Who decides what WWE stars get pyrotechnics? Is this expensive? I have noticed they don’t do them anymore.
Your observation is absolutely correct. WWE has started pulling back on the amount of pyrotechnics they use, especially during wrestling entrances. I started noticing it a while back when Brock Lesnar would jump onto the ring apron. The official reason is that financially it saves WWE a lot of money to not have to put on a firework show two to three times a week. Between the actual cost of the pyro, the machines they need to do it, and the workers that need to be paid to work the pyrotechnics, it was far more cost effective to phase them out. Unofficially, it wouldn’t surprise me if WWE also decided it was safer to slow down on the pyro as well. I can think of a handful of times in the last 5-6 years where pyrotechnic displays malfunctioned and caused injury to fans. The incident that comes immediately to mind is WrestleMania 24 when a cable snapped and showered fans, 45 were injured. Also, at Elimination Chamber in 2010 one of the flamethrowers they use for the Undertaker’s entrance was mistimed and shot off under his feet. It ended up leaving the Undertaker with 3rd degree burns. WWE probably decided the pros didn’t outweigh the cons. That’s not to say we won’t see any pyro at all in WWE; they will still use them sparingly to spice up certain moments like WrestleMania. However, the days of half the roster having pyro in their entrance are behind us. As for who decides when pyro is now appropriate, I’d say it’s probably up to Triple H and/or Vince McMahon if they want to use pyro outside special events.
Do you think Finn Balor will become Universal Champion before Wrestlemania? Or at Wrestlemania?
Before I answer this question, I like to start by saying I haven’t heard anything concreate and this is purely my speculation. I think it’s unlikely we see Finn Balor as Universal Champion until after WrestleMania. From what I understand, as of this writing, the plan is for Brock Lesnar to hold the title until at least the Royal Rumble, but more than likely WrestleMania. Vince is still set on having Roman Reigns be the one to take it off him. Keep in mind, WrestleMania is roughly 6 months away and things in the WWE can change month to month, week to week, day to day, and even hour to hour. Vince can be stubborn about changing his mind, but not as stubborn as he used to be. It’s certainly possible Finn captures the Universal Championship before WrestleMania 34 or even at WrestleMania 34, but I would label it as unlikely.
When a team that wrestles using the Freebirds rule (Sanity, New Day, etc..) who is it that decides which two members compete that night? Does the team/faction decide together or some creative members decide themselves?
This decision will most likely be decided whoever the booker is for that match. The booker will work with the wrestlers about the details of the match. Things like how they want things to play out, the finish, any specifics they want in the match. In the case of a 3 (or more) man team, the booker will decide which two will be competing in the match. In the case of a team like New Day, they MIGHT have a little stroke which members compete. However, when New Day won the Smackdown tag team titles, I remember Xavier Woods stated in a backstage interview that winning the titles that night was a significant moment in his life because it was the first time he got the pin to win a championship in WWE. I don’t know if he made that decision or the booker did, but it leads me to believe the booker did.
How long do you see Jinder Mahal holding the WWE Championship? I must admit I enjoy his WWE Championship reign, I could see him holding the WWE title until Wrestlemania 34. Your thoughts?
We reported earlier this week that Jinder is getting high marks for his current run as WWE Champion. While, personally, I haven’t been sold on him as WWE Champion I have started seeing him as a legitimate wrestler. When Jinder first one the WWE Championship I actually laughed. I thought it was an absolutely ridiculous booking decision, more to upset the smarks than anything else. In my mind, Jinder was a jobber and nothing more. Now, I see him as a legitimate mid-card worker, someone who could hold the United States Championship and I wouldn’t be upset or question the decision to put that title on him. However, as WWE Champion, he isn’t doing it for me. Most people are far more interested in other matches on the card, and I think the WWE Champion needs to be the biggest or one of the biggest draws. I also think it makes other wrestlers look worse when they lose to him. His rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura is doing more harm than good to Shinsuke. If they blow off the feud and keep the title on Mahal, I think it’ll be a blow to the career of Nakamura. I can’t say how long Mahal will be champion, but I think it’s safe to say at this point that he’ll hold onto the title until after they’ve done their overseas tour in India in mid-December. I think the smart move is to take it off him at the Royal Rumble. However, I can confirm Vince isn’t against the idea of Jinder holding the title until WrestleMania 34.