What are your thoughts on the harsh allegations against Bill DeMott?
The allegations made against Bill DeMott are deplorable. From being reckless with injured talent to allegedly using homophobic and racial slurs. Behavior like that is just not acceptable. Not in WWE, not anywhere. However, we also need to be very clear. WWE is on record as to saying they have been unable to validate the claims. You can read the statement that was sent directly to me at this link.
Bill DeMott is no stranger to controversy. In fact, it was just last month, according to a source that spoke directly to Wrestling News World, that a lot of the female talent down at NXT was complaining about DeMott being too hard on them.
This type of thing seems to follow DeMott and let’s not forget the allegations former developmental talent Kevin Matthews made against him in 2012. Remember the photo of a naked wrestler giving a stink face to another worker in the corner of the ring while DeMott laughed from ringside at the old Deep South Wrestling training center?
WWE even had cameras hard-wired into the WWE Performance Center, where Vince McMahon can randomly check in on the facility from his office in Stamford, Connecticut.
Some people have come out in support of DeMott, so opinions are definitely split. There is a difference between being hard on talent and preparing them for life in the ring and doing things that could result in permanent injury or any form of discrimination (be it racism, homophobia, etc.). If the allegations brought against DeMott are true, he’s definitely in some trouble. However, WWE has told us they have not been able to validate the claims. I know some want to say they’re covering it up and while that is a fair accusation, I’m not going there.
It’s my job to report both sides of the story. The allegations are deplorable and if they’re true, DeMott is in trouble and should be held accountable. So far, WWE is saying they are unable to validate the claims but allegations continue to be made.
I heard Dolph Ziggler dropped the WWE Intercontinental Championship due to backstage heat over his standup comedy appearances. Is that true? If so, why would he pursue it?
I was told Dolph Ziggler dropped the WWE Intercontinental Championship [earlier this year] due to creative purposes and not because of backstage heat. This seems to make sense given the fact Ziggler, while not officially added to the Ladder match at Wrestlemania 31, is heavily rumored to challenge for the title at the show in a few weeks. Further, WWE approved Ziggler doing standup comedy and even featured his new venture in a dot com piece at this link.
Many WWE performers have careers outside of wrestling that they pursue simultaneously. As long as the office signs off, they’re in the clear. I’m not going to sit here and tell you they’re always accepted with open arms — because that’s certainly not always the case — but talent is in the clear if WWE signs off.
Can we expect Bully Ray to finish up his career in WWE? Any word about Samoa Joe? Velvet Sky?
I heard WWE is waiting until after Wrestlemania 31 to start signing talent they have lined up for Performer’s Contracts. I am unable to confirm if Bubba Dudley/Bully Ray will be offered a deal and can tell you that he worked the Royal Rumble on a per shot basis.
There were erroneous reports earlier this week suggesting that Samoa Joe would be signing with WWE after his commitments with Ring of Honor. That is not true. WWE is interested in Joe but it is not a foregone conclusion that he’ll get a contract. We have full details on that story at this link.
WWE officials are high up on the look of Velvet Sky but as is the case with her boyfriend, Bubba Dudley/Bully Ray, I cannot confirm she will be offered a contract.
Look for WWE to make some cuts after Wrestlemania 31 and sign some new talent as well.
Why did The Brian Kendrick only work one NXT match, while Rhyno returned for several?
Brian Kendrick worked a dark match against Solomon Crowe at the WWE NXT tapings in December and one taped for TV against Finn Balor at the tapings in February. Rhyno worked matches at both sets of NXT tapings in February, for a total of four. There is no specific reason why Rhyno worked more than Kendrick. The idea of bringing back past talent to work developmental talent is two-fold. One, it helps WWE NXT as a separate brand by providing names the mainstream WWE audience is already familiar with. Two, it helps the developing talent work someone that’s more polished workers to help aid their develop. Rhyno and Kendrick are well-respected veterans and I would expect more former names to return at future tapings.
From the Ask WNW vault…
May 2013: Do you see the pairing of Paul Heyman and Curtis Axel being bigger and better than the pairing of Bobby Heenan and Mr. Perfect? - It’s far too early to make any comparisons like that. While it’s important to give a new worker (and gimmick) a chance before tearing it apart, it’s also important to put the anointing oil away. Curtis Axel has a lot of potential and an extraordinary opportunity as a “Paul Heyman client,” however, we don’t want to put him in the Hall of Fame right out the gate just like we don’t want to dismiss the character. One of the reasons why it would be extremely risky to put Axel over Hunter is what if the gimmick flops? Patience is very important in this business.
The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, March 6, 2015.