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Ask WNW

I heard Christian wasn’t happy about appearing at TNA Slammiversary on Sunday. Is that true?

TNA and WWE worked out a deal that in exchange for letting Ric Flair (a contracted TNA worker) appear for WWE at the Hall of Fame Ceremony and Wrestlemania, WWE would let one of their contracted workers appear on TNA programming. I don’t know what the selection process was like but Christian ended up being decided upon and the deal was obviously in place prior to the lawsuit drama. I could see why Christian would be reluctant to appear, given how long it took him to force Vince McMahon to pay attention to him in the first place, but it’s not like he was forced to appear either.

Does Karen Jarrett have a point about Jeff Jarrett not being the first induction into the TNA Hall of Fame?

The TNA Hall of Fame is a work just like the WWE Hall of Fame. They are not legitimate places of glory (although being inducted is still an honor) but rather events that help promote pay-per-view buys and spark interest. From TNA’s standpoint, who draws more? – Jeff Jarrett or Sting? Jeff and his father did a great job in founding TNA and giving people another place to work but when he lost majority ownership, he also lost a lot of influence. He had hung on until recently but now things do not appear good with the political influence of Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff at an all-time high.

Given all of the recent injuries in WWE do you see the company going to a lighter schedule?

This comes up a lot because workers get injured a lot, however, I just don’t see how it’s possible. There is so much money on the line that working a lighter schedule would cause the company to make less money. Vince McMahon’s mentality is “next guy up” and that once someone is plugged into the WWE machine, they can become a huge draw. We can debate it all day long but the fact of the matter is there is simply too much money at stake.

What’s the latest on Matt Morgan? Could he still end up in WWE?

Matt Morgan is officially advertised for TNA live events this weekend in matches against Crimson on June 14th in Belton, Texas and June 16th in Houston, Texas. Morgan recently said his contract with TNA was up in October so it would appear he’s being used until then. As for him returning to WWE it’s possible and something Morgan recently said he would not rule out.

What is the status on Alex Shelley? Any news about him signing with WWE?

A judge has prevented WWE from hiring any worker that has been under TNA contract in the past sixty days through an injunction. This will prevent the company from signing either Alex Shelley or Ric Flair until it is lifted. TNA issued a statement on the ongoing litigation that you can read at this link.

What has happened to Mark Henry?

Mark Henry underwent shoulder surgery on May 15, 2012. He has provided a few updates in which he said he’s the “healthiest he’s been in 5 years” and told haters to “go to hell.” For all things Mark Henry, check out his news tab here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com.

What is your opinion on the recent “avalanche” of WWE? Several suspensions, injuries and poor booking.

There has been a lot of “tough luck” for WWE in the past couple of months that has caused the company to scramble for backup plans, which can at least be viewed as a factor in the poor booking. Injuries are part of the business and while we’ve seen some weird circumstances surrounding suspensions, it’s more the nature of the beast than anything else. My biggest reaction to the current “avalanche” is WWE is probably glad this is happening now and not during a more important time when competition is stiffer or Wrestlemania season is closer.

Do you have any updates on the return of Wade Barrett?

Wade Barrett has been quiet regarding the status of his dislocated elbow that required surgery. The initial report is he wouldn’t be back until closer to SummerSlam but given the aforementioned “avalanche,” some are wondering if he’ll be rushed back. At this point it’s anyone’s guess but it would not be wise to rush him back too soon. Barrett has been doing some acting as he had a small role in the new Colin Farrell film that WWE Studios is co-financing.

It seems like a lot of fans are comparing Ryback to Goldberg, however, just giving him two jobbers every week cannot prove his caliber. Why not feed him someone established like Kane or Big Show?

Goldberg was built by going over enhancement workers much in the same way WWE is trying to build Ryback. It wasn’t until he really got over that WCW began pushing him as a main eventer. WWE is certainly hopeful the same thing happens for Ryback but it’s not something that can be built overnight. The only way he’ll go over someone in the top of the card is if he’s clearly established as a top star. Things like this take time and I can’t imagine WWE officials being thrilled with the “Goldberg” chants.

When does Rey Mysterio’s suspension end and when can we expect to see him back on television?

Rey Mysterio was suspended on April 26, 2012 for 60 days so he’ll be eligible to return the week of June 25, 2012. Remember he’s also coming back from a knee injury so he has to be healthy before WWE is going to put him in a storyline.

Do you know if there are plans to have The Undertaker appear on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw next month?

I haven’t heard if there are plans for The Undertaker to appear on the 1000th episode of WWE Raw, however, I can tell you the company is hoping for a huge rating. The writers know the expectations are very high for the show and there will be surprise appearances. We should get a clearer picture as time gets closer as to who the surprise appearances will be. Not only is the show a milestone for WWE but the company will look to gain tremendous momentum with their new 3-hour timeslot.

I just don’t get it. WWE workers know they are subject to random Wellness Tests yet they take the chance and use banned substances.

If it were really just this cut and dry, it would be very simple. Don’t take this or a suspension will happen. The thing is it is much more complicated than this as workers can clear positive tests by producing valid prescriptions. There are substances that are banned outright but there are many others that can be cleared. Given the way WWE handled Rey Mysterio’s suspension – knowing he failed a Wellness test in February but still trying to get him back for Wrestlemania only to suspend him when they knew he couldn’t go because of injury – I have a lot of questions about the validity of the WWE Wellness Policy. While it’s clear things are cleaner than they were before the Wellness Policy, it’s more of a public relations thing than a legitimate testing system.

Big Show has mentioned in promos being “banned” from title fights and Vince McMahon himself said he hasn’t been relevant since 1999. Is there some kind of bad blood that has kept Show a mid carder all these years?

I found the lines you mentioned to be particularly interesting as Big Show was able to voice some frustration and Vince McMahon admitted his lackluster position in storyline. While that made for good television, Show’s position in WWE is nothing more than the right opportunity being available. Show has been a consistent upper mid-card talent but WWE hasn’t seen him as a “face of the company” they can build around as a long-term and credible champion. This latest storyline is the best he’s been booked in years and actually went to him when Tensai couldn’t get over to the level WWE officials wanted. I’m not aware of any bad blood that has caused Show’s mediocre to poor booking.

Are the workers that job to Ryback paid on a per show basis? What if they get injured?

WWE uses call-ins to put over Ryback so they don’t have to worry about burying one of their own stars in quick squashes to an unestablished talent. The call-ins are paid a fee for appearing and sign a waver, waving WWE of all responsibility if they are injured. While doing a job isn’t a desirable position, it is an opportunity for these indy guys to get on TV and get the attention of WWE officials.

Did Cody Rhodes really fail a Wellness Test? Is he suspended?

As I reported exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, Cody Rhodes failed a WWE Wellness Test but was able to provide valid documentation from a physician that nullified the suspension and strike. The reason he wasn’t on WWE TV this week is because he’s been in Turkey doing promo work for the company.

If WWE released Randy Orton, would he be able to help TNA?

Randy Orton to TNA would be a major acquisition for them, however, I’m not sure how much it would help. Given the fact TNA has pulled off some very impressive acquisitions with a strong roster, it’s clear talent isn’t the reason the company has been unable to compete with WWE. Consider the fact TNA has brought in legends like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair to join Sting and have been able to sign some other top names such as Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam to accompany homegrown names like Bobby Roode and AJ Styles, ratings haven’t improved all that much. Growth has happened but the company still hasn’t been competitive. Should Orton be released from WWE, I certainly look for TNA to make an offer but obviously this is completely hypothetical.

When will Kharma return to WWE?

Kharma has been training for her in-ring return to WWE. I haven’t heard what the planned return date for her is, however, I would consider it to be imminent. She hasn’t been in a WWE ring since her surprise appearance in the Royal Rumble and prior to that had not been seen on WWE television since May 2011.

I would like to know the status of Chris Jericho and exactly why he was suspended, have we or will we ever get the REAL story?

Chris Jericho was suspended for 30 days for denigrating the Brazilian flag, which is a crime in the country. I’m told WWE officials weren’t that upset over the incident and felt it was just Chris’ attempt to get cheap heat, however, they had to act with a disciplinary measure to save face. Not only is WWE a publicly traded company looking to stay away from negative publicity, Linda McMahon is running for Senate and is connected to anything the company does. There’s no bigger story to this than that.

Has a WWE offseason ever been considered and would it help to attract better talent?

Ideas of an offseason have been talked about by people outside of WWE but an offseason has not been seriously considered by Vince McMahon and company officials. While there would be benefits for the talent to get time off, there’s simply too much money on the line. I could analyze this question even more but the bottom-line is WWE makes too much money by holding shows year round.

What is your favorite book written by a wrestler?

It’s been awhile since I’ve talked books but my favorite wrestling book of all time is “Hitman” by Bret Hart. If you haven’t read it and want a detailed look at the wrestling business from in and out of the ring, pickup a copy. Both of Chris Jericho’s books are fun reads that are funny and entertaining. Hart’s book is a book that could be read more than once due to the detailed look it gives to the business.

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