With all the conversation that has been on here about the prestige, or lack thereof, of the mid-card titles, specifically the IC Title; Do you feel that the company more or less views the MITB briefcase as its most prestigious mid-card "title" seeing as how it basically creates a main event worker instantaneously?
What would your ideas be to add prestige to the IC and US titles? Wouldn't defending them in the main event of Smackdown be a good start?
I put these questions together because they flow off one another. First, WWE has done the same thing to the Money in the Bank briefcase they've done to their mid-card titles - see Damien Sandow. I discussed it earlier in the week and it's the result of not having a clear plan for the MITB contract holder. Obviously past success has given the MITB contract holder prestige, which is why Seth Rollins is seen as a bigger deal than either midcard champion right now. However, if WWE treats Rollins the way they treated Sandow (or to a less extent, Dolph Ziggler), the MITB briefcase is going to be in the same situation as the United States or Intercontinental titles respectively.
As for rebuilding prestige, it's not difficult but it's going to take some planning. I completely agree with the philosophy it's the worker that makes the title, not the title that makes the worker but WWE can't book the worker repeatedly under in non-title matches and expect defenses to mean something. My idea to rebuilding prestige is to establish a plan. That plan would be to eliminate champions participating in non-title matches, stop switching titles at the drop of a dime and make a conscience effort to push the strapped worker. WWE has this bad habit of changing directions after putting someone over. Either push them or don't. Beginning a push and slamming the brakes is recipe for disaster and one of the reasons why WWE has such a void at the top of the card despite a tremendous amount of talent under contract.
If WWE does not renew Brock Lesnar's contract after WrestleMania 31, what will that mean for Paul Heyman's future with the company?
WWE would be crazy to let Paul Heyman walk regardless of what happens with Brock Lesnar. Heyman is still one of the best mouthpieces in the business and while past "Heyman Guy" projects have failed, I don't believe that's indicative of his overall value. The reason WWE is limiting Heyman's exposure right now is because they want him exclusively alongside Brock Lesnar because Lesnar is to be perceived as on a different level from the rest of the roster. That said, I don't know if WWE will resign Lesnar. I don't think it's likely unless he comes way down on price but the company has invested a lot in him.
With John Cena getting so much heat from WWE fans and WWE reluctant to turn him, will Cena ever "win over" the audience again?
John Cena has always been polarizing and that will continue for the foreseeable future. WWE has had opportunities to turn him heel in the past but they've been reluctant and I just don't see it happening. Even if Vince McMahon pulled the trigger on a heel turn, Cena would still be polarizing as that's how top stars are perceived regardless of their on-air character. As for your question, I don't see anything Cena can do to make himself a 100% babyface. That's difficult for anyone to do, let alone someone that has collected the number of haters that John has.
You have mentioned on multiple occasions that, "...without Spike TV, TNA will be forced to scale back from what we’re used to seeing from them." Jeff Jarrett started TNA out on a low dollar PPV format before TV rights were granted. Optimism aside, do you see TNA possibly having to go back to the very beginning and re-build the company from scratch? Do you think that TNA could ever recover from such a downgrade? Where would this leave other promotions like ROH, CZW, etc.?
If TNA Wrestling loses Spike TV, it's very likely they lose their spot as the "number two promotion" in the United States. However, it's still unclear what exactly that will look like. Times have changed since Jeff Jarrett started TNA, mostly due to the evolution of iPPV. There are several independent promotions that run them and not to mention Ring of Honor has widespread TV clearance with the backing of Sinclair Broadcast Group. I can't tell you if TNA would have to "start from scratch" but if they lose domestic TV clearance, big trouble is ahead. If they get a deal, they'll have to scale back in some fashion but until we see the deal, it's very difficult to predict what that will look like. As for other promotions, the spot for "number two" would technically be up for grabs, but it's more of an equal playing field with WWE and "everyone else."
From the Ask WNW vault…
March 2012: How long does the WWE Wellness Policy last? I realize it one strike is a 30-day suspension, two strikes is a 60-day suspension and three strikes results in termination. However, let’s take Evan Bourne for example. If he fails another Wellness test in let’s say three years, would he still be fired? What about William Regal, who also has two violations? Is there a time when the policy resets? - The policy doesn’t reset and even if Evan Bourne or William Regal were terminated and later re-signed, they would return with two Wellness Test failures. If a worker has three failures and they are terminated, they will remain terminated for at least one year. If WWE brings them back after their minimum termination of one year they will return with two Wellness strikes, must test negative during pre-screening and will be subject to strict random testing while they are under WWE contract. The entire WWE Wellness Policy is online at this link.
The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Friday, October 24, 2014.