Is it a frequent occurrence for performers to work injured?
There is a difference between working hurt and working injured because almost everyone in both WWE and TNA is working through some kind of pain. However, it's more common than not for workers to "tough it out" and continue to perform despite being injured. Antonio Cesaro has recently been working through a broken bone in his hand while John Cena needed his elbow cleaned out for months before finally taking some time off to have the surgery done. It's a tough business but the reason why workers continue to work despite being injured is because they don't want to lose their spot. In Cena's case, he's a self-proclaimed workaholic and Vince McMahon wants him out there as much as possible because he's seen as the face of the company. Whenever WWE is struggling in a particular area Cena is highlighted more to compensate for it. Low show attendance? Book Cena. Low ratings? Book Cena. Need pay-per-view buys? Book Cena. Do you get the idea?
Is it possible the stuff between Hulk Hogan and Scott Steiner is an elaborate work to fool the IWC?
When Scott Steiner first started his Twitter rant against Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff I felt like it was a work. It turns out Steiner was serious, so serious litigation has been filed on both sides. I've been working on a story that should be online soon regarding Steiner's legal maneuvers in response to the suit TNA filed against him.
I have always been interested in the role that referees play during matches. Because outcomes are predetermined, I know they’re not there to actually referee the matches. What is their role?
The referees in WWE and TNA play a very important role in matches. Given the fact the referees wear earpieces, they serve as a direct line of communication from the back into the ring. Their job is to help workers in the ring remember certain sequences, notify them of time as well as make sure things go down as planned. The best referees are invisible to the audience, never getting in the way and hardly being noticed (unless of course they are used in an angle like Brad Maddox). There is a reason why there are senior officials (such as Mike Chioda, Charles Robinson and Earl Hebner) as they are the best at what they do. Proper organization of a match is crucial for it to get over as planned and the referees play a big part in making sure things are executed properly.
Do you see Ric Flair coming in as a GM or manager to Dolph Ziggler to finally help him get over and "cash in" his Money in the Bank briefcase?
I can confirm ideas have been pitched to use Ric Flair to help Dolph Ziggler, however, Flair returning to WWE has been stopped due to TNA's ongoing litigation against them. There has been talk of WWE back paying a deal to get around legal matters but I'm not sure it's a headache WWE is willing to deal with. It seems like every pay-per-view there is talk of Ziggler "cashing in" but it's almost like he's become the wildcard where they are waiting for the time to be right. My personal hope is it is well worth the wait and it doesn't come down to creative hot-shotting an angle that will damage Ziggler's future.
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