Skip to main content

Bray Wyatt In League Of His Own, It's Not All Vince McMahon's Fault, X-Pac Heat, Batista's Retirement Tour

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.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Bray Wyatt is in a league of his own on the mic and impresses in the ring. His character is the best I have seen in years and his promos, nothing short of captivating. I also think Luke Harper is a main eventer in the making. If Bray Wyatt is 1 then Luke Harper is 1a. I guess my question is, is everyone as excited as me for The Wyatts future?

Bray Wyatt is in a league of his own and has proved he has a very bright future in WWE. He's only 26-years-old and we're watching a legitimate main event talent in the making. It's hard to believe that Bray Wyatt and Husky Harris are the same person as Bray is everything Harris wasn't. While we talk a lot about the worker making the gimmick and not the gimmick making the worker, this serves as a reminder of how detrimental a bad gimmick can actually be. No one took Husky Harris seriously and there wasn't anything entertaining about it. People are comparing Bray Wyatt to The Undertaker; do I need to say anything else? As for your Luke Harper evaluation, he's a bit of different story. Harper, as Brodie Lee, was a very big deal on the domestic independent scene. He's a guy that I think has the potential of someone like Cesaro, if not more. He's 34 but still young enough to hit his prime at the right time. I agree he is second behind Wyatt, however, I wouldn't list him as "1a or 1b" but a clear second and that's not because he isn't great, because he is, but Bray truly is in a league all of his own.

I recently watched "Death Grip: Inside Pro Wrestling" documentary in which CNN tried their best to put Chris Benoit's double murder suicide and all the drug & steroid use within pro wrestling as WWE's fault. But there are many wrestlers like Hulk Hogan, who accepted that they used steroids, but didn't die or commit suicide and they are still living healthy. I go with Vince McMahon. I want to know what you think about it?

I can't remember if I've seen this documentary but there's a book along those lines called "Ring of Hell" by Matthew Randazzo V. Basically, he puts the blame of what Chris Benoit did completely on Vince McMahon and the pro wrestling business. I completely disagree. While I'll never paint McMahon as an innocent bystander that just wants what is best for his talent, it's not that easy to just blame him. The pro wrestling business is tough and wrestlers die far too young, both of those things are proven facts. However, there has to be a degree of personal accountability. What someone puts (or doesn't put) in their body is their own responsibility. I understand the problem with addiction, substance abuse, etc, however, I refuse to absolve Chris Benoit in the name of pro wrestling. He did it. I don't have the answers and will readily admit there is a problem. But to act like the problem can be solved by pointing to Vince or the hardships of living on the road, is grossly inaccurate. The mainstream media just loves to point their finger at the business but they have absolutely no idea what they are talking about.

I've heard you mention it a couple times, but I'm still not sure. What exactly is "X-PAC heat"?

X-Pac heat is when a worker generates heat because the fans legitimately want them to go away, not because they're doing a good job as a heel. Batista has received a ton of it since returning to WWE in January. As to how it got the name X-Pac heat, there are different stories and opinions but I'll be the first to say Sean Waltman was a great in-ring worker. I believe it had more to do with problematic booking and trying to force X-Pac as a babyface when he was a much better heel.

Is it safe to say this is Batista's final run in WWE?

When Batista left WWE in 2010, I was always under the assumption that he would be back for a proper retirement tour and this is exactly what I see his latest run to be. It's no secret that his WWE comeback hasn't worked out well and WWE made a big mistake by forcing him babyface (e.g. see above), however, be careful what you read about him. I don't know who has it out for him but there are people that are doing whatever they can to absolutely bury the guy. From false accusations of him not wanting to go under to Daniel Bryan (he "did the honors" to Roman Reigns, how does the DB thing make any sense?) to him wanting to leave early over pay (there are concerns with Wrestlemania 30 bonuses, however, I'm not sure what he could be upset about that was structured into a multi-year contract that he signed). We'll continue to follow Batista's run with WWE from an objective standpoint because the bias against him is completely out of hand and shameful.

From the Ask WNW vault…

June 2013: In your honest opinion, after the Attitude Era ended, do you think the WWE would have survived to this day by running its promotion the same exact way it’s done all these years if there was any legitimate competition out there? - I never like to play the “what if” game because “what if” WCW won the war and it was the other way around? That was an actual possibility, however, the landscape is vastly different in 2013. The way your question is phrased it sounds like you believe WWE is just surviving because there is no other entity to challenge them. WWE is a massive multi-million dollar entertainment company. I know hardcore IWC fans are disgusted by that image but the fact of the matter is, they make a lot of money. WWE isn’t just surviving, they are thriving and they’ve driven any thought of competition back significantly. I only expect the company to continue to grow with international expansion and strong internal direction. I was just thinking this morning of the impact “Total Divas” could have on WWE. Look at what E! did to the Kardashians. I’m not saying the Divas are the next Kim Kardashian but WWE is taking what is basically an afterthought on their programming and putting them at the forefront of pop culture.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Tuesday, May 13, 2014.

Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

You can submit a question for the next installment of Ask WNW at this link. If you have problems with the form, you can send your question to

Related Articles