How long will The Shield stay together? Roman Reigns seems to be the first in line for a push, but do you – like most – think all three will be successful as singles wrestlers?
Vince McMahon and Triple H have gone back and forth on breaking up The Shield, with the indecisiveness playing out on television. Roman Reigns is still the first in line to be pushed first, however, I feel all three have very bright futures. I’ve mentioned numerous times how Reigns was placed with Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose so he could “learn on the job” and he’s emerged as the favorite. Reigns has more than exceeded expectations and has performed better on the main roster than he did in developmental. This is the exact opposite of what we usually see as often times someone will impress in NXT, only to flop on the main roster.
Who currently employed in TNA Wrestling do you think would have the most success in WWE?
The TNA roster is getting thin with the company opting to spend less on talent, however, if I had to pick one worker it would be Bully Ray. Rumors are swirling about Kurt Angle getting another run in WWE but what about Bully Ray? He’s reestablished himself as a singles performer and has shown he has what it takes to be a top guy. As for it actually happening, I doubt it as there are underlying issues between Ray and Triple H.
Any updates on Undertaker and his future?
Undertaker came out of Wrestlemania 30 in rough shape, suffering a severe concussion that saw him spend the night of the show in the hospital. It was my belief due to the streak ending and Undertaker suffering a serious injury, this year would be his last. However, I’m told that’s not necessarily the case he could still opt to work again. As for an immediate update, there is none as he continues to recover.
With the number of subscribers to WWE Network not as high as expected, could you see it bring released in other countries sooner than the end of the year?
WWE announced on April 7, 2014 they had a total of 667,287 WWE Network subscribers, which I took as neither good nor bad. The numbers were simply middle of the road. It’s my belief WWE would have liked to announce they had already topped their 1 million-subscriber threshold, however, they were still able to provide a number that was more than halfway there. They later followed-up with the claim that nearly 400,000 domestic homes ordered the pay-per-view in a traditional manner, which is both good and surprising. Considering these factors, there is no panic over the WWE Network. The company is pleased with how things are progressing and will look to stick to their phase one plan of international launch, which will take place in the fourth quarter of this year or in the first quarter of 2015.
I believe Cesaro and Paul Heyman being paired together is a great idea but it looks like Cesaro is being overshadowed by Heyman constantly talking about Lesnar. No focus on Cesaro at all. With Cesaro getting more over with the crowd, why are they trying to force him as a heel?
Here’s the quandary WWE is in. They’ve booked Cesaro as a babyface since the beginning of the year but now want to pair him with the manager drawing nuclear heat over Brock Lesnar ending the streak. Heyman was given the task of working his magic on Raw but it still felt forced. Making matters worse, WWE is trying to blow off the underlying feud between Cesaro/Swagger, with the thinking being there has to be a payoff. I agree the idea of Cesaro and Heyman is genius but will this be a short-term bump in the road or a long-term problem that forces WWE’s hand? That’s a question only time will tell.
How do WWE superstars go about training in gyms? Obviously since they are only in the same city for a couple days they don’t have memberships for each gym so does WWE organize where the superstars workout?
The first task for WWE workers is finding a gym when they get to a particular city. I can’t give you the details for each worker/city because it depends on the situation, however, most gyms are willing to accommodate their situation. When John Cena was on WWE’s loop of West Virginia last year, I received photos of him at the local YMCA, Applebee’s, etc. The boys are on their own when they travel but are required to be at the building at a certain time so they can go over plans for the show.
Do you think a heel John Cena vs. Daniel Bryan rivalry backed by a strong storyline would be very good for business as it will draw maximum heat for Cena?
Given the reactions to John Cena during his program with Bray Wyatt, the rumblings of turning Cena are coming back out. It’s to the point where I’ll believe it when I see it and I honestly do not see it. In addition to Cena moving merchandise and having highly rated segments, his charitable efforts provide WWE with a great public image. There are so many risk factors in turning Cena, it’s not automatic that such a turn would work. There have been better situations to turn Cena in the past and while Vince gave them some consideration, he never actually pulled the trigger. I heard the talk on Monday night was to closely monitor Cena/Wyatt, in order to prevent a double turn.
Who do you think has given the greatest Hall of Fame speech so far?
I don’t like to answer “greatest ever” questions because it’s very hard to pick just one of anything in the pro wrestling business. My favorite WWE Hall of Fame speech this year was Jake Roberts. He truly spoke from the heart and it was one I’ll always remember. Obviously with Warrior dying just days after his speech, his will always be remembered as well. I’ve been a loud critic of Mr. T’s speech from this year because I felt he abused the honor by going too long in a bizarre rant/eulogy about his mother. Again, Mr. T fully deserved the honor in the celebrity wing but he was still a guest. A guest should never take the focus off the people that gave all they had for the business.
Are there any updates on the usual post Wrestlemania cuts we usually see this time of year?
WWE has shied away from going public with large number of releases. In fact, for much of last year, Triple H issued a “no fire edict,” where they didn’t cut anyone. This is basically still in tact as WWE lets contracts expire rather than terminating them early. The company has acknowledged the recent contract expirations of the original Sin Cara (Luis Ignascio) and Ezekiel Jackson. There are a number of workers that currently are not being used that are in jeopardy of not having their deals renewed. You can easily come up with these names but looking at some of the names that haven’t been used in several months.
Why is it that Jeff Jarrett has so much influence in the wrestling community?
Pro wrestling is in Jeff Jarrett’s blood. His father, Jerry, promoted shows for 50 years and one could say he’s a chip off the old block. Jeff has been around the business his entire life and has forged many relationships that have allowed him to be successful. His ability to attract talent and investors to the business has been unlike very few and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to see what he can accomplish with Global Force Wrestling. However, I will caution that it’s imperative Jeff look to create an alternative rather than trying to become WWE-light. As we discussed earlier in the week, TNA stopped growing their audience when they lost their core focus and attempted to recreate what was already being done in WWE. What made TNA different? High quality wrestling matches, the X Division, an impressive Knockouts division and subtle things such as alternative entrances for babyfaces and heels and the 6-sided ring. GFW must look to find their own subtleties that will cause people to take notice. The market is there as long as there is a realization that they are not going to compete with WWE anytime soon.
As for TNA Wrestling, I am very worried about the promotion’s future. We haven’t talked a lot about it but they’re TV deal with Spike TV is coming up in October and their largest shareholder is Jeff Jarrett. What does it say to people after TNA has let all of their top talent go and their largest shareholder is starting another company?
Earlier this week, I read a feature dot com did on D-Von Dudley. Is this an indication he’s returning to the company?
Anything is possible but I do not see WWE bringing Devon back at 41 (going on 42) for a main roster spot. I heard at one point there was talk of hiring him down at WWE NXT and perhaps that’s still a possibility. One of the main things that has kept The Dudley Boyz out of WWE is issues between Triple H and Bully Ray. Bully, even at 42 (going on 43), is one guy I would like to see get “one last run” in singles in WWE. I don’t think it’s likely but it’d be great.
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