WWE Scouting Indies, Sting A Bigger Draw Than Styles, The Shield Breakup, Paul Heyman’s Status

With Triple H focusing on growing talent through the new WWE Performance Center, does this mean we will see an end to WWE signing ROH talent, despite success with Daniel Bryan, CM Punk and Sami Zayn?

No, quite the opposite in fact. WWE is as active as I can ever remember in scouting the independent scene for talent. The WWE Performance Center is still not up and running at 100% capacity and they’re pushing for that towards the end of the year. Triple H wants more bodies training in their 7 rings and the company is actively looking. There is currently a 3-day tryout camp ongoing at the WWE Performance Center and we posted details about the next big indy name likely to sign at this link. The process is still as follows – 1) Workers are scouted 2) Workers are signed pending a physical 3) Once signed, workers are assigned to the WWE Performance Center 4) Workers are seasoned and called up when ready.

Why would WWE offer Sting a contract instead of AJ Styles? Sting said the last time he had negotiations with WWE was two years ago. Surely the same amount of today’s WWE audience who knows who Sting is the same amount who knows AJ Styles.

This is a completely hypothetical situation at this time because WWE is not free to negotiate with neither Sting nor AJ Styles until their current contracts are up with TNA Wrestling. Styles is down to “days” left on his deal but I’m still unclear on the exact expiration of Sting’s contract. Back to your question, I can’t begin to explain the WWE reasoning to everything but I will argue Sting is a bigger draw than AJ Styles. While Styles is portrayed as “big deal” in TNA Wrestling, he’s virtually unknown everywhere else. Sting has been in the business for decades and is an established household name despite not working for Vince McMahon and WWE. A lot of readers get confused about the size of TNA because we cover the news together. TNA is a much smaller promotion than WWE or WCW was back in the 90s. Just because a worker is prominently featured on their programming does not mean the rest of the world knows who they are.

It seems inevitable The Shield will breakup soon but do you think they should? I say if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.

Steve Austin and Chris Jericho recently had a discussion about tag team wrestling on the new “Talk is Jericho” podcast. In it, Steve Austin made a good point about how there are certain guys designed to be tag team wrestlers. Jericho talked about how Marty Jannetty and Jim Neidhart were unable to achieve the same level of success of their respective partners (Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart). The reason I mention this is there are some guys better suited for a career as tag team performer. I do not feel this is the case for the members of The Shield faction. Two out of the three (Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose) have already been featured prominently as singles competitors (albeit outside of WWE) and flourished. Roman Reigns, whose stock has surged over the past year, is being thrown around in “future WWE Champion” discussions. Back to the question, I feel like it’s too soon to blowup the faction and I hope if WWE does indeed go forward with splitting them up, it’s done over the course of time. The subtle teases lately are a nice touch but it would be a mistake to hotshot it and end up doing irreparable damage.

Do you have any idea of Paul Heyman’s current status with WWE?

I’m told there are plans for Paul Heyman to return to WWE television and that it’s just a matter of time before it happens. My source says Heyman has been more involved behind-the-scenes than Triple H would like people to believe but his official title is still as an on-screen talent.

From the Ask WNW vault…

February 2012: With all the risks that the WWE Network could be a failure, is it going to be a big blow to the WWE finances just like the XFL was? - Some people close to WWE feel that if the WWE Network fails it could be the one project that could land Vince McMahon in financial trouble. The XFL would have continued if it weren’t for problems with television clearance. While NBC nixed their coverage after the premiere season due to low ratings, the XFL still had clearances on UPN and TNN. However, UPN demanded that Smackdown be cut to 90 minutes if they were to going to continue broadcasting XFL games. Vince McMahon didn’t want to cut Smackdown and thus pulled the plug on the league. While the XFL under performed in the ratings, it wasn’t a big blow financially for WWE as it was financially solvent. What troubles a lot of people about the WWE Network is the lack of clearance gained. Company resources are being pooled together to create new original programming, however, the network hasn’t gained enough clearance to make its projected April 1, 2012 debut date. The idea was for WWE to begin promoting the launch of the network in hopes the fan response would be enough to gain support on both cable and satellite systems, but as of this writing, there are major questions about clearance.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, December 13, 2013.

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  • Mysterion

    Are these the same sources that were adamant we’d see Johnny Ace on screen again ?

    • Johnny Dig Bick

      Johnny Ace in yo’ face!

    • http://www.wrestlingnewsworld.com/ Richard Gray

      Different person but we did see Johnny Ace on screen again, albeit in a reduced role.

      • Mysterion

        To be fair, I got no issue with JA on screen in a reduced role. Less lines for him to fluff!!

  • jdl

    I’m looking forward to the eventual implosion of the Shield. If only because I expect the shine to wear off of Reigns almost immediately. Without Ambrose to serve as his mouthpiece and without Rollins to assist in making him look good, it will be interesting to see how Reigns functions. I expect him to get a push, and for his stock to plummet shortly thereafter as they realize that he is still green in the ring, and that he’s not particularly convincing with his promos. I don’t want that to happen, and I hope I’m wrong, but I could very easily see someone in management souring on him once they realize he’s not the full package.

    • Nostaljack

      I couldn’t possibly disagree more with you on the ring work (and no, I didn’t “neg” you – someone else did that…LOL!) While at first it seemed Reigns was in over his head, he’s shown unequivocally that he absolutely isn’t. He’s stepped up the challenge that faced him and he’s more than held his end of the bargain. Nobody is “propping him up” in any way. He’s standing on his own two feet. I will agree that we don’t yet know whether or not he can really talk on his own. My hope is that he’ll surprise us and get that together the way he’s gotten his ring work together.

    • Nostaljack

      I couldn’t possibly disagree more with you on the ring work (and no, I didn’t “neg” you – someone else did that…LOL!) While at first it seemed Reigns was in over his head, he’s shown unequivocally that he absolutely isn’t. He’s stepped up the challenge that faced him and he’s more than held his end of the bargain. Nobody is “propping him up” in any way. He’s standing on his own two feet. I will agree that we don’t yet know whether or not he can really talk on his own. My hope is that he’ll surprise us and get that together the way he’s gotten his ring work together.

      • jdl

        He has not stepped up to face the challenge, no one has ever stepped up to face the challenge of being a star while wrestling in a stable, especially when they’re a newbie. Whether it’s overt or not Ambrose and Rollins are doing most of the talking and the working respectively, while Reigns just emphasizes points during promos and spears things. THere is no way to know if he’s able to stand on his own two feet until he attempts it.

  • Austin

    I am actually not looking forward to the shield breaking up. These guys have been dominant and if they break up before Wrestlemania I feel like it’s too soon. While I do know they can’t last forever, I will be happy if the WWE drags the stable on for a while. Maybe they stay together until Money In the Bank where they are all in the same MITB match and that causes them to turn on each other. I think these guys each have their own unique skills. There is no weak link in this faction imo except for Rollins mic work. He does need to work on that. But you got Ambrose who is an amazing talker and he’s really good in the ring, you have Reigns who has the look and is pretty good in the ring but he could work on his mic skills and you have Rollins who is great in the ring. All 3 of these guys are going to be future champions and end up having amazing feuds with each other.

    • Ricky

      I think they need to stay a unit until after Wrestle Mania 30 maybe even MITB of next year, then you start to slowly break them apart.

    • Ricky

      I think they need to stay a unit until after Wrestle Mania 30 maybe even MITB of next year, then you start to slowly break them apart.

      • Matt Moore

        Thanks for the recap Ricky.

  • The Breaker

    I don’t think there’s any reason to break The Shield up any time soon. But when it does happen, it would be interesting for their conflict to link back to the group’s foundational philosophy of bringing justice to WWE. Maybe a situation arises and their individual views about justice cause a disagreement. I don’t know. It was a cool idea that they never really followed through on, so I’d like to see a return to that.

  • Jbreed

    The Shield has basically been the only reason to watch the WWE in the past year because in a bland, repetitive WWE The Shield has finally brought something different to the table. Anyway, we don’t know what to expect from The Shield members on their own. but we know what they are as a unit so I agree, if it’s broke don’t fix it.

  • Frisco

    I’m gonna say what everyone else is afraid too admit but deep down knows is true. Triple H’s obsessing with signing ROH guys will only further hurt the WWE in the long run as it has for the last couple of years. WWE from 05-10 were typically doing good ratings ranging from 3.7-4.3. Ever since guys like Punk, Bryan, Ryder, Ambrose starting getting pushed beginning in mid 2011 ratings have dipped and now they have trouble reaching a 3.0 most Mondays. Punk didn’t do a 3 the whole 434 days of his title reign. Most people are afraid to admit all that for fear of bullied by ROH fans on the net but I’m not.

    • Gary Robert

      ratings have nothing to do with who is holding a belt, imo. It has to do with creative and compelling story lines.

    • Gary Robert

      ratings have nothing to do with who is holding a belt, imo. It has to do with creative and compelling story lines.

      • Avalanchian

        Also what new shows are out. Hell when my sports teams are playing I’m watching the game because I don’t have friends text me saying OMG did you see what Cena did on Raw. Also for me got the How I Met Your Mother, Almost Human, Sleepy Hollow

      • Avalanchian

        Also what new shows are out. Hell when my sports teams are playing I’m watching the game because I don’t have friends text me saying OMG did you see what Cena did on Raw. Also for me got the How I Met Your Mother, Almost Human, Sleepy Hollow

    • Mysterion

      Am I missing when Zack Ryder was in ROH? Oh wait no, that never happened. And have you been to a live show recently? Or watched RAW? Punk and Bryan are far more over than Orton or Cena. As are The Shield, two members former indie stars, the Wyatt Gamily. Look, it’s sod all to do with ROH guys. It’s the crap awful writing, the repetitive crap and that god awful feeling we all get when somehow, someway we get forced and Orton Cena main event, again!

      • Frisco

        Punk & Beyan are more popular then Cena & Orton on Internet wrestling forums and that’s it.

        • GOR

          U must be blind, deaf or insane/irrational.
          Don’t u see/listen to the pop that Punk or Bryan get in any arena; especially the YES! chants. Cena n Ortan cant go anywhere near that.
          Ortan can be forgiven for being the heel. But, Cena who has been pushed down fans’ throat for d last 10 years consistantly & is always called face of the company always gets booed as much as cheered.
          If u want to blame the ratings on sm1, as “The Face of WWE” that’s ur no.1 guy !

          • Frisco

            Pop from who? The adult male virgins?

      • Frisco

        Punk & Beyan are more popular then Cena & Orton on Internet wrestling forums and that’s it.

    • Bob’s Diner

      When did Zack Ryder ever get a push? Not to mention he isn’t a former ROH guy. CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, 2/3 of the Shield and Antonio Ceasaro are all former indy workers and are currently the most popular wrestlers in WWE. Ratings are bad because the creative team are obviously not very good at their job and any potential good storyline gets ruined in favour of pushing the same people we’ve been seeing since 2005

      And for the record – I don’t watch ROH.

      • Frisco

        If they aren’t that popular, ratings have sucked since all these ROH guys have been added to the roster. If Punk is so popular then how come he never did over a 3.0 in ratings as champ? They put Punk with Cena, Bryan, Heyman, Rock and so on and still nowhere near a 3.0.

      • Frisco

        If they aren’t that popular, ratings have sucked since all these ROH guys have been added to the roster. If Punk is so popular then how come he never did over a 3.0 in ratings as champ? They put Punk with Cena, Bryan, Heyman, Rock and so on and still nowhere near a 3.0.

      • Frisco

        Don’t blame creative, they have nothing to do with Punk & Bryan not being able too draw well. That’s on the wrestlers not being very compelling.

        • Bob’s Diner

          Hey guess what? Your heroes Orton and Cena drew the worst raw rating of the year last week. This week they had their program derailed by chants for Daniel Bryan. The fans are itching for change – fans like you are now the minority

          • Frisco

            Punk’s title reign did worse then Miz’s title reign and was almost as bad as Diesel’s. maybe fans want change but they don’t want ROH rejects shoved down their throats either

  • Iffy

    The Shield breaking up will be just as good as the writing team WWE has when it happens.

  • K!NG

    Roman Reigns all!

  • Avalanchian

    Honestly they need to keep The Shield together longer. I wouldn’t even oppose that later one becomes WWE champion or possibly they expand The Shield a person or 2.

  • Smexy “JAY” Shuffle

    I like the tag team “The Shield” as they are but I wouldnt mind breaking Roman Reigns away from the faction and let him have his single career going! He has more then earned it and a future WWE Champion (or should I say unified world champion) indeed!!!

  • BIG M

    As much as his detractors like to say otherwise creative wise Paul Heyman is and always be the mad genius of pro wrestling.
    I wouldn’t mind not having him on TV if I knew he was on if not head of WWE’s writing team.
    While were at it put Colter on the writing team The Real American stuff might be nonsensical “slightly” racist crap put he still somehow manages to sell it on the mic and he does have some booking experience outside WWE lets see what he can come up with.

  • JJ

    Just like when someone Monday questioned about Reigns, I posted the amazing match between Reigns, Rollins, and Ambrose an AMAZING triple threat match.