The Rock Set To Return To WWE But Has He Wrestled His Last Match?, E! Announces New WWE Divas Series, Top ROH Star To WWE?, Rosa Mendes Sent Home, Title Change At Extreme Rules?, Jericho’s Next WWE Date, Punk’s Return Pushed Back, WM29 Buys


Ask WNW

With Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal working as babyfaces on the European tour does this mean that 3MB will turn face in the near future or was this just a way to fill in spots on the show?

For those unaware, Drew McIntyre and Jinder Mahal have teamed with Santino Marella and Ted DiBiase on Smackdown live events overseas to face The Prime Time Players and Epico & Primo. I don’t see this as a face turn for 3MB as much as I see it as WWE trying to bank off the cheap pops generated from the overseas fans regarding Drew McIntyre. The match has been booked as comedy and shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

Over the years I have heard the statement that a worker or a segment has gotten “X-Pac heat.” I know what heat is defined as, but I was wondering if you knew where this specific term originated and exactly means?

The term “X-Pac heat” seems to indicate the worker receives heat because they aren’t a good in-ring worker, not because they are a heel character. The problem is that it is inaccurate as X-Pac was a good worker throughout his career. A better word for it would be “Great Khali heat” or who knows, maybe “Ryback heat.”

Update from WNW’s Jesse Sherwood: X-Pac heat originated when the fans got so tired of him that regardless of whether he was a face or heel, he’d get booed out of the building. It’s a nuclear heat that fans use to show their hatred of a character.

Part-time talent in WWE is obviously a huge draw for the company but PPVs that don’t have them can sometimes sell horribly, what if WWE were to have a large amount of part-time talent that they could book them so that they could have at least one part-timer on a PPV. Is this something that WWE has thought about? Could you see it happening? And could you see it being successful?

I am all for using the best talent available that will draw the most. It shouldn’t be forced nor should it be mandated that WWE must utilize a part-time worker. One of the reasons why part-time workers are so successful is they help breakup monotony and provide something different. The problem with this is, once they are utilized a few times, they fall back in just like anyone else. One could make an argument The Rock working a WWE match is no longer a “big deal” because he’s worked three just this year. It requires strategic booking to keep part-time workers hot and the worst thing WWE could do would be to over-utilize them by the rigid mandate you have suggested.

You’ve gone on record saying that you’re a fan of having JBL on commentary but I’d like to state what myself and others think on his work and hear your opinion on it. Though he does have talent at commentating, he’s very aggressive with his opinion and does a lot of shouting, making his partners at times uncomfortable, there were separate occasions where Josh Mathews and Jim Ross were noticeably silent on commentary because of JBL yelling at them. I feel he prevents other commentators from doing their jobs. Your thoughts?

“Everybody loves freedom of speech until someone uses it!” or when talking about The Shield, “These guys wrestle like they’re in someone else’s body.”   You can’t just come up with quotes like this or write them on a script. John Layfield is one of the best at what he does and just because you don’t agree with him (my political views are actually quite different), doesn’t mean he isn’t good. You speak of people being uncomfortable like it’s a bad thing. When JBL plays the role of an antagonist, he does it brilliantly. I love the banter he adds to announce and feel it brings a compelling element to broadcasts.

What is the status of Christian’s return?

I’ve refrained from questions surrounding Christian because I don’t have anything new. We were told in February that Christian was medically cleared to compete. He was part of Wrestlemania Axxess in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Apparently it’s a situation where WWE is trying to find the right storyline for him. Other than that, we have nothing new.

Is the WWE Performance Center a copy of WCW’s Power Plant?

The WWE Performance Center is the WCW Power Plant on steroids. Having a developmental facility is nothing new and something that has been done for decades. What is new is how impressive WWE’s new facility will be. The WWE Performance Center, located in Orlando, Florida, is 26,000-square-feet and will feature seven wrestling rings in addition to its own strength-and-conditioning and physical-therapy areas. Not only will the facility be used to train up and coming talent but it will be a place where injured and rehabbing stars can go to prepare for their return. The pet project of Triple H, the WWE Performance Center is truly game-changing (pun intended).

Is Antonio Cesaro being punished by Vince McMahon because of CM Punk?

There was talk a couple of weeks ago that Antonio Cesaro was being humbled because of CM Punk’s strong support for him and the rumblings about him being left off the Wrestlemania lineup. I don’t know how much blame can be placed on Punk as this is just the way Vince reacted. I don’t understand the point in building Antonio up, only to bury him out other than a good old fashion humbling.

A year ago we were eagerly awaiting the return of Brock Lesnar. A year later, which statistic do you find more surprising: the fact that he is 1-2 or the fact that he will soon be wrestling in his fourth match, three of which will be against a fellow part-timer in Triple H? Is WWE messing up a “can’t miss” in their booking of Brock Lesnar?

The multiple matches against Triple H don’t bother me as bad as the fact that Brock Lesnar is 1-2 in his three matches back in WWE. Clearly, WWE doesn’t care about wins and losses and they don’t seem to be as damaging as they once were, however, I categorically reject the way Lesnar has been booked. My only thinking is WWE is banking on Lesnar being a must-see spectacle rather than an unstoppable monster. A lot could have been rectified had they not fed Lesnar to John Cena right out of the gate at Extreme Rules last year.

I am a huge Jeff Hardy fan and I know he left WWE and went to TNA. I was just wondering if Hardy would ever come back to WWE?

WWE had interest in Jeff Hardy when his last TNA contract was up but he ended up re-signing with TNA Wrestling for another two years.

Will CM Punk return as a heel or babyface?

CM Punk is a heel although there have been some developments in when he’ll return. Originally scheduled for next week’s WWE Raw in Columbus, Punk is now scheduled to return on the May 27th episode of Raw in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. We have more at this link.

When Ric Flair returns from mourning, what capacity will he have in WWE?

Ric Flair isn’t under WWE contract. There were plans to use him on a per shot (on the Legend’s panel on the 3/25 WWE Raw) but a health issue caused him to get sent home followed by the tragic death of his son Reid. If he signs or if there are plans to bring him in on a per shot, we’ll bring you the latest details.

Why aren’t the dark matches on Raw and Smackdown ever seen on television? It seems like the dark matches are sometimes the best match of the night. What are your thoughts about this?

Dark match main events are done to give the crowd in attendance a bonus for attending live. They usually aren’t very long but do involve main event names. Dark match main events provide workers an opportunity to go over spots  with people they are in programs with in front of a live television audience.

A couple weeks in, what are your thoughts on Ryback as a heel?

I’ve been higher up on Ryback the past two weeks (three counting the initial turn) than I’ve been on Ryback since he debuted the character. The heel turn is more believable and provides substance and gimmick progression. He got his first real test on the stick during the in-ring segment with Mick Foley on this week’s Raw and I think he passed. The segment wasn’t flawless but it wasn’t bad either. Kendra Bunyon graded it a B and I’m in agreement. His goal was to make fans hate him and he accomplished that goal in London.

Now that Ryback is a heel, wouldn’t it make more sense to turn Big E Langston as a babyface and program him against Ryback?

Not so fast my friend! The best thing that can happen for Big E Langston is for him to continue in his current gimmick. Right now he’s in the shadow of Dolph Ziggler. This isn’t a bad thing and can be used in a multitude of ways. Obviously the out is Big E “grows tired” of Ziggler and turns on him, however, this isn’t something that should be rushed. It would be a mistake to try and push him too hard too fast right out of the gate. Let’s give him some time to develop before clamoring for a turn.

So we all know now that The Rock won’t be able to compete at Extreme Rules due to his injury but my question is, if he didn’t get injured what type of match would he be in? Would he be wrestling for the WWE title again or was there other plans to use him?

The Rock decided against working Extreme Rules before he worked Wrestlemania 29. The word going around was he didn’t want to do another job in a match presumably involving John Cena and CM Punk. In hindsight, those plans would have probably been out the window as Punk is doubtful for the pay-per-view due to time off. Rock also begins filming “Hercules” soon and there could have been a scheduling conflict. As things currently stand, Rock is out of the WWE plans indefinitely.

What is your overall opinion of The Shield?

The Shield is comprised of three guys that flat out get it done. I haven’t seen anything that I would call “bad” and it all comes down to how WWE decides to progress the gimmick. Do they add more members or disband? The key thing here is not to overkill the gimmick past its lifespan but I’m very optimistic in regards to Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns.

With Dean Ambrose getting a singles match against The Undertaker on this week’s Smackdown, is this a sign that Vince McMahon and Triple H see him as the breakout star in the group?

All three members of The Shield are held in high regard. While the feeling before they debuted was that Roman Reigns had the most to prove, even he has drawn high marks from those within WWE and all are highly touted young workers. The fact Undertaker worked a singles match against Dean Ambrose goes to show how much he thinks of them as we heard he put the trio over in front of everyone after the match on this week’s WWE Raw. I don’t mind the classification of Ambrose as #1, Seth Rollins as #2 and Roman Reigns as #3 but I think all three are held in equal high regard and are looked at as future superstars as singles performers.

Normally after Wrestlemania The Undertaker just disappears out of thin air, but now he’s worked two matches on free television. Will he work another PPV other than Wrestlemania or is he finished?

I’m under the impression Undertaker will be written off television following this week’s Smackdown but you never know. He clearly has more left in the tank and the fact he worked two matches on free TV after Wrestlemania tells me he has another Wrestlemania bout left in him. I’ve heard some complain about Undertaker “wasting” matches on television and couldn’t disagree more. He’s in great shape and any situation that sees him work is a special treat. Undertaker knows what he is doing and I hope if you live in London you were at this week’s tapings.

Does Triple H pickup dual paychecks for his multiple roles in WWE?

Yes, Triple H’s Performer’s Contract is different from his role as an executive officer and he is paid for both roles.

I was sure Jack Swagger would’ve been pulled back right after Wrestlemania because of the DUI. But it doesn’t seem like WWE are going to change courses with him at all as he’s still in the spotlight. What type of message does this send?

It’s important to remember that Jack Swagger has not been convicted on the charge of Driving Under the Influence stemming from his arrest in February just days after winning the WWE Elimination Chamber. Swagger is set to take the charge to trial on June 25, 2013 (story here). WWE has been eerily quiet regarding the arrest as they only issued a very brief statement and have continued to book him in the top of the card. We were told it was just a situation of “innocent until proven guilty,” however, while he’s still booked in the top of the card he didn’t get the nod as World Heavyweight Champion either.

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