Babyface Brock, Raw Highlighted WWE’s Biggest Problem, TNA 2.0

The following is today's edition of Ask WNW. Ask WNW is the most popular feature on the website where Richard Gray answers four questions daily, Monday through Friday. To submit your question for the next installment of Ask WNW, click here.

Did we witness Brock Lesnar turning babyface on Monday Night Raw or is The Authority just that despised?

A lot of people want to know if Brock Lesnar is a babyface going forward, well not exactly. He did get a big pop to end this week’s Monday Night Raw and the crowd fully bought it when he gave an F5 to Kane and an impressive one to Big Show.

Further, let's don't lose track of the story. John Cena was supposed to be "taken care of" and wasn't, something "Brock took issue with."

We talked about turning Brock last week and my argument was, why risk it? What happened last night might have relieved some of that risk. We have the scoop from backstage at this link.

What were your thoughts on this week’s WWE Raw? I thought it was one of the best in quite some time.

This week’s go-home to Royal Rumble episode of Monday Night Raw was much better. Overall, I enjoyed the broadcast but it wasn’t without issues.

Before I go all negative on you, I thought Bray Wyatt and Daniel Bryan had a great match, Brock Lesnar was very good in the opening and closing segments, the nostalgia meter was at an all time high, Big Show worked the stick like a pro and Sting’s Raw debut was significant and well done.

However, I have no idea what WWE is doing with the Intercontinental Championship and cannot begin to explain how disappointed I am with the return of Bad News Barrett. No one seems to be buying The Ascension, even in a segment with some of the most legendary tag teams in the history of the wrestling business. And what does it say that Raw has to feature Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman, The APA, The New Age Outlaws and Sting to be enjoyable?

I mean absolutely no disrespect to the Legends but it’s pretty clear WWE has failed to develop new stars. They could be on the verge of correcting this with some of the names coming up now (The Shield, The Wyatts, Bryan, etc.) but man, a lot of their mind-blowing decisions for refusing to get behind fresh talent was on display this week.

The constant starting and stopping on guys has come back to haunt WWE. We can go back and re-trace it too. Guys like Ryback, Wade Barrett, Dolph Ziggler, Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, The Miz, etc. have all been started on but had the brakes slammed on them at some point and as a result, the company is still relying on what drew in The Attitude Era or in the peak of the Monday Night War to draw for them today.

While I’ll admit the 12-year-old inside of me popped big time for the segments with the NWO, DX, the legendary tag teams and of course Sting, I’m interested to know what someone born after April 1, 2001 thinks. This is a person that never experienced the Monday Night War, never channel-flipped from Nitro to Raw and is who WWE will depend on to grow their business.

I personally believe the lapsed fan is laughing at the state of WWE right now. Again, I mean no disrespect, but why is it that WWE has more hours of programming than ever before, the best developmental facilities than ever before and are relying on a show stacked full of guys — most that don’t even wrestle anymore — to sell one of their “big four” shows?

This is why I offer no opposition to Roman Reigns winning the Royal Rumble on Sunday. Sure, I think Daniel Bryan is the better story but WWE has to get serious about developing talent. I don’t want to hear about guys lacking ambition or being lazy millennials that don’t want to work for it. That is certainly true to a degree, but we've seen far too many guys that look like they have "it," only to have the rug pulled out from under them.

The constant indecision that plagues WWE’s creative process and a blatant lack of confidence in all but a select few guys has left no one but the guys that used to be popular to save the show. It’s time for WWE to get serious about "future stars" or their business will begin to fade.

Was TNA Wrestling on the verge of going out of business before they were picked up by Destination America?

No one will know how close TNA Wrestling was to closing up shop because the fact of the matter is, there are only two or three people [with the last name Carter] that could give you an honest answer. We continually pushed back on reports that had TNA going out but explained several times if they lost Spike TV, they would have to dramatically scale back their operations.

TNA lost Spike and has significantly scaled back their operations. That’s not a bad thing but it was necessary if they were going to continue to operate.

From the Ask WNW vault…

May 2012: Why did WWE bring back Skip Sheffield as Ryback? - Ryback was Skip Sheffield’s old gimmick as he was a WWE developmental standout along with Sheamus as Sheamus O’Shaunessy and Ryback were a tag team prior to Sheamus being called up to the main roster. While The Nexus provided Sheffield a good opportunity, he was nothing more than an extra to people like Wade Barrett and Daniel Bryan. The revamp as Ryback gives him a chance to become a much “bigger deal” in WWE.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Wednesday, January 21, 2015.

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