Brie Bella vs. Stephanie A Main Event, Heyman Guys That Were A Bust, Souring On Part-Time Talent, TNA's NYC Reset

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 it just me or the Stephanie/Brie storyline has way too much visibility for what it's worth? I understand the Daniel Bryan angle behind it and the fact that they probably want to turn Nikki. Even then, to me, this feud is supposed to be a background story while we focus on the "real" workers.

Regardless of how you feel Stephanie McMahon vs. Brie Bella should be treated, it's been booked as one of the SummerSlam main events. In fact, it's the 1b behind Brock Lesnar vs. John Cena. There are multiple reasons as to why WWE decided to go this route but the feeling is The Authority is a big draw and there is a lot of intrigue surrounding Stephanie McMahon's return to the ring. Not to mention it gives WWE the opportunity to salvage a small portion of the momentum Daniel Bryan had after Wrestlemania XXX. I'm on record in writing that one should not go in expecting a top level match between Stephanie and Brie but this is clearly seen as a top program at a "big four" show.

I'm a big fan of Paul Heyman but the last three Heyman guys have been a bust (Ryback, Curtis Axel & Cesaro). Is this WWE's doing or did it not just work out? Does this diminish the value of being a Paul Heyman Guy?

WWE tried to use Paul Heyman to help elevate Ryback and Curtis Axel respectively but neither worked out. Paul Heyman can be blamed all day long but he can't do it on his own. Heyman is a valuable asset to any worker that calls him their manager but he can only do so much. As for Cesaro, WWE pumped the brakes on him once again. I can't explain it as it reminds me of how Daniel Bryan has been booked by the company over the years. Given the high profile that Heyman has had alongside CM Punk during his 434-day WWE Championship reign and Brock Lesnar in ending the streak, being a Paul Heyman Guy isn't diminished in the slightest. In fact, I'll assert some casual fans do not even remember Heyman was paired with the failed experiments of Ryback and Axel.

I think wrestlers that are full-time are opposed to a part-timer because they are jealous of them receiving a main event match or being pushed to the top of the card. These full-timers need to remember what it took for the part-timers to establish such a position. Do you agree?

I've spent a lot of time over the years defending part-timers, specifically pointing out that stars such as The Rock and Brock Lesnar are big enough draws where they can still move the needle so I favor any situation we can get them in the ring. However, the initial luster has worn off and I'm growing tired of it. The problems have been very apparent in John Cena vs. Brock Lesnar, trying to promote a main event match at a "big four" show by the use of pre-taped video packages. The promotional framework for next week's episode of Raw is built around Hulk Hogan -- another part-time guy that doesn't even wrestle anymore. There's nothing wrong with using these names to help with exposure and sell the WWE Network but it's gotten to the point where everyone that is there every week, the guys that work the live events are true second-rate citizens to the part-timers. As with the $9.99 stuff, WWE has a hard time with moderation. So to answer your question, no, I do not agree. It's fine to bring someone back on a part-time basis and promote a big main event match -- like how WWE treated The Undertaker for the past several editions of Wrestlemania -- but the boundaries have gone too far the other way. Take a look at the current tour of Australia. WWE has to get guys in top programs on more shows, using part-time talent more like how Chris Jericho is utilized.

Why is TNA doing there shows in New York ? It looks so low budget.

TNA is resetting with New York City as a hub for Impact Wrestling. They like the venue, the crowd and the atmosphere and I couldn't disagree more about it looking "low budget." The production value is good and the crowd has reenergized the roster to produce some of the company's best programming in quite some time. Viewership has increased as well so it's clearly working.

From the Ask WNW vault…

October 2012: When a WWE worker makes a non-wrestling appearance (e.g. autograph signing, media appearances, etc.) does the company instruct them to appear in or out of character? - WWE workers have a lot of freedom in media interviews but there are directives that come down from the office. Obviously the company doesn’t want stars leaking storylines and generally speaking, they want the focal point of the interview to promote the product. We’ve seen it all – from Randy Orton completely shooting on Kelly Kelly to Sheamus constantly remaining in-character during media appearances. John Cena is known for focusing on the product in-character and is seen as the best promotional mouthpiece they have. Speaking from experience, when I’ve done interviews with workers alongside radio anchors, the radio station has met with company officials to let them know to keep it clean. My biggest pet peeve with interviews (and why I don’t do many of them) is workers using them to put themselves over rather than actually answering the questions. Kind of like what we saw with the Presidential debate on Tuesday night, where the candidates would be asked a question, but skirt around it to get to their approved campaign rhetoric.

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