Do you think Batista could come back and dethrone Brock Lesnar, getting one final reign as WWE World Heavyweight Champion?
I don't think it would work. WWE's creative direction for Batista really did a number on him when he came back earlier this year. Batista is on record as to saying he's the worst babyface of all-time and while I believe that's being a bit harsh, putting him over at Royal Rumble and forcing him in the main event at Wrestlemania 30 didn't translate. He's now having huge success in Hollywood and has landed a role next to Robert De Niro. As of right now Batista is still considered a WWE superstar that is on hiatus but I imagine that his success on the big screen will only make it harder for him to return.
Do you see any possibility of the main event of Wrestlemania 31 being a triple threat match between Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship? I feel like that would be a much better match and would make sense at a PPV like Wrestlemania than anything with Brock Lesnar.
I don't think anything can be definitively ruled out for Wrestlemania 31 in September, however, it's not likely. Vince McMahon is paying big money for the services of Brock Lesnar and he's going to get a main event match at the show, whether it's for the title or not. There are obviously issues with Roman Reigns right now but WWE is confident he will be available to return before the end of the year and even if he isn't, the reports the company is getting from doctors is that he'll definitely be available in January.
What do you think of this idea? Roman Reigns returns and wins the 30-man Royal Rumble to get a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31. And to build the hype, they make Reigns a Paul Heyman guy. Both Lesnar and Reigns need microphone work, and Heyman managing both combatants could be interesting, personal, and well worked on the mic.
I can confirm there are already casual discussions taking place about delaying the return of Roman Reigns so he can win the 30-man Royal Rumble and get a title shot against Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania 31. However, there are a myriad of issues that need to be worked out before that happens, none less than what do they do with Lesnar from now until then? I dislike your scenario of aligning Reigns with Paul Heyman, as the "hot-shot" pairing of Heyman with an up and comer hasn't worked. It didn't work for Curtis Axel, Ryback or Cesaro; so why try again? Heyman is better suited as a mouthpiece/manager for an already established main event talent, like he currently is for Brock Lesnar or he was for CM Punk. As for the idea of putting Reigns over in the 30-man Royal Rumble match, that could be the one good thing to come of this injury. A one month absence really freshened up Dean Ambrose, I believe a layoff for Reigns could help in his elevation. Some fans were starting to get frustrated with Reigns because of how the company was protecting him, so time off may not be the worst thing to happen.
The current mid-card belt situation in WWE is ridiculous. Two directionless guys just keep flip-flopping the Intercontinental title while the US title picture is not intriguing. There is really no defined criteria for who goes after the mid-card titles, although it's clear that the top guys would never fight for those belts. Wouldn't it be a good idea to establish some specific criteria, for example "you are only eligible for the Intercontinental title if you have never been the World champion?" The former champs who are not currently main eventers (Sheamus, Ziggler, Miz, etc.) could fight for the US title, making it the "secondary title."
I completely agree with your assessment of the hot-potato booking of the WWE Intercontinental Championship and I also feel the United States Championship couldn't mean less. In fact, I believe the US title means so little that WWE could quietly drop it and the casual fan wouldn't even notice. I didn't like The Miz beating Dolph Ziggler at Night of Champions, let alone Ziggler winning it back on Raw. At least they didn't change it again on Smackdown! I can't give an explanation for why WWE values their secondary titles so little, especially at a time when they are needed the most. As for your suggestion of a pre-determined criteria, I like establishing something to make the titles mean something but such a criteria would likely be confusing and hard to follow. The best course of action would be to unify the Intercontinental and United States titles, form one secondary belt and then book it better. I realize this makes me sound like a hypocrite since I opposed the unification of the world titles but that's because two world titles forced WWE to have an expanded main event scene. It'd be one thing if having two secondary titles meant more opportunities to elevate talent but that's clearly not the case.
From the Ask WNW vault…
November 2012: I have a question about The Shield. Do you think they will go far or will they be split up into singles competitors? - I saw three stars in the first Shield interview segment on this week’s WWE Raw. I want to be careful because looks can be deceiving, but these guys are the “cream of the crop” of WWE’s deep developmental system. We already know Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins have amazing in-ring talent and while I haven’t see a lot of Roman Reigns’ work, he’s got the look. No one knows how successful The Shield will be but these guys provide reassurance the company has no shortage of future talent.
Questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, September 30, 2014.