Huge Names Confirmed For 1000th Raw, WWE Signs Well-Known Indy Talent, Proof Randy Orton’s Stock Has Plummeted & What Vince McMahon Did To Send A Message On WWE TV, The Rock’s WWE Return Revealed, Identity Of The Anonymous Raw GM, Mysterio’s Return Set, Kharma Gone From WWE, Batista Says He’s Not Returning This Year, WWE Gets Sheen’d, CM Punk Puts Over Top TNA Talent, New TNA Champion; Backstage News On How Aries Flourished In The Eyes Of Management, Ask WNW Archive & All The Big News From This Past Week

Ask WNW

Is the way AJ Lee is being used the new way of pushing Divas in WWE? Helping to expand story lines rather than wrestling.

It’s funny because the last two Divas to get over, Eve Torres and AJ Lee, have done so assisting in main event angles and not by performing in the ring. I don’t know if it’s necessarily the “new way” as using female talent in top angles isn’t really anything new. AJ’s success certainly helps her standing in the company as I heard Vince McMahon was pushing for her to get a run with the Divas Championship down the road. AJ’s work has been fantastic and it’s great to see talented people get opportunities to shine on television.

What does WWE look for when signing female talent? It seems like all that matters is looks but is anything else important?

There are many factors that go into hiring talent but it would be foolish for me to try and tell you that looks are not a substantial factor in the hiring of Divas. Divas like Kelly Kelly and Alicia Fox were brought in as models and trained to be wrestlers. There are other factors that can influence WWE, as we’ve seen with Divas like Beth Phoenix and Kharma, but looks certainly matter. However, this just isn’t the case for females. WWE doesn’t hire male talent based solely on looks or work as there are a myriad of factors that are evaluated before a contract is offered. The most important factor in hiring anyone is – will this person draw?

What are the plans for the WWE Network?

There isn’t much new to report about the WWE Network. The reports currently circulating the Internet are things we wrote about months ago, so these other publications are either just finding out or are rehashing old material. Different models are being considered but the delay has to do with lack of clearance on cable and satellite systems. WWE has remained mum on the issue because they feel the more they talk about it, the more it hinders negotiations.

Why did WWE book Heath Slater over Doink on last week’s Raw Supershow as he has just been getting battered by everyone a week before this?

If there is a Legend out there that’s not going to be hurt by a loss, it’s probably Doink the Clown. Diamond Dallas Page told some publications he was returning on Raw Supershow last week so perhaps the company booked Doink vs. Slater to try and swerve. Regardless, it doesn’t really matter as the status of Heath Slater has not changed.

Could you ever see The Boogeyman returning to a WWE ring?

With The Boogeyman announcing his return to pro wrestling, many readers have emailed in with this question. I’m sure Marty Wright would welcome the opportunity to return to WWE but I don’t see there being a lot of immediate interest due to his age. Wright will turn 48-years-old next week.

Are CM Punk and Beth Phoenix still together?

I can’t believe I chose a question about CM Punk’s love life but he’s being hanging out with Lita again. Given the public nature of their relationship the first time around, if I had to guess, that is his current love interest. I’ve said too much already.

What are your thoughts on Hornswoggle being the General Manager of Raw this whole time?

To quote one of my favorite bloggers (who was writing on an entire different topic, on a completely different subject, here for those interested), the move was “unimaginative, lazy, cheap, and likely for the wrong reasons.” I was appalled at the decision to reveal Hornswoggle as the Anonymous Raw General Manager and it is moves like this that give me a complete lack of confidence not only in the WWE creative team but in Vince McMahon in general. Obviously they tried to get some comedy out of a past angle but the Anonymous Raw General Manager gimmick was far too big to be lightly brushed off with Hornswoggle. The entire gimmick was horrifying from square one, completely defying logic at every turn, only for them to put the ultimate “crap stamp” on it on Raw Supershow. Rest assure, WWE will not have a lack of content for their “Are They Serious?” Web show any time soon.

Is it possible that Doink worked against Heath Slater because DDP cannot risk wrestling a match due to his injury that ended his career?

Diamond Dallas Page said that John Laurinaitis called him, told him about Heath Slater’s match with Doink and asked if he would be interested in coming back to hit the Diamond Cutter. He was never asked to wrestle and Vince McMahon wanted to use it as a message to Randy Orton. Learn more about that at this link.

How about bringing Jillian Hall back to beat Heath Slater?

With Jillian Hall saying she’s annoyed by Heath Slater’s “ripoff,” the stage is set. The “battle of the horrible gimmicks,” perhaps at SummerSlam? This is a funny question but I wasn’t a fan of Jillian’s “singer” gimmick and am not a fan of Slater’s gimmick. The good news for Heath is he is he is getting on television, the bad news is he’s being booked in a gimmick that could be damaging to his future in the business.

Now that Hornswoggle has been revealed to be the Anonymous Raw General Manager does that technically make him a heel or will they just ignore it?

I do not see a follow-up to Hornswoggle being revealed as the Anonymous Raw General Manager as the company lightly brushed over it for a brief comedy segment on this week’s Raw Supershow. If you’re expecting a big push for Hornswoggle on WWE television, I’m afraid you’re going to be disappointed. WWE officials like him for his appeal to their younger audience with comedy relief but nothing more.

Are there any surprise appearances scheduled for the 1000th episode of Raw on July 23, 2012?

We’ve received tons of questions from readers asking about everyone from The Undertaker to Goldberg but as of this writing I am unable to confirm anyone that has not already been officially announced and advertised for the 1000th episode of Raw. Do I expect a surprise or two? It’s possible but the show is loaded with The Rock, D-Generation X, Brock Lesnar, Bret Hart and Mick Foley all confirmed to appear.

Why is it that we never hear about the Divas failing a Wellness Test? Are they tested, and if so, do they go through as much as the male WWE Superstars go through, when being tested?

All talent under performer’s contracts, including referees, are subject to WWE Wellness Testing. Since the company began announcing violations on November 1, 2007, a Diva has never posted a violation. The females are monitored during testing as the males, however, given the way Rey Mysterio’s latest failure was handled, I have serious questions regarding the validity of the policy. You can stay updated with all suspensions here on our WWE Suspensions page.

Do you believe TNA put the TNA Championship on Austin Aries as a show of confidence in him or to prevent him from leaving once his contract is up?

Austin Aries re-signed with TNA Wrestling in May despite interest from WWE and while one could assume his title reign was a reward based on loyalty, I’m under the impression it was a result of Hulk Hogan being high up on him. On Tuesday, I reported a backstage story about how a “friendly argument” between Hogan and Bruce Prichard ultimately ended with Aries as champion. You can read that story at this link. If you are not yet a Premium Member, you can sign-up now at this link.

If Ric Flair does return to WWE, I think he would be the ideal person to take Dolph Zigger to the next level with a major title run. What do you think?

I am high up on Dolph Ziggler and feel he’s ready for a shot as a top talent, however, I’m not sure I understand your argument about Ric Flair. Do you think he could serve as a manager for Ziggler? At any rate, we’re getting ahead of ourselves as any hope Flair had of quickly defecting from TNA to WWE was killed with TNA’s lawsuit. I could see a strong argument being made for Ziggler going over in the World Heavyweight Championship Money in the Bank ladder match at the pay-per-view on Sunday.

When do you think that The Undertaker will retire?

Many speculated this year’s match against Triple H at Wrestlemania XXVIII with The Undertaker going 20-0 would be his last, however, Undertaker felt great after the match and reportedly has more left in the tank. I’ve even heard there has been talk of him working before Wrestlemania XXIX next year. We’ll see what happens but it wouldn’t be wise to begin projecting Undertaker’s retirement.

What are your thoughts on the revamped WWE NXT? Wrestlers like Seth Rollins and Richie Steamboat definitely have what it takes to be big stars, but I’m not sure NXT provides the right platform for them to get over.

The revamped version of WWE NXT seems to be win-win and I wish there was wider television clearance for the series in the United States. Not only does it give WWE developmental talents the opportunity to participate on a platform featuring upgraded production, the international TV deals allow them to make more money. You weren’t specific in your criticism so I can only guess why you feel it doesn’t provide talent like Seth Rollins and Richie Steamboat the right platform to get over but I disagree and think it provides a perfect “step-up” to main WWE programming.

I was wondering about your thoughts on the WWE Network. Oprah’s network is basically hemorrhaging money at this point. Isn’t Vince McMahon and the rest of WWE upper management worried the same could occur with them?

Vince McMahon addressed the failure of the Oprah Network when talking about the WWE Network in a conference call with investors in November 2011. McMahon called the Oprah Network a “miserable failure” and said that it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the Oprah Network didn’t capitalize on what Oprah does best. Vince argued they tried to brand the Oprah name without featuring Oprah. He said WWE was going to do the opposite and would be “extraordinary successful.” Despite Vince’s calculated optimism, there are many in the company asking questions much like yours. As for my thoughts, the WWE Network is a huge risk and I’m not seeing a lot of upside. Sure, I’d like to see a network launched with all WWE programming and quite possibly carrying most of the pay-per-views, however, the fact they’ve struggled to gain clearance  shows just how difficult it’s going to be just to get it launched.

What’s the latest with Batista?

Batista has been in the news today for a few reasons. First of all, he’ll appear in “The Man With The Iron Fist” that is set to hit theaters on November 2, 2012 and he’s been doing media to promote it. Brooks Oglesby reported that Batista will make his MMA debut on October 6, 2012 and I noted here that Batista says he will definitely not be returning to WWE this year.

When is Kharma returning to WWE?

Kharma’s WWE status was called into question this week when her Twitter profile was moved to WWE’s alumni list (story here). Reports have surfaced WWE was planning on releasing her, however, I am unable to confirm those reports as of this writing.

With Charlie Sheen reportedly shutting down his Twitter account what will happen with his role as the Social Media Ambassador for the 1000th episode of Raw?

WWE has a situation on their hands as they sent out a press release late last month that Charlie Sheen would be Tweeting about the 1000th Raw from his Twitter account on July 23rd. If Sheen shuts his account down, there is obviously going to be a gap that is going to need filled. I can’t help but find it humorous that Charlie Sheen went all “Charlie Sheen” on WWE. No matter what, he’s #winning.

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