Is there any truth to the rumors about Randy Orton refusing to put over younger talent?
A lot has been said/written about Randy Orton and just like most top stars, a lot of it is conjecture started by people out of jealousy or personal resentment. Orton has a lot of stroke and while the feeling is he doesn't have the pull he once had, he continues to be booked in a top role and will be starring in a new WWE Studios production. His match against Dolph Ziggler at Night of Champions was well done and they seem to be focused on getting Orton back in the World Heavyweight Championship picture.
What are your thoughts on the WWE Night of Champions main event?
I'll give you my personal reaction twenty minutes into the match; John Cena and CM Punk killed it. Last night's main event was an outstanding bout that had the crowd into every near fall. I'm not sure the outcome worked with it appearing Cena had gone over only for the referee to announce both workers had their shoulders on the mat. The company obviously wanted to setup a rematch (probably at Hell in a Cell) and help get heat on CM Punk in Cena's hometown. Had Cena gone over people would have been complaining about super Cena but there are some down on Punk's extended reign. There is no pleasing everyone but I enjoyed the Night of Champions main event.
I heard WWE is removing footage from the Attitude Era due to attacks on Linda McMahon's Senate run? Is this true?
WWE announced Thursday they are removing some dated and edgier footage from digital platforms due to the misuse in political environments. I, along with most of you, am completely outraged over it. Why can't Linda McMahon just "own it" and explain the difference between entertainment and real-life? Politicians in this country will do/say anything to get elected. It's so frustrating WWE is erasing important parts of their history in hopes of getting Linda McMahon in the US Senate.
Do you see Steve Austin vs. CM Punk or The Rock vs. CM Punk happening in the near future?
If you would have asked this question a few years ago I would have said absolutely not but things have changed. Starting with The Rock vs. Punk, there has been a lot of talk about this being the title match for Royal Rumble. Obviously it's contingent on Punk having the title into the Rumble but it's a very real possibility. As for Austin vs. Punk, this is a match WWE would like to do at Wrestlemania but it's contingent on Austin's desire and health.
With Randy Orton filming the 12 Rounds: Reloaded, does that mean he won't be appearing on television or getting a title shot soon?
Randy Orton will begin work for 12 Rounds: Reloaded on Wednesday as they'll be doing stunt rehearsals, table reads and wardrobe. WWE could always alter the schedule where they film on days after TVs so it's possible they could keep him on TV (as they've done with John Cena in the past). We initially heard Orton would be wrapping up storylines to film the movie (and go on hiatus like The Miz and David Otunga have done recently) but he's continued to work. As of this writing, Orton isn't officially advertised for upcoming episodes of Raw but is advertised for upcoming Smackdown tapings.
What is John Layfield's contract status with WWE. Has he signed a Legend's contract?
JBL has not signed a new WWE contract to the best of my knowledge. From what I understand, he's working on a handshake deal to partially fill-in for Jerry Lawler. JBL had been trying to return to WWE for the past couple months so when he was asked to fill-in for Lawler, he jumped at the opportunity. John is off to Africa on Friday where he will attempt to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to raise money for charity so he's not expected to work TVs next week.
John Cena said after Extreme Rules he was going to go home and take some time off after beating Brock Lesnar but he never ended up doing so. Why?
John Cena was planning to take time off after Wrestlemania XXVIII but agreed to stay on to work with Brock Lesnar at Extreme Rules. He was then planning on taking some time off to let his body heal and get some rest (hence the aforementioned post-Extreme Rules promo). When he had personal issues with his divorce, Cena decided he wanted to stay on the road to keep his mind on work and off his personal life. As we reported here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com Premium, this is why WWE programmed Cena in a program with John Laurinaitis so it would't be as physically demanding. Many in WWE were concerned about Cena burning out but he has enough influence to do what he wants.
What is Vince McMahon's relationship with The Undertaker?
Given the fact The Undertaker has made Vince a tremendous amount of money over the years and vice versa, I would say their relationship is very good. Neither are "warm and fuzzy" people that are going to sit around and hug about it but they've had a prosperous working relationship that has benefited them both.
Why has Big Show been off television?
As noted here on Richard's Backstage Blog, Big Show is not injured and is out on requested time off. He was on WWE's overseas tour of Australia earlier this month and should be back shortly.
Is the news of John Cena's surgery legitimate?
We were actually blindsided with the news of John Cena's having surgery given the fact we were told the plan was (and apparently still is) to do Cena vs. CM Punk again at Hell in a Cell. The surgery took place Tuesday in Alabama but we are still gathering more information as this seemingly came "out of the blue." I posted an article earlier featuring quotes from Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery. You can read it at this link.
Is Dolph Ziggler's Money in the Bank briefcase limited to the World Heavyweight Championship?
Yes, the way they did the Money in the Bank ladder matches, one briefcase was for the WWE Championship (won by John Cena) with the other being for the World Heavyweight Championship (won by Dolph Ziggler). There has been a lot of talk of Ziggler "cashing in" so with every show, especially every pay-per-view, I wait for it to happen but so far it has not.
With CM Punk's heel turn not seeming to work, do you see WWE making him babyface?
CM Punk's heel turn is working. While his fans are always going to be his fans, he's over as a heel and I laugh every time I see a critical comment come through regarding Punk's attitude. Punk is a genius and is doing exactly what was intended to happen with his character. If you're annoyed by Punk, you've been worked.
Is there any new news on Evan Bourne? How he's doing and return?
Evan Bourne continues to work hard training and undergo physical therapy for his seriously injured foot. He regularly provides updates on his status on his official Twitter account at this link. Bourne's injury is severe in nature and there is no timetable currently available for his return to WWE.
Do the General Managers for Raw and/or Smackdown have any real responsibilities?
No, the General Manager roles are 100% storyline. Everything they do/say is pre-planned by the writers and producers and their only role is to play the character just as an actor would in a movie.
Does the fact WWE refuses to turn John Cena heel limit where they can go in terms or writing storylines. After all one of the best angles in wrestling history was the heel turn of Hulk Hogan.
I, along with most readers, would encourage an all-out heel turn for John Cena for much-needed character progression. WWE won't do it because he's the company's top draw and Vince McMahon remains pleased with the merchandise he moves. The mentality is if it isn't broke why fix it? I agree there would be a way to turn Cena to perhaps top the turn of Hogan but it's up to WWE creative and ultimately Vince McMahon.
With growing concerns from WWE talent about the pay and compensation they are receiving; can you see a union for professional wrestlers forming in the future?
We get questions from time-to-time about a pro wrestling union with the issue really being brought the the forefront after the Benoit tragedy, however, I don’t see how it would be possible. Performer’s contracts in WWE are signed as independent contractor agreements, where the workers agree they are not classified as employees even though the company stipulates very specifically when and where they can work. Former workers have challenged the contracts in court, however, they are iron clad in terms of validity and enforcement.
Is there still major heat on Evan Bourne relating to his two WWE Wellness Policy in close succession or has the length of his injury basically made it forgotten?
Did Evan Bourne's career-threatening foot injury save his career? No one will know for sure but Bourne had nuclear backstage heat following his second WWE Wellness Policy violation on January 17, 2012 for smoking synthetic marijuana. Everyone I spoke with felt like Bourne's WWE career was over and he wouldn't be brought back. Once his 60-day suspension was up he was involved in a car accident that mangled his foot and the focus shifted on his health over his "Wellness."
I've been waiting every week for the debut of Dean Ambrose. I read the creative team was working on a storyline for him. Any news on when we can be seeing him on Raw or Smackdown?
I have been writing for what feels like months the main roster debut of Dean Ambrose is imminent yet it still hasn't happen. At the rate things change in WWE, if this isn't proof enough, it's extremely difficult to give you an exact date. Dean Ambrose worked a dark match against Kofi Kingston prior to this week's Smackdown television tapings and is still preparing for his debut.
What does it mean when it's written Vince McMahon is standing in Gorilla?
Gorilla is the term used for the position just before the entrance curtain at WWE TVs and PPVs where Vince McMahon remains with a headset and runs the show. The name comes from the late Gorilla Monsoon who stood in the position late in his career.
How is Vince McMahon’s real-life persona in relation to the Mr. McMahon character played on WWE television?
Mr. McMahon, like most successful gimmicks, is Vince’s real-life persona “turned all the way up.” Vince is a very intimidating guy but perhaps the biggest difference between him and his on-air character is that Mr. McMahon comes off as very unapproachable. While Vince has the final say on everything in WWE, he’s willing to meet with talent (especially workers he feels have the potential to become top guys) when they have ideas or want to discuss their characters. Chris Jericho makes note of this in his latest “Undisputed” autobiography when he was trying to get his first break in WWE. For those that want a detailed prospective of how things function backstage, I recommend both of Chris Jericho’s books and Bret Hart’s book.