Batista Finished w/WWE?, "This Is Awesome," Neville/Zayn Better In NXT, Cena-US Title

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.
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Is Batista still under WWE contract and if so, what are the chances of a return?

There are currently no plans for Batista in WWE, as his acting career has “taken off” following his role as Drax the Destroyer in Guardians of the Galaxy last year. Batista’s latest high profile role is as Hinx in the new James Bond film Spectre. Further, he’ll reprise the role of Drax the Destroyer in a Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. When he left WWE last August, it was believed to be a temporary situation but after he landed the role in the James Bond film, the consensus was he was finished wrestling.

Batista has stated he would like to return to WWE but would want more creative control over the booking of his character. I know there is speculation that suggests he’s still under WWE contract and I cannot confirm or deny that speculation. What I can tell you is WWE quietly moved Batista’s profile to the Alumni section of their official website several months ago and going forward, he’s focused on acting. I wouldn’t mind seeing him return but WWE would have to come up with something better than the disastrous run he had last year.

I feel that the "this is awesome" chant in the middle of an exciting match takes something away from it. Thoughts?

I disagree. I think a “this is awesome” chant from the crowd in the middle of a hot match is exactly what everyone in WWE strives for. Not just the performers but the writers and management staff as well. When the crowd “accepts” a match and shows their approval by rewarding the work of the talent, the energy translates to the TV/PPV broadcast. The workers in the ring know it and that only makes them work harder.

It’s fair to say the chant shouldn’t be overused but I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a crowd chant “this is awesome” and disagreed. If the workers in the ring can get the crowd to chant “this is awesome,” they have succeeded.

I think WWE NXT is amazing and think they are putting on a great show every week. As good as Adrian Neville, Hideo Itami, Sami Zayn are, can you see them headlining Wrestlemania one day or just being solid mid-card performers? Due to his size, I have a hard time seeing Neville as WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

This is a very valid point and I do not believe you are alone. Vince McMahon has a certain vision of what he believes makes up a main event superstar and his vision often times favors talent that “look the part” more than they “work the part.” This is why we have “controversies” over certain pushes, like we’ve seen with Roman Reigns. I’ve had people close to NXT tell me that workers like Adrian Neville and Sami Zayn are better suited to stay in NXT, where they are pushed as top stars as opposed to risk getting buried after a main roster call-up.

When the idea of keeping someone in developmental seemed bizarre when it was first mentioned to me, as we’ve seen with the evolution of the WWE Network, it’s not the worst thing possible. However, all NXT workers want their shot on the main roster because it’s there they’ll have the chance to become household names and make very good money. I see both sides of the argument and think that while it won’t be easy for Neville or Zayn or even Itami to “break through,” I believe they at least deserve that chance.

While Vince is still as stubborn as ever, who would have thought independent standouts like Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Luke Harper would be prominently featured on WWE television? Evan Bourne had developed quite a following himself before he got in trouble by smoking synthetic marijuana. As we saw with Justin Gabriel, sometimes it just doesn’t work out no matter how talented a worker is, however, we can’t definitively say a worker will or won’t "make it" until given the chance.

That’s why I am all for seeing Neville, Zayn, Itami or anyone else that might not be the prototypical size getting a chance on the main WWE roster.

Why is John Cena competing for a midcard title in this program with Rusev for the United States Championship?

WWE is utilizing John Cena to hopefully help in the development of Rusev. If it restores prestige to the United States Championship, that’s fine but the goal is to help progress Rusev. I realize some are going to see a United States Championship match as “beneath” Cena but the way Rusev has been booked, makes it anything but. I don’t really care about the title, I just want to see Rusev go further than Bray Wyatt did after a program with John Cena last year.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2013: With Dean Ambrose getting a singles match against The Undertaker on this week’s Smackdown, is this a sign that Vince McMahon and Triple H see him as the breakout star in the group? - All three members of The Shield are held in high regard. While the feeling before they debuted was that Roman Reigns had the most to prove, even he has drawn high marks from those within WWE and all are highly touted young workers. The fact Undertaker worked a singles match against Dean Ambrose goes to show how much he thinks of them as we heard he put the trio over in front of everyone after the match on this week’s WWE Raw. I don’t mind the classification of Ambrose as #1, Seth Rollins as #2 and Roman Reigns as #3 but I think all three are held in equal high regard and are looked at as future superstars as singles performers.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, February 10, 2015.

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