With Kane unmasking and looking better than ever, what are the current ideas or potential feuds for him?
The booking direction of Kane is one that was significantly changed from last week to this week. His unmasking was seen as something that is part of the 2014 release of See No Evil 2, as he doesn't wear a mask in the film. Whether or not they leave him unmasked throughout the release of the film remains to be seen but that was the initial word at Raw. As for his character direction, the storyline is he was "given to Stephane McMahon" to help her do what is best for business. I'm told this was done to explain why he's not going after The Wyatt Family and presumably turning heel. I talked more about Kane in this week's Backstage Raw News where you can also read about failed Wellness test and a lot of other material of interest.
What are your feelings on WWE's disappointment with the performance of this year's SummerSlam?
One thing was very clear in Thursday's conference call with investors and that was Vince McMahon and company were not pleased about SummerSlam doing 296,000 buys in August. The show is seen as one of the most important shows they do all year long besides Wrestlemania and the number was a big pullback from the 358,000 buys they did in 2012. Vince McMahon explained that fans didn't "buy the attraction," which has resulted in widespread IWC speculation. It seems everyone wants to find one worker to shoulder the blame. I've heard everything from "that'll show John Cena fans" to "well, that's it for Daniel Bryan." These knee-jerk reactions are incorrect. Trust me, if WWE could pinpoint the blame on one particular worker, they would take the appropriate action with that particular worker. I take Vince's comment that fans didn't "buy the attraction," at face value. Pay-per-view events are attraction driven and WWE "swung and missed" with SummerSlam.
With Paul Heyman being written off television as a result of CM Punk's beating on him, what's next for Ryback?
Ryback vs. CM Punk was blown off on Monday Night Raw when Punk made Ryback tap out in the Street Fight. This doesn't mean Ryback is off television as he went over Kofi Kingston on this week's episode of WWE Main Event. Where they go from there remains to be seen but I hope they pull the reigns back and give Ryback some time in the mid-card. Every time WWE has tried to force him to the main event, they've failed. There's nothing wrong with building him back up through the mid-card and it's where he should have been working all along.
You said last week that Vince McMahon doesn't see talent outside the WWE as valuable, but what about guys like Sting?
A lot of people see Sting as the exception but this is one of the things that has kept Sting out of WWE. Sting doesn't completely trust Vince McMahon with his character and he very well remembers The Rock looking at Booker T when he first came to WWE after a successful career in WCW and asking him who he was. Now obviously Booker overcame that because he's extremely talented and went on to have success in WWE but these are the things that have kept a deal from happening. Sting is a smart guy and understands the WWE mentality. People criticize him for not going to WWE but he's worked the last decade under an awesome deal. He gets to work minimal dates at optimal pay. I'd love to see Sting come to WWE and work a Wrestlemania main event but he hasn't done bad for himself by refusing to risk the McMahon machine at this stage of his career.
From the Ask WNW vault…
November 2011: What are the chances AJ Styles ever leaves TNA Impact Wrestling for WWE? - This is a common question I see readers asking from time to time and while it’s certainly possible AJ Styles could leave TNA for WWE, how much success do you think he would have? While I know Vince McMahon and Triple H will point to workers such as Rey Mysterio, CM Punk, Christian, etc. and say they push workers of all different sizes, it’s a fact they don’t push talent based on in-ring skills. Daniel Bryan, who I consider the second best in-ring worker in the world (Kurt Angle at number one), has struggled to find a main event role. Watching Daniel Bryan on WWE TV is like playing with a yo-yo, he’s up then he’s down. There has been very little consistency. I have a hard time believing things for AJ Styles would be much different.
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