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Matches Likely For Wrestlemania, WWE Announce Changes, Batista A Star, Christian's Future, Bryan's Health

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.

Do you see a scenario where The Undertaker could make an appearance at Wrestlemania, not necessarily in a wrestling capacity, but as a distraction to Brock Lesnar that would allow Roman Reigns or Daniel Bryan to go over?

If WWE was able to get The Undertaker on Wrestlemania, I have a hard time envisioning a scenario where he would make an unadvertised appearance. The scenario you have suggested would almost guarantee a future rematch between Undertaker and Brock Lesnar and given Lesnar’s uncertain status, I don’t think that would be useful. While it’s still early, it sure looks like the plans for Wrestlemania 31 are Triple H vs. Sting and Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.

Hunter has continued to namedrop Sting as the “face-painted goof,” while we’ve spent a lot of time this week explaining about the company’s decision to go forward with the elevation of Roman Reigns. Some have taken this to mean that I'm "flip-flopping," campaigning for such a bout. That is inaccurate. The match I would like to see is Bryan vs. Lesnar but the current plan is for Reigns to get that spot.

Why did WWE shuffle their announce teams?

WWE announced three separate trios for Raw, Smackdown and pay-per-views on Thursday evening and we covered the announcement here on After this week, the Raw announce team will be comprised of Michael Cole, JBL and Booker T. Smackdown will be Cole, Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton. Pay-per-views will continue to be called by Cole, JBL and Lawler. WWE says the changes were made in anticipation of Smackdown’s move back to Thursdays.

It looks like this is one of the ways that WWE will differentiate between the shows. I know people will begin to ask about the resurrection of the brand extension but I cannot confirm anything of the sorts at press time. The note to make is that Raw and Smackdown will have different announce teams to help their brand identity. Michael Cole, the voice of WWE, will be on both shows.

Is Batista returning to WWE in time for Wrestlemania season?

If Batista is coming back for Wrestlemania 31, I haven’t heard of the plan. Batista’s acting career is flourishing as he has landed another major role as Hinx in the upcoming James Bond film “Spectre.”

Obviously given how “under the radar” Batista has been in WWE lately, any plan to bring him back would be a surprise, unlike what happened last year when his return leaked. I can tell you that Batista’s profile has been quietly been moved to the Alumni section on and when he left at the end of the summer, he wasn’t happy with his creative direction. Batista has stated he would entertain another return but would want more control over the booking of his character.

CLICK HERE for recent pics of Batista filming in Austria.

Do you think it is possible that Christian could be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in the next two years?

Christian has disputed the claim Jerry Lawler made on commentary that he is retired, so we need to make sure that is first. As for a Hall of Fame induction, Christian is probably considered a “fringe” talent but I feel he’s worthy of the honor but cannot offer you anything beyond that. As for possible inductions this year, a posthumous indication of “Macho Man” Randy Savage is the one I’ve heard the most so far but we’ll be noting names as we hear them over the next few weeks.

When was Daniel Bryan officially medically cleared?

Daniel Bryan hasn’t given specifics on his medical clearance but did discuss it in a promotional piece that we recapped at this link. In that piece, Bryan said he’s physically better than ever. Bryan has not taken a bump since May of last year so there is probably a lot of truth to that. Obviously the concern will be with the strength in his right hand but he says the strength has returned.

Bryan isn’t advertised to wrestle this weekend but is on the booking sheets for next weekend in live event matches against Kane. He is also on next week’s TVs (Raw and Smackdown) but I cannot confirm whether or not he’s scheduled to wrestle on them.

From the Ask WNW vault…

July 2007: What happened to Claudio Castagnoli? Didn’t he get a WWE developmental deal? - Castagnoli was given a WWE developmental deal in November 2006; however, he was released before he started to work in their developmental territories. His release remains somewhat of a mystery as it was thought that it had something to do with his work visa and legal status in the United States, however, Castagnoli denied these claims. He said that he wouldn’t have been able to work in Ring of Honor had he not had a visa. Today Castagnoli continues to work the independent wrestling circuits in the United States, recently qualifying for the third round qualifier for the vacant NWA World Heavyweight title.

The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Monday, January 12, 2015.

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