Do you believe CM Punk walking out was the greatest thing that ever happened to Daniel Bryan's career? Do you think Bryan would be WWE World Heavyweight Champion had Punk not walked out?
Remember it was the crowd's reaction to Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble that started the Yes Movement and put the wheels in motion for the now WWE World Heavyweight Champion. CM Punk was in the Royal Rumble match and went nearly 50 minutes, however, his stock actually increased after the events that followed (even though he's done nothing WWE-related since). With that being said, Punk's sudden departure created an opportunity for Daniel Bryan against Triple H but WWE was going to have their hand forced even if Punk had stayed. The storyline is Bryan "overcame the odds" but that's very much how his WWE career has played out in real life. So had Punk not walked out, I still think Bryan would be a top star.
Paul Heyman has to be considered one of the greatest managers of all time but for some reason his protégés have seemed to flounder when called upon. Do you believe that Heyman is to blame for the lackluster outcomes that come from his protégés or is the blame to be placed on WWE creative?
I assume you're speaking of the failed Paul Heyman pairings with Ryback and Curtis Axel. Paul Heyman is not only one of the best managers in the wrestling business but he has one of the greatest minds in the pro wrestling business. Heyman "gets it" and is able to use his skills to be a very valuable asset to WWE. The aforementioned experiments proved that putting a talent with Heyman doesn't guarantee them stardom, however, I didn't take it as a condemnation of Heyman's skills either. WWE tried to make both Ryback and Axel main event talents, however, the audience didn't accept them. That's not say they won't get another opportunity either but there are now others in front of them.
What are the consequences for a talent breaking the 90 day non-compete agreement attached to a WWE Performer's Contract?
Non-compete agreements attached to WWE Performer's Contracts are put in place to protect the company from a talent leaving and using their exposure from WWE to help a competitor. Breaking the agreement would result in litigation from WWE that could probably extend to the competing promotion as well. WWE legal is fierce and the company has more money and resources available than pretty much anyone that tries to challenge them.
Did anyone else catch John Cena making fun of himself on Raw during the segment with Bray Wyatt?
I certainly noticed it while watching the tape and Tweeted about it below:
"The last thing I need is another push. No one wants to see that" - @JohnCena. Haha, love the humor/pun in that. John takes stuff in stride
— Richard Gray (@wnwdotcom) April 15, 2014
Cena used Bray Wyatt's "push" line to create a humorous pun that made the segment fun. As I stated in my Tweet above, I love how John Cena takes things in stride. So many workers are unable to do that and get butthurt over anything they see as "below" them. John's break from the main event scene to work Bray Wyatt in an upper mid card program is refreshing for everyone involved.
I'm high up on Paige and feel WWE could have something special on their hands with the Divas division. I know it's early but do you think AJ Lee and Paige have enough talent to main event Raw like Lita and Trish Stratus several years ago?
WWE's Divas division is in good shape going forward. I am also high up on Paige and to answer your question I'll point to her bout against Emma at NXT ArRIVAL in February. Did you think that was strong enough to main event Raw because I thought it was strong enough to headline a pay-per-view. It's more than in-ring work in WWE and that's even more true when it comes to Divas, however, fans have every reason to be optimistic about the division with the talent going forward. And while Total Divas laid a viewership egg this week, the popularity of the reality series has also helped things.
What are your thoughts on the return of Kane?
The Monster will return next week against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan and the majority of Kane fans will be elated. The versatility of Glen Jacobs to go from the corporate villain to the superhuman monster should be commended. There are so few that are able to transition on command, that's the reason for his longevity.
Why are some people talking about Brock Lesnar ending the streak as some sort of rub for Paul Heyman? Five years from now, no one will remember who was the manager of the guy who broke the streak. Lesnar will be remembered, Heyman will be forgotten.
While that may be true, Paul Heyman offers WWE a great catalyst to help build an up and coming superstar. We know from the past failed Paul Heyman Guys that putting him with a talent doesn't guarantee them success but Cesaro has a great opportunity in front of him. Brock Lesnar is a part-time talent with limited dates so associating Heyman with him and keeping Heyman on the road, helps keep the momentum from ending the streak going. It doesn't matter what rub Heyman gets five years from now as WWE is using him for right now. And the right now is to help elevate Cesaro.
Is there any indication when WWE Network will launch in Australia?
We continue to get a lot of questions about WWE Network's availability in Australia and the date hasn't change, it's part of the company's phase 1 international launch and will happen in late 2014/early 2015. The cost should be along the lines of what we pay in the United States at $9.99/month or $10.71 AUD/month. WWE has announced their Australian tour for 2014 with the following dates - August 7 in Melbourne, August 8 in Sydney and August 9 in Perth.
I love the fact that Eric Young is TNA Champ… He defiantly deserves it. Do you believe he owes Daniel Bryan a bit of gratitude? I think it's TNA riding on the coattails of WWE giving the title to the little guy.
The parallels are certainly there between Eric Young and Daniel Bryan, however, it was Eric Young's hard work that got him the payoff. But as I just finished saying in the WNW Premium Mailbag, it's essential that TNA really get behind Young as "the guy." Magnus held the title for 128 days and I don't think he's much further along than he was before he won it. Not enough clean wins, no breakout moment and as a result, I don't think the audience ever bought him as champion. Let's hope things go better for Young.
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