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Orton Replaced by Reigns, WWE Messing Up Finn Balor, Lawler Disappointed, McMahon's Annual Salary

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Orton Reigns

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Are you surprised that both John Cena and Randy Orton are on Smackdown?

Vince McMahon went back and forth for quite some time about what to do with John Cena and Roman Reigns. Cena was set for Smackdown, Reigns was set for Raw, they were switched and ended up being like they started. I knew Vince wanted Cena and Roman on different shows, with the talk being Reigns was the new 1b. For now, Randy Orton has lost that spot so, no I am not surprised he was drafted to the same brand as Cena. As for this type of star power being on the blue brand, WWE knew they had to have some star power to help carry the audience to the new night. Raw is going to be the show with the bigger audience. Even this week’s Smackdown Live premiere featuring the 2016 WWE Draft wasn’t enough to take that away. So moving forward, Smackdown will be carried by Cena, Ambrose, Orton, Styles and Wyatt (probably in that order). Raw has the better roster but remember, Raw is a full hour longer.

Do you feel WWE could screw up Finn Balor by possibly trying to make him the face of the new cruiserweight division?

Well, they’ve done such an excellent job with The Club, what makes you think Finn Balor will be any different? I hope you note the sarcasm but I will level with you. I am extremely concerned WWE will mess up Finn Balor. He’s yet another guy that seems like a sure thing. He’s had success everywhere he has worked, he has everything needed to be a top star but how will WWE handle it? It remains to be seen and the only thing I can confirm at this time is they wanted flexibility. It will be a mistake if WWE pushes Balor in any other way than a top star. Not the face of the cruiserweight division. Not going for a midcard title. And no where near some forgettable midcard program with someone like Sheamus. WWE needs to get behind some of this new talent in a big way and the only way to do that is to book them with confidence. I’ve seen WWE get guys all the way to the main event and then make sure they lose to John Cena every time out. Cena is obviously not on Raw but it won’t be better if they serve these guys up to Roman Reigns. Yesterday we talked about The Nexus angle taking off just a little over six years ago and how disappointing the results have been with all of that talent. There is another opportunity here but it has to be booked correctly.

Do you think Jerry Lawler and Booker T's removal from announcing duties on the main shows are WWE's way of phasing them out and eventually releasing them?

It tells me Vince McMahon wanted a different sound to his programming. I’m more surprised about Jerry Lawler being taken off commentary more than anything else but this change may not be a bad thing. I am extremely high up on the work of Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves, too bad we couldn’t get those two on a team together. Lawler did himself no favors with the domestic violence arrest this summer but it’s unknown if that played any part in his removal from commentary. Jerry is disappointed with the decision and while he hasn’t commented on the move directly, he has re-tweeted fans that have expressed their displeasure with his reassignment.

Is is true that MVP and Shelton Benjamin are WWE bound?

Teddy Long stated on Steve Gerweck’s podcast that MVP and Shelton Benjamin are returning to WWE pending medical clearance. MVP downplayed that on Twitter but didn’t dismiss it either. WWE has contacted several past names about returning and Rhyno and Curt Hawkins are two others that should be back soon.

What is Vince McMahon’s annual salary?

Vince McMahon will make $1,325,000 this year. He made $1,250,000 in 2015 and $1,184,500 the year prior. Keep in mind that is base salary and doesn’t include any bonuses, stock awards or anything else.

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