With CM Punk retaining at SummerSlam; does this virtually assure he'll remain champion for the rest of the year given the emphasis that has been put on his title reign?
Nothing is a sure thing in WWE and the only thing that is 100% is that The Rock will challenge for the WWE Championship at Royal Rumble. There are still four pay-per-views that CM Punk would have to successfully defend the belt before a possible match against Rock so it's very important not to assume too much. I will give my full thoughts on Punk retaining at SummerSlam on Richard's Backstage Blog later today.
Do you believe the fact Daniel Bryan trained at Shawn Michaels' wrestling school influenced his in-ring ability in any significant way or do you think it's all down to raw talent?
I absolutely think Shawn Michaels training Daniel Bryan played a part in his in-ring ability, however, Bryan is one of the most talented individuals in the history of the wrestling business. Sometimes there are guys that just "get it" and Daniel Bryan is someone that not only has the athleticism to perform in the ring at a very high level but he also understands how to portray his character. Bryan is over like rover and is a clear case of the cream rising to the top. The knock on Bryan was, everyone knows he can work, but can he make the WWE audience care about him? The mission has been accomplished and Bryan is over more than anyone (including me) thought he could be.
I was just wondering if you were offered a full time position at WWE would you accept it ? You seem to have a vast knowledge of the wrestling business.
I appreciate the compliment. I have always maintained I am happy with my career as a pro wrestling journalist and while I would be flattered by any offer, I would most-likely decline. There is no way WWE would hire me and allow me to continue doing what I do best in running this website and I have a responsibility to all the loyal readers to provide the most accurate detailed information possible.
Now that Brock Lesnar has made Triple H tap, what or who is next for him?
The word going around for the last couple of weeks is that Brock Lesnar won't work again until Survivor Series in November. There are plenty of dates left on his contract and with The Rock confirmed for Royal Rumble, it's possible Lesnar sits the January show out. I haven't heard plans for a potential opponent but anyone in the top of the card remains a possibility. Lesnar is confirmed to open this week's Raw to address his victory against Triple H.
Don't you think the premise that Brock Lesnar is the conqueror, with nothing left to prove in the WWE, would have been WAY more effective if Lesnar had beaten John Cena?
WWE is basically in damage-control mode by portraying Brock Lensar as the dominant conqueror that "accomplished everything" in a very short period of time. The problem is Lesnar is 1-1 since returning and is hardly a dominant force by beating Triple H who is 0-2 for the year. The company expects logic to be thrown out the window with fans ignoring match outcomes and basing it on Lesnar's "destructive tendencies." The fact of the matter is WWE made a monumental mistake by putting Cena over Lesnar at Extreme Rules and are paying for it with every Lesnar match going forward. I have more on the original plans for Lesnar vs. Triple H at SummerSlam this link.
Where was Kelly Kelly in the Divas Battle Royal on this week's WWE Raw? They showed her on the graphic for the match but she wasn't in it.
Both Kelly Kelly and Beth Phoenix were shown in the graphic for the number one contender battle royal but neither were in the match or backstage at the show. I cannot confirm where either Diva was as of this writing.
What is your opinion of Chris Jericho "passing the torch" to Dolph Ziggler on WWE Raw rather than SummerSlam?
While Chris Jericho vs. Dolph Ziggler on WWE Raw may have had more eyes on it than their bout at SummerSlam, I still find Jericho over Ziggler on the pay-per-view as an inexcusable outcome. From making the outcome to their Raw bout obvious to Ziggler getting no payoff from the company's second biggest show of the year, I said the only way I was for Ziggler going under at the pay-per-view was only if he "cashed in."
What is Evan Bourne's status?
Evan Bourne continues to recover from a career-threatening foot injury he suffered in a car accident in March. Bourne checked in with a new update on Monday that you can read at this link.
In the past WWE has booked Kane in some questionable situations and matches, I think we can all agree. Why were Kane and The Undertaker booked so differently but they are both somewhat similar?
Kane and The Undertaker are similar based on the "Brothers of Destruction" angle and the fact they're both "mysterious monsters," however, the similarities end there. Undertaker is one of the top WWE superstars of all time, possessing a rare set of in-ring abilities compiled with the personality characteristics to be "the guy." Kane is a reliable veteran, has decent in-ring work, but he's nowhere near Undertaker in terms of the top WWE superstars of all time. I don't hate Kane, I respect him for his work, but a lot of his fans overemphasize the success he's had when he's never been "the guy" despite one World title reign (in addition to his one-day WWE Championship reign).
Do you think Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have what it takes to run WWE in succeeding Vince McMahon?
Both Triple H and Stephanie McMahon have the personality traits and the thick skin that should make them fine in succeeding Vince McMahon but this question can't be answered until it actually happens. Vince is grooming both Hunter and Stephanie for their roles by increasing their responsibilities behind-the-scenes and while I don't agree with everything they do, I've been a fan of some of the changes thus far.
What is Beth Phoenix's status within WWE?
Beth Phoenix is still with WWE but was not at TVs this week due to a death of a loved one. You can read more at this link.
WWE has had a couple Social Media Ambassadors recently. Do those celebrities really sit and watch Raw and Tweet throughout the show?
The Social Media Ambassadors are hired by WWE to promote the show via their social media platforms. I'm not sure what the deal entails but I would assume some type of monetary value for using their millions of followers to help the company. As for the celebrities sitting through the broadcast, I'm assuming either they or someone that works for them watches the show to participate in the discussion. WWE cares more about making topics trend on Twitter because it results in more people tuning in.
Do you think we have seen the end of Chris Jericho's career or will he come back in the future?
I feel like Chris Jericho will return to WWE at some point. He has a lot on his plate with another lengthy Fozzy tour and another autobiography scheduled, but by his own admission, we haven't seen the last of Y2J.
Now that Tyler Reks has been granted his release, what will happen to Curt Hawkins?
Curt Hawkins said he's in WWE to stay. He's a talented guy but just hasn't got much of an opportunity yet. While I thought Tyler Reks had potential, I'm not the least bit surprised he requested his release. Leaving the business to spend time at home is admirable but his in-ring career wasn't going anywhere.
Has there been any word on the next time The Rock will appear on Raw?
The Rock is confirmed for Royal Rumble 2013 so it's likely he'll appear on shows leading up to the pay-per-view next January. He wasn't planned to return to WWE until 2013 but they were able to get him to appear on the 1000th episode of Raw.
Is there any truth to Steve Austin returning at Wrestlemania?
The NEWZ sites pumped some rumor about Steve Austin not being ready to return to the ring but it was completely bogus. The truth is WWE wants to do Austin vs. CM Punk at Wrestlemania XXIX next year but nothing has changed in terms of the match going past talk.
Can you explain the booking of Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus? It is very boring and uninspiring.
The lack of interest in Alberto Del Rio vs. Sheamus has to do with fans not sold on either as main event stars. Not everyone feels this way but I've noticed several readers have voiced their displeasure over the program. I was talking with one of my WWE sources yesterday and they commented about Sheamus is one of Triple H's guys who he sees carrying the company at the top. My source and I don't see it and understand Sheamus isn't terrible but he also doesn't have the same "feel" as someone like John Cena, CM Punk or Randy Orton. WWE is sticking with it because these are two stars tapped to fill the main event void in the company.
How long do you think it will be until Triple H and Stephanie McMahon full takeover for Vince McMahon in running WWE?
Vince McMahon turns 67-years-old today (Friday, August 24th) and he's not slowing down. Vince has given Triple H more power with Stephanie running creative but at the end of the day, he makes the final call on everything. Vince McMahon is "hands on" and is a workaholic that hardly sleeps. I honestly do not believe Vince is the type of guy that can just "retire" and his tenure will end either when he dies or can no longer physically or mentally perform the duties necessary to run WWE's day-to-day operations. However, with Vince closing in on 70, he's been smart enough to make changes so if something would happen to him the company will continue,.
Do you feel the increasingly obvious failure of the Tensai gimmick is the fault of the WWE or Matt Bloom?
The catch-all scapegoat is to blame a gimmick's failure on WWE creative but I don't think it's that easy. Tensai just didn't work. Matt Bloom is a veteran in the business with a unique look that had great success overseas in Japan. However, at the end of the day, the fans didn't buy Tensai as a main eventer and haven't really bought into the character at all. This is the business were in and some have success while others do not. It comes down to being over and the fans haven't connected with the gimmick.
With Ryback still going up against mid card talent and jobbers, how long if ever, until he's main eventing or at least going against main event talent?
Vince McMahon loves the Ryback character but it's almost as if he's on an island by himself at times. The response from the WWE audience has been better than that of Tensai but I'm not sure it's drawn a real connection either. When Goldberg had success mowing through enhancement talent in WCW, the fans bought it. The fans still remember Goldberg and haven't done the same for Ryback. There's probably a feeling of putting him in the main event too soon could be disastrous and they need to give the gimmick time to evolve. With that being said I do not know of any time frame other than Vince would probably push him in the main event tomorrow if there weren't people in the company advising him otherwise.