Batista. Didn’t see the big deal with him. My big pet peeve with him was that he always wore suits to the ring, yet he was marketed as an “animal.” Lots of guys wore suits around that time, but for some reason when he did it it really got under my skin. When he started dressing up all the time, I knew he was getting arrogant and sick of the wrestling business.

    • Batista

      I never really liked u

      • "
        batista we miss u pleses come back and make us proud pleses come back for us we need u back"

    • BIG BOY

      4 that u can jump in a parking lot of KFC so next time you should keep your opinion to your self if do not like the out come. HATER!

  • Miles

    Batista is about as bland and over rated as the “John Cena” charecter. He doesn’t like pg wrestling because he doesn’t posses the skills to pull it off

    • bntafa

      you think cena likes pg? He is simply following the rules and regulations

      • Miles

        “John Cena” character not the man himself

  • Jackson

    Hey Richard Im going to have to disagree with you in regards to mah boy D-Bry’s title reign possibly ending this Sunday at the Rumble. let’s break it down…

    For the past month they made Bryan’s character weasel like, retaining the title at any cost in matches against The Big Show and Mark Henry.

    They then set up this Triple Threat Cage match at the Rumble and while they didn’t have to do that, they did because of the only logical scenario I came up with…While The Big Show and Mark Henry are slugging it out, D-Bry uses the distraction to escape the cage. Once again retains the title in a heelish fashion and thus setting up the Elimination Chamber match which will definitely involve Bryan, Big Show and Henry along with 3 more individuals which I see being Randy Orton, Wade Barrett and Sheamus.

  • Jim

    The crowds back in the day were more of a vocal group IMO. It isn’t the same group of fans at shows today as it was then. I remember going to original ECW live events and those crowds were NUTS! Problem is that a lot, if not most, of those hardcore fans that were so very vocal, were also attending WWE and WCW events. Which brought a lot of that ECW crowd flavor to those events. But those fans, who were mostly 18-35 year old males, are no longer attending live events. If they are still even watching at all, and in their places is a lot of the family types who are mostly woman and kids. The vocal ECW type fans seem to have moved onto predominantly watching UFC. Because those crowds are just as hot as wrestling crowds used to be.

  • Chopper

    What i would like to see on raw and smackdown is fueds between the mid card wrestlers that may even become PPV worthy makes a change from just throwing a few guys in the ring every so often just to male a match.
    Just my opinion tho!

  • ziggyZ

    Batistas cumin bak nd fightn Brock lesnar in a las man standing match at wm 28

  • robert

    D-bry is the best wrestler in wwe, although i did like the era 97-99 i liked the wrestling that angle,lesnar, and Benoit brought to wwe and then in 2008 wwe just got shitty, maybe the best wrestlers were going to ufc, i'm talking collegiate wrestlers who transformed it into pro wrestling, and good mat wrestlers, guys like the miz and cena are what has ruined wrestling, sure i want build to and story lines but once you get past the build to i wanna see wrestling, not 20 minutes of fake punching and horribly executed moves, 2011 to me wrestling has made a turn and the pr or tv-14 means shit ,,, some of you are like kids when they hear a swear word and go uuuuuuul i wanna see talent and wrestling as close to real as possible, i know two punches to an eye it shuld swell up, now a suplex i know can be done without someone getting bloodied.

  • @RatedMKD

    "…I expected him to immediately drop the belt. In this way, WWE would have gotten his title shot out of the way and eliminated the possibility of being “married” to the idea of Bryan challenging for the belt in a possible Wrestlemania XXVIII main event."

    I really dislike this aspect of WWE's mentality. This is the World Heavyweight Championship we're talking about. It should be too important to just be passed around. If they don't want a guy in the title picture, then don't book him in the title picture. Don't just give him a title reign to "get him out of the way".

    Having said that, and this is probably gonna make me sound like a hypocrite, but Bryan deserves the accolade, and regardless of whether or not the company has faith in him, I'm glad he made his way into the record books one way or another!

  • TheGameDR

    I can understand the question about the drug test…there are drugs that can stay in your system and give a positive result up to six months (or so i've heard) after taking them…

  • the wwe&we want back the animal batista

  • we&wwe want the animal batista back

  • Batista is a only man who win the match only by beating but other using lock for win the match. Thatswhy he is a real wrestler unleash animal

  • alex

    i agree with batista i rember when in 2008-2010 wwe was pretty entertaining but nt enough hardcore action its to PG to boring

  • k4king

    yeah we want him back and he is a real animal