Fewer Main Eventers, Daniel Bryan Snubbed?, Lawsuit Against WWE, Smackdown’s Move A Mistake?

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.

If the World Heavyweight Championship was still active, do you think guys like Dolph Ziggler and Ryback would be main eventing?

The reason why I opposed unifying the WWE and World Heavyweight Championships last year is because having two belts forced the company to have two main event scenes. Two main events were a staple of every pay-per-view, with both titles being regularly defended. Two main events meant more main eventers, thus there was a second tier of top level workers.

A year later and we’ve really seen the drawbacks of one world title, especially since the champion for the past three months has been a part-time star. The main event scene in WWE has shrunk and while we’ve seen the pleasant elevations of guys like Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose, guys like Sheamus and Dolph Ziggler have been relegated back to the proverbial mid-card.

There does appear to be a renewed emphasis on pushing some of these guys up as Ziggler is back in the limelight and Ryback has received the green light for another top push. However, are Ziggler and Ryback being pushed because there is a renewed confidence in them as main eventers or because of injuries (Daniel Bryan, Romain Reigns), Randy Orton off and Brock Lesnar being part-time?

Time will tell how far Ziggler and Ryback go in the main event and I’ve been more optimistic with the quality of WWE’s product in recent weeks. Dare I say that I’m looking forward to Survivor Series? But I truly believe only one world title — especially one world title held by a part-time star — has been damaging to the overall quality of WWE.

To answer your question, would Ziggler and Ryback be main eventing… that’s anyone’s guess. There would be more main eventers with a second world title, so guys currently on the fringe would likely be competing for it, but it’s still a hypothetical guess at best.

Do you think AJ Lee gets annoyed with the “CM Punk” chants directed at her?

I haven’t noticed AJ Lee ever getting rattled due to the “CM Punk” chants. In fact, she’s probably come to accept them. I have no idea why people feel the need to continually chant CM Punk at her or anyone else but it’s just become one of the uncontrollable elements of a live crowd. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you pay to go to a WWE show with the sole purpose of chanting for a superstar that left on their own terms, the rib is on you.

Why didn't WWE mention Daniel Bryan's involvement in the celebration of the Giants winning the World Series?

WWE uploaded footage of Daniel Bryan celebrating with the San Francisco Giants and presenting Hunter Pence with a WWE title belt on their YouTube channel. I don’t know why it never made WWE television but the company was well-represented with Bryan’s participation. You can watch the footage embedded below:


What is the update on Billy Jack Haynes and his lawsuit against WWE?

WWE was granted an extension earlier this week to respond to the claims brought against them by Billy Jack Haynes. The company will have until the end of the year to respond to the suit. You can get caught up on the litigation filed by Haynes and WWE’s initial response at this link.

Do you think WWE has made a mistake moving Smackdown to Thursdays? For four months out of the year, they will go head to head with the NFL on Mondays and Thursdays now. It’s almost like WWE is throwing in the towel in the fall months.

I agree it will be an added headache for WWE to compete against the NFL on Mondays and Thursdays in the fall, however, I do not believe moving Smackdown back to Thursday nights is a mistake. WWE actually never wanted to move the show to Fridays in the first place and it was a network decision made when they were still under contract with Viacom (and Smackdown was airing on UPN). Airing on Friday night is known in TV as a “death slot” because Friday is the least-watched night of the week, whereas Thursday is actually the most-watched. WWE proved all the critics wrong by having success with Smackdown on Friday nights, however, I believe Thursday is a better night for the series.

From the Ask WNW vault…

April 2013: When Mick Foley was originally announced for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame wasn’t he slated to be the “face of the class” or did this change with Bruno Sammartino? I don’t understand why they would scrap his speech from the television special on the USA Network. - WWE pursued Bruno Sammartino before anyone else for the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame class, however, even Vince McMahon didn’t think a deal would be able to get done so they started looking for another headliner. With Mick Foley being from New York and well deserving of a Hall of Fame nod, he was decided upon as an inductee and the offer was extended. Now here’s where things get tricky. While Bruno was still up in the air, Triple H was willing to be inducted as a member of DeGeneration X (before going in as a singles wrestler) to help add to the value of the class. Hunter has always been critical of Foley and his drawing power. There was even an incident backstage several months ago where Vince McMahon rebuked Triple H in front of other staff members when Hunter spoke negatively of him. Vince told Hunter (and everyone in the meeting) they needed to make Foley look as legitimate as possible if they were going to push him as the face of this year’s Hall of Fame class. Triple H turned up the heat for Bruno and ended up “pulling off the impossible” by getting him to agree. Not only that but he landed Arnold Schwarzenegger to induct him. This was what WWE wanted all along so they have gone full-steam ahead with the class built around Bruno. Had he not agreed, some have speculated DeGeneration X would have co-headlined with Foley.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, November 17, 2014.

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 AskWNW@wrestlingnewsworld.com.

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