WWE Training Talent Their Way, Big Wrestlemania XXX Feuds, Why Daniel Bryan Isn’t WWE Champion, NXT Call-Ups

You mentioned that WWE sees AJ Styles as a guy they’d have to start from scratch on. Would that be the same for guys like Samoa Joe or James Storm?

WWE wants to train their talent their way. That means that almost any talent, regardless of past success, has to go to the WWE Performance Center to get seasoned. It sounds ridiculous that someone like Samoa Joe or James Storm would need seasoned and they probably wouldn’t require much but that’s the way WWE does things. There are exceptions with stars that have previously worked for WWE and are coming back. Names like Christian and Rob Van Dam fall into this category. Jim Ross wrote he would consider Styles a long shot in WWE because WWE wants to create their own stars and those stars come from the WWE Performance Center. Again, signing Styles and sending him to developmental would be “starting from scratch.”

The overrun of this week’s Monday Night Raw seemed to lay the groundwork for CM Punk and Daniel Bryan to feud with Triple H and Shawn Michaels respectively, culminating at Wrestlemania. Is there any chance that happens?

I can tell you the matches Vince McMahon wants at Wrestlemania XXX are Daniel Bryan vs. Shawn Michaels and Triple H vs. John Cena. I’m not sure where that leaves CM Punk and obviously there is an issue whether or not Michaels will actually agree to a match. I agree the ground work is laid for the feuds you mentioned but we’ll have to wait and see how the storyline develops. I think it’s likely to see Triple H feuding with Vince McMahon for “control of WWE,” culminating at Wrestlemania but we’ll have to see 1) if that ‘s the direction they go and 2) what workers that involves.

Daniel Bryan is the most over superstar in the last several years. Never mind his hometown reaction, he gets that reaction everywhere. Clearly the fans want him as champ, yet why are they holding him back?

Daniel Bryan is more over than any worker on the WWE roster. You’re exactly right, he gets the response that he got on Monday night everywhere they go. As I like to say, he’s over like rover. I can’t tell you exactly why Daniel Bryan isn’t WWE Champion. A lot of people will write that Vince McMahon doesn’t see him as a big attraction but I’m not sure I believe that. Bryan is still working in the main event but the company is pushing Randy Orton as WWE Champion. However, there are people backstage in WWE that feel they need to be doing more with Bryan because he won’t get any hotter than he is right now.

If you could call up one singles star, one tag team and one Diva from WWE NXT, who would you choose?

If I got to make the call I’d pick Sami Zayn (the former El Generico), The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) and Paige. They’ve been the most impressive and are the most main roster ready stars. However, as is the case with any prospect, I would like to see each call up done gradually and in the right situation. I’m diametrically opposed to force-feeding NXTers to the main roster.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2009: What are your thoughts on WWE splitting up The Miz and John Morrison? - I felt it was needed and their tag team had run its course. Both The Miz and John Morrison have bright futures in WWE and need to get their chance as singles workers. A lot of readers compare Morrison to a young HBK and I can see the similarities. The Miz has worked hard to get where he has which is why he has a tremendous upside as well.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, December 16, 2013.

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  • Mike

    I think that John Cena vs. Triple H would be a bad idea for WrestleMania considering that he seems to be aligning with The Authority. I’d like to see Cena face Goldberg at WrestleMania. Also iI think they should do Mr. McMahon vs. Triple H where each of them picks a worker to fight for them like they did with McMahon and Donald Trump with Triple H picking Shawn Michaels and Vince picking Daniel Bryan

  • K!NG

    Ill say it once again DB is on fire. I don’t care who he faces he needs to win the title at Mania.

  • Nostaljack

    The Ascension is really good! I’m glad Conor found a place to fit and I’d love to see that team get called up. They’re compelling to watch and they can talk.

    • Patrick

      I agree the Ascension are good.

  • smark calloway

    heres the thing ..bryan is already mega over so why does he need the title? back in the day so many super over wrestlers never held a title in wwf/e because they didnt need to ( , jake roberts ,and million dollar man for example would have been very good world champions ,they were both mega over and both great workers ) but they were over whether they held onto a title or not . some guys need to hold onto a belt because they feel they need it to help get them over or that ” their character would need to hold the belt to look legitimate ” or they are just very simply marks for the title .( bret hart famously ” only ” had a 400,000 dollar contract in the mid 90′s (a few yrs before the whole montreal contract shenanigans) but one of the stipulations in the contract was that he was willing to only take the 400,000 but he HAD to have a title run ,.. which scott hall liked to rib him about appearently ). bryan is over with or without the belt , he doesnt really NEED it .much like when hbk returned full time in the mid 2000′s he didnt need to have a title run because he was over anyway or even cm punk now . he doesnt need another title run because hes over whether hes in the title picture or not…just because bryan is not in the title scene now doesnt mean he never will be. he will stay over now regardless because the fans love him and wwe know this

    • GOR

      It is not about having the title, It is about being in main-event (currently hi-jacked by John Cena !). People like Cena, HBK, Rock, Taker, Lesner, Goldberg etc can be in the main event without carrying a title. But this road towards becoming a legend goes through winning the Title multiple times.

      Also carrying the title makes u face of the company like Cena/Ortan right now. Fans want to see Bryan in that role(deservingly), that’s y they want him to be the Champ !

    • Jbreed

      Daniel Bryan does need the title. If he was champion right now he wouldn’t be involved in a program with a bunch of rookies. There’s a difference between being mega over with the fans and being mega over with management.

  • Smarky Smark

    I hope AJ Styles never comes to WWE. It’s a cementary for careers. He’ll get buried like Danielson and Drew McIntyre.

  • CheersFromEarth

    Richard, love ASKWNW. A good addition to your throwback question would be your current thoughts on the issue. Where you drop a little Richard reacts to your own words and what has happened to the wrestler discussed etc. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Miz and Morrison today, looking back. Cheers from Earth.

    • Jbreed

      It’s an interesting throwback question especially because it proves not everybody with a “bright future” in the WWE always makes it. We could only hope four years from now todays guys with bright futures (Antonio Cesaro, Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt etc.) don’t end up like The Miz and Morrison.

  • Patrick

    I agree Sami Zayn (the former El Generico), The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) and Paige. should be called up to the main roster. The Ascension is my favorite Tag Team and I enjoy their matches on NXT.

  • Justin Lal

    If the Summerslam buyrate was a huge success then I believe WWE would have seriously took notice of DB possibly taking over Cena for that top spot. Most people watching the build up to Summerslam could clearly see that Bryan would go over Cena for the title. So if fans really believed Bryan could be “the one” they certainly would have ordered it, but the event only did 296,000 buys. I compare this to Summerslam 2002 when it was obvious that Brock Lesnar would become “the man” by defeating Rock. That buyrate did over 500,000 buys. So I don’t think Bryan is superseding Cena as far as being the top guy. And I don’t think WWE is worried by that. If that Summerslam buyrate was higher I believe WWE would have altered their booking plans and given Bryan the big payoff victory at Survivor Series or earlier at Hell in a Cell (which normally concludes feuds). The Summerslam 2013 numbers came out on September 20th so that’s why I believe it would have altered WWE’s booking plans for Bryan. But the reason why Daniel Bryan is NOT WWE Champion is because of the Summerslam buyrate. If the buyrate was a success I’m sure Bryan would have got the title back to end the feud with Orton.

    There’s a big difference between fans chanting Daniel Bryan’s name at the live shows and paying to see him on PPV.

    • MINDyou

      I agree with most of what you said here except that most fans thought Bry was going over Cena going into Summerslam. I respectfully disagree. Sure it was possible but when talking about Cena in a match, smart money is always on The Dr. of Thugonomics. I was pleasantly surprised mind you.

    • MINDyou

      I agree with most of what you said here except that most fans thought Bry was going over Cena going into Summerslam. I respectfully disagree. Sure it was possible but when talking about Cena in a match, smart money is always on The Dr. of Thugonomics. I was pleasantly surprised mind you.

      • Justin Lal

        But with Cena’s elbow injury being well none I think most fans expected Bryan to win.

        • Mysterion

          Oh play the violin for Cena and his elbow injury. I remember tat RAW where he was going away for a while. It was reminiscent of when Michaels had to go for surgery. The fans chanting Cenas name. The tears. The feeling that we’d lost something great… Oh wait. That didn’t happen did it? He was cheered out of the ring for finally leaving wasn’t he?

          • GOR

            Thanks for reminding me of that dude. U just made my day.
            Easily the best moment of the year !

          • Bob’s Diner

            Hahahaha that was brilliant!

      • GOR

        U cant call Cena Dr. of Thugonomics ! He is too lame for that now.
        U can call him saturated sugar guy if u want !

    • Padres4life

      okay, if buyrates are a huge deal to them, then why are they creating a WWE Network where with a monthly subscription fee, you get the ppvs for FREE? you pay 10 bucks a month and you get every 60 dollar ppv for free…still think buyrates matter?

      • Jay El Bee

        Well nobody knows for sure if the PPV’s are going to be included with the WWE Network or not, until the WWE announces that it is just a rumor.

    • Bob’s Diner

      How can you blame Daniel Bryan for the buy rates? WrestleMania lost buys over last year and it was obvious John Cena was going to win. Extreme Rules and Payback also were down while John Cena was champion but I don’t see you blaming him. Hell, you were looking for excuses as to why Raw did the WORST RATING OF THE YEAR when the main event was John Cena and Randy Orton.

      I’m not blaming John Cena at all, I’m just saying you are ridiculous

      • Mysterion

        You worded perfectly what I wanted to say. Cena fans are just as bad as the haters they constantly berate. Orton/Cena is boring as hell. It’s the same thing we’ve all seen a million times before. But obviously he’ll tell us it’s the best thing that could happen to WWE as Bryan clearly isn’t over (despite every arena cheering for him for the entire show) and Punk is shoved down our throats.

      • Jay El Bee

        You can’t blame Cena & Orton for that low rating, the first 2 hours did horrible without them and the third hour which they were involved in went head to head with MNF. Besides the other 2 episodes since the Cena-Orton feud started were 2 of the highest rated shows since MNF started, and at a time when Raw’s ratings are usually at their worst. Also this years WM may have lost buys compared to last year, but that was expected since they raised the PPV price.

        • Bob’s Diner

          Oh what was that? More excuses?
          Blaming the earlier hours of the show when the 3rd hour was the worst, despite being hyped all night as a showdown between Orton and Cena? Blaming the lower WrestleMania buyrate on a higher price, despite WrestleManias 25 & 26 doing the lowest buyrate of WrestleManias since 19 – and look who the champs were those years?

          You guys blame Daniel Bryan and CM Punk for the exact same stuff you make excuses for John Cena and Randy Orton with. It is hilarious.

          Listen to the fans – the majority are sick of the same guys doing the same thing every show. You guys just need to accept change and deal with it.

          • Jay El Bee

            There was a less than 200 thousand viewer difference between the highest and lowest rated hours that week and the third hour was the only full hour to go head to head MNF, you can call that an excuse but I see it as nobody wanted to watch anyone in the first 2 hours. Now I have no clue what your point is about WM 25 & 26 but the champions were Triple H, Batista, Jericho & Edge, so what exactly was I supposed to look at since none of those are wrestling at the moment. I would never blame Punk & Bryan for the exact same stuff I make make “excuses” for Cena & Orton, those guys along with Punk are draws unlike Bryan. Also you think the less than 1% of the WWE total viewing audience every week that attends Raw represents the majority, Facebook & Twitter is a more accurate representation of what the fans want then the live crowd these days.

          • Bob’s Diner

            My point? WrestleMania 25 WWE Championship match – Triple H & Randy Orton. WrestleMania 26 – John Cena & Batista. They are the least successful WrestleManias since 19.

            As for the football excuse, look how the show rated this week – the audience is there if they are going to be entertained and the idea of a fake award show seems to be more of a drawcard than anyone in the main event right now.

            Facebook and twitter are what you judge on? That’s nonsense – those are FREE. People in the crowd PAY to be at the show. If people stop coming to the shows, WWE loses money. So I would say having the crowd on your side is rather important

          • Jay El Bee

            Saying those WM’s were the least successful is like saying I’m the poorest billionaire, sure I’m a huge success but if you’re going to compare me to someone that was even more successful then I probably won’t look as great. Also the Slammys are usually a horrible draw, so don’t try to use that as a reason for why the ratings went back up. I agree with you somewhat on your last point, but if the people in the crowd cheering for guys like Punk & Bryan aren’t going to watch the shows or buy the PPV’s when the WWE is featuring them in the main event then why should they continue to push them.

    • Jay El Bee

      Don’t forget about the horrible buyrates for the NOC & BG PPV’s that Bryan main evented. It wasn’t until Cena’s return that a PPV with Bryan main eventing did a decent buyrate.

    • GOR

      This whole discussion (above n below) about PPV sells is pointless n stupid. This is like saying whoever sells more tickets, gets the Oscar/Emmy.

      Yess maybe Cena does sell more coz of his stupid girl/teenagers/kids following. But that doesn’t mean u keep pushing him down others’ throats too.
      The guyz who are producing best in-ring work n storylines with interesting character developements should be given main-event spots not the people who are selling PPVs n Merchandise.

      If u build ur product around Quality then fans will respect quality n follow ur product. If u build it around what sells then that’s wat will define ur product n drive ur company instead of u driving it.

      This again comes down to the same thing that I posted somewhere else too.
      That WWE needs a good competitor like WCW to produce quality product. Otherwise they’ll just keep milking watever they’ve got.

      • Bob’s Diner

        Conmpletely agree – I do not believe any one wrestler is ever responsible for the how the PPV does. It is about the quality of the show. If creative were doing their job and actually being creative, WWE would much more entertaining and do better business overall.

        I was merely making the point that Cena fans can’t sit there and blame Daniel Bryan for things that happen when John Cena is champion

    • eskymi

      I did not get the PPV and it was not because Bryan and Cena were the Main Event. It was not because I KNEW Bryan would win. It was because I KNEW that Orton would cash in and I hate Orton as much as some of you hate Cena, so there is no way I was going to pay good money to watch someone that I despise win the belt.

      I still fast forward through Ortons promos and matches. I have no idea what he said to Cena so when Cena replied on RAW I was a little confused.

  • kace

    DB doesnt have to be champ but he should… Cena should go against a legend in WM since its a celebration of 30 years. CM Punk should go against Brock Lensar since he didnt beat him the first time.

  • thepowerserge

    Not trying to sound like a Daniel Bryan mark, but pushing Randy Boreton as the “face” of WWE just isn’t working. Hell, I watched RAW after reading about the whole Cena promo and had to agree. In all respects, Cena verbally kicked Orton’s mechanical ass. On top of that, how you push a guy who’s been given chance after chance in the main event, and failed, is beyond me. Guessing someone needs to pull a Vince Russo style promo about the amount of asses Orton is kissing to be in the spot he’s in. That, or we find out Orton is the latest inductee into the Vince McMahon Kiss My Ass Club.

  • GOR

    IF HBK & HHH were in separate matches at WM then that would mean more Part-Timers stealing more screen-time at WM & mid-carders getting even lesser time. Instead if both of them r in the same match against 2 top guys then that would make the match bigger n save time too. DX vs GOATs Hell Yeah ! [with Austin as refree] .

  • peter

    We have been forced fed the awful Summer Rae for months on Raw now,she can’t dance can’t wrestle yet the very talented Paige is still stuck on NXT,it’s not fair.