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Final Say In WWE, TNA's Weekend Debacle, Diva Returning?, Destination X Success

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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Chris Sabin

It seems that Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler have been fan-favorites for quite a long time now, even during their respective runs as a heel. With Ziggler's recent face turn and Bryan's main event push, how much of an influence does the WWE Universe have backstage in determining the role of the the characters?

While Vince McMahon has the final say backstage, the fans ultimately have the final say. How they react, or don't react, determines how workers are booked. Let me me explain. WWE planned to push Steve Austin under the very successful Austin 3:16 gimmick as a heel yet it was so over-the-top and entertaining, the audience turned him babyface. That's an example of a success. An example of a failure would be that of Lord Tensai. WWE tried to bring him back as a top heel. After making some tweaks, such as the Tensai name and losing the manager, it didn't work. They ended up paring him with Brodus Clay and he's found a gimmick that works. The "monster heel" didn't work but the mid-card comedy babyface did. The fans ultimately have the final say. People will say well what about John Cena? I can see the comments now, most fans want to see him turn heel. No, most IWC fans want to see Cena turn heel. John is still a top merchandise seller and his segments are highly rated. WWE is aware of the IWC hatred, which is why they promote that "no one draws a reaction quite like John Cena," but ultimately the audience has the final say.

Regarding the talent that was pulled from the TNA show in Missouri: Were the individual talent at fault for not having licenses to perform, or was it a colossal screw-up on the part of TNA management?

For those that missed it over the weekend, TNA ran a show in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on Saturday night featuring 8 workers in 5 matches. What happened was to wrestle in the state of Missouri a worker must have an active license with the athletic commission and six workers (Chris Sabin, Garett Bischoff, Jay Bradley, Gail Kim, Brooke Tessmacher and Wes Brisco) were not actively licensed. An announcement was made prior to the show and refunds were offered but this is very embarrassing for TNA. We can all debate how much regulation there should (or shouldn't be), however, the bottom-line is TNA should be aware of all the credentials needed to run a show. Could you imagine if this would have been at the upcoming Impact tapings in St. Louis? I read on Monday that a website reported Bruce Prichard is the person to blame, which is laughable in of itself because Prichard is no longer employed in TNA. The moment his employment was terminated was that moment all of his responsibilities went out the window. That's like blaming Vince Russo for a current storyline. This problem highlights the dysfunction at the top of TNA and is very embarrassing for all involved. It's embarrassing for the brand and the workers because it makes TNA look like they do not know what they are doing.

With Tara (formerly known as Victoria) departing TNA, what is the chance she comes back to WWE?

There is always a chance in this business and Tara is already teasing her next move. Traditionally, WWE doesn't have anything for Divas over 40 (she's 42) but I think most will agree that age is just a number to Tara. We'll continue to follow the situation but until then, those in Chicago can support her by eating at The Squared Circle.

Overall I thought TNA's Destination X show was solid with the X Division being shown off well. The surprise for me was the TNA title match. I have been a fan of Bully Ray's heel work since his switch and find him to be a solid performer. Chris Sabin is also a very solid worker and shows why he is/should be a TNA mainstay. Were you surprised TNA switched the title on free TV?

TNA Destination X was a good show and a step in the right direction for the company. TNA badly needed some good news following a month full of departures and they got it with Destination X. The show was well attended and gave the ratings a boost. I was surprised TNA switched the belt on free television but pleasantly surprised. While not your prototypical "top guy," Sabin is an outstanding in-ring worker and has arguably outworked everyone in the business. My biggest complaint was the way the main event was laid out. I didn't like the Aces and Eights/Main Event Mafia taking away from the finish. I understand why it was done, to highlight the feud between the two factions, but personally feel it took away from "the moment." As for my thoughts on Sabin as champion, I like it when hard work is rewarded. #HailSabin

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