Given Vince McMahon's paranoia, were you surprised that Big Show actually turned heel as expected and helped John Laurinaitis beat John Cena?
The scenario of Big Show "helping" John Laurinaitis after getting "fired" on last Monday's Raw Supershow was so obvious I looked for a swerve to take place to avoid it. The fact of the matter is WWE booked themselves into a corner and if they wanted Show to be any sort of surprise, they shouldn't have announced the stipulation they announced for the match. While the stip read, If Laurinaitis loses, he will be "fired." No WWE Superstar or Diva allowed at ringside, if a Superstar or Diva interferes, he/she will be "fired." When it should have read, Big Show is going to make sure Johnny goes over. I would have had a big problem with last night's show had it not been for a very good undercard. Be sure and check out Richard Reacts to WWE Over the Limit which will be available on Richard's Backstage Blog later today.
Who was the bigger draw - Steve Austin or Hulk Hogan?
These types of questions are nearly impossible to answer because strong cases can be made for both Steve Austin and Hulk Hogan. Given the fact Hogan played a key role in the pro wrestling boom in the 80s as well as the boom of the 90s, I label Hogan as the most influential person in the history of the wrestling business. While we can all question Hogan's sanity today (and probably then too), he legitimized pro wrestling more than anyone before. Steve Austin flourished at a different time when programming was very edgy, however, had it not been for Hogan who knows if there would have been a platform for Austin. Both were tremendous draws and made a ton of money not only for themselves but for everyone around them.
Do you have any news on the current status of John Morrison ? Is there any chance he'll be coming back to WWE soon?
There seems to be plenty of interest in John Morrison as TNA reportedly still wants him and Melina and it's not entirely out of the question that he returns to WWE some time down the road. I heard Morrison recently said he could see himself returning to WWE in another year although there are a lot of things that would need to happen for that to become a reality.
Does John Laurinaitis have any authority as the General Manager?
The General Manager role is a storyline position that possesses no backstage authority. Laurinaitis is the Executive Vice President of Talent Relations in real life so he does have considerable influence and stroke in the company. I guarantee a lot of the boys were enjoying his beatdown from John Cena last night as he's never been very popular.
What's the latest update on Ric Flair?
Yesterday morning I reported exclusively here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium that Ric Flair has been trying to negotiate his release from his TNA contract in order to return to WWE. The word is that Triple H would like to hire him in a role within their developmental system. Flair is looking for a way to get back to WWE so he can keep a closer eye on his daughter Ashley that is nearing a developmental contract with the company. I know there are other reports out there that suggest Flair is basically getting fired from TNA because of behavioral issues but these reports are unfounded. TNA knew what they were getting with Flair and were willing to put up with his antics in order to use him for his name recognition. I wouldn't be surprised if TNA put the story out there in order to try and save face from losing Flair to WWE.
If WWE re-signed Big Show on Saturday then shouldn't both he and John Laurinaitis both be "fired" given the stipulation to John Cena vs. Laurinaitis at Over the Limit?
WWE made a big mistake on last night's Raw Supershow when Laurinaitis announced that he re-signed Big Show on Saturday and gave him a huge bonus. WWE tried to correct by clarifying on commentary that Show had agreed in principle on Saturday, however, that made no sense given the fact Show was attacking Laurinaitis at the pay-per-view until Laurinaitis whispered something in his ear. I haven't heard if Johnny miss-spoke or if he was scripted to say that but it was clearly a monumental error that was made on live television.
It seems the finish to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan at WWE Over the Limit didn't go off as it should. I would assume the plan was to have Punk tap as soon as the hand was going down for the 3 not after. Do you think this was a botch spot? Seems like it would make sense to tap before the three in order for Bryan getting a rematch to make sense
The finish to CM Punk vs. Daniel Bryan was a planned spot. WWE wanted to make it look like Bryan actually won the match to keep the feud going. We could be in for a treat as the match is on the booking sheets for live events throughout the summer so Sunday's stellar match at Over the Limit could be the start of a very memorable program.
Why does WWE try to act like Abraham Washington, Skip Sheffield, and A-Train never existed before now? They say Ryback and Tensai were in WWE before but why not actually talk about what they've done? Makes WWE seem very unrealistic.
Your question actually contradicts itself as it claims WWE acts like these workers don't exist then mentions the company has acknowledged their past. At any rate WWE doesn't want to harp on how these workers used to be used because they have undergone gimmick makeovers (extreme ones when looking at Ryback and Tensai) where there are bigger plans for them. Ryback was basically an extra in the Nexus, playing second-fiddle to people like Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan. WWE is trying to push him as the next Goldberg. The company has been focused on a main event run for Tensai although it hasn't been going very well, they didn't want to highlight him as the guy that needed to shave his back.
Have you ever written for WWE or have you ever considered doing it?
While many feel WWE would never hire an internet writer to their creative team, it's been done before as the company recently hired former Baltimore Sun writer Kevin Eck. While Eck wasn't a reporter that broke news, he did blog frequently on the company and was honest in his assessments. I also had some friends that wrote with me back in the early-2000s that went on to work in the WWE creative department so while WWE may frown upon me in my current position I guess it's not out of the realm of possibilities that they'd be interested in me. With that being said I haven't worked for WWE and it would not be something I would be interested in. My position here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com allows me to cover the business on my own terms without having to abide by anyone else's guidelines. I would also have a problem with the company's travel schedule as I wouldn't want to be on the road all the time away from my family.
Christian returned to WWE on Sunday at Over The Limit to win the Intercontinental Championship, a mid-card title. Is this seen as somewhat of a demotion or is Christian still considered a main-event talent?
Christian has had to scratch and claw for his position in WWE but he's currently viewed as an upper mid-card talent. While he's working as a face after his return at the pay-per-view on Sunday, I feel his best work is as a heel. Christian's spot as Intercontinental Champion is certainly a demotion from competing for the World Heavyweight Championship, however, I'm sure guys like The Miz would love to have his spot.
I love the idea of Raw expanding to three hours but based on the opinions I've seen around the internet, I'm in the minority. Why do you think this is and what are your thoughts?
The recent quality of programming certainly plays a factor in the lack of enthusiasm from the fan base regarding Raw Supershow's expansion to three hours. While there have been some shades of brilliance, many of the shows have been like "pulling teeth" at times. In order for WWE to be successful with their expansion, they are going to have to present something that is going to make fans want to tune in a full three hours. From an internal standpoint, the writers are dreading it because of how chaotic the tapings already are with two hours of live television. While I discussed my thoughts in detail in yesterday's WNW Premium Mailbag, I'm not looking forward to the expansion more than anyone else. WWE is better off leaving the fans "wanting more" and that's going to be very hard to accomplish.
What is your personal opinion on TNA hiring Brooke Hogan?
The hiring of Brooke Hogan as an executive in TNA Wrestling is clearly the result of Hulk Hogan flexing his muscle to give Brooke something to do. I disagree with it and think it's absolutely ridiculous. Brooke is not a wrestler and is in no position to be in charge of anyone. Moves like this do nothing but hurt locker room morale and cause resentment for upper management. One reader tried to compare the hiring of Brooke Hogan to Shane and Stephanie McMahon working in WWE and while there are similarities, the McMahon kids had to work their way up before they were ever in charge of anything. If Hulk absolutely had to employee his daughter, he could have eased her along in a role where she wasn't labeled an "executive" out of the gate. What's next, letting Nick run talent relations?
When will Rey Mysterio return?
Given his 60-day suspension from WWE due to his second Wellness Policy violation, Rey Mysterio isn't eligible to return to the company until the latter part of next month. I heard the company is working to extend his contract based on dates he's missed from his recent knee injury but we're still a month away from a possible return due to the suspension.
What are your thoughts on WWE possibly signing Alex Shelley?
Interest in Alex Shelley literally materialized over the weekend. If he does sign with WWE, he'll have a lot of work to do. Shelley is a great in-ring performer but will have to fight in order to prevent from getting buried on WWE television as we all know it's an uphill climb for TNA stars with Vince McMahon. I posted a new update earlier this morning that gives more details surrounding his TNA departure, interest from WWE and another name that looks to be following him. You can read it at this link.
Out of curiosity, since WWE is gonna wait until a TV deal is made on the new season of NXT, how close are they to getting a deal through? Will it be sooner rather than later? And any possibility of it being on Syfy, USA Network, G4, or any other NBC/Comcast owned network?
Vince McMahon has said for several months there are already deals out there to air both WWE NXT and WWE Superstars domestically and while nothing has been announced, it seems like it's a situation where the company is working out formalities. Given McMahon's rhetoric, it certainly seems it will be sooner than later when we see the revamped WWE NXT.
Do you feel Randy Orton is under utilized in WWE?
Randy Orton is viewed as number two behind John Cena as the "faces of WWE" but I haven't been a fan of the way he's been book lately. More specifically, I didn't like WWE putting him under to Kane at Wrestlemania.
What are your thoughts on the Chris Jericho/flag incident? I myself can't help but think that there is at least a slight work involved considering he does start touring with Fozzy again in a matter of days?
I'm just learning the details about the flag incident in Brazil involving Chris Jericho but from the information I have obtained so far, it appears fairly legitimate. Obviously in this business you can never rule out the possibility of it being a work, especially given the lengths WWE has went in trying to prove that Chris isn't leaving (check out this video on dot com). What makes me think the incident is a shoot is the fact that Jericho's match was stopped midway through, not in the beginning or end. I find it hard to believe WWE would want to kill the momentum of the show's main event (which was inevitable) had it not been a serious issue. I will post more details when/if they become available.
Do you see CM Punk/Daniel Bryan as potentially as big of a rivalry as Shawn Michaels/Bret Hart? I think if handled correctly, this could go on for years.
When WWE began to feud CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, I know we were in for a treat. On Sunday, we witnessed one of the best matches we have seen in a WWE ring in years, as they clearly didn't disappoint. While the work between Punk and Bryan has the potential to go on for an extended period of time, a new name has emerged in the program. Based on information I have obtained, that I will be detailing later today, it appears any hope of an extended singles-only feud has been derailed for the time being. Punk and Bryan are top guys in WWE and after building Ring of Honor they are now on to carrying the main event in WWE.
What has happened to stables in WWE?
We get a lot of questions from readers that are curious about stables in WWE. While stables have the potential to greatly help the product, they can also become overdone and get stale very quickly. The right opportunity needs to arise before a stable can be created and then it has a limited timeframe to get over with the audience. One of the things I hate about what happened with the nWo, DeGeneration X or even the Nexus is they were pushed beyond that timeframe. As a result, some of the luster wore off and they became a shadow of what they once were.
What are your thoughts on TNA suing WWE over contract tampering?
TNA is trying to protect their business but fighting WWE in court is a losing battle. WWE has more money and resources and they can outspend TNA just for the sake of outspending them. The money and resources that will be used to fight this battle could probably be better used trying to better their product. While TNA may have a case, WWE’s lawyers can tie this thing up in court for years before any type of settlement is awarded.