Paul Heyman Consulted, Ricardo Rodriguez's Role, Ryback vs. Lesnar, Brand Extension!

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

Has Vince McMahon finally acknowledged Paul Heyman's key role in WWE by giving him his pet project in Ryback?

Vince McMahon likes Ryback, there's no doubting that. Ryback is everything that Vince has been known to push over the years and putting him with Paul Heyman is a "last ditch effort" to make him a top talent. A lot of people want to know how much influence Paul Heyman had and the honest answer is, I don't know. Heyman has been consulted about creative direction but his job is simply an on-air talent. The creative situation in WWE has been in disarray lately so I have heard of multiple situations where Paul was consulted but I'm not sure about the Ryback pairing.

Given the fact that Ricardo Rodriguez can actually wrestle, is there any reason why WWE keeps him in his current role as a "stooge" and nothing more?

Let me ask you a question and we'll analyze it. Where do you think Ricardo Rodriguez is best utilized? As a ring announcer/manager where he is involved in a top program or as another forgotten in-ring name? You're right that Rodriguez can work but that doesn't mean much in WWE. There are a lot of guys that can work but not everyone has the personality where they can be featured in top level programs. The ceiling for Rodriguez [as an in-ring talent] probably isn't more than a secondary title so unless you see him as a viable World Heavyweight Champion, where he is working is a good thing for him and his career.

Given Ryback's alliance with Paul Heyman, do you see Ryback vs. Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX next year?

This is what a lot of people are already clamoring for and let me make sure to put it out there - it's not a bout I want to see! I feel like all I've done this week is hammer Ryback but I just don't understand the infatuation with this guy. I gave him a chance, I really did. Go back and read my work, listen to my recordings - I wanted Ryback to succeed. He hasn't succeeded and has become one of those guys WWE continues to force feed us. Ryback vs. Brock Lesnar, the battle of the big men, isn't much of an upgrade from Ryback vs. Mark Henry that we saw this year. How did that work out? Look, Brock can work and is not your typical big man. However, the Lesnar of today is different from the Lesnar his first time in WWE. Now he's a guy that is going to keep it more basic and is going to be portrayed more as a "fighter." Ryback hasn't proved he can have a good match against one of the best in Chris Jericho. If Jericho can't get it out of Ryback, do you think Lesnar could? I hope I'm proved wrong on Ryback but I just don't see it.

Do you think WWE should have separate stars for Raw and Smackdown?

Here we go IWC! For years all I heard was that it was time to end the brand extension and combine the roster. It's been gracefully phased out and now we have readers that want to return to it. The brand extension was needed when it was in place but over time the WWE roster thinned out to the point where it wasn't needed. I like how WWE phased it out slowly rather than making a big deal out of it but I don't see enough main event talent to re-enact the brand extension.

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The next installment of Ask WNW is scheduled to run on Thursday, September 19, 2013. Remember questions that are legible stand the best chance of getting answered. Check out the Ask WNW archive at this link.

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